It is an enormous obligation of Allah upon us that He sent us in this world as humans. Then He obliged us by making us the followers of the religion with which He is satisfied i.e. the religion of Islam. Finally, He bestowed upon us the greatest bounty viz. love and wilaayat of Ahle Bait (a.s). Whoever values the benevolence and grace of Allah is fortunate and honourable in the eyes of Allah, while the one who rejects this bounty is destined for a painful chastisement in this world and the Hereafter.
After bestowing us with these priceless bounties, He has commanded us to obey and follow the Prophets (a.s.) and Messengers (a.s.) so that we may achieve success, salvation and security from dangers and disgrace in this world as the Hereafter. It is noteworthy that our acts of obedience and disobedience are of no consequence to Allah. It is for our own benefit that we have been invited towards Allah’s obedience and warned about incurring His wrath in matters of disobedience.
Allah, due to His infinite knowledge and wisdom, was aware of the rebellious, defiant and oppressive nature of man. Thus, He established for Him numerous lamps of guidance. He granted man the bounty of intellect and understanding. At the same time, He also sent forth a series of guides, along with a divine course (Shariah) to dispel the darkness of ignorance and misguidance as He declares in the Holy Quran:
‘O ye who believe! Give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calls you to that which will give you life; and know that Allah comes in between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom ye shall (all) be gathered.
Surah Anfaal (8): Verse 24
‘It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path.’
Surah Ahzab (33): Verse 36
‘So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and refrain from what he restrains you. And fear Allah; Surely, Allah is strict in Punishment.’
Surah Hashr (59): Verse 7
However, history, biographies, traditions (ahaadeeth) and Quranic exegesis (tafaaseer) are witness to the fact that there has been a group of people, who openly and deliberately opposed the orders of Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and refused to obey their commands.
Among the explicit commands that this group of people refused to submit to after the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) was the divine endorsement of Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) in Ghadeer-e-Khumm as the successor of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.). This group of ‘Muslims’ either rejected the endorsement of Ghadeer outright or feigned ignorance about it. But this is an event whose reality is as manifest as the midday sun. If anyone was to deny the midday sun, it will have no effect on the sun but such a person will risk losing his reputation in society. Also, notable is that the sun continues to provide benefits to those who reject its very existence. Same is the case with the event of Ghadeer. People have denied it but this has had no effect on the status and position of Imam Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s). On the contrary, the world continues to benefit from the grace and favours of his Imamat.
By rejecting the event of Ghadeer – wherein the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) had appointed an infallible Imam (a.s.) as a guide for the nation and as his own successor – the enemies have inflicted a colossal loss on not just Islam but on the entire humanity. Indeed, this is an irrevocable loss that has no recompense whatsoever. The scholars of Ahle Sunnah, themselves have openly spoken about the horrendous consequences of denying Ghadeer. We enumerate a few dreadful effects of denying Ghadeer, as mentioned by the scholars of Ahle Sunnah.
1. Position of Caliphate changed into Rulership
Dr Ahmed Mahmood Subhi says, ‘The ideologies of the Ahle Sunnah concerning allegiance, politics and principles have led to evil results. The first three caliphs – based on their whims and fancies – would often issue edicts and rulings that were contradictory to the cardinal principles of Islam and the laws of the Shariah. Then how can one expect to get the real picture of Islam, upon which all Muslims are unanimous?
Nazariyyat al-Islamiyya laday al-Shia al-Isna Ashariyya p 501
In another book he writes, ‘By appointing his son as the caliph, Muawiyah (Ibn Abi Sufyan) introduced an innovation in religion – that of dynastic rule. This move of Muawiyah disrupted everything that the Shariah preached. The Sunnah of the early companions of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) was trampled and discarded; a new order was established. The Islamic caliphate clashed with the kings of Persia and Byzantine. Soon, Caliphate was converted to Kingship. In the words of Haafiz, ‘Caliphate was turned into the glamour and adornment of kingship’
Al-Nazma Al-Islami Nishaaetha wa Tatawurrha p 267
He writes further, ‘The atrocities and oppression that became widespread in the name of caliphate brought a lot of disgrace to the pure religion of Islam, while this divine religion is free from such shameful acts. The sins of all these crimes will be credited to the account of all the rulers responsible for the injustices and tyrannies.’
Ibid p 279
2. Oppression and Inequity: Part of Caliphate
Haafiz is considered among the eminent scholars of the Ahle Sunnah. He has praised the reign of Usman, the third Caliph, but has been critical of Muawiyah’s style of functioning. He writes, ‘The rule of Muawiyah is characterised by excessive oppression and tyranny. He oppressed not only the Muhaajir and the Ansaar but he also disregarded the laws of the Shariah. Even in the ‘Year of Consensus’, the Muslims were not safe from the oppressive and barbaric acts of their Caliph. In reality, that year was not the ‘Year of Consensus’; rather it was the year of oppression, tyranny, atrocities, discord and barbarism. The Caliphate of the time resembled the rulership of Caesar and was rooted in the attachment for rulership and palaces.
Rasaael-e-Jaahiz; p 292 – 297, article 11
Comment: Who are these guardians of Islam, these writers and authors, who wield the power of the pen and extol the Caliphate of Usman – in which he gave a free hand to Muawiyah, favored Marwan b. Hakam (who was exiled by the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)) and squandered public treasury as if it was his personal property? Yet, Usman finds favor with these writers and intellectuals and his reign extolled! Indeed ‘if the first brick of the wall is crooked, then its effect will be seen in the entire wall’. If only they had not hidden and concealed the event of Ghadeer, the religion of Islam would have been spared condemnation.
3. Ignoring the commands of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) concerning Imam Ali (a.s)
The people chose to overlook the numerous virtues of Imam Ali (a.s) enumerated by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a). They ignored the exhortations of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) concerning his (s.a.w.a) Ahle Bait (a.s). They went to the extent of shedding the blood of the Ahle Bait (a.s) and appointed a corrupt person like Yazid to the noble position of Imamat. IbnQutaibah writes, ‘The Jahmiyyah and the Mushbiyyah have lowered the personality of Ali (a.s) and have denied him (a.s) his lawful position. Thus, they became deviated and misguided. They oppressed and killed the Ahle Bait (a.s) unjustly. Due to their ignorance, they deprived them (a.s) of their rightful position of Imamat and went to the extent of labeling them (a.s) as the ‘chiefs of rebels and mischief mongers’ (we seek refuge in Allah!). Differences among the people denied the Ahle Bait (a.s) of their divine position. Rather, a degraded and lowly person like Yazid b. Muawiyah was appointed as the caliph based on the so-called consensus (Ijmaa) of the Muslims.’
Al-Ikhtelaf fil Lafz wa Radde ala Jahmiyyah wa Mushbiyyah p 47- 49
4. Alterations in Religion and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a)
There is no denying the fact that after the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a) demise, many beliefs/actions were introduced in religion that had nothing to do with Islam. Today, Muslims not only practice these innovations but consider them as an inseparable part of Islam! Here is not the place to enlist all those innovations. Interested readers can refer to the book ‘Al Nass wal Ijtehad’ by the noted scholar, Sayyed Sharafuddin Musawi (r.a.), which has been translated in numerous languages including English and Urdu. We will refer to only one of the objections raised by the famous Sunni scholar, Maqrizi who says, ‘Verily, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) was correct when he said that after his demise there will come caliphs who will pass decrees that will have no relation with the Quran and religion and (in this way) they will alter the Sunnah’
Al-Nizaa wa al-Takhasum v 12, p 315-317
5. Undeserving people rose to the Position of Authority leading to Widespread Bloodshed, especially of the Early Companions
Ibn Hazm al-Zaaheri writes, ‘Yazid b. Muawiyah left his tainted and detestable influence on the religion of Islam. In the early days of his reign, he killed Imam Husain (a.s) and his (a.s) family. Later, he imprisoned Abdullah b. Zubair in the precincts of Ka’bah, bringing disrepute to Islam. In the last days of his rule, he attacked the inhabitants of Madinah and put to sword many old and pious companions as well as other respectable people of the society during the event of Harra.
Jamhoorato Ansaab al-Arab p 112
In another book, he writes, ‘The Bani Umayyah discarded the ‘takbeer’ from the prayers and initiated the Sermon of Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha before the prayers. This innovation became so prevalent that it spread across all Islamic nations. Today, because of such rampant innovations and alterations, only the actions of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) can be considered to be in consonance with true Islam.’
Al-Mohalla v 1, p 55
6. The Exegesis of the following verse in Tafseer-e-Aaloosi
‘We did not make the dream which We showed you, but as a trial for men – as also the Cursed Tree (mentioned) in the Qur’an: And We scared them; but it only increases their inordinate transgression!’
Surah Israa (17): Verse 60
Abu Sina Aaloosi writes in the exegesis of the above verse narrating from Ibn Jurair Ibn Abi Haatim, Ibn Morduwayh and Bayhaqi concerning the dream of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a). In this dream, he (s.a.w.a) saw that the Bani Umayyah (in the form of monkeys) had ascended on his (s.a.w.a) pulpit. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) became distressed and restless after seeing this dream. Allah revealed this verse at that time.
Tafseer-e-Aaloosi, under verse 60 of Surah Bani Israel (17)
7. The Desecration and Plundering of the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah
Dr Taha Husain Misri writes, ‘Allah has emphasised the greatness and purity of Makkah in the Holy Quran and He has granted honour to Madinah too. But the Bani Umayyah considered looting and plundering of these cities as permissible. The sanctity of Madinah was trampled on three different occasions. The first occasion was when Yazid Ibn Muawiyah attacked the city of Madinah and slaughtered its inhabitants mercilessly. Later, his son Abdul Malik b. Yazid b. Muawiyah followed the footsteps of his evil father and committed a similar dastardly act. Finally, Abdul Malik Ibn Marwan appointed Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf as the governor of Madinah and gave him blanket permission to plunder and loot the city. What followed was a series of atrocities and oppression that send a chill down the spine of every reader of history. All these crimes were committed only to force the people of these two venerable cities to submit to the unjust rule of the progeny of Abu Sufyan and Marwan.
On the orders of Yazid Ibn Muawiyah, IbnZiyad mercilessly killed Imam Husain (a.s) and his (a.s) family and made captives the women from the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a) progeny. The public treasury became the personal property of the caliphs and they squandered it according to their whims and desires, paying scant regards to the rights of Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a).
Miraat al-Islam, p. 268 – 270
At another place he writes, ‘Intimidation, rebellion and threats had taken firm roots in the reign of Bani Umayyah. Ziyad and his son (Ubaydullah) unleashed a reign of terror throughout the Muslim empire in order to consolidate the rule of Bani Umayyah. The Bani Umayyah turned a blind eye to their atrocities and gave them complete freedom to perpetrate heinous crimes. After Ziyad and his son, Hajjaj was appointed as the governor of Iraq and he surpassed them all in oppression and tyranny.
Miraat al-Islam, p. 272
In another book, ‘Fitnatul Kubra’, Dr Taha writes, ‘Imam Ali (a.s) was the closest individual to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a). He was raised and nurtured in his (s.a.w.a) lap. Ali (a.s) was the trustee of all the trusts that had been entrusted to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a). On the basis of the ‘brotherhood’ established by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) between the Muhaajir and the Ansaar, Imam Ali (a.s) was also the brother of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a). He (a.s) was the son-in-law of Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.a.) as well as the father of all Imams (a.s). Ali (a.s) inherited all the knowledge and sciences from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) and was his (s.a.w.a) successor from the Ahle Bait (a.s). On the basis of a reliable tradition from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a), the relation of Ali (a.s) with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) is the same as that of Prophet Haroon (a.s) with Prophet Moosa (a.s).
If the Muslims had accepted these virtues of Imam Ali (a.s) and selected him based on all these merits, they would have adhered to the truth and would have been saved from all kinds of deviations and blunders. All these realities were a pointer and benchmark to the rightful claim of Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s) to the position of Caliphate. Whether it was his proximity to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a), or being in the forefront in all battles, or his impeccable and flawless character, or his in-depth knowledge of the Shariah or his adherence to the Book and the Sunnah or his love for justice; all these attributes made him the most eligible and qualified person for the position of Imamat and caliphate. The Haashimites were forcibly kept away from the position of Imamat and it was the Quraish who wanted to deprive them of this position because they were afraid that the people would gather around the Bani Haashim.
Al Fitnat al-Kubra v 1 p 152
In another place he writes, ‘The world may extol the virtues of Muawiyah but no one can deny the fact that his father is Abu Sufyan – the leader of the polytheists – who fought against Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) in the battles of Ohad and Khandaq, and his mother is Hind – who plotted to kill Hazrat Hamza (a.s) and cut his (a.s) stomach to eat his liver (but couldn’t do so due to divine intervention), an act that caused untold grief to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a).
Al Fitnat al-Kubra v 2 p 15
8. Return of Idol-Worship in Islam
The famous historian from India, Sayed Amir Ali writes, ‘The reign and manner of the caliphs of Bani Umayyah not only overturned the principles of caliphate but also rocked the very foundation of Islam.’
Mukhtasar Tareekh-e-Arab wa Tamuddun Islamiyyah p 63
In another place he writes, ‘The corrupt and evil reign of Muawiyah in Damascus once again introduced the idol worship of the pre-Islamic era in Islam and the pure teachings of Islam were erased.’
Ruh al-Islam p 296
9. Differences still persist in matters of caliphate
Dr Ahmed Amin Misri writes in Yaum al-Islam, ‘During the illness that ultimately led to the demise of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a), he (s.a.w.a) had expressed his desire to name his successor. It has been mentioned in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that in his last days, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) had said, ‘Give me a pen and paper so that I may write for you something that shall save you from destruction…’ But the people who wanted to select a caliph from among themselves refused to obey his command and installed a leader from their side. Thus, even today you find so many differences and problems in matters of caliphate. Islam was radiant and strong in the time of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) but after his demise it lost its glory and splendor.
Yaum al-Islam p 41
Comment: It is highly regrettable that Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a) demand for pen and paper to write a will for the Muslims was rebutted by his so-called companions. This turned out to be catastrophic and marked the decline of Islam. Later, the corrupt rulers of Bani Umayyah and Bani Abbas – under the title of ‘Zill-e-Ilahi’ (Shadow of God) laid an intricate web of deception and treachery that trapped the best of their scholars. Thus, an edifice of deceit confronted the real and true Islam.
10. Denial of Heaven and Hell
Dr Ali Sami Neshar writes, ‘When Usman b. Afwan became the caliph, Abu Sufyan advised him, ‘After the tribes of Tameem (i.e. Abu Bakr’s tribe) and Adi (i.e. Umar’s tribe), you have finally received the caliphate. So now play with it like a ball and let its roots remain among the Bani Umayyah because caliphate is nothing but kingship and I doubt if there is anything like heaven and hell.
Al-Nizaa wa al-Takhaasum v 12, p 31
Comment: Abu Sufyan was speaking to Usman b. Afwan, who was the caliph of the Muslim nation. He was the first caliph from the Bani Umayyah. Their conversation reflects their mindset, character and the level to which they had accepted Islam. The deep rooted enmity in their hearts – right from the days of Badr, Hunain, Khandaq and Khaibar – manifested itself and they were hell-bent on destroying Islam. The nature of Abu Sufyan’s advice reflects his venomous nature against Islam.
11. Greatest Calamity in the History of Mankind
The rejection of Ghadeer has had a calamitous impact not only on Islam but on the entire mankind. Abbas Mahmood Aqqad writes, ‘After the caliphate of the first caliphs, the reign of Bani Umayyah has had a devastating and harmful effect not only on Islam but on the entire mankind.
Muawiyah fil Mizaan v 3 p 543
The famous historian, Tabari narrates from Saeed b. Suwaid who says that Muawiyah once said to his people, ‘I did not fight with you because I was keen to establish the prayers or uphold fasting or Hajj or pay the zakaat. Rather, I fought with you because I wanted to rule over you.’
Muawiyah fil Mizaan v 3 p 611 from Tabari
12. Innovations and un-Islamic rulings were given the name of Ijtihad
The enemies of Islam were not content with denying the Ahle Bait (a.s), especially Ameerul Momineen (a.s), of their lawful right to Imamat. Rather, they did not want to give the Ahle Bait (a.s.) the slightest chance to establish their superiority and went to great lengths to realize this aim. So, when the Muslim nation was confronted with new religious problems and complexities, they denied the Ahle Bait (a.s) the right to deliver religious verdicts in the light of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. Left with no option, people began to indulge in the whimsical interpretation of religion. Thus, the inept caliphs opened the door of whimsical interpretation (which they cleverly named as Ijetehaad) in the religion of Islam.
Professor Mohammad Khalid of Yarmuk University (Jordan) writes, ‘After the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a), the Islamic leadership (Caliphate) manifested itself in a new dimension and colour. Due to this, the door of ‘Ijtehaad’ was opened. People started talking about the role of a caliph and his mode of governing the masses. Laymen gave their views on matters of caliphate and religion, giving rise to a plethora of views and opinions and leading to the formation of numerous religious and political groups. People started discussing about the role of a Caliph and the norms for his selection. This led to the selection of caliphs based on different criteria’
Al-Hawl al-Fikriyya lil Saqaafat al-Islamiyya v 3 p 16
13. Responsibility of all crimes, past and future, due to differences in the selection of a caliph
The usurping of the right of Ameerul Momineen (a.s) led to painful and shameful consequences. The crimes and atrocities that were perpetrated in the past and are being inflicted till today are a result of the denial of the position of Imamat to Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s). Many people were beheaded unjustly and entire generations were wiped out by the enemies of Ahle Bait (a.s). Pious, virtuous and God-fearing companions, who were well-versed in the Holy Quran and had memorized it completely, were killed, imprisoned or debarred. But the greatest oppression was the martyrdom of Ameerul Momineen (a.s) and the Imams (a.s) after him. The blame and burden of all these atrocities and transgressions will certainly fall on the neck of that person who first refused to accept the divine endorsement concerning the caliphate and Imamat of Imam Ali (a.s). In his lust for power and pelf, he appointed a caliph from his own side.
Mohammed Rasheed Reza, writes in Tafseer al-Munaar, ‘The Bani Umayyah ruined the Islamic caliphate and weakened its principles. They laid the foundation of ‘personality-based’ caliphate. Thus, they will be responsible for their own acts as well as of those who followed them on this path till the Day of Qiyaamah.
Tafseer al-Munaar v 5 p 188
Religion was beset with various problems and issues only because people chose to deny the ‘divine order’ and the command of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a). If the Muslims would have obeyed the order of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a), they would have not been embroiled in differences and deviations. The scholars of the Ahle Sunnah have confessed to the adverse consequences of rejecting Ghadeer and lamented the ensuing deviations that cropped up in religion. Of course, the true followers of the Ahle Bait (a.s) have been saved from all these deviations and it is the blessing of these immaculate personalities (a.s) that the Shias have remained steadfast on the straight path of guidance.
O Allah! Keep us firm and steadfast on the wilaayah of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s) and his infallible progeny (a.s) till our last breath. Aameen!