Book of Allah and My 'Itrah or : Book of Allah and My Sunnah?
This subject has been fully corvered in the book "To be with the Truthful" (Li -akuna ma'a al-Sadiqin), and we briefly mentioned that there was no contradiction between the two traditions since the true Prophetic Sunnah being preserved with the Pure 'Itrah', the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them). And the Ahl al-Bayt are better aware of what is in it (house), and 'Ali ibn Abi Talib is the gate of the Prophetic Sunnah and he has more right over Abu Hurayrah and Ka'b al-'Ahbar and Wahb ibn Munabbih to be the narrator of Islam.
Nevertheless, more elaborations in inevitable, though leading to repetition, but is beneficial for those who missed reading the book. Our dear readers may be convinced in this debate that the hadith "the Book of Allah and my Kindered " being the origin (asl), but the caliphs substituted it with " the Book of Allah and my Sunnah" with the aim of isolating Ahl al-Bayt from the arena of life.
It should be observed that the hadith "the Book of Allah and my Sunnah " is not to be right even among Ahl al-Sunnah themselves, since they have reported in their Sihah that the Prophet (S) forbade them from writing it (his Sunnah). So if this tradition (of forbiddance) being authentic, how is it possible for the Prophet (S) to say: I am leaving behind among you my Sunnah while it is not written and not identified??! Had the hadith (the Book of Allah and my Sunnah) been right, how would 'Umar ibn al-Khatab have followed himself to respond to the prophet (S) by saying: We are sufficed by the Book of Allah"?!
Moreover, if the Prophet (S) has left behind a written Sunnah, how could it be possible for Abu Bakr and 'Umar to burn it, preventing it from reaching people?!
If the hadith ''Book of Allah and my Sunnah" being right, why has Abu Bakr addressed people after the Prophet's demise, saying: "Do not narrate anything from the Messenger of Allah . Whoever asks you (about rules) you should say: the Book of Allah is between us and you, you should consider as lawful which it regards as haram?! 101 And why has Abu Bakr contradicted it in fighting the deniers of zakat, while the Messenger of Allah (S) has said: "Whoever witnesses that there is no god except Allah (La ilaha illa Allah), his blood and property will be immune from me and his reckoning is with Allah"?!
Had it been rihgt, how could it be permissible for Abu Bakr and 'Umar and those who followed their guide among the Sahabah, to violate the sanctity al-Zahra' (A) and assault her house threatening to set it to fire with whomever is inside it? Haven't they heard the prophet's (S) saying in her regard: "Fatimah is a part of me,whoever vexes her vexes me, and whoever hurts her hurts me"? Yea by God, they have heard and comprehended it. Haven't they heard the Almighty Allah's saying: "Say (O Muhammad,unto mankind): I ask of you no fee therefore, save loving kindness among kinsforlk" (42:23), which has been revealed in the right of her and her husband and her two sons? Has loving kindness to Ahl al-Bayt been in intimidating and threating them with burning, and pressing the door against Fatimah's abdomen till she aborted her foetus?!
Had the hadith" the Book of Allah and my Sunnah " been correct, how would Mu'awiyah and his followers and sycophants have warranted cursing 'Ali and slandering him over pulpits throughout the reign of the Umayyads? Haven't they heard God's commandment to ask blessings on him as they do on the Prophet? Haven't they heard the Prophet's (S) hadith: "Whoever reviles "Ali, has in fact reviled me, and who reviles me have reviled Allah?!102
If it is right, what kept this Sunnah from the awareness of most of the Sahabah in a way that they ignored it and exerted their opinions in Islamic rules, the act done by the leaders of the four schools, who resorted to qiyas, ijtihad, ijma' (unanimity) , sadd bab al-dhara'i al-masalih al-mursalah, al-istishab (accompaniment), sawafi al-'umara' and akhaff al-dararayn, and other matters (heresies)?!103
Had the Messenger (S) left behind "the Book of Allah and Sunnah of His Prophet" to safeguard people against deviation,so no need would have been there for all these heresies innovated by Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah, as "every baid'ah is deviation (dalalah) and every deviation is in fire " as stated in the holy tradition...!
Then come the rationals and men of letters who blame the Prophet (S) due to neglecting his Sunnah and never caring for it, nor ordering to put it to writing, preserving with safeguard it against perversion,disagreement, composition and fabrication, and then would say to people: " I am leaving behind among you two precious things (thaqalayn), that which if you hold on to, you shall never go astray: the Book of Allah and my Sunnah"!
When those wise people are told that the Prophet forbade them from writing it down, it would be an object of derision, as this being unexpected to be done by wisemen, that how could he forbid the Muslims from writing his Sunnah, telling them them; I am leaving among you my Sunnah? !
Added to this, when attaching to the Glorious Book of Allah the Prophetic Sunnah written down throuhgout centuries by Muslims, we can find it the abrogating (nasikh) and the abrogated (mansukh) specific (khass) and general (aam), the clear (muhkam) and ambiguous (mustahabbah), being thus like the Qur'an.The Qur'an is wholly sahih since Allah --Subhanahu--has undertaken to protect and preserve it, and due to its being written down (maktub), whereas the Sunnah includes false and fabricated traditions more than the sahih (varacious) ones. The Prophetic Sunnah is, before all, in need of an infallible man (ma'sum) to indicate its right (traditions) and reject what is composed, as this being infeasible for the non-infallible though being an erudite scholar.
Further, the Qu'ran and Sunnah are altogether in need of a profoundly learned 'alim, aware of all their rules and mysteries, so that he can elucidate for people, after the Prophet's time, the rules about which they differed and of which they were unaware.
Haven't you heard the Glorified Allah state explicitly that the holy Qur'an being in need of someone to manifest it, by saying: "And We have revealed unto thee the Rememberance that thou mayst explain to mankind that which hath been revealed for them". (16:44)? Had not the Prophet been there to explain to mankind that which has been revealed for them, it would have not been possible for them to be aware of God's rules, though the Qur'an being revealed in their own language!
This is intuitive matter known for all people, that though the Qur'an being revealed with the religious duties including salat (prayer), zakat (alms),sawm (fasting), and hajj (pilgrimage), still Muslims are in need of the Prophet's (S) explanation, since he has expounded the way of performing prayer,the amount of zakat, rules of fasting and rituals of pilgrimage, otherwise, people have not been acquainted with all these rules.
So, if the Qur'an, in which is no difference, and falsehood cannot come at it from before it or from behind it, needs an expositor, then the Prophetic Sunnah shall be much more in need of an expositor, due to the abundance of difference that occured in it, and much of foist and false ascription tha afflicted it. It is quite natural or rather rational requisiters, that every messenger should care for the message with which he was commissioned, through appointing an executor (wasi) and a guardian by a revelation from Allah, to protect the message against loss after his demise.
Based on this, the Messenger of Allah (S) has prepared his successor and guardian over his ummah, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, bringing him up from childhood with prophethood morals, instructing him when grown up the knowledge of the formers and latters, singling him out with mysteries unknown for others, directing the Ummah continously towards him by telling them: This is my brother, and my guardian and successor over you. He also said: I am the best of prophets and 'Ali is the best of guardians, and of whemever I am leaving behind. He said : 'Ali is with the Truth, and Truth (haqq) is with 'Ali, and 'Ali is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with 'Ali. He also said: I have fought over the tanzil (revelation) of the Qur'an, and 'Ali will fight over his ta'wil (interpretation), and he will verily elucidate to my Ummah that in which they differed after me.He further said: No one can ever be my successor except 'Ali, and he is the master (wali) of evey believer after me. Morever he said: 'Ali has the position (manzilah) in relation to me as that Aron has in relation to Mosses, and verily 'Ali and I are inseperable, and he is the gate of of my knowledge.104
It has also been proved scientifically and historically, and through writings of the biographers, that 'Ali has been the only reference authority (marji) for all the Companions --the learned and ignorant among them. Ahl al-Sunnah's confession that 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abbas,whom they called Habr al-'Ummah,was his ('Ali's) disciple, and acquired knowledge under him, beside ascribing all 'ulum (branches of knowledge) to him (A) are sufficient evidences proving his superiority.105
Supposedly if the hadith (the Book of Allah and my Sunnah) contradicts the hadith (the Book of Allah and my 'Itrah), the latter should precede the former, i.e., mentioning (my 'Itrah) before (my Sunnah), so that every sane Muslim should refer to the Pure Imams of Ahl al-Bayt for exposing to him to concepts (mafahim) of the Qur'an and Sunnah.
But when any sane Muslim adopts the hadith (the Book of Allah and my Sunnah), he will verily be perplexed as regards both the Qur'an and Sunnah, finding no trusworthy reference for explaining to him the unconceived rules, or those rules about which the scholars differed greatly, and many diversified and contradictive discourse have been uttered by leaders of schools of thougt (madhahib)
Undoubtedly, if he adopts the utterance of any of the scholars, or follows the opinion of any of the schools, his adopting or following is verily with no any evidence, or veracity of this one or falsehood of that one. Certainly adopting one of the schools and rejecting any other one is but a blind fanaticism and a baseless imitation, the fact about which Allah -the Exalted -has stated: "Most of them follow not but conjecture. Assurely conjecture can be no means take the place of truth".(10:36).
I will cite only one example, helping the reader recognize truth, and distinguish between truth and falsehood.
Taking the Qur'an and reading the verse on ablution (wudu'):... and lightly wipe your heads and your feet up to the ankles" (5:6), we come to understand at first blush that no difference being there between wiping feet and wiping heads, but when viewing the conduct of Muslims we see them differ in this respect: All of Ahl al-Sunnah wash (their feet), while all the Shi'ah wipe.
Thereat we shall be bewildered and doubtful, facing the question: which one is correct (sahih)?
When returning to the 'ulama' and exegetes of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah, we observe them differ regarding this rule, as they report two readings for this verse: "Arjulakim" (your feet) with fathah on (lam), and the second arjulikum with kasrah under (lam) .Then they correct the two readings by saying: whoever reads it with fathah will obligate ghasl (washing), and that who reads it with kasrah will obligate mash (wiping).
Then another Sunni scholar, 106 profoundly learned in the Arabic language, discloses that: Both readings --with fathah and with kasrah obligate mash, as the word arjul (feet) either be masubah (arjula) in place or majrurah (arjuli) on adjacency. He adds that the Qur'an has ordained the wiping and the Sunnah washing.
As can be seen, the 'ulama' of Ahl al-Sunnah have not removed our perplexity by contrariety of their opinions, but they multiplied our doubt by saying that the Sunnah has contradicted the Qur'an. It is far from the Prophet to contradict the Qur'an and wash his feet during ablution (wudu'). Had the prophet wahsed his feet during wudu', contradicting him would have not been permissible for eminent Companions, entertaining that much of knowledge, like 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ibn 'Abbas, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman and Anas ibn Malik, with all the Companions who read (arjuli) with kasrah, being the majority of qurra (reciters) who considered wiping as wajib (obligatory). Then all the Shi'ah who followed the guide of the Imams from Pure progeny ('Itrah) have believed in wiping as wajib.
So what is the solution?
Thus we have realized that every Muslim will remain perplexed and suspicious, and without refering to reliable people, he will never recognize the right from wrong, not knowing Allah's sahih rule from the false one
I have deliberately cited this example from the holy Qur'an to show the extent of difference and contradiction, in which Muslim Sunni scholars hit at random regarding an act the Prophet used to do several times a day for twenty-three years, and was supposed to be known by all the Prophet's Companions. But the 'ulama' of Ahl al-Sunnah have differed regarding the readings, using fathah once and kasrah another time, issueing contradictory rules accordinly!
The researchers are aware of the numerous differences among scholars in exegesis and infering rules according to the various readings.
And if their difference about the Book of Allah being so explicit, it will be more explicit regarding the Prophetic Sunnah.
What will be the solution then?
If you tell us that it is wajibto refer to someone reliable for explaining and exposing the sahih rules from the Qur'an and Sunnah, we shall ask you to lead us to the rational wise man, since the Qur'an and the Sunnah never safeguard against deviation, due to their being silent and having various interpretations, as mentioned earlier in the ablution verse.The wujub of imitating the scholars aware of the realities of the Qur'an and Sunnah, has become an irrefutable intuition, but the difference lies only in identifying those very scholars.
If you claim that they being the 'ulama' of the Ummah headed by the Sahabah, we shall tell you that we observed their difference regarding the verse on ablution and other matters. We came to know that they have fought and charged each other with disbelief, so it is not possible to rely on all of them, but only on the equitable ones,not the falsities.Then the problem shall remain unsolved.
If someone recommends us to refer to the leaders of the four schools, we tell him that they have disagreement regarding most of the issues, that even some of them have regarded basmalah in prayers is makruh (reprehensible), and some have considered prayers as invalid without basmalah. Everyone has been acquainted with the conditions of these schools, that they being the making tyrant rulers, and remote from the message era, not knowing the Sahabah beside the Prophet (S) himself.
So only one solution is left before us, bieng the necessity to refer to the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, far from whom Allah has removed uncleaness and cleaness a thorough cleansing, the knowledgeable who strive in God's way, that no one could attain their position in knowledge, piety, learning by heart, and righteousness. They are infallible against lie and error as confirmed by the Qur'anic text107 and Prophet's hadith.108
They have inherited the knowledge of the Book of Allah after He has chosen them, and the Prophet has taught them all the rules needed by people, asking people to follow them by saying: "The parable of my Ahl al-Bayt is that of the ark of Noah; whoever gets abroad it is saved, and whoever stays away from it is drowned" Ibn Hajar, one of the Sunni 'ulama', explains this hadith in this way: The aspect of the resembling them to the ark lies in that whoever loves and glorifies them, as gratitude for the grace of their nobility, and be guided by their scholars, will be saved from darkness of contradictions. Whoever stays away from them will be drowned in the sea of ingratitude perish in the desert of tyranny.109
Added to this, we cannot find any scholar among the Islamic Ummah in the past or present, from the Companions' time till the present day, who dares to claim of being more knowledgeable or virtous than the Imams of the Prophet's Progeny, or anyone who claims that he taught anyone of the Ahl al-Bayt Imams, or guided them to something.
Anyone likes to get more elaboration and details, can see the books "al-Murajat" and "al-Ghadir". But those equitable ones can suffice with which was mentioned, as the hadith "I am leaving behind among you Allah's Book and my Kindered " being the truth admitted by reason and inner consecience, and attested by the Sunnah and the Qur'an.
Thus it is manisfested again with irrefutable evidences, that the Imamiyyah Shi'ah are the true followers of the real Prophetic Sunnah, and that ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah have only obeyed their masters and grandees, who misled them and let them wander blindly in darkness, drowning them in the sea of ingratitude, and causing them to perish in the deserts of tyranny, as expressed by Ibn Hajar al-Shafi'i.
All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all world, for guiding His faithful servants.
101. Tadhkirat al-huffaz, by al-Dhahabi, vol. i, p.3.
102. Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol.iii.p.121 ,he said: It is a sahih hadith on condition it be approved by the two shaykhs, but they have never reported it. Ta'rikh al-khulafa', by al-Sayuti, p. 73; Khasa'is al-Nasa'i, p. 24;al-Manaqib by al-khawarazmi, p.82.
103. Jami 'bayan al-'ilm, vol. ii, p. 174.
104. All these traditions being sahih in view of Ahl al-Sunnah, and reported and affirmed by their 'ulama', We have cited them in the previous books, refer to al-Muraja'at, edited by Husayn al-Radi.
105. In this respect see the introduction of Ibn Abi al-Haid al-Mu'tazili for his Sharh al-Nahj.
106. He is al-'Imam al-Fakhr al-Razi in his al-Tafsir al-Kabir, vol. xi, p.161.
107. The almighty's saying: "Allah's wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a through cleansing",
108. The prophet's saying: the Book of Allah and my kindered, if you hold fast to them you will never go astray after me, meaning that the Pure 'Itrah are immune against error like the Book of Allah, since the non-infallible cannot ensure guidance, and that who is subjected to error is in need of guidance.
109. Al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Shafi, p.151.
Adapted from the book: "The Shi'ah; The Real Followers of the Sunnah" by: "Dr. Muhamad al-Tijahi al-Samawi"
Share this article