One hears the strangest of objections when it comes to Tabarra against the enemies of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.). One group claims that we should avoid Tabarra because the enemies of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) are revered by some sections of the Muslim community. These Muslims are likely to get offended by Tabarra. So for the sake of these Muslims and the broader demands of ‘Muslim Unity’, we must avoid Tabarra against enemies of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and on the contrary, we should respect them because they are revered by their followers!

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To the proponents of this suggestion, we have only question:

Are these Muslims willing to forgive and forget when it comes to their own opponents and enemies?

Why do they hunt down their own enemies, imprison them and even kill them?

Are they bigger than Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), whose enemies must be loved while their own enemies must be killed?

Let us turn to an incident involving Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) which highlights the importance of Tabarra, making it obligatory for all lovers of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.).

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) on Tabarra

‘…then Imam Baqir (a.s.) told him: (O servant of Allah), how excessive is the oppression of this nation against Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) and how little is their justice towards him (a.s.)!  They deprived him (Ali (a.s.)) of virtues (instead) granting it to the companions, although Ali (a.s.) was the best of them. Then, how can they keep Ali (a.s.) away from this position that they have bestowed on others?

He (a.s.) was asked:  How was that, O son of Allah’s Prophet (s.a.w.a.)?

Imam Baqir (a.s.) said: You accept the mastership of the lovers of Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhaafa and do Tabarra against his enemies, whoever they may be.

Likewise, you accept the mastership of Umar b. Khattaab and do Tabarra against his enemies, whoever they may be.

Also, you accept the mastership of Usman b. Affaan and do Tabarra against his enemies, whoever they may be.

Until the matter reaches Ali b. AbiTalib (a.s.) when they say – you have Wilayat of his friends but don’t do Tabarra against his enemies, rather (you claim) we love them!

And how is it permitted for them to claim thus when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has said regarding Ali (a.s.) – ‘O Allah love him who loves Ali (a.s.) and take as an enemy who takes Ali as an enemy and help him who helps him and abandon him who abandons him.’

Then do you see them – they do not take as enemy the enemy of Ali (a.s.), nor they abandon them (those who have abandoned Ali a.s.)?

This is not justice!

Another (injustice) is that when the virtues, with which Allah has distinguished Ali (a.s.) with the prayers of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his nobility near Allah the Almighty, are mentioned they deny it. But whatever is mentioned for the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), they accept it. What is it that has made them reject it for Ali (a.s.) and attribute it to the other companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)?

  • Tafseer Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.), p. 562
  • Al-Ehtejaaj, vol. 2, p. 330
  • Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 21 p. 239 narrating from Tafseer al-Ayyaashi under the verse of Surah Taubah (9): Verse 118

It is evident from this and many other reports that Muslims do not have any way out but to do Tabarra against the enemies of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), regardless of the status and respect of the enemies. If these enemies include the companions and wives and are revered by certain sections of Muslims so be it. Doesn’t Allah order in the Holy Quran

It is not (fit) for the Prophet and those who believe that they should ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even though they should be near relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are inmates of the flaming fire…. but when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he declared himself to be clear of him…’ (Surah Taubah (9): Verses 113 and 114).

If even one’s nearest relatives are not to be spared, where is the question of respecting the enemies of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) or as outrageously suggested to even love them?