A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH Volume 3

A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH0%

A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH Author:
Translator: Dr. Hassan Najafi
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category: Imam Ali
ISBN: 978-964-438-976-8

A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH

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

ISBN: 978-964-438-976-8
visits: 4693
Download: 1522


Comments:

Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3 Volume 4
search inside book
  • Start
  • Previous
  • 19 /
  • Next
  • End
  •  
  • Download HTML
  • Download Word
  • Download PDF
  • visits: 4693 / Download: 1522
Size Size Size
A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH

A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH Volume 3

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

Discourse Two: Scrutiny of Social Justice

Help to the Deprived

History shows that the Caliph had no information about the poor and needy ones of the seat of his government. Here are a few proofs:

“When Umar returned from Syria to Medina, he mingled with the public to become aware of their condition.

He passed by a woollen tent in which lived an old woman. Umar went to her.

The woman asked: O man, what does Umar do when he returned from Syria?

Umar said: He has returned from Syria and has now reached Medina.

The woman: May Allah not give him a good reward from my side.

Umar asked: Woe on you. Why?

The woman said: Because I swear by God, since he has become a Caliph he has not given me a Dirham or Dinar as stipend.

Umar: Woe on you. How can Umar know about your condition while you are here?

The woman replied: Glory be to God! I didn’t know that one who governs the people doesn’t know what’s going on in the East and the West of his government?!...”[187]

The point worth noting is that they have added a good quality for him in continuation of this story, which in fact contradicts it.

“In the nights Umar used to go out from his house and roam the skirts of the city to know the people and their circumstances, alone without a bodyguard.”[188]

“He was an Emperor but with people’s pain at heart. At night he was in the streets to help the weak and support widows.”[189]

On the whole, it can be said:

Scrutiny into praises lavished on Umar shows that there are obvious contradictions in them.

For instance with regard to public welfare they remark:

“During Umar’s Caliphate, Muslims had become rich. They had too much money that they did not know how to spend it. There was not a single hungry man in the whole Arab peninsula.”[190]

“In the period of Umar there was not one poor man to be found in the Arab state.”![191]

On the other hand some praise Umar for his affection to oppressed and needy people. In this respect, they have shown the power of their pens to gain the feelings of their readers. They have accepted existence of poverty in days of Umar as a fact and on the basis of that say:

“Caliph of Islamic government, Umar bin Khattab, on a very cold night saw a fire at a distance and along with his companions went towards it to see a mother sitting with her three small children by the fireside. One of the children was crying and saying: Mother, see my tears and have mercy on me. The other was saying: Mother! I’ll die of hunger. The third said: Mother! Can I possibly have some food before I die? Umar sat near the fire and said to the mother: To whom do you complain? The mother said: By God! By God! To Umar!

Umar asked: Who has informed Umar about you and your condition? She said: He is our guardian (wali) and responsible[192] and he is ignorant about us!

When Umar heard this, he immediately hurried to the Treasury and brought back a bag of flour, a vessel of ghee (oil) and a vessel of honey. He prepared the food and then he himself fed the children…”![193]

Here we should ask:

If such a story is indeed true what is the meaning of the claim that there did not exist a single poor needy one? If this claim is true and there was not a single person hungry in all the Arabian Peninsula what is the aim of this story?

We leave the judgment on the part of the reader. Such contradictious are aplenty in all stories invented by them.

For instance, we give here one more example:

“Umar had no leisure to wash his clothes.”![194]

On the other hand they say:

“He was careless about the fashion or elegance of dress but he was very much particular about neatness and cleanliness of clothes.”![195]

These contrasts resulted due to concept of piety with the different writers. Some saw goodness in dirty clothes while some in neat. So each batch of writers writes according to its mind not wanting to deprive Umar of this quality. They want to elevate him in the sight of the readers causing this discrepancy.

In this way they painted the face of their beloved Caliph so that as much as possible it appears attractive to all.

Love for the People

This claim is surprising:

“Umar is always mentioned as a friend of humanity. He was much concerned about mankind.”![196]

This claim is made at a time when his affections to the people are sketched in a different color.

“Umar bin Khattab said: I hate so and so.

It was communicated to that man concerned and he asked what the reason was for his hatred?

Many people had come to the house of Umar. Little by little, the number of visitors formed a gathering. That man too arrived. He asked Umar: Have I created division in Islam?

Umar said: No.

The man: Have I perpetrated a crime?

Umar: No.

The man: Have I introduced something new in Islam?

Umar: No.

The man: Then why do you hate me? God has said:

Those who torture believers, men or women, without a reason, they carry sin and a blame openly. (Quran: Chapter Parties, V. 58).

So you have tortured and vexed me. May God not forgive you.

The Caliph heard this and admitted that the later was right…”[197]

This document shows that Umar hated people without any reason; while they claim:

“Umar… loved his people. Umar was by nature a man of justice and love…”![198]

Social Classes

As far as social justice is concerned during his Caliphate they claim as follows:

“It is a fact that Umar was an expression of Islamic behavior. He destroyed all individual and national distinctions.”![199]

On the other hand Caliphs after Saqifah “Established a Quraishi kingdom, especially in the days of Umar accommodating the tribes in newly created cities of Kufa and Basrah but keeping the Quraish in Medina itself. He distributed lands in Medina among them and created social classes and distinctions so that wealth remained with Quraish. The Quraish tribe now owned slaves, gardens, fertile fields and villas. The Quraish had the army under them because the commanders and officers were from Quraish. Likewise, the governors were also from Quraish. The city of Medina became a place of kings, princes and wealth. All facilities, amenities and wealth were now for Quraish.

The Quraish purchased slaves and used them as labor - a free labor. They expanded the town and settled around it.[200]

Umar’s regime was a pure Arab regime. He restricted non-Arabs to live in Medina.[201] Medina was the capital of Islam.

Besides Arabs, no one was allowed to live in the capital. Umar had prohibited an Arab girl to be married with a non-Arab. Likewise, a non-Quraish Arab was not allowed to marry a girl from Quraish.

Accordingly Umar made the Islamic society into a society of classes and ranks. Whatever Umar ordered, the people considered a divine order and as religion itself. If an Arab married a non-Arab girl and if she gave birth in Arab territories the male child was entitled and liable to inherit. On the other hand if the birth took place in non-Arab territory; that is in a land which does not belong to Arabs - the male child was deprived of heritage.

Umar’s regime was an Arab and Quraishi regime. In military the top posts of captain, brigadier, colonel, general, commander and so forth were for Quraish. He never appointed an outsider from Quraish to any position in military.

However there was an exception. Among all the tribes of Quraish, he (Umar) did not give governorship of any province to Bani Hashim.[202]

In Islam, Public Treasury was called Baitul Maal. In days of Prophet, public funds were distributed among all Muslims equally without any distinction. Abu Bakr did the same during his two years’ rule.

Umar did not like this method and said that particularly from the residents of Medina each individual should get in accordance to his social status. The salaries were set for annual distribution. He made classes and grades among the people themselves.”[203]

“During Umar’s rule a court was formed. Courtiers came into existence. He based his rule on tribal foundations. He gave preference to his courtiers who were his companions. Among them too he framed distinctions and differences.”[204]

“In financial distribution, he adopted this formula: A thousand Dirhams to participants of the battle of Badr, four thousand to those present in Uhad, three thousand to fighters of Khandaq. To the Prophet’s widows he gave ten thousand Dirhams each. But Ayesha was an exception and was paid twelve thousand.”[205]

“Umar introduced these classified grades. He gave to Muawiyah and his father Abu Sufyan a share equal to those who took part in the battle of Badr. He gave a distinction to three women among ladies of Islam. He preferred these three to all other women of the society of those days. They were (1) Hafasa, his own daughter (2) Ayesha, Abu Bakr’s daughter and (3) Umme Habeeba, Abu Sufiyan’s daughter and Muawiyah’s sister.[206][207]

“These preferences and distinctions were carried out at a time when for the whole year he did not pay any amount to Umme Salma - another widow of Prophet[208] because she had sided with Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter, when he confiscated Fadak.”[209]

“Well, what is the outcome of this division? It is quite obvious, the class of dignitaries, aristocrats or lords -were up and above the common people. This is the same division that existed in Mecca prior to Islam. Now it returned but this time under the banner of Islam. In other words he took the society backwards and destroyed all that Islam had labored hard for its goals and ends.”[210]

“Thus Islamic society also became a society of classes like in Iran and Rome. There were various divisions - princes, clerks, military personnel, laborers, shopkeepers etc.

When Iranians and Romans were embracing Islam they used to see Islam in the deeds of Muslims and in Caliphs’ government. They concluded that Islamic society resembled theirs - that is a society of classes and divisions.

Immediately after the battles in early Islamic era, Umar issued orders to build towns like Basrah, Kufa and a city near Iskandaria. When these towns were built, he relocated Arab tribes there but kept Quraish in Medina itself. He gave the lands in Medina to them.”[211]

“Umar fixed a tax under name of Zakat upon farmers, artisans and merchants. The revenue accrued from this was spent on scholars,[212] governors,[213] commanders[214] and other military personnel. In this regard he created offices and to run the offices he employed staff. Their salaries were paid from this revenue. The job of these officers was to keep a record of money collected in taxes and its expenditure.”[215]

In praise of this taxation and expenditure, they have said:

“By so doing he uprooted poverty from Islamic Ummah.”![216]

While on the whole it be concluded that:

“This policy of Umar was based on tribal discrimination that he divided the shares from public treasury. This is appreciated as his justice. He took pride to announce that he learnt[217] justice from Choesroe.[218] Here a question arises that why he learnt from Choesroe and not from the Prophet of Islam? Which would have been better for him. What did he see in Choesroe that enchanted him to compare himself with Choesroe!?”[219]

There are further historical evidences that show:

A)

“People were harassed and tortured for taxes. Troubling people started from the days of Umar.”[220]

B)

“Malik bin Anas says about Muslims who lived outside Medina that they were treated such at the orders issued by the rulers.[221][222]

C)

“Umar doubled the tax for Christians of Taghlib[223] which is a widely known fact and there is no need to write anything in this regard.”[224]

D)

“Umar tried very much to tax the man who had become a Muslim. While originally it was only applied to Jews and Christians, and Muslims were exempted.”[225]

Inspite of this they claim:

“In the days of Umar in Jerusalem, taxes were collected from non-Muslims for protection of their properties and them. Once it so happened that it became necessary to transfer the army from Jerusalem to some other front. Umar gathered all non-Muslims and announced to them that their protection had been the responsibility of government therefore taxes were collected from them. Now that the army is transferred from there the money taken from them in taxes will be returned to them.”[226]

Policy of Racial Discrimination

“Umar was always insistent to prefer Arabs on other communities. In this respect, he exerted his efforts:

He was very much anxious and enthusiastic about this matter to establish the priority of the Arabs in the society. He wanted this to become a basic policy after his death. The next generation should follow this same track he was leaving behind.”[227]

Following territorial expansion[228] a large number of freed prisoners from neighboring countries[229] joined groups of Muslim Arabs, but their national status was never equal to that of Arabs. The Caliph (Umar) campaigned and never recognized their rights at the same level of that of Arab. He insisted on superiority of Quraish and Arab aristocrats.”[230]

The following document shows this policy:

“Umar saw a woman in a dress, which surprised him. He inquired about her. He was told that she was a slave of so and so.

Umar scourged her a few lashes and said: O vile and low woman![231] You make up yourself like free ladies.”[232]

While it is claimed:

“…Selection which brought Umar to power was a successful and timely one. He was, in fact, a media God selected to round up through him powers that had taken human destiny in their hands and suppressed human liberty.”![233]

Now let us see to what extent Umar spread justice for the people and how far he extended liberty for nations.

Is their claim really true when they say:

“Umar was a perfect example of truth, a model of justice and a symbol of good standard for one and all and gained historical repute.”![234]

“He was severe and tough but one who spread justice and equity.”![235]

Or the fact is that he was a racial bigot who advocated the supremacy of Arabs?

Among his famous statements, he usually used to issue are:

A) “Arab cannot be enslaved by anyone.”[236]

B) It is very awkward for Arabs to enslave among themselves; that is some to become slaves of some…”[237]

C) “He mentioned in his will that all Arabs are free from God’s property…[238][239]

D) “Whenever Umar sent his agents on some assignment he used to enjoin them: Not to beat Arabs as it will belittle them in the eyes of others. Do not detain them too long in the battlefields as it will make them to go astray and corrupt them. Don’t act as their superiors as it will make them to feel deprived or disgruntled.”[240]

“On the other hand he always tried in his policies to reduce the rights of non-Arabs. He persisted on this policy regardless of conditions and circumstances. He even went beyond this and suppressed their honor and prestige. To him the entity that was not an Arab carried neither meaning nor weight.[241][242]

“His policy brought them atrocities in various forms and shapes beside injustice in its thousand vogues, in addition to scorn, acrimony, vilification and hardship every morning and evening.

Umar founded such policies of racial discrimination. After Umar, the Bani Umayyah Caliphs followed it exactly.”[243]

Here with support of relative historical documents we sketch the method Umar adopted to carry out his policy of racial superiority:

1 - Prohibition for non-Arabs to enter Medina

“Umar never allowed any non-Arab to enter Medina…”[244]

2 - Retaliation of Arab through non-Arab prohibited

“Ubadah bin Samit asked a Nabatean[245] to take care of his horse or camel. He refused. Ubadah kicked him wounding his head. He complained to the Caliph (Umar). Umar wanted to punish Ubadah for his beating the Nabatean by lashes but Zaid bin Thabit told Umar: Do you want to scourge an Arab taking the side of your slave?

As a result, Umar did not scourge him but imposed a monetary penalty.”[246]

Inspite of this established fact of racial preference and partiality in annals of history they still claim:

“Umar’s justice is the highest example of justice that history has shown so far. The guarantee and security for putting this justice into practice was strictness of Umar.”[247]

“To Umar all Muslims were equal when justice was in question.”[248]

When an Arab and a non-Arab citizen to him (Umar) were two different categories at two different levels as you just read in the foregone text how one can believe that:

“Whenever a difference or a dispute occurred between a government officer, regardless of his rank or position and an ordinary citizen, Umar used to take the side of the citizen. He used to take immediate steps in launching investigations. If he was convinced that the complainer was the victim in the case he dismissed or punished the officer whoever he might have been.”[249]

3 - Prohibition to Speak in Language other than Arabic

“Umar bin Khattab said: Do not give popularity to the language of Persians.[250]

It is narrated that Umar said that if anyone spoke in Persian he has committed a very impolite act. So whoever commits an impolite act has lost self-respect.”[251]

4 - Objection against Rulership of Nobles over Quraish

“Abdur Rahman Ibn Abi Laili narrates: I was in the company of Umar on way to Mecca when Nafe bin Alqama came to welcome us.

Umar asked him as to whom he appointed in his place.

He replied: Abdur Rahman Ibn Abzi.

Umar became angry and told him: You chose one from Mawali and kept him in your place over Quraish and friends of Prophet of God?!”[252]

5 - Restriction for Non-Arabs to marry Arab ladies

“Umar restricted marriage of Arab ladies with non-Arabs. He announced that he would surely not allow marriage of Arab ladies with those not equal to their status and class.[253]

He insisted that they should marry those who are equal to them.[354] This resulted in dissolution of several marriages performed earlier.”[255]

6 - Minimum possible allowance for non-Arabs from public treasury

“It is a widely known fact that Umar gave preference to Arabs even in fixing financial monthly allowance. They received a lion’s share while non-Arabs got the minimum possible sum from public funds.[256]

He made records of people on the basis of origin. Only when Arabs had been recorded[257] did he record the names of Ajam (non-Arabs) thus giving them a second grade while Arabs remained at the top.

His policy of giving preference to Quraish over all freed ones, even Arabs, was carried out for the widows of the Prophet.

Here we suffice to mention one case:

Umar gave six thousand Dirhams to Juwairia[258] while to Ayesha he sanctioned twelve thousand.

Umar said that he would never treat one who was a slave equal to the daughter of Abu Bakr.”[259]

7 - Distinction between an Arab living in a town and an Arab living in deserts

“Umar always tried to choose his staff from Arabs living in towns. He avoided the nomads.

When Umar was told that Utbah[260] had appointed Majasheh bin Masood in his place in Basrah, he said it was better that Mughaira be the governor of Basrah. Majasheh was from Wabar[261] and Mughaira[262] was from Madr. Wabir means outside the town - a nomad. Madr means a town-dweller.[263][264]

These seven evidences and cases we mentioned have historical background. These events well establish how he treated Arabs and non-Arabs reflecting his injustice due to his partiality. It is odd that in spite of his record they still claim that he said in his last days:

“Beware that in Islam all individuals are equal. Islam does not agree to any superiority among individuals. Wealth, birth, race, position or any other distinction does not stand in Islam any reason for special treatment or preference.”[265]

“Umar is regarded among great national leaders. He is looked upon as a supporter of liberty, democracy, justice and equality. He is indeed the greatest of the great.”[266]

“He succeeded because his great mind enabled him to administer the wide Islamic world of those days alone and by his own style. He did it so justly that there is no parallel to it in history.”[267]

“Hazrat Umar brought a political revolution in the Islamic world which brought with it prosperity to mankind. He brought into light the old doctrines on the basis of which tyrant rulers were oppressing people.”[268]

“Whoever looks into the life of Umar and ponders a little will understand that it was God, the Almighty’s will that he should take the seat of Caliph of the last Prophet of God to disseminate social justice in accordance with divine rules and Islamic teachings. It was His will that people of Arabian Peninsula and abroad should enjoy equally the bounty of justice.”![269]

“Islam was spread far and wide in the period of Umar. He invented laws during his administration which were unknown before.”![270]

Here it should be asked: With policy of racial discrimination even among the Arabs themselves how could it be possible that he dispensed justice and equality to non-Arabs and new converts to Islam? That it should be claimed that:

“During the rule of Umar… without any break, communities enjoyed ease and well-being which was the beginning of Muslim kingdoms.”![271]

Racial discrimination Resulted in Advantage to Arabs

“As a result of this policy Arabs [particularly Quraish] laid hands on every benefit and climbed the social ladder to the top. They got preference and priority in everything and in today’s terms they became first citizens. They grasped every source wherefrom flowed some or other good; anything that yielded profit was theirs. Such was the situation in all fields - business, merchandise, political, economical, etc.

These Arabs in their recent past had never even dreamed to be rulers and had lived a life, which was a source of their own vilification. It was a constant pain to them that they were alive because life was a package of misfortunes to them. The days passed in agony to them.

People who looked on their neighboring nations from a lower station and in a needy position felt their own littleness and non-entity too deeply. They compared with the dazzling glare of the greatness of Choesroe - the Emperor of Iran and the imperious glory of Caesar and saw their own backwardness magnified to them. The difference that appeared to them further impressed them.

It never occurred to their imagination that a day would come to their relief from this ugly impecuniosity. They even in their dreams never had imagined that they would be victors over Choesroe. A day they will rule the lands outlandish to them. One day they will be the masters of widespread territories.

It is normal that they will behave with pride and vainglory. It was their background that had maddened them in self-centeredness, stubbornness and arrogance. They believed that all were indebted to them. Now they should pay back what was withheld from them. Therefore they committed tyrannies on nations subordinate to them. To belittle the men of yesterday’s greatness was a pleasure to them.

What they did when they captured their properties, farms, cultivated lands and so forth; it is natural and expected from anyone long deprived. They plunged headlong into sins and crimes. They stooped to low pleasures of life. Tyranny became their sport.

This made them like a disobedient ghost. Whoever stood to challenge it, was crushed. It had gone so wild that it would show no mercy or least leniency in dispatching its opponents to perdition.

It is exactly the same thing that is explained by us as the cause of calamities on His Eminence, Ali (a.s.), his family and his Shias throughout history.”[272]

Cause of Rulers’ Greatness in view of Arabs

A)

“Among the factors that brought fame to some and a few were forgotten and retired into oblivion was the battles that had fallen to their lot in the period of three Caliphs. These battles brought them revenue. The revenue resulted in a common and a general welfare of the people. They satisfied their desires. They catered to their needs. They satisfied their greed’s. So they at a national level as well as in groups benefited well from the changed conditions.”[273]

“The world smiled to them as a result of the battles. Their dreams of wealth were translated into reality and now they had what once was their ambition. They carried propaganda on a wide scale and a particular group benefited from this propaganda. Racial discrimination was an advantage to Arabs. It was natural to remember with affection and reverence the man who had initiated this source of benefit to them. Therefore what he said became a tradition and what he desired became a law obliged to be obeyed.”[274]

B)

“Besides people desired continuity of government which had brought benefits to them. In the life of government, they saw the life of racial discrimination since it was the necessary element for continuation of their advantage.”[275] Because:

“Racial discrimination increased their shares from Public Treasury and gave them superiority over non-Arabs…as a result they became proud, haughty and imperious and did not know any bounds to confine them. They became an aristocrat class. The plenitude of pelf, the pleasures of no prohibitions made them even challenge every power that could restrict them. So they crossed the borders of religion and trespassed limits of conscience.”[276]

Influence of Greatness of Rulers over Ali’s Government

In this way the greatness of Umar was to such an extent in the view of Arabs that it became troublesome for Imam Ali (a.s.).

The usurpation of Caliphate was not only restricted to rulership. It went far beyond, robbing the essence of faith; that is Guardianship or Imamate of Ali, an essential part of belief and a tent-pole of religion. The divinely given virtues and heavenly attributes of Ali were overshadowed. So Ali to them was not an Imam - compulsorily to be obeyed and necessarily to be believed.

Historical documents show:

A)

“This much is sufficient to give a picture. He[277] was so great to them that Ali could not restrict his own soldiers from performing Taraveeh prayers (innovated by Umar).

His Eminence (a.s.) regarding this says:

Some of my soldiers who had fought under my command cried and shouted that the tradition of Umar is being changed. Ali is prohibiting us from Taraveeh!

So I feared that they might revolt in the camp.[278]

In some other version it runs thus: The soldiers came to Ali and asked him to appoint a man to lead Taraveeh prayers. Ali explained that those prayers are not authentic. They are against Prophet’s tradition.[279]

So they went away and selected one among themselves to lead them in prayers. Ali sent his son, Hasan, to disperse them. When they saw Hasan coming, they ran towards the mosque doors and shouted: O Umara![280]

Perhaps the first to shout thus was Qadi Shurai.[281]

B)

When His Eminence wanted to dismiss Qadi Shurai from his post of judge, people of Kufa approached and pleaded him not to dismiss him because Umar had appointed him.

They said: We paid allegiance to you in the condition that you will not change anything that Abu Bakr and Umar had done.[282][283]

C)

“When Khawarij were driven out of Kufa, friends and Shias of Ali came to him and pledged allegiance to him saying: We are friends of your friends and enemies of your enemies.

His Eminence put a condition to them that he (Ali) would act according to Sunnah of Prophet. Rabiya bin Abi Shaddad Khathami, standard-bearer Khathami tribe who had fought under Ali’s command in Jamal and Siffeen came to Ali.

His Eminence (a.s.) said: Pay allegiance to me according to Book of God and Sunnah of Prophet.

Rabiya said: I will pay allegiance to you according to the Sunnah of Abu Bakr and Umar.

Ali told him: Woe be on you! Even though Abu Bakr and Umar acted against Book of God and Prophet’s tradition and were far from truth…?”[284]

D)

“Soldiers who had fought in Jamal under Ali’s command shouted: O Ali! With regard to us act according to tradition of Abu Bakr and Umar.[285]

E)

Khawarij told Qais bin Saad that they would not obey him unless he brought to them one like Umar.[286][287]

F)

“Ashath bin Qais[288] said with regard to Abu Moosa-Ashari who was chosen as arbitrator:

This is Abu Moosa. He was delegated by people of Yemen to the Prophet. He was the treasurer of spoils for Abu Bakr and a staff member of Umar…”[289]

G)

“They say: Ibn Abbas said to Ali to keep Muawiyah in his post as governor of Syria. His reasoning was that Umar had appointed him in that post.[290][290]

As is clear most troubles that Ali had to face during his rule was the presence of soldiers in his army who had received religious training by Umar. Later they were known as Khawarij and they fought against Ali.

“Even though Khawarij openly declared their entity in the battle of Siffeen, in the issue of raising Quran on spear points and in the matter of arbitration the fact is that doubt had already crept in their hearts in the battle of Jamal when they saw Ali’s stand towards captives and spoils of battle.[292]

It can even be said that doubt and suspicion took hold of them when Ali became Caliph and gave up the practice of Umar following the tradition of Prophet in treating all equally. He did not give any preference to anyone. It was at that time that they objected to him. They told him to pay their shares in the same scale as Umar used to give. Ali (a.s.) rejected their demand and acted on the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)…

Khawarij censured Ali because in the battle of Jamal, Ali did not allow them to plunder the defeated opponents and take their sons and women captives.[293][294]

Discourse Three: Scrutiny of Judicial justice

Double standards in judgment

1 - Two ways of dealing - with Zahra and Jabir bin Abdullah Ansaari

“Bukhari narrates in Sahih:

Ayesha says that Zahra demanded from Abu Bakr her inheritance - the Fadak and the rest of the amount of Khums. But Abu Bakr refused to pay. Zahra got angry and retired to her house. She never spoke to Abu Bakr until she died.[295]

It is interesting that Bukhari writes:

After passing away of Prophet, Jabir bin Abdullah claimed that the Prophet had promised him to give him certain amount.

Abu Bakr put his hand inside and gave to Jabir again and again. Each time he gave five hundred dirhams and he did this thrice.[296][297]

This double policy of the Caliph is surprising: He did not accept the claim of Zahra to inheritance, who is infallible according to the testimony of verse of Quran and he asked her to present witnesses whom also he rejected later, but he accepted the claim of Jabir bin Abdullah Ansaari without asking for any witness regarding Prophet’s promise.

“Bukhari and Muslim have narrated from Jabir bin Abdullah Ansaari: When revenue from Bahrain was brought to Abu Bakr I was present there. I said to Abu Bakr: The Prophet had told me that when the revenue from Bahrain came he would give me something from it.

Abu Bakr told Jabir to go and pick up what the Prophet had promised.

You see that the Prophet has passed away, Jabir claims that the Prophet had promised him a certain amount from Bahrain revenue. After his death the revenue comes. Abu Bakr has succeeded the Prophet. Jabir goes to Abu Bakr and narrates a story to him. Abu Bakr believes him and pays him the amount he wants.

Commentators of Bukhari and Muslim in their books justify the act of Abu Bakr in his making the payment from public funds without a witness or swearing.

The book Al-Kawakib al-Durari Fi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari of Kermani, the most reliable commentary on Bukhari, writes:

Abu Bakr believed the word of Jabir because of the Prophet. He had warned that if anyone said a lie on his behalf he would have a seat of fire in the next world. Therefore it was not possible for a companion of Prophet to lie and accept fire for himself.[298] There was great likelihood that Jabir told the truth. Well, why is such a possibility not considered with regard to Zahra? She was the daughter of Prophet and she was infallible. Her position was far greater than that of Jabir, who was only a companion of the Prophet.

New let us see what Ibn Hajar Asqalani says in Fath al-Bari:

This tradition proves that the word of a just companion of the Prophet, individually, should be accepted though it may be profitable to him.[299]

For this reason, Abu Bakr did not demand a witness.

Zahra said that the Prophet had bestowed to her the Fadak. So why such difference between the two claims - one his only daughter and another only his companion among so many?

Ayini says in his book Umdat al-Qari Fi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari: Jabir is a just man according to the proof of Quran and traditions. Therefore Abu Bakr did not demand a witness. It is not likely that a Muslim would lie on the Prophet, what to say of a companion![300]

How is it that Abu Bakr accepted the claim of Jabir but did not accept the claim of Zahra?

Was she lesser than Jabir?

Would she lie about the Prophet? You do not presume that a Muslim would attribute lie to the Prophet.

What is the difference between the two claims?

Why the claim of Zahra is rejected inspite of the rules and witnesses? But the claim of Jabir is accepted without any witness!!”[301]

2 - Double Standard Treatment between Son of Amr Aas and Ubadah bin Samit

With regard to justice of Umar it is said:

“Umar was so dignified that he could stop any insurgency. Muhammad son of Amr Aas was a victor and governor of Egypt. During the governorship of Amr Aas a horse race was held. In this race someone else was riding the horse of Muhammad. In the race a horse resembling Muhammad’s won. Muhammad was present there. He presumed his horse won the race. He said: By the Lord of Kaaba my horse was ahead of all.

The real owner of the horse, an Egyptian, shouted: By God of Kaaba it was my horse that won. Muhammad bin Amr Aas became angry and scourged him with the lash he was holding and said: Take this. I am a noble. The Egyptian went to Umar and complained. Umar called Amr Aas and his son to Medina. Umar asked the Egyptian to take the lash and beat the noble’s son. Then he asked Amr Aas why he treated people like slaves when they were born free?”![302]

It seems that Umar had forgotten the case of Ubadah bin Samit who had beaten up a man and broken his head. The complaint went to Umar who took the side of Ubadah and without obtaining the consent of plaintiff ordered a penalty to be paid.

At that time Zaid bin Thabit was present who reminded him that he was favoring of his slave to lash his own brother. Therefore he imposed penalty instead of lashing.[303]

Still they claim:

“Umar always held justice in his view above everything. He executed justice without any consideration.”[304]

The incidents narrated here show double standards and that justice depended upon his policies.

“When he gave his lash to the Egyptian to scourge Muhammad bin Amr Aas, he said: O, Amir! Are you satisfied now? Is your heart pleased now?

In this way he accused Umar of taking revenge from him and his father for personal reasons.[305][306]

3 - Different Treatment between the Son of Amr Aas and Mughaira bin Shoba

Historical documents indicate that Mughaira was the first to address Umar as Lord of Believers and he greeted[307] Umar with this title. He was appointed by Umar as the governor of Basrah and he remained in this post for a long time.

Abu Bakra[308] was from Thaqif tribe who had embraced Islam when soldiers of Prophet surrounded Taif. Abu Bakra together with his two brothers, Nafe and Ziyad from his mother deposed to Umar to stone Mughaira for adultery. The fourth witness was a person named Shaml bin Ma’bed.

All three gave evidence according to religious standard for Mughaira’s sin, but Umar by some trick or other treated the case in such a way that the evidence given by three Muslim was not established as authentic. Thus he rescued him from death.

“When Ziyad arrived and entered the mosque, elders of Muhajireen and Ansaar came and gathered around him. Umar saw Ziyad and said: God will not belittle any man from Muhajireen by the tongue of Ziyad.[309]

[Ziyad got the message and gave evidence in a way, which exonerated Mughaira.]

Mughaira was saved from death and Umar was glad[310] and shouted: God is greater. All shouted along with him. Then Umar scourged the three witnesses but not Ziyad…[311][312]

Allamah Askari narrates from Ibn Abdul Barr that Umar admitted to Mughaira during Hajj rituals:

“I swear by God I don’t think Abu Bakra had lied about you.”[313]

Yet Umar rescued him, which was against justice while Mughaira deserved punishment according to religious law and God’s decree. Still they say:

“In Umar’s view the governor was an individual like others. He too is subject to punishment as others according to God’s Rule.”[314]

“Although he was a ruler of a wide and extended country he was a shrewd, astute and a clever man in executing justice in all cases.”[315]

“Umar bin Khattab used to mention this in public. He said: Now I am the Caliph. I will be serious, severe, harsh and hard towards tyrants and wrongdoers. With regard to good people and pious, I will be kind and affectionate.”![316]

Ignoring Calls of Oppressed

While it is claimed:

“He (Umar) made himself available to every victim, no matter however low a station he was from.”![317]

“In investigating disputes he was to the extreme extent particular. Wherever one approached to him for justice he used to stand then and thereon the spot and dispense justice.”![318]

Historical documents show how inattentive Umar was in complying with petitions calling on him for justice:

“Ahnaf bin Qais narrates: On the occasion of a great victory we went to Umar to congratulate him.

Umar asked: Where have you lodged?

We told him such and such place. He got up and came with us to see the place of our lodging. We rode our horses. The horses were too tired, because they had run long.

Umar said: Why didn’t you fear God when you rode the horses? Don’t you know that they have a right upon you? Why didn’t you show mercy to them? Had you come alone they would have grazed.

We replied: We are returning from victory and we hurried to congratulate you and Muslims.

Then he returned and we too accompanied him.

In the meantime, a man approached him and demanded justice from him as he had become a victim of someone’s tyranny.

Umar immediately raised the cane and hit him on his head saying: When Umar is at your disposal you have no business with him, but when he is busy in attending Muslim affairs you come to him asking for justice.

The man went away angry…”[319]

Does this incident not show that Umar, who was so anxious about horses that are animals, was not at all anxious about human beings - especially the oppressed? Animal meant to him more than a man.

The judgment is upon you.