Rafed English

The Abbasid Ruler Tests Scholars of his Time

It is known that the Abbasid Caliph, Abu Ja'far al-Mansur was a great sagaciuous, realizing how to take profession of People's minds, and buy over their consciences. He managed to expand his influence and stretch out his sovereignty through means of temptation and intimidation.

We also came to know his cunningness and sagacity thruough his conduct with Malik, after he was beaten by the governor of al-Madinah, indicating the cordial link that he had with Malik, a long time before that incident. it is said that Malik met al-Mansur fifteen years ago, when he seized the caliphate,90 whereat al-Mansur said to Malik: "O Abu 'Abd Allah I saw a dream!" Said Malik: "May God guide Amir al-Mu'mineen towards the right opinion, and inspire him with reasonable words. What did Amir al-Mu'mineen see?"

Abu Ja'far siad: "I saw I made you sit in this house, and you be among the builders of God's Holy House, while I compel people to follow your knowledge, with taking people's commitment to depute ther delegations to you, and send you their emissaries during pilgrimage days, so that you guide them to what is right in regard of religion, and truth God-willing, as knowledge belongs only to the people of al-Madinah, and you are the most knowleageable one among them...'91

Ibn Qutaybah has reported that when Abu Ja'far al-Mansur seized caliphate, he gathered Malik ibn Anas, Ibn Abi Dhu'ayb and Ibn Sam'an in one place, and asked them: How do you view me? Am I from just Imams or from the despotic Imams?

Malik said: I replied: O Amir al-Mu'minin, I implore Allah through you, and seek your intercession through Muhammad (S) and your kinship to him, to exempt me from expressing my opinion in this respect. Said he (al-Mansur): Amir al-Mu'minin has exempted you.

But Ibn Sam'an said to him: By God you are the best of men, O Amir al-Mu'minin. You make pilgrimage to the House of Allah, fight the enemy, ensure safety of routes, and the weak seek your refuge for fear of being devoured by the strong, and religion is established by you, and your are the best of men, and the most just Imam.

Ibn Abi Dhu'ayb, in turn, said: By God, I view you to be the worst of men, you have taken to yourself all properties (mal) of Allah and His Messenger, and looted the share of the kinsmen, orphans and the needy. You have caused the weak to perish, and tired the strong, and seized all their properties. What will be your argument in the Hereafter before Allah?

Abu Ja'far said to him: Woe be to you, what is that you utter? Do you comprehend (what you say)? come to your senses, and look what is before you?

He said: Yes, I see swords, and it is nothing but death. It is inevitable, the sooner is better.

After this conversation, al-Manusr dismissed Ibn Abi Dhu'ayb and Ibn Sam'an, being alone with Malik. After giving him confidence, he said to him: O Abu 'Abd Allah, you can go to your town, as a rational and well-guided man. If you like to stay with us, we will never prefer anyone to you, nor will regard any creature equal to you.... He said: The text day Abu Ja'far al-Mansur sent to every one a sealed bag of money, each containing five thousand dinars, with one of his policemen, saying to him: You give each man one bundle, but in regard of Malik, if he takes it let it be, if he refused, he is not to blame. In regard of Ibn Abi Dhu'ayb, if he takes it bring me his head, if he refuses it let it be, he is not to blame.

If Ibn Sam'an refuses it, bring me his head, if he takes it, it will be to his good health.

Malik said: The man got ready and went to them, Ibn Sam'an took it and escaped danger. As to Ibn Dhu'ayb, he refused it and escaped danger. But I was in bad need for it, so I took it.92

From this story we can notice that Malik was aware of the Caliph's despotism and injustice, but due to the intimate link he had with al-Mansur, he pleaded to him with Muhammad (S) and his kinship to him. This was the most desired aspect by the 'Abbasid rulers, and their biggest concern at that time, which is being extolled and glorified by referring to their kinship to the Messenger of Allah (S). Thus the Caliph recognized what Malik meant by his speech, which he liked, and made him to exempt him (Malik) from utterance (expressing his opinion).

As to the second one-Ibn Sam'an - he resorted to flattering him (al-Mansur) with traits unpossessed by him, for fear of being killed, as the swordman was waiting the Caliphs's signal (to cut his head).

In regard of the third one, i.e. Ibn Abi Dhu'ayb, he was hold, fearing no reprimand from anyone, being a faithful believer, a truthful man, and sincere to Allah and His Messenger and all Muslims. So he confronted him with his reality, unveiling his falsehood and sophistry, with showing his pleasure and readiness to welcome death when being threatened by slaying.

The Caliph has tested the two men by immense fortunes, exempting al-'Imam Malik from that exam, and permitting him to be safe in both cases, taking or refusing them.

He ordered to cut Ibn Abi Dhu'ayb's head when taking them, and that of Ibn Sam'an when returning them.

As Abu Ja'far al-Mansur being a great sagacious man, he strove hard towards elevating Malik's status and imposing his school, with uprooting Ibn Abi Dhu'ayb school, though the latter's being more knowledgeable and superior to Maalik, as admitted byi al-'Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal.93

Al-'Imam al-Shafi'i also admitted that Layth ibn Sa'd entertainment more fiqh than Malik.94

But the fact is that age never witnessed a man having more knowledgeable and fiqh than al-'Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (A), or being superior to him, as confessed by all of them.95Can anyone dare challenging him in knowledge or act, or virtue or honour, as his grandfather being 'Ali ibn Abi Talib who is superior to, and having more knowledge and fiqh than all creatures on the earth, to the exclusion of the Messenger of Allah (S)?

However, only politics nowadays can elevate the rank of some people and degrade others, and wealth has become the criterion for preferring some and causing others to remain behind.

That which concerns us in this discussion, is exposing, with explicit evidences and irrefutable arguments, that the four schools of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah are only schools innovated by politics (siyasah), and rulers have imposed them upon people by means of intimadation and temptation and publicity, as people follow only the religion of their kings.

Whoever seeks more elaberation and investigation he is recommended to go through the book "al'Imam al-Sadiq wa al-Madhahib al-'arba'ah" (al-'Imam al-Sadiq and the four schools) by al-Shaykh Asad Haydar (God's mercy be upon him). Then he will come to realize the dignity and power entertained by Malik, to the extent that al-Imam al-Shafi'i used to beg to the governor of al-Mainah to let him enter upon Malik, whereat the governor would say: "I prefer going from al-Madinah to Makkah walking on foot, than standing at the door of Malik (asking permission to enter), as I never feel abasement but when standing at his door".

The Egyptian author Ahmad Amin says in his book Zuhr al-'Islam the following: "The governments have a great role in supporting the school of Ahl al-Sunnah. As usual, when strong government support any school, people will follow and imitate that school, which remains as a document till the state is changed.96

However, the school of al-'Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, (if it is possible to call it a school as common among Muslims, since it is true Islam that was revealed on the Prophet (S), has never attained the support or recognition of any ruler or authority, but all the rulers strove hard to degrading and exterminating it, beside causing people to have aversion to it with all possible means.

But with God's grace upon Muslims, this school managed to split asunder those pitch-black darknesses, with gaining followers and supporters throughout centuries of oppression, since the light of Allah can never be put out by mouths, or be exterminated by swords, or abolished by false publicities and biased rumours, lest people should have argument against Allah or claim of being unaware of it.

It is known that those who followed the guide of the Imams of guidance, the Pure Progeny ('Itrah), after the Prophet's demise were only few in number, that could be counted by fingers, but throughout history and ages they have multipled, since the goodly tree, its root set firm, and its branches reaching into heaven giving its fruits at every season by permission of its Lord. Whatever was done for Allah's sake can last for ever and be perpetual.

Quraysh did its utmost to do away with Muhammad, in the outset of the da'wah (invitation to Islam). But when failing in doing this, with the grace of Allah, and thanks to Abu Talib and 'Ali, who gave their lives for saving him, Quraysh consoled itself by claiming that Muhammad being without posterity, having no offspring, and as he dies his posterity will be cut and he will extinct. So they tolerated unwillingly.

But the Lord of all worlds has given him Abundance (kawthar), and Muhammad became the grandfather of al-Hasanayn (al-Hasan and al-Husayn), giving good tidings to the believers that they both being Imams wheather they stand up (rise) or sit down (refrain from rising), and that all Imams are from al-Husayn's offspring,constituting a threat against the interests and future of Quraysh.

As this being the will of Quraysh, so it revolted after the Prophet's demise, striving to exterminate has kindered ('Itrah) altogether. So they surrounded Fatimah's house with fire-wood (to burn it), and had 'Ali's surrender and sacrificing his right to caliphate, with his peaceful reaction never been there, they all would have been exterminated, and Islam could have been uprooted from that day.

So Quraysh has kept silent and quiet as long as the rule being in its hands, and never threatened any one from Muhammad's offspring. But as soon as 'Ali assumed power, Quraysh ignited fierce wars against him, and never calmed down till it managed in exterminating him and bringing caliphate back to the most wicked clan, making it monarchical and Caesarean, that being transfered from fathers to their sons. When al-Husayn rose up and started its violent revolt to exterminate forever the Prophet's Progeny and everything called the offspring of Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah.

Consquently they executed the massacre of Karbala' in which they slew the Prophet's Progeny, including little boys and nurslings, intending to uproot t he Prophet's tree with all its ramifications. But the Glorified Allah fullfilled His promise to Muhammad, through delievering 'Ali ibn al-Husayn and bringing out from his loins the other Imams, filing the earth, East and West, with his offspring the result of which was the Kawthar (Abudance). As a consquence of this, the offspring of the Messenger of Allah (S) spread over every country, village and land, either by self or by trace, having affection and respect in the hearts of all people.

Nowadays, and after all these activities attempts, the number of Ja'fari Shi'ah alone amounts to about (250) million Muslims all over the world, all intimating the Twelve Imams of the Prophet's kindered ('Itrah), and approaching to God through loving and following them, with seeking their grandfather's intecession (shafa'ah)

It is infeasible to find such a number of followers in any other school, when taking into consideration each school exclussively, despite the rulers' support and backing for them.

It is stated in the Holy Qur'an:

"They plot, but Allah (also) plotteth, and Allah is the best of plotters".(8:30)

Hasn't Pharaoh commanded to slaughter every new-born male child from Banu Israel, when being told by the astrologers that a new-born (male) child from Banu Israel will threaten his throne? The best of plotters (God) has delievered Moses from Pharaoh's plotting, making him to be brought up in the lap of Pharaoh himself, undermining his rule and causing his party to perish. The commandment of Allah is always executed.

Hasn't Mu'awiyah (the Pharaoh of his time) embarked on cursing 'Ali, and killing him and his sons and follwers? Hasn't he prohibited all preachers from mentioning his virtues? Hasn't he tried with all his stratagem, to put out the light of Allah and return to the Jahiliyyah (Ignorance)? But the Best plotters elevated remembrance of 'Ali name has been spoken constantly by all Muslims, whether Sunnah or Shi'ah, and even by the Christians and Jews. The 'Ali's tomb turned to be, after the Prophet's tomb, a shrine around which millions of Muslims used to circumambulate, shedding tears and seeking God's nearness through him, and whose shrine being topped with gilt dome and minarets, towering in the sky, and fascinating the sights.

On the other side, we observe the extinguishes of rememberance of Mu'awiyah, the emperor who ruled over the earth, spreading corruption everywhere, can you see any trace of him? Or can you find any monument except a darkened and deserted graveyard? Since there is a round for falsehood, and a vicissitude for truth, so learn a lesson, O men of understanding.

All praise belongs to Allah for His guidance. Praise be to Allah Who caused us to realize that the Shi'ah are truly following the Messenger's Sunnah, as they have followed the guide of Ahl al-Bayt, and the Household are better aware of what is in it (house). Allah has chosen and selected them, and caused them to inherit the knowledge of the Book (Qur'an).

We also came to know that Ahl al-Sunnah have followed the heresies of the earlier and later rulers, having no argument for what they claim.


90. Ibn Qutaybah reports in Ta'rikh al-Khulafa', vol.ii, p. 150 that the first meeting was in 148 (H), while the second one was during the hajj season in (H).
We say that Malik used to meet the Caliph all the time, but Ibn Qutaybah mentioned only thses two due to their being reported by Malik himself, and containing importtant affairs, as it is unreasonable that the caliph meets the mufti of State onec every fifteen years!

91. Ibid, vol. ii, p.142.

92. Ibid, vol. ii, p.144.

93. Tadhkirat al-huffaz, vol.i p.176.

94. Manaqib al-Shafi, p.524.

95. You have previously read Malik's saying: "No eye has ever seen, and no ear has ever heared, and no heart has ever thought of a man afqah (having more knowledge) than Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq.

96. Zuhr al-'Islam, vol. vol.iv, p.96.

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

Share this article

Comments 0

Your comment

Comment description

Latest Post

Most Reviews