Imamah in the Qur’an p5: Ibrahim’s [a] prayer

September 18, 2010

In part 4 I showed that the medium Ummah was not the whole Muslims Ummah, but a select few that will bear witness on mankind on the Day of Judgement.  I quoted the following verses about this group of people and noted two  things – that this group was chosen, that it was named by Ibrahim [a] ‘Muslim’.  These are the two verses in question:

[22:77] O you who believe! bow down and prostrate yourselves and serve your Lord, and do good that you may succeed.[22:78] And strive hard in (the way of) Allah, (such) a striving a is due to Him; He has chosen you and has not laid upon you an hardship in religion; the faith of your father Ibrahim; He named you Muslims before and in this, that the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people; therefore keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and hold fast by Allah; He is your Guardian; how excellent the Guardian and how excellent the Helper!

To learn more about who these people were, we should turn our attention to the following verses from Surah Baqarah which mention Ibrahim’s prayer for this group of people in more detail:

[2:128] Our Lord! and make us both submissive to Thee and from our offspring a group submitting to Thee, and show us our ways of devotion and turn to us, surely Thou art the Oft-returning, the Merciful.

[2:129] Our Lord! and raise up in them a Messenger from among them who shall recite to them Thy communications and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and purify them; surely Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.

For the purposes of brevity I will keep it simple.  Ibrahim [a] has just finished building the Ka’aba; he has carried out a great deed, and is in the presence of one of the most Holy structures on Earth.  So, when he prays for submission (Islam), is he praying for the elementary grade of Islam that we all profess, or something special?  Clearly, he is praying for the highest degrees of submission, as he already possessed the elementary grade of submission anyway.  This is further proved by his words ‘submissive TO THEE’; he doesn’t just say ‘make us submissive’, but supplicates ‘make us submissive to thee’, emphasising that the submission asked for is not the ordinary one of everyday muslims (i.e. professing shahadatayn) but complete submission.

The important point is this: Ibrahim [a] then repeats this supplication for a group from his offspring.  The two verses at the top of this page show that his dua was answered – that these Muslims he prayed for exist.  The verses from surah Baqarah show that the submission of these Muslims was not elementary grade submission, but a lofty grade of submission, that Ibrahim [a] supplicated for himself and for Isma’eel [a].  It follows, then, that this group of Muslims – the medium nation according to the verses in part 4 – is a select group of people, and not the whole Muslim Ummah.

More can be said about these verses, but for the purposes of discussion the above suffices.  For a more detailed exposition I refer the reader to AlMizan.


Hadith Ghadeer p1 – Introduction

January 17, 2009

On the 18th of Dhil-Hijjah in the middle of the hot Arabian desert, whilst returning from his final Hajj, the Prophet was ordered to declare Imam Ali his successor to the Muslim masses.  After informing them of his coming death, and the importance of following the Qur’an and Ahlul Bayt, he raised Imam Ali’s hand and said:

من كنت مولاه فهذا علي مولاه

”Whoever’s master (mawla) I am, Ali is also his master”.

This took place in an area known as Ghadir Khumm, half way between Mecca and Medinah and near present day al-Juhfa.

The occurrence of this event is universally accepted by all Muslims, but there has been much controversy over its significance.  Whilst Shia Muslims take it to be  a decisive proof of Imam Ali’s successorship, Sunnis interpret it to mean Imam Ali’s friendship with the believers – ”Whoever I am his friend, Ali is his friend”.

In a series of short posts I will demonstrate the baselessness of the Sunni interpretation, which is nothing more than a futile attempt at rejecting the Prophet’s [s] decisive declaration.  I will prove that the Shia interpretation is the correct one by using 2 lines of evidence:

1. The context of the Hadith

2. The understanding of the Sahaba

I will then address common objections, and will show that many of the points brought up by Sunnis actually count against them, and further prove the correctness of the Shia interpretation.


Hadith Thaqalayn

December 5, 2008

The authenticity of Hadith Thaqalayn is universally accepted, but Sunnis try and explain it away by saying that the Prophet [sawa] was commanding the Muslims to love the Ahlul Bayt, or to accept their narrations only.  The following ahadith have been authenticated by some of the biggest scholars in Sunnism, and leave no room for this interpretation.  They prove that the Prophet made them the premier source of guidance for the Muslims

ورواه الحاكم فى المستدرك 3\148 قال:حدثنا ابو بكر محمد بن الحسين بن مصلح الفقيه بالرى حدثنا محمد بن ايوب حدثنا يحيى بن مغيرة السعدى حدثنا جرير بن عبد الحميد عن الحسن بن عبيد الله النخعى عن مسلم بن صبيح -ابو الضحى- عن زيد بن ارقم قال قالرسول الله صلى الله عليه واله وسلم (انى تارك فيكم الثقلين:كتاب الله واهل بيتى وانهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض) انتهى قال الحاكم:هذا حديث صحيح على شرط الشيخين ولم يخرجاه انتهى واقر الذهبى على تعنته بصحة الحديث فى تلخيصه للمستدرك وحتى المحدث السلفى اليمنى مقبل الوادعى لم يسعه فى تعليقه على المستدرك الا الاقرار بصحة هذا الحديث على شرط مسلم

The Prophet [sawa] said: I am leaving two weighty things, the book of Allah and my Ahlul Bayt, and they will never seperate until they reach me at the fountain.
AlHakim and Dhahabi authenticated the above. Mustadrak 3/148

ورواه الحافظ يعقوب بن سفيان الفسوى فى المعرفة والتاريخ 1\295 قال حدثنا يحيى -الحمانى- قال حدثنا جرير عن الحسن بن عبيد الله عن ابى الضحى عن زيد بن ارقم قال قال النبى صلى الله عليه واله وسلم(انى تارك فيكم ما ان تمسكتم به لن تضلوا كتاب الله عزوجل وعترتى اهل بيتى وانهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا على الحوض)انتهى واسناده ايضا صحيح و وصححه شعيب ارنؤوط فى تعليقه على عواصم ابن الوزي

The Prophet [sawa] said: I am leaving that which if you hold onto you will never go astray: the book of Allah and my Ahlul Bayt, and they will never seperate until they reach me at the fountain.

Shu’ayb Arnaut authenticated the above.


ورواه الامام الطحاوى فى مشكل الاثار 2\307 :حدثنا ابراهيم بن مرزوق حدثنا ابوعامر العقدى حدثنا كثير بن زيد عن محمد بن عمر بن على بن ابى طالب عم ابيه عن على :ان النبى صلى الله عليه واله وسلم حضر الشجرة بخم فخرج اخذا بيد على فقال*)ايها الناس الستم تشهدون ان الله ربكم ؟-قالوا بلى -قال :الستم تشهدون ان الله ورسوله اولى بكم من انفسكم وان الله ورسوله مولاكم ؟-قالوا بلى- قال:من كنت مولاه فعلى مولاه انى قد تركت فيكم ما ان اخذتم لن تضلوا بعدى كتاب الله واهل بيتى انتهى وقد صحح اسناده الحافظ ابن حجر العسقلانى فى المطالب العالية 4\65

At Ghadeer Khum the Prophet [sawa] said:‘O people do you not bear witness that Allah is your Lord?” They said yes. ”Do you not bear witness that Allah and his Prophet have greater authority over you than your own selves?” They said yes. He said ‘Whomever I am his mawla, Ali is his Mawla. I have left that which if you take you will never go astray after me, the book of Allah and my Ahlul Bayt”.
Ibn Hajar authenticated the above.

AlNisai has narrated in his Sunan…from Zayb ibn Arqam that when the Prophet returned from Hijatul Wada and stopped at Ghadeer Khum he said: It is as if I have been called (to death) and have answered that call. I leave you to weighty things the Book of Allah and my Ahlul Bayt, so be careful how you treat them both after me, and they will never separate until they reach the fountain. Then he said: Allah is my Mawla, and I am the Wali of every believer. Then he took the hand of Ali and said: ”Whoever I am his mawla, Ali is his Wali. O Allah befriend his friends and be an enemy to his enemies”.

Ibn kathir said: Our sheikh Dhahabi said this hadith is sahih. Bidayah vol 5.

The Prophet’s [sawa] will the to Ummah was two things – The Holy Qur’an and the Ahlul Bayt [a].  This is what the Prophet left for his Ummah – ”I leave you AThaqalayn”, and he named them ‘the Two Weighty Things’, putting them side by side and telling all Muslims to adhere to them.  He told us that they would always be together from that day until the Day of Judgement, implying the infallibility of the Purified Household as every sin is a separation from the Qur’an, and the Ahlul Bayt will never seperate from it.

How can any reasonable person say that the hadith simply means we should love them?  Or simply accept their narrations?  If it was only about accepting the narrations, what about the Sahaba?  Why haven’t they been mentioned in this hadith which is the Prophet’s will to the Ummah? Don’t sunnis take the majority of their Deen from the narrations of the Sahaba?   The reason they haven’t been mentioned is that they’re not the primary source of Islam after the Prophet.  They will seperate from the Qur’an, commit major sins, spill the blood of thousands and thousands, many of the victims being Sahaba themselves!

And if what some sunni  scholars insist is correct, then this is further proof of their infallibility and that they are the principal source of guidance for the Ummah, along with the Qur’an.