Warning against cursing Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.)
Tags: Ahle Sunnah, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Imam Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.), Sahaabah, Salafi, Sunnah
Some so-called Muslims accuse the Shias of cursing the companions and the followers – Sahaabah, Taabe’een and Tab-e-Taabe’een. They claim that Shias degrade the Sahaabah and humiliate them by showering curses on them. To them this is unacceptable, which makes the Shias a target of their attacks both verbal and physical as also religious in the form of Takfeeri edicts.
The fact is that these Muslims themselves are to be blamed for cursing the best of Sahaabah – Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.). In fact, these Muslims consider an honour to be followers of leaders who used to curse Ali b. Abi Talib.
First, let us very briefly consider a few traditions that warn the Muslims against cursing and abusing Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.).
1) Umme Salmah narrates – I heard the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) say – One who abuses Ali, then certainly he has abused me.
Al-Haakim al-Neshapouri says – This tradition is from a correct (Sahih) chain of narrators.
- Al-Mustadrak alaa al-Sahihain vol. 1 p. 121
2) In another place Al-Haakim records – Umme Salmah narrates – I heard the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) say – One who abuses Ali, then certainly he has abused me and one who abuses me has abused Allah.
- Mustadrak alaa al-Sahihain vol. 3 p. 121
- Musnad-o-Ahmed b. Hanbal vol. 6 p. 323
- Al-Khasais by Imam Nesaai p. 24
- Kanz al-Ummal trad. no. 32,90
3) Ibn Abbas narrates – I testify by Allah that most certainly I heard the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) say – One who abuses Ali then certainly he has abused me and one who abuses me has abused Allah and one who abuses Allah, Allah will cast him in hell on his face.
- Zakhaaer al-Uqba p. 66 by Hafiz Mohib al-Deen Tabari
- Mirqat al-Mafaatih Fi Sharh-e-Mishkaat al-Masaabih by Mullah Ali b. Sultan Muhammad al-Qaari (exp. 1014 AH) student of Ibn Hajar al-Haythami
4) Ibn Abbas – after he had turned blind – was passing by an assembly of the Quraish that was abusing Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.). …Ibn Abbas said – I testify by Allah that most certainly I heard the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) say – One who abuses Ali, then certainly he has abused me and one who abuses me has abused Allah and one who abuses Allah, Allah will cast him in hell on hisface.
- Riyaz al-Nazarah vol. 2 p. 166
- Noor al-Absaar p. 99 with respect to an assembly of Syrians that was abusing Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.)
5) Abu Bakr b. Khalid approached Sa’d b. Maalik and asked him – I have heard that you turned away from abusing Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) in Kufa – what is the reason?
Sa’d: I seek refuge in Allah, by Him in whose hands is Sa’d’s life – I heard from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) something about Ali after which even if a saw is placed across the middle of my head I will never abuse Ali.
- Majma al-Zawaaid vol. 9 p. 129
- Abu Ya’ala al-Mawsili al-Hanbali (exp. 307 AH) in his Musnad has mentioned that the chain of narrators of this tradition is good (Hasan).
6) Ibn Hajar al-Makki al-Haythami mentions in his al-Sawaaeq that al-Baarezi mentioned from al-Mansoor – I saw a man in Syria whose face had become that of a pig. When he asked him about it, he replied – I used to curse Ali (b. Abi Talib) every day a thousand times and on Friday 4,000 times along with his (a.s.) children. I saw the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in a dream – and then goes on to narrate a very lengthy dream from which was as follows – Hasan (b. Ali) (a.s.) complained to him (s.a.w.a.) due to which he (s.a.w.a.) cursed that man, then spat on that person’s face due to which it became that of a pig and a sign for the people.
- Al-Sawaeq al-Muhriqah p. 117 by Ibn Hajar al-Makki which he wrote specifically to condemn Shias
- Al-Amaali vol. 1 p. 136 of Al-Shajari
- Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh p. 692 by Muhammad b. Abdullah Khatib Al-Tabrezi (exp. 741 AH) – one of the most authentic and well-researched books on chains of narrators of Ahle Tasannun traditions
- Silsilah al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah vol. 3 p. 288 by Shaikh Nasir Albaani – among the greatest Salafi scholars and muftis
- Tarikh al-Dimishq vol. 4 p. 317
- Al-Bedaayah wa al-Nehaayah vol. 7 p. 355 by Ibn Kathir – amongst the foremost disciples of Ibn Taimiyyah
1) Cursing companions was prevalent at the time of Sahaabah and Taabe’een and this was not a practice initiated by the Shias as these Muslims claim.
2) Unfortunately, the best and foremost of companions – Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) was a target of cursing. So if lesser names like the Shaikhain, Usman, Muawiyah among other Sahaabah are criticized and condemned and that too for good reason, why does it surprise these Muslims?
3) Cursing of Ali b. Abi Talib amounts to cursing the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Allah. The strict prohibition was a sign that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) knew a time would come when the Muslims would commit such a detestable crime under some pretext.
4) We do not find cursing prohibited for other Sahaabah like we find for Ali b. Abi Talib and traditions advanced by these Muslims to prohibit cursing do not match the reliability and authenticity of traditions favouring Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.).
5)Cursing Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) was particularly prevalent in Syria – a practice promoted by Muawiyah and continued by the Umayyads for decades.
6) If indeed Takfeeri fatwas must be passed, it must be against personalities like Muawiyah who initiated cursing of Ali b. Abi Talib. After all the Shias only curse the companions because they were cursing Ali b. Abi Talib. So in fact, Shias are on the same side as these Muslims to that end, as Shias are also against cursing of Sahaabah like Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.).