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Meeting between Malik and Abu Ja'far al-Mansur

The following episode is narrated by the historians Ibn Qutaybah, in his book "Ta'rikh al-Khulafa", reported from Malik himself, that deserves observance and consideration.

Malik has said: Once I went to see Amir al-Mu'mineen (Abu Ja'far al-Mansur), and walked till I reached his dome. Thereat he descended from his throne to the carpet on the ground, wearing simple clothes unfit for his postion, as a sign of humbleness for my coming to see him. No one was with him except a guard with an unsheathed sword.

When I approached him, he welcomed me cordially and said: Come and sit beside me, and I sat very close to him.

Then he disclosed: O Abu 'Abd Allah, by God I never ordered to do what was done, and was unaware of it before its occurance, and never approved of it when it reached me (meaning the lashing of Malik)

Said Malik:I praised Allah for everything and sent benediction upon the prophet (S). Then I considered him far above that act, or to approve it.

Then he (al-Mansur) said: O Abu 'Abd Allah, the people of the Two Sanctuaries are still in welfare as long as you be among them, and you are their deliverer from God's wrath and chastisement and Allah warded them, through you, against a great disaster. They, as you know, rush toward sedions and are vulnerable to them, more than other people. Allah (Himself) fights them, how perverse are they. And I gave my orders to bring the enemy of Allah,86 from al-Madinah on pack-saddle, with humiliating and belittling him, and I should punish him severer than this.

I said to him: May Allah protect you from evil, and honour you, I have pardoned him due to his kinship to the Messenger of Allah (S) and to you.

Abu Ja'far said: May God pardon you and keep your bond.

Malik said: He addressed me first with speech about the ancestors and earlier 'ulama', and I found him the most knowledgeable man about rijal. Then he talked about knowledge ('ilm) and fiqh, providing to be the most knowledgeable man ever known in this field, committing to memory what is narrated, and comprehending what he heard.

Then he (al-Mansur) said to me: O Abu 'Abd Allah, put and write down this knowledge in books, and avert adversities of 'Abd Allah ibn 'Umar, permissions of 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abbas, and abnormalities of 'Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud. Betake yourself to the moderate matters, and what attained unanimity of Imams and Sahabah (may God be pleased with them), so that we can compel people to follow your knowledge and books, and disseminate them everywhere, and commit ourselves to people not to contradict them and never to judge but through them (books).

I said to him: May God amend the Amir, the people of Iraq never recognize our knowledge, and never follow our opinion in their acts.

Abu Ja'far said: We compel them to follow it by force, smitting their top heads by swords, and cutting their backs by slashes. So, do this hastily and prepare it, as my son Muhammad al-Mahdi will come to you next year to al-Madinah to hear it from you, and you should have prepared everything on his coming.

Malik said: While we seated, a small boy came out from a dome behind the one in which we were. He looked at me, he was startled and retreated. Abu Ja'far said to him: Come forword, my darling, he is Abu 'Abd Allah, the faqih of Ahl al-Hijaz. Then he turned his face to me and said: O Abu 'Abd Allah, do you know why was the lad startled and never came forth? I replied: No! Said he: By Allah, he disapproved of your sitting so close to me, as he never saw anyone in this place except you, so he retreated.

Malik reported: He then ordered to grant me one thousand dinars in gold, and a splendid raiment, and another thousand dinars for my son. Then I asked his permission and departed him, but he ordered his lad to put the raiment on my shoulders, which used to be a sign of honouring. When I refrained from wearing it disdainfully, Abu Ja'far called his lad saying to him. Let it be with the luggage of Abu 'Abd Allah.87

86. He means his cousin Ja'far ibn Sulayman ibn al-'Abbas,his governor over al-Madinah.

87. Ta'rikh al-khulafa', by Ibn Qutaybah, vol.ii, p.150.

Adapted from the book: "The Shi'ah; The Real Followers of the Sunnah" by: "Dr. Muhamad al-Tijahi al-Samawi"

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