Concerning the Prophet (P)
The second question: On the infallibility of the Prophet
Allah, Glory be to Him, the Most High, says concerning the rights of His apostle Muhammad, (S.A.W.): "God will protect you from the people" (5:67). He also says: "He does not speak from his desires, it is nothing but a revelation revealed to him" (53:3). He further says: "What the Prophet brings to you, accept it; what he prohibits you, refrain from it" (59:7). These verses clearly point to his complete infallibility under all circumstances. You say that the Prophet of God (S.A.W.) is infallible only in proclaiming the Qur'an. Apart from that, he is like other human beings, he errs and does right. You derive proofs of his mistakes at different occasions by traditions which you report in your Sahih works.
If that is the case, what is the proof and evidence in your claim to adhere to the book of God and the sunna of His prophet as long as this sunna is, in your view, not infallible and there is a possibility of error in it?
On this basis, then, clinging to the book of God and the sunna, according to your belief, does not guarantee one from not being led astray especially as we know that the whole Qur'an is explained and made clear by the Prophetic sunna.. What is your proof that the commentary and explanations are not contrary to the book of Allah, the most exalted?
One of them expressed this opinion to me: "The Prophet of God certainly opposed the Qur'an in many rulings according to the demands of the occasion". I said in a surprised manner: "Cite me one example of this opposition".
He said: "The Qur'an says: 'The adulteress and the adulterer, lash both of them with one hundred lashings' (24:2). Whereas the Prophet ordered the stoning of the adulterer and adulteress, this [ruling] is not found in the Qur'an".
I said: "The stoning is for the married person who fornicates, whether male or female, whereas lashing is for the unmarried person if he/she fornicates, whether male or female".
He said: "In the Qur'an, there is no [mention of] unmarried or married [person] as Allah does not specify it, rather, He uses the term adulterer and adulteress without qualifying it".
I said: "Then, on this basis, does this mean that every general ruling in the Qur'an which was specified by the Prophet is thereby contradictory to the Qur'an? Then, do you say that the Prophet opposed the Qur'an in most of his rulings?" He replied diffidently: "The Qur'an is only infallible because Allah has guaranteed its protection. As for the Prophet, he is a man. He errs and does right. As the Qur'an says about him: 'Say I am nothing but a man like you'". I said: "Why do you pray the morning, midday, afternoon evening and night prayer whereas the Qur'an used the general word, prayer, without specifying it's timings?" He replied: "In the Qur'an, it says: 'Indeed the prayer was a prescribed time for the believers'. The Prophet explained the timings of the prayers". I said: "Why do you believe him in the timings of the prayers and you refute him in the rulings on stoning the adulterer?"
He tried his best to satisfy me with contradictory, barren philosophies which do not stand against intellectual or logical proofs. For example, he said: "One cannot doubt about the prayer because the Prophet of Allah performed it during the whole of his life, five times every day. However, we cannot be so sure about stoning since he did it only once or twice during his lifetime". Similarly, he claims that the Prophet does not err when God commands him on an issue. However, when he judges by his own reasoning, then he is not infallible. Due to that, the companions would ask him in every case, is this from himself or from God? If he said: "This is from Allah", they obeyed him without any argument. If he said: "This is from me", then they would argue, dispute and advise him. He would accept their advices and views. The Qur'an was at times revealed in agreement with the views of some companions and opposed his (the Prophet's) views as [happened] in the question of the prisoners of Badr and other famous incidents.
I tried my best to persuade him but without any success because the scholars of the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a are convinced by this [view] and the Sihah are full of such traditions which destroy the infallibility of the Prophet. It makes him [appear as] a person lower in status than a pious person or a military leader or lower than a Sufi shaykh of the path. I would not be exaggerating if I said that he is lower in status than an ordinary person. If we read some of the traditions in the Sihah of the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a, it would be absolutely clear to us the degree of influence that the Umayyads, from their times, have had on the thinking of the Muslims, and that their vestiges have remained with the people even today.
If we searched for the aim or goal for that, we would reach a certain and bitter conclusion, which is; those who ruled the Muslims during the Umayyad dynasty, the chief of whom was Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan, did not believe, for a day, that Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah was sent with God's message or that he was truly God's Messenger. Most probably, they believed that he was a magician who overwhelmed the people and built a kingdom at the cost of the downtrodden people, especially the slaves who supported and helped him in his claims. This is not mere conjecture, since some conjectures can be sinful. When we read the historical works to study the character of Mu'awiya and those around him, and what he did during his lifespan, especially when he ruled, the conjecture becomes a reality, there is no escape from it.
All of us know who Mu'awiya is and who his father Abu Sufyan and his mother Hind are. He is the freed slave, son of a freed slave, who spent his youth in the circle of his father mobilizing an army to fight the Prophet of God and to opposing his mission with all effort. When all his attempts failed and when the Prophet of God (S.A.W.) emerged victorious over him and his father, he accepted Islam for pragmatic reasons without any conviction. The Prophet, due to his nobility and great character, forgave him and called him the freed man (al-taliq). After the death of the bearer of the message, his (Mu'awiya's) father tried to instigate discord and sedition in Islam. That was when, at night, he came to Imam 'Ali inciting him to rise against Abu Bakr and 'Umar and tempting him with property and men. Imam 'Ali (A.S.) knew his aim and so ignored him. He remained living in rancour against Islam and Muslims for the whole of his life until the Caliphate came to his cousin 'Uthman. At that time, the disbelief and hypocrisy lying within him surfaced and he said: "Seize it, seize it again, by what Abu Sufyan swears, there is neither heaven nor hell".
Ibn Asakir has reported in his historical work in the sixth volume, page 407, from Anas, that Abu Sufyan visited 'Uthman after he had become blind. He asked him: "Is there anyone around?" They said: "No". He said: "O God, make the matters [as they were] at the time of the Jahiliyya and the kingdom [belong] to the usurpers and make the Banu Umayyads the tent pegs (awtad) of the earth".
As for his son Mu'awiya, what do you know about Mu'awiya? There are no bounds as to what one can say concerning what he did to the umma of Muhammad (P) during his governorship in Syria and after gaining control of the Caliphate through force and power. The historians have mentioned [his acts] concerning his defiling the Qur'an and sunna and transgressing all the boundaries of the shari'a. His actions are those which even the pen cannot write and the tongue cannot mention, due to their evil and corrupt nature. Bearing in mind the feelings of our brothers amongst the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a, we have devoted pages for those who have instilled the love of Mu'awiya in their hearts and defend him.
It would not be out of place for us to mention the mentality of the man and his belief in the bearer of the message. His belief is not too different from the belief of his father. He was fed by the milk of the one who ate human liver. She was well known as a prostitute and an adulterer. Similarly, he inherited [the character of] his father, the leader of the hypocrites. Islam did not find a place in his heart even for a day. Just as we know the character of the father, the son is expressing the same thing but in a more subtle and hypocritical way.
Al-Zubayr b. Bakar reported from Mutawwaf b. al-Mughira b. Shu'ba al-Thaqafi. He said: "I visited Mu'awiya with my father. My father would [often] visit him and narrate from him. Thereafter, he would come to me and mention Mu'awiya and his mentality and would [often] be surprised at what he saw. He came to me one evening. However, he did not have dinner and appeared aggrieved. I waited for a while thinking that something had happened between us or [it was due to] what we did. I then said to him: 'What is the matter, I see you are distressed since the evening?' He said: 'O my son, I have come from the most evil of people'. I said to him: 'How can that be?' He said: 'I said to Mu'awiya when I was alone with him: 'O Commander of the Faithful, you have attained your goal, if only you were to demonstrate justice and spread virtue. You have become old of age. If only you were to look after your brothers, the Banu Hashim, and were to re-establish ties with them. By God, they do not have anything today which you should be scared of. In that there will be [something] for which you will be remembered and will receive reward'. He said to me: 'Far be from it, far be from it. What remembrance do I wish to leave behind me? The brother of Taym (Abu Bakr) ruled and spread justice and did what he did. As soon as he died so did his remembrance except that a person [while mentioning him], would say "Abu Bakr". Then the brother of 'Adi ('Umar) ruled and he persevered and he remained active for ten years. As soon as he died, so did his remembrance, except a person [while mentioning him] would say "'Umar". Then our brother 'Uthman ruled. Here was a man the like of whom there was nobody. He did what he did and they did to him what they did. By God, as soon as he died, they forgot his remembrance and forgot what was done to him. The brothers of Hashim shout every day five times: 'I bear witness that Muhammad is the Prophet of God'. What action and what remembrance will remain with this, O motherless one, by God, except [for one] to die and be buried?'"
May God debase, disappoint and disgrace you (Mu'awiya), O one who wanted to bury the remembrance of the Prophet of God with all efforts. You spent everything you owned for that cause but all your efforts met with failure. Allah, Glory be to Him, is observing you and He says to His Prophet: "We have raised your remembrance". You (Mu'awiya) can never erase his remembrance which the Lord of power and might has raised. Plot your schemes and gather your group, you will not be able to extinguish the light of God with your mouth. God will perfect His light despite your hypocrisy and jealousy. Look here, you ruled the world east and west, as soon as you died, so did your remembrance, except that one who remembers you does so due to your evil deeds, through which you had hoped to destroy Islam, just as it has been reported from the tongue of the Prophet of God (S.A.W.). The remembrance of Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah, the brother of Banu Hashim, has remained during the course of centuries and generations, until God establishes his rule on earth and on the people inhabiting it. Whenever someone mentions him, they do so by sending greetings to him and his family. [This is] despite your plots and the plots of the Banu Umayya who tried, through your guidance and leadership, to prevail over them and their excellences. That only enhanced their status and eminence. You will meet Allah on the day of judgement, when He will be angry with you due to what you innovated in His law and He will give you what you deserve.
If we add to this their offspring, Yazid b. Mu'awiya, the shameless, corrupt one and wine drinker, the one who openly indulged in sins and debauchery, we find him to be having the same belief, which he inherited from his father Mu'awiya and grandfather Abu Sufyan. He inherited from them vileness, baseness, wine drinking, fornicating with prostitutes and gambling. If he had not inherited these evil characteristics, his father, Mu'awiya, would not have appointed him for the Caliphate and imposed him over the neck of the Muslims. All of them knew him the way he should be known, while they were alive. Amongst them were prominent companions like al-Husayn b. 'Ali, the master of the youths of paradise. I do not doubt that Mu'awiya passed his life and spent his money which he earned through illegal ways, in the path of destroying Islam and the true Muslims. We have seen how he wished to bury the remembrance of Muhammad (S.A.W.). He was not able to do that, so he initiated a war against his cousin 'Ali, the legatee of the Prophet, until it ended. He then attained the Caliphate with force, deception and hypocrisy. He established an inauspicious sunna and ordered his governors in all regions to curse 'Ali and the Prophetic household from all the pulpits and in all prayers. By doing that, he wanted to curse the Prophet of God. When all his plans failed and his destined time arrived and he had did not attain his purpose, he appointed his son as a ruler over the umma to continue along the plan which he and his father Abu Sufyan had established, i.e., the destruction of Islam and returning to the Jahili era. That mad and corrupted person accepted the Caliphate and prepared his entourage to destroy Islam according to the desires of his father. He began by seizing the city of the Prophet of God (S.A.W.) with his disbelieving army. He did what he did in three days. He killed 10,000 of the most virtuous companions in it and proceeded, after that, to kill the master of the youths of paradise and the delight of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and to kill the Prophetic household. They were the moons of the umma. He [even] enslaved the free persons of the ahl al-bayt. From Allah do we come, and to Him we shall return.
If Allah had not cut short his life, that wretched, evil person would have destroyed Islam and Muslims. What we are concerned with in our discussion is to unveil his beliefs, just as we unveiled the belief of his father and grandfather.
Historians have narrated that after the terrible event of al-Harra and the killing of 10,000 of the best Muslims (except women or children) and raping of 1,000 virgins, about 1,000 women became pregnant in those days without being married.
Then the remaining people paid allegiance and agreed that they were to be slaves to Yazid. Whoever refused was killed. When Yazid was informed of all these crimes and vile deeds, which the cowards had perpetrated and which history has never witnessed the like of (even by the Mongols or Tartars or the Isra'ilis), Yazid was happy by that and insulted the Prophet of Islam. He exemplified the speech of Ibn al-Zubara who composed a poem after the battle of Uhud saying:
"If only my ancestors [who died at] Badr, had seen the wailing of the Khazraj from the attacks of spears and of the sword,
They would have shouted and cried with joy and would have said: 'O Yazid, your hands should not be paralyzed'.
We killed the master of their leaders, and we extracted revenge of Badr.
I would not be from the progeny of Khandaf if I did not take revenge from the progeny of Ahmad for what he has done.
The Hashimites played with the Kingdom, no news came nor any revelation revealed".
The grandfather, Abu Sufyan, the first enemy of God and His Prophet, says loudly "Seize it, O Banu Umayya, seize it again, by that which Abu Sufyan swears, there is neither heaven nor hell". And the father, Mu'awiya, the second enemy of Allah and His Prophet, said clearly (when he heard the caller to prayer bearing witness that Muhammad is the Prophet of God) "What actions and what remembrance will remain with this, O motherless one?"
The son Yazid, the third enemy of God and His Prophet, says loudly: "The Hashimites played with the Kingdom, no news came, nor any revelation revealed".
We have known their beliefs about God and His Prophet and about Islam, and we know of their disgraceful acts, through which they wanted to destroy the pillars of Islam. [We have known of] their vileness towards the Prophet of Islam, of which we have mentioned a few details for the sake of brevity. If we wanted to expand on this, we could have filled a huge volume on the actions of Mu'awiya alone which would have remained a shame and disgrace forever, although some evil scholars have tried to conceal and hide [these]. The Banu Umayya would give them perks and gifts which would make their eyes blind. They sold their hereafter for this world and they confused truth with falsehood whilst fully knowing this. Most of the Muslims remained victims of these lies and falsehoods. If only they knew the true victims, they would remember Abu Sufyan, Mu'awiya and Yazid with nothing but curses and disapproval.
In this short discussion, what is important for us is to discern the degree of influence these people, their partisans and followers, who ruled the Muslims for 100 years, had. That influence is still at the first stages.
There is no doubt that the influence of these hypocrites on the Muslims was immense. They changed their beliefs, lives, etiquettes and dealings and even their [forms of] worship. Otherwise, how can we explain the desisting of the community from aiding the truth and the abandoning of the friends of God and the siding with the enemies of God and His Prophet?
How can we comprehend [the fact that] Mu'awiya, the freed man, son of a freed man and accursed son of the accursed one, ascending the Caliphate, [a position] which represented the status and the Caliphate of the Prophet of Allah, (S.A.W.)? Keeping in view what the historians want us to believe, that the people would tell 'Umar b. al-Khattab: "If we see any deviation in you, we will straighten you with our swords", yet we see them narrating from Mu'awiya when he ascended the throne of the Caliphate by force and power. The first sermon which he delivered to all the companions was: "I did not fight you so that you should pray and fast but so as to rule over you, I am now your commander". Yet no one moved a finger or opposed him, on the contrary, they accompanied him and they named the year which Mu'awiya came to power "the year of unity" whereas, in reality, it was "the year of dissension".
Then we see them, after that, accepting his son Yazid, the corrupt one, to rule over them, one who was well known by all of them. They did not revolt nor move, except some upright ones whom Yazid killed at the battle of al-Harra. Among those who survived, he extracted a pledge that they were to be his slaves. How can we interpret all that?
We find after, that in the name of leading the believers, the corrupt ones amongst the Banu Umayyads like Marwan b. al-Hakam and al-Walid b. 'Uqba and others attained the Caliphate .
The matter of leading the believers reached a level whereby they seized the city of the Prophet, performed evil deeds in it, defiled its sanctity and even burnt the house of God, the sanctuary, and killed prominent companions in it. The matter of the leaders of the faithful reached a stage whereby they spilled the blood of the Prophet of God (S.A.W.) and that was due to their killing the delight of the Prophet of God and his progeny. They deemed it permissible to enslave his children. No one from the umma moved from the stationary position. The master of the youths of paradise did not find a helper.
The matter of leading the believers reached a level whereby they tore up the book of God whilst saying to it: "If you meet your Lord on the day of resurrection, then say: 'O my Lord, al-Walid tore me apart'". This was what al-Walid, the Umayyad leader, did.
The matter of leading the believers reached a level whereby they cursed 'Ali b. Abi Talib from the pulpits and instructed the people in all regions to curse him. By that, they meant to curse the Prophet of God. Nobody moved from his stationary position. Whoever refused to comply was either killed, crucified or maimed.
The matter of leading the believers reached a level whereby they openly drank wine, fornicated, amused themselves with pleasure, songs, dances and ...... there is no limit to what one can relate.
If the matter of the Islamic umma had reached this level of decay of morals, meekness and resignation, there must have been factors which had influenced its beliefs. This is what will concern us in this discussion, since it is connected with the question of the infallibility and character of the noble Prophet (S.A.W.).
The first thing which deserves our attention here is that the three Caliphs, Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman, prohibited the writing and even the discussion of the traditions of the Prophet (P).
Abu Bakr gathered the people during his Caliphate and said to them: "You relate traditions from the Prophet of God and differ about it. The people after you will differ even more, [therefore] do not relate anything from the Prophet. If anyone asks you, say: 'Between us there is the book, so consider as lawful what is lawful in it, and prohibit what is forbidden in it'".
Similarly, 'Umar was another one who forbade the people from narrating traditions from the Prophet. Qarza b. K'ab said: "When 'Umar b. al-Khattab sent us to Iraq, he walked with us and said: 'Do you know why I followed you?' They said: 'To honour us'. He said: 'Besides that, you are going to the villagers. The Qur'an reverberates in them like the reverberation of a bee. Do not occupy them with traditions. So make them busy and recite the Qur'an, and reduce the narrations from the Prophet and I am an associate to you [in this]'".
This narrator says: "I never narrated a tradition after 'Umar's admonition". When he arrived in Iraq, the people hastened to him asking him about the hadith. Qarza said to them: "'Umar prohibited me from that".
Similarly, 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf said that 'Umar b. al-Khattab gathered the companions from remote regions to forbid them from narrating traditions of the Prophet to the people. He said to them: "Stand by me, do not go away from me as long as I live". They did not leave him until he died.
Similarly, al-Khatib al-Baghdadi says, and [so does] al-Dhahabi in Tadhkira al-Huffaz, that 'Umar b. al-Khattab imprisoned three companions in Medina. These were Abu Darda, Ibn Mas'ud and Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari due to their excessive narration of traditions. Furthermore, 'Umar commanded the companions to bring the books of traditions at their disposal to him. They thought he wanted to organize them in a way so that there would be no differences between them. They brought their books, he burnt them all in the fire.
Then 'Uthman came after him. He continued the trend and notified all the people that: "It is not permitted for anyone to narrate a tradition which was not heard during the times of Abu Bakr and 'Umar".
After them came the time of Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan. When he attained the position of the Caliphate, he ascended the minbar and said: "O people, it is forbidden to speak about hadith from the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), except those hadith which were mentioned during the Caliphate of 'Umar".
Certainly, there had to be a secret motive behind the proscription of traditions that were uttered by the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), hadiths which did not agree with things that were happening at that time. Otherwise, why were the hadiths of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) forbidden for the entire length of this period, and were not permitted to be written except during the Caliphate of 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz (R)?
We can therefore deduce, based on the events mentioned, especially bearing in mind the clear texts regarding the Caliphate which the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) had declared in the presence of the main witnesses, that Abu Bakr and 'Umar prohibited the narration and transmission of hadith from the Prophet, fearing that those hadiths would spread to all regions, and even to the neighbouring villages. It would then become clear to the people that his Caliphate and the Caliphate of his companion was not [valid] according to the shari'a. Rather, it had been usurped from the divinely ordained Caliph, 'Ali b. Abi Talib. We have discussed this topic and uncovered the truth in our book, "So that I may be with the Truthful ones". Whoever wishes further confirmation [of this] can refer to it.
The surprising thing regarding 'Umar b. al-Khattab is his contradictory stance especially in things related to the Caliphate. While we find him to be the one who had urged the allegiance to Abu Bakr and [even] coerced the people to it - at the same time he declares that it was a sudden decision and that Allah had protected [the people] from it's disasters. At another time, we find him choosing six people for the Caliphate saying: "If the bald one gets it (meaning 'Ali b. Abi Talib), he will impose severity upon them". Since he confessed that 'Ali was the only person who could make the people steadfast, then why did he not appoint him and end the matter, thereby giving good advice to the umma of Muhammad? But we see him instead, after this, contradicting himself and preferring the opinion of 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf, then contradicting himself yet again saying: "Were Salim, the slave of Abu Hudhayfa, alive, I would have appointed him over you".
More surprising than that was the issue of Abu Hafs. He forbade him to [transmit] hadith from the Prophet (S.A.W.), and confined the companions in Medina, forbidding them from leaving it. He also forbade the emissaries he sent to other regions to speak of the sunna of the Prophet (S.A.W.), and he [also] burnt the books that were in the hands of the companions. In these books were the hadiths of the Prophet (S.A.W.).
Did 'Umar b al-Khattab not understand that the sunna of the Prophet clarified the Qur'an? Or had he not read the words of Allah, the Glorified and Exalted: "And we have revealed the remembrance unto you so that you may explain to the people what has been sent down to them" (16:44). Or did he understand from the Qur'an something which the bearer of the message and the one to whom the Qur'an was revealed, did not understand?
This is what some confused people have tried to do, claiming that the Qur'an on several occasions came to verify the opinions of 'Umar and it opposed the views of the Prophet (S.A.W.). Grave indeed are the words that come out of their mouths, they do not understand.
I was always perplexed when I read in al-Bukhari of 'Umar's refusal to accept 'Ammar b. Yasir's narration, especially regarding the Prophet's teaching him how to do tayammum, just as I was surprised at 'Ammar's words: "If you wish, I shall not speak of it", in fear of 'Umar. This proves clearly that 'Umar b. al-Khattab was severe on any one who narrated hadiths from the Prophet, and would harass him.
If the companions amongst the Quraysh were afraid of the Caliph and would not leave Medina, and even those who did go out desisted from transmitting the Prophetic traditions, and then had their books, in which they had recorded hadiths, burnt, yet no one amongst them said anything, then what was the position of 'Ammar b. Yasir, an absolute stranger, despised by the Quraysh for his stand with 'Ali b. Abi Talib, and his love for him?
Let us go back to what we have recently discussed, specifically to the Thursday that preceded the death of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), a day which was called by Ibn 'Abbas "The day of calamity". [That was] when the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) ordered those who were present to bring paper and ink for him to write a letter so that they would never go astray. We find on that day that 'Umar b. al-Khattab was the one who opposed the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), and accused him of being delirious, i.e., hallucinating and said: "We seek refuge in Allah" and then said: "The book of Allah is sufficient for us". This event has been narrated by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Maja, al-Nasa'i, Abu Dawud, Imam Ahmad, as well as other historians.
If 'Umar could prevent the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) from writing his own hadiths, and could do so in the presence of many companions and the ahl al-bayt, accusing him of being delirious, with insolence the like of which history has never witnessed, then it is neither strange nor surprising, for him to gather his aides after the death of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) so as to prevent the people, with all possible effort, from transmitting hadith of the Prophet, since he was now the strong Caliph, possessing all power. Either due to greed, fear or hypocrisy, no doubt he had amongst his associates many helpers from the noteworthy Qurayshis, who had influence over the tribes and clans, and who had been companions of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.). We have seen them, despite their large numbers, supporting 'Umar in his statement that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) was hallucinating. We find them also participating with him in preventing the Prophet from writing the letter. I believe that this was the main reason for the Prophet (S.A.W.) to refrain from writing [it]; for he knew, through the revelation from his Lord, that the plot was a strong one, and could threaten Islam in its entirety if the letter was written.
This was the letter through which the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) wanted to protect his umma from going astray, but the plotters turned the position around so that the letter became (if it was written), a reason for misguidance and reverting from Islam.
How could the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) not change his stance - may my father and mother be sacrificed for him - for he was ill and on his death bed, receiving revelation from his Lord which resounded in his ears and filled his heart with sadness and suffering for his ill-fated umma which [did not heed to] Allah's words: "If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back upon your heels"?
This verse was not revealed spontaneously but rather because of Allah's, Glory be to Him, knowledge of their vileness, schemes and plots, for He is aware of the deception of the eyes and what is hidden in the hearts. What consoled the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) was that his Lord had informed him of all this and comforted him. He [also] rewarded him with the best that any Prophet could be given from his umma and did not hold him responsible for the apostacy of the umma nor its turning back upon its heels. For Allah had revealed beforehand: "On that day the wrongdoer will bite his hands and say: 'If only I had followed the path of the Messenger! Woe unto me! I wish that I had not taken so and so as my sincere friend! Certainly he led me away from the remembrance (of God) after it had come to me. The Satan is a deceiver to man'. Whereupon the Prophet will say: 'O my Lord! My people took this Qur'an as if it was foolish nonsense'. And thus we have made for every Prophet an enemy among the sinners! So sufficient for you is your Lord for guidance and assistance" (25:27).
In this research, we cannot escape from the painful conclusion which we are forced to reach - that Abu Sufyan and Mu'awiya would not have prevailed over the bearer of the message were it not for the previous position of 'Umar, and his bold conduct in the very presence of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.). This is especially so if we investigate his stance during the entire life of the Prophet (P) and his opposing him on several occasions.
The inescapable conclusion is that there was an extensive plot devised to degrade the eminence of the character of the noble Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.), to denigrate him, and to present him to the people who did not know him as an ordinary person or of an even lower [status] than that. He could be swayed by sentiments, he could give in to his desires and deviate from the truth. All of this was done to deceive the people into thinking that he was not sinless. The proof [presented] is that 'Umar confronted him several times and that the Qur'an (allegedly) came down to support Ibn al-Khattab, to the point where Allah threatens His Prophet (P) who weeps and says: "Were Allah to send an affliction unto us, none would be safe except Ibn al-Khattab".
Or [we are also told] that 'Umar used to command the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) to veil his wives and the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) did not do that until [verses of] the Qur'an were revealed in support of 'Umar, ordering the Prophet (P) to veil his wives. Or that Satan was not scared of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), but that he was scared and fled from 'Umar and several other [such] disgraceful narrations that lower the status of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), and enhance the status of the companions. 'Umar established records in this objective, to the point where they narrated (May Allah debase them) that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) used to doubt his prophecy. This can be seen in the narration they reported [to the effect] that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) said: "When Gabriel delayed coming to me, I thought that he was going to 'Umar b. al-Khattab".
I believe that these hadiths and other traditions of this genre were fabricated in the time of Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan when the plan to remove 'Ali b. Abi Talib from his rights was beginning to falter. He then resorted to praising Abu Bakr, 'Umar, and 'Uthman and to ascribe excellences to them so that they might be elevated in the eyes of the people over 'Ali, attaining by this, two goals:
The first goal was to degrade the status of the son of Abu Talib (Abu Turab) - as he called him - to degrade him in front of the people, and [to lead the people into] considering the three Caliphs who preceded him to be better than him. The second goal, for his fabrication of hadith, was [to make] the people accept their neglecting the commands of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) and his testament that the Caliphate be [confined to] his ahl al-bayt, especially al-Hasan and al-Husayn, who were the contemporaries of Mu'awiya. If it was possible for the three previous [Caliphs] to violate the orders of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) in the [matter of the] Caliphate of 'Ali (A.S.), why was it not possible for Mu'awiya (the fourth) to disregard the commands of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) regarding the children of 'Ali?
The son of Hind most certainly succeeded in his plan. The proof is that today, when we speak of the knowledge of 'Ali and his bravery, his closeness [to the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.)], and his eminence in Islam over the rest of the Muslims, there is always someone to say to us: "The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) said: 'If the faith of my umma were weighed against the faith of Abu Bakr, the faith of Abu Bakr would prevail'". And there too is one who confronts us saying: "Umar al-Faruq is the one who differentiates the truth from falsehood". And someone confronts us saying: "'Uthman is the possessor of the two lights, and is the one of whom even the angels of the Merciful one were shy".
Anyone who pursues these discussions will find that 'Umar b al-Khattab has taken the lion's share in the chapter on virtue, something which is not accidental, rather, [it is due to] the numerous contradictory positions that he took towards the bearer of the message. The Qurayshis loved him [for that], especially for the role that he played in distancing the Commander of the Faithful, the leader of the legatees, 'Ali b. Abi Talib, from the Caliphate, and reverting the matter (of leadership) to the Qurayshis to rule in the manner they wished, so that the ones who were freed on the day of the conquest of Mecca, and the accursed ones from the Umayyads, could covet it.
All the Qurayshis, the chief of whom was Abu Bakr, knew that the credit in their leadership over the Muslims went to 'Umar. For he was the hero of opposition to the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), he was the one who prevented the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) from writing [a testament of] the Caliphate for 'Ali. And 'Umar was the one who threatened the people and made them doubt the death of their Prophet so that they would not proceed to pay allegiance to 'Ali. 'Umar is also the hero of Saqifa; he is the one who ensured the allegiance to Abu Bakr. He is [also] the one who threatened those who remained in the house of 'Ali, to burn it and all those in it, if they did not pay allegiance to Abu Bakr. And 'Umar is the one who instigated the people into giving their fealty to Abu Bakr, through force and coercion. It was 'Umar who used to appoint the governors and allocate positions during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr. Indeed, we would not be exaggerating if we were to say that he was the actual ruler during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr himself.
Some historians relate that, in accordance with the custom they had [established] with the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), those whose hearts were to be attracted [to Islam] approached Abu Bakr to claim their share which Allah has ordained for them. Abu Bakr wrote it [for them] and they went to 'Umar to collect [their rights], but he tore it up and said: "We have no need of you, for Allah has strengthened Islam and can dispense with you. If you accept Islam it will be better for you, and, if not, then the sword [shall be] between you and us". They returned to Abu Bakr and said to him: "Are you the Caliph or is he?" Abu Bakr replied: "Rather he, if God wishes" and he abided by what 'Umar had done.
On another occasion, Abu Bakr wrote that two companions be given a piece of land, and sent the document to 'Umar to be implemented. The latter spat at it and destroyed it. They insulted him and returned to Abu Bakr and complained to him: "We do not know, are you the Caliph or is 'Umar?" He replied: "Rather he is!" 'Umar then came angrily to Abu Bakr and said to him: "It is not your right to give the land to these two". Whereupon Abu Bakr said: "I told you that you are stronger than me in this affair, however, you overruled me".
From this, we can discern the special status which 'Umar b. al-Khattab enjoyed with the Qurayshis in general and the Umayyads in particular, to the extent that they gave him such titles as "the genius", "the inspired one", "the differentiator [between truth and falsehood]", "the absolute [personification of] Justice", even to the extent that they preferred him above the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.).
We have seen 'Umar's belief regarding the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) from the day of the treaty of al-Hudaybiyya to the day of the calamity. I can add to this that he prevented the companions from paying respect to the relics of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.). He cut down of tree of the pledge of Ridwan. He also sought closeness to al-'Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet, to make the people believe that [since] the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) had died, and his rule had ended, there was no point in remembering him. Therefore, there can be no blame on the Wahhabis who say the same things, for they are not new issues as some [people] wrongly assume.
From this too, the door was opened to the enemies of Islam and the Orientalists, to deduce that Muhammad was a genius who knew that his community were idolaters who had been brought up worshipping idols. He therefore removed the idols and replaced for them instead a black stone.
After all of this, we observe that 'Umar is the hero who rejected the writing of the Prophetic hadiths, to the extent that he confined the companions to Medina and prohibited the others from (narrating) hadith, burning the hadith books, to ensure that the Prophetic traditions did not spread among the people.
We also can deduce from all this why 'Ali remained a prisoner in his home, not going out except when he was summoned to judge a problem that the companions were unable to deal with. 'Umar did not involve him in any office or governorship, nor [did he give him] any responsibility or [send him with] any deputation. In fact, he was also forbidden from Fatima's inheritance, and had nothing which the people could desire from him. As a result, historians relate that he was compelled to pay allegiance after the death of al-Zahra (P) when he saw the faces of the people turning away from him.
Allah is with you, O Abu'l-Hasan! How could the people not hate you, when you were the one who had killed their heroes, divided their groups and destroyed their dreams. You did not leave for them in the field of merits a single merit whatsoever, nor in the field of good deeds, a single good deed for them. Furthermore, you were the cousin of the chosen one, you were also the nearest of them to him, and you were the husband of Fatima, the leader of the women of the universe, and you were the father of the two sibtayn, the two leaders of the youths of paradise, and you were the first person to accept Islam and the foremost of them in knowledge.
Your uncle was Hamza, leader of the martyrs, and Ja'far al-Tayyar was the son of your mother and father. Abu Talib, the master of the elevated places and the protector of the Prophet (P), was your father. And the rightly guided Imams are all from your loin. You were before the foremost ones and most distant from those who came later. You were the lion of Allah and His Messenger (P) and you were the sword of Allah and His Messenger, and you were the trusted one of Allah and His Prophet, when you were sent by him (S.A.W.) to dissociate [from the unbelievers], when none could be trusted but you. And you were the most truthful one, after you none can say that of anybody else without lying. You were the great differentiator who accompanied the truth and through whom it was distinguished from falsehood. You were the manifest knowledge and towering light. The faith of a believer is known through the love for you, the hypocrisy of a hypocrite is known by the hatred for you. You were the gate to the city of knowledge, for whoever came to you arrived [at that city]. Whoever claims to have entered [it] and arrived through other means, has indeed lied.
Who amongst them has a share like yours O Abu'l-Hasan? And who amongst them has excellences like yours? If there is a proof for honour, then you are it. You are its beginning and end. They envied you due to Allah's bestowal of His grace on you. They distanced [themselves] from you when Allah had chosen you to be close to Him. Surely the oppressors will know their fate.
Indeed the pen has written abundantly the conversations of the Commander of the Faithful, the one who was oppressed in his life and death. In his brother, the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), there was, for him, the best example, for he too was oppressed in life and in death. He spent his life struggling, advising, and seeking to protect the believers, loving and being kind to them. They confronted him at the last moment with evil words, accusing him of delirium, confronting him with disobedience and insolence due to the appointment of Usama [as the leader]. They hastened towards the Saqifa for the sake of the Caliphate, leaving [behind] a forlorn corpse. They were not even concerned about the preparation, bathing or shrouding of his body, may my mother and father be sacrificed for him. After his death, they sought to disparage him in the eyes of people and to denigrate his status, to retract from him the infallibility which the Qur'an, as well as reasoning testifies to. This was [done] for the sake of [attaining] temporary rulership and a transitory world. We can discern, during the course of our investigation, the position [adopted by] some of the companions towards the character of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) for the sake of attaining the Caliphate.
The Umayyad rulers, the chief of whom was Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan, attained the Caliphate by inheriting it. They contented themselves in it and it did not occur to any one of them that one day it would desert them. Why did the Umayyads continue to denigrate the personality of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.), and to concoct narrations that were designed to reduce his status?
I feel that there were two main reasons for this:
The first reason: Behind the denigration of the character of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) lay their grudges against the Banu Hashim, for they had attained the honour and respect of all the Arab tribes since the Prophet was from them. This becomes more clear when we realise that Umayya used to vie with his brother Hashim and envied him, trying his utmost to destroy him.
Moreover, 'Ali was the leader of the Hashimites after the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), without any doubt. Everyone knew of Mu'awiya's hatred for 'Ali and the wars that he waged against him to wrest the Caliphate away from him. After his murder, he indulged in insulting and cursing him from the pulpits. As far as Mu'awiya was concerned, the denigration of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) lay in destroying the personality of 'Ali, just as the cursing and insulting of 'Ali was, in fact, directed at the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.).
The second reason: In the denigration of the character of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) lay a justification for the vile, evil and heinous acts which the Umayyad rulers perpetrated, [acts which] history has recorded. If the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), as the Umayyads portray him, could follow his lusts and love his wives to the extent that he forgot his obligations, and he inclined to one of them so much so that he could not treat them equally, and they had to send to him [people] requesting equal treatment, then there can be no reproach directed towards ordinary people such as Mu'awiya, Yazid and those like them.
And the danger hidden in the second reason is that the Umayyads fabricated narrations and hadiths, attributing them to the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.). These [concoctions] became rules which were acted upon in Islam, the Muslims accepted them as [they were] certain that these were the words and actions of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.). Therefore, these became, for them, the Prophetic sunna.
I will cite some examples of these disgraceful hadith which were falsified to degrade the character of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), and to lower his status. I do not wish to go into details on this subject, and will therefore restrict myself to what al-Bukhari and Muslim have related in their two Sahihs (disgraceful hadiths to degrade the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.)).
1. Al-Bukhari narrated in "The Book of (ritual) Washing", in "The Chapter on one who has Intercourse and repeats it", "From Anas that the Prophet (P) used to visit his wives in a single hour during the night and day and they were altogether eleven of them". He said: "I said to Anas: 'Did he have the strength for this?' He replied: 'We used to say that he was given the strength of thirty...'". Observe with me, O reader, this filthy hadith which portrays for us an image of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) with this insatiable desire for sex, that he has intercourse with eleven women in one hour, and does so either at night or day with such speed that, without taking a bath after the first one, he approaches the second while he still had the secretions of the first [wife] on him. You have no recourse, O reader, but to form a picture and think: "How can a man throw himself upon his wife like an animal, without any foreplay or greetings?" For we have observed that even among animals, they are engrossed in a sexual act for a long time, since it requires prelude and foreplay. How can this great Prophet conduct himself in this manner? May Allah fight and curse them for their fabrications. The Arabs of that time - and men until today - took pride in their sex drives, reckoning that as a sign of manliness. They attributed this anecdote to the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.). Allah forbid, for the Prophet himself used to say: "Do not approach your women like animals, but instead do something that attracts you and them".
From such narrations, the enemies of Islam attack the Prophet (P) describing him as a man craving for sex, intercourse and love for women, accusing him also of other things. Can we ask Anas b. Malik, the narrator of this anecdote, as to who informed him? Who told him that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) used to have sex with all his wives in one hour, and that they were altogether eleven in number?
Was it the Prophet who told him this? Is it proper for anyone of us to speak to others about his sexual acts with his wife? Or did the wives of the Prophet inform him of that? Does it behoove a Muslim woman to speak to other men of her sexual acts with her husband? Or did Anas spy upon the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), and accompany him in the private chambers with his wife, spying upon him from the holes of doors? I seek refuge in Allah from the agents of the devil! May Allah's curse be upon the liars!
I do not doubt that the Umayyad and 'Abbasid rulers, notorious for their many wives and slave girls, are the ones who fabricated such stories to justify their deeds.
2. Al-Bukhari reported in volume 3, p. 132 in his Sahih, as well as Muslim in volume 7, p. 136 of his Sahih that 'A'isha said: "The wives of the Prophet (P) sent Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) to the Prophet. She sought permission to enter while he was reclining with me in a single garment. He allowed her in and she said: 'O Prophet of Allah! Your wives have sent me to you to ask that you show fairness regarding the daughter of Abu Quhafa'. I remained quiet. He said to Fatima: 'My dear child do you not love what I love'? She said: 'Most Certainly'. He said: 'Then love her.....'".
The narration continues to the point where the wives of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) sent a second message, this time with Zaynab bint Jahsh, wife of the Prophet (P), pleading him to exercise justice regarding the daughter of Abu Quhafa. She went to see him while he was reclining with 'A'isha, covered in her garment, in the same position that he was in when Fatima visited him. She pleaded with the Prophet to observe justice regarding the daughter of Abu Quhafa, speaking on behalf of the other wives of the Prophet, then resorted to insulting and reviling 'A'isha, who, in turn, retorted and insulted Zaynab until she silenced her. Upon this, the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) smiled and said: "She is the daughter of Abu Bakr".
What can I say about this loathsome narration which shows the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) to be a man who follows his lusts and does not show justice to his wives, although it is through his tongue that the Qur'an ordered: "And if you fear that you cannot show fairness, then (marry) one or (resort to) what your right hand possesses".
Furthermore, how can the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) permit his daughter Fatima, the leader of women, to enter when he was reclining with his wife wearing her garment and not to sit up or stand, but rather, remain reclining and say to her: "O my child! Do you not love what I love?" Similarly, when Zaynab came, imploring him to be fair, he smiled and said: "She is the daughter of Abu Bakr". Observe, O noble reader, this despicable [conduct] which they attribute to the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), [who is] the symbol of justice and equality, whereas they say that justice died with 'Umar b. al-Khattab. They portray the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) to be attaching little importance to upright character, not knowing chastity or ideals of manliness. There are many such traditions in the six Sihah [works].
The narrators intend to present, behind this, the superior merits of a companion or of 'A'isha, especially as she is the daughter of Abu Bakr. In doing so, they denigrate the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) knowingly or unknowingly, since, as I have shown before in this discussion, these traditions are fabricated to devalue the character of the Prophet. Let us look at a third example [which is] similar to this one:
3. Muslim reported in his Sahih in "The Chapter on the Merits of 'Uthman b. 'Affan", on the authority of 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet (P), and also from 'Uthman, that they both said that Abu Bakr sought permission to visit the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) while he was lying on his bed wearing the garment of 'A'isha. He let him in while he was still in that condition. He fulfilled his needs then Abu Bakr went out. 'Umar then sought permission to enter while the Prophet was still in that state. He also fulfilled his needs and left. 'Uthman said: "Then I requested permission to enter, whereupon he sat up and said to 'A'isha: 'Gather your clothes around you'. I finished my work with him and left. 'A'isha said: 'O Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), how come I did not see you scared with Abu Bakr and 'Umar, as you were with 'Uthman?' The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) said: 'Indeed 'Uthman is a very shy man, and I was afraid that if I had granted him permission to enter while I was in that state, he would not have presented his need to me'".
This narration is similar to another, which al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated, regarding the merits of 'Uthman. The gist [of the report] is that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) had left his thighs uncovered, had permitted Abu Bakr to enter without covering his thighs. He did the same thing with 'Umar. When 'Uthman sought permission to enter, however, the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) covered his thighs and put his clothes on properly. When 'A'isha asked him about that, he said to her: "Should I not be shy of someone of whom [even] the angels are shy?"
May Allah debase the Banu Umayyad, who seek to debase the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) so as to elevate [the status of] their master.
4. Muslim reported in his Sahih in "The Chapter on the Injunction to take a Ritual Bath after the Meeting of the Private Parts of the Spouses", on the authority of 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet (P), that while she was sitting [in his presence]: "A man asked the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), if the bath was obligatory upon both parties when a man has intercourse with his wife, and then he feels lazy [to have a bath]. The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) replied: 'I certainly do it, I and her, then we have a bath'".
I leave you, O reader, to consider this hadith for yourself. Now the Messenger's pampering for his wife 'A'isha has reached the level where he can discuss about his sexual relations with her to all people. How many such reports have been transmitted on the authority of 'A'isha, the daughter of Abu Bakr, which demean and disparage the status of the Prophet (P). One time she reports he put his cheek upon her cheek so that she could enjoy the black dancers, and, at another time, carrying her upon his shoulder. At another time, he raced with her and she won against him. The Prophet of Allah (P) then waits, until she gains weight, and races her (and wins) saying: "This is the equalizer". Yet, at another time, he is lying upon his back, with the women beating drums and musical instruments of the devil in his own house, until Abu Bakr rebukes them.
How often, in the Sahih works, do such disgraceful traditions occur, traditions whose only aim is to denigrate the Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.), such as the hadiths which state that the Messenger was subjected under a magic spell so he did not know what he did or said. He [even] thought that he had sexual relations with his spouses when, in fact, he had not. And [other] narrations which state that he (P) used to wake up in the mornings of Ramadan in a ritually impure state. (janaba), and that he would sleep until he snored, then he would wake up and pray without performing the ablutions (wudu'). [Others state] that he used to forget during his prayer, not remembering how many rak'as (units of prayers) he had performed. And that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) did not know his fate on the day of resurrection and what would be done to him. [Others state] he used to urinate while standing up, and when his companion went away from him, he would call him back so that he could be near him until he finished urinating.
Yes! The Prophet's (S.A.W.) pampering of his wife 'A'isha, the daughter of Abu Bakr, reached a point whereby he detained himself and all the Muslims to search for 'A'isha's necklace that had been lost. They had no water with them and the people complained about 'A'isha to Abu Bakr whereupon her father came and reproached and rebuked her. All this happened while Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) was asleep on his wife's lap! Here is the narration in detail:
Al-Bukhari in his Sahih in "The Chapter on Tayammum" and Muslim in his Sahih, also in "The Chapter on Tayammum", both related on the authority of 'A'isha, who said: "We went out with the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) on one of his journeys. We reached al-Bida or the military encampment when my necklace broke. The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) started searching for it, and the people went along with him. There was no water to be found and they had none with them. The people came to Abu Bakr and said: 'Do you not see what 'A'isha has done? She has caused the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) to busy himself and the people to undertake [this], when they have no water and there is none available in this spot'. Abu Bakr then came whilst the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), having rested his head upon my thigh, had fallen asleep. He said: 'You have detained the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) and the people have no water and cannot find any here'". She said: "Abu Bakr continued rebuking me for as long as Allah wished him to, then he started hitting me with his hand on my hip. Nothing prevented me from moving except that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) was on my thigh. The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) slept till the morning. There was still no water to be found so Allah revealed the verses of tayammum and they performed it". Asyad b. al-Hudayr, one of the leaders, said: "This is not the first blessing for you, O member of the household of Abu Bakr!" 'A'isha said: "We made the camel, which I was [riding] on, to get up and we found the necklace underneath it".
Can any believer, who is aware of Islam, believe that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) was lax about the matter of prayer to this extent and that he would detain the Muslims, even though they were in an area where there was no water and they had none with them, to search for his wife's missing necklace? Then he leaves the Muslims, who are worried about their prayer and complain to Abu Bakr, and instead goes to his wife and falls asleep in her lap, and is so engrossed in his sleep that he is totally unaware of Abu Bakr's entry and his rebuking 'A'isha, and his striking her on her hips? How is it allowable for this Messenger to leave the people who are agitated due to the lack of water and the approaching prayer time, to sleep on his wife's lap?
There is no doubt this narration was fabricated during the Caliphate of Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan and is without foundation. Otherwise, how can we explain [the fact that] an incident like this, at which all the companions were present, was not known to 'Umar b. al-Khattab? He did not know about it when he was asked concerning the tayammum as is narrated by both al-Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahihs in the chapters on tayammum.
The important point in all these discussions is that we realise the plot against the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) was evil and vile, with the goal of belittling the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.), and of devaluing his status to the extent where none of us today (in spite of the corruption that has spread to the land and sea) would be personally pleased with these types of conduct and deeds. How can this be [allowed] then for the greatest personality that human history has known, and he whom the Lord of Might and Glory has testified is of the highest character?
In my view, the plots began after the farewell pilgrimage and after the Prophet (P) had appointed Imam 'Ali as his successor on the day of Ghadir Khum. Those who coveted the leadership knew then that in front of them lay only opposition and rebellion due to this appointment, and that these would be at a tremendous cost, even leading to their turning back upon their heels in reversion. Therefore, it seems proper to interpret the events that began with opposing the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) in all his commands. [This started with stopping him] from writing a letter; to his appointment of Usama as [their] leader; to their not joining the army the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) himself had chosen. And so too [is it proper to interpret] the events that followed his death (P) - from forcing the people into pledging fealty by coercion and threatening to burn the dissenters, among whom were 'Ali, Fatima and al-Hasanayn. Similarly, [it seems proper to interpret] forbidding the people from relating the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.), and the burning of books which contained the sunna of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), to their detaining the companions so that they may not spread the hadith of the Prophet (P).
[It seems proper to interpret] also the killing of companions who refused to pay the zakat to Abu Bakr, for he was not the Caliph to whom they had, at the order of their Prophet, pledged fealty. [It seems proper to interpret] their denying the rights of Fatima al-Zahra to Fadak, her inheritance, and her portion of the khumus and to refute her claims. Similarly, the alienation of Imam 'Ali (A.S.) from any position of responsibility, instead granting these [positions] to the corrupt ones and hypocrites from the Banu Umayyad over the Muslims; and forbidding the companions from paying respect to the relics of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.), and to attempting to remove his name from the adhan and to expose the army of disbelievers to al-Medina al-Munawwara to do therein as they pleased. [This varied] from attacking the sacred house, bayt al-haram with fire and razing it, to killing the companions that were within. [It seemed proper] to murder the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.), to curse and vilify them, and to force the people to do that; to kill and exile those who loved the ahl al-bayt and followed them - to the point where the religion of Allah became a [source of] amusement and subject to ridicule; the Qur'an [became] something to be shredded and scoffed at.
The plot still persists today, its influences and impact are still prevalent in the Islamic umma. [It will continue] as long as there are those Muslims who are pleased with Mu'awiya and Yazid, justifying their deeds on the basis that they exercised their personal judgements, and that for them lies a reward from Allah. As long as there are those who write books and articles against the Shi'as of the ahl al-bayt, hurling all sorts of insults and slander; as long as there are those who allow the murder of the Shi'as of the ahl al-bayt within the confines of the bayt al-haram and the season of the Hajj - the plot will continue and will remain continuous until such time as Allah wishes.
I am not able to discern the whole [plan] nor comprehend its details and facets, but I will attempt, with my humble efforts, to do my best to distance the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) from the disgraceful narrations that have been attributed to him, and to defend him and his infallibility. I will attempt to convince the educated and free thinking Muslims that this Prophet whom Allah sent for the guidance of all humankind and made him a moon and shining light, is the highest, greatest, most noble, most pure, pious and complete man that Allah has created. It is impossible for us to remain quiet in the face of such narrations. The reporters have no other intention but to denigrate his nobility and devalue his status.
We are not, and never will be, happy with these narrations, even if all the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a agree upon them, and relate them in their Sahihs and Musnads. Even if all the mortals on earth were to agree with them, Allah's words: "And you are indeed of the most exalted character" is the final word and decisive judgement. Apart from that, everything else is falsehood and wrong presumption.
This is the position of the Shi'a regarding the leader of human beings, the one who frees them from blindness and misguidance, the one who leads humanity to security and peace. So ponder over it, O you who perceive.
What the ahl al-dhikr believe about the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W)
Imam 'Ali says: "So that the grace of Allah, Glory be to Him, reach Muhammad (S.A.W.), Allah brought him out of the best of sources and the most honourable places from which things grow, from the same lineal tree from which He brought forth His Prophets and selected their trustees. Muhammad's progeny is the best progeny, his family the best family and his lineal tree is the best of trees. It grew in sanctity, surpassing all in honour. Its branches are tall and its fruits cannot be reached.
He is the leader of all those who fear Allah, and insight for those who seek guidance. He is a lamp whose flame is burning, a meteor whose light is shining and a flint whose spark is bright. His conduct is upright; his behaviour guidance; his speech is the criterion [between right and wrong] and his decision just. Allah sent him, after an interval from the previous Prophets, when people had fallen into errors of action and ignorance....then the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) exerted his utmost in giving sound advice, staying on the right path, calling them towards wisdom and good counsel..., his is the best abode and his origin the noblest of all, coming from the source of honour and the cradles of security. The hearts of the virtuous people incline towards him, and the eyes have focused on him. Through him, Allah buried all rancour and extinguished conflicts. Through him, He brought people together in brotherhood and separated friends. Through him, He elevated the lowly, and humiliated the arrogant and mighty. His speech is clear and even his silence is (indicative) like the tongue. He sent him with sufficient proof and satisfying admonitions. His call eliminates deficiencies, through him, the unknown laws were made manifest, the innovative practices subdued, and the distinctive judgements made clear.
He sent him with light and gave him precedence in purity. He mended all fissures. Through him, those conquering were [themselves] conquered, difficulties were subjugated and hardships alleviated until he wiped out misguidance all around him".