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Reply to Email: Were Ali, Hasan, and Hussain Lying?

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Subject: Was Ali Lying? Was Husayn Lying?
From: “John ******* < *****@madinah.cc>
Date: Thu, May 10, 2007 11:23 pm
To: admin@ahlelbayt.com

Asalaamu Alaykum brothers,

I do not particularly consider myself either Shi’i or Sunni Muslim. I am a bit confused to be honest, but I had a question that I was hoping to get your opinion on. Are Ali and Hasan and Husayn lying when they make the claim of imamate for themselves? I believe there is a hadith where Hasan and Husayn are the chiefs of Jannah, and there is no question that these people are truly some of the most beloved to the Prophet (S) and some of the most pre-eminent figures in Islam.

When Husayn writes a letter to the Kufans saying (this is sourced from al-Tabari in the book Early Shi’i Thought) “People selfishly took away our right…God gave the family of the Prophet authority,” what does he mean by this? It seems he is obviously claiming imamate, or at the LEAST that God mandated we follow him.

Further, with the Hadith (judged Sahih in Tirmidhi) that says “Ali is with the Truth (haqq) and the Qur’an, and the Truth and the Qur’an are also with Ali, and they will be inseparable until they come upon me at Kawthar” doesn’t that make Ali’s claims to Imamate to be true?

Just thoughts that have me worried,

Thank you very much,
Wa salaam,
John

Response by Team Ahlel Bayt:

Wa-Alaykum As-Salam, and thank you for writing to us.

At the outset, we must state that nobody working for Ahlel Bayt is a qualified Islamic scholar. Having said that, we will Insha-Allah answer your questions as they seem easy enough:

1. Were Ali, Hasan, and Hussain lying when they made the claim for Imamah themselves?

Answer: These three men (may Allah be well-pleased with them) never claimed the Imamah for themselves, and this is a lie perpetuated by the Shia. In fact, this is true for the rest of the Shia line of Imams: all of these individuals were pious Muslims who would never declare themselves divinely appointed Infallible Imams.

We refer you to the example of Prophet Jesus (عليه السلام). The Christians could challenge us by asking us: Was Jesus (عليه السلام) lying when he claimed to be divine or the Son of God? We reply to them the same way that we reply to the Shia: He (عليه السلام) never did claim such a thing and hence the question itself is invalid!

In fact, none of the eleven Imams of the Shia (the twelfth one did not exist) publically declared themselves to be Infallible Imams. They were known amongst their communities as being Sunnis and never once did they publically utter a word of Imamiyyah doctrine. In order to deal with this inconsistency, the Shia had to in fact invent the doctrine of “Taqiyyah”; these Imami Shia defended the silence of their own Imams by claiming that the Imams were in a state of political quiescence due to the fact that they were in a state of Taqiyyah! How utterly convenient!

Yes, Ali (رضّى الله عنه), Hasan (رضّى الله عنه), and Hussain (رضّى الله عنه) did seek the office of the Caliphate, but so too did many other Muslims. For example, Saad ibn Ubaadah (رضّى الله عنه) sought to be Caliph, but does anyone ever claim that he thought he was an Infallible Imam? At this point we should make the clear distinction between an Imam (i.e. leader) and an Infallible Imam; we Sunnis accept the former (Imams as temporal or even as spiritual leaders) but we reject the concept of Infallible Imams (i.e. the Shia doctrine of Imamah). The term “Imam” simply translates to “leader”; I could be the Imam of the prayers or even the Imam of my football team. However, this is not a divinely ordained designation such as Prophethood or Messengership. To extend this further, a man who works for the postal service could be called a messenger (as he delivers messages), but this is not to be confused with a divinely appointed Messenger of Allah.

So yes, Ali (رضّى الله عنه) did seek the Caliphate, but he never claimed to be divinely ordained or an Infallible Imam. There is a huge difference between contesting to be the Caliph of the Muslims (as a temporal leader) and claiming to be divinely appointed by God Himself (i.e. Imamah). And indeed, Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and Hussain (رضّى الله عنه) did become Caliphs of the Ummah and we do not deny this! They were both Rightly Guided Caliphs!

The Shia movement began with Abdullah ibn Saba and his Ghullat (extremist) followers. Ibn Saba used to forge letters in the name of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and distribute them amongst the Shia living in far off places. All of this went on underground without the knowledge of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) himself; in fact, when Ali (رضّى الله عنه) did find out, he burned many Saba’ites to the stake! And this fact–that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) burned extremists within his own ranks–is attested to even in Shia books.

Throughout the line of the eleven Imams, there were men who claimed to be Wakeels (agents) of these Imams. These Wakeels appointed themselves as the spokespersons for the Imams. The first Wakeel of the Shia was Abdullah ibn Saba himself who forged many letters in the name of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) and distributed them across various provinces. And this practise continued with each of the Imams, with fraudsters claiming to be the Wakeels (agents) of the Imams. These Wakeels claimed to their Shia followers that the Imams were under house arrest and that they (the Imams) were forbidden from talking to the Shia followers directly, or else they would be arrested. These Wakeels claimed that the Imams were under Taqiyyah and that the Shia followers should not–in essence–“blow their cover.” And this is why the Shia masses were never able to communicate directly with their Imams, and instead were in contact only with the Wakeels. With this masterful excuse of Taqiyyah, the Wakeels began collecting the Khums tax which Shia believe are due to their Imams. This was the “end game” of the Wakeels (i.e. to collect the Khums in the name of the Imams and to hoard it for themselves). Because all these dealings were going on underground, the Imams were largely unaware of this deceit on the part of the Wakeels, but when they did find out about this, they would condemn the Wakeels.

To give a good analogy, let us take the hypothetical example of a con-artist who wanted to make some money. So this con-artist will go to a chat-room of Free Mason groupies, and then he will convince them that he is the Wakeel (agent) of George Bush who is in actuality a Free Mason himself. The con-artist convinces them that George Bush is a Free Mason by forwarding them a chain e-mail which is supposedly written by George Bush himself! The con-artist then asks for donations in order to aid George Bush’s re-election, but in reality he hoards all this wealth for himself, without George Bush knowing about it at all. When one of the Free Masons groupies asks the con-artist why Bush isn’t here himself to collect the money, the con-artist replies that Bush is under Taqiyyah (i.e. he is hiding his identity of being a Free Mason). To cover his tracks, the con-artist makes this crowd of people to swear to secrecy and to operate under Taqiyyah.

The same is what went on with these Wakeels who collected Khums money for themselves, claiming it for the Imams. But when the Imams themselves found out about this fraud, they took punitive action against these fraudsters. Let us take the example of Zurarah who was one such self-appointed Wakeel of the Imams. It should be noted that the Imami Shia revere Zurarah as a very pious religious figure and they narrate many traditions through him. If you were to ask a Shia who was one of the most pious of the Wakeels, they will tell you Zurarah. He was one of the founding fathers of Shi’ism; Zurarah claimed to be the Wakeel of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رضّى الله عنه) and he collected Khums money in the name of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رضّى الله عنه).

And yet, we find that Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رضّى الله عنه) publically denounced and cursed Zurarah! What an amusing situation the Imami Shia found themselves in, whereby their own Wakeel had been condemned and cursed by the same man he claimed to be representing! Fear not, for the Shia always had the safety net of Taqiyyah to resort to! And what an utterly convenient excuse that became. To explain away the actions of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (رضّى الله عنه), the Imami Shia claim that Imam Jafar (رضّى الله عنه) was simply acting under Taqiyyah! These Shia claimed that the public condemnation and cursing of Zurarah was just some act designed to save Zurarah’s life. What another masterful lie that could be fed to the gullible Shia masses! We read from their very own book which is also referenced on Al-Islam.org:

It seems that because of his vehement activities in the cause of Jafar, Zurara met with some difficulties and even dangers. Thus, to spare him hardships, (Imam) Jafar, resorting to the principle of Taqiya, apparently disavowed him and even cursed him…[it was] in order to save Zurara…

(The Origins and Early Development of Shi’a Islam, by Dr. S.H.M. Jafri, p.306)

So we see that Imam Jafar (رضّى الله عنه) denounced and even cursed Zurarah, and this was the case not only with this one particular Wakeel but many other Wakeels as well. Yet, the Imami Shia insulated themselves from the insults of their own Imams by coming up with the masterful idea that the Imams were actually under Taqiyyah! This thereby curtailed the ability of the eleven Imams to stop these fraudsters, because they (the fraudsters) would simply forge many more Hadith and letters in the name of the Infallible Imams claiming that what they had just said in public was simply under Taqiyyah for fear of being apprehended by the Sunni government.

These Wakeels would forge letters in the name of their Imams claiming that the Imams were opposed to the Sunni government. Such was the case with Abdullah ibn Saba who forged sayings in the name of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) claiming that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) was opposed to Caliph Uthman bin Affan (رضّى الله عنه). And these forged letters were the reason that many people assassinated Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) because they thought that these were the orders of Ali (رضّى الله عنه) himself, though in reality they were forged by the hands of Abdullah ibn Saba.

Similarly would the Wakeels forge letters in the name of the Imams in which the Imams were supposedly opposed to the Umayyad or Abbasid Caliphs. The so-called persecution of the Imams of Ahlel Bayt was actually a horrible exaggeration engineered by the Wakeels who claimed many amazing things such as that the Imams were imprisoned or even poisoned by the Sunni government. The Shia orchestrated countless rebellions against the Abbasid Caliphs, and yet we find that the Imams themselves always condemned them and distanced themselves from the Shia rebels. We read:

(Imam) Al-Sadiq’s quiescent policy did not satisfy a considerable body of his adherents. Their political movement caused schism amongst the Imamites. The instigator of this political movement was called Abu al-Khattab…but (Imam) al-Sadiq then repudiated and denounced him…

(The Occultation of the Twelfth Imam, by Dr. Jassim Hussain, p.33)

Abu al-Khattab was yet another self-appointed Wakeel who was repudiated and denounced by the Imam of his time. These Wakeels routinely forged letters in the name of the Imams, and when the Imams found out of this, they would always condemn these Wakeels. There are countless such examples, all explained away by the Shia as being “Taqiyyah” only.

In fact, the Imams even told their companions to work in the Sunni administration of the Abbasids, which is a clear proof of the Sunni-ness of the Imams. We read:

“(Imam) al-Kazim permitted a few of his adherents to work in the Abbasid administration, especially in the offices of al-wizaara and al-bareed (government mail)”

(The Occultation of the Twelfth Imam, by Dr. Jassim Hussain, p.36)

The Shia once again explain this away by claiming that these adherents were under Taqiyyah and were simply working for the Abbasid administration to spy on them. How superb are the Shia excuses to explain away all facts that do not jive with the Shia paradigm! In fact, to take it one step further, we read in that same book how the Imam’s friends were even appointed by the Abbasids as governors of entire districts (in Khurasan, Waddaah, etc). Why indeed would the Abbasid Caliphs do such a thing if they were truly opposed to the Imams? This is a similar inconsistency the Shia face when they have to explain away why Ali (رضّى الله عنه) married his daughter off to Umar ibn al-Khattab (رضّى الله عنه).

The Imams of the Shia were in all actuality Sunnis, and they were very well-respected religious and spiritual leaders of their communities. The Abbasid Caliph even offered to make one of the Imams his heir-apparent. Caliph Ma’moon appointed Imam Ar-Ridha (رضّى الله عنه) as the future Caliph of the Muslims! Now we are all too amused at the way the Shia explain this away: they claim that the Caliph was simply trying to blacken the reputation of Imam Ar-Ridha (رضّى الله عنه). What a strange and absurd explanation: why would a person give the highest office to a man whom he hates? Surely this is nonsense! Not only did caliph Ma’moon give the Caliphate to Imam Ar-Ridha (رضّى الله عنه) but he also married his own sister to him.

The Shia base their entire ideology on conspiracy theories, whereby the Imams were actually under Taqiyyah. But this flouts the actual recorded history in which the Imams never claimed to be Infallible Imams or a part of the sect and cult known as Imamiyyah.

2. When Husayn writes a letter to the Kufans saying (this is sourced from al-Tabari in the book Early Shi’i Thought) “People selfishly took away our right…God gave the family of the Prophet authority,” what does he mean by this? It seems he is obviously claiming imamate, or at the LEAST that God mandated we follow him.

Answer: Please cite the exact page number of such a quote in al-Tabari, so we can more readily answer your question. However, it is a well-known fact that many from Bani Hashim believed that they had the most right to the Caliphate.

After the Prophet’s death, many groups claimed to have the most right to the Caliphate. The Ansars were one such group. Many of the Ansars, such as Saad ibn Ubaadah (رضّى الله عنه), claimed that their right to authority was taken away by the Quraish; but does anyone claim that Saad ibn Ubaadah (رضّى الله عنه) or the rest of the Ansars were claiming to be Infallible Imams divinely appointed by Allah Himself? Surely not!

Yes, at first Hussain (رضّى الله عنه) held the erroneous view that the Caliphate should remain within the Prophet’s clan. However, he later recanted from that view and said this on his death-bed:

“I know it full well that the Prophethood and the Caliphate cannot co-exist together in our family.”

(Tareekh al-Islam, Vol.2, p.26)

Abu Sufyan (رضّى الله عنه) was one such person who believed that the Caliphate should belong to Bani Hashim, and he was one of the most vociferous in saying this to the point of even offering to raise an army on behalf of Bani Hashim. But does anyone claim that Abu Sufyan (رضّى الله عنه) was an Imami Shia who believed in the divine Imamah of Ali (رضّى الله عنه)? (In fact, the Shia not only reject the idea that Abu Sufyan (رضّى الله عنه) was a Shia, but they despise him!)

So we see that many from amongst Bani Hashim felt that they had the most right to the Caliphate, and they furthered this demand many times. This was in large part due to the rivalry between Bani Hashim and Bani Umayyah, both of which claimed to have the most right to the Caliphate. So we see that this debate was not a religious one, but rather a political one, with each group claiming that it was more fit to be the temporal ruler of the Muslims.

It should also be noted that Hussain (رضّى الله عنه) was fighting for the rights of the entire clan of Bani Hashim, including the ancestors of the Abbasids. One will find that the Abbasids likewise claimed that they were most fit to rule due to their being of the same clan as the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم). This does not at all mean that they were claiming to be divinely appointed Imams, and nobody from amongst the Abbasids was known for that. Instead, they were simply claiming the right to Caliphate, and not the doctrine of Imamah that the Shia believe in. Hussain (رضّى الله عنه) believed that he was more fit to rule the Muslims due to the fact that he was the Prophet’s grandson, and he felt that Yezid stole this right of his. It has everything to do with Caliphate and nothing to do with Imamah.

You have quoted the following “God gave the family of the Prophet authority”, and this was the claim of many from amongst the Bani Hashim–including the Abbasids who were avowed Sunnis and despised by the Imami Shia! In other words, their argument was that since Allah had risen a Prophet out of Bani Hashim, He had thus placed Bani Hashim in power and authority over and above other clans. Likewise, did Bani Umayyah claim that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) had chosen the Umayyads for he had married from amongst them. These arguments were based on political–and not religious–rivalries between the two clans.

3. Further, with the Hadith (judged Sahih in Tirmidhi) that says “Ali is with the Truth (haqq) and the Qur’an, and the Truth and the Qur’an are also with Ali, and they will be inseparable until they come upon me at Kawthar” doesn’t that make Ali’s claims to Imamate to be true?

Answer: There is no doubt in the minds of the Ahlus Sunnah that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) was an honorable and honest man. Here, you have indicated that since he was with the Truth and the Quran, does that not validate his claims of being an Infallible Imam? Yet, this question is invalid because Ali (رضّى الله عنه) never claimed to be divinely appointed by Allah at all. Yes, Ali (رضّى الله عنه) did contest the Caliphate of Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) and Uthman (رضّى الله عنه), but this was merely a political matter, just as Saad ibn Ubaadah (رضّى الله عنه) had contested Abu Bakr’s Caliphate and how Zubair (رضّى الله عنه) contested the Caliphate during the electoral council after Umar’s death.

Ali (رضّى الله عنه) never claimed for himself the Shia doctrine of Imamah, which is a baseless doctrine that finds absolutely no proof for itself in the Quran. We ask you, brother, to look into the Quran and see if this doctrine is ever mentioned in the Quran and you will find that it is never mentioned! It is an imaginary doctrine, so it is quite wrong to attribute this idea to Ali (رضّى الله عنه) who was innocent from that.

4. I do not particularly consider myself either Shi’i or Sunni muslim

Answer: Brother, there is no such thing as Shia Islam; Shi’ism is distinct from Islam. We strongly urge you to embrace mainstream Islam instead of following the deviant ways of the sects and cults. May Allah guide you–and us–to the Truth!

Please feel free to ask any more questions.

Fi Aman Allah,
Team Ahlel Bayt.

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