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Response to Rayat’s Article Entitled “Imam Ali’s Sons”

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This is a response to an article written by a Shia who goes by the name of “Hamil Rayat Muhammad”. However, because he has nothing to do with the flag of the Prophet, we will instead refer to him from now on simply as “Rayat”. And because Rayat used many of the same arguments that are found in Answering-Ansar’s article, it is therefore only appropriate that we refer the reader to our earlier rebuttal:

Ali ibn Abi Talib Named His Sons after the Three Caliphs [includes a rebuttal of Answering-Ansar]

Introduction

The Shia claim that the first three Caliphs (i.e. Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman) were enemies of Ali ibn Abi Talib. The Ghali (exaggerator) Rayat, true to the Ghuloo that defines his sect, trumpets the Shia allegation that the first two Caliphs killed Ali’s wife and unborn child. And there are many other trumped up claims made by the Shia, whereby he seeks to paint the picture that the first three Caliphs and Ali were sworn enemies. This is of course a fairytale invented by the Shia propagandists in order to create enmity within the ranks of the Muslims.

The evidence shows us that there was nothing but mutual love and respect between the first three Caliphs and Ali. A very strong proof is that Ali named his sons after Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. The Shia revile the first three Caliphs and that is why we will never find a Shia with the names Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman; the Shia scholars forbid it and even those Sunnis who turn Shia are asked to change their names to something other than Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. Indeed, if Ali hated the first three Caliphs like the Shia do, then he too would not have named his children those names. The fact that he did shows that Ali did not hold the same view towards the first three Caliphs as the Shia do.

Rayat’s Honesty

Rayat says
Ali (عليه السلام) had 18 sons (including the unborm Mohsin (عليه السلام). Two of the eighteen were named Omar and Uthman.

Rayat has conveniently forgotten that Ali also named one of his sons Abu Bakr. So it’s not just two of the three Caliphs, but rather it is a royal flush! Indeed, Ali named his sons after the first three Caliphs! Ali named one of his sons Abu Bakr, two of his sons as Umar, and two more of his sons as Uthman. In actuality, however, Rayat has not forgotten this fact; in fact, Rayat’s article had earlier stated the following:

Rayat says
Ali (عليه السلام) named four of his 18 sons with the names Omar and Uthman.

But then after a few days, Rayat edited his article and changed it from four to two. This is deceit: Rayat knows that Ali had four sons with those names, but he changed it to two in order to make his argument more palatable to the reader. After all, it is much easier to believe that there was a coincidence twice, whereas it is much harder to convince someone that a coincidence happened four times!

There is nothing wrong with editing articles to eliminate sincere mistakes which everyone makes. But this was not what Rayat did: he changed four to two, even though he knows that Ali had four sons with that name! It seems that Rayat does not even buy his own argument: he knows deep down inside that it is quite the miracle that four (five including Abu Bakr) of Ali’s sons were named with those “accursed” names. We kindly ask Rayat to display more honesty when he furthers arguments; if he knows that four of them were named that, then there is no reason to state two and then base his entire article upon that false fact.

Ali Named His Sons Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman

Something that should jump out at the reader is that Rayat could not deny that Ali named his sons Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. Instead, Rayat had to explain away this phenomenon by claiming that Ali did indeed name three of his sons with these names, but that it had nothing to do with his love for the Three Caliphs.

What is interesting is that Rayat does not even deal with the argument. He pretends that the issue is merely about Ali naming his sons Umar and Uthman; Rayat remains oblivious to the fact that Ali also named one of his sons as Abu Bakr! The fact that Ali named his sons Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman is recorded by the classical Shia scholar, Shaikh Mufid, in “Kitab al-Irshad”, pp. 268-269, where these three sons of Ali are listed as numbers 12, 6 and 10 respectively. Al-Shia.com excerpts this book and it is viewable here:

http://al-shia.com/html/ara/books/ershad-1/a10.html

Perhaps if the matter was simply about naming his sons Umar and Uthman, then one could somehow (possibly?) pretend it was a coincidence. But when Ali names his sons after all three of the first three Rightly Guided Caliphs, then somehow it seems too much of a coincidence! Lightning cannot strike twice, let alone three times.

Rayat says
Ali (عليه السلام) had 18 sons (including the unborm Mohsin (عليه السلام). Two of the eighteen were named Omar and Uthman.

In fact, Rayat should not deal with half-truths, but rather he should clearly say that four of his eighteen sons were named Umar and Uthman, and another one named Abu Bakr. (5/18, not 2/18). Suddenly the coincidence gets too large to ignore!

First Name Basis of the Four Caliphs

Rayat says
When you hear the name Omar today you usually immediately and automatically think of Omar Ibn al-Khattab. However, back at the time, this was not the case

This is just simply not true, nor is it believable. If we look at so many hundreds of narrations, we find that people used to say “Ali” and the Shia would never doubt that this was a reference to Ali ibn Abi Talib. When Sahabah narrated the story of Ghadeer Khumm, for example, they would most times narrate the story using the name “Ali” without “Ibn Abi Talib” after it. In other words, when a Sahabi used the word “Ali”, it was clear who he was referring to. If the Shia would not accept this fact, then he would thereby invalidate many dozens upon dozens of Hadiths that he uses to prove the Shia doctrine, wherein a Sahabi will narrate about Ali without specifying “Ibn Abi Talib.” Could we Sunnis deny Ghadeer Khumm by saying that it was in reference to another Ali? Surely not! When a Sahabi mentioned “Ali”, it is crystal clear that this is in reference to none other than Ali ibn Abi Talib.

The same is the case with, for example, Umar. So many dozens upon dozens of Hadiths exist in which Sahabah narrated and only said “Umar” instead of “Umar ibn al-Khattab”. When a Sahabi said “Umar”, there was thus no doubt that this was in reference to Umar. Let us share an example that the Shia propagandists love to bring up: the incident of the pen and paper. In those Hadiths, Ibn Abbas says “Umar” and does not say “Umar ibn al-Khattab”. The same is the case in most of the Shia narratives recorded in their classical books. The fact that Ibn Abbas referred to Umar ibn al-Khattab as simply “Umar” makes it clear that when a Sahabi mentioned “Umar”, then this was a clear reference to Umar ibn al-Khattab.

So this argument of the Shia falls to the wayside. Just like today we think of Umar ibn al-Khattab when we hear the name Umar, likewise did the Sahabah think of Umar ibn al-Khattab when they used the name Umar alone. The evidence for this is in the Hadith books which clearly show that many Sahabah used to narrate events and simply use the word “Umar” and it is clear to all that this is a reference to none other than Umar ibn al-Khattab! How many countless Shia Hadiths are there in which the word “Umar” is mentioned, and how many of these do the Shia use as a proof against Umar ibn al-Khattab? If we Sunnis claimed that Ibn Abbas was referring to another Umar during the incident of the pen and paper, would the Shia not laugh at us?

There are so many countless examples in the books of Hadith in which Umar ibn al-Khattab is referred to by the Sahabah as simply “Umar” and there is no doubt in anyone’s minds who it is. To prove this, we will quote only Hadiths which the Shia use repeatedly, and that in order to berate Umar (yes, that Umar). In the so-called “incident of the pen and paper” quoted by none other than the Shia on various websites, we read Ibn Abbas say:

“When Allah’s Apostle was on his death-bed and in the house there were some people among whom was Umar bin Al-Khattab, the Prophet said, ‘Come, let me write for you a statement after which you will not go astray.’ Umar said, ‘The Prophet is seriously ill and you have the Quran; so the Book of Allah is enough for us.’”

Would the Shia not laugh at us if the Sunni defense was that Ibn Abbas meant another Umar? It is clear that when a Sahabi like Ibn Abbas mentioned the name “Umar” it was evident that by default this was Umar ibn al-Khattab. Or what about the Hadith about Mutah which the Shia narrate over and over again, in which Jabir ibn Abdullah says:

“We used to do these two (i.e. Mutah) during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger. Umar then forbade us to do them, and so we did not revert to them.”

Here, we see that Jabir Ibn Abdullah refers to Umar ibn al-Khattab simply as Umar, and this is his explanation to some third person. This is proof of the fact that when Sahabah used to discuss matters amongst themselves, they used to refer to Umar ibn al-Khattab as simply “Umar” and it is well-known who this was in reference to. In other words, this statement made by Rayat:

Rayat says
I replied to him, “Brother you are missing the point. The names Yezid, Saddam and Adolf are always associated with Yezid Ibn Muawiya, Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler. They are the first people you think of when the names are mentioned. However, during Imam Ali’s (عليه السلام) time, Omar Ibn Al-Khattab and Uthman Ibn Affan would not spring to mind when their first names were mentioned. This is the crucial point.”

is quite patently false! This so-called “crucial point” is nothing but a bold-faced lie. If indeed Umar ibn al-Khattab would not “spring to mind” when his first name was heard, then why did Ibn Abbas, Jubair, and others always narrate various incidents and only use the first name “Umar”? Who “sprung to mind” to the people when these Hadiths were heard? This is the proof that destroys and topples Rayat’s argument. The fact of the matter is that when the name Abu Bakr or Umar was heard, then the first thing that “sprung to mind” was indeed Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq and Umar al-Farooq. The proofs and evidences for this are innumerable and one can simply pick up any book of Hadiths to confirm this.

Indeed, Abu Bakr was the first Caliph of the Muslims, Umar was the second, and Uthman was the third. As such, these names became very familiar to the people. To give a contemporary example, there are certain figures today who are spoken about on a first name basis, and nobody questions who it refers to. For example, people like Oprah, Madonna, Saddam, Usamah, etc. They are such famous people that they are simply known by their first name. Similarly, the first three Caliphs (as well as the fourth) were known by their first names, such was their fame in the society. They were the top lieutenants of the Prophet of Islam, and they were even related to the Prophet through marriage. But more than that, they became the Caliphs of the Ummah; Umar was known as Ameer al-Mu’mineen, such was his fame!

Therefore, it is an established fact, based upon the Hadith canon, that the names Abu Bakr, Umar, etc. were unambiguous much like Oprah, Madonna, etc. are unambiguous today. In fact, if we glance at the Hadith literature (both Sunni and Shia), we find that when someone like Umar ibn al-Khattab is mentioned, then oftentimes he is mentioned simply as “Umar”, but when a man with the same name is mentioned, then the narrator will always disambiguate by saying his full name, i.e. Umar bin + father’s name. For example, Ali’s son was referred to in the books of Hadith and history books as Umar ibn Ali or even Umar ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib. If the name “Umar” was said alone, then the narrator more often than not meant Umar ibn al-Khattab, and if it was in reference to Ali’s son, then he would be referred to explicitly as Umar ibn Ali to disambiguate.

The fact that Umar ibn al-Khattab could be simply referred to as “Umar” without anything added to that shows that when the name “Umar” was mentioned, the first thing that “popped” into peoples’ minds was none other than the second Caliph. When Ali named his children with the names of Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman, of course this was in reference to the first three Caliphs and nobody had any doubt in that.

Rayat says
names such as Aisha, Omar and Uthman were very popular and very common Arab names. In fact, the brothers over at Answering-Ansar provided a list of the numerous companions who shared their names. So basically, Imam Ali (عليه السلام) did not name his sons after the two caliphs.

This argument is actually upside down; the Shia propagandists are placing the carriage before the horse. They are arguing that the names such as Abu Bakr were very common Arab names, but this is actually not true at all. Yes, we admit that today they have become very common, but let us now figure out what is the carriage and what is the horse! To illustrate this point, let us discuss the name “Muhammad.” Today, it is the second most common name in the world, and it is the most common name amongst Muslims. And yet, when the Prophet was given that name, in fact the name “Muhammad” was a very uncommon name. But after Muhammad ibn Abdullah (peace be upon him) was declared by Allah as a Prophet, we find that within a few generations the name of “Muhammad” became very common.

The same is the case with names such as “Hasan” and “Husayn.” The eleventh Imam of the Shia was named Hasan, and he was named after Hasan ibn Ali. The point is that the name “Hasan” was not very common initially but after the advent of Islam, then people started naming their sons as “Hasan” in honor of the Prophet’s grandson. And because so many people did this, then eventually that name became very common, such that today the Shia will even name multiple children with this same name. The point is that the name Abu Bakr, for example, was not very common: in fact, one can hardly find a Hashimite with the name of Abu Bakr before Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq. Then suddenly, after Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, we find that many Hashimites, including the descendants of Ahlel Bayt, were naming their children Abu Bakr.

The matter is simple and can be reduced to mathematics: if the frequency of a name increases after a certain individual became famous, then we know that people are starting to name their children after that person. For example, we find that a very small percentage of Arabs were naming their children as “Muhammad” before the Prophethood of Muhammad ibn Abdullah (peace be upon him). But suddenly, the frequency of parents who were naming their children as “Muhammad” more than doubled, tripled, etc. This makes it clear that it is no longer pure chance, but rather the name has become more common due to that certain individual.

Sunnah of the Imams of Ahlel Bayt to Name Sons After Three Caliphs

If we look at the Prophet’s clan, no Hashimites were named Abu Bakr. Suddenly, after Abu Bakr became Caliph, then Ali named his son after him, and then this practice continued amongst the others amongst the Hashimites, including the descendants of Ahlel Bayt. Shaykh Ehsan Elahi Zaheer says: “A perusal of the books by Shia scholars reveals that nobody among the Bani Hashim had ever named their son Abu Bakr before Ali…Ali was not the only one who was moved by feelings of love and sincerity for Abu Bakr to name his sons after him. The practice survived among his children (i.e. the descendants of Ahlel Bayt) who named their sons after Abu Bakr with the same zeal and enthusiasm.”

Suddenly, the frequency with which the name Abu Bakr increased. This cannot possibly be by chance. Hasan, the second Imam of the Shia, similarly named his sons after Abu Bakr and Umar. This fact is recorded in Shaykh Mufid’s “Kitab al-Irshad” , in which Abu Bakr is mentioned as Hasan’s son on page 373 and Umar is mentioned as his son on page 290:

http://rafed.net/books/hadith/ershad-1/index.html

Not only this, but Husayn, the third Imam of the Shia, similarly named his sons Abu Bakr and Uthman! The fact that Husayn named his sons Abu Bakr and Uthman is mentioned in Shaykh Mufid’s book “Kitab al-Irshad” on page 372.

The fourth Imam of the Shia, Zayn al-Abideen, similarly named his son as Umar, as mentioned on page 391 of Shaykh Mufid’s book “Kitab al-Irshad”. The seventh Imam of the Shia, namely Musa al-Kadhim, named his son Abu Bakr:

“Musa bin Jafar al-Kadhim, the seventh Imam of the Shias, had also named one of his sons Abu Bakr.”

(Kashf-ul-Ghummah, Vol.2, p.217)

The seventh Imam of the Shia not only named his son Abu Bakr but he also named his daughter after Abu Bakr’s daughter, namely Aisha, that hated name by the Shia! This fact is recorded in Shaykh Mufid’s book “Kitab al-Irshad” on page 459. As for the tenth Imam of the Shia, the only daughter ascribed to him by Shaykh Mufid (p.506) is (you guessed it!) none other than Aisha.

Crucial Point About the Name “Abu Bakr”

It should be noted that “Abu Bakr” was not the first Caliph’s actual name; in fact, his actual name was Abd-Allah ibn Abu Quhafah. However, he was given the kunya (nickname) of “Abu Bakr” which means “father of young camels.” He was given this unusual nickname due to his expertise with camels. This name was unheard of before him, and he was given this name based on his hobby of raising camels. This was much like Abu Hurayrah who was given the kunya of “father of kittens” because of his love for cats. Prior to Abu Hurayrah, that nickname was virtually unheard of, but after him, then people started naming their children “Abu Hurayrah” after him; these children would probably not share that same love for kittens, but rather it is clear they are being named for their parents’ love for Abu Hurayrah.

The point is that it would baffle the mind why Ali would also name his child “father of young camels.” The only possible explanation is that this was after Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq. No other explanation makes sense. It was not as if suddenly there were many parents who thought they would name their children “father of young camels”. Why is it that we cannot find any Imams of the Ahlel Bayt who named their children “father of horses” or “father of goats” or even “father of adult camels”? Instead, we see that they did name their children “Abu Bakr”. Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq was given this interesting nickname and others adopted the same epithet after him. Is it not interesting that Ali, Hasan, and Husayn all named their sons “father of young camels”, i.e. Abu Bakr!

The fact is that Abu Bakr is such a unique and creative name that we cannot here claim any coincidence. It surely was not a common name like Dick, Harry, and Pete, as Answering-Ansar and Rayat claim. In fact, it was an endearing name given specifically to one man, who was known for that hobby of his. The conclusion is that there is absolutely no doubt that Ali, Hasan, and Husayn named their sons “Abu Bakr” after none other than Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq.

The First Imam’s Children

Rayat says
As for the claim Imam Ali (عليه السلام) named all his sons after beloved ones (e.g. Jafar after Jafar Al-Tayyar (عليه السلام)) this is not always the case as indicated by the example of Aun Ibn Ali (رضي الله عنه).

Rayat seems to be very desperate here, as he picks the only one of eighteen of Ali’s sons who was not named after a beloved one. Let us examine the list of Ali’s sons:

1. Muhammad ibn al-Hanafia
2. Muhammad al-Asghar
3. Muhammad il-Awsat

4. Abbas “abul-fazil”
5. Abbas al-Asghar

6. Jafar al-Akbar
7. Jafar al-Assghar

8. Abdullah il-Asghar
9. Abdullah il-Akbar
10. Abdullah “Abi Ali”

11. Uthman al-Asghar
12. Uthman al-Akbar

13. Umar al-Akbar
14. Umar al-Asghar.

15. Abu Bakr ibn Ali

16. Al-Hasan
17. Al-Hussain
18. Awn

Is it all coincidence that Ali named the majority of his sons with duplicate names, with names of family and companions? Fourteen of the eighteen sons are named in either duplicate or triplicate. This was not random! It would be an astronomical coincidence. If Ali’s naming scheme was random, why can we not find other common names of Arabia? Like Obaid, Zuhayr, Zubayr, Sufyan, Bilal, Amr, Yasir, Miqdad, Abu Dhar, Faris, Abdul-Rahman, Abdul, and any other of the hundreds of names…Indeed, we see that when a person names multiple sons with the same name, then this becomes clear that it is because he reveres the namesake.

The Second Imam’s Children

In fact, the descendants of Ahlel Bayt were known for the fact that they most times chose names for their children based on revered and respected figures of the past. For example, let us look at the list of Imam Hasan’s children, as found in Shaykh Mufid’s book (Kitab al-Irshad, pp.289-290):

1. Zayd
2. Qasim
3. Abdullah
4. Umm Abdullah
(all are names of the Prophet’s sons)

5. Ruqayya
6. Fatima
7. Fatima
(all are names of the Prophet’s daughters)

8. Umm Salama
(name of the Prophet’s wife)

9. Umm al-Hasan
10. Umm al-Husayn
11. Hasan
12. Husayn
(all are names of Prophet’s grandsons)

13. Talha
(This child’s mother was Umm Ishaq, the daughter of Talha ibn Ubayd-Allah; in other words, this child too was named after his grandfather, keeping in line with the idea that the Ahlel Bayt named their family after loved ones and revered personas.)

14. Abdur-Rahman
15. Umar
(the names of the Ashara Mubash Shararah, i.e. the ten highest ranking of the Sahabah who were promised Paradise)

The Third Imam’s Children

The third Imam of the Shia, Husayn ibn Ali, named his children as follows (Kitab al-Irshad, p.379):

1. Ali
2. Ali
(Are the Shia perplexed as to whom these two sons were named after?)

3. Fatima
(the name of the Prophet’s daughter)

4. Abdullah
5. Abdullah
6. Abdullah
(the name of the Prophet’s son)

7. Sukayna

8. Abbas
(the name of the Prophet’s uncle)

9. Abu Bakr
10. Uthman
(the name of the second and third Caliph)

The Fourth Imam’s Children

The fourth Imam of the Shia named his children as follows (Kitab al-Irshad, p.391):

1. Muhammad
2. Hasan
3. Husayn
4. Husayn
5. Ali
(Any question as to whom these children were named after?)

6. Abdullah
7. Zayd
(the name of the Prophet’s children)

8. Umar
9. Abdur-Rahman
(the names of the Ashara Mubash Shararah, i.e. the ten highest ranking of the Sahabah who were promised Paradise)

10. Sulayman
(a Prophet’s name)

The Fifth Imam’s Children

We read the names of the fifth Imam’s children, according to Shaykh Mufid’s book (Kitab al-Irshad, p.406):

1. Abu Abdullah
2. Abdullah
(the name of the Prophet’s son)

3. Ibrahim
(a Prophet’s name)

4. Ubayd-Allah
(the name of the Prophet’s cousin, i.e. Ubayd-Allah ibn Abbas)

5. Ali
(the name of the Prophet’s cousin)

6. Zaynab
(the name of the Prophet’s daughter)

7. Umm Salama
(the name of the Prophet’s wife)

The Sixth Imam’s Children

And let us now look at the names of Imam Jafar’s children, i.e. the sixth Imam of the Shia (Kitab al-Irshad, p.430):

1. Abdullah
(the name of the Prophet’s son)

2. Abbas
(the name of the Prophet’s uncle)

3. Ali
(the name of the Prophet’s cousin)

4. Fatima
(the name of the Prophet’s granddaughter)

5. Muhammad
(the Prophet’s name)

6. Ismaeel
7. Ishaq
8. Moosa
(names of Prophets…is there any doubt in that when one is named Ismaeel and the other Ishaq?)

9. Umm Farwa
(Imam Jafar named his daughter Umm Farwa after his own mother whose name was Umm Farwa as well. Do the Shia propagandists not see how the Imams of Ahlel Bayt named their children after their loved ones? It should be noted that Umm Farwa was the daughter of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr who was, according to Sunni and Shia alike, a very close friend of Ali ibn Abi Talib.)

10. Asma
(Named after the famous Asma bint Umays, who was in fact the mother of that same Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, i.e. Umm Farwa’s grandmother. The Shia reader would be reminded that this Asma bin Umays is the same who married Jafar ibn Abi Talib as well as Ali ibn Abi Talib.)

The Seventh Imam’s Children

The seventh Imam of the Shia (Imam al-Kadhim) named his children as follows (Kitab al-Irshad, pp.457-458):

1. Ali
2. Aliyya (feminine version of Ali)
3. Jafar
4. Umm Jafar
5. Ubayd-Allah (after Ubayd-Allah ibn Abbas)
(the names of the Prophet’s cousins)

6. Hasan
7. Hasan
8. Hasana (feminine version of Hasan)
9. Husayn
(the names of Prophet’s grandsons)

10. Umm Kulthoom
11. Zaynab
12. Ruqayya
13. Ruqayya the younger
14. Fatima
15. Fatima the younger
16. Umm Abeeha (Fatima’s famous epithet)
17. Zayd
18. Abdullah
19. Qasim
(the names of the Prophet’s children)

20. Abbas
21. Hamza
(the names of Prophet’s uncles)

22. Hakeema

23. Muhammad
24. Ahmad
(the Prophet’s name)

25. Khadija
26. Aisha
27. Umm Salama
28. Maymoona
(the names of the Prophet’s wives)

29. Amina
(the name of Prophet’s mother)

30. Burayha
(Imam al-Kadhim named this son after his companion Burayha, a man who had converted at Imam al-Kadhim’s own hands. The reader should refer to Lesson 19 of “The Question Of Imamate” by Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari available on Al-Islam.org)

31. Fadl (the name of Ibn Abbas’s brother whom the Shia claim supported Ali over Abu Bakr)
32. Lubaaba (name of Fadl and Ibn Abbas’s mother)

33. Ibrahim
34. Ismaeel
35. Haroon
36. Ishaq
37. Sulayman
(names of Prophets)

The Eighth Imam’s Children

The eighth Imam of the Shia, Ali ibn Musa al-Rida, had only one son and his name was Muhammad. (Kitab al-Irshad, p.479) Once again, we tease the Shia: who was this Imam naming his child after? Was it Prophet Muhammad, or could we use the argument that “Muhammad” was such a common name that it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was after the Prophet? Truly this would be a laughable argument, so why do the Shia propagandists further it with the names of the Three Caliphs?

The Ninth Imam’s Children

The ninth Imam of the Shia, Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Jawad, had four children according to Shaykh Mufid (Kitab al-Irshad, p.495):

1. Ali
2. Moosa
3. Fatima
4. Imaama

Other than the name Imaama, we see the same names popping up again and again and again! Surely this is not all coincidence! Lightning is striking a dozen times for the Shia!

The Tenth Imam’s Children

As for the tenth Imam of the Shia, he named his children with the following names (Kitab al-Irshad, p.506):

1. Hasan
2. Husayn
3. Muhammad
4. Jafar
5. Aisha

Is it not interesting that the Shia would laugh at us if we said that Hasan was not named after the second Imam, or if we said that Husayn was not named after the third Imam, or if we say that Muhammad was not named after the Prophet, or if we said a similar thing about the name Jafar? Why is it then that suddenly the Shia becomes blinded when he sees the last name in the list and suddenly it is “just chance.” Subhan-Allah the Shia only fool themselves! It is very clear that this Imam of the Shia was naming all his children after the elite Sahabah and heroes of Islam! The only confusion is in the eyes of the Shia who have to sit in their rooms and start thinking up colorful explanations to explain away the facts on the ground.

The Eleventh Imam’s Children

As for the eleventh Imam of the Shia, the Shia say that he had a son named Muhammad. Once again, shall we claim that this is just a coincidence and use arguments such as “back then people didn’t think of the Prophet when they heard the name Muhammad?”

We see that all of the Imams of the Shia named their children after the heroes of Islam. We see the names popping up again and again: Hasan, Husayn, Abbas, Abdullah, Qasim, Jafar, Muhammad, etc. In fact, according to Shaykh Mufid’s book, we find that over 90% of the children of the Imams of Ahlel Bayt were named after revered and respected Sahabah. Therefore, the argument that Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman were simply common names of the time falls to the wayside, because this same argument can then be applied to the names Hasan, Husayn, Abbas, etc. If the Shia claim that the names of the Three Caliphs were very common back then, then let us retort that the names of Hasan, Husayn, etc. were far more common yet no Shia would accept that the Imams named their children after any other Hasan or any other Husayn.

We believe that we have adequately dealt with Rayat and Answering-Ansar’s argument about Awn; nobody is saying that 100% of the Imam’s children were named after respected ones, but we are saying that there was this general theme as is clearly shown above by the lists taken from Shaykh Mufid’s book. It should be noted that we did not miss a single name listed in Shaykh Mufid’s book, and so it is clear that over 90% of the children were named after respected ones. This is an undeniable pattern; so when the Imams would name their children as Abu Bakr, Umar, or Uthman, it is highly more likely that they did this after the heroes of Islam instead of simply by chance.

Inane Analogies

Rayat says
The Sunni propagandist may say is it not too big of a coincidence for Imam Ali (عليه السلام) to have named two of his sons Omar and Uthman without having the caliphs in mind.

Not just two, but rather five. Five of Ali’s sons were named Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. And only one, Awn, was not named after a famous person.

Rayat says
A suitable comparison would be if a staunch anti-George Bush father were to name his sons George and Richard. These two names are very popular indeed and no one would even think for a second he had named his sons that in honour of George Bush and Dick Cheney…if an anti-USA father were to name his sons George and Richard would anyone start talking about coincidences

This is not a “suitable” comparison. First off, we have proven that the names like Abu Bakr were not at all common at that time. Abu Bakr was named “father of the young camels”! So a more suitable analogy would be if a man named his son “GW” or “Dubya” (after the nickname of George W Bush). And he also named his other sons after presidents, and his children kept naming their children after presidents just like the eleven Imams of the Shia all named their children after Sahabah. One simply cannot imagine an anti-American person naming five of his sons after US presidents, and all his children naming their children after US Presidents and so on.

But again, this is not a suitable comparison: it is not right to bring up the example of a president and a random anti-American person. According to the Shia, Ali was competing for the Caliphate with the rivals Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. So to bring Rayat’s example more in line, we bring up the analogy of Barack Obama naming five of his children after his opponents: Hillary, Hillary, Rudy, Rudy, and John. But this too does not quite capture the moment, because these are simply people who are running against each other in a peaceful election. The Shia do not say that Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman were running a peaceful election against Ali; no, they say that Abu Bakr and Umar killed Ali’s wife and her unborn child! Can one imagine Barack Obama naming his daughter Hillary if Hillary Clinton killed his other child? Or can anyone imagine Barack Obama naming his daughter Hillary if it was Hillary Clinton who sexually molested his other daughter? Surely not! The name Hillary would then become so repugnant that Obama could not fathom naming his child that.

The proper analogy would be: let us imagine a Shia person who lost a loved one after Al-Qaeda bombed a Shia mosque in Iraq. Can anyone imagine that such a person would then name his child with the name “Usamah”, despite the fact that the name “Usamah” is actually a very common name amongst Muslims? Once again, that name would become repugnant.

Honestly, there is no reason for such abstract analogies because they do not capture the gravity of the situation. Rayat fails to mention any example of three men killing another man’s wife and child, and then that same victim naming his next three children after those three men. We ask Rayat to come up with a creative example that would actually fulfill this criteria; indeed, no man would name his sons after the men responsible for killing his wife and child. That is why we go back to our original analogy we provided:

AhlelBayt.com says
Answering-Ansar claims that Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman were common names like Tom, Dick or Harry today. Therefore, reasons Answering-Ansar, it is not surprising that Ali named his sons with these names.

My response to this is simple: if three men named Tom, Dick or Harry came to my house and killed my wife and unborn child, then I don’t think I would ever name my kids Tom, Dick or Harry. Whether or not that these are common names, the fact that these three individuals did what they did would be enough for me to stay away from these three names. Regardless of the fact that these are common names, there is no chance that a man today would name his children Tom, Dick or Harry after the murderers of his wife/child who had the same exact names. Likewise, the Shia accuse Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman of oppressing his family, killing his wife and unborn child; it is therefore highly unlikely that Ali would then name his children after them. Why would a person name one of his sons after the man who killed another one of his sons?

Furthermore, if Ali named one of his sons after one of the Three Caliphs, then perhaps we could claim coincidence. But rather, Ali named three of his children after the Three Caliphs. Think about it: if Tom, Dick or Harry came into my home and killed my wife/child, do you think I would then name my children after all three of these individuals? Fine, if one of my children was named Tom, then we could claim coincidence. But suddenly when it becomes Tom, Dick, and Harry, it just seems like too big a coincidence.

The fact that Rayat needs to resort to abstraction actually proves that he knows deep down inside that if we simply substitute the names Tom, Dick, and Harry and otherwise keep the story the same as the Shia claim (i.e. the so-called oppression of Ahlel Bayt by the Three Caliphs), then nobody would actually be convinced by his argument. Rayat uses the names George and Dick; so let us imagine that George and Dick break into Sam’s house and kill his wife and child. Do we imagine that Sam will ever name two of his sons as George and another two as Dick? We demand that when Rayat brings up examples that he keeps the story the same (i.e. two or three men breaking into a house and killing a person’s wife and child); Rayat can name these three men whatever he wants! Let us see him do it! In fact, even the most generic names would not do the trick for Rayat, as nobody would name their child after the murderers of another of their children!

A Convoluted Argument

Rayat says
If the Sunni propagandists say that it is unlikely Imam Ali (عليه السلام) named his sons those names simply because the names were popular while there were many other popular Arab names, we respond to them by saying Imam Ali (عليه السلام) never named any of his sons Marwan, Hakam, Amr, Aas, Waleed, Mugheera, Khalid, Sufyan etc all of which are other popular Arab names shared by the enemies of the Commander of the Faithful (عليه السلام). Therefore, when you think about it carefully it is not appropriate to claim the coincidence is too big, as there were so many people opposed to Imam Ali (عليه السلام), many of them with popular Arab names.

This is perhaps one of the most convoluted arguments we have ever seen; it took some time to even comprehend what the author was trying to say. After we finally figured out what Rayat was trying to say, we found that he was actually shooting himself in the foot. He makes a couple points (we are just translating what he said above):

1. Ali never named his sons with the names of his enemies such as Marwan, Hakam, Amr, Aas, Waleed, Mugheera, Khalid, Sufyan, etc.
2. Rayat claims that the above names were all very popular but Ali did not choose them because they were the names of his enemies.
3. Then Rayat claims that Ali had so many enemies that it was difficult to choose any name without it being one of his enemies, and therefore we should not be–according to Rayat–impressed when we see that Ali named his sons Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman.

All three points go against the Shia. The first point is very interesting: we look at all of the names of Ali’s sons, and we do not find any of those names. More than that, if we look at the children of all of the Imams of Ahlel Bayt, then we do not find those names. Instead, we find Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman in those lists, along with names like Hasan, Husayn, Ali, Muhammad, Jafar, etc. All the same names keep popping up! If Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman were simply common names–and if Ali had chosen them randomly as the Shia claim–then one would expect that the Imams of Ahlel Bayt would also randomly have selected other popular names, such as those listed by Rayat. And yet we do not find any of these names ever. Statistically, if the names Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman are just random names like the others, then one expects them to occur in equal frequency. Instead, we find that none of the other names appear.

In regards to the second point, it is actually conceding the argument. Ali did not choose those other names–despite the fact that they were popular names–because they were the names of his enemies. Then why would he name his children after the men who supposedly killed his wife and unborn child? From this, we can deduce that Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman were not Ali’s enemies; otherwise, Ali would not have chosen those names.

The third point is just ridiculous: were there not eighteen names available that were not the names of his enemies? Why then did Ali name two of his sons as Umar and two of his sons as Uthman? How “random” is that? After naming one son as “Umar”, then why didn’t Ali put his hand in the bag and pick another random name? After naming one son as “Uthman”, why then “randomly” select it again for another son?

Doubling Names

It is clear that when people double names, then there is some significance to them; otherwise, there is no point in doing that. In fact, this is a challenge to the Shia: we have provided the names of all of the children of their twelve Imams. We find that many of them doubled names (i.e. gave the same name to multiple children). Can the Shia give even one example from them in which a name was doubled and it was not a special name of importance?

In fact, the Shia can never accept this challenge because we will reproduce all the doubled names here:

First Imam:
Muhammad x 3
Abbas x 2
Jafar x 2
Abdullah x 3
Uthman x 2
Umar x 2

Second Imam:
Abdullah x 2
Fatima x 2
Hasan x 2
Husayn x 2

Third Imam:
Ali x 2
Abdullah x 3

Fourth Imam:
Husayn x 2

Fifth Imam:
Abdullah x 2

Seventh Imam:
Ali x 2
Jafar x 2
Hasan x 3
Ruqayya x 2
Fatima x 2

So the only names that were doubled were all loved ones (Ali, Abdullah, Hasan, Husayn, Fatima, Ruqayya, Jafar, Muhammad, Abbas, Umar, and Uthman). Are any non-significant names doubled? Certainly not! We have given the entire list of doubled names and not a single one of them is insignificant. All of these names are the names of the Prophet’s children, grandchildren, cousin, or uncle! Umar and Uthman are in a very privileged company! Or should we dig our head in the sand and claim coincidence?

The idea that Ali could not think of any name that wasn’t that of his enemy does not account for the doubling of the names. Furthermore, it is simply inaccurate: there were many names that were not the names of Ali’s supposed enemies, such as Miqdad, Abu Dhar, Bilal, etc. To end the argument altogether, the Shia today adamantly refuse to name their children with the names of Ali’s enemies; we shall even include a Shia fatwa that forbids this. Now then, do the Shia have a difficult time picking the names of their children because there are too few names to pick from? Are they forced to pick a name of one of Ali’s enemies simply because Ali’s enemies were too many and the names available too few? The answer is a resounding no: we find that Shia parents name their children with many different names and they find no dearth of names to pick from, without having to resort to the names of Ali’s supposed enemies.

A Garbage Reference

Answering-Ansar says
We should point out that in our Shi’a text Munthee’ala Mahal Volume 1 under the Chapter “Shahadth” - we read the testimony of Imam ‘Ali (as) that he named one of his sons Uthman because on the day he was born he (as) stated:

“I shall name this child after my brother Uthman bin Nat’eoon”.

Rayat says
In fact, Imam Ali (عليه السلام) did indeed name his son Uthman in honour of someone;

“I name this child Uthman after my brother Uthman Ibn Ma’dhoon (رضي الله عنه)” Bihar Al-Anwar Volume 45 Page 38, Maqatil Al-Talibeyeen Page 55

Bihar al-Anwar, Maqatil al-Talibeyeen, and Munthee’ala Mahal are all garbage books. They are Shia books and as such they hold no weight. We respond with the Answering-Ansar’s own words:

Answering-Ansar says
We are fully aware that the Nasibi will advance some Sunni text claiming that Imam ‘Ali (as) named his son Umar after the second khalifa - but an Ahl’ul Sunnah work can not be advanced as evidence to convince us.

Likewise, a Shia work cannot be advanced as an evidence to convince us. (It is interesting how Answering-Ansar always refers to us Sunnis as Nasibis, is it not?)

Rayat Hangs Himself

Rayat says
I also want to keep in mind the likely possibility that Imam Ali (عليه السلام) named his son Omar as a tool of facilitating closeness and reconciliation between the bitterly divided and warring Muslims. A Shia man I know named his daughter Aisha to please his Sunni wife, and so it is absolutely probable Imam Ali (عليه السلام) named his son Omar to bring together the various factions of Muslims who were deeply divided i.e. for the greater good. Personally speaking, I lean towards this idea.

This argument here actually made us chuckle because Rayat is now openly contradicting himself. In fact, after we expose his argument, we think that Rayat will edit out this part and remove it; therefore we have saved a screen shot of his article to remind him of his outrageous gaffe should he choose to edit/delete it.

Rayat’s entire article–as well as Answering-Ansar’s–is focused on how Ali did not name his children after the Three Caliphs. Both Rayat and Answering-Ansar then gave proofs for why it was simply unthinkable that Ali did in fact name his sons after Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. Quite clearly, Rayat had said the following:

Rayat says
Imam Ali (عليه السلام) did not name his sons after the two caliphs.

But then he contradicts himself by saying that perhaps Ali did name his son after Umar, the second Caliph. In fact, Rayat says that he leans towards this opinion as being the most accurate. Suddenly, all the “evidence” and “arguments” that Rayat and Answering-Ansar had brought up to prove that Ali did not name his son after Umar ibn al-Khattab goes down the drain. Now Ali did name his son after Umar, but instead as a peace offering to the Sunnis. This is the inevitable result of the Shia propensity for furthering any argument–no matter how spurious–simply to “win” debates; they base their arguments not on the truth but rather on if they win arguments.

We are reminded of the Shia argument about Umm Kulthoom, Ali’s daughter who was wedded to Umar. The Shia further two contradictory arguments:

1. The marriage never took place.
2. If it did, then it took place out of force.

For both opinions, they will cite authoritative Shia sources. Option 2 above is in case Option 1 fails. But if we logically think about this, it is much like OJ Simpson saying:

1. I didn’t kill Nicole Brown.
2. If I did, then it was out of self-defense.

For both opinions, he will cite his friend as a witness. The obvious question arises: the veracity of both OJ Simpson and his friend comes into question when he claims that he didn’t kill her, but then gives evidence to prove it was self-defense when he did. The proof he shows that it was self-defense contradicts his original statement that it didn’t happen at all. In a court of law, presentation of such contradictory evidence would undermine one’s defense.

Here, Rayat is furthering two contradictory arguments:

1. Ali did not name his son after Umar ibn al-Khattab.
2. Ali did in fact name his son after Umar ibn al-Khattab but it was just to make peace with Sunnis.

Rayat actually provides arguments to prove both points above. But if Rayat were able to prove one of the points, would this not disprove the other? Either Ali named his son after the second Caliph, or not; it cannot be both. The fact that Rayat brings up the second point is actually showing that he himself was unconvinced of his arguments to prove the first point. Rayat made arguments to “prove” that Ali did not name his son after Umar ibn al-Khattab, but he was unconvinced so he makes a u-turn by claiming that indeed he did name his son after Umar ibn al-Khattab!

In fact, both Rayat and us can agree that Ali did in fact name his son after the second Caliph; the only question now is why? To answer this question we again are faced with either accepting the more plausible Sunni paradigm or the stretch-of-the-imagination Shia paradigm. We are actually very familiar with this position because the Shia put us in this situation when we discussed the marriage of Ali’s daughter to Umar. The Shia propaganda site Al-Islam.org admitted that Ali wed his daughter to Umar, but then argued that Ali was forced to give his daughter away. So we were forced to pick between the creative explanation offered by the Shia (i.e. that it was out of force) and the more plausible explanation given by the Sunnis that Ali respected Umar and thus gave his daughter to him.

It may amuse the reader to know that the Shia scholars have even come up with a third possibility, namely that Ali married a Jinn in the image of Umm Kulthoom to Umar. Perhaps the Shia propagandists can also claim that five of Ali’s children were Jinns and that is why he named them after the Three Caliphs! It is amazing how the Shia can provide creative answers, instead of simply accepting the most probable and obvious explanation which is that Ali respected Umar. We now have two strong evidences that do not jive with the Shia perspective: Ali not only named his sons after the first Three Caliphs, but he also wed one of his daughters to the second Caliph. What more evidence can be provided to convince the Shia that Ali and Umar were on good terms? Maybe if Umar appointed Ali as his vizier? Oh wait, we have that too! It is as if even Ali ibn Abi Talib was alive today he himself could not convince the Shia that he loved Umar ibn al-Khattab: the Shia might claim that Ali was doing Taqiyyah! Anything so long as the Shia can tenaciously cling onto his paradigm and the beliefs of his sect which take priority and precedence over the search for the truth.

Going back to the argument that perhaps Ali named his son Umar as a token of peace, then this also invalidates another argument of the Shia: did not Answering-Ansar and Rayat claim that people back then did not think of Umar ibn al-Khattab when they heard the name “Umar”? We read:

Rayat says
Two of the eighteen were named Omar and Uthman. When you hear the name Omar today you usually immediately and automatically think of Omar Ibn al-Khattab. However, back at the time, this was not the case and the names such as Aisha, Omar and Uthman were very popular and very common Arab names.

…during Imam Ali’s (عليه السلام) time, Omar Ibn Al-Khattab and Uthman Ibn Affan would not spring to mind when their first names were mentioned. This is the crucial point.”

But now Rayat claims that Ali named his son Umar as a sign of peace of reconciliation with the Sunnis:

Rayat says
I also want to keep in mind the likely possibility that Imam Ali (عليه السلام) named his son Omar as a tool of facilitating closeness and reconciliation between the bitterly divided and warring Muslims.

This begs the question: if Umar ibn al-Khattab did not “spring to mind” when the name “Umar” was heard, then how would naming his son Umar be a means of “facilitating closeness and reconciliation” between the Muslims? In fact, here we see that Rayat knows that back then when people heard the name Umar, then the first person they thought about was Umar ibn al-Khattab. When Ali named his son Umar, then everyone knew that it was after the second Caliph. We hope the perceptive reader can understand how Rayat has shot himself in the foot with this argument; he has implicitly admitted that the Muslim masses would immediately think of Umar ibn al-Khattab when they heard that Ali named his son Umar.

“Do Not Name Your Daughter Aisha”

Rayat says
A Shia man I know named his daughter Aisha to please his Sunni wife, and so it is absolutely probable Imam Ali (عليه السلام) named his son Omar to bring together the various factions of Muslims who were deeply divided

Did this Shia friend of yours not consider the fatwa of his own scholars:

Al-Islam.org says
QUESTION:

as salaam alaikum -

I have a brief question for you concerning the name A’isha. I am fairly new to Islam and me and my wife are expecting our first child. At any rate, I was wondering if such a name would be discouraged within the Shi’a Islamic community due to the association she had with rebelling against ‘Ali etc. or if it is a common enough name so as to not have relevence in such matters. Your advice will be much appreciated.

ANSWER:

Salaamun ‘alaykum,

Due to her actions against Imam Ali during the times of the Prophet and after his death (including the famous battle of the Camel), the followers of the ahl al-bayt are not encouraged to keep her name for their children.

Wasallamu ‘alaykum

Is it not strange that the Shia scholars claim that the “followers of the ahl al-bayt are not encouraged to keep her name” when in fact the Ahlel Bayt themselves named their children Aisha? Was it not Imam Musa al-Kadhim, the seventh Imam of the Shia, who named his daughter Aisha? Similarly did the tenth Imam of the Shia name his only daughter as Aisha. Were the Infallible Imams of the Shia not “followers of ahl al-bayt”? Were they Nasibis for naming their children with the name of the “queen” Nasibi?

When will the Shia masses wake up? None of them are the followers of Ahlel Bayt! Their scholars claim to be followers of Ahlel Bayt but they are not the followers, but rather they stray from the Sunnah of their Imams. The Imams named their daughters Aisha, but the Shia scholars discourage that and the Shia masses deplore naming their children that. How long can the Shia operate under the misunderstanding that they are the followers of Ahlel Bayt, when they do not follow the Sunnah of the Imams of Ahlel Bayt? In fact, the Imams of Ahlel Bayt were all Sunnis, and that is why they named their daughters Aisha; no Shia would do that!

Conclusion

The truth is that Rayat is correct in one way: Ali ibn Abi Talib did name his sons Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman as a token of “closeness and reconciliation.” The Three Caliphs and Ali initially had some friction but this was all resolved and the matter cleared. The Three Caliphs and Ali were brothers, and everyone knows that brothers get in arguments all the time! But at the end of the day, they love each other. This was the case with the Three Caliphs and Ali; whatever tension was between Abu Bakr and Ali initially was long gone by the death of the first Caliph. In fact, it was Ali who gave a stirring and emotional eulogy in praise of Abu Bakr during the latter’s funeral. Ali also named a son after him.

Rayat says
In conclusion, Imam Ali (عليه السلام) did not name his sons Omar and Uthman out of love for the two caliphs

Maybe then Ali named his sons after the Three Caliphs out of hatred for them? What better way to get back at someone than to name your sons after him!

Rayat says
his stance towards them is perfectly clear

Indeed! How clear Ali’s stance is when he named five of his sons after the Three Caliphs! And how clear his stance is when he wed his daughter to the second Caliph!

Article Written By: Ibn al-Hashimi, www.ahlelbayt.com

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