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Friday, May 16, 2014

LEADERSHIP QUALITIES ARE NOT IMAM ALI’S PREROGATIVES


This topic will address Sheikh Turi’s IMAM ALI’S UNDISPUTABLE LEADERSHIP QUALITIES, which was published in LEADERSHIPFRIDAY of November 15, 2013. The contents of that piece were similar with what Sheikh Turi tried to prove in the fifth and last subtopic of his article (Did The Prophet (S) Really Certify His Successor Before Demise?) to which I have been responding under different headings for quite some time now. Other than the fifth subtopic (EXTRAORDINARY VIRTUES OF IMAM ALI), I have written rebuttals of two to three articles on each subtopic of that piece by the Sheikh. I feel what I shall present here will cover any response I might have given to the fifth subtopic since, in both cases, (that of the fifth subtopic and of the new article), Sheikh Turi was saying one and the same thing – that the ‘extraordinary virtues’ and ‘leadership qualities’ of Imam Ali made him the most suitable for the Caliphate after the Messenger of Allah (SAW).

To prove IMAM ALI’S UNDISPUTABLE LEADERSHIP QUALITIES, Sheikh Turi quoted this hadeeth: “O Ali you hold in relation to me the same position as Haroon held in relation to Musa, except that there will be no prophet after me.”
The above hadeeth is authentic, narrated by Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqaas in Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 700.
Sheikh Turi quoted only part of the hadeeth. If one cites proof in support of a point, they should let their readers know the context in which it was made for the purposes of completeness and transparency. This is the fuller version of the hadeeth: “When the Prophet (SAW) was leaving for the Tabuk expedition, he left ‘Ali in charge of his household in Madeenah. ‘Ali said, ‘Are you leaving me among women and children? The Prophet (SAW) replied, ‘Would you not accept to be in the same position to me as Aaron was to Moses, except that there will be no prophet after me?”
This hadeeth is not proof for Ali’s right the Caliphate after the demise of the Messenger of Allah (SAW), since the analogy was based on Ali taking the position of Harun (AS) who, actually died before Musa (AS), so, he was never his successor.
Imam al-Qurtubi, has the following explanation concerning the hadeeth, in his Tafseer:

There is no disagreement that Haroon died before Musa…and (Haroon) was not a successor after him (Musa), for the successor (to Musa) was Yusha bin Noon (i.e. Joshua), so if he (the Prophet) wanted by his saying (to grant Ali) the Caliphate, he would have said “you will be to me like Yusha was to Musa”, so when he didn’t say this it proved that he didn’t want that meaning, but he (simply) wanted that “you are my deputy over my family in my life and my absence from my family, like Haroon was deputy of Musa over his people when he left to speak to his Lord.””
Harun was the elder brother of Musa and did not succeed him as Caliph or Imam. Ali’s likeness to Harun was in his close relationship and having been considered as a minister or assistant. If the Prophet (SAW) had intended, by what he said, that Ali would succeed him as Caliph, he would have likened him to Yusha’, and not Harun.
When the Prophet (SAW) left Madinah for the Tabuk expedition he had 30,000 companions with him (the largest army that took part in an expedition during the Prophet’s lifetime, and it was his last). Although the Prophet (SAW) personally led the expedition, he entrusted command of the army to Abu Bakr (RA). According to another hadeeth, he (SAW) appointed Ibn Umm Maktum to act as his deputy in Madinah and Ali was charged with only the responsibility of his family members.
We read the following in Tareekh al-Islam:
“Expedition to Tabuk
“…The Munafiqoon were constantly in league with the Jews of al-Medinah and were holding regular consultations against the Muslims. A band of twelve Munafiqoon built their own separate mosque as a center for carrying out their hostile activities and anti-Islamic propaganda, and for creating a rift among the Muslims. When they saw the Muslims engaged in preparing for the impending battle, they started passing discouraging remarks…
“Islamic Army’s Departure
The Messenger of Allah set out for Tabuk with an army of 30,000 men from al-Medinah…and he put Muhammad bin Maslamah Ansari in charge of al-Medinah…The Prophet had left behind Ali to look after his family. The Munafiqoon used this as an opportunity to spread false rumors about Ali. They implied that the Prophet gave little importance to Ali and therefore left him alone in al-Medinah. When his patience ran out, he (Ali) hurried from al-Medinah and–joining the Prophet at al-Jurf–asked: “The Munafiqoon are saying such-and-such about me and so I have come to you.” The Prophet of Allah said: “They are liars. I have left you behind to look after my household, so go back.” In order to soothe his feelings, the Prophet further added: “You are to me as Haroon was to Musa, except that there will be no Prophet after me.” Ali returned to al-Medinah pacified and satisfied.” (Tareekh al-Islam, Vol.1, p.232)
Incidentally, even the Shi’ah website, www.al-islam.or supports the above position, as it states:
“The Expedition of Tabuk
“…The hypocrites in Medina seized this opportunity to plant disaffection in the minds of the neophytes in Islam. They not only did not take part in the campaign but also tried to dissuadeothers from doing so. In an attempt to undermine the will and purpose of the Muslims, they began to spread alarmist stories…
“Nevertheless, many Muslims responded to the appeal of the Prophet, and took up arms to defend the faith. When a head-count was taken, there were found to be 30,000 volunteers. It was the largest force ever assembled in Arabia until then.
“The Prophet appointed Ali ibn Abi Talib his viceroy in Medina during his own absence…For the hypocrites, there was nothing more disagreeable than to see Ali in authority over them. When the army left Medina, they began to whisper that the Apostle had left Ali in Medina because he wanted to get rid of him. Ali was mortified to hear that his master had found him a “burden.” He, therefore, immediately went after the army and overtook it at Jorf. The Apostle was surprised to see him but when he (Ali) explained why he came, he (the Apostle) said: “These people are liars. I left you in Medina to represent me in my absence. Are you not content to be to me what Aaron was to Moses except that there will not be any prophet after me.”  (Restatement of History of Islam, http://al-islam.org/restatement/34.htm)
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah wrote in Minhajus-Sunnah:
As for the Messenger placing Ali in charge over Medinah, then that is not an honour specific to him alone. He (the Prophet) had left Ibn Makhtoom, Uthman bin Affan, and Abu Mundhir (in charge of Medinah, i.e. on other occasions). This (being appointed over Medinah) is not an unrestricted succession, which is why none of these people ever said they were the Caliph of Allah’s Messenger…Ali left Medinah along with the Prophet to Badr, Hunayn and other places, and (the Messenger) left others in Medinah as deputies.
This hadeeth, I repeat, has not, in any way supported Sheikh Turi’s position; it is rather a potent proof against whatever he was trying to prove.  Had the Prophet wished to imply that Ali was his successor, then he would have likened Ali to Prophet Yusha (AS) rather than Prophet Harun (AS).
Under what he captioned as ANTECEDENCE, Sheikh Turi said: “The Imam was well engaged in the service of the noble messenger since the days of seclusion in the cave of Hira at his young age. Thus on the advent of Islam he was roughly less than ten! So he was never engaged in the service of any being beside Allah the most high for the Sunnis chant-Karramallahu wajhahu-may Allah honour his face, different from other companions…..”
Karramallaahu wajhahu, May Allah honour his face, is part of Shi’ah Raafidah innovations in exceeding limits regarding Ali (RA). The Sunnis who use Karramallaahu wajhahu exclusively after Ali’s name are influenced by the Shi’ah or by the writings of scholars who copied from Shi’ah sources. The same respect should be accorded to other companions; afterall, Abu Bakr and Umar, (may Allah be pleased with them), are more deserving of that.

Ali (Radiyallaahu Anhu) was not the only companion that ‘never engaged in the service of any being beside Allah the most high…’ Many other companions were born in Islam. Ali (RA), even though he never prostrated to any idol, was born, nevertheless, in the period of ignorance!
Karramallaahu wajhahu is not mentioned in any authentic report from the Messenger of Allah (SAW). The best honour that we can accord to any companion is what Allah Himself said about the Sahabah in the Glorious Qur’an, Radiyallaahu Anhum; Allah is well-pleased with them (at-Taubah, 9:100). That is why we follow the name of each companion with Radiyallaahu Anhu or (RA).
Sheikh Turi raised a number of issues when he was discussing KNOWLEDGE, quoting verses that have nothing to do with the subject matter. This jumbled presentation brought certain, purported sayings of the Prophet’s companions without citing any authority. The Sheikh quoted Ali saying about himself, “ask me before you lose me. By Allah, if you could ask me about anything that could happen up to the Day of Judgement, I will tell you about it. Ask me about the book of Allah, because by Allah there is no Qur’anic verse that I did not know whether it was revealed on a plain or a mountain”. Then Sheikh Turi said, ‘In another narration, the Imam added, “and none can claim this except a liar!”’
The two sayings quoted above are not related, but the way they are presented by Sheikh Turi will make many readers assume that they are. Let us accept, (even though the first ‘narration’ is not reported in any authentic source of Islamic Law), that Ali did say, “ask me before you lose me”. He could say that at the time he was alleged to have uttered those words, as there was neither Abu Bakr nor Umar. During the time of these Rightly Guided Caliphs, as well as that of Uthman (RA), there was prevalence of learned people, who got their knowledge directly from the Messenger of Allah (SAW). This saying of Ali could have helped the case of Sheikh Turi if Ali had uttered those words when Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman were alive, to prove that he was better than the rest and more deserving of the Caliphate. But Ali said those words when he was in Kufa, where, according to the sermons in Nahjul Balaghah, there was concentration of miscreants at the time. There were very few people like Ali during that period, who were the Prophet’s students. So, saying ‘ask me before you lose me’ made sense at that time since with the death of Ali there would be fewer people left who got knowledge directly from the Messenger of Allah (SAW).
Also in ‘ask me before you lose me’, we have seen, contrary to Shi’ah claim, that Ali did not conceal knowledge. He urged the public to ask him. He did not conceal what he knew or confine it to his sons. He wanted to share what he had of knowledge with all the people.
The Shi’ah tell us that their imams possess equal degree of knowledge which increase by the day. If this were true, Ali, being the first in that line of imamate would not have said ‘ask me before you lose me’ since his sons who possessed similar degree of knowledge were there to continue to from where he stopped. In other words, why will Ali insist on entertaining questions from people in order to impart to them what he know before his death, when he knew that after him, there were two other imams who inherited from him both knowledge and the imamate?
Sheikh Turi connected this ‘ask-me-before-you-lose-me’ saying of Ali with another unrelated narration - “and none can claim this except a liar!” – as if it was a completion of the first. It gave the impression that Ali said, ‘ask me before you lose me…’ …“and none can claim this except a liar!”. There was no connection between the two whatsoever.
This other saying is part of a narration where Ali said, “I am a man of Allah, the brother of the Prophet, and the great truthful one (as-Siddeeq al-Akbar); anyone who claims this other than me is a liar, I offered Salah seven years before anyone else in this Ummah prayed.”
Let us accept for the sake of this discussion that the above hadeeth is germane to the connection that Sheikh Turi was trying to make with the first narration. Unfortunately, the narration is classified as Maudu’ (fabricated). It is recorded in al-Mustadrak of al-Haakim, and ‘Khasaa’is of Nasaa’i.
Imam adh-Dhahabi stated: “This (Hadeeth) is a lie against Ali.” (Mizan al-I’ti’daal, no.4126.)
Sheikh al-Albaaniy declared in “Silsilatud –Dha’eefah” (Vol.10, no.4947) that this Hadeeth was fabricated.
Under FABRICATED AHADITH, Sheikh Turi said:
With the well pronounced virtues of the Imam, others tried their best by fabricating a number of sayings likened with the noble messenger and the Ahlul bait members of his family.”
Whenever his English fails him, Sheikh Turi’s prose becomes abstruse. The above sentence can only make sense when you read the examples he related in the subsequent paragraph where he stated:
For example, why could not Imam Ali narrate more with his young age, exceptionally gifted talent and retentive memory – being the gate of the city of knowledge or and wisdom as repeatedly emphasized by the noble messenger?
Interesting!
Sheikh Turi, in his attempt to refute the position of those he accused of ‘fabricating a number of sayings’, has paraphrased a fabricated hadeeth to buttress his point, where he said, ‘Ali….being the gate of the city of knowledge or and wisdom....' Ironic. The exact words of the hadeeth are, “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate.”   It was related by al-Haakim, at-Tabarani and others. Another version in at-Tirmizi read, “I am the House of Wisdom, and Ali is its Door.

Sheikh al-Albaaniy declared the Hadeeth to be Maudu’ (fabricated). Daaraqutni labelled the Hadeeth as mudtarib (shaky), both in isnad and text. Tirmizi labelled it is ghareeb (weak) and munkar (rejected). Imam al-Bukhari said that the Hadeeth has no saheeh narration and declared it un-acknowledgeable. Qurtubi said about this Hadeeth in al-Jame’ li Ahkaam al-Quran: “This Hadeeth is Baatil (false)!” Ibn Ma’een said that the Hadeeth is a baseless lie. Dhahabi considered it a forgery and included it in his book on forged Hadeeths. Al-Hakim declared that it is weak.
In his last paragraph under the same caption, citing more examples of the FABRICATED AHADITH, Sheikh Turi said, “When the messenger of said his grandsons were the leaders of the youth in paradise. Others narrated that this and that were the leaders of the old in paradise? While there would be no old in paradise! Examples of these are more than to count in different collections.
Any scholar worth his salt will not doubt the hadeeth that the grandsons of the messenger were the leaders of the youth in Paradise, since it is an authentic narration. At-Tirmidhi, al-Haakim, at-Tabaraani, Ahmad and others reported that Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri said, that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) said, "Hasan and Husayn are the leaders of the youth of Paradise". This is proven by so many reports that reached the level of tawaatur (unbroken chain of authority).
The problem is with the second sentence where Sheikh Turi said, “Others narrated that this and that were the leaders of the old in paradise?” Forget about the question mark at the end of the sentence. It is sad that Sheikh Turi derogatorily referred to Abu Bakr and Umar as ‘this and that’. But why should I be distressed by this when the Shi’ah have said worse things against the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (SAW)?
The hadeeth he paraphrased this time, though authentic, did not contain ‘leaders of the old’ as he claimed. It spoke about ‘leaders of men’. A number of the Sahaabah, including 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib, Anas ibn Maalik, Abu Hudhayfah, Jaabir ibn 'Abdullaah, and Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri reported that the Messenger (saw) said, "Abu Bakr and 'Umar will be the leaders of men of Paradise from the earlier and later generations." Ali (RA) was among the reporters of an authentic hadeeth which Sheikh Turi rejected!

Insha Allah, next week, I will start responding to “WHY WAS THE PROPHET NOT ALLOWED TO WRITE HIS WILL?”  

2 comments :

  1. May Allah increase ur EMAN,
    Grant u AHSAN,
    Restore on u SABAR,
    Delight in ZIKER,
    Bless u with TAQWA,
    Accept ur TOBA,
    &
    Honour u with JANNAT(HEAVEN)
    Abdur Raoof Raoofi Naats

    ReplyDelete