Legatee of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.)
- :Qadi Bohlool Afandi
As the Lord Almighty created man, He also guided them to the right path through a guide from among themselves. All of these divine guides in their respective periods were the bearers of authority and dispensers of divine law among the people. Among these great messengers (a.s.) some were higher than others, and some of them reached the status of Ulul Azm. The best of these messengers was the seal of the Prophets, Muhammad (s.a.w.a.). Also, according to common belief, reaching to the level of certainty, Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) was the most respected and superior personality in the eyes of the Holy Prophet (s.a.). None held this position. This discussion, which is Sharii and religious, is related to Islamic laws. Islamic law has some general principles for all issues, which cannot be denied. Once these are promulgated and applied, both the plaintiff and the dependant are obliged to respect it.
In Islam, the followers of different sects follow different variations of the law but the general principles are non-changeable. Among these principles, is the following: Whosoever desires to prove something according to Islam law has to support his arguments with proofs and evidences? No claim can be presented without proof and evidence.
In Islamic Shariah, two types of proofs are valid: Rational (Aqli) and Traditional or Documentary (Naqli). The difference between the two is that if there is no documentary evidence for a particular thing, it cannot be proved with rational arguments alone. But if a particular thing is proved by texts there is no need to justify it rationally. In order to prove that Ali (a.s.) was the foremost and the most superior of all the people of the Muslim Ummah, we are obliged to present both forms of evidences, rational as well as traditional. Here we shall relate the rational arguments and then present the traditional proofs in short.
Yes! Human wisdom is a witness that there are two important concepts in the Universe, Existence and non-Existence. Indeed, wisdom is a witness for the superiority and virtue of existence and not for non-existence. Existence also is of two types, proper and common. Certainly, wisdom will always give preference to a specific command. Specific command is again of two kinds, perceptive and non-perceptive. Now, wisdom is aware that perceptive is superior to non- perceptive. Perceptive is again of two kinds, intellectual and non-intellectual. Intellectual is indeed the superior-most. Intellectual is further divided into two types, knowledgeable and non-knowledgeable. Certainly, wisdom considers knowledgeable to be superior-most.
After this introduction of intellect and its kinds we would like to state that after the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Ali (a.s.) was the most knowledgeable personality. There was none his equal among all the people. In this way, Hazrat Amirul Momineen (a.s.) was the most superior person in the Ummah.
One of the proofs of superiority is knowledge, which was present in the personality of Ali (a.s.). Now let us discuss the other causes and signs of superiority because superiority is a quality that is established by its signs and causes. All these causes and signs are present in the person himself. They are not superior to him in isolation. The foremost quality is righteousness. Yes! Wisdom dictates that righteousness is superior to injustice. Another quality is bravery. Certainly good character is its primary advantage. According to wisdom, it is the most superior quality. Thus, everyone will agree that there was no person equal to Ali (a.s.) as regards bravery and a lofty character in his time. Therefore, he was the most superior person. He was the most deserving one according to wisdom. No doubt about it!
This was in brief, our rational argument to prove the superiority of Ali (a.s.). Let us now prove it from traditional point of view. The first category of textual proofs is the Holy Quran, and the second the sayings of the holy Prophet (s.a.). There is no doubt concerning the validity of these two proofs. As far as the sayings of the Prophet (s.a.) are concerned, if their authenticity is established, the Muslims consider them at par with the verses of the Holy Quran.
The only problem regarding traditions is that some of them are authentic and some are not. Even though hundreds of important writings and thousands of books have been written to interpret and study the traditions we still find a large number of forged sayings among the books of traditions. Some of them have created untold controversies and problems among the Muslim nation. There is a marked difference between the methods of Shia and Sunni scholars in evaluating the authenticity of a hadith. Shias generally believe that it is necessary for a reporter of hadith to be just (aadil). But according to the majority of Ahle Sunnat, all the companions were just and thus all the traditions reported by them are authentic and reliable. However, according to Shia scholars, all the companions were not just that traditions reported by them couldn't be accepted without scrutiny.
Yes! Even though the differences are minute, they are very important because the traditions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.) have reached us only through the companions. Hence the justice of companions is an important criterion for the correctness of the narrations.
The humble writer of this book was a common Sunni scholar. In spite of this he always maintained that all the companions of the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) were not just.
This can be illustrated as follows:
The Ahle Sunnat accept the narrations of the companion Mughirah bin Shu'bah and also consider him to be just. But it should be known that justice has no existence outside a person. It is apparent through the actions of that person. But if someone opposes the established commands of Islam, whoever it may be, far from his being just, he would be labeled a sinner and unjust person. This is established through the opinions of well-known Ahle Sunnat scholars. Please note the factors that show whether Mughirah was a sinner or a just person.
History chronicles that Mughirah was the governor of Basrah during the Caliphate of second caliph. In this period, he committed fornication with a woman named Umme Jamil of the Bani Aamir tribe. Four companions witnessed this act. One was Abu Bakr and others were Nafe, Shabil and Ziyad. In the beginning three of them testified. The fourth one gave a false testimony and thus saved him from the punishment of stoning.
It is clear that Mughirah had committed fornication and became eligible for a verdict of stoning from the Caliph. The complete incident is recorded in various history books, especially the book, Fitratul Islam. Ibne Abil Hadeed has also considered as insufficient the testimony of people who committed greater sins and did not consider their hadith reliable.
Mughirah was the ruler of Kufa when he saw Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and (God forbid) uttered a curse on him. So much so that the writer of Fitratul Islam and Ibne Abil Hadeed, the Shafei scholar, says that Mughirah bin Shu'bah cursed Ali (a.s.) and his pure descendants in the presence of Saeed bin Zaid, the great companion. Many other companions who left the Masjid in disgust also witnessed this.
Another book that has recorded these misdeeds is Aghani of Abul Faraj Isfahani. Ibne Abil Hadeed in Sharh-o-Nahjil Balagha has also mentioned this through a chain of narrators. Moreover, the writers of Fitratul Islam records under the discussion of the martyrdom of Hujr bin Adi. Appointed by Amir Mu'awiyah, Mughirah bin Shu'bah the ruler of Kufa was always imprecating Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and his pure descendants. One day while he was committing this vile act, Hujr bin Adi stood up and hit the head of Mughirah with a stone. This incident became the very cause of Mu'awiyah's oppression of Hujr that ultimately led to his martyrdom.
From the above narration, it becomes clear that Mughirah cursed Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) even though the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had said, "One who curses Ali, curses me and one, who curses me, curses Allah." Hence, Shahabuddin Alusi writes in his Tafseer, "Anyone, who curses Ali bin Abi Talib, whether in his life or after he passed away, would be an infidel." Thus in the book Hayatul Haiwan, Allamah Damiri and in Yanabiul Mawaddah of Khwaja Kalaan Qunduzi have also established this fact. Thus, it is confirmed that by committing this deed, Mughirah had become an infidel. Therefore any tradition related by him will not be reliable. Such people are not capable of relating the traditions of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
Adapted from: Analysis of the History of Aale Muhammad (pbuh)" by: "Qadi Bohlool Afandi"
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