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Fabrication of Traditions against Ali

Abu Ja'far al-Iskafi412 said that Mu'awiyah forced some of the Companions and the Followers to narrate obscene and indecent reports, with ascribing then to Ali, with the aim of defaming and disowning him. He dedicated for this act a certain stipend, that made them compose and falsify traditions which pleased him, among whom being Abu Hurayrah, 'Amr ibn al-`As and al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah, beside Urwah ibn al-Zubayr from among the Tabi'un.

Al-A'mash reported that: When Abu Hurayrah arrived, with Mu'awiyah, in Iraq in the year called at-Jama'ah year413 he betook himself to the Kufah Mosque. On noticing the great multitude of people gathered for his reception, he kneeled down on his knees, beating his bald head recurringly, saying: O people of Iraq! do you allege that I am lying to Allah and His Messenger,414 and burn myself in Fire? By God, I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: For every prophet there is a special shrine, and my shrine is at al-Madinah between "Ir to Thawr. Whoever causing hadath (condition requiring wudu' or ghusl), will be subject to damnation of Allah and the angels and all people... and I give witness by Allah that Ali has caused a hadath in it. When Mu'awiyah became aware of this hadith, he awarded and honoured Abu Hurayrah, with appointing him a governor over al-Madinah.
But truth never loses supporters, and though the Companions having among them a man like Abu Hurayrah, who can easily be beguiled and overcome by Mu'awiyah, the overwhelming majority of them can neither be tempted by any promise, nor be intimidated by any threat or menace. Sufyan al-Thawri reported from Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Qasim, from Umar ibn Abd al-Ghaffar, that when Abu Hurayrah entered al-Madinah with Mu'awiyah, he used to sit in the nights at Kindah Gate where people would gather round him. A youth from Kufah approached him saying: O Abu Hurayrah, I adjure you by God, have you heard the Messenger of Allah say to Ali ibn Abi Talib: O God! befriend whoever befriends him and be the enemy of whoever be hostile to him? He replied: Yes, by God. He said: I give witness by Allah that you have verily befriended His enemy and contracted the enmity of His friend. Then after levelling at him such a painful blow, he departed him.

Muslim reported that Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan said to Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas: What prohibits you from insulting Abu Turab?415 He said: Don't you remember three virtues disclosed by the Messenger to him? Had I possessed one of which, it would have been dearer for me than the red camels, the fact for which I abstain from slandering him! I heard the Messenger of Allah, as he left him behind in one of his battles,416 and when Ali inquired him: O Messenger of Allah, are you leaving me with the women and lads? he said to him. Are you not pleased to have the position (manzilah) in relation to me as that Aron had in relation to Moses? But surely there is no prophethood after me." Also I heard him on the day (of the victory of) Khaybar: "Tomorrow I will give the standard to a man, who loves God and His Messenger, and God and His Messenger love him." Everyone of us was hopeful of getting it. (The next day) the Prophet declared: Summon Ali. Then they brought him while suffering from eye pain (ramad). The Prophet applied his saliva to his eyes and prayed for him. Ali recovered as if he had no pain before. Then the Prophet gave the standard to him. Also at the time of the revelation of the holy verse: "...say (unto him): Come! We will summon our sons and your sons,...", the Messenger of Allah summoned Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn saying: O God, these are my household.

Further, among the merits of Ali, we can refer to what the Prophet said to him. You are from me and I am from you. He also said to him: Of whomever I am his master Ali also is his master.

Ahmad ibn Hanbal says: The reports that we got in regard of any of the Companions can never amount to those ones regarding (the merits of) Ali. In another place, he and al-Nasa'i and al-Nisaburi and others said: the authentic and supported reports that reached us in honour of anyone of the Sahabah can never exceed those reported in regard of the merits of Ali.

About Ali too, Muslim is reported to have said: By Him Who split the seed and created the soul, what I know about him is that (the Prophet said to him): "Verily none loves you but only the believer, and that who detests you should be a hypocrite." Also al-Nasa'i has compiled a book under the title al-Khasa’is about the virtues and excellences of Ali.


412. Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. I, p.358.

413. It is the year in which (al-Imam) al-Hasan renounced his right to rule to Mu'awiyah for sparing Muslims' lives in 41 H. They used to call it the Jama'ah year while it was in fact year of separation.

414. This saying indicates that Abu Hurayrah's lying against the Prophet became so commonly known everywhere, since he said this when he was in Iraq. And all people were talking about this falsity wherever they settled and depared.

415. Abu Turab is Ali (A). And the practice which Mu'awiyah and the Umayyad rulers who succeeded him followed was their asking or obliging people to slandring and cursing Ali from over the pulpits. This bad sunnah remained to be followed fro many years till it was cancelled by Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz (may God's mercy be upon him).

416. It is the Battle of Tabuk.

Adapted from: "Lights on the Muhammadan Sunnah" by: "Mahmud Ali Riyyah"

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