A Debate on whether Aal-e-Muhammad (a.s.) are from the Ijmaa
Tags: Ahle Sunnah, Holy Quran, Imam Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.), Imamat, Naboowat, Sahaabah, Sunnah
Some Muslims reject outright the traditions and reports advanced by the Shias. They consider Shias as outside the Ijmaa and view their proofs as false and unreliable.
The point of course is not about the Shias. It is about Aal-e-Muhammad (a.s.) because when Shias advance a tradition it is from Aal-e-Muhammad (a.s.).
So the question the Muslims need to answer is – Are Aal-e-Muhammad (a.s.) from the Ijmaa?
If they are from the Ijmaa then their sayings and traditions must be considered as proof by these Muslims. In the very least, they must accept the traditions that are also narrated in Sunni sources.
This is an interesting debate between a Shia and Sunni scholar on whether Aal-e-Muhammad (a.s.) are from the Ijmaa.
Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.), among the renowned Shia scholars and theologians, was engaged in a discussion with a Sunni scholar from Ray (in Tehran, Iran) who was highly regarded in that region.
Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.) had passed a ruling (fatwa) based on the sayings of Aal-e-Muhammad (a.s.) and sought the Sunni scholar’s view on it.
The debate went as follows:
Sunni scholar: We do not accept your fatwa as it is opposed to the Ijmaa.
Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.): What do you mean by Ijmaa?
Sunni scholar: Consensus of well-known jurists on a ruling regarding the permissible (halal) and the prohibited (haram) from the jurists of the region.
Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.): This is an inadequate description. Are the Aal-e-Muhammad included among the jurists or are they excluded from the Ijmaa?
Sunni scholar: They are included and in fact are the chiefs and leaders of the jurists and if a correct tradition is narrated from them, I will not oppose it.
Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.): Neither you nor the jurist that you indicated believe in this claim because your entire group has opposed Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) in many of the rulings that are correctly narrated from him, while Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) is the chief of the Ahle Bait (a.s.). Then why do you make such a ridiculous claim about accepting Aal-e-Muhammad as part of Ijmaa?
Sunni scholar – It is a lie against us to please the authorities.
Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.): I will not accuse without proof, and you are turning away from your belief in front of the authorities.
Then he (r.a.) turned to the people: Their seniors and their leaders (caliphs) consider erring permissible for Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) on matters where they have considered Amr-e-Aas and Ziyad to be more correct.
The Muslim nation considered this to be an astonishing thing, manifested their ignorance and rejected their belief (about Ali erring while Amr-e-Aas and Ziyad were considered more correct).
Then Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.) asked: Do you not believe that Ali b. Abi Talib is not infallible and the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is infallible?
Sunni scholar: Yes.
Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.): Then according to you it is possible for Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) to err in his rulings?
Sunni scholar becomes silent on the evidence that Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) could err while the Muslims of the time never believed this was possible for Ali (a.s.)
Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.): Is it not in your religion that Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) has done ijtehaad by giving his opinion in many of the rulings, whereas Amr-e-Aas, Abu Musa Ash’ari and Mughairah b. Sho’bah also did ijtehaad by advancing their own opinion?
(Ijtehaad is possible in the absence of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or his successor. Since Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) was present among the Muslims, there was no scope for ijtehaad just like there was no scope for ijtehaad in the presence of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Therefore, ijtehaad of Amr-e-Aas and Mughairah b. Shobah was incorrect and they should have submitted to Ali b. Abi Talib’s (a.s.) decision).
Sunni scholar: Yes. I do not deny any of these.
Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.): Then you accept that since Amr-e-Aas and Mughairah b. Shobah were more correct in their ijtehaad compared to Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) then Ali (a.s.) has erred in his ijtehaad?
Sunni scholar: Yes.
Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.): Then you have accepted what you have denied earlier about accepting the rulings of Ali b. Talib (a.s.).
Is it not a part of your religion to accept all rulings of a person once Ijmaa has been established for him? You cannot accept some of his sayings and reject some of his sayings.
Sunni scholar: Yes, that is correct.
Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.): Then why have you opposed Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) in many of the legislations (Ahkaam) when he has a ruling and there is Ijmaa on it?
There is none among your jurists who has not opposed Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) in some of the legislations as decreed by him (a.s.) and they have preferred a ruling which is not from him (a.s.). None of your jurists have agreed with Ali (a.s.) in all his rulings regarding the permissible and the prohibited.
I am surprised at your denial of what I have stated. Whereas your Imam and leader i.e. Shaafe’ee has opposed Ali (a.s.) regarding the matter of inheritance and ‘Makaatib’ and has referred to Zaid regarding these two matters. They narrated from Ali (a.s.) that it is not obligatory to perform ablutions (wuzu) to touch the Quran, whereas Shaafe’ee says it is obligatory and has opposed Ali (a.s.) with his opinion and ijtehaad.
Muslims quote Rabi from Shaafe’ee in his famous book that there is no fault in praying the Friday prayers and the two Eid prayers behind every trustworthy or untrustworthy or one who dominates because Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) led the prayers when Usman was confined.
Shaafe’ee has proved the permissibility of praying behind a person who dominates the affairs of the nation due to Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) leading the prayers at the time of Usman’s confinement. This is a clarification that Ali was the one who dominated (while the caliph was present)!
(The one who dominates the nation (while the caliph is present) is a transgressor and deviated! So Shaafe’ee is implying that Ali (a.s.) was a transgressor and deviated because he dominated the nation (God forbid) while Usman was present.)
Also Shaafe’ee has considered it permissible to pray behind a Khaarij. This is because they had come out against Ali (a.s.) due to ijtehaad and doubt even though they were transgressors.
Then how can someone who has such a religion and follows such jurists claim that if a correct tradition is narrated from Ali (a.s.) or his progeny, I act on it. Is it not deception and concealing his religion?
In fact, there are contemporary jurists other than Shaafe’ee who are partners in criticizing Ali (a.s.) and falsified many of his sayings and rejected him in his legislation.
They have explained that whatever Ali (a.s.) has mentioned regarding the legislation, all of it is reliable. Then if this is attributed to the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.) they accept it because of his obvious truthfulness. Since, they accept it from Abu Moosa Ash’ari, Abu Hurairah and Mughairah b. Sho’bah, as each of them has attributed to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). In fact they are accepting it from a porter in a bazaar because of the truthfulness of anyone who narrates from the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
But whatever Ali (a.s.) has said and has not attributed to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) it is subject to scrutiny and it is considered his view and ijtehaad.
The jurists go about separating the correct and the incorrect rulings of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) as if they have a better understanding of religion than Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.). This kind of behavior cannot be found in someone in whose heart is the love and respect for Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) which Allah and his Messenger (s.a.w.a.) have made obligatory on the Muslims.
In fact, a person who believes in scrutinizing Ali’s (a.s.) statements and accepting some and rejecting the rest has in fact rejected the sayings of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) who has said:
عَلِيٌّ مَعَ الْحَقِّ وَ الْحَقُّ مَعَ عَلِيٌّ يَدُوْرُ مَعَهٗ حَيْثُمَا دار.
- Ali is with the truth and the truth is with Ali, it (truth) turns wherever he (Ali) turns.
- Sunan-e-Tirmizi vol. 5 p. 398 Tradition No. 3,714 with slight variations
- Mustadrakalaa al-Sahihain vol. 3 p. 119
- Manaaqib al-Khwaarazmi p. 104
- Tarikh al-Baghdad vol. 14 p. 321
- Majma’ al-Zawaaed vol. 7 p. 234, 235
- Kanz al-Ummaal, Tradition No. 33,020
اَنَا مَدِيْنَةُ الْعِلْمِ وَ عَلِيٌّ بَابُهَا
.The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) also said – I am the city of Knowledge and Ali is its Gate
- Al-Sawaaeq al-Muhriqah p. 73 by Ibn Hajar-e-Makki written specifically against the Shias
- Al-Mustadrak alaa al-Sahihain vol. 3 p. 126 and p. 127 through two different chains
- Manaaqib al-Maghaazali pp. 80-85
- Taarikh-e-Baghdadi vol. 4 p. 348, vol. 7 p. 172, vol. 11, p. 48, vol. 11 p. 49 through four different chains
- Usud al-Ghaabah, vol. 4 p. 22
- Tahzeeb al-Tahzeeb vol. 6 p. 329, vol 7 p. 427
- Kanzul Ummal Tradition Nos. 32,978 and 32,979 from two different chains
- Faiz al-Qadeer of Manaawi vol. 3 p. 46
- Majma al-Zawaid vol. 9 p. 114
- Al-Riyaaz al-Nazarah, vol. 2 p. 193
The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) also said – Ali is the best judge amongst you.
- Fath al-Baari vol. 10 p. 487
- Seyar A’lam al-Nobala vol. 14 p. 209
- Al-Istiaab vol. 3 p. 235
- Shawaahid al-Tanzeel vol. 2 p. 467
- Faiz al-Qadeer vol. 5 p. 668
- Tuhfah al-Ahwaazi vol. 10 p. 205
- Sharh-o-Nahj al-Balaaghah, vol. 1 p. 18, vol. 7 p. 219
- Kashf al-Khafaa, vol. 1 p. 162
- Tafseer-e-Qurtubbi vol. 15 p. 162
- Al-Usool al-Aseelah p. 112
- Al-Akhaam vol. 4 p. 237
- Taareekh-e-Dimishq vol. 15 p. 300
- Al-Jawharato fi Nasbe Imam Ali (a.s.) wa Aalehi p. 71
- Tarikh of Ibn Khaldoon vol. 1 p. 197
- Jawaahir al-Mataalib vol. 1 p. 76
- Mataalib al-So’l p. 23
اَللّٰهُمَّ اهْدِ قَلْبَهٗ وَ ثَبِّتْ لِسَانَهٗ فَمَا شَكَكْتُ فِيْ قَضَاءِ بَيْنَ اثْنَيْنِ
Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) narrates – The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) struck his hand on my chest and said – O my Allah guide his heart and steady his tongue when there is a doubt regarding a decree between two parties.
- Ansaab al-Ashraaf vol. 2 p. 854
- Manaaqib al-Khaarazmi p. 83
The Sunni scholar was stunned at hearing these statements – This is strange, these narrations are not present in our religion.
One of the members in the audience said – Everything he (Shaikh Mufeed a.r.) has said is from Allah.
Another one said – If you have proof against what he has said then advance your proof. Else take shelter in his religion. Anything you say to counter him will amount to rejection of the Prophethood of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.).
- Fusool al-Mukhtaarah, Chapter 56
Note: Although Muslims claim to be lovers of Aal-e-Muhammad (a.s.) and followers of their sayings and teachings, this is nothing but an eyewash and an attempt to show they are united with the Shias in love and respect of Aal-e-Muhammad (a.s.).
Else, how do they justify that their most reliable book Sahih-e-Bukhari does not have a single tradition from Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) who is directly or indirectly the teacher of the four Imams – Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Imam Ahmed and Imam Shaafe’ee?!!
But there are traditions narrated by Bukhari from many other Muslims whose very Islam is questionable and have been criticized for their incorrect beliefs in books of Rejaal.
Or how do these Muslims defend the view of Ibn Taymiyyah regarding Ali b. AbiTalib (a.s.) consuming alcohol and his killer Abdul Rahman b. Muljim (may Allah curse him) being a pious person?
Is this not a case of enmity and disrespect for the Aal-e-Muhammad?