Shiaism: A Brief Analysis

shiaism-1

Sign of a Religion’s Veracity

The truth and spirituality of any religion is based on the devotion and sincerity of its founder as well as the correctness, truthfulness and sincerity of its principles. If the one presenting the religion is truthful and accepted as truthful, and possesses a sublime character that is unmatched the world over, and the principles of the religion are such that they are totally flawless in the eyes of every individual of sound intellect, then that religion is accepted and worthy of being adopted.

If the founder of the religion is such as that of the Rafidis and the principles are those found in Shiaism, then they are not acceptable to anyone of sound temperament. Who is the founder of Shiaism and what are Shia principles? I hereby present a brief but useful and accepted outline of Shiaism supported by a number of references. Please read attentively.

The Founder of Shiaism was a Jew

His name was ‘Abdullah ibn Wahb ibn Saba;[1] Al-Miqrizi has mentioned this in [Mawaiz wa al-‘Itibar bi dhikr] al-Khitat wa al-Athar. It is also mentioned in the well-known Shia book Rijal al-Kashi (an authority in the classification of narrators):

“Some people of knowledge have stated that ‘Abdullah ibn Saba was a Jew who embraced Islam and claimed love for ‘Ali (peace be upon him). While still a Jew he would exaggerate his opinion regarding Yusha‘ ibn Nun, the appointed successor of Musa. During his Islam after the demise of the Prophet of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), he held the same opinion regarding ‘Ali (peace be upon him). He was the first to innovate the opinion of the imamah (infallible leadership) of ‘Ali, as well as severing all links with those who [in his opinion] opposed ‘Ali. He would expose the opponents of ‘Ali and call them unbelievers. Hence, it was due to this that the adversaries of Shias believe Shiaism to have stemmed from Jews.” [sic]

Although the author of Rijal al-Kashi attributes the opinion that Shiaism stemmed from the Jews to his adversaries, the aforementioned passage accepts that [1] ‘Abdullah ibn Saba is the founder of Shiaism, [2] the imamah of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) is considered necessary, [3] the severing of all ties with adversaries and considering them unbelievers and apostates (which are core beliefs of Shiaism), [4] and the attribution of all of the above to ‘Abdullah ibn Saba. The author has been just to mention that ‘Abdullah ibn Saba is a fundamental pillar from the founders of Shiaism but has stumbled by attributing [the Jewish connection] to their adversaries.

[The author then writes an Urdu poem, the meaning of which is as follows]

The lover’s foot has become entangled in beloved’s long locks,

Behold, the hunter has been caught in his own trap.

The objective of this booklet is to prove that ‘Abdullah ibn Saba (a covert Jew) was among the founders of Shiaism who overtly embraced Islam and to some extent succeeded in his vow to destroy Islam. Based on Ibn Saba’s fundamental teachings, approximately 80 sects emerged in this single religion. Among these sects were the Ghulat, Kaysaniyyah, Zaydiyyah, Tafdiliyyah, Imamiyyah, Mu‘tazilah, Jahamiyyah and Karramiyyah etc., all of which were offshoots of this single religion.

Enmity towards the Noble Companions

We shall present a few preliminary words to simplify this issue.

1. When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was migrating to al-a-Madinah al-Munawwarah, the Quraysh of Makkah announced a reward for a hundred camels for anyone who kills or captures the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him). As a result, Sayyiduna Suraqah ibn Malik (d. 24 AH) (may Allah be pleased with him)—who had not yet embraced Islam—pursued these two esteemed personalities. On seeing them he was set on his evil intention and intended to kill them. His horse, however, sank into the ground numerous times and he was unsuccessful. This entire incident is mentioned in detail in Sahih al-Bukhari (vol. 1, pg. 554). Our purpose in mentioning this short historical piece—which the Hafiz of the Maghreb Yusuf ibn ‘Abdullah, commonly known as Ibn ‘Abdul Barr al-Maliki (d. 463 AH) has mentioned in Al-Istiy‘ab (Egyptian print, vol. 2, p. 581) and Hafiz ‘Izz al-Din ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Athir (d. 630 AH) in Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifah al-Sahabah (vol. 3, p. 69)—is that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said to Suraqah ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him): “What a blessed time it will be when you will be wearing Khosrau’s bracelets…”

This was a prophecy of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) granting him permission—with the order of Allah—to wear gold bracelets. The Qur’an states: “He [the Prophet] does not speak out of his own desire. It is but revelation revealed (to him)” (Surah Najm: 3-4). Thus, there remains no opportunity for objection if the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) grants someone an exemption from a command of Allah, nor does this necessitate that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is endowed with total discretion (mukhtar al-kull).

It is a strange sight that this very individual whose kinsmen compelled him to leave his cherished homeland without sufficient bread to eat to his fill—and forget having a mansion he did not even have comfortable dwellings let alone warm soft bedding—promises Suraqah ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) the bracelets of Khosrau with Allah’s permission.

[The author then writes an Urdu poem, the meaning of which is as follows]

A bed of earth and cap of rags,

This is the crown of Khosrau and the throne of Sulayman.

This prophecy was fulfilled in the golden caliphate of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) and Sayyiduna Suraqah ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) was adorned with Khosrau’s bracelets in the Prophet’s masjid. Those present witnessed the spectacle of the world’s volatility.

“What a blessed time it will be when you will be wearing Khosrau’s bracelets!” The wisdom behind this that comes to mind is that the Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) statement implied: O Suraqah. Today you desire to kill or capture the true Messenger of Allah for worldly gains, but what blessed a time it will be when you will be a Muslim and Allah and His Messenger’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) pleasure will be better for you than the world and all that it contains. You will wear the bracelets of Khosrau and this bounty will only be acquired through obedience to Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). You will acquire faith in its complete form without compromising the world.

In this incident of migration, for Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) to embark on a journey with the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him Peace) while endangering his own life was no ordinary task. Hence, exhibiting hostility towards such a saintly figure and refusing to accept his caliphate is synonymous with exhibiting enmity to Islam and the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)—may Allah protect us. What sort of service to Islam is it to harbour hatred and enmity towards the esteemed personality of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) and refuse to acknowledge his rightful caliphate in which the Prophet’s prophecy manifested itself when Khosrau’s treasures reached the Prophet’s masjid?

2. Shias believe most of the Noble Companions (may Allah be pleased with him) to be unbelievers and apostates in that besides a selected three or four the rest left Islam, we seek refuge with Allah (see the Shia book: Ihtijaj by Tabarsi, p. 48).

“None from the Ummah offered allegiance (bay‘ah) [to Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him)] save ‘Ali and our four [individuals].”

Meaning, according to Shias everyone willingly pledged allegiance besides five personalities.

It is mentioned in [the Shia book] Hayat al-Qulub (vol. 2, p. 643):

“It is narrated from Imam Baqir with a sound chain of narration that all the Companions had become apostates after the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) passed away, besides three: Salman, Abu Dharr and Miqdad.”

It is also mentioned in the Shia books: Kitab al-Ikhtisas, Rawdah al-Kafi (p. 115), Rijal al-Kashi (p. 8) and Ihtijaj Tabarsi (Iranian print, p. 48):

“It is narrated from Abu Ja‘far who said that all of the people (meaning the Companions) became apostates after the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) besides three: Miqdad, Abu Dharr and Salman.”

It is stated in [the Shia book] Kitab al-Ikhtisas:

“I heard Abu ‘Abdullah (peace be upon him) say that when the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) passed away all of his Companions became apostates except three: Salman, Abu Dharr and ‘Ammar.”

Ponder over how there were one hundred and twenty four thousand Companions after the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)—as mentioned in the Shia book Majma‘ Bihar al-Anwar (p. 564)—and despite the twenty three years of the Prophet’s teachings, the outcome of the best of Ummahs was that they all became apostates after the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Even the Companions of Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him)—who were sorcerers and then embraced Islam—responded to Pharaoh’s threats of severe punishment of execution and the like by saying: “So decide whatever you have to decide (we will not forsake the truth)” (Surah Taha: 72). This even though they had only been blessed with a very short time in the company of Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him).

In light of Shari‘ah principles, it is an accepted fact that the Ummah of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the best of Ummahs. [Is it the case that] the Ummah of Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him), which is lower in rank than the Ummah of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), never became apostates after facing and hearing of trials and tribulations, while the best Ummah became apostates in spite of spending twenty three years in the company of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and even though they were not faced with any difficulty? Is this not a direct attack on the lofty status of Prophethood? The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught them for so long—day and night, during expeditions and at home, in the masjid and on the battlefield. However, [is it so that] when he left the world they all became apostates?

It is on account of this that the Christian historian Godfrey Higgins wrote the truth regarding the Companions in his book An Apology for the Life and Character of the Celebrated Prophet of Arabia, called Mohamed, or the Illustrious:

“The Christians would do well to recollect, that the doctrines of Mohamed created a degree of enthusiasm in his followers which is to be sought in vain in the immediate followers of Jesus, and that his religion spread with rapidity unexampled in that of the Christians. In less than half a century it became triumphant in many great and flourishing empires. When Jesus was led to the cross, his followers fled, their enthusiasm forsook them, and they left him to perish and if they were forbidden to defend him, they might have remained to comfort him, patiently setting at defiance his and their persecutors. The followers of Mohamed, on the contrary, rallied round their persecuted prophet, and, risking their lives in his defence, made him triumph over all his enemies.”[2]

3. Shias slander the Companions as a whole and Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) in particular. Notice that in their gatherings they criticise Sayyiduna ‘Umar the most in comparison to other Companions (may Allah be pleased with them). Rather they fabricate many unbefitting incidents that they then attribute to him. Some are reproduced below:

Sayyiduna ‘Umar kicked Sayyida Fatima causing her to miscarry and he tied a rope around the neck of Sayyiduna ‘Ali, dragging him away by force to pledge allegiance to Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with them). This is mentioned in a famous book of the Shias called Jala al-‘Uyun (vol. 1, p. 152).

How regretful is this? What happened to the bravery of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) on account of which he ripped off the door of the fort of Khaybar? Where was the one who they remember with the words mushkil kusha (remover of all difficulties)? Try to correlate this fictional tale with the bravery of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). It should also be noted that the narration that mentions that Sayyiduna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) ripped off the door of Khaybar that seventy men failed to do so is fabricated. See Mizan al-I‘tidal (vol. 1, p. 142 and vol. 2, p. 218) and Al-Taqrib (p. 49).

  1. Sayyiduna ‘ Umar burnt the house of Sayyida Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them). See Kitab al-Murtada (p. 45), Hadd al-Tahqiq (p. 332) and Al-Milal wa al-Nihal (vol. 1, p. 25) etc.
  2. One narration [of the Shias] mentions that Sayyiduna ‘Umar whipped Sayyida Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them) which caused her immense distress.
  3. Among other false incidents and baseless stories, the Shias believe that Sayyiduna ‘Umar was the one who instigated the issue of Fadak and the caliphate of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with them).
  4. It is on account of this that some extreme individuals create effigies of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) from flour which they then fill with honey and then strike with their swords while saying they have killed Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). They then drink the honey and say we have drank his blood. This I have heard from some well-read scholars.
  5. Shias express the harshest hatred for Sayyiduna ‘Umar, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, Sayyiduna ‘Uthman and the Chaste Wives of the Prophet (may Allah bless them). It is stated in their renowned book Tuhfah al-‘Ulum (vol. 1, p. 20) that one should not get up off the prayer mat without cursing and expressing hatred for three of the Prophet’s companions (Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, Sayyiduna ‘Umar and Sayyiduna ‘Uthman (may Allah be pleased with them)) and two wives. The two chaste wives are Sayyida ‘Ayshah and Sayyida Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with them).

We should here contemplate why they have enmity for the Companions in general and Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) in particular. What is the cause, reason and basis of this hatred? By the end of Sayyiduna ‘Umar’s (may Allah be pleased with him) caliphate in 23 AH, Muslims had conquered thirty six thousand cities and forts, averaging nine cities or forts a day. Four thousand temples of idol worship were converted into masjids. The total area of land conquered by Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was 2.2 million square miles (see the footnotes of Tadhkirah al-‘Allamah al-Mashriqi, vol. 1, p. 69).[3]

Among these conquered lands, Iraq and Iran are worthy of mention—the Levant (al-Sham) and Egypt etc. were also among the conquered lands. Iran, which belonged to the Zoroastrians, was conquered during the caliphate Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) and Khosrau’s treasures were distributed in the Prophet’s masjid. Sayyiduna Suraqah ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) was made to wear the bracelets of Khosrau and thus the prophecy of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was realised.

When these people, the Persian Zoroastrians, were captured by the Muslims and saw their kingdom fall to bits then that same fire that they worshipped exploded in their hearts. Some of the cunning ones among them hypocritically embraced Islam and expressed love for the Ahl al-Bayt (family members of the Prophet). It was under this disguise that they kept the Zoroastrian spirit alive. It is on account of this that they hold profound enmity for Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) and it is also on account of this that the majority of Shias today are found in Iraq and Iran. This is because Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) made their Iran into an Islamic state and took them as captives.

Their empire, which had been established for centuries, was conquered in a flash, transforming their honour into humiliation. Shehar Bano, Khosrau’s daughter, was brought as a captive and their treasures, throne and crown, was distributed among the Companions (may Allah be pleased with him) in front of them. They witnessed all of this and sought to take revenge in the form of sweet poison by deceitfully expressing love for the Ahl al-Bayt while persistently striking Islam with damaging blows. Neither did they love Islam or Ahl al-Bayt. Their love was reserved solely for disbelief, Zoroastrianism and eliminating Islam. Love for Ahl al-Bayt was nothing but a show.

It is mentioned in [the Shia book] Ihtijaj Tabrisi (p. 59) that Sayyida Fatima addressed Sayyiduna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them) with the following words: “O son of Abu Talib! You have sat in hiding like a foetus (in the womb of its mother) and you have sat at home like one who has been slandered.” Is it the case—we seek refuge with Allah Most High—that Sayyiduna Fatima received guidance from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) that speaking in such a tone with her husband, the rightful imam,[4] is permissible? If this is love for Ahl al-Bayt then we are certainly free from it.

[The author then writes a Farsi poem, the meaning of which is as follows]

“If this is [what you call a wali], then curse upon [such a wali].

If a house is of weak foundation, then the building can never be strong. The religious rulings, creed, Qur’an and hadiths that have reached the Ummah have only come by way of the Prophet’s Companions and Chaste Wives (may Allah be pleased with them). If the ones who compiled the Qur’an and transmitted the hadiths are considered disbelievers and apostates, then such a religion—with its corrupt foundation—is not a religion but a child’s play. The religion whose founders include ‘Abdullah ibn Saba and Iranian Zoroastrians, and whose beliefs include mut‘ah (temporary marriage), the concept of bada[5] and the takfir of the Companions, is akin to what is mentioned in this [Perisan] poem:

If they appoint the cat as sultan, the dog as vizier, and the mouse as treasurer,

Then this system of governing will run nations into ruin.

These people are the founders of all the wrongs which developed in religion. We present a few passages of history to corroborate this.

  1. “Innovations (bid‘ah) and deviances in the religion were only spread by the children of captives (i.e. Persian captives etc.) as has been narrated in hadith.” (Al-Farq fi al-Firaq by Imam ‘Abdul Qahir al-Baghdadi al-Shafi‘i, p. 101).
  2. “When Shakir, the head of the heretics, was brought before Caliph Rashid to have his head severed, Rashid asked why is it that the first things you teach your people are Shia beliefs and disbelief in pre-destiny (qadr)? He replied: As to our teaching Shiaism, we intend to slander the narrators (meaning the Companions) by way of this. So when the [authority of the] narrators has been rendered null then that which they transmit (i.e. the religion of Islam) will be nullified…” (Tarikh al-Khatib, vol. 4, p. 308).

Notice the clarity by which Shakir the heretic admits that they intend to destroy Islam by accusing the Companions of disbelief and apostasy. This same point can be corroborated through the following references:

  • Al-Isabah fi Tadhkirah al-Sahabah by Hafidh ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, p. 10.
  • Al-Yawaqit wa al-Jawahir by ‘Abdul Wahhab Al-Sha‘rani (d. 973 AH), p. 226.
  • Kitab Al-Mu‘tamad by Fadlullah Turpushti who was a contemporary of Shaykh Sa‘di (d. 690 AH), section 3, chapter 4.

Note: The aforementioned point is the actual reason why the Shias slander the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them). Nevertheless, some uneducated people of the latter times began seeing Shias as sincere lovers of Ahl al-Bayt and genuinely considered Shiaism a part of Islam. They [Islam and Shiaism] are totally separate, take note.

Another obvious proof that the fitnah of enmity towards the Companions (may Allah be pleased with him) was harboured by non-Arab Persians is that the man who killed Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was a Zoroastrian slave of Sayyiduna Mughirah ibn Shu‘bah (may Allah be pleased with him) called Fayruz, whose teknonym (kunyah) was Abu Lu’Lu’ (this is mentioned in books of history and in Al-Ikmal fi Asma al-Rijal, p. 602). The martyrdom of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was a result of the plot of Hurmuzan, the king of Tustur who was taken captive to the holy city of Madinah. He hypocritically proclaimed faith but harboured disbelief in his heart (see Fayd al-Bari, vol. 3, p. 473).

The one who martyred Sayyiduna ‘Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) was an Egyptian by the name of Aswad al-Tajibi (this is more correct as mentioned in Al-Ikmal fi Asma al-Rijal, p. 602). One of the reasons they hate Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) is that he appointed Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) as Caliph after him, on account of whom Islam spread widely and greatly prospered.

A Question for the Shias

Shehar Bano, the daughter of Khosrau, was brought to Madinah in captivity as a slave-girl during the caliphate of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). She was married to Sayyiduna Husayn ibn ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and bore great Imams, in particular Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin. It is mentioned in [the Shia book] Usul al-Kafi (Kitab al-Hujjah, p. 296, in the section regarding the birth of ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn):[6]

“It is narrated from Abu Ja‘far (peace be upon him) who said: ‘When the daughter of Yazdegerd appeared before ‘Umar … the Commander of the Faithful[7] (peace be upon him) suggested: ‘You need not issue a ruling. Instead, just allow her to choose a Muslim man of her choice and consider her his share of booty.’ Hence, she was given a choice so she went and placed her hand on the head of Husayn (peace be upon him). The Commander of the Faithful (peace be upon him) asked her: ‘What is your name?’ She replied: ‘Jahan Shah.’ The Commander of the Faithful then said: ‘But your name is Shehar Bano.’ He then addressed Husayn: ‘Oh Abu ‘Abdullah. This woman will give birth for you the best person on earth.’ She later gave birth to ‘Ali ibn Husayn…”[8]

Had the caliphate of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) been a result of usurpation and if he were an apostate then this would necessitate the booty he distributed as being unlawful and Shehar Bano would have also been unlawful. Hence, how could the imam born from this haram woman be an [infallible] imam? Is this love for Ahl al-Bayt? Please clarify, may you be rewarded.

The Testimony of a Non-Muslim

At this point I would like to present a quote from Mohandas Gandhi (b. 1869 CE). Please read carefully. When the Indian National Congress emerged as a power in eight provinces in 1937 CE, Gandhi needed to present his ministers with the best role model of government and for this he cited the example of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna ‘Umar al-Faruq (may Allah be pleased with them). He writes:

“History tells us of Pratap and Shivaji living in the utmost simplicity. But opinions may be divided as to what they did when they had power. There is no division of opinion about the prophet, Abu Bakr and Omar. They had the riches of the world at their feet. It will be difficult to find a historical parallel to match their rigorous life. Omar would not brook the idea of his lieutenants living in distant provinces and using anything but coarse cloth and coarse flour.” (July 17, 1937 in Harijan newspaper)

This testimony is not insignificant because, according to Muslims, only six or seven thousand years have passed of the world. However, according to the Hindu faith four epochs are common belief (Tarikh-i-Farishta, vol. 1, p. 3):

1. Satya Yuga – This epoch is 1,728,000 years. The average age in this epoch is 100,000 years.

2. Treta Yuga – This epoch is 1,296,000 years. The average in this epoch is 10,000 years.

3. Dwapar Yuga– This epoch is 864,000 years. The average age in this epoch is 1000 years. Hindus believe Sayyiduna Nuh (peace be upon him) lived in this epoch.

4. Kali Yuga – This epoch is 432,000 years. The average age in this epoch is 100 years.

The first three epochs have certainly passed. They total 3,888,000 years. Some of the fourth epoch has also passed but we will take only the first three. Within this 3,888,000 years, Gandhi knew of the history of the Romans, the Amalekites, the Greeks, the Japanese, the Chinese, the British and his own Hindu history. Neither was he impressed by Ramchander Ji, Krishan Ji, Biyas Ji, or any of the other Rajas and Maharajas. Instead, he claims that the rule of the likes of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) cannot be found in the pages of history.

Beautiful is that woman, who is declared such by her [rival] co-wife,

True virtue is that which the enemy testifies to. (Arabic sayings.)

Martyrdom of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him)

We shall mention his death briefly as mentioned by al-Mubarrad (d. 285 AH) in his book Al-Kamil (Egyptian print, vol. 3, p. 113) and by Shaykh Muhammad al-Hadari (d. 1255 AH) in Al-Muhadarat (vol. 2, p. 122 and also on p. 193) that the Kharijites ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Muljim, Hajjaj ibn ‘Abdullah al-Suraymi and Zadawaih, the freed slave (mawla) of the Banu ‘Amr ibn Tamim, decided in a meeting that each one of them would assassinate one of three esteemed personalities. ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Muljim would assassinate Sayyiduna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) who was in Kufa, Hajjaj ibn ‘Abdullah for Sayyiduna Mu‘awiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) who was in Damascus, and Zadawaih would kill Sayyiduna ‘Amr ibn Al-‘As (may Allah be pleased with him) who was in Egypt. They fixed a specific night for these assassinations.

Hajjaj ibn ‘Abdullah was unsuccessful in his attempt to assassinate Sayyiduna Mu‘awiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) and Zadawaih attacked a man called Kharijah thinking he was Sayyiduna ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him). On learning who he had killed he said: “I intended to kill ‘Amr but Allah intended for Kharijah.” This statement later developed into a proverb. When someone sets out for something and it turns out different to what was intended they say this (see Tarikh Ibn Khallikan by Qadi Shams al-Din Ahmad ibn Khallikan d. 681 AH). ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Muljim wounded Sayyiduna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) after dawn on Friday 18th Ramadhan, 40 AH. He passed away on Sunday 21st Ramadhan. We are for Allah and unto Him do we return. Shaykh al-Hadari mentions: “He was buried in Kufa which was the capital of his caliphate.” His caliphate lasted four years and a few days short of nine months. His total age was 63 or 65 or 70 or 75 (see Al-Ikmal, p. 603). The first is the most correct.

Martyrdom of Sayyiduna Husayn ibn ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him)

Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) was martyred on 10th Muharram, 61 AH. He had a mere eighty companions with him at the time—seventy two of whom were martyred with him. Eighty eight men of the opposition were killed in Ibn Sa‘d’s army. As to who killed Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) is not part of the subject matter here. My heart tells me to continue writing because of this [Persian] poem:

The (true) wayfarers never become weary on the path, (because)

Love is their path and it is also their destination.

However, I shall suffice on a few points. It is as the [Urdu] poet says:

Bring the register of deaths so that I may also see,

Whose seal it is at the top.

Who killed Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him)? Was it Sayyiduna Mu‘awiyah (may Allah be pleased with him)? Certainly not! It is mentioned in the [Shia book] Jala al-‘Uyun (p. 422) that Sayyiduna Mu‘awiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) specially advised Yazid regarding Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) that he is certain that the people of Iraq (Kufa) will invite Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) and subsequently betray and abandon him. [He said]: O Yazid, if you defeat them then take their sacred status and relation to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) into consideration. Do not punish them. Do not sever the connections I built with them in my time and let them not suffer.

It is stated in the Shia book Nasikh al-Tawarikh (vol. 6, p. 111) that Sayyiduna Mu‘awiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “My son, beware! Let it not be the case that when you are presented to Allah on the Day of Judgement you are taken to account for the blood of Husayn ibn ‘Ali…” It is stated in the same book (vol. 2, p. 780) that Sayyiduna Mu‘awiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “How can I stigmatise Husayn when I find no fault in him…” All three references are from prominent Shia books which prove Sayyiduna Mu‘awiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) was neither the killer nor did he consent to the killing and that he was not present to witness the martyrdom.

Was Yazid behind the martyrdom of Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him), or did he instigate it? Take into account the following references [from Shia works]:

    1. It is mentioned in Nasikh al-Tawarikh (p. 269) that when Zuhayr ibn Qays informed Yazid of Sayyiduna Husayn’s (may Allah be pleased with him) martyrdom “Yazid instantaneously lowered his head. The shock silenced him. Thereafter, he raised his head and remarked: ‘I would have been pleased with your obedience to me without the killing of Husayn. I would certainly have pardoned him had I been with you and I would never have let him be killed.’”
    2. When Shimr Dhi al-Jushan brought the blessed head of Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) to Yazid and said fill my baggage with gold and silver, for I have killed the best of mankind, then it is mentioned in [the Shia book] Khulasah al-Masa’ib (p. 304) that “Yazid became enraged and looked at Shimr with rage and said, ‘May Allah fill your baggage with fire. Woe unto you, why did you kill him after knowing he is the best of mankind? Get out! I have no reward for you.’”
    3. It is mentioned in Jala al-‘Uyun (p. 527) that Yazid said: “Ibn Ziyad the accursed acted with haste in killing Husayn. I was never happy for his killing.”
    4. It is mentioned in Taraz Madhhab Muzaffari (p. 456) that Yazid said: “May Allah destroy Ibn Ziyad, for he killed Husayn and disgraced me in both worlds.”
    5. It is mentioned in Jala al-‘Uyun (p. 527) that Yazid said to his wife Hindah: “O Hindah, lament over the grandson of the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the leader of the Quraysh.”
    6. According to Khulasah al-Masa’ib (p. 353), Yazid would become restless in public as well as in private and would weep over Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him).Note: Lamenting over Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) is the practice of Yazid. Shias have adopted this practice of Yazid.
    7. According to the above [Shia] book (p. 392), Yazid courteously loaded the rides of the Ahl al-Bayt and bid them farewell with respect.

So Who Betrayed and killed Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him)?

In Rabi al-Awwal 41 AH, Sayyiduna Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him) concluded a treaty with Sayyiduna Mu‘awiyah (may Allah be pleased with them) as had been prophesised by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). There is a narration in Sahih al-Bukhari (vol. 1, p. 373) that the Prophet gestured towards Sayyiduna Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him) and said: “This son of mine will be a leader and perhaps Allah will make peace between two great parties of the Muslims through him.” At this point, the Shias responded to the treaty—as mentioned in [the Shia book] Jala al-‘Uyun (p. 336)—by claiming Sayyiduna Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him) had humiliated them by making them slaves of the Banu Umayyah [family of Sayyiduna Mu’awiyah, may Allah be pleased with him]. The Shias would disrespectfully address Sayyiduna Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him) by calling him mudhil al-mu’minin (the humiliator of the believers) and ‘ar al-mu’minin (disgrace of the believers). A Shia by the name of Sufyan ibn Abu Layla would offer salam to Sayyiduna Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him) saying: “Peace be upon you O disgrace of the believers, peace be upon you O humiliator of the believers.”

The Shias of Kufa wrote to Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) asking him to certainly visit Kufa and enlighten it. They assured him they would pledge allegiance to him. Those who wrote to him were Shias by the names of Sulayman ibn Sard, Musayyib ibn Nakhbah, Rifa’ah ibn Shaddad and Habib ibn Mudhahir (see the Shia books Jala al-‘Uyun, p. 43; Nasikh al-Tawarikh, vol. 6, p. 131; and Mahij al-Ahzan, p. 47-48). After the Shias wrote 12,000 letters, Sayyiduna Husayn sent his cousin Sayyiduna Muslim ibn ‘Aqil (may Allah be pleased with them) to assess the situation for him (see Jala al-‘Uyun, p. 432). On reaching Kufa, eighty thousands residents of Kufa pledged their allegiance to Sayyiduna Muslim ibn ‘Aqil (may Allah be pleased with him) (see Nasikh al-Tawarikh, p. 133). The Shias wrote to Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) stating one thousand swords are prepared to assist him (Mahij al-Ahzan, p. 55). Deceived by their approach, Sayyiduna Muslim ibn ‘Aqil (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote to Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) twenty seven days prior to being martyred inviting him to Kufa, claiming that the people there seemed ever so sympathetic. In brief, they were the ones who martyred Sayyiduna Muslim ibn ‘Aqil (may Allah be pleased with him) (Nasikh al-Tawarikh). Now the question remains as to who were the Kufan residents who wrote the letters. Were they Sunni or Shia?

      1. The Shia writer Qadi Nurullah Shostari writes in Majalis al-Mu’minin (p. 25) that no evidence is required to prove the people of Kufa were Shias. Rather, evidence is required to prove they were Sunnis. He also writes that although Imam Abu Hanifah was a Sunni, but an insignificant minority is considered virtually non-existent.
      2. The letters Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) received would state: “From so and so, son of so and so and all the Shias…” (see the Shia book: Nasikh al-Tawarikh etc.)
      3. When the first plan to invite Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) was hatched at the house of Sulayman ibn Sard, he said: “You people are a part of his Shi‘ah [Shi’ah meaning group] and his father’s Shi‘ah (see Nasikh al-Tawarikh and Jala al-‘Uyun). When Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) reached his army camp he remarked: “What loyalty did you display to my father for me to expect loyalty from you now.” When he got to his camp none of them were by him (see Shia book: Jala al-‘Uyun, p. 312). Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) repeatedly said: “The Shias have betrayed us” (see Shia book: Khulasah al-Masa’ib, p. 49 and also Nasikh al-Tawarikh, p. 163, and Jala al-‘Uyun). Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) addressed them saying: “Woe to you O people of Kufa. Have you forgotten your letters and your pledges? It is [you] the people of Kufa who called me and these are your letters, but now you are the same people who are anxious to kill me” (see Shia books: Dhabh-i-‘Azim, p. 335; Nasikh al-Tawarikh, p. 159; and Khulasah al-Masa’ib, p. 115). Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin (may Allah be pleased with him) states: “When these people are the only ones who lament over us, who else [besides them] could have oppressed and killed our seniors?” (Nasikh al-Tawarikh, vol. 6, p. 243) Sayyida Zaynab (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “O people of Kufa. O traitors. You are the ones who killed us and you are the ones who lament over us too” (Jala al-‘Uyun). ‘Allamah Khalil al-Qazwini writes in Safi which is the commentary of Kafi that “after the imam was martyred the ones who wrote the letters [to him] confessed to having committed a heinous crime and admitted that they ought to repent (Majalis al-Mu’minin). However, what good is there in repenting after killing and instigating murder?

He repented from oppressing after murdering me,

What good is such intense remorse? (Urdu couplet.)

It is mentioned in Khulasah al-Masa’ib (p. 201), Nasikh al-Tawarikh (vol. 6, p. 174) and Talkhis Murqqa‘ Karbala (p. 10) that “there was not a single Syrian or Hijazi among them [killers]; rather they were all residents of Kufa.”

Till the present day, after murdering and instigating the murder of Sayyiduna Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him), they have kept secret the identities of the killers and remain in mourning.

Can unlawful blood ever be hidden by concealing it?

Why are they sat around my corpse trying to hide the blood. [Urdu couplet]

Supplicate to Allah Most High that He grants us the ability to understand the truth and remain firm on it. All praise is for Allah, at the beginning and at the end, and exoterically and esoterically. May Allah Most High send peace and blessings on the Prophet, his family, companions and wives.

The lowly servant of Allah, [Shaykh] Muhammad Sarfaraz Khan Safdar [may Allah have mercy upon him].

_____________________________

  1. According to the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia ‘Abdullah ibn Saba was “a Jew of Yemen, Arabia, of the seventh century, who settled in Medina and embraced Islam. Having adversely criticized Calif Othman’s administration, he was banished from the town. Thence he went to Egypt, where he founded an antiothmanian sect, to promote the interests of Ali. On account of his learning he obtained great influence there, and formulated the doctrine that, just as every prophet had an assistant who afterward succeeded him, Mohammed’s vizier was Ali, who had therefore been kept out of the califate by deceit. Othman had no legal claim whatever to the califate; and the general dissatisfaction with his government greatly contributed to the spread of Abdallah’s teachings. Tradition relates that when Ali had assumed power, Abdallah ascribed divine honors to him by addressing him with the words, ‘Thou art Thou!’ Thereupon Ali banished him to Madain. After Ali’s assassination Abdallah is said to have taught that Ali was not dead but alive, and had never been killed; that a part of the Deity was hidden in him; and that after a certain time he would return to fill the earth with justice. Till then the divine character of Ali was to remain hidden in the imams, who temporarily filled his place. It is easy to see that the whole idea rests on that of the Messiah in combination with the legend of Elijah the prophet. The attribution of divine honors to Ali was probably but a later development, and was fostered by the circumstance that in the Koran Allah is often styled ‘Al-Ali’ (The Most High)” [sic] [translator]. []
  2. HIGGINS, G., 1829. An Apology for the Life and Character of the Celebrated Prophet of Arabia, called Mohamed, or the Illustrious. 1st ed. London: Rowland Hunter. []
  3. ‘Allamah Shibli Nu’mani writes: “The total area of the countries conquered by the Great Caliph was 2,251,030 square miles, extending from Makkah 1,036 miles to the north, 1,087 miles to the east and 483 miles to the south. In the west the country extended only up to Jeddah and may, therefore, be ignored. These vast territories comprised the countries of Syria, Egypt, Khozistan, both the Iraqs (Arab and Persian), Armenia, Adharbaijan, Fars, Kiram, Khurasan and Makran including parts of Baluchistan as well. Asia Minor, called Rum by the Arabs, was invaded in 20 A.H., but it cannot be reckoned as a conquest. All of these conquests were made in the reign of Omar in a little over ten years.”

    NU’MANI, S., 1992. Al-Farooq Omar the Great. (Z. A. Khan, Trans.). New Delhi: International Islamic Publishers. (Original translated work published in 1900). []

  4. This is sarcasm being employed here by the author. [translator]. []
  5. Shia dogma requires belief in a strange concept known as bada. Shias believe that at times Allah performs an action due to ignorance and then regrets this. This is what is meant by bada. An entire chapter is devoted to this belief in the widely accepted Shia book Usul al-Kafi [translator]. []
  6. This is according to Shia sources and all of the references are Shia. The same story is also mentioned in the commentary of Al-Usul, entitled Al-Safi, in the chapter entitled Kitab al-Hujjah (vol. 3, part 2, p. 204-205) [translator]. []
  7. The reference here is to Sayyidina ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) [translator]. []
  8. He was known as Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin and the Shias believe him to be the fourth of their twelve infallible imams. It should also be noted that Usul al-Kafi is for the Shias equivalent to the Sahih al-Bukhari of the Muslims [translator]. []

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