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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sahabah vs. Khawarij

أخبرنا إسماعيل بن أحمد نا محمد بن هبة الله الطبري نا محمد بن الحسين بن الفضل نا عبد الله بن جعفر بن درستويه نا يعقوب بن سفيان ثني موسى بن مسعود ثنا عكرمة بن عمار عن سماك بن رميل قال قال عبد الله بن عباس إنه لما إعتزلت الخوارج دخلوا دارا وهم ستة آلاف وأجمعوا على أن يخرجوا على علي بن أبي طالب فكان لا يزال يجيء إنسان فيقول يا أمير المؤمنين إن القوم خارجون عليك فيقول دعوهم فإني لا أقاتلهم حتى يقاتلوني وسوف يفعلون

Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas said: When the Khawarij broke away, about 6000 of them gathered at a place, and agreed to revolt against Ali ibn Abi Talib. Meanwhile everyone who came to Ali informed of the group that revolted. However, he told them: “Leave them, I will not attack them until they attack me and they would surely do so.”

 فلما كان ذات يوم أتيته صلاة الظهر فقلت له يا أمير المؤمنين أبرد بالصلاة لعلي أدخل على هؤلاء القوم فأكلمهم فقال إني أخاف عليك فقلت كلا وكنت رجلا حسن الخلق لا أؤذي أحدا فأذن لي فلبست حلة من أحسن ما يكون من اليمن وترجلت فدخلت عليهم نصف النهار

One day I came to Ali before Dhuhr and said to him: “O Leader of the Believers, may the salat sooth you. Perhaps I should visit the rebels and speak to them.” He replied: “I fear for you.” I assured him: “No, I’m a man known for good character who will not hurt anyone.” So he allowed me. I dressed up with my best Yemeni clothes and sandals, then I went to visit them at mid-day.

 فدخلت على قوم لم أر قط أشد منهم إجتهادا جباههم قرحة من السجود وأياديهم كأنها ثفن الإبل وعليهم قمص مرحضة مشمرين مسهمة وجوههم من السهر فسلمت عليهم فقالوا مرحبا بابن عباس ما جاء بك

When I arrived, I found people whose devotion in prayer the like of which I had never seen. Their foreheads scarred from continuous and prolonged prostrations, their palms were calloused like the knees of camels. Their clothes were washed and their faces lined from staying awake all night. I greeted them, they replied: “Welcome Ibn Abbas, what has brought you here?”

 فقلت أتيتكم من عند المهاجرين والأنصار ومن عند صهر رسول الله وعليهم نزل القرآن وهم أعلم بتأويله منكم فقالت طائفة منهم لا تخاصموا قريشا فإن الله عز وجل يقول بل هم قوم خصمون فقال إثنان أو ثلاثة لنكلمنه فقلت هاتوا ما نقمتم على صهر رسول الله والمهاجرين والأنصار وعليهم نزل القرآن وليس فيكم منهم أحد وهو أعلم بتأويله

I replied: “I have come from the Muhajirun, the Ansar and the prophet’s son in law, among whom the Quran was revealed and they know its interpretation better than you do.” Some of them refused to debate with me because I was a Quraishite, and Allah said: “Rather, they are an argumentative people.” However, two or three of them said : “We will surely speak to him!” So I said: “Tell me what you have against Rasulullah’s son in law, the Muhajirun and the Ansar among whom the Quran was revealed, and none of you was among them, and he knows better of its interpretation.

 قالوا ثلاثا قلت هاتوا قالوا أما أحداهن فانه حكم الرجال في أمر الله وقد قال الله عز وجل إن الحكم إلا لله فما شأن الرجال والحكم بعد قول الله عز وجل فقلت هذه واحدة وماذا قالوا وأما الثانية فانه قاتل وقتل ولم يسب ولم يغنم فإن كانوا مؤمنين فلم حل لنا قتالهم وقتلهم ولم يحل لنا سبيهم قلت وما الثالثة قالوا فإنه محا عن نفسه أمير المؤمنين فإنه إن لم يكن أمير المؤمنين فانه لأمير الكافرين قلت هل عندكم غير هذا قالوا كفانا هذا

They replied: “There are three points of contention.” I said: “Tell me!” They said: “First, that Ali made men judges in Allah’s affair even though Allah, Most Great and Glorious, has said: Judgment belongs only to Allah. So what value are men and their decisions after Allah’s statement?” I said: “That’s one, and what else?” They replied: “Secondly, Ali fought and killed his enemies, yet did not take any captives nor spoils of war. If it was because the enemy were believers, why was it permissible for us to fight and kill them and not make them captives?” I said: “What is the third?” They replied: “He erased the title Amir al-Mu’minin (Leader of the Believers) from himself. If he is not Amir al-Mu’minin then surely he must be Amir al-Kafirin (Leader of the disbelievers).” I asked: “Do you have anything else?” They replied: “These are sufficient.”

 قلت لهم أما قولكم حكم لرجال في أمر الله أنا أقرأ عليكم في كتاب الله ما ينقض هذا فاذا نقض قولكم أترجعون قالوا نعم قلت فإن الله قد صير من حكمه إلى الرجال في ربع درهم ثمن أرنب وتلى هذه الآية لا تقتلوا الصيد وأنتم حرم إلى آخر الآية وفي المرأة وزوجها وإن خفتم شقاق بينهما فابعثوا حكما من أهله وحكما من أهلها إلى آخر الآية فنشدتكم بالله هل تعلمون حكم الرجال في إصلاح ذات بينهم وفي حقن دمائهم أفضل أم حكمهم في أرنب وبضع امرأة فأيهما ترون أفضل قالوا بل هذه قلت خرجت من هذه قالوا نعم

I said: “As for your statement concerning men’s judgment in Allah’s affair, I will recite for you from Allah’s book something which will refute your statement. But if I do so, will you retract your position?” They replied affirmatively. I said: “Verily Allah has relegated to men an area of His judgment whose value is a mere four dirhams, the price of a rabbit, in the verse: O Believers, do not kill a hunting prey while in a state of Ihram. If any of you does so intentionally, the compensation is the sacrifice of a domestic animal similar to it near the Ka’bah according to the judgment of two just men from among you. Also he relegated to men an area of his judgment concerning a woman and her husband in the verse: If you fear discord between them, appoint a judge from his family and one from hers to arbitrate. If they wish reconciliation, Allah will make it happen between them. For Allah is all-Knowing, whose expertise knows no bounds. I implore you, by Allah! Is man’s judgment to reconcile what is between themselves and prevent the spilling of blood more excellent than man’s judgment over a rabbit and a woman’s family rights and obligations or not? Which of them is more important?” They replied the arbitration was. I asked them if they would retract their objection to Ali’s agreement to arbitration and they agreed.

 قلت وأما قولكم قاتل ولم يسب ولم يغنم فتسبون أمكم عائشة رضي الله تعالى عنها فوالله لئن قلتم ليست بأمنا لقد خرجتم من الإسلام ووالله لئن قلتم لنسبينها ونستحل منها ما نستحل من غيرها لقد خرجتم من الإسلام فأنتم بين ضلالتين لأن الله عز وجل قال النبي أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم وأزواجه أمهاتهم أخرجت من هذه قالوا نعم

I said: “As for your statement concerning Ali’s fighting without taking captives or spoils of war, it means that you would have taken your mother, ‘Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, as a captive. By Allah, if you say that she is not your mother, you have left Islam. And, by Allah, if you say that you would have made her a captive and made permissible what is permissible in the case of others (ie. sex) you have left Islam. You are caught between two grave errors from Allah, the Most Great Glorious has said: The prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves and his wives are their mothers. Will you retract from this point?” They replied: “Yes!”

 قلت وأما قولكم محا عن نفسه أمير المؤمنين فأنا آيتكم بمن ترضون أن النبي يوم الحديبية صالح المشركين أبا سفيان بن حرب وسهيل بن عمرو فقال لعلي رضي الله عنه أكتب لهم كتابا فكتب لهم علي هذا ما اصطلح عليه محمد رسول الله فقال المشركون والله ما نعلم انك رسول الله لو نعلم انك رسول الله ما قاتلناك فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم اللهم إنك تعلم أني رسول الله امح يا علي اكتب هذا ما اصطلح عليه محمد بن عبد الله فوالله لرسول الله خير من علي وقد محا نفسه قال فرجع منهم ألفان وخرج سائرهم فقتلوا

Then I said: “As for your statement concerning his erasing the title Amir al-Mu’minin, I will give you a similar example concerning someone with whom you are pleased. On the day of Hudaibiyah, the prophet made a treaty with the musyrikin represented by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb and Suhail ibn ‘Amr. He told Ali to put it in writing for them so Ali wrote: These are the terms of peace agreed upon by Muhammad, Rasulullah. However, the musyrikin objected saying: “By Allah, we do not know you to be a Rasulullah, for if we did know you to be so, we would not have fought you.” The prophet then said: “O Allah, you know that I am Rasulullah. Erase it, O Ali and write: These are the terms of peace agreed upon by Muhammad ibn Abdullah. By Allah, surely Rasulullah is better than Ali, and he erased a title from himself.” So, two thousand of them retracted their position while the rest of them revolted and were killed.
[Talbis Iblis by al-Hafiz Ibn al-Jawzi]

My Comments: Notice that Ibn 'Abbas repeated at the start of his debate about the sahabah (companions) of the prophet having the better understanding of the religion. You can see the similarity with this hadith:

 «إِنَّ الْيَهُودَ افْتَرَقَتْ عَلَى إِحْدَى وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً، وَإِنَّ النَّصَارَى افْتَرَقَتْ عَلَى اثْنَتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً، وَسَتَفْتَرِقُ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةُ عَلَى ثَلَاثٍ وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً، كُلُّهَا فِي النَّارِ إِلَّا فِرْقَةً وَاحِدَة»
(Verily, the Jews split into seventy-one sects, and the Christians split into seventy-two sects, and this nation (of Muslims) will split into seventy-three sects. All of them will be in the Fire except one sect.) They (the Companions) said, "Who are they (the Saved Sect), O Messenger of Allah'' He said,

«مَا أَنَا عَلَيْهِ وَأَصْحَابِي»
(The sect that is upon what my Companions and I are upon.)

Al-Hakim recorded this narration in his Mustadrak with this additional wording. Again, this confirms the ACID TEST or BENCHMARK, that al-Quran and Sunnah has to be understood correctly, and no one understood better than the companions. And similarly the two generations that come after the companions because they were praised by the Hadith of the prophet:

"The best of generation is my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them.”
[Agreed upon]

So, three generations of muslims were praised by Allah and His Messenger, and surely they were not praised for being physically attractive, or being hardworking, or anything else but their understanding and practice of the religion they inherited from the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

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