: Dr. Hassan Najafi
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category: Imam Ali
ISBN: 978-964-438-976-8


Author: Ali Labbaf
: Dr. Hassan Najafi
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum

ISBN: 978-964-438-976-8
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Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
ISBN: 978-964-438-976-8

Are Shias obliged to avoid discussion on Caliphate…?

One of the conjectures indirectly related to the conjecture of silence is that Shias urged silence. They must restrain to debate and discuss the subject of Caliphate and Imamate of Ali. They are expected to not reveal usurpation of Caliphate by preceding Caliphs. Their crimes have sought cover under a false obligation of their being secrets of progeny of Muhammad.

As we pointed out in the first volume of this book, these conjectures are in fact new statements of invitation to silence (and always overlooking differences of knowledge between two schools). Answers too in this respect are dealt with. In short, it is contradiction between secrets of knowledge and political secrets of Ahle Bayt (a.s.).

What we want to explain here is a new point towards answering this conjecture.

A thing, reality of which is hidden from people, is called a secret. Accuracy or keen attention in understanding a subject results in giving it entity of secrecy. Or foreign hands could have been at work that resulted in pushing it into secrecy.

In any case, a reality which can be exposed is hidden from public knowledge. When it is hidden with all proofs it becomes a secret.

In these circumstances there is no need if subjects of all proofs (personal, external or exigency) remain concealed from the people, it is always necessary to maintain its link with the subject matter and it must never be separated from it.

In other words, the responsibility of maintaining this link is a subject that is not only applicable to a secret. Because anything hidden from people and having characteristic of a secret is not always under necessity of remaining behind a curtain.

In fact, between to be concealed or to continue to remain concealed is an issue that does not have a requirement. Except that there be a necessity for it.

On the basis of this if something is secret it does not imply that it is prohibited, therefore it is not that a secret should always continue to be a secret.

There are many things which should be known to all, but the obstacle…! The tyrant governments or tyrants that hold power first spread dread and fear among people to hold them from reaching to facts. These very facts change to secrets with passage of time.

It is obvious that not only concealing of these facts is not necessary, rather if they could be useful in securing prosperity in the next world, or its knowledge is a necessity for happiness in that world to keep them secret would be fatal to us. Especially if there is a direct relation between these facts and matters of faith or these facts help us to separate guidance from misguidance. Therefore it is prohibited.

Now we return to matters called secrets of progeny of Muhammad. This term is actually used for traditions in book of Sulaym Ibne Qays Hilali and connected to incidents that occurred in the early stages of Islam and usurpation of Caliphate and seizing of rulership after the Prophet.

Now the question is: why these facts are called secrets?

Did these incidents automatically became secrets or they were made into secrets? Was there a special aim in keeping them secret?

In reply we say:

Those events occurred or better to say were committed in broad daylight - seen by all, at the surface of society. Now such an open thing is changed into a secret to protect usurpation of usurpers and to protect their government. After every revolution, endeavors are made to hide the tyranny that led to its success and continuity. It is treated as a crime for the coming generations.

That this type of information is called secret is in itself proof that it is told in tyrannical conditions and had remained far from knowledge of common people due to pressing circumstances that dominated the society. Besides, the narration of events had not gone from a generation to next. So now after a lapse of so many years it would be impossible to know those facts.

So the contents of the book of Sulaym called secrets are facts in their reality and originality.[79] The tyrants that grasped Caliphate laid hands upon these facts making them confidential so that they could reach to anyone’s knowledge. The reader of the book of Sulaym comes across information about Caliphs, their attitudes and their life by its root. And it contains information that is not available anywhere else.

Such type of confidentiality cannot be a correct interpretation of the word ‘secrets’. Because secondly today the past tyranny is no more.

Of course there are certain points in Sulaym’s Book, which should not be told openly because they relate to particular time and place? It will be detrimental to make them public. The matter is such that it needs special precaution and care. But not all matters in the book are such.

Therefore the word of ‘secrets’ should not be interpreted to keep all the matters of the book of Sulaym confidential.

Suffocating circumstances some centuries ago ruled society and therein were a few particular persons instrumental in this. Those restrictions were effective at that time but how it can now be a ruling for this present generation?

This question must be asked from those who claim:

“This writer on the basis of all he has learnt of the biographies of Ahle Bayt (a.s.) has narrated most narrations that caused mischief and unrest and gives advantage to the enemies. They caused scuffles between Shia and Sunni and Muslim bloodshed entailed. Things took the worst turn. Dissimulation became necessary. The Impeccable Imams had to prohibit revealing the secrets of Muhammad’s House.”[80]

It is thus said that only because only calling some historical narrations as secrets does not mean that Imams have prohibited them. It must be seen what the obligation of a Shia is? To narrate events or not, should be decided by independent arguments. Can the word, secrets be applied or not? The answer must be found in Islamic rulings.

Although some correct applications of it indicate the same conjecture. However, careful attention must be paid because if secrets do not have any detrimental consequences, it is not necessary to keep them unrevealed.

In jurisprudence also revealing secrets has a bearing on condition of time and place. Some conditions could be fixed and unchangeable. Some may alter with change of time and place. Therefore decision depends upon their nature.

Propagator of this conjecture regards every secret confidential. To him detrimental consequences are enough to prove a secret as confidential. Within these milestones, he is groping his way between a secret and confidential matter. It is only to escape from narration of events which are shameful due to their criminal characteristics.

Even if we accept some information in early stages of Islam concerning events of Caliphate and division of the nation thereat are secrets. Still there remains a question if these events in their width and breadth found in books of Sunni sect or found in documents, are they still secrets or confidential?

There are libraries where historical books are collected, through them bitter events that occurred in the early period of Islam can easily be traced, hence these events can no more be secrets.

In the same way in the present age, analysis of events had become a science. Scholars and historians trace the track of past nations. How can Muslim historians be prohibited and restricted from reaching to root of the causes?

If it is claimed that it is an insult to the Prophet’s House where divine revelation descended, then what to say about the train of events that ensued, such as setting fire to the door of the House, miscarriage of Mohsin, threat of killing to Ali and a series of events? Should these events not be told or recorded in history?

In reply we say: None of these events can be considered as secrets as all are mentioned in Sunni books.

We invite our readers to the book, Attack on Fatima’s house by Abdul Zahra Mahdi. He has mentioned the event in detail with documentary proofs. The scholar has presented the events following Saqifah for public scrutiny and judgment.

Again, oriental scholars like Wilfred Madelung have written with courage recorded every bit of events of that early period of Islam and describes in detail the plot of Helpers and Emigrants. (Companions of the accursed scroll). All this is supported by documentary proofs and evidences.

“Wilfred Madelung, German orientialist, in his book,[81] first puts forward the theory of Lammens[82] i.e. the triumvirate of power (Abu Bakr, Umar and Abu Ubaidah Jarrah). Then he explains according to the analysis of Caetani[83] that in this triangle, the inspiring element was Umar. According to Madelung, Abu Bakr had aspired power and undoubtedly, prior to the Prophet’s demise he had decided to be his caliph…Therefore he was determined to destroy his opponents who were Ahle Bayt of Prophet and was waiting for an opportunity.

Further, Madelung stresses on existence of a pre-planned and well-decided design of Abu Bakr for obtaining Caliphate. However he thinks it was fortuitous, a matter of chance that the plot took shape in Saqifah. Besides, he considers the help of a few from the people of Quraish was very much efficacious which led to public allegiance…”[84]

The Second caliph has admitted most confidential matters quoted in Sulaym’s Book:

“During journey to Syria, when Umar reached the district of Shura he was informed of an epidemic in Damascus. Umar said: If I die and Abu Ubaidah were left alive, I would have appointed him to Caliphate. If he (Abu Ubaidah) is dead I will make Maaz bin Jabal[85] a caliph.

If we keep this statement in line with episode of Saqifah it appears too congruous with its very spirit. Because the most important persons who supported candidacy of Abu Bakr were themselves: Umar, Abu Ubaidah Jarrah, Salim and Maaz bin Jabal.”[86]

“Not only Maaz he also preferred Salim for leadership and he said: If Salim[87] were alive, I would have appointed him.”[88]

On the basis of this except for the issues specified by Ja’fari jurisprudence every topic that in the view of unity-seekers is to be kept secret must be propagated if those things are mentioned in Sunni sources or they can be traced in Sunni books. Unity-seekers cannot prohibit making them public.

All these matters, that is about Caliphs, their identities, intentions etc. that exist only in Shia books and records are such that their refutation is nowhere to be seen in Sunni books and according to the authority of these books they are not disproved.

Now we should see as to where dissimulation stands in our days:

In every sense, silence of Ali in having intellectual discussions based on proofs was not to create differences nor did it carry any motive to foment disunity. Still they say:

“Imam Sadiq recommends unity. He advises dissimulation against tyrants in order to avoid divisions. It is especially for Shia and Sunni brothers that they should say that Muslims must have piety, they must practice dissimulation and refrain from creating any type of difference.”![89]

Anyway, analysis of events of early Islamic days is an urgent need for Islamic society and our present young generation. It is also a valid foundation of creating unity.

Are Shias obliged not to Debate on Imamate?

A you have seen, unity-seekers have always made efforts so that events may be forgotten. They prefer that all records of deeds of usurper Caliphs should be forgotten. Recently they have also invited to maintain silence under the excuse of maintaining secrets and it also includes discussions related to Imamate and Wilayat (Guardianship) of Ahle Bayt (a.s.). In short, their endeavors are far reaching beyond past conjectures. Their aim is to distort face of Imamiyah school and extinguish lamp of Shiaism by perverting and deviating facts and fundamentals of Alawi Guardianship i.e. Wilayat. They even say:

“I do not deny that there were secrets in Ali’s heart. He did not reveal them because he did not see fit. We too should not reveal them in emulating our Chief, Ali. He even did not tell the nearest ones. We too must do the same.”![90]

To analyze this we must first see what those secrets were, which Imam Ali (a.s.) did not see fit to be revealed.

A glance at the article: Imam Ali (a.s.) and Unity,[91] shows that these secrets, which according to this claim must not be revealed, ‘The moral stations of the Imams; that is the splendor of their Wilayat, Imamate and guidance’. Thus they say:

“To acknowledge moral stations of Imams needs time. One should cross stages of learning and knowledge to know their position. Ali, prior and after Caliphate, used to speak regarding it. But he did not see among people required maturity and preparedness to reveal the secret of Guardianship. Later he settled in Kufa. His friends and companions too gathered there around him. Then he spoke some matters to them. Such matters that he told were most probably for Shias. Earlier to this, no one knew the facts except Salman, Abu Zar, Miqdad and Ammar. Before Caliphate, a few persons knew the secrets. They were under mandate to keep them confidential.”![92

This claim is being made at the time when all this can be found with evidences in Sunni books. The superiority of morals, exalted tributes and divinely bestowed qualities of Imam Ali (a.s.) glare from pages of Sunni books. What is so open now, is called a secret.

In the same way divine text (Nass) that supports the Wilayat (Guardianship) and Imamate of Ali can also be found in historical sources because history of the Message of Prophet cannot be separated from history of propagation of his teachings.

Allamah Abdul Husain Amini; his literacy endeavors in compiling the book of Al-Ghadeer are too worthy and valuable and very much useful. Likewise, the valuable research of Indian scholar, Hamid Husain, in his book Abaqaat al-Anwaar is too beneficial to a reader. Another scholar in this field, Qadi Nurullah Shushtari has also exerted efforts in compiling realities in his book Ihqaaq al-Haqq. Later on Allamah Sayyid Abdul Husain Sharafuddin compiled a book titled Al-Murajaat. The documentary evidences and facts collected and compiled in these books clearly establish rights and moral stations of Ali and the Imams. That which makes these books more trustworthy is that all sources are from opponents of Shia School. Books of those who do not see eye to eye with Shia School are full of material, which stands a ground to defend Shia belief. As such this material is and never was confidential.

If Imam Ali (a.s.) did not reveal the matter, it was because he was not under a mandate to do so. Taking into consideration twenty-three years of Prophet’s labor from the day of announcement of his Mission to Ghadeer, Ali was mandated to preserve the message. Muslim society had attained maturity to the extent of sufficiency.

Therefore the Imam only exhausted the argument on the deniers and warned the negligent ones and he had no other purpose. Because secondly, in this matter, the Islamic Ummah is one that has the responsibility to refer to the Imam and Divine Proof (Hujjat).

There is thus no reason to argue its being confidential. This itself is enough proof of existence of pressure, which had crushed liberties in society. Imam Ali (a.s.) could have done more had he been free. He did not tell because he could not. That Caliphs ruled with tyranny can well be understood by the very behavior of Imam Ali (a.s.).

The Prophet had conveyed to the nation all aspects of guidance and attributes of Ali. What Ali should and could have said when the Prophet had told everything?

If the moral position of Ali be regarded as a secret, does it not crawl into oblivion? Will it not put the Message of Prophet to question?

There remains nothing unknown to Muslim society, which Shia cannot find in Sunni books.

Another point

Inspite of clear contradictions in the above-mentioned claim they make another:

“Imam instead of stressing on the Caliphate of Ahle Bayt, has emphasized on their knowledge, intelligence and their scientific and spiritual centrality.”![93]

And the emphasis of this view of unity-seekers to continue this attitude. Thus it is said:

“Difference between the issue of Caliphate and Imamate is a strong pillar of nearness.”[94]

The question is:

What is the motive of these contradictory statements?

The reply can be:

According to their thinking, the moral stations of Ahle Bayt (a.s.) are such that they can make their audiences conclude that the personal right of Imam Ali (a.s.) was usurped and pillaged by three Caliphs. The Imam was deprived of right of Caliphate that God had bestowed on him. Caliphate was his heritage.

In the view of these people, whenever there was discussion of the moral stations of Ahle Bayt (a.s.), invariably there was also mention of the usurpation of personal rights of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) through the Caliphs, secondly these issues should be considered as the hidden secrets?!

Therefore they treat it a secret in order not to talk about it. The word, secret is a good excuse and a covering on crimes of Caliphs. Their Caliphate loses its validity and credibility if facts were broached that it was Ali’s right. There is no way to conceal except to maintain silence. Secrets are not to be revealed. Hence such things should be ignored and gradually they would disappear from the root.

“These statements should not be considered as defense of personal rights…”[95]

They say:

“As for issues related to Caliphate there is much material in history and tradition on behalf of Ali in addition to narrations of Ali. This has not been evaluated from literary standard or according to Imam’s standard or motive. If evaluated they will not correspond with the attitude of Ali or Caliphs.

If we keep this as a base to judge the authenticity of these statements we will see, mostly they are from the book of Sulaym bin Qays. Hence they do not carry any authenticity”![96]

Now it should be asked: Let us see how the Imam’s conduct towards Caliphs was. And from where this should commence?

To make a correct judgment about any historical personality is there any other way except that the facts must be drawn from history or a reliable source?

Please pay attention: For a personality like Imam Ali (a.s.), regarding his relations with Caliphate and Caliphs we must refer to narrations and information recorded in books of History.[97]

Therefore it will not be logical that without referring to historical sources we only base our analysis on personal whims as far as the Imam’s attitude is concerned. And then make it the base and standard of correctness or incorrectness of historical evidences and narrations regarding the attitudes of His Eminence (a.s.) towards the Caliphs.

In other words, exposing the biographical details of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) with regard to his relationship with Caliphate or Caliphs is possible from analysis of captioned issues in history and traditions and in consequence of referring to these narration reports and sayings. Now how can these fruits and results be falsified on the basis of a standard drawn from some other sources?

This standard is invalid and its application is not aimed except to put a lid on the misdeeds of the usurpers of the rights of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and abuses against the Caliphs. Because every investigation has demonstrated that understanding the attitude of Ali by referring to History and narration reports related to their behavior has referred to these sources, so talking about the behavior of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in every matter will be meaningless.

From where have they arrived at the claim that Imam (a.s.) refrained from emphasis on the usurpation of his rights at the hands of Caliphs that they should make it a reliable standard and scientific aspect to question the information contained in Shia History and hadith books?!

There is no other aim in this except to make interpretations based on ones personal whims to support their own claims and to refute what is in opposition to their views.

In fact in such a manner one is not in pursuit of finding the reality; one only endeavors to present that which one has accepted to be reality and which one has preferred through some selected evidences and rejection of all other sources.

Discourse Two: Criticism and Scrutiny of Analyses Propagated about Consultation of Caliphs with Ali

What doubts are propagated in this regard?

One of the wrong analyses propagated by some extremist unity-seekers is that in spite of differences between Ali and Caliphs, the Caliphs consulted Ali whenever necessary.

They thus say:

“He[98] sought answers to his difficulties in Ali’s company. Ali explained to him issues not clear to him. And he executed Ali’s judicial decrees. Ali too like a kind lover used to guide his beloved. He did not keep anything short from him. We shall deal with Ali’s practical conduct with Umar. This will show good relations between these two great historical persons.”![99]

Does Consultation Alone Suffices to Prove Good Relations?

Now our aim is to answer this question: to offer consultation or to give opinion on various issues wherein ignorance of Caliphs pushed and enmeshed them which was about to leave bad effects on Islamic legislation and spoil fundamentals, is it enough to show existence of a lover and a beloved type of relations? In later chapters we shall dwell upon relations between Ali and Caliphs on the basis of historical evidences.

While it is that:

“It must be acknowledged that had not the Imam gone to help the Caliphs, Muslims would have been involved in a great chaos. It was likely that Muslims could have even apostised. Or when they did not receive an answer, Islam itself would have fallen into suspicion and it was likely they would have denounced Islam as a false religion.”[100]

Reply to this question needs a thorough research regarding consultation of Caliphs with Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and to derive conclusions from it. But first only by way of logical refutation we want to mention that by studying history we can also find cases in which Muawiyah sought Ali’s opinion.

The table given below show instances of Muawiyah referring to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), taken from the valuable book of Ali and the Caliphs by contemporary research scholar, Shaykh Najmuddin Askari.

On investigation it does not remain concealed that relationship of Muawiyah with Amirul Momineen (a.s.) was in no sense cordial and these referrals and consultations in no way prove good relations between them. Except that we want to be careful in passing off as good straining of relations of the Imam (a.s.) with Muawiyah and for the aspect of protecting Muslim unity suffice to say:

“But he took Muawiyah to task because his act had gone beyond the limits of difference in opinion…”![101]

Analysis of Consultation of Caliphs with Amirul Momineen (a.s.) on the basis of Statistical Scrutiny

On the basis of this only consultation does not describe the motives of the two sides and for obtaining correct analysis from consultation of Caliphs with Amirul Momineen (a.s.) it is necessary to examine each instance of these consultations case by case basis. We should classify each instance according to the subject of inquiry and mode of referral etc. and then analyse on the basis of statistics.

Therefore we have made a systematic table of all instances of referrals in the book, Min Noor-e-Ali, Part Two, Ali wa Khulafa,[102] written by Shaykh Najmuddin Askari, and classified by subject of inquiry and mode of consultation.

Chart of Consultations of Three Caliphs with Amirul Momineen (a.s.)