The Life of Imam Al-Hasan Al-Mujtaba

ID Book

THE LIFE OF IMAM AL-HASAN AL-MUJTABA

Author: Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi

Translation by: Jasim al-Rasheed

Editor: Abdullah Al-Shahin

Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum

First Edition 1427 -2006 - 1385

Thamin Al-a'immah Press

Quantity: 2000

Number of Pages: 744

Size: 162 x 229 mm

ISBN: 964-438-794-5

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Dedication

To you, O the cause of beings and master of creatures!

To you, O the savior of humanity from the utter darkness of ignorance, and giver of new life and knowledge to generations!

To you, O messenger of Allah, and the last of the prophets!

With both my hands I raise these sheets through which I have made a research on your eldest grandson, your darling, whom you had supplied with the perfection of the prophethood, who inherited your dignity and glory. The book is my presented commerce I have prepared as a store for my day when I will come to you. May it be appropriate for your high position. That is sufficient for me!

Foreword

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

The Prophet’s grandson, Imam Abu Muhammed al-Zakiy (al-Hasan), was the first of the eleven grandsons from among the progeny of Prophet Muhammed, the master of the Prophets. He was among the progeny of Ali, the lord of mankind. He was the first in whom the two lights met together; the light of prophethood and the light of imamate. He was the junction of the two lights, one of the two brilliants, and the confluence of the two seas. He has made the two seas to flow freely (so that) they meet together. [1] There come forth from them pearls, both large and small. [2] Ali was the sea of the light of the Imamate; Fatima was the sea of the light of the prophethood and dignity. There came from them green pearls like the (green) shells in the heaven and the red porgy like the redness of the ground because of blood. Al-Hasan was the first of the infallible Imams from the progeny of the master of guardians (Imam Ali). He showed the truth and destroyed falsehood. He prevented bloodshed through his making peace (with Mu‘awiya).

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According to the most famous report, al-Hasan was born in Medina, on the night of the middle of the month of Ramadan. My writing these words fell on this night, the night of the light, when the members of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) were happy and delighted. We should be happy in accordance with their happiness and show sadness due to theirs. Therefore, I announce anthems, hymns, and congratulations to the master of beings (Prophet Muhammed), Ali, and Fatima, Allah’s blessings be on them. I congratulate them on this blessed child, concerning whom and his brother the cause of the existence and the mirror of Allah, Prophet Muhammed, has said: “Your camel is the best camel; and you are the best riders!”

Through this essay I have quickly written with my pen, I do not attempt to mention Abu Muhammed al-Zakiy’s greatness of achievements, achievements of greatness, glory of greatness, greatness of glory, high glorious deeds, virtues, and glorious deeds of heaven. No, and then no. For the hawk of my information and the eagle of my pen, in spite of my wide knowledge and information, are not able to ascend to that throne mutinous to intellects, of which thoughts, though exalted and excessive, nothing obtain except astonishment and perplexity.

Rather, I want to deal with one of the sides of his life, one of the signs of his miracles and the miracles of his signs. It is the side of his making peace with Mu‘awiya, the tyrant, son of the misguided father and mother. That is because this side has been complicated and worn the thickest gown of vagueness. Doubts have guided it badly, all assumptions have failed, doubt has come into force, the pillars of faith have declined even those of his sincerest companions, those of his father’s, those of the most loyal of his followers and clients. This was when rage and anger moved that high mountain (a great figure) to misbehave. He had to say assalamu ‘alayka, O one who has made the believers mighty; however, he said something opposite.

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Vagueness and confusion have covered this matter with the worst garment even to those who believe in his Imamate and infallibility. However, the sentiment and the shock of the misfortune have overcome prudence and reflection. If they carefully consider the matter and give place to reason, they will see it as clear as the sun. Surely the whole righteousness and the righteousness of all Muslims were accomplished through what he had done. That is not because of worship, submission, and yielding to the accomplished fact good or evil.

That is not because of the faith in infallibility and that the infallible Imam’s deed should agree with wisdom. No, if we carefully consider the event, its sides, conditions, circumstances, results, and its premises, we will definitely and certainly come to know that what he had done was the (religious) duty, and nothing other than it was right. Yes, it was the determination itself and victory over his opponent.

It was the attack itself against his enemy according to the military techniques and the timely policy. He performed the deed of someone worldly-wise, prudent, and experienced. That was when he warred against his enemy through peace and won a victory over him through making peace with him. He could put out his enemy’s fire, removed the curtain from him, and showed the people his defects and tricks. It was right for him to war against him through making peace and not through weapon, to kill him through his deeds not through fighting against him and throwing arrows at him.

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This deed is the most perfect and definite of all proofs in putting an end to the excuses, and most decisive in repelling doubts and vague errors. Explaining and illuminating all these things, to the extent that they can be touch by the hand and seen by the eye, requires an excellent explanation, a strong heart, and a wide speech. Nothing of my sick body, weak sight, many works, worn out mind, little time, and my bad conditions can help me do that. May Allah be kind to me and allow me to seize another opportunity, that I may fully explain in this respect, and remove the curtains from this vagueness in order that the truth may appear and the lights may shine. However, there is no escape from ending this word of mine with the pure truth. Generally speaking, it was incumbent on Imam al-Husayn (a.s) and his companions to revolt against the tyrant of his time (Yazid bin Mu‘awiya) during those circumstances, to the extent that they were killed and the members of Imam al-Husayn’s family, who were the family of Allah’s Apostle, were taken as prisoners of war. This was incumbent on him according to the technique of policy, the rules of victory and prudence regardless of the divine commands and the eternal will. It was also incumbent on al-Hasan (a.s) during his conditions to make peace with the tyrant of his time (Mu‘awiya bin Abi Sufyan). Had it not been for the peace treaty of al-Hasan and the martyrdom of al-Husayn, Islam would have been destroyed forever.

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The efforts of Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, the good, the blessing, the guidance, and the mercy he had brought to people would have been lost, because Abu Sufyan, his bastard (son) Mu‘awiya, and his corrupt grandson Yazid spared no effort to efface Islam and to make the people follow their pre-Islamic beliefs such as worshipping the idols al-Laat and al-Uzza. Perhaps, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, had referred to this important point through the famous tradition which is as clear as light in correctness. He, (a.s), has said: “Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are two Imams whether they rise or sit down.” Perhaps, he meant that al-Hasan was an Imam through his sitting down (making peace), and that al-Husayn was an Imam through his rising.

Some historians and biographers have related the matter of al-Hasan (a.s) and his making peace with Mu‘awiya. They have dealt with its surface meaning and its simple form without any analyzing, explaining, studying thoroughly, checking out, and without taking into consideration the circumstances of the event, its conditions, principles, and objectives. They have condemned it because they have not reflected on it and carefully considered it.

However, as the truth and fact are light, Allah has prepared some meritorious people from among those who have skillful pens, excellent understanding, correct viewpoints, and free thoughts. So they have, through their books, removed the vagueness and complication from the life of Imam al-Hasan, from his behavior, and his peacemaking (with Mu‘awiya). Through their books they have unveiled some imaginations of the contemporary writers and of those before them.

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Among those who well and skillfully wrote the biography of Imam al-Hasan (a.s) is the knowledgeable, meritorious, highborn, writer, Sheikh Baqir al-Qurashi, may Allah support him with the essence of care from Him and success. He submitted to me some chapters of the first volume of his book The Life of Imam al-Hasan, and I have found in them the essence of ambition and the ambition of soul. I have found in them a longing soul that has made a good progress. If he is at the beginning, he is about to reach the goal. The best proof of his book is his book itself. May Allah reward him for his efforts and make him reach his wishes.

Through his spiritual father’s supplication

Muhammad al-Hasan Aal-Kashif al-Ghita’

Theological Center in Holy Najaf

On the 20th of Ramadan, 1373 A. H.

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[1] Qur’an, 55, 19.

[2] Qur'an, 55, 22.

Introduction

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan (a.s) has a brilliant history full of the most wonderful pages of heroism and jihad. He has noble manners beating with justice and piety. His life flows with unique abilities and good tendencies. Noble moral traits, original thoughts, and deep thinking meet together in that personality. The biographers have unanimously agreed on that al-Hasan was the most clement of the people, and the ablest of them in restraining rage, showing patience toward harmful and detested things. He was kind to people and always pardoned them and forgave their mistakes. He was like his grandfather, the Prophet (a.s), whose ethics and clemency embraced all the people.

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There was a sufficient witness indicating his great clemency. The witness was stated by Marwan bin al-Hakam, who was his bitter opponent. Marwan hurried to carry al-Hasan’s sacred body, but al-Husayn, the master of martyrs, found that strange and asked him: “Why have you carried his corpse while you had grieved him?”

“I did that to one whose clemency was as much as mountains!” replied Marwan.

Al-Hasan was not only the most clement of people but also the most prominent of them in giving correct thoughts. That was clear through his making peace with Mu‘awiya. He avoided opening a door to war, for the country was full of parties, the heads of the tribes and the military commanders sold Mu‘awiya their consciences. They joined Mu‘awiya’s camp not because they had faith in his matter; rather, they craved after his money and responded to their psychological desires, seeking influence, domination, and abundant wealth. Besides, al-Hasan’s fighters were wicked and rude. They preferred peace to war. There are other factors we will in detail mention within the book. Accordingly, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) surrendered to the accomplished fact and made peace with Mu‘awiya. Through that he could protect the people, prevented their bloodshed, and saved them from the bad results whose dangers none had known except Allah.

The historians have unanimously agreed that al-Hasan was the most generous of people, the greatest of them in giving (gifts) to Allah’s servants, the kindest of them to the poor and the deprived. So he was given the nickname of the generous one of the Ahl al-Bayt though they were the origins of generosity and good deeds. Groups of the poor and the needy went to him, and he showed them kindness, and saved them with his many gifts from begging and neediness.

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The historians have unanimously agreed that al-Hasan (a.s) was the most worshipful of the people of his time, the most pious of them, and the greatest of them in piety and devotedness to Allah. He performed the hajj to the Sacred House of Allah (the Kaaba) twenty-five times. He did all mediations through which he sought nearness to Allah. He freed himself from the amusement of the world and turned away from its vanities. We will in detail mention that when we speak about his ideals and the aspects of his great personality.

We face a problem in the history of Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan. The problem is that some traditions have been fabricated and added to his brilliant history. The historians who were hirelings of the ruling authority have put these traditions into the Islamic history. They have ascribed to him something from which he was far away. They have accused him of being Uthmani in inclination, that he condemned his father (Imam Ali) on the Day of ad-Dar, for he did not give an aid to Uthman, nor did he save him from the revolutionists. They have reported that he thought that his father did not respond to the desires of the people who cheered his name and insisted on nominating him for the office of the caliphate, but the Commander of the faithful (Imam Ali), as the historians say, disobeyed them and responded to the summons of the revolutionists.

The historians have charged accusations to Imam al-Hasan’s brilliant life. They have said that he married and divorced many women. They have exaggerated when they said that he in most of his days married a woman and divorced another. They wanted to degrade his position importance. The historians have written these reports. The modern writers have depended on them. Dr. Taha Husayn is on their top. [1] He has inclined to these reports and sent them to readers. However, he had to make sure of their chain of authorities, that it might be clear to him that the reporters were accused of fabrication and deviation from Ahl al-Bayt. We have refuted a large group of them in our studies, and showed the weaknesses in them whether in the chain of authorities or other than it.

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The most important thing the necessity of research requires is that we must check the reports in order to know their reporters and be sure of them. We rely on the narrations of those who report correctly, are free from lying, and not accused in respect of their religion. We depend on them in building the Islamic history. We do not depend on those narrators who follow rulers, write for their purposes, strengthen their power, pay no attention to religion, and tell lies. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to reject their reports and not to depend on them. Islam has frankly ordered us to be sure of the reports of those who are accused in respect of their religion.

Allah, the Most High, 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 be sorry for what you have done.”[2] The verse is clear in that we should look carefully into the reports of the evil-doers. Which sin is greater than fabrication and telling lies intentionally? Generally speaking, the verse includes the reports on the fabricated things of which are the reports on historical events and other than them.

We find it strange that some writers are satisfied with and they accept the reports of Abu Hurayra al-Dousi [3] and Samra bin Jundub, a headsman. They have relied on such reports in building the Islamic faith, while many of them do not agree with the authority of reason and wisdom. In the mean time they oppose the precepts of Islam that does not believe in fables and imaginations.

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Every researcher is required to look carefully into the reports whether they concern the religious affairs or other than them. It is incumbent on them to reject what the devious persons and the hirelings of the authorities have narrated.

The prominent thing at the time when Imam al-Hasan (a.s) lived was that some parties spread, and their trends reacted. For example, the Qurashi party, which had been formed before the demise of the Prophet (a.s), decided to turn away the office of the Islamic caliphate from the members of the Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them. That was for several reasons such as: they rushed upon authority and envied the family of the Prophet (a.s) for the outstanding qualities and talents Allah had given to them. It has been narrated that they said: “Surely the Prophethood and the caliphate should not meet together in one house.” Ibn Abbas falsified this statement with his strong evidence during his conversation with Umar bin al-Khattab. After a long speech, Umar said to him: “O Ibn Abbas, do you know what have prevented your people from (electing) you after Muhammad (a.s)?” Ibn Abbas said: “I hated to answer him, so I said to him: ‘If I do not know, then the Commander of the faithful (Umar) knows!’” Umar said: “They have hated to gather the prophethood and the (office) of the caliphate for you lest you should wrong your people and rejoice. So Quraysh have chosen something for themselves and they are right and successful.”

Ibn Abbas could not face Umar to falsify his statement, for he was afraid of his sternness and rudeness. He asked permission from him that he might frankly tell him about the reality, saying to him: “Commander of the faithful, if you allow me to speak and be not angry with me, I will speak.” “Speak, O Ibn Abbas,” replied Umar.

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“O Commander of the faithful, as for your statement, ‘Quraysh have chosen something for themselves and they are right and successful,’ it is that if Quraysh had chosen for themselves at the time when Allah chose for them, then rightness would have been in their hand, and none would have rejected and envied them. As for your statement, ‘They have refused to let the Prophethood and the (office) of the caliphate reach us,’ it is that surely Allah, the Great and Almighty, has described some people with hatred when he says: ‘That is because they hated what Allah revealed, so He rendered their deeds null’”.[4]

Ibn Abbas hurt Umar with his words. Umar said to him: “How far, Ibn Abbas! Some things (issued) from you have come to me. I do not want to tell you about them, lest your prestige should shake near me.”

Ibn Abbas was afraid of Umar’s punishment, so he answered him softly: “What are they, O Commander of the faithful?” If they are true, they must not remove my position from you. If they are untrue, I can remove the untrue things from myself.” Umar calmed down and said: “I have heard that you said: ‘They have turned the caliphate from us out of envy, aggression, and injustice.” Ibn Abbas answered him through his great words: “Commander of the faithful, as for your statement, ‘out of injustice’, it has become clear to the ignorant and the clement (who the unjust are). As for your statement, ‘out of envy’, it is that Adam was envied; and we are his envied children.” Umar became excited and he shouted at Ibn Abbas: “How far! How far! By Allah, O Banu Hashim, your hearts have refused all things except envy that is not removed!”

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Ibn Abbas said: “Slow, Commander of the faithful! Do not describe with this the hearts of the people from whom Allah had kept away the uncleanness and purified with a thorough purifying!”[5]

This conversation has disclosed the malice and hatred the Quraysh had harbored against Ahl al-Bayt, so they turned the office of the caliphate from them. Umar thought that they were successful in that. However, they were really not successful in that, nor did they hit the right viewpoint and reason, for their choosing resulted in that the Umayyads won the government while they were the enemies of Islam, and the terrible massacre of Kerbela was one of the results of their enmity toward Islam. That was when they commanded their military commanders to destroy and uproot Ahl al-Bayt and the progeny of Muhammad (a.s).

Accordingly, those military commanders annihilated that pure choice from among the family of Muhammad (a.s). They cut off their limbs on the hills of Kerbela’ and took the Prophet’s womenfolk as prisoners of war (to Syria). When the captives from among the family of the Prophet (a.s) arrived in Yethrib (Medina), Amr bin Sa‘eed, Yazid’s governor over Medina, happily turned to the Holy Shrine of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and addressed him (the Prophet). He said to him: “O Allah’s Apostle, a day for the Day of Badr!”[6] Then he went up on the pulpit of the Prophet and addressed the Muslims, saying: “O people, it is a blow for a blow and a shock for a shock! How many a sermon after a sermon; strong wisdom-but warnings do not avail!”

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Before him, Yazid had said:

I do not belong to Khandaf if I do not

Seek revenge on Ahmed’s children.

This was the choice of Quraysh in whom they had been successful, as they say. They wronged the Prophet’s pure family, who are equal to the Qur’an, whom the Muslims should take care of and should honor. However, to Allah we belong and to Him is our return!

We have pondered on the events that took place during the time of Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan (a.s). History, as we have already mentioned, has mixed subjects to the extent that it is difficult for a historian to conclude the truth. However, we have concluded from those events many subjects concerning the life of Imam al-Hasan (a.s) and the time when he lived.

This book had been published twelve years ago. It was out of print and not available in market. His Eminence, great Allama, Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Naqawi, may Allah protect him, translated the book into Urdu. The book was printed in India by the Kejjhawbehar press. Many of those whom such researches concerned wanted the book to be reprinted after it had been out of print. However, I postponed that to another time, for I hoped that I had to review it. I thought that some of its chapters were in need of more explanations and details. My brother Sheikh Hadi al-Qurashi did me a favor. He willed to review and run over the book, so I found no escape from responding to him. I reviewed the first volume of it and added many chapters. Readers may find that this edition is different from the previous one due to the new additions, elegant print, wonderful ordering, and exact production for which the Adab Press is famous.

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Before I end this introduction, I have to thank Hajj Muhammad Rashad Ajina for his denoting money to reprint the book. I ask Allah to grant him success in achieving his efforts and to reward him for that. Surely He undertakes success!

Baqir Shaerif al-Qurashi

Holy Najaf

Dhul Qi’dah 28th, 1384

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[1] In his book Ali wa Banuh (Ali and his Sons), Dr. Taha Husayn has depended on the fabricated reports. We will mention and criticize them in the book.

[2] Qur’an, 49, 6.

[3] In his book Abu Hurayra, Imam Sharaf al-Deen has mentioned Abu Hurayra’s fables. In his book Sheikh al-Mudira, the great ‘Allama, Sheikh Mahmud Abu Riyah, has also mention Abu Hurayra’s fabrications and lies.

[4] Qur’an, 47, 9.

[5] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 24. Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p. 107.

[6] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p.361.

Preface

By: Kashif al-Ghita’

The Hashemites and the Umayyads,

Al-Hasan and Mu’awiya

Enmities and grudges between individuals, tribes, and folks are instincts inside man since the beginning of his creation and existence on the earth, since the time of Abel and Cain, and they continued in all generations until this one. The cause and motives of enmity most of times come out of selfishness, the love of power and authority, seizing wealth, a position, or rule

And the worst of enmities is that which leads to revenge. But, the worst enmity in effect and extent and that which cannot be changed or removed is the enmity of “the spontaneous opposition” and “the essential difference”, like the enmity of darkness to light, virtue to vice, ugliness to beauty, evil to good, and the like. This enmity and difference are impossible to disappear except by the disappearance of one of the opposites and this cannot be. These opposites neither agree with each other nor can each of them disappear. Bad entities in their essence opposite the good ones, and each of these opposites tries the best to remove the other from existence like light and darkness which cannot exist together in one place at all. Each of them, in its natures, opposes and antagonizes the other such as virtue and vice in man, and so on.

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The enmity of the Umayyads towards the Hashemites was from this kind. It was impossible to disappear because it was like the enmity of darkness to light, evil to good, and malice to kindness. Each of these opposites can be known by its fruits and effects. It has been said, ‘From their fruits you can know them’. A tree is known due to its good or bad fruit, and man’s good or evil is known due to his deeds and characteristics.

Abd Manaf begot Hashim and Abd Shams. The enmity between these two brothers began since the first of their growth for nothing except the difference between their two essences. Then, this enmity grew wider between the two tribes because of heredity. Each one of these tribes had an opposite from the other tribe in lineage; Hashim and Abd shams, Abdul Mutallib and Umayya, Abu Talib and Harb, Muhammad (a.s) and Abu Sufyan. Since the first moment when the first ray of Islam shone and the Prophet (a.s) announced monotheism, the feud of polytheism and idolatry revolted to efface the lights of monotheism. The trinity of idolatry and tyranny; Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab, and Abu Sufyan held their picks and began tearing down what the savior of humanity built. The third of the trinity and the leader of the Umayyad party, Abu Sufyan, was the bitterest of the all in his enmity and fighting against Islam. They followed every means and trick to strangle the voice of Islam and put out its light. They spared no effort at all to resist that mission until a group of the believers in this mission were forced to emigrate to Abyssinia, while the Prophet (a.s) and his other companions suffered all kinds of persecution and pains for more than ten years until he was forced to leave his and his fathers’ homeland and emigrate to Yathrib.

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And there, too, Abu Sufyan chased him even in his emigration. There was no banner of war raised against Islam, unless the Umayyads and their leader Abu Sufyan raised it and flamed its (war) fires. They lurked to put out the light of this mission, and provoked the feuds of the tribes against it until Allah granted His prophet the great victory and made him subject the tyrants of Quraysh and make them slaves according to the rules of war. However, the Prophet (a.s) pardoned and set them free saying to them, ‘Go! You are free.’ He was satisfied with their apparent belief and the saying of the shahada by their tongues whereas their hearts were full of disbelief and grudge against Islam. They still lurked to efface Islam and pluck out its roots. “They did not become Muslims but they submitted unwillingly, and when they found supporters against Islam, they leapt on”. Nothing of Abu Sufyan and the Umayyds’ inners changed at all after their being Muslims, but the way of fight and struggle changed. Abu Sufyan and Mu’awiya entered Islam just to do away with and plot against it, for an internal enemy is more able to plot and act than an external one.

This enmity was spontaneous and eternal; and what is spontaneous and eternal cannot be removed. It was not a competition for wealth or authority, but it was the enmity of principles and natural opposition and dissention. It was the enmity of darkness to light, deviation to guidance, falseness to the truth, and injustice to justice. Therefore, the Umayyads remained on their inner disbelief and deceit though they were considered as Muslims and they received the blessings of Islam, but Islam had never touched even one hair of theirs nor had it wetted a feather from their wings. They were like a duck that spends all its life in water but water does not wet its feathers-as it is said. Yes! They acknowledged Islam jus to spare their bloods and to wait for a suitable opportunity in order to tear down the pillars and bases of Islam. And it was so. When the men of power handed the caliphate over to the first one of them (Uthaman), they flew up with joy and declared some of what their hearts hid. Abu Sufyan gathered the Umayyads and said, ‘O bani Umayyah, snatch it (the caliphate) like snatching a ball. By that which Abu Sufyan swears by, there is neither Paradise nor Fire.’

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Then, they took the rein of the Umayyad caliph (Uthman) with their hands and began leading him (like a submissive camel) to wherever they wished. They seized the wealth of Muslims for themselves, and took people as their slaves. Muslims in all lands revolted against him (Uthman) and them (the Umayyads), until they blockaded him in his house and forced him to depose himself from the caliphate and make it (the caliphate) be decided in consultation among Muslims. In the beginning, he hesitated and refused, but when the rebels firmed the blockade and prevented him from even water and food, he submitted and gave up,

and he tried to put out the fire of the sedition by deposing himself as a response to the revolters.

Then, the Umayyads, whose leadership in Medina was in the hand of Marwan and in Sham was in the hand of Mu’awiya, felt that if their friend (Uthman) deposed himself, the rope would slip from their hands…Muslims had committed a mistake and they would never come to like it again…for what virtue or nobility the Umayyads had or for what jihad they had in Islam so that one of them might assume the caliphate of Muslims?! They were the enemies and opponents of Islam in all its situations and on every day from its days. Marwan and his party understood that well, and so they colluded with their leader in Sham (Mu’awiya) to kill their friend (Uthaman) before he would depose himself and before the rope of trick would slip from their hands. Yes, they would kill him and take his murder as an excuse to accuse some group of Muslims of his blood, and then they would pretend before all Muslims that he was killed unjustly and they must revenge him on the killers, and thus this would be the best means to take back the caliphate for themselves. Without the murder of Uthman and the shirt of Uthman the caliphate would not come to Mu’awiya, Marwan, and the offspring of Marwan. It would be impossible for them to dream of it whether in sleep or wakefulness. However, it came to their first friend (Uthman) with no cost. It was given to him by the one who was before him (Umar) who wanted to turn it away from the Hashemites to their bitterest enemies; the Umayyads. Therefore, he (Umar) twisted the rope of the Shura (consultation) where he was certain that the caliphate would come to Uthman. He was not satisfied with that until he inspired ambition into the evil soul of Mu’awiya who and his father were the bitterest enemies of Islam. Every year, Umar punished his governors, confiscated their properties, and treated them severely except Mu’awiya

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News often came to him that Mu’awiya spent lavishly the wealth of Muslims and put on silk and too expensive clothes, but he overlooked and rather he justified his deeds saying, ‘He is the Khosrau of the Arabs’, though Mu’awiya was too mean and poor before. He was low before people. Once, a notable man from the Arabs came to the Prophet (a.s), and when he wanted to leave, the Prophet (a.s) ordered Mu’awiya to escort him until the outskirts of Medina. It was too hot. Mu’awiya was barefooted and the ground was boiling with its sands. Mu’awiya said to the nobleman, ‘Let me ride behind you!’

The man said, ‘You do not fit to ride behind notables and kings.’

Mu’awiya said, ‘Would you give me your shoes to guard against the heat of the sun?’

The man said, ‘You are meaner than to wear my shoes.’

Mu’awiya said, ‘My feet are being burnt. What shall I do?’

The man said, ‘Walk in the shadow of my camel! You are not fit for more than this.’[1]

Woe unto you O time! This low one had become or had been made “the Khosrau of the Arabs”!

Yes! It was Mu’awiya and Marwan who had managed the trick of killing Uthman and paved the way for the revolters to kill him. The case of the army that Mu’awiya had sent from Sham to Medina and ordered them not to enter Medina except after the killing of Uthman is a clear proof on that.

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Yes! One of the Prophet’s wives as well helped on killing Uthman. She often cried out in the meetings: “Kill Na’thal! May Allah kill Na’thal!”[2] When they obeyed her and killed Uthman, she rose or was made to rise to revenge him. And as a result of that, the battle of al-Jamal took place where twenty thousand Muslims were killed, and it was the key to other wars between the Muslims themselves. Some poet of that age recited addressing her:

“You are the disaster and you are the misfortune,

and you are the clouds and you are the rain.

You have ordered to kill the imam (Uthman),

and said to us that he had disbelieved.”

Another poet said:

“She came with the two scoundrels,

driving to Basra her armies.

As if she, in her deed, was a cat

Eating, because of hunger, its children.”

These points, which the pen has oozed with here and which are from the minute secrets of history, have come spontaneously and not intentionally. It is to say that when Abu Sufyan and Mu’awiya were astonished by Islam and forced to enter into it, they did apparently just to spare their lives; they hid inside themselves intrigues and they remained lurking, and whenever an opportunity came, their inners were disclosed through their sayings and deeds.

Mu’awiya was wilier than his father who became old and dotard at his last days. Mo'awiya, during the twenty years of his emirate in Sham, showed Islam apparently without clashing with any of its rituals or bases. He did not openly drink, listen to singing, kill an innocent one, play with cats, or play with the pipe and the lute. He put on silk garments and gold pallium as so-and-so said that there was no blame on him for he was “Khosrow of the Arabs”. Mu’awiya did not keep the rituals of Islam except for something inside him, and that was the calmness before the storm, and the slowly walking to get the game.

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He remained on the apparent faith that was covered with hidden disbelief throughout the period of his opposition and fight against Imam Ali (a.s) during the battle of Siffeen, but when Imam Ali (a.s) was martyred, he became delighted and joyful, and the opportunity made him able to play on the rope and arrange tricks. However, when Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was paid homage as the caliph, and the heroes from his father’s companions, his Shia and followers adhered to him, and wealth and weapons came to him from everywhere, he (Mo'awiya) found himself in an abyss narrower and deeper than the first one.

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was the Prophet’s grandson and the most beloved one to him. He was beloved by all people for his good heart, benevolence, and kindness. He had never harmed anyone at all throughout his holy life. He was full of goodness and blessing. He was not accused of participating in the killing of Uthman. In fact, it might be said that he was among the defenders of Uthman. Then, how was Mo'awiya to be compared with him, and how would people turn away from the son of Fatima the daughter of the messenger of Allah (a.s) and resort to the son of Hind the liver eater?! The thinking of these irrefutable points worried Mo'awiya and deprived him of sleep. But how quickly he arrived through his wile and cunning at dissolving their knots! He resorted to two strong factors; the first was the wealth that twisted men’s necks and made the heroes’ saliva flow down. He sent to the greatest leader in the army of Imam al-Hasan (a.s), who had promised to die for him (Imam al-Hasan) and was the nearest in kinship to him, more than fifty thousand (dinars). He was Ubaydillah bin Abbas, Imam al-Hasan’s cousin whom the Imam had appointed as the emir even over Qays bin Sa’d bin Ubada the great chief and the brave hero who had devoted himself to Imam Hasan and to his father. Yes, Mo'awiya sent him such an amount and promised him of the same when he would join him. Ubaydillah sneaked away to Mo'awiya under the wing of darkness, and when morning came, people found no emir over them, and so Qays led them in offering the prayer, and made easy to them that calamity which destroyed the determination of the army and prepared them for defeat before the fighting. May Allah assist your heart O Abu Muhammad (al-Hasan)! How did you tolerate those calamities that came to you one after another like darkness of night!

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Mo'awiya followed this plan with every prominent personality and hero from the Shia, and he succeeded in attracting them to him. No one defied against his wiles and plots except a few men who were not more than ten, such as Qays bin Sa’d, Hijr bin Adiy, and the like who resisted oppression and deviation with their firm faith and who had no doubt inasmuch as a twinkle of an eye that Mo'awiya, his father, and his children were unbelievers. Qays had sworn by Allah that he would not meet with Mo'awiya except that the spear and the sword would be between them.

This was the first step that Mo'awiya followed to defeat Imam al-Hasan (a.s) and extort the caliphate from him.

The second was the trick whose effect was greater than the first and that most of people liked and the public opinion was drifted to. It was Mo'awiya’s invitation for peace with Imam al-Hasan (a.s).[1] The invitation for making peace was the worst thing that completely harmed Imam al-Hasan (a.s), and the worst trick by which Mo'awiya won the situation and the caliphate then. By money Mo'awiya attracted the best of the men and the upper class, but as for the public, they got nothing but they hated the wars that took the lives of the best of them and ruined their lands. In less than five years there were three fierce wars; al-Jamal, Siffeen, and an-Nahrawan.

Therefore, the invitation to war was heavy and odious, whereas the invitation to peace and rest was admired and delicious. Hence, the situation of Imam al-Hasan (a.s) became too critical. He considered it very deeply pondering on the consequences that would come after. He put refusal and acceptance in the scales to see which of them would outweigh. He found that if he refused the peace and he insisted [1] It was like the trick of raising the copies of the Qur’an in the battle of Siffeen (between Imam Ali (a.s.) and Mo'awiya) which the Iraqi army admired and then lost the victory that was at hand.

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on the war, there would be just two probabilities; either he would be the victorious and Mo'awiya be defeated, though this was somehow impossible due to the conditions and circumstances surrounding Imam al-Hasan (a.s) then, and this would make people incline to the Umayyads who would appear as wronged and oppressed saying that: yesterday, they killed Uthman the choice of the Umayyads and Ameerul Mo'minin (as they said), and today they killed Mo'awiya the choice of the Umayyads and the uncle of the believers, and so a second shirt would be prepared for the Umayyads to raise beside the shirt of Uthman, and people were rabble cawing with every cawer without thinking and reasoning. In this case, what would be the situation of Imam al-Hasan?

But as for if he was the defeated one, then the first word that would be said was that al-Hasan had thrown himself into perishment, for Mo'awiya had invited him to peace that would spare the bloods but he refused and wronged. Then, what Mo'awiya and Abu Sufyan wanted in plotting against Islam and taking people back to their first age of ignorance and idolatry would be realized for them. Besides, that Mo'awiya would not let alive anyone from the Ahlul Bayt (a.s).

In fact, the thought of Imam al-Hasan (a.s) in accepting the peace was more accurate than this and that. He wanted to do away with Mo'awiya, through the peace, and reveal what was concealed in his inners before thinking of victory or defeat, and without throwing people in a war and forcing them to do what they hated of the bloodshed.

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We have mentioned that Mo'awiya the apparently Muslim and the truly enemy of Islam deceived people, because there was a competitor to him, with a very thin membrane under which he committed major sins and vices and tried the best to pluck out the roots of Islam and put out its light. He concealed all that for fear of the love of people to Imam al-Hasan (a.s) and his father (Imam Ali) before. Imam al-Hasan (a.s) wanted to clear the field to Mo'awiya, hand the matter (rule) over to him, and remove the enmity so that he (Mo'awiya) would show what he had hidden, reveal his disbelief, and remove from his face that membrane, and then people would know his reality and hidden secrets. And really it was so. On the day of the peacemaking, Mo'awiya ascended the minbar before great masses of Muslims and said, ‘I have fought you neither to fast nor to offer prayer, but I have fought you to be the emir over you. I have undertaken some stipulations for al-Hasan but all of them are under my foot.’

See how impudent, shameless, and bold-faced he was! By Allah, if the accepting of the peace (by Imam al-Hasan) had no result except these words of Mo'awiya, it was a sufficient proof to disgrace him and make people know his disbelief. However, he kept on that plot of disbelief, clear sin, resisting Islam, and trying to tear down its basics openly.

Without al-Hasan’s peace Mo'awiya would not ascribe (illegitimate) Ziyad to Abu Sufyan (Mo'awiya’s father) who was his illegal child, and so he brushed aside the Prophet’s tradition: “The child is to the bed (to be ascribed to the woman’s husband on whose bed adultery is committed) and the adulteress is to be stoned”. However, Mo'awiya stoned the Prophet’s tradition and brushed it aside with no fear or care.

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Except for the peace, Mo'awiya would not kill Hijr bin Adiy, the master of the true believers, and ten men from the best of the Prophet’s companions and successors. He killed them in Marj Athra’ for no guilt. Except for the peace, Mo'awiya would not kill the great Prophet’s companion Amr bin al-Hamq and carry his head to Sham. And it was the first head that was carried in Islam.

Except for the peace, Mo'awiya would not insert poison to Imam al-Hasan (a.s) through his (Imam al-Hasan) wife Ja’dah bint al-Ash’ath. And except for the peace, Mo'awiya would not force the good remainder of the Muhajireen and the Ansar to pay homage to his son Yazeed who was very famous for disbelief, debauchery, and countless vices to a very far extent. See who the winner was and who the loser was!

See what Imam al-Hasan (a.s) caused to Mo'awiya by the peace and how he destroyed all his efforts and tore down what he built until the truth appeared and falsehood vanished, and then who follow vanity will lose! Peace, in those circumstances, was required and inevitable for Imam al-Hasan (a.s) just as fighting against Yazid was required and incumbent on his brother Al-Husayn (a.s). All that was due to the difference between the two periods and the difference between the two men. Except for the peace of Imam al-Hasan (a.s) that exposed Mo'awiya, and the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a.s) that did away with Yazeed and did away with the Sufyani rule quickly after no long…except for the sacrifices of these two grandsons of the Prophet (a.s), the efforts of their grandfather (a.s) would disappear in the twinkle of an eye, and the religion would be the religion of Abu Sufyan full of deceit, wiles, debauchery, and vices…would be religion of bars and wines…religion of adultery, and playing with tigers and monkeys…religion of killing the good, benevolent believers, and retaining the vicious unbelievers.

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May Allah reward you, O the two masters of the youth of the Paradise, with the best of reward on behalf of Islam and its people. By Allah, no worshipper worshipped Allah, no monotheist believed in the oneness of Allah, no obligation was performed, no sunna was followed, and no nation turned from deviation to guidance, except for that you had the favor, proof, and clear authority in that after Allah and His messenger.

The messenger of Allah (a.s) brought guidance, light, good, and blessing to all mankind with no difference between a color and another, a race and another, a nation and another, and a folk and another. He brought Islam with clear light for all, and he built and firmed its bases and made perfect with no defect or crook. Abu Sufyan and the cursed tree (in the Qur’an), Mo'awiya, Yazeed, and Marwan came and carried the picks of disbelief and polytheism and attacked those bases and pillars trying to pluck out their roots and put out their light (They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse). So the two grandsons of the Prophet (a.s), with all their power and authority, stood against that structure of evil (of the Umayyads), and they could not restore the Sharia of their grandfather except by the great sacrifice through offering their lives, monies, men, children, and all the blessings and pleasures of this life. They offered all that for the sake of Allah and to retain the religion of Allah. Were it not for this sacrifice, the religion of Islam would be one of the legends in the books that history mentions as it mentions any incidental event or extinct nation.

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Glory be to Allah, Allah is great, and praise be to Allah. Hence, you know and must know the secret behind the great care and extreme reverence that the greatest Savior met his two grandsons (al-Hasan and al-Husayn) with… care and reverence that was not ordinary and was beyond the limit of reason. This great Prophet and the most beloved one to the Great Creator, this great personality that had been filled by the Lord with greatness, gravity, and dignity that neither storms could shake nor could emotions attract…due to this gravity and solemnity that someone, who never seen him before, might come to him shaking of fear but the Prophet (a.s) said to him, ‘Do not fear! I am but a son of a woman from Quraysh who ate jerked meat (just like others)’ so that Muslims would not say about him as the Christians said about Jesus Christ (a.s).

This great Prophet (a.s) carried al-Hasan and al-Husayn, who were young children, on his shoulders, and walked before Muslims saying loudly (addressing al-Hasan and al-husayn) so that Muslims could hear him, ‘Your camel is the best camel, and the best riders your are!’ How often that al-Husayn came and ascended the Prophet’s back during his prostration and the Prophet (a.s) did not raise his head until al-Husayn got down willingly. Once, the Prophet (a.s) was making a speech in the mosque and al-Husayn was toddling in the mosque. When he stumbled, the Prophet (a.s) stopped his speech, hurried to him, embraced him and said, ‘May Allah kill Satan! Children are as seduction. When my son stumbled, I felt that my heart had sunk down from me.’ Many many examples like this happened showing the great love of the Prophet (a.s) to his tow (grand)sons that cannot be counted here. I say: this infinite love was not because they were his daughter’s children only, but definitely there were secrets and reasons deeper and profounder; spiritual secrets that were above these bodily relations.

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Do you not agree with me that the Prophet (a.s) might go high over the horizon of time and through his sacred spirituality he looked at the book of creation from its A to Z, and he saw the past, the present, and the future and saw the future events in the page of existence that would happen to his two grandsons? He saw what they would suffer in the way of defending his religion and protecting his Sharia. He saw that they would sacrifice their lives, properties, and children. He saw that al-Hasan would be poisoned by Mo'awiya many times until he would die in the last time when he vomited his liver a piece after another. Then, al-Husayn gave the highest example in sacrifice to guard his grandfather’s Sharia.

He received swords, spears, and arrows and made his chest, neck, head, and lungs as guards before the picks that the Umayyads had held to tear down Islam and pluck out its roots. He put himself, children, and supporters as a target to protect Islam that its pillars not to be collapsed and its bases not to be demolished by the attacks of the Umayyads, until Islam was saved, its lights shone, its facts were revealed, the unbelievers were perished, the followers of falsehood lost, the word of Allah was the highest, and the word of His enemies was the lowest. Every Muslim, since the beginning of Islam until now and until the Day of Resurrection, is indebted to these two imams, that without their sacrifice, which history has never narrated the like of, people would be taken back by the efforts of the Umayyads to their first ignorance and even worse.

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Then, would you find strange that love, care, and reverence of the Prophet (a.s) to them when they were two young children where he knew and saw with his eye of sight and insight those calamities and that bitter struggle for the sake of and in the way of him? He smelt and embraced them saying, ‘They are my sons and sweethearts.’ Definitely, he smelt in them the divine scent and saw in them the Godly light. Hence, we know and must know that al-Hasan and al-Husayn were one light that no one of them would be preferred to the other inasmuch as a hair. Each of them had achieved his duty, and fulfilled his mission as been determined by his grandfather and father, and according to the covenant he had received in the first day of his imamate.

If you want elaborately to know about the greatness, bravery, courage, full-heartedness, strong argumentation, inadvertence to the splendor of rule and the pomp of authority of al-Hasan (a.s), you may ponder on his words and arguments in the meeting of Mo'awiya with the heads of polytheists and the chiefs of unbelievers and atheists whom Mo'awiya involved with al-Hasan (a.s) to laugh at them like Amr bin al-Aas, al-Mugheerah bin Shu’bah, Marwan and the like of them from the clients of the Hell who had never believed in Allah in the twinkle of an eye. See these words and arguments and wonder at them as you like. There, you see greatness in its summit, and courage in its apex. If you want more, see his words at the time of dying and the moment of setting out from this prison to the better world; the words that he said to his brother Muhammad bin al-Hanafiyyah concerning his brother al-Husayn (a.s). There, the locks of the secrets of imamate will open to you, and the lights of prophethood and leadership will shine to you, and you will know the Prophetic custody, and the absolute guardianship…there the guardianship is to Allah, (the Prophet is closer to the believers than their selves), “whoever I am his guardian Ali is to be his guardian”, and (Only Allah is your Gurdian and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-due while they bow down (in prayer)).

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My pen has crept beyond the limit, and leapt away from the path of intention and the intention of the path. The least thing that I wanted to say in my this word is that the enmity between the Hashemites and the Umayyads was spontaneous and deep-rooted. It was the enmity between guidance and deviation, and between light and darkness. What proves that is that if you review the lives and conducts of the Umayyads since the first of them Abd Shams until the last one Marwan the donkey, you shall not find in the pages of most of them except treachery, wiling, breaking of covenants and promises, sins, debauchery, adultery, obscenity, and all kinds of vices.

And if you review the lives and conducts of the Hashemites since the first of them until this day, you shall not find in the pages of most of them except virtue, loyalty, truthfulness, bravery, chastity, pure birth, honor, high determination, sacrifice for the sake of ideology, and all good morals. Suppose that there is someone who excuses the Umayyads and justifies their enmity to the Hashemites by saying: they took it as a means that would take them to the rule and authority. But, what is the excuse of the followers of the Umayyads in this age? What is the justification of the modern Umayyadism? They shall neither be lucky in this world, nor shall they have any share in the hereafter.

(Say: Shall We inform you of the greatest losers in (their) deeds. Those whose effort goes astray in this life, and yet they reckon that they do good work). [3] (He loses this world and the hereafter; that is the manifest loss).[4]

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Praise be to Allah Who has gouged the eyes of disbelief and hypocrisy, and delighted the eyes of Islam and faith with al-Hasan and al-Husayn and the pure progeny (of the Prophet). We pray Him, as He has favored us with knowing and following them, to resurrect us with them, and grant us with their intercession and disavowing their enemies and enmity.

Indeed, Abu Muhammad az-Zakiy (Imam al-Hasan) (a.s), during the short period that he lived after his father, tolerated calamities and disasters that no prophet had tolerated, and they were not less than those which his brother Abu Abdillah al-Husayn (a.s) faced on the day of at-Taff (Kerbala). The painful calamity and the sinful strike of the two brothers were the same though the ways and the means were different. As al-Husayn (a.s) faced his calamities with patience that the angels of the Heavens were astonished at, al-Hasan as well fought his enemy and faced his sufferings and calamities with unequalled patience and endurance. He did never become weak a day, nor did he beg or submit to anyone. He did not take from his wealth that Mo'awiya had plundered and been as a play in the hands of the Umayyads. He did not take even one of thousands or, in fact, hundreds of thousands of dinars.

As there is no filed for comparing between these two lights (al-Hasan and al-Husayn), it cannot be said that the patience of al-Hasan was less than the patience of al-Husayn, or that his calamity was easier than his brother’s. Peace from Allah be on you O the two Imams of guidance and the offspring of Ali and Fatima (peace be on them all) as long as virtue shines and vice darkens.

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These words have been written with weak fingertips and sick pens improvisingly and flowingly in some hours the last of which was on the twenty-first of Ramadan the anniversary of the martyrdom of the master of guardians and the imam of the truthful Ameerul Mo'minin (thousands of blessings, greetings, and peace be on him) in the year 1373 AH.

Muhammad al-Husayn Aal Kashiful Ghita’

in his Seminary (hawza) in Holy Najaf.

________________________________

[1] Usd al-Ghabah, vol. 5 p.81.

[2] She referred to Uthman with this surname.

[3] Qur’an, 18:103-104.

[4] Qur’an, 22:11.

Chapter I

The two Lights meet together

The two Lights meet together

Fatima, the truthful one and principal of Eve’s daughters, grew up during the advent of Islam. She grew up while Islam was at the stage of progress. The Prophet Muhammad, the savior of mankind and master of Adam’s children (a.s) brought her up. He supplied her with his wisdom and perfection. He poured on her a ray of his sacred soul. He supplied her with the noble qualities of his great soul, that she might be a model for the women of his community, an ideal of human perfection, and a symbol of purity and chastity.

The Prophet (a.s) showed her love that he showed to none other than her, for she was the righteous survival daughter from his pure wife Khadija,[1] mother of the faithful, may Allah be pleased with her. Khadija was kind and affectionate to the Prophet. She believed in him before other than her. She appropriated her wealth and abilities to straighten Islam and to spread its mission, to the extent that her wealth ran out. The Prophet (a.s) did not forget the efforts she rendered to Islam. So he thanked her very much. After her death he always asked Allah to have mercy on her. He mentioned her loyalty and kindness, to the extent that A’isha was angry with him and said to him: “Why do you remember an old woman whose corners of the mouth were red? Allah has given you (a wife) better than her in place of her!”

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The Prophet (a.s) became angry and he said to her: “Allah has not given me (a wife) better than he! She believed in me when the people accused me of lying, and helped me with her wealth when the men deprived me. I was given children from her and was deprived of children from other than her.”[2]

Khadija helped the Prophet when the Qurashi tyrants were angry with him. She stood beside him to protect him and to save his message through her great wealth. He was given a child from her and was not given from other than her. He was given from her (Fatima), the mistress of the women of the world, the like of Virgin Mary, daughter of Imran in chastity and purity. He was given Fatima al-Zehra’, peace be on her. She was called Fatima because Allah has protected her and her progeny from the Fire.[3]

Notes

[1] Khadija al-Qurashiya, al-Asadiya, daughter of Khuwaylid bin Asad, was the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. She was the first to believe in him according to the unanimous agreement of the Muslims. In the pre-Islamic period she was called al-Tahira (the pure one). She was very rich. She hired men to trade with her property. She heard that Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, was truthful in speech, great in honesty, and noble in ethics. So she sent for him and asked him to trade with her property. He responded to her and went to Sham (Syria) along with her boy called Maysara. When he arrived in Sham, he sat in the shadow of a tree close to the hermitage of a monk. The monk looked at them and asked Maysara: “Who is that man?” “He is from Quraysh, among the people of the Sacred City (Mecca),” replied Maysara. “None sits in the shadow of the tree except a prophet,” explained the monk. Then Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, sold the things he had brought. He bought what he wanted, and then he returned to Mecca. He gave Khadija the property and the profits. Maysara told Khadija about the monk’s statement. So she sent for the Prophet and said to him: “Surely I desire you due to your kinship to me, your honor among your people, your honesty with them, your noble moral traits, and your truthful speech.” Then she proposed to him. She was from the middle of Quraysh in lineage, the greatest of them in honor and wealth. The Apostle went away and told his uncles about her statement. So his uncle Hamza went out and visited her father. He asked him for his daughter’s hand, and he responded to that. Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, married her. She was forty years old, and his holy age was twenty-five years. When Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) was sent as a prophet, she was the first to believe in him and to help him. When he heard a detested thing from those who opposed him and accused him of lying, she relieved him and made easy to him the affairs of the people. Because of her great jihad in Islam, Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) gave her good news of a reed house in the garden where there is neither noise nor tiredness. Gabriel carried to her greetings from Allah. The Prophet (a.s.) said in respect of her: “Four (women) are the best of the women of the world. (They are) Maryam, daughter of Imran, Asya, daughter of Muzahim and Fir‘un’s wife, Khadija, daughter of Khuwaylid, and Fatima, daughter of Muhammed. Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) always remembered her, to the extent that when he slaughtered a ewe, he went to Khadija’s relatives and gave them some of its meat as gift. Khadija died three years before Hijra. It was said that she died three days after the death of Abu Talib. Accordingly, misfortunes continuously befell Allah’s Apostle (a.s.). She died in the month of Ramadan at age of sixty-five. She was buried at al-Hijoon. This has been mentioned in the books Usd al-Ghaba, al-Isaba, al-Isti‘ab.

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[2] Is‘af al-Raghibeen. A narration similar to that has been narrated in Ahmed’s Musnad, vol. 6, p. 150, al-Isti‘ab, Usd al-Ghaba, al-Isaba, and Sinan Ibn Maja.

[3] Ibn Hajar, al-Sawa‘iq, p. 96. In this book it has been mentioned: “Ali, peace be on him, asked Allah’s Apostle (a.s.): ‘Why has she been called Fatima?’ ‘Allah has protected her and her progeny from the Fire,’ he (a.s.) replied.” Al-Hafiz Muhib al-Deen al-Tabari has mentioned the tradition in his book Dhakha’ir al-‘Ukkkba, p. 26. In it he has mentioned: “Imam Ali bin Musa al-Rida narrated the tradition through its chain of authorities and its words. (He said) that Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) said: ‘Allah, the Great and Almighty, protected from the Fire my daughter Fatima, her children, and those who love them.’” It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, may be pleased with him, who said: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) has said: ‘Surely my daughter Fatima having eyes with a marked contrast between white and black (hawra’). She did not menstruate.’ He named her Fatima because Allah protected her and those who love her from the Fire.’” The tradition has been narrated by al-Nisa’i.

Her High Position

Her High Position

The Prophet (a.s) has mentioned the remarkable position of Fatima al-Zahra’, peace be on her, with Allah. He (a.s) addressed her, saying: “Surely Allah is pleased when you are pleased and He is angry when you are angry.” [1] He took her by the hand and said to the Muslims: “Whoever recognizes this (daughter of mine) knows her, and whoever does not recognize her, (let me tell him who she is). She is Fatima, daughter of Muhammad. She is a part of me. She is my heart and my soul between my two sides. Whoever hurts her hurts me, and whoever hurts me hurts Allah.”

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The Prophet has compared her rest to his rest, and her happiness to his happiness. The religious scholars have agreed on the traditions narrated from the Prophet (a.s) in this respect. He has said: “Fatima is a part from me. What pleases her pleases me, and what displeases her displeases me.” [2]

A’isha has narrated a tradition in respect of his care for Fatima al-Zahra’, peace be on her, and his honoring her. She has said: “When she (Fatima) visited him, he got up for her. He kissed, and welcomed her, took her by the hand, and seated her in his sitting-place.” [3]

A’isha was asked about:

“Which of people was the most lovable to Allah’s Apostle (a.s)?”

“Fatima,” she replied.

Then she was asked: “Of men?”

“Her husband,” she answered, “as I know he fasted and prayed two much.” [4]

In his Musnad, Ahmed bin Hanbal has narrated a tradition from the Prophet (a.s) who said: “May her father die for her!. He said that three times.” [5]

The Prophet went too far in loving and respecting her, to the extent that when he wanted to travel, she should be the last one whom he visited before travel, and the first when he came back from travel. [6]

Anas bin Malik has narrated that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) passed by the door of Fatima’s house for six month. When he went out to perform the Morning Prayer, he said: “The prayer, O members of the house!” Then he recited this verse: (Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify a (thorough) purifying). The love and care of the Prophet (a.s) toward his daughter Fatima al-Zehra’, peace be on her, were more than those of other fathers toward their children.[7] Without doubt, it is well known that the Prophet (a.s) granted his daughter this affection and poured upon her this honor not because she was his daughter and he had no child other than her. Prophethood was far away from favoritism and rushing through the sentiment of desire and love. Rather he did that to build virtue and to raise the level of the high values. For he (a.s) found no girl or woman among Muslims equal to his daughter in perfection, chastity, and purity. It was due to the fact that it had been gathered in her all good ideals such as knowledge, worship, piety, and the like of the qualities that were rarely found in Eve’s daughters.

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Notes

[1] The tradition has been mentioned in the books Usd al-Ghaba, al-Isaba, Dhakha’ir al-‘Uqqba, p. 39.

[2] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p.154.

[3] Ibid., p. 157. Is‘af al-Raghibeen, p. 169.

[4] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 157. Dhakha’ir al-‘Uqqba, p. 35. An addition to the narration has been mentioned in it, “It is worthy of saying the truth….” In the book al-Isti‘ab, it has been narrated on the authority of Burayda, who has said: “The most lovable (one) of the women to Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) was Fatim, of the men was Ali.”

[5] Al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa, p. 109.

[6] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 154.

[7] In his book Fatima and Muhammed’s Daughters, Lamans, an orientalist, has written fallacies and wrong facts. Talking about Fatima (a.s.), he has said: “Her position in her father’s house was not apparently important. Rather, it was less than that of Aa’isha, Zaynab and Hafsa.” He has added: “She was normally treated in her father’s house.” Surely, Lamans is famous for his being a hireling of colonialism and his harboring malice against Islam. From which book has he concluded such results? It is worth mentioning that the Islamic books are full of the authentic traditions reported from the Prophet (a.s.) concerning her high position and great importance with him. The traditions we have already mentioned and on which the Muslims have agreed clearly indicate that the Prophet (a.s.) honored his daughter Fatimaa. However, Lamans has intended to distort Islam and to disparage its remarkable personalities.

Imam Ali proposes to Fatima

Imam Ali proposes to Fatima

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When the daughter of the Prophet (a.s) reached the prime of youth, the notables from among the companions of the Prophet (a.s) had the honor of meeting him (the Prophet). They put before him their desire of having honor to be related to him by marriage. Abu Bakr visited him and proposed to his daughter, but he (a.s) refused and said to him: “I am waiting for Allah’s Act in respect of her.” Then Umar visited him, and he gave him an answer similar to that of his companion. [1] When the Muslims came to know that the affair of Fatima al-Zahra’ was in the hand of Allah, and that the Prophet (a.s) had no right to decide it, they refrained from asking him about that. After a period of time, a group of the companions met Imam Ali and mentioned to him his kinship to the Prophet (a.s), his extreme bravery in Islam, and his supporting the Prophet (a.s) in all situations and battles. They urged him (Imam Ali) to propose to the Prophet’s daughter, that he might be successful in relating to him by marriage and to add the honor of the relation of marriage to the honor of his jihad. Accordingly, he (a.s) slowly and hesitatingly went to the Prophet (a.s). He was silent, so the Prophet (a.s) asked him: “What is the need of Ibn Abi Talib?”[2]

Shyness overcame Imam Ali for a while, and then he answered: “I have remembered Fatima, O messenger of Allah!”

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The Prophet answered him while delight manifested on his face and a smile appeared on his lips, saying: “Welcome! Surely Allah has commanded me to marry you to my daughter!”

Delight covered Imam Ali’s heart with the good of this life and the hereafter that the Generous Creator wanted to him. He was the cousin of the Prophet (a.s) and would be his son-in-law. In some exegesis of the Qur’an it has been mentioned that it was he who was meant by this verse: “And He it is Who created man from the water, then He has made for him blood relationship and marriage relationship, and your Lord is powerful.[3]”[4] Then the Prophet turned to his companions and told them about what Allah had commanded him. He said to them: “An angel came and said to me: ‘O Allah’s Prophet, surely Allah recites you greetings and says to you: ‘I have married Fatima before the exalted chiefs (in the heaven); therefore, marry her to him (before those who are) on the earth.”[5]

The Prophet went in to his daughter. His holy soul was full of delight, so he told her about that, saying: “I have married you to the best one of my community. He is the greatest of them in knowledge, the most meritorious in clemency, and the most inspired in peace.”[6] He said to her again: “O Fatima, did you not know that Allah, the Great and Almighty, looked thoroughly over the people of the earth and chose your father from them and made him a prophet, then he looked over them a second time and chose your husband? He inspired me to marry you to him, and I have made him (Imam Ali) as a guardian.”[7]

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He also said to her: “He (Imam Ali) was the first of my companions to be a Muslim, the most senior of them in peace, the greatest of them in knowledge and clemency.”[8]

As these excellent ideals and high values were available in the personality of Imam Ali (a.s), the Prophet (a.s) married him to his daughter to whom there was no equal among the Muslims except the Commander of the faithful (Ali). This has been mentioned in the holy tradition: “If Ali had not been created, there would have been no equal to Fatima.”[9]

Notes

[1] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 8, p. 11. Tarikh al-Khamis, vol. 1, p. 407. Dhakha’ir al-‘Uqqba, p. 29.

[2] Some of those who have harbored malice against (Imam Ali), the Commander of the faithful, explained that (Imam Ali) kept silent because he was afraid of that the Prophet would refuse him due to his poverty. This is an imaginary explanation, for the Prophet (a.s.) paid no attention to any of the Muslim’s qualities except his virtues and his reverential fear. He paid no attention to wealth and property. He fraternized with Ali though he had knowledge of his poverty. In al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 14, and in (the book) al-Isti‘ab, vol. 3, p. 35, it has been mentioned: “When Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) associated as brother with his companions, Ali went to him and asked: ‘You have associated as brother with your companions and have not fraternized me with anyone?’ ‘You are my brother in this world and in the next world!’ Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) replied.” There are other traditions indicating that Ali was the soul of the Prophet (a.s.) his brother, his testamentary trustee (of authority), his helper, and his successor after him over his community. Imam Ali obtained this high position because of his great relationship with Allah.

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[3] Qur’an, 25, 54.

[4] Nur al-Absar, p. 42. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 6, p. 218. Al-Mustadrak, vol., 3, p. 153.

[5] Majjma‘ al-Bayan (Beirut), vol. 9, p. 175.

[6] Al-Khatib, al-Muttafaq. Al-Sayuti, Jama‘ al-Jawami‘, vol. 6, p. 398.

[7] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 6, p. 153.

[8] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 5, p. 26. Majjma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 6, p. 101. Al-Riyad al-Nadira, vol. 2, p. 194.

[9] Al-Manawi, Kunuz al-Haqa’iq, p. 124. Man la Yahdarahu al-Faqeeh, vol. 3, p. 249.

The Dower

Delight covered the Prophet (a.s) so he turned to Ali and asked him: “What kind of dower do you have?”

Imam Ali answered him that he had nothing except his horse and his breastplate. The breastplate was among the things Allah had given to him at the Battle of Badr. The Prophet (a.s) said to him: “As for your horse, it is necessary for you, and as for your breastplate, you can sell it.”

Imam Ali (a.s) went to the market and sold his breastplate for four hundred and eighty dirhams. He brought the money tied in the edge of his garment and put it before the Prophet (a.s).[1] Shyness overcame him, for he knew that that dower was less than that which the poor gave to their wives. However, the Prophet (a.s) liked his being related to him by marriage for nothing of the vanities of the world, nor other than that whose affair belonged to the earth. Rather, he singled him out with noble deed due to the fact that Imam Ali was the first person from his community to believe in Islam, to struggle for it with his abilities of which no person had.[2]

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[1] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 114. In the book Tarikh al-Khamees, vol. 1, p. 407: “ Ali sold his camel and some of his belongings and gave (the money) as a dower.” This narration opposes the famous one on which the Muslims have agreed, and that is that he sold his breastplate and gave the money to Fatima as a dower.

[2] In the books al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 112 and al-Isti‘ab, vol. 3, p. 31, it has been mentioned that Muhammed (a.s.) was made a prophet on Monday, and Ali became a Muslim on Tuesday. The same narration has been mentioned in other books. The Muslims have unanimously agreed that he was the first to be a Muslim and to believe in the Prophet (a.s.).

The Trousseau

The Trousseau

When the Prophet (a.s) received the dower, he gave some of it to Bilal al-Habashi that he might buy some perfume. He also gave some of it to Salman al-Farisi that he might buy the rest of the furniture. After an hour they completed the trousseau, which was a ram’s skin that they turned on its woolly face when they slept, a pillow full of coir[1], a bed tied with a strip[2], two hand mills, one water skin, two jars, and other simple things.[3] From an Islamic viewpoint, they were more expensive than the jewels and the belongings the kings and the rich had. However, Lamans, an English orientalist, has concluded an opposite result from this noble trousseau. He says: “Rather, this trousseau Muhammad had ordered is a proof of the hatred that was in his soul toward his daughter and her husband. His hatred toward him was not less than that toward her.”[4]

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As Lamans harbored malice against Islam and was ignorant of its precepts, he concluded such a result. He thought that the aspects of love from a father for his child appear if he increases for him or her pleasures, eases and beautiful things. He did not know that the position of the Prophet (a.s) was far above yielding to the sentiment of love leading to the embellishment of life. He, through this deed, was in the position of legislating and founding the most Islamic vital point on which the happiness of Muslims would be based, and that makes easy marriage and does not complicate it. The dower he accepted for his daughter and the simple trousseau he prepared for her, though she was the most lovable of his children to him, was a law of his immortal, high regulation that denied excessiveness in giving dower. Excessive dowers prevent the poor and the needy from getting married. For this noble purpose, the Prophet (a.s) has said: “The best women of my community are the least of them in dower.”[5] Imam Musa bin Ja‘far (a.s) says: “During the time of Allah’s Apostle, man got married to a woman for a Sura of the Qur’an, a dirham, and some wheat.[6] The Prophet (a.s) married one of his companions (to a woman) for teaching a Sura of the Holy Qur’an (as dowry).”[7] The Islamic law has urged Muslims to get married. It is lenient toward dower. It abrogates rivalry for precedence between wife and husband, and regards a Muslim man as equal to a Muslim woman. It is so to remove corruption, put an end to fornication, and reproduce more children. However, Lamans was not aware of these reasons, for he looked at things through a material corner. He concluded the previous ideas without fully understanding them. He was ignorant of the Islamic regulations aiming at spreading happiness among society and removing unhappiness from it.

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Notes

[1] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 8, p. 14. He has reported the narration through his chain of authorities on the authority Ja‘far bin Muhammed and his father, peace be on them.

[2] Abu Na‘eem has reported the narration in his book Hulyat al-Awliya’, vol. 3, p. 329. He has narrated it on the authority of ‘Ukrima.

[3] Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 113. Kenz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 113. In his booked al-Mustadrak, vol. 2, p. 185, al-Hakim has said: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) prepared Fatimaa’s trousseau, which was velvet, a water skin, and a pillow willed with coir.” In the book Dhakha’ir al-‘Uqqba, p. 35, it has been mentioned that Ali, peace be on him, said: “I married Fatimaa while we had no bed except a ram’s skin. We slept on it by night and gave food to al-Nadih (a camel used for watering) on it by day.”

[4] Fatimaa and Muhammed’s Daughters.

[5] Man la Yahdarahu al-Faqeeh, vol. 3, p. 243.

[6] Tahdhib al-Ahkam, vol. 7, p. 366.

[7] Muslim, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 545.

The Sermon of the Contract

After the trousseau had been bought, the Prophet (a.s) invited a group of al-Muhajireen and of the Ansar to attend the meeting of the contract of marriage. When they were present before him, he (a.s) made the sermon of marriage saying:

“Praise belongs to Allah. He is praised for His bounties, worshipped for His might, obeyed for His sovereignty, and feared for His chastisement and punishment. His commands pervade in His heaven and His earth. He has created the creatures through His might, distinguished them through his laws, made them dear through His religion, and honored them through His Prophet Muhammad (a.s). Surely Allah, Holy is His name and Exalted is His might, has made relationship by marriage as a following reason and an imposed command through which He has entwined relationships and made obligatory on mankind. Allah, the Almighty, has said: ‘And He it is Who has created man from the water, then He has made for him blood relationship and marriage relationship, and your Lord is powerful.’[1] Allah’s command heads for His acts, and His acts head for His decree. There is a decree for every act, a fixed term for every decree, and a book for every fixed term. And Allah makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases, and with Him is the basis of the Book.[2] Then Allah, the Great and Almighty, has ordered me to marry Fatima to Ali and to call you to witness that I have married Fatima to Ali for four hundred weights of silver if he is satisfied with that according to the standing law and the obligatory duty. May Allah reunite and bless them, make good their children, make their children as keys of mercy and sources of wisdom, and security for the community! I say this and ask Allah’s forgiveness for me and you!”

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Imam Ali was not present in the meeting for the Prophet (a.s) had sent him to carry out something. When the sermon of the contract was over, Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, came in to the Prophet (a.s). When the Prophet (a.s) saw Imam ali, he smiled at him and: “O Ali, Allah has commanded me to marry Fatima to you. So I have married her to you for four hundred weights of silver.” “I have accepted (that),” retorted the Commander of the faithful. Then he (a.s) fell down in prostration before Allah and thanked Him. When he raised his head from the prostration, the Prophet (a.s) said: “May Allah bless you both, make you happy, and bring forth from you many, good children”[3]

Then the Prophet (a.s) ordered a container full of dates to be offered to those invited and said to them: “Help yourselves!” Having finished eating, they wished the bride and the bridegroom happiness, bliss, and good children, and then they went away.[4]

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[1] Qur’an, 25, 54.

[2] Ibid., 13, 39.

[3] Noor al-Absar, p. 42. The narration has been mentioned in a little bit difference in the books al-Riyad al-Nadira, vol. 2, p. 183, Dhakha’ir al-Uqba, p. 29.

[4] Dhakha’ir al-Uqba, p. 30. Al-Riyad al-Nadira, vol. 2, p. 181

The Banquet

When the night of the marriage came, Allah’s Apostle (a.s) happily said: “O Ali, it is necessary to give a banquet for the bride.” Accordingly, Sa‘d bin Ubada denoted a ram. The Ansar denoted measures of durra (corn).[1] The Asma’ says: “No banquet at that time was better than that of Ali.”[2] After having food, the invitees congratulated Imam Ali and prayed Allah for him.

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[1] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 8, p. 13. Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 5, p. 521. In the book Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 114, it has been mentioned that Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) said: “It is necessary to give a banquet for the bride, and then he ordered a ram (to be Muslims were invited to have dinner.

[2] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 8, p. 14. It has been mentioned in al-Riyad al-Nadira, vol. 2, p. 182 on the authority of Jabir, who said: “We attended the wedding of Ali. I have never seen a weeding better than it. We filled the house with perfume. We brought dates and oil , and then we ate of it.”

The Wedding

The Wedding

The Prophet (a.s) asked Umm Salama to carry his daughter to the house of Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful. Umm Salama and some women headed by the Prophet’s wives carried pure Fatima (a.s) in procession to Imam Ali’s house. They were singing and reciting poetry. After Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had finished the evening prayer, he headed for Ali’s house. Umm Ayman received him, and he happily asked here: “Is my brother in?”

Umm Ayman became astonished, so she asked him: “May my father and mother die for you! Who is your brother?”

“Ali bin Abi Talib,” he replied.

“How is he your brother while you have married your daughter to him?” she asked.

“That is so, O Umm Ayman,” he retorted.

The Prophet (a.s) came in and the bride and the bridegroom got up for him. Then he turned to Fatima and asked her to bring him a vessel full of water. He took the vessel and spitted out into it. He said to her: “Get up!” When she rose, he sprinkled some water at her breasts[1] and her head. He supplicated Allah loudly, saying: “O Allah, I commend her and her offspring into Your protection from the accursed Satan!”[2]

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He said to Ali: “Bring me some water!” He brought him some water. The Prophet took some of it, and then he spitted it out into the vessel and poured it onto Ali’s head, and he invoked Allah for him, saying: “O Allah, I commend him and his offspring into Your protection from the accursed Satan!”

Then he said to him: “Turn your back on me!” He turned his back on him, and he poured the rest of the water between his two shoulders, supplicated for him, and said to him: “Come in to your wife in the name of Allah and His slaughtered) and gathered them around it.”

blessing!”[1]

The women went to their houses. Asma’ bint Umays stayed. The Prophet (a.s) asked her: “Who are you?” “I am the one who will guard your daughter. The girl is in need of a woman at the night of her marriage. I will carry out her needs and affairs.” The Prophet (a.s) thanked her for that, and went on supplicating for his daughter, saying: “I ask my Lord to protect you from the accursed Satan from before you, from behind you, from your right-hand side, and from your left-hand side.”

The Prophet (a.s) rose, closed the door with his own hand, and went a way. He especially supplicated for them and associated none in his supplicating for them until he came into his room.[5] This new house was founded in the second year A.H.[6] Time passed after the marriage of the Imam. The life was calm. Home life was always delightful. It was covered with love, ease, cooperation, simplicity and humbleness. Imam Ali helped his wife in her house affairs and needs. Accordingly, their life was the noblest model of high marriage ties.

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During that happy period, Truthful Fatima, peace be on her, became pregnant. The Prophet (a.s) gave good news to her of giving birth to a male baby. That was when Umm al-Fadhl[4] went to him and asked him to explain her dream. “I saw one of your limbs falling in my house”, said she. “You have seen something good,” the Prophet (a.s) explained, “Fatima will give birth to a boy baby, and you will suckle him with the Milk of Qathem.[7]

The then Muslims and especially the Prophet (a.s) impatiently were waiting for the hour of Fatima’s giving birth. They were longing for the newborn child, that life might go well with Imam Ali (a.s) and his wife, and that happiness might cover them.

‘Ubaydillah al-Faqeeh, Ma‘bad, Qatham, and ‘Abd al-Rahman. She also gave birth to a female baby called Umm Habiba.

Notes

[1] In another narration: “He poured the water upon her hands.”

[2] Qur’an, 3, 36.

[3] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 114.

[4] Al-Haythemi, Majjma‘, vol. 6, p. 207.

[5] In the book Tarikh al-Khamees, vol. 1, p. 407, it has been mentioned: “Ali got engaged to Fatima in Ramadan, the second year A. H. and married her in Dhi al-Hijja.” In his book Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 187, al-Mas‘udi has mentioned: “Ali married Fatima, peace be on her, a year A. H.” It was said that he married her at a time less than that. The Imam, peace be on him, was then twenty-one years and five months old. Fatima, the truthful, peace be on her, was fifteen years and five months old. This narration has also been mentioned by Ibn Hajar in his book al-Mawahib al-Laduniya, vol. 1, p. 257. In his book Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 403, al-Mas‘udi has mentioned: “(Fatimaa) al-Zahra’, peace be on her, was eighteen years old; and Ali, peace be on him, was fifteen years old.” This narration has also been mentioned in the book Tabaqat al-Sahaba, vol. 8, p. 13. In the book Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 4, it has been mentioned: “Fatimaa was ten years old and she died at the age of eighteen.”

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[6] Umm al-Fadhl was the wife of al-Abbas bin Abd al-Muttalib. Her name was Lubaba. She was the daughter of al-Harith al-Hilali. She was the first woman after Khadija, may Allah be pleased with her, to believe in Islam. She was the sister of Maymuna, the wife of the Prophet (a.s.). She was one of those who narrated traditions on the authority of the Prophet (a.s.). It has been mentioned in the books al-Isaba, vol. 4, p. 483 and al-Isti‘ab, vol. 4, p. 398: “The Prophet (a.s.) visited her and napped in her house.” She narrated many traditions on his authority. Umm al-Fadhl born al-Abbas six men the like of whom no women had born. They are al-Fadhl, by whose name she and her husband were called, ‘Abd al-Ilah al-Faqeeh,

[7] It has been mentioned in the book Tarikh al-Khamees, vol. 1, p. 418: “When al-Hasan, peace be on him, was born, Umm al-Fadhl suckled him.” In the book al-Isaba, vol. 4, p. 484, it has been mentioned: “Most surely the dream of which Umm al-Fadhl told (the Prophet), was before the birth of al-Husayn, peace be on him. When he was born, she suckled him.”

Chapter II

The Newborn Child

The Newborn Child

The Light of Imamate towered over the world from the houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them. A good, pure branch came out of the great tree of the prophethood and Imamate. Through this branch Allah made exalted the entity of Islam, built the edifice of faith and made peace between two great parties.

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The grandson of the Prophet (a.s), the master of the youths of the Garden, came to the world of existence in the month of Ramadan when the Qur’an was revealed. It was in the second or the third year of hijra.[1] The appearance of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) was seen through the appearance of the newborn child. The Prophet’s merits and good qualities were present in him.

When the news of that Truthful Fatima gave birth to the blessed newborn child, waves of delight and rejoicing covered the heart of the Prophet (a.s). He hurried to the house of his daughter, the dearest one to him from among his children. He congratulated her on her blessed newborn child, congratulated his cousin Imam Ali, and gave the newborn child some of his noble qualities, whose scent covered the whole world. When the, Prophet (a.s) reached Imam Ali’s house, he called out: “O Asma’, give me my (grand) son!”

Asma’ hurried and handed him the baby warped in a yellow piece of cloth, so he said to her: “Did I not tell you not to wrap the newborn child with a yellow piece of cloth!”

The Prophet (a.s) cut off the baby’s navel and pressed the baby to his bosom. Then he raised his hands towards the heaven and invoked Allah for him, saying: “O Allah, I commend him and his offspring into Your protection from the accursed Satan!”[2]

Notes

[1] Al-Isaba, vol. 1, p. 328. Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 1, p. 368. Al-Sayuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa’, p. 73. Al-Bustani, Da’irat al-Ma‘rif, vol. 7, p. 38. In these books it has been mentioned that he was born in the middle of the month of Ramadan, in the third year A. H. In the book Shadharat al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 10, it has been mentioned that his birth was on the fifth day of the month of Sha‘ban. This is a clear mistake. Perhaps, the author has meant Imam al-Husayn, peace be on him, who was born on the fifth day of the month of Sha‘ban. Some authors thought that he, peace be on him, was born in the second year A. H. In the book Mir’at al-‘Uqool, p. 390, it has been mentioned: “There is no contradiction in the dates of the birth. For each of them is based on a term in the principle of history other than the term on which the another is based. We can detail it in three terms: The first is that the beginning of the birth was in the month of Rabee‘ al-Awwal; that is because the emigration (of the Prophet) was in it. The companions (of the Prophet) depended on it until the year sixty A. H. The narration that al-Hasan was born in the second year A. H., it is based on this meaning. The second is that the beginning of the birth was in the month of Ramadan before the Month of Rabee‘ al-Awal when the emigration took place; that is because it is the beginning of the Hijri year. As for the narration that al-Hasan, peace be on him, was born in the third year A. H., it is based on this meaning. The third, which is the beginning of the birth was in the month of al-Muharram, is that which ‘Umar devised.”

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As for the narration of the author of the book Mir’at al-Uqool, it removes the contradiction between the two statements. As for the report of the professor Fareed Wajjdi in his book Daa’irat al-Ma‘arif, vol. 3, p. 443, that the birth of al-Hasan, peace be on him, was six year before the emigration, it opposes the unanimous agreement of the historians. That is because Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, did not marry Fatima, the truthful one, before the emigration, as we have already explained. As for how Fatima, the truthful, gave birth to Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him, it has been mentioned in the book Tarikh al-Khamees, vol. 1, p. 470. That is when the hour of her giving birth came, Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) sent to her Asma‘, daughter of ‘Umays, and Umm Ayman, and they recited to her the Verse of al-Kursi and the two verses called al-Mu‘awadhatayn (chapters 113 and 114). Asma’ narrated, saying: “Fatima, peace be on him, was pregnant with al-Hasan, peace be on him, but I saw no blood of her. So I said: ‘Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) I have seen no blood of Fatima during her menstruation and her childbed.’ He (a.s.) said: ‘Did you know that Fatima was pure and purified? Her blood during her menstruation and her childbed is not seen.’” The period of her pregnancy with al-Hasan was six months. The author of the book al-Fusool al-Muhimma has mentioned something contrary to this narration. Accordingly, no baby other than him was born in six months and remained alive except ‘Isa, son of Maryam, peace be on him, just as the late al-Amini, may Allah have mercy on him, has mentioned in his book A‘yan al-Shi‘a, vol. 4, p. 3.

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[2] Al-Bustani, Da’irat al-Ma‘arif, vol. 7, p. 38.

Rites at the Birth of a Child

Rites at the Birth of a Child

The Prophet (a.s) performed for his newborn child the ceremonies and rites, which are as follows:

1. The azan and the iqama

The Prophet (a.s) recited the azan in the baby’s right ear and the iqama in his left ear.[1] It has been mentioned in a tradition: “Most surely performing such a rite protects the child from the accursed Satan.”[2] The Prophet, the best one of Adam’s children (a.s) whispered wonderful words in the ear of his newborn child, that he might receive the world of existence through the highest thing in it. The first words to knock on his ear were those of his grandfather, the Prophet (a.s), the cause of beings and master of creatures. These words were: “Allah is great! There is no god but Allah!”

With these words full of faith Allah’s Apostle (a.s) received his grandson. He planted them in the depth of his soul and with them he supplied his feelings and sentiments, that they might be a hymn in his life in this world.

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[1] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 6, p. 391. Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 286. Abu Dawud, Saheeh, vol. 33, p. 214. It was said that he did not do that by himself; rather he ordered Asma’, daughter of Umays and Umm Salama to perform that an hour after the birth. This has been mentioned by al-Shiblanji’s Noor al-Absar, p. 107.

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[2] Al-Jawahir, a Chapter on Marriage.

2. The Name

The Prophet (a.s) turned to Imam Ali, who was happy and delighted, and asked him: “Have you given a name to the blessed child?”

“I do not want to precede you, O Allah’s Apostle,” replied the Imam.

The Prophet (a.s) said: “I do not want to precede my Lord!”

Some minutes later, the Revelation called out the Prophet (a.s) and carried to him the name from Allah, the Exalted. Gabriel said to him: “Name him Hasan!”[1]

Indeed, it was one of the best names. It is sufficient for the name to be beautiful and good is that the Wise Creator has chosen it. Its beautiful utterance might be a proof of its beautiful meaning.

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[1] In the book Tarikh al-Khamees, vol. 1, p. 470, it has been mentioned: “The one entrusted with the revelation, Gabriel, came down to the Prophet (a.s.) and said to him: ‘I am reciting to you your Lord’s words. He says to you: Ali is in the same position with respect to you as Aaron (Harun) was to Moses (Musa) except that there is no prophet after you.’ Therefore, name this (grand) son of yours by the name of Harun’s son.’ So the Prophet (a.s.) said: ‘What was the name of Harun’s son, O Gabriel? ‘Shibr,’ replied Gabriel. ‘Most surely, my language is Arabic,’ retorted the Prophet. ‘Name it al-Hasan,’ explained Gabriel. Accordingly, the Prophet (a.s.) did that.’” A narration similar to this has been reported by al-‘Amili, may Allah have mercy on him, in his book A‘yan al-Shi‘a. In the books Usd al-Ghaba and Tarikh al-Khamees, vol. 1, p. 470, it has been mentioned that the name al-Hasan was not known in the pre-Islamic period. In the book Tarikh al-Khamees it has been mentioned that Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) gave it this name after the seventh day of its birth. This narration is incorrect, for giving the name took place immediately after the birth according to the unanimous agreement of all the historians. In the books al-Isti‘ab, vol. 1, p. 368 and al-Adab al-Mufrad, p. 120, it has been mentioned that when al-Hasan, peace be on him, was born, Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) and said: “Show me my (grand) son! What have you named it?” “Harb,” they answered. “Rather, it is al-Hasan,” he (a.s.) retorted. When al-Husayn was born, he said: “Show me my (grand) son! What have you named it?” “Harb,” they answered. “Rather, it is al-Husayn,” he (a.s.) retorted. When the third grandson was born, he asked “What have you named it?” “Harb,” they answered. “Rather, it is al-Muhsin,” he (a.s.) retorted. Then he (a.s.) said: “I have given them names of Harun’s sons, Shubbar and Shubayr.” It could be said that this narration was fabricated. Firstly, the enmity between the Hashimites and Harb’s family is very clear. Therefore, why did the members of the House (Aal al-Bayt) approve of naming their children by the names of Harb, to whom belonged the Umayyads? Secondly, that the Prophet (a.s.) turned away from the name Harb is a sufficient proof of making Aal al-Bayt turn away from

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3. Aqiqa

Aqiqa [1]

Seven days after the birth, the Prophet (a.s) headed for the house of Imam Ali (a.s) that he might honor his grandson. He ordered a ram[2] to be sacrificed for his grandson and ordered a leg of it to be given to the midwife. His community has followed his deed after him.

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[1] It is among the most recommended acts. Some jurists have thought that it is obligatory. When the Prophet (a.s.) slaughtered the ram, he said: “In the name of Allah, this is the aqiqa of al-Hasan. O Allah, its flesh (i.e., the flesh of the sacrifice of the aqiqa) for his flesh, its blood for his blood, its bone for his bone, its hair for his hair, its skin for his skin. O Allah, let it be a protection of the family of Muhammed (a.s.).”

[2] Tarikh al-Khamees, vol. 1, p. 470. Mushkil al-Aathaar, vol. 1, p. 456. Al-Hulya, vol. 1, p. 116. Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 286. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, vol. 4, p. 108. In al-Shiblanji’s Noor al-Absar, al-Tahawi’s Mushkil al-Aathaar, vol. 1, p. 456, and al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, vol. 1, p. 237, it has been mentioned that the Prophet (a.s.) offered two sacrifices on behalf of al-Hasan and two on behalf of al-Husayn. This narration is weak, for Shams al-Deen al-Dhahabi has criticized it in his book Talkhees al-Mustadrak. He has said: “Firstly, Sawar, the reporter of the narration, is weak in reporting traditions. Secondly, the leading jurists have mentioned that only one sacrifice should be offered.”

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4. Shaving the Hair

The Prophet (a.s) shaved the hair of his blessed grandson with his own hand. Then he silver as much as the weight of the cut hair to the poor.[1] Then he perfumed al-Hasan’s hair with al-khuluq[2]. Indeed, we have not seen affection and kindness similar to that (of the Prophet toward his grandson).

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[1] Tarikh al-Khamees, vol. 1, p. 470. Noor al-Absar, p. 107. Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 286. In them it has been mentioned that the weigh of al-Hasan’s hair was a dirham and some.

[2] Al-khuluq is a perfume composed of saffron and other things. In the book al-Bihar, vol. 10, p. 68 it has been mentioned that the people in the pre-Islamic period used to put blood on the child’s hair, so the Prophet (a.s.) said: “(Putting ) blood (on the child’s hair) was among the acts of those who lived before Islam.” He prevented Asma’ from doing that.

5. Circumcision

The Prophet (a.s) ordered his grandson to be circumcised on the seventh day of his birth.[1] Circumcising a male baby at that time was good and it made a male child purer.[2]

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[1] Noor al-Absar, p. 108.

[2] Jawahir al-Ahkam, Chapter on Marriage. In it, it has been mentioned that Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) has said: “Circumcise your male babies on the seventh day of birth. For it is the best, purest, and quickest (of all deeds) in making flesh grow, and for the earth becomes impure for forty days due to the urine of those uncircumcised.”

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6. His kunya

His kunya (surname)

The Prophet (a.s) gave him the kunya of Abu Muhammad.[1] Al-Hasan had no kunya other than this. With this deed all the rites of birth the Prophet (a.s) performed for his eldest son ended.

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[1] Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 1, p. 9. A kunya is the name by which an Arab is usually referred to and which refers to him or her as the father or mother of someone, usually his or her eldest son. It is among the rites of birth. It has been narrated on the authority of Imam Muhammed al-Baqir, peace be on him, who has said: “We give kunyas to our children during their childhood for fear that nicknames may be given to them.”

His Features

As for his features, they were similar to that of his grandfather the Prophet (a.s). Anas bin Malik said: “No one was more similar to the Prophet than al-Hasan bin Ali.”[1]he traditionists have mentioned al-Hasan’s form, which was similar to that of his grandfather (a.s). They have said: “He was white with black eyes. He had long, thick hair. His limbs were great. His shoulders were wide. His hair was curly and his beard was thick. His neck was as white as silver.”[2] These features are similar to those of the Prophet (a.s) according to the features the narrators have mentioned. Al-Hasan was similar to his grandfather in form; likewise, he was similar to him in his noble moral traits.[3]

The Prophet (a.s) saw that his grandson al-Hasan was a copy of him. He was similar to him in manner and high soul. He was a firebrand of his brilliance. He would guide his community after him to the way of the truth and direct people to the straight path. The Prophet (a.s) came to know that al-Hasan would achieve all his ideal aims in life. So he poured onto him a ray from his great soul. He took great care of him and honored him. He poured onto him love and kindness since his birth and childhood. In detail we will deal with all kinds of care and honor issued from the Prophet (a.s) toward al-Hasan during his childhood and youth.

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[1] Fada’il al-Sahaba, p. 166. In his book al-Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 307, al-Turmidhi has mentioned on the authority of Ali, peace be on him, who has said: “Al-Hasan was like Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) from his head to his chest, while al-Husayn was like him from his chest to his feet.” In the book al-Isaba it has been mentioned on the authority of al-Bahi, who has said: “We held a discussion about who was from among his family like him. Then Abdullah bin al-Zubayr came in to us and said: ‘I will tell you about who was from among his family similar to him and the most lovable to him; he is al-Hasan bin Ali.’” This narration has been narrated by al-Haythemi in his book al-Majjma‘, vol. 9, p. 175. In the book al-Mihbar, p. 469, it has been mentioned that Fatima, peace be on her, was dancing her child al-Hasan and saying to it: “I swear by my father, you are similar to my father and not to Ali.”

[2] Tarikh al-Khamees, vol. 1, p. 171. In his book Da’irat al-Ma‘arif, vol. 7, p. 38, al-Bustani has mentioned some of these features.

[3] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 201. In his book Ihya’ al-Uloom, al-Ghazali has mentioned: Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) said to al-Hasan: ‘You are similar to me in form and manner.’”

Chapter III

Cleverness and Genius

Without doubt, righteous education plays an important role in forming the child and in developing his or her mental faculties. Likewise, the parents’ conduct has a great effect on developing their children’s cleverness and general behavior. All these vital elements were available to al-Hasan (a.s) during his childhood. The Prophet (a.s) took great care of educating his grandson and gave him his noble qualities. Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) supplied him with his wise maxims and ideals. Fatima, the principal of all women, planted in her son virtue and perfection. Accordingly, al-Hasan’s childhood was high and a model of human perfection, a title of highness and education, a symbol of cleverness and genius.

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Some psychologists believe that the child greatly imitates others in habits, mental and moral qualities, the general attitude he or she takes toward others, the general viewpoint through which he or she ponders on life or work. Sometimes imitation is conscious and deliberate; however, in most cases, it is unconscious. So when the child imitates educated people, he or she will follow their ethics and sentiments. In the first place this effect is an imitation, but it quickly becomes a habit; the habit is a second nature. The imitation is one of the two ways through which individual qualities are acquired and the personal manners are formed.[1]

According to this viewpoint, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was the first person in his mental and moral qualities, for he grew up in the House of the Revelation and was brought up in the School of the monotheism. Moreover, he saw his grandfather, who was the most perfect person in the world, always build an edifice for justice, virtue, and perfection. He encompassed people with his noble moral traits, gathered them around the word of Oneness (of Allah). That impressed al-Hasan, the Prophet’s grandson, and he followed the deeds of his grandfather in advising and guiding the people. During their childhood, al-Hasan and al-Husayn (a.s) passed by an old man. The old man could not perform the ritual ablution well. So their high soul and their kindness did not let them leave the old man ignorant of performing the ritual ablution well. They made an informal dispute and they said to each other: “You do not perform the ritual ablution well!” Then they calmly turned to the old man and appointed him as an arbitrator between them. They said to him: “O Sheikh (i.e., an old man), each of us will perform the ritual ablution before you, and you decide which of the two ablutions is better.” They performed the ablution before him, and he carefully considered it. Accordingly, the old man paid attention to his mistake without any disdain, and then he said to them: “My masters, you both perform the ritual ablution well. However, I am an ignorant old man. I do not perform the ablution well. I have learned it from you and repented at your hands!”[2]

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This deed clearly shows us that the Prophet (a.s) guided the people through sound ways and noble moral traits. This way impressed al-Hasan (a.s) during his childhood, to the extent that it became among his qualities and natures.

Some psychologists believe that individual manner is inherited, that it has an important effect on forming man’s ethics, and that it is not less in importance than imitation. Heksil says: “All effects and qualities of the organic being belong to heredity or to environment. Hereditary formation determines the bounds of that which is possible. And the environment decides that this possibility will be achieved. Therefore, the hereditary formation is mere the ability to react with any environment through a special way.”

Jinjiz has confirmed this theory, saying: “Everyone has hidden hereditary forces, but the appearance of each of them depends on the circumstances surrounding these forces during their growth.”

The rule of heredity decides that Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was on top of those who got this phenomenon. He inherited the spiritual forces and the great, reformative wealth of his grandfather (a.s). Besides, the righteous environment his family and the good, righteous Muslims created had an influence on him.

Due to his heredity, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) got cleverness and high reflection that none had got. The narrators have reported traditions on his early genius, saying: “Al-Hasan memorized all things he read. He attended the meetings of his grandfather (a.s) and memorized the Revelation. Then he went to his mother and told her about it. She told Imam Ali (a.s) and he admired that and asked her:

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“From where have you brought this (revelation)?”

“From your son, al-Hasan!’”

Imam Ali (a.s) hid himself in a corner of the house, that he might listen to his son. As usual al-Hasan came and told his mother about the verses of the revelation he had memorized. He was unable to speak, so his mother asked him: “O my little son, why are you unable to speak?” “Mother, do not be astonished at what has befallen me,” replied al-Hasan, “for the Most High (Allah) looks after me.”[3] This attitude is a proof of al-Hasan’s great cleverness through which he saw the distant and unknown things.

[1] Mandir, Psychology in Life.

[2] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 89.

[3] Ibn Shahrashub, al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 148. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 93.

His Memorizing of Traditions

His Memorizing of Traditions

Though al-Hasan (a.s) was four years old, he memorized many traditions he heard from his grandfather (a.s). We will mention some traditions he narrated from his grandfather:

1. He (a.s) has said: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s) taught me some words to say during the (prayer of al-Witr): ‘O Allah, guide me through him whom You guided! Make me well through him You made well! Look after me through him after whom You looked! Bless that which You have given to me! Protect me from the evil of that which You have decreed! You decree, and none decrees against You. (The one) whom You support is not abased, Blessed and Most High You are, O Lord!”[1]

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2.Umar bin Ma’mun narrated, saying: “I have heard al-Hasan, son of Ali (a.s) say: ‘Whoever offers the morning prayer and sits in his place of praying until the sun rises shall have a veil from the Fire.” Or he said: “A curtain from the Fire.”[2]

3. A companion of his asked him: “What do you remember of Allah’s Apostle (a.s)?” He (a.s) replied: “I took one of the dates given as alms. I put it into my mouth. He (the Prophet) took it out (of my mouth). So I asked him: ‘What is the matter with this date?’ ‘It is not lawful for us, Muhammad’s family, to take something given as alms.”[3]

4. He (a.s) was asked about what he heard from Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and he replied: “I heard him saying to some man: “Leave that which fills you with doubt for that which does not fill you with doubt. That is because evil is suspicion, and good is tranquility.”[4]

5. He (a.s) related to his companions about the ethics and behavior of his grandfather, the Prophet (a.s). He said to them: “When someone asked Allah’s Apostle (a.s) to grant his need, he responded to him with nothing except through granting it or through some soft words.”

6. He (a.s) has said: “I heard Allah’s Apostle (a.s) saying, “Call out the master of the Arabs (Imam Ali).” So A’isha asked him: “Are you not the master of the Arabs?” “I am the master of Adam’s children,” he replied, “and Ali is the master of the Arabs.” Imam Ali was summoned. When he was before him, he sent for the Ansar. When they stood before him, he said to them: “O people of Ansar, shall I show you a thing, if you keep to it, you will never go astray?” “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle (a.s)” they replied. So he said: “This is Ali; therefore, love him for the sake of the love for me, and honor him for the sake of honoring me. It is Gabriel that has told me from Allah, the great and Almighty, about what I told you.”[5]

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The jurists and the traditionists have narrated many traditions al-Hasan (a.s) heard from Allah’s Apostle (a.s) in respect of the precepts of the Islamic law. All these traditions are proofs of al-Hasan’s cleverness, genius, and knowledge. If someone carefully considers al-Hasan’s childhood, he will admire and sanctify it. That is because it was full of the signs of perfection, virtue, cleverness, and high education that none had, as we think.

Notes

[1] Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 93. Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 20. Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 172.

[2] Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 2, p. 11.

[3] Ibid. It is forbidden for Aal al-Bayt to take the obligatory alms such as Zakat and Zakat al-Fitra, and not the permissible alms.

[4] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 20. In his book al-Musnad, vol. 1, p. 200, Ahmed has mentioned: “He (al-Hasan), peace be on him, said: ‘I heard Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) say: ‘Leave that which fills you with doubt for that which does not fill you with doubt. That is because truthfulness is tranquility; and lying is suspicion.’”

[5] Sheikh Muhammed Habeebullah al-Shanqeeti, Hayat Ali Bin Abi Talib, p. 83. In his book al-Tasawuf al-Islami, vol. 1, p. 274, Dr. Zaki Mubarak has explained the criticisms for the faith of the Sufis in the master of the prophets, Muhammed (a.s.). He has said: “It is an act of good to say that the Sufis, in respect of this excess, have depended on the tradition: ‘I am the master of the prophets.’ The scholars have doubted the tradition. In his book entitled Kashf al-Khafa’ wa al-Iltibas ‘amma ishtehra mina al-Ahadith ‘alaa Alsunat al-Naas, al-‘Ajjluni has mentioned that al-Hasan bin Ali narrated on the authority of the Prophet (a.s.) who said: ‘Call out the master of the Arabs.’ He meant Ali. So Aa’isha asked him: ‘Are you not the master of the Arabs.’ And he replied: ‘I am the master of Adam’s children, and Ali is the master of the Arabs.’ Then al-‘Ajjluni has related to us that al-Dhahabi inclines to say that this tradition is fabricated.’” I (the author) say that what Dr. Zaki Mubarak has stated in respect of the faith of the Sufis does not manifest itself clearly. I (the author) will explain the statement as follows: “The Sufis are distinguished from the rest of the Islamic sects by their cleaving to two sides. The first side is that there is a primary specification, which is the junction of the specifications; and which is called the first reason and the first issued, according to the terms of the ancient philosophers. In respect of that they have depended on the philosophical proofs of which are is that nothing issues from the One except the one. The second side is that they have applied the first reason and the first issued on the Ahmedi, sacred reality. Through this application they have turned away from the philosophers. Their proofs of that are some traditions such as I am the master of people. Were it not for me, the worlds were not created. I am a prophet; and Adam is between the water and the clay. There are other traditions indicating their purpose in the manner of a rational proof. The Sufis were Sufis due to their cleaving to the first viewpoint in which the philosophers believed. So Dr. Zaki Mubarak had not to say that the Sufis had taken their faith from the traditions. It was incumbent on him to explain that they had depended on the traditions to apply the first reason and the first issued to the Ahmedi reality. It was appropriate for him to deal with the Sufis in respect of the first side and to explain why the (religious) scholars doubted the tradition (I am the master of people). He had to say that the tradition was weak due to the weakness of the narrator or due to the fact that the Sufis depended on it.

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Chapter IV

Honor and Laudation

Allah’s Holy Book has lauded the excellence of the members of the Ahlul Bayt; and Allah’s Apostle (a.s) honored them. He joined them to the Holy Qur’an. He has made it incumbent on the community to show affection and love for them. It is necessary for us to quote some verses and traditions in respect of the Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them. That is because they strongly related to our research and show us the great importance and high position of Imam al-Hasan (a.s). We will mention that for readers as follows:

1. The Verse of Love - al-Mawadda

Allah has made it obligatory on Muslims to show love toward Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them. He has said that in the Qur’an: “I do not ask of you any reward for it except love for (my) kin.”[1] Ibn Abbas has narrated, saying: “When this verse was revealed, a Muslim asked: ‘O Allah’s Apostle, who are your kin whom you have ordered us to obey?’ He (a.s) replied: ‘Ali, Fatima, and her two sons.’”[2] Abu Na‘eem has narrated on the authority of Jabir, who said: “An Arab of the desert came to the Prophet (a.s) and said: ‘O Muhammad, show me Islam.’ The Prophet said: ‘Bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One with out partner, and that Muhammad is His servant and Apostle.’ The Arab of the desert asked: ‘Will you ask of me any reward for it?’ ‘No,’ replied the Prophet, ‘except love for the kin.’ ‘My kin or your kin?’ asked the man. ‘My kin,’ retorted the Prophet. ‘Stretch out (your hand) that I may pledge allegiance to you,’ said the Arab, ‘Allah’s curse by upon him who does not love you and your kin.’ ‘Amen!’ said the Prophet (a.s).”[3] Imam al-Hasan (a.s) has declared that he was among those meant by the verse. He (a.s) has mentioned that during one of his sermons: “I am among Ahlul Bayt whom Allah has made obligatory on Muslims the love to them. He, the Blessed and Most High, has said: I do not ask of you any reward for it except love for (my) kin; and whoever earns good, We will give him more of good. Therefore, earning good is showing love for us, Ahlul Bayt.”[4]

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Imam al-Shafi‘i has referred to the meaning of this verse, saying:

O Family of Allah’s Messenger, love for you is a religious duty Allah has revealed in the Qur’an.

Al-Fakhr al-Razi has said: “If this (verse) has been established (that it was revealed in respect of Ali, Fatima, and her two sons), then they must be singled out with great magnification. Many verses are proofs on that. The first is these words of Him, the Exalted: except love for (my) kin. The sense of the proof of this is the first part of the verse. It is that which He has already mentioned that the affair of the family of Muhammad (a.s) returns to him. So all those whose affair strongly and perfectly returned to him were the Aal (the family). Without doubt, the relationship between Fatima, Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn and Allah’s Apostle (a.s) was the strongest of all relationships. This is well known through the traditions ensured by many narrations. Therefore, they must be al-Aal (the family). The second, without doubt, the Prophet (a.s) showed love for Fatima, peace be on her. He (a.s) said: ‘Fatima is a part from me. What hurts her hurts me.’ It has been established through the traditions ensured by many lines of transmission that Muhammad (a.s) showed love for Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn, peace be on them. If that has been established, then it is obligatory on the community to do the same. That is due to these words of Him, the Exalted: “And follow him so that you may walk in the right way.[5]” And due to these words of Him, the exalted: “Therefore, let those beware who go against his order.”[6] And due to these words of Him, the exalted: “Say: If you love me, then follow me, Allah will love you.”[7] And due to these words of Him, the exalted: “Certainly you have in Allah’s Apostle an excellent example.” [8] The third is that the supplication for al-Aal (the Prophet’s family) is a great position. For this reason the supplication is regarded as the end of al-tashahud in prayer; that is his words: “O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, and have mercy on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad! None has such magnification except the Ahlul Bayt (a.s).”[9]

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Most surely, showing love for Ahlul Bayt is among the most important Islamic and religious duties, for through it one can pay the reward of the message, make relationship with the Prophet (a.s) and thank him for the sufferings he met for saving Muslims from polytheism and worshipping the idols. Therefore, it is incumbent on the community to follow his family, and to show respect and love for them.

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[1] Qur’an, 42, 23.

[2] Al-Fakhr al-Razi, Tafseer, vol. 7, p. 406. Al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 7, p. 7. Al-Nisaburi, Tafseer. Ibn Jareer al-Tabari, Tafseer, vol. 5, p. 16. Al-Kashif. Al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa, p. 102. Dhakha‘ir al-Uqba, p. 25. Noor al-Absar, p. 100.

[3] Hulyat al-Awliya, vol. 3, p. 201.

[4] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 172. Majjma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 146. al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa, p. 101. Majjma‘ al-Bayan fi Tafseer Surat al-Shura, vol. 9, p. 29.

[5] Qur’an, 7, 158.

[6] Ibid., 24, 63.

[7] Ibid., 3, 31.

[8] Ibid., 33, 21.

[9] Al-Razi, Tafseer.

2. The Verse of Tat-theer

2. The Verse of Purification

The Verse is a Proof on the Protection from Sins

To conclude through the verse that Ahlul Bayt are protected from sins is that Allah, the Most High, has limited the intention of keeping away the uncleanness (sins) with the word innama (only), which is the strongest of all the determiners. Besides, there is al (the) in the predicate, and the repetition of the word tahara (purity). According to Arabic grammar, this is a proof of the determination and the specialization. It is well known that it is impossible for the intended things to oppose the intention of Allah, the Exalted, (due to the verse): His command, when He intends anything, is only to say to it: Be, so it is.[3] So through the verse we can conclude that Ahlul Bayt are protected from sins and acts of disobedience.

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The People meant by the Verse

The reliable narrators have unanimously agreed that the verse was revealed in respect of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn, peace be on them. None associated with them in this excellence.[1]

Al-Hakim has narrated on the authority of Umm Salama, who said: “The verse (Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify you a (thorough) purifying) was revealed in my house. So Allah’s Apostle (a.s) sent for Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn, peace be on them. Then he said: ‘O Allah these are my household.’ I (Umm Salama) asked: ‘O Allah’s Apostle, am I not of the household?’ ‘You are good,’ he replied, ‘these are my household, O Allah, my household are worthier!’”[2]

In her other narration, Umm Salama has said: “The verse (Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify you a (thorough) purifying) was revealed in my house. In my house there were Fatima, Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn. Allah’s Apostle (a.s) covered them with his cloak. Then he said: ‘These are my family; therefore, (O Allah), keep away the uncleanness from them, and purify them a (thorough) purifying.’”[3]

“Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify a (thorough) purifying.” In respect of these words of Him, the Most High Al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi has narrated the following on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed al-Khidri on the authority of the Prophet (a.s). He has said: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s) gathered Fatima, Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn, peace be on them. Then he covered them with his cloak and said: ‘These are my family; therefore, O Allah, keep away the uncleanness from them, and purify them a (thorough) purifying.’ Umm Salama was at the door and asked: ‘O Allah’s Apostle (a.s) am I not among them?’ ‘You are good,’ he replied.’”[4]

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Another example of that the verse concerns them and does not include other than them is that which Ibn Abbas has narrated. He has said: “For nine months I saw Allah’s Apostle (a.s) come every day to the door (of the house) of Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s). He said at the time of each prayer: ‘Peace be on you, Allah’s mercy and blessings be on you, O Ahlul Bayt! Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. (Perform) the prayer, may Allah have mercy upon you! (He did that) five times a day.”[5]

Ibn Jareer and Ibn Mardawayh have reported the following on the authority of Abu al-Hamra’, who said: “In Medina, for eight months, I saw Allah’s Apostle (a.s) go out (to perform) the Morning Prayer. He used to put his hands on both sides of the door and said: ‘(Perform) the prayer; Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify a (thorough) purifying.’”[6]

Abu Barzah has narrated, saying: “I performed the prayers with Allah’s Apostle (a.s) for seven months. When he went out of his house, he went to the door (of the house) of Fatima, peace be on her, and said: ‘Peace be on you, Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.[7]

Anas bin Malik has narrated, saying: “The Prophet (a.s) passed by the door (of the house) of Fatima for six months when he went out to perform the prayer. He said: ‘(Perform) the prayer, O members of the house! Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. ’”[8]

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In one of his sermons, Imam al-Hasan has said: “And I am among the household among whom Gabriel came down and from whom he ascended (to the heaven). I am among the members of the house from whom Allah has kept away the uncleanness and whom He thoroughly purified.”[9]

Many ways of transmission have ensured the authentic traditions. None can doubt their chain of authorities and their meaning. They all indicate that the Sacred Verse concerns the five people who were beneath the cloak and that it does not concern other than them from the family of the Prophet (a.s).

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[1] al-Fakhr, Tafseer, vol. 6, p. 783. Al-Nisaburi, Tafseer. Muslim, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 331. Al-Khasa’is al-Kubra, vol. 2, p. 264. Al-Riyad al-Nadira, vol. 2, p. 188. Al-Nisa’i, Khasa’is. Ibn Jareer, Tafseer, vol. 22, p. 5. Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 107. Al-Bayqahi, Sunan, vol. 2, p. 150. Mushkil al-Aathaar, vol. 1, p. 334.

[2] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 2, p. 416. Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 5, 521.

[3] Al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 5, p. 199.

[4] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 10, p 278.

[5] Al-Durr al-Manthur.

[6] Al-Durr al-Manthur.

[7] Majjma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 169.

[8] Dhakha’ir al-Uqba, p. 24.

[9] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 172.

The Verse does not include the Prophet’s Wives

The wives of the Prophet (a.s) have no share in the verse, which concerns the people who were beneath the cloak. We will mention the following as proofs on that:

1. They are wide of the subject of the family, for the family is the subject that includes man’s tribes and relatives, so it does not include wife. Zayd bin Arqam has emphasized this meaning. He was asked: “Who are the family of the Prophet (a.s)? (Are they) his wives?” “No,” he replied, “by Allah, the wife remains with her husband for a period of time. Then he divorces her, and she returns to her father and her people. His family are his origin and his blood relationship who have been deprived of the alms after him.”[1]

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2. If we approved that the word “family” is generalized to include wife, then it is necessary to specify it, because of the previous traditions ensured by many ways of transmission that requires limiting the generalization.

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[1] Muslim, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 238. Ibn Kuthayr, Tafseer, vol. 3, p. 486.

Ikrima’s Claims

Ikrima claimed that the verse was revealed in respect of the wives of the Prophet (a.s). He announced that at the market place.[1] He was so insistent and stubborn that he said: “If someone wants (to discuss the verse), I will discuss with him that it was revealed in respect of the wives of the Prophet (a.s).”[2] None depends on Ikrima’s narration for the following reasons:

1. He belonged to the Kharijites[3], who were famous for showing enmity and trickery toward Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s).

2. He was known and famous for lying. It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn al-Musayyab that he said to a retainer of his called Burd: “Do not tell lies to me as Ikrima told lies to Ibn Abbas.”[4] It has been reported that Uthman bin Murrah said to al-Qasim: “Ikrima has related to us so-and-so.” “My nephew,” replied al-Qasim, “Ikrima is a liar. He reports a tradition in the early morning and opposes it in the evening.”[5] Therefore, how can man rely on Ikrima’s traditions while he has been accused of telling lies?

3. He was a sinner. He listened to songs, played backgammon, and neglected the prayers. He was feebleminded.[6]

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4. The Muslims disregarded him, turned away from, and avoided him. They hated him very much, that none prayed over him when he died, and none escorted him to his grave. So how can man depend on him while he faces these criticisms? Besides, these traditions are regarded as among those called al-Aahaad. Even if they are not afflicted with weakness, they are not good to oppose the authentic traditions ensured by many ways of transmission.

[1] Al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nizool, p. 268.

[2] Al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 5, p. 198.

[3] Tabaqat al-Qurra’, vol. 1, p. 15. Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 5, p. 216.

[4] Imam Sharaf al-Deen, al-Kalima al-Gharra’.

[5] Mu‘jam al-Udaba’.

[6] Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 7, p. 263.

The Verse of Mubahala

Among the illustrious signs of Allah that laud the excellence of the Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them, is the verse of al-Mubahala. Allah, the Exalted, has said: “If anyone disputes with you concerning him, after knowledge has been given to you, say to him: Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves. Then let us call on Allah to witness against each other and let us make the curse of Allah fall on those who lie.”[1] The scholars unanimously has narrated through many ensured ways of transmission that the verse was revealed in respect of the Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them. The phrase “Our sons” means al-Hasan and al-Husayn. “Our women” means Fatima, and “ourselves” means Ali.

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The story of al-Mubahala in brief is that the deputation of Christians from Najran went to Allah’s Apostle (a.s) to debate with him on his religion. After a long conversation took place between them, they agreed on al-Mubahala, which is that they besought Allah and made His immortal curse and His quick punishment fall on those who lied. They appointed a time for that. Allah’s Apostle (a.s) went out on the day on which they had agreed. He chose for al-Mubahala the dearest ones to him and the most honorable with Allah, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, Fatima, the mistress of the women, and Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful. He (a.s) embraced al-Husayn and caught al-Hasan by his other hand. Behind him walked Fatima al-Zahra’, who shone with Allah’s light. Imam Ali, whose magnificence was manifest, walked behind her. The chief and the deputy and their two sons went out. They wore dresses and ornaments. With them were the Christians from Najran, and the horsemen from the Banu al-Harth were riding their horses. They were in the best appearance and readiness. Many people overcrowded and watched the important event. They asked each other: “Will the Christians make the contest of prayer or refrain from making it?” While they were watching, the chief and the deputy walked towards Allah’s Apostle (a.s). Stupor and confusion appeared on their faces, so they asked: “O Abu al-Qasim, through whom will you make the contest of prayer with us?”

“Through the best ones of the dwellers of the earth and the most honorable of them with Allah I will make the contest of the prayer,” he replied. He pointed with his hand to Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn.

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They admired that and asked Him: “Why do you not make the contest of prayer with us through the men of dignity, eminence, and sign from among those who have believed and followed you?”

Allah’s Apostle (a.s) answered: “Yes, I will make the contest of prayer through these (people), who are the best of the dwellers of the earth and of the creatures.”

So they were astonished; their hearts melted because of fear and terror. They went back to the Bishop, their leader, to consult with him about the affair. They asked him: “O Abu al-Harith, what do you think of the affair?”

The Bishop, who was filled with the veneration of the family of the Prophet (a.s) replied: “I can see some faces that if someone asked Allah through them to remove a mountain from its place, he would remove the mountain.”

He was not satisfied with that; rather, he supported his speech with some proofs and oaths, saying: “Do you not see Muhammad raising his hands (towards the heaven)? He is waiting for what are you going to bring. I swear by al-Maseeh (Jesus Christ), if his mouth said a word, we would not return to a people or to wealth

Then he shouted at them: “Do you not see that the color of the sun has changed, black clouds have covered the horizon, black, red wind strongly blowing, and smoke ascending from the mountains? The punishment has towered over us. Look at the birds spewing their craws, the leaves falling from the trees, and the ground shaking beneath our feet!”

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Allah is great! The greatness of those sacred faces covered the Christians, and they believed in their dignity and importance with Allah. So they humbly stood before the Prophet (a.s) and carried out his requests. Accordingly, the Prophet (a.s) said: “I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, most surely the punishment has hanged down upon the Christians from Najran. If they had made the contest of prayer, they would have been turned into apes and pigs. The valley where they were would have been on fire, Allah would have uprooted Najran and its dwellers even the birds and the trees, and all the Christians would not have witnessed the end of the year….”[2] The story of the contest of the prayer indicates that Ahlul Bayt had a high position, that they were the best ones of Allah’s creatures, the most lovable to Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and that none else of the community shared them this merit.

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[1] Qur’an, 3, 61.

[2] Noor al-Absar, p. 100.

The Sura of Hal Ata

One of the blessed Suras (chapters) of the Holy Qur’an was revealed in respect of the Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them. The Sura is Hal Ata. Most of commentators (of the Qur’an) and traditionists have narrated that it was evealed in respect of them.[1] The reason behind revealing this sura was that once al-Hasan and al-Husayn became ill. So their grandfather Allah’s Apostle (a.s) along with some of his companions visited them. They said to Imam Ali: “Make a vow to Allah, that he may make them well.” The Imam (a.s) made a vow to Allah. He fasted for three days as giving thanks to Allah for His making them well. Fatima, the truthful, peace be on her, and her slave girl followed him in this respect. After al-Hasan and al-Husayn had got well, they all fasted. Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) had no food to break his fasting. He borrowed three Saa‘s (a measure of capacity) of barely. On the first day, Fatima, the truthful, peace be on her, ground a Saa‘ and baked it. When it was time for them to break the fast, a poor man asked them for food. Imam Ali gave him his food. Then the rest of the family did just as the imam did. They gave their food to the poor man. They spent the night without tasting any kind of food. They rose in the morning while they were fasting. On the second day, they put the food before them. When it was time to break their fasting, an orphan complained to them of painful hunger. They all denoted their food. They spent the night tasting nothing except pure water. On the third day Fatima (a.s) ground the rest of the barely and baked it. When it was time for them to break the fast, a captive knocked the door asking for food. They drew their hands from food and gave it to the captive. O Allah, glory belongs to You! Which kindness is better than this? Which selflessness is greater than this?

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On the forth day Allah’s Apostle (a.s) visited them. He saw them in a terrible condition. He saw their yellow faces and their shaking bodies because of weakness. So his state changed, and he said: “What a pity! Muhammad’s household are writhing with hunger!”

Before Allah’s Apostle (a.s) ended his speech, Gabriel had come down to him. He revealed to him the Sura of Hal Ata, in which Allah has lauded and praised Ahlul Bayt, saying: Surely the righteous shall drink of a cup the admixture of which is camphor. A fountain from which the servants of Allah shall drink; they make it to flow a (goodly) flowing forth. They fulfill vows and fear a day the evil of which shall be spreading far and wide. And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive.[2]

Allah thanked them for their selflessness, which had no match in the world of kindness. He made them inherit Paradise in the next world. He made their name immortal and their life a model (for others). Moreover, He has made them Imams until He inherits the earth and those on it.

With this verse we will end our speech about some verses revealed in respect of the Ahlul Bayt. Without doubt the verses that deal with Imam al-Hasan (a.s) indicate his important affair and his high position with Allah.

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[1] Al-Fakhr, Tafseer, vol. 8, p. 392. Al-Nisaburi, Ruh al-Bayyan, vol. 6, p. 546. Al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nizool, p. 331. Al-Durr al-Manthur. Yanabee‘ al-Mawada, vol. 1, p. 93. Al-Riyad al-Nadira, vol. 2, p. 227.

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[2] Qur’an, 76, 5-8.

The Prophet’s Traditions

Some traditions have been narrated from the Prophet (a.s) in respect of his eldest grandson. The traditions have lauded his great position and indicated the sincere love the Prophet (a.s) showed toward him. They are of three groups. The first group is in respect of him. The second group is in respect of him and his brother, the master of martyrs (a.s). The third group is in respect of his household. It is well known that al-Hasan is among their pious ones, so these traditions have included him. These groups have been mentioned in many authentic traditions ensured by many ways of transmission, to the extent that they have become certain and definite. We will mention them to readers as follows:

The first Group

The first Group

Several traditions have been narrated from the Prophet (a.s) concerning his grandson al-Hasan. We will mention some of them as follows:

1. Al-Barra’ bin ‘Aazib [1] has narrated saying: “I saw the Prophet (a.s) carrying al-Hasan on his shoulder and saying: ‘O Allah, I love him; and so You love him.’” [2]

2. A’isha has narrated, saying: “The Prophet (a.s) took al-Hasan and embraced him, and then he said: ‘O Allah, this is my (grand) son; and I love him; therefore love him and love those who love him.” [3]

3. Zuhayr bin al-Aqmar has narrated, saying: “After the martyrdom of Ali (al-Hasan’s father), al-Hasan bin Ali delivered a sermon. Meanwhile, a man from al-Azd rose and said to him: ‘I saw Allah’s Apostle (a.s) putting you on his knees and saying: ‘Whoever loves me, let him loves him; therefore let those present tell those absent.’”[4]

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4. Abu Bakra has narrated, saying: “I have seen Allah’s Apostle (a.s) (sitting) on the pulpit and al-Hasan bin Ali was (sitting) beside him. He some times looked at the people and sometimes at him. He said: “This son of mine is a Sayyid (master). Perhaps through him Allah will make peace between two great groups of the Muslims.”[5]

5. Ibn Abbas has narrated: “The Prophet (a.s) came carrying al-Hasan on his neck. A man met him and said: ‘You have ridden the best mount, O boy!’ So Allah’s Apostle (a.s) said: ‘And he is the best rider.’”[6]

6. Abdullah bin Abdurrahman bin al-Zubayr has narrated, saying: “The most similar of the family of the prophet (a.s) to him and the most lovable to him was al-Hasan. I saw al-Hasan (when he) came and rode on the Prophet’s neck while he was prostrating himself in prayer. He did not make him go down until he himself went down. I saw him bowing and opening his legs to let him go to the other side.”[7]

7. It has been narrated that the Prophet (a.s) led the people in prayer and prostrated himself in worship for a long time. After he had recited the taslim, the people asked him about that, and he replied: “This son of mine had ridden my back, and I hated to make him go down quickly.”[8]

8. The Prophet (a.s) went up on the pulpit to deliver a sermon. Al-Hasan came and went up on the pulpit. The Prophet put him on his neck. The people at the back of the mosque saw his anklet shining on the Prophet’s chest. Al-Hasan remained so until the Prophet (a.s) finished his sermon.[9]

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9. He (a.s) has said: “If someone wants to be delighted at looking at the master of the youths of the Garden, let him look at al-Hasan.”[10]

10. He (a.s) has said: “Al-Hasan is my darling…”[11]

11. Anas bin Malik has narrated: “Al-Hasan came in to the Prophet (a.s). I wanted to pull him away, and the Prophet (a.s) said to me: ‘Woe unto you, O Anas! Leave my son and the fruit of my heart. Most surely, whoever hurts him hurts me, and whoever hurts me hurts Allah.”[12]

This is a group of the traditions narrated from the Prophet (a.s) in respect of his eldest grandson. In these traditions we feel the highest kind of honoring, greeting, and sincere love.

Notes

[1] Al-Bara’ bin Aazib was given the kunya of Abu Imara. He fought alongside Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) at the Battle of Badr. The Prophet did not permit him to wage jihad (against the polytheists) because he was still young. He fought alongside Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) in fourteen battles. It was he who conquered al-Ray in the year 24 A. H, according to the narration of Abu Amr al-Shaybani. He fought alongside Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, in the Battles of al-Jamal, Siffin, and al-Nahrawan. He lived in Kufa and built a house therein. He died during the days of Mas‘ab bin al-Zubayr. This has been mentioned in the books Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 1, p. 171, and al-Isti‘abin

[2] Al-Bukhari, Saheeh, Chapter on the Beginning of Creation. Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 307. Muslim, Saheeh, Chapter on the Merits of the Companions of the Prophet. Ibn Kuthayr, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 34.

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[3] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 104. Al-Haythemi has mentioned it in his book al-Majjma‘, vol. 9, p. 176. Many traditions have been narrated from the Prophet (a.s.). It has been narrated on the authority of Sa‘eed bin Zayd, who said: “[The Prophet (a.s.) pressed al-Hasan to his bosom and said:] “O Allah, I love him; therefore, love him.” Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi has mentioned it in his book Kanz al-‘Ummal. He has said it has been mentioned by al-Tabarani and Abu Na‘eem. Ibn Hajar has mentioned it in his book al-Isaba, vol. 7, p. 105. He has said: [Al-Baghawi has narrated on the authority of Yazid bin Abi Ziyad, on the authority of Yazid bin Abi al-Hasan, on the authority of Sa‘d bin Yazid al-Ansari, who said that the Prophet (a.s.) carried al-Hasan, and then he said:] “O Allah I love him; therefore love him.” He said that twice. In his book al-Hulya, Abu Na‘eem has narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet (a.s.) said: “O Allah, I love him; therefore love him and those who love him.” He said that three times.

[4] Tahdhib al- Tahdhib, vol. 2, p. 297. Imam Ahmed bin Hanbel, vol. 5, p. 366. Al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa, p. 82.

[5] Al-Isaba, vol. 1, p. 330. In his book al-Saheeh, al-Bukhari has mentioned it in the Chapter on al-Sulh (Making Peace). In his book al-Musnad, vol. 5, p. 44, Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal has narrated it on the authority of al-Mubarak, on the authority of al-Hasan bin Abi Bakra, who said: “While Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) was praying, al-Hasan rode on his back when he prostrated. Al-Hasan did that more than one time. So the people said to the Prophet: ‘By Allah, you are doing al-Hasan something you have not done to anyone.’ He replied: ‘Most surely, this grand (son) of mine is a Sayyid (master). Through him Allah will make peace between two parties of the Muslims.’” Ibn Hajar has mentioned it in his book al-Sawa‘iq. In the book al-‘Aqd al-Farid, vol. 1, p. 164, it has been mentioned: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) visited his daughter Fatima. He found al-Hasan, who was then a child, playing before her. He said to her: ‘Most surely, Allah will make peace between two great groups of the Muslims at the hands of this son of yours.’”

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[6] Al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa, p. 82. Hulyat al-Awliya.

[7] Al-Isaba, vol. 2, p. 11.

[8] Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 33.

[9] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 6 p. 58.

[10] Fada’il al-Ashab, p. 165. Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 35.

[11] Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 2, p. 369.

[12] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 6, p. 222.

The Second Group

The Second Group

As for the traditions narrated from the Prophet (a.s) in respect of his two grandsons, they are a group of the authentic traditions written by the trustworthy (narrators) and those whom memorized them by heart. They clearly indicate that al-Hasan and al-Husayn were the dearest and most lovable of the people to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). We will mention some of them as follows:

1. Sa‘eed bin Rashid has reported, saying: “Al-Hasan and al-Husayn came walking to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). He took one of them and pressed him to his armpit, and then he took the other and pressed him to his other armpit. He said: ‘They are my two darlings. Whoever loves me, let him love them.’”[1] The Prophet (a.s) always gave them this nickname. Many traditions have been reported in this respect.[2]

2. Anas bin Malik has narrated, saying: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s) was asked: ‘Which of your household is the most lovable to you?’ ‘Al-Hasan and al-Husayn,’ he (a.s) replied. He said to Fatima: ‘Call out my two sons. So he kissed them and pressed them to his bosom.’”[3]

3. Usama bin Zayd has reported, saying: “One night I visited the Prophet (a.s) for a certain need. So he (a.s) went out. He included something I did not come to know. When I ended my need, I asked him: ‘What is that you have included?’ He uncovered it. Suddenly it was al-Hasan and al-Husayn. They were (riding) on his two hips. Then he said: ‘These are two sons of mine and of my daughter. O Allah, I love them; therefore, love them and love whoever loves them.’”[4]

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4. Salman al-Farisi has reported, saying: “I have heard Allah’s Apostle (a.s) say: ‘Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are my two sons. Whoever loves them loves me, and whoever loves them, Allah loves him, and whomever Allah loves makes him enter the Garden. Whoever hates them hates me, whoever hates me, Allah hates him, and whomever Allah hates makes him enter the Fire.”[5]

5. Ibn Umar has reported, saying: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s) said: ‘Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the two masters of the youths of the Garden, and their father is better than them.”[6]

6. The Prophet (a.s) went up on the pulpit and delivered a sermon. Al-Hasan and al-Husayn came wearing red shirts. They were walking and stumbling. So he (a.s) came down the pulpit. He carried them and put them before him, and then he said: “Allah is truthful when He says: (Your property and children are a temptation). I was looking at these two boys when they were walking and stumbling. I was impatient (to see them in a such state), so I stopped my speech and raised them.”[7]

7. Ibn Abbas has narrated: “One day while we were (walking) with the Prophet (a.s) Fatima (a.s) came towards us weeping. Allah’s Apostle (a.s) asked her: ‘May your father be sacrificed for you! What has made you weep?’ ‘Al-Hasan and al-Husayn has gone out,’ she replied, ‘I do not know where they have spent the night.’ So Allah’s Apostle (a.s) said, ‘Do not weep, for their Creator is more kind to them than you and I.’ Then he raised his hand and said: ‘O Allah, protect them and make them safe!’ Gabriel came down and said: ‘O Muhammad, do not grieve! They are sleeping at the yard of the Banu al-Najjar. Allah has entrusted an angel to protect them.’ Accordingly, the Prophet (a.s) and his companions rose and went to the yard. They found al-Hasan and al-Husayn embracing each other and sleeping. The angel who was entrusted with them had put one wing beneath them and the other on them to cover them. So the Prophet (a.s) bent down and kissed them until they got up. Then he put al-Hasan on his right shoulder and al-Husayn on his left shoulder. Abu Bakr came towards him and said: ‘O Allah’s Apostle, give me one of the boys to carry him on behalf of you.’ So, he (a.s) said: ‘Their mount is the best one, and they are the best riders, and their father is better than them.’ He reached the mosque and stood while they were on his shoulders. Then he said: ‘O Communities of the Muslims, shall I tell you of the best of the people in grandfather and grandmother?’ ‘Yes, O Allah’s Apostle,’ they replied. ‘(They are) al-Hasan and al-Husayn. Their grandfather is Allah’s Apostle (a.s), and their grandmother is Khadija, daughter of Khuwaylid, mistress of the women of the Garden.’ Then he (a.s) said: ‘Shall I show you the best of the people in (paternal) uncle and aunt?’ They said: ‘Yes, O Allah’s Apostle (a.s).’ ‘(They are) al-Hasan and al-Husayn,’ he explained, ‘their paternal uncle is Ja‘far bin Abi Talib, and their paternal aunt is Umm Hani, daughter of Abi Talib.’ Then he said: ‘Shall I show you the best of the people in maternal uncle and aunt?’ ‘Yes, O Allah’s Apostle (a.s)’ they answered. ‘(They are) al-Hasan and al-Husayn,’ was the answer, ‘Their maternal uncle is al-Qasim, son of Allah’s Apostle, and their maternal aunt is Zaynab, daughter of Allah’s Apostle,’ he said. Then he said: ‘O Allah, You know that al-Hasan and al-Husayn are in the Garden, their paternal uncle is in the Garden, their maternal aunt is in the Garden, those who love them are in the Garden, and those who hate them are in the Fire.’”[8]

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The tradition indicates that the Prophet (a.s) loved his two grandsons, that they were the most lovable of his household to him, and the most preferred of them to him. It is well known that the position of the prophethood is far from behaving due to the sentiment of love. The Prophet (a.s) granted them such a kind of love because they were the source of all virtues and origin of all good things.

8. Jabir has reported, saying: “I visited the Prophet (a.s) (and found) al-Hasan and al-Husayn (sitting) on his back. He said to them: ‘Your camel is the best one, and you are the best riders.”[9] Umar has narrated a tradition similar to this in meaning. He has said: “I have seen al-Hasan and al-Husayn (sitting) on the shoulders of the Prophet (a.s) and I said: ‘The best horse is yours.’ And the Prophet (a.s) said: ‘And they are the best horsemen.’”[10] Al-Sayyid al-Himyari, the poet, has composed poetry on that, saying:

Al-Hasan and al-Husayn came to the Prophet. They went out to play in the morning.

He pressed them to the bosom and risked his life for them. They were with him in that place.

They passed; and his two shoulders were beneath them. Therefore, he was the best mount, and they were the best riders!

9. Ya‘la bin Murra al-Thaqafi[11] has reported, saying: “Al-Hasan and al-Husayn competed with each other for Allah’s Apostle (a.s). So he pressed them to his bosom and said: ‘The child incites and prompts (man) to be miserly and coward!’”[12]

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10. The Prophet (a.s) has said: “Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are two of grandsons.”[13]

11. He extremely loved his two grandsons and had mercy on them, to the extent that he invoked the protection of Allah upon them, for he had fear for them of envy. Abu Na‘eem has narrated on the authority of Abdullah, who said: “While we were sitting with Allah’s Apostle (a.s), Al-Hasan and al-Husayn, who were still young, passed by us. The Prophet (a.s) said: ‘Bring my two sons to invoke the protection of Allah upon them jus as Ibrahim did upon his sons Isma‘il and Ya‘qub.’ Then he said: ‘I invoke the protection of Allah upon you from all envious eyes, all (kinds of) Satan and vermin.’”[14] In the record of human nature there is no affection more beautiful than this affection, nor there is love more honorable than this love.

12. Among the traditions famous with the people are these words of him (a.s): “Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are two Imams whether they rise or sit.”[15] The Prophet (a.s) gave his two grandsons the Imamate, which was the most important quality present in them, for it required the ideals that none had except those whom Allah had chosen from among His servants. That was when He singled out His bosom friend (Ibraheem) with it. He, the Most High, has said: “He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of the people. Ibraheem said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust, He said.” [16] We will deal with the Imamate, the Imam’s qualifications and qualities when we mention Imam al-Hasan’s ideals.

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Notes

[1] Dhakha’ir al-Uqba, p. 124.

[2] In his book Hulyat al-Awliya’, vol. 13, p. 201, Abu Na‘eem has narrated on the authority of Jabir that Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) said to Ali bin Abi Talib, peace be on him: “Assalamu ‘alayka, O father of the two plants of sweet basil. I ask you to do good to my two plants of sweet basil (to sweeten) the world. In a short time your two pillars will come to an end. Allah will compensate you on my behalf.” When the Prophet (a.s.) passed away, Ali, peace be on him, said: “This is one of the two pillars about whom the Prophet (a.s.) had told me.” When Fatima, peace be on her, passed away, Ali, peace be on him, said: “This is other pillar about whom the Prophet (a.s.) had told me.” In the book Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 110, it has been mentioned on the authority of Sa‘d bin Malik who said: “I visited the Prophet (a.s.). Al-Hasan and al-Husayn were playing on his back. So I said: ‘Allah’s Apostle, do you love them?’ ‘And what reason have I that I should not love them,’ he replied, ‘they my two plants of sweet basil (to sweeten) the world.”

[3] Al-Tirmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 306. Fayd al-Qadeer, vol. 1, p. 148.

[4] Al-Tirmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 240. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 110. Ibn Hajar has mentioned the end of the tradition in his book al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa.

[5] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 166. Al-Haythemi has been narrated the tradition in a slight change in his book al-Majjma‘; similarly, it has been mentioned in Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 6, p. 221.

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[6] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 167. Ibn Maja, Saheeh. The traditions reported from the Prophet (a.s.) in respect of that his two grandsons are the two masters of the youths of the Garden are ensured by many lines of transmission. In his book al-Saheeh, p. 2, vol. 306, al-Tirmidhi has narrated on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed al-Khidri, who said: [Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) said: “Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the two masters of the youths of the Garden.” Ahmed bin Hanbal has mentioned the tradition in his book al-Musnad, vol. 3, p. 3. In his book al-Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 140, al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi has narrated on the authority of Ali, peace be on him, who said: [Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) said:] “Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the two masters of the youths of the Garden.”

[7] Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 306. Al-Nisa’i, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 209.

[8] Dhakha’ir al-Uqba, p. 130.

[9] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 108. Al-Haythemi, Majjma‘, vol. 9, p. 182.

[10] Al-Haythemi, Majjma‘, vol. 9, p. 181. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 106.

[11] The author of al-Mustadrak has narrated the tradition on the authority of Ya‘li bin Munabbih al-Thaqafi. I (the author) have read the books of the biographies but have not found Ya‘li bin Munabbih al-Thaqafi; rather I have (found another narrator) called Ya‘li bin Murra. Perhaps what has been mentioned in al-Mustadrak is a mistake. In the books al-Isaba and Usd al-Ghaba it has been mentioned that Ya‘la bin Murra is among the most meritorious companions (of the Prophet). He has reported (traditions) on the authority of Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) and on the authority of (Imam Ali), the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He was present with the Prophet (a.s.) at al-Hudaybiya Peace Treaty. He made al-Ridwan allegiance (to the Prophet). He fought at the Battles of Khaybar, al-Fath, Hozan, and al-Ta’if.

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[12] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 168. Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 172.

[13] Al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa, p. 114. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 6, p. 221.

[14] Hulyat al-Awliya’, vol. 5, p. 44. Al-Fada’il al-Khamsa mina al-Sihah al-Sitta, vol. 3, p. 177.

[15] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 78. In the books Nazhat al-Majalis, vol. 2, p. 184, and al-Ithaf bi Hub al-Ashraf, p. 129, it has been mentioned that Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) said to al-Hasan and al-Husayn: “You are two Imams; and your mother has the right of intercession.” In the book Minhajj al-Sunna, vol. 4, p. 210, it has been mentioned that Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) said to al-Husayn: “This is an Imam, son of an Imam, brother of an Imam, and father of nine Imams.”

[16] Qur’an, 1, 124.

The Second Group

The Third Group

The authentic traditions narrated from the Prophet (a.s) have been ensured by many ways of transmission. In them the Prophet had indicated that love for his household was required, that he would fight against whoever fought against them, and make peace with whoever made peace with them. He had joined them to the Holy Qur’an, regarded them as life- boats and as security for the community. We will mention to readers some of these traditions:

1. Zayd bin Arqam has narrated that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) said to Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn, peace be on them: “I fight against one whom you fight against and make peace with one whom you make peace with.”[1]

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2. Abu Bakr said: “I have seen Allah’s Apostle (a.s) pitching a tent and leaning on an Arab bow. Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn were in the tent. He (the Prophet) said: “O Community of the Muslims, I make peace with one who makes peace with the people in the tent. I fight against one who fights against them and support whoever supports them. None loves them but the one whose grandfather is happy and his birth is good. And none hates them but the one whose grandfather is unhappy and whose birth is bad.”[2]

3. Ahmed bin Hanbal narrated that the Prophet (a.s) took al-Hasan and al-Husayn by hand and said: “Whoever loves me, and loves these two (grandsons of mine), their father, and their mother will be with me in my rank on the Day of Resurrection.”[3]

4. Jabir narrated: “One day Allah’s Apostle (a.s) was at Arafat and Ali was facing him. He said to him: ‘Come to me. O Ali, you and I have been created from one tree. I am its origin and you are its branch. Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are its twigs. So whoever clings to a twig of it, Allah makes him enter the Garden.”[4]

5. Ibn Abbas narrated: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s) has said: ‘The stars are security for the inhabitants of the earth from drowning, and my household are security for my community from disagreement. Therefore, if an Arab tribe opposes them, it will disagree (with them) and become the party of Iblis.”[5]

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6. Zayd bin Arqam narrated, “Allah’s Apostle (a.s) said: ‘I have left with you that which if you keep to, you shall never go astray after me; one is greater than the other; Allah’s Book, a Rope extending from the heavens to the earth, and my family, my household. These twain shall never separate from one another till they reach me by the Pool; therefore, see how you will obey me through them.”[6]

Most surely the Traddition of al-Thaqalayn is among the most trustworthy and famous Prophetic traditions. The religious scholars have taken great care of it, for it has an important part of the Islamic faith. Besides, it is among the most manifest traditions on which the Shi‘a depend in respect of confining the Imamate to Ahlul Bayt, their being protected from errors and inclinations. That is because the Prophet (a.s) compared them to Allah’s Holy Book that, falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; therefore, they shall never separate from each other. It is natural that when a dissent issues (from a person) against the religious precepts, it is regarded as a separation from the Holy Book. The Prophet (a.s) has declared that they shall never separate from each other till they reach him by the Pool; therefore, the tradition clearly indicates the protection from errors. The Prophet (a.s) repeated the tradition on several occasions, for he aimed at protecting the community, keeping its straightness, and keeping it away from deviation in the ideological fields and the like. That is when the nation clings to the Ahlul Bayt, does not go ahead of them, nor does it lag behind them.

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Writing a complete research on all sides of the tradition requires writing a special book. The wonderful research the religious scholars have done in all the sides of the tradition, whether the chain of authorities or the indication, has sufficed us the burden of doing a research on it.[7]

7. Abu Sa‘eed al-Khidri narrated, “I have heard the Prophet (a.s) saying: ‘The similitude of my household among you is that of the Ark of Noah: whoever boards it is saved, and whoever lags behind it is drowned. And the similitude of my household among you is like the Gate of Salvation of the Israelites: whoever enters it is forgiven.”[8]

In his valuable Muraja‘at, Imam Sharaf al-Deen has explained the tradition, saying: “You know that likening them with the Ark of Noah implies that whoever resorts to them in matters related to the religion, deriving the branches and basics of religion from their virtuous Imams, will surely be saved from the fire of hell. And whoever lags behind them is like one who seeks shelter during the flood with a mountain so that it may save him from Allah’s destiny, but he will eventually be drowned in water while the first will be hurled in the inferno, may Allah protect us from it.

“The reason why they, peace be on them, are compared to the Gate of Salvation (Bab Hitta) is that Allah has made that Gate a symbol of humility before His Greatness and submission to His Judgment; therefore, it becomes a reason for forgiveness. This is the reason for the similitude. After he had mentioned these traditions and the like, Ibn Hajar accepted the tradition. Then he said: ‘The reason for their similitude to the Ark is that whoever loves and highly respects them as means of thanking to the One Who gave them honors, following the guidance of their learned men, will be saved from the darkness of dissension, and whoever lags behind it is drowned in the sea of ingratitude and will perish in the paths of tyranny.’ Then he adds the following: ‘As to the Gate of Salvation (meaning the reason for their similitude to it), Allah has made entering that gate, which probably was the gate of Areeha or of Bayt al-Maqdis, in humility, seeking forgiveness, a reason for salvation, and He (likewise) has made loving the Ahlul Bayt a reason for this nation’s salvation.’”[9]

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8. The Prophet (a.s) has said: “The knowledge of the progeny of Muhammad brings salvation from the Fire, and loving Ahlul Bayt is walking on the Straight Path. Allegiance to the progeny of Muhammad is a security against the torture.”[10]

9. He (a.s) has said: “Whoever dies because of his love for the progeny of Muhammad dies a martyr. Whoever dies because of loving the progeny of Muhammad dies as a believer of a perfect faith. Whoever dies for loving Muhammad’s children will be given the glad tiding of entering the Garden by the angel of death, then by Munkar and Nakeer. Whoever dies for loving Muhammad’s descendants will be taken to the Garden like a bride taken to her groom’s house. Whoever dies loving Muhammad’s progeny will have two doors in his grave overlooking the Garden. Allah will make the grave of whoever dies for loving Muhammad’s children a visiting place for the angels of mercy. Whoever dies for loving Muhammad’s progeny dies adhering to the Sunna and consensus. Whoever dies hating Muhammad’s progeny will come on the Day of Judgment with this inscribed between his eyes: ‘He should despair of Allah’s mercy.’”[11]

10. He (a.s) has said: “Consider my household among you as you consider the head of the body, and the eyes in the head, for the head is guided by the eyes.”[12]

It is incumbent on the Muslims to consider the household of their Prophet as they consider the head of the body and the eyes in the head. They should cling to their objectives, and follow their deeds and their words. If they do that, they will be the masters and guides of nations. However, they have declared themselves the enemies of them, removed them from their ranks and their positions. So they have been inflicted with setbacks, surrounded by misfortunes and dangers; to Allah we belong and to Him is our return!

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11. He (a.s) has said: “The feet of any servant of Allah shall never move on the Day of Judgment unless he is asked about four things: how he has spent his life, what he has worn his body out for, how he has made and spent his wealth, and about loving us, we the Ahlul Bayt.”[13]

Most surely Muslims are responsible before Allah for loving Ahlul Bayt. The most manifest kind of love is following their words and imitating them in all fields.

12. He (a.s) has said: “Let whoever is pleased to live like me and die like me and inhabit Eden’s Paradise which my Lord has cultivated, take Ali as his master after me. And let him obey whoever he places in charge over him, and let him follow the example of my household after me, for they are my progeny; they are created from my own mould and blessed with my own comprehension and knowledge. Woe unto those who reject them and separate me from them! May Allah never permit them to enjoy my intercession!”[14]

We are satisfied with these traditions narrated from Allah’s Apostle (a.s) in respect of his household. Tens of traditions similar to them have been mentioned in the books of Hadith. They display the merits of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) and require Muslims to resort to them in all cases.

Notes

[1] Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 7, p. 102. Ibn Maja, Sunan, p. 14. In his book al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, Ibn Kuthayr has narrated the tradition on the authority of Abu Hurayra.

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[2] Al-Riyad al-Nadira, vol. 2, p. 252.

[3] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 77. Yanabee‘ al-Mawada, p. 164. al-Tirmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 301.

[4] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 77.

[5] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 12.

[6] Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 308. Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 2, p. 12.

[7] Al-Muraja‘at, pp. 49-52. Al-Usool al-‘Aama lil Fiqh al-Muqaran, pp. 164-187.

[8] Majjma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 168. In his Mustadrak, al-Hakim has narrated on the authority of Hanash al-Kinani, who said: [I have heard Abu Dharr saying while he was putting his hand on the Gate of the Kaaba:] “O People, whoever recognizes me; therefore, I am the one you have recognized. Whoever does not recognize me; therefore, I am Abu Dharr. I have heard Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) saying: ‘The similitude of my household among you is that of the Ark of Noah: whoever boards it is saved, and whoever lags behind it is drowned.’” Many traditions have been mentioned in this regard.

[9] Al-Muraja‘at, p. 54.

[10] Ibid., p. 58, quoted from the book al-Shafa’, p. 40.

[11] Al-Muraja‘at, p. 59, quoted from al-Tafseer al-Kabeer by Imam al-Tha‘labi, commentary on the Verse al-Mawadda.

[12] Al-Muraja’at., quoted from al-Sharaf al-Mu‘abbad, p. 58.

[13] Ibid., quoted from Ihya’ al-Mayyat by al-Sayuti, and al-Arba‘eeniya by al-Nabahani.

[14] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 6, p. 217.

The Muslims honor al-Hasan

The Muslims took care of Imam al-Hasan and honored him. The remarkable companions of the Prophet magnified and respected him. For example, Abdullah bin Abbas, the religious scholar of the community, prepared the stirrup for al-Hasan and al-Husayn when they rode (their camels) and arranged their clothes. Mudarik bin Ziyad blamed Abdullah for that, and he rebuked him, saying: “O Wicked! Do you know who they are? They are the grandsons of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). Has Allah not done me a favor when I hold the stirrup for them and arrange their clothes?”[1]

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Al-Hasan and al-Husayn performed the hajj on foot. When they passed by riders, they (they riders) dismounted for them. When they circumambulate the Kaaba, the people overcrowded around them to greet them and to be blessed by them.[2] When Abu Hurayra saw Imam al-Hasan (a.s), he kissed him because he saw Allah’s Apostle (a.s) doing that.[3] The Muslims had the right to honor al-Hasan, for the Prophet (a.s) honored him and raised his position.

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[1] Ibn Asakir, vol. 4, p. 212. Ibn Shahrashub, al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 143.

[2] Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 37.

[3] Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, al-Musnad, vol. 2, p. 255. Al-Baladhiri, Ansab al-Ashraf.

Chapter V

The Great Tragedy

Al-Hasan (a.s) spent a part of his childhood with his grandfather Allah’s Apostle (a.s) until his mental powers expanded, and his faculties grew. He was tranquil and delighted. Every day he received life with smiling mouth, bliss, and happiness. He received love and affection from his grandfather (a.s). He was magnified and honored by the old companions of his grandfather. He saw the expansion of Islam and many forays. He saw the people entering the religion of Allah in groups. During that time the thrones of polytheism were destroyed, and the forces of the infidels were defeated. The Islamic troops invaded Mecca, which was the strongest and the most fortified city in the Arab Peninsula. Islam became strong and widespread. It had a high entity. The waves of conquest included most peoples on earth. Delight covered the hearts of the Muslims because of this victory through which Allah made them strong and supported them. Ahlul Bayt were the most delighted and happy with these victories accomplished by Islam.

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However, this tranquil state did not last long, for the time frowned and darkened at their (the Ahlul Bayt) faces. It invaded their hearts with vague fear and black fears. That was because it was time for the Prophet (a.s) to depart to Allah and to move to His Holy Presence. The vanguards and signs of departure appeared before him. They are as follows:

1. The first sign of his leaving the world was that the Revelation came down to him and brought him this verse (surely you shall die and they (too) shall surely die).[1] The verse moved the hidden apprehension in his soul; so, the Muslims heard him announcing his death, saying: “I wish I knew when that would be!” After this verse the Sura of al-Nasr came down to him; so, he kept silent between takbir (saying Allah is great!) and the recitation. He would say: “Glory be to Allah and praise belongs to Him! I seek forgiveness of Allah and turn towards Him!”

Fear and impatience overcame the hearts of the Muslims; so, their hearts before their tongues rushed to ask him about that terrible state. He (a.s) answered them, saying: “My death has been announced!”[2] When the Muslims heard that, their hearts were cut into pieces, their strength collapsed, their eyes were covered with a flow of tears, a tremor shook their entity and spread among them impatience and fear.

2. The Qur’an was revealed to him twice during that year; so, he felt the inevitable death[1], and then he began announcing his death and his leaving the world. Due to this news the hearts were cracked; the bitterest kinds of ordeals and misfortunes prevailed the Muslims.

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_______________________________

[1] Qur’an, 39, 30.

[2] Ibn Shahrashub, al-Manaqib, vol. 1, p. 127.

The Farewell Pilgrimage

The Prophet (a.s) spared no effort to guide the Muslims to the right path. When he (a.s) came to know about his departure to the Abode of Immortality, he thought that he had to complete his sacred message and to put a sound plan that would guarantee, after him, his community happiness and success. For this reason he (a.s) made his last pilgrimage, better known as the Farewell Pilgrimage, in the year 10 A. H. He spread among those who went to the Sacred House of Allah (the Kaaba) that his meeting with them would be the last time. He said to them: “I do not know; perhaps, I will never meet you at this standing place after this year!” Then he went around the masses and made them know that which would guarantee their happiness and success, saying: “O People! I am leaving with you the Two Weighty Things-that is the Book of Allah and my family, my household.”[1]

He compared his pure family to the Book. He regarded clinging to them as salvation against afflictions and deviation. If the community had followed his words and cleaved to them, inclinations and misfortunes would not have befallen them, abasement and disgrace would not have afflicted them, and they would not disagreed. The nation would not have branched into sects and parties; every sect rejoicing in what they had with them.[2]

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[2] Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 308.

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[3] Qur’an, 30, 32.

The Declaration at Ghadir Khum

The Declaration at Ghadir Khum

After the Prophet (a.s) had finished the rituals of the hajj, he headed for Medina. When his procession reached Ghadir Khum, Gabriel came down and ordered him to halt at the desert and to appoint Imam Ali as a successor after him and as an authority over his community. The Command of the Heaven had an affair of great importance. The Revelation came down to him carrying this verse: O Apostle, make known what has been revealed to you from your Lord. If you do not do it, you will not have made known His message. Allah will protect you from the people.[1] The Prophet became confused due to this warning and this threat. If he had not carried out what Allah had intended in respect of appointing Imam Ali, he would not have made known Allah’s message, and all his efforts would have been lost. So he (a.s) undertook carrying out that even if he would anger those craving after the caliphate and those turned away from the Imam (a.s).

He (a.s) put the burdens of the journey and stopped at that desert place. It was a day of intense heat, to the extent that the travelers wrapped their cloaks around their feet because of the scorching hot ground. Then he (a.s) ordered the masses to come together. When they gathered, he led them in prayer. When he had finished his prayers, he ordered them to gather the saddles of the camels, that he might use them as a pulpit. They did to him what he wanted, and he went up on them. The number of those present was one hundred thousand or more. They turned to him through their hearts before their ears, that they might listen to that which he would say to them. Firstly, the Prophet (a.s) explained to them his holy jihad and his arduous efforts in respect of guiding them and saving them from polytheism and slavery. Secondly, he reminded them of a group of Islamic precepts and religious manners. He ordered them to put them into practice. After that he said to them: “Therefore, see how you would obey me in respect of the Two Weighty Things (Allah’s Book, and the Prophet’s family).”

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One of the people asked him: “What are the Two Weighty Things, O Allah’s Apostle?”

The Prophet (a.s) answered him, saying: “The great weighty thing is the Book of Allah. One end of it is in the hand of Allah, the Great and Almighty, and the other end is in your hand; therefore cling to it lest you should go astray. The other small (weighty thing) is my family. The Sublime and Omniscient has informed me that they shall never part from each other till they reach me by the Pool. So I asked my Lord to do that for them; therefore, do not go ahead of them lest you should perish, and do not lag behind them lest you should perish.”

Then he took Ali’s hand and lifted it, to the extent that the whiteness of their armpits appeared. He informed all the people, saying: “O People, am I not worthier of you than yourselves?”

They answered him: “Allah and His Apostle know best!”

So he (a.s) said: “Most surely, Allah is my Guardian, and I am the guardian of the believers, and I am worthier of them than themselves; therefore, whoever I am his guardian, Ali is his guardian.” He said that three or four times. Then he said: “O Allah, befriend whoever befriends him, love whoever loves him, hate whoever hates him, support whoever supports him, desert whoever deserts him, and turn the truth with him wherever he turns! Those present should inform those absent!”[2]

In his sermon, the Prophet greatly honored Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) and entrusted him with the great office of the caliphate. After he (a.s) had ended his holy speech, Hassaan bin Thabit asked him to allow him to recite before him one of his wonderful poems on that immortal occasion. The Prophet permitted him, and he rushed, saying:

p: 94

On the day of al-Ghadir he summoned them and made them answer at Khumm.

Listen to the Apostle as he calls.

He said: Who is your master and friend?”

They answered without showing any signs of opposition:

“Allah is our master and you are our friend. You will never find any disobedience from us to you.”

He said to him: “Arise, Ali, I am content that you should be Imam and guide after me.”

Whomsoever I am his guardian, this man is his guardian.

Therefore, be faithful helpers and followers of him.”

There he prayed: “O Allah, befriend his friend and be hostile to whoever opposes Ali.” [3]

Then all the Muslims pledged allegiance to Imam Ali and congratulated him on his being the Commander of the faithful. The Prophet (a.s) ordered his wives to go to and to congratulate him (Imam Ali).[4] Among those who congratulated him was Umar bin al-Khattab. He shook hands with him and said to him: “Well done! Well done, O Ibn Abi Talib, you have become my master and the master of every believing man and believing women.”[5]

On that day, which was immortal in the world of the truth and virtue, this sacred verse was revealed: This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion.[6]

The great favor was perfected and the religion was completed through appointing Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful and the Imam of the pious, as a successor. With that the Prophet (a.s) took the final step to keep the Islamic society and the Islamic law. He did not leave the community to remain perplexed and to be prevailed by chaos and corruption; rather, he appointed over it a great figure (Imam Ali) to guide it to the straight path.

p: 95

Most surely the pledge of allegiance (to Imam Ali) at Ghadir Khumm was among the most reliable proofs (for his Imamate), and it was the most manifest of them in explaining that the office of the succession and the Imamate was entrusted to Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s). Imam al-Hasan used it as a proof on his father’s right of the succession. That was during his sermon he delivered after his making peace with Mu‘awiya. In the sermon he has mentioned: “Allah has honored us, we the Ahlul Bayt; He has selected and chosen us, taken away the uncleanness from us, and thoroughly purified us. When the people divided into two sects, Allah placed us among the better one from Adam to my grandfather (a.s). When Allah appointed him for the prophethood, chose him for the message, revealed His Book to him, and commanded him to ask people to believe in Allah, my father was the first to respond to Allah and His Messenger. He was the first to believe in Allah and His Apostle (a.s). In His Book Allah has revealed to His appointed Prophet: Is he then who has with him clear proof from his Lord, and a witness from Him recites it…? Therefore, it was my grandfather who had a clear proof from his Lord, and it was my father who recited it, and he was a witness from Him.” He added: “This community heard my grandfather say: ‘If a community entrusts its affair to a man while there is one more knowledgeable than he is, its affair is in vain unless it resorts to him whom it has left.’ And it heard him say to my father: ‘You are to me as Harun was to Musa except that there is no prophet after me.’ It saw and heard him when he took my father by the hand and said to him: ‘Whoever I am his guardian, Ali is to be his guardian. O Allah, befriend whoever befriends him, and be hostile to whoever opposes him.’ Then he ordered those present to inform those absent.”[7]

p: 96

Books of history are full of the proofs of the Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them, and of their leading followers about the pledge of allegiance to Imam Ali (a.s) at Ghadir Khum, where he was entrusted with the Islamic caliphate. However, the people turned away from the tradition and interpreted it according to their tendencies and wishes.

Notes

[1] Ibid., 5, 67. This verse was revealed on the Day of al-Ghadir. This has been mentioned by al-Wahidi in his Asbab al-Nuzool, and by al-Fakhr al-Razi in his al-Tafseer al-Kabeer, and by others.

[2] The Declaration at Ghadir Khum is among the authentic traditions ensured by many ways of transmission. The Muslims have unanimously agreed on narrating it. Its chain of authorities and its meaning were searched by the genius of Islam, His Eminence, al-Hujjah al-Amini, may Allah protect him, in his immortal encyclopedia al-Ghadir. He has limited the first volume of his book to the research on that. In the rest volumes he has mentioned a large group of the poets who lauded the declaration at Ghadir Khumm. He has written their biographies and mentioned their literary and scientific works.

[3] Al-Ghadir, vol. 2, p. 34.

[4] Ibid., vol. 1, p. 271. Quoted from Roudat al-Safa, vol. 2, p. 273, by Khawand Shah, a historian.

[5] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 281.

[6] Qur’an, 5, 3. The revelation of the Sura on the Day of Ghadir Khum has been mentioned by al-Sayuti in his al-Durr al-Manthur, and by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi in his al-Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 290. Other historians have mentioned that.

p: 97

[7] Al-Ghadir, vol. 1, p. 197.

The Prophet seeks Forgiveness for the dead in the Cemetery of al-Baqee’

When Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had performed the hajj, he returned to Medina. He resided in it for some days. Suspicions and worries surrounded him, and he was sleepless. He sent for Abu Muhayba[1] in the dark night. When Abu Muhayba came, the Prophet ordered him to accompany him to the cemetery of al-Baqee’. He said to him: “I have been commanded to ask Allah to forgive the dead at the cemetery of al-Baqee‘. For this reason I sent for you to go with me.”

The Prophet (a.s) walked until he reached the cemetery of al-Baqee‘. He greeted the dead and congratulated them on that they had. Then he told them about the black afflictions that would befall his community after him. He said: “Assalamu ‘alaykum, O people of the graves. I want to tell you about what the people will face; the afflictions have come like the the black night. Their last follows their first. The last is more wicked than the first!”

Then the Prophet began telling Abu Muhayba about his leaving the world, saying to him: “I have been given the keys of the treasuries in the world and immortality therein and the Garden after that, but I have chosen meeting my Lord and the Garden.”

“May my father and mother die for you,” retorted Abu Muhayba, “why do you not take the keys of the treasuries in the world and be immortal therein and the Garden after that?”

p: 98

However the Prophet (a.s) explained to him his urgent wish for meeting Allah, saying: “No, by Allah, I have chosen to meet my Lord.” Then he asked Allah to forgive the dead at the cemetery of al-Baqee, and then he went home.[2]

[1] Abu Muhayba was the Prophet’s retainer. The Prophet had bought and released him.

[2] Ibn Hisham, Syrah, vol. 3, p. 93. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 190. In his Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 6, p. 121, al-Majlisi has mentioned: “When Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) felt the illness, he took Ali, peace be on him, by the hand and headed for the cemetery of al-Baqee‘ and asked Allah to forgive the dead wherein. He was accompanied by a group of people.”

The Regiment of Usama

The Regiment of Usama

When the Prophet (a.s) came to know that his meeting with his Lord was close at hand, he tried to reinforce the caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s) that he had declared at Ghadir Khum. Likewise, he tried to put an end to the riot and the mutiny, that the affairs might go well with the Imam (a.s) after his (the Prophet) death. As a result he thought that the best way to carry that out was through making his capital empty of all those opposing the Imam (a.s) and sending them to the field of jihad to invade the Romans. Accordingly, he ordered his companions to get ready for that. He did not permit any of his companions to stay even Abu Bakr, Umar, Abu Ubayda, and Basheer bin Sa’d.[1] He appointed Usama as a commander over them.[2] That was on Safar 26th, the year 11 A. H. He said to Usama: “Go to the place where your father had been killed. Let the horses walk on them. I have appointed you as a commander over this regiment. In the morning invade the people of Ubna[3]. Destroy them by fire. Go quickly, that you may precede the news. If Allah grants you a victory over them, then stay with them for a short time. Take guides with you, and advance the spies and the vanguards.”

p: 99

On the 28th of Safar, the Prophet’s condition became critical. He suffered from intense fever and headache. It was said that they resulted from the food he had had at Khaybar. He would say: “I am still having pain due to the food I had had at Khaybar.”[4]

On the 29th of Safar, the Prophet came to know that his companions mutinied (against Usama) and deserted (him). So he, though ill, went out and urged

them to go. Then he himself handed the standard to Usama and said to him: “Invade in the name of Allah, and in the way of Allah, and fight against those who disbelieve in Allah!”

Usama took the standard and handed it over to Burayda. He camped at al-Jurf. However, the people refused to follow him. They mutinied against him and deserted him. Umar said to him: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s) has died while you are a commander over me!”[5]

The people bitterly criticized the Prophet (a.s) for appointing Usama as a commander over them. They refused to join his regiment. The Prophet, who suffered from severe fever and headache, heard of that, and he became angry. He tied his head with a head cloth and went out wearing his cloak. He was sad because he came to know that the means he prepared for his purpose failed and was unsuccessful. So he went up on the pulpit. That was on the 5th of Rabee‘ al-Awal. He showed his serious displeasure and strong anger towards those who did not carry out his orders, saying: “O people, what is the statement of some of you in respect of my appointing Usama as a commander (over you)? If you criticize me for my appointing Usama as a commander, then you will criticize me for my appointing his father as a commander before him. By Allah, he was worthy of the leadership, and his son, after him, is worthy of it.”

p: 100

He came down the pulpit and went into his house.[6] Then he commanded the people to join the regiment of Usama, saying: “Supply the regiment of Usama. Carry out the regiment of Usama. May Allah curse whoever lags behind the regiment of Usama!”

These strict orders did not move them; and this great care from the Prophet (a.s) did not change their determination, though they came to know that he was in his last hours. They were slow in going out. They lagged behind the regiment, and apologized to the Prophet (a.s) with different excuse. The Prophet (a.s) did not excuse them and showed toward them anger and displeasure. Whoever carefully considers this important event concludes the following:

1. The Prophet (a.s) took great care of sending the people out of Medina (Yathrib) and cursed those who were slow to join the regiment of Usama. This clearly indicates his long-desired objective, which is that he intended to make his capital empty of the party opposing Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) that the affairs might go well with him, and that he might undertake the succession calmly and peacefully.

2. The people lagged behind the regiment and criticized the Prophet for his appointing Usama. This means nothing except that they intended to win the authority and the government, and to strengthen the rules of their policy. If they had gone to invading and left the capital of the Prophet (a.s), the caliphate would have escaped them, and they had had no room to declare their mutiny and their disagreement.

p: 101

3. The Prophet (a.s) did not entrust the leadership of the regiment to the old, prominent men from among his companions, for he intended to take care of the future, to protect it from the disorders and the afflictions after him. If he had entrusted the leadership to them, they would have used it as means for their right of the caliphate and of their demanding the government. As a result he (a.s) closed this window before them, lest the unity of the community should crack and its security become disordered.

Usama was then seventeen years old or more. As for the reasons that the Prophet (a.s) appointed him as a commander while he was still young, they are as follows:

A. He closed all doors to disagreement and criticizing (him for) appointing Imam Ali (a.s) as a successor, for he was still young, because Usama was younger than Imam ali; nevertheless, the Prophet entrusted him with the most important military office in his troops.

B. He abrogated the advance in years and paid no attention to deserving high offices through it, for it would deprive those with qualifications and talents. He wanted the affairs of the community and the leadership over it to be undertaken by those who had qualifications, determination, and administration. He (a.s) declared this reformative idea, saying: “Whoever heads a group of the Muslims while he sees that there is among them someone better than he is, betrays Allah, His Apostle, and the Muslims.”[7] He has also said: “Whoever employs someone as a governor over the Muslims and he sees that there is someone more appropriate for that than he is among them, most surely betrays Allah, His Apostle, and the Muslims.”[8]

p: 102

Certainly, Islam takes great care of appointing the best of people and greatest of them in qualifications over the government, for one should put the public interests before his eyes and be honest in collecting taxes from people, and in what he spends on public utilities. He should behave toward people with behavior based on pure justice. That can not be carried out through advance in years; rather it could be carried out through knowledge of what the community needs in all public fields.[9]

C. Through his appointing Usama as a commander, the Prophet (a.s) held back the caprice of those opposing Imam Ali, subjugated them, destroyed their morale, and sent them far away. However, they realized what he (a.s) had planned through appointing Usama as a commander. Accordingly, they lagged behind his regiment and went on staying at al-Jurf until Allah’s Apostle (a.s) joined the High Comrade.

These are some points man can conclude if he carefully considers the regiment of Usama. They clearly indicate the objective of the Prophet (a.s) when he calmly and peacefully intended to pave the way to Imam Ali (a.s) after his death.[10] They also clearly indicate the dangerous plot that people made against his successor and guardian (Imam Ali). We will mention that in detail in the chapters that follow.

Notes

[1] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 5, p. 312. Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 4, p. 46. Tarikh al-Khamees.

[2] His full name is Usama bin Zayd bin Haritha bin Sharajil bin Ka‘b bin ‘Abd al-‘Uzza al-Kalbi. His mother was Umm Ayman, whose name was Baraka. She was the retainer and nursemaid of Allah’s Apostle (a.s.). (The historians) have differed over Usama’s age on the day when Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) died. It was said that he was twenty years old. It was said that he was nineteen years old; and it was said that he was eighteen years old. After the death of the Prophet (a.s.) he lived in Wadi al-Qura, and then he returned to Medina. He died at al-Jurf at the end of the caliphate of Mu‘awiya. The year of his death was fifty-eight or fifty nine A. H. It was said that it was fifty-four A. H. This has been mentioned in the book al-Isti‘ab, vol. 1, pp. 34-35. Unfortunately, Usama deviated from the truth. The reason for that is that he did not pledge allegiance to Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, when the caliphate returned to him. He deviated from the Commander of the faithful due to the gifts and the plentiful money the Umayyad gave to him.

p: 103

[3] Ubna is a district of al-Balqa’ of the land of Syria, between ‘Asqalan and al-Ramla. It is neighboring Mu’ta, where Zayd bin Harith and Ja’far bin Abi Talib were martyred.

[4] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 58.

[5] Al-Sirah al-Halabiya, vol. 3, p. 34. Other traditionists and historians have mentioned that.

[6] Ibid., vol. 3, p. 34.

[7] Al-Bayqahi, Sunan, vol. 10, p. 111. Majjma‘ al-Zawa’id.

[8] Al-Baqlani, Tamhid, p. 190.

[9] We have in detail explained this subject-matter in our book Nizam al-Hukum wa al-Idara fi al-Islam.

[10] Imam Sharaf al-Deen, al-Muraja‘at wa al-Nas wa al-Ijtihad. He has wonderfully analyzed the Regiment of Usama.

His Illness becomes more critical

His fever became so intense that he felt a flame in his body because of that. He was covered with velvet. When one of his wives or of those who came to visit him put his hand on the velvet, she or he felt the heat.[1] They put a container of cool water by him. He put his hand into the container and put it on his face. The Muslims hurried to visit him while they were impatient and perplexed. His room was full of them. So he announced his death to them and advised them to follow that which would guarantee their happiness and success. He said to them: “O People, I feel I am going to die very soon, and I had previously informed you as my duty, and to leave no excuse for you, that: I am leaving with you the book of Allah, the Great and Almighty, and my family, my household.”

p: 104

Then he took Ali’s hand and said: “This is Ali. Ali is with the Qur’an, and the Qur’an is with Ali. They shall never separate from one another till they will come to me by the Pool.”[2]

The community had to follow the words and the viewpoints of the Prophet (a.s) concerning Imam Ali. Muslims had to hand the leadership to the Imam, for he would follow the way of the Qur’an and would rule according to what Allah had revealed. If Muslims had done that after the death of Allah’s Apostle (a.s), they would have been safe from all setbacks, afflictions, and misfortunes, and Islam would have advanced with balance and firm steps, and the principles of truth and justice would have prevailed the world.

_________________________________

[1] Haykal, Hayat Muhammed, p. 484.

[2] Ibn Hajar, al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa.

Retaliation

The Prophet (a.s) was critically ill; nevertheless, he wore his turban and went out to announce the justice he brought through asking the people to retaliate if he had aggressed against any of them. He went up on the pulpit and explained to the Muslims the arduous efforts he rendered to direct and guide them. And then he said: “Most surely my Lord decided and took an oath that no injustice of a wrongdoer would escape Him; therefore, I adjure you before Allah, if any man of you has got any kind of injustice from Muhammad, then let him rise and punish me! Retaliation in this world is more lovable to me than that in the hereafter in the presence of the angels and the prophets!”

p: 105

Those present fell silent and gave no answer. They became astonished and forgot their own selves. A terrible silence prevailed over them. Which one of them had got injustice from Allah’s Apostle (a.s) or right against him, while he was the legislator of the great justice and model of Divine kindness? The people became sad because they came to know that his words showed that he would leave the world. However, a man called Sawada bin Qays claimed that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had flogged him and he wanted to retaliate. Accordingly, the Prophet (a.s) ordered Bilal to bring him the whip, that Sawada might punish him. Bilal set out and was out of breath, for such a kind of justice controlled his feelings. He walked through the streets of Medina shouting at the top of his voice: “O people, settle retaliations with each other in this world, for Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had given (you) retaliation from his own soul.”

Then he went to the house of the Prophet (a.s). He took the whip to the Prophet (a.s). The Prophet ordered Bilal to give the whip to Sawada to punish him (the Prophet). It is worth mentioning that the Prophet was terribly ill.

Sawada walked towards the Prophet with shaking legs. The greatness and dignity of the Prophet covered him, so he said to him: “O Allah’s Apostle, uncover your belly!”

The Prophet (a.s) uncovered his belly, and Sawada said to him in a weak voice: “O Allah’s Apostle, will you permit me to put my mouth on your belly (to kiss it)?”

p: 106

The Prophet (a.s) gave him a permission, and he put his mouth on the belly of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) while his tears were flowing down his cheeks. He said: “I seek protection with the place of the retaliation of Allah’s Apostle from the fire on the Day of the Fire!”

Thus the Prophet (a.s) asked him: “Sawada, will you retaliate or pardon me?”

“I will pardon you, O Allah’s Apostle,” retorted Sawada.

So the Prophet (a.s) raised his hands towards the heaven and invoked Allah for him, saying: “O Allah, pardon Sawada just as he has pardoned Your Prophet!”[1]

_____________________________

[1] Bihar al-Anwar, vol.6, p. 1035.

Fatima feels Sorrow

Grief encompassed the Prophet’s daughter, misfortune befell her, and sadness harmed her tender, tortured heart. She saw her father suffering from the severest pain and anguish, and she heard him saying: “Oh! What anguish!”

Her heart was full of agony and sadness, so she answered him: “Oh! What agony I have due to your agony!”

He looked at her and saw her eyes filled with tears. He had pity on her and said: “There will be no anguish on your father after this day!”

When his condition became worse, the condition of al-Zahra’ changed. She became pale, weak, and confused. Cares, troubles, pain, and sadness surrounded her. When he saw her, his heart cracked. He wanted to remove sadness from her heart, so he made her sit by him. He whispered to her something. When she heard his saying, she burst into tears. Then he (a.s) whispered to her something else, and she received it with similes, cheerfulness, and content. A’isha, the Prophet’s wife, was astonished at this deed, and she said: “I have never seen (a day) like this day when rejoicing is similar to sadness!”

p: 107

She asked her about what Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had said to her, and she refused to answer her. When the days passed, Fatima told A’isha about the reason for that weeping and rejoicing, saying: “Allah’s Apostle said: “Gabriel used to revise the Qur’an with me once a year. This year he has revised it with me twice. I can only consider that death is at hand.”

This was the reason for her agony and weeping. As for the reason for her delight, she said: “He told me that I would be the first of his family to join him and that it would be not a long time for me after him before I would be with him. That made the grief go from me…He said to me, ‘Are you not satisfied to be the principal of the women of this community?”

The Prophet (a.s) removed from his beloved daughter sorrow through telling her that the separation between them would not be long. When she came to know that the meeting of her father with his Lord would be at hand, she set off to her house and brought her two sons while she was weeping bitterly. She said to him: “Father, these are your two sons. Give them some thing as inheritance.”

“As for al-Hasan,” he replied, “he has my form and nobility. As for al-Husayn, he has my generosity and bravery.”

Al-Hasan left him while he inherited from him his form and nobility; and the master of martyrs inherited from him his generosity and bravery. Is there an inheritance on the earth better than this inheritance that had the perfection and nobility of the prophethood? According to his inheritance, al-Hasan was a symbol of Prophet Muhammad’s dignity and a model of the prophetic nobility. It has been narrated that he had the signs of prophets and radiance of kings.

p: 108

The Prophet gives what he has as Alms

Before his illness, the Prophet (a.s) had seven dinars. He feared that he would die while he still had them. So he ordered his family to give the dinars as alms. As they were busy taking care of him and looking after him, they forgot to carry out his order. When he recovered consciousness, he asked them about what they had done regarding the money. They said that the dinars were still with them. He asked them to bring those dinars. When they brought them, he put them on the palm of his hand and said: “What shall Muhammad say to his Lord when he meets Him and they are still with him?” Then he gave the dinars to the poor as alms, and he had nothing of them.

The great Disaster

The Prophet (a.s) looked through the unseen and gathered that his community after him would be afflicted with discords like the dark night and with black misfortunes, and that it would renegade after faith. He regarded that as too great. He became sad and sorrowful while he was living his last hours when he came to know about the great plot schemed against his guardian, his successor, and the gate of the city of his knowledge (Imam Ali). That was when he came to know that the people lagged behind the Army of Usama and were slow to join it. So, he (a.s) thought that he had to follow another way to save his community from going astray and to protect his nation from discords and errors. He (a.s) said: “Bring me ink and parchment so that I may write a document for you, after which you will never go astray.”[1]

p: 109

What great this favor was! What a valuable chance it was! If the people had seized it and hurried to carry it out, they would have protected themselves and the following generations from going astray. But they deprived themselves of happiness, closed the windows of mercy and guidance before them and before the following generations. The life in this world had deceived them, and they rushed upon authority. They knew the objective of the Prophet (a.s). They came to know that he would appoint Ali as his guardian. Through that they realized that their goals and their interests would be lost, so one of them said to the Prophet (a.s) with impudence and vainglory: “Allah’s Book is sufficient for us!”

Whoever carefully considers this answer understands their plot and their plans aiming at removing Imam Ali from the personnel of government. If they had thought that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) would not entrust him with the caliphate or that he would entrust him with protecting the borders and religious rites, they would not have given him such an imprudent answer and would not have refused his request. However, they came to know his objective, so they did their best to destroy and corrupt it. Anyway, many disagreements and disputes took place among them. Accordingly, the women who were behind the curtain said to the men: “Do you not hear what Allah’s Apostle say?”

Umar became excited and shouted at them lest the affair should escape him, saying: “Indeed you are like the mistresses of Yusuf (Prophet Joseph). If he becomes ill, you press your eyes; and when he gets well, you ride his neck!”

p: 110

Allah’s Apostle (a.s) looked at Umar because his speech had annoyed him. He said to him: “Leave them, for they are better than you.”

The people who wanted to carry out the Prophet’s request were about to be successful, but one of the opponents spoiled their affairs through saying terrible words: “Most surely the Prophet is delirious!”[2]

Which mishap like this one that befell Islam? Which misfortune like this one that afflicted the Muslims? Is it right to decide that the Prophet (a.s) was delirious? Indeed, the people returned to the pre-Islamic times. They forgot the position of the Prophet (a.s) and said to him bad, rude words. We belong to Allah and to Him is our return!

Surely it was the greatest misfortune whose terror caused hearts to melt. They came between the Muslims and their happiness and sent good far from them. When Ibn Abbas remembered the event, his tears poured down his face. He sighed and said: “Thursday! Thursday! Allah’s Apostle (a.s) said: ‘Bring me ink and parchment so that I may write a document for you, after which you will never go astray.’ But they said that Allah’s Apostle was delirious!”[3]

They did not hear the verses of the Qur’an while they were recited to them by day and night and were proof of the infallibility of the Prophet (a.s). Allah, the Most High, has said: “Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; nor does speak of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed; the Lord of Mighty Power has taught him.” [4] He, the Exalted, has also said: “Most surely it is the word of an honored messenger, the possessor of strength having an honorable place with the Lord of the Dominion, One (to be obeyed), and faithful in trust. And your companion has not gone mad.” 5] There are other verses indicating that he was not delirious. However, the life in this world deceived the people, and they admired its embellishment. Accordingly, they deviated from the right way, turned away from the laws of justice, made the community get worse and worse in the fields of ignorance and deception, and closed before them the doors of mercy and guidance.

p: 111

___________________________________

[1] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 355. Other than him has mentioned the tradition.

[2] Al-Bukhari has mentioned the event several times in his book (al-Saheeh), vol. 4, pp. 69-99, vol. 6, p. 8. But he has hidden the name of the person who said these words. In his book Gharib al-Hadith, Ibn al-Athir has mentioned that it was ‘Umar bin al-Khattab who said these words. During his speech with Ibn Abbas, ‘Umar admitted that he had prevented the Prophet (a.s.) from writing (some thing) concerning Ali and his family. This has been mentioned in the book Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p. 114, by Ibn Abi al-Hadeed.

[3] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 355.

[4] Qur’an, 53, 2-5.

[5] Ibid., 81, 19-22.

To the High Comrade

To the High Comrade

When the Prophet (a.s) was about to die, Allah sent him the Angel of Death to raise his pure soul to the Garden and to the farthest nabk-tree. The Angel of Death came and asked permission from the Household of the Revelation to come in to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). However, Fatima al-Zahra’ told him that the Prophet (a.s) was distracted from him because he had fainted due to his intense illness. After a while, he repeated his request, so Allah’s Apostle (a.s) recovered consciousness and said to his daughter: “Do you know him?” “No, O Allah’s Apostle,” replied Fatima. “He is the one who builds graves, destroys houses, and makes people separate from each other,” he retorted.

Fatima’s entity collapsed; perplexity surrounded her. She wept with bitter tears. She said in a weak voice with sad tones: “Woe! The last of the prophets has died! What a misfortune! The best of the pious has died! The master of the chosen ones has been separated (from us)! Alas! The Revelation has ceased from the Heaven! Indeed, today, I have been deprived of speaking with you!”

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Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had mercy on his daughter, so he sent her words of comfort, saying: “Do not weep, for most surely you will be the first of my family to follow me.”[1]

The Prophet (a.s) permitted the Angel of Death to enter. When he stood before him, he said: “O Allah’s Apostle (a.s) most surely Allah has sent me to you and ordered me to obey you in all that which you command me. If you command me to take your soul, I will take it, and if you command me to leave it, I will leave it.”

“Will you do that, O Angel of Death?” asked the Prophet (a.s).

“I have been commanded to obey you in all that which you command me of.”

Then Gabriel entered and said “O Ahmed, indeed Allah has yearned for you!”[2]

When the household of the Prophet (a.s) came to know that the Prophet would leave them in those moments, the misfortune astounded them, and they became very sad. Al-Hasan and al-Husayn came and bent down to the Prophet to bid farewell to him. They shed tears. They kissed him, and he kissed them. Imam Ali (a.s) tried to put them aside, but the Prophet (a.s) said to him: “Let them enjoy me, and let me enjoy them, for they will face a misfortune after me.”

Then the Prophet turned to those who came to visit him and said to them: “Indeed I have left with you Allah’s Book and my family, my household. Whoever loses Allah’s Book is like one who loses my Sunna (my sayings and practices), and whoever loses my Sunna is like one who loses my family; most surely they shall never separate from each other until they reach me by the Pool.”[3]

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Then he summoned his guardian and successor and said to him: “Ali, put my head in your lap, for the order of Allah (of my death) has come. When my soul departs, take it with your hand and rub your face with it. Then turn me toward the qibla. Carry out my command and pray over me as the first of the people. Do not leave me until you have buried me in my grave. Seek the help of Allah, the Great and Almighty.”

Imam Ali (a.s) took the head of the Prophet (a.s) and put it in his lap and put his right hand under his jaw. The Prophet (a.s) permitted the Angel of Death to receive his Holy Soul. When the Prophet’s soul was going out, the Imam took it with his hand and rubbed his face with it.[4] He announced the Prophet’s death to those present.

On that day immortal in the world of sadness, the standards of justice were folded, the lamps of perfection and virtue were extinguished, and the humanity was not afflicted with a disaster like that one before. The great Savior died; the Light that enlightened the way to man and guided him to the straight path was veiled.

The dreams of the Muslims dispersed before that terrible misfortune, for the people had no comfort after Allah’s Apostle (a.s), and sorrow had neither limit nor end due to missing him. Muhammad went away from this world, and the light of his face departed too. So the tongues set out to lament over him, the eyes wept for him; the crying and lamentation from the house of the Prophet (a.s) became loud. The greatest of his household in agony and

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misfortune was his daughter Fatima al-Zahra. She came down to his body. She was astonished-minded due to the intense sorrow and sadness. She wept bitterly and said: “O father! I am announcing your death to Gabriel! O father! Paradise is your shelter! O father! You have responded to your Lord’s invitation!”[5]

The tragic news spread all over the City of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and made it move from side to side in sadness. The Muslims gathered and were perplexed. The misfortune silenced them, and the terrible event befell them. They were either silent, crying, astonished, or lamenting. They faced endless pain.

Imam Ali (a.s) who was surrounded by pain and sadness, rose and began preparing the Prophet (a.s) for burial. He washed him[6] and said: “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you! How good you are dead or alive!”[7]

After Imam Ali (a.s) had prepared the Prophet (a.s) for burial, he put him down. It was Allah who was the first to pray over him, then Gabriel, then Mikaiel, then Israfiel, and then the angels group by group.[8] Then the Muslims came in to bid farewell to the Prophet and to pray over him.[9] After performing

the prayer over him, Imam Ali dug the grave. When he had finished diggingthe grave, al-Mughira threw his ring into it and said to Imam Ali (a.s): “My ring!” The Imam (a.s) said to his son al-Hasan: “Go down and give him the ring.” Al-Hasan (a.s) did that. Al-Mughira intended to enter the Sacred Grave after the Commander of the faithful had gone out of it. He intended to pride himself on his companions that he was the last of the people to bid farewell to Allah’s Apostle. However, Imam Ali (a.s) knew his purpose, and thus he ordered al-Hasan to enter the grave, and he was the last of the people to bid farewell to Allah’s Apostle (a.s).[10]

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Imam Ali (a.s) and buried the great body in its final-resting place. Then he stood by the grave to water it with the tears of his eyes. He said some words indicating his deep sadness: “Patience is good (toward all things) except toward you! Impatience (toward all things) is ugly except toward you! The misfortune is great! Misfortunes before and after you are not important!”[11]

The great terror and painful misfortune melted the heart of al-Hasan (a.s) while he was still young. His beautiful bloom of youth withered. He saw the Prophet, who was kind to him, being buried in his grave. He saw his parents astonished and sorrowful at the death of the great Prophet. This event left in his soul severe pain and strong sadness. The Prophet (a.s) went to the High Comrade while al-Hasan was at the age of seven years.[12] At this age the mental powers of a child grow. At it the mind of a child is like a camera conveying in the inner soul many views and pictures and planting in it sadness and happiness passing by it. Besides, some clever children may have abilities and readiness for understanding deeds and attitudes. At that time some important events accompanied al-Hasan. They took place before the death of his grandfather, the Apostle (a.s). Among them is that the people refused to join the regiment of Usama, did not respond to the Prophet (a.s) when he requested ink and parchment to write for his community a document that would protect them from discords and going astray. Without doubt al-Hasan understood the purpose of that. He came to know of the plots that people schemed against his father. This attitude left in his soul hidden sadness, and he criticized the people for their usurping the rights of his father. We will explain that in the Time of the two Sheikhs.

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Notes

[1] Durrat al-Nasiheen, p. 66.

[2] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 2, p. 48.

[3] Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, vol. 1, p. 144.

[4] Al-Manaqib, vol. 1, p. 29. Traditions ensured by many lines of transmission have been reported on that Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) died in the lap of Ali, peace be on him. It has been mentioned in the book Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 4, p. 55, that Abu Ghatafan said: “I asked Ibn Abbas: In whose lap did the Prophet (a.s.) die? And he answered: ‘He died while he was leaning on Ali’s chest.’ Then I said to him that ‘Urwa related to me on the authority of Aa’isha, who said that Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) died (while his head) was between her chest and her neck. ‘Do you believe that?,’ he asked me, ‘by Allah, Allah’s Apostle, died (while he was leaning) on Ali’s chest. It was he (Ali) who washed him.’” This narration has also been mentioned by Ibn Sa‘d, in his Tabaqat, vol. 2, p. 51.

[5] Ibn Maja, Sunan. In it he has been mentioned: “Hammad bin Zayd said: ‘I have seen Thabit, who related the tradition. When he related it, he wept to the extent that his ribs differed.’”

[6] Wafa’ al-Wafa’, vol. 1, p. 227. In Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 4, p. 53, it has been mentioned: “(Iman) Ali washed Allah’s Apostle (a.s.). Al-Fadhl and Usama were giving him water from behind a curtain.” In the book it has also been mentioned: “The people have differed over his shroud. It was said that he was shrouded with three garments. It was said that he was shrouded in a Yemeni garment (shroud) and shirt. They have also mentioned other narrations on his shroud.” It has been narrated that Aba Qalla‘a would say: “Do you not wonder at their differing over the shroud of Allah’s Apostle (a.s.)?”

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[7] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 2, part 2, p. 63.

[8] Hulyat al-Awliya’, vol. 4, p. 77.

[9] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 4, p. 54. In it he has been mentioned: “When Imam (Ali), the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, put the great body on the bed to pray over it, he said to the Muslims: ‘None should lead you in prayer, for he (the Prophet) is your Imam (Whether he is) dead or alive.’ Accordingly, the people came in group by group and prayed over him in ranks. There was no Imam before them. (Imam Ali), the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was standing beside the corpse and saying: ‘assalamu ‘alayka O Prophet, Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you! O Allah, we bear witness that he has made known what was revealed to him, showed sincerity towards his community, struggled in the way of Allah until Allah made dear His religion and His words became perfect. O Allah, place us among those who follow that which been revealed to him, make us firm after him, and let us gather with him.’ The people said: ‘Amen! Amen!’ The men, the women, and the boys prayed over him.” (The historians) have differed over the date of his death (a.s.). It was said that he died on Rabee‘ al-Awal 12th. This has been mentioned in the book Wafa’ al-Wafa’, vol. 1, 226-227. It was said that he died on Safar 28th. This has been mentioned by al-Tabrasi’s A‘lam al-Wara, p. 7. It was said that he died in Rabee‘ al-Awal 2nd. This has been mentioned by Ibn Wadih in his Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 93. Narrations other than these have also been mentioned.

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[10] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 2, p. 77.

[11] Muhammed ‘Abda, Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 3, 224

[12] Kashf al-Ghumma, p. 154.

Chapter VI

Part One: At the Time of the two Caliphs

Part 1

When the Prophet (a.s) went to the Garden and his soul raised to the Most High Comrade, successive discords came over the Muslims. Violent waves of division and disagreement prevailed them, shook their entity, cracked and torn their unity. Allah, the Exalted had explained the apostasy and dissension that which would come over the Muslims after the death of His Prophet. He has said: “And Muhammad is no more than an apostle; the apostles have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed, will you turn back upon your heals?”[1]

Accordingly, which misfortune is greater than this misfortune? And which disaster is severer than apostasy after faith? The people left the corpse of the Prophet; they did not bury it in its final resting-place. They rushed upon the government and authority. They decided to turn the Islamic caliphate away from the Household of Prophethood, the cradle of the Message, the place where the angels frequented, and the abode of revelation and inspiration. Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) has talked about people’s evil deeds, saying: “When Allah’s Apostle (a.s) died, a group of people turned back upon their heels. Ways deceived them; they depended on the intimate friends, bestowed upon those other than the relatives, abandoned the means toward which they had been commanded to show love, moved the structure from its firm and compact foundation, and built it in a place other than its place. They were the sources of all sins…”[2]

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The people seized the government and removed it from its men and actual owners, and placed it in other than its place. They surprised Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them, while the injury did not heal, and the Messenger was not buried yet. That was through their turning the authority away from them (the actual owners), and aggressing against them. They made them suffer from pain and pillow sleeplessness. They made them lead a life full of cares and troubles. Therefore, how great their misfortunes were! And how intense their affliction and tribulation were!

People hurried to pledge allegiance and seized the opportunity. Imam Ali (a.s) was busy preparing the corpse of the Prophet (a.s) for burying. The people did not give him time to bury the Prophet (a.s) lest the authority should escape them, and their wishes and hopes for seizing the reins of government and authority would be lost. Anyhow, it is necessary for us to talk briefly about the stages of that great tragedy, for there is a close relationship between it and the life of Imam al-Hasan (a.s), because turning the authority away from Ahlul Bayt had bad complications and dangerous results. The most important of them was that al-Tulaqa’,[3] their sons, who were the opponents of Islam and enemies of Allah, craved after the Islamic caliphate, and warred against the Household of Prophethood. Al-Hasan, the grandson of the Prophet (a.s), was forced to make peace with Mu‘awiya and to hand the authority over to him. We will explain that to readers as follows:

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[1] Qur’an, 3, 144.

[2] Nahjj al-Balagha, (explained by Muhammed ‘Abda), 2\48.

[3] Al-Tulaqa’ are those who converted to Islam at the time of the conquest of Mecca.

Al-Saqifa

Al-Saqifa

Al-Saqifa [1]

The people left the Prophet (a.s) lying in the bed of death. They paid no attention to any of his affairs. The Ansar hurried to the Saqifa (shed) of the Banu Sa‘ida[2]. They discussed the affairs of the succession and authority. The chief of al-Khazraj Sa‘d bin Ubada, who was critically ill, delivered an oration among the people. He could not make the people hear his speech; rather he spoke, and some of his relatives conveyed his speech to others. The central idea of his speech was that gain was according to damages and hardships that the Ansar suffered heavy casualities during the successive battles and the movement of jihad carried out by Allah’s Apostle (a.s). Therefore, they were worthier of authority than the others and more appropriate for it. This is the text of his oration: “O Community of the Ansar, you have precedence in religion and excellence in Islam that no one of the Arab tribe is like you. Most surely, Muhammad (a.s) remained among his

people for several years, summoning them to worship the Merciful (Allah) and to abandon the partners and the idols. Very few of his people believed in him. They were not able to protect Allah’s Apostle (a.s) nor were they able to strengthen his religion, nor were they able to repel from themselves the oppression that included them. When Allah wanted you excellence, he drove dignity to you and singled you out with favor through making you believe in Him and in His Apostle, protecting him and his companions, supporting him and his religion, and struggling against his enemies. So you were the strictest of the people in fighting against his enemy and the heaviest of them against the enemy, to the extent that the Arabs followed Allah’s command willingly and unwillingly. Those far handed over the leadership while they were in a state of subjection and utter abasement, to the extent that Allah through you leveled the earth for His Apostle and through your swords the Arabs followed him. Then Allah caused him to die while he was pleased with you; therefore, seize the government with the exception of all the people, for it belongs to you, and not to them.” The Ansar responded to him through showing satisfaction and obedience, saying: “You are successful in opinion and right in speech. We will not leave what you have suggested. We will entrust you with this power, for you are satisfactory to us and you satisfy the interests of the believers.”[3]

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The Ansar handed over the leadership to the master of al-Khazraj, and they were ready to obey him. They expressed their urgent wish for nominating him for the office of the caliphate. Here there are some affairs that make man wonders at the affairs of the Ansar and make him question them:

1. The Ansar took care of Islam, supported the creed, and protected the religion; therefore, why did they hurry in respect of the affair of the caliphate? Why did they forget the allegiance to Imam Ali (a.s) at Ghadir Khum? Why did they neglect the commandments of the Prophet (a.s) concerning his household and his family?

2. Why did they keep the affair (of the caliphate) a secret in a place isolated from the eyes of the people? Why did they resort to secrecy and caution in concealing the affair?

3. Why did they not take into considerations the viewpoints of the pure family of the Prophet in respect of the succession? Why did they seize authority?

Most likely, they came to know of the dangerous plot schemed by the remarkable Muhajireen against Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful. They feared that the Muhajireen would win the caliphate and deprive them of it; so, they hurried to seize the opportunity through nominating Sa’d for the office of the caliphate.

Notes

[1] Al-Saqifa is a shelter. It was the place where the Ansar held their meetings and seminars.

[2] Sa’d bin Ubada was the master of the Khazrajite and leader of the Ansar. His people admitted his leadership over them. He, his father, his grandfather, and his son Qays were famous for generosity. It was said that no house from al-Aws and al-Khazrajj had four successive, generous people except that of Sa‘d. He was one of the heads. He was present with Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) at al-‘Aqaba and (the Battle of Badr. He did not pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr. He angrily went out of Medina. Khalid bin al-Waleed and a companion of his followed him by night. They stabbed him and threw him into a well. Khalid deceived some foolish people that it was the jinn who killed him. They composed two poetry lines on behalf on the jinn, saying:

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We have killed the master of al-Khazrajj, Sa‘d bin Ubada,

And we threw two arrows at him and did not fail to hit his heart.

He died at Hawran, (part) of the land of Sham (Syria) in the year fifteen A. H. It was said (that he died) in the year fourteen A. H. His biography has been mentioned in the books al-Isaba, al-Isti‘ab, Usd al-Ghaba, and the like.

[3] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 207.

Umar’s Explanatory Speech

Abu Bakr was not in Yathrib (Medina) when the Prophet (a.s) died. Rather, he was at al-Sanah.[1] Umar bin al-Khattab feared that someone would win the caliphate before Abu Baker’s arrival; so, he made an explanatory speech indicting his psychological policy and his excellent experience in the affairs of the society. He stopped the movement of pledging allegiance to Sa’d. He distracted the people even from their reflection on affairs. He shook the sword with his own hand and shouted at the top of his voice: “One of the hypocrites claims that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) has died! And most surely that he has not died, but he has gone to his Lord just as Musa bin Imran had already done! By Allah, Allah’s Apostle shall come back and cut off the hands and legs of those men who have spread lies about his death!”

He struck with his sword and threatened all those who said that Allah’s Apostle died.[2] Some Muslims regarded this deed as strange, while those simple-minded regarded it as good, for he had brought them beautiful hopes and dreams. The souls refused to believe the death of the great Prophet and continued to cling to his life even through some imaginations. So, Umar drove to them the best wishes and the most wonderful hopes. He told them that their beloved Savior was still alive, and that he would manifest his religion and make it prevail over all religions. He added to his speech the most violent terrorism and threat. He claimed that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) would cut off the hand and legs of those who spread rumors against him. Moreover, he went on threatening the people until Abu Bakr arrived in Medina. Umar welcomed Abu Baker, and they went to the house of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). Abu Bakr uncovered the face of the Prophet (a.s). Suddenly, he came to know that his pure soul had departed his pure body. He went out refuting Umar’s statement. He turned to the perplexed masses astonished by the event and said to them: “Whoever worships Muhammad, most surely Muhammad has died. And whoever worships Allah, most surely Allah is alive and does not die!” Then he recited this verse: And Muhammad is no more than an apostle; the apostles have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed, will you turn back upon your heels?

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The people yielded to Abu Bakr’s statement and repeated the verse. Umar hurried to believe Abu Bakr’s statement and showed no objection toward it. He accompanied him. He walked with him, supported him, and protected his side.

It is necessary for us to pause before this strange initiative, for it urges man to ask about several affairs that are as follows:

1. Was it right to say that Umar did not know about the death of Allah’s Apostle (a.s)? It is worth mentioning that the Qur’an has announced that all people will die. Allah, the Most High, says: Every soul must taste of death; then to Us you shall be brought back.[3] He has also said to His Prophet: Surely you shall die and they (too) shall surely die.[4] He has also said: If then he dies or is killed, will you turn back upon your heels? Besides, the Prophet (a.s) announced his death several times and told the people that he had been summoned and it was the moment for him to answer. Moreover, Umar himself had said to Usama before the death of the Prophet (a.s): “Allah’s Apostle has died while you are a commander over me!”

3. What is the secret behind his treating those who spread rumors about the death of the Prophet (a.s)? Why did he announce that Allah’s Apostle would punish those who spread lies? Was their statement apostasy from religion and because of that their hands and legs had to be cut off?

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Whoever carefully considers this event clearly understands Umar’s deed, which is that he intended to distract the people from pledging allegiance to anyone before Abu Bakr’s arrival. Indeed Umar was not too stupid not to know that the Prophet (a.s) would die. His strong enthusiasm, his threats, and excitement calmed down when Abu Bakr came. All these things clearly indicate that this event was part of a plan drawn before the death of the Prophet (a.s) to turn the caliphate from his household and to seize it for themselves. Lamans, an orientalist, thought that Abu Bakr, Umar, and Abu Ubayda had planed to turn the caliphate away from Ahlul Bayt before the death of the Prophet (a.s). He says: “Indeed the Qurashi party was not a ready made situation, nor did it result from a surprise or improvisation; rather it resulted from made, secret plots whose origins were woven and whose parties were firmly gathered. The heroes of this plot were Abu Bakr, Umar bin al-Khattab, and Abu Ubayda bin al-Jarrah; and among the members of this party were A’isha and Hafsa.”

This viewpoint is very trustworthy, for if someone reflects on the people’s steps and carefully considers their deeds concludes that there was an previously prepared plot, and that the people had woven its threads since a long time. There are several proofs that the plot was previous prepared; the people lagged behind the regiment of Usama, some of the wives of the Prophet (a.s) sent (letters) to their fathers to linger in going (with Usama). They nominated their fathers for the office of the Imamate. And besides Umar’s answer to the Prophet (a.s) when he intended to write a document.

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[1] Al-Sanah is a place one mile from Medina. It was said that it was among its outskirts, and was three or four miles far from it.

[2] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha.

[3] Qur’an, 29, 57.

[4] Qur’an, 39, 30.

The Ansar are surprised

The Ansar decided to appoint the chief of al-Khazraj, Sa’d bin Ubada, as a caliph. However his cousins Basheer bin Sa‘d bin Tha‘laba al-Khazraji and Usayd bin Khudayr, the head of al-Aws, competed with him for leadership. They envied him for this high office. So they harbored malice and enmity against him. They decided to turn the power away from him. Uwaym bin Sa‘ida al-Awsi and Ma‘an bin Adi, the ally of the Ansar, joined them. They belonged to Abu Bakr’s party and followers during the time of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). Besides, they harbored malice and hatred against Sa‘d bin Ubada. As a result, they hurried to Abu Bakr and Umar. They told them about the meeting of the Ansar in al-Saqifa and about their decision for appointing Sa‘d bin Ubada.[1] Abu Bakr was astonished, so he and Umar quickly left. Abu Ubayda bin al-Jarrah[2] and Salim, Hudhayfa’s retainer, followed them. Other people from their party, the party of the Muhajireen, followed them too. They surprised the Ansar in al-Saqifa. Sa‘d turned pale, and the Ansar became helpless. Silence and astonishment dominated them. Umar tried to speak, but Abu Bakr turned to him and whispered in his ear, saying: “Slowly, O Umar, that I may speak!”

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Abu Bakr started his speech with this statement, saying: “We, the Muhajireen, were the first of the people to believe in Islam. We were the noblest of them in lineage, the most honored in house, the best in eminent men, and the nearest of them to Allah’s Apostle (a.s) in kinship. You are our brethren in Islam and our partners in religion. You supported and helped (the Prophet), so may Allah reward you with good. However, we are rulers, and you are helpers. The Arabs follow none except this tribe from Quraysh. Therefore, do not envy your brethren for that through which Allah has made them better. I have accepted for you one of these two men, namely Umar bin al-Khattab and Abu Ubayda bin al-Jarrah.”[3]

Indeed the most reliable proofs Abu Bakr gave for the right of the Muhajireen in the caliphate and power are as follows:

1. They were the first of the Muslims to believe in Islam.

2. They were the nearest of the people to Allah’s Apostle (a.s) in kinship.

In his conclusion, Abu Bakr did not make clear who was the first to believe in Allah, to respond to the summons of His Prophet, to stand beside him to repel the aggression, and to protect him from the tyrants of Quraysh. He did not say that such a person was Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s), the cousin of the Prophet (a.s), his son-in- law, the father of his two grandsons, and the gate of the city of his knowledge. Abu Bakr forgot Imam Ali and nominated Abu Ubayda and Umar bin al-Khattab for the office of the caliphate. Did he have an authority over the Muslims, that he might accept for them and choose one who would undertake the leadership over them and manage their affairs? Imam Ali (a.s) has commented on his argument, saying: “They have advanced the tree as an argument, and lost the fruit!” How eloquent this statement is! How wonderful this argument is! The Muhajireen clung to their kinship to the Prophet (a.s) and advanced it as a proof of their right to power. However, they neglected his family and progeny, who were his deposit and the equals to Allah’s Book. Imam Ali (a.s) addressed Abu Bakr in respect of that and advanced as a proof in the same way that Abu Bakr did in respect of the Ansar. He has said to him:

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If you have advanced against their opponents the kinship as an argument, then those other than you are more appropriate for the Prophet and nearer to him.

If you have had power over their affairs, then how is that and the advisers are absent?

In another place, the Imam (a.s) addressed the people and said to them: “By Allah, I am his brother-namely the brother of Allah’s Apostle (a.s)-his bosom friend, his cousin, and inheritor of his knowledge. Therefore, who is worthier of it (the caliphate) than I?[4] The people turned away from Abu al-Hasan (Ali) and forgot his excellent qualities, his achievements, and the commandments of the Prophet (a.s) concerning him. That is because they craved after the caliphate and rushed upon power.

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[1] Al-‘Aqd al-Fareed, vol. 3, p. 62.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 208.

[3] Al-‘Aqd al-Fareed, vol. 3, p. 62.

[4] Al-Nisa’i, Khasa’is, p. 18. Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 126.

The Pledge of Allegiance to Abu Bakr

When Abu Bakr ended his previous speech during which he nominated Umar and Abu Ubayda for the office of the caliphate, Umar hurried to him and said: “Will this be while you are alive?” None (has the right) to hinder you from your position where Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had installed you!”

We do not know when Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had installed him in his position where he had been. But we know that he (a.s) sent him out of Medina along with the rest of his companions as armed fighters and appointed Usama over them while he was still young. In such a way the people pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr. Umar and Basheer competed with each other to pledge allegiance to him. All the members of their party competed with each other to pledge allegiance to him. Among those who did that were Usayd bin Hudayr, ‘Uwaym bin Sa‘ida, Ma‘an bin ‘Adi, Abu Ubayda bin al-Jarrah, Salim (Abu Hudhayfa’s retainer), and Khalid bin al-Waleed. These men were strict in forcing the people to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr. The greatest of them in enthusiasm was Umar, whose whip played an important role in forcing those who refused to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr. He treated them with severity and violence. He heard the Ansar saying in respect of Sa‘d: “You have killed Sa‘d!”

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So he rushed to say: “Kill him! May Allah kill him! He is the leader of a discord!”[1]

The pledge of allegiance was given to Abu Bakr in such a way encompassed by terror and threat. Then his party carried him to the Mosque of the Prophet (a.s) in procession just as a bride[2], while the Prophet (a.s) was laid out in the bed of death. Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) was busy preparing him for burial. When he was told about that, he quoted as an example: “And some peoples say what they wish; and they have become tyrannical when Zayd created calamities!”[3]

Indeed Abu Bakr was given the pledge of allegiance in such hastiness and a surprise. Umar came to know that it was illegal. He bitterly criticized it when he said his famous statement: “Indeed the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr was an error! Allah has protected the Muslims from its evil! Therefore, whoever summons to the like of it, then kill him!”[4]

This statement has the severest kind of criticism and slander. It has the following:

1. Most surely Umar has described the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr as an error (falta). Whether its meaning is evil or sin or slip or surprise, it is the greatest of all things in the fields of criticism and dispraise.

2. He has asked Allah to save the Muslims from its evil and to protect them from its bad complications.

3. He has decided to kill whoever summons (Muslims) to pledge such an allegiance.

p: 129

Umar criticized the election of Abu Bakr and paying homage to him because it did not depend on sound foundations and was not based on firm logic. It faces the following criticisms:

1. Most surely the people did not consult the pure family of the Prophet in respect of the caliphate. They seized the power. They forgot the commandments of the Prophet (a.s) regarding it. They neglected what the Apostle (a.s) had commanded them in respect of following his progeny and clinging to them. Imam Sharaf al-Deen, may Allah rest him in peace, has said: “Suppose that there is no text (tradition) about the succession of any of the household of Muhammad (a.s). Suppose that they are not prominent in ancestry, lineage, ethics, jihad, knowledge, deed, faith or loyalty. And suppose that they have no precedence in the fields of all virtues, rather they are like the rest of the companions (of the Prophet). But there was a legal or rational or traditional impediment to cancel the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr. They had to give them time to prepare Allah’s Apostle (a.s) for burial even through entrusting security temporarily to the military leadership that the affair of the caliphate might stabilize.

“Was this amount of patience not kind to those distressed? (While) they were the deposit of the Prophet with people and his remaining (progeny) among them. Allah, the Exalted, has said: Certainly an Apostle has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate, merciful.[5] It was grievous for the Prophet that his community would fall into a distress. He was careful of their happiness, compassionate and merciful to them. Therefore, is it not of the right of this Apostle that his family had not to fall into distress that they might not be surprised by something like that through which they were surprised, while the injury did not heal and the Apostle was not buried yet?”[6]

p: 130

The Prophet (a.s) was laid out in the bed of death, his grave did not make him absent from the eyes of the people, while they impatiently and greedily competed with each other for government and authority. They neglected the Prophet’s Household. They decided to turn away from them, to wrong them, and to plunder their wealth. From that day the Prophet’s family faced different kinds of distress and misfortune. Their blood was shed, and their womenfolk were taken as prisoners of war. The kinship of the Prophet (a.s) was not respected, while they were the most appropriate (of all things) for care and kindness.

2. Among the criticisms the pledge of allegiance faces is that it did not include the influential people (Ahl al-Hal wa al-Aqd), whom they regarded as a basic condition in forming the consensus and the legality of the election. However, the people cancelled the consulting with the high class in Islam. They paid no attention to their opinions, nor did they take their agreement on the new caliph. Moreover, the place where the election took place was much hidden. ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Najjar says: “Whoever is acquainted with the way through which the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr took place concludes that it was manifestly incomplete, for the reasonable thing in such states is that the Muslims took a place where they met and about which the people had to be told.”[7]

Most surely the election of Abu Bakr was very incomplete, for the remarkable personalities who took part in building the entity of Islam withdrew from choosing and electing him. On top of these personalities were Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s), his Hashimite relatives, and the leading companions (of the Prophet) such as Salman al-Farisi, Abu Dharr, Ammar bin Yasir, And Ubay bin Ka‘ab. Among the Hashimites who did not elect Abu Bakr were al-Zubayr, Utba bin Abi Lahab, al-Abbas, and the like. All the Ansar or some of them refrained from pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr saying: “We will pledge allegiance to none except Ali!”[8] A great number of the leading personalities from among the Muhajireen and the Ansar withdrew from electing Abu Bakr; therefore, how was the pledge of allegiance legal?

p: 131

3. The Muslims were forced to pay homage to Abu Bakr, for Umar’s whip played an important role in achieving that, to the extent that the people became astonished. The people did not stipulate that the Caliph should follow Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet just as they stipulated in respect of the Caliphs after him. Perhaps, for these reasons Umar decided that the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr and its ways were illegal; likewise, he decided that he would kill those who would return to the like of it.

[1] Al-‘Aqd al-Fareed, vol. 3, p. 62.

[2] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 8.

[3] Ibid., vol. 2, p. 5.

[4] Al-Bukhari, Saheeh, vol. 10, p. 44. Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 55. Tamam al-Mutun, p. 137.

[5] Qur’an, 9, 128.

[6] Al-Nas wa al-Ijtihad, p. 7.

[7] Al-Khulafa’ al-Rashidun, p. 16.

[8] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh.

Imam Ali refrains from paying Homage to Abu Bakr

Imam Ali (a.s) refrained from pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr. He announced his strong displeasure with him due to the fact that he plundered his wealth and deprived him of his right. That was when he said: “He (Abu Bakr) certainly knew that my position in relation to it (the caliphate) was the same as the position of the axis in relation to the hand mill. The flood water flows down from him and the bird can not fly up to him.” Abu Bakr came to know these words of the Imam. For this reason the Imam (a.s) thought that none other than him could go up on the pulpit of the caliphate. He clearly announced that when his uncle al-Abbas came to him and asked him to pledge allegiance to him. He said to him: “My nephew, stretch out your hand to pay homage to you, that the people may say: ‘The uncle of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) has paid homage to the cousin of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). Therefore, no two persons will differ over you.’”

p: 132

“Who other than I will seek this affair?” asked the Imam.

The Prophet (a.s) had invested him with this high office of the Imamate on the day of Ghadir Khum. He announced his authority before a group of people. Besides, he continually ordered his community to follow him and to hand the leadership over it to him. In this respect Dr. Taha Husayn has said: “Al-Abbas reflected on the affair; so he thought that his nephew was worthier of inheriting the authority than he was. That is because he (Imam Ali) was brought up by the Prophet. He had precedence in Islam. He showed extreme courage at all the battles. The Prophet called him: ‘My brother!’ So, one day, Umm Ayman joked with him and said to him: ‘You call him your brother while you have married him to your daughter!’ The Prophet said to him: ‘You are to me as Aaron was to Moses except that there is no prophet after me.’ On another day he said to the Muslims: ‘Whoever I am his guardian, Ali is to be his guardian.’ Because of that al-Abbas went after the death of the Prophet to his nephew and said to him: ‘Stretch out your hand to pay homage to you.’”[1]

Imam Ali (a.s) refrained from pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr. He did not make peace with the people, nor did he grant them consent. He showed his displeasure toward them. He advanced arguments and debated with them. He showed his strong grumble and his intense displeasure with the people because they plundered his inheritance, and denied his authority and his rights.

p: 133

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[1] Ali wa Banuh, p. 19.

Arguments and Debates

Arguments and Debates

Imam Ali (a.s) argued with the people over that he was the most appropriate for the authority and worthiest of it. Besides, his Hashimite relatives, those who had precedence in Islam from among the leading Muhajireen and Ansar protested against them. We will mention to readers some of those arguments:

1. Imam Ali

When Imam Ali (a.s) was taken by force to pay homage to Abu Bakr, the people violently commanded him: “Pay homage to Abu Bakr!”

He calmly answered them: “I am more entitled to the authority than you. I will not pay homage to you. You have to pledge allegiance to me. You have taken this authority from the Ansar. You have advanced the kinship to the Prophet (a.s) as an argument against them. Now, you want to take it from us, Ahlul Bayt, by force. Did you not claim before the Ansar that you were more deserving of this authority than they due to the fact that Muhammad belonged to you? So they gave you the leadership and handed the authority to you. And I argue with you in the same manner you argued with the Ansar. We are more appropriate for Allah’s Apostle (a.s) whether he is alive or dead. Therefore, treat us with justice if you are believers; otherwise, do wrong while you know (that).”

Through this strong argument, the Imam (a.s) followed the manner the Muhajireen followed before the Ansar, saying that they were the nearest of all the people to Allah’s Apostle in kinship. This argument that the Muhajireen hailed and employed as means to destroy the hopes of their opponents was available in the Imam (a.s) in the best way, for he was the cousin of the Prophet (a.s) and his son-in-law. Before this logic, Umar bin al-Khattab could do nothing except that he followed a violent way, which is the way of those lacking evidence and proof. He said to him: “Most surely I will not leave you until you pledge allegiance (to Abu Bakr)!”

p: 134

So Imam Ali (a.s) shouted at him: “You milk some milk that you shall have half of it. Make firm his affair for him, and he will return it to you tomorrow!”

The Imam became excited and said: “By Allah, O Umar, I do not accept your statement, nor do I pledge allegiance to him (Abu Bakr).”

Abu Bakr feared that the consequences of the matter would be bad, so he showed kindness to Imam Ali (a.s) and said softly: “If you do not pay homage (to me), I will not force you!”

Abu Ubayda bin al-Jarrah tried to satisfy the Imam. He said to him: “O my cousin, you are still young. These are the Sheikhs of your people. You do not have their experience and their knowledge of affairs. I think that Abu Bakr is stronger than you in this affair, that he is greater than you in enduring and undertaking it. Therefore, hand over this affair to Abu Bakr. If you live for a long time, then you will be worthy of it due to your excellence, religion, knowledge, understanding, precedence (in Islam), lineage, and your relationship (with the Prophet) by marriage.”

This deception moved the hidden pain and displeasure in the self of the Imam, and he hurried to address the Muhajireen and mentioned to them the achievements of Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them, saying: “O Community of the Muhajireen, (fear) Allah! (Fear) Allah! Do not take the authority of Muhammad over the Arabs out of his house, and his house to your houses! Do not remove his household from their position among the people and (from) their right. By Allah, O community of the Muhajireen we are worthier of him than the people, for we are his household. We are more entitled to this affair than your are. Among us are those who recite Allah’s Book, have jurisprudence in the religion of Allah and knowledge of the Sunna of Allah’s Apostle, undertake the affairs of the subjects, repel from them bad things, and equally divide (wealth) among them. By Allah all these qualities are available in us. Therefore, do not follow caprice lest you should lose the way of Allah and be far away from the truth.”[1]

p: 135

Through his wonderful arguments, Imam Ali refuted all the vague errors of the people. He closed all their windows through his strong arguments and proofs. The strongest thing to which Abu Ubayda clung in order to prove the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr is that he was older than Imam Ali (a.s). Such was with him the measure of rightness and sound judgment. However it is incorrect reasoning in the viewpoint of Islam. The measure in Islam in respect of the values of men is that they should have talents, qualifications, and geniuses. Therefore, whoever has such qualities is entitled to the leadership over the community and the management of its affairs. This is what the Imam meant through his arguments. He explained to them the high qualities the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) had such as understanding the religion of Allah, knowledge of the Sunna of His Apostle, undertaking the affairs of the subjects, repelling from them evil and detested things, and equally treating people. Islam required rulers and heads to have these qualities. But they were available in no one except Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them. So they were worthier of the authority and more appropriate for it than others.

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[1] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, pp. 11-12

.

2. Fatima Al-Zahra’

Fatima, the principal of the women of the world, argued with the people with strong arguments. She explained to them their bad deeds. She, peace be on her, said: “How dare they? Whereto have they moved it (the caliphate) from the bases of the Mission, and the (place of) descent of Loyal Gabriel, the expert in religious and worldly matters? This, indeed, is the manifest loss. Why do they hate Abu al-Hasan so much?

p: 136

By Allah, they hate the strength of his sword, his might and astounding deeds, and his extraordinary effort in supporting the religion of Allah. By Allah, had they all yielded to his leadership, he would have taken them to the easy path, without harming anyone. He would have brought them to an overflowing fountain of goodness, advised them in secrecy and in public, neither filling his belly with their own sustenance, nor satisfying his thirst or hunger out of their own toil. The gates of mercy of the heavens and the earth would have been widely opened for them. Allah will punish them for the sins they were committing; so, come and listen to the story, and so long as you live, be amazed, and when you are amazed the incident bemuses you… Where have they gone, and which handle have they clung to? What an evil guardian they have taken, and what an evil bunch! How evil is the end of the oppressors who traded the tails for the hoofs, and the rumps for the chests! So, dusted are the noses of those who think that they have done well; they are the ones who fill the world with corruption without knowing it.

Woe unto them! Isn’t that who guides to the truth worthy of being followed than the one who does not guide? What is the matter with you? How do you judge? By Allah, it has become pollinated. Wait until it produces, and then you milk it as a cupful fresh blood, and bitter, poisonous food. On that day shall they perish who say false things, the followers will come to know of the consequences of the ancients. Then be pleased and prepare a heart for the discords. Be delighted at a sharp sword and an inclusive injury that will leave your fay’[1] insignificant and your gathering as a reaped seed-produce. O my grief for you! Shall we constrain you to (accept) it while you are averse from it.”[2]

p: 137

In her eloquent, wonderful sermon, the daughter of the Prophet (a.s) has condemned the flagrant aggression against Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them, and criticized those who usurped the office of the Islamic Caliphate, for the people had put it in a place other than its place; and through that they lost the family of their Prophet, who were the haven of the Message, and the foundations of Prophethood; in whose houses the faithful spirit (Gabriel) descended and the Qur’an was revealed. Her valuable sermon has several affairs of great importance, which are as follows:

1. She has mentioned the most important and reliable reasons for which the people turned away from Abu al-Hasan and harbored malice against him:

A. His sharp sword, with which he reaped the heads of the polytheists and the infidels, defended the Prophet (a.s) in all attitudes and at all battles, killed those near and far for the sake of establishing the pillars of the religion. Of course, such deeds made the people harbor great malice and hatred against him.

B. His might and astounding deeds; he killed the infidels and angered the hypocrites. He did not flatter them, nor did he side with (his own relatives). For Allah, he did not fear the censure of any censurer. He said: “By Allah, I will take revenge for the oppressed on the oppressor and will put a string in the nose of the oppressor and drag him to the spring of truthfulness even though he may grudge it.”

p: 138

C. His extraordinary effort with which he supported the religion of Allah. He (a.s) sacrificed his soul and employed all his abilities for giving life to the religion of Allah and establishing His Laws. He threw himself in the heat of the battles, entered hardships and terrors, and walked on the heads of the polytheists. Because of his blessed efforts and great jihad, the religion became straight and strong.

Most surely these reasons made the people harbor malice and grudge against him as well as they envied him for the talents and perfect qualities Allah had given to him. Envy creates hatred and malice in souls and throws people into great evil.

2. If the community had entrusted their affairs to Imam Ali (a.s) and followed the commandments of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) in respect of him, they would have won the following:

A. He (Imam Ali) would have led them through the way of justice and the truth and ruled according to what Allah had revealed. None would have been wronged during his government. The dignity of any of them would not have been destroyed.

B. He would have brought them to an overflowing fountain of goodness, led them to the shore of security and safety, lavished upon them good and blessings, and bestowed upon them favors. Therefore, none would have complained of deprivation, hunger, and poverty under his justice.

C. He would have advised them in secrecy and in public and guided them to the straight path.

D. Most surely if the Imam (a.s) had seized the reins of government, he would have taken nothing of the people’s world and seized nothing of their properties. He would have shared with them in sorrows and joys. He really did that when he undertook the affairs of the Muslims. Of his world he was satisfied with two shabby garments, and of his food he was content with two loaves of bread. He led a life like that of the poor and the deprived. In respect of such a life, he has said his immortal statement: “Shall I be satisfied with my self that I am called the Commander of the faithful, while I do not share with them the detested things of time and coarse life?”

p: 139

In the history of Muslims there is no one like Imam Ali in asceticism, piety, justice, and turning away from the wealth of the subjects. His life has remained as the most wonderful model on which Muslims pride themselves.

E. If Imam Ali (a.s) had undertook the caliphate after the Prophet (a.s), boons and blessings would have spread, favors would have dominated all over the country, and the people would have eaten from above their heads and from beneath their feet. However, the Muslims deprived themselves of happiness and deprived the following generations of it. They abandoned the leading figures who would show them the truth and treat them with justice.

3. Through the unseen, the daughter of the Prophet (a.s) came to know of the horrible consequences that would result from what the people had done, and which are as follows:

A. Discords would spread among the Muslims; their ranks would be cracked, and their unity would be divided.

B. The tyrannical authorities would punish and exhaust them.

C. The oppressors would seize their affairs.

These dangerous consequences came true on the arena of life when the Umayyads seized the reins of government. Mu’awiya ruled the Muslims and appointed over them some criminal governors such as Samra bin Jundub, Bisr bin Arta’a, and Ziyad bin Abeeh. They went too far in exhausting and punishing the Muslims and spreading terror among them. During the time of Ziyad bin Abeeh, the people would say: “Sa’d, escape! For Sa’eed has perished!” Mu’awiya appointed his son Yazid as caliph after him. The latter appointed Ibn Marjana as governor over the Muslims, and he committed abominable deeds through which he blackened the face of history. In this manner the Islamic caliphate passed from one oppressor to another and from one tyrant to another, to the extent that the country was full of oppression, tyranny, and dictatorship.

p: 140

For these reliable reasons she has mentioned in her sermon, she opposed the then government, and battled against it with all her abilities. She demanded the Muslims to overthrow the government and summoned them to revolt against it to restore the usurped right. Her wronged husband, Imam Ali, took her around the houses of the Muhajireen and the Ansar for forty days, that she might ask them for help and support; however, they said to her: “O daughter of Allah’s Apostle, our pledge of allegiance to this man (Abu Bakr) has been concluded!”

She answered them with condemnation: “Will you let the inheritance of Allah’s Apostle come out of his house to another than his house?”

They apologized to her for that, saying: “O daughter of Allah’s Apostle, if your husband had come to us before Abu Bakr, we would not have turned away from him.”

Imam Ali (a.s) retorted: “Had I to leave Allah’s Apostle in his house, not to bury him, and to go out to dispute with the people over his authority?”

The daughter of the Prophet confirmed the statement of Imam Ali (a.s) saying: “Abul Hasan did what he had to do, and they have done that which Allah will punish them for.”[3]

Fatima, peace be on her, delivered a famous sermon and aroused in many of its parts the efforts of the Muslims. She urged them to revolt and demanded them to return the caliphate to Imam Ali (a.s). Addressing the Banu Qeela, she has said: “O Banu Qeela, is my father’s inheritance seized from me while you see and hear? The summons reaches you and the voice includes you. You have the equipment. The house and the curtains belong to you. You are the choice Allah has chosen. You have brought the Arabs to light, improvised the affairs, and struggled against the brave men. So, through you, Islam has spread, its boons have become many, the fires of the war have gone out, the violence of polytheism has calmed down, the summons to the commotion has ceased, and the regulation of the religion has become firm. Have you lagged after boldness, recoiled after intensity, cowered after bravery from the people who have withdrawn from their faith after their covenant, and defamed your religion? Then fight the leaders of unbelief-surely their oaths are nothing- so that they may desist.”[4]

p: 141

Through her great sermon, Fatima moved the anger of the people and inflamed the fire of the revolt. However, Abu Bakr received her with an apology and gentleness. He showed toward her strong respect. So he suppressed the revolt and paralyzed its movement. As Fatima found no way to regain the right of Imam Ali (a.s) she revealed her complaints and sorrows to her father and inclined to patience toward the ordeals and misfortunes that had befallen her.

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[1] Fay’ is wealth, income, or war booty gained without fighting.

[2] Balaaghaat al-Nisa’, p. 23. A‘lam al-Nisa’, vol. 3, pp. 1219-1220. Al-Tabrasi, al-Ihtijajj. Al-Majlisi, al-Bihar. Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha.

[3] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 12.

[4] A‘lam al-Nisa’, vol. 3, p. 1214.

3. Imam al-Hasan

Agony and sorrow dwelt in the soul of Imam Ali (a.s) due to the loss of his right and usurp of his inheritance. They also dwelt in the soul of his son al-Hasan (a.s) and he went to the mosque of his grandfather (a.s). He saw Abu Bakr sitting on the pulpit of the mosque and delivering a sermon. He became displeased and bitterly criticized him (Abu Bakr), saying: “Get down! Get down from the pulpit of my (grand) father! Go to your father’s pulpit!”

Abu Bakr became astonished, and the people looked at the sayer. They suddenly came to know that he was the grandson of the Prophet (a.s) and his darling. They became perplexed and astonished and fell silent. Abu Bakr kept silent, avoided the attitude and said to him softly: “By Allah, you are truthful! Most surely it is your father’s pulpit, not my father’s pulpit!”[1]

p: 142

Most surely the argument of Imam al-Hasan, though young, issued from maturity, ambition, and cleverness. The Imam disclosed the exhausting pain he had hidden in the depth of his soul due to the loss of his father’s right. He saw his grandfather going up on the pulpit, summoning the people to Allah and guiding them to the right path. He came to know that that Light had disappeared and that Voice was veiled. He found none to succeed him (the Prophet) except his father, who defended Allah’s Apostle (a.s) in all the attitudes and battles.

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[1] Al-Riyad al-Nadira, vol. 1, p. 139. Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 17. Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, vol. 1, p. 93. Al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 172. In the book al-Isaba, vol. 2, p. 15, it has been mentioned: “This argument issued from Imam al-Husayn.” In the book al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa, p. 105, it has been mentioned: “Al-Hasan said these words to Abu Bakr, and that happened to al-Husayn with Umar bin al-Khattab.”

4. Salman al-Farisi

Salman al-Farisi, the pious son of Islam and source of piety and righteousness, hurried to rebuke the people and to protest against them. He argued with Abu Bakr, saying to him: “O Abu Bakr, to whom will you entrust your affair when that which you do not know befalls you? To whom will you resort when you are asked about something you do not know? What is your excuse? That is because there is someone who is more learned than you are, nearer to Allah’s Apostle (a.s), more knowledgeable in interpreting the Book of Allah, the Great and Almighty, and the Sunna of His Prophet. He is the one to whom the Prophet gave precedence during his lifetime, and whom he asked you to cling to at his death. But you have neglected his statement, forgotten his commandments, left behind you the promise, broken the covenant, and abrogated the agreement he had concluded with you in respect of walking behind the standard of Usama bin Zayd.”[1]

p: 143

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[1] Al-Tabrasi, al-Ihtijaj, pp. 42-43.

5. Ammar Bin Yasir

Ammar Bin Yasir began arguing with the people, saying to them: “O community of Quraysh, and O communities of the Muslims! If you have come to know; otherwise, you should know that the household of your Prophet are more appropriate for him, more entitled to inherit him, more righteous in the affairs of the religion, safer to the believers, more keeping to his creed, and sincerer to his community (than you are). Therefore, ask your leader (Abu Bakr) to return the right to its men before your cord becomes disordered, your affair becomes weak, your dissension appears, the affliction among you becomes greater, you differ with each other, and your enemy craves after you. You have come to know that the Hashimites are more appropriate for this affair than you are; Ali is nearer to your Prophet than you are. He is among them and is your master in respect of the covenant of Allah and of His Apostle. You have come to know about the manifest difference for a condition after a condition. That was when the Prophet (a.s) closed all your doors facing the Mosque except his (Ali) door. He preferred him through marrying him to his daughter Fatima to the rest of those from among you who proposed to her. These words of him (a.s): ‘I am the City of knowledge, and Ali is its gate; and whoever seeks wisdom, let him come to it through its gate.’ You all are required to consult him in regard with the difficult affairs of your religion, while he is in no need of you all. Moreover he has excellent precedence the like of which the best one of you does not have. So why have you turned away from him, usurped his right, preferred the life in this world to the next? Evil is (this) change for the unjust. Give him what Allah has appointed for him. Do not turn away from him. And turn not on your backs for then you will turn back losers.”[1]

p: 144

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[1] Al-Tabrasi, al-Ihtijaj p. 43.

6. Khuzayma Bin Thabit

Khuzayma Bin Thabit, a great companion of the Prophet, has said: “O People, did you not know that the Prophet (a.s) had accepted my witness alone and wanted no other witness with me?” Yes,” they replied. He said: “I bear witness that I have heard Allah’s Apostle (a.s) say: ‘My household distinguish between the truth and the falsehood; and they are the Imams who should be followed.’ I have said what I have known. Nothing is (incumbent) on the Apostle only a clear deliverance.”

7. Abul Haythem bin al-Tayhan

Abul Haythem bin al-Tayhan, a great companion of the Prophet, has said: “And I bear witness for our Prophet (a.s) that he installed Ali (as an Imam) on the Day of Ghadir Khum. So the Ansar said: ‘He (the Prophet) installed him (for nothing) except for the caliphate.’ Some of them said: ‘He installed him for nothing except for that the people had to know that he was the master of those whose master was Allah’s Apostle (a.s).’ There was a lot of discussion about that; so, we sent some men from among us to Allah’s Apostle (a.s) to ask him about that. He said: ‘Say to them: Ali is the master of the believers after me and the most loyal of the people to my community.’ I have borne witness to that which came to my mind. So let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve. Surely the day of decision is (a day) appointed.

p: 145

8. Sahl bin Hunayf

Sahl Bin Hunayf praised Allah and lauded him, called down blessings upon the Prophet and his family. Then he said: “O Community of Quraysh, I bear witness that I saw Allah’s Apostle (a.s) in this place (the Mosque of the Prophet) taking Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) by the hand. I heard him say to him: ‘O people, this Ali is your Imam (leader) after me. He is my gurdian during my lifetime and after my death. He settles my debts, fulfills my promises and will be the first to shake hand with me by the Pool. Blessed is he who follows and supports him. Woe unto him who lags behind and deserts him.”

9. Uthman bin Hunayf

Uthman bin Hunayf rose and said: “We have heard Allah’s Apostle (a.s) say: ‘My household are the stars of the earth; therefore, do not go ahead of them, for they are the rulers after me.’ A man rose for him and said: ‘O Allah’s Apostle, Who are your household?’ ‘Ali and his pure children,’ replied the Prophet.”

10. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari has said: “O servants of Allah, fear Allah in respect of the household of your Prophet, return to them their right that Allah had appointed to them. You have heard just as our brothers have heard that our Prophet (a.s) said in different gatherings: ‘My household are your Imams after me.’ He indicated with his hand to Ali. Then he said: ‘This is the Commander of the pious and killer of the unbelievers. Whoever deserts him is deserted; whoever supports him is supported. Therefore, turn to Allah in repentance because of your deeds, most surely Allah is the Most Forgiving, Merciful. Do not turn away from him, turning back’.”[1]

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[1] Al-Tabrasi, al-Ihtijaj, pp. 43-44. Other writers have mentioned it.

11. Utba bin Abi Lahab

While Utba bin Abi Lahab was shedding tears, he rose and recited:

I did not think that the authority would be turned away from Hashim, and then from Abu al-Hasan.

From the first of the people in faith, precedence, and the most learned of the people in the Qur’an and the Sunna.

The last of the people in making covenant with the Prophet, and whom Gabriel helped to wash and shroud (the Prophet),

Who has that which they do not doubt, and the people do not have the good he has.[1]

The great, trustworthy Muslims have mentioned other strong arguments concerning the right of Imam Ali (a.s). However, the people paid no attention to that and insisted on turning the caliphate away from the Prophet’s Household, peace be on them.

__________________________________

[1] Abu al-Fida’, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 156.

Imam Ali’s House is attacked

Imam Ali (a.s) did not pay homage to Abu Bakr and argued with him that he was more appropriate for the caliphate than he was. He announced his strong displeasure with the people. The Muslim leading personalities such as Ammar bin Yasir, Abu Dharr, al-Zubayr, and Khalid bin Sa’eed joined him. They held meetings in the Imam’s house and discussed the affair of the caliphate. These meetings disturbed Abu Bakr, so he decided to attack the Imam’s house, to meet the Imam with intensity and strictness, and to take against him all decisive measures.

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Accordingly, he commanded Umar to break into the Imam’s house and to force the Imam to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr. Umar became stern. He took some fighters and went to the Imam’s house. He thought that the best way to force the Imam to pay homage was setting fire to his house. He took a flambeau, and the fighters carried firewood. They angrily hurried to set fire to the house that Allah has permitted to be exalted and His name may be remembered in it, from which He took uncleanness away and completely purified. Any way, Umar angrily attacked the house and was shouting at the top of his voice: “By Him in whose hand is Umar’s soul, he (Imam Ali) should come out; otherwise, I will set fire to it (the house) with all those in it.[1] Some people blamed and warned him against the punishment of Allah. They said to him: “Fatima is in the house!”

He paid no attention to them and shouted at them: “Even though! Even though!”

The dear daughter of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) went out. She was terrified and astonished. She bitterly criticized them, saying: “I have never known a people doing worse than you have done!” You left Allah’s Apostle (a.s) as a corpse before us. You decided your affair among you. You did not consult us and did not return our right to us.”

The haughtiness of the people dispersed, and their violence melted. Umar hurried to Abu Bakr and urged him to force the Imam to pay homage to him. He said to him: “Do you not punish this one who has not pledged allegiance to you?”

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Abu Bakr sent Qunfudh to the Imam (a.s) and he refused to go with him. As a result, Umar and his helpers set out to the Imam’s house. They knocked on the door and came into the house. The daughter of the Prophet (a.s) called out her father and sought help from him, saying: “O father, O Allah’s Apostle, what have we met after you from (Umar) Ibn al-Khattab and Ibn Abi Quhafa (Abu Bakr)?”

The hearts became broken, and the souls melted due to the horrible misfortune, and the people went away weeping. Umar bin al-Khattab and his group remained there. They were angry. They paid no attention to the rebuke of the Prophet’s daughter. Umar violently brought out Imam Ali (a.s) and set out to Abu Bakr. He said to him: “Pay homage (to Abu Bakr)!”

“And if I do not do?” he asked.

The people that caprice had misled said to him: “By Allah, Whom there is no god but Him, we will cut off your head!”

The Imam fell silent for a while. He looked at the people. He found neither helper nor supporter among them, so he sadly said to them: “Therefore, you will kill Allah’s servant and the brother of His Apostle!”

Umar bin al-Khattab excitedly hurried to say: “As for (that you are) Allah’s servant, (the answer is) yes; and (as for that you are) the brother of his Apostle, (the answer is) no!”

Anyhow, Umar bin al-Khattab forgot that Imam Ali (a.s) was the brother of the Prophet, his self, and the gate of the city of his knowledge. He turned to Abu Bakr and urged him to inflict a punishment on the Imam, saying: “Do you not issue your command in respect of him?”

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Abu Bakr was careful of a discord and feared that the fires of the revolt would break out; so, he said: “I will not force him to do anything as long as Fatima is beside him!”

He released the Imam, and he went to the tomb of the Prophet (a.s). He sat there weeping. Then he addressed the Prophet at the top of his voice, saying: “Son of my mother, surely the people reckoned me weak and had well-nigh slain me!”

Indeed the people reckoned the Imam weak and alone and and they violated his sacredness. He returned home. He was sad; cares and sorrows surrounded him. He came to know that the people had harbored malice and hatred against him.

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[1] Traditions ensured by many ways of narration have mentioned that Umar threatened Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, with setting fire to his house. Most historians have mentioned that. This event has been mentioned in the books: Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, pp. 12-13. Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 34. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 202, (Daar al-Ma‘rif edition). Abu al-Fida’, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 156. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 105. ‘Alaam al-Nisa’, vol. 3, p. 205. Abu ‘Ubayd, al-Amwal, p. 131. Al-Mas‘udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 414. ‘Abd al-Fattah, Imam Ali, vol. 1, p. 213. He has mentioned it in vol. 4, p. 171. Hafiz Ibraheem, the poet of the Nile, has written poetry on it, saying:

Umar said a statement to Ali; venerate its listener; respect its speaker:

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I shall burn your house and do not leave you alive wherein if you do not pay homage, even if al-Mustafa’s daughter is in it.

None said it except Abu Hafs (Umar) when he addressed Adnan’s Knight and Protector.

Fadak is confiscated

When the Muslim armies conquered Khaybar forts, Allah threw fear and terror in the hearts of the inhabitants of Fadak, panic and fear dominated them; so, they hurried to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). They yielded to his decision and made peace with him provided that they should give him half of their lands. Accordingly, Fadak was the Prophet’s own property. That is because the Muslims had not conquered it through fighting. When Allah, the Exalted, revealed to His Prophet these words: And give to the near of kin his due [1], the Prophet hurried to give Fadak to his daughter as a gift. Accordingly, Fatima laid hand on Fadak and disposed of it as owners disposed of their properties. When the Prophet (a.s) died, Abu Bakr confiscated Fadak and took it by force from Fatima’s hand lest Imam Ali should be powerful. This is a kind of an economic war aiming at undermining the opponents and paralyzing the opposite movement. Ancient and modern governments use such a policy against their opponents. Ali bin Muhanna’ al-‘Alawi has inclined to this viewpoint, saying: “Through their depriving Fatima of Fadak, Abu Bakr and Umar had no purpose other than that lest Ali should be powerful to dispute with them over the caliphate through its yields and corps.”[2]

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After Abu Bakr had seized Fadak and dismissed from it the worker of Fatima al-Zahra’, Fatima, peace be on her, demanded him to return it to her. However, he did not respond to her in respect of that; rather, he asked her to give evidence for the truthfulness of her case. This procedure is very strange for the following reasons: Firstly, it does not apply to that which has been decided in the Islamic jurisprudence, and which is that the plaintiff is demanded to give evidence, and not the owner. When there is no evidence, there is no right against the plaintiff except taking an oath. As Fatima al-Zahra’ was the owner of Fadak, then she would not be demanded to give evidence; rather, Abu Bakr had to give it. As he had no evidence, then there was no right against him except taking an oath. However he neglected that and insisted on that Fatima had to give evidence. Secondly, Fatima was the mistress of the women of the world and the best of them, as her father, Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had said. The Muslims have unanimously agreed on that she was among those concerning whom Allah had revealed the verse of al-Tatheer, which indicates that Fatima was pure and infallible. She was the most truthful of all the people in speech, as A’isha said. Are these statements not enough to regard her as truthful and to respond to her?

Anyhow, Fatima, the darling of Allah’s Apostle (a.s), went and brought Imam Ali (a.s) and Umm Ayman. They bore witness before Abu Bakr that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had given Fadak to Fatima as a gift; nevertheless, he rejected their witness justifying that the evidence was not complete. This procedure also faces some criticisms: Firstly, it does not agree with the juristic rules, which are clear in indicating that if the case is for property, then it is established through one witness and taking an oath. If the plaintiff brings one witness, then the judge has to make him take an oath in stead of the second witness. If the plaintiff takes an oath, then the judge has to give him the right. If he refrains from that, the judge has to reject the case. However Abu Bakr did not apply that; he cancelled the witness and refused the case. Secondly, he refused the testimony of Imam Ali (a.s) while he was with the Qur’an, and the Qur’an was with him, and they did not separate from each other, as Allah’s Apostle (a.s) said.[3] Thirdly, he rejected the witness of Umm Ayman, a righteous woman, for whom Allah’s Apostle (a.s) bore witness that she would be among the people of the Garden.[4]

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Fatima, the mistress of women, left Abu Bakr while she was tripping over the trains of her gown because of her disappointment of Fadak. Sorrows and pain befell her. Imam Sharaf al-Deen, may Allah rest him in peace, has said: “I wish that he (Abu Bakr) avoided the failure of al-Zahra’ in her attitudes through all the wise ways he had. If he had done that, he would have been more trustworthy in result, farther away from most likely places of regret, remoter from the attitudes of blame, more unifying to the community, and better for him in particular. He was able to deem the deposit and only daughter of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) far above the disappointment, and not to let her leave him while she was tripping over the trains of her gown. What would have been against him if he had replaced her father and gave her Fadak without any trial? The Imam had the right to do that according to his general authority. What was the value of Fadak in respect of this interest and removing this corruption?”[5]

Most surely Abu Bakr did no favor nor did he do a good deed to the daughter of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). He was able to let her own Fadak, to avoid deception, severity, and estrangement toward her. However the affair is as narrated by Ali bin al-Fariqi, a great figure in Baghdad, a teacher at its western school, and among the Sheikhs of Ibn Abi al-Haddeed. Ibn Abi al-Haddeed asked Ali bin al-Fariqi:

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-Was Fatima truthful in her case of the gift?

-Yes.

-Why did Abu Bakr not give Fadak to her while he came to know that she was truthful?

Ibn Abi al-Haddeed said: “He (Ali bin al-Fariqi) smiled, and then said: ‘A nice, approved speech in respect of his law, his sacredness, and his little joking.’ He said: ‘If he had given her Fadak as soon as she demanded him, she would have come to him. She would have claimed the caliphate for her husband, and removed him from his position. At that time he would be unable to make an apology through a certain thing, for he would write against himself that she was truthful in respect of what she claimed whoever she was without any need of evidence and witnesses.’”

Yes, for this reason the people decided to wrong Fatima, plunder her wealth, regard as lawful the rejection of the witness of Imam Ali (a.s), and to make the family of the Prophet bemoan, sigh, lead a life full of cares, sorrows, and fears.

_______________________

[1] Qur’an, 17, 26.

[2] A‘lam al-Nisa’, vol. 3, p. 215.

[3] Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 124. Al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa, 75.

[4] Al-Isaba.

[5] Al-Nas wa al-Ijtihad, p. 37.

Abu Bakr regrets

Abu Bakr too much repented of what he neglected toward the daughter of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). He felt remorse because of what had issued from him such as attacking Imam Ali’s house, and carrying the flambeaus to burn it. He said: “I wish I did not uncover Fatima’s house even if they had closed it (to declare) war (against me)!”[1]

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He was very impatient because of what he had done toward the deposit (daughter) of the Prophet (a.s). As a result he and his companion Umar went to her house to soothe and please her. They asked permission to enter her house, but she refused to permit them. They asked permission again, but she refused to permit them. So they went to Imam Ali (a.s) and asked him to permit them to meet the deposit (daughter) of the Prophet (a.s). The Imam (a.s) went to his house and asked Fatima, the mistress of women, to permit them to meet her. She responded to him, and he (a.s) permitted them to meet her. They visited and greeted her, but she did not answer them. They walked towards her and sat in front of her, but she turned her face away from them. They insisted on that she had to listen to their speech. She permitted them to do that. Abu Bakr said: “Dear daughter of Allah’s Apostle (a.s), by Allah, the kinship of Allah’s Apostle is more lovable to me than my kinship. You are more lovable to me than (my daughter) A’isha. I wish I died on the day when your father died and did not remain (alive) after him. Do you think that I know you, your excellence, your honor and prevent you from (taking) your right and inheriting Allah’s Apostle? However, I have heard Allah’s Apostle say: “We do not bequeath what we leave (after us), for it is alms.”

With her reliable proofs she gave during her great sermon, the daughter of the Apostle (a.s) refuted his statement in respect of that the Prophet equally treated all the Muslims in the inheritance. She said to Abu Bakr and Umar: “I adjure you before Allah, have you not heard Allah’s Apostle say: ‘Fatima’s pleasure is mine, and Fatima’s displeasure is mine. So whoever loves my daughter Fatima loves me. Whoever pleases Fatima pleases me, and whoever discontents Fatima discontents me.”

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They believed her statement, saying: “Yes, we have heard him say that.”

So she raised her hands towards the heaven and began saying through a broken heart: “Therefore, I call to witness Allah and His angels that you have discontented me, and not pleased me; and if I meet Allah’s Apostle, I will complain to him of you!”

Abu Bakr began weeping; nevertheless, she said to him: “By Allah, I will invoke Allah against you during every prayer I offer.”[2] “How strong these words were! The blows of swords were lighter than their effect! The earth beneath them shook and turned like the quern, to the extent that they staggered due to the fear of what they had met. They left the house while they were hopeless of pleasing the daughter of the Apostle. They came to know of the anger and rage in her heart they drew on themselves.”[3]

Abu Bakr had the right to weep and be sad due to the anger of the mistress of women with him, for Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had said to her: “Most surely Allah’s Apostle becomes angry due to your anger and becomes pleased due to your pleasure!”[4]

The world became narrow in Abu Bakr’s eyes, and he sought shelter with his tears, that he might decrease his pain and sorrows, for he missed the good pleasure of the daughter of the Prophet (a.s) which was of Allah’s. All these events were before the very eyes of Imam al-Hasan (a.s) and within his earshot. They had a great effect on his feelings, and he became angry with those who usurped his father’s right of authority and discontent with those who occupied his office of the caliphate.

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[1] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 3, p. 135. Al-Tabari, vol. 4, p. 52.

[2] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 14. A’lam al-Nisa’, vol. 3, p. 1214. Imam Ali, vol. 1, p. 217.

[3] Imam Ali, vol. 1, pp. 217-218.

[4] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 153. Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 5, p. 522. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 12, p. 441. Mizan al-I‘tidal, vol. 2, p. 219. Dhakha’ir al-Uqba, p. 39. Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal, vol. 1, p. 52.

Al-Zahra’s Sorrows

Waves of cares and sorrows covered the daughter of the Prophet (a.s). Clouds of troubles and agony encompassed her due to the loss of her right and her father. The people narrated that none saw her smile or show delight after him until she followed him to the better world. She thought of nothing except of him, nor did she mention his name except accompanied with lamentation and pain.

She visited his pure tomb and went around it, while she was perplexed. She wept and moistened it with generous tears. She threw herself on the tomb, while she was astonished-minded, broken-hearted, and cracked-bodied. She smelt and kissed the earth of the tomb for a long time. She wept bitterly and said with sad tones:

Whoever smells the earth of Ahmed will not smell the ghaliya[1] throughout the time.

Misfortunes have been poured on me that if they were poured on days, they would turn into nights.[2]

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) looked at this black sadness that befell his affectionate mother, so his heart cracked, and he shed tears as far as the eye-lids could help him. During his youth, he saw the agony of the misfortunes that attacked his affectionate mother, to the extent that her strength became weak, sadness made her face black, and she became a corpse void of life. So he drowned in tears and affairs.

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What a kind of sadness was that befell the daughter and the darling of Allah’s Apostle (a.s)! People set her an example for sadness, regarded her as among the five tearful people,[3] who represented sadness and sorrow on the arena of life?

She was so sad that Anas bin Malik[4] asked permission to condole her on her painful misfortune, and she gave him permission.

“Are you Anas bin Malik?” she asked him.

“Yes, daughter of Allah’s Apostle,” he replied.

She asked him a question accompanied with lamentation and pain: “How were your souls pleased to pour earth upon Allah’s Apostle?”[5]

Anas went out, while his heart was about to come to an end due to sorrows, and he loudly wept. Fatima (a.s) demanded Imam Ali (a.s) to give her the shirt with which he had washed Allah’s Apostle (a.s). When she saw the shirt, she smelt it and put it on her eyes; her heart melted due to the pain of sadness, to the extent that she fainted.

The Apostle’s daughter remained so after her father. Sadness exhausted her; that the people denied her right and deprived her of her inheritance increased her sadness. Al-Hasan (a.s) went on seeing the disasters and misfortunes that befell his mother. The freshness of his youth withered. During his daytime he came to know nothing except the Tree of al-Arak where he went to help his mother in lamenting and to reduce her agony and sorrow. He stayed with her throughout the daytime in sadness and depression. When the sun was about to set, he, his father, and his brother took her home. There he found nothing other than loneliness and cares dominating the house.

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The people uprooted the tree in whose shadow she sat. So she and her two sons wept in the heat of the sun. Imam Ali (a.s) built her a house and called it the House of Sorrows. She sat in the house and wept for her father. She addressed and complained to him.

Pain surrounded her, and illness destroyed her; so, she remained at bed. She was unable to rise or stand up. Some Muslim women visited her and said to her: “How about your illness, O daughter of Allah’s Apostle?”

She looked at them and showed her hidden sorrow, saying: “I have hated your world and delighted to depart from you. I will meet Allah and his Apostle carrying sorrows caused by you. That is because my right has not been kept, nor has the protection for me been respected, nor has the inheritance been accepted, nor has the sacredness been regarded.”[6]

A wife of the Prophet’s visited her and said: “O daughter of Allah’s Apostle, let us take part in washing you!”

However, Fatima refused that and said: “Do you want to say in respect of me as you had said in respect of my mother? I am in no need of your presence.”

To Be Continued ....

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[1] Ghaliya is a perfume of musk and ambergris.

[2] Noor al-Abbsar, p. 42. In his book al-Manaqib, vol., 2, p. 131, Ibn Shahrashub has mentioned an addition to the above-mentioned poetry lines. The addition is as follows:

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Say to him who has been caused to be absent beneath the layers of the earth if you can hear my cry and my call.

I had protection under the wing of Muhammed. I had no fear of oppression and he was my beauty.

However, today I have yielded to the lowly one, avoided being oppressed, and repelled with my

garment him who wrongs me.

If a turtledove weeps on a twig during its night out of grief, I will weep throughout my morning.

So, after you, I will appoint sadness as my bosom friend and make the tears over you as my sash.

[3] The five tearful people are Adam, Ya‘qub, Yusuf, Fatima, and Ali bin al-Husayn.

[4] Anas bin Malik was among those who lowered Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) into his final resting-place.

[5] Ibn Maja, Sunan, p. 18.

[6] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 95.

Part Two: At the Time of the two Caliphs

To the Most High Comrade

To the Most High Comrade

The illness fatigued the Messenger’s daughter, and sadness exhausted her thin body. Sorrow harmed her gentle, tortured heart, to the extent that death walked towards it, while she was in the dawn and beauty of youth. Alas for the Prophet’s dear daughter and darling! Death quickly approached her; it was time for her to meet her father, for whom she had impatiently longed.

When she came to know that death was close at hand, she summoned Imam Ali (a.s) and told him about her will. She asked him to bury her body in the dark night, to prevent those who had wronged her and denied her right from praying over her and standing by her grave, for they were her and her father’s enemies as she said. Imam Ali went away while he was weeping. He responded to the feelings of his sad soul which time filled with sorrow and sadness.

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Fatima asked him to make her a coffin to conceal her sacred body, for the people used to put the dead on a stretcher, that their bodies could be seen. She hated that and wanted none to look at her. As a result she summoned Asma’, daughter of ‘Umays[1] and told her of what she wanted. She made her a coffin like that which she had seen in al-Habasha to conceal her body. When Fatima looked at the coffin, she smiled for the first time after the death of her father.[2]

On the last day of her life, she was happy and delighted, for she came to know that she would join her father, who had given her good news of that she would be the first of his family to join him. She washed her two sons and ordered them to go to visit the grave of their grandfather. They went out while they were thinking of the affair. Did the illness exhaust their mother? Did the illness harm her, and she was unable to go to the House of Sorrows? Or did she want to weep this day in her house? How did she weep while the Sheikhs of Medina had prevented her from weeping? They drowned in a sea of cares and a current of suspicions.

Fatima turned to Salma, daughter of ‘Umays,[3] who looked after her, and said to her: “Mother!”

“Yes, O dear one of Allah’s Apostle (a.s)!” retorted Salma.

“Bring me some water!” requested Fatima.

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Salma fetched her some water, and she washed with it, and she was in a good condition. She said to her: “Bring me my new garments!”

Salma gave her the garments. Then Fatima said to her: “Put my bed in the middle of the house!”

Salma became astonished and tripped over the trains of her gown. She did that to her. Fatima laid on her bed in the direction of qibla. Then she turned to Salma and said to her: “I am dying now! I have purified myself! Therefore, let none uncover me.”[4]

Fatima died at that time. On that day immortal in the world of sorrows, the most wonderful page of virtue, purity, and chastity was folded. At her death the last one of the children of Allah’s Apostle departed from the world of existence.

Al-Hasan and al-Husayn returned home. They looked here and there, but they did not see their mother. They hurried to Salma and asked her: “Salma, where is our mother?”

Salma walked towards them while she was shaking all over with fear. She was astonished, confused, and shedding tears. She said to them: “O my masters, your mother has died! Tell your father about that!”

Al-Hasan and al-Husayn were about to die due to this terrible news. They hurried to the Mosque while they were crying. Muslims received them and asked: “What has made you cry, O (grand)sons of Allah’s Apostle? Perhaps you have looked at the standing place of your grandfather and cried due to yearning to him?”

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They answered with a sad voice: “Our mother Fatima has died.”

They moved the feelings of Muslims through this painful news and made pain hurt their hearts, for they missed the daughter of their Prophet and the most lovable of his children to him. They did not keep her position nor did they give her her right. From all directions they hurried to Imam Ali’s house, that they might be successful in escorting the Remnant of the Prophet, the Pure and Holy Lady. They overcrowded in front of the Imam’s house. They felt remorse for their neglecting the daughter of the Prophet (a.s) who was loyal to them in respect of their religion and their world. Imam Ali asked Salman al-Farisi to ask the people to go away. Salman went out and asked them to leave. Then A’isha came and wanted to come into the Imam’s house. However Asma’ prevented her from that and said to her: “Fatima has entrusted me with that none shall come in (and see her)!”[5]

The sad, bereaved Imam washed, shrouded, and prepared his pure wife. Then he summoned his sons to bid farewell to her. They did that to her while they were crying and lamenting over her. After the Imam had prepared his wife to burial, he waited for the last part of the night. When it came, the Imam along with a group of his companions carried the Sacred Corpse to its final resting-place. Imam Ali (a.s) had not informed any of the people except a group of his special companions according to her will.[6] He (a.s) dug a grave for her in

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the cemetery of al-Baqee‘, according to what has been said.[7] He put her into the grave and poured earth upon her. When those who were with him went away, he sadly stood by the grave. He addressed the Prophet and eulogized his daughter Fatima al-Zahra’ with some words issued from his heart full of pain and sorrow, saying: “O Prophet of Allah, peace be on you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you. O Prophet of Allah, my patience about your chosen (daughter) has decreased, and my power of endurance has weakened, except that I have ground for consolation in having endured the great hardship and heart-rending event of your separation. I laid you down in your grave when your last breath had passed (when your head was) between my neck and chest. To Allah we belong and to Him is our return. Now, the trust has been returned and what had been given is taken back. As to my grief, it knows no bounds, and as to my nights, they will remain with sleeplessness until Allah chooses for me the house in which you are residing.

“Your daughter will tell you about the agreement of your community on oppressing her. You ask her in detail and get the news about the position. This has happened when a long time had not elapsed and your remembrance had not disappeared. My salam (greetings) be on you both, the salam of a grieved, stricken one, not of a disgusted or hateful one. If I go away it is not because of boredom, and if I stay it is not due to lack of belief in what Allah has promised the patient.”[8]

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Through this sad speech, the Imam has announced that the community had helped each other to wrong the daughter of the Prophet (a.s) at the time when his absence from them was not long and his remembrance did not disappear. He asked him to ask his daughter about the affairs, the sorrows, the oppression, harm, and persecutions she faced.

Imam al-Hasan listened to this sad speech of his father; so, severe pain befell him, and tiring sadness surrounded him. His sadness and sorrow doubled because he saw his affectionate mother live in this world as flowers did. Death surprised her while she was in the bloom of youth. She was carried in the coffin in the dark night. None of the Muslims escort her except a little group, while she was the daughter of the Prophet (a.s), his darling, and the most lovable of his children to him. Imam al-Hasan faced the bitterness of such misfortunes while he was still a child; so, his heart became a place of cares, sadness, and sorrows.

Notes

[1] Asma’ was the daughter of Umays bin Sa‘eed bin al-Harith al-Khath‘ami. Her mother was the daughter of Awf bin Zuhayr bin Kinana. She had become Muslim before Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) enter al-Arqam’s house in Mecca. She pledged allegiance (to the Prophet). She and her husband Ja‘far bin Abi Talib migrated to the land of al-Habasha (Abyssinai). She said: “O Allah’s Apostle, some men pride themselves on me that I was not among the early emigrants.” So, he (a.s.) said: “Rather, you emigrated twice: You emigrated to al-Habasha, while we were in Mecca. Then you emigrated after that.”

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She narrated sixty traditions from the Prophet (a.s.). Umar bin al-Khattab asked her to explain dreams. He assigned for her one thousand dirhams. When her husband was martyred, Abu Bakr married her, and she born him the good one, Muhammed. When Abu Bakr died, Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, married her. She was the sister of Maymuna, daughter of al-Harith and wife of the Prophet (a.s.) and sister of Umm al-Fadhl, the wife of al-Abbas. Her biography has been mentioned in the books: Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 5, p. 395. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, Al-Isti‘ab, A‘lam al-Nisa’. Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat.

[2] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 162.

[3] Salma, daughter of Umays, was the sister of Asma’. She was among the sisters concerning whom Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) said: “The believing sisters!” She was the wife of Hamza bin ‘Abd al-Muttalib. This has been mentioned in the book Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 5, p. 479.

[4] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 8, p. 17. In the books Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal’s Musnad, vol. 6, p. 461, and Dhakha’ir al-Uqba, it has been mentioned that it was Umm Salama who witnessed the death of Fatima, and not Salma, daughter of Umays.

[5] Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 5, p. 524. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 113.

[6] This has been mentioned by those who explained al-Bukhari’s book, vol. 8, p. 157. In al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 162, it has been mentioned on the authority of ‘Aa’isha, who has said: “Fatima, daughter of Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) was buried during the night, and it was Ali, peace be on him, who buried her. Abu Bakr did not come to know of that until after she had been buried and Ali prayed over her.” This tradition has been mentioned in the books: Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 1, pp. 6-9. Muslim, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 72. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 202. Al-Bayqahi, Sunan, vol. 6, p. 300. Al-Tahawi, Mushkil al-Aathar. The tradition has also been mentioned by Ibn Kuthayr in his al-Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 285. He has said in vol. 6, p. 333: “Fatima hated Abu Bakr throughout her lifetime.” In his al-Sirah al-Halabiya, vol. 3, p. 390, al-Waqidi has said: “We have established that Ali, my Allah honor him, buried he (Fatima), my Allah be pleased with her, and prayed over her. With him were al-Abbas, and al-Fadhl. They did not inform anyone of that.”

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[7] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 52. It has been mentioned in it: “Ibn Babawayh believes that Fatima was buried in her house.” Our Sheikh believes that she was buried either in her house or in al-Rouda.

[8] Muhammad ‘Abda, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. pp. 207-208. The historians have differed over the date of her death. In his book al-Tabaqat, vol. 8, p. 18, Ibn Sa‘d has mentioned: “Fatima died three months after the death of her father (a.s.). She was twenty years old on the day when she died.” In al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 162, it has been mentioned: “She died eight months after the death of her father.” It was said that she did not remain (alive) except for two moths, and that she was twenty years old. In Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 60, it has been mentioned: “She died seventy-five days after (the death of) her father. It was said that she died forty days (after him). She was eighteen years and two moths old.” (The author of Bihar al-Anwar) has narrated this on the authority of al-Sayyid al-Murtada, ‘Alam al-Huda. He has mentioned other reports in this respect.

Imam Ali inclines to Isolation

After Imam Ali (a.s) had deposited the daughter of the Prophet (a.s) in the earth, he went away while he was bitterly weeping. He came back home while he was depressed and sad. He looked at his sons, who were lamenting for their mother and crying over the heavy misfortune. His sorrows were excited, and his pain increased. He saw men plunder his rights and inheritance. Disasters and misfortunes befell him, so he inclined to isolation and sitting in his house. He (a.s) withdrew himself from the people and sat in his house. He did not meet with the people, nor did they meet with him. He turned away from the people, and they turned away from him. He did not resort to them, and they did not resort to him except when they faced a problem and did not find a solution for it. In this case they resorted to him, that he may remove the curtain from it. He (a.s) sometimes undertook answering such problems and sometimes entrusted them to his son al-Hasan, that he might show the people his excellence and his talents. The narrators have reported that a Bedouin asked Abu Bakr the following questions:

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“I found some eggs of an ostrich. I grilled the eggs and ate them while I was entering the state of ritual consecration; therefore, what should I do?”

As for Abu Bakr, he became perplexed and was unable to give an answer. He sent the problem to Umar, and he became perplexed too. The latter sent the problem to Abdurrahman, and he was unable to give an answer. As a result they all hurried to Imam Ali, the Gate of the City of the Prophet’s knowledge that he might guide them to an answer. The Bedouin asked him the above-mentioned question, and the Imam (a.s) said to him: “Ask one of these two boys!”

The Bedouin asked Imam al-Hasan (a.s) and he in turn asked him:

-Do you have camels?

-Yes.

-Specify she-camels as equal as to the eggs you had eaten. Let he-camels cover the she-camels. Send as a gift what they reproduce to the Ancient House of Allah (the Kaaba), where you had performed the hajj.

Imam Ali (a.s) turned to his son al-Hasan and said to him:

-O my little son, al-Saloob and al-Zalooq[1] are two kinds of camel?

So al-Hasan gave an answer to his question:

-O Father, if some she-camels miscarry dead or incomplete fetuses, then some eggs are bad.

His answer (a.s) was according to what was decided in the Islamic jurisprudence in respect of the expiation of entering in the state of ritual consecration. Imam Ali (a.s) approved his answer. He (a.s) turned to those who attended his meeting and praised his son’s talents and abundant knowledge, saying: “O people, most surely this boy has understood what Sulayman bin Dawud had understood.”[2]

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Imam Ali (a.s) was an authority of giving religious verdicts during the lifetime of Abu Bakr and Umar. The Muslims resorted to him when they faced a certain problem. The historians have unanimously agreed that he was the most knowledgeable of the companions of the Prophet in religious affairs and lawful precepts.

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[1] Al-Saloob is the she-camel whose embryo is dead or it is the one that miscarries an incomplete embryo. Al-Zalooq is the she-came that miscarries an incomplete embryo.

[2] Ibn Shahrashub, al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 150. He has quoted it from al-Qadi’s Sharh al-Akhbar.

Abu Bakr dies

Abu Bakr dies

Abu Bakr went on usurping the caliphate for a short time. He managed the affairs of the community and moved about in its affairs. He depended on Umar and entrusted to him the tasks of the government. When he was critically ill and was about to die, he entrusted the caliphate after him to Umar. Talha criticized him for this choice. He said to him: “What will you say to your Lord? You have appointed over us a rude, coarse caliph of whom souls are afraid and from whom hearts scatter!”[1]

Abu Bakr kept silent, so Talha went on saying: “O vicegerent of Allah’s Apostle, we do not stand his aggressiveness when you are alive; therefore, how will be our condition with him when you die and he becomes a caliph?”[2]

Talha, and the majority of the Muhajireen and the Ansar criticized Abu Bakr for this doing. They went to Abu Bakr and said to him: “We think that you will appoint Umar as a caliph over us. You have known him and his calamities among us while you are alive. How will (be our condition) when you depart from us? You will meet Allah, the Great and Almighty, and He will question you about that; therefore, what will you say to Him?”

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Abu Bakr answered them with a low voice: “If Allah question me, I will say (to Him) that I appointed as a caliph over them the best one of them in my viewpoint.”[3]

That Umar was the best of them in his viewpoint was not a justification for nominating him for the caliphate. In this respect he had to consult the Muslims and the influential people according to the rule of consultation. However, he neglected that, responded to his sentiments and his urgent wish for making his companion undertake the reins of government. Anyway Umar stood beside him to strengthen his statement and his opinion, saying: “O people, listen to the vicegerent of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and obey him.”[4]

Abu Bakr summoned Uthman bin Affan and commanded him to write him the covenant in respect of Umar. He dictated it to him. The following is the text: “This is what Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafa has undertaken at his last time in the world from which he will depart and at his first time in the hereafter (in which) he will enter. Most surely I have appointed Umar bin al-Khattab as a caliph over you. If you see him treat you with justice, then this is my opinion and hope of him. If he altered and changed, then I wanted the good and I did not know the unseen, and they who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back.[5]

Umar took the document and began running to the Mosque to recite it to the people. On his way to the Mosque, a man asked him: “What is there in the document, O Abu Hafs?”

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“I do not know,” replied Umar, “but I am the first to listen and obey.”

“By Allah, I have come to know what is there in it,” retorted the man, “You appointed him as a commander last year, and he has appointed you as a commander this year!”[6]

Abu Bakr cleared and paved the way to Umar. He forgot Imam Ali. He did not consult him about the affair, nor did he take care of his right (of authority). Some years later Imam Ali expressed the strong pain and sadness he had hidden in his soul. In his sermon known as al-Shaqshaqiya, he says: “I was patient although there was pricking in the eye and suffocation in the throat. I saw my inheritance be plundered. When the first one (Abu Bakr) went to his way (passed away), he handed it (the caliphate) over to so-and-so (Umar) after him.”

“How strange! While he (Abu Bakr) released himself from it (the caliphate) during his lifetime,[7] he entrusted it to another after his death. Without doubt these two persons shared its udders between them.”[8]

These words display the great sadness and strong sorrow that stabled in the Imam’s soul due to the loss of his right (of authority). Some modern writers believe that Abu Bakr turned away from choosing Imam Ali because he did not pay homage to him and argued with him on that he was worthier of authority than he was because of his kinship to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). This made Abu Bakr harbor malice and hatred against him.

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Abu Bakr’s illness became worse, and his conditional became critical, so he died.[9] Umar undertook his affairs. He buried him beside the Prophet (a.s) in his house. The house of the Prophet (a.s) was either an inheritance, as the daughter of the Apostle (a.s) had said, or it was alms, as Abu Bakr claimed. If it was an inheritance, then it was not lawful (for the people) to bury Abu Bakr in it except after pleasing the inheritors. If it was alms, then there was no escape from pleasing the Muslim community. These two precepts were not taken into consideration.

Notes

[1] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 55.

[2] Ibid., vol. 6, p. 343 (Edition of Daar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-‘Arabiya).

[3] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 19.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Qur’an, 26, 227. Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 19. Al-Tabari, Tarikh. Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat.

[6] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 20.

[7] He refers to Abu Bakr’s statement after the pledge of allegiance had been given to him: “Depose me (from the office of the caliphate), for I am not the best of you!”

[8] Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, Muhammad ‘Abda, vol. 1, p. 26-27.

[9] Abu Bakr died on Monday evening, twenty-second of Jamadi al-Akhira, in the year 13 A. H. He was sixty-three years old. The period of his caliphate was two years and three moths. This has been mentioned by al-Mas‘udi in his Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 191. In the pre-Islamic period Abu Bakr taught boys, and in the Islamic period he was a tailor. His father was poor. He lived on hunting turtledoves. When he became blind and his son was unable to look after him, he went to Abdullah bin Jad‘an, a leading person in Mecca, and he installed him in the office of calling (people to come to) his food. This has been mentioned in the book Haqq al-Yaqeen, vol. 1, p. 181.

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The Caliphate of Umar

Umar bin al-Khattab seized the reins of government after the death of Abu Bakr. He calmly and peacefully received the leadership of the community. He ruled the country with extreme severity and violence. The leading companions of the Prophet avoided meeting him. None was able to tell him about his opinions openly or to criticize the standing government. That is because Umar’s whip, as they said, was more awful in the souls of the people than al-Hajjajj’s sword, to the extent that Ibn Abbas was unable to declare that the temporary marriage was permissible and lawful until Umar died. Some years later Imam Ali (a.s) described Umar’s violent policy, saying: “So he (Umar) put the caliphate in a tough enclosure where the utterance was haughty and touch was rough. Mistakes were plenty and also the excuses therefore. The one in contact with it was like the rider of an unruly camel. If he pulled up its rein the very nostril would be slit, but if he let it loose he would be thrown. Consequently, by Allah, the people got involved in recklessness, wickedness, unsteadiness and deviation.”[1]

This is an accurate description of Umar’s policy, which followed the way of severity and rudeness in all fields, to the extent that the people were afflicted with recklessness, wickedness, unsteadiness and deviation. His policy was so violent that a pregnant woman miscarried when she came to ask him about a certain matter.[2] In respect of Umar’s severity and strictness, Uthman bin Affan says: “(Umar) bin al-Khattab walked on with his leg, hit you with his hand and suppressed you with his tongue, so you were afraid of him and satisfied with him.” Those who criticize this policy believe that it does not represent the Islamic, political viewpoints that do not adopt the policy of violence and terrorism in all circumstances. A man came to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). The man was afraid of him and shook all over with fear. So the Prophet (a.s) rebuked him, saying: “I am the son of a Qurashi woman who ate jerked meat.” Islam has been based on kindness, leniency, and tolerance. The head of a state has no right to follow any way leading to terrifying and exhausting subjects.

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Yet another criticism faces Umar’s policy; the criticism is that it aimed at finding classes in Islam. In his fiscal policy he preferred some classes to others. He gave precedence to the Prophet’s wives over other than them. He gave preference to those who took part in the Battle of Badr over others. He preferred the Muhajireen to the Ansar.[3] It is natural that such a kind of policy opposes the equality Islam has brought.

Moreover, Umar besieged the companions of the Prophet in Medina. He did not allow them to leave it. This procedure opposes the perfect freedom Islam has adopted and granted to all subjects. Perhaps, for these reasons Imam Ali (a.s) said that the people during the time of Umar were afflicted with recklessness, wickedness, unsteadiness and deviation.

_______________________________

[1] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 162.

[2] Ibid., p. 174.

[3] Abu ‘Ubayda, p. 224.

Imam Ali isolates himself

Imam Ali (a.s) isolated himself during the reign of the Second Caliph (Umar) just as he did during the reign of the First Caliph (Abu Bakr). He did not take part in any of the affairs of the people, nor did he intervene in any of their affairs. For this reason his voice fainted in all the battles and the attitudes except that he gave religious verdicts when the people asked him about certain religious problems. In this respect Umar’s has said a famous statement: “Were it not for Ali, Umar would perish!”[1] Umar was always in need of Imam Ali in respect of giving religious verdicts; that is the Caliph’s knowledge of the Islamic jurisprudence was very little. For example, he gave many judgements in respect of the grandfather’s inheritance and the brothers. Then he was afraid of the judgements. So he said: “Whoever wants to enter the Hellfire, then let him decide the case of grandfather according to his viewpoint!”[2] He has also said: “If I hear that the dower of a woman is more than that of the wives of the Prophet (a.s), I will take that back from her.” A woman said to him: “Allah has not permitted you to do that. For He, the Most High, has said: And if you wish to have (one) wife in place of another and you have given one of them a heap of gold, then take not from it anything; would you take it by slandering (her) and (doing her) manifest wrong?”[3]

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Accordingly, Umar showed the Muslims his weakness (in the Islamic jurisprudence), saying: “All the people are more knowledgeable than Umar even the owners of anklets (women)! Do you not wonder at an imam who has made a mistake and a woman who has given a correct answer; she has contended with your Imam for excellence and has become better than him!”[4]

Anyhow, Umar had little knowledge of the Islamic jurisprudence. Of course, he was forced to resort to Imam Ali, the Gate of the City of the Knowledge of the Prophet (a.s) and his guardian, that he might explain to him that which was difficult to him. Imam Ali generously undertook this task and was not miserly to the people in respect of his knowledge lest Allah’s laws should be neglected and His prescribed punishment should be not administered. In the Meantime he was far from the people. He did not take part in any of their affairs. He inclined to isolation and withdrawal from them. He was peaceful to them to observe the Islamic Unity and to protect the Muslims from dissension.

During the time of Umar, Imam al-Hasan ended his childhood and was about to enter the bloom of youth. The policy required Umar to magnify the Prophet’s two grandsons and to appoint for them a portion from what the Muslims took as booty during their battles. Umar received brocaded garments from Yemen. He divided them among the Muslims, but he forgot them (Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn). As a result he sent (a letter to) his governor over Yemen and commanded him to send him two garments. He sent them to him, and he gave them to al-Hasan and al-Husayn. He gave them as equal as to what he gave to their father, and he joined them to those who took part in the Battle of Badr, so he gave five thousand (dirhams) to each of them.[5]

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He did nothing other than that toward Imam al-Hasan (a.s). The reason for that is that his father Imam Ali (a.s) did not take part in any of Umar’s affairs, nor did he participate in any of the public sides.

______________________________

[1] Al-Sunan al-Kubra, vol. 7, P. 442. Al-Razi, Tafseer, vol. 7, p. 484.

[2] Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 181.

[3] Qur’an, 4, 20.

[4] Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 182.

[5] Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 321.

Umar is assassinated

Abu Lu’lu’a, al-Mughira’s servant, assassinated Umar. He stabbed him three times. One of these stabs was below his navel and put an end to his life. Some sources have ascribed the reason to that a heavy land tax (kharaj) was imposed on al-Mughira, and he complained of that to Umar. However Umar rebuked him and said: “The land tax imposed on you is not great in comparison with the crafts you do well!”

Accordingly, Abu Lu’lu’a was disturbed and he harbored malice against Umar. One day he passed by Umar, and he mocked at him, saying: “I have heard that you say: ‘If I wished to make a quern turned by wind, I would do!’” These words of Umar hurt Abu Lu’lu’a and he told him about the evil he had harbored against him, saying: “I will make you a quern about which the people will talk!”

On the following day he assassinated him.[1] It was said that he was assassinated through a plot made by those who were displeased with his policy that followed the way of severity and strictness and created caste among the Muslims.

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Anyway Umar was carried to his house while his wounds were bleeding. His family hurried and brought a doctor. The doctor asked Umar: “Which drink is the most lovable to you?”

“Grapes juice,” he replied

The people gave him the juice to drink, and it came out of his wounds. So they said: “Pus has come out!” Then they gave him yogurt to drink, and it came out of his wounds. Accordingly, the doctor was hopeless of him and said to him: “I do not think that you will remain until evening!”[2] When his son Abdullah was sure of his death, he said to him: “O father, appoint someone as a caliph over the community of Muhammad (a.s). If the shepherd of your sheep or camel came to you and left your sheep or camel without anyone to look after them, you would blame him and say: ‘How have you left the trust with you to be lost?’ Just imagine how much more important is the community of Muhammad (a.s). Therefore, appoint someone as a caliph over it!”

But Umar looked at his son with a look of doubt, and said to him: “If I appointed someone as a caliph over the nation, Abu Bakr had appointed someone over it. If I left it (without a caliph), Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had left it (without a caliph)!”[3]

In this speech of his, Abdullah has given a natural proof for the necessity of installing a testamentary trustee and appointing the heir apparent. He has indicated that whoever neglects such an affair deserves blame and rebuke. This matter is clear and beyond doubt. How strange! In his last hours, Umar said that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) left his community and did not appoint anyone as a caliph over it after him. He forgot that the Prophet (a.s) took great care of his community, it was grievous for him to see it falling into distress, disagreement, and dissension, and that he met the hardest tiring for leading it to guidance. Perhaps pain overcame Umar and made him forgot the authentic traditions of the Prophet (a.s) in respect of Imam Ali (a.s) and in respect of that he was his heir apparent and his successor after him. Umar forgot that he pledged allegiance to Imam Ali on the Day of Ghadir Khum and said to him: “Well done, well done, O Ali, you have become my master and the master of every believing man and woman!” However, to Allah we belong and to Him is our return!

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to guidance. Perhaps pain overcame Umar and made him forgot the authentic traditions of the Prophet (a.s) in respect of Imam Ali (a.s) and in respect of that he was his heir apparent and his successor after him. Umar forgot that he pledged allegiance to Imam Ali on the Day of Ghadir Khum and said to him: “Well done, well done, O Ali, you have become my master and the master of every believing man and woman!” However, to Allah we belong and to Him is our return!

________________________________

[1] Al-Mas‘udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 212. Al-Isti‘abin

[2] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 21.

[3] Murujj al-Dhahab, al-Mas‘udi, vol. 2, p. 212.

The Consultative Committee

When Umar was hopeless of life and sure of the decreed moment of death, he thought for a long time and reflected on one who would undertake the affairs of the government after him. He remembered the leading personalities of his party, who took part in paving the way to Abu Bakr and keeping away the Prophet’s Household (from authority). As a result, severe pain encompassed him, for all of them had died. He showed impatience and sorry in respect of them, saying: “If Abu Ubayda was alive, I would appoint him as a caliph, for he was entrusted by this community! If Salim, Abu Hudhayfa’s retainer, was alive, I would appoint him as a caliph, for he loved Allah, the Most High, very much!”

Umar was sorry for the death of ‘Abu Ubayda and Salim. If they had been alive, he would have appointed them as caliphs. Had they the precedence of jihad in Islam? Did Allah’s Apostle (a.s) preferred them to others, that they might deserve such an important office?

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Umar looked for those worthy of the caliphate in the records of the dead, but he forgot Imam Ali (a.s) who was the same self of the Prophet (a.s), the Gate of the City of his Knowledge, Gate of the House of his Wisdom, the most knowledgeable of his community in giving legal decisions, father of his two grandsons, and his supporter at all battles and attitudes! He fully forgot him and did not remember him at all!

Anyhow, Umar thought that he had to appoint a consultative committee and to command it to elect an Imam from among its members. This committee was a dangerous plot made against Imam Ali (a.s)! Imam Kashif al-Ghita’, may Allah have mercy on him, has said: “The Consultative Committee, in its essence and reality, was a real plot and just formal. It was an excellent skill to impose Uthman as a caliph over the Muslims in spite of them. However, (it was carried out) with a skillful management that brought about to Muslims evil that none could repel!”

Umar summoned the members of the Consultative Committee. When they were present before him, he said to them: “Are you all crave after the succession after me?”

They fell silent, so he repeated his statement. Al-Zubayr opposed him, saying: “What make us far from it (the caliphate)? You have undertaken it, while we are not inferior to you in (belonging to) Quraysh, precedence, and kinship!”

Umar turned to them and said: “Shall I tell you about yourselves?”

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“Say,” they replied, “if we ask you to pardon us, you will not pardon us.”

Umar began stating his opinion of them and telling them about their qualities one by one. He has said in respect of al-Zubayr: “As for you, O Zubayr, you are peevish, double-minded, believing when you are pleased, and disbelieving when you are angry. One day you are a human being, and one day you are a Satan. Perhaps, if it (the caliphate) reaches you, you will continue slapping the people for a mudd (measure) of barely… Have you considered if it reaches you? I wish I knew who would take care of the people on the day when you were a Satan, and who would take care of them when you became angry! Allah will not let you undertake the affairs of this community while you have such qualities!”

Umar knew al-Zubayr’s qualities such as his being a Satan one day and a human being on another day, afflicted with miserliness and stinginess, slapping for a mudd (measure) of barely. Therefore, why did he nominate him for the caliphate and make him as one of the members of the Consultative Committee?

Then he turned to Talha and said to him: “Shall I say or keep silent?”

Talha rebuked him, saying: “You say nothing good!”

Umar said: “Most surely I have come to know you that you have become angry with that which happened to you since your finger was wounded at the Battle of Uhud. Allah’s Apostle (a.s) died while he was displeased with you due to the statement you said when the verse al-hijab was revealed.”

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If Allah’s Apostle (a.s) died and was displeased with Talha, then why did Umar nominated him for the Islamic caliphate, which was the deputyship of the Prophet? This statement also contradicts his last statement in respect of the members of the Consultative Committee: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s) died and was satisfied with them!” Al-Jahidh says: “If a sayer had said to Umar: ‘You said: ‘Most surely Allah’s Apostle (a.s) died and was satisfied with the six (persons),’ then why are you saying to Talha: ‘He (a.s) died and was displeased with you due to the word you had said? He would have thrown an arrow at him! However who dared to say a statement less than this to Umar. Just imagine how much more important this (statement) is!”

Then Umar turned to Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas and said to him: “You are the owner of one of these groups of horses with which you fight. You hunt (animals). You have bows and arrows. However, there is a great difference between you and the caliphate and affairs of the people!”

According to Umar’s insight, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas was a man of war, fighting, hunting, (shooting) arrows; therefore, he was not appropriate for the caliphate. Neither he nor his family were entitled to it, then why did Umar nominate him for it and regard him as one of the members of the Consultative Committee, who were qualified to undertake the government?

Then he turned to Abdurrahman bin Awf and said to him: “As for you Abdurrahman, if half of the faith of the Muslims was weighed with your faith, your faith would overbalance, but this authority is not appropriate for someone who has weakness like that of yours. There is a great difference between you and this authority!”

p: 181

Most surely Abdurrahman was a man of belief and piety, according to Umar’s opinion. Part of his faith the Caliph gave him was that he turned away from choosing the Prophet’s pure family, and gave the leadership to the Umayyads, the opponents of Islam and the enemies of the Prophet (a.s). Then faith itself was not appropriate for nominating its owner for the caliphate unless one had perfect knowledge of the affairs of society, and abundant experience of what the community needed in all fields. As for Abdurrahman, according to Umar’s confession, was a weak man and was not entitled to the caliphate. So why did he nominate him for it and regard him as one of the prominent members of the Consultative Committee?

Then he turned to Imam Ali (a.s) and said to him: “You are the proper one, were it not for the joking you had! By Allah, if you became a caliph over them, you would drive them to the clear truth and white way!”

When did the Commander of the faithful (Imam Ali) have joking and fun? He knew nothing in his lifetime except diligence in words and actions. Suppose that he had such a quality, then it was among the manners of the prophets, and, in particular, of the manners of the Prophet Muhammad (a.s). It has been mentioned that he (a.s) joked with people to please them.

Is it an action of taking care of Islam, keeping the unity of the community, looking after its interests that Umar twisted the rope of the Consultative Committee and appointed the Commander of the faithful as one of its members? Did Umar not confess: “If Ali had seized the reins of government, he would drive the Muslims to the clear truth and the white way?” Did the daughter of the Prophet (a.s) not say in respect of Imam Ali: “By Allah, had they all yielded to his leadership, he would have taken them to the easy path, without harming anyone. He would have brought them to an overflowing fountain of goodness, advised them in secrecy and in public, neither filling his belly with their own sustenance, nor satisfying his thirst nor hunger out of their own toil?” The Prophet (a.s) says: “If they appoint Ali as ruler, then he is a guide and rightly-guided.”[1]

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Had Imam Ali (a.s) taken the reins of government, he would have secured for the Muslims the blessings of life they needed, found for them equal opportunities, protected the Islamic ideals from deterioration and decay. Therefore, was it an act of justice that the caliphate was turned away from him and obtained through the Consultative Committee in a manner that made the Umayyads seize the government?

Then Umar turned to Uthman and said to him: “Welcome! It is as if that I see that Quraysh invest you with this authority because of their love for you. (I see) that you empower the Umayyads and the children of Abu Ma’eet over the people, that you prefer them (to others) in respect of al-Fay’, and that a group of some wicked Arabs walk towards you and kill you on your bed! By Allah, if they did that, you would do that! And if you did that, they would do that!” Then he put his head on the forepart of his head and said: “If that happened, then call to mind my statement.”[2]

Umar had come to know that Uthman would empower the Umayyads and the children of Abu Ma’eet over the people and prefer them to others in respect of the Fay’ of the Muslims. Therefore, why did he nominate him for the caliphate, empower him over the Muslims, and subject the community to disasters and misfortunes?

After he had stated his speech, he turned to the people and said to them: “Most surely Allah’s Apostle (a.s) died and was pleased with these six Qurayshi people. I have decided that the caliphate should be obtained through the Consultative Committee, that they may elect one from among them.”

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Then he said to the candidates: “Bring with you some Sheikhs of the Ansar, and they have nothing (to do) in respect of your affair. Bring with you al-Hasan bin Ali and Abdullah bin Abbas, for they have kinship (to the Prophet). I hope that you will get blessing through their presence. And they have nothing (to do) in respect of your affair!”

What was the blessing that took place through the presence of Imam al-Hasan and Abdullah bin Abbas, while they had nothing to do in respect of the authority? He had prevented them from expressing their viewpoints (regarding the caliphate); likewise, he did the same toward the Sheikhs of the Ansar. Then he turned to Abu Talha al-Ansari[3] and said to him: “O Abu Talha, most surly Allah has reinforced Islam through you; therefore, choose fifty men from the Ansar to force this group of people to quickly carry out the affair (of the Caliphate).”

Then he turned to al-Miqdad bin al-Aswad and commanded him in the same manner, saying: “If five people agree (on the affair of the caliphate) and one of them refuses, then cut off his head. If four men (from the six) agree and two of them refuse, the behead them. If three of them agree on a man and three of them are satisfied with another man, then be with those among whom is Abdurrahman bin Awf, and kill the rest if they turn away from that on which the people have agreed.”

Imam Ali (a.s) went out while he was grieved and sad because of Umar’s Consultative Committee. He met his uncle al-Abbas and said to him: “O Uncle, the caliphate has been turned away from us.”

p: 184

“Who has informed you of that?”

“Umar has compared me to Uthman and said: be with the majority. Then he said: ‘Be with Abdurrahman.’ Sa’d does not oppose his cousin Abdurrahman, and Abdurrahman is Uthman’s son-in-law. They do not differ with each other. Therefore, either Abdurrahman invest Uthman with the caliphate or Uthman will invest him with it.”[4]

Imam Ali (a.s) disclosed the plot that the late Caliph had made against him when he decided the consultation in this manner, that he might turn the caliphate away from him. This painful manner hurt Imam Ali’s heart, so he said: “When he (Umar) went to his way (died), he placed the affair (of the caliphate) among a group of people and claimed that I was among them. Good Heavens! What had I to do with the consultation? When did have I doubt about the first (Caliph) in order to be compared to these ones?”

Yes, by Allah, when did he have doubt about Abu Bakr so as to be compared to Talha, Uthman, and Abdurrahman bin Awf? Was among them anyone equal to Imam Ali in religion, knowledge, jihad, and precedence in Islam? Through his speech with Ibn Abbas, Imam Ali explained the reason why he responded to be among the members of the Consultative Committee. The summary of that is that Umar had acknowledged that Imam Ali was entitled to the caliphate. But he had said that the prophethood and the caliphate had not to come together in one house. So Imam Ali intended to show that Umar’s words contradicted his actions. For this firm reason he joined the members of the Consultative Committee.

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[1] Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 3, p. 5.

[2] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 185-186.

[3] Abu Talha al-Ansari is Zayd bin Sahl al-Najjar. He fought alongside the Prophet (a.s.) at the Battle of Badr. When the Prophet (a.s.) made his companions associate with each other as brothers, he made him and Abu ‘Ubayda al-Jarrah associate as brothers. Abu Talha was among the numbered bow men and among the famous brave people. He killed twenty people at the Battle of Hunayn. He married Umm Anas bin Malik. He died in Medina in the year 31 A. H. at the age of seventy. ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan prayed over him. Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 5, p. 334.

[4] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 35.

A Viewpoint on the Consultative Committee

Umar’s Consultative Committee faces many criticisms. Those who have criticized it have mentioned that it was not based on some right ways, nor was it built on some firm foundations, nor did it anyway seek the interests of the community, nor did it aim at protecting society from chaos and disorders. Rather it aimed at turning the caliphate from Imam Ali (a.s) and depriving the community of enjoying his just government. Therefore, it was not a real Consultative Committee. Rather it was formal and accompanied by fanaticism and spites. We mention to the readers some of the criticisms:

1. Most surely the real consultation means that all the community has to take part in elections in an atmosphere where the general freedoms of all electors are available. As for Umar’s Consultative Committee, it was void of all these elements, for the people were prevented from electing. Umar granted the right of electing to six persons. It was natural that they had nothing except their personal viewpoints. They did not represent the community, nor did they express its will. Umar narrowed the circle and confined taking a decision to the opinions of the three persons among whom was Abdurrahman bin Awf. He regarded their votes as equal to the votes of the rest of the Muslims. Of course this is a kind of non-opposition used by some governments imposing their will on their peoples. This consultation clashed with the will of the Muslims, opposed their freedoms, and was imposed on them.

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2. Most surely this Consultative Committee included most of the opponents of Imam Ali (a.s) and those who harbored malice against him. It contained Talha al-Taymi, who was from the family of Abu Bakr, who competed with Imam Ali for the caliphate. There was great enmity and dispute between (the tribe of) Taym and Imam Ali. It included Abdurrahman bin Awf, who was Uthman’s son-in-law. Besides, he harbored hatred against Imam Ali (a.s). He was among those who carried firewood during paying homage to Abu Bakr to burn Imam Ali’s house. It included Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas, who harbored malice against the Imam for his uncles, the Umayyads. His mother was Hamna, daughter of Sufyan bin Umayya. Imam Ali destroyed their heroes for the sake of Islam. Accordingly, Sa’d was full of spites and enmity toward the Imam for the sake of his uncles.. When the Muslims pledged allegiance to the Imam, Sa’d was among those who did not pay homage to him. The Consultative Committee included Uthman, who was the Sheikh of the Umayyad family, who was famous for showing enmity toward the Household of the Prophet (a.s). Umar provoked all these forces against Imam Ali lest the caliphate should reach him. After Imam Ali had undertaken the authority, he talked about the hatred and malice of the members of the Consultative Committee against him, saying: “But I remained low when they were low and flew high when they flew high. One of them turned against me because of his hatred and the other inclined to the other way due to his son-in-law, this thing, and that thing.”

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Umar intentionally moved all the spites and hatred of all Quraysh against Imam Ali, the brother of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) his testamentary trustee, and Gate of the City of his Knowledge. He responded to the spites of Quraysh that the Imam destroyed for the sake of Islam.

3. Umar intentionally sent far all the followers of Imam Ali. He did not give them any share in the Consultative Committee, nor did he nominate any of the Ansar, who lodged the Prophet (a.s) and supported him, for they had wish and inclination toward the Imam (a.s). He also did not give any share to Ammar bin Yasir, who was among those who founded Islam. Moreover he isolated Abu Dharr, al-Miqdad, and the like from among the Muslim eminent men, for they were Ali’s followers. He confined the Consultative Committee to the forces who deviated from Imam Ali and showed enmity toward him.

4. Among the strange affairs of the Consultative Committee whose programs he had designed is that he bore witness that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) died and was pleased with the members of the Consultative Committee. But he had ordered their heads to be cut off if they had delayed from electing one of them. Was that a reason for their deviating from the religion and reneging from Islam, that shedding their blood might be regarded as permissible?

5. Among the strange affairs of the Consultative Committee is that Umar preferred the group that included Abdurrahman if the members differed. He overlooked the group that included Imam Ali (a.s). He paid no attention to it. Rather, he forced it to yield to the opinion of Abdurrahman bin Awf, whom he preferred to Imam Ali (a.s) who had talents, genius, no equal in knowledge, piety, and fear of Allah. Therefore, how did he make him equal to others, while Allah, the Exalted, says: “Are those who know and those who do not know alike?” Ugh be on you, O time! Woe to you, O time! Is Imam Ali equal to the members of the Consultative Committee, and Abdurrahman given precedence over him? However, that took place due to the spites and fanaticism that occupied their souls and made them forget the criteria and prevent them from following the just way!

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6. Among the criticisms facing the Consultative Committee is that it created a kind of competition among its members, and they thought that they were equals to each other. Before that, they had not such an opinion. Sa’d was a follower of Abdurrahman, Abdurrahman was a follower of Uthman, al-Zubayr was among the followers of Imam Ali, and it was he who said during the time of Umar: “By Allah, If Umar died, I would pay homage to Ali.” However, Abdurrahman blew into him the spirit of ambition, and he separated himself from Imam Ali (a.s) and mutinied against him at the Battle of the Camel. The Consultative Committee created ambitions and inclinations, and they hoped for the caliphate and sought it though they were not worthy of it. Accordingly, the country was full of discords and differences; the word of the Muslims became disordered, and their unity cracked. Mu’awiya bin Abi Sufyan mentioned this painful situation during his talk with Ibn al-Husayn, whom Ziyad sent to meet him. He said to him:

-I have heard that you have mind and reason; therefore, tell me about all

things about which I question you?

-Ask me as you like.

-Tell me: What scattered the affair of the Muslims and their leading

personalities, and made them differ with each other?

-The people who killed Uthman.

-You have done nothing.

-Ali, who walked towards you and fought against you.

-You have done nothing.

-Talha, al-Zubayr, and A’isha, who walked towards Ali and fought against him.

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-You have done nothing.

-I have nothing other than that, O Commander of the Faithful!

-I will tell you that nothing scattered the Muslims and divided their inclinations except the Consultative Committee that Umar confined to six people. That is because Allah sent Muhammad with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse. He (Prophet Muhammad) did according to what Allah commanded him. Then Allah took him unto Him. He (Umar) advanced Abu Bakr to perform the prayer, and they were satisfied with him in respect of the affairs of their religion, for Allah’s Apostle (a.s) was satisfied with him for the affairs of their religion. So he (Abu Bakr) did according to the Sunna of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and he followed his behavior until Allah seized him unto Him. He appointed Umar as a caliph, and he followed the like of his behavior. Then Umar confined the Consultative Committee to six persons, and each of them hoped the caliphate for himself, his people hoped it for him, and his soul was eager for that. If Umar had appointed someone over them, as Abu Bakr had done, there would have been no difference over that.[1]

These are the defects of the Consultative Committee that opened the door to chaos and dispute among the Muslims, and made al-Tulaqa’ [2] and their sons compete with each other for the Islamic caliphate. They went up on the pulpits of the Muslims, possessed alone al-Fay’, and punished the good and righteous Muslims. To Allah we belong and to Him is our return!

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[1] Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih, al-Iqd al-Fareed, vol. 3, pp. 73-74.

[2] al-Tulaqa’ are those who converted to Islam at the time of the conquest of Mecca.

The Election

The Election

Umar met his Lord and went to his final resting-place.[1] The police surrounded the members of the Consultative Committee. They forced them to carry out Umar’s will and to elect for the Muslims a ruler from among them. The candidates held a meeting in the public treasury, and it was said that they held the meeting in the house of Masrur bin Muhrima. Imam al-Hasan and Abdullah bin Abbas supervised the election. Amr bin al-‘Aas and al-Mughira bin Shu‘ba approached the place of the election. They sat by the door. Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas came to know of their purpose. He rebuked and said to them: “Do you want to say that you have attended the Consultative Committee and been from among its members?”

The members discussed the one who was the most entitled to the authority, most appropriate for it, the greatest of them in ability and power to manage the affairs of the government. As for Imam Ali (a.s) he warned them against the discords that would have happened in the country if they had responded to their tendencies and had not preferred the truth. He (a.s) said: “None before me hastened to the summons of truth and retaining of kinship, and the profit of generosity. Therefore, listen to my words and fully understand my speech. After this day you will see that the swords will be drawn and covenants will be broken for this authority, to the extent that some of you will be Imams of the men of misguidance and followers of the men of ignorance.”[2]

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They did not understand the Imam’s speech, nor did they reflect on it; rather they hurried to their ambitions and their inclinations. Shortly after that, the time showed them the Imam’s truthful prediction. That was when they drew the swords and broke their covenants, that they might reach the scepter of government and authority. Some of them became Imams of the men of misguidance and followers of the men of ignorance.

Anyway, the discussion about the affair of the caliphate was plentiful. The meeting was over, and nothing resulted from it. The people were impatiently waiting for the decisive result of their meeting, but they found nothing. The meeting was held again, but nothing resulted from it. The period of time fixed by Umar was about to be over. So, Abu Talha al-Ansari came to the members and said to them: “By Him in whose hand is Umar’s soul, I will add nothing to the three days when you have been commanded (to elect one from among you).”

The third day came and the meeting was held. Talha gave his right to Uthman. He did that because he had come to know that Uthman deviated from Imam Ali (a.s). He intended to strengthen his side and undermine that of the Imam. Al-Zubayr hurried and gave his right to the Imam, for he came to know that his side became weak. Sa’d hurried and gave his right to Abdurrahman bin Awf, for he was his cousin. As for Abdurrahman to whom Umar entrusted the affairs of the Consultative Committee and whose opinion he regarded as a decisive criterion, he felt weakness in himself and incapability of managing the affairs of the government, so he decided to nominate someone other than him. He inclined to Uthman. So he consulted Quraysh, and they made him refrain from (electing) Imam Ali (a.s), made him love Uthman, and urged him to choose and elect him.

p: 192

The terrible hour came, and the course of history changed. That was when Abdurrahman said to his nephew: “O Masrur, go and summon Ali and Uthman!”

“With whom shall I begin?” asked Masrur.

“With whomever you wish,” said Abdurrahman.

Masrur hurried and brought Imam Ali and Uthman. The Muhajireen and the Ansar attended. The masses overcrowded in the mosque, that they might take the decisive decision. Abdurrahman rose and said: “Advise me in respect of these two persons.” He indicated with his hand to Hashim’s descendant (Imam Ali) and the Sheikh of the Umayyads (Uthman Bin Affan).

Ammar bin Yasir said to him: “If you want the people not to disagree, then pay homage to Ali!”

He advised him to follow the right opinion that would protect the community from the disagreement and save it from the dispute and dissension. Al-Miqdad hurried and confirmed Ammar’s viewpoint, saying: “Ammar is right. If you pledge allegiance to Ali, we will listen and obey!”

Abdullah bin Abi Sarh-among the eminent men from among the Umayyads who warred against the Prophet (a.s) and opposed him- rose and addressed Abdurrahman bin Awf, saying: “If you want Quraysh not to disagree, then pay homage to Uthman bin Affan!”

Abdullah bin Rabee‘a al-Makhzumi rushed and said: “He is right! If you pledge allegiance to Uthman, we will listen and obey!”

Ammar bin Yasir opposed Abdullah bin Abi Sarh and said to him: “When are you loyal to Islam?”

Ammar was truthful. When did Abdullah bin Abi Sarh respect Islam? When was he loyal to the Muslims? When did he guide them to the right path? He was the greatest of all the people in showing enmity toward Allah’s Apostle (a.s). When the Prophet (a.s) conquered Mecca, he ordered Abdullah bin Abi Sarh to be killed even if he was hanging on to the curtains of the Kaaba.[3] Why did such a rogue intervene in the affairs of the Muslims? However, we belong to Allah and to Him is our return!

p: 193

The Hashimites and the Umayyads talked, and a warm argument took place between the two families. Ammar bin Yasir, a loyal Muslim, said: “O people, most surely Allah has honored you through His Prophet and strengthened you through His religion; therefore, till when do you turn the authority away from the Household of your Prophet?”

Ammar said but the saying of Islam that his heart had understood. Allah strengthened Quraysh and the rest of the Arabs with His religion and made them happy through His Prophet, who was the source of their strength, honor, and glory. It was not an act of fairness and justice that they turned the authority away from his household and family. They sometimes entrusted Taym with it and sometimes ‘Adi. Now, they spared no effort to entrust it to another tribe. A man from (the tribe of) Makhzum interrupted him, saying: “You have overlooked your condition, O son of Sumayya! What is the relationship between you and the authority over Quraysh?”

The man’s soul was full of the beliefs of the pre-Islamic era. So he criticized Ibn Sumayya. He thought that he overlooked his condition and exceeded his bounds due to the fact that he intervened in the affairs of Quraysh. Which right did Quraysh have in this affair? That is because they resisted the Prophet (a.s), battled against him, and opposed his message. The authority belonged to the Muslims. Ibn Sumayya, whom Allah made strong through his religion, and the rest of the weak who supported the Prophet (a.s) and protected his message had the right to take part in the authority. The opinion and the government belonged to them, and not to the tyrants of Quraysh.

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Anyway, when many disputes took place between the aware Muslim forces and the devious forces, Sa’d turned to Abdurrahman and said to him: “O Abdurrahman, finish your affair before the people face discords!”

As a result, Abdurrahman hurried to Imam Ali and asked him: “Shall I pay homage to you provided that you should govern according to Allah’s Book, the Sunna of His Prophet, and the deeds of Abu Bakr and Umar?”

Imam Ali looked at him and answered with the speech of faith and of the free: “Rather, according to Allah’s Book, the Sunna of His Apostle, and my personal viewpoints.”

Abdurrahman expected nothing from Imam Ali other than that, for the sources of legislation in Islam are Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet. According to them the government is managed, and the problems of subjects are solved. The actions of Abu Bakr and Umar were not among the sources of legislation. Through his policy, Abu Bakr followed a special way on which Umar did not agree with him. Umar thought that Abu Bakr was far away from the sources of legislation. Abu Bakr had a special viewpoint in respect of Khalid bin al-Waleed, who killed Malik bin Nuwayra and fornicated his wife.[4] However Abu Bakr thought that Khalid interpreted and made a mistake, so he had not been punished with the prescribed punishment. As for Umar, he thought that there was no escape from punishing him and that there was no room for Abu Bakr’s excuse. Through his fiscal policy, Abu Bakr followed a way more just than that of Umar, who followed a way led to caste and preferring some Muslims to others in giving. Umar made unlawful the two mutt’as[5], while he admitted that they were lawful during the time of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). He had a religious verdict contrary to Islam in respect of the grandmother’s inheritance and the like. Therefore, which method had Ali bin Abi Talib to follow, while he was the pioneer of the great social justice on earth? If he had sought the government and authority, he would have accepted the conditions of Abdurrahman bin Awf, and then he would have followed his personal viewpoints in respect of government and arrested his opponents. However, he (a.s) refused to do that, and his strong faith prevented from accepting anything he thought unlawful.

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When Abdurrahman bin Awf was hopeless of Imam Ali, he turned to Uthman bin Affan and stipulated that. Uthman agreed to carry out the conditions, and Abdurrahman paid homage to him and said to him: “O Allah, I have entrusted Uthman with the caliphate!”

Accordingly, clamor and noise of the people became loud, for the head of the Umayyads won the government, and the affairs of the caliphate reached him. As for Imam Ali (a.s), he said to Abdurrahman bin Awf: “By Allah, you have done it (for nothing) except that you have hoped from him what your leader (Umar) had hoped from his companion (Abu Bakr). May Allah spread among you the perfume of Minsham!”[6] Then he turned to the Qurashi people and addressed them, saying: “This is not the first day when you cooperate with each other against us, but patience is good and Allah is He Whose help is sought for against what you describe!”

Abdurrahman bin Awf hurried to threaten Imam Ali, saying: “O Ali, do not make a way against you!”

While the Imam was leaving the mosque, he said: “The book will reach its fixed term!”

Ammar bin Yasir addressed Abdurrahman bin Awf, saying: “O Abdurrahman, by Allah, you have left him (Ali), while he is among those who judge with the truth, and thereby did they do justice!”

Al-Miqdad went out while his legs were overburdened and said: “By Allah, I have seen nothing like that which has come to the members of this house after their Prophet! I wonder at Quraysh! They have deserted the man. I do not say nor do I come to know that there is anyone more just, knowledgeable, pious than he is!”

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Abdurrahman bin Awf interrupted his speech, saying to him: “Fear Allah, O Miqdad! I fear that you will make a discord!”[7]

As for Imam al-Hasan, he supervised the election. He was terrified when he saw the people yielded to their personal purposes and ambitions. He came to know that the Qurayshi Muhajireen harbored malice and hatred against his father, that the religion was mere a lick on their tongues, and that they took care of it as long as they made use of it. Those views made him displeased and grumbling. They made him know that the people followed their own interests and ambitions, and that they had no relationship with the public interests. Here we will say good-bye to Imam al-Hasan and meet him at the time of the Third Caliph!

Notes

[1] Umar died on Wednesday with four days remaining (in the month) of Dhi al-Hijja, in the year 23 A. H. His caliphate lasted for ten years, six months, and four days. He was sixty-three years old. This has been mentioned by al-Mas‘udi in his book Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 198. Before Islam, Umar was very poor and miserable. Umar bin al-‘Aas has said: “By Allah, I have seen Umar and his father. Each of them was wearing a Qattwani cloak that did exceed the hollow of the knee; and there was a bundle of firewood on his head.” This has been mentioned by Ibn Abi al-Haddeed in his book Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha.

[2] Muhammad Abda, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 31.

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[3] Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 2, p. 375.

[4] Malik bin Nuwayra bin Hamza al-Tamimi, al-Yarbu‘i was given the kunya of Abu Hanzala and the nickname of al-Jaful. He was a noble poet and knight. His people numbered him as among the knights of Banu Yarbu‘ during the pre-Islamic period. He was among the followers of the kings. The Prophet (a.s.) appointed him as a governor over the endowments of his people because of his trustworthiness and cleverness. When Malik heard of the death of the Prophet (a.s.) he refrained from giving alms and divided it among his people. Perhaps he did that according to the Sunna that stipulated distributing alms among the poor of the region. If something of it remained, it had to be carried to the public treasury. In this respect, Malik says:

I said: “Take your properties.” I was not afraid of nor did I reflect on that which would come from the following day.

If an undertaker undertook the feared religion, we would obey and say that the religion was that of Muhammad.

This poetry indicates his faith and his firm clinging to his religion. Khalid bin al-Waleed crept towards him while he was not commanded to fight against him. That was during the night. After performing the evening prayer, he took his army and hurried to take their weapons and to take them as prisoners of war. Among them was Malik’s wife Layla, daughter of al-Minhal. She was the most beautiful of all the Arab women. So Khalid was charmed by her. There was a heated argument between Khalid and Malik. Khalid said to Malik: “I am going to kill you!” Malik said to him: “Has your leader (Abu Bakr) commanded you to do that?” Malik replied: “By Allah, I am going to kill you!” Khalid said. Abdullah bin Umar and Abu Qattada al-Ansari were standing beside Khalid. They blamed him for that, but he refused and said: “May Allah not forgive me if I do not kill him!” Then he commanded Dhirar bin al-Azwar to behead him. Malik turned to his wife and said to Khalid: “This is the one who has killed me!” Khalid said to him: “Rather, Allah has killed you due to your apostatizing from Islam.” Malik refused that, saying: “Most surely I am (depending) on Islam!” Dhirar rose and killed him. Then Khalid took Malik’s wife and fornicated her at that night. However Abu Bakr ordered him not to be punished with the prescribed punishment. He claimed that Khalid interpreted and made a mistake! For more details about this painful event, see al-Nass wa al-Ijtihad by Imam Sharaf al-Deen.

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[5] Mutt‘at al-Haj and temporary marriage.

[6] Minsham is a name of a woman. She was a druggist in Mecca. When Khuza’a and Juhrum (two tribes) intended to fight against each other, they perfumed themselves with her perfume. When they did that, many dead were among them. So it was said: “More wicked than Minsham’s perfume!” This has been mentioned in Sihah al-Jawahiri, vol. 5, p. 2041. Allah granted Imam Ali’s supplication. That was when there were strong estrangement and disputes. ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Awf willed that Uthman had not to pray over him!

[7] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 194.

Chapter VII

Part One: At the Time of Uthman

Part 1

Part 1

We receive al-Hasan at the time of Uthman, while he was in the vigor and prime of youth. He was over twenty years old. This age allows one to plunge into the battle of life and give an opinion of the social side. During this age, Imam al-Hasan entered, as it was said, the field of jihad, which is one of the doors to the Garden. He joined the Mujahideen whose standards headed for Africa to conquer it in the year 26 A. H.[1] Through al-Hasan, the grandson of Allah’s Apostle (a.s), the Mujahideen remembered the personality of his grandfather. So they showed extreme courage and Allah made Africa be conquered at their hands. When the battle ended, al-Hasan (a.s) headed for the capital of his grandfather (a.s). He was victorious and happy at the expansion of Islam and spread of the religion of his grandfather. In the year 30 A. H. the Muslim armies carried the standards of victory and headed for Tabaristan. Al-Hasan joined them.[2] Because of his blessing, Allah made them conquer it and made the standard of Islam flutter over it. For the public interest and serving the religion, which are the best of all the other considerations, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) entered the fields of jihad and struggle, and paid no attention to displeasure he had hidden in his soul due to losing his father’s right (of authority). This is a wonderful lesson the political parties standing in the country must use to refrain from party fanaticism and to take care of the interests of the country and society.

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Uthman ruled the country for some years, but his policy was very far from the Sunna of Allah’s Apostle (a.s); likewise, it was very far from the sunna of the two Sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar). Moreover it was very far away from the essence of that time, for it did not agree with the religious and social sides; for this reason it failed and was deserted. The reason for that is that the Caliph Uthman was unable to manage the affairs of the community and the government. He had a weak willpower in all his acts. Emerson is truthful when he says: “Most surely, willpower is the secret of success, and the success is the goal of existence. That is because willpower has immortalized the names of Napoleon, Krant, Alexander, and the like from among the men of history. Many men of history are famous for bravery, experience, and cleverness, but their desertion resulted from their hesitation and their weak willpower. It is impossible for us to enter the battle of life and hope for victory without having a willpower.”[3]

Willpower has a perfect effect on forming person and his immortality in life. It is impossible for the weak, helpless person to achieve any goal for the community or to build its entity. Islam has taken great care of removing the weak-willed person from leading the community and preventing him from practicing the government. For such a person subjects the country to dangers, brings about to it hardships and misfortunes, takes away the prestige and morale of the government, encourages those powerful to mutiny against him and to disobey him.

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Most surely, Uthman had no willpower to a far extent. He had no power to face the events, nor had he an ability to overcome them. As a result he entrusted the affairs of the government to Marwan, and he acted freely. On the authority of his Sheikhs, Ibn Abi al-Haddeed has narrated that the real caliph was Marwan, and that Uthman had nothing except the name of the caliph.

Anyway, it is necessary for us to explain Uthman’s story and to understand its reality, for there is a close connection between it and our research. Some historians claim that Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was Uthmani in inclination, defended him on the day of the house, showed severe sadness for him after his murder, and criticized his father because he did not help and protect him.

Dr. Taha Husayn has inclined to this viewpoint and sent it to readers as an axiomatic without pondering on it. We cannot understand the reality of this viewpoint unless we come to know Uthman’s policy and behavior. It, and nothing else, will show us the falsehood of these affairs and their disagreement with the reality of Imam al-Hasan (a.s) who carried the guidance of his grandfather, Allah’s Apostle (a.s).

Before we speak about Uthman’s policy, we would like to explain that we, in many of our researches, do no agree with Dr. Taha Husayn, for he tried to justify Uthman’s actions and deem him far above the accusations fastened on him through some ways far and void of scientific research. In the introduction to his research, he has disowned all kinds of inclination and tribal fanaticism. He has indicated that he is not a follower of Uthman, nor is he a follower of Ali; rather, through his researches he tries to be loyal to reality as far as possible.[4] However, he has not conformed to his promise. He has set out to cling to some weak ways in order to correct the mistakes of Uthman’s policy, which, throughout its stages, did not keep abreast with Allah’s Book, the Sunna of His Prophet, and the Sunna of the two Sheikhs. Accordingly, the good and righteous Muslims bore a grudge against him, and the Muslim regions revolted against him. The Muslim masses surrounded him. They demanded him to be moderate in his policy and follow the clear, white way. However, he did not respond to them, so they killed him. The community was unhappy during the period of his government and was liable to a trial after his death.

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It is incumbent on us to ponder on these events carefully and honestly and to explain their results, for there is a close connection between them and our religious life. We have no right to find an excuse to any person when his practices oppose the Islamic teachings, principles, and precepts. We mention to readers some of the criticisms facing Uthman’s policy:

Notes

[1] Ibn Khaldun, al-‘Ibar, vol. 2, pp. 128-129. It has been mentioned in it: “Uthman sent an army to conquer Africa in the year 25 A. H. The commanders of the army were Abdullah bin Nafi‘ and Aqaba bin Nafi‘ bin ‘Abd al-Qays. The army went to Africa. Its number was ten thousand (fighters). When the army arrived in it, it was unable to conquer it. So it made peace with its inhabitants provided that they should pay money. Then Abdullah bin Abi Sarh, Uthman’s foster brother, asked Uthman to conquer Africa and to supply him with an army. So Uthman consulted the companions (of the Prophet), and most of them encouraged him to do that. As a result Uthman supplied him with an army from Medina. Among the army were Ibn Abbas, Ibn al-Aas, Ibn Ja‘far, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn. They headed for Africa and conquered it in the year 26 A. H. The author of al-Futuhat al-Islamiya has not mentioned that al-Hasan and al-Husayn joined the army.

[2] Tarikh al-Umam wa al-Muluk, vol. 5, pp. 57-58. Al-‘Ibar, vol. 2, p. 134. Al-Futuhat al-Islamiya, vol. 1, p. 175. In all these books it has been mentioned: “Sa‘eed bin al-‘Aas conquered Tabaristan in the year 30 A. H. Al-Asbahad made peace with Suwayd bin Miqren provided that he should give him money during the days of Umar bin al-Khattab. When Uthman became a caliph, he prepared an army and sent it towards them. Sa‘eed bin al-‘Aas was the commander of the army. Al-Hasan, al-Husayn, Abdullah bin Abbas, and the like joined the army. When they arrived in it, they conquered it.” In his book Muhadharat al-Arba‘a, al-Raghib al-Asfahani has said: “Al-Asbaheed is the owner of the mountain (sahib al-jabal); and it is the correctness, not al-Asbahad.”

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[3] Emerson, Willpower.

[4] Dr. Taha Husayn, al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 1, 5.

His Pardoning Ubaydillah

Uthman received the caliphate with pardoning Ubaydillah bin Umar, who took vengeance on those who killed his father. For no reason, he killed al-Hurmuzan, Jufayna, and the daughter of Abu Lu’lu’a. He intended to kill all the captives in Medina. However, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas went to him, said soft words to him, overcame him, and took the sword from him. Ubaydillah was thrown into prison until Uthman decided his case. When Uthman became a caliph, he went up on the pulpit and told the Muslims about Ubaydillah’s case. He said to them: “It was a decree of Allah that Ubaydillah bin Umar killed al-Hurmuzan. Al-Hurmuzan is among the Muslims. He has no inheritor except the Muslims in general. I am your Imam. I have pardoned him; therefore, will you pardon him?”

Some people expressed their satisfaction and acknowledged the pardon. However Imam Ali (a.s) criticized Uthman and was dissatisfied with his decision. He said to him: “Punish the sinner (Ubaydillah bin Umar), for he has committed a great crime! He has killed a Muslim for no reason!”

The Imam said to Ubaydillah: “O Sinner, if I won a victory over you, I would kill you for al-Hurmuzan.”[1]

Al-Miqdad bin Umar said to Uthman: “Most surely al-Hurmuzan is a follower of Allah and His Apostle, so you have no right to grant that which belongs to Allah and his Apostle!”[2]

The honest, righteous Muslims were not satisfied with such a kind of pardon. They regarded it as a kind of aggression against Islam and a violation to its bounds. Accordingly, when Ziyad bin Labeed met Ubaydillah, he said to him:

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O Ubaydillah, neither escape nor refuge nor guard will protect you from Ibn Arwa.

You have shed blood unlawfully. The murder of al-Hurmuzan has a danger.

For nothing (you have killed him). However a sayer has said: “Have you accused al-Hurmuzan (of killing) Umar?” So a fool has said, and the events are numerous. Yes I accuse him (of that). He has advised and commanded.

The slave’s weapon was inside his house, and the affair is considered through an affair.

Ubaydillah complained to Uthman of Ziyad. So Uthman summoned Ziyad and prevented him from that. However, he did not refrain from that; rather, he went on criticizing Uthman, saying:

O Abu Amr, Ubaydillah is hostage to the murder of al-Hurmuzan; therefore, you must have no doubt (about that).

For you have pardoned him; the reasons for the mistake are two racehorses. You have no right to pardon.

Uthman became angry with Ziyad and rebuked him until he refrained from criticizing him.[3] He commanded Ubaydillah to leave Medina for Kufa. He gave him a house there. The place was ascribed to Ubaydillah and was given the name of Kuwayfa bin Umar. Al-Tabari has narrated: “Uthman consulted the companions (of the Prophet) in respect of the affair of Ubaydillah, and they advised him to pardon him. They said to him: ‘Umar was killed yesterday; and his son is killed today?’ Some of them advised him to kill him. Among them was Imam Ali (a.s). However Amr bin al-Aas said to him: ‘Most surely, Allah has exempted you from the event that happens while you have an authority over the Muslims. This event had taken place when you had no authority.’ As a result, Uthman responded to his viewpoint. That was when he said: ‘I am a ruler over them. I have decided that the punishment should be a blood money, and I will pay it from my own wealth.’”[4]

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This procedure faces the following criticisms:

1. Islam has required rulers to administer the prescribed punishments, not to show tolerance and leniency in respect of them, that regulations may be kept, and souls may be protected from aggressions. The ruler has no right to show tolerance and leniency toward an aggressor irrespective of his high social position. The Prophet (a.s) declared that and applied it to real life. He was asked to pardon a female thief due to the nobility of her family, and he replied: “Those before you perished because they punished the weak when they stole and left the noble. By Allah, if Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter, stole, I would cut off her hand.”[5]

2. He (a.s) flogged those who told lies (ashab al-ifk). Among them was Satih bin Athatha, who took part in the Battle of Badr.[6] This is required by Islamic justice, which makes no difference between the white and the black, the weak and the powerful, the head and the subjects. They are equal before the law. However, Uthman turned away from that. He opposed what justice required. He did not punish Ubaydillah, for he was Umar’s son and from Quraysh. He preferred to please al-Khattab’s family and Quraysh through pardoning him and he sent him far from Kufa and gave him a house to live in. Through that he opened a door to chaos and corruption and empowered the influential to punish the weak who had no authority to resort to.

3. The public interest required killing Ubaydillah bin Umar, and not pardoning him, for if Uthman had killed him, he would have put an end to corruption and murder, and no influential would have committed such a crime. The Caliph’s son killed al-Hurmuzan; however, Uthman paid no attention to the public interest and responded to his personal purposes, which opposed the community’s interest.

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4. The Imam’s authority is established when he comes to know that the killed one has no inheritor. As for al-Hurmuzan, he belonged to Persia. Therefore, Uthman had to look for his inheritors. When he had come to know that al-Hurmuzan had no inheritors, his authority would have been established. However, he did not do that; rather he claimed that he was his inheritor and ruler.

5. The ruler has no right to pardon someone out of giving blood money; rather he has the right to make reconciliation for it. Al-Hanafi says: “Most surely the Imam has the right to make conciliation for blood money, but he has no right to pardon, for the punishment is the right of Muslims due to the fact that his (the killed one) inheritance belongs to them. The Imam represents them in administering the prescribed punishments. Pardon means canceling their right completely. This is impossible. For this reason father and grandfather do not have it (pardon) though they have (the right) to administer a full punishment on the criminal. The Imam has the right to make conciliation for blood money.”[7] According to the Hanafite religious verdict, Uthman had no right to pardon Ubaydillah bin Umar for blood money. This paradox is recorded against Uthman according to that some of them narrated that he pardoned him for blood money. Uthman faces these criticisms because he pardoned Ubaydillah, and did not kill him.

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[1] Al-Baladhiri, al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 24.

[2] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 141.

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[3] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 41.

[4] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 41.

[5] Al-Nizam al-Siyasi fi al-Islam, p. 227, quoted from al-Kharajj, p. 50, by Abu Yousif.

[6] Usd al-Ghaba.

[7] Badayi’ al-Sanayi’, vol. 7, p. 245.

Taha Husayn’s Defense

Dr. Taha Husayn tried to justify Uthman’s actions and did not hold him responsible for them. His excuse has no scientific nature. We will mention to readers the places of his defense:

1. Uthman did not want to start his caliphate with killing the Qurashi boy, who was Umar’s son. He did not want to shed the blood of a Muslim and two dhimmis (non-Muslim citizen). He preferred wellbeing. From his own wealth he paid the blood money to the Public Treasury of Muslims and spared Ubaydillah bin Umar’s blood. His deciding the case in such a way was a wise policy if the people considered the case through a pure political consideration.[1]

Most surely if Uthman had started his caliphate with killing Ubaydillah, he would have fulfilled his covenant toward the Muslims. That was when he told them that he would follow Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet and apply the Islamic law to the real life. However he followed the political fields; so, he preferred wellbeing and neglected the religious precepts. His Eminence Imam Kashif al-Ghita’, may Allah have mercy on him, has commented on this excuse, saying: “Firstly, this excuse is among the clear mistakes, for the Islamic law had decided to shed Ubaydillah’s blood and not to spare it. Secondly, the murder was intentional, and its precept was administering the prescribed punishment, and not blood money. The first made a mistake, and the last came to justify their mistake through another mistake.”[2]

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2. We return to say that Uthman had an authority over the affairs of the Muslims; and he, according to this authority, had the right to pardon. We add to that that when he pardoned Ubaydillah, he did not cancel any of the punishments prescribed by Allah, nor did he shed the blood of al-Hurmuzan and of his two friends. Rather he paid the blood money on behalf on them to the Public Treasury of the Muslims, whom only he inherited.[3]

His Eminence, late Kashif al-Ghita’ has commented on it, saying: “This is also a mistake (which is) more cunning and bitterer, for the duty of the one who has authority over the affairs of the Muslims is to administer the punishments prescribed by Allah, and not to cancel them. As for paying blood money for releasing someone from killing without pleasing the blood heirs is regarded as arbitrariness in the Islamic laws and playing with the religion.”

3. The Prophet said that there was no penalty on suspicion criterion. Perhaps Uthman repelled this prescribed punishment from Ubaydillah out of the suspicion that resulted from his anger for his father and his rushing due to his unruly desire. And Allah has made Muslims like pardon when they are able (to pardon) and rewarded them good for it.

This is among the horrible mistakes, for it is not right to repel the prescribed punishments out of anger; otherwise, it is incumbent to repel the prescribed punishments from all killers according to justice, for, most times, killing results from anger and unruly excitement. The rule of no penalty on suspicion criterion is not applied to the case we have discussed, for it has special sources, and this source is not of its proofs. If anger was a reason for canceling killing, then Uthman would use it as an excuse and defend himself through it when Imam Ali (a.s) and the like of him, criticized him. Therefore, is Dr. Taha Husayn more knowledgeable than Uthman in the meanings of the sunna?

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Most surely Dr. Taha Husayn’s defense is void of inquiry and has not legislative quality. Such a defense cannot justify Uthman’s procedure and send far the responsibility from him.

Anyway Uthman pardoned Ubaydillah in order that he might please the hearts of al-Khattab’s family and Quraysh, and not to take the community’s interest into consideration.

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[1] Al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 66.

[2] Imam Kashif al-Ghita’s important commentary on al-Fitnatu al-Kubra is a hand written book available at al-‘Amira Library. Taha Husayn’s defense and Kashif al-Ghita’s commentary are based on al-Tabari’s narration, which says that Uthman paid the blood money from his own wealth and did not pardon ‘Ubayd Allah.

[3] Al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 67.

His Fiscal Policy

Islam has taken severe precautions in respect of the state’s wealth. It has made it obligatory on rulers and governors to spend it on public interests, reforming life, combating poverty, helping the weak, spending on the helpless such as widows and orphans. The rulers and the governors have no right to save anything of the public wealth for themselves, nor have they the right to choose anything of it for their children. That is because it is not their own, nor it is their property, that they may spend it wherever they wish. Imam Ali (a.s) said to Abdullah bin Zam‘a when he asked him for money during his caliphate: “This wealth does not belong to me and you; rather it is the Fay’ of Muslims and earning of their swords. If you shared them at a battle, then you would have the like of their share; otherwise, the earning of their hands will be for nothing other than their mouths.”[1]

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Imam Ali (a.s) wrote to Qatham bin al-Abbas, his governor over Mecca: “Reflect on the wealth of Allah you have gathered. Spend it on those who have families, and suffer from hunger, hitting with it the places of poverty and lacks. If something of that remains, then send it to us, that we may divide it among those we accept.”[2]

Allah’s Apostle (a.s) says: “The men who spend Allah’s wealth without any right shall have the fire on the Resurrection Day.”[3]

This is an outline on the viewpoint of Islam in respect of money, for Islam makes it incumbent on the responsible ones to spend the state’s money on refreshing the subjects, and saving them from misery and neediness. The responsible have no right at all to employ it to buy consciences and to gift those who are not needy. However, Uthman did not apply that to all circumstances. He controlled the Central Budget and generously gave money to the Umayyads and Abu Ma’eet’s family, that he might strengthen their influence and their position in the country. So they exploited the Muslims, played with their fates, and controlled their destination. He also gave plentiful money to the prominent persons and the heads of whose side he was afraid and of whose power he was careful because of their political influence in the country. This policy led to inflating wealth and accumulating properties with a group of people who were perplexed in spending them. Of course such a policy led to spreading neediness, poverty, and misery among the people; and this affair opposes Islam, which takes great care of making society happy, spreading welfare and ease among people. We will mention some examples as proofs for what we have mentioned:

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[1] Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 461.

[2] Ibid., vol. 2, p. 17.

[3] Saheeh al-Bukhari, vol. 5, p. 17.

His Gifts to the Umayyads

His Gifts to the Umayyads

Uthman gave the properties of the Muslims to his family and relatives, who denied and opposed Islam and battled against it. He gifted them and was kind to them. He empowered them over the Muslims. He gave them plentiful wealth to enjoy and to go too far in spending. We mention to readers some of those upon whom he spent lavishly:

Abu Sufyan

Uthman gave Abu Sufyan a hundred thousand (dirhams) from the Public Treasury.[1] He gave him this gift while he (Abu Sufyan) was the head of the polytheists at the Battle of Uhud and the Battle of al-Ahzab. He was on top of those who harbored malice against Islam. The religion did not enter his heart, nor did it remove from him the beliefs of pre-Islamic era. It was he who went to the grave of Hamza and kicked it and said: “O Abu Imara, the affairs for which we engaged in a sword fight is now at the hands of our boys; they are playing with it.” Then he happily came in to Uthman after he had become blind. He said to him: “O Allah, let the authority be similar to that was before Islam, the kingdom be ruled by the usurpers, and the projections of the earth be owned by the Umayyads.”[2]

Therefore, is it an act of justice and fairness that the Muslims’ properties were given to such a hypocrite whose soul was full of enmity and hatred against Islam? Dose the Islamic law permit giving such wealth to such a person who did not believe in Allah at all?

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[1] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 67.

[2] Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 407.

Al-Harith bin al-Hakam

Uthman gave generously to al-Harith bin al-Hakam, his son-in-law on the side of his daughter A’isha. He gave him three hundred thousand dirhams.[1] He gave him the camels of charity when they came to Medina.[2] He gave him a market in Yathrib (Medina) named Tahruz, while the Prophet (a.s) had given the market to the Muslims as charity.[3] Why was al-Harith worthy of such enormous properties? Did he render a service to Islam or perform a deed through which he benefited Islam, that he might be worthy of giving such wealth? It is worth mentioning that the camels of alms had to be spent on the poor and the needy. Moreover how did Uthman single out al-Harith with the alms of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) while they belonged to all the Muslims? Therefore, Uthman had no justification for giving such funds through which he disobeyed Allah and turned away from the community’s interest.

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[1] Ansab al-Ashraf, vol. 5, p. 52.

[2] Al-Ansab, p. 28.

[3] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 67.

Abdullah bin Sa’d

Uthman gave his foster brother, Abdullah bin Sa’d bin Abi Sarh, all that which Allah had given to the Muslims who conquered al-Maghrib (Morocco) in Africa, which was from Tripoli to Tangier. He made none of the Muslims share him in such wealth.[1] It is worth mentioning that al-Harith was among the prominent polytheists and one of those who denied Islam and its values. We will mention his biography in the chapters that follow to prove that. Therefore, how was it possible for Uthman to give him such enormous funds and such plentiful wealth?

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[1] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 67.

Al-Hakam bin Abi al-Aas
Al-Hakam bin Abi al-Aas

Before we mention Uthman’s gifts to al-Hakam, we have to know his reality and some of his affairs. It may be clear that he was worthy of estrangement, be sent away and that there was at all no justification to give him the Muslims’ funds. We will mention that to readers as follows:

His Fighting against Islam

Al-Hakam resisted propagating Islam. He urged the people to go on worshipping the idols and prevented them from embracing Islam. Marwan (bin al-Hakam) met with Huwaytib and asked him about his age, and he told him about that. However Marwan said to him: “Your Islam is late, O Sheikh, to the extent that the boys preceded you (in embracing it)!”

Huwaytib said to him: “By Allah, I intended to be a Muslim more than one time, but your father prevented me and said: ‘Do you want to leave your honor, abandon your fathers’ religions for a new religion, and be a follower?”[1]

Most surely al-Hakam and the rest of the Umayyad family resisted Islam and spared no effort to repel propagating it. But Allah repelled their scheme, supported Islam and strengthened His religion.

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[1] Ibn Kuthayr, Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 70.

His Disparaging the Prophet

Al-Hakam was the bitterest enemy to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). He harbored malice against him. He went too far in hurting, disparaging, and making light of his high position. He walked behind him, slandered him, sneered at him, and moved his mouth and nose.[1] The Prophet turned and saw him do that. He said to him: “May you be so!” Accordingly, al-Hakam was trembling and shaking until he died. Abdurrahman bin Thabit rebuked him for that. He satirized Abdurrahman bin al-Hakam, saying:

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Most surely your father is cursed; therefore, throw away his bones. If you throw away, you will throw away someone who is trembling and crazy.

He enters into evening small-bellied and remains big-bellied due to (his) evil deeds.[2]

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[1] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 27.

[2] Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 1, p. 118.

The Prophet curses him

This evil, cunning person (al-Hakam) asked the Prophet (a.s) for permission to enter his house, and he (a.s) said: “Shall I permit him? May Allah’s curse be on him and on those who will come out of his back (offspring) except the believers who will be very few; they are the possessor of cunning and deception. The world will be given to them, but they shall have no portion of the hereafter!”[1] The Prophet (a.s) ordered Imam Ali to bring al-Hakam as a ewe was brought. He fetched him. He took him by the ear and made him stop before Allah’s Apostle (a.s). The Prophet cursed al-Hakam three times, and then he said to Imam Ali: “Make him stay at a place! A group of the Muhajireen and the Ansar went to him, and he summoned him again, cursed him, and said: “Most surely, this (person) will oppose Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet. Future troubles will come out of his back (offspring). Their smoke will reach the heaven.” Some people said to him: “He (al-Hakam) is too low to do that!” “Yes,” he (a.s) said, “some of you will be his followers.”[2]

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[1] Al-Sirah al-Halabiya.

[2] Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 6, p. 39.

The Prophet banishes him to al-Ta’if

This dirty, wicked person (al-Hakam) distorted the traditions of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). He went too far in hurting him. So the Prophet banished him to al-Ta’if and said: “Let him not live with me in one place!”[1] Al-Hakam and his children lived in their place of exile throughout the caliphate of the two Sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar). However, Uthman interceded with them for him, and they did not respond to him. Accordingly, al-Hakam and his children remained there.

[1] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 27.

His Return to Yathrib

His Return to Yathrib (Medina)

When Uthman became caliph, he released al-Hakam. Accordingly, al-Hakam returned to Yethrib wearing a worn out garment. He was driving a goat, and the people were looking at his worn out garments and his bad state. He came in Uthman’s house, and then he went out wearing a silk jubbah and pallium.[1] Moreover, Uthman gave him a hundred thousand (dirhams).[2]

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[1] Al-Ya’qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 41.

[2] Al-Ma’arif, p. 84.

His Undertaking the Endowments

Uthman appointed him over the endowments of Quda’a, which amounted three hundred thousand dirhams.[1] He gave him this sum of money. This policy made the people displeased with him and criticize him for his lodging the one banished by Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and gave him the endowments Allah had appointed for the poor, the deprived, and the needy. Therefore, how was it permissible for Uthman to give them to such a person cursed by Allah’s Apostle (a.s)? The decision on this problem is up to readers.

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[1] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 28.

Sa’eed Bin al-Aas

Uthman gave Sa’eed bin al-Aas a hundred thousand Dirhams.[1] It is worth mentioning that Sa’eed bin al-‘Aas was among the Umayyad sinners and dissolute. His father was among the prominent polytheists. Imam Ali killed him at the Battle of Badr.[2] This gift moved people’s displeasure against Uthman. Trustworthy, righteous Muslims criticized him for it.

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[1] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 28.

[2] Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 2, 310.

Al-Waleed Bin Aqaba

Al-Waleed bin Aqaba was Uthman’s foster brother. He was a dissolute sinner. He did not respect Allah, just as we will explain that when we talk about the governors appointed by Uthman. He went to Kufa and asked Abdullah bin Mas‘ud for a loan of enormous money from the Public Treasury, and he lend it to him. Abdullah bin Mas‘ud asked him to return the money, but he wrote a letter to Uthman about that. Uthman wrote Abdullah bin Mas‘ud a letter in which he said: “You are our treasurer; therefore, do not ask al-Waleed to return the money he had taken!” As a result Abdullah bin Mas‘ud put the keys before Uthman and said: “I thought that I was the treasurer of the Muslims. If I am your treasurer, then I am in no need of that!” He resigned and lived in Kufa.[1] How was it possible for Uthman to disperse the Muslims’ money and to give it to the enemies of Allah and the opponents of Islam? The decision on this problem is up to readers.

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[1] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 30.

Marwan Bin al-Hakam

Allah’s Apostle (a.s) cursed Marwan bin al-Hakam when he was in his father’s back. This tradition was narrated by Imam al-Hasan (a.s).[1] When Marwan was born, he was brought to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). The Prophet said: “He is a cowardly, unsuccessful one, son of a cowardly, unsuccessful one. He is a cursed one, son of a cursed one!”[2] Imam Ali (a.s) looked at him and said: “Woe unto you! And woe unto Muhammad’s community because of you and your household when your temples become white!”[3]

Marwan bin al-Hakam was among the hypocrite heads and one of the prominent men of misguidance and falsehood. He was given the nickname of Khayt Batil (the thread of falsehood). Concerning him the poet has said: By your life I do not know how the beaten-backed one does.

May Allah curse the men who have appointed Khayt Batil as a commander over the people. He gives and prevents whatever he wishes.[4]

He was famous for treachery, and breaking promise and covenant. Imam Ali (a.s) said when (the Prophet’s) two grandsons, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, talked with him about Marwan’s pledge of allegiance to him: “I am in no need of his paying homage. It is a Jewish hand. If he pledged allegiance with his hand, he would betray with his own forefinger. He will have an authority (that lasts as short) as a dog licks its own nose. He is the father of the four rams. The community will meet a red day because of him and his sons.”[5]

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Uthman was charitable to this cowardly, unsuccessful, dirty person (Marwan bin al-Hakam). He empowered him over the Public Treasury, and he gave and prevented whomever he wished. We will mention to readers the enormous gifts Uthman gave to Marwan. They are as follows:

1. He gave him the one fifth of the booties of Africa, which amounted five hundred thousand dinars. Uthman was criticized for that. Abdurrahman bin Hanbal satirized him, saying:

I will swear by Allah as far as possible, Allah does not leave an affair to be in vain.

However you have been created as an affliction for us, that we might be tried through you, and you tried (through us).

Most surely the two trusted ones have made the road sign on (which) guidance is.

They did not take any dirham illegally, nor did they place any dirham in caprice.

You have summoned the cursed one and brought him near contrary to the Sunna of those passed away.

You have unjustly given Marwan the one fifth (of the money) of the people.[6]

2. He gave him a thousand and fifty okes; we do not know whether they were of gold or silver. It was among the affairs that brought about the displeasure with him.[7]

3. He gave him a hundred thousand (dinars) from the Public Treasury, and so Zayd bin Arqam, the treasurer, brought the keys and put them before Uthman. He wept, but Uthman scolded him and said to him: “Are you weeping because I have retained my kinship?”

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“But I weep because I think that you have taken this money as a compensation for that which you spent in the way of Allah during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). If you gave Marwan a hundred dirhams, it would be much,” retorted Zayd.

Yet Uthman rebuked him and shouted at him, saying: “Put the keys, O son of Arqam! We will find someone other than you!”[8]

4. He gave him Fadak as a gift.[9] Anyway it was not permissible for him to give Fadak as a gift, for if it had been given to Fatima, peace be on her, as a gift, as she said, then it would have belonged to her children. If it was alms, as Abu Baker claimed, then it belonged to all the Muslims. Therefore, Uthman had no right to act freely in respect of it in both cases.

Anyway, which service did Marwan render to the community? Which noble deed or achievement issued from him, that he might deserve such a plentiful giving and be given such enormous wealth? These are some of the gifts the Caliph (Uthman) gave to his family and relatives. Without doubt these gifts do not agree with Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet. They required the rulers to treat those near and far equally, demanded them not to prefer a people to another, and to apply justice to all fields.

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[1] Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 10, p. 72.

[2] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 479.

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[3] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 55.

[4] Al-Ansab, vol. 4, p. 348.

[5] Nahj al-Balagha.

[6] Abu al-Fida’, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 168.

[7] Al-Halabi, Sirah, vol. 2, p. 87.

[8] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, vol. 1, p. 67.

[9] Abu al-Fida’, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 168. Al-Ma‘arif, p. 84.

Uthman is criticized

Of course such a policy moved the displeasure of the good, the righteous, and the religious. Rather it moved the displeasure of the general populace who had doubt about the Islam of the Umayyads. They thought that such giving would expand the Umayyads, strengthen their influence, and spread their authority. Abdurrahman bin Awf, who elected Uthman and appointed him as a ruler over the Muslims, harbored malice against him and said: “Anticipate him before he goes too far in his governing.” He said to Imam Ali: “Take your sword, and I take my sword, for he (Uthman) has broken the promise he gave to me.” When he was about to die, he recommended not to (let him) pray over him.[1]

Grumbling spread among the Muslims because of this crooked policy. The special associates and the general populace criticized Uthman when he alone possessed the jewels in the Public Treasury. He took some of them to adorn some of his family, and then he went up on the pulpit and said: “We will take our need from this Fay’ in spite of the people.”

This speech moved the people’s displeasure. Imam Ali (a.s) opposed him, saying: “You shall be prevented from that, and we will come between you and that.”

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The Prophet’s great companion, Ammar bin Yasir confirmed the Imam’s statement and expressed his displeasure with Uthman, saying: “I bear witness that I am the first unwilling one.”

When Uthman gave a hundred thousand dirham to Sa’eed bin al-Aas, Imam Ali (a.s) and a group of the leading companions of the Prophet blamed and criticized him for that. But he said to them: “He is my relative.”

They refused his justification, saying: “Did Abu Bakr and Umar have no relatives?”

He answered them: “Abu Bakr and Umar thought of depriving their relatives (of giving), and I think of giving my relatives.”[2]

The Muslims harbored malice against Uthman, and their good ones were displeased with him, for he alone possessed the Fay’, gave the Muslims’ properties to the Umayyads, and did not establish through his policy the social justice that Islam brought.

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[1] Al-Balathiri, al-Ansab.

[2] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 28.

Uthman apologizes

Uthman apologized to those who criticized his policy for his gifting his relatives and being kind to them, for he thought that he had committed no sin, nor had he broken the Islamic law. It is necessary for us to pause before this apology, that we may come to know its reality and rightness. If we carefully consider it, we will conclude that such a speech is incorrect, does not agree with the Islamic law, and does not serve the community’s interests. The reasons for that are: Firstly, the properties he gave to his family were not his own, that he might have a choice in spending them on his relatives. Rather they belonged to the Muslims; therefore, it was incumbent on him to spend them on them. The ruler had no right to act freely in respect of them. For example, once, Aqeel went to Yathrib. He was poor and was in need of his brother Imam Ali (a.s). He asked him to settle his debts. So the Imam asked him:

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- How many dinars?

- Forty thousand (dinars).

- I do not have them. Be patient until I receive my pay, and I will give it to you.

-The public treasuries are at your hand, while you delay me to your pay.

- Do you order me to give you the Muslims’ wealth, while they have entrusted me with it?[1]

This is the speech of Islam, this is its justice, and this is its equality. It makes no distinction between the near and the far; all people are equal in pay and other than it.

Secondly, the members of his family, to whom he was charitable, were worthy of boycott and deprivation. They opposed Islam and battled against it. They are the cursed tree in the Qur’an. Ibn Abi Hatam has narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar, who said: “The Prophet (a.s) said: ‘As if I see the sons of al-Hakam bin al-‘Aas on the pulpits. They look like apes. So Allah revealed: And we did not make the vision which We showed you but a trial for men and the cursed tree in the Qur’an as well. He has meant al-Hakam and his sons.”[2] A’isha said to Marwan: “I have heard Allah’s Apostle (a.s) say to your father: ‘Abi al-‘Aas bin Umayya, you are the cursed tree in the Qur’an.”[3] Allah has prohibited showing love toward His enemies and made it forbidden to be kind to them. He, the Most High, has said: You shall not find a people who believe in Allah and the latter day befriending those who act in opposition to Allah and His Apostle, even though they are their (own) fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk.[4]

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Uthman loved the Umayyads very much. He would say: “If the keys of the Garden were at my hands, I would given them to the Umayyads, that they all might enter it.”[5] This violent love for his family put an end to him, moved the Islamic forces to revolt against him, to overthrow his government, and to kill him.

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[1] Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 3, p. 423.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tafseer, vol. 15, p. 77. Al-Qurtubi, vol. 10, p. 283.

[3] Al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 4, p. 191.

[4] Qur’an, 58, 22.

[5] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 62.

His Gifts to the Leading Personalities

Uthman gave the Muslims’ money to the dignitaries, the leading personalities, and those who had political influence, for he was afraid of them. He gave two hundred thousand dinars to Talha.[1] Talha was in debt to Uthman for fifty thousand (dinars). Talha said to Uthman: “Your money is ready that you may receive it.” Uthman gave him the money as a gift and said to him: “It belongs to you, O Abu Muhammad, because of your generosity.”[1] He gave al-Zubayr six hundred thousand (dinars). When he received them, he asked about the best money to exploit it. He was guided to build houses in the regions and the cities.[2] Accordingly, he built eleven houses in Medina, two houses in Basra, a house in Kufa, and a house in Egypt.[3] Uthman gave enormous money to Yazid bin Thabit, to the extent that he was so rich that he left behind him gold and silver which were broken with an ax, and in addition he left behind him properties and estates estimated as a hundred thousand dinars.[4] He gave other properties to his followers and the supporters of his policy. In his encyclopedia, al-Amini, the head of researchers, has in detail mentioned Uthman’s gifts.[5]

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[1] Ibn Sa ‘d, Tabaqat.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 139.

[3] Ibn Sa ‘d, Tabaqat.

[4] Al-Bukhari, Saheeh, vol. 5, p. 21.

[5] Al-Mas‘udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 334.

[6] Al-Ghadir, vol. 8.

He alone Possesses properties

Uthman exhausted the public treasuries. He chose of them what he wished for himself and his family. He went too far in lavishness and extravagance. He ordered a house of bricks and lime to be built in Medina. He ordered its doors to be made of teak and juniper. He had properties, gardens, and springs in Medina.[1] He covered his teeth with gold, and worn king garments. He spent most of the money in the public treasury on cultivating his country estates and building houses.[2] When he was killed, his treasurer had thirty million, five hundred thousand dirhams, and a hundred thousand dinars. He also left behind him a thousand camels, endowments in Baradis and Khaybar, and Wadi al-Qura. They were estimated at two hundred thousand dinars.[3]

Uthman followed a special way in his fiscal policy. He did not conform to Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet. He acted freely in respect of the Public Treasury. He took from it whatever he wished, granted to whomever he liked, and gave to his followers. Imam Ali (a.s) has described this crooked policy, saying: “Till the third man of these people (Uthman) stood up with heaving breasts between his dung and fodder. With him the children of his father (the Umayyads) also stood up swallowing up Allah’s wealth like a camel devouring the foliage of spring.”

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This is the most wonderful speech through which the devious policy is described when it uses authority as means for obtaining wealth, enjoying life pleasures, pays no attention to the community, and takes no care of its interests and objectives.

Accordingly, Imam Ali (a.s) issued his decisive decision when he seized the reins of government. He ordered all the properties that Uthman had taken or given to his special associates and relative to be confiscated. This is the text of his decision: “All lands granted by Uthman, all Allah’s wealth he gave should be returned to the Public Treasury. Nothing invalidates the old right. If I found that the women got married through it and scattered in the countries, I would return it as it was. That is because there is ease in justice. Whoever is annoyed with right is more annoyed with tyranny.”[4]

Imam Ali took this procedure according to Islamic justice, which limited the authorities of the responsible, gave them no free rein to act freely in respect of the community’s properties and possessing them alone. The rulers have no right to choose properties for themselves and their relatives. An example of that is Allah’s Apostle (a.s). His only daughter, other whom he had no child, came to him and asked him to buy her a servant to help her turn the hand mill because her hands ulcerated. However he (a.s) found no way to take some money from the Public Treasury to buy a servant to help his daughter. He refused her request and taught her the tasbeeh (glorification) which has been ascribed to her. Imam Ali (a.s) followed the same policy. His brother Aqeel came to him asking for charity, ease, and welfare. However the Imam heated a piece of iron and wanted to burn him with it. This is the speech of Islam, which has come to make peoples happy, reform them, and save them from misery, poverty, and deprivation.

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[1] Al-Mas‘udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 433.

[2] Al-Seerah al-Halabiya, vol. 2, p. 87.

[3] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 3, p. 53.

[4] Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 46.

With Dr. Taha Husayn

Dr. Taha Husayn’s statements have clearly contradicted each other in respect of Uthman’s fiscal policy. He sometimes claims that Uthman kept Umar’s fiscal policy, and that he did not oppose him in that, nor did he deviate from him in all his administrative and war actions, all that which all the Muslims followed such as enjoying good, forbidding evil, clinging to the inherited Sunna, refraining from affection and innovation.[1] And he sometimes becomes straight in his statements. He believes that Uthman deviated from Umar’s fiscal policy in maintaining the Public Treasury, spending nothing of it except the amount of need of spending, criticizing Umar’s strictness, believing that there was enough (money) in the Public Treasury for people than that was during the days of Umar. This is an indirect criticism to Umar’s policy in respect of managing the Public treasury.[2] This means that Uthman did not conform to Umar’s way, nor did he put into practice his policy. This contradicts what he has mentioned at first, which is that Uthman followed the goals Umar had followed.

Anyway, at last Dr. Taha Husayn inclined to correct Uthman’s fiscal policy. That is when he said that Uthman’s fiscal policy did not oppose the inherited Sunna, was not void of good, and conforming to the public interests. We will mention the text of his speech as follows:

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“The certain thing is that Uthman did not flatter in respect of his religion, and the certain thing as well is that Uthman did not see in that policy of his dangerous or not dangerous disagreement with the behavior of the two Sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar), for he did not depend on oppression and favoritism; rather, he generously gave to the people some of their properties. He saw riches in the Public Treasury, so he preferred the people through it and he did not go too far in saving up. Which prohibition is in gifting the Prophet’s companions with some or much of this wealth, for they were the Imams of Islam, the ones who built the state, showed extreme courage during the days of the Prophet, faced many hardships and much deprivation? Allah was truthful in His promise and He increased good. Therefore, which of the people was the worthiest of the Muhajireen in enjoying some of this good?”[3]

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[1] Al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 72.

[2] Al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 77.

[3] Al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 77

Reflection

The Places of Reflection on his Speech are as follows:

1. Dr. Taha Husayn believes that Uthman did not cajole in respect of his religion, that he did not see in his policy any dangerous or not dangerous disagreement with the behavior of the two Sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar), and that he did not depend on oppression and favoritism. As for that Uthman did not flatter in his religion, it is falsified by his announcing repentance of turning away from justice and deviating from the straight path. This is the text of his repentance: “O people, by Allah I do not ignore any of the things for which you have criticized me. I have come to know them, but my soul have made me desire and it deceived me, and my reason has gone astray. I have heard Allah’s Apostle (a.s) say: ‘Whoever slips should turn to Allah in repentance, and whoever makes a mistake should turn to Allah in repentance and should not go too far in destruction. Most surely whoever goes too far in oppression is farther away from the way; therefore, I am the first to learn a lesson. I ask Allah’s forgiveness and turn to him in repentance.”[1]

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This statement is clear in that Uthman followed a way other than the straight path, that he deviated from the inherited Sunna, that he came to know of that and did not ignore it, and that the knowledge of it was not absent from him. Uthman responded to his desires and sentiments when he did what he did. He opposed the Sunna such as his gifts to the Umayyads, his gifts to Abu Ma’eet’s family, his punishing the prominent companions (of the Prophet) because they criticized his policy, and other than that from among the heavy events. His soul made him desire, to the extent that his reason went astray, and he lost his mind, as he said. He admitted that and recorded against himself that he deviated from the straight path, then how is it said that he did not flatter in his religion and not intend tyranny and favoritism?

2. As for what he mentioned that Uthman gave generously to the people some of their properties because he saw wealth in the Public Treasury, so he preferred the people through it and did not go too far in saving up,’ it is unacceptable at all. Uthman did not give generously to the people and not make easy their livelihood. If he did all these things, why did the people revolt against and kill him? Rather he spent generously on himself, his special associates, the Umayyads, and the followers of his policy. He preferred them to others through al-Fay’ and singled them out with the properties of the state. This matter brought about grumbling, and the Muslims’ displeasure throughout their countries and regions, to the extent that they overthrew his government and killed him. They did not bury him, to the extent that the good Muslims regretted that they did not burn his corpse.[2]

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3. As for what he has mentioned: “There was no prohibition and sin against Uthman when he gifted the companions of the Prophet (a.s) with the properties, for they were the Imams of the Muslims and showed extreme courage; therefore, which of the people was worthiest of them in enjoying a thing of this good?” Most surely it is apparently false because the Public Treasury, as we have mentioned more than one time, belonged to all the Muslims, and no people had the right to alone possess it. It had to be spent on their interests and the reforming of their affairs. No tribe, whatever importance it had, had to be singled out with it, and the overwhelming majority had not to be deprived of it. Moreover Islam at that time was in need of spreading the social justice among the peoples who were thirsty for its just equality, which did not prefer a people to another. However, Uthman preferred the Umayyads in all things. He preferred them in properties and offices, and empowered them over the people. This affair destroyed the equality Islam had brought.

As for that the Muhajireen from among the companions of the Prophet (a.s) preceded others to believe in Islam, to defend its beliefs, and to bear hardships and tribulations for it, it is certain, and there is no room to doubt it. They are thanked for that, and it is Allah who will reward them for that. However granting them properties and heaping bounties upon them is not a permissible affair, for it gave life to the casteism against which Islam had fought and condemned all its aspects.

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Dr. Taha Husayn continues justifying Uthman’s policy and the legality of his gifts he had given to the Prophet’s companions. He says that Uthman did not oppose the inherited Sunna; rather he followed his generous nature. However he has not mentioned Uthman’s great gifts to the Umayyads and Abu Ma’eet’s family. His Excellency, the doctor, has turned away from that and not mentioned it at all. I think that such gifts made the people criticize Uthman. However Dr. Taha Husayn has neglected this side because either he has found no room to apologize for it or he has seen that no harm resulted from that; likewise, he has seen that there is no harm on giving such gifts to the Prophet’s companions. Unfortunately, he has overlooked that and justified what has opposed the Sunna.

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[1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh.

[2] This was said by ‘Ammar bin Yasir, a great companion of the Prophet. See al-Ghadir, vol. 9, p. 216.

Uthman’s Governors over the Cities

Islam makes it incumbent on the caliph of Muslims and their guardian to do his best to choose men of abilities and talents from among those who have the necessary qualities such as justice, fear of Allah, honesty, and loyalty. The caliph should appoint over cities and regions those who honestly and sincerely take care of their interests and affairs. It is not permissible for him to appoint anyone, whatever he is close to him, out of favoritism, and preference, for that is treason to Allah, His Apostle, and Muslims. That is because governors undertake the responsibility for government, giving legal decisions to people, managing their affairs, making peace among them, protecting their blood and their properties. Therefore, they should be the best of people, the most religious, the greatest in reflecting on suspicions, the farthest in refraining from greed and stinginess, and the most patient in understanding affairs. This is the viewpoint of Islam, and this is its plan that its immortal regulation has. However, Uthman went far from that. He intentionally appointed the members of his family and his relatives who battled against Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and caused mischief in the earth. He appointed them over the Muslims and entrusted to them the most important offices. He appointed them as governors over the cities and the regions. We will mention some of them along with explaining their biographies. They are as follows:

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Al-Waleed Bin Aqaba

Al-Waleed Bin Aqaba

Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas was a governor over Kufa, but Uthman removed him from it and appointed over it al-Waleed bin Aqaba bin Abu Ma’eet. He did not entrust it to the men of qualifications and abilities from among the Muhajireen and the Ansar, who showed extreme courage in Islam, that they might undertake the affairs of this city, which was the greatest of the Muslim cities in importance and boundaries.

Any way, was al-Waleed entitled to it, that Uthman might entrusted to him this important office taking care of giving legal decisions to people, leading them in prayer, protecting the Public Treasury, and other affairs depending on justice, fear of Allah, and clinging to religion? We will mention an outline on his affairs, that his condition may be clear. They are as follows:

His Childhood

Al-Waleed grew up and was brought up during the pre-Islamic period. No ray of the light of Islam entered his heart. His father was the enemy of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). A’isha narrated on the authority of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) who said: “I was between the wickedest two neighbors; between Abu Lahab and Aqaba bin Abi Ma’eet. They brought waste materials and spread them at my door….”[1] This cursed guy (Aqaba bin Abi Ma’eet) spat in the face of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and cursed him. So the Prophet (a.s) said to him: “If I found you coming out of the mountains of Mecca, I would strike off your head.” When the Battle of Badr was about to take place and his (Aqaba) companions to go out, he refrained from going out. His companions said to him: “Go out with us!” “This man (the Prophet),” he retorted, “had threatened me that if he found me going out of the mountains of Mecca, he would behead me.” “You have a quick red camel,” they said to him, “if there was a defeat, you quickly escape with it.” He went out with them. When Allah defeated the polytheists, his (Aqaba) camel carried him to badlands. Allah’s Apostle (a.s) took him as a prisoner of war along with seventy Qurayshi people. Aqaba asked the Prophet (a.s): “Will you kill me along with these people?” “Yes,” he replied, “because you had spat in my face.” Then he ordered Ali to behead him, and he did.[2] Accordingly, al-Waleed’s soul was full of spite and hatred against the Prophet (a.s) for he had ordered his father to be killed. When al-Waleed found no escape from embracing Islam, he became Muslim, while his heart was full of disbelief and hypocrisy.

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[1] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 1, p. 186 (Egyptian Edition).

[2] Al-Ghadir, vol. 8, p. 273.

Part Two: At the time of Uthman

Part 2

It has been reported from him that he said: “Al-Sawad (Kufa) is a garden belongs to Quraysh!” Malik al-Ashtar rose for him and said: “Do you regard the positions of our spears and what Allah has given to us as a garden belongs to you and your people? By Allah, if someone desired it, he would be struck violently until he cried!” The Kufan reciters of the Qur’an and jurists joined al-Ashtar and confirmed his statement. However, the commander of the police, became angry with them and rudely treated them. They rose and severely hit him, to the extent that he fainted. They left his gathering, criticized him, mentioned Uthman’s defects, the evil deeds of Quraysh, and the crimes of the Umayyads. Sa’eed wrote a letter to Uthman and told him about the affair of these people, and he responded to him that he had to banish them to Sham (Syria). Meanwhile he wrote a letter to Mu’awiya and commanded him to reform them.

The most important thing is that these people had committed no sin or corruption, nor had they committed a crime, that they might deserve such a punishment and banishment; rather, they criticized their governor because he deviated from the right way, and said something other than the truth. It is worth mentioning that Islam gave the citizens a full freedom, and gave them the right to criticize the rulers if they followed a wrong way and turned away from the straight path. How was it right for Uthman to banish these people from their homelands while they did not disobey him and not separate themselves from the community? Anyway, Sa’eed violently drove them away from their homeland and sent them to al-Sham which was not familiar to them. There Mu’awiya received and made them live in a church and gave them some food. He debated with them and preached to them, but he did not succeed in convincing them.

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Which a quality distinguished Quraysh from the rest of the people that al-Sawad (Kufa) might belong to them? Which an achievement issued from them that they might have excellence over the rest of the Arabs and Muslims? When Mu’awiya was disappointed of them, he wrote a letter to Uthman and asked him to exempt him from permitting them to stay in al-Sham lest they should move its people against him. Uthman exempted him from that and commanded him to repatriate them to Kufa. They returned to Kufa while they insisted on criticizing the then government. They released their tongues to mention the defects of Sa’eed, Mu’awiya, and Uthman. Again Sa’eed wrote a letter to Uthman and asked him to banish these men from his city. Uthman responded and commanded him to banish them to Hams and al-Jazira, and he drove them away from their homeland. There, Abdurrahman bin Khalid bin al-Waleed, the governor of Mu’awiya over Hams, treaded them badly. He tortured them, and said to them obscene and ugly words. When he rode (his horse), he ordered them to walk around him to display their humiliation and abasement and to urge the people to disparage them. When they saw such rudeness, they showed obedience and announced repentance. They asked him to forgive them their sins. He forgave them and wrote a letter to Uthman and asked him to be pleased with and pardon them. Uthman responded to him and commanded to repatriate them to Kufa. Sa’eed went to Yathrib on a task and he found the people there complaining to Uthman of him and asking to depose him (Sa’eed). But Uthman refused to respond to them and command Sa’eed to go back to his work. Accordingly, the people had gone back home before him. They had occupied Kufa and sworn by Allah that Sa’eed would not enter it as long as they carried their swords. Then Malik al-Ashtar headed them and went to al-Jur‘a. There, they waited for Sa’eed. When he came,they prevented him from entering the city. They forced Uthman to remove him from office and to appoint someone other than him. Uthman unwillingly responded to them.[1]

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The important thing is that Uthman severely punished those who criticized Sa’eed bin al-Aas, while they were the reciters of the Qur’an and jurists of the city. He banished them from their homelands and went too far in exhausting them for the sake of a foolish young man who was among his relatives and family. This affair brought about grumbling against him, displeasure, and hatred of the community toward his government.

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[1] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, pp. 39-43. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 88. Abu al-Fida’, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 168.

Abdullah Bin Aamir

Uthman removed Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari from the authority over Basrah and appointed his cousin Abdullah bin Aamir bin Kurayz.[1] He appointed him over it while he was twenty-four or five years old.[2] Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari heard of that, and he said to the people: “The boy who spends lavishly will come to you. His grandmothers and aunts are highborn. The two cities will be entrusted to him.”[3]

The important thing is that Uthman appointed him over this great city (Kufa), while he was still a young man. He had to appointed over it a man from among the good, trustworthy companions of the Prophet, that the people might make use of his guidance and righteousness. However he intentionally chose this young man, for he was his cousin. During his authority, Abdullah bin Aamir followed a way of luxury and lavishness. He spent lavishly, just as Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari had said. He was the first to wear silk garments in Basrah. He wore a dark jubbah, and the people said: “The Emir has worn a bear’s skin!” So he changed his garments and wore a red jubbah.[4] Aamir bin Abdullah al-Tamimi, an ascetic worshipper, criticized him for that and for his policy. He also blamed Uthman for that. Al-Tabari has narrated: “Some Muslims held a meeting and discussed Uthman’s deeds and what he had done. Then they decided to send a man to him to talk with him and tell him about his deeds. They sent to him Aamir bin Abdullah. When he met with him, he said to him: ‘Some Muslims held a meeting and carefully considered your deeds. They have come to know that you have committed serious actions. Therefore, fear Allah, the Great and Almighty, turn to him in repentance and give up.’ However Uthman disrespected him, for his words hurt him. He said to those around him: ‘Look at this person! The people claim that he is a reciter of the Qur’an. Then he has come to talk with me about the disrespectful. By Allah, he does not know where Allah is!’ So Aamir said to him: ‘I do not know where Allah is?’ ‘Yes,’ replied Uthman. ‘Most surely I know that Allah is watching,’ said Aamir. Uthman sent for his advisers and his governors. He discussed the affair with them. Abdullah bin Aamir advised and said to him: ‘My pinion, O Commander of the faithful, is that you must make them busy through waging jihad, that they may yield to you, and have no concern except theirs!’

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“Other people advised him to follow something other than that. However he responded to Abdullah’s viewpoint. He returned his governors and commanded them to confine the people under their authorities, and to send them to wage jihad. Moreover, he decided to deprive them of their salaries, that they might obey and be in need of him.”[5]

When Abdullah bin Aamir arrived in Basrah, he intended to punish Aamir bin Abdullah. He commanded his hirelings and followers to bear witness with him that Aamir had opposed the Muslims in respect of the affairs that Allah had made lawful, that he did not eat meat, did not marry, and did not attend the Friday prayer.[6] He sent a letter to Uthman in this respect, who ordered him to banish the man to al-Sham on a camel’s back. Aamir was carried to Sham. Mu’awiya made him live at al-Khadra’ and sent a slave girl to spy on him.

The slave girl came to know that Aamir performed prayers during the night, went out in the early morning and came back in the evening, did not eat anything of the food sent by Mu’awiya, put a piece of bread into water, and drank some of that water. She told Mu’awiya of that, and he wrote a letter in respect of Aamir’s affair. Uthman ordered Mu’awiya to gift him.[7]

The Muslims harbored malice against Uthman, for he had banished a righteous Muslim[8] from his homeland and family, just because he had criticized his governors. It is worth mentioning that the ruler has no authority to carry out such banishment, for it has been legislated for those who war against Allah and his Apostle and cause mischief in the land.

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Anyway Abdullah bin Aamir remained as a governor over Basrah until Uthman was killed. When he heard of Uthman’s murder, he took the money in the public treasury and went to Mecca. He gave it to Talha, al-Zubayr, and A’isha. He joined them and supplied the rebels with money. The rebels had decided to go to al-Sham, but Abdullah turned them away from that and advised them to go to Basrah.[9]

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[1] Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 3, p. 192.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 94. Ibn Khaldun, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 39.

[3] Al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 116.

[4] Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 5, p. 282. In the book it has been mentioned the Uthman’s mother was Arwa, daughter of Kurayz.

[5] Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 2, p. 253.

[6] Al-Kamil, vol. 3, p. 38.

[7] Al-Isaba, vol. 3, p. 85.

[8] Al-Iqd al-Farid, vol. 2, p. 261.

[9] Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 3, p. 192.

Mu’awiya Bin Abi Sufyan

Mu’awiya bin Abi Sufyan was the greatest of Uthman’s governors in luck, influence, and precedence in authority. Besides, his people were the most people in obedience and loyalty to him. They loved him, and he loved them. Umar had endowed him with authority and supported him with all kinds of support. He raised his importance and exalted his position. He reckoned his governors every year and shared them their properties even if they had earned them through trading or legal ways. But he excluded Mu’awiya from that. He did not reckoned him, nor did he share him (his properties), nor did he ask him about his affairs. Rather he praised and lauded him. He went too far in guiding and apologizing to him. People said to Umar: “Mu’awiya wears silk garments while they are forbidden in Islam. He spends lavishly while such a deed is contrary to the administrative regulations Islam has brought, for they require governors to be moderate and not spend lavishly from the Muslims’ properties.”

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The people told Umar about such deeds, but he justified them on behalf of Mu’awiya, saying: “He is the Khosrau of the Arabs!” Suppose he was such, then was it lawful for him to wear unlawful garments and spend lavishly from the Muslims’ money? Umar was not satisfied with this laudation and support only, but he blew into him the spirit of ambition and opened for him the door to the hope for the caliphate. He said to the members of the Consultative Committee: “If you envy each other, neglect one another, are hostile to each other, and hate one another, then Mu’awiya bin Abi Sufyan will overcome you for this (caliphate).” Mu’awiya was then a governor over al-Sham.[1] That urged him to think of the caliphate and to use all means to win it. Accordingly, he mutinied against the government of Imam Ali (a.s) and battled against him. We will mention that in details in the book.

Anyway, Mu’awiya was a governor over al-Sham throughout the caliphate of Umar. He behaved whatever he wished. He alone possessed the properties, bought the consciences and surrounded himself with followers. There was no supervisor over him, and none blamed him for his deeds. Rather Umar guided and lauded him and was pleased with his acts. After Umar’s death, Uthman appointed him as governor and increased his authority. He added to him Palestine after the death of its governor Abdurrahman bin Alqama al-Kinani. He also added to him Hams when its governor Umar bin Sa’d al-Ansari asked him to accept his resignation. Through that, Mu’awiya controlled all the land of al-Sham, and became the greatest of all governors in power and influence. His country became the most important of all the Islamic countries, the strongest, and the greatest in calmness and stability.

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Without doubt Uthman had increased Mu’awiya’s influence, expanded the region of his power, and paved the way for him to move the caliphate to Abu Sufyan’s family. Dr Taha Husayn has mentioned that, saying: “Without doubt it was Uthman who paved the way for Mu’awiya to move the caliphate someday to Abu Sufyan’s family and fix it among the Umayyads. So it was Uthman who expanded Mu’awiya’s authority. He added Palestine and Hams to his authority. He established for him a Syrian unity with distant borders and made the four countries yield to him. Therefore his armies were the strongest of all the Islamic armies. Then he extended his authority throughout his caliphate just as Umar had done. He released his hand in all the affairs of al-Sham more than Umar had released it. When the discord happened, Mu’awiya looked and suddenly found that he was the oldest of the governors in authority, the strongest of them in soldiers, and the greatest of them in possessing the subjects’ hearts.”[2] Most surely, Uthman had paved the way for him and gave him an opportunity to battle against Imam Ali (a.s) to commit horrible, abominable things and serious offences. He paved the way for him to kill the righteous, trustworthy Muslims such as Hajr bin Adi and his believing brethren, and to commit more sins and crimes.

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[1] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 187.

[2] Al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 120.

Abdullah Bin Sa’d

Uthman endowed his foster brother Abdullah bin Sa’d with the authority over Egypt and gave him the power over this great country. He entrusted to him the affair of its links and its land tax.[1] Before that he had given him enormous properties and granted him the one-fifth of the booties of Africa, while he was not worthy of them, for he had a black history full of sins and offenses. That was when he became an apostate and a polytheist after he had become Muslim. He went to Quraysh in Mecca and began disparaging the Prophet and said to them: “I can make him go wherever I wish!” The Prophet outlawed him on the Day of Conquering Mecca even if he was found clinging to the curtains of the Kaaba. So he went to Uthman and sought protection with him, and he hid him. When the people of Mecca became tranquil, Uthman brought him to the Prophet (a.s). The Prophet kept silent for a long time, and then he gave him security and pardoned him. When Uthman went away, the Prophet (a.s) said: “I kept silent for nothing except for that one of you would rise and behead him.” So a man from the Ansar said to him: “Why did you, O Allah’s Apostle, not beckon to me?” And he replied: “Most surely, the Prophet must not have stealthy looks.”[2] A verse of the Holy Qur’an was revealed in respect of his disbelief and dispraising him. The verse is: And who is more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah, or says: It has been revealed to me; while nothing has been revealed to him, and he who says: I can reveal the like of what Allah has revealed?[3] The interpreters of the Qur’an have unanimously agreed on that the verse meant him. The reason for that is that when the verse and certainly We created man of an extract of clay, the Prophet summoned him and recited it to him. When he reached these words of Him then We caused it to grow into another creation, Abdullah became astonished at the details about the creation of man. He said: “So blessed be Allah, the best of the creators.” The Prophet said: “In this manner it was revealed to me.” However Abdullah had doubt and said: “If Muhammad was truthful, then it was revealed to me as it was revealed to him. If he was untruthful, then I said just as he said.” Accordingly, he withdrew from Islam and joined the polytheists.[4]

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Why was such an apostate, who disparaged the Prophet, appointed a governor over the Muslims? Why was the leadership over Muslims entrusted to him? And why was he entrusted with their security and properties? By Allah, most surely this is the breaking misfortune, which melts hearts and souls with sorrow and regret! Why was the authority over the Muslims given to the enemies and opponents of Islam who spared no effort to aggress and scheme against Islam? However, to Allah we belong and to Him is our return!

Anyway Abdullah bin Sa’d remained as a governor over Egypt for some years. He forced the Egyptians to do what they could not do. He ruled them with a policy of violence and tyranny. He showed pride and arrogance, so the people were tired of him and of his government. They went to Uthman and complained to him of Abdullah. He sent to him a letter and threatened him with removing him from the office of government unless he would return to reason. However he refused to refrain from what Uthman prohibited him. He severely punished those who complained to Uthman of him, to the extent that he killed them. Accordingly, seven hundred Egyptians went to Yathrib and entered the mosque. They complained to the companions of the Prophet of what Ibn Abi Sarh had done to them. Talha went to Uthman and severely talked with him. A’isha sent someone to him and asked him to treat the people with justice in respect of their governor. Imam Ali (a.s) visited Uthman and said to him: “The people have asked you to replace the man with another one. They have claimed that he killed a person. Therefore, depose. If a right is due on him, then treat people with justice in respect of him.”

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Uthman responded to that and said to the people: “Choose a man to appoint him as a governor over you.” The people advised him to appoint Muhammad bin Abi Bakr, and he wrote his appointment over Egypt. He sent with him some people from among the Muhajireen and the Ansar to discuss what had happened between the people and Ibn Abi Sarh (Abdullah bin Sa’d).[5] They left Yathrib. When they arrived at the placed called Hams, they saw a man coming from Medina. They carefully considered the man and came to know that he was Warsh, Uthman’s servant. When they checked him, they found that he was carrying a letter from Uthman to Ibn Abi Sarh. In the letter Uthman had commanded him to punish the people severely. They carefully read the letter, and they came to know that it was written by Marwan. As a result they returned to Yathrib and decided to remove Uthman or kill him.

Most surely Uthman had planned his death by himself, drawn the tribulation against himself, subjected the community to misfortunes and disasters for the sake of his family and strengthening their entity. If he had responded to Imam Ali’s viewpoint and of those who advised him, and if he had removed the Umayyads from the offices of government, he would have been safe from that revolt that brought about his death, opened the doors to discords among the Muslims, divided their unity, and made them into parties. Each party was delighted with that which with them. With this topic we will end our speech about Uthman’s governors and rulers whom he had appointed for nothing except out of preference and favoritism.

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[1] Al-Wilat wa al-Qudat, p. 11.

[2] Al-Qurtubi, Tafseer, vol. 7, p. 134. Al-Shawkani, Tafseer, vol. 2, p. 134. Abi Dauwd, vol. 2, p. 220.

[3] Qur’an, 6, 93.

[4] Al-Razi, Tafseer, 4: 96. Al-Khazin, Tafseer, vol. 2, p. 37. Al-Kashif, vol. 1, p. 461.

[5] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, 26.

His Punishing the Prophet’s Companions

His Punishing the Prophet’s Companions

Uthman severely punished the good, righteous Muslims who showed extreme courage for Islam and took part in building it. That was because they had criticized him for his policy and asked him to follow the right way and the Prophet’s Sunna. However he did not respond to their teachings and their advice, so they severely opposed him. As a result he wreaked his wrath upon them, went too far in oppressing and exhausting them. They are as follows:

1. Abdullah Bin Mas‘ud

Abdullah bin Mas‘ud was the most similar of all the people to Allah’s Apostle (a.s) in guidance and behavior.[1] In respect of him Allah’s Apostle (a.s) has said: “Whoever wants to be pleased in reciting the Qur’an as fresh as it had been revealed, then let him recite it according to the recitation of Ibn Umm Abd.”[2] Some people praised Abdullah bin Mas‘ud in the presence of Imam Ali. So he (a.s) said: “I say as to him just as they have said: ‘He is the best of those who recite the Qur’an, follow the lawful things in it, and refrain from the unlawful things in it. He is a jurist in religion and knowledgeable in the Sunna.[3] He was among those concerning whom this verse was revealed[4]: (As for) those who responded (at Uhud) to the Call of Allah and the Apostle after the wound had befallen them, those among them who do good (to others) and guard (against evil) shall have a great reward.[5] He is also among those concerning whom this verse was revealed[6]: And do not drive away those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening. They desire only His favor; neither are you answerable for any reckoning of theirs, nor are they answerable for any reckoning of yours, so that you should drive them away and thus be of the unjust.” [7]

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Most surely Abdullah bin Mas‘ud was among the leading Muslims in his guidance, righteousness, piety, and clinging to the religion. Umar sent him along with Ammar bin Yasir to Kufa. In respect of him he wrote a letter to the Kufans. He has mentioned in the letter: “I have sent Ammar bin Yasir as an Emir and Abdullah bin Mas‘ud as a teacher and helper. They are from among the highborn, from among the companions of Allah’s Apostle, from among the men of (the Battle of) Badr. Therefore, follow, obey, and listen to them. I have preferred you to myself in respect of Abdullah.”[8]

Abdullah bin Mas‘ud stayed in Kufa throughout the Caliphate of Umar. He explained to the Muslims their religion, taught them the Book of Allah, gave them knowledge of Islam, and guided them to the right path. Meanwhile he was a treasurer. When Uthman became caliph and sent al-Waleed as a governor over Kufa, a warm argument took place between him and Abdullah bin Mas‘ud. We have mentioned the argument when we talked about al-Waleed’s authority over Kufa. The heated argument required Abdullah bin Mas‘ud to resign his office. He stayed in Kufa for a time, and then he left it. They Kufans escorted him and showed sorrow at his departure. When they saw him off, they said to him: “My Allah reward you good! You have taught our ignorant ones, fixed our learned ones, made us recite the Qur’an, and made us understand the religion. Therefore, you are the best brother in Islam and the best bosom friend!”

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Then they saw him off and went away. As for Abdullah bin Mas‘ud, he continued traveling to Yathrib. When he arrived there, Uthman was sitting on the pulpit of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and delivering a sermon. When Uthman saw him, he indicated with his hand to him and said to the Muslims: “An evil small reptile has come to you…!”

Why were such bitter words said to the companion of Allah’s Apostle (a.s)? Why did Uthman receive him with such estrangement for the sake of al-Waleed, who betrayed Allah and His Apostle, and plundered the Muslims’ properties?

Abdullah bin Mas‘ud answered him, saying: “I am not such, but I am the companion of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) on the Day of Badr and of the Homage of the good Pleasure (Bay‘at al-Ridwan).

Uthman’s words made the people angry, so A’isha hurried to say: “O Uthman, why do you say this to the companion of Allah’s Apostle?”

However, Uthman commanded his policemen to take the great Companion out of the mosque violently. Abdullah bin Zam‘a rose and knocked him down. It was said that Yahmum, Uthman’s servant, knocked him down and broke his rib.

As a result, Imam Ali (a.s) became excited. He opposed Uthman and said to him: “O Uthman, why have you done this to the companion of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) according to the speech of al-Waleed bin Aqaba?”

“I have done this not according to al-Waleed’s words,” replied Uthman, “but I had sent Zubayd bin al-Salt al-Kindi to Kufa, and (Abdullah) bin Mas‘ud said to him: ‘Most surely it is lawful to shed Uthman’s blood.’”

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“You have depended on Zubayd with no certainty,” retorted the Imam.[9]

Imam Ali (a.s) carried Abdullah bin Mas‘ud to his house and looked after him until he got well. As for Uthman, he turned away from and abandoned him. He did not permit him to leave Yathrib. He also stopped his pay. Abdullah bin Mas‘ud became ill and was about to die, so Uthman visited and asked him:

-Of what you are complaining?

-My sins.

-What do you want?

-My Lord’s mercy.

-Shall I call a doctor for you?

-The doctor has made me ill.

-Shall I order a pay to be given to you?

-You deprived me of it when I was in need of it, and you want to give it to

me,while I am in no need of it!

-It will be given to your children.

-Allah undertakes their livelihood.

-Ask Allah to forgive me, O Abu Abdurrahman.

-I ask Allah to take my right from you.

Uthman went away and did not obtain his good pleasure. When Abdullah bin Mas‘ud became critically ill, he ordered the people to prevent Uthman from praying over him and to ask his companion Ammar bin Yasir to perform the prayer over him. When he passed away, some good companions of his buried him in the cemetery of al-Baqee‘ and did not tell Uthman. When he knew of that, he became angry and said: “You preceded me!” Ammar bin Yasir answered him, saying: “He had recommended that you would not pray over him!”

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Ibn al-Zubayr said to him: I know that you will mourn for me after death, while you have not supplied me with my food during my lifetime!

Uthman wreaked his wrath upon Abdullah bin Mas‘ud. He abused, abased, abandoned and him, and stopped his pay, commanded his policemen to hit him, imposed on him a house arrest in Yathrib, and did not pay attention to his similarity to the Prophet in his guidance and behavior, his great jihad and extreme courage for Islam. He harbored malice against him because he had criticized him for his giving the Muslims’ properties to al-Waleed, while he was entrusted with them. And he (Abdullah) found no justification for this playing with the public treasury, so he, according to his religion and faith, criticized and condemned Uthman for his behavior.

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[1] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 5, p. 389. Hulyat al-Awliya, vol. 1, p. 126. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 7, p. 55.

[2] Safwat al-Safwa, vol. 1, p. 156. Ibn Maja, Sunan, vol. 1, p. 63.

[3] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 315.

[4] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 3, p. 108.

[5] Qur’an, 3, 172.

[6] Al-Tabari, Tafseer, vol. 7, p. 128. Al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 3, p. 13.

[7] Qur’an, 6, 52.

[8] Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 3, p. 258.

[9] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 36.

2. Abu Tharr
2. Abu Tharr

Abu Dharr is the greatest personality the Islamic History has ever known. All the abilities, elements, and fundamentals of Islam were embodied in him. He was fully aware of the essence and reality of Islam. He was from the first ones to embrace and believe in Islam.[1] He openly announced the shahada[2] before Quraysh. The tyrannical men from Quraysh severely flogged him, to the extent that he was about to die.[3] However such a punishment did not turn him away from his faith; rather he bravely summoned his people to believe in Islam and to abandon idols. He was the most prominent of the Prophet’s companions in knowledge, piety, and clinging to the religion. It has been narrated from Allah’s Apostle (a.s) that he has said in respect of Abu Tharr: “None under the sky and on earth is more truthful than Abu Tharr. Whoever wants to be pleased at looking at the asceticism of Isa bin Maryam has to look at Abu Tharr.”[4]

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Abu Tharr was the best of people in renouncing the worldly pleasures, the least of them in taking care of the profits wherein, and the greatest of them in fear of Allah and turning away from the false things in life. Allah’s Apostle (a.s) trusted him when he trusted none and confided secrets to him when he confided no secret to anyone.[5] Abu Tharr was among the three persons whom Allah loved and ordered His Prophet to love.[6] He is also one of the three persons for whom the Garden yearns.[7]

When the discords took place and Uthman and the Umayyads alone possessed the Muslims’ properties, heaped them for themselves, bought many country estates, and built many palaces, Abu Tharr, the hero of the Muslim community, criticized and threatened Uthman. He summoned the Muslims to revolt against Uthman, to topple the government, and return the Islamic regime full of all the elements of advancement and progressive, and apply its constructive policy to the real life.

Most surely Abu Tharr’s outcry was an outcry of an aware man who understood Islam, knew its objectives, and encompassed its reality. It is not an act of Islam that the Muslims’ properties are selfishly used, given to the prominent persons to enjoy and to spend them lavishly, while poverty prevailed the Muslims, hunger, neediness, and unemployment dominated their countries. As a result, Abu Tharr opposed such acts and rushed, according to his faith, to announce his outcry that stunned Uthman and which his exploitative followers denied. Professor Sayyid Qutub has said: “Most surely Abu Tharr’s outcry was a gush of the Islamic essence which those, whose hearts were corrupt, denied. The like of them from among the mounts of exploitation are still denying it during these days. This outcry was the awareness of a conscience which the ambitions did not deceive before an excessive inflation in wealth that divided the Muslim groups into classes and destroyed the foundations which this religion has established.”[8]

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Abu Tharr went out to continue his criticizing and opposing the standing government paying no attention to it and to its severe terrorism and rudeness. He stood in front of those whom Uthman endowed with his gifts and recited this Qur'anic verse: And (as for) those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah’s way, announce to them a painful punishment.[9] Marwan bin al-Hakam told Uthman about this act of Abu Tharr’s. Uthman sent someone to Abu Tharr to prohibit him from saying this verse, but he said:

“Does Uthman prevent me from reciting Allah’s Book? By Allah, if I please Allah through displeasing Uthman is more lovable and better to me than displeasing Allah through pleasing him!”

Uthman became angry with him, but he restrained his rage. Abu Tharr’s affair fatigued Uthman who was unable to stand it.

________________________________

[1] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 4, p. 161. It has been mentioned in the book on the authority of Abu Dharr: “I was the fifth to believe in Islam.”

[2] Shahada is saying: I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, Who is unique and without partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger.

[3] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 5, p. 174. Majjma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 329.

[4] Ibn Maja, Sunan, vol. 1, p. 68.

[5] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 8, p. 15.

[6] Majjma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 330.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Al-‘Adala al-Ijtima‘iya, p. 211.

p: 247

[9] Qur’an, 9, 34.

Uthman banishes Abu Tharr to al-Sham

The companion of Allah’s Apostle went on propagating his message. He did not flatter nor did he show favoritism; rather he wanted the truth and sought Allah’s favor and good pleasure. However Uthman became angry with him and ordered him to be banished to Sham. Narrators have said: “Most surely the reason for that is that Uthman asked those who attended his gathering: ‘Is it permissible for one to take (money) from the public treasury and return it when he becomes rich?’”

Ka‘b al-Ahbar answered: “I think that there is no harm in that.”

When Abu Tharr came to know that Ka‘b al-Ahbar intervened in the affairs of the religion, while he was Jewish in tendency, and had doubt of his faith in Islam, he became angry with him and said to him: “O son of the Jewish parents, do you teach us our religion?”

Accordingly, Uthman became excited and said to him: “How great your harm is! How fond of (troubling) my companions you are! I will write a letter concerning banishing you to Sham!”

Abu Tharr went to Sham. When he reached it and came to know of Mu’awiya’s abominable acts and innovations, he criticized him, censured the Umayyad policy, and spread Uthman’s evil deeds and behavior which was far from that of the Prophet and his Sunna. He was angry with Mu’awiya when he said: “The wealth is Allah’s.” So he said to him: “The wealth belongs to the Muslims.” He criticized him for his building his palace al-Khadra’, saying to him: “O Mu’awiya, if this house was built through from Allah’s wealth, then it is a treason, and if it was from your money, then this is extravagance.”

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Abu Tharr wakened the people and urged them to revolt against Mu’awiya. He said to the Syrians: “By Allah, some things happened that I have never known. By Allah, the acts are not available in Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Apostle. By Allah, I can see that the truth is extinguished, falsehood is given life, truthfulness is refuted, and preference without fear of Allah, and other things are preferred to righteousness.”[1]

People listened to Abu Tharr’s speech and believed his talk. Mu’awiya was afraid of that, and he wrote a letter to Uthman and told him about this danger in Sham. Accordingly Uthman commanded him to send Abu Tharr on rough, rude camel. Mu’awiya sent Abu Tharr with some people who did not know his position, nor did they respect his rank. They brought him by night, to the extent that his thighs sloughed, and he was about to die. When Abu Tharr arrived in Medina, he continued propagating his message. He severely condemned Uthman, saying to him: “You have appointed boys as governors, protected your relatives, and showed favor to the children of the released ones.”[2]

He explained to the Muslims what he had heard from Allah’s Apostle: “When the Umayyads become thirty men, they will seize Allah’s land, enslave Allah’s servants, and spoil Allah’s religion.”

Uthman prohibited the people from sitting, speaking, and associating with Abu Tharr.

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[1] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 52.

[2] He has referred to Uthman’s act when he gave all the pastures around Medina to the Umayyads. He permitted their sheep to graze in them and prevented the Muslims’ ones from grazing in them. This deed is contrary to the Sunna that regards all the pastures without owners as property for all Muslims, for such pastures are among the original lawful, things. Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) has said: “People are partners in three (things): grass, water, and fire.”

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Uthman banishes Abu Tharr to Al-Rabatha

Abu Tharr overburdened Uthman, and he was unable to stand him. He aroused the people and made them aware, to the extant that they were ready to revolt against Uthman and topple the standing regime, which gave the money of the state to the rich and did not spend it on the public interests. Accordingly, there was no balance in the economic life, and poverty and hanger spread all over the country.

Uthman thought that the best way to get rid of this danger threatening him was through banishing Abu Tharr from Yathrib and the rest of the Muslim cities. He decided to banish him to unknown village with few people. He sent for him. When Abu Tharr came, he said to him: “Woe unto you, O Uthman! Have you not seen Allah’s Apostle, Abu Bakr, and Umar? Have you come to know that they behaved in such a manner? Most surely you are going to punish me severely!”

Uthman interrupted and shouted at him:

-Leave our city!

-Are you going to drive me away from the sanctum of Allah’s Apostle (Medina)?

-Yes, in spite of you!

-Shall I go to Mecca?

-No!

-To Basrah?

-No!

-To Kufa?

-No!

-Where shall I go?

-To al-Rabatha until you die there.

He ordered Marwan to exile him immediately from Medina in a humiliating and disrespectful manner. He prevented the Muslims from escorting and seeing him off. However the men of truth disobeyed Uthman. Imam Ali (a.s) along with Aqeel, Abdullah bin Ja‘far, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn hurried to see him off. Marwan said to al-Hasan: “O Hasan, did you not know that Uthman prevented from speaking with this man? If you did not know, then know that!”

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Accordingly, Imam Ali (a.s) rebuked him and hit his camel on the ears. He shouted at him, saying: “Set aside! May Allah make you head for the fire!” Marwan escaped to Uthman and told him about what had happened.

Imam Ali (a.s) saw Abu Tharr and said some words to him that comforted him in that barren area throughout his lifetime. He said to him: “O Abu Tharr, you showed anger for Allah; therefore, have hope in Him for Whom you became angry. The people were afraid of you for their world, while you feared them for your religion. Then leave to them that for which they were afraid of you and get away from them taking away what you fear them about. How needy are they for what you dissuade them from! And how needless you are toward that from which they have prevented you! You will shortly know who the gainer is tomorrow (on the Day of Resurrection) and who is more enviable. Even if these skies and earth were closed on some individual and he feared Allah, then Allah would open them for him. Only rightfulness will attract you while wrongfulness will detract you. If you had accepted their worldly attractions, they would have loved you; and if you had shared in it, they would have given you asylum.”

In these wonderful words, Imam Ali has specified the great attitude Abu Tharr took toward Uthman. He has indicated that his attitude was not for material, nor was it for the rest of the other considerations whose affair returns to earth. Rather it was for the original doctrines and the ideals Islam has brought, and that requires rulers and the responsible not to possess alone the Muslims’ properties. However Uthman turned away from that and followed a special policy based on preference and favoritism. For this reason Abu Tharr revolted and battled against him. Uthman feared him for government and authority, while Abu Tharr feared him for his religion and faith. Imam Ali had commanded Abu Tharr to leave that which was in their hands and to escape along with his religion, that he might be safe from the people’s wickedness and sins.

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In his words the Imam has also indicated Abu Tharr’s direction and tendencies. He has mentioned that nothing attracted him except rightfulness, and nothing detracted him except abominable acts and wrongfulness. If Abu Tharr had changed his direction, made peace with the people, and had been friendly to them, they would have loved him, been loyal to him, spent lavishly on him, and given him enormous wealth.

Imam al-Hasan hurried to Abu Tharr to shake hand with him and see him off. He said to him some words resulted from his heart showing sorrow at this separation. He said to him: “O uncle, the one who sees off should keep silent and say short words though sorrow is long! The people have brought you what you see. Leave the world by remembering its going tobe finished, and its calamities through hoping for that which is after it. Be patient until you meet your Prophet and he is pleased with you.”

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) ordered Abu Tharr to be patient toward the misfortunes the people had poured upon him, that he might meet Allah’s Apostle (a.s) while he was pleased with him.

Abu Tharr looked at the Prophet’s Household with a look full of pain, sorrow, and regret. He said to them some words showing that his heart was melted by that bitter separation: “May Allah have mercy on you, O household of mercy! When I see you, I remember through you Allah’s Apostle (a.s). I have none in Medina other than you. I have overburdened Uthman in al-Hijaz just as I had overburdened Mu’awiya in Sham. Uthman hated to let me neighbor his brother and his cousin in the two districts.[1] He is afraid that I might move the people against them. Accordingly, he wants to banish me to an area where I have neither supporter nor protector except Allah. By Allah, I do not want anyone to be as a friend except Allah, and I fear no loneliness along with Allah.”

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Abu Tharr went away as an outlawed in the deserts. He was exiled from the sanctum of Allah and of His Apostle. The blind policy sent him far and separated him from the Prophet’s Household for whom he showed sincere love for the sake of his beloved One and his Companion, Allah’s Apostle (a.s).

Abu Tharr went to al-Rabatha to die there out of hunger, while Uthman had the gold of the earth. He spent it on the Umayyads and Abu Ma’eet’s family and deprived the like of Jesus the son of Mary in guidance.

Imam Ali (a.s) and his sons saw off Abu Tharr and returned home. They were sad. Some people Imam Ali (a.s) and told him that Uthman was angry with him, for he had disobeyed his commands and went out to see Abu Tharr off. However the Imam said: “(Like) the anger of horses with the bridles!”[2]

Uthman said to the Imam: What made you oppose my messenger!

-As for Marwan, he opposed me and I opposed him. As for your command, I did not disobey it.

-Did you not know that I prevented the people from escorting Abu Tharr?

-Is the obedience to Allah in all that which you command us (to follow), while the truth is in opposing it? We have followed your command in respect of it.

-Did you punish Marwan?

-How did I punish him?

-You flogged his camel on the ears.

-As for my camel, it is over there. If he wanted to flog it as I had flogged his camel, let him do. By Allah, if he cursed me, I would curse you in turn with something of which I was not accused of lying, and I say nothing except the truth.

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-And why would he not curse you? By Allah, you are not better than him in my viewpoint!

Imam Ali became angry with Uthman because he made him equal to Marwan, while he was in the same position with respect to the Prophet as Aaron was to Moses. It is worth mentioning that Marwan was a wicked man and was cursed by Allah’s Apostle (a.s) when he was in his father’s back. Imam Ali said to Uthman:

-Are you saying these words to me? Are you making him equal to me? By Allah, I am better than you are. My father was better than yours, and my mother was better than yours.

Uthman kept silent. As for the Imam, he went away, while he was grieved and sad, for Uthman had not respect his position when he made him equal to Marwan.

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[1] The two cities were Basrah and Egypt. Abdullah bin ‘Amir, Uthman’s cousin, was the governor over Basrah. Abdullah bin Sa‘d bin Abi Sarh, Uthman’s uncle, was the governor over Egypt.

[2] This statement is given as proverb for him who gets angry for nothing.

3.Ammar Bin Yasir

Ammar was a unique, great, and leading Muslim figure. He was the companion of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). He performed great jihad and showed extreme courage for the sake of Islam. He and his parents suffered too much. The Qurayshi tyrants deemed them as weak. They poured upon them a lot of painful torture. They fogged them, put heavy rocks on their chests, and poured upon them water. When the Prophet (a.s) passed by Ammar and his parents, he saw them suffering from severe torture, so his soul melted out of sorrow and sadness. He said to them: “O Yasir’s family, be patient; you are promised the Garden!”[1]

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Sadness exhausted him, and he said: “O Allah, have mercy on Yasir’s family….”[2]

This family, who sacrificed their lives for Allah, remained under torture and fatigue. They paid no attention to the painful, severe torture. They insisted on their faith, propagated the message of Muhammad (a.s), and disparaged the idols of Quraysh. Accordingly, Abu Jahl burst with anger. He stabbed Sumaya’s heart with his spear, and she immediately died as the first martyr in Islam. Then this sinful person (Abu Jahl) intentionally killed Yasir.

As for Ammar, he remained under torture, to the extent that he became exhausted. As a result, Quraysh asked him to curse the Prophet, and he reluctantly responded to them. They pardoned him, and he went to Allah’s Apostle (a.s) weeping. Allah’s Apostle, rubbed his eyes and said to him: “If they (Quraysh) returned to you (to curse me again), repeat to them what you had said.” Allah, the Most High, has revealed this verse in respect of him: He who disbelieves in Allah after his having believed, not he who is compelled while his heart is at rest on account of faith.[3]

Ammar’s soul was full of faith in Allah; the religion was a piece of his nature and an element to straighten his mood. Allah has revealed other verses in the Qur’an in respect of him. All the verses have praised, lauded, and glorified Ammar. Allah, the Exalted, has meant him in His words: What! He who is obedient during hours of the night, prostrating himself and standing, takes care of the hereafter.[4] The Holy Verse has been revealed in respect of him: Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people.[5] Concerning praising him and dispraising al-Waleed, this Verse has been revealed: Is he to whom We have promised a goodly promise which he shall meet with like him whom We have provided with the provisions of this world’s life, then on the day of resurrection he shall be of those who are brought up?[6]

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The Prophet (a.s) took great care of Ammar. He raised his importance, lauded him, and preferred him to others. He came to know that Khalid spoke rudely to him, so he burnt with grief and said to him: “Whoever is hostile to Ammar is hostile to Allah, and whoever detests Ammar detests Allah.”[7] A heated argument took place between a person and Ammar. The person said to Ammar: “I will hit you with this stick on your nose!” When Allah’s Apostle (a.s) heard of that, he became angry and said: “There is a great difference between them and Ammar. Ammar summons them to the Garden, and they summon him to the fire….”[8] He has also said in respect of him: “When Ammar is made to choose between two affairs, he chooses the wiser one.”[9]

The Prophet went on taking care of Ammar and respecting him, for he knew that Ammar was loyal, and had renounced the world, and loved the truth.

Ammar fought along with the Prophet at all the Battles such as Badr and Uhud. He took part in building the Prophetic Mosque. Each Muslim carried a brick, while he carried two and said: “We, the Muslims, build mosques. The Prophet repeated some of his words, saying: “Al-Masajid (the mosques)!” He also took part in digging the trench, and the Prophet rubbed the dust from him. In such a manner was Ammar on top of the companions of the Prophet (a.s) in his faith, loyalty, extreme courage, and effort for the sake of Islam. When the Prophet passed away, Ammar followed Imam Ali. He was sincere in showing love for him. He thought that none was worthier of the caliphate than him. For this reason he did not pledge Allegiance to Abu Bakr and he protested against him. We have previously mentioned that. When Uthman became a caliph and deviated from the right path, Ammar was displeased with him, severely opposed him, and criticized him. Accordingly, Uthman severely punished him, transgressed against him, and said to him obscene words. That was in various situations of which are the following:

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[1] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 6, p. 85. Majjma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 293.

[2] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 62.

[3] Qur’an, 16, 106. The reason for revealing this verse in respect of ‘Ammar has been mentioned by Ibn Sa‘d in his Tabaqat, vol. 3, p. 178, al-Wahidi in his Asbab al-Nuzool, p. 212, al-Tabari in his Tafseer, vol. 14, p. 122, and the like.

[4] Qur’an, 39, 9. The reason for revealing this verse in respect of ‘Ammar has been mentioned by al-Qurtubi in his Tafseer, vol. 1, p. 239, and Ibn Sa‘d in his Tabaqat, vol. 3, p. 178.

[5] Qur’an, 6, 122. The reason for revealing this verse in respect of ‘Ammar has been mentioned by al-Sayuti in his Tafseer, vol. 3, p. 43, and Ibn Kuthayr in his Tafseer, vol. 2, p. 172.

[6] Qur’an, 28, 61. The reason for revealing this verse in respect of ‘Ammar and al-Waleed has been mentioned by al-Zamakhshari in his Tafseer, vol. 2, p. 386, and al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nizool, p. 255.

[7] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 89.

[8] Ibn Hisham, vol. 2, p. 114.

[9] Ibn Maja, Sunan, vol. 1, p.66. Masabih al-Sunna, vol. 2, p. 288.

Situation One

1. When Uthman alone possessed the ornaments in the public treasury and adorned with them some of his womenfolk, Imam Ali (a.s) criticized him for that. As for Ammar, he supported his opposition to him, as we have already mentioned. Uthman said to him: “How dare you say such a thing, O son of al-Matkaa’?”[1] Then he commanded his policemen to take him, and they took him and made him came in to him. Uthman hit Ammar bin Yasir, to the extent that he fainted, while he was a weak, old man. Ammar was carried to the house of Umm Salama, the Prophet’s wife. He did not recover consciousness due to the intense hitting, to the extent that he could not perform the noon and afternoon prayers. When he recovered consciousness, he performed the ritual ablution and performed the evening prayer and said: “Praise belongs to Allah! This is not the first day when we are harmed for the sake of Allah!” For this reason A’isha became angry. She took out some hair of Allah’s Apostle, a garment of his, and a sandal, and then she said: “How quickly you have abandoned the Sunna of your Prophet! These are his hair, garment, and sandal! They have not worn out yet!” Accordingly, Uthman became angry, to the extent that he did not know what to say and how to apologize for his action.[2]

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[1] al-Mattkaa’ is a big-bellied women who cannot control her urine.

[2] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 48.

Situation Two

2. The prominent companions of the Prophet wrote a letter to Uthman. In the letter they told him about his bad actions, his policy contrary to that of the Sunna, that they would battle against him if he did not repent and change his plan. It was Ammar who handed him the letter. Uthman took the letter. When he read the first lines, he burst with anger and said:

-Have you come to me on their behalf?

-Most surely I am the most loyal to you of them.

-You have told a lie, O son of Sumayya!

-By Allah, I am the son of Sumayya and Yasir!

Anyway, Uthman commanded his boys to knock Ammar down, and he kicked him on the testicles and caused to him a hernia. As Ammar was weak, he fainted.[1]

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[1] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 49. Al-Iqd al-Farid, vol. 2, p. 272.

Situation Three

3. When Uthman exiled Abu Tharr, the companion of Allah’s Apostle (a.s), to al-Rabatha, and he died their a stranger, and the news of his death reached Yathrib, Uthman said before some companions of the Prophet: “May Allah have mercy on him!”

Ammar hurried to say: “Yes, may Allah have mercy on him from all our souls!”

Accordingly, Uthman became angry and said obscene words to Ammar: “Do you think that I have repented of banishing him?”

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Then he commanded his boys to push Ammar and to fatigue him. He also ordered him to be banished to al-Rabatha. When Ammar was ready to set out, the Banu (tribe 0f) Makhzum went to Imam Ali (a.s) and asked him to go to Uthman to speak to him in respect of Ammar’s affairs. The Imam went and said to Uthman: “Fear Allah! You have already banished a righteous Muslim (Abu Tharr) and he died due to your banishing him. Now you are intending to exile his equal.”

Uthman became angry and said to the Imam: “You are worthier of being banished than he is!”

“Do that if you wish!” retorted the Imam.

The Muhajireen met with Uthman. They criticized and blamed him for that. He responded to them and pardoned Ammar.[1]

Uthman went too far in persecuting and exhausting Ammar. He severely hit him and rudely spoke to him. He paid no attention to his extreme courage for Islam and his supporting the Prophet in all the battles and situations. He paid no attention to that the Prophet took care of his affairs and preferred him to others. He was hostile to Ammar and harbored malice against him, for he (Ammar) asked him to follow justice, the clear truth, and to be moderate in his policy.

With this matter we will end our speech about Uthman’s severe punishments against the leading companions of the Prophet. It is worth mentioning that the Prophet’s companions were among those who were early to believe in Islam and they greatly struggled for it. Without doubt they had no desire for the government over some Muslim cities and regions or for obtaining some money. All these things did not move them to blame Uthman. Rather they came to know that Uthman performed some deeds not available in Allah’s book nor in the Sunna of His Prophet. They came to know that the truth was extinguished, falsehood was given life, truthfulness was refuted, preference was given to others without fear of Allah, as Abu Tharr said. For these things they openly criticized and blamed him, asked him to follow the clear, straight path and the Prophet’s Sunna.

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[1] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 54. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 150.

Fabricated Lies against Imam al-Hasan

Some historians have spoke evil of Imam al-Hasan. They have claimed that he was Uthmani in inclination, that he harbored deep love, friendship, and loyalty to Uthman, and that he showed great sorrow at his death. Among them is Dr. Taha Husayn, who has said: “Al-Hasan did not separate himself from his sorrow at Uthman. He was Uthmani in the exact meaning of this word. However he did not draw a sword to avenge his blood, for he thought that he had no right to do that. Perhaps he went too far in following Uthman, to the extent that he someday said some words that his father did not like. Narrators have reported: ‘Ali passed by his son while he was performing the ritual ablution and said to him: ‘Perform the ritual ablution properly!’ So al-Hasan answered him with this bitter statement: ‘Yesterday you killed the man who properly performed the ritual ablution.’ Ali increased nothing more than saying: ‘May Allah prolong your sadness over Uthman.’”[1]

Most surely the policy that Uthman followed and the dangerous deeds issued from him made him without a bosom friend in the country. All the Muslims were displeased with him. They were afraid of him for their religion. A’isha took out the garments of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and said to those who visited her: “This is the garment of Allah’s Apostle. It has not worn out yet, while Uthman has worn out his (the Prophet) Sunna!” Talha, al-Zubayr, Abdurrahman bin Awf, and other than them, from among those, upon whom Uthman lavishly spent, harbored malice against him. Uthman had no friend and none to defend him except the Umayyads and Abu Ma’eet’s family. All the Muslims harbored malice against Uthman, so how was al-Hasan, who followed the guidance of his grandfather, the Apostle, Uthmani in the exact meaning of this word, as Dr. Taha Husayn says? Most surely al-Hasan was among those who harbored malice against Uthman and one of those who criticized him, for he saw what the companions of his father such as Abu Tharr, Ammar, and Abdullah bin Mas‘ud met from Uthman. He saw what his father himself met from him such as making light of his right and the aggression against him when he went out to see Abu Tharr off. After these things, how was al-Hasan Uthmani or excessive in showing love for Uthman? Which expression of depression and sadness appeared on al-Hasan’s face after Uthman’s murder? Was it during his heroic role in moving the people and sending them to the Battle of al-Jamal? It is worth mentioning that the Battle of al-Jamal was moved to avenge the blood of Uthman. Ammar bin Yasir supported him in all those attitudes. He blamed Uthman and accused him of his religion and said in respect of him: “We killed Uthman because he was an unbeliever.”[1] Al-Hasan supported him and confirmed his words. Did sadness for Uthman appear on al-Hasan’s face at the Battle of Siffin which was created by Mu’awiya to avenge the blood of Uthman? Therefore, in which attitude Imam al-Hasan showed his sadness and sorrow at Uthman? As for the narration on which Dr. Taha Husayn depended to confirm his speech, it was reported by al-Balathiri on the authority of al-Mada’ini[2], who was famous for showing enmity toward Ahlul Bayt and fabricating narrations in respect of the Umayyads.[3] The reason for fabricating this narration is that he wanted to give a garment of sacredness to Uthman and to make him a balance of love in the souls of the good Muslims. The narration is weak, besides it faces the following criticisms:

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1. Most surely Imam Ali (a.s) was kind to his son al-Hasan when he addressed him, explained to him the religious precept, and did not face him with bitter words. Therefore what made al-Hasan face him with those bitter words, while he was the inheritor of the Prophet (a.s) and similar to him in his noble moral traits, and noble natures?

2. Most surely Imam al-Hasan was among those who defended Uthman, as he said, and that was according to an order from his father; therefore, how did he accuse him of killing Uthman?

3. Most surely there was no relationship between Imam Ali and the murder of Uthman and the plot against him. Rather, Uthman’s deeds killed him, and the events that he did finished him off; therefore how did al-Hasan accuse his father of killing Uthman?

As we have understood what we have mentioned, the narration has no value in respect of its chain of authorities and in its meaning. It is strange that Dr. Taha Husayn depended on it without considering it carefully nor did he carefully consider the other narrations which were intentionally fabricated by those who inclined to the Umayyads and the hirelings of the authority.

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[1] Al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 2, pp. 193-194.

[2] Al-Baqillani, al-Tamhid, p. 220.

[3] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 81.

[4] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 240.

The Revolt

In their gatherings the Muslims talked about Uthman’s evil deeds, his events, dictatorship in respect of their affairs, wasting their wealth, punishing the good, prominent companions of the Prophet, the play of Marwan and the Umayyads with the affairs of the state, and other heavy events. Displeasure and grumbling spread all over the country. Accordingly, the influential people and the early Muslims held a meeting. They wrote letters to the cities and asked them for help and to send some armed forces, that they might overthrow the then government. The text of their note to the Egyptians is the following:

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“From the early Muhajireen and the remainder of the Consultative Committee. To those from among the companions (of the Prophet) and the successors in Egypt. Well, come to us and set right the succession after Allah’s Apostle before its men are deprived of it. The Book of Allah has been altered, the Sunna of His Apostle has been changed, and the regulations of the two caliphs have been altered. Therefore, we adjure before Allah the remainder of the companions of Allah’s Apostle and their good successors who read our letter. Come to us, take the right for us, and give it to us. Come to us if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. Establish the truth according to the clear method of your Prophet and of the caliphs. Our right has been overcome, our Fay’ has been controlled, and we have been prevented from our (right of) authority. The caliphate after our Prophet was the caliphate of prophethood and mercy, while today it belongs to a tyrannical monarchy; whoever overcomes a thing, he (the king) takes the thing….”[1]

This letter has mentioned the dangerous events with which the Islamic world was afflicted because of the then government. They are as follows:

1. The Book of Allah was altered and its just laws were cancelled.

2. The Sunna of the Prophet (a.s) was changed and what was reported from him in the world of government and policy was neglected.

3. Uthman turned away from the behavior of the two Sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar).

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4. The authority alone possessed al-Fay’ and spent it on its private interests.

5. The Islamic caliphate was turned away from its constructive precepts, and its rich abilities. It was undertaken by a monarch who did not take care of the objectives and interests of the community.

Of course, these events shook the Islamic entity and threatened the Islamic life with destruction. So those who harbored malice against Uthman went on waging their struggle against him. They sent another letter to those stationed in the fortified borderline cities from among the companions of the Prophet. They asked them to go to Yathrib to set right the caliphate. The following is the text of their letter:

“Most surely you have gone out to wage holy jihad for the sake of Allah, the Great and Almighty. You have sought the religion of Muhammad (a.s). However, the religion of Muhammad has been spoiled by your caliph; therefore, set it right!”

The Muslims in the Islamic cities responded to this letter. They sent delegations to Yathrib to understand the situation and to study the attitude and the treatment it needed. The delegations who went to Medina were:

A. the Egyptian delegation

The Muslims in Egypt sent a delegation of four hundred people, and it was said that the number was more than that. The delegation was headed by Muhammad bin Abi Bakr and Abdurrahman bin Udays al-Balawi.

B. the Kufan delegation

The Muslims in Kufa sent a delegation. The delegation was headed by Malik al-Ashtar, Zayd bin Sohan al-Abdi, Ziyad bin al-Nadhr al-Harithi, and Abdullah bin al-Assam al-Aamiri. They all were headed by Amr bin al-Ahtham.

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C. The Delegation of Basrah

The Muslims in Basra sent a delegation of a hundred men. Hakeem bin Jabalah headed the delegation. Then fifty men followed them. Among them were Dhurayh bin Abbad al-Abdi, Bishr bin Shurayh al-Qaysi, Ibn al-Muhrish, and the like of them from among the prominent figures.

The companions (of the Prophet) welcomed the delegations. They received them with delight and they thanked them. They mentioned to them Uthman’s actions, which apparently and really did not agree with the Islamic religion. They urged them to attack and finish him off, that the community might get rid of his government quickly. However the Egyptian delegation thought that they had to submit a note to Uthman to ask him to turn to Allah in repentance and to follow a straight policy. They wrote the note as follows: “Well, know that surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition. Therefore (fear) Allah! Then (fear) Allah! That is because you are in world; therefore, complete with it the hereafter. Do not forget your share in the hereafter. Do not admire the world. Know that we have become angry for Allah and are pleased for Him. We will not remove our swords from our shoulders until you sincerely turn to Allah in repentance. This is our statement and affair to you. May Allah excuse us in respect of you. With greetings.”[2]

Uthman became disordered. He carefully read the letter. The revolutionists surrounded him. Al-Mughira hurried to him. He asked him to permit him to speak to them. He permitted him, and he went to them. When they saw him, they shouted at him: “O one-eyed, go back! O dissolute, go back! O sinner, go back!”

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He unsuccessfully went back. Then Uthman summoned Amr bin al-Aas and asked him to speak with the people. He went to and greeted them. They did not reply to his greetings and said to him: “O enemy of Allah, go back! O son of al-Nabigha (whore), go back! We do not trust you!”

Accordingly, Uthman came to know that he had none to resort to except Imam Ali. He sought help from him and asked him to ask the people to cling to Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Apostle. The Imam responded to him, but he stipulated that he had to give to him Allah’s promise and covenant, that he might fulfill what he had said. Uthman gave that to the Imam. So the Imam went to the people. When they saw him, they said to him:

-Go back!

-No, but forward! You keep to Allah’s Book and blame him (Uthman) for that with which you are displeased. He told them about what Uthman had said.

-Do you guarantee that on his behalf?

-Yes.

-We are satisfied.

The leading personalities of the people went with Imam Ali. They came in to Uthman. They blamed him for his deeds, and he apologized to them for them. They asked him to write them a document to oblige himself to follow Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet and to secure al-Fay’ to the Muslims. He responded to them and wrote them the following document: “This is a letter from the servant of Allah, Uthman, the commander of the faithful, to the believers and the Muslims who have become displeased with him. I stipulate to you that I should act among you according to Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet. I should give (money) to the deprived, give security to the fearful, repatriate the exiled, not send armies, and secure al-Fay’. Ali bin Abi Talib will guarantee me toward the believers and the Muslims. Uthman should fulfill what is in this letter.”

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The people who bore witness as to the letter were al-Zubayr bin al-Awwam, Talha bin Abdullah, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas, Abdullah bin Umar, Zayd bin Thabit, Sahl bin Hunayf, and Abu Ayyub Khalid bin Zayd. The document was written in Thill-Qi‘da, in the year thirty-five A. H. The people took the document and went away.[3] Imam Ali (a.s) asked Uthman to go out to the people and announce to them that he had responded to the people and accomplished their requests. Uthman did that and promised the people that he would behave among them according to Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet, secure to them al-Fay’, and not prefer any of his kin. The Egyptians went back home. Then Marwan came in to Uthman and said to him: “Talk and make the people know that the Egyptians have come back, and that what they have heard in respect of their Imam was false. That is because your sermon will spread throughout the country before the people come to you from their cities; therefore, he whom you cannot repel will come to you.”

Marwan asked Uthman to announce something untruthful and say something other than the truth. In the first place Uthman refrained from responding to him but he finally yielded to his speech. He went out and went up on the pulpit and said: “Well, surely those people from among the inhabitants of Egypt had heard an affair about their Imam. When they came to know that the affair was false, they went home.”

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However the Muslims blamed him for that. Umar bin al-Aas said to him: “Fear Allah, O Uthman! You and we have followed destructive things. Therefore, turn to Allah in repentance, and so shall we.”

However Uthman rebuked him and shouted at him: “Are you there, son of al- Nabigha? Your jubbah has become lice-infested since I removed you from the work!”

From all the sides of the Mosque, the Muslims shouted in one voice: “Fear Allah, O Uthman!”

Accordingly, his abilities collapsed, and he found no escape from turning to Allah in repentance for such a lie. He went down the pulpit and went to his house.[4]

This attitude indicates that Uthman was weak and had a weak will, that Marwan played with his policy and controlled all his affairs, that he (Uthman) had no ability to disobey and to overcome him.

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[1] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 35.

[2] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 64-65. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, pp. 111-112.

[3] Al-Ansab.

[4] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 110. Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 74.

His Seeking Help from the Cities

When the revolutionists became active and besieged him in his house, he sought help from Mu’awiya and called him for help. He wrote him this letter: “Surely the people of Medina have disbelieved, violated the obedience (to me), and broken the pledge of allegiance. Therefore, send me Syrian fighters on every camel.”[1]

When Mu’awiya read the letter, he waited. He did not hurry to help or respond to him. He forgot the favors that Uthman had rendered to him and his family.

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As Mu’awiya was late in responding to Uthman and he did not take a measure to help him, Uthman sent a letter to Yazid bin Asad bin Karz and the people of Sham. He asked and urged them to go out for helping him. When the letter reached them, they hurried to go out to help him under the leadership of Yazid al-Qasri. However Mu’awiya commanded him to camp at Thi Khashab and not to exceed it. The Army stayed their until Uthman was killed. Mu’awiya wanted to use the murder of Uthman as means that the Umayyads might take the reins of the caliphate. Most surely Mu’awiya was among those who schemed against Uthman. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari has referred to that during his speech with Mu’awiya: “Most surely, it was you who waited for (the murder of) Uthman and discouraged Yazid bin Asad from helping him.”

Anyway, Uthman wrote many letters to the cities and to those who attended the season of the hajj in Mecca. He asked them to help him.

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[1] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 152. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil, vol. 5, p. 67.

The Day of the House

The Egyptian delegation returned home. But when they came to know of the plot planned against them, they came back. They besieged Uthman’s house, demanded overthrowing and removing him from the rule. However Marwan came out to them. He cursed and defamed them. He said to them: “What is the matter with you? It is as if that you have come to plunder. May your faces be disfigured! Do you want to take our authority from our hands? Go away!”

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These words inflamed the fire of the revolt in their souls. They surrounded Uthman and wanted to kill him. Uthman sought help from Imam Ali, and he went to him. Imam Ali had heard of Marwan’s words so he said: “You are not satisfied with Marwan, nor is he satisfied with you except through deviating you from your religion and your reason. He is like the camel of travel which is led wherever it is driven. By Allah, Marwan has no opinion of his religion and of his own soul. By Allah, I can see that he will lead you but not release you. I will not return after this coming of mine to blame you. Your honor has been taken away, and your affair has been overcome.”

Most surely it was Marwan and the Umayyads who killed Uthman. This has been mentioned by Na‘ila, Uthman’s wife, when she said to the Umayyads: “By Allah, you have killed him and orphaned his children.”

She advised her husband not to obey Marwan, saying: “If you obey Marwan, he will kill you!”

Uthman took a great part in killing himself. He knew that he was weak-willed, had no ability to overcome the events, the Umayyads had controlled his affairs, and the Muslims hated him. Therefore, it was incumbent on him to leave the authority to someone other than him, to resign his office, and not to distress the community through his murder. The revolutionists were sure that there was no room to reform him. If he decided something, Marwan would cancel it. Accordingly, they insisted that he had to remove himself from the caliphate, but he refused and said: “The caliphate is a garment that Allah has clothed me with!” Really it was a garment which Umar and Abdurrahman bin Awf had clothed him with.

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Anyway the fires of the revolt broke out and their heat reached the head. That was when the revolutionists decided to kill him after he had refused to remove himself from the caliphate. As a result, Talha withdrew the water from him and controlled the public treasuries. The revolutionaries surrounded his palace. Some of them climbed the walls, throw stones at him, and went too far in cursing him.

Imam al-Hasan’s Attitude

Some historians have claimed that Imam al-Hasan defended Uthman on the Day of the House (youm al-daar) according to his father’s order, and that he showed extreme courage in this respect, to the extent that he was stained with his blood. Without doubt this is among the things fabricated by the Umayyads. That is because Imam al-Hasan (a.s) and the rest of the righteous Muhajireen and of the Ansar isolated themselves from Uthman; rather they were among those who harbored malice against him. None was present to defend him except the Umayyads and some opportunists. If Uthman had had any popular base in the society, the revolutionists would not have been able to kill him.

All the companions of the Prophet deserted him. None of them hurried to help and support him; rather they glorified the revolt against him and urged the revolutionists. According to these attitudes, how was it possible for Imam al-Hasan to violate the unanimous resolution and go to defend Uthman?

Anyway al-Amini, a researcher, has falsified such a report and regarded it as among the fabricated ones.[1]

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[1] Al-Ghadir, vol. 9, pp. 218-247.

Uthman is finished off

The revolutionists finished Uthman off. He was killed by some revolutionists on whose head was Muhammad bin Abi Bakr, who was the greatest of them in showing malice against Uthman. He drew the sword before him and said to him:

-Which religion have you followed, O Na‘thal?

-The Islamic religion! I am not Na’thal. I am the Commander of the faithful!

-You have changed Allah’s Book!

-Allah’s Book is between you and me!

He took him by his beard. He drew him towards the ground and said to him: “On the Day of Resurrection it will not be accepted from us that we say: O our Lord, surely we obeyed our leaders and our great men, so they led us astray from the path.”

Then the people attacked Uthman. They killed him, and he weltered in his blood. They left him as a motionless body.[1] They did not bury him nor did they allow anybody to bury him. Some of his special associates talked with Imam Ali (a.s) about burying him. The Imam interceded for them with the revolutionists, and they permitted them to do that. However they did not allow them to bury him in al-Baqee‘ cemetery, so they buried him in Hash Kawkab.[2]

The Muslims were severely tried in respect of Uthman’s affair. His murder caused them heavy sufferings. During the days of his government and after his murder opportunist parties were formed. The parties paid attention to no thing except reaching the government, that they might use it as means for obtaining wealth. They caused mischief in the land. They plotted against the Muslims’ interests. They destroyed their unity, and created in the society difficulties and problems to the extent that it was difficult for Imam Ali (a.s) during his government to set right the then situations, and return the Prophet’s Sunna and behavior among the people. Those problems became more difficult during the time of Imam al-Hasan. He believed that he had no plan better than making peace with Mu’awiya. We will mention that in detail in the following chapters.

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With this matter we will end our speech about the time of Uthman. We have elaborated on his affairs and spoken at great length about his policy. It is worth mentioning that his policy kindled the fire of the most dangerous discord, and opened the door to the disagreements and disputes among the Muslims. It paved the way for the Umayyads to intervene in the Muslims’ affairs, usurp the authority, go too far in killing the righteous and pursuing the reformers, and destroy all the rules the religion had brought.

We have also mentioned some criticisms on Dr. Taha Husayn’s researches on Uthman and justifying his policy. We, Allah knows, have mentioned that not because of fanaticism and harboring malice against Uthman. Rather our pioneer is loyalty to the truth only and to serve the Islamic case. That is because many modern writers have tried to justify those events with some far explanations not confirmed by proof and evidence. We are in urgent need of studying the Islamic history as it is and pondering on the events happened during the early Islamic times, that we may understand the good people who served Islam and hoisted its flag. And that we may distinguish those whom the authority and wealth deceived, and they turned away from their religion and community for the sake of their own interests. We hope that these researches, which we have exactly and honestly planned, have explained to us the events that took place during those times.

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[1] Uthman was killed on Friday, Thil Hijja 18th, in the year 36 A. H. His caliphate lasted for twelve years but twelve days. He was eighty- two years old.

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[2] Hish Kawkab was a name of a garden where the Jews buried their dead.

Chapter VIII

The Ideals

High qualities and noble ideals were available in Imam Abu Muhammad (al-Hasan). The Islamic abilities, elements, and fundamentals embodied in him. According to his abilities and tendencies, he was among the human unique minds, one of the ideals of the mankind’s perfection, and among the great Muslim figures.

Imam al-Hasan reached the top in his merits, achievements, genuine opinion, exalted thinking, strong fear of Allah, abundant clemency, good manners, and the like of his talents on which Muslims pride themselves. We will mention some of them as follows:

His Imamate

The most prominent quality in him was the Imamate, for the Imamate required ideals and abilities that were not available but in those whom Allah has chosen from among his servants. Allah had endowed him with it. The noble Prophet announced that when he said in respect of him and his brother: “Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are two Imams whether they rise or sit down.”

It is necessary for us to pause to explain the meaning of the Imamate and some affairs concerning it, for they display the Imam’s high position and his great importance. We mention that here:

The meaning of the Imamate:

Theologians have defined imamate saying: “Imamate is the general leadership of a human being over the affairs of the religion and the world.” Therefore the Imam, according to this definition, is the general leader and followed head who has an exclusive authority over people in respect of their religious and worldly affairs.

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People are in need of Imamate:

The Imamate is among the necessities of life that none is in no need of it under all circumstances. Through it the crooked regulation of the world and the religion is set right, the greatest justice Allah wants on his earth is established, security and peace among people are achieved, turmoil is repelled from them, and the strong are prevented from controlling the weak. The most important reason for the existence of an Imam is that he helps people worship Allah, spread His laws and teachings, and supply society with the spirit of faith and piety, that man may be far from evil and head for good. So it is incumbent on the community to yield to the Imam and obey his orders, that he may set right its deviation, unite it, and guide it to the straight path.

The Imam’s Duties

The Imam should do the following:

1. He should keep the religion, guard Islam, and protect it from those who make light of good manners and values.

2. He should carry out the religious precepts, put an end to disputes, and take the right of the oppressed from the oppressive.

3. He should protect the Muslim countries from the outside invasion, whether the invasion is military or cultural like that which is in these times when some destructive doctrines have invaded our countries and tried to destroy the foundations Islam has established.

4. He should administer the prescribed punishments and put an end to all the crimes that bring about unhappiness to man.

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5. He should fortify the borderline cities.

6. He should wage the holy jihad.

7. He should collect properties such as zakat, land taxes, and other affairs the Islamic law has determined.

8. He should employ trustworthy persons in the government. He should not employ them out of favoritism or preference.

9. He should supervise the subjects’ affairs. He should not depend on others to supervise them, for that is among the subjects’ rights on him.[1]

10. He should put an end to unemployment, spread inclusive welfare throughout the regions of the community, and save them from poverty and deprivation.

These are some affairs the Imam should put into effect. We have in detail explained these duties in our book The Administrative Regulations in Islam

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[1] Al-Siyasa al-Shar‘iya, p. 7.

His Qualities

The Imam should have the following qualities:

1. Justice in all its exclusive conditions such as refraining from committing great sins and insisting on small ones.

2. Knowledge of what the community needs in all fields, the reasons of the revelation and the religious precepts.

3. Sound senses such as the ears, the eyes, and the tongue, that he may through them undertake what he realizes. The other senses should have no defect.

4. The opinion leading to ruling the subjects and managing the general interests.

5. Courage, help, ability to protect the entity of Islam, and waging holy jihad against enemies.

7. Lineage; it is that the Imam should belong to Quraysh. Al-Mawardi and Ibn Khaldun have mentioned these conditions.[1]

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8. Infallibility; theologians have defined infallibility as: “It is a mercy Allah has given to the most perfect of His servants, and through which he (the Imam) refrains from committing crimes and offenses intentionally or unintentionally.” The Shia have unanimously agreed on that the Imam should be infallible, and that the proof of it is Hadith al-Thaqalayn in which Allah’s Apostle (a.s) has compared the Qur’an to his family. As the Qur’an is infallible of errors and slips, and so are the Prophet’s family; otherwise the comparison and equality between them is incorrect. We have already explained that.

None has such qualities except the Imams from Ahlul Bayt, who embraced Islam, protected it, led people to the good pleasure of Allah and to the obedience to Him. Al-Kumayt, the poet, has described them, saying:

They are close to generosity and far from the injustice in the ties of the precepts.

They give right answer to the matter over which people differ. They have established the rules of Islam.

They are sufficient protectors at war when it becomes hot.

They are like rain when the people suffer from drought. They are like a shelter for the nursemaid of orphans.

They are overweighing in opinion, having perfect justice in behavior, and knowledgeable of heavy affairs.

They are leaders, but they are not like those who rule people and sheep in the same way.[2]

Most surely the Imams from the Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them, have displayed their infallibility of errors and slips through their behavior and guidance. The events have proved that and indicated that they are unique in the history of mankind, for they had great merits, fear of Allah, and commitment to the religion.

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[1] Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniya, p. 4. Al-Muqaddama, p. 135.

[2] Al-Hashimiyat.

His Appointment

The Shia have believed that the community and the influential have no right to appoint the Imam. They have also believed that electing the Imam is invalid and choosing him is impossible. Therefore, Imamate is similar to prophethood. As man has no right to find and form prophethood, he has no right in finding and forming the Imamate. That is because none knows the infallibility, which is among the qualities of the Imam, except Allah, Who knows the things hidden in souls. This has been explained and indicated by Imam al-Mehdi (a.s) through his talk with Sa’d bin Abdullah, who asked him about the reason for preventing men from electing an Imam over them. He (a.s) said to him:

-Do they (people) choose a reformer or a mischief-maker?

-A reformer.

-Is it possible for them to choose a mischief-maker, for none knows the righteousness or corruption comes to the mind of someone other than him?

-Yes.

-Shall I give you the reason through a proof that your reason trusts? Tell me about the apostles Allah had chosen, to whom He had revealed the Books, supported with inspiration and infallibility. They were the great figures of the nations and the most rightly-guided to be chosen. Examples of them are Moses and Jesus Christ. Was it possible for them, in spite of their abundant reason and perfect knowledge, to choose a hypocrite while they had thought that he was a believer?

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-No.

-This is Moses, the one who talked with Allah. Although he had an abundant reason, perfect knowledge, and that the Revelation came down to him, he chose for the appointed place and time of his Lord, seventy men from among the leading personalities of his people and the prominent men of his troops. He had had no doubt of their faith and loyalty. However, he chose some hypocrites. Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: “And Musa chose out of his people seventy men for Our appointment…We will not believe in you until we see Allah manifestly, so the punishment overtook them.” We have found that the choice of one whom Allah had chosen for prophethood fell under the mischief-maker other than the most righteous, while he had thought that they were the righteous. So we have come to know that none has the right to choose except Him Who knows what chests and consciences hide.[1]

Most surely man’s abilities fall short of realizing the most righteous person with whom the community is happy. Man has no right to choose him; rather Allah, Who knows hidden affairs, chooses him. This is an outline of the Imamate. Whoever wants more details about this topic finds them in the books of theology.

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[1] Al-Hashimiyat.

[2] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 13, p. 127.

His Noble Morals

Some sociologist has said: “Nations contend for superiority during the condition of nomadism through strength. If they advance, they contend for superiority through science. Then if they reach an objective of progress, they contend for superiority through noble moral traits. Therefore good manners are the utmost of what man reaches in his highness, perfection, and education.”

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If soul is disposed by nature for noble moral traits, it is impossible for it to deviate from the straight path or selfishness replaces unselfishness or temptations and defects control it. For this reason noble moral traits are the most important elements on which individual and social life is built; likewise, they are the strongest reasons for the survival of nations, and continuation of their civilizations and originality.

Most surely the strongest cause for the appearance of the heavenly laws and the continuation of their spiritual authority is their taking care of noble moral traits, educating souls, and bringing them up with good inclinations. The Prophet took great care of them and regarded them as among the most prominent reasons for which he had been appointed as a prophet. He (a.s) has said: “I have been sent as a prophet to complete noble moral traits.” Through his noble moral traits he was able to enlighten mankind, establish the foundations of the civilization in the world, and to change the course of history. That was when he reconciled the hearts, united feelings and sentiments, gathered the people in the field of love and brotherhood.

Because of his great manners, the Prophet was an example of the Divine mercy that fills the miserable, sad hearts with hope and mercy. He visited the poor Muslims. He visited the sick from among them. He witnessed their funerals. He responded to the invitations of those who invited him. He refused neither the invitation of a slave nor that of a poor person.[1] When someone sat with him, he remained talking with him until that someone himself left. When someone shook hand with him, he never drew his hand from him until it was he who would release his hand. He took great care of gladdening people and avoided mistreating them.

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These noble moral traits were available in Imam al-Hasan due to his inheritance from his great grandfather. History has mentioned many examples of his noble moral traits. We will mention some of them as follows:

1. Some poor persons collected some pieces of bread from the streets. They put them on the ground and began eating them. Imam al-Hasan passed by them, and they invited him. He responded to them and said: “Most surely Allah does not love the arrogant!” After he had had food, he invited them. Then he entertained them and gave clothes to them.[2] He showered them with his boons and kindness.

Humbleness is a proof on that the soul is perfect, high, and noble. It has been mentioned in the tradition: “Most surely humbleness adds to the servant (nothing) except highness; therefore, behave humbly, may Allah have mercy on you!”[3]

2. While some boys were having food, Imam al-Hasan passed by them. They invited him, and he responded to them. Then he took them to his house. He showered them with his kindness and charity and said: “They have the favor, for they had nothing other than that which they give to me as food; while we find what we give to them.”[4]

3. He overlooked those who mistreated him and he kindly treated them. He had a ewe. One day he came to know that the ewe’s leg was broken. He (a.s) asked his servant:

-Who has done that?

-I.

-Why have you done that?

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-To grieve you!

The Imam (a.s) smiled and said to him: “I will delight you!” He set him free and gave him many gifts.[5]

4. Once, he was sitting in some place. While he was going to leave, a poor man came. He welcomed the poor man and treated him with kindness. He said to him:

-You came when I was ready to leave. Do you permit me to go?

-Yes, O son of Allah’s Apostle!

Most surely respecting the rights of the one who sits with you is among the social good manners which bring about love and friendship, find cooperation and strong relationships among people. For this reason Islam has ordered and urged Muslims to cling to them.

5. There was a person from among those whom Mu’awiya made harbor hatred and malice against Ahlul Bayt. The Imam passed by the person, and he abused him several times. As for the Imam, he kept silent and refuted nothing of the person’s words. After the person had finished abusing, the Imam turned to him and addressed him with soft words. The Imam smiled at him and said: “O Sheikh, I think you are a stranger? If you ask us (for money), we will give you. If you ask us for guidance, we will guide you. If you ask us to maintain you, we will maintain you. If you are hungry, we will give you food. If you are in need, we will grant your need. If you are homeless, we will lodge you.” The Imam (a.s) went on treating the Syrian man with kindness, that he might uproot evil and enmity from him. The Syrian old man became so astonished at the Imam’s behavior that he was unable to refute the Imam’s speech. He was perplexed and ashamed. He thought of a way to apologize to the Imam and to repair his sin, so he said to the Imam: “Allah knows where He places His message!”[6]

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In this manner the Imam (a.s) was a model of noble humanity and symbol of great manners. Anger did not excite him, and the detested things did not bother him. He put before his eyes these words of Allah, the Exalted: “And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel (evil) with what is best, then lo! he between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend.”[1] He treated with kindness all those who mistreated him and harbored malice against him. He was patient with them and he pardoned them, to the extent that his bitter enemy, Marwan bin al-Hakam, admitted his high clemency and noble moral traits. That was when the Imam joined the Most High Comrade (Allah). Marwan hurried to carry his coffin. So Imam al-Husayn, the master of martyrs, asked him:

-Today you are carrying his coffin while yesterday you bothered him?

-I did that toward him whose clemency was equal to mountains![2]

Imam al-Hasan was similar to his grandfather, the Prophet, in his abundant clemency, great good manners, and pardoning those who mistreated him. History has mentioned many examples of his noble moral traits indicating that he was on top of the moralists and those who took part in building ethics and good manners in the world of Arabs and Muslims.

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[1] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 2, p. 466.

[2] A‘yan al-Shi‘a, vol. 4, p. 24.

[3] Nihayat al-Irab fi Funun al-Adab, vol. 3, p. 443.

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[4] Al-Sabban, p. 176.

[5] Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, vol. 1, p. 147.

[6] Ibn Shahrashub, al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 149. Al-Mubarrad, al-Kamil, vol. 1, p. 190. It has been mentioned in it: “The Bedouin went away while he was saying: ‘By Allah, none on the surface of the earth is more lovable to me than he!”

His Generosity

Whoever is generous, open-handed, far from all kinds of miserliness is good, has great confidence in Allah, great soul and self. Allah’s Apostle (a.s) has talked about this noble aspect, saying: “Allah loves two qualities; good manners and generosity.” He has also said: “Generosity is from faith.”

Most surely generosity indicates good heart, shows psychological merits, and displays man’s mercy and kindness. Of course generosity is so when it is done out of good and kindness, not out of reputation, praise, laudation, and other purposes which has nothing to do with kindness. History has mentioned many examples of those who gave thousands of (dinars) to those who visited them and entertained guests. However, the people quickly came to know that they performed such deeds out of affection, not out of generosity and kindness. These deeds are similar to Mu’awiya’s giving and gifts to those who visited him. Such deeds were not because of kindness; they were for buying consciences for the sake of holding the reins of government.

Most surely real generosity is doing good for good, and kindness for kindness. This high quality was available in Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan (a.s) to the extent that he was given the nickname of Kareem Ahlul Bayt (the Generous One of the Prophet’s household).

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The Imam took this quality from his pure grandfathers, who were famous for generosity, good deeds, helping the weak, kindness to the poor and the deprived. The poet has said in respect of his ancestor:

Amr, the highest one, crumbled and sopped bread in broth for his people, while the men of Mecca were poor and lean!

As for al-Hasan, he exceeded his ancestor in respect of generosity. He thought that money was insignificant and not important unless it should be used for satisfying the hungry, clothing the naked, helping the grieved, and paying the debt of a debtor.

Most surely generosity was among his selfness and one of the fundamentals of his mood. It has been narrated from him that he never said “no” to a beggar. He was asked: “Why do you not refuse the request of a beggar?”[1]

He answered: “Most surely I beg Allah and desire for Him. I feel shame that I refuse (the request of a beggar) while I beg (Allah). Allah has made me used to that he showers me with His boons, and I have made Him used to that I shower the people with His boons. Therefore I fear that if I stopped the habit, He would deprive me of the habit.”

Then he began reciting:

When a beggar comes to me, I say welcome to him towards whom kindness is a quick religious duty on me.

And He whose favor is a favor on all the generous; and the best days of man are when he is begged.[2]

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Some poetry lines have been ascribed to him. He has composed them on generosity, saying:

Most surely generosity is a religious duty on people for Allah; it is recited in the firm Book.

Allah has promised generous people His gardens, and He has prepared the Hellfire for the miserly.

Whoever does not give generously is not a Muslim. Al-Hasan has also said:

The creatures have been created through a power. Some of them are generous, and some of them are miserly.

As for the generous, they are at ease. And as for the miserly, they (suffer from) long sadness.[3]

The poor and the needy crowded before Imam al-Hasan, and he showered them with his charity and gave them generously. History has mentioned many examples of his generosity. We will mention some of them here:

______________________________

[1] Al-Sha‘rani, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 23. Al-Qaraghuli, Jawhart al-Kalam, p. 112.

[2] Noor al-Absar.

[3] Al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 156.

Examples of His Generosity

Examples of His Generosity

1.

One day, a Bedouin came and begged the Imam, and the Imam (a.s) said: “Give him what is in the strongbox.” Ten thousand dirhams were in the strongbox. The Bedouin asked him: “O my master, why have you not let me mention my need and spread my praise?” The Imam answered him:

We are the people whose giving is fresh; the hopeful enjoy it.

Our souls give generously before begging, for fear that (the beggar) may lose face.

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If the sea came to know the excellence of our giving, it would decrease after its overflow out of shame.[1]

2.

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) passed by a black boy. There was a loaf of bread before the black boy. He was eating a piece of it and giving another to his dog.

The Imam asked him:

-What has made you do that?

-I feel shame when I eat without feeding it.

The Imam came to know that the black boy had the most lovable quality to him. He decided to reward him and reward his kindness with kindness. Imam al-Hasan (a.s) said to the boy: “Do not leave your place!” Then he went to the boy’s master and bought him from him. He also bought the garden where he worked and made him own it.[2]

3.

One day, he walked through the streets of Medina and heard a man asking Allah to give him ten thousand dirhams. So he went home and immediately sent such an amount to the man.[3]

4.

Once, a man showing poverty and neediness went to the Imam. The Imam (a.s) said to the man: “This will not fit your request. It is great, as I know, that which you deserve. And it is difficult for me when my hand falls short of giving you that of which you are worthy. And the much for the sake of Allah is little. There is no fulfillment for your thankfulness in what I have. Therefore, if you accept that which available with us and relieve from us the burden of the welcome and the care, I would do.” The man said to him: “O son of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) I will accept the little and thank you for the giving and will excuse you if you do not give any.” The Imam (a.s) brought his deputy and said to him: “Bring the remainder!” The remainder was fifty thousand dirhams. He gave them to the man. The imam (a.s) was not satisfied with that. Rather, he said to his deputy: “What have you done with the five hundred dinars that were with you?” “They are with me,” replied the deputy. He ordered him to bring them. Then he gave them to the man and apologized to him.[4]

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Most surely his statement: “The much for the sake of Allah is little” indicates that this giving was for the sake of Allah, the Most High, and that he did not want any reward or thankfulness from anyone.

5.

Imam al-Hasan (a.s), his brother al-Husayn (a.s), and their cousin Abdullah bin Ja‘far[5] went to the Sacred House of Allah (the Kaaba). On their way to Mecca, they became hungry and thirsty. Their luggage had preceded them (with the caravan). They went to a house in the desert. When they reached the house, they found none there except an old woman. They asked her for food and water. The woman responded to them out of her generous soul, saying: “Yes.”

When soul is disposed by nature for good and generosity, it gives all that which it has for exaltedness and glory. The old woman had nothing except a ewe. She brought the ewe with her own hand and said to them: “Take this ewe. Milk it, and drink the milk!” When they did that, the old woman said to them: “I appeal to you to slaughter the ewe. I am going to prepare some firewood, that you may grill it.” They did that, and the old woman prepared the wood. After they had had the food, they decided to depart and introduce themselves to the old woman, that they might reward her for her favor when they came home. They said to her: “O servant of Allah, we are some people from Quraysh. We are going to make the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah. When we safely come back, come to us, that we may reward you for this favor.”

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Then they went away. When the sun went down, the old woman’s husband came as usual. The old woman told him about the story, and he became angry for they had nothing except that ewe. As a result he said to her: “Woe unto you! Why did you ordered the ewe to be slaughtered for some people whom you had not known? Then you say that they are from Quraysh!”

The time passed. One year passed, and another one came. A strong crisis befell the desert. The sky had prevented its rain from coming down, to the extent that the sources of livelihood were over. Accordingly, the old woman and her husband left the desert and resided in Medina. They could find no work to live with except collecting dung from streets and roads. They adopted that as a job. One day, while they were practicing their work, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) saw the old woman and recognized her. It was time for him to reward her for her favor. He (a.s) ordered his servants to bring her. When she stood before him, he (a.s) asked her:

-Have you recognized me, O servant of Allah?

-No.

Abdullah bin Ja‘far died in the year eighty A. H. The year when he died was called the Year of the Flood. That was because a flood happened in Mecca. The flood swept away the pilgrims and the camels carrying cargoes. This has been mentioned in the book al-Isaba, vol. 2, pp. 289-290.

-I was among your guests on the year so-and-so!

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-I have not recognized you!

-If you have not recognized me, then I have recognized you.

Then Imam al-Hasan (a.s) ordered his servants to buy her a thousand sheep and give a thousand dinars to her. He (a.s) ordered one of his servants to take her to his brother al-Husayn (a.s) and to make him recognize her. The servant took her. When she came in, al-Husayn (a.s) recognized her. He asked the servant: “How much did my brother give to her?” The servant told him about his brother’s giving, and he (a.s) gave her money equal to that which his brother had given to her. Then al-Husayn sent the old woman to Abdullah bin Ja‘far. When she came in to him, he ordered a thousand sheep and a thousand dinars to be given to her. The old woman took all those things and went away.[6] Her condition changed from abject poverty into riches and wealth. All that happened due to al-Hasan’s charity and favor.

6.

One day, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) bought a garden from the Ansar for four hundred thousand (dinars). He heard that they were in need of that which was in the hand of the people, so he returned the garden to them.[7] Most surely saving these people from the abasement of begging and returning their honor to them was the best kind of munificence and the highest rank of generosity.

7.

Once, his slave girl greeted him with a bouquet of basil, and he (a.s) said to her: “You are free for the sake of Allah!” Anas blamed him for that, and he (a.s) said to him: “Allah has brought us up when He has said: And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better (greeting) than it or return it. The better than it is releasing her.”[8]

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8.

Marwan bin al-Hakam said: “I am interested in al-Hasan’s mule. Who can bring it to me?” Ibn Abi Ateeq said to him:

-I will bring it to you provided that you should grant me thirty needs.

-I will grant that.

Ibn Abi Ateeq said to Marwan: “When the people gather before you tonight, I will mention the achievements of Quraysh and refrain from mentioning those of al-Hasan. Blame me for that.” When the people gathered, Ibn Ateeq began mentioning the laudable deeds of Quraysh and refrained from mentioning those of Imam al-Hasan (a.s). Marwan said to him: “Why have you not mentioned the merits of Abu Muhammad (al-Hasan) while he has in this respect that which none of us has?” Ibn Abi Ateeq said: “We have mentioned the nobility. If we had mentioned the prophets, we would have mentioned the merits of Abu Muhammad (al-Hasan)” When the Imam (a.s) went out, Ibn Abi Ateeq followed him. When al-Hasan (a.s) looked at him, he smiled at him and came to know of the purpose for his praising. He (a.s) asked him: “Do you have a need?” “Yes,” he replied, “I have remembered the mule.” The Imam (a.s) dismounted it and gave it to him.[9]

9. Some man asked the imam (a.s) to give him some thing, and he (a.s) said to him: “Most surely begging is not right but in a heavy debt or abject poverty or blood money.” “I have come for one of them,” replied the man. The Imam (a.s) ordered one hundred dinars to be given to him. Then the man went to al-Husayn (a.s) and asked him as he asked his brother, and he gave him ninety-nine dinars, for he hated to be equal to his brother in giving. Then the man went to Abdullah bin Umar and asked him for money. Abdullah gave him seven dinars, and he said to him: “I had gone to al-Hasan and al-Husayn.” He related to him what had happened between them, so Ibn Umar said to him: “Woe unto you! Do you want to make me equal to them. They have been supplied with knowledge and money.”[10]

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10. When he (a.s) bought a garden from people, and they became in need of the garden, he returned it to them or along with the cost. [11]

11. A poor man went to him. The poor man complained to him of his condition. On that day, the Imam had no money. He found the affair difficult and felt shy of refusing the request of the poor man. He (a.s) said: “Most surely I will guide you to something from which you get good.” “What is it, O son of Allah’s Apostle?” asked the poor man. He (a.s) said: “Go to the Caliph. His daughter has died and he has showed sorrow at her death. He has never heard an eloquent consolation from anyone. Therefore, condole him with these words, and you will get good from him.” “O son of Allah’s Apostle,” retorted the poor man, “make me memorize them.” The Imam (a.s) said: “Say to him: ‘Praise belongs to Allah, Who has covered her through your sitting by her grave and not violated her through her sitting by your grave.” The poor man memorized these words and went to the Caliph. He condoled him with these words. The Caliph became happy, so he ordered a gift to be given to the poor man. Then he asked him:

-Do these words belong to you?

-No, they belong to Imam al-Hasan.

-You are right, for he is the origin of eloquence. Then he ordered another gift to be given to him.[12]

Biographers have mentioned many examples of Imam al-Hasan’s charity and kindness to the poor, that he might save them from neediness and poverty and make them lead a life of ease and welfare. All the charities that the Imam rendered were for the sake of Allah. They were not mixed with any other purpose. He had given the poor gifts and charities before they mentioned their needs, praise, and laudation, lest they should lose face.

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Notes

[1] ‘Ayan al-Shi‘a, vol. 4, pp. 89-90.

[2] Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 38.

[3] Al-Sha‘rani, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 23. Al-Sabban, p. 177.

[4] Al-Bustani, Da’irat al-Ma‘arif, vol. 7, p. 39. Al-Ghazali, Ihya’ al-‘Uloom, vol. 3, p. 171. In it he has added: “He (al-Hasan) said to the man: ‘Bring someone to carry these properties.’ So he brought him two porters. He (al-Hasan), peace be on him, give his garment to the two porters as a wage. Accordingly, his followers said to him: ‘O son of Allah’s Apostle, we have not any dirham!’ He, peace be on him, said to them: ‘I hope that I have a great reward with Allah!’”

[5] Abdullah bin Ja‘far bin Abi Talib al-Hashimi- whose mother was Asma’, daughter of Umays al-Khath‘amiya-was born in al-Habasha. That was when his father emigrated to it. When his father Ja‘far was martyred, the Prophet rubbed on Abdullah’s head and said: “O Allah, compensate Ja‘far in respect of his children.” He (a.s.) has said concerning Abdullah: “He is similar to me in form and good manners.” He (a.s.) saw Abdullah selling along with some boys. So he said: “O Allah, bless his selling or his bargain!” Abdullah is among the famous, generous people. Many stories have been narrated in respect of his generosity. Concerning him Abdullah bin Qays al-Ruqayyat has said:

I was (nothing) except the like of the generous one (Abdullah) bin Ja‘far.

He thought that money did not stay; so, he has retained his name.

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Concerning him al-Shammakh bin Dhirar has said:

Most surely you, O son of Ja‘far, are the best young man and the best shelter of the night-comer.

Many a guest, who comes to the district by night, finds food and the talk he likes.

[6] Al-Ghazali, Ihya’ al-‘Uloom, vol. 3, p. 173. Al-Bustani, Da’irat al-Ma‘arif, vol. 7, p. 39.

[7] Al-Sabban, p. 176.

[8] Al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 23.

[9] Al-Mubarrad, al-Kamil, vol. 2, p. 13.

[10] Ibn Qutayba, ‘Uyun al-Akhbar, vol. 3, p. 140.

[11] Al-Sha‘rani, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 23.

[1] Noor al-Absar, p. 111.

His Worship and Fear of Allah

Whenever man knows Allah more, his faith, obedience, and love for Him increases, and he makes every effort to make him closer to Him.

As for Imam al-Hasan, he was supplied with genuine knowledge, original faith, and real religion. His ideals were impressed in his inner self. Accordingly, he was the best of all people in faith, loyalty and obedience to Allah. Narrators have talked about his obedience, saying: “During all the times he was seen mentioning Allah continuously.[1] When he remembered the Paradise and the Fire, he became disordered as one stung by a scorpion did. He asked Allah for the Garden and sought refuge with Him from the Fire. When he remembered death and the resurrection after it, he wept bitterly.[2] When he remembered the stand before Allah, he sobbed and fainted.[3] He was the best of people in learning a lesson from death. When he attended a funeral ceremony, he became calm for several days. When a neighbor of his died, he wailed and lamented as those in the house of the dead one did.[4] ” These affairs indicate his great obedience to Allah and his fear of Him. We will mention some aspects of his worship as follows:

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__________________________

[1] Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p. 108.

[2] A‘yan al-Shi‘a, vol. 4, p. 11.

[3] Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p. 108.

[4] Warim, Majjmu‘a, p. 317.

His Ritual Ablution and Prayers

When Imam al-Hasan wanted to perform the ritual ablution, his condition changed, and he had strong fear, to the extent that he turned pale and he shook allover with fear. He was asked about the reason for that, and he answered: “It is incumbent on one who stands before the Lord of the Throne to shake allover (with fear) and turn pale.”

When he had finished performing the ritual ablution and wanted to enter the mosque, he said loudly: “O Allah, Your guest is at Your gate! O Good-doer, the evil-doer has come to You! Therefore, overlook the bad that I have through the good that You have! O Generous!”[1]

When he intended to perform his prayers, submission, reverence, and fear appeared on his face, to the extent that he shook allover.[2] When he finished the Morning Prayer, he said noting except the remembrance of Allah until the sun rose.[3]

His Performing the Hajj:

An example of his worship, his great loyalty and obedience to Allah is that he performed the hajj to the Kaaba on foot for twenty-five times, while the good horses were driven before him.[4] He was asked about the number of the pilgrimages he made to Mecca on foot, and he answered: “I feel shame of my Lord when I do not go on foot to His House!”[5]

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Reciting the Qur’an:

Imam al-Hasan carefully recited the Qur’an. When he recited a verse addressing the believers, he said: “Here I am! O Allah, here I am!”[6] Each night he recited the Sura of al-Kahf.[7]

Giving his Properties as Alms:

For the pleasure of Allah, the Imam sacrificed all his expensive and precious possessions. He gave the land taxes of his properties twice. For the sake of Allah he made the people equally shared him his properties three times, to the extent that he gave his pair of sandals and retained another.[8]

__________________________

[1] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 93. Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p. 108. Roudat al-Wa‘izeen.

[2] Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p. 108.

[3] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 93.

[4] Al-Lum‘a, Chapter on Hajj and the Shi‘ite great Figures. It was said that he performed the hajj for ten or fifteen times. In his book al-Amali, al-Saduq has mentioned that Imam al-Hasan might go bare-footed to the House of Allah.

[5] A‘yan al-Shi‘a, vol. 4, p. 11.

[6] Al-Saduq, al-Amali, p. 108.

[7] Ibn Kuthayr, Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 37.

[8] Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 2, p. 13. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 94.

His Asceticism

Imam al-Hasan refused all the pleasures of life. He renounced worldly pleasures and comforts. He headed for the Everlasting Abode that Allah has prepared for the pious from among his servants. He (a.s) has talked about his renouncing the world and his satisfaction with the little, saying:

Most surely a piece of bad bread satisfies me, and a drink of water suffices me.

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A piece of thin cloth suffices me when alive, and when I die it is enough for me as a shroud.[1]

He engraved in his ring two verses of poetry indicating his great asceticism:

Perform for yourself piety as far as possible,

Most surely death will befall you, O man!

You have become happy as if you had not seen that your beloved ones were Decayed in the cemeteries.[2]

He always recited this poetry:

O you who enjoy the worldly pleasures which do not last; most surely the Deception in a transient shade is foolishness.[3]

The following poetry in respect of the deceived by the world and who are fond of it are ascribed to him:

Say to him who is resident in other than the abode of residence:

It is time for you to see off the beloved ones.

Those whom you met and with whom you associated have become earth in the graves.[4]

Among the aspects of his asceticism is that which has been narrated by Mudrik bin Ziyad, who has said: “We were in the gardens of Ibn Abbas. Al-Hasan, al-Husayn, and al-Abbas’s sons came and walked through the garden. Then they sat down at the banks of a brook. Al-Hasan said: ‘O Mudrik, do you have any food?’ ‘Yes,’ I replied. Then I fetched him some bread, salt, and two bundles of vegetables. He ate some of it and said: ‘O Mudrik, what delicious this food is!’”

After that, the food was brought. The food was delicious and good. However Imam al-Hasan (a.s) turned to Mudrik and asked him to call the boys and give the food to them. Mudrik invited them. They ate some of the food, but the Imam did not eat anything of it. Mudrik asked him: “Why do you not eat any?” He (a.s) said: “That food was more lovable to me[5] , for it is the food of the poor and the deprived.”

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Yet another example of his asceticism is that he renounced the authority for Allah’s pleasure and for fear that the Muslims’ blood would be shed. About the Imam’s asceticism, Muhammad bin Babawayh al-Qummi[6] has written a book and called it Zhud al-Hasan (the Asceticism of al-Hasan). The biographers have unanimously agreed on that Imam al-Hasan was the most ascetic and best of all the people with the exception of his grandfather and his father.

____________________________

[1] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 94.

[2] Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 219.

[3] Ibn al-Sabbagh, al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p. 162.

[4] Al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 145.

[5] Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 212.

[6] Muhammad bin Ali bin al-Husayn bin Musa bin Babawayh al-Qummi is among the great Shi‘ite figures and head of the traditionists. None among the people of Qum was similar to him in his memorizing and abundant knowledge. He was the teacher of al-Sheikh al-Mufid. He has written three hundred books. He died in al-Ray, in the year 381 A. H. This has been mentioned in the book al-Kuna wa al-Alqab, vol. 1, p. 212.

His Dignity and Veneration

Imam al-Hasan’s personality filled the eyes and dominated the hearts due to the fact that all the elements of the prophethood and the Imamate gathered in him, and the dignity of the Prophet presented itself in him. Wasil bin Ataa’[1] has narrated: “The signs of the prophets and glory of kings appeared on the face of al-Hasan.”[2]

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Ibn al-Zubayr has said: “By Allah, women have never born anyone similar to al-Hasan bin Ali in dignity and is high position.”[3]

Imam al-Hasan was so dignified that some rugs were spread at the door of his house. When he went out and sat down, none would walk through the street because all the people sat down out of admiration and respect for him. When he noted that, he entered his house.[4]

Imam al-Hasan was so solemn and he had a great social rank in the souls of Muslims. When he and his brother al-Husayn passed by some riders during their going to make the hajj to the Kaaba, the riders dismounted as a sign of admiration and respect for them. The masses of hajjis found it difficult to perform the hajj on foot. So they talked to Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas in this respect, and he went to Imam al-Hasan and said to him: “O Abu Muhammad, the hajjis have found it difficult to perform the hajj on foot. When they see you, they are not pleased with riding their camels. If you please ride (a camel) as a sign of showing mercy towards them”

The Imam answered: “We will not ride, for we have made a covenant with Allah that we go to His House on foot, but we will avoid the public way.”[5]

Imam al-Hasan put on an excellent garment, rode a brisk mule, and walked through a street of Yathrib. His holy face shone with light. His servants and retinue surrounded him. A stupid Jew saw him and said to him:

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-O son of Allah’s Apostle, I have a question.

-What is it?

-Your grandfather, Allah’s Apostle (a.s) has said: “The world is the prison of a believer and garden of an unbeliever!” You are a believer and I am unbeliever. The world is but a garden for you. You enjoy it, while you are a believer. As for me, it is just a prison; its heat has destroyed me; and its poverty has exhausted me.

- In the hereafter Allah has prepared for me and believers things of which no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and that which has not come to someone’s mind. If you looked at that, you would come to know that I had been in prison during this condition and before my moving to it. And if you looked at that which Allah had prepared for you and the unbelievers in the hereafter such as the flame of the Hellfire, severe, everlasting, and painful chastisement, you would see that you were in a wide garden and an inclusive blessing.[6] Then the Imam went away, while the Jew was bursting with rage and malice.

A stupid, spiteful person saw the Imam’s veneration and dignity, and then he said to him: “You have greatness (haughtiness)!” The Imam answered him, saying: “I have might (honor)!” Then he recited these words of Him, the Exalted: “And to Allah belongs the might and to His Apostle and to the believers.[7] ”[8]

Al-Hasan was similar to his grandfather the Prophet (a.s) in his veneration, righteousness, and noble natures.

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________________________________

[1] Wasil bin Ataa’ al-Basri was a declamatory, eloquent theologian. He lisped the letter r. It has been narrated from him that he abandoned and avoided the letter r during his orations. It has been said in respect of him:

He changed al-bir (wheat) into qamh (wheat) during his adaptation

And he opposed al-raa’, to the extent that he employed tricks in poetry.

He was not able (to pronounce the word) matar (rain), so he sought protection with al-ghayth (rain) out of fear (of saying the word) al-matar.

He has written several books of which are: Asnaf al-Murji’a, al-Tawba, and Ma‘ani al-Qur’an. He had doubt about the justice of those who took part at the Battle of al-Jamal. He was the Sheikh of the Mu‘tazilites and was among their great figures. He was born in Yathrib (Medina) in the year 80 AH. He died in the year 131 A. H. This has been mentioned in the book Lisan al-Mizan, vol., 6, p. 214.

[2] A‘yan al-Shi‘a, vol. 4, p. 12. Al-Manaqibin

[3] Ibn Kuthayr, Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 37.

[4] A‘lam al-Wara fi A‘lam al-Huda, p. 125.

[5] Al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 142. A‘yan al-Shi‘a, vol. 4, p. 20.

[6] Ibn al-Sabbagh, al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p. 161.

[8] Qur’an, 63, 8.

[9] Al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 149.

His good Style and Eloquence

All the perfect qualities presented themselves in Imam Abu Muhammad (al-Hasan), and his noble personality was distinguished by them. From among his wonderful qualities was eloquence and good style in speech. He (a.s) was the most skillful of the eloquent in saying correct speeches during the ceremonies, the ablest of them in abridgement, inimitability, and creativity of speech. Indeed he was such, for he branched from the tree of the good style, eloquence, and sound judgment. His grandfather, Allah’s Apostle (a.s) was the most eloquent of those who spoke Arabic, and his father, Imam Ali, was the master of the eloquent and eloquence.

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Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was similar to his father in his good style and eloquence. He (a.s) has left behind him an excellent inheritance and eloquent, wise sayings containing the principles of social morals, advice, guidance, and immortal preachments. They have been inlaid with pretty pronunciation and high meaning. We will mention some of them.

Social manners

Imam Ali (a.s) asked al-Hasan some questions related to the principles of morals and virtues, and he (a.s) answered him with spontaneous intuitions and thoughts. His answers were among the signs of eloquence and inimitability.

Imam Ali: O my little son, what is rightness?

Al-Hasan: O father, rightness is repelling evil deeds with good deeds.

-What is honor?

-It is choosing a tribe and avoiding guilt.

-What is manhood?

-It is chastity, and that man should set right his property.

-What is vice?

-It is looking into the small and preventing the insignificant.

-What is meanness?

-Man heaps up money for himself and degrades his honor.[1]

-What is munificence?

-It is giving generously in good days and bad days.

-What is stinginess?

-It is that you see what is in your hand as an honor and what you spend as waste.

-What is brotherhood?

-It is loyalty during hardship and ease.

-What is cowardice?

-It is audacity toward the friend and recoiling from the enemy.

-What is gain?

-It is the wish for piety and renouncing the world.

-What is clemency?

-It is suppressing rage and controlling self.

-What is riches?

-It is that the soul is satisfied with what Allah apportions even if it is little, for riches is that of the soul.

p: 301

-What is poverty?

-It is that the soul is greedy toward all things.

-What is power?

-It is strong courage and fighting with strong people.

-What is humiliation?

-It is the fear during telling the truth.

-What is boldness?

-It is the agreement with the associates.

-What is hardship?

-It is that you speak in respect of that which does not concern you.

-What is glory?

-It is that you should pay debt and pardon (someone’s) sin.

-What is reason?

-It is that it memorizes all that which you want it to memorize.

-What is foolishness?

-It is that you show enmity toward your Imam and raise your voice before him.

-What is laudation?

-It is that you do favors and give up the ugly.

-What is determination?

-It is patience, leniency toward governors, and caution of people through mistrust.

-What is honor?

-It is the agreement with brothers (friends).

-What is impudence?

-It is following the mean and making friends with the misguided.

-What is inattentiveness?

-It is that you abandon the mosque and obey the mischief-maker.

-What is deprivation?

-It is that you refuse your luck when it is put before you.

-What is a master?

-A master is he who takes care of the affairs of the tribe.[2]

The soul stands perplexed before these spontaneous answers of Imam al-Hasan. He answered without affection. He has knowledge of the meaning of these important questions. Therefore, the soul cannot but admires. It has a good impression, admits this greatness, and yields to these scientific talents.

p: 302

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[1] Al-Bustani, Da’irat al-Ma‘arif, vol. 7, p. 39.

[2] Ibn Kuthayr, Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 39.

Noble Moral Traits

Jabir has said: “I have heard al-Hasan (a.s) saying: ‘Noble moral traits are ten. They are the truthfulness of a tongue, the truthfulness of courage, giving to the beggar, good manners, the reward for a favor, retaining kinship, protecting the neighbor, regarding the right of a friend, entertaining a guest, and the head of them is modesty.” [1]

One day Mu’awiya turned to Imam al-Hasan (a.s) and said to him:

-O Abu Muhammad, I have found none to give me an answer about three qualities.

-What are they?

-manhood, generosity, and courage.

-As for manhood, it is that man should set right the affair of his religion, undertake his properties well, spread al-salaam (greetings), and show affection to people.

As for generosity, it is that man should give before he is asked, do favor willingly, and give food at the appropriate time. As for courage, it is that man should defend his neighbor, resist during a misfortune, and be patient during hardships.

A man came to Imam al-Hasan and asked him:

-O son of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) who is the best of people?

-He who takes people as partners in his livelihood.

-Who is the wickedest of people?

-He who takes none as partner in his livelihood.[2]

___________________

[1] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 201.

[2] Ibid., p. 202.

Vices

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) has said: “Three (vices) destroy people: haughtiness, greediness, and envy. As for haughtiness, it destroys the religion; and Iblis was cursed because of it. As for greediness, it is the enemy of soul; and because of it Adam was taken out of the Garden. As for envy, it is the pioneer of evil deeds; and because of it Qabil (Cain) killed Habil (Abel).”[1]

p: 303

Without doubt these vices, which Imam al-Hasan has urged people to avoid and of whose damages he has given some examples, are the origins of crimes and mothers of vices.

______________________

[1] Noor al-Absar, p. 110.

Urging to seek Knowledge

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) has said to his children: “Seek knowledge, for you are the young of the people and their grown-ups tomorrow. Whoever of you does not memorize, then he must write down.”[1]

He (a.s) has said: “Teach people and learn the knowledge of other than you, and then you must master your knowledge and have known what you had not known.”[2]

He (a.s) has said: “A good question is the half of knowledge.”[3]

____________________

[2] Ibn al-Sabbagh, al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p. 142.

[3] Al-Ithna ‘Ashariya, p. 37.

[4] Noor al-Absar, p. 110.

The Excellence of Reason

He (a.s) has said: “Whoever has no reason has no good manners. Whoever has no determination has no cordiality. Whoever has no religion has no modesty. The head of reason is associating with people in a good manner. The happiness in the two abodes (this world and the hereafter) are obtained through reason; whoever is deprived of reason is deprived of them all.” [1]

____________________________

[1] A‘yan al-Shi‘a, vol. 4, p. 88.

Supplication

He (a.s) has said: “When Allah, the Great and Almighty, opens for someone the door to request, He does not close the door to response. When He opens for someone the door to deed, he does not close the door to acceptance. When He opens to someone the door to giving thanks, He does not close the door to an increase.”[1]

p: 304

________________________

[1] A‘yan al-Shi‘a, vol. 4, p. 88.

Politics

Someone asked Imam al-Hasan about his viewpoint of politics, and he answered him: “Politics is that you should take care of Allah’s rights, the rights of the living, and the rights of the dead. As for Allah’s rights, they are that you should perform what He has commanded, and refrain from what He has prohibited. As for the rights of the living, they are that you should fulfill your obligations towards your brothers. You should not fall short of serving your community. You should be loyal to the ruler as long as he is loyal to his community, and shout at the top of your voice when he deviates from the straight path. As for the rights of the dead, they are that you should mention their good deeds and overlook their evil deeds, for they have the Lord Who will reckon them.”[1]

Mu’awiya asked Imam al-Hasan:

-What is obligatory on us in respect of our authority?

-That which Sulayman bin Dawud (Prophet Solomon) has said.

-What has Sulayman said?

-He has said to a companion of his: “Did you know what is obligatory on the king in respect of his power? He should fear Allah secretly and openly. He should be just during anger and pleasure. He should economize during poverty and riches. He should not take the properties by force, nor should he spend them wastefully.”[2]

This is the correct policy. If rulers followed it, they would remain forever, and peoples would lead a life of ease and comfort. Imam al-Hasan (a.s) stated these valuable opinions before his opponent Mu’awiya for the sake of public interests, that his opponent might follow the light of the truth.

p: 305

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[1] Al-‘Urfan Magazine, vol. 40, part 3.

[2] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 202.

A Companion

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) has said: “Shall I tell you about a friend who was the greatest of people in my sight? The head of that which made him great in my sight was that the world was insignificant in his sight. He was away from the power of his stomach. He had no desire for the unlawful, nor did he heap up what he found. He was outside the authority of ignorance, so he did not stretch out a hand unless he was sure that it was for a profit. He did not complain nor did he grumble. He always kept silent. When he spoke, he surpassed and overcame the speakers. He was weak and was deemed as weak.

When seriousness came, he was a running lion. When scientists gathered, he listened more than he spoke. When his speech was overcome, his silence was not overcome. He did not say what he did not do, nor did he do what he did not say. When two affairs occurred to him, and he did not know which of them was nearer to the truth, he pondered on the closer of them to his desire and he opposed it. He did not blame anyone for anything for which he might apologize. He said nothing unless he saw a just judge and witness.”[1]

He (a.s) has said to a son of his: “O my little son, do not make friends with anyone unless you know his manners. The close one is he whom affection makes close, and the far one is he whom affection makes far even if his lineage is close.”

p: 306

A man asked him to make friends with him and sit with him, and he (a.s) said to him: “Beware of praising me, for I am more knowledgeable of my self than you are. Beware of accusing me of lying, for a liar has no opinion. Be ware of backbiting someone in my presence.” Accordingly, the man said: “Permit me to go away!” He said to him: “Yes, if you wish.”[2]

_______________________

[1] Ibn Qutayba, ‘Uyun al-Akhbar, vol. 2, p. 55. Others have mentioned it in a different expression.

[2] Tuhaf al-‘Uqool, p. 55.

Munificence and good Deeds

While Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was circumambulating the Kaaba, a man asked him about the meaning of “generous one”. He answered him, saying: “Most surely your speech has two meanings: If you are asking about the creature, then the generous one is he who performs what has been made obligatory on him, and the miser is he who withholds from performing what has been made obligatory on him. And if you are asking about the Creator, then He is Generous if He gives, and He is Generous if He deprives. If He gives a servant something, He gives him that which does not belong to him, and if He deprives him, He deprives him of something which does not belong to him.”[1] He (a.s) has said: “The good deed is that which is not preceded by postponement and not followed by reminding, and the giving before asking is the greatest kind of righteousness.”[2]

p: 307

[1] Majjma‘ al-Bahrain, Chapter on Munificence.

[2] A‘yan al-Shi‘a, vol. 4, p. 88.

Ahadith about Other Subjects

Ahadith about Other Subjects

Miserliness:

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) has said: “Miserliness includes bad deeds and defects, and cuts off affection from hearts.” He (a.s) was asked about miserliness, and he answered: “Miserliness is that man regards what he spends as wastefulness and what he withholds as honor.”[1]

Humbleness:

He (a.s) has said: “The most knowledgeable one of his brothers’ rights and the best in carrying them out is the best of them to Allah. Whoever shows humbleness toward his brothers in this world is near Allah among the very truthful and among the followers of Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s).”[2]

Relying on Allah:

It was said to him: “Abu Tharr often said: ‘Poverty is more lovable to me than riches and illness is more lovable to me than well-being.’ He said: ‘May Allah have mercy on Abu Tharr. As for me, I say: ‘Whoever relies on Allah’s good choosing does not desire for a condition other than that which Allah has chosen for him.”[3]

Refuting Compulsion:

The people of Basra sent a letter to Imam al-Hasan (a.s) and asked him to give his viewpoint about compulsion[4] , and he (a.s) replied: “Whoever does not believe in Allah, His decree, and His determination is an unbeliever. Whoever ascribes his own sin to his Lord is dissolute. Most surely Allah is not obeyed unwillingly, nor is He disobeyed out of overcoming. He possesses what He has made them possess and the Powerful over that which He has made powerful. Therefore if they act with obedience, He does not come between them and what they do. If they do not do, then it is not He Who compels them to do that. If Allah compelled the creation to obey Him, then He would drop from them reward, and if he compelled them to disobey Him, then he would drop from them punishment. If he neglected them, then there would be feebleness in His capability. But He has in them the will He has made absent from them. Therefore if they performed the acts of obedience, then He did a kindness for them, and if they performed the acts of disobedience, then He had the proof against them.”[5]

p: 308

Fear of Allah:

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) has said: “Most surely Allah has not created you in vain, nor will He vainly leave you. He has determined your terms of death and apportioned among you your livelihoods, that every owner of a position may come to know his position, and that what He decrees for him befalls him, and what He turns away from him does not befall him. He has sufficed you the burden of the world, given you free time to worship Him, urged you to thank Him, made obligatory on you remembering Him, commanded you to fear Him, and made the fear of Him the utmost of His pleasure. Fear of Allah is a door to all kinds of repentance, head of wisdom, and honor of deeds. Through the fear of Allah the Allah-fearing have succeeded. Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has said: ‘Surely for those who guard (against evil) is achievement.’ [6] And He has said: ‘And Allah shall deliver those who guard (against evil) with their achievement; evil shall not touch them, nor shall they grieve.’[7] Therefore, fear Allah, O servants of Allah. You should know that whoever fears Allah, Allah will find for him a way to get out of discords. He will direct him in respect of his affairs, prepare for him guidance, and make him successful in his proof. He will whiten his face, give him his wish to be with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly companion are they.”[8]

p: 309

Preaching and Guidance:

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) has said: “O son of Adam, refrain from the things made prohibited by Allah, and you are a worshiper. Be satisfied with what Allah apportions, and you are rich. Neighbor well those who neighbor you, and you are a Muslim. Associate with people in the same manner you want them to associate with you, and you are just. The people before you collected (money) very much, built houses, and hoped for the far-fetched things, but their collecting has become waste, their deeds have become vainglory, and their graves have become their houses. O son of Adam, you have demolished your lifetime since you were born. Therefore give generously from that which is in your hands. A believer makes provision, and an unbeliever enjoys.” After this speech of his, Imam al-Hasan, used to recite these Qur’anic verse: And make provision, for surely piety is the best (kind) of provision.[9]

And he (a.s) has said: “O servants of Allah, fear Allah, be earnest in requesting (good deeds), and hurry to (perform good) deeds before death, for the ease in the world does not last, the tragedies wherein can come anytime, and the evil deeds wherein are not avoided. It (the world) is a changeable deception and an inclined pillar. Therefore, O servants of Allah, learn from the lessons, take an example from the Prophetic traditions, be restrained by the favors, and make use of the sermons. Sufficient for a place of protection and helper is Allah! Sufficient for an arguer and opponent is the Book! Sufficient for a reward is the Garden! And sufficient for punishment and harm is the Fire!”[10]

p: 310

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) consoled a man for the death of a relative of his. He said to him: “If this misfortune brought about a lesson to you and made you gain a reward, then it is good and well; otherwise your misfortune in respect of your own self is greater than your misfortune in respect of your dead one.”[11]

A rich man went to Imam al-Hasan and said to him: “O son of Allah’s Apostle, I am afraid of death.”

“That is because you have delayed your property,” replied the Imam (a.s) “if you advanced it, then you were pleased to follow it.”[12]

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) passed by some people playing and laughing on the day of Eid al-Fitr. He (a.s) stopped, turned to them, and said: “Allah has regarded the month of Ramadan as a field where His creatures compete with each other for obeying Him to obtain his pleasure. Some people preceded and succeeded. Some other people fell short and failed. Therefore, I fully wonder at one who laughs and plays on the day when good-doers are rewarded, and evil-doers lose. By Allah, if the cover (between them and the unseen) was removed, they came to know that the good-doer is busy performing his good deeds, and the evil-doer is busy performing his evil deeds.” Then he (a.s) left them and went away.[13]

He (a.s) has said: “I advise you to fear Allah and think continually, for thinking is the father of the free and the slave.”

He (a.s) has said: “Whoever knows Allah loves Him, and whoever knows the world renounces it. A believer does not play lest he (or she) should become inattentive. When he (or she) thinks, he (or she) becomes sad.”[14]

p: 311

He (a.s) passed by a dead person prepared for burial and said: “Most surely the affair whose end is this, its beginning is worthy of renunciation. And the affair whose beginning is this, it is appropriate (for one) to fear its end.”[15]

He (a.s) has said: “People are in the abode of inattention and heedlessness. They work but they do not know. When they reach the hereafter, they will reach the true abode where they know but they do not work.”[16]

Seeking Livelihood:

He (a.s) has said: “Do not strive for livelihood with the striving of the victor, and do not rely on fate with the reliance of the submissive. Seeking livelihood is recommended, and moderation in respect of seeking livelihood is of chastity. Chastity does not repel livelihood, nor does greediness bring it about, for livelihood is apportioned, and using greediness is similar to using sins.”[17]

Mosques:

He (a.s) has said: “Whoever frequently goes to mosques obtains eight qualities: a firm (clear) verse, useful brotherhood, original knowledge, expected mercy, a word leading him to guidance or preventing him from misguidance, and giving up sins out of shyness or fear.”[18]

The manners of Having Food:

He (a.s) has said: “Washing the hands before having food removes poverty, and after it removes worry.”[19]

He (a.s) has said: “There are twelve qualities in respect of having food. It is incumbent upon a Muslim to know them. Four of them are obligatory, four are recommended, and four are moral. As for the obligatory qualities, they are: knowledge, satisfaction, saying “in the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful”, and giving thanks. As for the recommended ones, they are: performing the ritual ablution before having food, sitting on the left side, eating with three fingers, and licking the fingers. As for the moral ones, they are: eating from the food which is in front of you, making the bite small, chewing it well, and little looking at the people’s faces.”[20]

p: 312

Devotion to the Ahlul Bayt:

A man said to Imam al-Hasan: “O son of Allah’s Apostle, I am from your Shia.”

The Imam (a.s) said: “O servant of Allah, if you obey our commands and prohibitions, then you are truthful. If you are contrary to that, then do not increase your sins through claiming a high position to which you are not entitled. Do not say that you are among our Shiaites; rather say that you are among those who support us, show love for us, and show enmity toward our enemies, and you are in good and will be to good (end).”[3]

Notes

[1] Nihayat al-Irab fi Funun al-Adab, vol. 3, p. 398.

[2] Warram, Majjmu‘a, p. 312.

[3] Ibn Kuthayr, Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 39.

[4] The research on compulsion (jabr) and authorization (tafwidh) is among the most important and difficult theologian problems. In respect of them the scientists’ viewpoints are disorderly and different. The thought of compulsion (jabr) was famous in Basra because of al-Hasan al-Basri and Abu al-Hasan al-Ash‘ri, the grandson of Abu Musa al-Ash‘ri. Generally speaking, the thought of compulsion (jabr) is that the action issues from a servant is not created by him or her; rather it is created by Allah, the Most High. The servant’s intention and ability have nothing to do with finding action whether it issues from him willingly or unwillingly. Aayat Allah, professor, Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al-Khu’i, may Allah have mercy on him, has fully discussed the subject matter. He has indicated that compulsion (jabr) and authorization (tafwidh) are corrupt. He has established that the intermediate position, which the Shi‘ites maintain, is correct. I (the author) have written what he, may Allah have mercy on him, has mentioned in a separate book.

p: 313

[5] Rasa’il Jamharat al-‘Arab, vol. 2, p. 25.

[6] Qur’an, 78, 31.

[7] Ibid., 39, 61.

[8] Tuhaf al-‘Uqool, p. 55.

[9] Qur’an, 2, p. 197.

[10] Tuhaf al-‘Uqool, p. 56.

[11] Warm, Majjmu‘a, p. 411.

[12] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 202.

[13] Jaami‘ al-Sa‘adat, vol. 3, p. 376. Tuhaf al-‘Uqool, p. 56. Warm, Majjmu‘a, p. 54.

[14] Warm, Majjmu‘a, p. 37.

[15] Al-Jahiz, al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi‘, p. 256.

[16] Al-Ithna ‘Ashariya, p. 37.

[17] Tuhaf al-‘Uqool, p. 55.

[18] Ibn Qutayba, ‘Uyoon al-Akhbar, vol. 3, p. 3.

[19] Al-Ithna ‘Ashariya, p. 37.

[20] Abdullah Shubbar, Masabeeh al-Anwar fi Hal Mushkilat al-Akhbar, vol. 2, p. 271.

[21] Warm, Majjmu‘a, p. 301.

Warning against those who distort Allah’s Book

He (a.s) has said: “O people, whoever is loyal to Allah and uses His words as a guide for guidance toward that which is the most straight, Allah grants him success for guidance and show him the way to good. The neighbor of Allah is safe and guarded, and his enemy is fearful and deserted. Therefore guard against Allah through remembering Him too much, fear Allah through piety, and seek nearness to Him through obeying Him, for He is Near and Answering. Allah, the Most High, has said: And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.[4] Therefore, respond to Allah and believe in Him, for whoever knows His Greatness should not show greatness (before Him). Indeed the highness of those who know Allah’s might is that they should be humble (before Him). Those who know Allah’s greatness should lower themselves (before Him), and the safety of those who know Allah’s power is that they should yield to Him, nor should they deny their own selves after the knowledge (of Him), nor should they go astray after the guidance. You certainly should know that you do not know piety unless you know the quality of guidance. Nor do you hold fast to the covenant of the Book unless you know him who leaves it, nor do you recite the Book with a true recitation unless you know him who distorts it. If you know that, you know innovations and affection, you see fabricating lies against Allah, and see how he falls who falls. Do not let those, who do not know, make you ignorant. Seek that from its people, for they are a special light from whom light is sought, and they are Imams who are followed. Through them knowledge lives and ignorance dies. It is they whose clemency tells you their knowledge, wise speech (tells you) of their silence, and their outward (tells you) of their inward. They do not oppose the truth nor do they differ over it. Precedence from Allah in respect of them has passed, and a decree from Allah in respect of them has elapsed. Most surely in that there is a reminder to the mindful. And understand it when you hear it with the understanding of carefulness, and do not understand it with the understanding of narration. The narrators of the Book are many, but those who understand it are few. And we seek help from Allah.”[1]

p: 314

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[1] Tuhaf al-‘Uqool, p. 53.

Al-Shahid and al-Mashhood

Al-Shahid and al-Mashhood

A man went to the Mosque of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) to ask about the meaning of these words of Him: “Wa Shahidun wa Mashhood.”

The man saw three persons sitting in the mosque. A group of people surrounded each of them, and they told about what they had heard from Allah’s Apostle (a.s) such as the religious precepts and good manners. The man went to one of them and asked him about his question.

He said to him: “Al-Shahid is Friday, and al-Mashhood is the Day of Arafat.” Then the man went to the second person and asked him the same question.

He said to him: “Al-Shahid is Friday, and al-Mashhood is the Day of Immolation.” Then the man went to the third person and asked him his question.

He said to him: “Al-Shahid is Allah’s Apostle (a.s), and al-Mashhood is the Day of Resurrection.” He confirmed his speech with some proofs, saying: “Have you not heard Allah say in His Holy Book: O Prophet, surely we have sent you as a witness (shahid), and a bearer of good news and as a warner. And He, the Most High, has said: And this is a day that shall be witnessed (mashhood).”

The man asked about the first person, and it was said to him that he was Abdullah bin Abbas.[1]

He asked about the second person, and it was said to him that he was Abdullah bin Umar.[2]

p: 315

He asked about the third person, and it was said to him that he was al-Hasan bin Ali.[3]

Notes

[1] His full name is Abdullah bin Abbas bin Abd al-Muttalib bin Hashim, the uncle of the Prophet (a.s.). His mother is Umm al-Fadhl, daughter of al-Harith al-Hilali. He was born three years before the emigration, and it was said that he was born five years before it. Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) supplicated Allah for him, saying: “O Allah, make him understand the religion and teach him the interpretation.” And he (a.s.) has said: “O Allah, increase him in knowledge and understanding.” So he-due to the blessing of the supplication of Allah’s Apostle (a.s.)-was among the great religious scholars. Masruq has said: “When I saw Abdullah bin Abbas, I said he was the most handsome of the people. When he spoke, I said he was the most eloquent of the people. When he talked, I said he was the most knowledgeable of the people.” It was said that if the Persians, the Romans, and the Turks had heard his speech, they would have been Muslims. He became blind at the end of his lifetime, so he said:

If Allah has taken the light of my eyes, then I have light of them in my tongue and my heart.

My heart is clever, my mind is sound, and in my mouth there are sayings as sharp as the sword.

He died in al-Ta’if in the year 68 A. H. That was during the days of Ibn al-Zubayr. He was seventy years old. It was said that he was seventy-one years old, and it was said that he was seventy-four years old. Muhammad bin al-Hanafiya performed the prayer over him and said the takbeer (Allah is great!) over him four times. He said: “Today the divine person of this community has died.” This has been mentioned in the book al-Isti‘ab, vol. 2, p. 350.

p: 316

[2] His full name is Abdullah bin Umar bin al-Khattab. He was born three years before the day when the Prophet was appointed as a prophet. He died in the year 84 A. H. Other than that has been said. This has been mentioned in the book al-Isaba, vol. 2, p. 347. It has been mentioned in the book al-Isti‘ab, vol. 2, p. 343: “He (Abdullah bin Umar) did not follow (Imam) Ali. He refrained from (paying allegiance to him), but he felt remorse for that. When he was about to die, he said: ‘I find in my soul (nothing) except that I did not fight along with Ali bin Abi Talib against the rebellious group.’” In his book Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 238, al-Mas‘udi has mentioned: “Some people did not pay allegiance to Ali.” He has mentioned Abdullah bin Umar as among them. The reason for their refraining from pledging allegiance (to Ali) was as a rebellion against the power and as an apposition to Ali, peace be on him.

[3] Ibn al-Sabbagh, al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p. 160.

Some of al-Hasan’s Sermons

Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was an eloquent orator. He was the most skillful and capable of orators in improvising and creating speeches. We will mention to noble readers some of his sermons.

He (a.s) has said: “We are the successful party of Allah, and the closest family of the messenger of Allah (to Allah), and his pure, good household. We are one of the two weighty things (Thaqalayn) that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) has left behind him. The second is Allah’s Book, in which there are details about all things, falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it[1] , and depended on. We do not make mistakes in interpreting it; rather we are sure of the facts in it. Therefore obey us, for the obedience to us is obligatory if it is coupled with the obedience to Allah, the Apostle, and those in authority. Then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle.[2] If they referred it to the Apostle and those in authority from among them, then those who conclude it from among them would know it. I warn you against listening to Satan’s call, for he is your clear enemy, lest you should be like his friends to whom he has said: No one can overcome you this day, and surely I am your protector. But when the two parties came in sight of each other, he turned upon his heels, and said: Surely I am clear of you, surely I see what you do not see.[3] Therefore, you throw strength before the spears, slaughtering before the swords, errors before intention, and a target before the arrows. Then its faith shall not profit a soul which did not believe before, or earn good through its faith.[4] And Allah is more knowledgeable.”

p: 317

One day Imam Ali fell ill, and he ordered Imam al-Hasan to lead the people in the Friday Prayer. He (a.s) went up on the pulpit, praised and lauded Allah, and then said: “Allah did not send a prophet unless he chose for him a self (associate), a group, and a household. By Him who sent Muhammad with the Truth, when someone decreases something of our right, Allah decreases his lifetime equal to that. When the time turns against us, the end will be to us. And most certainly you will come to know about it after a time.[5] ”[6]

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[1] Qur’an, 41, 42.

[2] Qur’an, 4, 59.

[3] Ibid., 8, 48.

[4] Ibid., 6, 158.

[5] Qur’an, 38, 88.

[6] Al-Mas‘udi, Muruj al-Thahab, vol. 2, p. 306.

His short, wise Sayings

Death has exposed the world.[1]

Be with your body in this world and with your heart in the hereafter.

Regard that which you seek in the world and do not obtain as like that which does not come to your mind.

When people consult each other, they reach their rightness.

Whoever seeks worship must purify himself for it.

Joking spoils respect. The silent get more gravity.

The boons are ignored when they last. When they go, they are known.

Promise is an illness in the generous, and its cure is in fulfilling it.

An asked one is free until he promises, and he is enslaved by promise until he fulfills it.

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Do not hasten sin with punishment, and make between them a way for apologizing.

Definite knowledge is the excuse of the learned.

Certainty is the refuge of safety.

The wise do not cheat whoever consults them.

When superfluous prayers harm obligations, then leave them.

Opportunity quickly passes and slowly comes back.

Someone asked him about silence, and he (a.s) said: “It covers tiredness and adorns honor. Its doer is comfortable, and his companion is safe.”

Missing something is better than requesting it from unworthy people.

Bad manners are worse than misfortune.

Whoever remembers a distant travel gets ready.

A close one is he whom affection makes close even if he is far in lineage, and a far one is he whom affection makes far even if he is close in lineage.

He (a.s) said to a man who recovered from his illness: “Allah remembered you, so remember Him, and he forgave you, so thank Him.”

If your soul does not obey you in that which you force it to do what it dislikes, then do not obey it in that which it forces you to do what it likes.

Whoever starts speaking before greeting, do not reply to him.

Disgrace is easier than the Fire.

He (a.s) has said to his companions: “Have you ever seen an oppressor as oppressed?” “How is that, O son of Allah’s Apostle?” they asked.

“The envier,” he replied, “for he is tired, and he whom he envies is comfortable.”

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The generosity of contentment and satisfaction is greater than that of giving.

Completing favor is better than beginning it.

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[1] Warram, Majmu‘a, p. 201. Khalid bin Safwan has said: “The most eloquent of people is al-Hasan bin Ali due to his saying this golden statement representing inimitability, creation, and conciseness.”

His composing of Poetry

As for his composing of poetry, it is little. In the previous chapters of the book, we have mentioned some poetry ascribed to him. However, Ibn Rasheeq has numbered Imam al-Hasan (a.s) as among poets. He has mentioned the poetry that the Imam said when he was dressed in black:

We blacken the top of them (hair), but their origins refuse that.

I wish that their origins became black.[1]

In the book A‘yan al-Shi‘a it has been mentioned that he (a.s) has said in respect of preaching:

Leave the troubles of days. Most surely their clearness went along with the bygone days of delight.

How does time deceive him between whom and nights there are firm experiences?

In the book al-Manaqib it has been mentioned that he (a.s) has said:

If a time saddened me, I would determine to be patient; and every tribulation that does not last is easy.

And if it delighted me, I would not rejoice at its delight; and every delight that does not last is mean.

With this subject matter we will end our talk about Imam al-Hasan’s inheritance and ideals.

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[1] Al-‘Umda, vol. 1, p. 21.

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Chapter IX

At the Time of Imam Ali

The Muslim masses received the caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s) with delight, rejoicing, hopes, and expectations. They were sure that the Imam would return to them the plundered freedoms, destroy the pillars of slavery established by the demolished Umayyad government, and return to them the brilliant time of the Prophethood when mercy, justice, and hope spread. They thought that they would, without doubt, lead a life of comfort under his just government, which did not know preference, and selfishness, and did not make a distinction between one community and another. They were sure that the Imam would achieve to them the noble objectives for which they had yearned such as social and political justice, the principles and regulations that Islam had brought, and putting an end to all the differences and distinctions that Uthman had brought. They, from all classes, hurried to the Imam and cheered his name. They announced their urgent wish that he had to undertake their affairs, that he might lead them to the clear truth and the straight path. We will put before dear readers a brief picture of the pledge of allegiance and the events that accompanied it.

The Pledge of Allegiance

The Muhajireen, the Ansar, the revolutionaries, the rest of the masses, Talha, and al-Zubayr held a meeting. Then they hurried to Imam Ali (a.s) who isolated himself in his house. They surrounded him from all sides and said to him: “O Abul Hasan, this man (Uthman) has been killed, and there is no escape from that the people should have an Imam. Today we find none worthier of this matter (the caliphate) than you, nor older in precedence, nor closer in kinship to Allah’s Apostle (than you are).”

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However the Imam refrained from responding to them and he said to them: “I am in no need of your matter. I will be pleased with whomever you choose.”

Yet they all said: “We will choose none other than you!”

The masses very much insisted on the Imam, but he did not respond to them. So they left him with no use. The military forces held a special meeting where they discussed the dangerous events that faced the community if it remained without an Imam (leader) to manage its affairs. As a result they decided to bring the people of Medina and force them to elect an Imam over the Muslims. They said to them: “You are the people of consultation. You appoint the Imam. Your decision is valid among the community. Therefore, think of a man to appoint him (as an Imam). We will follow you. We have given you a day to decide. By Allah, if you do not do, we will kill Ali, Talha, al-Zubayr, and a group of people.”[1]

After this warning and threatening the people of Medina hurried to Imam Ali. They all said: “Allegiance! Allegiance! Have you not seen what has befallen Islam and that with which we have been afflicted by the villagers?”

The Imam calmly answered them: “Leave me and look for someone else!”

Then he told them why he refrained from undertaking the caliphate, saying: “O people, we will face an affair having different faces and colors. The hearts will not undertake it nor will the minds maintain it!”[2]

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The Imam (a.s) knew the evil that crept into the souls of people, and the desires that prevailed their leaders, especially as it concerns Uthman’s governors, his family, and relatives. He came to know that they would oppose him, come between him and achieving his wide objectives, and brought about to his government problems and hardships. For this reason, he insisted on refraining from undertaking the caliphate.

The Imam thought about the affair and said to them: “If I responded to you, then I would lead you according to my knowledge. If you left me, I would be as one of you and be the best of you in listening and obeying him whom you would appoint as a ruler.”

However they all said: “We will not leave you until we pledge allegiance to you!”

The Imam (a.s) has described their coming to him and their strong insistence on him, saying: “At that moment, nothing took me by surprise, but the crowd of people rushing to me. They advanced towards me from every side like the mane of the hyena so much so that al-Hasan and al-Husayn were crushed and both the ends of my shoulder garment were torn. They gathered around me like the herd of sheep.”

The Imam postponed them to the following day that he might reflect on the matter. They separated from him according to that. The night spread over Media and its houses. The people of Medina restlessly spent the night. When the morning came, the people gathered in the Great Mosque. The Imam came and went up the pulpit. He delivered a speech, saying: “O People, none has the right to undertake this affair of yours except one whom you have invested with authority. Yesterday, we separated (from each other). I hated your request, but you refused except that I would be an Imam over you. Therefore, I have no right to take a dirham without you. If you wished, I would undertake you; otherwise, I would be blamed for none.”

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The masses said: “We are insisting on what we had agreed on with you yesterday!”

“O Allah, bear witness,” retorted the Imam.

The people pushed each other like choppy waves. Talha walked towards the Imam and pledged allegiance to him with that hand through which he quickly broke the covenant with Allah.[3] After him al-Zubayr came and pledged allegiance as his friend had done. The Egyptian and the Iraqi delegations paid homage to him. The common people pledged allegiance to him. None of the previous caliphs had won such a general pledge of allegiance. All the Muslims were happy.

Imam Ali has described the people’s delight, saying: “The people were so pleased with their allegiance to me that the young were glad with it, the old shambled to it, the sick forced themselves (to come) to it, and the heels were bared for it.”

The Muslims rejoiced at their pledge of allegiance to the guardian of Allah’s Apostle. Joys spread all over the country, for the government of justice and equality towered over the world of existence. The caliphate was undertaken by the true Imam, who was the supporter of the oppressed and father of the orphans. He took part in the hunger and ordeals of the poor and the deprived. He said during the period of his government: “Shall I be satisfied with my own soul that it is said (to me) the commander of the faithful and I do not associate with them in the misfortunes of the time or be an example to them in the coarse life?”

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On that immortal day, the great flags of justice were spread, and the genuine objectives that Islam wanted were achieved. There were no selfishness, no deception, no dictatorship, and no yielding to inclinations and sentiments. All these things were achieved by Ali bin Abi Talib during the period of his caliphate.

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[1] Ibn al-Atheer, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 80.

[2] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, Muhammad ‘Abda, vol. 1, p. 182.

[3] Talha’s hand was paralyzed, so the Imam saw an evil omen in it and said: “He is worthy of breaking (his pledge of allegiance).” That happened as he had predicted. This has been mentioned in the book Al-Iqd al-Fareed, vol. 3, p. 93.

The Prophet’s Companions support the Imam

The great companions of the Prophet and the leading Muslims from among those, who believed in the right of Imam Ali (a.s) of authority since the death of the Prophet, were so delighted with this pledge of allegiance. They fully supported his government, and urged the Muslims to strengthen it. They are as follows:

1. Thabit Bin Qays:

Thabit bin Qays, the orator of the Ansar, rose and addressed Imam Ali, saying: “By Allah, O commander of the faithful, if they had preceded you in authority, they had not preceded you in the religion. If they were a head of you yesterday, you have caught up with them today. They were and you were. Your place was not hidden and your position was not ignored. They were in need of you in respect of that which they did not know, while you were in no need of anyone because of your knowledge.”

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2. Khuzayma Bin Thabit:

The great companion of the Prophet, Khuzayma bin Thabit, the one of two testimonies, said: “O commander of the faithful, we are not right in choosing anyone to this affair of ours except you, and our return was not to anyone except you. If we believe our souls in respect of you, then you are the first of people in faith, the most knowledgeable in Allah, and the most appropriate for Allah’s Apostle (a.s). You have what they do not have, and they do not have what you have.”

Then he recited some poetry through which he addressed the people, saying:

If we pledge allegiance to Ali; therefore, enough for the future troubles we fear is Abul Hasan.

We have found him the most appropriate of people for people; he is the most learned of Quraysh in the Book and the Suna.

And that Quraysh is unequalled to him when he someday runs on the slender camels.

He has what they have from among all the good, and they do not have what he has of any good.[1]

3. Sa’sa’a Bin Souhan:

Sa’sa’a bin Souhan rose and said to the Imam: “By Allah, O commander of the faithful, you have adorned the caliphate, while it has not adorned you. You have raised it, while it has not raised you. It is in need of you, while you are not in need of it.”[2]

4. Malik al-Ashtar:

The great leader Malik al-Ashtar addressed the Muslims, saying: “O people, this is the guardian of guardians (Ali). He is the inheritor of the prophets’ knowledge, the great in bravery, and the good in toil, for whom Allah’s Book has borne witness in faith, and His Apostle in the Garden of al-Ridwan. It is he whose merits are perfect. Neither the first nor the last have doubt about his precedence, knowledge, and excellence.”

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5. Uqba Bin Amr:

Uqba bin Amr rose and praised the Imam’s outstanding merits, saying: “It is he who has a day like the day of al-Aqaba, pledge of allegiance like that of al-Ridwan, the most rightly-guided Imam, whose injustice is not feared, and the learned whose ignorance is not feared.”[3]

The companions successively lauded Abu al-Hasan’s merits, mentioned his laudable deeds and his achievements, and urged the Muslims to support his government.

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[1] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 115. In his book al-Fusool al-Mukhtara, Al-Sayyid al-Murtada has mentioned an addition to the poetry line as follows:

The guardian of Allah’s Apostle with the exception of his family; and he was his knight in the bygone time.

He was the first of all the people to pray with the exception to the best of women; and Allah is the possessor of favors.

He was the escape-goat of the people at every battle where the soul of the brave was at the chin.

That was he through his name the small fingers were bent; (he) was their Imam until he was made absent in the shroud.

[1] In this meaning Ahmed bin Hanbal has said: “Most surely the caliphate did not adorn Ali, rather Ali adorned it.” This has been mentioned by Ibn al-Jawzi in (his book) Manaqib Ahmed, p. 163.

[2] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 155.

Quraysh becomes silent with Fear

Quraysh and the rest of the devious forces received the caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s) with fear, worry, and disorder. The Imam had warred against them for Islam and killed many of their leading personalities. He killed the prominent persons of Umayya such as Utba bin Rabee‘a (Mu’awiya’s grandfather), al-Waleed bin Utba (his uncle), and Hanzala (his brother). He killed other than them from among the chiefs and pillars of the polytheists and the atheists. This kindled rancor in their hearts and aroused spites toward him. Besides, the Imam’s policy opposed their interests and advantages. He warred against preference and selfish use. Under all circumstances Imam Ali (a.s) did not accept the policy of plundering and favoritism that Uthman had followed. For this reason, Quraysh mutinied against his government. Al-Waleed announced all these things when he and the Umayyads were forced to pay homage to the Imam. He said to him: “You had wronged us. As for me, you killed my father at the Battle of Badr. As for Sa’eed, you killed his father at the Battle of Badr, while his father was a brilliant Qurayshi. As for Marwan, you cursed his father, and you criticized Uthman when he joined him to him. We pledge allegiance to you provided that you remove from us what had befallen us, let us have that which in our hands, and kill those who killed our companion (Uthman).”

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The Imam refused his speech. He answered him saying: “As for that which you have mentioned in respect of my killing your men, it is the truth that has killed them. As for my removing that which were in your hands, I have no right to remove Allah’s right. As for my letting you have that which in your hands, justice encompasses you in respect of that which belongs to Allah and the Muslims. As for my killing those who killed Uthman, if it is incumbent upon me to fight against them today, it is incumbent upon me to fight against them tomorrow. But it belongs to you that I must incite you to follow Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet. Whoever is annoyed with the truth is more annoyed with the falsehood. And if you wish, you can follow your ancestors.”[1]

Quraysh intended to bargain with the Imam in respect of the properties of the community. They wanted him to deviate from his straight plan seeking the public interests, and guiding the people to the clear truth and the straight path. However the Imam had promised Allah and the Muslims to put into practice the Qur’anic precepts, give new life to the Islamic features, and behave in the light of the Sunna of the Prophet (a.s). He had promised them not to yield to the events and circumstances whatever hard and severe they were, to watch all those who wronged the Muslims and aggressed against them. For this reason, Quraysh harbored strong malice against his government. They, their allies, and their children announced mutiny and disobedience. Ibn Abi al-Haddeed has described their disorder and worry, saying: “Their state was as if that the caliphate reached him on the death of his cousin. They showed what was in their souls and their excitement of that which was in their hearts. They all became disordered even the allies from Quraysh and the youths who did not witness his battles and attacks against their ancestors and forefathers. They did that of which the ancestors fell short if they were living.”

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The Imam was severely tried by those tyrants whose hearts and feelings Islam did not penetrate, and whose souls were full of malice against him. It was because he stood beside the Prophet (a.s) to protect his message, and protect him from the aggression of the traitors and the aggressors, and because he cut off the heads of the infidels and the atheists. He expressed his strong displeasure with them, saying: “There is a great difference between me and Quraysh. I killed them because they were infidels, and I will kill them because they are trouble- makers. By Allah I will split open the falsehood that the truth may appear from its waist. So say to Quraysh: ‘Let them clamor their clamor!’”

Most surely Quraysh were angry with Imam Ali and came between him and his right after the death of the Prophet (a.s). They turned the caliphate away from him. They onetime handed it over to Taym (Abu Bakr), onetime to Adiy (Umar), and onetime to Umayya (the Umayyads). They were earnest in making riot and mutiny, that they might put an end to his government. They showed that during the battles of al-Jamal and Siffin.

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[1] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 155.

Al-Qu’aad

Some persons refrained from paying homage to Imam Ali. Al-Mas’udi has named them al-Qu’aad.[1] Abu al-Fida’ has given them the name of al-Mu;’‘tazila.[2] Imam Ali was asked about them, and he answered: “Those are the people who tarried the truth and did not rise for falsehood!”[3] They were Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas, Abdullah bin Umar, Hassaan bin Thabit, Ka‘ab bin Malik, Muslima bin Mukhalad, Abu Sa’eed al-Khidri, Muhammad bin Muslima, al-Nu‘man bin Basheer, Zayd bin Thabit, Rafi‘ bin Khudayj, Fudhala bin ‘Ubayd, Ka‘ab bin ‘Ajra, Abdullah bin Salam, Suhayb bin Sinan, Salama bin Salama, Usama bin Zayd, Qudama bin Madh‘un, and al-Mughira bin Shu‘ba.[4] They deviated from the truth and lost the way. The Muslims agreed unanimously on the pledge of allegiance to the Imam. They had no excuse for refraining from paying homage to him. Their refraining violated the Muslim consensus and mutinied against the community’s will. Through that they opened a door to rebellion and mutiny against the government of the Imam, and they kindled the fire of the discord in the country. Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas was one of the ten persons given good news of the Garden, as they say. However he apologized for isolating himself from the Imam and the Umayyads during the days of the great discord, saying: “I will not fight until they bring me a knowing, wise, speaking sword to tell me this is a Muslim and this is an unbeliever.” This is a silly apology which neither speech nor proof support. The pledge of allegiance to the Imam was lawful in the exact meaning of the word. The Imam undertook the caliphate. The Muslim masses paid homage to him. The pledge of allegiance to him was not falta (mistake) like that of Abu Bakr, nor was it according to the declaration of one man like that of Umar, nor was it based on a certain group of people like that of Uthman. Therefore, the group of people, who mutinied against him, wrongfully acted. It was incumbent on the Muslims to fight against it, for Allah had commanded them to do that, saying: “And if two parties of the believers quarrel, make peace between them. But if one of them acts wrongfully toward the other, fight that which acts wrongfully until it returns to Allah’s command.”[5] However Sa’d harbored malice against the Imam. It was he who gave his vote to Abdurrahman bin Awf to weaken the side of the Imam. We have previously explained that when we talked about the Consultative Committee. At last he repented of his deed and wished that he was with the Imam. Likewise Abdullah bin Umar felt remorse for that. He said when he was about to die: “Most surely I am going to leave the world. I have no regret in my heart except my refraining from (paying homage to) Ali.” Allah took vengeance on him. He showed him abasement and disgrace during the last days of his lifetime. He made him live to the time of ‘Abd al-Malik. When al-Hajjaj came to take the pledge of allegiance to ‘Abd al-Malik, Abdullah came at the end of the people lest someone should recognize him. However al-Hajjaj recognized him. He disrespected him, made light of him, and said to him: “Why did you not pay homage to Abu Turab (Imam Ali), while you have come at the end of the people to pay homage to ‘Abd al-Malik? You are too low to stretch out my hand to you! My leg is in front of you, so pay homage!”

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He stretched out to him his leg with his sandals, and he paid homage to it. Most surely those who refrained from pledging allegiance to the Imam came to know, without doubt, that the truth was with Ali, and that he was the most appropriate for the authority. He had precedence in Islam, knowledge, understanding, and clinging to the religion. But the low desires and vainglory made those people far from their religion, and they showed enmity toward the family of their Prophet and removed them from their ranks where Allah had placed them. To Allah we belong and to Him is our return!

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[1] Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 6, pp. 78-79.

[2] Abi al-Fida’, Tarikh, vol. 1, pp. 178-179.

[3] Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 3, p. 55.

[4] Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil, vol. 3, p. 74.

[5] Qur’an, 49, 9.

Confiscating the plundered Properties

The beginning of the deeds that Imam Ali (a.s) performed was that he issued his decisive decision in respect of returning the lands that Uthman had granted, the properties he had possessed alone, and the properties he had given to his relatives, for they were unlawfully taken. All Uthman’s possessions were confiscated even his sword and his breastplate. Concerning that, al-Waleed has said when he addressed the Hashimites:

O Banu Hashim, return the weapon of your nephew and do not plunder it. It is not lawful to loot it.

O Banu Hashim, how does leniency take place among us while his breastplate and his outstanding things are with Ali?

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O Banu Hashim, how do you show affection while the clothes and war tools of Ibn Arwa are with you?

O Banu Hashim, if you do not return (these things), then we regard as the same those who killed him and those who looted (his possessions).

O Banu Hashim, we and that which issued from you are like the crack of al-Safa; no reformer will set right the crack.

You killed my brother, that you might replace him, just as his guards one day betrayed Khosrau.

Abdullah bin Abi Sufyan bin al-Harith refuted him with some poetry lines of which are the following:

Do not ask us about your sword. Most surely your sword has been lost, and its owner threw it down out of fear.

You have likened him to Khosrau, and he was like Khosrau in his conduct and his (collecting) taxes.

These just procedures moved the displeasure of those who plundered the Muslims’ properties and enjoyed the world. Amr bin al-Aas wrote a letter to Mu’awiya. He has mentioned in the letter: “Do what you want to do. (Ali) bin Abi Talib has stripped you of your possessions as a stick is stripped of the bark.”[1]

Talha, al-Zubayr, and the like from among those, whom Uthman had granted lands and given enormous properties, were afraid of that what was in there hand would be confiscated. Accordingly, they showed opposition and aggression, and they announced mutiny against the Imam.

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[1] Al-Ghadir, vol. 8, p. 288.

Deposing the Governors

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Imam Ali went on establishing the procedures of justice in the country. He ordered Uthman’s governors to be removed from their offices one by one, for they had displayed tyranny and corruption in the land. He refused to let them stay in the government even for one moment. Letting them stay meant accepting oppression and tyranny. So he immediately removed Mu’awiya from his office. Some loyal persons advised the Imam to let Mu’awiya go on practicing his work until the conditions went well with him. However he refused that and refrained from flattering in his religion. Ziyad bin Handhala came in to him to know his viewpoint about Mu’awiya, and he said to him:

-Get ready, O Ziyad.

-For what, O Commander of the faithful?

-To invade al-Sham.

-Leniency and patience are better.

So the Imam answered him:

When you gather a clever heart, a sword, and a zealous nose, oppressions will avoid you.

As a result he mobilized his troops to invade al-Sham that he might put an end to the Umayyad government ruling there. But he was surprised by the mutiny of Talha, al-Zubayr, and A’isha. He was busy with putting an end to their rebellion. We will explain that in detail in the following chapters.

Announcing Equality

The Pioneer of the great, social justice on the earth (Imam Ali) announced justice and equality among the Muslims, whether in giving or any other thing. He was blamed for that, and he said: “Do you ask me to seek support through oppressing those over whom I have been appointed as ruler? By Allah, I will not do so as long as the world goes on, and as long as one star leads another in the sky. Even if it were my property, I would equally distribute it among them, then why not when the property is Allah’s? Beware, most surely that giving of wealth without any right is wastefulness and lavishness. It raises its doer in the world but it lowers him in the next world. It honors him before the people but it disgraces him before Allah.”[1]

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The equality that the Imam announced aimed at finding a society where racism and nationalism would never prevail, there would be neither miserable nor deprived nor out of work people, and there would be neither oppression, nor tyranny, dictatorship, or selfishness.

Certainly the equality that the Imam applied during his rule was based on the Islamic constructive concepts aiming at putting into practice political and social justice, and putting an end to all kinds of oppression, tyranny, and autocracy. Accordingly, the opportunists opposed them as they opposed the Prophet’s principles and objectives.

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[1] Muhammad ‘Abda, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 10.

Spreading of Justice

Imam Ali (a.s) achieved justice in all its horizons. He realized the social and political justice, and ruled people with right policy with no any bit of partiality or crookedness. He tried his best to achieve justice and deny all selfish pleasures and limited interests. Historians say that he was the first one in Islam to build a house for complaints (court) where the oppressed and the wronged offered books in which they explained the wrong and aggression they received. Imam Ali (a.s) himself was in charge of this task. He took their rights back to them and defended them against injustice and aggression.[1]

It was never mentioned that once he preferred one of his children, family, or relatives with anything from the treasury of the state. Once, he entered the treasury to divide the wealth. One of al-Hasan or al-Husayn’s children came and took something from it. When he saw that, he follow after the child, opened her hand, and took it from her. His companions said to him, ‘O Ameerul Mo'minin, she has a right in it (the treasury).’

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Imam Ali (a.s) said, ‘When her father takes (his right) from it, let him give her whatever he likes…’[2]

Historians say that Khalid bin Ma’mar ad-Dousi narrated, ‘One day, I interceded with Ameerul Mo'minin to increase a little the gift of al-Hasan and al-Husayn that they might somehow improve their difficult living. He denied, became angry, and refused to do anything.[3]

Al-Hakam said, ‘Once, I saw that Ali brought some vessels of honey and invited the orphans to eat, until I wished that I were an orphan.’ He also said, ‘Once, I saw him when some pomegranates were brought to him and he divided them among people. The share of our mosque was ten pomegranates.[4]

Imam Ali (a.s) was utmost pious in his religious and political behavior. He made his policy submit to his religious and moral values, and consequently he tired himself too much.

Al-Aswad bin Qays said, ‘Ali offered food to people in Kufa in the yard (of the mosque). When he finished, he went home to have food there. One of his companions said, ‘I thought that Ameerul Mo'minin ate at home food better than what he offered to people. On that day, I did not eat with people and I went with him (Imam Ali). He asked me: did you have dinner? I said: no. He said: then come with me! I went with him to his house. When we were inside the house, he called out, ‘O Fidhdha!’ She (his servant) came and he said to her, ‘Bring us food!’ She fetched some pieces of bread and a vessel of yogurt. She poured the yogurt into a plate and cut the bread into pieces and mixed it with the yogurt. There was bran in it. I said to him, ‘O Ameerul Mo'minin, you may order the flour to be sieved for you!’ Imam Ali (a.s) began crying and then said, ‘By Allah, I have not known that there was a sieve in the house of the Messenger of Allah at all.’[5]

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The books of history and Hadith are full of stories about the justice of Imam Ali (a.s) that have astonished the minds and confused the reasons. I do not think that the history of man can find an equal to him in piety, sensitive conscience, and fear of Allah in all his deeds.

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[1] Subh al-A’sha.

[2] Ansab al-Ashraf, vol. 1 p.160.

[3] Sharh Nahjol Balagha, vol. 10 p.250.

[4] Ansab al-ashraf, vol. 1 p.161.

[5] Ansab al-Ashraf, vol. 1 p. 168.

General Freedoms

Imam Ali (a.s) granted freedom to all the citizens. He granted them the freedom of speech, of thought, and criticizing the rule. He granted them the political freedom in the full sense of the word. He did not force anyone to pay homage to him. He permitted Talha and az-Zubayr to leave Yathrib (Medina), and did not impose on them house arrest though he knew that they would renounce the homage, fight against him, and cause separation among the Muslims.

He saw that all people were free in their thoughts and beliefs, and that the government had no right to prevent them on condition that they would not cause sedition or mischief in the land.

Historians mentioned too many examples on the political freedom that he had granted to people even to his opponents and enemies. They mentioned that Abu Khaleefa at-Ta’iy narrated, ‘When we came back from (the battle of) an-Nahrawan, we met, before reaching al-Mada’in, Abul Ayzar at-Ta’iy who believed in the Kharijites. He said to Adiy bin Hatim, ‘O Abu Tareef, are you (after the battle) safe and successful or sinful oppressive?

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Adiy said, ‘But safe and successful.’

The man said, ‘It is up to you.’

Al-Aswad bin Yazid and al-Aswad bin Qays suspected him. They arrested him and said, ‘You did not say that except out of evil. We know that you believe in the Kharijites.’ They took him to Imam Ali (a.s) and told him what happened.

Imam Ali (a.s) asked them ‘What shall I do to him?’

They said, ‘You kill him,’

The Imam said, ‘Shall I kill one who did not fight me?’

They said, ‘You imprison him.’

Imam Ali (a.s) said, ‘He has committed no crime. Set him free!’[1]

He did not impose anything on anyone. He did not force anyone to obey him, and he did not oblige people to do what they did not like.

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[1] Tareekh Baghdad, vol. 14 p.364-365.

His Recommendations to his Son al-Hasan

Imam Ali (a.s) gave his son al-Hasan some educational commandments full of high values, and noble, humanitarian ideals. The most important of them was his commandment that he had written at Hadhireen[2] when he left Siffin. It is full of valuable lessons and social manners. Indeed Muslims must write them on the pages of their hearts and regard them as a constitution for them during their individual and social behavior. We will mention to gentle readers some of them:

“From the father who is about to die, who acknowledges (the hardships of) the time, has turned away from life, has submitted himself to the (calamities of) time, who dispraises (the evils of) the world, who will live in the abodes of the dead, and who is going to leave it (the world) tomorrow. To the son who yearns for what is not achieved, follows the path of those who have died who were the victim of ailments, entangled in the (worries of the days), a target of hardships, a salve of the world, a trader of its deception, a debtor of wishes, a prisoner of mortality, an ally of worries, a neighbor of grief, a victim of distresses, who has been overpowered by desires, and who is a successor of the dead.”

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In these golden words Imam Ali has announced his submission to the time and turning away from the world. When he wrote these commandments, he was over sixty years old. This is the age of one who is about to leave the world and goes to the next world. The Imam has described all those who are born in the world as yearning for that which is not achieved while they follow the way of the perishable, are the victims of ailments, and allies of worries and sorrows.

After this, the Imam (a.s) has mentioned the reasons why he has written these commandments:

“Now (you should know that) what I have learnt from the turning away of this world from me, the disobedience of the time to me, and the advancing of the next world towards me is enough to prevent me from remembering anyone except myself and from thinking beyond myself. But when I confined myself to my own worries leaving the worries of others, my intelligence saved me and protected me from my desires. It clarified to me my affairs and led me to seriousness wherein there was no trickery and truth which was not tarnished by falsehood. Here, I found you a part of me, rather I found you my whole, so much so that if anything befell you, it was as if it befell me, and if death came to you, it was as if it came to me. Consequently, your affairs meant to me what my own matters meant to me. So I have written this piece of advice (to you) as a mean of seeking help through it, whether I remain alive for you or cease to exist.”

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After the Imam had mentioned the factors that urged him to write these commandments, he began explaining the perfect ideals to which his son had to cleave and follow. He has said:

“I advise you to fear Allah, abide by His commands, fill your heart with remembering Him, and to cling to hope from Him. No connection is more reliable than the connection between you and Allah provided that you should take hold of it. Enliven your heart with preaching. Kill it by renunciation, strengthen it with firm belief, enlighten it with wisdom, humiliate it by recalling death, make it believe in mortality, make it see the misfortunes of this world, and make it fear the assault of the time and the severity of some changes during the nights and the days. Place before it the events of the past people, recall to it what befell those who were before you and walk among their cities and ruins, then see what they did and from what they have gone away and where they have gone and stayed. You will find that they departed from their friends and remained in loneliness. Shortly, you too will be like one of them. Therefore, plan for your place of stay and do not sell your next life for this world.

“Give up discussing what you do not know and speaking about what does not concern you. Keep off the track from which you fear to go astray because refraining when there is fear of straying is better than embarking on dangers. Ask others to do good, and you will thus be among the good doers. Desist evil with your action as well as your speech and keep away from whoever commits it. Struggle for Allah as is His due, and the reviling of a reviler should not deter you in matters of Allah. Leap into dangers for the sake of right wherever it be. Acquire insight into religious law. Habituate yourself to endure hardships since the best trait of character is endurance in matters of right. In all your affairs resign yourself to your Lord, because you will thus be resigning yourself to a secure shelter and a strong protector. You should ask only from your Lord because in His hand is all the giving and depriving. Seek good (from Allah) as much as you can. Understand my advice and do not turn away from it, because the best saying is that which benefits. Know that there is no good in that knowledge which does not benefit, and if knowledge is not useful, then its acquisition is not justified.”

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Most surely these wise commandments that this speech has included are the programs of happiness, and the extract of wisdom, morals, and education. In his following words, the Imam (a.s) has indicated that he became an old man, and that he feared that death would surprise him without saying these wise commandments to his son. He has said:

“O my little son, when I noticed that I was of goodly age and noticed that I was increasing in weakness, I hastened with my will for you and wrote down salient points lest death should overcome me before I divulged to you what I have in my heart. Or lest my wit should be affected as my body has been affected, or the forces of passions or the mischief of the world overtake you making you like a stubborn camel. Certainly, the heart of a young man is like uncultivated land. It accepts whatever is strewn in it. So I hastened to mould you properly before your heart hardened up and your mind became occupied, so that you might be ready to accept through your intelligence the results of the experience of others and be saved from going through these experiences yourself. In this way, you would avoid the hardship of seeking them and the difficulties of experimenting. Thus, you are getting to know what we had experienced and even those things are becoming clear to you which we might have missed.”

When the Imam was advanced in years, he wanted to place in his son’s soul what had settled in his own holy soul from among good manners and perfection. He wanted to supply him with wise sayings, to teach him the most important lessons that took place in the world of existence, whose extract the wise and the men of experience had taken. He wanted to put before his son all these things that he might come to know all things, and especially as it concerned the important extract of them. Then the wise Imam went on saying his commandments:

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“O my little son, even though I have not reached the age which those before me had reached, yet I looked into their behavior and thought over the events of their lives. I walked among their ruins till I was as one of them. In fact, by virtue of those of their affairs that have become known to me it is as though I have lived with them from the first to the last. I have therefore been able to discern the impure from the clean and the benefit from the harm.

“I have selected for you the choicest of those matters and collected for you their good points and have kept away from you their useless points. Since I feel for you affairs as a living father should feel and I aim at giving you training. I thought it should be at a time when you are advancing in age and new on the stage of the world, possessing upright intention and clean heart and that I should be with the teachings of Allah’s Book, its interpretation, laws and precepts of Islam, the lawful and the unlawful. I should not go beyond that for you. Then I feared lest you should get confused as other people had been confused on account of their passions and (difficult) views. Therefore, in spite of my dislike for your being so warned, I thought it was better for me to make this position strong rather than leaving you in a position where I do not regard you safe from falling into destruction. I hoped that Allah would help you in your straight-forwardness and guide you in your resoluteness. Consequently, I wrote this piece of my will for you.”

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O my master, O cognizant of the conditions of people, knowing of the clear and unclear affairs, versed in the essence of things, tell us about the most lovable things to you and the most important of them in your viewpoint:

“You should know, O my little son, that what I love most for you to adopt from my will is to fear Allah, to confine yourself to what Allah has made obligatory on you, and to follow the actions of your forefathers and the virtuous people of your household, because they did not fall short in seeing for themselves what you will see for yourself, and they did about their affairs as you would like to think (about your affairs). Thereafter, their thinking led them to discharge the obligations they came to know of and to desist from what they were not required to do. If your heart does not accept this without acquiring knowledge as they acquired it, then your search should first be by way of understanding and learning and not by falling into doubts or getting entangled in quarrels.

“And before you probe into this, you should begin by seeking your Allah’s help and turning to Him for competence and keeping aloof from everything that throws you into doubt or flings you towards misguidance. When you have made sure that your heart is clean and humble and your thoughts have come together and you have only one thought which is about this matter, then you will see what I have explained to you. But if you have not been able to achieve that piece of observation and thinking which you would like to have, then know that you are only stamping the ground like a blind she-camel and falling into darkness while a seeker of religion should not grope in the dark or create confusion. It is better to avoid that.”

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“Therefore, accept, O my little son, my advice and know that He Who is the Master of death is also the Master of life, that the Creator causes death as well, that He Who destroys is also the Restorer of life, and that He Who inflicts disease is also the Curer. This world continues in the way that Allah has made it with regard to its pleasures, trials, rewards on the Day of Judgments, and all that He wishes, and you do not know. If anything of this advice is not understood by you, then attribute it to your ignorance of it, because when you were first born you were born ignorant. Thereafter, you acquired knowledge. There are many matters of which you are ignorant and which your sight first wonders and your eye wonders, then after this you see them. Therefore, cling to Him Who has created you, your eagerness should be towards Him and your fear should be of Him.”

After this, Imam Ali (a.s) began mentioning the Oneness of Allah and giving proofs on it. Having finished that, he explained the social, good manners, saying:

“O my little son, make yourself the measure (for dealings) between you and others. Thus, you should desire for others what you desire for yourself, and hate for others what you hate for yourself. Do not oppress as you do not like to be oppressed. Do good to others as you like good to be done to you. Regard as bad for yourself whatever you regard as bad for others. Accept from others that which you like others to accept from you. Do not talk about what you do not know even though what you know is very little. Do not say to others what you do not like to be said to you.

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“You should know that self-admiration is contrary to propriety (of action) and is a calamity for the mind. Therefore, increase your striving and do not be a treasurer for others (who will inherit you). When you have been guided in the right path, humble yourself before Allah as much as you can.”

If man followed these wise sayings, he would be the highest example of education, highness, and perfection, for they have the fundamentals of justice, and the basics of virtue and perfection. Some of these immortal, wise sayings are:

“You should know with certainty that you cannot achieve your desire and cannot exceed your destined life. You are on the trace of those before you. Therefore, be humble in seeking and moderate in earning because often seeking leads to deprivation. Every seeker of livelihood does not get it, nor is everyone, who is moderate in seeking, deprived. Keep yourself away from every low thing even though they may take you to your desired aims, because you will not get any return for your own respect which you spend. Do not be the slave of others, for Allah had made you free. There is no good in good which is achieved through evil, and no good in comfort that is achieved through (disgracing) hardship.

“Beware, lest bearers of greed should carry you and make you descend down to the springs of destruction. If you can manage that there be no wealthy person between you and Allah, do so, because in any case you will find what is for you and get your share. A little from Allah, the Glorified, is greater than the much from His creatures, although all is from Allah.”

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“It is easier to rectify what you miss by silence than to secure what you lose by speaking. Whatever is in a pot can be retained by closing the lid. I should prefer you to retain what is in your hands rather than to seek what is in others’ hands. Bitterness of disappointment is better than seeking from people. Manual labor with chastity is better than the riches of a vicious life. A man is the best guard of his own secrets. Often a man strives for that which harms him. He who speaks much speaks nonsense. Whoever ponders perceives. Associate with the people of virtue, and you will be one of them. Keep aloof from the people of vice, and you will remain safe from them. The worst food is that which is unlawful. Oppressing the weak is the worst of oppression.

“Where leniency is unsuitable, harshness is lenience. A cure may be an illness, and an illness may be a cure. An ill-wisher may give correct advice while the well-wisher cheats. Do not depend on hopes because they are the mainstay of fools. It is wise to preserve one’s experience. Your best experience is that which teaches you a lesson. Make use of leisure before it changes into grief. Not every seeker achieves what he seeks, and not every departer returns. To lose provision and earn evil for the Day of Judgement means ruin. Every matter has a consequence. What is destined for you will shortly come to you. A trader undertakes a risk. Perhaps a small quantity is more beneficial than a large quantity. There is no good in an ignoble helper, nor in a stingy friend. Be lenient with the time as long as it is in your grip. Do not risk something expecting more than it. Beware of importunacy lest it makes you go astray.

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“Retain kinship with your brother if he cuts it, when he turns away from you, be kind to him and drew near to him, when he withholds spend for him, when he goes away, approach him, when he is harsh be lenient to him, when he commits an error, find an excuse for his error, as if you are his slave and he has a favor on you. But take care that this should not be done inappropriately, and that you should not behave so with an undeserving person. Do not take the enemy of your friend as a friend because you will thus antagonize your friend. Give true advice to your brother, be it good or bitter. Control your anger because I did not find a thing sweeter than it in end and nothing more pleasant in the final result. Be lenient to one who is harsh to you, for it is likely that he will shortly become lenient to you. Treat your enemy with favors, for this is sweeter of the two successes (the success of revenge and that of doing favor).

“If you intend to cut relations with your friend, leave some scope for him in your self that he may come back to you some day. If anyone has a good idea about you, prove it to be true. Do not waste your brother’s interests depending upon the relation between you and him, for he is not your brother if you disregard his interests. Your household should not become the most miserable people through you. Do not lean towards one who turns away from you. Let your brother not be more in his disregard of kinship than you in retaining kinship, and you should exceed in doing good to him than his evil to you. Do not feel too much the oppression of a person who oppresses you, for he is only busy in harming himself and benefiting you. The reward of one who pleases you is not that you displease him.”

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[2] Hadhireen was a village in Siffin.

Chapter X

In Basra

All the Islamic countries paid homage to Imam Ali except al-Sham. The Muslims believed in the genuine objectives that the new government sought. They were sure that the Imam would return to them the mercy and justice of Islam, and that his government was an extension to that of the Prophet (a.s) and his behavior. From the first day of his rule, the Imam applied the great, Islamic justice and achieved the inclusive equality among the Muslims whether in giving or other procedures in all fields. He destroyed the differences and distinctions that Uthman had found in the arena of the Islamic life. He confiscated the plundered properties that Uthman had granted to his family and relatives. With that he put an end to the social injustice and oppression. He protected the Muslims from selfishness and dictatorship, kept them from deterioration and incline. These principles and objectives moved the displeasure of the opportunists and the devious. Some days later, they showed the signs of aggression and discord, announced mutiny and rebellion. Then they declared their military aggression to overthrow the then government and to return the policy of plundering and starving. As for the heroes of this plot, they were A’isha, Talha, and al-Zubayr. They declared a violent war for their cheap ambitions. There happened the Battle of Basra that divided the unity of the Muslims, spread sadness and mourning in their regions. We have to consider the stages of that great tragedy, which spread troubles and disasters throughout the Islamic world that we may come to understand the motives and reasons for them.

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Talha and al-Zubayr’s mutiny against the Imam

Many Muslims were liable to the means of discords and the reasons for vainglory. Some events befell and made them far from their religion. The reason for that was that they were tried with authority and wide wealth. Among them there were Talha and al-Zubayr, who went to Imam Ali (a.s) and said to him: “Did you know why we pledged allegiance to you?”

The Imam looked at them and said to them:

-Yes. (You had pledged allegiance to me) to hear and obey, and according to that for which you had paid homage to Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman.

-No. We paid homage to you that we might be your partners in authority.

-No. But you are my partners in saying, righteousness, and help during feebleness and crookedness.

They thought that they had paid homage to the Imam according to some material objectives. They sought authority and bargained with the Imam for power. But the Imam thought that they were his partners in righteousness and in establishing justice among the Muslims. When they came to know that he would not entrust them with anything, they complained to the people of him and announced their rebellion against him. Al-Zubayr said before some Qurayshi people: “This is our reward from Ali. We supported him in respect of the matter of Uthman, to the extent that we proved that he was guilty and brought about his murder, while he was sitting in his house, and the matter was over. However when he (Imam Ali) obtained through us what he had wanted, he appointed other than us (as governors).”

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As for Talha, he said: “The blame (is for nothing) except that we were three persons of the Consultative Committee; one of us hated him. We paid homage to him. We gave him that which was in our hands, while he has deprived us of that which in his hand. Therefore, we have made mistake in respect of that which we had hoped.[1] ”

When the Imam heard their sayings, he summoned Abdullah bin Abbas and asked him:

-Have you heard the sayings of the two men (Talha and al-Zubayr)?

-Yes, I think they have liked authority; therefore appoint al-Zubayr (as governor) over Basra, and appoint Talha over Kufa.

However, the Imam refuted Ibn Abbas’s viewpoint and explained to him that appointing them as governors would bring about some dangers, saying: “Woe unto you! There are men and properties in the two cities. When they rule the people, they will attract the foolish through greediness, strike the weak with an affliction, and be powerful over the strong through authority. If I appointed someone as governor out of his harm and profit, then I would appoint Mu’awiya as governor over al-Sham. Were it not for that I came to know that they showed craving after authority, then I would have another opinion of them.”[2]

This initiative indicates that Talha and al-Zubayr were very desirous for power and authority, that they moved the displeasure of the people with Uthman out of ambition for the caliphate and government, and that they were not moved by the general interests, and love for advising the Muslims. Accordingly, they lost the bargain and their efforts were in vain. That was when Imam Ali (a.s) became a caliph. The pivot on which his policy turned was following the religion, and acting according to the Islamic principles, which did not accept, under all circumstances, to grant offices due to selfishness and favoritism, for that is regarded as a treason toward the community. The Imam has explained the reasons that urged him not to appoint them as governors over the two cities as follows:

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1. They would attract the fool through advantages and ambitions.

2. They would shower the weak with torture and affliction.

3. They would selfishly use their influence and authority and have power through them over the strong.

As Imam Ali came to know these objectives, he did not appoint them as governors over the Muslims and make them behave freely in the Muslims’ properties and blood. Shafeeq Jabri has criticized the Imam for that and regarded their being deprived of authority as a mistake made by him, according to his cheap statement.[3]

Most surely Shafeeq Jabri has believed in the western policy, which regards all means lawful for reaching the rule even if they are unlawful. As for Islam, it does not accept such a policy at all. It has built its creative policy on believing in human’s rights, avoiding cunning and deception even if victory and success depend on them. Ali bin Abi Talib, the pioneer of the great social justice in the earth, followed this just policy.

There is no relationship between the policy that kings and those who love kingdom and authority have followed and the Imam. It does not agree with his high objectives. The Imam (a.s) has explained the reasons for that, saying: “Were it not for fear of Allah and piety, I would be the most cunning of the Arabs.”

Fear of Allah and piety stood before him and prevented him from following any way the Islamic law does not accept. Besides, the interest required that he had not to appoint Talha and al-Zubayr as governors over Basra and Kufa. They had therein two parties and followers. The Imam was sure that their influence would include all the Islamic state.

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Anyway, when Talha and al-Zubayr came to know that they lost their hope and that they would win no place in the then government, they went to Imam Ali asking him for a permission to go to Mecca, saying:

- Do you permit us, O Commander of the faithful?

-Where?

-We want (to go to Mecca to perform) al-‘Umra (minor hajj).

The Imam looked at them for a while. He understood the hidden things in their souls and said to them:

“By Allah, you do not want (to go to Mecca to perform) al-‘Umra! Rather you want to betray me and break the allegiance!”

They took a strong oath that they would not break the pledge of allegiance, and that they would perform the minor hajj in the Mecca. They knew that they took a false oath but they found no way to reach their objective except in making a false oath. The Imam turned to them, while his soul was full of doubt, and said to them:

“Pay the homage to me again!”

They did that without any hesitation and escaped to Mecca. It was as if that he released them from a prison or a punishment. They joined A’isha and moved her to revolt against the Imam. They knew her malice and enmity against the Imam.

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[1] He meant Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqas, who refrained from paying homage to the Imam, and was among the members of the Consultative Committee. The reason was that he had harbored malice against the Imam and hated him, as Talha said.

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[2] Al-Imam was al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 52.

[3] Al-‘Anasir al-Nafsiya. Many authors have discussed Shafeeq’s wrong viewpoints.

A’isha rebels against the Imam

A’isha was in the vanguard of those who kindled the fire of the revolt against Uthman, and she said the bitterest and severest words in respect of him. She gave him the name of Na‘thal. Some sources have ascribed the reason for that to that he decreased what Umar had given to her and regarded her as equal to the other wives of the Prophet (a.s).[1] She went too far in defaming him and provoking people to kill him. When the revolutionists surrounded him, she went to Mecca. When she had performed the ceremonies of the hajj, she quickly returned to Medina, that she might know Uthman’s news. She arrived in Saraf.[2] On her way to there, an uncle of her called Ubaydillah bin Abi Salama was coming from Medina. He met her, and she hurried to ask him:

-What has happened there?

-They have killed Uthman!

-What have they done, then?

-They have unanimously agreed on paying homage to Ali. All affairs have gone well with them.

Accordingly, she became very sad and upset. She was angry. She looked towards the heavens and the earth and said: “By Allah, I wish that this (heaven) would fall on this (earth) if the affair went well with (Ali) bin Abi Talib. Uthman has been unjustly killed. By Allah, I will avenge his blood!”

Ubayd answered her with condemnation and sneering: “And why? By Allah, you were the first to change his name! You had said: ‘Kill Na‘thal, for he has become an unbeliever!” Why did A’isha show sadness and impatience, while Islam became fresh through the government of the Imam, and the Muslims obtained what they had wished?

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A’isha answered her uncle, saying: “They had asked him (Uthman) to return to Allah in repentance, and then they killed him. I said, and they said. My last saying is better than my first one!”

Was A’isha present when they asked him to turn to Allah in repentance? Did she know how he repented to Allah? However, she made that up to justify her attitude. Ubayd answered her, saying:

The beginning is from you, and the change is from you.

The wind is from you, and the rain is from you.

And you had commanded (people) to kill the Imam (Uthman) and said to us that he had become an unbeliever.

And we obeyed you in respect of killing him; and his killer is with us among the bitterest things.

The ceiling above did not fall, nor did our sun and moon eclipse.

The people paid homage to the one with determination, who set right the detested things and crookedness.

He wears war garments; and the loyal is not like the disloyal.

She turned away from him and returned to Mecca.[3] Sadness and depression dominated her. Sorrow and astonishment surrounded her.

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[1] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 132.

[2] Saraf was a place six miles from Mecca, and it was said that it was more than that. At it the Prophet (a.s.) married Maymoona, daughter of al-Harith, who died there. The narrators of al-Bukhari have said: “The name of the Place was Sharaf.” This has been mentioned in Mu‘jam al-Buldan, vol. 5, p. 71.

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[3] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 454. Others have mentioned that.

The Reasons for her Mutiny

There is nothing weaker than the saying that A’isha had revolted against Imam Ali (a.s) to avenge Uthman’s blood, for it was she who invoked the Muslims to kill him (Uthman) and overthrow his rule. Ahmed Shawqi, a poet, has said:

Did avenging Uthman make her sad or a pang whose sorrow was not removed?

It was a rip that did not come to mind; women’s plotting undermines mountains.

Yes, A’isha used Uthman’s blood as a pretext and means to declare rebellion and mutiny. She used that to provoke the simple-minded and send them to fight against Imam Ali (a.s)

The killing of Uthman was not the real reason, in any case, that made her revolt against the then legal rule. Rather the reasons are the following as researchers say:

1. Her soul was full of rage and hatred toward Imam Ali, his wife Fatima, and their children. She knew that the Prophet took great care of them, and showed love and affection toward them, to the extent that none took part in that.[1] As for A’isha, she did not enjoy such a treatment and love at all. Rather, the Prophet treated her very normally. He often criticized her. He, once, sat on his pulpit and indicated with his hand to her house, saying: “From here, there will be the sedition! From here, there will be the sedition! From here, there will be the sedition, where Satan will appear!”[2] More than one time he threatened her with divorce because he suffered from her. One time she became angry, and she said to him: “O you, who claim that you are a prophet!”[3] When he performed the prayer, she stretched out her leg in front of him. She did not move her leg until he looked at her angrily. When he looked at her, she moved her leg. When he rose to continue praying, she stretched it out again.[4] A’isha knew that the Prophet took great care of Fatima and her husband, and that he turned away from her. This thing moved the hidden spites in her soul. She confronted Allah’s Apostle (a.s) through that. When Abu Bakr (A’isha’s father) asked permission to enter the house of Allah’s Apostle, he heard A’isha speaking loudly and saying to him: “By Allah I have come to know that Ali is the most lovable to you of me and my father. She said that twice or three times!”[5] Nothing moves woman’s feelings and leaves psychological complexes in her except that she sees someone is more loveable to her husband than her. Moreover, A’isha could not bear a child from the Prophet (a.s) just as the other wives could not. Accordingly, the Prophet adopted the children of his only daughter. He had toward them the deepest kind of love and loyalty. These things moved the hidden envy in her soul toward Imam Ali and his wife. She used all her abilities to face Imam Ali (a.s) and to turn the caliphate away from him. She nominated her father for leading the Muslims in prayer during the Prophet’s illness lest that the Imam should lead them. After the death of the Prophet, she played a major role in nominating her father for the caliphate and depriving Imam Ali of it. She was spiteful to the extent that when the Prophet’s daughter died, the Prophet’s wives went to the Hashimites to condole them except her (A’isha). It has been narrated that she said some words indicating her delight and rejoicing.[6]

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When the Imam became a caliph, she became angry and rushed to resist him and declare the war against his government. The Imam (a.s) has described her detest and spite against him saying: “As for so-and-so (A’isha), she was overcome by women’s weak opinion, and a spite boiled in her chest like a blacksmith’s boiler. If she had been summoned to harm someone other than me, she would not have done.”

Among the strongest factors that moved her to resist the Imam was the spites and hatred she had harbored against him. She could not hide them. She became very pleased and delightful when she heard of his martyrdom. She forgot that he was the brother of the Prophet, his guardian, and that he was to him as Aaron was to Moses. She turned away from what the Prophet (a.s) had said in respect of him: “O Allah, befriend whoever befriends him, be hostile to whoever opposes him, support whoever supports him, and desert whoever deserts him.” Certainly she heard and understood that. She knew all the traditions that the Prophet had said concerning the Imam and his children.

2. Among the reasons of her war was that she expected that the caliphate would return to Taym (the tribe of her father), and that her cousin would undertake the rule, as al-Aqqad sees.[7] She propagated for and lauded him. She was in Mecca. When she heard about Uthman’s murder, she said: “The worthiest of people in this matter (the caliphate) is the man of the finger (Talha).” Then she quickly came back to Medina. She had no doubt that he would be the caliph. She used to say: “Away with Na‘thal (Uthman)! O man of the finger! O Abu Shibl! O my cousin! … They have found Talha as equal to it (the caliphate). It is as if I see his finger…”[8]

p: 354

She behaved in such a manner out of partisanship and tribalism. She did not think of the community’s interests. She intended to return the glory to her family again, to spread her influence, and possess alone the properties. And that would not be achieved except when the caliphate would return to the tribe of Taym.

3. Professor al-Ala’ili thinks that the reason for her mutiny was the partisanship prevailing that time, saying: “History has not told us why she rebelled against (Imam) Ali while she saw nothing of his policy. As for the claim that she revolted (against him) to avenge Uthman, it is an imagination, for she was not ignorant of the Islamic Law that required her to leave the matter to be decided by the general ruler. If there was no general ruler, then it is decided by the heirs. As for her, she was not among his (Uthman) heirs.”[9]

Therefore, A’isha revolted against the Imam not to avenge Uthman, but for another thing which history has not mentioned frankly. The right thing in my opinion concerning this affair is that partisanship was so strong that it included the Prophet’s wives. For example, Umm Salama was among the party of the conservatives (Ali’s party). As for A’isha, she was among the party of Talha and al-Zubayr, as I have mentioned in the introduction to the first series. They were so during the time of the Prophet. Umm Salama was the head of a group of the Prophet’s wives, and A’isha was the head of another group. Without doubt, this partisanship created in their own souls a historical spite related to their general behavior.”[10]

p: 355

These are some of the reasons that moved A’isha to mutiny against the Imam’s government, and she, through that, opened a door to mutiny and rebellion. She paved the way for the forces deviated from the truth to unite in a bloc and come together to fight against Ali bin Abi Talib. Accordingly, she drowned the nation into a sea of disasters and misfortunes.

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[1] At the begging of the book we have in detail talked about the traditions narrated from the Prophet in respect of his love for his household.

[2] Al-Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 125, Chapter on Obligatory One Fifth (Khums). Muslim, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 503. It has been mentioned in it that he (a.s.) has said: “The head of unbelief (will issue) from here where Satan’s horn appears.”

[3] Ihya’ al-‘Uloom, vol. 2, p. 35, Chapter on Morals of Marriage.

[4] Al-Bukhari, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 143.

[5] Imam Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 275.

[6] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha.

[7] ‘Abqariyat al-Imam Ali, p. 87.

[8] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 76.

[9] The Islamic Law requires that the blood heir is at first the guardian. If there was no blood heir, then the religious judge is the guardian, for he is the guardian of those who have no guardian.

[10] The Life of al-Husayn, part two, p. 267.

The Declaration of the Rebellion

A’isha declared the rebellion and revolt against the then government. That was in the speech she made in Mecca. She said: “O people, the mobs from the people of the districts…, and the slaves of Medina met together. The mobs criticized the one who was killed yesterday (Uthman) for deception, trick…. So he followed them and repented of his deeds for the sake of them, that he might set them right. When they found neither a proof nor an excuse, they became disordered and hurried to show aggression against him. Their deeds disagreed with their words. Accordingly, they shed the forbidden blood, violated the Sacred City (Medina), and the Sacred Month (Ramadan). By Allah, Uthman’s finger is better than as much as the earth like them.”[1]

p: 356

Her speech is full of fallacies and error. She has mentioned that it was the mobs who criticized and slandered Uthman. However this opinion is contrary to the reality. It was the leading companions of the Prophet who criticized and censured him for his errors. Besides, it was A’isha who was the first to revolt against him. She has said her famous statement in respect of him: “Kill Na‘thal (Uthman), for he has disbelieved!” It was she and others from among the great figures and the heads who killed him. The others had no relationship with shedding his blood.

In her speech she has mentioned that Uthman refrained from his previous deeds and followed the revolutionists to set them right, and that when they found no proof against him, they shed his blood. This also disagrees with the reality. Uthman announced the repentance and showed regret for the deeds he had performed but he at last announced before the people that he said that due to the pressure of the revolutionists against him, and that he would continue the policy he himself had planned. After the plot he had planned against them, the revolutionists came back and asked him to resign from his office. However he refused to respond to them. They found no escape from killing him, as we have mentioned in detail. This does not agree with what A’isha has mentioned in her speech that they did not find a proof to kill him.

Any way A’isha’s speech was the first declaration for the rebellion, the mutiny, and the disagreements. Professor Abdul Fattah Maqsud has said: “After this speech of her, people separated in parties. It was better for them to unite in that difficult affliction that befell Islam. With what did the mother of the faithful (A’isha) summon them today? For which purpose did she intend to lead them? For the battle against the mobs? To advance towards Medina where there was the lawful ruler of the nation?[2]

p: 357

Through her revolt, A’isha brought about division and disagreements among the Muslims, planted the seeds of enmity and troubles allover the country.

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[1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 468.

[2] Imam Ali, vol. 2, p. 267.

With Umm Salama

A’isha sought the help of the Prophet’s wives and summoned them to revolt against Imam Ali. She held a meeting with Umm Salam and tried to deceive her, saying: “O daughter of Abu Umayya, you were the first wife of the Prophet’s to emigrate (to Medina). You are the eldest of the mothers of the faithful. Allah’s Apostle apportioned to us from your house. Gabriel often was in your house.”

Umm Salama had a doubt about her speech, and she asked her: “Have you said this speech for a certain purpose?”

A’isha answered her with what she wanted, saying: “Most surely the people asked Uthman to repent. When he repented, they killed him while he was fasting during the Sacred Month (Ramadan). As a result, I have decided to go to Basra along with al-Zubayr and Talha; therefore, come with us, that Allah might set right this affair through our hand.”

Umm Salama refuted her statement, guided, and advised her, saying: -Yesterday you provoked people to kill Uthman and said the wickedest words about him. He had no name with you except Na‘thal. You know Ali’s position with Allah’s Apostle. Shall I remind you?

-Yes.

-Do you remember the day when he (the Prophet) came, and we were with him? When he came down the northern way, he was alone with Ali. He talked with him for a long time. You wanted to attack them, but I prevented you. However you disobeyed me and attacked them. Shortly after that you came back weeping. I asked you: “What is the matter with you?” You said: “I went to them and found them talking with each other. I said to Ali: ‘I have one out of nine days with Allah’s Apostle! Therefore, do you not let me enjoy my day, O Son of Abi Talib? Allah’s Apostle walked towards me while his face was red with anger and said to me: ‘Go back! By Allah, no one hates him (Ali) unless he is out of faith!’ So you came back with regret and disapointment!’”

p: 358

-Yes, I remember that.

- shall I remind you?

-Yes.

-You and I were with Allah’s Apostle, and he asked us: “Which one of you will be the rider of the hairy camel, at whom the dogs of al-Haw’ab will bark, and be devious from the straight path?” We said: “We seek refuge in Allah and His Apostle from that.” He patted on your back and said: “Beware of being that one, O Humayra’!”

-Yes, I remember that.

- shall I remind you?

-Yes.

-You and I were with Allah’s Apostle during a travel of his. As for Ali, he took care of Allah’s Apostle. He mended his sandals and washed his clothes. His (the Prophet) sandal was bored, so Ali took it to repair it. He sat in the shade of a tree. Your father and Umar came. They asked a permission to come in to him (the Prophet). We went into the tent. They came in and talked with him about what they wanted. Then they said: “O Allah’s Apostle, we do not know how long you will be with us. If you let us know whom you will appoint as a caliph over us, that he might be a resort for us after you.” He said to them: “As for me, I can see his place. If I did, you would separate yourselves from him just as the children of Israel separated themselves from Aaron the son Imran.” They kept silent, and then they went out. When they went out, we went to Allah’s Apostle. You were the boldest of us to ask Allah’s Apostle: “Whom will you appoint as a caliph over them?” The Prophet (a.s) said, “The one who is repairing the sandals.” We came down and saw Ali. So you said: “O Allah’s Apostle, I can see none except Ali.” He said: “He is that (the caliph).”

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-Yes, I remember that.

-Therefore, after this, which revolt you are going to declare?

-I am going to revolt to set right the people and hope for a reward because of it.

-I shall leave you with your own opinion.

Then, Umm Salama went away and wrote a letter to Imam Ali (a.s) about that.[1] She completely advised A’isha and reminded her of what she had forgotten from among the merits of the Commander of the Faithful and his achievements. However, A’isha followed her own spites and sentiments.

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[1] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 79. In his al-Fa’iq, vol. 1, p. 290, al-Zamakhshari has mentioned a speech similar to that.

The Advance towards Basra

All the men of the previous government responded to A’isha’s summons. They were from among Uthman’s governors, relatives, the ambitious who thought that Imam Ali’s government would disperse their dreams in the political influence, the deceived, and the simple people whom the propaganda changed however it willed. All these people were affected by A’isha’s summons and propaganda. They yielded to her commands. The leaders of the sedition discussed the that which country they had to invade. They previewed Medina but they refrained because there was in it the lawful Caliph who had military forces, and they had no ability to face them. Then they thought of al-Sham and concluded that there were in it men, wealth, and Uthman’s cousin, who was the governor over it. They knew that it was the first country to respond to them. However the Umayyads did not respond to them, for they had placed al-Sham under their control and had fear for it from division. Accordingly, they unanimously agreed on invading Basra because they had there helpers and supporters. The caller called in Mecca: “O people, the mother of the faithful (A’isha), Talha, and al-Zubayr are going to Basra. Whoever wants to reinforce Islam, fight against those who justified the murder of Uthman, and to avenge Uthman, but has neither an amount nor equipment, then this is his equipment and expense.”

p: 360

They supplied the troops with weapons. Ya‘la bin Umayya[1] helped them with four hundred thousands (dinar) and supplied seventy men. As for A’isha, she mounted her camel called Askar. She was surrounded by the Umayyads. She led the large crowd. She led them to divide the Islamic unity and to fight against the legal government. When she arrived at Dhi Qaar, Sa’eed bin al-Aas[2] met and asked her:

-Where are you going, O mother of the faithful?

-To Basra.

-What are you going to do there?

-To avenge Uthman.

He sneeringly laughed and said with astonishment:

-These are the people who killed Uthman.

She turned her face away from him, for she had no proof to defend herself with. Then he left her and went to Marwan. He said to him:

-Do you want to go to Basra, too?

-Yes.

-What do you want?

-To avenge Uthman.

-The people who killed Uthman are with you.

He indicated with his hand to Talha and al-Zubayr. He said: “Most surely, it was these two men who killed Uthman. They want the authority for themselves. When they were overcome, they said: ‘We will wash the blood with blood and the sin with repentance.’”[3] This debate was useless, and they set off insisting on error and aggression.

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[1] Ya‘la bin Umayya bin Abi ‘Ubayda al-Tamimi was the governor over a district in Yemen. He was appointed there by Umar. And he was appointed as a governor over Sana’a’ by Uthman. Al-Mada’ini has said: “Ya‘la was an Emir over the troops in Yemen. When he heard of the murder of Uthman, he came to support him. But he fell off his camel and broke his leg. Then he went to Mecca. When the (ceremonies of) the hajj were over, he met with the people and provoked them to demand Uthman’s blood. So he helped al-Zubayr with four hundred thousands (dinars), carried seventy men from Quraysh, and carried Aa’isha on the camel called Askar, on which she witnessed the battle. When the Battle of al-Jamal (Camel) failed, he joined Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, and was among his companions. He was killed at (the Battle of) Siffin.” This has been mentioned in (the book) Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 5, p. 138.

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[1] Sa’eed bin al-Aas al-Umawi was born in the Year of Emigration. His father was killed by (Imam) Ali at the Battle of Badr. He was among the eloquent of Quraysh. Uthman appointed him as a governor over Kufa, and then he deposed him. Then he appointed al-Waleed as a governor over it. So the Kufans wrote him a letter, saying: “We are in no need of Sa‘eed and al-Waleed.” He was arrogant, strict, and rude. When Uthman was killed, Sa‘eed confined himself to his house and isolated himself during the battles of al-Jamal and Siffin. He witnessed none of those battles. When the affairs went well with Mu‘awiya, he appointed him as a governor over Medina. Then he appointed Marwan bin al-Hakam over it. Then he alternated them in the authority over it. He died during the caliphate of Mu‘awiya in the year 59. Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 2, p. 8.

[2] Al-Imam wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 63.

Al-Haw’ab

A’isha’s caravan set off and covered the desert. It passed by a place called al-Haw’ab.[1] The dogs of the district received the caravan with growl and howl. A’isha was afraid of that barking which the dogs made at the caravan. She asked Muhammad bin Talha[2] :

-Which well is this?

-Al-Haw‘ab well.

She was afraid, and her heart melted with sorrow and regret because of what she had done. She said:

-I can do nothing but to go back.

-Why, O mother of the faithful?

-I heard Allah’s Apostle saying to his wives: “It is as if that I see al-Haw’ab dogs will bark at one of you. Beware of being you, O Humayra (A’isha)!”[3]

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-Go ahead! May Allah have mercy on you. Leave this statement!

As for A’isha, she was not satisfied and she insisted on withdrawing. When Talha and al-Zubayr knew of that, they quickly came to her. If she had isolated herself from the Army, their hopes would have been in vain. They talked to her on the affair, but she insisted on withdrawing. They brought her some men who bore witness that it was not al-Haw’ab well, and this was the first false witness in Islam.[4] Through this forged witness they could change her mind. However, it was incumbent on her to return home and not to lead the troops to fight against the brother of Allah’s Apostle.

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[1] Al-Haw’ab is the place of wide valleys and big hills. It was a place on the road to Basrah. Abu Mansur has said: “Al-Haw’ab is the place of a well where the dogs barked at ‘Aa’isha when she went to Basrah. He composed, saying:

“It is nothing but a drink in al-Haw’ab; therefore, ascend after it or aim!” Mu‘jam al-Buldan, vol. 3, p. 355.

[2] Muhammad bin Talha al-Qarashi, al-Tamimi was born during the lifetime of the Prophet (a.s.). It was he (the Prophet) who named him Muhammad and gave him the kunya of Abu al-Qasim. He was killed at the Battle of al-Jamal. He inclined to (Imam) Ali. The Imam passed by him after his death and said: “This is he who was killed by his obedience to his parents. His parents commanded him to go to the battle. He went, took off his breastplate and threw it between his legs. He stood on it. Whenever a man passed by him, he said to him: ‘I adjure you with Ha Meem. A man attacked and killed him.’”

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It was said that he was killed by Ka‘ab bin Mudlij, it was said he was killed by Mu‘awiya bin Shaddad, and it was said other than them. Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 3, p. 349.

[3] Abdullah bin Abbas narrated on the authority of Allah’s Apostle that he some day said to his wives: “Which one of you will be the rider (on the hairy) camel. Al-Haw’ab dogs will bark at her. Many people will be killed at her right and left (hand), and they will be all in the fire. And she will be safe after what she will plot.” Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 497. This tradition is among the things predicted by the Prophet.

[4] Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 342. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh.

In the Quarters of Basra

A’isha’s caravan moved and covered the desert and was about to enter Basra. When the governor of Basra, Uthman bin Hunayf[1] , knew that, he sent Abu al-Aswad al-Du’ali to her to ask her about her coming. When Abu al-Aswad met with her, he asked her:

-What has made you come, O mother of the faithful?

-To avenge Uthman!

-None of those who killed Uthman is in Basra!

-You are right, but they are along with Ali bin Abi Talib in Medina. I have come to arouse the people of Basra to fight against him. Do we defend you from Uthman’s whip, and not defend Uthman from your swords?

He answered her:

-There is no relationship between you and the whip and the sword. You are the wife of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). He ordered you to stay at your home and to recite your Lord’s Book. There is no is more appropriate than you and closer than you to the Prophet in kinship. They are Abd Manaf’s children.

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-I will not go away until I achieve what I have come for. Do you think, O Abu al-Aswad, that there is someone who dares to fight against me?

-By Allah, they will fight against you with a fighting the least of which is severe!

Then he left her and went to al-Zubayr. He reminded him of his past relationship with Imam Ali (a.s) saying:

-O Abu Abdullah, people knew that on the day when the allegiance was pledged to Abu Bakr, you were catching your sword and saying: “None is more appropriate for this matter (the caliphate) than (Ali) bin Abi Talib.” There is a great difference between this attitude and that.

-We avenge Uthman.

-You and your friend had appointed him as a caliph, as we have heard.

Al-Zubayr yielded to Abu al-Aswad’s speech. He saw in it advice and guidance but he asked him to meet with Talha and discuss the matter with him. Abu al-Aswad quickly went to him and discussed the matter with him, but he did not respond and insisted on error and aggression.[2]

Abu al-Aswad set off to Uthman bin Hunayf and told him about the people’s intention and their insistence on fighting. He gathered his companions and addressed them, saying: “O people, you pledged allegiance to Allah. The hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore whoever breaks (his faith), he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul, and whoever fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, He will grant him a mighty reward.[3] By Allah, if Ali knew that there was someone more appropriate than him for this matter, he would not accept it, and if the people had pledged allegiance to someone other than him, he would have paid homage and obeyed that one. He is in no need of the companions of Allah’s Apostle, and none is in no need of him. He has their good qualities, but they did not. These two men (Talha and al-Zubayr) paid homage not for the sake of Allah. They hurried for weaning before suckling, and suckling before birth, and birth before pregnancy. They sought the reward of Allah from the people. They have claimed that they unwillingly paid homage. If they had been forced before their pledge of allegiance and were from Quraysh, then they would have to say, and not to be commanded. Most surely the guidance is that which the majority followed; and the majority had paid homage to Ali. Therefore, what do you think, O people?”

p: 365

Hakeem bin Jabalah said: “We think that if they came in to us, we would fight against them. And if they stopped, we would receive them. By Allah, I do not worry if I fight against them by only myself even though I love life. In the way of the truth I fear no loneliness, no change, and no bad return to the Resurrection. The one who is killed during this summon is martyr, and the one who remains alive is successful. And going quickly to Allah before the reward is better than the delay in the world. And this is (the tribe of) Rabee‘a. They are with you.”[4]

After that the people decided to resist the aggression and to return in kind if they had aggressed against them and not to start them with fighting if they did not start them with fighting.

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[1] Uthman bin Hunayf al-Ansari was from al-Aws tribe. He was appointed as a governor by Umar. Then Imam Ali appointed him as a governor over Basra. When the Imam left it, he removed him from it and appointed over it Abdullah bin Abbas. It was said that Umar bin al-Khattab consulted the companions in respect of the man he wanted to send to Iraq, and they unanimously agreed on Uthman bin Hunayf, saying: “If you send him for something more important than that because he is a man endowed with insight, reason, knowledge, and experience.” Accordingly, Umar hurried and appointed him over Iraq. Uthman imposed as a tax a dirham and a Qafiz (a certain measurement) of food on every Jarib (a measurement) of land, whether it was cultivated or flooded. So the taxes imposed on the land of Kufa amounted a hundred millions and some one year before Umar died. After the event in Basrah, he resided in Kufa and stayed there until the time of Mu‘awiya. Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 3, p. 79.

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[2] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 8.

[3] Qur’an, 48, 10.

[4] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, pp. 64-65.

The Conclusion of the Truce

Some violent clashes took place between the two parties and led to killing some people and wounding others. As for Uthman bin Hunayf, he had intended to make peace with them and to fight against the people before he received a command from Imam Ali. Accordingly, he stopped fighting and concluded a timely truce until he knew the Imam’s viewpoint. This is the text of the truce: “This is for which Uthman bin Hunayf al-Ansari and the believers from among the Shia of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib, have made peace with Talha, al-Zubayr, the believers, and the Muslims from among their followers. The things that belong to Uthman bin Hunayf are the House of Government, the courtyard, the mosque, the public treasury, and the pulpit. And as for the things that belong to Talha, al-Zubayr, and those with them, they are that they have the right to reside wherever they wish in Basra. They should not harm each other on a road, at a gap (of a river), in a market, through a law, or through a public utility until the Commander of the faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib, comes. If they like, they will follow that which the community has followed. And if they like, every people have the right to follow their own opinion, or fighting, peace, departure, or residence. Concerning that which they have written, the two parties should conform to Allah’s promise and covenant. They should also conform to the strong promise and covenant Allah had taken from His prophets.”

p: 367

The two parties signed the truce. As for Uthman bin Hunayf, he went to the House of Government and commanded his companions to lay down their weapons and go to their houses.

Treachery and Treason

Talha and al-Zubayr sent letters to the prominent and notable people. They summoned them to avenge Uthman and depose Imam Ali, and dismiss Uthman bin Hunayf. The tribes of al-Azd, Dhabbah, Qays, and Aylan responded to them. Many simple people and the ambitious followed them, too. When the affairs went well with them, they betrayed and broke the truce they had concluded. They attacked Uthman bin Hunayf in the House of Government in the dark night. They arrested and punished him. They pulled out the hair of his head, his beard, and his eye-brows.[1] They looted that which was in the public treasury. When the time of the prayer came, Talha and al-Zubayr disputed with each other about leading the people in prayer. Each one of them prevented his companion from leading the prayer, to the extent that the time of the prayer passed, and people shouted at them. A’isha interrupted the dispute between them and said that Muhammad bin Talha had to lead the people in prayer one day, and Abdullah bin al-Zubayr one day.[2] Ibn al-Zubayr went to lead the people in prayer, but Muhammad bin Talha drew him and tried to lead the people in prayer, but Ibn al-Zubayr prevented him. All people thought that the best way to end the dispute was to draw lots. They drew lots, and it was Muhammad bin Talha who would lead the people in prayer. He recited this Qur’anic verse: One demanding, demanded the chastisement which must befall[3] .[4]

p: 368

Most surely the people were moved by the motive of the reign and supreme authority. If the affair had gone well with them, they would have killed each other, for they were at the beginning of the way while they showed the signs of division and disagreement. They mutinied against Imam Ali’s government for nothing except some material advantages. Ibn al-Zubayr admitted that. When some man went to him in Basra Mosque and asked: “I adjure you before Allah in respect of your travel, had Allah’s Apostle promised you anything in respect of it?”

As for Talha, he kept silent. Al-Zubayr answered him: “No, but we have heard that you have some dirhams, and we have come to participate in them.”[5]

Al-Zubayr specified their mutiny against Imam Ali. It was only for ambitions and advantages. There was no promise from the Prophet (a.s) in respect of that.

Any way, Basra fell into their hands, and their troops occupied all the places there. As for A’isha, she ordered Uthman bin Hunayf to be killed, but a lady regarded that as a great sin and said to A’isha: “I adjure you before Allah, O mother of the faithful, in respect of Uthman and his companionship with Allah’s Apostle.” As a result, she changed her opinion and ordered him to be imprisoned.”[6] Then she ordered the policemen and the guards of the public treasury to be killed. Their number was seventy persons. They were from among the good, righteous Muslims.[7] The mother of the faithful (A’isha) paid no attention to shedding their blood nor did she paid attention to committing sins in respect of orphaning children, and spreading sadness and mourning among their families. She turned away from what Allah had commanded in respect of refraining from shedding blood with no right.

p: 369

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[1] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 50. It has been mentioned: “They dismissed Uthman bin Hunayf, and he joined Ali. When he saw him, he wept and said to him: ‘I left you while I had hair, and I have come to you without hair.’ So Ali said: ‘To Allah we belong and to Him is our return!’ He said that three times.”

[2] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 157.

[3] Qur’an, 70, 1.

[4] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 5, p. 39.

[5] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 183.

[6] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 178.

[7] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 50.

The Murder of Hakeem Bin Jabalah

When Hakeem bin Jabalah heard of what the people did to Uthman bin Hunayf, and the killing of the policemen and the treasurers, he went out along with three hundred men from (the tribe of) Abd Qays[1] . The people went out and carried A’isha on a camel. That day was called the Minor Day of the Camel, and her battle against Imam Ali (a.s) was called the Major Day of the Camel. The two parties engaged in a sword fight. Hakeem and his faithful companions showed extreme courage. A man from al-Azd from A’isha’s camp attacked Hakeem and cut off his leg. As for Hakeem, he sat down on the ground. He took his amputated leg, hit al-Azdi who had cut it off, and killed him. He went on fighting in spite of his amputated leg and saying:

p: 370

O my leg, do not be afraid! Most surely my arm is with me; I protect my leg with it.

He was still in such a state of extreme heroism and bravery, defending the thought and doctrine until his blood bled. He set off to the man who cut off his leg and leaned against him, while he was dead. A person passed by him and asked: “Who has done this to you?” “My relatives,” he replied. Then Saheem al-Hamadani[2] killed him, his three brothers, and all his companions.[3] That pure blood which was shed, the noble souls which were killed for the sake of defending the religion of Allah and Imam Ali, are in the protection of Allah.

_____________________

[1] In another narration it is that he went out along with seven hundred of his companions.

[2] Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 2, p. 40.

[3] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 51.

Imam Ali seeks the Help of Kufa

Imam Ali (a.s) was ready to invade al-Sham where Mu’awiya had declared the mutiny against his government and refused to pay homage to him. While he was earnest in managing the affair, he was surprised by the news of that the people of Mecca were excited to avenge Uthman out of the provocation of Talha, al-Zubayr, A’isha, and their Umayyad followers. Accordingly, the Imam feared that the Muslims will be divided. He thought that their danger was stronger than that of Mu’awiya, and their wickedness was stronger than that of his. If he had not hurried to put an end to that trouble, it would have been about to be wider, and mutiny and disagreement be greater. So he prepared himself to go to them. The righteous from among the Muhajireen and the Ansar hurried to support him. They quickly went out to catch up with them before they could enter a city lest they should corrupt it. When they arrived in al-Rabadha, they knew that they (the enemy) had entered Basra and some events had taken place there. The Imam stayed at al-Rabadha for some days to make firm his affairs. He sent for the people of Kufa seeking their help and support to put an end to the discord. He delegated to them Muhammad bin Abi Bakr and Muhammad bin Ja’far.[1] He supplied them with a letter in which he said: “I have chosen you over the cities. I have hurried to you because of what has happened. Therefore, be helpers and supporters for the religion of Allah. Support us and rise with us. What we want is righteousness, that the community may be brothers. Whoever likes that and prefers it likes the truth, and whoever detests that detests and overlooks the truth.”[2]

p: 371

The two messengers covered the desert and arrived in Kufa. They showed the Imam’s letter to Abu Musa, the governor of the city. However they did not find any response from him. Rather, they found that he had unusual attitude. He discouraged the people, weakened the troops, and prevented them from responding to the Imam’s call. The two messengers severely talked with him. He answered them through justifying his stubbornness, saying: “By Allah, the pledge of allegiance to Uthman is a trust with me and with your leader. Therefore, if there is no escape from fighting, we will not fight against anyone until we put an end to those who killed Uthman!”

The two Muhammads sent the news to the Imam and informed him of the mutiny of Abu Musa and his discouraging the people. The Imam sent Hashim al-Mirqal to undertake the leadership and supplied him with a letter in which he has mentioned: “I have sent Hashim to undertake the matter of Muslims on my behalf. Therefore, return the people to him. I have entrusted you to be among my helpers for the truth.”

Hashim went and arrived in Kufa. He knew that Abu Musa was insistent on his mutiny and going too far in his malice and enmity. They tried to convince him and return him to the true way but with no use. Abu Musa sent for Sa’ib bin Malik al-Ashqari to consult with him about the matter, and he advised him to follow the Imam and carry out his orders. However, he did not pay attention to the advice and remained insistent on his rebellion and stubbornness. As a result, Hashim sent the Imam a letter in which he informed him of his failure in his task and mediation.

p: 372

_______________________

[1] Muhammad bin Ja‘far bin Abi Talib al-Hashimi was the first emigrant to be given the name of Muhammad. It was said that he was born in al-Habasha. He married Umm Kulthum, daughter of Imam Ali. It was said that he was martyred in Tastur, and it was said that he was martyred at (the Battle of) Siffin. He fought against Ubaydillah bin Umar, and they killed each other. Al-Isaba, vol. 3, p. 372. It has been mentioned in the book Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 4, p. 313, that when the news of the death of Ja‘far reached Allah’s Apostle, he went to Ja‘far’s house and said: “Fetch me the children of my brother, Ja‘far!” Abdullah, Muhammad, and Oun went out to him. He put them on his thigh and prayed for them, and then he said: “I am their guardian in the world and in the hereafter.” Then he said: “As for Muhammad, he looks like our uncle Abu Talib.”

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 393.

Imam Ali delegates al-Hasan

Imam Ali delegated his son al-Hasan along with Ammar bin Yasir. He supplied him with a letter in which he deposed Abu Musa from his office and appointed Qurdha bin Ka’ab[1] instead of him. The following is the text of his letter: “I think you should withdraw from this matter in which Allah has placed no share for you through your refraining from carrying out my command. I have sent al-Hasan bin Ali and Ammar bin Yasir to urge the people. I have also sent Qurdha bin Ka’ab as a governor over the city. Therefore, withdraw from our work (while you are) dispraised and expelled. If you do not do, then I have commanded him to declare war against you.”

p: 373

Imam al-Hasan arrived in Kufa, and the people gathered around him in masses. They expressed their submission and obedience to him, and showed him friendship and loyalty. In the meantime Imam al-Hasan announced the deposal of the rebellious governor from his office and the appointment of Qurdha in his place. However, Abu Musa remained insistent on his deception and error. He went to Ammar bin Yasir and talked to him about Uthman’s affair that he might find a way in his speech to accuse him of the murder of Uthman, and that he might use that as means to make the people desert the Imam. He said to him: “O Abul Yaqdhan, have you wronged the Commander of the Faithful (Uthman) as those who wronged him, and placed yourself among the sinners?”

“I did not do,” replied Ammar, “why have you accused me of evil?”

Al-Hasan knew Abu Musa’s purpose, so he interrupted the argument, saying to him: “O Abu Musa, why have you discouraged the people?”

Imam al-Hasan talked with him with kindness and leniency, that he might uproot the spirit of wickedness and obstinacy from his soul, saying: “O Abu Musa, by Allah, we have wanted nothing except righteousness, and none fears the Commander of the Faithful (Imam Ali) for a thing.”

Abu Musa became astonished. He could not stand his obstinacy and tyranny, so he said to the Imam:

-You are right, may my father and mother die for you! However, the adviser is trustworthy.

-Yes.

p: 374

-I have heard Allah’s Apostle saying: “There will be a sedition. The one who sits down during it is better than the one who stands up. The one who stands up is better than the one who walks. The one who walks is better than the one who rides.” Allah, the Great and Almighty, has made us brothers and made it unlawful for us to plunder our properties and shed our blood. He has said: “O you who believe, do not devour your property among yourselves falsely, except that it be trading by your mutual consent; and do not kill your people. Surely Allah is merciful to you.[2] ” And He, the Great and Almighty, has said: “And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell.”[3]

As for Ammar, he confronted him, refuted his false sayings and deception, saying:

-Have you heard that from Allah’s Apostle?

-Yes, and these are my hands (ready to be cut off) for what I said.

Ammar turned to the people and said to them:

-Most surely, Allah’s Apostle meant Abu Musa with that. For when he sits down is better than when he rises.

Ammar’s speech, and al-Hasan’s kindness and long patience were useless to this rude, rebellious person, who did not yield to anything except severity and force. He remained insisting on discouraging the people and making them withdraw from going to support Imam Ali.

The Prophet’s grandson (al-Hasan) began arousing the determinations, activating the souls, and motivating them for jihad. He addressed them, saying: “O People, You have known what for Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib jhas marched. We have come to you to seek your help, for you are the front of the Ansar and heads of the Arabs. You have heard that Talha, al-Zubayr, and A’isha have gone out (to fight against Imam Ali) after their pledge of allegiance. And you know that women’s feebleness and weak opinion vanish. For this reason, Allah has regarded men as caretakers over women. By Allah, if none of you supports him, I hope that those, who have come with him from among the Muhajireen and the Ansar, will be sufficient; therefore, help Allah, and He will help you.”

p: 375

Then Ammar rose and began urging the people for jihad and he explained to them the reality of the state in respect of Uthman’s affair, saying: “O people of Kufa, if our news are absent from you, then our affairs have reached you. Most surely those who killed Uthman have not apologized to the people for killing him nor have they condemned that. They have placed Allah’s Book between them and their arguments. Allah has made some live and some others die . And as for Talha and al-Zubayr, they were the first to stab (Uthman) and the last to command (the people to avenge him). And they were the first to pay homage (to Imam Ali). But when what they hoped missed them, they broke their allegiance without any reason. And this is the son of the daughter of Allah’s Apostle. You know him. He has come to seek your help. And Ali has (come to you) with the Muhajireen, the Badris, and the Ansar who have headed the abode and faith.”

After them, Qays bin Sa’d rose and summoned the people to carry out their religious duty and support Ameerul Mo'minin (Imam Ali), saying:

“If we had faced the men of the Consultative Committee with the matter, then Ali would have been the most appropriate for it, and the fight against those who refused him would have been lawful. With a greater reason the proof is against Talha and al-Zubayr. They had willingly paid homage to him. But they have opposed him out of envy. Ali has come to you along with the Muhajireen and the Ansar.”

p: 376

Any way, Abu Musa went on insistence on his tyranny. He discouraged people and summoned them to desert Ameerul Mo'minin (the Commander of the faithful) and not to help him. He paid not attention to all that which he heard from al-Hasan and the orators, to the extent that al-Hasan became tired in spite of his clemency. He shouted at him with excitement and violence. He said to him: “Withdraw from our work, O man, and leave our pulpit!”

Al-Hasan went on urging the people to go to jihad and help his father. He rose among them and said: “O people, respond to the summons of your commander and go to your brothers, for there will be those who hurry for this matter. By Allah, if men with reason undertake it, it will be better for them in the sooner, the later, and the end. Respond to our summons and help us with that with which you and we have been afflicted. The Commander of the faithful (Ameerul Mo'minin) says to you: ‘I have gone out (to fight) whether I am an oppressor or oppressed. I remind of Allah the man who takes care of Allah’s right that he may hurry for jihad. If I am oppressed, then he should help me, and if I am an oppressor, he should punish me. By Allah, Talha and al-Zubayr were the first to pledge allegiance to me and were the first to betray me. Have I possessed alone any property or changed any religious precept? Hurry to jihad, enjoin the good, and forbid the evil.”

p: 377

People responded to al-Hasan with listening and obedience to his summons. But the leader, Malik al-Ashtar, thought that the affair would not go well unless that Abu Musa should be brought out as disrespected and degraded. So he along with a group of his people went and surrounded the palace. When Abu Musa’s servants looked at them, they quickly went to him. Fear and terror prevailed them, so they said to him: “O Abu Musa, this is (Malik) al-Ashtar. He has entered the palace. He has hit and brought us out.”

Accordingly, the rogue (Abu Musa) came out of the palace. Astonishment dominated him. Malik al-Ashtar shouted at him: “Get out of our palace, may your mother lose you!”

Abu Musa al-Ash‘ary hesitated for a while, but Malik shouted at him again: “Get out! May Allah bring out your soul! By Allah, you are among the hypocrites!”

Al-Ash‘ary said with a faint, weak voice:

-Postpone me for this night!

-You shall have it, and do not spend the night in the palace.

The people entered the palace to loot Abu Musa’s possessions and properties. However, Malik al-Ashtar did not turn away from his opponent. He took a noble attitude towards him. He prevented people from looting his belongings and from punishing him. He said to them: “I have postponed him for this night. I have driven him away, so refrain from him.”

Accordingly, people refrained from him. In the morning, this aggressive sinner (Abu Musa) went out of the palace in disgrace. The affairs went well with Imam al-Hasan. He talked to people to go out for jihad, saying: “O people, I will leave early in the morning, so whoever likes to go out with me on the backs of mounts or on water can do that.”

p: 378

The people responded to the Imam’s summons. When Qays bin Sa‘ad saw that, he became glad and delighted, and he recited some poetry.

As a result, Kufa was full of mujahideen. Many thousands of them left for Jihad. Some of them embarked ships, and some others rode mounts. They were pleased and satisfied. Al-Hasan headed them. When they arrived in Thi Qaar[4] , they met Imam Ali (a.s) who had stayed their. He was pleased with his son’s success. He thanked him for his great efforts.

________________________

[1] Qurdha bin Ka‘ab bin Tha‘laba al-Ansari al-Khazraji was present with the Prophet (a.s.) at the Battle of Uhd and other battles. During the time of Umar bin al-Khattab, Allah conquered (many countries) at his hand. He was among the ten persons Umar sent to Kufa to teach its people reading and writing. The Imam appointed him as a governor over Kufa. When he went out for the Battle of Siffin, he took him with him. And he appointed over it Abu Mas‘ud al-Badri. Qurdha bin Ka‘ab was present with Imam Ali during all his battles. He died in the house he had built in Kufa during the Imam’s caliphate. The Imam prayed over him. (This has been mentioned in the book) al-Isti‘ab, vol. 3, p. 266.

[2] Qur’an, 4, 29.

[3] Ibid., 4, 93.

[4] Thi Qaar was a water (well) belonged to Bakr bin Wa’il. It was near Kufa. It was between Kufa and Wasit. (This has been mentioned in) Mu‘jam al-Buldan, vol. 7, p. 8.

p: 379

Fabrication against Imam al-Hasan

In his book al-Tarikh (history), al-Tabari has narrated a fabricated tradition in which there are some fabrications against Imam al-Hasan. We will mention the tradition to readers, and then we will explain that which refutes the fabrications therein. He has mentioned that al-Hasan walked towards his father after the mutiny of Talha and al-Zubayr and said to him:

-I had commanded you, but you disobeyed me. You will be killed today in loss, and you shall have no supporter.

-You still yearns (for Uthman) just as a slave girl does. What had you commanded me with, and I disobeyed you?

-I commanded you to leave Medina on the day when Uthman was surrounded, that he might be killed while you were not there. On the day when he was killed, I commanded you not to accept the pledge of allegiance until the delegations and the Arabs from the cities would come to you. When these two men (Talha and al-Zubayr) had done what they did, I commanded you to sit down in your house until they made peace with each other. If there had been corruption, it would have been done through the hand of someone other than you. You had disobeyed me in all of that.

-O my little son, as for your statement ‘if I had gone out of Medina when Uthman was surrounded’, we were surrounded as Uthman was surrounded. As for your statement ‘do not accept the pledge of allegiance until the pledge of allegiance of the cities will come’, most surely the affair belonged to the people of Medina, and we hated to let this affair get lost.

p: 380

As for your statement ‘when Talha and al-Zubayr mutinied’, that was a weakness against the men of Islam. By Allah I have been defeated since I was appointed as a ruler, and wsa deprived that I could not reach anything I wanted.

As for your statement ‘sit down in your house’, what shall I do in respect of that which is obligatory on me? Or what do you want me to do? Do you want me to be like a hyena which is surrounded and it is said to it: Come out! Come out!?[1] It is not here until its hock appears, and then it comes out. If I do not reflect on what is incumbent on and concerns me, so who will reflect on it? Therefore, refrain from me, O my little son.[2]

Al-Tabari has narrated this tradition on the authority of Sayf bin Umar al-Asadi al-Tamimi. The tradition is among his fabrications and the things created by him. Reliable traditionists have unanimously agreed on that Sayf was weak and none has relied on his traditions, for he was famous for lying, fabricating, and making up traditions. Some of them have accused him of bad religion. They have explained his condition and reality. They have also showed his fabrications and the news created by him. Among them is the religious scholar Allama Sayyid Murtada al-Askari. He has mentioned that in his book Abdullah Bin Saba’

What clearly shows that the tradition has been fabricated is that it has been mentioned in it that Imam al-Hasan has said to his father: “I had commanded you, and you disobeyed me.” This is the ugliest and bitterest speech. How did al-Hasan receive his father with that, while he was knowledgeable of his reality and his great position? And he had already said in respect of him: “The first did not precede him, nor did the last reach him through a deed.” Without doubt this speech is contrary to the moralities of Imam al-Hasan, who avoided evil deeds and nonsense even if toward his enemies and opponents. Therefore, how did he address his father with that.

p: 381

Abdul Wahab al-Najjar has commented on this fabricated tradition, saying: “It is as if that I hear him (Imam Ali) say Uthman’s statement in respect of this affair: ‘I will not take off the garment that Allah, the Great and Almighty, has clothed me with!’ This is the excuse which one who wants safety for him and the Muslims does not accept. Or it is like the excuse of the colonialist states that say that there is no escape from undertaking the affairs of the nations which they occupy and dominate, and control their public utilities and the elements of their life.”[3]

Abdul Wahab al-Najjar is famous for his siding with the Umayyads and his turning away from Ahlul Bayt (the Prophet’s Household). He is unsuccessful in many of his researches. He has depended on the fabricated traditions. He has not considered them carefully. Through these severe words he has showed impudence towards Imam Ali. He has likened him to the oppressive colonialist states that spread tyranny and oppression in the earth. As for Imam Ali (a.s), he established justice and equality, spread all humanitarian ideals during the period of his government. The history of mankind has never known a ruler like him in his justice and righteousness, and that he was not deceived by the appearances of power and authority. While the Imam was mending his sandals with his own hands, Abdullah bin Abbas came in to him. The Imam asked him:

-O son of Abbas, how much do you value them?

p: 382

-They have no value.

-By Allah, they are more lovable to me than these affairs of yours but for the fact that I must establish what is true and ward off what is false.

This is the Imam’s viewpoint of government. In his viewpoint the government was a mere means for establishing what was true and warding off what was false. If he wanted government, Uthman would not have won it. We have mentioned that when we talked about the Consultative Committee. Then how is it correct that the Imam is compared to the infidel colonialist states, while he was as the Prophet’s self, his guardian, and the Gate of the city of his knowledge?

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[1] Dubab is a ward said to a hyena, that it may come out.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 170.

[3] Al-Kulafa’ al-Rashidun, p. 414. Al-Sayyid Sa‘eed al-Afghani has in detail refuted him in his book ‘Aa’isha wa al-Siyasa, p. 96.

The Two Parties meet

The Imam’s regiments moved from Thi Qaar. They hurried and arrived in al-Zawiya.[1] The Imam stopped there and offered four rak’as. Having finished his prayer, he covered his own cheek with dust while he was weeping. Then he raised his hands to supplicate Allah, saying: “O Allah, Lord of the heavens and what they shade, of the earth and what it carries, and Lord of the Great Throne! This is Basra. I ask you (to grant me) some of its good. I seek refuge with You from its evil! O Allah, settle us in the best abode! O Allah, most surely, these people have disobeyed me, aggressed against me, and broken the pledge of allegiance to me! O Allah, spare the Muslims’ blood!”[2]

p: 383

When the Imam (and his troops) settled down, he immediately sent Ubaydillah bin Abbas, and Zayd bin Souhan to A’isha to summon her to spare the blood and unify the Muslims. He said to them: “Say to her: ‘Allah has commanded you to stay in your house and not to go out. Surely you know that, but a group of people has deluded you. So you have gone out of your house, and the people have fallen into the tribulation and the tiredness due to your agreement with them. It is better for you to go home and not to hover about dispute and fighting. If you do not go home and this discord is not extinguished, it will bring about fighting, and many people will be killed because of it. Therefore, fear Allah, O A’isha, and return to Allah in repentance. Allah accepts the repentance from His servants and pardons them. Beware of that the love for Abdullah bin al-Zubayr and the kinship to Talha will move you to an affair leading to the fire.”

If A’isha had understood this advice and given up her plot, she would have brought about general good for the community. But she paid no attention to that. She said to the two messengers: “I can not refute Ali bin Abi Talib with speech because I cannot reach him through arguing.”[3]

She could not refute him with speech because she had no proof to defend herself. Then the Imam sent Talha and al-Zubayr a letter in which he summoned them to make peace and leave disagreement. This is the text of the letter: “You have come to know, even if you have concealed, that I did not go to the people until they came to me, and that I did not take allegiance from them until they pledged allegiance to me. You were among those who came and paid homage to me. The populace did not pledge allegiance to me for a victorious authority nor for an offer. If you willingly paid homage to me, then return and turn in repentance to Allah as soon as possible. If you unwillingly pledged allegiance to me, then you have placed for me a way against you through your showing obedience and keeping disobedience a secret. By my life, you were not worthier of the Muhajireen in the precautionary dissimulation and concealing. If this affair had moved you to enter it before, then it was wider to you than your coming out of it after your acknowledging it. You claim that I have killed Uthman, then between you and me is one who fell behind you and me from among the people of Medina. Then it is incumbent on each one as much as he stands. Give up, O two Sheikhs, for your greatest affair is now disgrace, before the disgrace and the fire that will come together.”[4]

p: 384

However, they did not respond to the call of the truth; rather, they insisted on corruption, mutiny, and aggression. They declared resistance and fighting against the Imam.

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[1] Al-Zawiya is a place near Basrah. The famous battle between al-Hajjaj and Abdurrahman bin Muhammad bin al-Ash‘ath took place at it. (This has been mentioned in the book) Mu‘jam al-Buldan, vol. 4, p. 37.

[2] Muruj al-Thahab, vol. 2, p. 254.

[3] Ibn A’them, Tarikh, p. 175.

[4] Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p. 122.

Ibn al-Zubayr’s Speech

Abdullah bin al-Zubayr was too extreme in instigating discords and shedding blood. He spoiled all the means that Imam Ali (a.s) made to make peace. He addressed the masses of Basra and urged them to fight against the Imam. This is his speech: “O people, most surely, Ali bin Abi Talib killed the true Caliph, Uthman. Then he has prepared the armies to attack, control you, and take your city. Therefore, be men of avenging the blood of your caliph, to keep your sacred things, and fight on behalf of your women, children, ancestries, and lineage. Are you satisfied that the people of Kufa enter your country? Be angry, for you have been made angry! Fight, for you have been fought. Ali can see none other than him in this matter. By Allah, if he won a victory over you, he would destroy your religion and your world.”

Ibn al-Zubayr’s speech is full of fallacies, lies, and provoking of religious fanaticism and party spirit against Imam Ali. He knew, without doubt, that he told lies. However it was his own soul that enticed him to do that out of craving after power and authority.

p: 385

Al-Hasan’s Speech

When Imam Ali (a.s) heard al-Zubayr’s speech, he commanded his son al-Hasan to refute him. Imam al-Hasan rose and made a speech. He praised and lauded Allah, and then he said: “We have heard Ibn al-Zubayr’s speech in respect of my father and his saying that he (Imam Ali) had killed Uthman. You, O people of the Muhajireen and the Ansar and other Muslims, have come to know Ibn al-Zubayr’s speech about Uthman and what his name was with him and the blame he unjustly laid on him. On that day, Talha hoisted his flag on his (Uthman) public treasury while he was still alive. Therefore, how do they accuse my father of killing him and dispraise him? If we wished the speech against them, we would say.

“As for his speech that Ali has extorted the affair of the people, it is the greatest proof of his father that he claimed that he pledged allegiance to him with his hand and not with his heart. Certainly he admitted the pledge of allegiance while he claimed the innermost thoughts. Therefore, he must give a proof on what he has claimed. And how can he do that?!

“As for his wonder at the coming of the people of Kufa to the people of Basra, then what is his wonder at the people of the truth when coming to the people of falsehood?

“As for the supporters of Uthman, we have neither war nor fighting against them, but we fight against the rider of the camel and her followers…”[1]

p: 386

Certainly Imam Abu Muhammad (al-Hasan) has confuted Ibn al-Zubayr’s claims and refuted his fabrications. It was Ibn al-Zubayr, Talha, and A’isha, who kindled the fire of the sedition against Uthman. As for Imam Ali (a.s), he had no role in that. We have already explained that.

_____________________

[1] Al-Jamal, pp. 158-159.

The Summons to Allah’s Book

Imam Ali spared no effort to strengthen peace, avoid war, and summon people to put into practice what Allah’s Book had commanded. He raised the Qur’an with his right hand and walked through his companions. He had a ray of hope in making peace. He said to them: “Which one of you can show them the Qur’an and what there is in it? If his hand is cut off, he must take it with the other. If it is cut off, he must take it with his teeth. He will be killed.”

A Kufan young man rose zealously and nobly and said to him: “I will do, O Ameerul Mo'minin.”

The Imam turned his face away from him for a while. He walked through his companions and asked them to achieve this task. But none responded to him except that noble young man. So he gave him the Qur’an and said to him: “Show them this Qur’an, and say that it is between you and us. You should take Allah into consideration concerning our and your bloods.”

The young man proudly set off. Neither fear nor terror was in his heart. He waved the Qur’an before A’isha’s troops. He summoned them to do according to the Qur’an. In the meantime he summoned them to cling to brotherhood and peace. However, they turned away from him. Their selfishness and their hating the truth moved them to attack him. They cut off his right arm, and he took the Qur’an with his left hand and summoned them to follow Allah’s Book. They attacked him again and cut off his left hand, and he took the Qur’an with his teeth. He drowned in blood. In the moments of his life, he summoned them to peace and to spare their blood, saying: “You should take Allah into consideration in respect of our and your blood.”

p: 387

Nevertheless, they attacked him and insisted on their error and obstinacy. They showered him with arrows, and he fell to the ground a martyr.

After this excuse, the Imam found no means except war. He said to his companions: “Now, it is lawful for you to fight against them and it is good for you to strike them!”[1]

_________________________

[1] Al-Tabari, vol. 5, p. 204.

The Declaration of the War

After the murder of his messenger, Imam Ali summoned the leaders of his army. He specified for them their places. He mobilized the fighters for war. Then he gave them some moral instructions on virtue, mercy, and justice. He said to them: “O people, if you defeated them, do not finish off the wounded, do not kill the captives, do not follow those who turn back, do not seek those who retreat, do not disclose private organs, do not maim a killed one, do not violate an honor, do not approach their belongings except that which you find in their camps such as weapons, horses, mules, slaves, and bondmaids. Other than that is inheritance belongs to their inheritors according to Allah’s Book.”

A’isha rode her camel called Askar. She asked her men to give her a handsome of pebbles. She threw these pebbles against Imam Ali’s followers and said, ‘How ugly faces!’ A man from Imam Ali’s companions cried at her, ‘O A’isha, and you did not smite when you smote, but it was Satan who smote.’

She was the commander-in-chief. It was she who organized the troops and gave commands. Her troops aimed their arrows at Imam Ali’s camp. They killed some of his companions. After that, the Imam found no escape from fighting against them. He girded himself with his own sword and gave the standard to his son Muhammad[1] . He said to al-Hasan and al-Husayn: “I have given the standard to your brother and left you due to your position with Allah’s Apostle.” Muhammad set off to the field of the battle with a firm determination. He sought success and victory, but the people showered him with their arrows from all directions.

p: 388

Imam Ali attacked the people while he was carrying the standard in his left hand and showed in his right hand his sword Thul Faqar, with which he fought against the infidels and the polytheists, and with which today he fought against those who reneged their religion and deviated from Islam. The leading Muhajireen and Ansar surrounded him. All the enemies before them were like ashes on which the winds blow hard on a stormy day.

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[1] Muhammad bin Ali bin Abi Talib al-Hashimi, known as Ibn al-Hanafiya. His mother was Khawla al-Hanafiya, daughter of Ja‘far. Ibrahim bin al-Junayd has said: “We not know that there is anyone better and more accurate than Muhammad in narrating traditions on the authority of Ali.” Abu Na‘eem has said: “He (Muhammad) died in the year 80 A. H.” (This has been mentioned in the book) Tahdhib al-Kamal, p. 21.

Al-Zubayr is killed

Imam Ali (a.s) went out unarmored among the troops and shouted at the top of his voice:

-Where is al-Zubayr?

Al-Zubayr walked towards him while he was heavily armed. When the Imam saw him, he embraced him and said:

-O Abu Abdullah, what has made you come here?

-I have come to avenge Uthman!

The Imam looked at him and asked:

-Avenge Uthman?

-Yes.

- May Allah kill whoever killed Uthman!

The Imam gently began talking with him and reminded him of his support to him, saying:

-I adjure you before Allah, O Zubayr! Did you know that you and Allah’s Apostle (a.s) passed by me, while he was leaning on your hand? Allah’s Apostle greeted and smiled at me. Then he turned and said to you: “O Zubayr, you will unjustly fight Ali!”

p: 389

Al-Zubayr bowed his head. His face turned pale. His heart melted out of sorrow and regret. He felt remorse for what he had neglected. He said to the Imam:

-O Allah, yes!

-Then, why do you fight against me?

-I have forgotten it, by Allah! If I had known it, I would not have fought against you.[1]

-Return!

-How can I return while the misfortune has become great and the matter has become intense?

-Go back before that the disgrace and fire come together!

Al-Zubayr decided to withdraw from this discord, but he wanted to get rid of it peacefully. So he said to A’isha: “O mother of the faithful, by Allah, I did not take a situation, unless I knew where to put my foot except this one. I do not know whether I am coming forwards or going backwards!”

A’isha knew his hidden intention and what he wanted through his speech. She understood that he wanted to withdraw. She sneeringly said to him:

-O Abu Abdullah, you are afraid of the swords of the children of Abdul Muttalib.

This mockery played with his soul, and his wicked son Abdullah increased his upset and worry, and made him come back to the battlefield. He said to him:

-You were aware of your coming out, but when you saw the standards of (Ali) bin Abi Talib and knew that death is behind them, you have become cowardly.

His son accused him of weakness and cowardice which was a disgrace, abasement, and a defect. The father said:

p: 390

-Woe unto you! I swore (by Allah) before him (Imam Ali) that I should not fight against him!

-Expiate your oath by setting free your slave Sarjas.

So he freed his slave[2] . Then he wandered in the battlefield to show his bravery to A’isha and to his son. He wanted to show them that he paid no attention to death. He attacked the left wing of the Army. Then he returned and attacked the middle of the Army. Then he returned to his son and said to him: “Is the one who does so cowardly?”

Then he went to Wadi al-Siba’. Al-Ahnaf bin Qays and his people had been there. His people said to him: “This is al-Zubayr. He has passed.” And he said: “What shall I do to al-Zubayr? He has brought together two great groups of people and made them kill each other.” Some people from the tribe of Tamim followed him. Amr bin Jarmuz preceded them to him. Al-Zubayr stopped to perform the prayer and said to Amr: “Shall you lead me (in prayer) or shall I lead you?” Al-Zubayr led him, and Amr bin Jarmuz killed him while praying.[3]

The end of al-Zubayr’s life was mixed with treachery, treason, and mutiny against the truth. Unfortunately, he had a brilliant past full of good deeds and merits. He was the leader of Hilf (alliance) al-Fudool whose slogan was supporting the oppressed. Then, what was the matter with him during that period of time? He turned away from Imam Ali and forgot the persecutions that he suffered. That was when Taym usurped his right for the first time, Adi for the second time, and Umayya for the third time. And then he (al-Zubayr) came to usurp his right. Unfortunately, al-Zubayr had such painful end though he had noble attitudes. Through his sword he removed the sadness from the face of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). After the Prophet (a.s) he stood beside Imam Ali. He protected his side and announced his merits and gave him precedence over others. So what made him rebel against the imam? Did Ali bin Abi Talib possess alone the Muslims’ properties? Did he save up something for himself and his family, that al-Zubayr might fight and mutiny against him?

p: 391

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[1] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 73.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 200.

[3] Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 247.

A’isha is surrounded

Some Arab tribes regarded death as good and delicious for the sake of A’isha, so they offered sacrifices for her. They went too far in protecting and defending her. They are as follows:

Al-Azd:

The tribe of al-Azd adored A’isha and sacrificed their lives for her, to the extent that they took her camel’s dung and smelt it. They said: “The smell of the dung of our mother’s camel is like musk.”[1] They hurried to defend her death-defying.

They surrounded her camel “Askar” and caught its bridle. A’isha was astonished and she asked:

-Who are you?

-We are al-Azd.

She began moving inside them the spirit of enthusiasm and she urged them to die for her, saying: “The free are patient. I still see that victory comes from the Banu Dhabba!”

These words kindled the fire of the revolt in themselves, and they rushed to death and fought severely for her sake.[2]

Banu Dabba:

Banu Dabba were from the mean and low Arabs. They had rude hearts and natures. Their souls were full of the bad customs and vices of the pre-Islamic era. They cheaply sacrificed their lives for A’isha. They surrounded her camel death-defying.

They stood steadfastly to the extent that their hands and heads were cut off. On that day, they used Uthman’s blood as a slogan for them.

Forty men from them were killed around A’isha’s camel. In this respect A’isha said: “My camel was standing until I lost the voices of Banu Dhabba.”

p: 392

Banu Najiya:

From among the tribes who were fond of A’isha was the Banu Najiya. They hurried to the field of death for her sake. They held the bridle of her camel, and she asked about them, and it was said to her: “We are the Banu Najiya.” She urged them and threw them in the flame of the war, saying: “Be patient, O Banu Najiya! I know that the qualities of Quraysh are available in you!”[3]

These are some of the tribes who offered many sacrifices for the sake of A’isha. Certainly, their mother (A’isha) deluded them and threw them into a sedition because of her ambitions and spites.

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[1] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 97.

[2] Ibid., vol. 2, p. 81.

[3] Ibn al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 81.

The Camel is killed

A violent battle took place between the two parties. The companions of Imam Ali (a.s) wanted to protect the Imam of the Muslims and the guardian of their Prophet, while the companions of A’isha wanted to protect their mother and to die for her that many of them were killed. Imam Ali (a.s) thought that the battle would not end as long as the camel was there. Accordingly, he summoned Ammar and Malik al-Ashtar. When they were present before him, he said to them: “Go and kill that camel, for the flame of the battle will not go out as long as it is alive! They have used it as a qibla (direction) for them.”

p: 393

Malik al-Ashtar, Ammar, and some young men from Murad set off. A young man named Mu’ammar bin Abdillah[1] went to the camel. He hit it on the hock. The camel fell to the ground and cried in a way which none had ever heard.

A’isha’s companions scattered. The idol (the camel) for which they offered sacrifices was destroyed. Then, Imam Ali ordered the camel to be burnt and to be scattered into the air lest some of it should remain and the simple people might be fond of it. Having finished that, he said: “May Allah curse this animal! It is similar to the calf of the children of Israel!”

Then he looked at the ashes of the camel that the wind took. Then he recited this Qur’anic verse: “And look at your god to whose worship you kept (so long); we will certainly burn it, then we will certainly scatter it a (wide) scattering in the sea.”[2]

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[1] And it was said that someone other than him killed the camel. In another narration it was mentioned that Imam Ali summoned his son Muhammad bin al-Hanafiya. He gave him a spear and said to him: “Go and kill the camel with the spear.” He went, but the people came between him and the camel. So he came back and was unsuccessful. Then al-Hasan took the spear from his hand. He went to the camel and stabbed it.

[1] Qur’an, 20, 97.

A’isha is pardoned

Imam Ali (a.s) received A’isha with kindness and pardoning. He sent to her brother Muhammad to ask her about her conditions. Muhammad went to her. He entered his hand into her howdah. She was afraid of him, so she shouted at him, saying:

p: 394

-Who are you?

-The most hated one of your family to you!

She recognized him immediately. She said to him while her soul was full of hatred and malice towards him:

-The son of al-Khath‘amiyya?

-Yes, your dutiful brother!

-Undutiful!

She turned her face away from him. But he turned to her and asked her with kindness and leniency:

-Has anything abominable befallen you?

-An arrow that has not harmed me!

He removed the arrow from her. At the last part of the night, he led her camel and took her to Safiyya, daughter of al-Harith[1] in the house of Abdullah bin Khalaf al-Khaza’i[2] . She stayed there for some days.

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[1] Safiya, daughter of al-Harith bin Talha. Her father was killed as infidel at the Battle of Badr. She was the wife of Abdullah bin Khalaf and was the mother of Talha al-Talhat. Al-Isaba, vol. 4, p. 346.

[2] Abdullah bin Khalaf bin As‘ad al-Khaza‘i was the father of Talha al-Talhat. Abu Umar has said: “I do not know that he had companionship (with the Prophet). He was the script of Umar bin al-Khattab over the Divan of al-Basrah. He was killed at the Battle of al-Jamal. He belonged to ‘Aa’isha’s party, and his brother Uthman was among the companions of Imam Ali.” Al-Isaba, vol. 2, p. 303.

The Amnesty

Imam Ali gave a general amnesty to all of his enemies and opponents. As for A’isha, she asked the Imam to give security to her nephew Abdullah bin al-Zubayr, who was the bitterest enemy of the Imam. The Imam responded to her for that. Al-Hasan and al-Husayn talked to him about Marwan, and he gave security to and pardoned him. His caller called: “The wounded should not be finished off, those who turn back should not be chased, those who retreat should not be stabbed, those who lay down their weapons will be safe, and those who stay in their house will be safe.”

p: 395

Then he gave security to those black and red, as al-Ya‘qubi says.[1] He did not punish any of his opponents. In this manner peace spread and tranquility included all the quarters of Basra.

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[1] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 159.

A’isha is released

Imam Ali (a.s) sent Abdullah bin Abbas to A’isha to ask her to leave Basra for Medina, that she might stay in her house as Allah had commanded her. Abdullah bin Abbas asked permission to enter her house. But she refused to permit him. He came into her house without permission and took a pillow from her luggage and sat on it. She was angry with him and said to him: “By Allah, O Ibn Abbas, I have never seen (anyone) like you. You have entered our house and sat on our cushion without our permission.”

Abdullah bin Abbas said: “By Allah, it is not your house. Your house is that which Allah has commended you to stay in, but you did not do. Ameerul Mo'minin commands you to go back to your country which you had gone out of.”

She showed her hidden malice and hatred towards the Imam, saying:

-May Allah have mercy on the Commander of the Faithful, Umar bin al-Khattab.

-Yes, and this is the Commander of the faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib.

-I refuse! I refuse!

-Your refusal was but too short, and then you became in a state that you neither go nor come, and neither order nor prevent!

p: 396

His words hurt her, and she wept. Then she said to him: “Yes, I will go back because the most abominable country to me is that in which you are!”

Ibn Abbas became excited by her speech, and he said to her: “By Allah, this is not to be our reward from you when we have regarded you as the mother of the believers and your father as truthful to them!”

She answered him with the silliest speech, saying: “Do you remind me of (the favor) of Allah’s Apostle?”

How far this speech is from faith! Had it not been for Allah’s Apostle, she would be nothing? Because of the Prophet (a.s), her star went high, and she had a reputation. Ibn Abbas said: “We remind you of him. If he had a position with you similar to his (the prophet) position with us, you would remind us of him (as favor)!”

Then he left her and went away. He told Imam Ali about his dialogue with her and her response to his speech. The Imam thanked him for that.[1] When A’isha decided to depart, Imam Ali supplied her with the best of supply and prepared for her a full caravan that lacked nothing. On the day when she was to travel, he, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn, came in to her. When the women saw the Imam, they cried and shouted before him. Safiya, the owner of the house, said to him: “O you who have killed the beloved ones! O you who have divided the communities! May Allah make your children lose you just as you have made the children of Abdullah orphans!”

p: 397

The Imam answered her: “If I were the one who killed the beloved ones, then I would kill those who were in this house.” He indicated with his hand to a room where some of his enemies and opponents were hidden there. Those who were with the Imam wanted to attack them, but he prevented them from doing that. Then a speech took place between A’isha and the Imam. She said to him: “I want to stay with you, that I may go to fight against your enemy!” However, the Imam refused and commanded her to stay in the house where Allah’s Apostle had left her. If the Imam wanted the timely policy, he would respond to her for that. However, he was the source of piety and faith. He wanted to behave toward her according to the Islamic law, which makes it incumbent on woman to conform to her hijab and to educate her own soul and to set right her house; and she has at all no right to enter party affairs or political battles. At last, A’isha left Basra after she had filled its houses with lost orphans, sadness, tears, terrified Muslims, and murder everywhere. The number of the victims because of her was ten thousands; half of them was from the companions of Imam Ali, and the other half was from her companions.[2]

Through her rebellion against Imam Ali she destroyed the relationships among the Muslims, blew up the links of brotherhood the that Prophet had established, opened a door to discords and evil among the community of Muhammad (a.s). Besides, she paved the way for Mu’awiya and the Umayyads to mutiny against the Imam. She also paved the way to them to use Uthman’s blood as means to obtain government, to enslave, and abase the Muslims. The ulama of the Muslims have unanimously agreed on that those who made such mutiny were sinners, that they had no justification at all to do that. They have also described them as the oppressive. They have said that the religious duty required fighting against them according to this Qur’anic verse: “And if two parties of the believers quarrel, make peace between them. But if one of them acts wrongfully toward the other, fight that which acts wrongfully until it returns to Allah’s command.”[3] Abu Hanifa says: “No one ever fought against Ali, unless Ali was worthier of the truth than him. Were it not for what Ali followed among them, no one would know how to deal with the Muslims. Without doubt, Ali fought against Talha and al-Zubayr after they had paid homage to him and then they broke their homage. And at the Battle of al-Jamal, Ali treated them with justice. He was the most aware of Muslims, and the Sunna has decided to fight the men of oppression.”[4]

p: 398

Ibn Hajar has said: “The people who took part in the Battles of al-Jamal and Siffin accused Ali of colluding with those who killed Uthman, while he was innocent of that and was far from it.” He added: “It is incumbent on the Imam to fight against the oppressive. The companions (of the Prophet) had unanimously agreed on him. He had not to fight against them unless he should send to them someone trustworthy, clever, and loyal. He should ask them about the reason why they had harbored malice against the Imam just as Ali did when he sent Abdullah bin Abbas to the Kharijites at al-Nahrawan.”[5]

Al-Huwayni has said: “Ali bin Abi Talib was a true Imam in respect of appointing him as a ruler. And those, who fought against him, were oppressive.”[6]

The Islamic law requires the Imam of Muslims to fight against those who rebel against the religious authority, for their mutiny divides the unity of the Muslims and destroys their brotherhood.

Imam al-Hasan witnessed this terrible event, and it made him know the people’s hatred and spites toward his father. During that event, he was a unique hero and an experienced leader. He could urge the people to fight against the forces who mutinied against his father. With this point we will end our talk about the problem that took place in Basra that we may meet with him at Siffin.

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[1] Al-Iqd al-Farid, vol. 3, pp. 103-104.

[2] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 224. It has been said that the number of the killed was more than that.

p: 399

[3] Qur’an, 49, 9.

[4] Al-Khawarizmi, Manaqib Abu Hanifa, vol. 2, pp. 82-83.

[5] Al-Nawawi, Tuhfat al-Muhtajj, vol. 4, p. 110.

[6] Al-Irshad fi Usool al-I‘tiqad, p. 433.

Chapter XI

Part One: At Siffin

Part 1

Some events happen in the world of existence and go without leaving an important effect that history may mention even if they have great importance during their time. Some other events happen in the field of life and they remain as immortal as time because they leave behind them a social effect bringing about general good to man. Some other events happen in the arena of life and fill the world with tragedies and misfortunes, and bring about to man unhappiness and enslavement. Among these tragic events and painful misfortunes is the event that took place at Siffin where the conflict was between good and evil, justice and injustice, light and darkness. The religious caliphate aimed at man’s interests and happiness and the chaotic government aimed at nothing except selfishness and trading with peoples’ interests.

The Islamic nation did not decide its fate decisively at the battle of Siffin, so such an attitude led the nation to enslavement, abasement, submission, oppression, and tyranny. Professor Malik al-Jaza’iri has referred to that when he explained the correct foundations that the Bandong Conference has adopted. He has said: “And certainly the Islamic history has come to know of a moment like this (i.e., self-determination) at the Battle of Siffin. This battle was a sorrowful event from which resulted the hesitation in choosing; the decisive choosing between Ali and Mu’awiya, between Medina and Damascus, between the democratic rule of the caliphate and the family rule. During that decisive point in its history, the Islamic society chose the way that led finally to colonialism.”[1]

p: 400

Indeed, the Muslim people were forsaken at the Battle of Siffin. They did not decide their decisive fate. So they deserted Imam Ali and forced Imam al-Hasan after him to accept the peace (with Mu’awiya). Accordingly, the Umayyads undertook the leadership of the country and went too far in killing the good, chasing the righteous, and spreading oppression and tyranny in the land. Therefore, we have to explain the stages of this tragedy briefly and reflect on its horrible conclusions, which are as follows:

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[1] The concept of Afro-Asiatic in the light of the Bandong Conference\111.

Mu’awiya’s Mutiny

Mu’awiya declared mutiny against Imam Ali’s government. He refused to pay homage to him and to follow what the Muslims had followed. As for the reasons for his rebellion, they are as follows:

A. Mu’awiya knew that Imam Ali would not allow him to remain in his office, and there was no escape from that he would deprived him of all his properties that he had embezzled from the Muslims’ public treasury. If he had come to know that he (Imam Ali) would allow him (Mu’awiya) to practice his office, lavishness, and extravagance, he would not have declared mutiny and rebellion against him. Imam Ali did not flatter him in respect of his religion, nor did he seek victory through tyranny, nor did he accept oppression that destroyed the oppressive and aggressors. Therefore, how was it possible for the Imam to allow Mu’awiya to undertake the office of a governor while he knew that he had neither reality nor commitment to the religion? On the first day of his caliphate, Imam Ali deposed Mu’awiya from his office. Mu’awiya wrote a letter to him asking him to allow him to remain as he was or to appoint him as a ruler over Egypt, but the Imam refused to respond to him.

p: 401

Mu’awiya and his relatives knew Imam Ali’s inclinations and aims of establishing justice in the country, putting an end to social oppression, and removing the oppressive from their offices. Besides, they knew that they would be unknown during Imam Ali’s government just as they had been during the time of the Prophet. For this reason, they declared aggression against the Imam that they might keep their interests.

B.

Mu’awiya knew that he had the ability to resist Imam Ali and fight against him because of his influence and position in the country. Mu’awiya did not behave in his district as just a governor, but he was ambitious to obtain that which was beyond his district. He did as a leader who would found a state and he supported the state for himself and his own children after him. Accordingly, he gathered leading people, purchased supporters, surrounded himself with power, wealth, and was ready to stay for a long time.[1]

C.

From among the things that moved Mu’awiya to mutiny against Imam Ali was the revolt led by A’isha, Talha, and al-Zubayr. They paved the way for him because the Battle of Siffin was an extension to the battle of al-Jamal and from its results. Had it not been for their (A’isha,Talha, and al-Zubayr) revolt, their declaring rebellion, and avenging Uthman, Mu’awiya would not have been able to divide the Muslims’unity, revolt against the Imam, and fight against him.

D.

There is another thing worthy of taking care and through which Mu’awiya justified his rebellion and revolt against the then government. This thing has been mentioned by Mu’awiya in the letter he sent to Muhammad bin Abi Bakr: “Your father and his Faruq (Umar bin al-Khattab) were the first to usurp his (Ali) right and oppose his matter (the caliphate). They agreed on that and then they summoned him to pledge allegiance to them. But he was slow and tardy in responding to them and so they intended to cause him troubles and wanted to kill him. Then he paid homage to and submitted to them. However, they did not make him take part in their affairs, nor did they inform him of their secrets until Allah took them unto Him.” He added: “So if that ,which we are in, is right, then your father had possessed it (the caliphate) alone, and we are his partners. If your father had not done what he did, we would not have opposed (Ali) bin Abi Talib, and we would have submitted to him. Your father had done that toward him before us, and we have followed his example.”[2]

p: 402

This justification is very true, for had it not been for that the two Sheikhs disputed with Imam Ali and usurped his right of authority, Mu’awiya would not have been able to oppose or revolt against him. Mu’awiya followed their example and their way. He aggressed against the Imam, spoiled his army, and left him in the suburbs of Kufa wishing for death, that he might get rid of the misfortunes and sorrows that had befallen him.

E.

Yet, from among the things that moved Mu’awiya to declare the rebellion and the mutiny against Imam Ali was to avenge Uthman. He used Uthman’s murder as means to get his own objectives and reach his wishes. He employed all his hirelings to magnify his affair and to laud his name to deem him above all sins, to the extent that all the hearts of the people in al-Sham yielded to him and their souls were full of harboring malice and hatred against Imam Ali. They showed sadness and sorrow greater than that he showed. They urged and hurried him to war against Imam Ali and to avenge Uthman more than he himself did.

There is no doubt that Mu’awiya paid no attention to Uthman’s murder, because Uthman had sought his help when he was besieged, but he did not respond or help him with anything. If he wanted to avenge Uthman, then his advisor, Amr bin al-Aas, would be the worthiest of being punished, for it was he who kindled the fire against Uthman, and he used to say: “By Allah, if I found a shepherd, I would provoke him against Uthman as well as the heads and the prominent people.”[3] Therefore, his avenging Uthman was for nothing except that he used it as means for achieving his purpose and obtaining the power which he had dreamed of. These are some of the reasons that moved Mu’awiya to fight against Imam Ali.

p: 403

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[1] ‘Abqariyat al-Imam Ali, p. 115.

[2] Al-Mas‘udi ‘ala Hamish bin al-Athir, vol. 6, pp. 78-79.

[3] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 163.

Delegation of Jareer

When Mu’awiya declared his mutiny against Imam Ali’s government, the companions of the Imam asked him to lead them in a war against Mu’awiya. That was after they had finished the battle of al-Jamal. It was as if they wanted to add another victory to their victory. However, the Imam refused that because his plan was making peace and preferring tranquility. He thought that he had to send to Mu’awiya some messengers to call him for obedience and to follow what the people had followed.

Among those messengers was Jareer bin Ubaydillah al-Bajali[1] . Imam Ali sent him to meet Mu’awiya and supplied him with this letter: “You are required to pledge allegiance to me in Medina even if you are in al-Sham because the people who had paid homage to Abu Bakr and Umar have pledged allegiance to me on the same basis on which they had pledged allegiance to them. On this basis, one who is present has no choice to consider, and one who is absent has no right to reject, and consultation is confined to the Muhajireen and the Ansar.

If they agree on an individual and take him to be caliph, it will be deemed to mean Allah’s good pleasure. If someone keeps away by way of objection or innovation, they will return him to the position from where he kept away. If he refuses, they will fight against him for following a course other than that of the believers, and Allah will send him to what he has chosen, and take him to Hell, and it is an evil resort. Talha and al-Zubayr had paid homage to me, and then they broke the allegiance, and their breaking is as their rejection. So I have struggled against them for the sake of that until the truth has come and Allah’s command has become clear while they are unwilling. Then, enter what the Muslims have entered because the most lovable thing to me in respect of you is wellbeing except that you intrude upon the tribulation. If you intruded upon it, I would fight against you and seek help from Allah against you. You have said too much in respect of Uthman’s murder. Enter in what the Muslims have entered. Then let me rule the people, and I will make you and them follow Allah’s Book. As for that which you want, it is as deceiving the baby to make it leave the milk. By my life, if you see with your own brain without any

p: 404

passion, you will find me the most innocent of all concerning Uthman’s blood. You should know that you are among al-Tulaqaa’[2] , whom the caliphate is not lawful for, nor consultation is confined to them. I have sent to you Jareer bin Abdullah, who is among the men of faith and emigration. Therefore, pay homage to me, and there is no power save in Allah.”[3]

This is the letter of the truth. It summoned Mu’awiya to follow the truth through the shortest way and through the clearest style.

Moreover, it is a current sermon and a guiding wisdom for those who want guidance and whom Allah delights, and in whose heart He causes the spring of light to gush out. The letter indicates that Imam Ali was not heedless of explaining the affairs that people said, nor did he leave a gap through which his opponent could pass. Professor Abd al-Fattah Maqsud has said: “When Mu’awiya wanted to use something as a trick or as a pretext to confirm his opposition and support his deviation, the Imam extended to him a pick and strong iron to destroy his falsehood and demolish his strongholds.”[4]

Jareer covered the desert and arrived in Mu’awiya’s palace. He said to him: “O Mu’awiya, the men of the two Sacred Cities (Mecca and Medina), the people of the two cities (Basra and Kufa), the people of al-Hijaz and Yemen, the people of al-Arudh and Oman, and the people of Bahrain and Yamama have come together to support your cousin (Imam Ali). Therefore no people have remained behind except the people of these strongholds where you are. If a flood from one of his valleys flew on them, it would cover them. I have come to summon you to that which guides and leads you to paying homage to the man (Imam Ali).”[5]

p: 405

When Mu’awiya heard that, he became breathless and said nothing. However he went too far in competing with Imam Ali. He could find no escape for himself except respite and delaying. During that period of time, he could gather the prominent persons in Sham and the commanders of the Army. He consulted them in respect of yielding to the Imam’s government and responding to his messenger or to declare mutiny and avenge Uthman. They showed him their urgent desire for avenging Uthman and to declare rebellion against the Imam’s government.

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[1] The narrators have differed over the time when Jareer bin Ubaydillah al-Bajali became Muslim. It was said that he became Muslim at the time of the Prophet’s advent. It was said that he became Muslim forty days before the death of the Prophet, and it was said other than that. He was handsome. Umar has said concerning him: “He is Yousuf of this community.” He gave him precedence, during his battles in Iraq, over all (the tribe of) Bajeelah, who played a major role in conquering Qadisiya (in Iraq). Jareer bin Ubaydillah al-Bajali resided in Kufa. When Imam Ali sent him as a messenger to Mu‘awiya, he failed in his task. So he isolated himself from the two parties and preferred tranquility. Then he lived in Qirqisya until he died in the year 51 A. H. And it was said (that he died in the year) 54 A. H.

[2] Al-Tulaqa’ is the plural of taleeq, who is a released prisoner of war. Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) released them on the day when he conquered Mecca and did not enslave them.

p: 406

[3] Nasr bin Muzahim, Waqi‘at Siffin, p. 34.

[4] Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib, vol. 4, p. 27.

[5] Waqi‘at Siffin, p. 33.

Mu’awiya corresponds with Amr

Mu’awiya knew that the affair would not go well with him unless the crafty person of the Arabs, Amr bin al-Aas, should join him, that he might direct him, and that he would seek his help. He sent him a letter in which he asked him to come to him. This is the text of the letter: “Now, you have come to know the affair of Ali, Talha, and al-Zubayr. Marwan bin al-Hakam has inclined to us… Jareer bin Abdullah has come to us in respect of the pledge of allegiance to Ali. I have confined myself to you until you come. Come, and I will discuss a matter with you.”

When Amr read the letter, he became perplexed. He consulted his two sons Abdullah and Muhammad. Abdullah said to him: “I think that the Prophet of Allah died and he was pleased with you as well as the two Caliphs. Uthman was killed, while you were absent from him. Therefore, stay in your home, for you will not be made a caliph, nor do you want to be a follower of Mu’awiya for little world that is about to perish, and you are unhappy therein.”

Abdullah asked him to cling to piety and fear of Allah and not to respond to the motives of the troubles and vainglory. As for his son Muhammad, he was deluded by the world, and he craved after authority, so he said to him: “I think that you are the Sheikh of Quraysh and the leader of their affairs. If you give up this matter, you will be insignificant. Therefore, join the the people of Sham. Be one of their hands and avenge Uthman, because you have submitted to the Umayyads in respect of him.” Muhammad urged his father to destroy his hereafter and keep to his life in this world. Amr turned to his son Abdullah and said to him: “As for you, you have asked me to do what is good in my religion.” And he said to his son Muhammad: “And as for you, you have asked me to do what is good in my world.”

p: 407

Perplexity and Astonishment

The world and the hereafter quarreled with each other in Amr’s mind. He was full of perplexity. Suspicions surrounded him. He sleeplessly spent the night. He thought of the affair too much. He hesitated whether he had to join Mu’awiya’s camp and fight against (Imam Ali), the brother of Allah’s Apostleand so he would lose his religion, or to join Ali and be like the rest of the people and so he would win hereafter and religion. He thought of the mater for a long time. His family heard him reciting some poetry that showed his hesitation and perplexity.

However, his son Abdullah understood that he responded to Mu’awiya’s summons, and he said: “The Sheikh has made water on his heels and sold his religion for his worldly life!” In the following morning, he summoned his servant Wardan, who was clever in physiognomy. He said to him: “Halt, O Wardan!” Then he said to him: “Depart, O Wardan!” Then he said to him: “Halt, O Wardan!” His servant Wardan knew his perplexity and hesitation. So he said to him:

-You have mixed, O Abu Abdullah. If you want, I will inform you of which there is inside you. -Come on!

-The world and the hereafter has quarreled with each other in your heart. You have said: “The hereafter is with Ali with no life in this world. In the hereafter there will be a recompense for the life in this world. The life in the world is with Mu’awiya with no life in the hereafter. There is no recompense in the world for the life in the hereafter. Therefore, you are standing between them!” -By Allah, you are not mistaken! What do you think? -I think that you have to stay in your house. If the men of religion appear, you will live in the pardon of their religion. If the men of the world appear, they will be in no need of you. However, he did not respond to his servant’s advice. He decided to join Mu’awiya. Amr responded to his desires. He preferred this world to the hereafter. He decided to join Mu’awiya’s camp, and fight against Imam Ali (a.s).

p: 408

His Arrival in Sham

Amr bin al-Aas and his two sons went to Damascus. When he arrived in it, he began weeping just as women do while he was saying: “O Uthman, I announce the death of modesty and the religion!”[1]

He pretended weeping that he might cheat the simple-minded and show loyalty and obedience to Mu’awiya. When Mu’awiya met with him, he discussed with him the ways and means he had to follow during his war against Imam Ali. Amr bin al-Aas said to him: “As for Ali, by Allah, the Arabs do not regard you as equal to him in anything. In war he has a luck which none of Quraysh has except that you want to wrong him.”

Mu’awiya began explaining to him the reasons for his war and rebellion against the Imam, saying: “You are right! But we will fight against him for that which is in our hands and we ask him for the killers of Uthman!” Mu’awiya decided to fight against the Imam for authority, power, and the great wealth which he had embezzled from the public treasury. Amr bin al-Aas explained to him the weakness of avenging Uthman saying:

-How bad! We should not mention Uthman!

-Why, woe unto you! -As for you, you had deserted him though the people of Sham were beside you until he sought the help of Yazid bin Asad al-Bajali, and he hurried to him. As for me, I left him and escaped to Palestine![2] However, Mu’awiya paid no attention to his speech, for he could find no means to cling to during his rebellion except avenging Uthman.

p: 409

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[1] Ibn Al-Athir, Tarikh, vol. 129.

[2] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 162.

The Cheap Bargain

Amr bin al-Aas always longed for Egypt. He bought Mu’awiya his conscience and his religion for it. Mu’awiya asked him: -Do you love me, O Amr! -Why? For the hereafter? By Allah, no hereafter is with you! Or for this world? By Allah, this will not happen unless I should be you partner in it. -You are my partner in it! -Therefore, write down that Egypt and its districts shall be for me! Mu’awiya wrote down that Amr would be the wali of Egypt. Then he wrote at the bottom of the document: “Amr should listen and obey!” Amr said to him:

To listen and obey does not decrease anything of the stipulation! -Yes, and the people do not care for this. Mu’awiya carried out what Amr wanted[2] for he sold his religion to him. Mu’awiya won the most important crafty politician who played well over the rope and overcame the events. It was he who has said about his craftiness: “I am Abu Abdullah. If I itch an ulcer, I will make it bleed!”

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[1] Al-Iqd al-Farid, vol. 3, p. 113.

Jareer is rejected

When the affairs went well with Mu’awiya, and he made firm his situation, he refused Imam Ali’s messenger (Jareer). He sent with him a letter in which he has mentioned: “Now, if those you have mentioned paid homage to you, and you are innocent of Uthman’s blood, then you would be like Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. However, you urged the people to shed Uthman’s blood, so those ignorant obeyed you, and the weak became strong through you. Certainly, the people of Sham have determined to fight against you unless you give to them those who killed Uthman. If you did, then the caliphate would be consultation among the Muslims. The people of Hijaz were the rulers over the people, and the truth was with them. When they separated themselves from it, the people of Sham became the rulers over the people. By my life, your proof against the people of Sham is not like that of Talha and al-Zubayr. If they had pledged allegiance to you, I will not pledge allegiance to you! As for your merits in Islam and your kinship to Allah’s Apostle, I cannot refute them.”

p: 410

This letter carried slanders and lies Mu’awiya accused Imam Ali of killing Uthman, while he knew well that the Imam was innocent of that. However, he could find no proof to cling to except these lies.

Jareer came back to Imam Ali while he was unsuccessful in his task. He brought him Mu’awiya’s letter. The Imam read the letter and knew what Mu’awiya intended such as rebellion and revolt against him. He thought that he had to establish the proof against him again. He sent him some messengers to summon him to obey and follow what the Muslims had followed. That was useless, and Mu’awiya insisted on his obstinacy.

Mu’awiya marches towards Siffin

Mu’awiya took the pledge of allegiance to himself from the people of Sham, that he might avenge Uthman. He had abilities and military forces. The ambitious, the devious of the truth and the rebellious against Islam joined him, because they had no faith in Islam. When the affairs went well with Mu’awiya, he set off towards Siffin[1] to fight against the lawful authority, to overthrow the Islamic government, and return the moralities of pre-Islamic era. When he arrived in Siffin, he stopped there and controlled the Euphrates.

He regarded that as the beginning of conquer, because he could prevent his enemy from water. His troops stayed there to manage their affairs and organize their abilities to get ready for the battle.

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[1] Siffin is a place near al-Riqqa, on the western bank of the Euphrates, between al-Riqqa and Balsin. There the battle between Imam Ali and Mu‘awiya took place at the beginning of the month of Safar, in the year 37. The historians have differed over the number of the fighters of the two parties. It was said that there were 120 thousand fighters with Mu‘awiya, and there were 90 thousand fighters with Imam Ali. It was said that Imam Ali had 120 thousand fighters, and Mu‘awiya had 90 thousand fighters.

p: 411

Imam Ali gets ready for the Battle

When all the means that the Imam used for making peace failed, he got ready for the battle. That was when he knew that his enemy had marched towards Siffin to fight against him. He summoned the Muhajireen and the Ansar who hurried to help him. He said to them: “Most surely you are good in opinion, superior in clemency, believing in the truth, and blessed in action. We have decided to march towards our enemy; so give us your opinion!”

Hashim bin Utba rose and said to him: “O Commander of the faithful, most surely I am very aware of people. They are enemies to you and to your followers. They follow whoever seeks the worldly pleasures. They will fight and struggle against you. They will spare no effort to cling to this world and not to lose anything they have in it. They have no purpose except that through which they deceive the ignorant such as revenging Uthman bin Affan. They have told lies. They do not avenge, but they want the world. So let us march towards them. If they respond to the truth, so there is nothing beyond the truth except misguidance. If they insist on discord, then that is what we think of them. By Allah, I think that they will not pay homage (to you), as long as that there is someone among them who is obeyed when he prohibits and heared when he commands.”[1]

Most surely Hashim was experienced in the inners of the people and knowledgeable of their attitudes and inclinations. They sought the way to the world. They fought against the Imam for their own ambitions. They used Uthman’s blood as a pretext and means for their rebellion. They did not leave their hypocrisy and error as long as there was among them a person enjoying influence and force. Therefore, there was no escape from fighting them and marching towards them to put an end to their error and mutiny. Some other people from among the leading Muhajireen and the Ansar confirmed Hashim’s statement. They showed obedience and submission to the Imam. After that the Imam got ready for the battle. He corresponded with the prominent persons, the heads of the tribes, and the commanders of the army. He urged them to help him and to go out with him to fight against the rebels. They all responded to the call of the truth and expressed their inclusive readiness for defending him.

p: 412

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[1] Waqi‘at Siffin, p. 103.

Al-Hasan’s Oration

Imam al-Hasan aroused the determinations, and moved decisiveness and activity of the people. He urged them to go out to war against Mu’awiya just as he had done that before at the Battle of al-Jamal. He rose and delivered a speech among people to summon them to jihad. This is the text of his speech. “Praise belongs to Allah whom there is no god but Him, the One without a partner. I laud Him with that of which He is worthy.

“Most surely among the things through which Allah has made great His right against you, bestowed upon you His boons whose names cannot be counted… thanks to Him cannot be given; neither description nor speech can reach Him. We have become angry for Allah and you, because He is kind to us through that of which He is worthy and through which we should thank Him for His boons, His trial, and His favors. A speech that ascend to Allah and there is good pleasure in it, and through which the favor of truthfulness spreads, through which Allah confirms our speech, and through which we deserve more from our Lord, a speech that increases and does not decrease. That is if some people come together for a certain affair, their affair becomes strong and their knot becomes firm. Therefore, gather in crowds for fighting against Mu’awiya and his armies, for he has come. Do not fail, for failure destroys the heart, and the advance towards the spearheads is a help and protection. If people become strong, Allah will remove from them the malady, suffice them the hardships of abasement, and guide them to the principles of the religion.”

p: 413

Then he recited poetry, saying:

You take from peace (as much as) what pleases you, and a bit of war breaths is too much for you.[1] His eloquent speech is full of the summons to unity, cooperation, and to spare no effort in fighting against the rebellious forces. People responded to his summons. They quickly hurried to support the truth and defend Islam.

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[1] The poetry line belongs to al-Abbas bin Mardas al-Salami, just as it has been mentioned (in the book) al-Khazana, vol. 2, p. 82.

Al-Hasan with Sulayman

Some Iraqi leaders did not take part in the Battle of al-Jamal, nor did they help Imam Ali. Among them was Sulayman bin Surad al-Khuza’iy[1] . After the battle, Imam Ali (a.s) severely blamed and rebuked him, saying: “You have doubted, lurked, and dodged! You were from among the most reliable people to me and the quickest of them, as I think, in helping me! What has made you refrain from your Prophet’s Household? And what has made you leave supporting them?”

Sulayman was unable to stand the Imam’s rebuke against him, so he said to him: “O Ameerul Mo’minin, do not compare things to what had passed, and do not rebuke me for what had gone. Retain my love and I will be sincere to you. Many things have remained that you can recognize your enemy fro your friend through them.”

Then he went to Imam al-Hasan to tell him about his father’s (Imam Ali) speech. He said to him: “Do you not wonder at the reproach I have met from Ameerul Mo’minin?”

p: 414

Al-Hasan gently spoke with him, that he might remove the sadness from him, saying: “One, whose love and loyalty are hoped, is admonished.”

However, Sulayman remained excited, for the bitter admonishment and reproach had hurt him, and he said to Imam al-Hasan: “Some things, which spears and swords meet in, have remained, and the like of me is needed in them! Do not admonish, and do not neglect my loyalty!”

Al-Hasan calmed his anger and showed that he had confidence in him, saying: “May Allah have mercy on you! You are not suspected near us!”[2]

Sulayman’s excitement and anger calmed down, because Imam al-Hasan treated him with kindness and gentleness. He could remove from him the painful sorrow and return him to the ranks of the Mujahideen.

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[1] Sulayman bin Surad al-Khuza’iy was a prominent, honorable person among his people. He narrated traditions from the Prophet, Imam Ali, and Imam al-Hasan. He was among those who wrote letters to Imam al-Husayn, peace be on him, and asked him to come to Kufa. When Imam al-Husayn responded to their call, Sulayman remained behind. When the Muslims were terrified through killing the Apostle’s grandson (Imam al-Husayn), Sulayman and a group of his people felt remorse for they had not risen to support him. Accordingly, they hurried to avenge his blood. They marched until they met the sinful, Ubaydillah bin Ziyad, at a place called Ayn al-Warda. A battle took place between them. Sulayman and those with him were all killed. That was at the month of Rabee‘ al-Aakhar, in the year 65 A. H. He was then 93 years old.

p: 415

[2] Waqi‘at Siffin, pp. 9-10.

The March towards Siffin

When Imam Ali had sufficient military forces, he got ready to go to Siffin. He commanded al-Harith bin al-A’war to call people to go to their camp at al-Nukhaylah. He called them for that, and Kufa was full of Mujahideen. Imam Ali went out accompanied by the companions of the Prophet. The regiments that were like a flood went with him. They were riders or infantries. They had come to know why they went out. They went out to support the truth and to fight against the enemies and opponents of Islam. With their quick advance, the Imam’s troops walked beside the Euphrates. When they arrived in al-Anbar, its people received them. Then they hurried to Imam Ali. The Imam asked them denyingly: “What are these animals with you? What have you wanted through that which you have done?”

They showed him great love and respect. They said to him: “O Ameerul Mo’minin, it is among our customs through which we glorify our rulers. As for these horses, they are as a gift for you. We have cooked food for you and the Muslims. We have prepared a lot of fodder for your animals.”

Imam Ali scolded and prohibited them from doing that, saying: “As for this custom through which you magnify the rulers, by Allah, this does not profit the rulers, and you make yourselves and bodies tired through it. Therefore, do not return to it. As for these animals of yours, if you want us to take them from you and regard them as part of your land taxes (kharajj), we will take them. As for your food you have cooked, we hate to eat anything of your possessions except for a certain price.”

p: 416

This is the logic of justice which Ali bin Abi Talib followed. He did not permit the festivals and other ceremonies to be held for the rulers and emirs, for they had pressure against the subjects and they glorified the rulers who had, in the viewpoint of Islam, nothing to distinguish them from the rest of people.

The people of al-Anbar said to him: “O Ameerul Mo’minin, we will evaluate it (the food), and then we will accept its value.”

“You cannot evaluate its value,” retorted the Imam.

Then he left them and went away.[1] The Imam’s troops walked and covered the desert till they were face to face with the army of Mu’awiya.

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[1] Waqi‘at Siffin, pp. 160-161.

The fighting for Water

The Imam’s companions found no place to get water from the Euphrates because many guards had surrounded the drinking places and severely prevented them from reaching the river. They came to the Imam and told him about that, and he summoned Sa‘sa‘a bin Souhan and said to him: “Go to Mu’awiya and say to him: ‘We have made this travel and we hate to start you with fighting without any warning. You have come along with your horses. You have started fighting against us before we start fighting. We think that we have to refrain (from fighting) unless we summon you and protest against you. You have done another thing, to the extent that you have come between the people and the water. Let them get water that we may reflect on that which is between you and us, on that for which we and you have come. If you like that we leave what we have come for and let the people fight against each other that the victor may drink water, we will do.”

p: 417

Sa‘sa‘a bin Souhan went to Mu’awiya and told him about the Imam’s speech. Mu’awiya consulted his companions. Al-Waleed bin Aqaba said to him: “Prevent them from water just as they had prevented Uthman bin Affan. They besieged him (Uthman) for forty days. They prevented him from drinking cool water and fresh food. Kill them with thirsty! May Allah kill them!”

Amr bin al-Aas advised him to allow them to get water. However, al-Waleed repeated his saying. Then, Abdullah bin Sa’d bin Abi Sarh said to him: “Prevent them from the water until the night. If they cannot stand it, they will return. Their return will be a defeat. Prevent them from the water! May Allah prevent them on the Day of Resurrection!”

Sa‘sa‘a bin Souhan was unable to keep silent, so he became excited and said to him: “Most surely Allah will prevent the infidels, the sinful, and those who drink wine from it on the Day of Resurrection! May Allah strike you and this dissolute!” He indicated with his hand to al-Waleed. People attacked, cursed, and threatened him. Mu’awiya commanded them to refrain from him. Sa‘sa‘a unsuccessfully returned to Imam Ali. Accordingly, al-Ash‘ath bin Qays[1] hurried to the Imam and said to him: “O Ameerul Mo’minin, the people have prevented us from the water of the Euphrates while you are among us and we have swords! Let us fight against them. By Allah, we will not return until we drink water or die. Command (Malik) al-Ashtar to move with his horsemen and stop where you command him.”

p: 418

The Imam permitted him. When al-Ash‘ath won that, he returned to his people, saying: “Whoever wants water or death, then his promise is the morning! I am going to rise toward water!”

Twelve thousand fighters responded to him. When he saw them, he proudly rose, wore his breastplate and recited some poetry.

On the following morning the Iraqi masses hurried towards al-Ash’ath, and he headed them and attacked the people of Sham while he was saying to his people: “Go ahead, may my father and mother die for you!”

He went on calling his people and arousing in them the spirit of determination and activity, and they faced the people of Sham. Al-Ash‘ath shouted at the people of Sham: “Leave the water!”

Abu al-A‘war al-Salami[2] did not respond to him. Al-Ash‘ath and those with him attacked the the people of Sham. They removed them from the Euphrates and caused them heavy losses in properties and men. When the Iraqis occupied the Euphrates, the Imam permitted the people of Sham to drink from its water and did not pay them back twofold. He treated them generously.

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[1] Al-Ash‘ath bin Qays al-Kindi was the chief of his people. He and his people went to Allah’s Apostle in the year 10 A. H. He and they became Muslim. When the Prophet died, al-Ash‘ath reneged from Islam, and then he embraced it again during Abu Baker’s caliphate. Abu Baker married him to his sister Umm Farwa, daughter of Abi Quhafa. She was the mother of Muhammad bin al-Ash‘ath. When Abu Bakr died, al-Ash‘ath, along with Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqas went out to al-Qadisiya, Jalawla’, and Nahawand. Al-Ash‘ath bin Qays built a house in Kufa, in the quarter of Kinda, and lived in it. He died in the year 42 A. H., and it was said in the year forty. Imam al-Hasan prayed over him. This has been mentioned (in the book) al-Isti‘ab, vol. 1, p. 110. In the book Sharh Nahj al-Balagha it has been mentioned: “Al-Ash‘ath craved after authority after the death of the Prophet. He asked his people to crown him, and they responded to that. He and the apostates battled against the Muslims but he was besieged in his stronghold for some days. When he became desperate of victory, he surrendered on the condition that his blood and that of ten of his companions should be spared. The Muslims responded to him, so he was safe from killing. Abu Bakr felt remorse for that he did not kill him. When he was about to die, he said: “I wish that I had cut off al-Ash‘ath’s head on the day when he was brought to me. I think that he helps evil whenever he sees it.

p: 419

[2] Abu al-A‘war al-Salami is Amr bin Sufyan. Abu Hatam al-Razi has said: “He (Abu al-A‘war al-Salami) is not regarded as one of the companions (of the Prophet), nor his narration is authentic. He was present at the Battle of Hunayn while he was an infidel. Then he became Muslim. He was the strictest of people against the Imam at the Battle of Siffin. And the Imam invoked Allah against him during his private prayer (Qunut) in the Morning Prayer.” Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 4, p. 14.

Mediators are sent to Mu’awiya

Before the bell of the battle was rung, Imam Ali sent some mediators to Mu’awiya to make peace with him and spare blood just as he had done at the Battle of al-Jamal. The meiators sent to meet Mu’awiya were Adi bin Hatem, Shibith bin Rib‘i, Yazid bin Qays, and Ziyad bin Hafsa. ‘Adi bin Hatem said to Mu’awiya: “We have come to invite you to an affair through which Allah will unite our word and our community and spare the Muslims’ blood. And we invite you to the best of the community in precedence and deeds in Islam[1] . The people have gathered for him. Allah has guided them through what they have seen. None has remained except you and those with you. Therefore, O Mu’awiya, put an end (to your rebellion) before Allah inflicts on you and your companions something like that of the Battle of al-Jamal.”

This was a summons to the truth. If Hind’s son (Mu’awiya) had understood and responded to it, he would have spared the Muslims’ blood and united their word. However, he preferred his interest to the nation’s interests. He said to Adi: “It seems that you have come to threaten and not to make peace! How far, O Adi! No, by Allah, I am a son of war, and I am not frightened. By Allah, you are from those who provoked people against (Uthman) bin Affan, and most surely you are among those who killed him. I hope that you will be among those whom Allah will kill! How far, O Adi! You have milked with the strongest arm!”

p: 420

Certainly Mu’awiya showed him error, mutiny, and preferring of war, for he enjoyed military forces and had the ability to fight against Imam Ali. Then Yazid bin Qays said to Mu’awiya: “We have come to inform you of that for which we have been sent to you and to carry out on your behalf what we hear from you. We will not leave advising you, and that we have to mention what we think that we have a proof against you or that which return you to the unity and the community. Our leader is he whose merits you and the Muslims have known well. And I do not think that this is not clear to you. The men of religion and virtue do not regard you as equal to Ali and do not prefer you to him. Therefore, fear Allah, O Mu’awiya, and do not oppose Ali. We have never seen a man more pious, ascetic, and of high qualities than him.”

Mu’awiya knew Imam Ali’s outstanding merits. However, it was his spites and ambitions that came between him and the truth. So he preferred fighting against him. He answered the people, saying: “You have summoned to obedience and unity. As for the unity to which you have summoned (me), it is the best. And as for the obedience to your leader, we do not believe it. Your companion killed our Caliph (Uthman), divided our community, and lodged those who revolted against us. Your leader claims that he had not killed him. So we do not refuse that. Have you seen those who killed our leader (Uthman)? Do you not know that they are the companions of your leader? Therefore, he should give them to us to kill them for him (Uthman). And we will respond to you for obedience and unity.”

p: 421

The speech of Mu’awiya was full of lies and fallacies. He accused Imam Ali of murdering Uthman while he knew well that he was innocent of that. Indeed, the good Muslims had killed him, because he had deviated from the truth and altered Allah’s Book-just as we have previously mentioned. Shibth bin Rib‘i opposed Mu’awiya[2] , saying: “Does it please you, by Allah, O Mu’awiya, that you catch Ammar bin Yasir and kill him?”

Shibth bin Rib‘i gave Ammar bin Yasir as an example to Mu’awiya. It is worth mentioning that Ammar bin Yasir was the greatest personality who revolted against Uthman. Would he have killed him if he had found him? Mu’awiya said to him: “And what prevents me from doing that? By Allah, if your leader let me catch Sumayya’s son (Ammar), I would not kill him for Uthman; rather I would kill him for Na’il, Uthman’s servant!”

And what would have prevented Mu’awiya from killing Ammar if he had found him? He would have done that for authority and the rebellion against Islam. When Shibth bin Rib‘i heard Mu’awiya’s saying, he became excited and said to him: “No by Allah Who there is no god but Him, you cannot kill (Ammar) bin Yasir until the heads of men are cut off, and the vast earth becomes too narrow to you!”

The men returned while they were unsuccessful in their mediation. Mu’awiya did not respond to them and he went too far in rebellion and mutiny. Accordingly, they summoned the people and urged them to fight against Mu’awiya.

p: 422

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[1] It has been mentioned in Tarikh al-Tabari: “Most surely, your cousin the master of the Muslims is the best of it (the community) in precedence and deeds in Islam.”

[2] Shibth bin Rib‘i al-Tamimi was the caller of Sajah, who claimed that she was a prophet. Then he became Muslim and was among the companions of Imam Ali. Then he joined the Kharijites. Then he repented of that. This sinful person was among those who killed Imam al-Husayn, the master of martyrs. That was in about the year 70 A. H. al-Isaba, vol. 2, p. 163.

Declaration of War

When all the means that Imam Ali had taken for making peace failed, he got ready for the battle. He gave his instructions to the commanders of his troops. He said to them: “Do not fight against them till they fight against you, for, praise be to Allah, you have a proof, and your giving up fighting against them is another proof. If you defeated them, do not kill those who turn back. Do not finish off the wounded. Do not disclose (anyone’s private parts). Do not maim the killed. If you reach their men, do not violate an honor, do not enter a house without permission from me, and do not take anything of their belongings except what you find in their camps. And do not excite the women even if they curse your honors, and defame your commanders and your righteous ones, because they have weak abilities, souls, and reasons.”

p: 423

This was the plan that Imam Ali had made to his troops. It represents what he had in his soul of mercy, pity, and love for good even to his enemies and opponents.

The Imam spread the standards and appointed some commanders. He appointed Ammar bin Yasir over the horsemen, and Abdullah bin Badeel over the infantry. He gave the standard to Hashim al-Mirqal. He appointed over the right wing al-Ash‘ath bin Qays, and over the left wing Abdullah bin Abbas. As for the standards of the tribes, he gave them to their prominent personalities. In the meantime, Mu’awiya gave the standards to his companions. He appointed Ubaydillah bin Umar over the horsemen, and over the infantry Muslim bin Aqaba al-Murri. He appointed over the right wing Ubaydillah bin Amr bin al-Aas, and over the right wing Habeeb bin Muslim al-Fihri. He gave the standard to Abdurrahman bin Khalid bin al-Waleed. He appointed over the people of Damascus al-Dhahhak bin Qays al-Fihri.

Some regiments of the Imam’s troops fought against some of the people of Sham. The two parties fought against each other for one full day or a part of it. As for Imam Ali, he did not want an inclusive battle to take place between the two parties that his opponent might respond to making peace or return to reason. This condition continued until the month of Muharram came. It is worth mentioning that this month is among the months where the people before and after Islam did not fight each other. They gave up fighting during this month. They became reconciled throughout the month. They had the chance to meet each other safely. No battle happened between them, but there were heated arguments and disputes among them. The Iraqis summoned the people of Sham to unity, to put Allah’s Book into practice, and to pay homage to Imam Ali, the Prophet’s guardian. The people of Sham, summoned the Iraqis to avenge Uthman and break the pledge of allegiance to Imam Ali. When the month of Muharram passed, the two parties continued fighting each other just as they had done before it. Malik al-Ashtar looked at the standards of the people of Sham, and they reminded him of those of the atheists who went out to fight against Allah’s Apostle (a.s). So he addressed his people, saying: “Most of your standards were with Allah’s Apostle. As for the standards with Mu’awiya, they were with the polytheists during the time of Allah’s Apostle. Therefore, none has doubt about the fighting against these people except one who has a dead heart.”

p: 424

Then Ammar bin Yasir explained to the Muslims Mu’awiya’s reality and urged them to fight against him, saying: “O people of Islam[1] , do you want to look at one who has showed enmity toward Allah and His Apostle, rebelled against the Muslims, and helped the polytheists? When Allah wanted to manifest His religion and give victory to His Apostle, he (Mu’awiya) came to the Prophet and became Muslim. He, by Allah, as he thinks, was unwilling and not willing; and Allah took His Apostle, and we, by Allah, have come to know him throw his enmity toward the Muslims and his affection toward the criminals. Indeed, he is Mu’awiya; therefore, curse him; may Allah curse him! And fight against him, for he is from those who want to extinguish Allah’s light and support the enemies of Allah!”

Before he became Muslim, Mu’awiya had antagonized Allah and His Apostle, and rebelled against the Muslims. He became Muslim just because he was afraid of the swords that took his family. He concealed polytheism, hypocrisy, and rebellion against Islam and the Muslims. When he found helpers, he rose to fight against Imam Ali, the brother of Allah’s Apostle, and the Gate of the city of his knowledge.

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[1] In another narration he has said: “O people of al-Sham,….”

Al-Hasan with Ubaydillah

Mu’awiya tried to play some role with Imam al-Hasan. He sent to him Ubaydillah bin Umar[1] to make him desire for the caliphate and to deceive him, that he might leave his father. Ubaydillah went to Imam al-Hasan (a.s) said to him:

p: 425

-I have a need with you.

-Yes. What do you want?

- Your father has killed Quraysh from the beginning to the end. They have hated him. Can you depose him, and we will appoint you in this authority?

Yes, Imam Ali had killed them for the sake of Islam, for they had tried to do away with it. Imam Ali had fought them and killed their tyrants, destroyed their arrogants, and defeated their troops. For this reason, they harbored malice and enmity against him. When Imam al-Hasan heard Ubaydillah’s saying, he shouted at him saying: “No, by Allah, that will not happen!”

Imam al-Hasan angrily and with displeasure looked at him. He told him that he would meet his death so soon. He said to him: “It is as if that I can see that you will be killed on this day or tomorrow! It is Satan who has adorned the world to and deceived you…the women of Sham see your situation, and Allah will knock you down on your face being killed.”

Ubaydillah unsuccessfully returned to Mu’awiya and told him about his talk with Imam al-Hasan. Mu’awiya said: “, he is the son of his father!”[2]

On that day, Ubaydillah went out to the battlefield and fought with the front that showed spites toward Islam. He quickly met his death at the hand of a noble man from Hamadan. Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was pleased when Ubaydillah bin Umar was killed and he said; “Praise be to Allah for that!”[3] Ubaydillah met his end while he was an enemy to Allah and His Apostle. He rebelled against Islam and revolted against the Imam of Muslims.

p: 426

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[1] Ubaydillah bin Umar bin al-Khattab was born during the time of Allah’s Apostle, and he narrated nothing from him. It was he who killed al-Hurmuzan and Jufayna. Imam Ali threatened him through administering against him the prescribed punishment if he could catch him. Ubaydillah bin Umar joined Mu‘awiya at the Battle of Siffin. During the days of the battle he came out wearing a silk jubbah and saying: “Ali will come to know when we meet tomorrow!” So the Imam said: “Leave him! For his blood is like that of a mosquito!” Ubaydillah bin Umar was killed at the Battle of Siffin. Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 2, p. 431.

[2] Bihar al-Anwar.

[3] Waqi‘at Siffin, p. 334.

The Inclusive War

Skirmishes between the two parties continued for a long time. No inclusive battle took place between them. Each party was tired of this long, useless state. There was no hope for making peace and unity. Rather, it made the discord and evil extend and spread. When Imam Ali knew that, he mobilized his companions and got ready for the general war. When Mu’awiya saw that, he did as the Imam had done. The two parties met each other. Imam al-Hasan (a.s) hurried to attack the people of Sham. When Imam Ali saw him, he became astonished and terrified, and said to those around him: “Save this boy for me! (Do not let him) end me, for I am stingy with these two (al-Hasan and al-Husayn) lest the progeny of Allah’s Apostle would cease (after killing them)!”[1]

p: 427

The fire of the war flared up and its heat became intense. People were afraid; terror and death dominated them. The right wing of the Imam’s troops was defeated. The center of the troops became weak and the defeat appeared among them. Imam Ali summoned Sahl bin Hunayf and commanded him to go along with those with him to the right wing, and he did. However, the troops of Sham attacked them and made them retreat. They returned defeated to the left wing. The tribe of Mudhar was forced to leave the right wing, while the tribe of Rabee’a was steadfast there. One of them said: “O people of Rabee’a, you would have no excuse after today near the Arabs if Ameerul Mo’minin is struck while he is among you!”

The men of Rabee‘a allied with each other for death. They were steadfast in the battlefield. They were calm and they paid no attention to death. They supported the truth and promised to sacrifice their lives for the Imam. Imam Ali was among them. He attacked his enemies while they were showering him with arrows. His sons protected him with their own lives, and none of them separated himself from him. A servant of the Umayyads’ called Ahmar bin Kaysan saw the Imam during the clashes of swords. He hurried like a dog towards the Imam. He swore by Allah that he would kill the Imam, saying: “By the Lord of the Kaaba, may Allah kill me if I do not kill you or you kill me!”

p: 428

The Imam’s servant called Kaysan attacked him. But the attacking dog (Ahmar bin Kaysan) killed him. This wicked person began attacking the Imam. But the Imam took him with his hand and carried him on his shoulders, and then he hit him to the ground. He broke his shoulder and two arms. Then al-Hasan and Muhammad attacked and killed him.

Imam Ali approached the people of Sham. Al-Hasan was afraid that the enemy might assassinate his father, so he said to him: “You would better walk to be among those who are steadfast before your enemy from among your companions (the people of Rabee’a).”

The Imam understood the meaning of Imam al-Hasan’s speech, and he said to him with gentleness and leniency: “O my little son, your father has a day (of death) that he will not exceed, nor will walking delay it (from reaching) him, nor will days hurry it to him. By Allah, your father does not care whether he falls upon death or death falls upon him.”

Malik al-Ashtar came towards the Imam running. He was astonished and surprised when the regiments escaped out of fear of death. When the Imam saw him, he said:

-O Malik!

-Here I am!

-Go to those people and say to them: “Whereto do you escape from death that you cannot disable? To the life that will not last for you?”

Malik al-Ashtar went to the people and recited the Imam’s statement to them, and so their fear calmed down. Then he introduced himself to them, saying: “I am Malik bin al-Harith! I am Malik bin al-Harith!” It came to his mind that this name was not enough to make them recognize him. He introduced himself with that for which he had become famous, saying: “I am Malik al-Ashtar!” Some people hurried to him, and he said to them with enthusiasm and determination: “O people, you have followed you fathers’ bad habits! How bad your fighting today is!” Then he said to them again: “Madhhaj, be loyal to me!”

p: 429

The tribe of Madhhajj hurried to him, and he said to them: “You bit the sold rocks! You have not pleased your Lord nor have you been loyal to Him! How is that while you are the children of the battles, leaders of the assaults, boys of the morning, knights of pursuit, and the killing of the equals? Madhhajj of fighting, who are not preceded in respect of avenging their blood, nor are their bloods shed, nor are they famous for abasement in a place! You are the boundary of the people of your city and the readiest of your people! What you do today will be narrated after this day! Therefore, beware of that the talks will be narrated tomorrow! Be truthful in meeting your enemy, for Allah is with the truthful! By Whom in Whose Hand Malik’s soul is, none of those (he pointed with his hand to the people of Syria) is equal to Muhammad (a.s) (even in a thing as small as) a wing of a mosquito! You have not fought well! Remove the blackness from my face! Cling to the great majority, for if Allah, the Great and Almighty, ended it (the battle), those who are on his (the Imam) two sides would follow him just as the end of flood following its beginning!”

The leader, Malik, dominated their souls through his enthusiastic, wonderful speech. He gave a new spirit of activity and determination to the troops, and they said at the top of their voices from all directions, expressing their obedience and yielding to him: “Take us to wherever you like!”

p: 430

They hurried to him and competed with each other towards death. They were steadfast before the enemy. Some brave leaders of Hamadan troops had been killed at the battle. The last of them to take the standard was Wahab bin Kurayb. Some of those who loved him hurried to him and said: “May Allah have mercy on you! The notables of your people have been killed around it (the standard). Do not kill yourself and those with you from your people!”

Accordingly, Wahab and those with him left the battlefield while they were seeking a strong front to join it. In front of the masses, they said: “Would that we had a number of the Arabs who would ally with us for death, then they and we would advance until we would be killed or win a victory!”

They passed by Malik al-Ashtar and he heard their call. He welcomed their opinion and said to them: “I will ally with you and make a contract with you provided that we should never return until we will win a victory or be killed!”

They became delighted with al-Ashtar’s speech and they joined his standard. In this respect, Ka‘b bin Ju‘ayl has said: “And (the people of) Hamadan… looking for someone to to ally with!”

Malik al-Ashtar headed those brave people and attacked the armies of Sham, who were before their sharp swords like ashes on which the winds blow hard on a stormy day. Weakness appeared among Mu’awiya’s troops, and his companions were about to reach his tent. As for Mu’awiya, he had thought of escape were it not for that he had remembered the saying of Ibn al-Atnabah:

p: 431

My chastity, the modesty of my soul, and my advance towards the enthusiastic hero have prevented me (from escaping),

and my giving my property unwillingly and taking praise through a profitable price,

and my saying when I and it (my soul) are agitated: “(Stay at) your place, that you may be praised or get rest!”

This poetry returned him to patience and steadfastness just as he said during the days of wellbeing.

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[1] Muhammad ‘Abda, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 212.

Ammar is martyred

When Ammar bin Yasir, the great companion (of the Prophet), saw the heads falling down and the ground being colored with blood, he addressed himself, saying: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s) is truthful. They are the oppressive. It is the day that Allah’s Apostle had promised me of. I am over ninety years old; therefore, what am I waiting for? My Lord, have mercy on me! I have yearned for my brethren who preceded me to You! I will walk to meet my Lord through struggling against His enemies before His friend (Imam Ali) and the guardian of His Apostle and the successor after him. I think it is the day that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had promised me of!”

Ammar looked at Mu’awiya’s standards for a long time, and then he said: “Our positions are like the positions of the standards of Allah’s Apostle at the Battles of Badr, Uhud, and Hunayn. And these (people of Sham) are in the positions of the standards of the polytheists from the allies….” [1]

p: 432

Some pages of his far and near history appeared before him on that day. The picture of his parents, Yasir and Sumayya, appeared before him. It reminded him of the time when they were severely tortured, and when he was a young man with them meeting what they met of tiredness at the hands of the Qurayshi tyrants till his parents passed away, and he escaped the torture. He remembered what he suffered during his old age of the severe punishments and torture at Uthman’s hands. All that was for the sake of his doctrine and thought. These memories made him yearn for meeting Allah. He burst into tears. He addressed Allah, saying: “O Allah, You know that if I know that Your good pleasure (is obtained) through putting the edge of my sword against my chest, and then I bend against it until it comes out of my back, I would do. If I know that Your good pleasure (is obtained) through throwing myself into this river, I would do. If I know that Your good pleasure (is obtained) through throwing myself from this mountain and I fall down, I would do. I know that today there is no deed pleasing you more than struggling against these sinful people. And If I know that there is a deed pleasing more than this, I would do it.”

Then he went to Imam Ali (a.s) weeping. When the Imam saw him, he rose for him, embraced, and welcomed him. Ammar turned to the Imam and asked him:

p: 433

-O brother of Allah’s Apostle, would you permit me to fight?

The Imam was terrified by his speech, for he was his right arm with which he assaulted. So he said to him with a shacking voice:

-Slowly! May Allah have mercy on you!

Ammar went away. Shortly after that, those memories appeared before him and urged him to meet his Lord, so he came back to the Imam and asked him:

-Would you permit me to fight?

-Slowly! May Allah have mercy on you!

He went away. He remained for a while, and then he yearned for meeting his beloved ones who preceded him in faith, so he returned again to the Imam and asked him:

-Would you permit me to fight? I see that this is the day that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had described. I have yearned for meeting my Lord and my brothers who had preceded me (to my Lord)!

The Imam found no escape from responding to him. He rose for and embraced him. His soul melted away out of sorrow and regret. He said to him: “O Abul Yaqdhan, may Allah reward you with good on my behalf and on the behalf of your Prophet! You are the best brother and companion!”

Then the Imam wept, and so did Ammar who said: “By Allah, O Ameerul Mo’minin, I have not followed you except through insight and knowledge. I heard Allah’s Apostle saying at the Battle of Hunayn: ‘O Ammar, there will be a discord after me. If that happened, then follow Ali and his party, for he is with the truth, and the truth is with him. And he will, after me, fight against those who will break their pledge of allegiance (al-nakitheen) and the oppressive (al-qasideen).’ May Allah reward you, O Ameerul Mo’minin, with the best reward on behalf of Islam. You have carried out (the Islamic message), propagated it, and been loyal (to the community).”

p: 434

Then, Ammar advanced to the field of honor and battle. He was delighted with meeting Allah. He regained his strength and activity. He said at the top of his voice: “The Garden is under the shade of the spears. Today I am going to meet the beloved ones; Muhammad and his party!”

The Muhajireen, the Ansar, and the believing youths followed him. He took them to the commander-in-chief, Hashim bin Utba al-Mirqal[2] . He asked him to undertake the leadership, and he responded to that. Hashim marched, and Ammar urged him to attack the foes, saying to him: “Advance, may my father and mother die for you!”

Hashim took the standard and began advancing slowly. Ammar could not stand that, for he had a strong yearning for meeting Allah and his beloved one Muhammad. He severely rebuked Hashim, saying to him: “O Hashim, you are one-eyed and cowardly!”

Hashim was annoyed with this bitter rebuke, and he said to Ammar: “May Allah have mercy on you, O Ammar! You are a man of hastiness in battles! As for me, I am holding the standard and advancing slowly, that I may obtain my need through that. If I march quickly, I will not be safe from dangers!”

Ammar went on urging Hashim to attack the foes untill he attacked them. Hashim walked through the battlefield. While Ammar was fighting beside him, he looked at the standard of Ibn al-Aas and said: “By Allah, I fought against this standard for three times, and this (standard) is not the best of them!” He violently and actively fought against the army of Mu’awiya.

p: 435

Ammar was beside the Prophet when he fought against Quraysh to make them confess the word of Allah’s Oneness, and today he fought against them to make them believe in what was in the Qur’an and what Islam had brought.

After a terrible struggle, Ammar fell on the ground. He was killed by the oppressive group[3] whose hearts had deviated from the truth, who forgot Allah, and so they swam in utter darkness. When the news of Ammar’s murder was announced, the Imam was completely affected, and waves of worries and sorrows surrounded him, because in his murder, the Imam lost a group of helpers and supporters. He went to the place of his murder. He was very sad and was weeping. The commanders of the troops, the chiefs of the tribes, and the righteous remainders from the Muhajireen and the Ansar surrounded him. They shed tears and loudly wailed. The Imam stood beside him. When he saw him killed and covered with his blood, he praised him with words issued from a sad heart. He said: “Any Muslim, who does not regard the murder of Ammar as great and does not feel the painful misfortune, is not successful. May Allah have mercy on Ammar on the day when he became Muslim, may Allah have mercy on Ammar on the day when he was killed, and may Allah have mercy on Ammar on the day when he will be resurrected! I have seen Ammar! When four of the companions of Allah’s Apostle are mentioned, he must be the fourth, and when five are mentioned, he must be the fifth! All the old companions of Allah’s Apostle were sure that Ammar would enter the Paradise! Let Ammar be pleased in the Paradise!”

p: 436

The Imam took Ammar’s head and put it in his lap and recited:

O death who does not leave me, relieve me, for you have destroyed all friends!

I see that you are aware of those whom I love as if that you walk towards them with a guide!

Imam al-Hasan silently stood up and wept for the murder of the great martyr, who took part in building Islam. He recited to the Muslims what he had heard from his grandfather the Prophet (a.s) in respect of Ammar’s excellences. He (a.s) has said: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s) said to his companions: ‘Build me a canopy like that of Moses.’ He began taking adobes from people, and he said: ‘O Allah, there is no good except that of the hereafter; therefore, forgive the Muhajireen and the Ansar.’ He took adobes from Amma, and then he said: ‘What a pity, O son of Sumayya! The oppressive group will kill you!’”

He has also said: “My grandfather has said: ‘The Garden yearns for three (persons): Ali, Ammar, and Salman!’”

When the news of Ammar’s murder was announced, a discord and division took place among the armies of Mu’awiya. They had heard from Allah’s Apostle that he said: “The oppressive party will kill you!” Amr bin al-Aas narrated that to them. After Ammar’s murder, they knew that they were the rebellious group that Allah’s Apostle had meant. However through his trick and lies, Amr bin al-Aas could fabricate that to them and return the affairs to the natural course. He regarded Imam Ali as responsible for taking Ammar to the war and then to be killed. The ignorant from the armies of Sham yielded to that. They believed his statement and began saying: “Those, who brought Ammar, killed him!”

p: 437

The murder of Ammar harmed Imam Ali too much. Distress and sorrow surrounded him. He called the tribes of Rabee’a and Hamadan, and they responded to him. He said to them: “You are my breastplate and spear!”

Twelve thousand fighters from them responded to him. He took them and angrily attacked the Syrians. He destroyed all their ranks to the extent that he arrived at Mu’awiya’s tent.

Then he addressed Mu’awiya, saying: “Why are the people fighting between us? Come on so that I judge you before Allah, and whoever of us kills his companion, the affairs go well with him.”

Ibn al-Aas sneeringly said to Mu’awiya:

-The man has treated you with justice!

-You are not right! You have come to know that he kills every one dueling with him!

-Nothing makes you good except dueling with him!

-You have craved after it (authority) after me!

The two parties violently fought against each other. They went on fighting with no rest. Weakness appeared in Mu’awiya’s troops. All his regiments were destroyed. All his forces were divided, to the extent that he intended to escape.

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[1] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 506.

[2] Hashim bin Utba bin Abi Waqqas al-Zuhri, al-Qurashi. He was given the kunya of Abu Amr, better known as al-Mirqal. He became Muslim on the day when Mecca was conquered. He was among the men of virtue and religion. He was on top of the brave Arabs. His eye was knocked out at the Battle of al-Yarmuk, in Sham (Syria). It was he who conquered Jalawla’, part of Persia. Jalawla’ was called Fath al-Futooh (the Conquer of the Conquers). Its war booties were more than 18 million (dinars). Hashim bin Utba al-Mirqal was the commander over the infantry at the Battle of Siffin. Although his leg was cut off, he continued fighting all those who approached him. He was sitting and saying: “The stallion defends its she-camel even if it is hobbled!” In respect of him Abu al-Tufayl has said: “O Hashim of good, you have been rewarded with the Garden. You fought against the enemy of the Sunna for the sake of Allah.” Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 5, p. 49.

p: 438

[3] Abul Aadiya killed him. He came to Mu‘awiya, and said to his chamberlain: “The killer of Ammar is at the door.” He permitted him. Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 5, 267. It has been narrated from the Prophet that he has said: “If the people of the earth killed Ammar, they all would enter the fire!”

Raising Copies of the Qur’an

When Mu’awiya saw the courage of Imam Ali’s troops, the weakness of his ones, his incapability of resisting, and the end of his affair, he shook all over with fear. He summoned his cunning vizier, Amr bin al-Aas, and said to him: “Only this night and he is coming to us early in the morning along with the troops! What do you think?”

Part Two: At Siffin

Part 2

He expressed his near end and his incapability of resisting Imam Ali’s army. Anyway, Amr bin al-Aas said to him: “I think that your men are not like his men, and you are not like him. He is fighting against you for a matter, and you are fighting against him for another matter. His people are afraid of you when you win a victory over them, and the people of Sham are not afraid of Ali when he wins a victory over them.”

Amr bin al-Aas specified the conflict standing between Imam Ali and Mu’awiya. The Imam fought against him for the sake of Islam and defending its ideals, whereas Mu’awiya fought against him for the sake of power and authority. They battled against each other for different objectives. Amr bin al-Aas explained to Mu’awiya the reason for the courage of the Imam’s troops and the weakness of his ones. As for the Imam’s troops, they defended their dignity and life, for they knew Mu’awiya’s beliefs and inclinations. They knew that if he won a victory over them, he would severely punish them and afflict them with painful torture. For these reasons, they were earnest in fighting against him. As for Mu’awiya’s troops, they knew the Imam’s inclinations, and that if he won a victory over them, he would be kind to them. They had heard of his pardoning and kindness. That was when he won a victory over his opponents at the Battle of al-Jamal. Therefore, there was no escape from that the Imam’s troops would win a victory. Amr bin al-Aas suggested an idea that made Mu’awiya overcome the events and it was the reason for destroying the Imam’s troops. He said to him: “Offer to them something. If they accept it, they will disagree (with each other), and if they refuse it, they will disagree. Summon them to Allah’s Book as an arbitrator between you and them. You will get your objective from the people. I have delayed this matter because you are in need of it.”

p: 439

Mu’awiya knew that Amr bin al-Aas’s idea was correct. So he hurried to believe and respond to him. In the meantime, he ordered copies of the Qur’an to be raised. Accordingly, about five hundred copies of the Qur’an were raised on the heads of the spears. The people of Sham loudly said: “This is Allah’s Book between us and you from its beginning to its end. Who protects the fortified borderline cities of the people of Sham after the people of Sham? Who protects the fortified borderline cities of the people of Iraq after the people of Iraq? Who struggles against the Romans? Who struggles against the Turks? And who struggles against the infidels?”

They raised copies of the Qur’an as a trick and cunning. They used them as a pretext to spare their blood, for they did not believe in them nor did they show sorrow at the fate of Islam and the Muslims nor did they respect Allah. Nothing concerned them except government and authority. If there had been a ray of the light of Islam in their souls, they would not have opened a door to the battle against Imam Ali, the testamentary trustee of Allah’s Apostle, and to shed the Muslims’ blood without any right.

The Great Sedition

Among the ugliest and worst farces in man’s history was the trick of raising copies of the Qur’an, for the Iraqi troops were deceived by that, and they changed up their minds. Suddenly, they broke their obedience to Imam Ali, and declared rebellion and mutiny against him without any thinking and considering, while they were about to win a victory over their enemy who had shed their bloods.

p: 440

What a misfortune! What a pity! Falsehood became higher than the truth through the name of the truth! That was when Amr’s trick performed its horrible role in the center of the government of justice and equality. That was when regiments of the Iraqis rushed like a flood towards the Imam and surrounded him and forced him to yield and submit to Mu’awiya’s summons. They said with one tongue: “He (Mu’awiya) has given you the truth! He has summoned you to Allah’s Book! Accept that from him!”

On the top of those who accepted the summons to arbitration was al-Ash‘ath bin Qays, who was like a woodworm boring in the camp of the Iraqis and means for riot and mutiny. The reason behind that was that he was the leader of the tribes of Kinda and Rabee’a, but the Imam had deposed him and appointed Hassan bin Makhduj instead. Some people talked with the Imam in order not to depose him, but he refused that.[1] This aroused the hidden malice in his soul against the Imam and made him wait for an appropriate opportunity to take vengeance on him. He could find such an opportunity during that terrible period of time. It is not correct to say that he was deceived by Mu’awiya’s summons, for he was not among the simple-mined that the affair might be unclear to him. Any way, he angrily went to the Imam and said to him: “I see that the people are pleased and delighted to respond to the people (of Sham) to what they have summoned them from among the legal decisions of the Qur’an! It would be better if you go and ask Mu’awiya what he wants, and reflect on what he requests!”

p: 441

Then he insisted on the Imam to delegate him to Mu’awiya, but he refrained from responding to him. However he strongly insisted on him, and the Imam (a.s) found no escape from responding. He went carrying the signs of evil and unhappiness. He asked Mu’awiya: “Why have you raised copies of the Qur’an?”

Mu’awiya answered him with tricks and lies, saying: “That we and you may return to the Command of Allah, the Great and Almighty, in His Book. Send a man from among you with whom you are pleased. And we send a man from among us. Then we ask them to act according to what is in Allah’s Book and do not exceed it. Then we follow that on which they will agree.”

Al-Ash‘ath bin Qays believed Mu’awiya, saying: “This is the truth!”

Most likely, Mu’awiya had made al-Ash’ath desire and bribed him, for he had come to know about his deviation from Imam Ali. Al-Ash‘ath responded to Mu’awiya and came back to the Imam. He demanded arbitration. Imam Ali (a.s) said to him and to the like of him from among the stubborn who found no pleasure except in obstinacy and mutiny: “O Servants of Allah, I am the best of those who have responded to Allah’s Book. However, Mu’awiya, Amr bin al-Aas, Ibn Abi Ma’eet, Habeeb bin Muslima, and Ibn Abi Sarh are not men of religion and Qur’an. I am more aware of them than you. I accompanied them when they were children, and I accompanied them when they were men. They were the wickedest children and men. It is word of truth that falsehood has been intended through it! They have known it but they do not act according to it. They have raised it to you just as a trick and plot. Lend me your arms and your skulls for one hour for the truth has reached its (last) part, and nothing has remained except that the root of the oppressive is to be cut off.”

p: 442

In his speech, the Imam (a.s) has expressed what Mu’awiya claimed such as yielding to Allah’s book. He explained to them their error and mutiny against the religion, for he was more aware of them than others. However, that simple-minded society did not yield to the Imam’s speech and lent his speech deaf ears. About twelve thousand men, who pretended sacredness and religiousness, though they understood nothing of them, addressed him by his personal name. They warned and threatened him if he would not yield to what they wanted, saying: “O Ali, respond to the people according to Allah’s Book when you are summoned to it; otherwise, we will kill you as we had killed (Uthman) bin Affan! By Allah we would do it if you did not respond to them.”

The Imam (a.s) said to them: “Woe unto you! I was the first to summon (people to follow) Allah’s Book and the first to respond to it. It is not lawful for me nor can I, concerning my religion, that I am summoned to Allah’s Book and do not accept it. I have fought against them that they may follow the precept of the Qur’an, for they have disobeyed Allah in respect of what He has commanded them. They have broken His covenant and left His Book.

However, I have informed you that they have schemed against you, and that they do not want to act according to the Qur’an!”

Imam Ali tried to convince and make his fellows understand through various ways that it was a trick after Mu’awiya’s failure and incapability of resisting. However, they insisted on that he had to command his military commander, Malik al-Ashtar, to withdraw from the battlefield.

p: 443

The Imam saw that there was evil on their faces and that they had unanimously agreed on fighting against him. They surrounded, threatened, and warned him. So he (a.s) found no escape other than responding to them. He immediately sent Yazid bin Hani’ to Malik al-Ashtar to ask him to withdraw from the battlefield. When the messenger reached and told him about the Imam’s message, he said to him: “Say to my master: ‘This is not the hour when you should remove me from my attitude. I have hoped Allah to make me conquer; therefore, do not hurry me!”

The messenger came back to the Imam and told him about the saying of the resolute, watchful Malik. The signs of conquest and victory had appeared through his hands, and the affair was about to end. The voices from the regiments of his troops raised announcing the clear conquest. When those rebellious heard of that, they surrounded the Imam and said to him: “By Allah we see that you have ordered him to continue fighting!”

“Have you seen that I had secretly sent a messenger to him? Did I not talk to him openly before you and you heard me?” asked the Imam.

However they said with one tongue: “Send for him and make him come to you! Otherwise, we will isolate ourselves from you!”

They terrified the Imam and were about to attack him. So he said: “What a pity, O Yazid! Say to him: ‘Come! The sedition has happened!’”

p: 444

Yazid quickly set off towards Malik and said to him: “Go to Ameerul Mo’minin, for the sedition has happened!”

Malik al-Ashtar became astonished. He asked Yazid about the reason for that discord and mutiny that happened among the troops:

-Because of raising these copies of the Qur’an?

-Yes.

Malik believed his own prediction and intuition in respect of the occurrence of this mutiny, saying: “By Allah, I thought that there would be disagreement and division due to the