A Sunni Refutation to the Extremist Shiite Doctrine expressing the superiority of their Imams over Prophets.

A Sunni Refutation to the Extremist Shiite Doctrine expressing the superiority of their Imams over Prophets and Messengers.

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

The term “Shiism” is like an Umbrella, which covers different Shiite groups with variety of beliefs, ranging from acceptable to extremely blasphemous. In this article we would be refuting one such belief, which is held by extremist(ghali) Shiites, that their Imams who were non-prophets are superior than all the Prophets and Messengers chosen by Allah(swt), with the exception of Prophet Muhammad(salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam). We would like to bring to the attention of the readers that, not all Shiites hold this belief. There are other Shiites who outrightly reject this heretical belief. Thus, this refutation is only focused towards the extremist(ghali) Shiites.

We have divided this article in the following parts:

I. Some extremist Shia Scholars who expressed their extreme belief.

II. View of Sunni Scholars regarding the belief that non-prophets can be superior to Prophets.

III. Proof from Quran regarding superiority of Prophets over Non-prophets.

IV. Evidence from Shia and Sunni Traditions regarding superiority of Prophets over Non-prophets.

V. The Aqidah(belief) of Ali bin Abi Talib(ra).

VI. Answers to common arguments of extremist Shiites to advocate superiority of Non-prophets over Prophets.


I. Some extremist Shia Scholars who expressed their extreme belief.

(a). Shaykh al-Mufid stated:

A group of Imami Shia have agreed about the superiority of the Imams of Aale-Muhammad(SAWS) over all prophets and messengers except our Prophet Muhammad(SAWS), and the other group have stated their superiority over all prophets and messengers except Ulil-`Azm. [Awa’il al-Maqalat, page 70].

(b). Allamah al-Sayyed Ni’matullah al-Jaza’iri stated:

Know that there is no disagreement among our companions Allah be  pleased with them, about the superiority of the Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) over other prophets(as) because of Mutawatir narrations, the disagreement is only about the superiority of the chief of believers and the pure Imams(as) over other prophets except their grandfather Muhammad (SAWS). A group said they are better than all other prophets except Ulil-`Azm as they are better than the Imams (as), another group said they were equal, and the majority of our late scholars agreed on the superiority of the Imams (as) over Ulil-`Azm and this is the correct opinion. [al-Anwar al-Nu’maniyyah, vol 1, page 22].

(c). Shia Muhaddith al-Hurr al-Amili has a chapter in his book “al-Fusoul al-Muhimmah fi Usool al-A’immah” titled a chapter:

“chapter 101: The Prophet and the twelve Imams (as) are better than all other creations from prophets and past successors and angels, and that the prophets are better than the angels.” Then he brought narrations under it to prove this. [al-Fusoul al-Muhimmah fi Usool al-A’immah, vol 1, page 403].

(d). Shaykh ibn Babaweih al-Saduq in his book “Uyoun Akhbar al-Rida” has a section called:

The superiority of the Prophet(saws) and the Imams over the angels and the prophets (as).” [Uyoun Akhbar al-Rida, vol 1, page 294].

(e). Grand Ayatullah Mirza Jawad al-Tabrizi answers a question posed to him in “al-Anwar al-Ilahiyyah fil-Masa’il al-`Aqa’idiyyah”:

Question: Are the Imams superior to the prophets except our messenger (SAWS)? And what is the proof?

Answer: In His name the most high: Our Imams are better than the prophets except for our Prophet(SAWS), Allah knows best. [al-Anwar al-Ilahiyyah fil-Masa’il al-Aqa’idiyyah, page 179].

(f). Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi stated:

Imam ‘Ali and the other Imaams of Ahlul Bayt are believed by the Shi’as to be higher in rank than all prophets and messengers except the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.). [Imamate and Wilayat, chapter 6, page 64].

(g). Allamah Muhammad al-Musawi Sultanu’l-Wa’izin Shirazi stated:

Since the holy prophet was superior to all other prophets Ali was also superior to them. [Peshawar Nights, page 175].

(h). Allamah Baqir Al-Majlisi stated:

They(Imams) are superior to all Prophets and Awsiya (legatees) except our Prophet(saws). [Bihar al-anwar, vol 26, page 82].

Similarly  Baqir al-Majlisi stated at another place:

Our Imams are superior than the rest of the prophets. [Bihar al-anwar, vol 26, page 297].

(i). al-Sayyed Amir Muhammad Kadhim al-Qazwini stated:

You will find that Ali(as) gathered all qualities scattered among those prophets(as) from Ulil-Azm, and that he(as) is better than them. [al-Shia fi Aqa’idihim wa Ahkamihim, page 74].

He then titles a chapter on page 81: The Imams of Ahlul-Bayt (as) are better than the prophets(as) according to the text of the Qur’an. [al-Shia fi Aqa’idihim wa Ahkamihim, page 81].

(j). Grand Ayatullah al-Khomeini stated:

It is from the necessities of our Madhab, that our Imams have a rank that no angel or prophet can reach. [al-Hukumat al-Islamiyyah, page 52].


II. View of Sunni Scholars regarding the belief that non-prophets can be superior to Prophets.

(a). Imam Abu Ja’far al-Tahawi(died 321 A.H) stated:

We don’t give superiority to any of the Awliya over any of the Prophets, upon them be peace. We say that a single Prophet is superior than all the Awliya put together.[Aqeedah al-Tahawiyyah, by Tahawi, page 30 – 31].

(b). Imam Abu Ishaq Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Thalabi(died 427 A.H) said:

He(al-Khidr) is a Prophet in other statements and some major scholars say that the first knot that is untangled from the heresy(zandaqa) is the belief that al-Khidr is a Prophet, because the heretics(zanadiqa) use the belief that he is not a Prophet to suggest that the Wali is better than the Prophet. As their poet have said: The position of Prophet-hood is a middle position…above the messenger and below the Wali. [al-Isaba fi tamyiz al-Sahaba, vol 2, page 248].

(c). Imam Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Saʿeed ibn Hazm(died 456 A.H) stated:

أن يكون في الناس من هو أفضل من الأنبياء عليهم السلام وهذا كفر وما قدرنا أن أحداً ممن ينتمي إلى أهل الإسلام ولا إلى أهل الكتاب ينطلق لسانه بهذا

For there to be among the people who is better than the Prophets(as), this(belief) is Kufr. And we have not known of anyone from the People of Islam(Muslims) or the people of the book(Ahl al-Kitab) who says this. [al-fasl fi al-milal wa al-ahwa wa al-nihal, vol 4, page 21].

(d). Qadhi Iyaad(died 544 A.H) stated:

We make categorical TAKFEER of the Ghulaat(extremist) Rafidah, who say our Imams are superior to Prophets. [Ash-shifa bi Ta’rif Huquq al-Mustafa, by Qadhi Iyaad, vol 2, page 290].

(e). Imam al-Nawawi(died 676 A.H) stated:

The Rank of the Awliya cannot reach the Rank of the Ambiya. Ijma(consensus) has taken place on this(matter). [Bustan al-Arifeen, by al-Nawawi, page 339].

(f). Imam Abu al-Barakat AbdAllah bin Ahmed al-Nasafi al-Hanafi(died 710 A.H) stated:

وقد زل أقدام أقوام من الضلال في تفضيل الولي على النبي وهو كفر جلي

Some misguided people have slipped by believing in the superiority of the Wali over the Prophet, and this is clear Kufr(disbelief). [Tafsir al-Nasafi – Madarik al-Tanzil wa Haqa’iq al-Tawil, vol 2, page 315].

(g). Imam Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah(died 728 A.H) stated:

The Salaf of this Ummah and the Imams and all the Awliya are in agreement that Prophets are superior to Awliya(non-prophets). [Al-Furqan bayna Awliya al-Rahman wa Awliya al-Shaytan, by Ibn Taymiyyah, page 89].

Similarly, Imam Ahmed ibn Taymiyyah stated:

And this isn’t specific to the extreme Rafidah, however it is about all those who are extreme about any Shaykh and it includes those that say that, “his Shaykh gives him rizq(sustenance)” or that, “he doesn’t have to pray”, or that, “his Shaykh is better than a Prophet” or that “his Shaykh doesn’t need to follow the Shariah of Prophet(salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam)”, or that “he has a path that is different than the Shariah of Prophet(salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam)”, or that “the Shaykh is with the Prophet(salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam), the same way al-Khidr was with Musa(as)”. And those that say this are Kuffar. [Majmu al-Fatawa li Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, vol 28, page 475].

Imam Ahmed ibn Taymiyyah also stated:

أَوْ يَقُولَ : الْوَلِيُّ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ النَّبِيِّ وَنَحْوُ ذَلِكَ مِنْ مَقَالَاتِ أَهْلِ الْإِلْحَادِ فَإِنَّ هَذِهِ الْأَقْوَالَ لَمْ تَكُنْ حَدَثَتْ بَعْدُ فِي الْمُسْلِمِينَ

Or someone says the Wali is better than the Prophet, and this is a statement from the statements of the people of heresy. And these statements didn’t exist in Islam. [Majmu al-Fatawa li Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, vol 13, page 29].

(h). Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi(died 745 A.H) stated:

لأن بعضهم نقل عنه أنّ الولي أفضل من النبي ، وهذا لا يكاد يخطر في قلب مسلم

It has been narrated that some of them have said that, the Wali is better than the Prophet, and this is a thought that cannot enter the heart of a Muslim. [Tafsir al-Bahr al-Muheet, vol 5, page 173].

(i). Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani(died 852 A.H) stated:

A Prophet is superior to a Wali(non-prophet), and this matter is categorical as per reason(Aql) as well as revealed knowledge(Naql). And whoever goes against it is a disbeliever(KAFIR), because this is such a matter that it is known to be from the Necessities of Islamic law. [Fath al-Baari, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, vol 1, page 221].

(j). Abu Sa’eed al-Khaadmi al-Hanafi(died 1176 A.H) stated:

وَذَكَرَ فِي شَرْحِ الْعَقَائِدِ أَنَّ تَفْضِيلَ الْوَلِيِّ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ) فَضْلًا عَنْ الرَّسُولِ ( كُفْرٌ وَضَلَالٌ ) أَشَارَ إلَى عِلَّتِهِ بِقَوْلِهِ ( كَيْفَ وَهُوَ تَحْقِيرٌ لِلنَّبِيِّ ) هَذَا دَلِيلٌ عَقْلِيٌّ ( وَخَرْقٌ لِلْإِجْمَاعِ ) دَلِيلٌ نَقْلِيٌّ وَإِطْلَاقُ الْإِجْمَاعِ يَقْتَضِي أَنْ يَكُونَ كَمَالُهُ الَّذِي هُوَ الْقَطْعِيُّ دَلَالَةً وَثُبُوتًا

In the book Sharh al-Aqaed, putting the Wali above the Prophet, let alone above the Messenger is Kufr and Misguidance. And the reason of that is lowering the position of the Prophet, and this is the rational evidence. And it goes against the Ijma and this is the knowledge based evidence. And the Ijma(consensus) shows that this is something clear cut and affirmed .[Bariqah mahmudiyah fi sharah tariqa Muhammadiyah, vol 1, page 306; alt page].


III. Proof from Quran regarding superiority of Prophets over Non-prophets.

(1). We read in Quran:

And that was Our [conclusive] argument which We gave Abraham against his people. We raise by degrees whom We will. Indeed, your Lord is Wise and Knowing. And We gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – all [of them] We guided. And Noah, We guided before; and among his descendants, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the doers of good. And Zechariah and John and Jesus and Elias – and all were of the righteous. And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot – and all [of them] We preferred over the worlds. (Quran 6:83 – 86).

Imam Baydawi in his commentary on this verse states:

{ وَكُلاًّ فَضَّلْنَا عَلَى ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ } بالنبوة، وفيه دليل على فضلهم على من عداهم من الخلق.

{and all We preferred over the worlds} with the Prophet-hood, “and there is proof in this for their superiority over those other than them from among created things.” [Tafseer Anwar al-Tanzil, under verse 86]

Imam al-Razi in his Tafseer al-Kabir, under the commentary of verse 86, clarifies the reason for this, is that the word used in the Qur’an is “al-Aalameen”, which refers to every existent thing apart from Allah. This includes non-Prophetic Awliya as well, since there is no proof that they are exempted from the general purport indicated by the word “al-Aalameen” within this verse.

Imam al-Razi stated:

{ وَكُلاًّ فَضَّلْنَا عَلَى ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ } وذلك لأن العالم اسم لكل موجود سوى الله تعالى، فيدخل في لفظ العالم الملائكة، فقوله تعالى: { وَكُلاًّ فَضَّلْنَا عَلَى ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ } يقتضي كونهم أفضل من كل العالمين. وذلك يقتضي كونهم أفضل من الملائكة، ومن الأحكام المستنبطة من هذه الآية: أن الأنبياء عليهم السلام يجب أن يكونوا أفضل من كل الأولياء، لأن عموم قوله تعالى: { وَكُلاًّ فَضَّلْنَا عَلَى ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ } يوجب ذلك.

{and all We preferred over the worlds} and that the word used “al-Aalam”, refers to every existent thing apart from Allah, this word “al-Aalam” includes the  Angels.  So the statement of Allah(swt) {and all We preferred over the worlds} implies their superiority over all of the worlds,  and that implies that they are superior to the Angels. And it is from the rulings derived from this verse, that the Prophets must be superior to ALL THE AWLIYA, because the general statement of Allah(swt) {and all We preferred over the worlds} necessitates that. [Tafseer al-Kabeer, under verse 86]

(2). Allah(swt) states in Quran:

Those who obey Allah and the Messenger are with those whom Allah has blessed, namely, the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the Shuhada‘ and the righteous. And excellent are they as companions. [Quran 4:69].

Comment: This verse indicates four ranks among those blessed by Allah, with the Prophets, coming foremost.


IV. Evidence from Shia and Sunni Traditions regarding superiority of Prophets over Non-prophets.

Shia Traditions:

(1). Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father and Muhammad ibn Isma’il from Fadl ibn Shadhan all from Hammad ibn ‘Isa from Rib’i ibn ‘Abd Allah from Fudayl ibn Yasar from Imam Abu Ja’far(AS), who has said the following: “People who are put to the most severe trials and sufferings are the prophets, then the successors(Awsiya) of Prophets and then those similar to the last group in position and so forth.”[Al-Kafi, H 2344, CH 102, h 4 ; Grading: Like Sahih as per Majlisi in Mirat al-Uqool, vol 9, page 326].

Comment: This narration clearly shows that the Prophets are the most superior of all people as affliction has been made commensurate to one’s superiority in the religion. Next are the successors of Prophets, and the below hadeeth(b) makes it further clear that, the group after Prophets is next to them in spiritual position.

(2). Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from ibn abu ‘Umayr from Hisham
ibn Salim from Imam Abu ‘Abd Allah(AS), who has said the following: “The trial (suffering hardships in life) of the prophets is the most difficult then is that for those next to the prophets in a (spiritual) position and thereafter those similar to the previous group and so forth.”[Al-Kafi, H 2341, CH 102, h 1 ; Grading: Hasan like Sahih as per Majlisi in Mirat al-Uqool, vol 9, page 321].

(3). Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from al-Hassan ibn Mahbub from ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Hajjaj who has said the following: “Once, trials and misfortunes and things that Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, has specially set for the believers were mentioned in the presence of Abu ‘Abd Allah(AS), and the qualities of the believer. The Imam said, ‘The Messenger of Allah was asked, ‘Who suffers the most in this world?’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘The prophets suffer the most and thereafter people similar to them and then those similar in position to the second group and so forth. A believer suffers proportionate to his belief and good deeds; thus, whoever’s belief is more correct as well as deeds their trails and suffering are more intense, and whoever’s belief comes from a weak power of reason and whose deeds are weak their trials and suffering are less intense.’”[Al-Kafi, H 2342, CH 102, h 2; Grading: Sahih as per Majlisi in Mirat al-Uqool, vol 9 , page 326].

Comment: This narration clearly shows that the Prophets are the most superior of all people as affliction has been made commensurate to one’s superiority in the religion.

(4). A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn abu Nasr from Tha‘laba ibn Maymun from Zurara who has said the following: “Once I asked abu Ja’far(AS) about the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, {‘He was a messenger, a prophet’} (19:51) what is a messenger and what is a prophet? The Imam said, ‘A prophet is one who sees things (matters of Divine guidance) in his dreams and hears the voice but does not see the angel. The messenger is one who hears the voice, in his dreams sees things (of matters of Divine guidance) and sees the angel.’ I then said, ‘What is the position of the Imam? The Imam(AS) said,He hears the voice but does not see and observe the angel.’ Then he recited the following verse of the Holy Quran. ‘Satan would try to tamper with the desires of every Prophet or Messenger or [Muhaddath] whom We sent . . .’” (22:52) (The Imam included the word Muhaddath in the above verse as his commentary.) [Al-Kafi, H 434, Ch. 3, h1 ; Grading : Sahih as per Majlisi in Miraat al-Uqool vol 2, page 287 ; Similar report also graded as Sahih in vol 2, page 289]

Comment: As per Shia Imam, an Imam can neither see the Angel in his dream nor being awake, which a Messenger or a Prophet(in his dream) can see; this proves that an Imam can’t be superior to a Messenger or a Prophet. It would be irrational to believe that a Messenger or a Prophet who is able to see the Angel, would become superior if made an Imam, wherein he ceases to see the Angel, whom he was able to see from his previous position.

(5). Al-Hakim Abu Ali Al-Hussein ibn Ahmad al-Bayhaqi narrated that Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Sowli quoted on the authority of Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Nasr al-Razi that he had heard his father say, “A man told Al-Reza(AS), ’By God, considering who your father is, there is no one on the Earth who is nobler than you are.’ Al-Reza(AS) replied, ‘Piety granted them this nobility, and obedience to God enabled them to benefit from it.’ Someone else said, ‘By God, you are the best of the people.’ Then Imam Al-Reza(AS) said, “Do not swear. Whoever fears God the Sublime more than me is better than I am, and is more obedient than I am. By God, the following verse has not been abolished, ‘…and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you…’” (Qur’an 49:13).[Uyoon al-Akbar al-Ridha, vol 2 page 261-262]

Comment: Imam mentions a POSSIBILITY that “there could be people better than him”, as can be seen in the Shia hadeeth above. Shias might say that “Imam was giving a hypothetical explanation, but it’s impossible for one to attain superiority over the Imams”, However, we need to realize that, Imam himself stated a possibility, which refutes the Shia argument, and if it was impossible for a normal believer to be superior to Imams then why would Imam state a possibility?

Sunni Traditions:

(1). Mus’ab bin Sa’d narrated from his father that a man said: “O Messenger of Allah(s.a.w)! Which of the people is tried most severely?” He said: “The Prophets, then those nearest to them, then those nearest to them. A man is tried according to his religion; if he is firm in his religion, then his trials are more severe, and if he is frail in his religion, then he is tried according to the strength of his religion. The servant shall continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sins.”.[Jami’ al-Tirmidhi #2398, vol 4, page 414; Grading: Hasan(good)].

Comment: Even the Sunni traditions like the one above and below clearly show that the Prophets are the most superior of all people as affliction has been made commensurate to one’s superiority in the religion.

(2). Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri said: “I entered upon the Prophet(s.a.w) when he was suffering from a fever, I placed my hand on him and felt heat with my hand from above the blanket. I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, how hard it is for you!’ He said: ‘We (Prophets) are like that. The trial is multiplied for us and so is the reward.’ I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, which people are most severely tested?’ He said: ‘The Prophets.’ I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, then who?’ He said: ‘Then the righteous, some of whom were tested with poverty until they could not find anything except a cloak to put around themselves. One of them will rejoice at calamity as one of you would rejoice at ease.’”[Sunan Ibn Majah #4024, vol 5, page 226; Grading: Hasan(good)].

(3). Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (s.a.w) said that his Lord said: “It does not befit a slave that he should say that he is better than Jonah bin Matta(a Prophet). [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 9, page 387, #7539 ; Sahih Muslim #2377]. Also narrated from Abu hurayra in Sahih al-Bukhari #3416 ; Sahih al-Bukhari #4631].

Comment: One might read Quran, wherein mistake of Prophet Yunus(as) and him being put in the belly of whale is mentioned and starts thinking that he is better than Prophet Yunus(as). This hadeeth shows that, it is inappropriate for a slave of Allah to think that he is better than Prophet Yunus(as), let alone all the other Prophets.


V. The Aqidah(belief) of Ali bin Abi Talib(ra).

(1). Ali(ra) believed that the best people after Prophet Muhammad(salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) from this Ummah were Abu Bakr(ra) and Umar(ra).

Narrated Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiya: I asked my father (Ali bin Abi Talib), “Who are the best people after Allah’s Messenger(salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) ?” He said, “Abu Bakr.” I asked, “Who then?” He said, “Then `Umar. ” I was afraid he would say “Uthman, so I said, “Then you?” He said, “I am only an ordinary person. [Sahih al-Bukhari, #3671, vol 5, page 23].

Comment: (a). Firstly the statement of Ali(ra) that Abu bakr(ra) then Umar(ra) are the best people after Prophet(from this Ummah) is Mutawattir(narrated through many different chains with different narrators, which makes it 100% authentic).

(b). Some people argue that, the statement of Ali(ra) was made out of humbleness, however their argument is partially correct and partially incorrect. They are correct in saying that the statement Ali(ra) made about his own status, was out of humbleness, however they are absolutely wrong in thinking that the view of Ali(ra) about Abu bakr(ra) and Umar(ra) was also out of humbleness. Their argument would have been valid, if the questioner would have asked Ali(ra) a specific question, making a comparison between him and Abu bakr or Umar. Or, if the question would have been about the superiority provided with the options. Like to whom does Ali(ra) consider to be the best of people after Prophet(s.a.w), Whether Abubakr or Umar or Ali. If this would have been the case then the claim that, the reply of Ali(ra) was out of humbleness would have been considerable. But in this narration of Sahi Bukhari from the son of Ali(ra), we find that the question was without any choice, the Son of Ali(ra) just asked him that who were the best people after prophet(s.a.w), WITHOUT ANY Choices given to him. Yet Ali(ra) named Abubakr(ra) and Umar(ra).

(c). Further we notice that, Ali(ra) didn’t name any other companion. If he was being humble then he(ra) should have said that all Sahaba are at same level. Why would be pick Abu bakr(ra) and Umar(ra) out of hundreds of companions of Prophet ? If it was out of humbleness then it would be unjust & unfair to rest of all Sahaba of Prophet, as Abu bakr(ra) and Umar(ra) are singled out by Ali(ra). This invalidates the argument, that the answer of Ali(ra) was out of humbleness.

(d). If it was out of humbleness, then why would Ali(ra) differentiate between Abubakr and Umar ? Ali said: “Abu bakr THEN Umar”,  If he was being humble, then he should have applied the same rule towards Abubakr(ra) and Umar(ra), that both were at same level, but he said after Prophet(s.a.w) Abubakr is the best and THEN after him, Umar, which again disapproves the argument, that the answer of Ali(ra) was out of humbleness.

(2). Ali’s stance on those extremist Shiites who placed him above Abu Bakr(ra) and Umar(ra).

Abu Ishaq Al-Fazari narrated from Shu’bah from Salamah bin Kuhayl from Abu Al-Za’raa’ and from Zaid bin Wahb that Suwayd bin Ghaflah entered upon Ali during his rule, and said, “I passed by a group who were mentioning Abu Bakr and Umar, claiming that you hold the same views towards them both. Among them was Abd Allah bin Saba, and he was the first to manifest that. So, Ali said, “What does this evil black man want from me?” Then he said, “I seek Allah’s refuge. My opinion of them both (i.e. Abu Bakr and Umar) is nothing but good and beautiful.” Then he sent a messenger to Abd Allah bin Saba and exiled him to al-Madain, and said, “He shall not live in the same town as me ever again.” Then he rushed to the pulpit and gathered the people, and delivered a long speech to praise them both (i.e. Abu Bakr and Umar). At its end, he(Ali) said, “Verily, if it reaches me that anyone places me above them both, I will whip him with the whipping of a lying slanderer.”. [Lisan al-Mizan, #4253 , vol 4, page 484-485 ; Isnad is Hasan(good)].


VI. Answers to common arguments of extremist Shiites to advocate superiority of Non-prophets over Prophets.

Argument #1:

(a). Prophet(salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said that Ali is his Nafs(self).

(b). Prophet(salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) also said to Ali, “you are from me, and I am from you”.

Hence this means Ali is superior to all Prophets.


(a). Shiekh Ali Muhammad as-Sallaabi stated:

(i). Despite the many meanings and synonyms of the Arabic word for “self”, which the Imamis quoted as evidence that the text refers to the superiority of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra), there is no meaning of this word, either literal or metaphorical, that indicates the superiority of Ali(ra) over the Prophets.

Az-Zubaydi said: “Ibn Khalawayh said: ‘The [Arabic for the] word “self” may mean brother.” Ibn ‘Arafah interpreted the words {Why then, did not the believers, men and women, when you heard it [the slander], think good of their own people [lit. think good of themselves] and say: ‘This [charge] is an obvious Lie?’) (Qur’an 24:12) as referring to people of faith or people of their own religion.

Similarly,  Allah(swt) says concerning His Messenger(s.a.w): {Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger [Muhammad] from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He [Muhammad] is anxious over you; for the believers [he is] full of pity, kind, and merciful}(Qur’an 9: 128). This verse contains clear proof against the argument that the word ‘selves’  refers to individuals that are identical, because here it is speaking of the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) and the disbelievers of Makkah, yet it says ‘from amongst yourselves’. Who could say that the ‘self of the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) is the same as the ‘selves’ of the disbelievers of Makkah? Allah forbid!

This discussion illustrates how Shias follow whims and desires in explaining the verse or hadeeth. The Shiite scholars ignore all of these texts, and they say that Ali(ra) is the same as Muhammad(s.a.w) except in prophethood. Some Shiite reports even indicate that using the word for ‘ourselves’ to refer to a brother or relative or people of the same group is something that was known among the Arabs. It was narrated that Abu Abdullah said: “Amir al-Mu’mineen[‘Ali] sent Abdullah ibn al-‘Abbas to Ibn al-Kawa’ and his companions, and he was wearing a thin chemise and a suit. When they looked at him, they said: ‘O Ibn ‘Abbas, you are the best among ourselves, yet you are wearing such [fine] clothes.’ He said: ‘I am the first to dispute with you concerning that. Allah(swt) says: {Say [O Muhammad]: ‘Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for His slaves, and At-Tayyibat [all kinds of Halal (lawful) things] of food?}, (Qur’an 7: 32) and {O Children of Adam! Take your adornment [by wearing your clean clothes] while praying [and going round (the Tawaf of) the Ka’bah} (Qur’an 7: 31).”  After all this Qur’anic evidence and this Shiite report, is there any room for the extremists to speak?

(ii). One of the prominent Shiite scholars, ash-Shareef ar-Radiy, admitted that the verse in which Allah(swt) mentions ‘ourselves’ does not mean that ‘Ali(ra) is the same as the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) as the Shia say. He said: “The Arabs, in their language, may refer to a cousin who is close or a relative as being ‘the self of his cousin, or a close friend as being ‘the self’ of his close friend. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah(swt) says: {Nor defame one another [lit. yourselves], nor insult one another by nicknames} (Qur’an 49: 11). What Allah(swt) means is: ‘Do not criticise your believing brothers,’ so He refers to the brotherhood of faith as being like the brotherhood of blood. If the word for ‘self may be applied to a distant relative, it is more appropriate to be applied to a close relative. The poet said: ‘On the day of Qura, we were killing ourselves,’ meaning that it was as if we were killing ourselves by killing our brothers, and he regarded the ‘self of his kinsmen as being the same as his own ‘self.

Thus it becomes clear that the Shia have no argument to support their claim that the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) and Ali(ra) are equal and the same. The Arabic word that is translated as ‘self may apply to one who is a distant relative, so applying it to one who is a close relative is more appropriate than that.

(iii). The contention of the Imami Shia, that the verse is indicative of equality between ‘Ali(ra) and the Prophet(s.a.w) except in prophethood, is something that is not to be accepted at all. No one, whether it is ‘Ali(ra) or anyone else, is equal to the Prophet in matters of religion. What comparison can there be between the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) and the level of human perfection he reached, and any other person?

Ameer al-Mu’mineen Ali(ra) himself would not accept what the Imami Shia say about him, and any wise and fair-minded person would understand this issue clearly.

[Source: Ali ibn Abi Talib by Sheikh Ali Muhammad as-Sallaabi, vol 2, pg 399-403].

(b). As for the statement of Prophet(s.a.w) to Ali (ra) “you are from me, and I am from you(أَنْتَ مِنِّي وَأَنَا مِنْكَ)” then, Prophet(s.a.w) made this statement for other companions too. For example Prophet(s.a.w) said regarding one of his companion Julaibib(ra) “he is from me, and I am from him” [Sahih Muslim #2472]. Prophet(s.a.w) said regarding al-Asharun tribe, “They are from me and I am from them”. [Sahih Muslim #2500]. All these statements do not indicate that Ali, Julaibib or al-Ash’ari tribe, were equal to Prophet(s.a.w) in quality, except for the Prophethood. Likewise, Allah(SWT) mentioned a statement of Ibrahim(AS) in his Book: “My Lord! surely they have led many men astray; then whoever follows me, he is surely of me( فَإِنَّهُ مِنِّي)”. [Quran, Surah Ibrahim, verse 36]. No person with intelligence would conclude from the above verse that those who followed Ibrahim(AS) were similar to him in all aspects except Prophethood. Likewise, no one can claim that the followers of Taloot, who did not drink from the river, were like him in characteristics because of his (Taloot’s) statement “whoever then drinks from it, he is not of me, and whoever does not taste of it, he is surely of me(فَإِنَّهُ مِنِّي)” [Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 249]. Likewise Shia Scholar Al-Kulayni relates a narration through Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq in which he said regarding relation of Muslims with each other, “you are from him and he is from you”. [Al-Kafi, H 2048, CH 71, h 5 ; Grading: Hasan as Sahih, as per Baqir Majlisi in Miraat al-uqool ,vol 9, page 33].


Argument #2:

Isa(as) in his second coming would pray behind Imam Mahdi. This shows that Imam Mahdi is superior to Isa(as).


Reply 1:

Praying behind a person in authority doesn’t necessarily prove superiority of the one in authority. We find reliable historical examples where in, people who were much superior than the one in authority prayed behind him. For example, Sahaba who were better than Marwan ibn al-Hakam prayed behind him, since he was in authority. We read:

حدثنا حاتم بن إسماعيل عن جعفر عن أبيه قال كان الحسن بن علي والحسين يصليان خلف مروان قال فقيل له أما كان أبوك يصلي إذا رجع إلى البيت قال فيقول لا والله ما كانوا يزيدون على صلاة الأئمة

On the authority of Ja’far (Al-Sadiq) on the authority of his father (Al-Baqir) who said: Al-Hassan Ibn Ali and Al-Hussein used to pray behind Marwan (Ibn Al-Hakam). It was said to him: Did they pray when they returned to their house? He said: No, by Allah, they did not add to the prayer of the Imams. [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol 2 , page 152, #7560].

Shabbabah Ibn Siwar reported on the authority of Bassaam who said: “I asked Abu Ja’far (Al-Baqir) about the prayer behind the Umayyads. He (Al-Baqir) said: “Pray behind them for we (the Ahl Al-Bayt) pray behind them. I replied: “But of Aba Ja’far (Al-Baqir), the people say that that was done in a state of Taqiyyah.” He (Al-Baqir) said: “Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein used to pray behind Marwan although Al-Hussein used to insult him (Marwan) until he descended the pulpit. Is this what you call Taqiyyah?” [Tabqat al-kubra by ibn Sa’ad, vol 6, page 412-413].

Similar is reported in Shia Books:

جاء في ” بحار الأنوار ” للمجلسي ( ج44 ص 123 حديث 15 – باب 21 أحوال أهل زمانه وعشائره واصحابه (ع ) – – نوادر الراوندي : باسناده عن موسى بن جعفر، عن أبيه (ع) قال: كان الحسن والحسين (ع) يصليان خلف مروان بن الحكم فقالوا لأحدهما : ما كان ابوك يصلى إذا رجع إلى البيت ؟ فقال: لا والله ما كان يزيد على صلاته .
Musa (Al-Kadhim) Ibn Ja’far (Al-Sadiq) on the authority of his father (Al-Sadiq) – who said: Al-Hassan(as) and Al-Hussein(as) used to pray behind Marwan Ibn Al-Hakam. It was said to him: Did they pray when they returned to their house? He said: No, by Allah, they did not add to the prayer. (Bihar Al-Anwar by Al-Majlisi, vol. 44, p. 123, Hadith no. 15).

As for the reason behind Prophet Isa(as) praying behind Imam Mahdi, then it is because when Isa(as) will descend, Imam Mahdi will be the ruler and the one in authority. Thus Isa(as) will follow the Shariah of Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w) and pray behind the person in authority. It was Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w) who taught that, one must not lead another in prayer where the latter has authority. We read:

Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari reported Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w) as saying: The one who is most versed in Allah’s Book should act as Imam for the people, but If they are equally versed in reciting it, then the one who has most knowledge regarding Sunnah if they are equal regarding the Sunnah, then the earliest one to emigrate; if they emigrated at the same time, then the earliest one to embrace Islam. No man must lead another in prayer where (the latter) has authority, or sit in his place of honour in his house, without his permission. Ashajj in his narration used the word,” age” in place of” Islam”.[Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 1420].

Therefore, Prophet Isa(as) praying behind Imam Mahdi, doesn’t prove the superiority of Imam Mahdi over Prophet Isa(as), just like Imam Hassan(ra) and Imam Hussain(ra) praying behind Marwan, doesn’t prove the superiority of Marwan over Hasnain(ra).

Reply 2:

We read in a tradition mentioned in Shia book, that Prophet Isa(as) would ask Imam Mahdi to lead the prayer because Iqamah(second call to prayer) would have been said for Imam Mahdi.

Hudhayfah reported that the Prophet (S) said, “Al-Mahdi will turn his face to Jesus when he descends as if water were dropping from his hair, and will say to him, ‘Go ahead and say the prayer.’ Jesus will say, ‘the Iqāmah was said for you; therefore, you will lead the prayer. Accordingly, ‘Īsā will offer this prayer behind a man who is among my sons. [Sirat al-Mustaqim vol 2, page 257 by Ali bin Yunus al-Amili].

Similar, can be found in weak hadeeths in Sunni books:
زَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ الصُّبْحَ فَرَجَعَ ذَلِكَ الإِمَامُ يَنْكُصُ يَمْشِي الْقَهْقَرَى لِيَتَقَدَّمَ عِيسَى يُصَلِّي بِالنَّاسِ فَيَضَعُ عِيسَى يَدَهُ بَيْنَ كَتِفَيْهِ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ لَهُ تَقَدَّمْ فَصَلِّ فَإِنَّهَا لَكَ أُقِيمَتْ ‏.‏ فَيُصَلِّي بِهِمْ إِمَامُهُمْ
Eisa bin Maryam will come down to them. Their leader will step backwards so that ‘Eisa can come forward and lead the people in prayer, but ‘Eisa will place his hand between his shoulders and say to him: “Go forward and pray, for the Iqamah was given for you.” Then their leader will lead them in prayer. [Sunan Ibn Majah #4077 and Kitab al-Sunan al-warida fi l-fitan vol 5, page 1106].


Argument #3:

There is hadith which says:

علماء أمتي كأنبياء بني إسرائيل

The scholars of my ummah are like the Prophets of Bani Israel.


This Hadith has been classified as a fabrication by senior Muhaddithun of the Ummah; like Imam Zarkashi, Hafiz Ibn Hajar, ‘Allamah Sakhawi, Mulla ‘Ali Qari and others. (Al-Maqasidul Hasanah, hadith: 702 & Al-Masnu’ of Mulla ‘Ali Qari, hadith: 196)

Imam Al-Shawkaani said in his book: Al-Fawaa-id Al-Majmoo’ah: “Ibn Hajar and Az-Zarkashi said: this Hadeeth is baseless.”

It is mentioned in the book Fayd al-Qadir Sharh Jami al-Saghir by al-Munawi
فائدة‏:‏ سئل الحافظ العراقي عما اشتهر على الألسنة من حديث علماء أمتي كأنبياء بني إسرائيل فقال‏:‏ لا أصل له ولا إسناد بهذا اللفظ Hafiz al-Iraqi was about this hadith and he said: “no basis for it and no isnad“.

Shaykh al-Albani said: It has no basis, with the agreement of Scholars. [Silsilatu Al-Ahaadeeth Ad-Daeefa wa Al-Mawdu’a, #466, vol 1, page 679].

This baseless hadeeth even goes against other weak report in Sunni books. For example:

Prophet(s.a.w) said, “Allah selected my companions over all created things apart from the messengers and prophets.” [Majma al-Zawaid, vol 9, page 545 #16383  ; Sareeh al-Sunnah by al-Tabari, page 31, #23]

If the companions of the Prophet(s.a.w) are superior to all created things apart from those Allah sent as messengers and prophets, then logically the messengers and prophets are superior to all created things including the companions of the Prophet, which even includes Ali(ra), Hassan(ra) and Hussain(ra).


Argument #4:

There is report attributed to a famous tabai’i Imam Muhammad ibn Sireen which states:  Mahdi is better than some prophets.


This report is present in the book “al-Fitan” li Nuyam ibn hammad and it is weak and Munkar.

حَدَّثَنَا ضَمْرَةُ، عَنِ ابْنِ شَوْذَبٍ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سِيرِينَ، أَنَّهُ ذَكَرَ فِتْنَةً تَكُونُ، فَقَالَ: «إِذَا كَانَ ذَلِكَ فَاجْلِسُوا فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ حَتَّى تَسْمَعُوا عَلَى النَّاسِ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا» ، قِيلَ: يَا أَبَا بَكْرٍ، خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ؟ قَالَ: «قَدْ كَانَ يَفْضُلُ عَلَى بَعْضِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ»

This narration is reported from the way of Dhamra who is Ibn Rabíaa. He is thiqa but has some Munkar hadeeths
(زكريا بن يحيى الساجي : صدوق يهم، عنده مناكير / a-Saaji said he is Truthful, he has Munkar reports).

Most importantly, Ibn Hammad – the author of the book – himself is disputed over and classified as someone who is weak due to making mistakes and having Munkar hadeeths.

أبو بشر الدولابي : ضعيف، ومرة: اتهمه بالوضع
أبو دواد السجستاني : لينه
أبو سعيد بن يونس المصري : يفهم الحديث، روى أحاديث مناكيرعن الثقات
أحمد بن شعيب النسائي : ليس بثقة، ومرة: ضعيف
ابن حجر العسقلاني : صدوق يخطئ كثيرا فقيه عارف بالفرائض وقد تتبع ابن عدي ما أخطأ فيه وقال: باقي حديثه مستقيم، ثبتت عدالته وصدقه، ولكن في حديثه أوهام معروفة، ومرة: مشهور من الحفاظ الكبار لقيه البخاري ولكنه لم يخرج عنه في الصحيح سوى موضع أو موضعين
الدارقطني : إمام في السنة، كثير الوهم
الذهبي : أحد الأئمة الأعلام على لين في حديثه، ومرة: كان من أوعية العلم على لين في حديثه، ومرة: الحافظ، مختلف فيه، ومرة: ذكر له حديثا في تلخيصه وقال: هذا من أوابده، قال سبط بن العجمي: أي من وضعه
سبط ابن العجمي : أحد الأئمة الأعلام علي لين في حديثه
صالح بن محمد جزرة : لينه
مسلمة بن القاسم الأندلسي : صدوق، وهو كثير الخطأ، وله أحاديث منكرة في الملاحم انفرد بها
مصنفوا تحرير تقريب التهذيب : ضعيف، ضعفه غير واحد من الأئمة، ولكن بعضهم قوى أمره، وأحسن الثناء عليه، بسبب نصرته للسنة، وشدة بأسه في مقاومة أعدائها، وموقفه المتصلب في المحنة، حتى أنه مات مسجونا بأغلاله
يحيى بن معين : ثقة، صدوق، رجل صدق، أنا أعرف الناس به، ومرة: ليس في الحديث بشىء، ولكنه كان صاحب سنة، ومرة: معروف بالطلب وذمه، وقال: إنه يروي عن غير الثقات

Some Sunni Scholars have explained and clarified the weak report attributed to tabai’i Imam ibn Sireen(rah).

(a). Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haythami stated:

That which is reported that Ibn Sireen said: “Mahdi is superior to Abu Bakr and Umar; It is almost that he shall supersede some prophets.” And an authenticated report[1] from him, that he did not give precedence to Abu Bakr and Umar over him. Even though, the second statement is more veritable than the first one, it is necessary to explain it favorably such that they agree with hadith that are unambiguous. And an Ijmaa(consensus) is [already] established that both of them [Abu Bakr and Umar] are superior to him[Mahdi]; rather, superior to the rest among the four[Khulafa] rather, among all companions, in contrast to the aberrant opinion of Ibn Abdul Barr who said that someone superior to the Companions can come after them.

And this [statement of Ibn Sireen] should be reconciled by the report that says: “the reward of fifty amongst you” which can be used to explain both statements. This is because of the intense tribulation in Mahdi’s time, and the entire Romans rallying against him and being besieged by Dajjal – so, his superiority and the reward that he shall receive is similar to that of his followers[As mentioned in the hadith earlier].

This is a relative concept where it is possible that someone who is less superior [mafdul] has specific aspects of superiority that is not found in the more superior [faadhil]; it is therefore that Tawus yearned for [living in] Mahdi’s age, because in that age, good deeds are multiplied, and sins are forgiven. As for receiving more reward and exaltedness near Allah absolutely, then the mentioned ones[Abu bakr and Umar] are superior to him [Mahdi].

It is as if, Ibn Sireen meant by his saying: “Mahdi would have superiority upon a Prophet” that Imam Mahdi will lead Isa(as) in prayer. And an Imam has [an aspect of] superiority upon those whom he leads. In truth, this aspect of superiority is not on account of Mahdi himself, but rather because of our Prophet(s.a.w). Because this indicates that Isa(as), by following Mahdi(in prayer), follows the Shariah of RasoolAllah(s.a.w) and subservient to him.

[Source: Qawl Al-Mukhtasar Fi alamat Al-Mahdi Al-Muntazar, page 71-72].

Note: [1] -The report in Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah which al-haythami is referring has a Shia narrator, named Awf bin bandaweh.

(b). Imam Jalaluddin al-Suyuti stated:

Also reported through the route of Dhamrah from Muhammad ibn Sireen, that he mentioned of tribulations that shall occur, and he said: “When such a time comes, sit in your homes until you hear that the person has arrived who is better than Abu Bakr and Umar.” He was asked: “Will someone else come who is better than Abu Bakr and Umar?” [He said]: “Rather he will be superior to some prophets.” I say [Al-Suyuţi]: In it is what there is(of objectionable wording). Ibn Abi Shaybah said in his Al-Musannaf[1] in the chapter on Mahdi: Abu Usamah narrated to us from awf from Muhammad – that is Ibn Sireen – who said: “There shall be in this nation a Khalifah upon whom Abu Bakr and Umar will not be preceded”

I say [Al-Suyuti]: This is narrated by a sahih Isnad. This statement is milder than the previous one.  And the reconciliation according to me for both statements is the extrapolation(Tawil) of the hadith: “Rather, the reward of fifty amongst you” because of the intense tribulations in the age of Mahdi and the opposition of Romans and being besieged by Dajjal.  This does not indicate superiority of more reward and exaltedness near Allah(swt). Because, there are many Sahih hadith and Ijmaa(consesnsus) that Abu Bakr and Umar are superior to the entire creation after prophets and messengers.

[Source: al-Arf al-Wardi fi Akhbar al-Mahdi, page 87-88].

Note: [1] – The report in Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah which al-Suyuti is referring has a Shia narrator, named Awf bin bandaweh.


Argument #5:

Abu Bakr and Umar are the best of the inhabitants of the Heavens and the Earth.
ابوبكر و عمر خير اهل السماوات و الارض
Abu Bakr and `Umar are the best of the inhabitants of the Heavens and the Earth.

Sunnis claim, Shias exaggerate in love for the Ahl al-Bayt(as) and for Ali(as), but a hadeeth in your books shows you prefer Abu Bakr and Umar over the entire creation, including the Prophets and Messengers.


This report is unreliable. There is hadeeth with similar wording, which excludes Prophets and Messengers, but that too was declared as Mawdu (fabricated) and Munkar(rejected) by Sunni Scholars. See: Imam Ibn al-Jawzi’s al-Ilal al-Mutnahiyyah, vol 1, page 198-199, #311] and Shaykh Al-Albani’s [Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Da’ifa wa al-Mawdu’a, vol 4, page 227-228, #1742], who has graded this hadith as a fabrication.

This chain of this report comprises of Jabrun ibn Waqid, who is Muttaham (accused of lying) and Munkar. Ibn Adi has given a ruling of Munkar on him. Ibn Asakir and Ibn al-Jawzi confirm to that. Al-Dhahabi has graded Jabrun’s hadith as a fabrication in his Mizan. Ibn Hajar admits to this in his al-Lisan.

In Musnad al-Firdaws of al-Daylami this hadith is reported via another murky chain which comprises Yahya ibn al-Sirri who narrates from his father. However his father is majhool(anonymous). Yahya, the son, however is thiqah (reliable).


{So if they believe in the same as you believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing. (Quran 2:137).}

Article by Ibn Ahmad al-Hindi.

2 thoughts on “A Sunni Refutation to the Extremist Shiite Doctrine expressing the superiority of their Imams over Prophets.

  1. Assalamualaikum can someone help address this hadith :

    Mujahid said: ‘I was walking with ibn Umar in a slave market, then we saw some slave dealers gathered around one slave-girl and they were kissing her, when they saw ibn Umar, they stopped and said: ‘Ibn Umar has arrived’. Then ibn Umar came closer to the slave-girl, he touched some parts of her body and then said: ‘Who is the master of this slave-girl, she is just a commodity!’
    Musanaf ibn Abi Shayba, Volume 4 page 289 Tradition 20240

    Did the slave-dealers publicly kissed the slave-girl who was not theirs and why didn’t ibn Umar rebuke them for it?

    • Walaikumsalam.

      The translation seems to be incorrectly done. Here is the Arabic text:

      حدثنا جرير عن منصور عن مجاهد قال كنت مع بن عمر امشي في السوق فإذا نحن بناس من النخاسين قد اجتمعوا على جارية يقلبونها فلما راوا بن عمر تنحوا وقالوا بن عمر قد جاء فدنا منها بن عمر فلمس شيئا من جسدها وقال أين أصحاب هذه الجارية إنما هي سلعة

      It implies the dealers were turning(checking) the slave-girl, NOT kissing her.

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