Abdullah Ibn Saba’ and Other Myths


Author(s): Sayyid Murtadha al-Askari

Translator(s): M.J.Muqaddas

Publisher(s): World Organization for Islamic Services (WOFIS)

Category: Early Islamic History

Topic Tags: Fabricated Traditions early islamic history Miscellaneous information: First edition — 1398/1978

Second edition — 1404/1984

Featured Category: Debates discussions


In this book, the author begins by describing both the Saba’iyyah legend and its originator (Saif ibn ‘Umar). Further, he throws some light on the narrations and the researchers who relied on such forgery in their historical and ideological research. The opinions of the great scholars of Islam about the inauthenticity and the unreliability of Sayf ibn ‘Umar are also given.


1. We are pleased to announce, thanks due to the Almighty Allah for his guidance, the publication of a complete English translation of the first volume of the Arabic book entitled ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ and Other Myths written by the great scholar as-Sayyid Murtadha al-’Askari. Brother Jawad Muqqadas undertook the translation.

2. The research in this book centers around those historical narrations compiled by Sayf ibn ‘Umar al-Tamimi al-Usayyid, who lived in the second century after Hijrah. These narrations are to be found in his books covering the early Islamic events.

The contents of the two volumes of the book ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ merely represents one part of a series dealing with Sayf ibn ‘Umar's narrations, stories and quotations. The second book in the series “One Hundred and Fifty Fictitious Companions of the Prophet” has also been published in Arabic and also consists of two volumes.

3. In this book, the author begins by describing

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both the Saba’iyyah legend and its originator (Saif ibn ‘Umar). Further, he throws some light on the narrations and the researchers who relied on such forgery in their historical and ideological research. The opinions of the great scholars of Islam about the in authenticity and the unreliability of Sayf ibn ‘Umar are also given.

4. The author elaborated on the evaluation of Sayf's narrations which cover events that took place between 11 A.H. and 40 A.H. (cf. at-Tabari's History. In his critical evaluation, he plotted the suspicious movements of this strange personality indicating those areas where Sayf fabricated fictitious ahadith (traditions), stories and events. Not only that, but the author points out the role of this character in distorting, deforming and annulment of great Islamic events, such events being of great significance in the structure of the Islamic history. The timing of the events in question coincided with that very critical period of the four Caliphs.

It is not an exaggeration to consider Sayf as being one of the most characters who willfully endeavored to, and succeeded in, distorting the early Islamic history.

The author started his research and critical evaluation by considering the very first narration of Sayf, namely the event of the sickness and death of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) and the events that took place at Saqifah (during which Abu Bakr was chosen as the Caliph). The events that took place between Saqifah and the eventful assassination of Imam ‘Ali are very well documented

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and critically analyzed. The last narration by Sayf as documented by at-Tabari is in fact the martyrdom of Imam ‘Ali (peace be upon him).

5. This is a brief resume of the researches in the two volumes of the book. The first volume covered the majority of the researches in question. The second volume, yet to be translated, completes the researches and additionally, has conclusive remarks and some afterthoughts pertaining to many of the researches in the first volume. In the second volume, the author elaborates a great deal on the Saba'iyyah legend.

6. The Saba'iyyah legend - as explained in the introduction of the book - can be summarized thus:

A Yemenite Jew from San‘a declared his Islam at the time of ‘Uthman. He willfully associated himself with Muslims and travelled in their cities and towns: Sham (Damascus), Kufa, Basrah, Egypt, propagating among Muslims that Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.a.h.f.) will be resurrected like Jesus (p.b.u.h.). (It is the origin of the idea of resurrection in Islam?!) He further taught that ‘Ali (p.b.u.h.) is Muhammad's vicegerent since every prophet had a vicegerent.

Moreover, ‘Ali is the last vicegerent in the same way that Muhammad (p.b.u.h.a.h.f.) was the last prophet. (This is how the belief in Imamah or vicegerency has started?!) Moreover, he taught that ‘Uthman assumed the caliphate illegally and thus violated ‘Ali's rights and hence ‘Uthman should be revolted against in order to restore the rights of Imam ‘Ali (and this is the basis for the concept of the violation of Khilafah?

The fictitious ‘Abdullah

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ibn Saba was also given a nickname: the son of the negro slave. It was claimed that the historical events stretching from ‘Uthman's time till the assassination of Imam ‘Ali (p.b.u.h.) were influenced directly or indirectly by this Jew - as you will read in the text of this book.

7. Naturally then, the book has been entitled ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ and Other Legendary Figures or Myths, since this heresy - a fabrication and forgery by Sayf - has been used destructively more so than any other heresy. Besides the willful exploitation of such a heresy, some people could have used it with good faith but without bothering to authenticate the narrators.

Ideological studies indicate that a lot of people opposing the Shi‘ah School of Thought - a lot of whom being enemies of Islam anyway - justify their enmity on this obvious heresy which they would exploit rather excessively to back-up their attack on the Shi‘ahs, which approach resembles very much the approach adopted by Sayf ibn ‘Umar himself.

8. We will refrain from introducing either the author or the translator. Suffice it to say that the reader himself would be able to appreciate the great analytical ability of the author from the contents of the book itself. Comparison of the English and Arabic versions of the introduction would undoubtedly reveal the competency of the translator.

9. As far as our involvement is concerned, we have been able through Allah's grace and conciliation, to contribute towards the propagation of Islam. We have published a

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number of books and pamphlets dealing with the true, original ideological and judicial aspect of Islam. Through the literature published by our organization we have managed to rectify some false notions about Islam.

This book is yet another publication that conforms with our basic aims and concepts. It is no wonder then that we have endeavored to translate it and print the English version accordingly.

Again the aim of such endeavor is merely to seek Allah's blessings, His forgiveness, His bounties and His pleasure in this World and in the World to come.

World Organization For Islamic Services

(Board of Writing, Translation and Publication)

1st November, 1977

18th Dhil qa‘da, 1397

Tehran — Iran.

Introduction by the Translator

"Believers conduct yourselves with justice and bear true witness before God even against yourselves,….." (The Holy Qur’an, Surah An-Nisa’, (4): Verse 135).

It is difficult to admit that one is in the wrongs, but conscience and religion tell us to tell the truth even against ourselves.

We Muslims for centuries treated our history books as gospel truth until recently. The very Reverend al-Saved Murtada al-’Askari in his book ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, first published in 1955 A.D., revealed that the Muslim history books contain some false information; and tales against Shi‘ah sect are forged and Shi‘ahs are not the alleged followers of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄.

The author has also systematically analyzed the relative events recorded in the history books and proved that ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, the alleged founder of the Shi‘ah sect in Islam was a fictitious character invented by Saif.

Saif was a well-known agnostic

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story teller who lived in the second century of the Muslim era and purposely wrote an illogical history of Islam.

In this translation I shall use the Arabic Text, third and fourth Editions 1968 — 1973 and the First Edition Persian Translation, Tehran 1384.

The dates are in Arabic Era (Hejir Lunar) today is 19.7.1391 (7.6.1351 Hejir Solar) 29.8.1972 A.D.

The translation of the book of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, has been delayed for some years until I met Jean Moynihan in Rugby, whom I found to have a gift for helping in general and especially a desire to disperse the clouds hiding the truth. She corrected most of my English.

Many thanks also to my colleague Peter Patterson who went through all the manuscripts and corrected my errors. Thanks to other persons who rendered help to me in this work. Last but not least many thanks to my daughter, Fereshteh who typed this translation (Twice) which reveals “The Truth Behind the Fiction” of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄.

May God help all those who help man. Amen.

J. Muqaddas


Truth Behind The Fiction

Comments by Doctor Hamid Hafni Dawood, Professor in Arabic Language in Cairo University.

The above article was written by a learned Sunni man, who has broken the barrier of fanaticism and quarrelling for the sake of quarrelling.

The 1300th Birthday of Islam has been celebrated. During this time some of our learned writers have accused Shi‘ahs of not having Islamic views. Those writers influenced public opinion against Shi‘ahs and created deep gaps between Muslims. In spite of wisdom and learning, the enemies of the Shi‘ah followed their self chosen beliefs and

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partiality, covering the truth, and accusing Shi‘ahs of being superstitious etc. Hence Islamic Science suffered much, as Shi‘ah views were suppressed.

As a result of these accusations, the loss to Islamic Science was greater than the loss suffered by the Shi‘ah themselves because the source of this jurisprudence, though rich and fruitful, was neglected, resulting in limited knowledge.

Alas, in the past our learned men were prejudiced, otherwise we would have benefited from many Shi‘ah views. Anyone who wishes to do research in Islamic Jurisprudence must consider Shi‘ah sources an s well as those of Sunni.

Was not the Shi‘ah's leader. al-Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq (d.148 H.L.), the teacher of two Sunni Imams? i.e. Abu Hanifah al-No'man Bin al-Thabet (d. 150 H.L.) and-Abu ‘ Abdullah Malik Bin Anas (d. 179 H.L.).

Abu Hanifah said, "Except for the two years No‘man would have starved," referring to the two years he had benefited from the knowledge of al-Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq.

Malik also confessed straight forwardly, that he had not met anyone learned in Islamic Jurisprudence than al-Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq.

Yet so called learned men, unfortunately disregard t h e rules for research to suit their own ends. Hence knowledge is not fully disclosed to them, and they create a wider gap between Muslims. Ahmed Ameen was one of those deprived of the light of knowledge, remaining in darkness, even though the candle of Shi‘ah was always shining and there was no other light.

History has recorded this stain on the robe of Ahmed Ameen and his friends, who blindly followed

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one special sect- Madhhab. Of the many mistakes made by him, the biggest is told in the story of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄. This is one of the tales told in order to accuse Shi‘ahs of heresy and foregoing events.

The great contemporary researcher, the Reverend al- Sayyid Murtada al-‘Askari, in his book ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, has proved with substantial evidence, that ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ was fictitious, and it is therefore a greater lie to say he was the founder of Shi‘ism.

Al-Sayyid Murtada al-‘Askari has been deeply involved in history and has proved from Sunni sources that the enemies of Shi‘ah are false.

From the early days of Islam up to the present, stories like those about ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ told by Saif Bin ‘Omar, were believed as being from reliable sources, but in this book extensive research has been made concerning these stories. in order to facilitate the finding of the truth about them.

God has decreed that some learned men disclose the truth regardless of the blame they may get. The pioneer in this field is the honorable author of this book, who has made the Sunni learned men of research revise the history book of Tabari, (History of Nations and Kings) and to sift out the authentic stories from the false. The stories which remained unchanged and unaltered for centuries like God's Revelations.

The honorable writer, with much evidence, has stripped the veil or ambiguity from those historical events. and in the best way disclosed the truth, to such an extent that

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some facts seem frightful. Of course some of. them appear to be incredible, for they contradict the beliefs of a lifetime, and our religious legacy — centuries old. But we have to obey the truth no matter how difficult they appear. "The truth is the best to be followed."

To know what it is all about, one has to read this book and scrutinize the events of which there are different opinions; such as:

"The Army of Osama."

"The death of the honored Prophet."

"The story of Saqifa."

All of which have been examined by the author.

When the messenger of God was on his deathbed, some men left the Army of Osama without permission, and went back to Medina with the hope of gaining some privileged office. The author introduces these people to us. On his deathbed the Prophet wanted to make a will, but some people ignored this wish, and called it the ravings of a dying man. Perhaps they were afraid of the possibility of his introducing al-Imam ‘Ali as his successor.

The author discloses the truth about these events. What ‘Omar had in his mind to deny the death of the Holy Prophet? Why was he threatening to put to death, those who were spreading the news of the Prophet's death?

During the time when al-Imam ‘Ali and the cousins of the Prophet, his uncle ‘Abbas and the elders were washing the corpse of the Prophet, ‘Omar and Abu ‘Obeydah hurriedly came to Saqifa (a room with a roofed veranda) and demanded the people

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to give their allegiance to Abu Bakr. Yet if they had waited until the burial of the Prophet was over, ‘Ali was the only candidate for the successor of the Prophet, and Bani-Hashim knew not anyone else.

The author, under the three titles previously mentioned, has sifted truth from falsehood, good from bad, until he has reached the obvious reality; and because of his research, the doors of deception and fraud are closed for ever-more to the plotters.

Other subjects in this book show the truth so clearly, that in the very near future, a vast reform in the history of Islam will come about.

I would like to put three questions to the readers before ending my article.

1. Can a close companion of the Prophet make a mistake?

2. Can we criticize his work?

3. Can we say that the respected companion of the

Prophet is a hypocrite or an unbeliever?

The answers to the first two are positive, but the answer to the third is in the negative — not because I am biased and am saying something against logic — no I have a rational reason and a logical one, for unbelief and hypocrisy are from the heart, and no one except God, knows the contents of our hearts and the secrets of people. I am pleased to pay great respect to this book and its honorable author, the very learned researcher Sayyid Murtada Askari. I am also pleased with Mr. Murtada Rizvi Kashmiri (The publisher) who has produced this book in a pleasing

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form. He has fulfilled his duty, a service to Islam. This responsibility will carry much weight in the revival of true Islamic history.

12th October, 1961

Cairo — Egypt

Dr. Hamid Hafni Dawood

Comments By Al-Sheikh Jawad Mughniah - A Shi‘ah Scholar

"Everything in this world is changing, except the writings against Shi‘ah. To every beginning there is an end, except the accusations against Shi‘ah. Every verdict is supported by evidence, except the one against Shi‘ah. Why? Are Shi‘ahs trouble makers or violent agitators, who only want to disturb people?"

Here is the answer.

In the second century of the Islamic Era (H.L.) lived a man called Saif Bin ‘Omar al-Tamimi.

He wrote two books:-

1. al-Fatooh Wal Reddah.

2. al-Jamal Wa Maseeri ‘Ayeshah Wa ‘Ali.

He served two purposes in his two books:-

1. Inventing stories without foundation.

2. Recording events in such a way that truth appeared to be false, and false appeared to be truth.

He invented Companions (Sahabi) for the Prophet such as So‘eer, Hazhaz, Ott, Homaiza, etc. He recorded his stories in such a way that they appeared to have been told by the people who met these Sahabies.

Among his fictional heroes is ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, who was supposed to have related tales about Shi‘ah; all stories against Shi‘ahs, recorded by all historians originate from Saif.

After Saif, the historians accepted his books as the gospel truth. Tabari was the first historian who relied upon Saif.

Other historians, Ibn Athir and Ibn ‘Asaker, among them, followed Tabari blindly.

Saif invented stories and muddled authentic events but the only source of all his stories is his own books ‘al-Fatooh' and 'al-Jamal.'


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book ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ proves that the above statement is true and its knowledgeable author's task, is to show the truth as it was, without gilding the lily. Not a single learned man can deny, or doubt, anything which Sayyid Murtada al-’Askari has written because the book is based on logical proofs and no one can deny logic and axioms.

I have discussed ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ with many people, but I answered them as previous learned men have done, except that I made it easier for them to understand, that I believed in the existence of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄. Now, the very learned al-Sayyid Murtada al-’Askari, has changed the story completely, and proved that ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ is fictitious. I may say that this is the first Arabic book to have examined history scientifically.

The author has done a great service not only for religion, knowledge and Shi‘ahs but for Islam. He has closed the door to those who wanted to disturb Muslim unity, and to those Sunnis who get courage from their false stories. Today their first and only evidence, the stories of Bin Saba and Bin Sauda invented by Saif, have been proved to be false.

Finally, may I point out that this book is to be published

and sold at a low price, in order that all Muslims can know the story. It is to be translated into many languages.


Muhammad Jawad Mughniah

Comments By Professor James Robinson - D.Litt., D.D.Glasgow, U.K.

Dear Sayyid Murtada al-‘Askari,

It was in the middle of last August that I received from you the copies of

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your two works, ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ wa- Asatir ukhra ,and Khamsun wa-mi'at Sahabi mukhtalq, al- Qism al-awwal. At the time I wrote to you to say that I am now aged and not in perfect health, therefore I would need time to study these books.

It has taken me even longer than I had imagined; but I have read the books twice with great interest, and although I should have like to write at some length, I feel I must write to express my admiration of the methods adopted and the careful scholarship shown in the two books. At my age I cannot look forward with confidence to being able to write and so I feel I must delay no longer in case I find I am unable to write.

In the first book I liked the detailed account of the conventional story of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ and the Sabaiyya, followed by a valuable discussion of writers (ancient and modern) in East and West and the sources on which they depended. The table on p.57 is very helpful in showing the main sources of information about Saif and his traditions and how later writers depended on one or other of these.

Then comes a list of a number of authorities who expressed opinions on the worth of Saif's traditions, from Abu Dawud (d. 275 — the text wrongly says 316) to Ibn Hajar (d. 852). As they all speak critically, using such words and "weak," "his traditions are abandoned," "Worthless," "liar," "suspected

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of being Zindiq," etc., they agree in asserting the unreliability, or even falseness of the traditions.

This is an overwhelming argument. In studying the opinions of authorities on different traditionists, I have noted that all do not agree. But here there is no disagreement which makes one wonder why later writers have been so ready to accept Saif's material.

But I should like to make a remark about Tabari who has no hesitation in quoting Saif. His history is not a historical work in the manner of modern writing, for his main purpose seems to have been to record all the information in his possession without necessarily expressing an opinion on its value.

One is, therefore, prepared to find that some of his material is less reliable than others. So, perhaps we can excuse him for using a method not approved nowadays. He has at least provided a mass of information. It remains for acute scholars like yourself to distinguish between the genuine and the false.

In discussing a number of topics mentioned by Saif, the argument is conducted in a very effective manner, first giving Saif's account and then comparing it with accounts given by others. This careful comparison deals both with the material and the sanad, and it is shown that Saif often quotes men who are unknown.

This raises the question why none of them should have been quoted by other transmitters, and leads one further to suggest that Saif has invented them. This serious accusation is a reasonable

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assumption by comparing Saif with others.

It is pointed out that Saif has stories miraculous of happenings which are difficult to believe, such as desert sands becoming water for Muslim armies, seas becoming sand, cattle speaking and informing the Muslim army where they were hidden, etc.

In Saif's time it was possible for him to succeed in passing off such stories as history, but nowadays the critical student naturally finds such stories quite impossible. Effective arguments are also used to show how Saif's information about Ibn Saba and the Saba'iyya is quite unreliable.

The author suggests that some orientalists have based their studies on Saif's information, matters such as the huge number of people killed in the early Muslim wars, the idea that an unknown Jew, Ibn Saba΄, could have been the influence to lead astray companions of the Prophet from their faith, and have been the leading influence in stirring up the people to revolt against ‘Uthman and cause his murder, and stir up the fighting engaged in by ‘Ali with Talha and al- Zubayr.

This may be true of some, but it has not been true of all. This is apparent from the articles on ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ in the first and second editions of the Encyclopedia of Islam. Saif spends much time manufacturing heroes from Tamim, the tribe to which Saif traced his genealogy, but Sir William Muir long ago told how Tamim had to submit to the forces of the early Caliphate at the time of what is

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called the Apostasy.

Sir Thomas Arnold may also be noted as drawing attention to the fact that the early conquests were not so much for the purpose of spreading the faith as for extending the sphere of Muslim rule.

In the second book attention is drawn to the fact that Saif who lived in the first quarter of the second century belonged to Tamim, one of the Mudar tribes who live in Kufa. This helps one to study his tendencies and the influences leading to these legends. There is discussion of Zindiq and of Manichaeanism. Party spirit is said to have continued from the Prophet's time, till that of the ‘Abbasids.'

Saif upholds the northern tribes, inventing heroes, poets praising the tribe's heroes, companions of the Prophet from Tamim, wars and battles which had no reality, millions killed and large numbers of prisoners with the purpose glorifying the heroes he invented. Poems attributed to imaginary heroes were in praise of Mudar, then Tamim, then B. ‘Amr, the subtribe to which Saif traced his origin.

Saif mentioned men of Mudar as leaders of battles which were led by men of other tribes, his fictitious leaders some-times being real people, sometimes names produced by his imagination. It is argued that the falseness of his information was partly to upset the faith of many and partly to give non-Muslims a wrong conception. He was so skilful in his forgeries that they were accepted as genuine history.

This is a brief summary of some of the wrongs

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of which Saif was guilty. The aim part of the book goes into details about twenty three men, giving examples of Saif's material and showing how he differed from genuine authorities not only in material but also in sanad by using names of non- existing people.

The work is done with great detail presenting overwhelming argument against Saif's reliability in spite of the notable writers who include information in their writings. Two of Saif's books are discussed showing that they are as unreliable as other material later authors have quoted from him.

This is a most penetrating study undertaken with keen perception and a high quality of criticism. I am very grateful for having had the opportunity of spending quite a considerable time in studying the arguments which appeal to me as fully convincing, and I am sure that all who study these books with an open mind will readily appreciate the force of the arguments.

With many thanks for sending me these books, and

apologize for having, on account of age and other infirmities, been so long in replying.

Yours sincerely,

James Robinson

Introduction: The tale of ‘Abdullah bin Saba’


In His Glorious Name

The historians say that a Jew called ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ was converted to Islam at the time of ‘Othman the Caliph, in order to fulfill his aims at peace by making enemies within the Muslim community.

This ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ spread the following ideas among Muslims.

a) The resurrection of the Prophet.

b) All Prophets have had successors — the successor of the Prophet Muhammad is ‘Ali, his cousin and

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son-in-law. He has been deprived of his divine office by ‘Othman the Caliph, and therefore it is necessary to revolt against ‘Othman in favor of ‘Ali.

‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ formed a party called Saba΄ia, and this party rioted and killed ‘Othman, the third Caliph. They also made mischief between the armies of ‘Ali and Talha, his enemy, during the time when peace negotiations were expected at the battle of Jamal near Basra.

The Sabaia who were enrolled in both armies, fired shots one early morning, without waiting for any order from the commandants, and thus they started the war. Therefore, this Jew was the real cause of all these mischief's and wars among Muslims, and he is the man who spread the idea of resurrection of the Prophet Muhammad, and the idea of ‘Ali being the successor of the Prophet among the Muslims.

The Origin of the Story


The tale of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ is over twelve centuries old. Historians and writers, one after the other recorded it, adding more and more to it.

All historians agree that the story was told first of all by Saif.

The following historians recorded directly from Saif:-

1) Tabari.

2) Dhahabi — He has also cited from Tabari.

3) Ibn Abi Baker — He has also recorded from Ibn Athir 15, who has recorded from Tabari.

4) Ibn ‘Asaker.

The following have recorded indirectly from Saif:-

5) Nicholson from Tabari 2.

6) Encyclopedia of Islam from Tabari 2.

7) Van Floton from Tabari 2.

8) Wellhauzen from Tabari 2.

9) Mirkhand from Tabari 2.

10) Ahmad Amin from Tabari 2, and from Wellhauzen.


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Farid Wajdi from Tabari 2.

12) Hasan Ibrahim from Tabari 2.

13) Sa‘eed Afghani from Tabari 2, and from Ibn Abi Baker 3, Ibn ‘Asaker 4, and Ibn Badran 21.

14) Ibn Khaldoun from Tabari 2.

15) Ibn Athir from Tabari 2.

16) Ibn Kathir from Tabari 2.

17) Donaldson from Nicholson 5 and Encyclopedia 6.

18) Ghiathud Din from Mirkhand 9.

19) Abulfeda΄ from Ibn Athir 15.

20) Rashid Reza from Ibn Athir 15.

21) Ibn Badran from Ibn ‘Asaker 4.

22) Bostani from Ibn Kathir 16.

The above list gives evidence to the fact that the story of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ has been started by Saif and cited primarily from Tabari. Therefore, Saif's character and history should be studied and analyzed with great care.

Who is Saif?


(Short Biography)

Saif Bin ‘Omar Tamimi lived in the second century of the Muslim era (8th century A.D.) and died after the year 170

H.L. (750 A.D.). He wrote two books.

1. al-Fotouh wal Reddah which is the history of the period before the death of the Prophet until the third Caliph ‘Othman resumed office as the ruler of Muslim world.

2. al-Jamal wa Maseer ‘Ayesha wa ‘Ali which is the history from the murder of ‘Othman to the battle of Jamal. These two books contain more fiction than truth; some forged stories, and some true event which, intentionally, have been recorded in a ridiculing manner.

Since Saif spoke of some of the companions of the Prophet, and also invented some, his stories have affected the history of early Islam. Some biographers such as the authors of Osdulghabah, Esti‘ab and Esabah and

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geographers such as the authors of Mo‘jamul Boldan and Alrowzolme‘tar have written the lives of some companions of the Prophet, and named places which exist only in the books written by Saif. Because of this, the life and character of Saif must be investigated thoroughly and carefully.

The result of the investigation into Saif's life shows that Saif was an agnostic and an unreliable story teller. Stories told by him are dubious and are entirely or partly forged.

The following are some stories told by him.

1. The Army of Osama

The Prophet prepared an army to be sent to Syria. The commander of this army was Osama. Before the last column of the army left the moat (city limits) of Medina, the Prophet died. Osama sear ‘Omar to get the approval of Abu Bakr the successor of the Prophet. ‘Omar also carried a message from some of the helpers (Ansar) suggesting that commandant Osama be changed. Abu Bakr heard the message, jumped up, and grabbed ‘Omar by his beard, insulted him by saying, "The Prophet made Osama the commandant. I will not change him." He ordered the immediate dispatch , of the army and cursed saying, " A plague on you."

Other historians of the time have recorded this event differently.

2. Saqifa, pavilion of Bani Sa‘edah

On the very day that the Prophet died, says Saif, all the Mohajerin supported Abu Bakr as being the successor to the Prophet, except those who renounced Islam. The news of the election of Abu Bakr so excited ‘Ali that he came in, wearing his shirt only.

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He shook hands in friendship with Abu Bakr and later on when his clothes were brought and he had put them on, he sat down beside Abu Bakr. Saif continues, saying that Abu Bakr claimed to have a devil in his soul and

that Muslims must watch him, and prevent his doing injustice.

Saif told seven stories about Saqifa. There were three heroes in these stories, included among the companions of the Prophet. Their names are not mentioned anywhere except in Saif's stories. This peculiarity makes one think, and suspect

the truth of the stories. When reliable books, accepted by Sunni leaders are consulted, the deviation from the truth by Saif, in recording the events of Saqifa, can be readily detected.

The Story of the Pavilion of Bani Sa‘edah according to authentic sources

On his deathbed, the Prophet Muhammad wished to make a will. ‘Omar opposed this, and later he made threats against the people if they dared to spread the news of the Prophet's death until Abu Bakr arrived. Then suddenly ‘Omar

became quiet. While the family of the Prophet were busy with funeral rites, Ansar party gathered in a pavilion to elect Sa‘d Bin ‘Obada as the Prophet's successor. ‘Omar, Abu Bakr and their friends rushed to the pavilion joining in the meeting.

Finally the election was won in favor of Abu Bakr. The crowd then went to the mosque to swear the allegiance of all Muslims to Abu Bakr. All this time the body of the Prophet was laid in his house and only the family of the Prophet and one member of Ansar

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party were present.

After the allegiance to Abu Bakr, at the pavilion and the mosque, was over the people went to the house of the Prophet and joined the funeral prayers. The body of the Prophet lay on his deathbed from Monday midday until Tuesday midnight when his burial took place.

Only the family of the Prophet attended the funeral. al- Imam ‘Ali and Bani Hashim (the cousins of Muhammad) did not give their consent to the election of Abu Bakr as the Prophet's successor, and sought refuge in the house of Fatimah, daughter of the Prophet.

‘Omar went to the house to take them to the mosque to give allegiance to Abu Bakr. But they refused to support Abu Bakr in Fatimah's life time. After

six months ‘Ali and Bani Hashim finally gave their con-sent, and their allegiance after Fatimah died.

All the above events, judgment on them by Bin ‘Abbas, Abu Dharr, Megdad, Abu Sufyan, Mo‘awiah and ‘Omar Bin Khattab, a summary of the life of Sa‘d Bin ‘Obada in his old age, and a comparison between the recording of Saif and those from reliable sources, are collected in this present book.

It shows how Saif wrote the biographies of the companions of the Prophet to please the government of the day and to suit the sentiments of the common people. Saif forged to evidence support and safeguard his views, in order to ridicule Islamic history. For many centuries Saif's stories have been regarded as the history of Islam.

It is time

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to disclose the sources of these untrue stories by Saif and his kind, in order to show Islam as it really is, by studying true stories about Muhammad, his family and companions. We should not defend Saif and his tales, or protect them in the name of Islamic tradition. Otherwise we will harm Islam by opposing the publicity of Islamic truth.


How and why this book came about.

In 1949 (1369 H.L.) I came across some dubious Muslim stories in Islamic History books. These I collected from different sources. After careful study I was convinced that some of them were forged for special purposes. Then I felt a moral obligation to publicize them. I arranged my notes so as to make a book to be called the stories of Saif.

A most learned, eminent brother Sheikh Razi Aale Yasin, author of the book Solhol Hasan encouraged me to continue the work, and suggested I call the book ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, and I gladly agreed. The notes were kept for about seven years and except for a few of my learned brothers, no one knew of them.

I was afraid that I may arouse the feelings of Eastern People, for they were about the events in the Prophet's time up to the year 36 H.L. History books of those years were accepted as gospel truth, and undoubtedly people had faith in them, and learned from them of our early

Muslim ancestors. This discussion destroys the historical foundations upon which the historians based

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their books. It shows how unreliable are some Islamic stories, and disproves the authenticity of some sources. The reader will see that the discussion is not restricted to the stories of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, but through this discourse it will be found that there are many other unreliable sources.

For this reason I was afraid until I learned that two other writers had discussed some part of it. Then I began to publish my book. I have mentioned only the sources which were written before the year 500 H.L.

Murtadha al-’Askari

Baghdad 1955 A.D

15th Ramadhan 1375

The Tale of ‘Abdullah bin Saba’


In the Name of the Most Merciful God

For one thousand years historians have been recording astonishing stories about ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, and his followers — Sabaian.

a) Who was Abdullah and who were Sabaian, his followers?

b) What did Abdullah say, and what has he done?

Summary of what is known from the Historians


A Jew from Sana in Yemen posed as convert to Islam in the time of ‘Othman the third Caliph, and plotted against Islam and Muslims. He travelled abroad to large cities such as Kufa, Basra, Damascus and Egypt, preaching a belief in the resurrection of the Prophet Muhammad as being like the return again of Jesus to this world, before Doomsday.

He also preached the idea of apostleship, and claimed that al-Imam ‘Ali was the true successor of the Prophet Muhammad — accusing ‘Othman of unjustly usurping al-Imam ‘Ali's place. He strongly urged the people to murder Caliph ‘Othman, who was later assassinated.

The historians named this Jew, ‘Abdullah bin Saba΄ as the hero

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of the stories. He was known as Ibn Amatus-Sawda, meaning son of a negro slave. Abdullah sent his missions to many cities pretending to preach true Islamic faith — enjoining good, and denouncing bad, encouraging the people to revolt against their governors and even to kill them. On the list of the followers of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ are some good S ah abis (companions of the Prophet) — for example Abu Dharr also some Tabe'in such as Malik Ashtar.

In the time of al-Imam ‘Ali, two men Talha and Zubair, revolted against al-Imam ‘Ali demanding the persecution of the murderers of ‘Othman. Because of this the battle of Jamal was planned. al-Imam ‘Ali and his two opponents agreed to a settlement, but some Sabaian, namely those who were guilty of murdering ‘Othman, did not want the quarrel to be settled because their names had been disclosed.

So, those Sabaians secretly enrolled in both armies — the army of al- Imam ‘Ali and the rebellious army. During the night while everyone was dreaming of the peace treaty to be agreed upon the next day, the plotters started shooting at both sides. As a result of this the Battle of Jamal started without the permission or knowledge of the commanders of either side.

Before discussing the story of Ibn Saba in detail, it is worthwhile examining those personalities whose names are on the lists of Sabaian.

1) Abu Dharr.

2) ‘Ammar Bin Yasir.

3) Abdur-Rahman Adis.

4) Sa‘sa‘a Bin Souhan.

5) Muhammad Bin Abi Hodhaifah.

6) Muhammad Bin Abibakr, son

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of the first Caliph.

7) Malik Ashtar.

1) Abu Dharr (Jondob Ibn Jonadeh) Ghafary

He is the third person in the list of the four pioneers who first embraced Islam. He was a monotheist even before his con-version. He declared his faith in Islam at Mecca in the Holy Mosque Beitul Haram. The Quraishite beat him almost to death but he survived, and on the instruction of the Prophet Muhammad he returned to his tribe.

After the Battles of Badr and Uhud he came to Medina and stayed there until the death of the Prophet. Then Abu Dharr was sent to Sham (Damascus) where he could not agree with Mo'awiah. Later Mo'awiah complained about Abu Dharr to ‘Othman, the third Caliph, and he sent Abu Dharr into exile at Rabaza where he later died.

Many narratives have been recorded about Abu Dharr from the Prophet. He once said: "Under the blue sky, and on the earth, there is none more straight forward than Abu Dharr."

2) ‘Ammar Bin Yasir

He was known as Abuyaqzan. He was one of the Bani Tha'laba tribe and was allied with Bani Makhzoom. His mother's name was Somayyah. He and his parents were pioneers in embracing Islam, and he was the seventh to declare his faith. His parents were executed after the torture of the Quraish Tribe, because of the conversion to Islam. There are authentic narrations told by the Prophet about ‘Ammar, such as "‘Ammar is full of faith." He fought on al-Imam ‘Ali's side at wars of Jamal and Siffin and was killed on the battle-field at the

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age of ninety-three.

3) Muhammad Bin Abu Hodhaifa called Abulqasim

His father was ‘Otba Bin Rabi‘a al-Abshami and his mother was Sahlah — the daughter of Sohail Bin ‘‘Amr Ameryyah. He was born in Ethiopia in the Prophet's time.

His father was martyred at Yamama, so, ‘Othman adopted him. ‘Othman, during his rule, gave him permission to go to Egypt where he revolted against Oqba Bin Amer, the deputy of Medina Abdullah Bin Abi Sarh (10th Man's Governor to Egypt) who had gone to Medina, and was not allowed to re- enter Egypt. Muhammad Ibn Hodhaifa succeeded and became the new Governor, then he mobilized six hundred troops under Abdur-Rahman Bin Adis, to fight ‘Othman in Medina. After al-Imam ‘Ali became Caliph he allowed Muhammad to remain as Governor of Egypt. When Mo'awiah, on his way to Siffin went .to Egypt, Muhammad stopped him from entering Fostat. But Mo'awiah made a treaty with Muhammad. Under this treaty Muhammad Bin Hodhaifa and Abdur-Rahman Bin Adis with twenty-nine men left Cairo in order to be safe from Mo'awiah, but later Mo'awiah captured and imprisoned them. Muhammad was murdered in prison at Damascus by Mo‘awia's own slave Roshdain. Muhammad had met the Prophet.

4) Abdur-Rahman Bin Adis Balavi

He was one of the men who attended the treaty of Shajara. He took part in the conquest of Egypt, and some lands in Egypt were under his protection. He was the commander of the army sent from Egypt to fight ‘Othman. He was captured by Mo'awiah, and imprisoned in Palestine. After managing to escape he was recaptured and executed.

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He had the privilege of meeting the prophet.

5) Muhammad Bin Abu Bakr

His mother was Asma, the daughter of Omais Khathamyiah, the wife of Ja‘far Bin Abi Talib. After Ja‘far was martyred Asma married Abu Bakr and Muhammad was born to her. al-Imam ‘Ali adopted him after Abu Bakr died. Muhammad was the commander of the infantry in the battle of Jamal. He was also present at the battle of Siffin.

al-Imam ‘Ali appointed him the Governor of Egypt, and he took his office 15.9.37 H.L. Mo'awiah sent an army under the leadership of ‘Amr Bin ‘As to Egypt in the year of 38, who fought and captured Muhammad then killed him. His body was placed in the belly of a dead donkey and burnt.

6) Abdi

This man was a good speaker and was converted to Islam in the Prophet's time. He attended the Battle of Siffin when Mo'awiah captured Kufa. Mo'awiah exiled Sa'Sa'a to Bahrain where he died.

7) Malik Ashtar al-Nakha‘i

He met the Prophet and was one of the trustworthy Tabe'in (The Followers). He was the chief of his tribe, and after receiving an injury to one of his eyes at the Battle of Yarmook he became known as Ashtar. In the Battles of Jamal and Siffin he was with ‘Ali and won great victories. At the age of thirty eight he was appointed Governor of Egypt, but on his way there, near the Red Sea, he died after eating honey mixed with poison which had been planned by Mo'awiah.

The above are short biographies of some of the eminent

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Muslims. It is regrettable that some historians allege that they followed an unknown Jew. Having known this, we should now try to analyze the motives for ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄s stories.

The Origin of the Tale and of the Story-tellers


It is twelve centuries ago since historians first wrote about ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄. One can rarely find a writer who does not talk about him if he is writing about Sahabis, Muslims who met the Prophet.

The difference between the writings of the old and recent Islam historians while talking about ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ tales is that the latter has chosen the modern analytical method of writing, while the old ones told the story in the language of Hadith (record of the sayings of the Prophet). To study and examine this story properly we have to find the narrators who have spoken and, or written about it.

1) Muhammad Rashid Reza

Among recent writers is Muhammad Rashid Reza, who in his book al-Sunna wal Shi‘a (pp.4-6) says: "Shi‘ism was invented by ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄. He claimed that he had renounced his Jewish faith and had been converted to a Muslim. He exaggerated grossly about ‘Ali, the fourth successor of the Prophet Muhammad and invented Shi‘ism in ‘Ali's name.

The invention of Shi‘ism was the beginning of the corruption in the religious and worldly affairs of Muhammad's nation, by creating differences between Muslims." Then Reza twisted the story to suit him-self, and if one wishes to know the beginning of the story Muhammad Rashid Reza confesses saying,

"Anyone referring to the stories concerning the Battle

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of Jamal in the history book of Ibn Athir for example, will discover the extent of the evil influence of Sabaian in the armies of both sides, when the settlement was expected (refer vol.3, pp.96,103)." Hence al-Sayyid Rashid's source of information was the history book of Ibn Athir.

2) Abul Feda (d. 732 H.L. 1331 A.D.)

Abul Feda in his book Al-Mukhtasar says: " I have summarized in my book that which Sheikh Ezzed Din ‘Ali, known as Ibn Athir Jazari, has written in his complete book." Hence the sources of the above two writers was Ibn Athir.

3) Ibn Athir (d. 630 H.L. 1229 A.D.)

He has mentioned the story among the events which took place' during the years 30—36 H.L. He does not state the sources of these stories except in the preface of his book Tarikh al-Kamel (printed in Egypt, 1348 H.L.) saying: " I have found these stories in the book of Abu Ja‘far, al-Tabari." The complete history book of Tabari (17) is the Muslims historical Bible — the only reliable book amongst Muslims who refer to it when any disputable subject is to be examined.

Tabari has written many hadiths (traditions) in different parts of his book, regarding one event; but I have rearranged these stories under a proper title and have chosen the most complete story for each event. With regard to the S ah abis I have quoted their stories exactly as Tabari (17) has written them in his book, and except for the explanatory notes not interfering with the quotations.

This is Ibn Athir ( 3 ) from whom Muhammad Rashid

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( 1 ) and Abul Feda (2) have borrowed their stories. This Ibn Athir (3) had recorded exactly what al-Tabari (17) had written.

4) Ibn Kathir (d. 774 H.L. 1289 A.D.)

Ibn Kathir in his book 'Al Bedaia wal Nehaia vol.7, citing Tabari says: "Saif Bin ‘Omar has said that the cause of the revolt against ‘Othman was ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ who pretended to be a Muslim and went to Egypt spreading false stories."

Then Ibn Kathir writes the complete story of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, including the Battle of Jamal. He says on p.246 "This is the summary of what Abu Ja‘far Bin Jarir Tabari (17) may God bless him, has written."

5) Ibn Khaldoon

The philosopher of the historians in his book 'al-Mobtada wal Khabar has mentioned Sabaian in the Events of House (martyrdom of ‘Othman) and Jamal. Then on p.425 vol.2 of his book he says: "This is the summary of the events of Jamal from the book of Abu Ja‘far Tabari (17) because he is more reliable and more trust-worthy than other historians including Ibn Qotaybah."

Also on p.457 he says: "This is the last word about Islamic succession, and of heretics conquerors and fights. After this there will be agreement and Assembly (al-Jamaat) amongst Muslims. I have taken these extracts from the book of Muhammad Bin Jarir al-Tabari (17) as it is the most reliable, and does not criticize Sahabis and Tabe ‘in."

6) Muhammad Farid Wajdi

Farid Wajdi in his book Encyclopedia' under the word Atham and under Jamal fight, also in the biography of ‘Ali Bin Abi Talib has mentioned ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄s

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story and on pp.160, 168 and 169 tells us that his source of information is from Tabari (17).

7) al-Bostani

In his Encyclopedia under the name ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ says: "‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ says Ibn

Kathir. . . ."

8) Ahmed Amin

One of today's historians who has used the analytical method of recording the stories is Ahmed Amin. In his book Fajrol Is lam concerning Persians* and their effect on Islam he writes, "The main difference between the Mazdak's religion and other religions was its socialistic idea. Mazdak believed in the equality of man by birth and stated that they must, therefore, have equal opportunities for their livelihood.

He saw the most important issues in the equality of man as being wealth and women, these being the cause of all disagreements. Hence he said women and wealth were equally for all. Men of lower classes took advantage of Mazdak's teaching and caused much trouble. His followers broke into houses, sharing amongst themselves the women and the goods.

This went on for so long that children did not know who had fathered them, and fathers could not recognize their sons." Ahmed Amin continues saying "This way of life was adopted by some, even after the advent of Islam. There were villages in Kerman (Southern Persia) where this religion was still practiced in the reign of Amawys Dynasty."

"From this" says Ahmed Amin, "we see the similarity of the ideas of Abu Dharr and Mazdak as far as the distribution of wealth is concerned." "Abu Dharr," says Tabari "rose

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up in Damascus (Shaam) saying " O men of wealth, share your money with the poor people," and he recited this verse of the Holy Qur’an:

"Proclaim a woeful punishment to those that hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in God's cause. The day surely comes when their treasures shall be heated in the fire of Hell, and their foreheads, sides and backs, branded with them." (The Holy Qur’an, Surah At-Tawbah (9): Verse 34).

Abu Dharr repeated this quotation so often that poor men took it as an obligation for wealthy men to distribute their money, and pestered rich people so much that they complained about Abu Dharr to Mo'awiah, the governor.

Before Ahmed Amin, Rashid Reza has written the story in his book al-Sunna wal Shi‘a of Syria, and he sent Abu Dharr to Medina to the Caliph ‘Othman.

"Citizen of Damascus, why does your tongue make much complain?" Said ‘Othman. "The wealthy people are not supposed to keep their money entirely for themselves," said Abu Dharr.

"We see from the above," says Ahmed Amin, "that Abu Dharr's idea was very close to that of Mazdak concerning wealth." But where did Abu Dharr get this view? Tabari answers: "Ibn al-Souda met Abu Dharr and suggested this socialistic idea, at the meeting with Abu Darda(1) and ‘Obada Bin Samet, but the latter men were not deceived and they took Ibn al-Souda to Mo'awiah and said this was the man who had prompted Abu Dharr to make you so tiresome.”(2)


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1- They were known followers of Prophet (Sahabis).
2- This story is false and made up by ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, Abu Dharr never preached against the wealthy people, his talks were aimed at Mo'awiah and his dynasty, who had captured peoples' wealth by force and ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ tried to cover up the matter by making up these tales.

Amin continues: "We also know that Ibn al- Souda was known as ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ who was a Jew from San‘a’ (Yemen). He pretended to be a Muslim in ‘Othman's time, and tried to ruin the religion of the Muslims by spreading harmful ideas." This, we will discuss later.

"‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄," continues Ahmed Amin, "travelled to many cities in Arabia, Basra, Kufa, Damascus and to Egypt. He may have got this socialistic idea from the followers of Mazdak in Iraq or Yemen. So, Abu Dharr learned it from him."

Ahmed Amin wrote in the margin of his book: "Refer to Tabari vol.5, p.66 onwards." On p.112 Ahmed concludes that: "The Shi‘a regarded ‘Ali and his sons divine, as did their Persian ancestors and the Pagans regard their Kings of the Sasanid dynasty.”

Ahmed Amin was faithful to his promise when he said, "we will discuss the harmful ideas of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ later."

Ahmed Amin on p.254, talking about different de- nominations says; "At the end of ‘Othman's reign, some secret groups, scattered far and wide, rioted against ‘Othman, trying to rob him of power and give it to someone else. Amongst these groups some were soliciting support for ‘Ali, the strongest force behind this movement in Basra, Kufa and Damascus was ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄. He said; "Every prophet has a successor. ‘Ali is the successor of Muhammad who is more unjust than the man who unjustly has usurped the place of ‘Ali?" He insisted on this until ‘Othman was killed.

"We are bound,"

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says Ahmed Amin, "to discuss this story as three Muslim denominations came into being as a result of it. They are Shia, etc.

In the chapter concerning Shi‘a on pp.266-278 he says that the idea of a second coming of the Prophet Elijah belongs to the Jews. ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ learned of it from the Jews. Shias adopted it from ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ to agree with their ideas concerning Mandi who was supposed to come and fill the world with justice.

Shiaism is a refuge to shelter those who wish to destroy Islam under the camouflage of love of the Prophet's family. Any Jew or Christian can state his views about Islam through Shiaism, like the Jewish idea concerning the second coming of Elijah.l On p.277 he says: "According to Wellhouzen, Shi‘a derives more from Jewish than from Persian beliefs, 'because ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ was Jewish." In other words, Ahmed Amin that Shias derived their belief in the successor- ship of ‘Ali, and the second coming of the Saints and Mahdi, from Ibn Saba, that is, from Jews.

It is unfortunate that Ahmed Amin's book Fajrol Islam and the Islamic Political History by Hassan E. Hassan are the only books about Shi‘a thought at Western universities.

Abu Dharr got his communistic notions from Ibn Saba, Ibn Saba learned communism from Mazdaki people who lived in the time of the Amawid Dynasty. Mazdak was Persian, and Persians revere their Kings. So do Shias revere their Imams. Shiaism is a cloak for those who wish

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to des-troy Islam by hatred and jealousy.

It is also a shelter for any who wish to introduce Judaism, Christianity or the Zoroaster faith to Islam. We note that all these ideas come from ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, which Ahmed Amin took from Tabari and Wellhouzen. We shall see that Wellhouzen too, has recorded it from Tabari (17).

9) Hassan Ibrahim.

Another contemporary historian who has adopted the analytical method in his book Islamic Political History, is Dr. Hasan Ibrahim. After considering the Muslim situation at the end of ‘Othman's Caliphate he says, "The atmosphere was ready to accept the Sabaians movements.

One of the companions of the Prophet well known for his piety and righteousness, was one of the narrators' leaders, called Abu Dharr Ghafari. It was this man who caused trouble, as he was affected by ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄s rousing propaganda, and he opposed ‘Othman and his Governor in Syria, Mo'awiah.

‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ was a Jew who pretended to be a Muslim and travelled to Hijaz, Kufa, Syria and Egypt.

Dr. Hassan Ibrahim has taken this story from vol.1, p.2859 Tabari (17). On p.349 he says,"' Abdullah Bin Saba΄ was the first person to lead people against ‘Othman, causing him to be overthrown.

In the margin of his book he has referred to Tabari four times concerning the story of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄. He also refers to Tabari twelve times about this story in his book. Yet he has refrained from quoting what Tabari has written in his book concerning Sabaians, even though the hero

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in both stories is the same — ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄.

Up to now we have seen how Muslim historians have quoted from the history book of Tabari (17) concerning Sabaian.

10) Van Flotten (Volten) (Johannes 1818—1883).

In his book Arabian rule and Shi‘a and Israilyat in Amawid Time, translated by Dr. Hassan Ibrahim and Muhammad Zaki Ibrahim (1st edition Egypt, p.79) says concerning Shia: "The Sabaians, the followers of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ regarded ‘Ali as the rightful person for the successorship of the Prophet during the time of ‘Othman." Then he refers to Tabari (17) on the margin of p.80 in his book.

11) Nicholson, Reynold Alleyne (1868 1945).

In his book The History of Arabian Literature (Cam- bridge, p.215) he says, "‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ founded the Sabaian's Society. He was from San‘a in Yemen. It is said that he was a Jew who, in ‘Othman's time, embraced Islam.

He was in fact a wicked, travelling missionary, who tried to lead Muslims astray. He started from Hijaz, and went to Basra, Kufa and Syria. Finally he lived in Egypt. He believed in the second coming of the Prophet." He said, "People believed in the second coming of Jesus, but denied the second

coming of the Prophet Muhammad, even though this is mentioned in the Qur'an. Moreover, God has sent over one thousand messengers, and each of them had a deputy — a successor. ‘Ali is the successor of the Prophet Muhammad — the last one." Then in the margin of his book he refers to Tabari (17) and indicates the page.

12) The Islamic Encyclopedia

In this Encyclopedia, written by some orientalists,

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the story is written as follows:-

"If we want to consider only what Tabari and Maghrizi have recorded, we say that one of the subjects Bin Saba was preaching was the second coming of Muhammad. This was the theory — that to every Prophet there is a successor, and ‘Ali is the successor of Muhammad. So, every Muslim, therefore, must help ‘Ali by his words and deeds. It is said that ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ sent missionaries all over the country to propagate his theory. He himself was among those who set off from Egypt towards Medina in Shawwal 35 H.L., April, 656 A.D." The Encyclopedia refers to Tabari and Maghrizi,

Tabari lived 300 years after the story, and Maghrizi 800 years. Tabari mentions the names of those he has quoted but Maghrizi does not. Hence the writings of Maghrizi are not thought to be as reliable as those of Tabari, who lived 500 years before Maghrizi. We will write about Maghrizi later.

13) Donaldson, M. Dewight.

In his book The Shi‘ah Articles of Faith Arabic translation p.85 he says: "The earliest references show us that the claim of the followers of ‘Ali, regarding his succession was not just political, but they believed that the succession of ‘Ali was divinely inspired. Yet a mysterious man can be held greatly responsible for that belief. During the time of the succession of ‘Othman, ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ started a movement to bring Muslims to ruin, as is said by Tabari."

Donaldson has not quoted directly from Tabari, but according to the margin

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of p.59 in his book, he has quoted from the Islamic Encyclopedia previously mentioned and from the book History of Arabian Literature. We have stated earlier that they themselves have quoted from Tabari (17).

14) Wellhousen Julius (1844 — 1918).

On p.56—57 in his book Sabaian and the Spirit of Prophethood, he says : " A party was formed in Kufa, called Sabaian, and this party made many drastic changes in Islam. Despite the teaching of the Qur'an, they preached the divinity of the Prophet Muhammad. Sabaians believe that Muhammad died bodily but not spiritually, that his spirit is a divine one, and is alive for all eternity."

As in the, theory of incarnation, they say that the spirit of God has been incarnated in his Messengers and passed through all the prophets, one to the other, and that after Muhammad, it was passed on to ‘Ali and then to his descendents.

They did not consider that ‘Ali was equal to the Caliphs who preceded him and were the successors of Muhammad, but they regarded those Caliphs as illegal. They proclaimed ‘Ali as the sole, divine, legal successor of the Prophet Muhammad, and obedience to him was to be regarded as obedience to God.

Wellhousen also said that it is understood that the Sabaians derive their name from Bin Saba — a Yemenese Jew, and under a title ‘Sabaian extremist and Believers of Reincarnation.' He says: "The extremists have different names not worthy of mention, but all the names proved that they had gone astray." Saif Bin ‘Omar Tamimi

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says, "Sabaian right from the start were trouble makers, killing ‘Othman, and starting Civil war ……Most of them were non- Arabic slaves.

They believed in the passing of the soul from one person to another, especially the spirit of Muhammad incarnated in ‘Ali, Then the descendants of ‘Ali, by Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet, rejected the Sabaians, so they followed Muhammad al-Hanafiyah, a son of ‘Ali but not by Fatimah. The 'Sabaian followed Aba Hashim the son of Muhammad al-Hanafiyah, an unworthy man like his father. Aba Hashim nominated his son Muhammad Bin ‘Ali ‘Abbasy. Hence the successorship of ‘Ali went from him to ‘Abbassids dynasty. ‘Abbassids, like the Sabaians, originated in Kufa. Both parties rioted against Arabian Muslims and their supporters were Iranian 46 slaves."

Wellhouzen refers to Saif twice in this story in the margin of his book. Hence it is clear to us that he has taken the story from Tabari (17) — the first historian to mention Saif.

So, we have written about historians who have mentioned Tabari, directly or otherwise, when writing the story of Bin Saba. There are other writers who have not mentioned the original writer of the story of Bin Saba. But in other places in their books they have named Tabari or the books which have quoted from Tabari such as:-

15) Mirkhand

In-his book Rawzatus-Safa.

16) Ghiathud Din (d. 940 H.L. — 1455 A.D.)

The son of Mir Khand, in his book Habibus Siyar, has quoted from his father as is mentioned in the preface of his book. All the above historians have quoted

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from Tabari (17).

17) Tabari and his source

Abu Ja‘far Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari Amoli, (d. 310 H.L. — 825 A.D.). In his book Tarikhol Omam wal Mulook (The History of Nations and Kings), Tabari has quoted the story of the Sabaians exclusively from Saif Bin ‘Omar Tamimi. He refers only to some of the events of the year 30 H.L. as follows:-

In the same year (i.e. year 30 H.L.) the events concerning Abu Dharr took place. Mo'awiah sent Abu Dharr from (Damascus) Shaam to Medina. Many things are told of that event, but I do not like to record them.

Sari has written to me about the stories told by those who find excuses for Mo'awiah, regarding the incidents concerning Abu Dharr. Shoaib has told Sari that Saif said, "When Bin Sawda reached (Damascus) Shaam he met Abu Dharr and reported to him the things which Mo'awiah was doing. And Tabari narrates the story of Sabaians as told by Saif, and finishes the story of Abu Dharr with the following sentence, "Others have said much concerning this story (the exile of Abu Dharr), but I am reluctant to relate them."

Regarding the events of the years (30-36 ,H.L.), Tabari records the story of Bin Saba and the Sabaians, the murder of ‘Othman (The third Caliph) and the Battle of Jamal from Saif — Saif being the only one from whom he could quote.

Tabari narrates his story from Saif through two persons, 1) ‘Obaidullah Bin Said Zohari from his uncle Ya'qub Bin Ibrahim and then from

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Saif. From this channel the stories begin "narrated to me" or "narrated to us." 2) Sari Bin Yahya from Shoaib Bin Ibrahim from Saif. Tabari recording from two books, al-Fotuh and al-Jamal from Saif, has begun with "He wrote to me," "He narrated to me," and "In his letter to me." So far we have dealt with Tabari's source.

18) Ibn ‘Asaker (d. 571 H.L. — 1086 A.D.)

'Ibn ‘Asaker records from another source. In his book The History of Damascus whilst writing the biographies of Talha and ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄, he has recorded parts of the story of Sabaians, through Abul Qasim Samarqand from Abul Husain Naqqoor from Abu Taher Mokhallas from Abu Bakr Bin Saif from Sari from Shoaib Bin Ibrahim from Saif.

Therefore, the origin is Sari, one of the two channels from which Tabari has recorded.

19) Ibn Badran (d. 1346 H.L. — 1851 A.D.)

Ibn Badran, has recorded stories in his book Tahzib without mentioning the names of the persons from whom he has quoted. He has written some of the story of Ibn Saba in his book without naming the originators. But in the biography of Ziad Bin Abih he has mentioned Tabari in connection with Saif's stories (vol.5, p.406).

20) Ibn Abibakr (d.741 H.L. — 1256 A.D.)

Ibn Abibakr has a book called al-Tamhid, from which some writers have quoted. The book concerns the killing of Caliph ‘Othman and in its preface the name of al-Fotuh, the book of Saif is mentioned, as is also the name of Ibn Athir. Ibn Athir has quoted from Tabari and Tabari from Saif. So far the tales of Saif have three principles sources:-

1) Tabari (d. 310

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H.L. — 825 A.D.);

2) Ibn ‘Asaker (d. 571 H.L. — 1086 A.D.);

3) Ibn Abibakr (d. 741 H.L. — 1256 A.D.).

Some writers have quoted from one source, some from two, and some from all three.

21) Sa'id Afghani

In his book Aisha and Politics, Sa'id Afghani has written some of the stories of the Sabaians under the following titles.

"Prophet against ‘Othman And The Consequence."

"Bin Saba The Secret Dreadful Hero."

"Observation of the Reconciliation," and "The Plot."

He also mentions the Sabaians in other chapter of his book. His principle source is Tabari, followed by Ibn’Asaker, then Tamhid of Ibn Abibakr. He relies on Tabari more than anyone else, giving as his reason the trust he has in Tabari, saying that Tabari is more dependable, and that all previous historians have trusted him. He then says "As far as I could, I have quoted from Tabari's book exactly as it was."

22) Dhahabi (d. 748 H.L. — 1263 A.D.)

There is another channel for the tale of Ibn Saba namely Dhahabi's recording. He has written some parts of the story in his book The History of Islam (vol.2, pp.122-128) where he has recorded the killing of ‘Othman among the events of the year 35 H.L. He begins as follows:-

"And Saif Bin ‘Omar said that ‘Atyya said, that Yazid al-Faq'asi said when Bin Sawda went to Egypt..........." Dhahabi has also written another story told by Saif in more detail than Tabari. Later he has recorded a summary of what Tabari has written. The original of the stories written by Dhahabi concerning Sabaians and others, can be found in

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the preface to his book.

1) Books such as al-Fotuh by Saif, from which Dhahabi has obtained the most important material for his book.

2) Books from which he has obtained that which he has recorded as the summary.

3) Books he refers to frequently to, such as Tabari.

Since Dhahabi has mentioned the book al-Fotuh by Saif and he lived in 8th Century of Muslim era then the book al-Fotuh must have been available until then.

In summary we can say that all these historians referred to have taken their stories and tale of ‘Abdullah Bin Saba΄ from Saif. Four of these historians: Tabari, Ibn ‘Asaker, Ibn Abibakr and Dhahabi have taken their stories directly from Saif, while others have got their stories indirectly from Saif.

The chart on the next page indicates the channels through which the Sabaians tale has been recorded from its original story teller Saif.

Investigation concerning Saif and his Narrations

Who is Saif?

According to Tabari, vol.l, p.1749, (Europe) and Lobabul Ansab, vol.1, p.49, Saif's full name was Saif Bin ‘Omar al-Tamimi al-Osayyadi. According to Jamharatul Ansab, p.199 and Ibn Doraid's book, al-Ishtiqaq, pp.201-206, Osayyad's name was ‘Amr Bin Tamimi. Because Saif was a descendent of ‘Amr he has contributed much more about Bani Amr's heroic deeds than others.

It is written "Osady" in Ibn Nadim's book, Fihrest, instead of Osayyad.

It is recorded in Tahzibul Tahzib, al-borjomi wal Sa‘dy or al-Zaby (ﻲﺒّﻀﻟا وا یﺪﻌﱠﺴﻟاو ﻲﻤُﺟﺮُﺒﻟا). If this were true it only reveals that the Borjom tribe and Osayyed had some agreement (peace treaty etc.) between themselves since Borjom and

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Osayyed were not close relatives even if we believe that both tribes were descendents of Bani Tamim.

It is recorded in Tahzibul Tahzib, Kholas atul Tahzib and Hidayatul ‘Arefin that Saif came from Kufa and resided in Baghdad.

According to Kholasatul Tahzib, Saif died in the year 170 H.L. It is written in al-Tahzib, "I have seen Dhahabi's hand writing saying that Saif died during the rule of Haroon al-Rashid."

Ismail Pasha in his book al-Hidaya, says, "He (Saif) died in Baghdad during the rule of Haroon al-Rashid in the year 200 and al-Rashid died in the year 193." No one else has said so, neither has Ismail Pasha revealed the source of his information.

Saif's Books

According to al-Fihrest and al-Hidaya, Saif wrote two books:-

1) al-Fotooh al-Kabir wal Reddah.

2) al-Jamal wa Masire ‘Aesha wa ‘Ali.

And according to al-Lobab, Tahzib and Kashful- Zonoon, Saif wrote only the book al-Fotooh.

Tabari in his book has recorded from Saif's two books, al-Fotooh and al-Jamal in the order of the names of people playing parts in the events but he has not made reference to Saif's books.

Dhahabi in his history of al-Kabir; and Ibn ‘Asaker in al-Tamhid have recorded from Saif according to the names of people playing parts in the event and they have made references to Saif's books.

The most famous historians who have written about the companions of the Prophet are Ibn Abdul Birr, Ibn Athir, Ibn Hajar and Dhahabi. These historians have recorded the names of the heroes invented by Saif along with the names of the

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real Sahabis (Companions of the Prophet).

Geographians such as al-Hamawi, in his Mo‘jam; and al-Hemiari in al-Rouz have named non-existent places invented by Saif. Abdul Momin has recorded Saif's places from al-Hamawi.

Last person, we found, who had said that had Saif's book in his possession is Ibn Hajar (d. 852 H.L.). The author of al-Esabah.

The value of Saif's recordings

1) Yahya Bin Ma‘een (d. 233 H.L.), "His narrations are weak and useless."

2) Nesa’i (d. 303 H.L.) in Sahih, "His narrations are weak, they should be disregarded because he was unreliable and not trustworthy."

3) Abu Dawood (d. 316 H.L.), "Of no value - he is a liar."

4) Ibn Abi Hatam (d. 327 H.L.), "They have abandoned his narrations."

5) Ibn al-Sakan (d. 353 H.L.), " I t is weak."

6) Ibn ‘Adei (d. 365 H.L.), "It is weak, some of his narrations are famous yet the majority of his narrations are disgraceful and not followed."

7) Ibn Hebban (d. 354 H.L.) "In the stories he has made, he has mentioned the names of trustful men, but they say he was accused of heresy and forged narrations."

8) Al-Hakem (d. 405 H.L.) "His narrations are abandoned, he was accused of heresy."

9) Khatib al-Baghdadi.........

10) Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (d. 463 H.L.) narrated from Abi Hayan that "Saif's narrations are abandoned, we mentioned them for knowledge only."

11) Safiod Din (d. 923 H.L.) "Considered weak."

12) Firoozabadi (d. 817 H.L.) in Tawalif mentioned, Saif with the others saying they are weak.

13) Ibn Hajar (d. 852 H.L.) after one of his narrations mentioned, that it is narrated by

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weak narrators, weakest of them all is Saif.

These are the biographers views about Saif and his narrations. Now let us consider the narrations themselves. And to do so we have to refer to the history of al-Tabari among others because it is dated earlier than others and more referred to in history books. al-Tabari had narrated, too many of Saif's narrations quoting from his two books, al-Fotooh wal-Radah and al-Jamal.

Also he narrated from his narrations about al-Saqifa and the death of ‘Othman. Thus making Saif stories an important reference, referred to all Islamic histories up to day.

We shall consider al-Tabari's history first and then other narrators who depended on Saif's in their narrations and we shall compare and contrast his narrations with others to find out the methods he used in forging them and the value of his stories.

1. Osama army


Tabari (vol.3, p.212; vol.l, pp.1849-1850 EUR), and Ibn ‘Asaker ( v o l . l , p.427), with regard to the events of year eleven of Hijra, the recorded history of Osama's Army told by Saif is as follows:-

Story by Saif

"The Prophet of God, before his death, gathered together an army under the command of Osama. ‘Omar Bin Khattab was in that army. Before the army was even clear of the moat of Medina, the Prophet of God died. Osama sent

‘Omar to the successor of the Prophet (the Caliph) to obtain permission for the return of the army to Medina. The companions of the Prophet, who were in that army, told


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to ask Abu Bakr to dismiss Osama and appoint another commander." Abu Bakr jumped forward and grasped ‘Omar by his beard saying, “ O Bin Khattab let your mother weep at your death bed. It was the Prophet who appointed Osama to be the commander, yet you want me to dismiss him and appoint someone else in his place."

Abu Bakr then ordered the army to proceed and he saw them leave, bidding them farewell saying, "March on, May God destroy you by murder and plague."

The foregoing was related by Saif concerning Osama's army. But others have said that the story is as follows:-

Story by other than Saif

In the year 11 Hijra, on a Monday, when four days remained in the month of Safar, the Prophet ordered the people to be prepared for the war with the Romans. Next day he ordered Osama to command the army saying to him, "Go to the place where your father was martyred, and attack them." On the Wednesday the Prophet developed a temperature and a headache. The next day, the Thursday, the Prophet himself made the Battle standard and handed it to Osama. Osama took the flag and left Medina, choosing Jorf as the camp site.

The senior members of the Muhajir and Ansar parties, Abu Bakr, ‘Omar Bin Khattab, Abu ‘Obaydah Jarrah, Sa‘d Waqqas, Sa‘eed Bin Zaid and others were ordered to form an army under the leadership of Osama. As Osama was a very young man, there were objections to his being made the army commander in

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preference to those elder Immigrant Muslims.

The Prophet of God heard these objections and came from his house, his head covered with a handkerchief, and a towel over his shoulder, as he was ill. Mounting the pulpit he addressed the people saying, "What are these reports I have heard concerning Osama, who has been appointed commander.

You objected to his father — now you object to him. By God Osama is capable of holding this position, as his father was." The Prophet then came down from the pulpit, and the Muslims who were going to the camp site at Jorf said good-bye.

The Prophet's health deteriorated, and Osama visited him when the Prophet was unable to speak — he could only kiss Osama good-bye. The next Monday the Prophet was better, and he received Osama saying, "Go, good luck to you." Osama returned to the camp and ordered the march. Just as he was going to mount his horse, a message came from his mother saying that the Prophet was critically ill.

Osama, ‘Omar and Abu ‘Obaydah returned to Medina, and that same day the Prophet passed away. After the death of the Prophet, when Abu Bakr became Caliph, he ordered Osama to undertake the same mission as ordered by the Prophet, (Ibn ‘Asaker vol.l, p.433). On page 438 Ibn ‘Asaker also says, “Abu Bakr told Osama that the Prophet had given all necessary instructions, and he was not adding anything to them. Abu Bakr did not listen to those who advised him

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that expedition be postponed.”


Comparison between the above two ways of recording. There are some points worth mentioning about Saif's recording. He says:

1) The army was crossing the moat of Medina when the Prophet died. Saif included this sentence in his book to conceal the fact that there were delays which prevented the army from setting out; and there were no disruptions by the trouble makers who caused the delays. Yet in his more lucid moments Muhammad was annoyed that the army was delayed, and repeated his original order, "Osama's army must march."

2) Saif says, "When Osama heard that the Prophet had passed away he sent ‘Omar to the successor of the Prophet of God to obtain his permission for the return of the army to Medina." Other instructions say, "Osama heard that the Prophet's condition was serious, so he went to Medina with ‘Omar, Abu Bakr and Abu ‘Obaydah. (Some say that Abu ‘Obaydah was not with them.) After the death of the Prophet, and after Abu Bakr's nomination at Saqifa, and his final election at the Mosque, he dealt with Osama's army.

Here again Saif back dates the successorship of Abu Bakr, making it appear that he was appointed Caliph (successor) before the death of the Prophet.

3) Saif says, "Ansar (helpers) asked Abu Bakr to dismiss Osama and appoint another commander to the army. Ibn ‘Asaker (vol.I, p.438) and other historians say: Early Muhajirs (Immigrants) asked the Prophet to change Osama.

Here again Saif altered the name of proposers from Muhajirs

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to Ansar to please the then Government who were of Muhajirs (Immigrants) party.

Saif says: "Abu Bakr gave Osama ten instructions." Other historians say: "Abu Bakr said that the Prophet had given the necessary instructions and he did not need to add anything to them." Saif says: "Abu Bakr held ‘Omar by his beard because he brought the message of the Helpers," though a messenger cannot be blamed. Saif says, "Abu Bakr cursed the army and hoped they would be destroyed by plague." Saif being a heretic wanted to make a mockery of Islam as a religion, as well as to please the Caliph of his time. The stories invented by Saif have no foundation, and the heroes mentioned in them never existed for they were but figments of his imagination. We will explain more clearly later.

Some Sahabis Introduced

The time is now ripe for us to briefly introduce the Sahabis we have mentioned so far 1 and 2. There is, of course, no need to say anything about Abu Bakr and ‘Omar, the well-known first and second Caliphs.

3) Abu ‘Obaydah Jarrah Amer, son of Abdullah Bin Jarrah and Omaymah, a daughter of Ghonm Bin Jabir. Abu ‘Obaydah was one of the pioneer converts to Islam from the Quraish tribe, and he emigrated twice from Mecca. Abu Bakr made him the commander of an army sent to Syria. He died of the plague and was buried in Jordan.

4) Sa‘d Waqqas, Abu Eshaq, son of Malik, from the Zuhra family of the Quraish tribe. He

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was the seventh man to embrace Islam. He attended the Battle of Badr and all later battles launched by the Prophet. He was the first Muslim to fire at the enemy, the chief commander of the armies which conquered Iraq. ‘Omar appointed him Governor of Kufa.

Sa‘d was one of the six nominated committee members to be Caliph after ‘Omar. (It was ‘Omar who ordered that the committee to be established directly after he was fatally stabbed by Abu Lobo). Sa‘d retired to his residence Aqiq — near Medina, after ‘Othman was murdered. He died during the reign of Mo'awiah and was buried in Baqi — the cemetery of Medina.

5) Sa‘eed Bin Zaid. He is from the ‘Adi family of the Quraish tribe, and a cousin of ‘Omar Bin Khattab. ‘Omar married Atekah, the sister of Sa‘eed, and Sa‘eed married Fatima, the sister of ‘Omar. Sa‘eed and Fatima embraced Islam before ‘Omar.

When ‘Omar heard that his sister had become a Muslim, he went to her house, and slapped her face so hard that it began to bleed. ‘Omar felt very sorry for his hasty action, and on the spot he himself accepted Islam. Sa‘eed died in the year 50 or 51 H.L. and he was buried in Medina.

6) Osama. The father of Osama was Harethah, a slave freed by Muhammad. His mother was Umm Ayman, a servant o£ Muhammad who had been freed by him. Osama was born at the dawn of Islam, and died in the reign of

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Muhammad's policy on his death bed

In the last moments of his life the Prophet acted very strangely, he sent away all the elders and kept only ‘Ali in Medina. He insisted on sending the Party Leaders to Syria — far from the heart of Islam, and he put a man whose parents were slaves, in charge of the elders.

(This will be discussed after examining the events which took place when the Prophet of God passed away).

2. Saqifah

Saif and Saqifah

The story of preliminary discussion and arguments at Saqifah surrounding the succession of Abu Bakr as Caliph, (successor of the Prophet) is one of the attractive stories told by Saif which needs careful investigation. Saif says,

1) Es abah (vol.2, p.230). "They tell that Qa‘qa‘ Bin ‘Omar said, ‘When the Prophet of God was going to die, I was present. A man came into the Mosque at mid-day prayer time, and told some people that the Helpers (Ansar) were going to elect Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah unanimously, as Caliph, and ignore the covenant of the Prophet of God. The Mohajirs were very concerned about this."

2) Tabari (vol.3, p.201). Events of the year eleven. "The narrator asked ‘Amr Bin Horaith, ‘Were you present when the Prophet of God died?' The answer was yes. The second question was, ‘On which day was Abu Bakr elected?' and the answer, ‘On the very day that the Prophet died, because the people did not want to be unorganized even for half a day.' Then he asked, ‘Was there any opposition?' ‘No, only from heretics or

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those who were almost heretics.' ‘Did any member of the Immigrant party oppose him?' was next asked, and the answer was, ‘No, they all gave their allegiance to Abu Bakr freely, one after the other.'

3) Tabari, regarding the Helpers support for Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah, and their rejection of Abu Bakr, says, "Dahhak Bin Khalifah said that Hobab Bin Mondher stood with sword in hand saying, ‘(I am but a crutch to be leaned upon). I am the wood upon which the camels scratch themselves at the place where they do sleep; I am that big tree under which they do seek shade and shelter. I fear harm from no wind. I am the father of the lion cubs in their den.'

"‘Omar jumped quickly forward and knocked the sword from the hand of Hobab. ‘Omar picked up the sword and attacked Sa‘d Bin Hobab, and other people who were against Sa‘d, gave their support to Abu Bakr, helping him to win the election.

"The support of the Helpers (Ansar) in favor of Sa‘d was a mistake like that in Jaheliyyah (the age of ignorance before Islam). Fortunately Abu Bakr firmly opposed Sa‘d and swayed people's support in his own favor. When the people attacked Sa‘d, someone cried that he was killed.

‘Omar said, ‘May God kill him, he is a hypocrite.' Then ‘Omar took the sword and broke it against a rock."

4) (Tabari, after the above story). Mobashsher said that Jaber related thus — "Sa‘d said to Abu Bakr, ‘O you Immigrants you

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were jealous of my position as the head of the state, and as for you Abu Bakr, you forced me to comply with you, with the help of your own tribe.' The Immigrant replied, ‘If we forced you to leave the mass you had the right to oppose us, but we are forcing you to keep within the mass. Now if you oppose the general body of the Muslims you will be beheaded.'

5) Tabari. "‘Ali was in his house when the news reached him that the people had given their allegiance to Abu Bakr. Still in his night shirt, he rushed out, going at once to Abu Bakr, and shook hands with him. Later on, his clothes were brought to him and he dressed."

6) Tabari, "Abu Bakr delivered two long speeches on the day following the death of the Prophet of God. He spoke mostly of the uncertainty of the world, of the destruction of mankind, and the day of the hereafter. He strongly stressed the devil which was within him saying, ‘There is a spirit of evil invested in me. Avoid me when this evil power overcomes me, in case I usurp not only your possession, but your souls.' "

7) Tabari, Mobashshir Bin Fodail related that Jobair (the bodyguard of the Prophet) said that his father said, "Khalid Bin Sa‘eed Bin ‘As came to Medina from Yemen, a month after the Prophet of Islam died. He was wearing a coat of silk when he met ‘Omar and ‘Ali. ‘Omar

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shouted, ‘Tear Khalid's coat to pieces for he is wearing silk in peace time.' Khalid turned and spoke to ‘Ali saying,

‘O Abul Hasan, O’ children of ‘Abd Manaf — you gave up the succession to the Prophet, so you have been vanquished. O children of ‘Abd Manaf only you deserve to be the Prophet's successor.' ‘Omar said, ‘O Khalid — may God cut out your tongue; Liars will forever use your words against Islam, and this will eventually be against themselves.' ‘Omar later reported to Abu Bakr this meeting with Khalid. A long time afterwards ‘Omar prevented Abu Bakr from making Khalid the Commander of an army fighting against the heretics.

‘Omar told Abu Bakr that Khalid was despicable, who had told a lie which had caused to gossip forever — and so his help should not be sought. Abu Bakr sent Khalid to Syria as the assistant to the Army Commander at Tima; for Abu Bakr had only half listened to ‘Omar."

An investigation into the truth of the stories concerning Saqifah recorded by Saif

1) The integrity and the character of the narrators.

2) The content of Saif's stories.

a) Saif has recorded his first story from Qa‘qa‘ Bin ‘Amr al-Tamimi. But Qa‘qa‘ is but a fictitious character invented by Saif, and it is only in Saif's book that he appears.

There is no trace of Qa‘qa‘ anywhere else except in the books whose authors quote from Saif. After Saif, unfortunately, other historians and writers have named places, battlefields, poems and social activities concerning Qa‘qa‘, and have named him as one of the companions of

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the Prophet (see fictional companions). Saif recorded his fourth story from Mobashshir, whose name cannot be found anywhere, except in the stories of Saif.

Sakhr is another fictitious character invented by Saif, and he appeared in the last of Saif's stories. Saif introduced him as the bodyguard of the Prophet, and yet his name does not appear in any "Who's who."

b) The content of Saif's stories. Saif was an expert at presenting fiction as truth and at distorting true stories to suit his purpose. One instance is when he says, "The day that the Prophet of God died, a man came into the Mosque and said,

‘People are going to elect Sa‘d as the successor of the Prophet and break the conversant of the Prophet.' On reading this, one gets the impression that the Prophet had appointed a successor before he died, and that Ansar (The Helpers Party) were betraying the Prophet." Saif also says that Osama had sent

‘Omar to Abu Bakr after he heard the news of the Prophet's death. By saying this he wants to convey that Abu Bakr was already appointed as Caliph before the Prophet died.

The story teller

The crucial meeting at Saqifah, which led to the appointment of Abu Bakr as Caliph, was the corner stone of authority for the Caliphs and Mo'awiah. Saif the story teller, twisted the results of this meeting to suit his own views. We will study the events of that meeting, written by some learned Sunni historians before examining Saif's record of it.

Saqifah and other historians apart from Saif — Saqifah and Abu Bakr

Preparations for the

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meeting at Saqifah began before the death of the Prophet. On his deathbed, the Prophet attempted to clear the Islamic state Capital of the Party leaders, and keep ‘Ali alone in Medina. He repeatedly commanded the leaders to leave Medina and join the troops going to the Syria Battlefield.

They disregarded the Prophet's orders and deliberately delayed' the armies departure until the Prophet died. During this period of delay, a very strange event took place which changed the course of history.

Did the Prophet express his wishes in writing?

The last moments of the Prophet were approaching. Medina was in a state of panic. Everyone felt that the leader of man, was leaving the world forever. The Prophet had a plan for this moment in time; it was in his mind to clear Medina of Party Leaders, but they refused to go.

They also had a plan, and were watching events closely. They prevented the Prophet from leaving a document with the Muslims for the guidance of man.

According to Tabaqat by Bin Sa‘d vol.2, pp.243-244, ‘Omar Khattab himself says, "We were at the side of the Prophet and the ladies were sitting behind the curtain, then the Prophet of God said, ‘Wash me with seven skin-fills of water, and bring me ink and paper in order that I may write a note for you to prevent you from ever going astray.'

The women said, ‘Fetch the Prophet of God that which he needs."' Maghrizi says_ that this was said by Zainab daughter

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of Jahash, the wife of the Prophet, and the women who were with her. ‘Omar said, " I told the women to be quiet, that they were the women who closed their eyes and pretended t a cry when the Prophet was sick, but who put pressure on his throat when he was well." At that moment the Prophet of God said to the men, "Women are better than you."

In Tabaqat, vol.2, p.242, Ibn Sa‘d has recorded that Jaber said, "The Prophet, at his deathbed, asked for paper and pen in order that he may write a note for his people, giving them instructions what to do, in order that they would not go or be led astray. But the people gathered there made such a fuss that the Prophet gave up his idea."

In Mosnad Hanbal, vol.1, p.293, (commentary by Ahmed Shaker, Hadith 2676) Ibn ‘Abbas said, when the Prophet's death was near he said, "Fetch me a sheep's shoulder blade, and I will write you a note. Then after my death, no two persons will disagree one with the other." Those present made a lot of noise and a lady asked, "Do you not see that the Prophet is going to make a will?"

Ibn ‘Abbas in another place has said; the Prophet during his final illness, said, "Fetch me paper and ink to write you a note, so that you will not go astray after my death." ‘Omar Khattab said that there were still cities, such as so and

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so, to be captured, and that the Prophet would not die until he had taken them. In case he died they would wait for his return as the Israelites waited for Moses. Zainab, the wife of the Prophet at this moment said, "Can you not see that the Prophet is going to make a will?"

Then there was a great noise and unrest and the Prophet said, "Get out; all of you," then at once he passed away.

From the events we have mentioned, and those about which we are going to write, it becomes clear that despite the weakness of the Prophet before his death, he did ask for the ink and paper, but those present caused so much confusion that the Prophet gave up his request. Our explanation which follows shows that because of deliberate and irrelevant arguments, the Prophet had no alternative but to give up his idea.

In the book Sahih Bukhari, Ibn ‘Abbas said, "Oh Thursday, what a day," and so sad was he that his tears ran on the pebbles beneath. "When the illness of the Prophet of God worsened," the Prophet said, "Fetch me paper and ink that I may write a note, to save you from going astray when I am gone."

Then there were more arguments and discussions amongst those present, although there should be no argument in the presence of a Prophet. Some said that the Prophet was speaking deliriously. Then the Prophet said,

"Leave me alone, I would like solitude at the moment."


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another place Ibn ‘Abbas has introduced the man who uttered that sentence. He tells us in the book of Sahih Bukhari that the Prophet on his deathbed said, "Do not waste time. Let me write something to save you from going astray." ‘Omar who was among the gathering said, "Sickness has clouded the mind of the man, the Qur'an the Book of God, is with us, and it is sufficient." Then there started an uproar and arguments. The Prophet was annoyed and said, "Get out, you should not argue and contradict one another in my presence."

In the book Musnad Hanbal and Tabaqat it is told as follows:- "They talked so much nonsense that it made the Prophet unhappy." Later Ibn ‘Abbas used to say, " I t was an instant of great misfortune that when they talked nonsense they prevented the Prophet from writing the message."

In all the above narrations, no one but ‘Omar has been named as the one who prevented the Prophet from writing the note. ‘Omar was who told the women, "You are mistresses."

‘Omar it was who seriously rebuked the wives of the Prophet, speaking to them in a very impolite manner. ‘Omar made this rude remark to the women. when they said "Fetch paper and ink, the Prophet wishes to write." ‘Omar was the person who said, "If the Prophet dies who will conquer the Roman cities?" ‘Omar was the person, who after finding the majority in favor of granting the Prophet's request and bringing him

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paper and ink, said, "The sickness has overcome the man. He talks deliriously. The Holy Qur’an the Book of God is with us — it is sufficient." ‘Omar it was who said that the Prophet talked deliriously.

With such talks he achieved his goals because even if some say, why didn't the Prophet insisted on nominating someone in writing? We should note however that even a written document would have had no much value, because with ‘Omar's accusation they would have said that writing was done when he was delirious and not knowing what he is doing. This has also been cited by Ibn ‘Abbas.

According to a narration from Ibn ‘Abbas, a man approached the Prophet and asked him if he still needed the paper and the ink. The Prophet replied, "After this then what?" Meaning that after someone had said he was talking deliriously it would be assumed that anything he wrote would be invalid, because it was written during delirium.

It can be seen that ‘Omar worked his mischievous plan very cunningly by making that statement; and that he prevented the Prophet from writing a note to save Muslims from going astray after his death.

After the above explanation perhaps ‘Omar should have been asked the following question, "You dared to accuse the Prophet of speaking deliriously — why then did you not object to the will of Abu Bakr which he dictated during delirium?"

In Tabari vol.4, p.52, Abu Bakr on his deathbed, received ‘Othman alone. He told him to

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write, "In the name of the Most Merciful, this is my will. A recommendation to Muslims from me — Abu Bakr Bin Abi Qahafa." Just at this moment he fell unconscious so ‘Othman continued the will, in the same vain, as follows, " I have decided to make ‘Omar my successor my Caliph. I have done my best for you."

At this point Abu Bakr recovered and said, "Read back to me that which is written." ‘Othman did so, and Abu Bakr then said, "God is Great. You were afraid that I died without recovering my senses, the Muslims would have been without a Caliph, and would have gone astray." ‘Othman agreed, and Abu Bakr said, "May God reward you well for the help you have given to Muslims and Islam."

‘Omar should have been asked, "What is your reaction to the will of Abu Bakr?" ‘Omar was at his home, surrounded by his friends, dressed up and awaiting the arrival of Abu- bakr's slave bringing the will, the contents of which then would be made official. ‘Omar received the letter, and thus addressed the audience, "Listen O people; obey that which the Caliph of God has said. The Caliph says that he has done his best for you.

" This same ‘Omar, who prevented the Prophet from writing a note during his last sickness and said, "This man is speaking deliriously — The Book of God is sufficient for us," now agreed with Abu Bakr's letter, which was written on his

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deathbed during delirium. Ibn ‘Abbas was indeed right to weep, so that the pebbles on the ground were wet with tears.

The Prophet's Death

At mid-day on Monday, the Prophet of God passed away in his room at Medina. ‘Omar was there, and Abu Bakr, was at his residence, Sanh, which was one mile away from Medina. ‘Omar and Moghairah were given permission to enter the room where the Prophet was lying. ‘Omar drew back the cloth covering the face of the Prophet saying,

"The Prophet is in a deep coma." Moghairah said to ‘Omar as they were leaving the room, "But you knew that the Prophet of God was dead." ‘Omar said to him, "You are lying, the Prophet is not dead. You are a trouble maker. The Prophet of God will never die until he destroys all hypocrites." ‘Omar threatened those who said that the Prophet was dead, with their own death. He announced —

"Some hypocrites think that the Prophet of God has passed away, he has not. He has gone to God just as Moses did for forty days. People thought that Moses had died but he came back — and so will the Prophet of God return, and he will cut the hands and feet of those who thought he was dead."

‘Omar said, " I will behead whosoever says that the Prophet is dead — the Prophet of God has ascended into the Heaven." Ibn Maktum ‘Amr Bin Qais then recited a passage of the Qur'an which says, "Muhammad

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is a Prophet like those who died before him. Will you return to your former ways because he is dead?

Whoever turns back does not harm God, but God will reward the faithful." ‘Abbas the uncle of the Prophet said, "The Prophet of God is definitely dead, I saw his face and it looked like the faces of Abdul Muttalib's dead sons."

Then he asked the people, "Did the Prophet of God say anything to you at all concerning his death? If so, please let us know." The people answered that they knew nothing. Then he asked ‘Omar, "Do you know anything?" But ‘Omar knew nothing also.

‘Abbas then addressed the people saying, "Bear witness, that no one knows anything that the Prophet has said concerning his death. I swear to God, who is the only God and no one is like Him, that the Prophet of God has passed away." ‘Omar was still angry — roaring and making threats, but ‘Abbas continued saying,

"The Prophet of God, like any other human being is subject to death and to disease; and he has died. Bury him without delay. Does God kill us once, and kill his Prophet twice? If what you say be true, God can raise him from the grave. The Prophet of God has shown to man the right path to prosperity and salvation in his life time."

‘Omar continued to shout, and was now foaming at the mouth in his anger. Salim Bin ‘Obaid then went to Abu Bakr and

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told him what was happening. He came to Medina and saw ‘Omar standing there threatening the people, saying, "The Prophet of God is alive.

He is not dead. He will come out of his room and cut off the hands of those who spread lies about him — he will behead them — he will hang them." When ‘Omar saw Abu Bakr he calmed down; Abu Bakr praised God saying, "For those who worship God, God is alive, but for those who worship Muhammad, Muhammad is dead."

He then recited from Qur'an, "Muhammad was a prophet. Before him many prophets passed away." ‘Omar asked if that was a passage from the Qur'an and Abu Bakr confirmed that it was. But the speech of Moghaira, the reciting from the Qur'an by ‘Amr Bin Qais, and ‘Abbas's, the uncle reasoning, failed to convince ‘Omar that the Prophet was dead, but he did listen quietly to Abu Bakr.

Let us hear the story from ‘Omar himself. " I swear by God, when I heard Abu Bakr reciting the verse my knees gave way so that I fell on the floor, unable to rise, and I realized that the Prophet of God was dead." Was ‘Omar that day, so much upset by losing the Prophet of God, that he lost control of himself; and is it true that he became mad on that day as some historians have written? We do not believe these ideas, as we know the reasons behind his distortion of the truth.


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Abil Hadid says, "When ‘Omar learned of the death of the Prophet, he became anxious in case there was any argument concerning the successor to the Prophet. He was afraid that the Ansar Party or some others would gain power, so he created doubts and displayed a reluctance to accept the death of the Prophet, as a safeguard to the Faith until the arrival of Abu Bakr."

Ibn Abil Hadid is correct, because ‘Omar was afraid that if ‘Ali won the election, there were only three candidates for the succession, and ‘Omar gave his support to the third one — that is, Abu Bakr. The three candidates were:-

1 ) ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who was supported by the following:-

a) Banu Hashim, the family of the Prophet.

b) Abu Sufyan, the chief of the opposition before his conversion to Islam.

c) Khalid Bin Sa‘eed Amawi, Bara Ibn Azib Ansari, Salman, Abu Dharr, Meqdad and other eminent companions of the Prophet of God.

2) Sa'd Bin ‘Obaidah Ansari who was the candidate of Khazraj Tribe (Helpers Party).

3) Abu Bakr whose supporters were ‘Omar, Moghaira Bin Sho‘ba, and Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf. ‘Ali and Abu Bakr stood the best chance to win the election, as the second candidate was from the Ansar's Party and had no support from the immigrants. If ‘Ali had been present at the election

after the Prophet's funeral, he would have gained more votes than Abu Bakr, because the immigrants, the Ansars and all of the ‘Abd Manaf tribe were on his side. So

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that all that ‘Omar (Abu Hafs) did, before and after the death of the Prophet, was caused by his fear that ‘Ali would be brought to power.

The truth is this: If the death of the Prophet had so much upset ‘Omar, he would have stayed and helped with the funeral preparations, instead of saying that the Prophet was not dead, and running off to Saqifah to elect the successor to the Prophet.

Ibn Hesham says, "When ‘Omar and Abu Bakr (the two Sheikhs) learned of the death of the Prophet, ‘Omar told Abu Bakr, "Let us go and see what the Ansars are doing?" The body of the Prophet was lying in his room and according to Tabari, ‘Omar and Abu Bakr left ‘Ali at the bedside of the Prophet, preparing him for the burial, and went off to Saqifah. On the way there they met Abu ‘Obaidah Jarrah and he went with them to Saqifah.

The Ansars were at Saqifah and they were joined by the immigrants. No one, but his family, helped in the preparation for the burial of the Prophet.

Abu Dhowaib Hodhali says, " I arrived at Medina to find people were crying and weeping as though at the beginning of the pilgrimage. I asked the reason, they told me that the Prophet had died. I hurried off to the mosque but found no one there.

The door of the Prophet's room was closed, and I was told that he was in his room with his family around

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him. I asked where had all the people gone, and was told that they had gone to Saqifah to join the Ansars. The only people who stayed at the Prophet's house to prepare him for burial were, his uncle ‘Abbas, ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Fadhl Bin ‘Abbas, Qathm Bin ‘Abbas, Osama Bin Hareth and his slave Saleh. ‘Ali wearing only a shirt', lifted the Prophet on to his chest.

‘Abbas, Fadhl and Qathm helped ‘Ali to turn the Prophet over. Osama and Saleh poured out the water, and ‘Ali washed the Prophet. Aus Bin Khawali Ansari stood by, looking on."

The candidates before the burial of the Prophet

Canvassing for a successor to the Prophet began before his burial. ‘Ali was one of the candidates. Ibn Sa‘d has written in Tabaqat that ‘Abbas said to ‘Ali, " I will shake hands with you publicly, as a sign of allegiance, and to encourage others to do the same."

Mas‘oudi says that ‘Abbas said to ‘Ali, "Let me shake the hand of allegiance — O son of my brother, in order that there will be no dispute about you being the successor of the Prophet." Dhahabi and others say that ‘Abbas said, "Let me shake the hand of allegiance with you, so that people say that the uncle and his family have shaken the hand of the nephew; and once the election is over it cannot be dissolved."

Jowhari says that ‘Abbas blamed ‘Ali later, saying to him, "When the Prophet died, Abu Sufyan and I came to you, wanting you to let the

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chief of the clan and myself shake hands with you. The tribe of Bani Hashim would have done likewise.

Once the ‘Abd Manaf and Bani Hashim tribes were on your side, your succession would have been firmly established. But you told us to postpone this matter until after the funeral of the Prophet."

Tabari says that ‘Abbas told ‘Ali not to waste time, but ‘Ali refused to listen to him. ‘Ali was not short of supporters, but to him the funeral of the Prophet was of greater importance at that time than the need to seize power. He was most reluctant to take part in any pre-election activities for a successor to the Prophet whilst the Prophet lay dead and unattended. ‘Ali's reluctance to grab power caused ‘Abbas to blame him for his delay. But in fact the proposal and accusation were irrelevant because:-

a) The Prophet had already appointed ‘Ali as his successor as some Muslims believe; and if Muslims wanted to accept that which the Prophet had said, they would not say he had spoken in delirium.

b) If Muslim affairs had been left in their own hands by the Prophet, the interference of ‘Abbas would rob Muslims of their right to elect anyone as leader.

Second candidate for the succession to the Prophet

The second candidate was Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah who, in spite of his illness, was brought to Saqifah. He was given a vote of confidence by the Ansars. He began his speech by praising God, and reminding the people how good and helpful the Ansars were to

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Islam and to the Prophet, also that they held the respect of the Prophet — that he had confidence in them right up to the day of his death.

Then he said to the Ansars, "You must see to this matter of the succession." He won the unanimous vote of the Ansars Party, but some people wondered what the solution would be if they were opposed by the immigrant party, because they came from Mecca with the Prophet, and were his relatives. Some replied that one leader would be elected by the Ansars, and one by the immigrants, those two leaders would work jointly. Sa‘d condemned this saying, it would be a failure.

The Successful Candidate

On hearing that the people had gathered together at Saqifah, Abu Bakr and ‘Omar went there. They were joined on the way by some of their friends namely, — Osaid Bin Hodhair, Owaim Bin Saedeh, ‘Asem Bin ‘Adi who was from the al-‘Ajlan tribe from the Ansars, Moghaira Bin Sho‘bah and Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf. (When Abu Bakr and ‘Omar came to power, these men who joined them on the journey, were well favored.)

Abu Bakr like Osaid Ibn Hozair more than other Ansars and ‘Omar used to call him his brother. Abu Bakr showed his affection to him after he died.

When ‘Owaim died, ‘Omar sat on his grave and said, "No one on earth can say that he is better than the man resting in this grave." Abu ‘Obaidah was nominated as the chief of army sent to

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fight with the Roman Empire. When ‘Omar wanted to nominate a successor for himself, he regretted that Abu ‘Obaidah is not alive, to name him the next Caliph to the Muslims.

As for Moghaira Ibn Sho‘bah, ‘Omar waved the punishment of adultery about him and he was always among the chiefs when ‘Omar was a Caliph. ‘Omar also helped Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf a lot, and choose him as the key man in choosing the third Caliph.

These men were the ones who left the body of the Prophet and did not participate in his funeral, instead they rushed to Saqifah to choose the first Caliph, and clashed with Ansars in ruling the Muslims.

After subduing ‘Omar at Saqifah, Abu Bakr praised God and said, "Islam was pioneered by the immigrants, and they were the first people on earth to worship God and believe in the Prophet. They were the friends and relatives of the Prophet, so they deserve to succeed him. None but an unjust person would argue with them." Then Abu Bakr praised the Ansars, saying, "No one but the first immigrants are closer to us than you. They will be the leaders and you will be the Ministers."

Hobab Bin Monzar said, " O Ansars, be firm and united in order that others will serve you, and no one will dare to contradict you. Otherwise these people (the immigrants) will act in accordance with Abu Bakr's plan which you have just heard, we choose a ruler for ourselves and let

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them, choose one for themselves.

‘Omar said, "By God, two rulers cannot rule at the same time, in one place. The Arabs will not submit to you (the Ansars) because the Prophet was an immigrant — of this we have clear proof. Only those who have forsaken Islam will argue about the succession to the authority of Muhammad." Hobab Bin Monzar again stood up and addressed, the gathering saying; “ O Ansars do not listen to these men,

‘Omar and his friends. They will usurp your rights and rob you of freedom of choice. If they disagree with you send them home, and form the Government you wish to have. By God, you deserve to be the ruler more than anyone else. These people (the immigrants) are same people who disbelieved the Prophet before; and if it was not for the fear they have for your swords, they would never have submitted to Islam.

Then he continued to express his support for the Ansars should they need it — as the log of wood against which the camels scratch themselves, or as a huge tree under which people take refuge during a storm. Then he said: "We will make war if necessary, and impose our will on those who oppose us." ‘Omar said: "May God kill you," knocking him down on to the ground, kicking him, and ramming earth into his mouth.

Abu ‘Obaidah then said: " O Ansars Party, you were the first helpers of Islam, do not be the first betrayers."

Then Bashir

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Bin Sa‘d of the tribe of Khazraj and of the Ansar Party spoke in favor of the Immigrants Party in op- position to Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah. These two leaders of the Ansar Party had been rivals before they embraced Islam. Bashir Bin Sa‘d said: “ O people of the Ansars Party, we the Ansars fought pagans, and helped Islam, not for worldly honor but only to please God.

We should not seek superiority. Muhammad was from Quraish, the immigrants, and one of his relations deserves to be his successor more than any of us. I swear by God, that I will not argue with them. I hope you will not either."

Abu Bakr then said: "‘Omar and Abu ‘Obaidah are at your disposal, acknowledge either one of them as your leader." But ‘Omar and Abu ‘Obaidah replied that as long as Abu Bakr was there, they would not agree to this selection.

Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf said: “ O Ansars, it is agreed that you are superior, but there is none among you like unto Abu Bakr, ‘Omar and ‘Ali.

Mundher Bin Arqam said: "We do not deny the superiority of those you have mentioned, especially one whom no one would deny." He was speaking of ‘Ali. At this moment Ansars and some other people shouted, "We want no one but ‘Ali."

According to Tabari and Ibn Athir, when the Ansars realized that Abu Bakr was about to win the election with the help of ‘Omar's support they said that ‘Ali was the only

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one they wanted.

Zobair Bin Bakkar said that after the Ansars lost the election they joined together and chanted, "We want ‘Ali . "

It is recorded that later ‘Omar said: "There was so much noise and confusion that I was afraid there would be a rift, so I shook the hand of Abu Bakr as Caliph." It is also recorded that afterwards ‘Omar also said, " I was afraid that if the people dispersed without choosing a successor, then later they might choose a person which whom we would disagree thus causing a rift, or that they may give that person their support unwillingly."

‘Omar and Abu ‘Obaidah walked towards Abu Bakr, but Bashir Bin Sa‘d of the Khazraj Tribe, moved more quickly, shaking the hand of Abu Bakr first, thus recognizing him as the successor of the Prophet.

Hobab Bin Monzar shouted at Bashir saying: “ O Bashir Bin Sa‘d, O misfortunate one, even your parents were displeased with you. You have ignored the family bond, you could not bear to see your cousin (Sa‘d) become Ruler." Bashir said, "No, you are wrong, I did not want to disagree with the choice of the people. God has given them that right."

The Oas Tribe saw that the Khazraj tribe were solidly in favor of their chief — their candidate Sa‘d. Therefore, they decided to support Abu Bakr, thinking that if Sa‘d was elected, the Oas Tribe would have no voice in future matters. When Sa‘d's cousin, Bashir, openly gave his support to

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Abu Bakr in disregard of his tribesmen's decision, then the Oas Tribe were further encouraged to support Abu Bakr and Osaid Bin Hozair, one of the chiefs of the Oas Tribe, quickly shook Abu Bakr's hand.

When the people saw that the Khazraj Tribe had many opponents, they stood up and gave their support to Abu Bakr, and according to Ya‘qoubi, they shook his hand. It was during this time that Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah was almost crushed under the feet of the people as they jumped over the rug on which he as sitting. Sa‘d guards were yelling — "Keep clear, give Sa‘d some room to breathe." It was then that ‘Omar shouted, "Kill Sa‘d — may God kill him." Then approached Sa‘d saying, " I want to crush you under my feet."

At this, Qais Bin Sa‘d said to ‘Omar, "If you harm but one hair of Sa‘d's head it will cost you all your teeth."

Abu Bakr shouted, "‘Omar, be quiet. In these delicate circumstances we need calmness above all." ‘Omar moved away from Sa‘d, but Sa‘d shouted out after him, "If I was able to rise, I would create such an uproar in Medina, that you and your friends would hide in fear.

Then I would send you back to the people as their servant, and not as their ruler." Then turning to his people he said, "Take me from this place." This they did.

Jouhari has recorded that on that day, ‘Omar who was suitably dressed for the occasion, ran

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in front of Abu Bakr and shouted, "Pay attention, people have shaken the hand of Abu Bakr in allegiance — you too, must do likewise."

Abu Bakr was then taken to the Mosque by the people, so that others could shake his hand. At this time ‘Ali and ‘Abbas were still busy washing the body of the Prophet, when they heard the call “Allaho Akbar” coming from the Mosque. ‘Ali asked what was happening, ‘Abbas said it was strange, but he had expected it.


Bara' Bin Azeb went to the house of Bani Hashim's family shouting, “ O Bani Hashim many people have shaken the hand of Abu Bakr in allegiance." The family of Bath Hashim said to one another, "Previously Muslims did not act like this without first consulting us, the close relatives of Muhammad." ‘Abbas replied, "By God of Ka‘ba, all is over."

According to Bar Bin Azeb, as Ya‘qoubi has recorded, ‘Abbas then said to the Bani Hashim family, "You have lost your power forever. I advised you to take precautions, but you ignored my warnings."

Tabari has records that the tribe of Aslam came to Medina, crowding the alley ways, shaking the hand of Abu Bakr in allegiance. Later ‘Omar used to say, "By God, after I had seen the tribe of Aslam giving their support to Abu Bakr, I was convinced that we had won."

Sheikh Mufid, in his book al-Jamal says that it was only by chance that the tribe of Aslam was that day in Medina, as

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they had come to buy provisions. They were told that they must support the successor of the Prophet of God before they would be sold the provisions, so they did. Abu Bakr's supporters took them to the Mosque where Abu Bakr sat in the pulpit until the evening, shaking the hand of anyone who came forward.

The Public Allegiance

The day following the events of Saqifah, Abu Bakr sat on the pulpit steps of the Mosque. ‘Omar stood up, praised God and then said, "The words I said yesterday were not from the Qur'an — nor were they the words of the Prophet. I thought that the Prophet would see to everything that concerned the people, and that he would be the last person to die.

He has left the Qur'an in your midst, and if you follow its instructions, it will guide you as it guided the Prophet. Now your guidance is in the hands of the best man amongst you — a Companion of the Prophet, who was with him in the cave. Stand up and shake his hand." Bokhari says that some agreed with the succession of Abu Bakr at Saqifah, but that the greatest public show of allegiance took place at the Mosque.

It is said by Anas Bin Malik, that Abu Bakr had to be persuaded by ‘Omar, to go and sit on the steps of the pulpit where people went to shake his hand. After praising God Abu Bakr said, “ O people, your allegiance is now pledged to

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me. I am not the best amongst you, but if I am right then follow me. If I am wrong then guide me. If I obey God and His Prophet, then obey me. If I do not obey God, and His Prophet, do not obey me. Now stand up for the Prayer. May God forgive you."

After the Allegiance

On the Monday that the Prophet of God — peace be upon him and his progeny — passed away, instead of attending the funeral, the people took part in three events lasting until the afternoon of the next day — Tuesday.

1) Demonstrations.

2) Initial show of allegiance at Saqifah.

3) Final declaration of public allegiance at the Mosque which ended in ‘Omar's speech and by Abu Bakr leading the prayer for the multitude.

After the third series of events was over on the Tuesday, people then visited the house of the Prophet to perform the prayer for the dead. One by one, and group by group.

The Burial of the Prophet

The companions of the Prophet left him in the hands of his family. One version states that ‘Abbas, ‘Ali, Fadhl and Saleh, the slave of the Prophet, and they prepared his body for burial and they buried him. Another report that ‘Ali, Fadhl, Qosam, the two sons of ‘Abbas and Shoqran the slave of the Prophet, were in charge of the Prophet's burial.

After the event when the public gave their allegiance, Jouhari in his book Saqifa, says that Abu Bakr asked ‘Omar, Abu ‘Obaidah and Mughairah to give their opinion regarding this

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event. They unanimously advised him to obtain the consent of ‘Abbas, by allocating a reward to him. Then after ‘Abbas had given his consent, ‘Ali could do nothing to oppose them.

The four men went to ‘Abbas at night, and Abu Bakr, after praising God said, "God sent His revelation, through Muhammad to guide us, and Muhammad fulfilled his mission until God took him to Himself and gave him his reward. Muhammad left the people to choose their own way, and the people have chosen me as their leader. I have no fear. My success is allowed by God, I trust in Him, and will return to Him.

Now the news comes that certain people have taken advantage of your position, and criticize me in spite of the support of the public. We have come to ask you to join us as the others have done, or to ask the opposition to stop their activities. In return, we will reward you. People know your position, and that of your friend, but they have put you aside. O Bani Hashim be calm, the Prophet of God was as much ours as he was yours." ‘Omar added, "Our coming to you does not mean we need you. We just want you to join the others for your own sake, or else you will be faced with unpleasant consequences, so think it over."

‘Abbas then, after praising God, said, "God chose Muhammad as a Prophet, and helper to his friends, companions and faithful followers.

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God favored Muslims by sending the Prophet Muhammad. Now God has taken him to Himself, and left Muslims to manage their own affairs, to choose the right leader to prevent them from going astray.

Now, Abu Bakr, if you have occupied this seat because of your relationship to the Prophet, we are closer to him than you, and if you have taken this seat by the authority of his followers, we are also his followers whom you never consulted. If you have taken it as a duty on behalf of the Muslims we have never given this right to you. You are contradicting yourself by saying people have chosen you, and at the same time saying that people do not give consent to your succession.

On the one hand you say that you are the Prophet's successor. On the other hand you say that people have elected you. If what you are giving me that which belongs to the faithful, you have no right to use it; and if it is ours by right we want it in full — not in parts. We are the branch of the Prophet's tree, you are but those who shelter in the foliage. So be calm." Abu Bakr and his friends left ‘Abbas without gaining their objectives.

Refuge in the house of Fatimah

‘Omar says, "After the death of the Prophet we learned that some people had gathered at Fatimah's house to oppose us." These were ‘Ali, Zubair, ‘Abbas, ‘Ammar Bin Yasir, Otbah Bin Abi Lahab, Salman Farsi, Abu Dharr,

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Migdad Bin Aswad, Bara’ Bin ‘Azeb, Obai Bin Ka‘b, Sa‘d Bin Waqqas and Talha Bin ‘Obaidullah.

Others from the Muhajir and Ansar parties were named. As Muslims were reluctant to name the differences, they only wrote that some people had gathered together at Fatimah's house in opposition. By chance a few sentences about the opposition are recorded in the history book of Baladhori. Baladhori says that Abu Bakr, after being opposed by ‘Ali, ordered ‘Omar to bring ‘Ali to him.

‘Omar met ‘Ali discussed the matter with him. ‘Ali said, to ‘Omar, "You are milking the cow of succession, half being for Abu Bakr, and the other half for yourself. So he is making you his successor." He also said that Abu Bakr on his death-bed made this statement. "There are only three things which I regret — I wish I had not searched Fatimah's house, though they were preparing to fight us…."

Ya‘qoubi records in vol.2, p.115 of his book that Abu Bakr said, " I wish I had not searched Fatimah's house, and had not sent men to harass her; though if her house was being used as a shelter that would have caused a war."

The historians named the following as those who went to the house of Fatima to disperse people who sheltered there.

1) ‘Omar Bin Khattab

2) Khalid Bin Walid

3) Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf

4) Thabet Bin Shammas

5) Ziad Bin Labid

6) Muhammad Bin Maslamah

7) Salamah Bin Salem Bin Waqash

8) Salamah Bin Aslam

9) Osaid Bin Hodair

10) Zaid Bin Thabet

‘Ali, Zubair and

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some Muhajirs who opposed Abu Bakr's succession, gathered in Fatimah's house, with some arms. A report reached Abu Bakr that the opposition were gathered to give their allegiance to ‘Ali, so he sent ‘Omar with some men to disperse them by force or otherwise. ‘Omar took some burning torches with him to Fatimah's house, and on seeing the flames Fatima asked ‘Omar if he intended to burn down her house, ‘Omar said, "Yes if you do not follow other Muslims and give your allegiance to Abu Bakr."

It is written in the book of al-Imamah wa al-siyasah that ‘Omar ordered the people out of the house, but they disregarded him. ‘Omar asked for wood and told those inside the house, " If you do not come out, I will burn the house. I swear by God who has my soul in his hands." Someone told ‘Omar that Fatima was in the house and he said, " It is of no consequence to me who is in the house."

In the book of Ansabul Ashraf, vol.l, p.586, it is written that Abu Bakr asked ‘Ali to support him, but ‘Ali refused, then ‘Omar went towards ‘Ali's house with a burning torch. At the door he met Fatima who said to him, "Do you intend to burn the door of my house?" ‘Omar said, "Yes, because this strengthens the faith brought to us by your father."

Jouhari in his book says, "‘Omar and a few Muslims went to the house of Fatima to burn it

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down and also burn those who were in opposition.

Ibn Shahna says, "To burn the house and inhabitants." It is written in Kanz al-Ommal, vol.3, p.140 that ‘Omar said to Fatima, " I know that the Prophet of God loved no one more than you, but this will not stop, me carrying out my decision, if these people stay in your house, I will burn down the door in front of you.

When Abdullah Bin Zubair was fighting for power, Bani Hashim's escaped from him in a mountain pass. Abdullah gave an order for wood to be brought to burn them.

‘Orwah, brother of Abdullah, made an excuse for his brother's inhumane deed saying, "My brother threatened them, as they had been threatened on a previous occasion when they would not give their allegiance." He meant when the Bani Hashim's denied Abu Bakr's authority.

Hafiz Ibrahim (an Egyptian poet) has composed the following poem concerning the story:-

‘Omar the great said to honorable ‘Ali,

I will burn your house down eventually,

If you do not recognize Abu Bakr's succession

To the throne of the Prophet and his mission, With Fatima inside. ‘Omar was the only one

Who could say so to ‘Ali, the hero of ‘Adnan. (Abu Bakr on his deathbed refuted the raid,

on Fatimah's house he had ordered to be made.)

Ya‘qoubi says: "They came in group and attacked the house of ‘Ali ..... and he (‘Omar) broke his (‘Ali's) sword, then (the group) entered the house."

Tabari says, "‘Omar Bin Khattab came to ‘Ali's house whilst Talha and Zubair

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and some Muhajirs were inside. Zubair came out and attacked ‘Omar, but he slipped and the sword fell from his hand. ‘Omar's followers caught him and also caught ‘Ali whilst he was saying, " I am the servant of God and the brother of the Prophet." They brought him to Abu Bakr and told him to shake Abu Bakr's hand. ‘Ali said, " I am more deserving of the position than him. You should shake the hand of allegiance with me. Your argument with the Ansars concerning your relationship with the Prophet, I can use the same argument as I am closer to the Prophet than you. The Ansars accepted your reasoning, you must also accept mine, or else you are transgressors."

‘Omar said, "We will not leave you until you agree with us." ‘Ali replied, "Milk this cow and halve it with Abu Bakr. Do his work for him today, and tomorrow he will make you his successor. I swear by God that I will not listen to you ‘Omar, and I will not shake the hand of Abu Bakr."

Abu Bakr said to ‘Ali, " I will not force you to agree with me." Abu ‘Obaidah said to ‘Ali, "You are young now, O Abul Hassan, these are the elders and they know how to manage the successorship; follow them now, and if you are spared you will succeed them, because of your advantages and because you are closer to the Prophet; and the pioneer of Islam for which you

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have fought holy wars."

‘Ali answered, “ O the Muhajir's party, fear God, do not rob Muhammad and his family of their authority. Do not shift the focal point of Islam to your house, from its original proper place. By God, as long as there are men learned in the Qur'an, Islamic jurisprudence, and the traditions of the Prophet, among us — the Prophet's family, we are more deserving to succeed the Prophet. By God, our family have what you want. Do not follow your desires, or else you will go further astray."

Bashir Bin Sa‘d said, " O ‘Ali, had the Ansars heard what you said just now, no one would argue with you, but all is over, we have shaken hand of Abu Bakr." Without shaking Abu Bakr's hand ‘Ali returned home.

Ibn Abil Hadid recorded from Jouhari that when Fatima saw how badly ‘Ali and Zubair were treated, she came to the door and said, “ O Abu Bakr, how soon you have deceived the family of the Prophet of God. I will never talk to ‘Omar again as long as I live."

Another report says that Fatima whilst crying, came out and sent the people away. Ya‘qoubi says that Fatima came out and said, "Get away from my house, or else by God, I will uncover my head, and will lament to God with unruffled hair." So the people dispersed from her house -. even those who had sheltered there.

Nezam also says, "On this day ‘Omar hit Fatima on

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the stomach that caused her drop her child, while shouting burn the house (when others had left and only ‘Ali and his sons Hassan and Hossein were inside).

Mas‘oudi said that after the allegiance of Monday and Tuesday, ‘Ali came to Abu Bakr and said to him, "You have ruined our position, you did not consider us." Abu Bakr replied, "That is true, but I feared there would be rioting and disturbance."

Ya‘qoubi also says that some people came to ‘Ali to shake the hand of allegiance, but ‘Ali told them to come the next day, with shaved head, but only three of them returned.

After the events of the allegiance, ‘Ali used to go with Fatima, mounted on a donkey, canvassing for votes. But the people told Fatima, “ O daughter of the Prophet of God, had your cousin asked us for our support, we would not have chosen anyone else but him; but we have already shaken hands with Abu Bakr.

‘Ali's answer was this, "Shame, did you expect me to leave the body of the Prophet, and concern myself with fighting for power?" Fatima used to say that ‘Ali had done what he should have done, and they did things which God would question them about. Mo'awiah in his letter to ‘Ali, mentioned the above story saying, " It seems that it was only yesterday that you mounted your wife on the donkey, whom you should have kept inside your home, holding the hands of your sons, Hassan and Hossein, knocking

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on the doors of the houses of those persons who were present at the Battle of Badr, and asking them not to support Abu Bakr, the friend of the Prophet, but to give you their support.

However, only four or five persons agreed. I swear by my own soul, that if you had been in the right they would have supported you. You claimed that which was not yours. You said things unheard of before. I may have a bad memory, but never will I forget the words you said to Abu Sufyan, "Had I forty men I would go and obtain my rights from these people by force."

In the Battle of Siffin, ‘Amr Bin ‘As reminded Mo'awiah that ‘Ali had said, "If I had forty men. " etc. ‘Amr Bin ‘As meant that ‘Ali said this on the day they raided Fatimah's house.

The end of the Events at the Allegiance

Osdulghabah, vol.3, p.222 writes: "The opposition agreed to accept Abu Bakr six months after the public demonstration of allegiance to him." Yaqubi vol.2, p.105, "‘Ali shook hands with Abu Bakr six months after the public show of allegiance." Estiah vol.2, p.244 and Tanbih al- Ashraf, p.250. "‘Ali did not shake hands with Abu Bakr until after Fatima died." In al-Imamah Wal Siyasah it is recorded that ‘Ali gave his allegiance to Abu Bakr after Fatima died, which was seventy-five days after the death of the Prophet. According to Zubair, Fatima, after the argument she had had with Abu Bakr about the heritage of the Prophet, never spoke

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to him again.

‘Ali buried Fatima at dark without Abu Bakr's knowledge. As long as Fatima was alive people respected ‘Ali, and after she died they deserted him. Fatima lived only six months after the Prophet died. Zohari also says that ‘Ali did not shake Abu Bakr's hand until six months after the public show of allegiance and Banu Hashim's followed suit.

In Taysier al-Wosool, vol.2, p.46, Zohari says, "By God, ‘Ali did not agree with Abu Bakr until six months had passed and the Banu Hashim's followed suit. When ‘Ali saw that people were deserting him he allied himself with Abu Bakr."

Belazori in Ansabul Ashraf, vol.1, p.587, says, "When the Arabs rejected Islam and changed to heresy, ‘Othman went to ‘Ali and persuaded him to support Abu Bakr, to en-courage the Muslims to fight the heretics under Abu Bakr. ‘Ali shook the hand of allegiance with Abu Bakr, and the unrest between Muslims was settled. Then the Muslim troops were prepared to fight the heretics."

After the death of Fatima, and loss of interest in people, Muslims were divided, Abu Bakr's position was firm, so ‘Ali was reconciled with him. However, ‘Ali never forgot these events, even when he held the office of successor to the Prophet.

In his sermon called Shaq-Shaqiah he says, "I had to be patient by virtue of common sense, I patiently waited though it was as hard as having thorn in my eyes, and a bone stuck in my throat. I saw my right of inheritance to

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the Prophet being wrongly taken away from me, when the days of the first one (Abu Bakr) expired, anal the light of his life extinguished.

He passed the prize of succession of the Prophet to the hands of Bin Khattab. Oh what a difference between riding on a camel, (to face difficulties alone) and sitting in an armchair by Hayan, leading a happy and care free life in the palace of his brother Jabir. It is surprising that Abu Bakr was asking people to withdraw their allegiance from him as successor to the Prophet, but before his death Abu Bakr firmly fixed ‘Omar to be successor. Those two plunderers divided the succession between them-selves, as dividing two milk filled breasts of a camel."

Comments made by various people about the Allegiance

A — Fadl Bin ‘Abbas

According to Ya‘qoubi, when the Bani Hashim family learned the news about the appointment of Abu Bakr as the successor of the Prophet, Fadhl Bin ‘Abbas said to Quraish Tribe, "You will never succeed the Prophet by deceit, we deserve the position not you, we are the rightful ones, specially our friend ‘Ali." Then ‘Otba Bin Abi Lahab read the following poem:-

I never thought people would let Banu Hashim's down

Nor would they leave Abul Hasan on his own, He was the first man to follow Muhammad,

And the last to leave his body — very sad.

To help and console ‘Ali, the angels descended

From Heaven to the Holy Prophet's deathbed.

‘Otba then received a message from ‘Ali asking him to stop, because it was ‘Ali's wish that all Muslims should be of

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the same persuasion.

B — Abdullah Bin Abbas

Had recorded this conversation with ‘Omar:-

‘Omar, "Do you know, Bin ‘Abbas, why the people did not support your family, the relatives of Muhammad, to make them his successors?"

Abdullah, " If I do not know, then the Prince of the Faithful will inform me."

‘Omar, "Bani Hashim's wished the Prophet, and all his successors to be from their family, but we, the Quraish, successfully elected his successor."

Abdullah, "May I be allowed to say something?"

‘Omar, "If you must, Bin ‘Abbas."

Abdullah, "It would have been better for the Quraish if they had been satisfied with that which had been given to them by God; then there would have been no envy. You said that this was not so, that the Quraish did not like that which God had bestowed upon them. People such as this are spoken of in the Qur'an, ‘Because they disliked God's revelations, orders, their works came to nothing.' "

‘Omar, " I did not want to believe that which I heard about you, because it would make me lose my respect of you forever."

Abdullah, " I f everything I have said is true I should not fear disrespect, and if what I have said is wrong, then a person like me should correct himself."

‘Omar, " I have heard that you had said we seized power by oppressing the people whom we were jealous of?"

Abdullah, "Everyone knows how you used oppression, and also about your jealousy, Satan envied Adam and we are the children of Adam who was subject of

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C — Salman Farsi

Jowhari has recorded that Salman, Zubair and Ansars wanted to shake the hand of allegiance with ‘Ali, and when Abu Bakr became Caliph, Salman said, "You obtained a little gold but you missed the mother lode. You chose the old man and forgot the Prophet's family. Had you let them succeed the Prophet you would have benefited more, and there would have been no disagreement between Muslims."

D — Umm Mestah

"Disagreement between ‘Ali and Abu Bakr has irritated Muslims." Umm Mestah daughter of ‘Othathah, went to the grave of the Prophet and read the following poem:

Disagreement between Muslims started Dear Prophet, soon after you departed, Without you, we lost our spirit again Like flowers and grass without the rain.

E — Abu Dhar

He was not in Medina when the Prophet died, but when he heard Abu Bakr had succeeded the Prophet he said, "You have received a small reward for your efforts. Had you given your support to the Prophet's relatives' claim to hold the position, you would have benefited greatly, and there would have been no disagreement between Muslims."

F — Miqdad

Ya‘qoubi has recorded in his book a story from a narrator who saw a man in the mosque of Medina, in great distress as he had been robbed of his great wealth. The man was saying, " I t is very strange that the position has been taken out of the hands of the right 'people."

G — A Lady From Bani Najjar

After Abu Bakr took the throne of the Khilafat, he sent some money to each of the women of the Muhajirs and the Ansars,

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Zaid Bin Thabet carried the share of a lady of Bani Najjar to her, but she refused to accept it saying, "Abu Bakr wants to buy our religion with bribery."

H — Abu Sufyan


He was Sakhr son of Harb, son of Umayyah, son of ‘Abd Shams, son of ‘Abd Manaf. He fought the Prophet up to the time when the Prophet captured Mecca and granted him pardon. At the time of the death of the Prophet he was not in Medina. On his way back there, Abu Sufyan learned of the Prophet's death and of Abu Bakr becoming of successor.

He asked, "What was the reaction of ‘Abbas and ‘Ali, the two oppressed?" He was informed that they remained inactive at their homes. Abu Sufyan swore saying, " If I am spared I will help them to fill their rightful place. I see a cloud of dust in the air which needs blood to clear it . " When he entered Medina he started to read the following poem:-

O Bani Hashim, don't give anybody the opportunity To be envious, specially the Teem and the ‘Adi (1). The Islamic Sovereignty was started by you, Let Abul Hasan (‘Ali) reign, if you wish to continue.

According to Tabari, Abu Sufyan said, "There is some dust in the air, by God, a rain of blood only will clear it. O children of ‘Abd Manaf, why was Abu Bakr allowed to become the successor of the Prophet? Where are ‘Ali and ‘Abbas who were oppressed?" Then he wanted to shake

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1- The tribes of Abubakr and ‘Omar.

the hand of allegiance with ‘Ali, but ‘Ali refused. Abu Sufyan then read the following poem.

A donkey — not a freeman, bears humility, There are only two symbols of inferiority — The tent peg under the heavy hammer, and The nomad's camel under the burden.

Abu Sufyan slogan — " O children of ‘Abd Manaf"

This would have changed the course of Islamic history if ‘Ali had been unruly, and had been persuaded by Abu Sufyan to riot against the Caliph. It is surprising to find out that Abu Sufyan, the absolute enemy of Islam, who fought the Prophet until he found it was impossible for him to continue fighting, offered his help to ‘Ali. Did he really mean to help? Or to stir up trouble?

More surprising is ‘Ali's refusal to accept help from Abu Sufyan and ‘Abbas, the chiefs of two powerful tribes, when he was seeking aid from every possible quarter. After investigating the aims of Abu Sufyan and ‘Ali we are left with no doubts as to the nature of their schemes.

The Prophet and Abu Sufyan's forefathers were cousins who had had family disputes. The fighting between these two families ended with the Prophet's family winning the position as head of the Tribe. Abu Sufyan was the rival of the Prophet for the position as headman, and his attitude towards the Prophet as a religious leader was that of complete indifference. For this reason, when the Prophet captured Mecca,

Abu Sufyan said to ‘Abbas, "Your nephew has established a vast Kingdom." ‘Abbas said, "This is an apostleship —

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not a Kingship." Abu Sufyan accepted this statement without comment. Although Abu Sufyan was defeated by his relatives, he did not want strangers to have power, and leave his tribe empty handed.

The Prophet tried to prevent family ties from interfering with the cause of justice but he was not very successful. We see, when we study the events which took place between families in the Prophet's life time, that the story of how ‘Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet, protected Abu Sufyan, is a good example of the strength of family ties.

Ibn Hesham recorded that the night before the capture of Mecca, the camps of the Muslims surrounded the city.

‘Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet, mounted on the Prophet's mule, was wandering about hoping to see some of the enemy. He wanted to inform them of the coming attack by the Muslims, to give any enemy a chance to seek pardon. He met Abu Sufyan who was spying on the Muslims, ‘Abbas said to him, "Thank God I saw you Abu Sufyan. Jump on the mule, and I will take you to the Prophet, so that you may seek asylum, or else tomorrow if you are captured, you may be beheaded."

‘Abbas mounted the mule with Abu Sufyan behind him. They passed many groups of Muslims who had lit many fires to frighten the enemy, and in order to watch for any possible danger. The Muslims said, "Look; the Prophet's uncle on his mule."

‘Omar, by chance, saw Abu Sufyan and

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shouted, "The enemy of God. Thank God you are in our hands and you have no one's promise to protect you." ‘Omar then ran to the Prophet to get permission to kill Abu Sufyan. But ‘Abbas, on the mule, overtook ‘Omar and reached the Prophet first.

‘Omar then came up and said, “ O Prophet of God, we have Abu Sufyan with us, without any guarantee of safety. Grant me permission to behead him." But ‘Abbas said, " I have given him sanctuary." ‘Omar insisted, but ‘Abbas said, "Be calm ‘Omar, had Abu Sufyan been from your ‘Adi tribe, you would not insist on killing him. But as he is from the ‘Abd Manafs you say harsh words."

This story proves that family ties were strong at that time. It also shows that the motive of ‘Abbas sprang from his love for his tribe. The cause of Abu Sufyan's demonstration against Abu Bakr was also the result of tribal importance.

The supremacy of the ‘Abd Manaf clan, from which the Banu Hashim's (Muhammad's family) and the Bani Umayyah (Abu Sufyan's family) came, was known to everybody. So when the father of Abu Bakr learned that his son had become Caliph he said, "Did Banu Hashim and Bani Umayyah agree?" When he was answered in the affirmative he said, "That which God wants, no one can prevent."

Abu Sufyan's sympathy towards Muhammad's family, after his death, was due to the feelings of tribal unity. For Abu Sufyan fought the Prophet every time he

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had the opportunity. His saying, " I f I am spared I will help ‘Ali and ‘Abbas to regain their position," had no motive except tribal sentiment; as is the custom of Arabs — to help near relatives against distant strangers.

Abu Sufyan, ‘Abbas and ‘Ali had the same tribal origin, the Qussai tribe which was very large and influential. This was why Abu Sufyan said, "Who has the Qusai as his support will win." Abu Bakr and ‘Omar were from minor tribes which could never challenge the Qussai. (Qussai, the Quraish tribe origin was the main root of ‘Abd Manaf's tribe, the tribe of Banu Hashim and Abu Sufyan.)

It was the custom of those days for a tribe to be biased in favor of one of its own members. ‘Ali, .supported by Abu Sufyan and ‘Abbas, would have undoubtedly beaten Abu Bakr. But ‘Ali, the hero, the son of Abi Talib, refused the help of his influential tribe, because this custom was against the teachings of Islam. So he was beaten by Abu Bakr. In fact, after the death of the Prophet, all events were influenced by the prejudice of other tribes towards his tribe or family.

The Ansars proposed that Sa‘d should be the successor to the Prophet merely in opposition to the Mohajirs. They knew some of the Mohajirs were great believers in Islam and therefore more deserving of recognition. The Aus tribe supported Abu Bakr to oppose Sa‘d, the candidate of the Khazraj tribe. ‘Omar's speech in

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Saqifah is veritable evidence of tribal bias.

Abu Sufyan's support of ‘Ali was also due to tribal prejudice. Only ‘Ali, who was brought up in the lap of the Prophet since childhood, wanted to upheld Islam, hence wanted the support of those Muslims who were not moved by tribal prejudice, and who had no family bond, people like Abu Dharr, Miqdad and Salman, whose only motive was their belief in the faith of Islam.

The conclusion of the above stories, relating to Abu Sufyan's support of ‘Ali, is that, although Abu Sufyan's motive was not religious, but because he strongly believed in the supremacy of his tribe of which ‘Ali was member — for this reason alone he supported ‘Ali against Abu Bakr.

Abu Sufyan was true to ‘Ali in opposition to Abu Bakr because of family prejudice, but as frequently happens incorrect facts were recorded, and Abu Sufyan and all others who opposed Abu Bakr, were accused of heresy and were called trouble makers.

The previous events concerning Abu Sufyan make the following story easier to believe. It is recorded that Abu Sufyan asked ‘Ali, "Why did you allow Abu Bakr to succeed the Prophet? If you wish I will fill all Medina's streets with horse and foot soldiers." The story continues as ‘Ali replies, "Abu Sufyan, you have been long enough the enemy of Islam. You cannot cause any more harm now. I must admit that Abu Bakr deserve the position."

The story does not seem to be authentic because

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the narrator did not live at the time of the event. Also some of these false stories are narrated by Awanah, who was known to be unreliable. The text does not run true because if ‘Ali had said, " I admit Abu Bakr deserves the position," then Abu Sufyan could have asked him, "Why do you not shake the hand of allegiance with him?"

What ‘Ali had surely said was, " If I had forty believers of the right temper I would fight him."

‘Ali in his letter to Mo'awiah writes, "Your father (Abu Sufyan) appreciated my right more than you do. Had you known me as your father did, you would have been wiser."

The government was afraid of Abu Sufyan, ‘Omar said to Abu Bakr, "Give him some money to keep him quiet; The Prophet used to be nice to him and keep him quiet." Abu Sufyan, disappointed with ‘Ali, accepted the allowance. Tabari records that Abu Sufyan did not stop agitating until his son Yazid was nominated as the Commander of the army, which was dispatched to Syria.

I — Mo‘awia

Mo'awiah writes to Muhammad, the son of Abu Bakr, "You father knew and we know that ‘Ali deserved to be the successor of the Prophet. We respected ‘Ali very dearly. When the Prophet of God, peace be upon him, fulfilled his mission and his soul went to God, your father (Abu Bakr) and his right hand ‘Omar, were the two persons who trespassed ‘Ali's right.

They planned together and asked ‘Ali to co-operate

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with them. ‘Ali refused and they plotted against him until ‘Ali submitted.

They never allowed ‘Ali to share their secret until God took their souls away. Now we are on the path that your father paved. If he was on the right path, we will follow him. If he was on the wrong path, blame your father — not us for opposing him and not releasing the Caliphate to him. Peace be upon those who repent."

J — Khalid bin Sa‘eed

Khalid, son of Sa‘eed, son of Aas, was one of the first men to embrace Islam. Ibn Qotaibah in Ma‘arif page 128 writes, "Khalid became Muslim before Abu Bakr did." Khalid immigrated to Ethiopia and when Islam grew in strength he returned from there. He and his two brothers, ‘Amr and Aban, became, by the order of the Prophet, Tax Collector who collected from Madhaj Tribe. Then they were transferred to San‘a’ in Yemen.

When the Prophet passed away they returned to Medina, Abu Bakr had asked them why they had abandoned their posts, and they replied, "We were appointed by the Prophet to this position, and we will not work for anyone else now that he is dead." They made other excuses, and would not shake the hand of Abu Bakr in allegiance, until two months had passed. Khalid said to the Bani Hashim's, "You are the honorable, fruitful tree and I will follow you."

He went to ‘Ali and ‘Othman one day and said to them, "You, the descendents of ‘Abd Manaf, have not

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taken your position seriously until others have taken over." He admired ‘Ali, and asked to shake his hand, but it was too late because Abu Bakr was already Caliph. So Khalid submitted to him as had the Bani Hashim's, Abu Bakr did not mind Khalid's mildly rebellious behavior, but ‘Omar took it seriously.

Later Abu Bakr appointed Khalid the Commandant of a quarter of the army dispatched to the Syrian front. ‘Omar argued with Abu Bakr and insisted that he remove Khalid from his position. Abu Bakr then dismissed Khalid and appointed Yazid son of Abu Sufyan in his place. Khalid did not mind if he was either soldier or commandant, and he fought as a soldier on the Syrian front until he was martyred in the 13th year of Hijri, two nights before the end of the month of Jamadi, the first.

K — Sa‘d bin ‘Obadah

Sa‘d Bin ‘Obadah was the chief of the Khazraj tribe. He was present at ‘Aqabah (as one of the representatives who came from Medina to express their willingness to support the Prophet if he wished to immigrate from Mecca to Medina).

Sa‘d participated in all the battles the Prophet fought, except possibly the Battle of Badr. On the day of the conquest of Mecca, he exhibited belligerent tendencies saying, "This is the day for fighting, the day when women shall be taken into captivity." So the Prophet gave the standard flag to Sa‘d's son, Qais, and reduced Sa‘d's position to that of an ordinary pilgrim.

Sa‘d, defeated in

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his efforts to succeed the Prophet, was left alone during the swearing of allegiance, but a few days after Abu Bakr became Caliph, Sa‘d was asked to shake his hand, as a part of his tribe had done, but Sa‘d refused and said, "By God, as long as I have arrows in my quiver to shoot you, a spear to dye in your blood, and a sword, and strength in my arm, I will fight you with the support of those in my tribe who are still obedient to me. I will not shake the hand of allegiance with you, even if men and jin declare war against me in your favor, until I die and take my case to the divine court."

‘Omar urged Abu Bakr to force Sa‘d to submit, but Bashir Bin Sa‘d said he knew that Sa‘d was stubborn and would not agree. Also he still had influence among his men and he could not be assassinated until many people of his tribe, and his relatives were also killed. Sa‘d therefore was left alone ,at Bashir's suggestion. (Bashir the first person to shake hands with Abu Bakr was the rival of Sa‘d.)

Sa‘d never attended the congregational service conducted by the official men, and performed Haj separately from the parties led by the government. In this manner he passed his days until Abu Bakr passed away.

When ‘Omar succeeded Abu Bakr he met Sa‘d and unpleasant remarks were exchanged. Sa‘d said, "Abu Bakr was more gracious

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than you, I do not like your company." ‘Omar said, " I f one does not like to be near one person, he will keep away."

Then Sa‘d left Medina for Damascus. ‘Omar sent some- one to obtain Sa‘d agreement or to get rid of him if he did not agree.

The envoy met Sa‘d in an orchard and invited him to agree with ‘Omar. Sa‘d refused and the man threatened him without result. Then he killed him.

Mas‘oudi recorded that Sa‘d did not shake the hand of allegiance, and immigrated to Syria where he was killed. Ibn ‘Abd Rabbeh recorded that Sa‘d was killed by an unknown assailant, and that the jin wailed for him as is told in the following verse:-

"We killed Sa‘d, head of the Khazraj tribe, today, Our two shots at his heart did not go astray."

In Tabari it is. recorded that Sa‘d was answering the call of nature when someone attacked and killed him. When his body was found later, his skin had turned green.

In Osdolghabah it is recorded that Sa‘d did not submit to Abu Bakr, nor to ‘Omar. He emigrated to Syria where he was killed. Then a voice came from a pit and informed the people of Sa‘d's murder. His body was found near his house at Hooran in Damascus, and it had turned green.

Abdulfattah, in his book al-Imam ‘Ali Bin Abi Talib has recorded that simple people say that Sa‘d was killed by jin, but in fact Khalid Bin Walid and one of his

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colleagues murdered Sa‘d, and threw him in a pit. The voice saying that Sa‘d had been killed was that of Khalid's friend — not the jins.

Belazori recorded that ‘Omar ordered Khalid and Muhammad Bin Muslimah to murder Sa‘d and they did so.

One of the members of the Ansars Party has composed the following verse concerning Sa‘d's death:-

Sa‘d had been killed by jin they say, How crafty; that's most unusual, way,

Sa‘d did not commit the smallest sin in the land, But neither did he shake Abu Bakr's hand.

The historians did not like to record the cause of the death of Sa‘d. Some have totally neglected this event, and others have accused jins. If those who did say jins murdered Sa‘d had said, "The faithful jins did not like Sa‘d to oppose Abu Bakr, so they killed him." Then the story would have been more easily believed.

L — ‘Omar

We have mentioned his activities in favor of Abu Bakr during the swearing of allegiance. ‘Omar said, "Some foresee my death, and guess my successor. Let me clarify this to you; the allegiance with Abu Bakr was a mistake, but God saved us from its outcome."

The evaluation of Saif's recording

We have written previously of the events of allegiance to Saif and others. We now make comparison between their recordings. Saif has recorded that:-

a) No one refused to swear allegiance with Abu Bakr except heretics or near heretics; and that all the immigrant party shook hands with Abu Bakr willingly.

b) ‘Ali ran out of his house in his night shirt to

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save time, after he had heard that people had shaken the hand of allegiance with Abu Bakr, and that he shook hands with him too. They brought him his clothes later, and he dressed.

c) Qa‘qa‘ said, " I was in the Mosque for midday prayer, when a man brought the news of the death of the Prophet; and of the gathering of the Ansar party at Saqifa, to make Sa‘d his successor against the order of the Prophet. This news caused the Muhajir party a great deal of anxiety."

d) Hobab Bin Monzir was about to attack Abu Bakr with his sword, but ‘Omar knocked the sword from his hand. Then the Ansars rushed to shake Abu Bakr's hand, jumping over the head of Sa‘d, who was unwell, and sitting in their way. This mistake by the Ansars was the same as the mistakes which took place during the time of ignorance, but Abu Bakr firmly prevented the same result.

e) Sa‘d said to Abu Bakr, "You and my tribe, forced me to submit to you." They had told him, "Had we forced you to leave the community you might have had some excuse. But we made you join in with everyone else. If you go against the public, or cause a rift, we will behead you."

f) Two long speeches were delivered by Abu Bakr.

g) Khalid Sa‘eed Amawi wore a silk coat in peace time, and ‘Omar ordered him to tear it. For this reason Khalid said to ‘Ali, “ O the

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descendants of Abdi Manaf, have you lost your case?" ‘Ali told Khalid, "Do you consider it a game?" Then ‘Omar said to Khalid, "May God put a gag in your mouth. You have said something which would be seized upon by liars (to make false stories)."

When we compare the way Saif has recorded an event, with that which the others have recorded, we see that Saif has very cleverly manipulated events to suit his own ends. For instance:-

A) He says that ‘Ali and Sa‘d shook the hand of allegiance with Abu Bakr on the very first day he succeeded the Prophet. Yet other historians have told us about the postponement of the agreement of ‘Ali and Sa‘d with Abu Bakr. Despite that with Saif says,

‘Ali openly asked for the position, and the Muhajirs and the Bani Hashim's, in agreement with ‘Ali, refused allegiance with Abu Bakr. All of these people wanted to shake the hand of allegiance with ‘Ali, and as long as the daughter of the Prophet was alive, they (lid not agree with Abu Bakr. If that which Saif says is true, and ‘Ali went to Abu Bakr that first day, then who was engaged in the funeral preparations of the Prophet?

B) Sa‘d did not agree with Abu Bakr. He resided in Damascus and jins killed him with two shots, because he did not shake Abu Bakr's hand.

C) By saying that the Ansars wanted to break the covenant of the Prophet, and make allegiance with Sa‘d, Saif

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wants to say that the Prophet appointed Abu Bakr.

D) Saif wanted to confirm the appointment of Abu Bakr by the Prophet, when he said, "Osama sent ‘Omar to the Caliph Abu Bakr when he learnt of the Prophet's death." Saif is implying that Abu Bakr was appointed by the Prophet.

E) Saif invented some words by Qa‘qa‘ as follows: "People one after the other willingly shook Abu Bakr's hand." Yet Qa‘qa‘ never lived. He existed only in Saif's stories.

F) To prove that some of the Ansars oppose Abu Bakr, he says that Hobab — a member of the Ansars party, attacked with his sword. In fact it was Zubair, the Prophet's second cousin, who was one of the Muhajirs (Immigrants Party — The party of ‘Ali) who attacked with his sword.

G) ‘Omar remarked that the election of Abu Bakr's was a mistake. Saif also called the Ansar's opposition a mistake to cover up ‘Omar and to confirm the remark made by ‘Omar, was against Ansars.

H) Saif says that two long inaugural sermons were made by Abu Bakr after the public show of allegiance. The style and the context of those two speeches show that they are counterfeit; and the true inaugural sermon of Abu Bakr is quite different.

The style of the counterfeit sermons is not the same as that of the speeches of the three Caliphs immediately after the Prophet. Also they are not as well written as other works by Saif — it seems that Saif was not skilled

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at composing religious speeches.

Again, long speeches were not usual in Muhammad's and Abu Bakr's time. These long speeches began in ‘Omar's Caliphate, and reached a climax during ‘Ali's era. The first speech of any ruler is usually short — outlining the new program.

I) The expression used by Abu Bakr that the devil resided in him, is rather amusing and degrading. Saif wanted to express the idea that after the Prophet, the people no longer wanted to be concerned with piety and holiness. These words from the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, were similar to his prayer after Osama's army caused Islam to fall into disrepute.

J) The peculiar thing about Abu Bakr's alleged sermon is that they introduced into the Islamic religion a facetious spirit, so that the people would gather, from the speech of the Muslim's leader, that Islam was not a true religion, or even worse that there was no divinity. The reason for this misrepresentation of Islam, by Saif, is because it is recorded that Saif was an atheist (non-believer in God).

K) Saif says about Khalid Bin Sa‘d Amawi that Khalid wore a silk garment, and ‘Omar ordered that the garment to be torn. As a result of this, Khalid's feelings towards Abu Bakr and ‘Omar were revengeful. Khalid said to ‘Ali, "Your tribe (Abdi Manaf) was beaten by Abu Bakr's tribe (Tim)." ‘Ali answered, "The position of the successor to the Prophet, has nothing to do with the tribal influence.

It is a divine position." Khalid again

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said to ‘Ali, "Your tribe is more deserving of this position." Then ‘Omar said to Khalid, "May God silence you, you have said something that will cause liars to invent stories." Here again Saif wishes to say that only Khalid believed that Tribal influence was the motive of the people to support the candidates, otherwise the Muhajirs and the Ansars were too innocent to attempt to mix party politics with religion.

Hence ‘Ali and ‘Omar both defied Khalid. Saif here again tries to prove that there was no opposition to Abu Bakr being Caliph.

L) Saif tells us that there was no difference between ‘Ali and ‘Omar, and in case any difference was observed later, people would think the cause was Khalid. ‘Omar therefore said to Khalid, "Later the liars will make stories of that which you have said." This is an important and note worthy point.

M) Finally we must not forget that Saif has narrated the above story from Sakhr who was a bodyguard of the Prophet; but the Prophet did not have a bodyguard of that name.

N) Saif's strongest attack on the opposition is in his saying, "No one opposed Abu Bakr except he who was heretic, or intended to neglect Islam." Saif's allegations provided grounds to make the reader believe that Muslim unanimously admitted Abu Bakr as Caliph, except those who turned away from Islam.

Here we will introduce those who opposed Abu Bakr and supported ‘Ali whole heartedly; no one could possibly suspect any one of them

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of being involved in Saif's accusations of ‘Heresy.’

1. Zubair Bin ‘Awam, cousin of the Prophet.

2. ‘Abbas, uncle of the Prophet.

3. Sa‘d Waqqas, the conqueror of Iraq.

4. Talha Bin ‘Obaidullah.

5. Miqdad Bin Aswad.

The followings gathered in Fatimah's house in op- position to Abu Bakr.

6. Abu Dharr Ghafari.

7. Salman.

8. ‘Ammar Yaser.

9. Bara’ Bin ‘Azeb Ansari.

10. Obbay Bin Ka‘b Ansari.

11. Fadhl Bin ‘Abbas, the cousin of the Prophet.

12. Abu Sofyan Harb Amawi.

13. Khalid Bin Sa‘eed Amawi.

14. Aban Bin Sa‘eed Amawi.

In addition to the above fourteen, none of the Bani Hashim's shook the hand of allegiance with Abu Bakr until the daughter of the Prophet passed away. Their opposition was only because of their support for ‘Ali. Apart from these people, Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah opposed Abu Bakr, since he himself was a candidate.

Could anyone believe that any of the above turned away from the faith of Islam? Or that they became heretics? These were the opposition in Medina. We now refer to those who were outside Medina. Some of them were killed because they opposed the government such as Malik Bin Nowayrah, whom Saif named as a heretic. The fight against them was called by Saif the Holy War against heretics.


Saif has so skillfully manipulated Islamic history in his fictitious stories, so that historians, orientalists, and even the Muslims world have accepted the imaginary heroes of Saif's book as true Sahabis (companions of the Prophet) and Islamic personalities. We believe the time has come to disclose, by research and discussion, the truth, about

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the history of Islam; and introduce the Holy Prophet of Islam and his honorable family, to the world in their true colors, rather than to defend Saif's stories under the name of Islam.

3. Reddah (Heresy)


The opponents of Abu Bakr, outside the capital, were called ‘Heretics,' and the wars fought against them were camouflaged as holy.

Heresy in Islam

Heresy is Irtidad in Arabic meaning ‘turn.’ The Holy Qur’an says,

"When the errand boy laid Joseph's shirt Jacob's face, his sight returned (Irtadda) to him."

The word ‘Radda’ is also used in the Qur'an to mean ‘turn away from religion' as in the following verse;

"Believers, if you listen to a group of those to whom the Scriptures were given in the past, they will turn you (Yaruddoukom) into unbelievers despite your faith."

Again in this verse : "Believers, if any of you turns away (Yartadda) from his religion, God will bring forth people whom He loves and who love Him. They are lenient towards believers and strict with unbelievers."

We also read in the Qur'an: "They fight with you so as to turn you away (Yaroddukom) from your religion, and if you give up your faith, and then die, your work will come to nothing." But the word ‘Irtadda’ has been associated so often with heresy, that nothing but heresy comes to mind when it is used.

Heretics in the Prophet's time

Some Muslims turned away from Islam during Muhammad's time such as the following: Abdullah Bin Abi Sarh.

Abdullah was one of the scribers of the ‘Inspired' Qur'an, who ran back to Mecca from

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Medina. He used to tell Quraish, that he wrote different words, to those which Muhammad dictated. For instance when Muhammad said, "God is all knowing and wise," Abdullah asked if he could write — "God is almighty and wise." Muhammad would say "That is just as applicable."

On the day he conquered Mecca, Muhammad said, "The blood of Abdullah is worthless, and if even he sought sanctuary at the Ka‘ba, he must be killed." ‘Othman hid him, and later took him to the Prophet asking pardon, which was granted.

Another heretic was ‘Obaidullah Bin Jahsh the husband of Umm Habiba, who emigrated to Ethiopia. He was converted to Christianity, and died there as a Christian.

Abdullah Bin Khatal was another heretic who was murdered whilst holding the cover of the Holy Shrine of Ka‘ba, seeking sanctuary.

Heresy in Abu Bakr's time

The soul searing news of the death of the Prophet, spread swiftly throughout the Arabian peninsula. Those tribes who,. so far, had not embraced Islam, rejoiced, and continued their activities against Islam. The Muslims tribes also became restless because they had heard that some of the companions of the Prophet, because of party politics, were fighting one another for the position of the Caliphate.

The disapproval of the relatives of the Prophet, Bani Hashim's, and the opposition of Sa‘d, the chief of the Khazraj tribe, to Abu Bakr as Caliph, caused some Muslim tribes to suspect the Caliphate office. They did not renounce their faith, nor did they reject prayer, or object to paying tax, they only refused

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to pay the due tax to Abu Bakr's government. These opponents were called heretics and they were to be eliminated by wars, camouflaged as holy.

After the destruction of their Muslim opponents, the government fought the pagan tribes and the false prophets and their organizations. Finally, expeditions were sent outside Arabia. All those battles fought in Abu Bakr's time, were called Reddah, (war against heretics). So the Muslim opponents of Abu Bakr outside Medina, were called ‘Mortaddin' (Heretics).

Dr. Hassan Ebrahim supported this idea in his book The History of Islamic Politics page 251 reads — "After the Prophet of God passed away and his death was confirmed, some Muslims hesitated about the truth of Islam, and some were afraid that the Quraish, or indeed any other tribe, could come to power and form a dictator state.

They had realized that only the Prophet of God was infallible, and any other person who succeeded him, would not have the characteristic, which allowed him to treat all men, like the teeth of a comb, as equals. Therefore they suspected, that if the successor of the Prophet favored his own family and tribe, and under- estimated the other tribes, it would destroy Islamic social justice.

We guess this because we see that, after the Prophet, each Arab selfishly supported his own family tribe, and the Arab's old natural way, returned. In Medina the Ansars (Helpers) were afraid that the Muhajirs (Immigrants) and the Quraish tribe would come to power. These two were suspicious

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of each other. The Ansars wanted a coalition government.

The Muhajirs wanted the chief to be from their tribe, and the assistant chief from the Ansars. The Aws and Khazraj — sub-divisions of the Ansars, betrayed each other during the election of the Caliph.

"Mecca was no better than Medina as the election caused tribal conflict there as well. Banu Hashim's disagreed with Abu Bakr .as Caliph, ‘Ali refused to support Abu Bakr and Abu Sufyan tried to persuade ‘Ali to arrange a coup d'etat.

"Finally the Muhajirs, Ansars and Quraish, who were pioneers in Islam and supporters of Islam, and relatives of the Prophet, could not unite to form a government peacefully. This made other Arab tribes disillusioned, and finally they gave up hope of having any vote, or chance in the government.

Hence most of them objected to Abu Bakr as Caliph and refused to pay him the due alms tax. Some foreign scholars take this as heresy, and as evidence of the advance of Islam by the sword in Arabia. That is not true however, because those people whom Abu Bakr fought as heretics, had remained faithful to Islam. They were of two groups.

1. The group who believed that the alms tax was the Prophet's levy, and after his death no one was entitled to ask for it; so they refused to pay it to Abu Bakr — and for this he fought them. ‘Omar pleaded on behalf of those people saying, "The Prophet used to say, ‘I fight

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people until they believe in one God, and anybody who believes in God, his blood and belongings will be protected."

2. The group who did not believe in the faith. In fact they were not Muslims. The Islamic state at Abu Bakr's time cared about only carrying out death sentences, and was not concerned about heretics returning to Islam."

Yet, according to Islam, as pointed out by Dr. Hassan Ebrahim, "Any heretic must have three days to discuss his views with the religious authorities. Hence — ‘Let accusations be proved before he perishes, and he who remains safe does so by proof."

To clear up the matter, we refer to some views by Sunnis leaders. "Imam Abu Hanifah says: ‘The shortest time allowed for a person to make up his mind is three days. If the heretic asks for grace, give him three days to discuss points.”

"Imam Malik says: ‘A heretic, be he slave or free, man or woman, give him three days from the day proven to be heretic. He can have food and must not be tortured.”

"Imam Shafe‘i says: ‘Heretic, man or woman, must be respected because he or she was a Muslim sometime. Some say give him or her, three days grace.’

"Imam Hanbal says: ‘Heretics, men or women, adult and if not insane must be invited to Islam for three days.’

"As well as the above views, it is not right to say that a Muslim has renounced his faith just by guess work, unless every Muslim says he is a

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heretic. Some Muslim scholars have said that if a man is one percent Muslim, it is not right to hold that man as a heretic unless it is proven that he is."

This is the end of Dr. Hassan Ebrahim's saying in the book of History of Islamic Politics.

Ibn Kathir in his book Albedaya Wannehaya, vol.6, p.311 says, "All the narrators, except Ibn Majah have recorded that according to Abi Horayra, ‘Omar objected to Abu Bakr fighting people, saying that the Prophet protected the soul and belongings of anyone who confessed to the oneness of God and the apostleship of Muhammad, unless they were found guilty.

Abu Bakr replied, ‘By God, I will fight those who do not pay me the tax which were paying to the Prophet of God. Let it be a camel or a foot-tether of a camel. By God, I will fight anybody who differs between paying tax and saying prayers. I will fight until they give me the due tax which they gave to the Prophet.' ‘Omar said, ‘When I saw Abu Bakr's determination to fight, I understood that he was right.' "

According to Tabari (vol.2, p.474) heretics called on Abu Bakr in groups, agreeing to the prayers, but against paying tax. Abu Bakr would not accept their views and sent them away. Ibn Kathir in Albedaya Wannehaya (vol.6, p.311) says that groups of Arabs were coming to Medina who accepted the prayers but rejected the tax. There were some who did not want to pay

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tax to Abu Bakr, some of them were reciting this verse:

When the Prophet was among us we were obedient, But Abu Bakr's reign is a peculiar incident, Which has broken our back. We will rise, Yet, he may make his son Caliph when he dies.

In Tabari (vol.2, p.48) Saif has recorded from Abi Makhnaf that the horsemen of the Tay Tribe made remarks about the horsemen of the Asad and Fazareh tribes, when they passed one another. But there were no clashes between them. Asads and Fazarehs men used to say, "We will not agree with Abul-Fasil" (Nickname of Abu Bakr, meaning the father of the baby camel). The horsemen of the Tay Tribe would reply,

"We are sure you will agree with Abul-Fahl al-Akbar." (Meaning the father of the big camel, the great man).

From the above story it is understood that the heresy in Abu Bakr's time was not rejecting the faith, but in abstaining from paying tax to Abu Bakr.

Since the defeated parties were Badouins and Nomads, they had no chance to rule; but their opponents, the then rulers, had power in their hands for a long time, including the period in which the history of this time was written.

Also the history of the events which has reached us are recorded by their authority. It is up to us to investigate the truth of those stories written about the defeated people.

Tabari in his book (vol.6, p.461) has recorded from Saif that Arabs rejected their faith after Abu Bakr

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became Caliph. Heresy was the general trend of the day, but there were tribes where only a part became heretical. Only the tribes of Quraish and Thaqif remained faithful.

Saif has surpassed ‘Antara Bin Shaddad and other fiction writers in imagination. The heroes of Saif's stories walk on the waters without wetting their feet. They converse with wild animals — angels communicate with them — they bring forth fountains from stones in the desert. Moreover, Saif has told his stories in such a way as to please the then rulers, and to conceal the fact they were unpopular.

To show in what manner Saif has written his stories, we shall reproduce some of them from his book al-Fotouh Wal- Reddah recorded in Tabari’s book.

4. Malik Bin Nowaira


This man was a member of the Yarbou‘ tribe of the Tamim clan. He was known as Abu Hanzalah and his nickname was Jafoul.

Marzobani has recorded that Malik bin Nowaira was a learned poet, and an outstanding horseman in his tribe. After he embraced Islam, the Prophet appointed him as the tax collector for the family group. When the Prophet passed away Malik did not give his collection to the Government, but distributed it among his own family saying: “The money you gave me I shall return. Tomorrow's problem is not our concern, if someone, someday, tries to reinstate Islam, we will be loyal to that state.”

Tabari, in vol.2, p.503 has recorded the story from Abdul Rahman Bin Abu Bakr as follows:

"When Khalid's army reached Botah, he

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sent a group of soldiers, under the command of Zerar Bin Azwar, to attack Malik's tribe overnight. Abu Qatada, a member of that army said later, ‘When we took Malik's tribe by surprise overnight we frightened them. They put their amour on hurriedly, and declared that they were Muslims. Our commander asked them why they were armed, and they asked him the same question. We asked them to put down their arms, if they were Muslims, and they did so. We then said our prayers, and they did likewise."

Ibn Abilhadid in his book says, "When they relinquished their arms, the soldiers handcuffed them, and took them to Khalid."

In Kanzul Ommal, vol.3, p.132 and in Ya‘qoubi, vol.2, p.110, the above story is recorded as follows: "Malik Bin Nowaira with his wife came to Khalid. Khalid on seeing the lady fell in love with her, and said to her husband, ‘You shall never return home, by God, I will kill you."

In Kanzul Ommal, vol.3, p.132, is written that Khalid accused Malik of heresy, which Malik denied and both Abdullah Bin ‘Omar and Abu Qatada interposed on his be- half. But Khalid ordered Zerar Bin Azwar to behead him. Then Khalid took his wife Umm Tamim and slept with her.

In Abdulfada, page 158 and in Alwafayat it is recorded Abdullah Bin ‘Omar talked unsuccessfully to Khalid concerning Malik, and Malik pleaded to be sent to Abu Bakr for his decision. Khalid said, "God will not forgive me, if I forgive you," and he

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ordered Zerar to behead him. Malik looked at his wife saying, "You are the cause of my being killed." Khalid said, "God has caused your death because of your heresy." Malik said, "By God I am a Muslim and my faith is Islam." But Khalid ordered Zerar to behead him.

It is recorded in al-Esaba, vol.3, p.337 that Thabet Bin Qasim has written in al-Dalael that Khalid fell in love with Malik's wife at first sight, as she was very beautiful. Malik said to his wife, "You have killed me."

It is also written in al-Esaba that Zubair Bin Bakkar recorded from Bin Shahab that Khalid ordered Malik's head to be used as fuel for the cooking fire. But before the fire reached the skin of Malik's head, the food was cooked, Malik had abundant hair. Khalid, that very night, married the wife of the murdered Malik.

Abu Namir Sa‘di has composed the following poems:- Do the horsemen who attacked us at night, know that we will never see the morning bright? Khalid had to get rid of Malik obviously, To possess the woman whom he loved previously, Khalid had not the will power to shun his desires, And to avoid the sin, he had not the piety required. In the morning of the night that poor husband vanished, his wife in Khalid's hand.

It is written in Esaba that Minhal saw the headless corpse of Malik and covered it.

That was the story of Malik. Let us now find out what was the reactions

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of the government towards its General.

Ya‘qoubi has recorded that Abu Qatada reported the event to the Caliph Abu Bakr and said, “By God I will never go anywhere under Khalid's command. He has killed Malik, although he was a Muslim.”

Tabari recorded from Ibn Abibakr that Abu Qatada swore that he would never fight under Khalid. Yaqubi has recorded that ‘Omar Bin Khattab said to Abu Bakr, “ O successor of the Prophet of God, Khalid fell in love with Malik's wife, and on the same day killed Malik who was a Muslim." Abu Bakr wrote to Khalid for an explanation, and Khalid came to Abu Bakr saying, “ O successor of the Prophet of God, in killing Malik I made a rightful decision, but I also made a mistake."

Motammim Bin Nowaira, brother of Malik, composed a number of poems lamenting the murder of his brother. He went to Medina and joined in the congregational prayers lead by Abu Bakr. After the prayer Motammim leaned back on his bow, and addressing Abu Bakr he recited:-

O Bin Azwar, you threw the body of a noble man on the floor, Whilst the gentle morning breeze was caressing our door. You deceived him using the name of the Almighty God.

But faithful Malik had always honored his word. Abulfada has recorded that when the news of Malik reached Abu Bakr and ‘Omar, ‘Omar said to Abu Bakr, "Khalid has undoubtedly committed adultery; you should have him stoned." Abu Bakr replied, "I will not do that."

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‘Omar then said that Khalid had murdered a Muslim, and therefore should be sentenced to death. Abu Bakr said that Khalid had carried out his duties and he understood them — but he had also made a mistake. ‘Omar asked Abu Bakr to dismiss Khalid. But Abu Bakr said, "I will never sheath the sword which God has taken from its scabbard."

Tabari has recorded from Ibn Abibakr that Khalid made an excuse to Abu Bakr saying that Malik had said to him, "I do not think that your companion (The Prophet) has said this and that." Khalid had replied, "Was not he (The Prophet) your companion?" and he had ordered him to be beheaded and all the men who were with Malik, to be beheaded also.

When the news came to ‘Omar he discussed it with Abu Bakr saying, "The enemy of God has killed a Muslim and, like and animal, has immediately molested his wife."

Khalid returned home, then went to the Mosque wearing a robe marked with rust from his armor, and a feather in his helmet like a Muslim soldier. He passed ‘Omar who furiously rushed at him, pulling the feather from his helmet saying, "Like a hypocrite you have killed a Muslim, and like an animal rushed at his wife, by God I will stone you to death. That is what you deserve."

Khalid kept quite thinking that Caliph Abu Bakr would also say that he was guilty. But when Khalid reported his successful expedition and confessed his mistake,

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Abu Bakr forgave him. On his 'way back from seeing the Caliph, Khalid passed ‘Omar again and shouted at him. " O son of Umm Shamlah — now tell me that which you wanted to say." ‘Omar understood that Abu Bakr had forgiven Khalid, and he left the Mosque and went home quietly.

This is the end of Khalid and Malik's story according to authentic sources. But Saif has told that story in seven events, each one complementary to the other, and Tabari has recorded it with the events of the year eleven Hijri as follows:-

Malik's story according to Saif

1) Tabari when recording Saif's saying about Bani Tamim and Sajah says, "When the Prophet of God passed away, his representatives in Bani Tamim disagreed with one another as to whom they must pay the tax they had collected. In fact the people of the land of Bani Tamim were divided, some remaining faithful, and arguing with those who did not submit to Abu Bakr. Malik was one of the opposition and did not pay the tax, which he had collected, to Abu Bakr."

Sajah, who claimed to be the prophet after the Prophet of God, wrote a letter to Malik requesting a meeting. Malik, Sajah and Waki‘ met and made a pact of non- aggression and mutual defense.

2) Saif recording the heresy of the inhabitants of Bahrain, says, "‘Ala΄ Bin Hazrami was sent to deal with the heretics at Yamama. They were divided into two parties — heretics and faithful, arguing with one another. The faithful-

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joined ‘Ala΄ Bin Hazrami. Malik and his companions were at Botah, and they had an argument with ‘Ala΄ Bin Hazrami."

3) Saif also, in relation to the above events, says, "When Sajah returned home, Malik was doubtful and a bit worried. Waki‘ and Sama‘a admitted that they were wrong, so they repented sincerely, and gave the delayed tax at once to Khalid. There was nothing disorderly in the province of Bath Hanzala except for the behavior of Malik and those who were with him at Botah. Malik was not stable — one day he was normal, and the next day he acted strangely."

4) Saif again narrates that when Khalid cleared the districts of Asad and Gatafan of heretics, he set off for Botah where Malik lived. The Ansars were not sure about Malik, and did not accompany Khalid, saying that they had had an order from Caliph to remain at Bozakha. Khalid said it was his business to communicate with the Caliph, as he was the army commander.

He also said that he would never force anyone to accompany him on his mission to deal with Malik. Then off he went. The Ansars realized their mistake and following Khalid, they eventually caught up with him. Khalid continued until he reached Botah, and found no one was there.

5) Saif also narrated that Malik addressed his people as follows — " O Bani Yarbou‘ tribesmen, we opposed the officials and commandants, but we lost our campaign against them. I advise you not to

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stand in their way. Go to your cities and your homes. These rulers came to power without the people's consent." After this speech people scattered and Malik too went home.

So when Khalid arrived at Botah, he found no one was there. Khalid then sent his men as Islamic missionaries, to arrest those who did not accept their views, and to kill anyone who resisted. In fact Abu Bakr's order stated: "Say the call for prayers wherever you go.

If people do not join the call for prayer, attack them suddenly, and destroy them — by fire, or any other means. If they join the call to prayer put them to the test. If they agree to pay their tax, accept their Islamic faith, otherwise their reward is destruction."

Khalid's soldiers brought back Malik, his cousins, and some of his tribesmen, from their expedition. Abu Qatada and some other soldiers bore witness that Malik and his people had joined the call prayer, and had said prayer with them.

But because of the difference in the soldier's stories about Malik, he was imprisoned overnight with his people. But it was a very cold night, and Khalid ordered that the prisoners be kept warm. The words used by Khalid in giving this order, also means ‘Killing’ in the language of some tribesmen adfe’ouosara’akom' — so they killed Malik and his companions.

The executioner of Malik was Zerar Bin Azwar. The screams of the dying brought Khalid out of his house, where he learned

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of the execution. He said, "What God has decreed, has been done."

After this event Abu Qatada argued with Khalid, and went to Medina to report to Caliph. Abu Bakr heard the story but showed dissatisfaction to Abu Qatada. ‘Omar inter-ceded, so Abu Bakr forgave Abu Qatada, and sent him back to join Khalid on the battlefield. Khalid married Umm Minhal, the wife of the murdered Malik, but did not live with her until the end of the mourning period of her former husband.

‘Omar said to Abu Bakr — "There is some kind of disobedience in Khalid's sword — at least in the case of Malik." Abu Bakr did not take any notice as he never rebuked his men for their mistakes. So he ordered ‘Omar to stop slandering Khalid and said, "Khalid might have misinterpreted his mission." Abu Bakr then paid Malik's blood money, and wrote to Khalid telling him to come to Medina. Khalid reported this event to Abu Bakr who forgave Khalid's mistake, but reproached him for the marriage as it was against Arabic custom.

6) Saif, in another place, says that some soldiers witnessed Malik's prayers, but others denied this and justified his execution. Malik's brother composed some mourning poems, and asked for his brother's blood money, and the return of the prisoners. Abu Bakr granted the release of the captives. ‘Omar insisted on the dismissal of Khalid as he could not control his sword. But Abu Bakr said that he would not ,put the sword of God,

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which was against unbelievers, back in its sheath.

7) Saif in his last narration, says that Malik had an abundance of hair. When the heads of the executed were used as fuel for the cooking fire, the fire had reached the skin except in the case of Malik's head, because of his plentiful hair. Motammim had composed a poem, and had expressed admiration for the empty stomach of Malik as an example to all his warriors. ‘Omar who had seen Malik in the presence of the holy Prophet also admired Malik.

This is the last of the records which have been found in Saif's writings regarding Malik.

The source of Saif's narrations

According to Saif, the first three of the seven above quotations, were from Sa'ab, son of ‘Atyya, who in turn learned of them from his father. ‘Atyya son of Bilal. The fifth and the seventh quotations were passed on by ‘Othman, son of Sowaid, son of Math'abah.

Who are Sa‘b, ‘Atyya and Othman?

There is no trace of Sa‘b, ‘Atyya or ‘Othman, the three original story tellers; whom Saif has quoted, in any history book.

We can therefore say that these three are among the one hundred and fifty Sahabis (companions of the Prophet) invented by Saif.

Saif has in some cases in his stories, substituted imaginary characters, as in the case of ‘Othman, from whom he has recorded. There is no trace of ‘Othman in any book except in Saif's book. Sowaid the father, and Math'abah (Sho'bah) the grand-father of ‘Othman were living persons.

In the stories of the dogs at Haw’ab, the real woman

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Umm Qerfa is the mother of a fictitious character, Umm Zamal, and a real man, Hormozah, is the father of Qomaze- ban, also an imaginary character invented by Saif.

Why Saif's narrators are fictitious?

The biographers have compiled lists of all and each narrator who lived from the time of the Prophet, as far forward as the ‘Abbasid dynasty, who ruled after Amawid dynasty. Those narrators who met the Prophet are the first group, are called Sahabis.

The second group are those who met Sahabis, and have obtained stories from them, these are called Followers, and lived till the year 126. The last group of followers have only collected facts from the early followers, and they lived until the year 132. These are fourteen groups in all, and the last is during the time of Mansoor the second ‘Abbasid Caliph.

Other biographers have listed the narrators, who passed away in each ten years as one category. So accordingly, the first group are those narrators who died in the first decade, and the second are those who died in the second decade, and so on. The narrators were called ‘Learned’ and those who passed the stories to them were called ‘Sheikh’.

The life of each and every Sheikh, and ‘Learned’ is recorded in detail, where they resided, and whether they were Shi‘ah or Sunni, whether they were extremists in favor or against ‘Ali, whether they were pro or anti-government.

The books compiled are differently catalogued — some in alphabetical order as Tarikh-Kabir, etc. Others according to time, as

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Ibn Athir, etc. Some biographers have arranged the names of the narrators according to their residence, Mecca, Medina, etc.

The science of narration was the most interesting and popular subject of the day, and different biographers have classified the names of the narrators in different ways, and have given their utmost care to record the particulars. Even so there are books written correcting the mistakes of biographers, such as al-Mukhtalif, etc., so there is not a single doubtful point as to the identity of the narrators.

Since the number of the narrators were limited at the time of Umayeds, and Saif has written his two books to please the then rulers, Umayeds, when we cannot find the names of the persons from whore Saif has recorded, on the basis of the above explanation, we can say that Saif has invented his narrators, and quoted from these fictitious characters.

The Text of Saif's stories

In some cases Saif has used the names of some real narrators in his fictitious stories, such as in the fifth and seventh episodes, we have mentioned previously. Careful and systematic study, according to the rules of the science of the narration, reveals the invalidity of those quotations.


Comparison between Saif's sayings and other narrators saying about Khalid shows that Saif has manipulated the event to clear Khalid of accusation, of his aggression against Malik, and the assault on Malik's wife. He prepares the background by; firstly accusing Malik of having doubts about Islam; secondly the arguments of the faithful with him and thirdly the return

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of Sajah, and the hesitation of Malik. Then because other sources have reported that Malik was alone, Saif suggests that Malik had troops with him, but he dismissed not because he repented but because of his fear. Saif thus declares that Malik was a heretic.

In other narrations Saif has suggested Malik's heresy without mentioning Khalid's name to distract readers' attention from Khalid's order of killing Malik and his association with Malik's wife.

Saif has invented the dispute of the soldiers regarding Abu Bakr's command, to destroy Malik, in the presence of Khalid so he clears the Abu Bakr as well as Khalid. Saif wanted to show that Khalid was unwilling to kill Malik — he just gave an order to keep the prisoners warm, but the soldiers thought he meant ‘Kill’ because of misunderstanding due to dialect difficulties, yet the one who gave the order, and the executors had the same dialect (Quraish and Bani Asad). The fact remains that assuming a misunderstanding caused the execution, then why were the heads used as fuel on a cooking fire.

Tabari has recorded Malik's story from Saif and Ibn Athir, Ibn Kathir, Mirkhand have quoted the ‘facts’ written by Tabari. If other historians documents, by other authors, who have mentioned Malik's story from other sources than Saif are examined, then discrepancies between Saif's ‘Facts' and the truth emerges. Those other sources which state that Khalid gave an explicit order to kill Malik as follows:-

Fotoohol Boldan By Baladhori Page 105

Tahzib By Bin ‘Asaker, Vol.5 Page

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105, 112

Alkhamis By Diyar Bakri, Vol.2 Page 333 al-Nihaya By Bin Athir, Vol.3 Page 257 al-Sawa‘eq almohreqa By Bin H ajar Makki Page 21 (Egypt edition)

Taj al-‘Aroos By Zabidi, Vol.8 Page 75

The above was one of the wars under the title of Heresy (Fought by Abu Bakr). This war may be taken as an example.

5. ‘Ala΄ Bin Hazrami


‘Ala΄ Bin Hazrami son of Abdullah son of ‘Ebad son of Akbar son of Rabi‘a son of Malik son of ‘Owaif Hazrami. His father Abdullah was a citizen of Mecca and very close friend of Harb Bin Umayya. The Prophet appointed him as Governor of Bahrain. Abu Bakr and ‘Omar allowed him to hold his position until he died in the year 14 or 21 Hejir. (al-Esti‘ab, 3rd Edition, pp.146-148 and al-Esaba, 2nd Edition, p.491).

Saif tells us about ‘Ala΄ Bin Hazrami.

In Tabari 2 — 522, 528 Saif records from Menjab Bin Rashed that Abu Bakr ordered ‘Ala΄ to fight the heretics of Bahrain. Menjab was of that army. He says, "We arrived at the plain of Dahna, where God had decided to show us a miracle. ‘Ala΄ and we were all dismounted from our mounts. Suddenly our camels took fright and ran away with all our provisions, and left us with nothing in the middle of that stony desert.

Also before we had had time to put up our tents. We were most distressed and bewildered, and made our will to one another. A call came from ‘Ala΄ to go to him — all

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of us. So we joined him. He asked the reason for our dismay and we replied: "What do you expect of a group of whom nothing will be left tomorrow, except their place in history." He consoled us saying, "Muslims put their trust in God, surely God will not forsake those who are in a position like ours." The next day after dawn prayer, ‘Ala΄ knelt down and we did the same and we prayed to God for water, ‘Ala΄ then noticed some ripples. He sent a man to see if it was water, but it was only a mirage. The same mirage was observed later.

The third time the messenger returned with the news that there was water, so the troops drunk and washed, then suddenly our camels were sighted, and they had returned of their own accord with our provisions intact just the same as when they disappeared.

After we left that place my friend Abu Horayra asked me if I would know the place again, where the water was found. I replied that I knew the place better than anybody else. He asked me to take him to the water again. I did so; but there was no water, no pond, yet we found a jug filled with water. Abu Horayra said that it was his jug which he had left by the pond purposely to find out whether there was a pond there or whether a miracle had occurred.

Menjab swore that he had not seen water

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there before and Abu Horayra thanked God for this miracle. Then Saif says ‘Ala΄ won the war (against heretics) during a night when they all (heretics) were drunk.

After ‘Ala΄ was certain of the destruction of the heretics he set out with his troops for Darin; but before his departure he delivered a sermon to his soldiers. He said that God manifested a miracle in the land to encourage them with the water. (in their next assault on the heretics). He then ordered the attack saying, "Let us advance and cross the sea, God has encompassed the enemy in one place for you." The soldiers shouted, "By God we will never be afraid again since we saw the miracle in the desert of Dahna." ‘Ala΄ mounted and with his soldiers arrived at the sea.

They went in the sea some mounted and some on foot. They were reciting, " O Merciful, the Benevolent, the Patient, the Eternal, the Living, the Giver of Life, the Self-Supported, there is no God but You. O, our Lord." The water appeared to them to be shallow, to the depth only of a camel's ankle, although the distance of that island was one ,day's journey by boat from the shore. They reached the island and a pitched battle took place there (between

‘Ala's soldiers and the heretics) and the enemy was entirely destroyed.

None of the heretics were left behind to take their news back. Their wealth and families were captured and distributed. A mounted man received six

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thousand and a foot soldier had two thousand. ‘Afif Bin Mondher composed the following verse on that occasion:

God the almighty brought the sea under our control — An event more miraculous than the role Played by Moses on Red Sea and Nile River. The Divine wrath fell upon each unbeliever A spring gushed forth from beneath the pebbles, And we again, heard the ringing of our camel bells.

A monk was travelling with ‘Ala's army who embraced Islam after the troops returned victoriously to Bahrain and the land cleared of heretics. People asked the monk why he had converted. He said he had observed three Divine Signs, and he was afraid of being changed to an animal if he did not convert to Islam. He was asked about the three signs and he named them thus:-

1) The Spring which appeared from beneath the pebbles,

2) The turning of the rough sea.

3) The prayer recited by the soldiers, as follows, “O God you are the most Merciful. No one is God except You, Self-created; nothing was prior to You, Eternal, Conscious, Living who never dies, the Creator of the Invisible and the visible. You are in constant control. You know without learning."

The monk said that those soldiers were in the right so the angels were on their side. The story of the monk has been repeated often afterwards. ‘Ala΄ wrote a letter to Abu Bakr telling him that after experiencing some difficulties God has helped them by causing a spring to gush from

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beneath the pebbles.

‘Ala΄ in his letter asked Abu Bakr to pray for the Muslims troops fighting in the cause of God, and Abu Bakr did so, and said that the Bedouins used to say, "Loqman, the wise, stopped people digging a water well in the desert of Dahna, because no rope was long enough to reach the water which would be so far below the ground." Abu Bakr then said that the appearance of water was one of the biggest signs of God and he had never been heard before by any nation, and he added “ O God do not take the bliss of Muhammad away from us.

Ibn Kathir in his book (vol.6, pp.328-329) has recorded the above story from Saif. Abulfaraj in his book al-Aghani has quoted from Tabari who has in turn recorded from Saif. Other scholars have recorded that story from Saif.

The origin of Saif's story

Saif has narrated ‘Ala's story from Sa‘b son of ‘Atyya son of Bilal, that is, passed down from grandfather to father and to son. We have shown when discussing the story of Malik that the above family line of narrators has been invented by Saif.

‘Ala's story by other than Saif

Baladhori in Fotoohol Boldan (pp.92-93) says that during ‘Omar's rule ‘Ala΄ was sent to Zara and Darain. He made a treaty with the people of Zara to take one third of the gold, silver and other wealth of the town plus half of the wealth from outside of the town. Akhnas Bin ‘Amery the representative of the town said to ‘Ala΄

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that the treaty applied only to the people of the town of Zara and did not apply to their relations who live in the neighboring town of Darin.

‘Ala΄ took Karaz al-Nokri as his guide, and crossed the sea on a strip of land to Darin. There he attacked the inhabitants, killed their fighting men and captured their families.

Wars against Heretics - Comparison and Conclusion

Saif writes that:-

1) A miraculous fountain appeared where even Luqman, the wise, did not expect water.

2) The camels returned of their own accord.

3) The soldiers walked in the sea, as in the land, even more miraculous than the miracle of Moses. He then supported the truth of these miracles, by telling of a monk embracing Islam seeing those signs. He emphasizes that his miracles occurred by the letter of ‘Ala΄ to Abu Bakr asking for blessing.

Tabari, Hamawi, Ibn Athir, Ibn Kathir and some other writers repeat Saif's saying in their books, and Muslims have accepted it as an Islamic History. Yet there was no miracle, the city had access to the mainland by a strip across which the soldiers marched. Also the event did not happen in Abu Bakr's time, but during ‘Omar's rule.

Saif is alone responsible for the inventing of these stories as he is alone presenting them, just as he is alone saying that none of the enemy was spared to take the news home.

6. Barking of Hawa’b's dogs


Tabari in vol.3, pp.490-497 has recorded from Saif that Umm Zemal Salma, a girl prisoner of war, was given to ‘Ayesha (The Prophet's wife) as

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her share of war spoils. ‘Ayesha gave her freedom, but she stayed in ‘Ayesha's house.

One day the Prophet came home and found women gathered together. The Prophet pointed to them and said, "One of you makes the dogs bark in the land of Haw’ab." After the Prophet passed away Umm Zemal Salma gathered an army to take her revenge upon the Muslims who had killed her relations.

While she was collecting her army from Zafr and Haw’ab the dogs barked at her camel in Haw’ab (fulfilling the Prophet's prophecy). Khalid (The General) learned of Umm Zemal Salma and fought against her. Khalid's soldiers cut off her camel's feet and killed her.

Hamawi in his book Mo‘jamul Boldan has recorded the above story from Saif. Bin Hajar in Esaba vol.2, p.325 has briefly recorded without mentioning the source.

The source of Saif's story

Saif has narrated the above story from Sahl son of Yusuf and Abu Ya‘qub whose identities are not documented. Bin Hajar and Bin Abdul Berr have said, "Neither Sahl nor his father Yusuf is known to anybody." Abu Ya‘qub in Saif's stories is "Sa‘eed Bin Obaid" that Dhahabi says, "He is un- known." Some other biographers say, "There is one Sa‘eed Bin Obaid but not known as Abu Ya‘qub."

At whom did the dogs bark in Haw’ab?

Saif in his story of Haw’ab has combined two events together. First, the event of Umm Qerfa, the second, Haw’ab's dogs.

1) Umm Qerfa.

According to Bin Sa‘d and Bin Hesham a merchant caravan belonging to Muslims on their way to Damascus was looted by the Fazara tribe at

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Wadilqora. The Muslims in charge of the caravan, Zaid, was badly wounded.

Ya‘qoubi says that the Prophet was going to send an expeditionary army under Zaid's command to discipline the Fazara tribe. Umm Qerfa the wife of the tribal chief on learning of the Prophet's intention sent an army under the command of forty of her own children to meet the Muslim army near Medina. A pitched battle took place and all the men of the Fazara tribe were killed and their women were taken into captivity.

Except for Umm Qerfa and one daughter called Jariah the whole family was killed. These two were captured unhurt. Zaid ordered Umm Qerfa to be executed and took the daughter Jariah to the Prophet who gave her to his own uncle, and son was later born to them and named Abdul Rahman.

This event took place in the year six of Hejrah during the Prophet's life time.

2) Haw’ab's dogs.

Haw’ab is a place near Basrah. According to Bin ‘Abbas the Prophet said to his wives, "One of you will ride a hairy camel, the dogs will bark at her in Haw’ab, many people will be killed at your right side, and at your left death will threaten you, but you will remain safe."

According to Umm Salama (one of the Prophet's wife) the Prophet mentioned the revolt of one of his wives, the mothers of the believers, (as they are called) ‘Ayesha (one of the Prophet's wives) laughed. The Prophet made a remark to her saying, "

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It seems to me that the dogs bark at you in Haw’ab while you are rioting unjustly against ‘Ali . " Then the Prophet look at ‘Ali saying," If ‘Ayesha's affair comes into your hands be tolerant with her."(1)

According to Tabari vol.3, p.475 and some other historians the story is as follows:-

‘Orani the man who sold his camel to ‘Ayesha was on a journey riding on his camel. A man approached him, and wanted to buy his camel. " A thousand Dirhams is the price," said Orani. "Are you mad?" said the man, "Who pays a thousand Dirhams for a camel?" ‘Orani said, "This camel is worth a thousand Dirhams because when I race with my rider I overtake him, and no one can catch me when I am riding the camel." The man said, "You will deal better with me if you know for whom I want your camel."

‘Orani : For whom do you want it? Arab : For your mother:

‘Orani : I left my mother an invalid at home.

Arab : I want your camel for the mother of believers, ‘Ayesha.

‘Orani : Then take it as a present from me.

Arab : No, come with me, I will give you a camel and some money as well.

‘Orani : I went with the man, he gave me a she-camel which belonged to ‘Ayesha and her baby camel and four hundred or six hundred Dirhams as well. Then the man asked me if I knew the roads there, and I replied in

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1- Salati in Khasais (vol.2, p.137) and Ibn ‘Abd Ber in the al- Esti‘ab

the affirmative. He asked me to guide them, and I told them the name of every desert and river we passed. We were passing through Haw’ab water when the dogs barked. They asked me "What was the name of that water?" I answered "Haw’ab." Then ‘Ayesha screamed and made her camel sit and said, "By God, I am the one at whom the dogs barked in Haw’ab, take me back." Other people made their camels sit around ‘Ayesha. ‘Ayesha never moved from that place until the next day. Her nephew Ibn Zubair came and told her, "Move on quickly," because ‘Ali was after them, and he would reach them soon. Orani then said, "they left that place and cursed me."

According to Musnad of Hanbal (vol.6, p.97) Ibn Zubair told ‘Ayesha, "This is not the time to let us down, perhaps God wishes you intercede between Muslims to and make peace amongst them.

In Ibn Kathir (vol.7, p.230) is written that Shaykhain have not recorded this narration in their books although it has all the necessary conditions to be accepted as authentic to them.

In Tabari (vol.3, p.485) is recorded from Zohri that when ‘Ayesha heard the dogs barking she asked, "What is the name of that place?" After they told her ‘Haw’ab' she regretted and said, "We belong to God and we return to Him." Then she continued saying, "I am surely the one the Prophet spoke of to his wives saying he wished to know at whom the dogs would bark

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in Haw’ab." ‘Ayesha wanted to return from that place, but Ibn Zubair persuaded her to march forward.

In another place Ibn Kathir (vol.7, p.230) and Abulfaraj (p.173), it is written that ‘Ayesha regretted saying, "I am that woman," but Ibn Zubair betrayed her saying that the place was not Haw’ab.

In Morujudh-Dhahab (vol.2, p.248), it is written that Ibn Zubair and Talha swore by God that the place was not Haw’ab, and brought fifty Arabs to swear the same and that was the first lie sworn in Islam.

In Yaqubi (vol.2, p.1 57) and Kanzol-‘ummal (vol.6, pp. 83-84) it is written that ‘Ayesha said, "Let me go back. This is the same water that the Prophet spoke of, warning me about the barking dogs." They brought forty Arabs to swear by God that the place was not Haw’ab. In al-Imamah wal-Siasa (vol.l, pp.59-60), it is written that when ‘Ayesha heard the dogs barking she asked Muhammad Bin Talha about the place and so on. Muhammad told her "Blessed be your soul. Forget about these tales." Abdullah Bin Zubair witnessed falsely, and they brought lying witnesses. That was the first false witness in Islam.

Other historians have also narrated the above story from the Prophet of God such as Ibn Athir in al-Nehaya, Hamawi in Mo‘jamul-Boldan, Zamakhshari in al-Fa’eq, Ibn Taqtaqi in al-Fakhri (p.71) Cairo volumes, Zobaidi (vol.l, p.195) under the word Haw’ab, Musnad Ahmad (vol.6, pp. 52,97), A‘tham (pp.168—169), Sam‘ani in al-Ansab, Sira Halabiyya (vol.3, pp.320—321) and Muntakhab Kanz (vol.5, pp.444-445).


The historians unanimously have

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recorded that (the wife of the Prophet) ‘Ayesha was the only person at whom the dogs barked in Haw’ab, as prophesied by the Prophet and have taken the event as one of the signs of the apostleship of the Prophet Muhammad.

Only Saif has attributed the event of the dogs to Umm Zemal Salma, a fictitious woman to please those, who for one reason or other, loved Saif's fictions.

Tabari in this case fortunately, has recorded the story by other narrators as well as Saif. Therefore, the intention of Saif to subvert stories is disclosed. By recording the stories of Orani, the previous owner of the camel rode by the mother of the believers, and Zohri's saying about the dogs, Tabari has

shown the true face of Saif to his readers, despite other occasions when Tabari has recorded from Saif only and has hidden the truth.

So far we have written some stories told by Saif in the time of Abu Bakr, now follows some of his stories in the time of ‘Omar.

7. Ziad's family tree


Abu Moghaira Ziad was the son of a slave girl called Somayya belonging to a Persian farmer, who gave her to a physician called Harith Thaghafi, in return for his medical service. Somayya gave birth to two sons Nafeea and Naafe while her master was a physician Harith.

Later Harith arranged a marriage between Somayya and his Roman slave ‘Obaid. They lived in Taif. Abu Sufyan went to Taif and asked a barman to procure a prostitute for him. The

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barman Abimaryam Selluli introduced Somayya to Abu Sufyan and she became pregnant that night, and later gave birth to Ziad in the first year of Hejri, while she was wife of Obaid.

When the Prophet of God besieged Taif one of the sons of Harith (the physician) whose name was Nufay‘ ran to the Prophet who set him free and called him Ababakra. Harith told Nafe‘ that he was his father and so prevented him from running to the Prophet as his brother had.

The three brothers, Ababakra, Nafe‘ and Ziad later were in turn called ‘the slaves who were freed by the Prophet,' Ibn Harith, and Ibn ‘Obaid respectively. Mo'awiah favored and accepted Ziad to be his brother, and named him Ziad Bin Abu Sufyan.

But after Mo'awiah and the down-fall of the Amawi Dynasty, Ziad was called, Ziad son of His Father (meaning illegitimate) and sometimes he was called Ziad Son of Somayya after his mother. Historians have recorded the story of Mo'awiah offering his brotherhood to Ziad and criticized Mo'awiah for his act.

Saif, intending to clear Mo'awiah from blame and to take the stain from Ziad's robe, invented a story which Tabari has recorded in his book (vol.3, p.259) among the events of the year 23 Hejri as follows:-

An Arab called Ganzi complained to ‘Omar that his Governor Abu Musa referred his case to his secretary Ziad Bin Abu Sufyan, and the story continues. ‘Omar asked Ziad how he had spent the first present given to him.

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Ziad said that he bought his mother's freedom and set her free. Concerning his second present he said that he bought his guardian Obaid's freedom.

Saif in the above invented story intended to prove that Ziad was called ‘Ziad the son of Abu Sufyan' even at the time of Caliph ‘Omar, and Caliph ‘Omar did not object to calling Ziad ‘the son of Abu Sufyan,' hence it was Mo'awiah, the son of Abu Sufyan, who offered Ziad his brotherhood (as explained above Mo'awiah has been criticized by historians for this act).

Furthermore, Saif tries in this story to cover-up for Ziad as well, when Ziad refers to Obaid as his guardian. What is more, Saif tells the story from the time of Caliph ‘Omar, in order to make it more acceptable to Muslims.

(al-Kamel of Ibn Athir — Events of the year 44 Hejri; al-Esti‘ab vol.1, pp.548-555; al-Esabah, vol.1, p.563.)

The Origin of Saif's Story

Saif has recorded the above story from Muhammad, Talha and Mohallab. Saif has recorded 216 stories which are recorded in Tabari from Saif, who in turn recorded from Muhammad Bin Abdullah Bin Sawad Bin Malik Bin Nowaira, who is unknown in all history books except in Ekmal whose writer has also recorded from Saif.

There are two Talhas. One is Abu Sufyan Talha Bin Abdur Rahman of whom no trace can be found. The second, Talha Bin A'lam who lived in Juan near Ray (Tehran) and Saif has not specified him in his story. Saif has recorded sixty seven stories from Mohallab Bin

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Oqba al-Asadi, which also appears in Tabari, but no trace of him can be found in any biography.

The story told by others apart from Saif

al-Daynawari in his book The Long Stories, page 14 says: "Abu Musa considered Ziad Bin ‘Obaid, a slave of Thaqif tribe, a surprisingly ambitious and clever man, and employed him as his secretary. Ziad was with Moghaira before that." Ibn Abdulbarr in his book al-Esti‘ab, (vol.1, p.548) says: "Before Mo'awiah offered Ziad his brotherhood he was called Ziad Bin Obaid Thaqafi." It is also written there, that Ziad bought his father Obaid and set him free which was a very good deed.

In al-Esti‘ab, page 549 from Ibn Abdulbarr it reads: "Ziad was known as Ziad Ibn ‘Obaid before joining Mo'awiah," then continues; "Ziad delivered a speech in the presence of ‘Omar the Caliph, at a party and his speech surprised every-body." One of the guests Amr'as said, "By God, if this boy (the speaker) was from the Quraish tribe he could have been the ruler." Abu Sufyan then said, " I know his origin." ‘Ali said, "Who is his father?" Abu Sufyan said, "I am." ‘Ali then said, "Stop Abu Sufyan (telling your association with Ziad's mother)." Then Abu Sufyan composed the following verse:

If I was not afraid of someone (‘Omar) I should say, By God, Sakhr Bin Harb would betray, And, you ‘Ali, would certainly decide, For yourself Ziad's speech talent is from whose side.

The following historians have recorded the story of the brotherhood of Ziad and Mo'awiah:

Ibn Athir in the events

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of the year 44 Hejri. Ibn Abdulbarr in Esti‘ab in Ziad's biography. Ya‘qoubi, vol.2, page 195.

Mas‘oudi in Morooj al-Dhahabi, vol.2, p.54. Soyouti in the events of the year 41

Hejri. Ibn Kathir, vol.8, p.28.

Abul Fada, page 194.

Tabari in vol.4, p.259, and in the events of the year 44

Hejri, also in the events of the year 160, pp.334—335.

Sahih Muslim, vol.l, p.57.

Osdul Ghaba wal Esaba, under Ziad biography. Ibn ‘Asaker, vol.5, pp.409—421

Ya‘qubi, vol.4, p.160.

Other historians have referred to it, but we decided here to cut the story short.


All historians have recorded that:-

a) Ziad was born in ‘Obaid's household by his immoral wife Somayya who was made pregnant by Abu Sufyan on the night she was introduced to him by a man called Abimaryam Selluli.

b) Abu Sufyan betrayed Ziad in ‘Omar's presence.

c) Mo'awiah accepted Ziad as his brother.

d) Muslims have criticized Mo'awiah who disregarded the Prophet's order, ‘The child belongs to the household,' where a husband and wife live together, a child born will be the son of those couple even if the wife was pregnant by a stranger.

e) After the downfall of Amawi Dynasty, Ziad some- times was called ‘Son of His Father' and other times ‘Son of Somayya (his mother).'

Saif wanted to take the responsibility away from Mo'awiah, who offered his brotherhood to Ziad, and invented a story in which Ziad was called, ‘Son of Abu Sufyan' in ‘Omar's time, long before Mo'awiah, and in that time Obaid was called Ziad's guardian, yet we know that Ziad in one of his

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speeches confessed to be the son of Obaid as recorded in Ya‘qoubi, vol.2, p.195.

8. Moghairah Bin Sho‘ba


Moghaira was of the Immigrant party. ‘Omar made him Governor of Basra and dismissed him after he was accused of adultery. He was the Governor of Kufa when he died. Saif in the following story intended to show that the charge of adultery was unfounded.

Tabari in vol.3, pp.170-171 has recorded from Saif that the reason that Moghaira was accused of adultery was some differences between him and Abu Bakra(1), one of the witnesses against him. Abu Bakra and Moghaira lived in two rooms opposite each other.

One day the wind blew open the window of Abu Bakra's room, he was closing it when he saw, through the opposite window Moghaira with a strange woman. Abu Bakra had some visitors and called them to see what was going on between Moghaira and that woman.

Abu Bakra said to his visitors that she was Umm-Jamil, a maid of the officials and civil servants. Abu Bakra's visitors saw something, but waited until they saw the woman clearly before making up their minds about the scene.

Saif then referring to the proceedings of the case in the court says that Moghaira pleaded to ‘Omar to cross examine these four witnesses who were slaves, and said to them, "What have you seen of me, either I had no privacy or you had peeped in my house without permission.

Yet I was with my wife who looks like Umm-Jamil." Two witnesses told

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1- Abubakra; his name is Nafe‘ son of Masruh Habashi and it is said that his father was called Harith bin Kelda bin ‘Amr bin ‘Alaj bin Abi Salma bin ‘Abd al-‘Uzza bin Qais

the same story, the third different to those two, and the fourth, Ziad, said he had seen something different altogether. The three witnesses were flogged for bearing false witness.

‘Omar (the Caliph) said to Moghaira, "By God, if you had been guilty, I would have stoned you to death."

Other Historians

The story told by others apart from Saif as is recorded in Fotoohol-Boldan by Baladhori page 423, Kitabul Ahkam by Mawardi page 280, Ya‘qoubi vol.2, p.124. Tabari and Ibn Athir amongst the events of the year 17 Hejri was that Moghaira had an association with a woman called Umma- Jamil, the daughter of Afqam Bin Mehjan Bin Abi ‘Amr Bin Sho‘ba. She was the wife of Hajaj Bin Atik of the Thaqif tribe. Now the rest of the story according to al-Aghani by Abulfaraj, vol.14, pp.139—142.

Moghaira the Governor of Basra at the time of ‘Omar, used to visit Raqta, a woman of the Thaqif tribe, secretly in her house. Her husband was Hajaj Bin ‘Atik from the Thaqif tribe. One day Abu Bakra met Moghaira in the street and asked his destination. Moghaira said that he was going to see someone. Abu Bakra said, "The Governor has to stay at home and people have to visit him." Abu Bakra often said to Moghaira when he saw him outside during the day. The historians have said that the woman Moghaira used to visit was Abu Bakra's neighbor.

One day, Abu Bakra, his two brothers Naafe and Ziad and another person named Shebl Bin Ma‘bad met

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together to talk, suddenly the wind blew and opened the window and the men saw Moghaira in the room opposite with a woman. Abu Bakra asked his visitors to confirm this. Abu Bakra waited until Moghaira left the woman's house and told him,

"You cannot be our Governor anymore, we saw you." (1) At mid-day Abu Bakra wanted to prevent Moghaira from leading the prayer but the people intervened and told Abu Bakra to write to ‘Omar (the Caliph) about Moghaira. They wrote to ‘Omar who ordered Moghaira and the witnesses to go to Medina. Moghaira prepared for departure, and sent an Arab slave girl with her maid as present to Abu Musa (‘Omar's representative).

At the court ‘Omar asked Abu Bakra if he has seen Moghaira making love to the woman and Abu Bakra gave details. Moghaira said, "You have been spying on me." Abu Bakra said, " I did not miss that with which God will humiliate you." ‘Omar wanted more details, so Abu Bakra described what he had seen.

When the second witness explained the same as the first, ‘Omar said, "Moghaira half of you is gone." The third witness made the same as the other two, then, ‘Omar said "Moghaira, three quarter of you is gone." (Moghaira was desperate and sought help from everybody).

Moghaira met the Immigrants and the mothers of the faithful (The Prophet's wives) and pleaded with them for help, they sympathized with him. ‘Omar ordered the three witnesses to be isolated, until the fourth witness

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1- The story of Moghaira's adultery is told by Ibn Jarir, Ibn Athir and Abul Fida in the events of 17 Hejri

Ziad arrived from Basra.

The heads of the Immigrants and the companions parties gathered in the mosque when Ziad arrived there. Moghaira had prepared a defense. When ‘Omar saw Ziad coming he said, " I see a man who will not let a member of the Immigrant party down, and God has decreed." He also said, " I see a lad who will not witness anything but the truth," according to Montakhab, vol.2, p.413. According to Abulfada, vol.1, p.171, ‘Omar said to Ziad, " I see a man who, I expect, will not disgrace any companion of the Prophet of God."

In al-Aghani it is written that ‘Othman al-Nahdi said that ‘Omar's face changed color after the first witness and his face was as long as a fiddle after the second witness, and his face was ashen after the third witness, and when ‘Omar saw Ziad was coming dressed in white cloth he shouted at him "What do you know O, eagle's shed." Abu ‘Othman shouted so loudly to imitate ‘Omar that the narrator was extremely frightened.

Moghaira said, “ O Ziad, remember God and the day of Judgment. God, His Prophet, His book and the prince of Believers (‘Omar the Caliph) have saved my soul. Do not waste it by describing what you have not seen." Ziad said, "I have not seen what they have described. O prince of believers, but I have seen a disgraceful scene, and I saw that Moghaira was breathless after associating with the woman." Ziad denied what

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the other three witnesses described.

‘Omar then said, "God is Great. Arise Moghaira and flog them." Moghaira gave Abu Bakra and the other two eighty lashes each. Hakim in Mostadrak and Dhahabi, vol.3, p.448 say, "‘Omar said God is Great, and he greatly rejoiced and flogged the three witnesses, but not Ziad." It is recorded in Fotoohol-Boldan that Shebl the third said, "The honest witness gets lashes despite God's order."

Abu Bakra after he was flogged, said again, " I bear witness that Moghaira has committed adultery." ‘Omar ordered him to be punished again for bearing false witness. ‘Ali objected saying to ‘Omar, "If you flog him, I will stone your companion (Moghaira) to death." ‘Ali meant that if Abu Bakra's second statement was allowed, then the four statements would prove Moghaira's guilt.

Hence he must be stoned to death. ‘Omar asked Abu Bakra to repent. Abu Bakra asked if he wanted to take the responsibility of false testimony from him so as to purify him, for his next statement, ‘Omar replied in the affirmative. Abu Bakra said that he did not want to give any more evidence. When the punishment was over Moghaira said to the witnesses, "Praise God who has humiliated .you."

‘Omar said to Moghaira, "Silence. May God make the place unclean where they saw you."

Abu Bakra left the place saying, "By God, I cannot forget the scene." The other two witnesses repented so their evidence was accepted later. Abu Bakra was asked to give his testimony for some

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other incident and he said, "Ask someone else. Abu Moghaira has ruined my reputation."

It is recorded in al-Aghani and commentary of Nahj that Ratqa, the woman in Moghaira's case in Basra used to visit him in Kufa as well. ‘Omar once saw Raqta during a pilgrimage in Mecca. Moghaira was also there. ‘Omar asked Moghaira if he knew the woman. Moghaira said that she was Umm Kulthoom, (The wife of ‘Omar). ‘Omar said to Moghaira, "Woe to you, you are fooling me. By God I am sure Abu Bakra was right. I am afraid when I see you, a stone falls on me from heaven." Hassan Bin Thabet has composed the following verse:-

Talking of meanness, I have a strong belief, That real meanness comes from the tribe Thaqif That one-eyed man who gave up Islam and fell, One morning, in to the trope of a veiled damsel. He thought that he was in the prime of manhood. Playing with slave girls in courting mood.

Baladhori in Fotooul-Boldan, page 343 has recorded that when ‘Omar wanted to make Moghaira the Governor of Kufa he asked him if he would repeat that which was said about him. Moghaira said "No." Hamawi in vol.1, p.642, Mostadrak, vol.3, p.449, Wafaiat, vol.2, p.455 and vol.5, p.406 and Bin Kathir, vol.7, p.281 have mentioned Moghaira's adultery.

Origin of Saif's Story

Saif has recorded from Muhammad, Talha, Mohallab and Amr. We have discussed the unreality of the first three in the previous story. Saif has narrated six stories from ‘Amr Bin Zian or

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‘Amr Bin Rayyan who was a Saif made fictitious character according to Mizanol-E‘tedal.


Saif wanted to free Moghaira from the blame of adultery because he was the appointed Governor of the Caliph. He then manipulated the true event of adultery which is recorded by so many other historians. He says Abu Bakra lived in a room opposite to Moghaira's and he saw through- the window

Ummal-Jamil under Moghaira then he asked his visitors to witness it. They decided to accuse Moghaira but Moghaira and ‘Omar crossed examined the witnesses and proved that their evidence differed. Saif also says that ‘Omar said to Moghaira ‘"If your guilt was proved I would stone you to death." Historians other than Saif have recorded the story differently as we have written. To manipulate the story in favor of Moghaira the Governor, Saif has created the narrators and Tabari has recorded from Saif.

9. Abu Mhjan's Imprisonment


Abu Mehjan son of Habib Bin ‘Amr Bin ‘Omair was from the Thaqif tribe. He was a poet and a brave man. He embraced Islam when his tribe accepted Islam, he was a drunkard and ‘Omar flogged him seven or nine times for drunkenness. According to al-Aghani, vol.21, p.142 a few people were found drunk and were arrested. ‘Omar said to them, "You drank wine and you know God and His Prophet have forbidden it." They said that God had not forbidden it, and it is written in the Qur'an that believers who are pious and do good works cannot be guilty of

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eating or drinking anything. ‘Omar asked his companions of their opinion.

They could not come to any decision. He sent someone to ‘Ali Bin Abi Talib to ask for his comments. ‘Ali said that according to the defendants interpretation to the Qur'an, then neither is blood, dead beast nor pork forbidden. ‘Omar asked ‘Ali what he should do with them? ‘Ali said that if they say wine is not forbidden, they must be killed. But if they say that wine is forbidden and they have drunk it, they must be flogged. The defendants agreed that wine is forbidden, so they were flogged.

When Abu Mehjan was beaten he composed the following verse:-

In this uncertain world man cannot fight, crying over spilt milk will not put things right. I have patiently borne the loss of brothers of mine, But even for a day I cannot bear to lose the wine. By banning the wine, the prince of believers has made us depressed. We gather and cry in the room where the grape is pressed.

When Abu Mehjan said that even for a day he could not bear to give up wine, ‘Omar said, "You have revealed your secret. I will punish you more because you are so eager to drink wine." ‘Ali said that one must not be punished for something one has not committed,' and recited the following passage of Qur'an: "They (poets) admit to something they have not done." ‘Omar recited the rest of the verse, "Except those who believe and

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do good works." ‘Ali said to ‘Omar, "Do you think they are believers, yet the Prophet of God has said that while one drinks he is not a believer."

According to al-Esaba, once ‘Omar thought Abu Mehjan was drunk, and demanded to be allowe4, to smell his breath. Abu Mehjan said, "Spying is forbidden" and ‘Omar left him. Tabari in vol.4, p.152 among the events of the year 14 Hejri says that ‘Omar punished some of his companions, his son and Abu Mehjan because they had drunk wine.

Ibn Kathir in vol.7, p.48 says, "Abu Mehjan Thaqafi. was lashed seven times for drinking." It is written in Eqdolfarid that among the upper class people who are punished for drinking was Abu Mehjan, a real drunkard. According to al-Esaba and al-Aghani, Abu Mehjan loved a lady called Shamous. He tried unsuccessfully to see her. A neighbor of that lady had a builder in his house, Abu Mehjan found employment with the builder then saw the lady from the top of a wall. Then he composed the following verse:-

I looked at Shamous though God had forbidden, Looking at a lady who wanted to be hidden. Like a farmer who comes to town for a holiday, After selling his produce, I was cheerful and gay.

Shamous's husband complained to ‘Omar. ‘Omar sent Abu Mehjan to exile in Hazouzi (1), under the care of Jahra al- Nasri and another man. ‘Omar told the guards not to allow Abu Mehjan to take his sword with him. Abu

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1- Hazouzi: Name of a mountain in an island where people used to be exiled at that time.

Mehjan hid his sword in a bag of flour, and on the shore before he boarded the ship he bought a sheep and made a feast for his guards.

Before the meal, Abu Mehjan pretended that he was taking flour to make bread. He drew his sword from the bag, Jahra saw it and ran to his camel, mounted it and went to Caliph ‘Omar to tell his story.

According to al-Esaba and Esti‘ab after the exile Abu Mehjan went to the Persian frontier under the custody of Sa‘d Bin Waqqas. It was the Battle of Qadesyya Muhammad the son of Sa‘d said that his father put Abu Mehjan in chains because he was drunk. Sa‘d was not well that day and Khalid Bin ‘Orfota commanded the army, and Sa‘d was standing on a hill to watch the battle-field. Abu Mehjan who was fettered composed the following verse:-

What a sorrow to be locked in chains. And see men use their spears again and again. He then asked Salma, the wife of commander Sa‘d, to free him and promised if he was spared, to come back and be chained again, and if he was killed they would be rid of him. Salma took the chains off Abu Mehjan's hands and feet. He then jumped on the back of Bala the horse of Sa‘d with a spear in his hand. He attacked the enemy. Soldiers thought that he was an angel.

Sa‘d saw the attacks by a horseman and said, "The jumps is

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similar to the jumps (my stead) Balga and the attack by spear is similar to the attack of Abu Mehjan, except that Abu Mehjan is locked up." When the enemy was defeated, Abu Mehjan came back. They put the chains on his hands and feet. Sa‘d's wife told Sa‘d the story of Abu Mehjan. Then Sa‘d said, "By God I will not punish the man for drinking while he brought victory to Muslims." He then ordered Abu Mehjan to be freed. Abu Mehjan said, "I used to take the punishment as a penance, now that you do not punish me I will drink no more.

Saif’s Narration

Tabari in vol.3, p.43 says that Sa‘d imprisoned those men who drank wine and caused trouble. Sa‘d insulted them by saying, "If we were not in the battle-field I would teach you a lesson that others might learn from it." Abu Mehjan was one of them whose hands and feet were chained. Tabari in vol.3, pp.55-57 says that after Sa‘d's wife set Abu Mehjan free and he fought the enemy he came back to the prison, and they chained him.

Sa‘d's wife asked Abu Mehjan why he was in prison? He said, "I used to drink wine before I embraced Islam. Now I compose verses admiring wine. Sa‘d does not like it so he imprisons me." Salma told her husband Sa‘d what Abu Mehjan had said, so Sa‘d freed him from prison, and said to him, "I will not punish you for just talking about a

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crime." Abu Mehjan swore that he would not say things that were not good.

Abulfaraj in al-Aghani, vol.21, has recorded this story narrated by Saif from Tabari.

Ibn Hajar in al-Esaba, vol.4, p.175 says that Ibn Fathoun had criticized Abu ‘Amr who had written in Esti‘ab (as mentioned before) that Abu Mehjan was always drunk. It was enough to say that he was punished for drinking. It would be better to say that which Saif has recorded. Ibn Hajar then continues saying, "Saif is weak (not reliable) but what we have written is stronger and well known." Ibn Fathoun denies that Sa‘d neglected to punish any drunkard, and he changed what Sa‘d said, "I will not punish Abu Mehjan for drinking," to "Abu Mehjan will not drink anymore to be punished." Mas‘oudi in vol.2, pp.422-424 Morouj al-dhahab has quoted what Saif has narrated without mentioning Saif's name. But we know Mas‘oudi has recorded from Tabari as he greatly praised Tabari at the beginning of his book.

Origin of Saif's story

Saif has recorded this story from Muhammad, Talha, Ziad and Bin Mihraq. The first two are the same fictitious men we mentioned in preceding stories. Saif has narrated 53 times in Tabari from Ziad who is unknown to biographers as is Ibn Mihraq.


Saif wanted to free Sa’d the companion and governor of Caliph from neglecting the religious punishment of a drunkard. He then has invented the conversation between Abu Mehjan the drunkard and Sa‘d's wife who freed him from prison. Saif says that Sa‘d's wife asked Abu

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Mihjan why Sa‘d put him in prison.

Abu Mehjan replied because he talked nonsense, and not because he has drunk wine. Yet Muhammad, son of Sa‘d, has recorded that Abu Mehjan told his mother, when she freed him that if he was killed in the battle they would be rid of him. Apparently the wife of the commander Sa‘d, knew Abu Mehjan's past record, and of course the punishments of her husband inflicted on Abu Mehjan for his drunkenness.

But Saif said that Sa‘d freed Abu Mehjan saying he would not punish him for something he had not done, only talked of it. Then Abu Mehjan says, "I will not speak nonsense anymore." Ibn Fathoun also favoring on the Caliphs preferred the story of Abu Mehjan told by Saif. Mas‘oudi the trustworthy learned historian following Tabari has recorded what Saif has narrated. "Man may make mistakes." Yet Saif and those who recorded from him are not able to hide the truth.

10. Saif's Days


Arabs call a day of an event such as the day of Jamal, the day of Siffin, and the day of Hodaybia, for one day or more than one day according to the number of days that an event lasted. Therefore, the day of Jamal means the event of the Battle of Jamal. Saif has invented some events which he has recorded as “The Day of so and so,” such the "Day of the Cows," The Day of Armath, The Day of Jarathim.

a — The Day of The Cows


Tabari in vol.3, pp.12—14, has recorded

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from Saif that Sa‘d, when fighting the Persians, reached a place called ‘Ozaibol Hejanat, near the river Forat (Euphrates). He sent ‘Asem Bin ‘Amr to buy a sheep or a cow near Maysan by the river. ‘Asem did not find one because the people had hidden their cattle. But he met a man near a wood and asked him about a sheep or a cow.

The man swore that he did not know where to get them, although he was a shepherd. Suddenly a cow mooed, "By God, he lies, we are here." Then ‘Asem entered the wood, saw the cows and brought them to the camp. Sa‘d shared the cows among the troops and they feasted. Hajjaj later learnt of that event and sent for someone who was present at the time and at the place.

Nazir Bin ‘Abdshams and Zaher said to Hajjaj that they were present when the event took place. Hajjaj at first did not believe them. They said that they would not have believed either if they had not seen it.

Then Hajjaj was convinced that they were telling the truth and asked them what the people then said? They said that the people took it as a sign from God, meaning the pleasure of God and victory over the enemy. Hajjaj then said, "This kind of event only happens for the righteous people." Saif then says, "This was The Day of the Cows." The only other historian other than Saif who refers to this occasion

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is Baladhori who in Fotoohol Boldan, page 314 states that, when Sa‘d's army wanted provisions he sent an expedition by the river to loot, other supplies came from the Caliph ‘Omar who sent them sheep and cows from Medina.

Origins of Saif's story

Saif has recorded the story from Abdullah Bin Muslim al- ‘Okli and Karb Bin Abi Karb al-‘Okli whose names are not in any biography book.


Saif has invented the story of the cows confirming it by Hajjaj's investigation, and inventing a name calling it the Day of the Cows. Saif did not want to lose the opportunity of inventing Days similar to real event days.

b — The Days of Armath, Aghwath and ‘Emas


There was a pitched battle in Qadesyya between Muslims and Persians for three days. Saif has called the first day, The Day of Armath, the second, The Day of Aghwath and third day, The Day of ‘Emas. He has invented heroes of his own tribe Tamim, such as two brothers Qa‘qa‘ and ‘Asem. Tabari has recorded Saif's stories and the historian Ibn Athir and Ibn Kathir from Tabari.

Hamawi has also quoted Tabari's text to explain the words Armath, Aghwath and ‘Emas. Bin ‘Abdoun in his poem, "Bin Badroon" in his commentary of these poems and Qalqashandi in his book. The Days of Islam has used Saif's invention of the above three days. In my book Hundred and Fifty Imaginary Companions (of the Prophet) I have given more details of those three days under the names ‘Asem and Qa‘qa‘.

Origin of Saif's story

Saif has recorded these Days from Muhammad, Talha, Ziad, Bin Mehraq

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narrating from a man of the tribe Tay and Ghosn narrating from a man of the tribe Kenana. We said previously that Muhammad, Talha, Mehraq and Ziad were Saif's fictitious narrators. Saif has recorded thirteen stories from Ghosn of whom we could not find a trace in the books of biography, and we do not know who is the un-named man from the Kenana tribe.

c — The Day of Jarathim


Tabari has recorded fifteen stories from Saif regarding crossing Tigris by Sa‘d. This is the story recorded by Saif in brief:- After the battle of Qadesyya, the Muslim army intended to capture Madaen (Persian capital). Sa‘d the commander delivered a sermon at the camp near the river Tigris (Dejla) and warned Muslims of the enemy's attack from the sea. He told them that he had decided to cross the river. He asked, "Who is ready to command the attack?" ‘Asem Bin ‘Amr said that he would attack first. ‘Asem with sixty men swam the river, and fought the enemy and captured the other side of the river. Then the whole Muslim army crossed the river.

The sea was very rough, yet the soldiers were talking to one another as though they were marching on the land. Whenever a horse was tired, the sea bed rose up under its feet, so the horse stood on it to regain his breath. There is nothing stranger than this on the day of the battle of Madaen. The day of water which is called the Day of Jarathim, meaning the

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day of the small hill.

It was called Jarathim because no one was tired, and because a small hill rose up under its feet from the sea- bed in order that he could have a rest. Saif narrated from another source that a soldier said, “We swam in the river and the deepest water was up to the horse's belly whenever a horseman stopped for a rest.”

In other places Saif says that all crossed the river, with the exception of a man called Gharqadah (meaning drowned) who fell off his horse. The narrator says that it seems that he saw his horse shaking water off his mane and the man floating. Qa‘qa‘ pulled him to the shore and saved him. After he was saved Qa‘qa‘'s mother said to Qa‘qa‘, “No sister has given birth to a hero like you.”

Abu Na‘eem has mentioned some parts of the above history in his book The Signs of the Apostleship, and counted them as evidence of the prophethood of the Prophet of Islam.

Origin of Saif's story

Saif has recorded from Muhammad, Talha, Mohallab, Nazr Bin Rofail, and an unknown man. Some of these narrators we have mentioned before. Tabari has recorded sixty-seven stories of Saif from Mohallab, Ibn ‘Oqbah Asadi, and twenty-four stories of Saif from Bin Rofail. No trace of these narrators can be found in any biography book. Saif's stories by un-named men are obvious that are unreal.

Battle of Madaen according to others apart from Saif. Hamawi in vol.4, p.333, Mo‘jamol-Boldan says: "The Persian Farmers helped

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the Muslim army by showing them the Persian weak points, giving them presents and provisions. Khalid Bin ‘Arfata attacked Persians unsuccessfully. Later Khalid conquered Madaen. The Muslim army was guided to shallow parts of the river so they crossed there."

In Fotoohol-Boldan, page 323 says: "Persian army fired arrows at the Muslims, but not one was killed except a soldier from the Tay tribe called Salil Bin Yazid Bin Malik Sinbesy."


Saif made ‘Asem from his own tribe, though fictitious, the hero of the story. He also said, "Any horse that tired, a hill appeared under its feet." But a man fell off his horse, and the seabed did not rise up under his feet, because Qa‘qa‘ the brother of ‘Asem was in the vicinity to save him. The soldiers crossed the river by a miracle, according to Saif. But according to others a guide showed them a fording place, a shallow strip or a strip of land.

The biggest damage done by Saif to the history of Islam is his invention of Sahabis (companions of the Prophet). He has mentioned their names in fictitious and real events, distorted in one way or another.

The historians have recorded the names of Saif's invented Sahabis and stories in their books, and Muslims have taken it seriously, and believed that these fictitious characters were actually the companions of the Prophet. Bin Abdolberr in. his book al-Esti‘ab has written the names of these men and says: "These are the companions of the Prophet some have met

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the Prophet others have written to him or have sent their tax to him.

Any person whose name is written in any event concerning the Prophet is listed. Here even those whose names and family trees have not been known and no one knew them except through their distant relatives." Saif has invented many men and has changed the names or attributes of some well-known people, in order to distort the facts, the teachings of the Prophet, and deceive the researchers and scholars in their efforts to record the real events.

After many years of hard work and through research in almost all the history books which have recorded the events in the early days of Islam, I have been able to come-up with fictitious stories and names made-up by Saif, the most damaging being the invention of Sahabis. The names of one hundred and fifty of fictitious names of Sahabis (companions of the Prophet) invented by Saif are listed in the book Hundred and fifty invented Companions.

11. Consultation and ‘Othman


According to Saif it is recorded in Tabari, vol.3, p.292 among the events of the year 23 Hejri from Saif that ‘Omar said, " I am sure that the most popular men amongst the Muslims are these two (‘Ali and ‘Othman) — The Prophet of God used to dictate to them, that which Gabriel revealed from God to Him." On pages 266 and 305, about the events of the year 24 Hejri it reads, "On the third day of Moharram ‘Othman

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won the votes of the consultants in the afternoon.

While the call for prayer went on, ‘Othman came out of the conference room and led the prayer." Tabari records from Saif also on page 305 that when the consultant members voted in favor of ‘Othman, he came out of the conference room looking- most sad and climbed the pulpit of the Prophet, and" delivered a sermon.

After praising God and paying homage to the Prophet he said, “ O people, you are in a house which has a very weak foundation, passing the remainder of your lifetime. Before death befalls you, do good work, because death comes suddenly in daytime or at night. Let not Satan deceive you, do not take life for granted. Take heed from those who passed away before you. Do not pass your time in vain. Try your best. You will not be forgotten (in the sight of God). Where are your fathers and brothers who cultivated the land before you, and left it? Your aim must be your salvation. God has given an example for this present life and said, "Give them an example about this life, it is like rain that the green herbs flourish as a result of rain." He then recited to the end of the verse. Then the people came forward to shake his hand as his supporters.

The story of consultation by others apart from Saif

(‘Omar the second Caliph nominated six persons to consult and elect the third Caliph amongst themselves).

Ibn Hesham in his book Alsirah, vol.4, pp.334-337 has recorded

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from Abdulrahman Bin ‘Auf that during the pilgrim- age at Mena a man said to ‘Omar that someone told him, " If ‘Omar dies he would 'vote for such and such person as Caliph, also the election of Abu Bakr was hasty and a mistake although successful." ‘Omar replied angrily, " I will see about this matter tonight, and warn those who want to usurp the successorship of the Prophet, God willing." Abdul Rahman advised ‘Omar to postpone his decision until they returned to Medina, because there were all sorts of people at the pilgrimage, but the dignitaries and scholars lived in Medina.

‘Omar agreed and when they arrived at Medina on the first Friday ‘Omar delivered a sermon and said, " I understood that someone said that if ‘Omar dies he will vote for such and such a person as Caliph. Do not let the saying ‘Abu Bakr's election was hasty and a mistake but successful' deceive you. Yes it was so, but God protected us. Remember there is no one as popular among you as Abu Bakr. Anyone who shakes the hand of allegiance with someone else without first consulting the Muslims, shows his allegiance to be of no value, and both persons must be killed."

A part of the above story, and ‘Omar's opinion, have been mentioned previously where we described, "The people sought refuge at Fatimah's house." Ibn Abil Hadid, vol.2, p.123, recorded from Jahez that ‘Ammar Bin Yasir said that after ‘Omar he will vote for

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‘Ali. This caused ‘Omar to address the people in Medina.

Some people say Talha Bin ‘Obaidullah was the candidate. It makes no difference who the candidate was, but what matters is that the Prophet did not order his people to elect the Caliph, and the first Caliph too, according to ‘Omar came to power through a hasty ill considered occasion. Abu Bakr nominated ‘Omar. In one word the election of a Caliph was not customary in Islam. Only ‘Omar decided to select six persons who elected the third Caliph amongst themselves.

‘Omar's decision was planned prior to his being stabbed, as a result of which he died later. We shall see later if ‘Omar had someone in mind as his successor or not.

Consultation and ‘Omar

It is written in Ansabul Ashraf by Baladhori, pp.15-16 and Tabaqat by Ibn Sa‘d, vol.3, p.243, that ‘Omar delivered a sermon on a Friday, and after praising God, and making homage to the Prophet said: " I have dreamed about a cockerel pecking me. I think my death is drawing near. People ask me to nominate a successor. God will not neglect his religion, or the Caliph and the purpose of His sending the Prophet. After I die the Caliph will be chosen by six consulting members.

The Prophet was pleased with them before he passed away. I know some people will blame me for taking this decision. They will be those whom I persuaded to embrace Islam. Those who object are the enemy of God.

It is written in

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‘‘Eqdolfarid, vol.3, p.73, that when ‘Omar was stabbed, people asked him to nominate a successor. He said, "Someone better than me did not nominate one and another one better than me did nominate one (He meant the Prophet and Abu Bakr). Had Abu‘obaidah not died, I would have nominated him for he was a man to be trusted as the Prophet said. Also if Salem the freed slave of Abu Hodhaifa, was alive I would nominate him because he loved God so much that he never thought of committing a sin, even without fear from God."

‘Omar was asked to nominate his son. He said that it is enough that one of Khattab is responsible to God. He wished if he could be free in the presence of God, breaking even with goods and bads. Then he said that he wanted to nominate someone to guide them along the right path and he pointed at ‘Ali, but he said that he had better not, because he did not want to take the responsibility in this life, and the next.

Baladhori has recorded in Ansabol Ashraf, vol.5, p.16, that ‘Amr Bin Maimoun said that he actually saw ‘Omar being stabbed, and heard Omar saying, "Fetch me ‘Ali, ‘Othman, Talha, Zubair, Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Auf and Sa‘d Bin Abi Waqqas." He said to ‘Ali, "People may realize that you are a cousin of the Prophet, and his son-in-law, and you are as knowledgeable in Islam. Should you rule these people have fear

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of God." He said to ‘Othman, "People may realize that you are the son-in-law of the Prophet, and you are an old man. Should you rule these people fear God, and do not let (your relatives) the Moait family master the people."

Then he called Sohaib, and said to him that he should lead the prayer for three days and let these (six) persons be locked in a conference room for consultation. If they unanimously elect a Caliph, anyone who did not support him must be beheaded. When they (the six, and Sohaib) left, ‘Omar said, that if they let the bald (he meant ‘Ali who had no hair on the front of his head) rule he would guide the people properly. His son (Bin ‘Omar) said to him, "Then nominate him." He replied but Ire did not want to take the responsibility.

In Riadolnadera, vol.2, p.72, after the above saying of ‘Omar about ‘Ali, it is written that ‘Omar said, "If people let the one with the long forehead (he meant ‘Ali) lead them on the right path, he would do so even by the sword." He was asked, "Why do you not nominate him." He said, "The one who was better than I did not nominate (his successor)." Baladhori has recorded in Ansabol Ashraf, vol.5, p.17, that Waqedi has said that when ‘Omar was speaking of a successor, the people suggested ‘Othman, Zubair, Talha, Sa‘d or Abdul Rahman. He said that ‘Othman would give high position to his

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Zubair was a believer when at peace and an unbeliever when angry. Talha was an extremist, Sa‘d is good to head the arms but could not even rule a village, and Abdul Rahman might only just manage his house. Bin Maimoon said that ‘Omar left his successor to be elected from amongst six persons, and asked that his son Abdullah Bin ‘Omar be with the six, but should not be elected. Baladhori has recorded in Ansabol Ashraf that Abi Mekhnaf said that when ‘Omar was stabbed, he ordered Sohaib Bin Abdullah Jod‘an to fetch the leading front Muhajirs and Ansars.

When they came ‘Omar said, "I have left your affairs in the hands of six people who were pioneers in Islam, and the Prophet was pleased with them when he passed away. They will elect one amongst them-selves to be your leader (Caliph)." Then he named these six people. He ordered Abi-Talha Ziad Bin Sahl Khazraji to have fifty soldiers ready to press the matter to support the new Caliph. He ordered that the election should be finished in three days. He told Sohaib to lead the prayers until the Caliph was elected. Talha, one of the six nominees was not in Medina, ‘Omar said that they should not wait for him after three days, and that whoever was elected was to be the Caliph, and anyone who rejected him was to be beheaded. Then ‘Omar sent someone to inform Talha. But when Talha came to Medina the Caliph ‘Omar

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was dead, and ‘Othman was elected as the new . Caliph. Talha remained in his house in protest.

‘Othman went to him, Talha said, "Would you give up the Caliphate should I not agree." ‘Othman replied in the affirmative, then Talha also shook ‘Othman's hand as Caliph. It is written in ‘Eqdolfarid page 20 that Talha said to ‘Othman that he was prepared to shake his hand, in the mosque or in public.

Abdullah Bin Saad Abisarh has said that before Talha gave his pledge people were worried in case he disagreed. ‘Othman always respected Talha, until he was besieged in his house before he was murdered. Then Talha showed more opposition to ‘Othman than anybody else. Baladhori has written in Ansabol Ashraf page 18 that ‘Omar said, "The minority should obey the majority, and anyone who opposes you, behead him."

It is also written on page 19 that ‘Omar ordered the consultant members to confer for three days, and if two people voted in favor of someone, and two others voted in favor of someone else, then the vote must be taken again. If four people were on the side of one person, and only one against, then the four were in the right. If three and three, the three agreeing with Abdul Rahman would be in the right, because what he chooses for Muslims is safer.

Baladhori in Ansabol Ashraf, vol.5, p.15 has written that ‘Omar said, "Some people say Abu Bakr's election was a hasty error, God saved

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us the harm of it, and ‘Omar did not come to power by voting, but I have decided that my successor will be chosen by discussion. If four are on one side, and one on the other side, side with the four. If there was three against three, agree with the three that has Abdul Rahman among them. If Abdul Rahman (shook his two hands) together follow him." Mottaqi also has recorded in Kanzol-Ommal, vol.3, p.160 that ‘Omar said, "Should Abdul Rahman shake his two hands together you will then take him as Caliph." Mottaqi has also recorded from Aslam that ‘Omar said, "Should Abdul Rahman name any of them as Caliph you will have to obey him, and any- body who refrains from allegiance must be beheaded."

The above stories explain that ‘Omar left the affairs of Muslims in the hands of Abdul Rahman, and the discussion of the six whom he nominated to elect as Caliph was only as a security measure to ensure that his heir came to the throne. ‘Ali was aware of ‘Omar's plan as is recorded in Ansabol Ashraf, vol.5, p.19 that ‘Ali heard ‘Omar recommending Abdul Rahman's approval for the election to Caliph. He said to his uncle ‘Abbas "By God, we have lost the election." ‘Abbas asked him "How did you know?" ‘Ali said, "Saad is in favor of Abdul Rahman because they are cousins. Abdul Rahman is ‘Othman's son-in-law, and his friend. These three are on one side, even if Zubair

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and Talha do vote for me they will win, and we shall loose because Abdul Rahman is among them." Almost the same conversation is recorded in Eqdulfarid, vol.13, p.74.

Baladhori has recorded in Ansabol Ashraf, vol.5, p.20 from Abi Mekhnaf that ‘Ali was concerned in case Sa‘d Abdul Rahman and ‘Othman agreed together. Therefore he took Hasan and Husain with him to Sa‘d and said to Sa‘d, “ O Aba Is’haq, I did not come to ask you to vote for me in spite of Abdul Rahman. But if Abdul Rahman asked you to take ‘Othman's part please do not, because I am a nearer relative to you than ‘Othman."

‘Ali mentioned this to Sa‘d and reminded him of his relation, Hasan and Hosein's relation and Amena the Prophet's mother's relation with Sa‘d. Sa‘d said to ‘Ali "You are given what you asked for." When Abdul Rahman asked Sa‘d for consultation, Sa‘d said, " I vote in your favor, but not in ‘Othman's favor, because ‘Ali deserves this position more than ‘Othman." Abu Talha (the chief guard) came to the conference room to urge them to reach a decision and said to the consulting members, "You show avidity for discussion, but you delay the discussion.

It seems that each of you is yearning to be the Caliph." Abu Talha seeing the situation shed tears and said, " I expected them not to have desire for the position, and I was afraid that none of them would accept the responsibility of

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being the Caliph, and each would trig to pass it to another." ‘Omar appointed his son as a member of the consultation without having a vote, but his son did not join the conference as recorded in Ansabol Ashraf, vol.5, p.21.

Abi Mekhnaf said that ‘Omar was buried on Sunday and Sohaib led the funeral prayer, and Abu Talha led the daily congregational prayer. The consultants did not start their work that evening, and the following morning they supervised the treasury at Abu Talha, the chief guard's request. Abdul Rahman realized that the consultants were whispering to one another to discourage candidates then he said, "Sa‘d and I withdrew our claims as candidates provided I choose the Caliph, because the people were waiting for the result and they wanted to return to their home towns.

All the candidates agreed except ‘Ali who said, "I will think about it." Abu Talha met them and Abdul Rahman told him what he proposed, and of ‘Ali's disagreement. Abu Talha said to ‘Ali, "You trust Abdul Rahman as well as other Muslims. He is not himself a candidate because he does not like the responsibility, why do you not agree with him?" Then ‘Ali asked Abdul Rahman to swear that he would be impartial and would give the welfare of Muslims priority to his own fancy desires, Abdul Rahman gave his word. Then Abdul Rahman said to ‘Ali, "Do not be in doubt."

This happened either in the treasury house or in the house of

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Meswar Bin Makhrama. By request of Abdul Rahman all members gave their word that anybody he chooses would be accepted. Abdul Rahman took ‘Ali's hand and said, "Swear by God that should I choose you as Caliph you would not favor Bani Abdulmottaleb, and act according to the Prophet's instructions thoroughly." ‘Ali said, "Who can agree to do exactly as the Prophet did? I can only agree to do my best."

Then Abdul Rahman took ‘Othman's hand and said, "Swear by God that should I choose you as Caliph you would not favor Bani Omayya and follow the Prophet, Abu Bakr and ‘Omar." ‘Othman swore to act accordingly, and gave his word. ‘Ali said to ‘Othman, "You got what you wanted." Then Abdul Rahman said the kind of thing to ‘Ali. ‘Ali said " I promise to follow the Prophet's instructions and to do that which I think is right according to Islamic Laws." Meanwhile ‘Othman Kept saving, " I give my word, as the prophets gave their words to God, to act according to the instructions of the Prophet, Abu Bakr and ‘Omar."

Then Abdul Rahman shook the hand of ‘Othman and announced him as Caliph. All members of the consultation shook ‘Othman's hand, to show their acceptance of him as Caliph, except ‘Ali who remained sitting after the others had stood to acknowledge ‘Othman. Abdul Rahman said to ‘Ali, "Agree or else I will behead you." None of the members carried a sword except Abdul Rahman. It was said

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that ‘Ali left the conference room angrily.

Other members went after him to agree or else they would fight him. Then ‘Ali returned and shook the hand of allegiance with ‘Othman. Baladhori has recorded in Ansabol Ashraf, vol.5, p.24 from Waqedi that after ‘Othman came out of the conference room being Caliph, he went into the pulpit. He praised God, and paid homage to the Prophet, and said, “ O people, the first mount is hard. We have plenty of time ahead. If I am spared I will prepare a sermon for you. I was not a speaker before, but God will teach me how to deliver a speech."

It is written in ‘Eqdulfarid, vol.2, p.140 that ‘Othman was one of those people who found it difficult to deliver speeches. It is also written in Albayan-Wat-Tabyeen that

‘Othman made some mistakes in the pulpit when he said “ O people, Abu Bakr and ‘Omar used to prepare their speeches in advance." Abi Mekhnaf says that ‘Othman in the pulpit said, " I have not prepared a speech and have never delivered one. By the will of God I shall return soon and speak to you." It is also narrated that ‘Othman went into the pulpit and said, "We are not familiar with addressing people, if we are spared, God willing, you will hear a good speech. I have to tell you now that by God's decree, ‘Obaidullah son of ‘Omar has killed Hormozan.

Hormozan was a Muslim but he had no heir,

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I the leader and the Caliph will forgive the murderer. Do you forgive him?" All answered in the affirmative, except ‘Ali who suggested capital punishment for the murderer and pointed to ‘Obaidullah, saying “ O you hypocrite, if I got hold of you I would kill you in retaliation for killing Hormozan."

Tabari in his book vol.3, pp.292-302, has made one story from all the above narratives, and has condensed some parts of it so much that the events are not properly described. He has recorded the speech of ‘Othman from Saif only. We have written here a little about the ‘Consultation' to show the difference between Saif and others in recording the events. We shall 3xplain more about the discussion of consulting members in the conference room later. Saif has not manipulated the above event, but he has invented hundreds of narratives to defend the then rulers, and influential men. Tabari has shown a special desire to record from Saif. Should anybody read the events of the years 11—37 Hejri from Tabari's book, he would realize how much the events have been invented and/or converted.

12. Qummadhban


Abi Mansur had heard Qummadhban saying, "The Persians living in Medina used to visit one another — once my father met Firouz carrying a dagger with a blade at each end. My father asked Firouz ‘Why do you want this dagger?' Firouz said 'I shall cut.' After ‘Omar was wounded, someone said that he had seen Hormozan giving that dagger to Firouz. ‘Obaidullah

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then went and killed Hormozan (my father).

When ‘Othman became Caliph, he told me to take my revenge on ‘Obaidullah and kill him. Everybody wanted ‘Obaidullah killed except a few who asked me to forgive him. I asked them if I had the right to kill him (‘Obaidullah), they answered in the affirmative. Then I asked them, ‘Can you stop me executing the murderer of my father?' They answered in the negative, and swore at ‘Obaidullah. Yet I forgave ‘Obaidullah, all to please God and those people. Then the people picked me up and took me to my house carrying me on their shoulders." (End of Qummadhban's saying.)

Saif in a second narrative has recorded that Abdul Rahman Bin Abu Bakr said, "Last night I saw Abu Lolo (Firouz) talking to Jofaina and Hormozan. When they saw me they scattered hurriedly. A double bladed dagger was dropped by them. It was the weapon used in stabbing ‘Omar. Only a few people were allowed to remain in the Mosque after the stabbing.

"One of them a man from the Tamim tribe, ran after Abu Lolo, caught him, killed him, and brought the dagger back with him. It was the described dagger. ‘Obaidullah son of ‘Omar waited until his father died, then he killed Hormozan and Jofaina who was a Christian teacher. Sohaib the (provisional regent) Governor of Medina sent ‘Amr ‘As to arrest ‘Obaidullah. ‘Amr ‘As tried several times until he recovered the dagger and arrested ‘Obaidullah."

Story told by others apart from Saif

Tabari has recorded from Meswar Bin Makhrama

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that after ‘Obaidullah (son of ‘Omar) killed Hormozan, Jofaina and Abu Lolo's daughter he said, "By God, I shall kill those who were responsible for the murder of my father." Sa‘d took the sword from ‘Obaidullah and imprisoned him in his house until ‘Othman came out of his house and told some of Ansars and Muhajirs about their opinion of ‘Obaidullah as the murderer of innocent people. ‘Ali said that he must be killed. Some Muhajirs said, "‘Omar was murdered yesterday, should his son be killed today?" ‘Amr ‘As said to ‘Othman, "You are lucky that blood was shed before you were Caliph."

We have previously mentioned that Baladhori in the story of consultation has said that ‘Othman the Caliph at his first appearance in public said, "By decree of God, ‘Obaidullah has killed Hormozan. I forgive ‘Obaidullah on behalf of all Muslims because, Hormozan has no heir." Then ‘Othman asked for the Muslims' approval. All agreed except ‘Ali who said, "This hypocrite must be killed, because he has murdered an innocent Muslim." He then pointed to ‘Obaidullah and said, " I will kill you in revenge for Hormozan.

‘Othman said, " I will pay Hormozan's blood money." Ziad Bin Labid Bayadi composed the following verse regarding the murder of Hormozan:- ‘Obaidullah, it was evil of you to kill Hormozan, An innocent Muslim, without good reason. ‘Othman protected you, and saved your blood, But no one will protect you from the vengeance of God.

‘Obaidullah complained to ‘Othman and he ordered Ziad to

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stop. Then Ziad composed the following verse against ‘Othman:- Aba ‘Amr when ‘Obaidullah drew his sword, He was going to commit an offence, By God. To forgive a criminal and to commit a crime. Are two horses reaching the end at the same time. You have no right to forgive the murderer, And if you do, I am sure you err.


Saif says that Hormozan had a son, Qummadhban. He also records a narrative from that son. Other historians say that because Hormozan had no heir, Caliph ‘Othman forgave ‘Obaidullah on behalf of Muslims in spite of his retaliation for Hormozan's blood. Saif also says a man from the Tamim tribe killed Abu Lolo to prove honor for one of his unknown fellow tribesmen.

13. Cities invented by Saif


Dolouth, Tawous, Je‘rana and No‘man, Qordouda, River Ott, Altheni, Thanyat al-Rekab, Qodais, Maqr, Waya khord, al-Walaja and Alhawafi.

Saif has invented some cities such as Dolouth, Tawous, Alje‘rana and Na‘man of Iraq, Alqordouda, Nahr-att, Thanyya Thanyyatol Rekab, Qodais, Wayakhord, Alwalaja and Alha- wafi, which are named by Hamawi in the Mo‘jamul-Boldan, by Tabari and others. Yaqut Hamawi was very keen to record rare and peculiar stories in his book Mo‘jamul-Boldan.

He has written many of Saif's stories in his book when describing strange things about a place or a town. Apparently Hamawi possessed a manuscript of Saif's book as it can be noticed when he refers to Jobar, Ja‘rana, Sharja and Sahid in his geography book Mo‘jamul-Boldan. The manuscript was hand written by Abi Bak'. Muhammad Bin

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Ahmad Bin Abdulbaqi Albaghdadi Hafez (d. 489 Hijri)(1).

He was called Bin Khazeba and has written some comments in the margins as well, and had narrated from Abibakr Alkhatie. In the margins there were comments by Abu Bakr Bin Saif. He was either Abu Bakr Ahmad Bin Bakr Bin Saif Jessaini, whose biography is written by Hamawi and Sam'ani, under the name Jessaini, or Abu Bakr Ahmad Bin Abdullah Bin Saif Bin Sa‘eed Sajestani from whom Bin ‘Asaker has recorded all Saif's stories, and Bin Nadim has written his name in his book Alfehrest, page 119 under the name ‘Obaidullah Sajestani. Hamawi has written some of Saif's stories in his book in the same manner as Tabari, but there is one difference between them.

Tabari has recorded events such that a few events make a whole story. He also usually gives the sources of his information. But Hamawi sometimes recorded a part of an event because he liked the styli of the poetry or prose in which it was written. He does not even mention Saif's name in most of them. We can find some of Saif's stories in Hamawi which are not written in Tabari and vice versa. Each of these two historians have chosen those of Saif's inventions which suit his own purpose. Hamawi has recorded pieces from Saif under the names of towns as follows:-

1. Dolouth

A man from the tribe Abdulqais called Sohara says, "At the battle of Hormozan, which took place at Ahwaz, a town in between

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1- Tarikhol Kamel, vo1.10, p.178; Shadharat-o-Dhahab, events of 489 H.; Lesanol Mizan, vol.6, pp.57,479; and Tadhkeratol Hoffaz al-Dhahabi, p.1224

Dolouth and Dojail, I met Harem Bin Hayan and took a bunch of dates to him…etc."

Tabari has recorded in vol.1, p.2537, the year 13 Hejri the above story as far as "A bunch of dates." While Hamawi proceeds in his recording beyond Tabari. Therefore Hamawi could have not recorded from Tabari and he must have had excess to Saif's manuscript.

2. Tawous

Hamawi says that it is a place in the province of Fars (in Persia). Saif has said that "‘Ala΄ Bin Hazrami dispatched a troop by sea to Tawous without ‘Omar's approval." Hamawi has recorded this story which has also been recorded by Tabari from Saif in vol.1, pp.2545—2551, year 17 Hejri, but Hamawi has also recorded a poem composed by Khalid Bin Mondher which Tabari has ignored.

3. Je‘rana and No‘man

They are two places in Iraq according to Saif, as has been recorded by Hamawi. Hamawi has mentioned Saif's name in ten or more places. But there are many towns about which he has written in his book without mentioning Saif's name. The reader of the latter case would think that Hamawi has expressed his own opinion, an example is Qordouda.

4. Qordouda

When Tolaiha the false prophet arrived at Samiera, he received a message from Thamama Bin Oas Bin Lam Alta’i saying, " I have about five hundred men, if you want any help. We are at Qordouda and Ansor by the sands."

Hamawi has taken the above story from Tabari Ibn Hajar has also used information taken from Tabari while writing the biography of Thamama. There is

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no trace of Qordouda and Thamama anywhere except in Saif's stories.

5. River Ott

Khalid Bin Walid sent one of his generals called Ott Bin Abi-Ott, who was from the tribe Bani Sa‘d, to Dowraqestan. The general camped by a river there and later the river was called River Ott after that general. Again the reader may think that Hamawi had written that of his own accord, yet he borrowed the story from Tabari. Ibn Hajar also recorded that same story which describing the word Ott (from Tabari).(1)

6. Ermath, Aghwath and Emas

These names described by Hamawi are borrowed from Tabari as we have explained previously at the battle of Qadesyya.(2)

7. Altheni, Thanyat al-Rekab, Qodais, Maqr, Wayakhord Walaja and Alhawafi.

Are some of the names Hamawi has borrowed from Tabari, vol.1, pp.2026,2648,2230-33,43,65,88,94,2326-38, 2037-8 and 2618-25 and also 2169 respectively without mentioning their inventors name, Saif. Hamawi has written of other places and towns in his book Mo‘jamul-Boldan. He has obtained them from Saif's work, and we are unable to find in any other geography or history books, viz:-

1. Sifat Jaziratul Arab by Abi Muhammad Alhasan Bin Ahmad Bin Ya‘qub Bin Yusof Bin Dawoud known as Bin Ha’ek (d. 334 H. — 945/6 A.D.)

2. Fotoohol Boldan by Baladhori.

3. Mukhtasarul-Boldan by Abibakr Ahmed Bin Muhammad Hamdani known as Bin Faqih lived third century Hijri.

4. al-Atharol Baqia ‘Anel Qorounel Khaliah by Abu- raihan Muhammad Bin Ahmad al-Birouni Kharazmi (d. 440 H.).

5. Mo‘jam Masto‘jem by Abi Obaid Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Bin Mas‘ab Albakri Alwazir (d.478 H.).

6. Taqwimul Boldan by Ismail Saheb Hama (d. 432 H)

Two contemporary geographers have not trusted Hamawi and

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1- Tabari, vol.1, p.1892, Ertedad Ghetphan, year 11 Hejri
2- T abari, vol.1, p.2052, news following H eyrah.

have not mentioned those places in their books.

1. Lestyrenj, his book: Cities of East Caliphate.

2. ‘Omar Reza Kehala, his book: Geography of Arabian Peninsula.

14. Saif and the dates of the events


Saif has not only invented stories, he has also changed the dates of true events.

1. Tabari, vol.2, pp.553-556 regarding the Battles of Obollah(1) has recorded from Saif that Abu Bakr sent Khalid to Iraq. Pagans had camped between the water supply, and the Khaud's army. God sent rain clouds to aid the Muslims. The Muslims fought and won the Battle of Obollah. Khalid sent

the fifth of the booty (as tax) and an elephant to Medina. Simple women of Medina asked, "Is the elephant God's creature or man-made?" Then Tabari says, "The Battle of Obollah differs greatly as it is recorded by authentic historians, it occurred in ‘Omar's time, in the year 14 Hejri and the Commander was ‘Otba Bin Ghazwan and not Khalid.

Saif has misdated the event as well as misrepresenting the commander and the Caliph.

2. Tabari in vol.2, p.89 has written ‘Omar sent ‘Otba Bin Ghazwan to Basra in the year 14 Hejri and Saif has recorded the year 16. Bin Kathir has noted this difference in vol.7, pp.47-48 of his book.

3. The event of Yarmook, it is written in vol.7, p.61 by Ibn Kathir, "Yarmook event happened in the year 15 Hejri according to Laith Bin Sa‘d, Bin Lahba'a, Abima'shar, Walid Bin Muslim, Yazid Bin ‘Obaidah, Khalifa Bin Khaiyat, Ibn Kalbi, Muhammad Bin ‘Aedh, Bin ‘Asaker and our learned Dhahabi, but Saif

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1- Obollah, is a name of a city near river Tigris, and Basra, came to be a city at the time of ‘Omar while Obollah an older city was an army headquarter by order of Kasra, from Mo‘jamul Boldan

and Tabari say that it happened in the year 13 Hejri. Bin Kathir again has mentioned this event in his reference to the year 13 Hejri. Bin ‘Asaker vol. l, p.159 says, "Saif has said that the event took place in the year 13 Hejri before the conquest of Damascus but no one has agreed with him."

4. The event of Fehl. It is written in vol.7, p.25 Ibn Kathir, "The event of Fehl took place before the conquest of Damascus according to most historians. But Abu Ja‘far Bin Jarir (Tabari) following Saif says that it happened after the conquest of Damascus." Baladhori has written in Fotoohol Boldan, p.137 "It is said that the event of Fehl of Jordan took place two days before the month Dhilqa‘da ended that is five months after ‘Omar became Caliph."

5. Departure of Hercules from Syria. Tabari has written in his book vol.3, p.99 "Hercules left Syria for Constantinople at the year 15 Hejri. according to Ibn Is’haq. But according to Saif it was the year 16 Hejri." Ibn Kathir has mentioned this difference in his book vol.7, p.53. Baladhori has agreed in Fotoohol Boldan page 162 with Abu Is’haq.

6. The conquest of Orshelim, Tabari vol.3, p.103 has recorded from Saif, "The treaty between ‘Omar and the Palestinians was in the year 15 Hejri." Ibn Kathir vol.7, in p.57 has written that the conquest of Palestine took place in the year 16 Hejri according to all historians except Saif. Baladhori in pp.165—166 says that this happened

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in the year 16—17 Hejri.

7. The conquest of Aljazira. Tabari has written in vol.3, p.155 "In the year 17 Hejri, Aljazira was conquered according to Saif. But Ibn Is’haq says that it was the year 19 Hejri. Bin Kathir in vol.7, p.76 and Hamawi in Mo‘jamul Boldan have mentioned this difference. Baladhori in pp.204—205 has agreed with Ibn Is'haq's dated 19 Hejri.

8. Plague of ‘Amawas. Tabari has written in vol.3, pp. 161—163 "Ibn Is’haq says that it was in the year 18 and Saif says that it was in the year 17 Hejri." Ibn Kathir has written the narratives regarding this plague in his book vol.?, pp.77—79 and has mentioned Saif's error and in page 78 says, "Muhammad Bin Is’haq and Abuma‘shar and some others say that it happened in the year 18." Baladhori has written in Fatoohol Boldan page 165 that the plague of ‘Amawas was in the year 18 Hejri.

9. The event between Persians and Muslims, Tabari has written that according to Saif it took place in the year 15, but it was the year 16 according to Ibn Is’haq and Waqedi. Ibn Kathir has mentioned this difference in vol.7, p.60 of his book.

10. The Battle of Khorasan. Tabari in vol.3, p.244 and Ibn Kathir in vol.7, p.126 have recorded from Saif that it took place in the year 18, but others say that it was in the year 22 Hejri.

11. The Battle of Tabarestan. Waqedi, Abuma‘shar and Mada’eni have recorded that Sa‘d Bin ‘As fought in Tabarestan

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in the year 30 Hejri. But Saif says that Sowaid Bin Moqarran made the Treaties of Tabarestan in ‘Omar's time (long before the year 30 Hejri).


For many years I have done a thorough research in the History of Islam, Hadith and Instructions of the Prophet Muhammad. In 1949 I came across some dubious Muslim stories in Islamic History books. I was puzzled that in many instances truth has been ignored and/or omitted. Instead fictions and fictitious characters have appeared in the history books, and in particular in the early years of Islam, that is, the era of the first four Caliphs and the Omayyad Dynasty (Mo'awiah especially).

I have traced these fictions and fictitious characters in most of the available publications, especially the most famous ones, which have usually been the major source of information to other historians and Western historians specializing in Islamic history.

After careful study, I was convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt that some of them were forged for special purposes. The origin of these fictions and fictitious characters is Saif Bin ‘Omar Tamimi, the author of al-Fotooh al-Kabir War-Reddah and al-Jamal wa Maseer ‘Ayesha wa ‘Ali Saif differs from genuine authorities not only in material but also in Sanad by using narration of non-existing people. Saif had invented these stories and non-exiting characters in order to please those, who wished to cover-up the truth and present the events of history quite contrary to what it actually was.

Some historians found Saif's stories corresponding to their own tastes,

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simply because Saif created in his stories, humanitarian characters, heroes and exceptionally nice and rational persons out the then rulers, governors and army commanders. He has also created mysterious cases, quite unlike the rules of Mother Nature, in order to make them sound like miracles, like sands turning into water, sea turning into sands and cows talking to men to show their hidden place for the army of Islam, etc.

Furthermore, the rulers, governors, commanders and influential people in the early years of Islam, had involved themselves in matters, which were not suitable. Saif's stories had covered-up those faults with legible excuses, and hence had prevented the criticism towards them.

For example we see the following in Saif's writings:-

1. Saif has recorded that, ‘Ali Bin Abi Taleb, gave his allegiance to Abu Bakr in the very same day that others had given their allegiance!! while, in reality, ‘Ali refused to give his approval and allegiance until and after his wife (The Prophet's daughter Fatima) died.

2. Saif has recorded that Sa‘d Bin ‘Obadah, unwillingly gave his allegiance!! While he refused to give his allegiance, and as a result of this, he was murdered at his deported place, Howarin.

3. Saif has recorded that all those people from various tribes, which were ordered to be killed, and their wives were taken as prisoners of war were Mortad (that is, had accepted Islam and later refused it!!) While, the truth is that they refused to give their allegiance to Abu Bakr.

4. Saif has reworded the Prophet's

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saying, while informing of a woman riding on a camel and nearing Haw’ab as being Umm Zomal!! We know now that she was ‘Ayesha, Um al- Momineen (Abu Bakr's daughter and wife of the Prophet).

5. Saif has recorded that Moghaira Bin Sho‘beh (a governor at ‘Omar's time) was in his house, when he was seen having an inter-course with a woman, those who had seen him could not see the woman and she could have been his wife!! We have noted, that recordings by others contradict this fully. Moghaira Bin Sho‘beh was in Urn Jamil's house and was having inter-course with this woman, when he was seen.

6. Saif has recorded that Abu Mehjan Thaghafi was imprisoned at ‘Omar's time, due to a poem he had recited which favored wine!! The truth is that he was literally drunk all the time.

Perhaps, some of the Western historians had also found what they had been looking for in Saif's invented stories, that is, mass murders and savage behaviors by the army and soldiers of Islam. We have noted in Saif's stories that Khalid Bin Walid, was busy for three days and nights beheading the prisoners of war; in addition, we note that Khalid beheaded, even the innocent people, all this because Khalid had swore ‘he will make a river from their blood'!! Unquestionably non-sense.

Western historians have read in Saif's stories that the number of people killed in most of wars in early days of Islam was well over one hundred thousand, indicating their

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inhuman and savage behavior to eradicate mankind like Houlka and Mongole.

They have noted in Saif's recordings that the most Muslims out of the perimeters of Mecca and Medina were Mortad after the Prophet Muhammad and they had to be converted again by force and through the sword, indicating that Islam progressed and expanded by force!!

And finally, The Western historians had learned through Saif's recordings that a Jew named Abdullah Bin Saba, had so much influence in the immediate followers of the Prophet, diverting their minds from the main teachings of Islam and causing an uprising, leading them to kill the Caliph. All these happened, as a result of an effort of a mysterious Jew!! etc.

Perhaps, Western historians liked Saif's stories so much that they based their analytical work on Saif's recordings and did not bother to dig into true recordings by others and they made no mention of the more reliable recordings.

After a thorough research in Saif's recordings in al- Fotooh Wal-Reddah and al-Jamal Wa Maseer ‘Ayesha Wa ‘Ali, we arrive to this very fact, that Saif's recordings have influenced greatly many other writers, including some notable writers such as Tabari, Ibn Athir, Ibn Kathir and Ibn Khaldoon. Furthermore, while comparing Saif's recordings with that of other recordings, we arrive to this conclusion, that the some learned men of Hadith were quite right that Saif was a lair and a fiction writer.

As far as Saif being a Zendiq, which some learned men of Hadith, and scholars have accused him of

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is concerned, we will discuss this matter in the book of “150 Sahabis Mokhtalaq (150 non-existing companion)”.

In the third book, we will try to discuss and analyze Saif's book “al Jamal…” Saif wrote the book with the aim of explaining the causes of the uprising in the Caliph ‘Othman's time, defending the rulers of Omayyad Dynasty such as Mo'awiah and Abdullah Bin Abi Sarh, and explaining the reasons which the Muslims in various countries were angry and disgusted with Omayyad rulers, etc. We will try to analyze these Hadiths; the sources and the narrators in the third book.

al-Sayyid Murtada al-’Askari

The End of Translation

If it was not that "Despair equals infidelity to God," I would have had no hope of finishing this translation. The reader can see from non-consistency and unevenness that this is not the work of one man. After I read the Persian edition of the book I suggested to a friend whose fiancée was an English girl that they might translate the book into English. But they soon married, and changed their minds. Thereafter I decided to do it myself realizing the work is too much for me, "Empty the sea by bucket." Time! English!

My translation has been corrected by different people and this answers the unevenness of it. Anyway I did my best to write the references correctly, but I did not bother much about spelling of the names, because they change the pronunciation and spelling following their case in Arabic (the original text) and the aim

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of the book is not literature, but to prove that Saif has distorted the history of Islam in favor of the rulers of the time, Caliphs and Governors who wanted to convince people that they were in the right, the followers of ‘Ali were in the wrong.

Moreover I have attempted to convey the idea of the original author to the reader that not all sentences written in the so-called authentic Islamic history books are right, but there are fictitious characters playing the roles of heroes who have been accepted as being persons for fourteen centuries such as Abdullah Bin Saba.

J. Muqaddas.



A Note by the Editor

I am honored to have had the pleasure to review, edit, and compare the English translation of Truth Behind Fiction, Abdullah Bin Saba (a study in the early history of Islam), with the Persian translation.

Special thanks are due to Mr. Muhammad ‘Alavi, who kindly read a few chapters, and compared them with the original Arabic text.

Some sections were altered with minor changes and some others were either revised or completely retranslated.

It is our sincere hope, that this study will induce and encourage some Western scholars, to do a more thorough research in other matters and periods, finding out the truth behind myth which has prevailed for many centuries.

Hossein Saheb.

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