The Event of Pen and Paper(Hadith al-Qirtas) – As understood by its Main Narrators.


The Event of Pen and Paper(Hadith al-Qirtas) – As understood by its Main Narrators.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Prophet Muhammad’s(SAWS) last illness before his final departure from this world lasted around two weeks. During this time, the Prophet’s(SAWS) condition gradually deteriorated and he became bedridden. He experienced a high grade fever, severe headaches, and even fainting spells, slipping into and out of consciousness. The Event of the Pen and Paper occurred four days before the Prophet’s death, on a Thursday. The Prophet(SAWS) asked for a pen and paper in order to write down some religious advice for the Muslims. However, Umar(RA) noticing the pain Prophet(SAWS) was going through, told the other Muslims, that “The Prophet is seriously ill, and we have got Allah’s Book with us and that is sufficient for us.”

Without taking into consideration how other Sahaba, especially the main narrator – Ibn Abbas – understood this event, the Shias make a big fuss over this Event of the Pen and Paper. Contrary to the understanding of the main narrator of this this event –Ibn Abbas-, Shias exaggerate about the Hadiths on this topic, and use them as some sort of proof against Umar ibn al-Khattab(RA). However, the truth of the matter is that the allegations leveled against Umar are nothing but the melodramatic antics of the Shia extremists based on speculation and conjecture, as they seek to make a mountain out of an anthill. In this article, we shall examine the said Event in an objective and reasonable manner in the light of how it was understood by the Main narrators of this event, along with refutation to the Shia accusations.

We have divided this article in the following Sections:

I. Ibn Abbas the main narrator of Pen and Paper Event(Hadith al-Qirtas) and the views he formed after this Event.

II. Jabir bin Abdullah – another narrator of Pen and Paper Event(Hadith al-Qirtas) and the views he held about Umar after this Event.

III. The concern of Umar(ra) was health of his beloved Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) in his final illness.

IV. Prophet’s wish to dictate wasn’t peremptory and He didn’t disobey Allah(Ma’adhAllah).

V. Why did Prophet(SAWS) ask the people to leave if he accepted the view of Umar?

VI. For whom did Prophet(s) want to dictate the document on another occasion and why didn’t he dictate?

VII. The word “delirious” was said by the group which was against Umar.

VIII. What did Umar mean by his statement “The Book of Allah is sufficient” ?

IX. Why is Sunni view reasonable and correct in comparison to Shia view?

X. Is it appropriate to use Sunni sources against Shias to justify Sunni beliefs and views?

 

I. Ibn Abbas the main narrator of Pen and Paper Event(Hadith al-Qirtas) and the views he formed after this Event.

Abdullah Ibn Abbas(RA) is one of the main narrator of pen and paper event or also known as Hadith al-Qirtas. It is Ibn Abbas’s report and his reaction over this Event which Shias use in support of their allegations against Umar bin Khattab(RA).

Therefore, It is necessary to present before the respected readers, the views Ibn Abbas(RA) formed regarding Umar(RA) after this Event. Was he critical against Umar(RA) due to this Event or did he accuse Umar(ra) for disrespecting and insulting Prophet Muhammad(SAWS)? It is very important to look at these aspects because most of the allegations raised by Shias are based on conjecture and since they hate Umar(RA), they are bound to exaggerate in their attacks on Umar(RA). Hence, to get a fair and unbiased perspective of this Event, it is better to see how the main narrator of this event, judged Umar(RA) after this Event. It’s quite obvious that the understanding of Ibn Abbas(RA) would be preferred over the allegations of Shias which are based on their speculation and conjecture, by any unbiased truth-seeker.

(A). Ibn Abbas believed that the condition of Prophet(SAWS) deteriorated on Thursday.

Narrated Ibn Abbas: Thursday! And how great that Thursday was! The ailment of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) became worse. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 5, page 438, #4431] and [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 1, page 121, #114].

Similarly, we read: Ibn Abbas said, “When the condition (i.e. health) of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) deteriorated, he said, ‘Bring me a bone of scapula….[Sahih al-Bukhari vol 4, page 248, #3168]

Ibn Abbas said: The illness of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) took a serious turn (on this day), and he said…[Sahih Muslim, vol 4, page 375, #1637].

Comment: Like Umar and Other Sahaba even Ibn Abbas believed that the condition of Prophet(SAWS) deteriorated on Thursday. So, it wasn’t something which Umar came up with, rather Prophet’s condition in reality deteriorated on Thursday.

(B). Ibn Abbas never blamed Umar for using disrespectful words for Prophet(SAWS) during Pen and Paper Event.

Using the reports about the Event of Pen and Paper, the Shias love to attack Umar(RA) claiming that he insulted or disrespected Prophet(SAWS). But all their allegations are based on conjecture and speculation. While on the other hand, the main narrator of this Event – Ibn Abbas – never blamed Umar(RA) for using disrespectful or insulting words for the Prophet(SAWS). The only objection and regret Ibn Abbas(RA) had was that Sahaba disputed and argued with each other infront of the Prophet(SAWS), and this wasn’t an appropriate thing in the view of Ibn Abbas.

Ibn Abbas said: The people differed in their opinions although it was improper to differ in front of a prophet. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 4, page 248, #3168].

Ibn Abbas used to say, “No doubt, it was very unfortunate (a great disaster) that Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) was prevented from writing for them that writing because of their differences and noise.” [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 5, page 439, #4432]

Ibn Abbas used to say: What a Calamity it was when the Messenger of Allah(SWT) was prevented from dictating that document for them because of their disagreement and noise. [Sahih Muslim vol 4, page 377, #1637c]

Ibn Abbas said: They (the Companions around him) argued, and it is not appropriate to argue in the presence of the Prophet…[Sahih Muslim, vol 4, page 375, #1637a].

Comment: As we can see, Ibn Abbas had no objection or criticism over Umar(RA) for  allegedly using disrespectful or insulting words for the Prophet(SAWS). The only objection and regret Ibn Abbas had was that Sahaba disputed and argued with each other infront of the Prophet(SAWS).

(C). None of the authentic reports narrated from Ibn Abbas explicitly state that, it was Umar(RA) who said Prophet(SAWS) was delirious.

It is not true that, Umar(RA) said Prophet(SAWS) was delirious, that too in a declarative/accusative form. There is no reliable report from Ibn Abbas which explicitly states that, Umar called Prophet(SAWS) as delirious. In all the reliable reports we find that the term delirious was used by “some people”, hence the speakers are unknown. There is no certainty that, which of the two groups arguing before the Prophet(SAWS) stated this, because as per some reports this word was used in an interrogative form, as a question, which implies that it was used by the group opposing Umar(RA) and those who disagreed with him, in a rhetorical manner.

On the other hand, as per authentic reports from Ibn Abbas, it is explicitly proven from Umar that, he said Prophet(SAWS) is in intense pain.

Ibn Abbas said, “When the ailment of the Prophet(SAWS) became worse, he said, ‘Bring for me (writing) paper and I will write for you a statement after which you will not go astray.’ But Umar said, ‘The Prophet is seriously ill… [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 1, page 121, #114]

Narrated Ibn Abbas: When the time of the death of the Prophet (SAWS) approached while there were some men in the house, and among them was Umar bin Al-Khattab, the Prophet (SAWS) said, “Come near let me write for you a writing after which you will never go astray.” Umar said, “The Prophet(SAWS) is seriously ill…[Sahih al-Bukhari vol 7, page 279, #7366]

Similarly we read: Ibn Abbas reported: When Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) was about to leave this world, there were persons (around him) in his house, ‘Umar bin al-Khattab being one of them. Allah’s Apostle(SAWS) said: Come, I may write for you a document; you would not go astray after that. Thereupon Umar said: Verily Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) is overcome with pain…[Sahih Muslim, vol 4, page 376-377, #1637c].

Comment: Therefore, those who thought that Umar(RA) said it, based their views on conjecture not on reliable reports. It is inappropriate to jump to the conclusion using ambiguous reports over explicit reports which mention the words that were used by Umar(RA).

(D). After Pen and Paper Event – Ibn Abbas(RA) Considered Umar(RA) to be dearer to him, and praised him as a person of Good Character, etc.

Ibn Abbas reported: I heard it from so many Companions of the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) and one among them is ‘Umar bin Khattab, who was the dearest of them to me. [Sahih Muslim vol 2, page 346, #826].

Ibn Abbas said: Some men of good character, among whom was Umar, testified before me, and the best of them in my view was Umar. [Musnad Ahmad, vol 1, page 85-86, #110, Isnad Sahih] ; [Musnad Ahmad, vol 1, page 95, #130].

Narrated ibn Abbas regarding Allah’s saying in Quran(Al-Imran:159){And consult them in the matter} He said: “Abu Bakr and Umar”.[Mustadrak ala Sahihayn, vol 3, page 74, #4436].

Comment: Ibn Abbas(RA) highly praising Umar(RA) after Pen and Paper Event, is clear evidence that Ibn Abbas(RA) didn’t believe that Umar insulted or disrespected Prophet(SAWS) after Pen and Paper Event, and this refutes the false allegations of Shias that are based on conjecture and speculation. The point which needs to be pondered over is that, If Ibn Abbas – The main narrator of Pen and Paper Event – thought that Umar(RA) insulted or disrespected Prophet Muhammad(SAWS), why would he praise Umar(RA), would any person highly praise someone who insults his father let alone the Prophet?

(E). Ibn Abbas didn’t believe that Prophet(saws) asked pen and paper to appoint Ali as Caliph.

In the below report narrated by Ibn Abbas, we find that three days before death of Prophet(saws) – that is Friday since Prophet(SAWS) died on Monday – Ali ibn Abu Talib(RA) and Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib(RA) had no idea that who would be the Successor of Prophet(SAWS). The silence of Ibn Abbas(RA) over the understanding of Ali(RA), and him not objecting to Ali’s view is an evidence that, he didn’t believe that Prophet(SAWS) asked pen and Paper to appoint Ali(RA) as Caliph.

It is related from Ka’b ibn Malik, who was one of the three to whom Allah turned that Ibn Abbas informed him that: Ali bin Abu Talib came out of the house of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) during his fatal illness. The people asked, “O Abu Hasan (i.e. Ali)! How is the health of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) this morning?” Ali replied, “He has recovered with the Grace of Allah.” Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib held him by the hand and said to him, “In three days you, by Allah, will be ruled (by somebody else ), And by Allah, I feel that Allah’s Apostle will die from this ailment of his, for I know how the faces of the offspring of Abdul Muttalib look at the time of their death. So let us go to Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) and ask him who will take over the Caliphate. If it is given to us we will know as to it, and if it is given to somebody else, we will inform him so that he may tell the new ruler to take care of us.” Ali said, “By Allah, if we asked Allah’s Apostle for it (i.e. the Caliphate) and he denied it us, the people will never give it to us after that. And by Allah, I will not ask Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) for it.” [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 5, page 444-445, #4447].

Comment: This is a clear evidence that contrary to Shia claim, the main narrator of Hadeeth al-Qirtas, didn’t believe that Prophet(SAWS) asked pen and paper to appoint Ali(RA) as Caliph. According to Ibn Abbas, even Ali and Abbas didn’t believe that Prophet(SAWS) asked Pen and Paper to appoint Ali(RA).

(F). Testimony of Ibn Abbas that, During Prophet’s(S) final illness, He(S) highly praised Abu bakr ; He(S) Appointed Abu bakr to lead Prayer and then He(S) testified that He conveyed the Message.

Ibn Abbas said: The Prophet(SAWS) went out in his fatal illness with his head wrapped with a piece cloth, he sat on the Pulpit and praised Allah and thanked him, then said: “There is no one who had done more favor to me with life and property than Abu Bakr bin abi Quhafah. If I were to take a Khalil(Beloved intimate friend), I would certainly have taken Abu Bakr but the Islamic brotherhood is superior. Close every opening in this mosque except that of Abu Bakr.” [Sahih ibn Hibban vol 15, 275, #6860: Isnad Sahih] ; [Musnad abu Ya’la al-Mousili #2558].

Comment: We find that, during his final illness, from the Pulpit, Prophet(SAWS) highly praised Abu Bakr(RA) in specific.

Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah(SAWS) drew aside the curtain (of his apartment) and (he saw) people in rows (saying prayer) behind Abu Bakr. And he said: Nothing remains of the glad tidings of prophet-hood, except good visions which a Muslim sees or someone is made to see for him. And see that I have been forbidden to recite the Qur’an in the state of bowing and prostration. So far as Ruk’u is concerned, extol in it the Great and Glorious Lord, and while prostrating yourselves be earnest in supplication, for it is fitting that your supplications should be answered. [Sahih Muslim, vol 1, page 590, #479].

It was narrated that ‘Abdullah bin Abbas said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) drew aside the curtain when he had a cloth wrapped around his head during his final illness, and said: ‘O Allah, I have conveyed (the Message)’ three times.There is nothing left of the features of Prophethood except a good dream that a person sees or is seen by others for him. But I have been forbidden to recite the Qur’an when bowing and prostrating, so when you bow, then glorify your Lord and when you prostrate, then strive hard in supplication, for it is more deserving of a response.” [Sunan Nasai, vol 2, page 150, #1121] ; [Sahih Muslim, vol 1, page 590, #479].

Comment: The noteworthy point in the above reports is that, after Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) saw people behind Abu Bakr(RA) in prayer during his final illness, he repeated that he has conveyed the Message.

(G). After Pen and Paper event – Ibn Abbas believed that Abu Bakr was a Truthful Fore-runner.

Narrated Al-Qasim bin Muhammad: Once Aisha became sick and Ibn Abbas went to see her and said, “O mother of the believers! You are leaving for truthful fore-runners i.e. for Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) and Abu Bakr. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 5, page 75, #3771].

(H). Ibn Abbas believed that Prophet(SAWS) died being pleased with Umar.

Narrated al-Miswar bin Makhrama: When Umar was stabbed, he showed signs of agony. Ibn Abbas, as if intending to encourage Umar, said to him, “O Chief of the believers! Never mind what has happened to you, for you have been in the company of Allah’s Apostle and you kept good relations with him and you parted with him while he was pleased with you. Then you were in the company of Abu Bakr and kept good relations with him and you parted with him (i.e. he died) while he was pleased with you. Then you were in the company of the Muslims, and you kept good relations with them, and if you leave them, you will leave them while they are pleased with you.“ [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 5, page 36, #3692]. Also [Sahih ibn Hibban vol 15, 314-315, #6891] ; [Mustadrak al Hakim, vol 3, page 98, #4515].

Comment: In the above report we find that after the Event of Pen and Paper – Ibn Abbas believed that Umar kept Good Relations with Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) and He left this world while he was pleased with Umar. This is s clear evidence that Shia have made a mountain out of an ant-hill based on their conjecture and speculation. While, the main narrator of the Pen and Paper Event – Ibn Abbas – believed that Prophet(SAWS) died being pleased with Umar(RA).

(I). Testimony of Ibn Abbas that Ali highly praised Umar when he was on his deathbed.

In below report we find the testimony of Ibn Abbas(RA), that Ali(RA) highly praised Umar(RA), when he was on his deathbed. Ali stated that, he wanted to imitate the deeds of Umar. If Umar was someone who insulted Prophet(SAWS) and Prophet died when he was displeased with Umar, as the Shias want to portray, then Ali would have never praised Umar in such a beautiful manner.

Narrated Ibn Abbas: When (the dead body of) Umar was put on his deathbed, the people gathered around him and invoked(Allah) and prayed for him before the body was taken away, and I was amongst them. Suddenly I felt somebody taking hold of my shoulder and found out that he was Ali bin Abi Talib. Ali invoked Allah’s Mercy for Umar and said, “O Umar! You have not left behind you a person whose deeds I like to imitate and meet Allah with more than I like your deeds. By Allah! I always thought that Allah would keep you with your two companions, for very often I used to hear the Prophet saying,’I, Abu Bakr and Umar went (somewhere); I, Abu Bakr and Umar entered (somewhere); and I, Abu Bakr and Umar went out.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 5, page 32, #3685].

NOTE: Shias might object that all the reports in this section are (reliable)Sunni reports, hence not a hujjah on them. This objection can be answered in multiple ways, one of those is that, these reports are to educate Sunnis, since reliable Sunni reports are Hujjah upon Sunnis and they need to understand this Event in a proper way in the light of reliable reports. As for Shias, then we say that, they cannot use this Event in the first place to attack Umar(RA), because all of the reports about Pen and Paper Event in Shia books are WEAK, hence a Sunni can respond them by stating that, this Event is unreliable as per Shia books because all of those reports are weak as per Shia Hadeeth Science, and if the Shias want to indulge in a discussion with Sunnis using reliable Sunni reports, even when there isn’t any reliable Shia report in their books, then in that case they will have to accept the other reliable reports from Sunni Books, which refute their misunderstanding and their conjecture based allegations, as we showed in this section. They don’t have any right to cherry pick Sunni reports and reject other reliable Sunni reports.

 

II. Jabir bin Abdullah – another narrator of Pen and Paper Event(Hadith al-Qirtas) and the views he held about Umar after this Event.

Jabir bin Abdullah(RA) is the other companion of Prophet(SAWS) who authentically narrated Pen and Paper Event. But the reliable report from Jabir is very brief, that’s why we don’t find Shias quoting the report from Jabir bin Abdullah as often as they quote Ibn Abbas’s report, because it doesn’t support their agenda.

Narrated Jabir: The Messenger(SAWS) asked, towards his death, for a saheefah to write something that will cause them not to be misguided or misguide, and voices were raised in the house and Omar spoke, so the Messenger(SAWS) rejected it (Saheefah).  [Musnad Abu Ya’la, vol 3, page 394-395, #1871].

Comment: As can be seen, the reliable report from Jabir is very brief, that’s why we don’t find Shias quoting the report from Jabir bin Abdullah as often as they quote Ibn Abbas’s report, since it doesn’t support their agenda. Anyways, since this Event was briefly narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah too, we thought to share the view which Jabir bin Abdullah held in regards to Umar(RA) after this Event, because if Jabir would have believed that Umar(RA) insulted Prophet(SAWS) during Pen and Paper Event, then he wouldn’t have narrated any virtue of Umar and wouldn’t have held him in high regards.

(A). After Pen and Paper Event – Jabir narrated report showing affection Prophet(S) and Umar had for each other.

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah: The Prophet(SAWS) said, “I saw myself (in a dream) entering Paradise, and behold! I saw Ar-Rumaisa’, Abu Talha’s wife. I heard footsteps. I asked, Who is it? Somebody said, ‘It is Bilal ‘ Then I saw a palace and a lady sitting in its courtyard. I asked, ‘For whom is this palace?’ Somebody replied, ‘It is for `Umar. I intended to enter it and see it, but I thought of your (`Umar’s) Ghira (and gave up the attempt).” Umar said, “Let my parents be sacrificed for you, O Allah’s Messenger(SAWS)! How dare I think of my Ghira (self-respect) being offended by you?. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 5, page 29, #3679].

Comment: After pen and paper event, Jabir narrated virtue of Umar that Prophet(SAWS) saw the palace of Umar in Paradise and the affection Prophet and Umar had for each other.

B. After Pen and Paper Event – Testimony of Jabir that Umar is from those who shall not enter Hell and he was amongst the best people on earth. 

Narrated Jabir: that the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “None of those who gave the pledge under the tree shall enter the Fire.” [Jami al-Tirmidhi, vol 6, page 481, #3860]

And as per Jabir, Umar was one of those who gave pledge under the tree on the day of Hudaybiyah.

Narrated Jabir: We were one thousand and four hundred on the Day of Hudaibiya. We swore fealty to him (the Holy Prophet) and ‘Umar was holding the latter’s hand (when he was sitting) under the tree (called) Samura (to administer the oath to the Companions). We swore allegiance to him, except Jadd bin Qais al-Ansari who hid beneath the belly of the camel. The narrator added: We took oath to the effect that we would not flee (from the battlefield if there was an encounter with the Meccans), but we did not take oath to fight to death.. [Sahih Muslim, vol 5, page 191-192, #1856].

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah: On the day of Al-Hudaibiya, Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said to us’ “You are the best people on the earth!” We were 1400 then. If I could see now, I would have shown you the place of the Tree (beneath which we gave the Pledge of Allegiance).” Salim said, “Our number was 1400.” [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 5, page 295, #4154].

Comment: From these reports narrated by Jabir, we find that Umar is from those who shall not enter Hell, as he was one of those who gave the pledge under the tree and he was amongst the best people on earth.

(C). After Pen and Paper Event – Jabir narrated the virtue of Umar showing his importance in Islam.

Narrated Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Aqil bin abi Talib, from Jabir ibn Abdullah: Rasul-Allah(SAWS) said: “Abu Bakr and Umar in this religion are of the importance of sight and hearing in the head.”[Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, vol 2, page 1140, #2507: Hasan] ; [Silsilah al-Ahadeeth al-Sahihah, vol 2, page 457, #815 : Isnad Hasan].

(D). Testimony of Jabir that Umar preferred company of Prophet over his life and wealth.

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah: When we faced the valley of Hunayn, we went down into one of the steep valleys of Tihamah and we continued our descent during the dark early morning, but the enemy was laying in ambush in the caves and narrow paths and they were well prepared. By Allah, what shocked us most were their soldiers who attacked us all at once, and the people(Muslims) were defeated in retreat, so the Prophet(SAWS) went to the right and shouted: “O people, come to me, I am Rasul-Allah, I am Muhammad ibn Abdillah.” But the camels were pushing and shoving against one another, and the people were running, except that with Rasul-Allah(SAWS) was a group from the Mouhajiroun, the Ansar, and his household but they were not many. From those who held their positions with him were Abu Bakr and Umar, and from his household was Ali and `Abbas and his son al-Fadl bin Abbas as well as abu Sufiyan bin al-Harith and Rabi’ah bin al-Harith, and Ayman bin Ubayd who was the son of Umm Ayman, and Usamah ibn Zayd; also a man from Hawazin on his white camel holding a black banner whose tip ended with a sharp spear. [Musnad Ahmad, vol 23, page 273-275, #15027 : Isnad Hasan – Ibn Ishaq declared hearing as mentioned later in the Hadith].

Comment: As per Jabir, Umar was one of those who held their position with Prophet(SAWS) in the Battle of Hunayn.

Jabir bin Abdullah reported: While the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) was delivering (a sermon) on Friday, a caravan of merchandise came to Medina. The Companions of the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) rushed towards it till only twelve persons were left with him including Abu Bakr and Umar; and it was at this occasion that this verse was revealed.” And when they see merchandise or sport, they break away to it(62:11).” [Sahih Muslim, vol 2, page 382, #863 d].

Comment: After Pen and Paper Event – Jabir narrated that Umar was never interested in conducting commerce or collecting wealth. As for Umar(RA) then he is from the kind mentioned in this verse: {Men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allah and performance of prayer and giving of zakah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about} [Quran 24:37].

(E). Testimony of Jabir after Pen and Paper Event that, Ali highly praised Umar when he was on his deathbed.

Narrated to us Sufiyan who said, narrated to us Ja’far (As-Sadiq) from his father from Jabir bin Abdullah who said, When ‘Umar passed away and his body was washed and shrouded. Ali reached Umar while he was lying on his death bed. Ali said, “sallallahu alaika(Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon you) and then said: I would not love to meet Allah with another person’s book of deeds other than this shrouded man’s book. [Ma’rifah wa al-Tarikh, vol 2, page 745] ; [Mustadrak ala Sahihayn, vol 3, page 100, #4523] ; [Tarikh Al-Madina, vol 3, page 937 & 940]. There is Shahid of this report in (Sahih al-Bukhari 3685).

Comment: In this report we find the testimony of Jabir, that Ali highly praised Umar, when he was on his deathbed. Ali stated that, he wanted to imitate the deeds of Umar. If Umar was someone who insulted Prophet(SAWS) and Prophet died when he was displeased with Umar, then Ali wouldn’t have praised Umar in such a beautiful way.

(F). After Pen and Paper Event – Jabir bin Abdullah led Muhammad al-Baqir in prayer.

Ja’far bin Muhammad reported on the authority of his father(Muhammad al-Baqir) : We went to Jabir bin Abdullah and he began inquiring about the people (who had gone to see him) till it was my turn. I said: I am Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Husain. He placed his hand upon my head and opened my upper button and then the lower one and then placed his palm on my chest (in order to bless me), and I was, during those days, a young boy, and he said: You are welcome, my nephew. Ask whatever you want to ask. And I asked him but as he was blind (he could not respond to me immediately), and the time for prayer came. He stood up covering himself in his mantle. And whenever he placed its ends upon his shoulders they slipped down on account of being short (in size). Another mantle was, however, lying on the clothes rack near by. And he led us(al-Baqir, etc) in the prayer. I said to him: Tell me about the Hajj of Allah’s Messenger(S). [Sahih Muslim, vol 3, page 343-344, #2950(1218)].

Comment: We find that Jabir bin Abdullah(RA) led Muhammad al-Baqir(RAH) in prayer in his house. Had it been that, he believed that Prophet(SAWS) asked Pen and Paper to write down the names of Twelve Imams from Ahl al-bayt or that seeking guidance through Ahl al-bayt or taking them as leaders was preached by Prophet(SAWS), then Jabir bin Abdullah wouldn’t have led the prayer in presence of Muhammad Al-Baqir who is a member of Ahl al-bayt. Jabir would have made Muhammad al-Baqir lead the prayer, because Prophet(SAWS) said, The One who is most knowledgeable should lead the prayer.[See, Sahih Muslim #673 and also Sunan an-Nasa’i #781].

Why is it important to follow the understanding of Sahaba, esp the narrators of Pen and Paper Event?

The reason we thought it was extremely important to discuss, how the Sahaba who were the main narrators of Pen and Paper Event, understood this incident, is because, Allah(SWT) states in Quran:{And when it is said to them: Believe as the people(Sahaba) believe, they say: Shall we believe as the fools believe? Now surely they themselves are the fools, but they do not know. (Quran 2:13)}.

It is important to follow the belief and understanding of Sahaba, since Quran commands us to believe like them. And also, because deviants sects which emerged later tried to interpret the religious texts, as per their wishes and desires. When Sahaba confronted them they refuted the misinterpretations of deviants stating that, none of the Sahaba infront of whom Quran was revealed and ahadeeth were stated by Prophet(SAWS), understood these, like the way deviant sects were misinterpreting them.

Ibn Abbas said to Khawarij in his debate:
أتيتكم من عند صحابة النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم من المهاجرين والأنصار ، لأبلغكم ما يقولون المخبرون بما يقولون فعليهم نزل القرآن ، وهم أعلم بالوحي منكم ،
I came to you from Muhajireen and Ansar, the companions of the Prophet(SAWS) to convey their message to you. They are the people who know what they say (from Quran and sunnah), The Quran was revealed in front of them and they know about the (meaning of) Wahyy (Quran) more than you. [Mustadrak al Hakim, vol 2, page 179-180, #2713, al-Hakim said: It is authentic upon the conditions of Muslim].

Similarly, Imam Hasan al-Basri said: Those are the companions of Mohammad, best in the heart, DEEPEST in knowledge, without going out of their way. They were chosen by Allah to accompany his prophet, to stabilize the religion, so follow their manners and ways, for by Allah they were on the straight path. [al-Shariah by Ajuri, vol 4, page 1685-1686, #1161 : Isnad Hasan].

None of the people who came after Sahaba have the depth of knowledge that the Sahaba had, because they were present when those ahadeeth were spoken by Prophet Muhammad(saws), They knew the circumstances, They knew why Prophet(saws) said those words, They were there, They experienced it first hand, therefore anyone who came after Sahaba is just scratching the surface of knowledge, whereas Sahaba lived that hadeeth, an opportunity that none of the people who came after has, so sahaba had an edge over everyone who came later. This is the reason Hasan al-Basri advised people to follow the understanding of Sahaba.

 

III. The concern of Umar(ra) was health of his beloved Prophet(SAWS) in his final illness.

Prophet(SAWS) suffered from severe pain and intense fever during his final illness. Umar ibn al-Khattab was Prophet’s father-in-law, and he loved Prophet(SAWS) more than himself, thus he was worried about the Prophet’s health and wellbeing, more so than the Prophet(SAWS) was worried about himself. In this condition Prophet was having a difficult time talking, He couldn’t talk without unbearable discomfort; it was for this reason that Umar ibn al-Khattab wished that the Prophet would not talk as it would cause him unnecessary pain. This was a sign of love and affection, not of rebellion or opposition.

Let us present some reports which prove that Prophet(SAWS) was indeed going through severe pain in his final illness. We read:

Prophet(SAWS) was suffering twice as much as the common man. Abdullah said: I visited Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) while he was suffering from a high fever. I said, “O Allah’s Messenger(SAWS)! You have a high fever.” He said, Yes, I have as much fever as two men of you. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 7, page 309, #5648] ; [Sahih Muslim, vol 6, page 438-439, #2571].

Narrated Sa`id bin Ubayd bin al-Sabbaq from Muhammad bin Usama from his father (Usama bin Zaid) told me that when the Apostle’s illness became severe he and the men came down to Medina and he went in to the apostle who was unable to speak. He began to lift his hand towards heaven and then bring it down upon him, from which he knew that he was blessing him. [Ibn Ishaq, Seerah Rasool-Allah, page 680] ; [Tareekh al-Tabari vol 9, page 178-179].

Comment: We find from this report that, Prophet(SAWS) was having a difficult time talking, for it caused a great deal of pain to do that.

Infact Prophet(SAWS) fainted multiple times during his final illness. It was narrated that Salim bin ‘Ubaid said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) fainted when he was sick, then he woke up and said: ‘Has the time for prayer come?’ They said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘Tell Bilal to call the Adhan, and tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer.’ Then he fainted, then he woke up and said: ‘Has the time for prayer come?’ They said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘Tell Bilal to call the Adhan, and tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer.Then he fainted, then he woke up. [Sunan ibn Majah, vol 2, page 241-242, #1234 : Isnad Sahih]

If Shias disagree that Prophet(SAWS) was suffering from severe pain, then we would like to present Shias their own reports. In Shia report we read:

Sharjeel narrated from Ummul Fazl bint al-Abbas: “The ailment in which Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) departed from this world, got severe and  He(SAWS) was unconscious. When He(saw) became conscious, He(saw) saw us crying”. [Amaali, by Tusi, vol 1, page 320-321].

Shia reports even state that, Prophet(SAWS) was in such pain that, when Hasan(RA) and Hussain(RA) were crying seeing the condition of Prophet(SAWS) and He didn’t recognize them.

Ibn Abbas narrated: When the Prophet (saw) was ill Hasan and Hussain (ra) were crying so the Prophet (saw) asked Ali (ra) who are these two, who are crying? Ali (ra) said: they are Hasan and Hussain.[Amaali by al-Sadooq, page 452, majlis 92, hadeeth #6 ] ; [Amaali Sadooq, page 592, majlis 92, hadeeth #6 urdu] .

Therefore, It is understandable how fatigue would have affected Prophet’s speech and how that would cause concern to the Companions. This was the observation of Umar as well who stated that “The Prophet is seriously ill”, Ibn Abbas himself says in the beginning of the narration that this Event took place when the Prophet’s(S) pain and suffering had increased(See, Al-Bukhari #114).

Imam al-Bayhaqi stated:

إنما قصد عمر بن الخطاب بما قال التخفيف على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حين رآه قد غلب عليه الوجع …الخ

Umar’s purpose behind his statements was to ease matters for Messenger of Allah(SAWS) when he saw that he had been overcome with pain. [Dala’il al-Nubuwwah, vol 7, page 184].

Umar’s concern was the health and wellbeing of Prophet(SAWS), he wished that the Prophet(SAWS) would not talk as it would cause him unnecessary pain. This was due to his love, care and concern for the Prophet(SAWS),  Something which he himself used to proclaim. For example we read:

Abdullah bin Hisham said: We were with the Prophet (SAWS) and he was holding the hand of `Umar bin Al-Khattab. Umar said to Him, “O Allah’s Messenger (SAWS)! You are dearer to me than everything except my own self.” The Prophet (SAWS) said, “No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have complete faith) till I am dearer to you than your own self.” Then `Umar said to him, “However, now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self.” The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Now, O Umar, (now you are a believer). [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 8, page 333, #6632].

Similarly, there is another report which can be used as an supporting evidence. Narrated Aslam that Umar(RA) said to Fatima(RA) : “By Allah There was no one more beloved to me than your father, and no one is more beloved to me after him than you”. [al-Ahad wal mathani, vol 5, page 360, #2952] ; [Tareekh Baghdad, vol 5, page 168].

Hence, the intention of Umar(RA) was noble and Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: (The value of) an action depends on the intention behind it. A man will be rewarded only for what he intended. [Sahih al-Bukhari #6689] ; [Sahih Muslim #1907].

Similarly, we read in Shia hadeeth: The Prophet(SAWS) said, ‘The intention of the believer is better than his deeds, and the intention of the unbeliever is more wicked than his deeds. Everyone acts according to his intention. [al-Kafi, vol 2, page 72, #1665].

If Shias still insist on their conjecture that, Umar(RA) understood that Prophet(SAWS) was asking Pen and Paper to dictate the Caliphate of Ali(RA), that is why Umar objected it,  then we say in response that, As per authentic hadeeth in Bukhari[#4447] Ali(RA) himself never understood that Prophet(SAWS) asked Pen and Paper to appoint him as Caliph. And even if Umar supposedly understood that Prophet was going to dictate about his successor, then without a shadow of doubt he would have understood that it was for Abu Bakr, due to the actions of Prophet(SAWS) in his final illness, such as appointing Abu bakr to lead the prayer, etc. However, Umar thought that this action of Prophet(SAWS) would become a Sunnah for the Leaders to come till day of Judgement, and they could appoint their favourite candidates without consultation with Muslims as their successors. Thus Umar(RA) held the opinion that Prophet(SAWS) shouldn’t dictate it, and Prophet(SAWS) accepted this view of Umar, as he accepted the other suggestions of Umar in the past. Hence, no Ruler can argue by appointing his successor without consultation of prominent Muslims that, what he did was based on Sunnah of Prophet. This would be the wisdom behind the view of Umar, if for sake of argument we agree that Umar knew that Prophet(SAWS) wanted to appoint his successor when he asked for Pen and Paper. Also, it should’nt be forgotten that, when Umar was asked on his deathbed to appoint his son Abdullah as his successor, Umar gave reference to Prophet(SAWS) and rejected the idea of appointing his successor. [See Sahih al-Bukhari #7218].

Shia Argument #1

Shiawebsite(Shiapen) stated:

If allowing the Prophet (s) to be left alone so he could recuperate was the right thing to do, why was this approach not adopted when Abu Bakr was issuing instructions on his death bed:

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت: كان عثمان يكتب وصية أبي بكر فأغمي على أبي بكر فجعل عثمان يكتب فكتب عمر، فلما أفاق قال: ما كتبت ؟ قال: كتبت عمر. قال كتبت الذي أردت أن آمرك به ولو كتبت نفسك لكنت لها أهلا.

Ayseha [ra] said: ‘Uthman was writing the will of Abu Bakr, then Abu Bakr fainted, thus Uthman wrote the name of Umar. When Abu Bakr woke up and asked: ‘Waht you have written?’ He (Uthman) replied: ‘I wrote ‘Umar’’. He (Abu Bakr) said: ‘you wrote the thing which I wanted to tell, even if you wrote your own name instead it, you would be suitable for it’’.  Tarikh al-Madina, Volume 2 page 667

Response:

In order to answer this argument of Shias, we need to keep certain points in mind. Firstly, it seems Shiapen has missed that there were TWO groups which disputed before the Prophet(SAWS), while we don’t know that in Abu Bakr’s case, whether the people, esp from the group who held the same view of Umar during Pen and Paper event, were gathered around him or not, when he wished to dictate the will. Secondly, it may be that Uthman belonged to the group which held the opinion that Prophet(SAWS) should write the will during Pen and Paper Event. Thirdly, In the Pen and Paper Event Prophet(SAWS) himself left the idea to dictate the will, even though if he wanted he could have done that after Umar left or the next days until Monday, but since he was made aware that the believers will eventually choose the right person as the Caliph, that is why Prophet(SAWS) left the idea to dictate the will, while in Abu bakr’s case, he wasn’t aware what would happen after him, he feared that there could be disputes between people after him, that’s why he discussed this issue with some prominent Sahaba, and upon their affirmation he eventually dictated the will, and since Uthman was one of those prominent Sahaba with whom Abu bakr had discussed this matter prior to dictating the will, Uthman was aware that Umar’s name should be written in the will.

Shia Argument #2

Shiawebsite(Shiapen) stated:

Umar whilst recollecting his lead role during the event states:

“We were with the Prophet, may Allah bless him, and there was a screen between the women and between us. The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, said: Wash me with seven waterskins and bring something to write upon and an inkpot, I shall write a document for you and you will never be misguided till eternity. The women said bring to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him what he wants. Umar said; I said to them: Keep quiet. You are like the women of Yusuf when he is ill and you shed tears, and when he is healthy you hold him by his neck. Thereupon the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him said: They are better than you”
al-Tabaqat al Kabir, Volume 2 page 305 English translation by S. Moinul Haq

Interestingly, the women in the house found the Prophet’s command to be perfectly clear and recognised that the Noble Messenger was speaking coherently in a perfect state of mind.

Response:

Here is the Arabic text of this report along with its Chain:

أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عُمَرَ ، حَدَّثَنِي هِشَامُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ ، عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ أَسْلَمَ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ ، عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ ، قَالَ : كُنَّا عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَبَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ حِجَابٌ ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” اغْسِلُونِي بِسَبْعِ قِرَبٍ ، وَأْتُونِي بِصَحِيفَةٍ وَدَوَاةٍ أَكْتُبْ لَكُمْ كِتَابًا لَنْ تَضِلُّوا بَعْدَهُ أَبَدًا ” ، فَقَالَ النِّسْوَةُ : ائْتُوا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِحَاجَتِهِ . قَالَ عُمَرُ : فَقُلْتُ : اسْكُتْنَ فَإِنَّكُنَّ صَوَاحِبُهُ ، إِذَا مَرِضَ عَصَرْتُنَّ أَعْيُنَكُنَّ ، وَإِذَا صَحَّ أَخَذْتُنَّ بِعُنْقِهِ ! فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” هُنَّ خَيْرٌ مِنْكُمْ !

This report is extremely weak and unreliable due to narrator Mohammad bin Umar Waqidi, the infamous liar.

Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal said: “He is a Kadhaab(Liar)”. [Ad-Du’afa al-Kabeer by al-Uqayli, 4/108, Chain Sahih].

Imam Ishaaq bin Rahwayh said: “According to me, he(Waqidi) was among those who used to fabricate ahadeeth” [Al-Jarh wat Ta’deel by Ibn Abi Hatim, vol 8, page 21, Chain Sahih].

Imam Abu Hatim ar-Razi said: “He is Matrook(abandoned) ul-Hadeeth”. [Al-Jarh wat Ta’deel by Ibn Abi Hatim, vol 8, page 21].

Imam Bukhaari said: “He is Matrook(abandoned) in Hadeeth; Ahmed, Ibn Numayr, Ibn al-Mubaarak, and Ismaa’eel bin Zakariyyah have abandoned him”. [Ad-Du’afa al-Kabeer lil Uqayli, vol 4, page 107, Chain Sahih].

Imam Muslim said: “He is Matrook in Hadeeth”. [Al-Kuna wal Asma by Imam Muslim, page 499, #1952].

Imam Nasa’i said: “He is Matrook in Hadeeth”. [Ad-Du’afa by an-Nasa’i, page 217, #557].

Imam Bandaar bin Bashshar said: “I have not seen a bigger Liar narrator than Al-Waqidi” [Tareekh Baghdad, vol 4, page 22, Chain Sahih].

Al-Haythami also said: “The Jumhoor(majority) has declared him Weak”. [Majma az-Zawaid, vol 3, page 255].

 

IV. Prophet’s wish to dictate wasn’t peremptory and He didn’t disobey Allah(Ma’adhAllah).

The wish of  Prophet(SAWS) to dictate wasn’t peremptory, If Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) wished to dictate something that was obligatory, then from Thursday until Monday the day of his demise[See, al-Bukhari #1387], there were Four days to dictate, but Prophet(SAWS) did not dictate it, nor did he dictate it to Ali or anyone else of the Ahl al-Bayt, whereas Umar was not present all the time to prevent it being written.

If Prophet(SAWS) intended to write something indispensable, it is inconceivable that he would have neglected it whether on account of people’s disagreement or anything else, just as he never failed to convey his message despite the opposition he faced from the disbelievers in Makkah.

Imam Dhahabi stated:

When Umar saw Prophet(SAWS) in severe pain, the reason he decided to make takhfeef is because he knew that religion was perfected(Quran 5:3). If this dictation was obligatory then Prophet(s) would have definitely dictated it and wouldn’t have left it. [Tareekh al-Islam, vol 1, pafe 813].

Imam al-Bayhaqi stated:

If Messenger of Allah(SAWS) intended to dictate something necessary, something that could not be left out, then Rasulullah(SAWS) could not have left it out because of the mutual difference of opinion and the noise because Allah said in Quran: “Convey whatever has been revealed to you from your Rabb,” and just as Messenger of Allah(S) never left out conveying and propagating religion on account of the opposition and enmity of the enemies. [Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol 7, page 184].

Allamah Qadhi Iyad stated:

Scholars disagree about the meaning of this hadith: How could the Companions dispute after Prophet(S) had commanded them to bring him something to write on? One scholar said that the obligatory nature of the commands of the Prophet were understood in this context to only be either recommended or allowed. Perhaps the context of his words was such that they understood it not to be a direct order.Rather it was a matter which was left to their choice. Some of them did not understand that and said,“Ask him about it.” When they disagreed, he(S) withdrew from it since it was not a firm order and since they agreed with the opinion ‘Umar had expressed. Scholars say that ‘Umar might have forbidden them to obey him it due to his compassion for the Prophet(S) because it would be a burden on him to dictate the letter and would have caused him hardship. He said, “The Prophet(SAWS), is in very great pain”. [Al-Shifa, page 735-736]

Imam Abul-Abbas al-Qurtubi said:

With regard to the words “Come, let me write for you a document after which you will not go astray”, this is a command and a request that was addressed to everyone present. Hence it was the duty of everyone who was present to hasten to obey this command, especially when it was followed by the words “after which you will not go astray”. But ‘Umar and others thought that this command was not by way of obligation; rather it was by way of recommendation. Moreover, in the Book of Allah there is guidance to everything that the Muslim needs, as Allah, may He be exalted, says: “And We have sent down to you the Book as an exposition of everything” [an-Nahl 16:89]. In addition to that, the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) was suffering pain, so ‘Umar did not want him to have to do something that may be very difficult for him in that situation. Therefore they decided that it was more appropriate for him not to write anything. But the other group wanted him to write the document, following the apparent meaning of the command and out of eagerness for more clarification and to remove any ambiguity. Would that had happened! But that is what Allah decreed, and whatever He wills happens. But there should be no blame or criticism of the first group, because the Prophet(SAWS) did not rebuke them or tell them off; rather he said to all of them: “Let me be, for I am fine.” [Al-Mufhim lima Ashkala min Talkhees Kitaab Muslim vol 4, page 558-559].

Dr. Ibrahim bin Aamir al-Raheeli stated:

From this we came to know that, the difference between Sahaba occurred due to their understanding of the words of Prophet(SAWS) according to their ijtihaad…So why are Sahaba criticized for their dispute over a Juzzi issue; Even though Prophet(SAWS) excused them and didn’t rebuke them, And agreed with the group which was against the writing down of the document and didn’t dictate the document. [al-Intisar Li al-Sahab wa al-Aal, page 139].

Hafiz Ibn Hajar stated:

Al-Maaziri said: It was permissible for the Sahabah to differ concerning this document, despite the clear instructions given to them concerning that, because instructions may be accompanied by indications that make them less than obligatory. It is as if there was something to indicate that the matter was not obligatory; rather it was optional. Therefore they had different views, and Umar insisted on his view for which he had circumstantial evidence that the Prophet(SAWS) had said that without insisting on it. [Fath al-Baari, vol 8, page 133-134]

Imam Ibn Hajar also stated: His statement in the narration “and he exhorted them with three things,” indicates the fact that what the Messenger(SAWS) intended to write was not a mandatory matter. If it was something which he was commanded to convey he would not have neglected it on account of possible disagreement. Allah would have punished the one who prevented him from fulfilling his duty. Had there been an imperative command the Prophet(SAWS) would have conveyed it verbatim as he did in the case of expelling the Mushrikin. [Fath al-Baari, vol 8, page 134].

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah stated:

The writing of this document is not something that Allah enjoined upon him to write or convey at that time. If that had been the case, Prophet(SAWS) would not have failed to do what Allah instructed him to do. [Minhaj as-sunnah vol 6, page 315-316].

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah further stated: There is no disagreement that Prophet(SAWS) himself rejected the idea to dictate. If he wanted to write it anyway, then who could have stopped him. [Minhaj as-Sunnah, vol 6, page 317].

Therefore, we find that, Umar recognized that the Prophet’s illness was advancing, so he wanted to comfort the Prophet and relieve him from any pressure. However, the crticis would argue back stating that who gave Umar the right to disobey the command of Prophet(SAWS); In response to this argument we say that, a sign became apparent to Umar which indicated that the instruction of the Prophet(SAWS) was not peremptory, therefore, he applied his discretion. This is the similar to what Ali did when the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) asked him to pray and he cited predestination as an argument; Ali didn’t view that what the Prophet(SAWS) said was in a peremptory manner. [See, Sunan an-Nasai, vol 2, page 460, #1612: Sahih].

Shaykh Ali al-Tantawi stated:

“What I think is that during his lengthy companionship with the Prophet, ‘Umar had grown accustomed to expressing his opinion because he knew that he had permission to do so; there are many reports which tell how he suggested things to the Messenger of Allah(SAWS), requested things from him and asked him about things. The Messenger of Allah would confirm his view if he was right and correct him if he was wrong. When the Messenger said, ‘Bring me a sheet so that I may write something for you’, ‘Umar — as was his usual habit — offered his suggestion, saying that the Book of Allah was sufficient, and the Prophet agreed with him. If he had wanted to go ahead and write the statement, he would have told Umar to be quiet and he would have done what he wanted. [Akhbar Umar, page 45-46].

What Shaykh Ali al-Tantawi stated is indeed true; there are several examples in authentic narrations which support his explanation. For example, here is a report in which we’ll see that Prophet(SAWS) rejected the suggestion of Umar [See, Sahih al-Bukhari vol 6, page 148-149, #4670] ; And there is another example where we find that Prophet(SAWS) accepted suggestion of Umar[See, Sahih Muslim, vol 1, page 128-130, #31]. What it proves is that Umar(RA) used to give suggestions to Prophet(SAWS) in matters which he thought weren’t peremptory, and Prophet(SAWS) would either accept his suggestions or reject them, but neither Allah nor the Prophet(SAWS) accused Umar(RA) of disobedience.

Therefore, if what the Prophet(SAWS) wanted to dictate during Pen and Paper Event was obligatory, and an order from Allah, then Prophet(SAWS) couldn’t have been stopped by anyone, since it would be against the Quranic verse (5:67) {O Apostle! proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And God will defend thee from men (who mean mischief).}

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar stated: 

The fact that the Prophet(SAWS) did not object to ‘Umar indicates that he thought his view was correct. When ‘Umar said, “the Book of Allah is sufficient for us”, he was referring to the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says: “We have neglected nothing in the Book” [al-An‘aam 6:38]. It may be that the aim was to make things easier for the Messenger of Allah(SAWS), when ‘Umar saw that he was in great distress. Thus he sensed that what he wanted to write was not something they could not do without. If that had been the case, the Prophet(SAWS) would not have refrained from writing it because of their differences. This view cannot be undermined by what Ibn Abbas said, “What a calamity it was…”, because ‘Umar was definitely more knowledgeable than him. [Fath al-Baari, vol 8, page 134].

From this we learn that Prophet(SAWS) did not wish to dictate something obligatory. Hence, He changed his mind from what he intended to dictate and felt that there was no need to have it written. In other words, we find agreement between the views of Prophet(SAWS) and Umar and therefore Prophet(SAWS) aborted this wish to dictate. And indeed, the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) once said: “Allah has put the truth upon the tongue and in the heart of ‘Umar“.[Jami at-Tirmidhi #3682 : Sahih]. One of the Shahid for this report from Abu Dhar. [See, Mustadrak ala Sahihayn, vol 3, page 99, #4562].

Moreover, what further proves our point is that, at another occasion during his final illness Prophet(SAWS) wanted to write a document in favour of Caliphate of Abu bakr, but he himself left that idea, no one stopped him on this occasion, he did that by himself, because he was made aware by revelation that the believers will eventually appoint Abu bakr.[See, Sahih Muslim #2387]. This shows that what Prophet(SAWS) wanted to dictate wasn’t an obligatory command from Allah.

As for, Ibn Abbas’s crying and his naming it “a great calamity” this doesn’t constitute an argument against Ahlus-Sunnah. Prophet(SAWS) not dictating the document, would certainly be a great loss for one who doubted the succession of Abu Bakr, since as per reliable reports Prophet(SAWS) wanted to dictate the Caliphate of Abu bakr. If the Messenger had dictated the document then all doubts would have been removed. Also, Ibn Abbas(RA) called that incident the “great calamity” because, although, he himself was amongst those who concurred with the nomination of Abu Bakr there appeared in his time people whose rejection of Abu Bakr’s Caliphate  led them to embroil the Ummah in great strife and bloodshed. Considering that this letter could possibly have averted all this bloodshed, its non-writing would certainly be considered a loss, by Ibn Abbas.

Imam Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah stated: The regret of Ibn Abbas and him deeming it a Calamity, is in regards to those who doubted the legitimacy of Abu Bakr’s caliphate, or were not certain about the matter, because if there had been a document, there would have been no doubt. As for those who knew that his caliphate was legitimate, it was not a calamity for them, Alhamdulillah.[Minhaj as-Sunnah, vol 6, page 25].

Shia Argument #1

Shiawebsite(Shiapen) stated:

Umar’s Ijtihad cannot contradict the Quran

Whilst advocate Ibn al Hashimi cites the defence of ijtihad to protect his client Umar he should know that a stance can only be correct if it is corroborated by the Quran and Sunnah. Any act that contradicts these two sources cannot be deemed to be ijtihad since it has gone against Nass (clear text). It is here that the advocates of Umar once again fall flat on their faces because Umar’s conduct violated the Quranic rulings relating to obedience to the Prophet (s) namely:

“Obey Allah and Obey his Prophet and worry, and be warned that the Prophet’s duty is only to deliver the message clearly” (Surah al Maidah verse 92)

“Perform Salat (Prayer), give Zakat and Obey Allah and his Prophet” (Surah Mujadilah verses 12-13)

Both these noble verses clarify the matter unambiguously. Allah commands the Muslims in the Quran to obey Allah – unconditionally – and furthermore to obey the Prophet – once more, unconditionally…. the Quran establishes firmly that the duty of the Muslim is simply to obey the Prophet – no limitations have been mentioned as to the extent of this obedience; hence the obedience must be unconditional and without limitation.

Response:

Shia extremists who emerged in later times, have a very narrow understanding of Islam, just like the other extremists – Khawarij -, misapplying Quranic verses as per their wishes and desire. However, the companions of Prophet(SAWS) who witnessed the revelation of Islamic Laws infront of them and in relation to their affairs, they believed that the instructions of Prophet(SAWS) could be peremptory or non-peremptory. And for those instructions that were non-peremptory according to them, there was a scope for making ijtihad in them. Let us list out few examples for the better understanding of the Readers.

(i). When Messenger of Allah(SAWS) asked Ali(RA) to pray and he cited predestination as an argument; Ali didn’t view that, the instruction of Prophet(SAWS) was in a peremptory manner, hence made his ijtihad.

It was narrated from Ali bin Husain, from his father(Hussain bin Ali), that: His grandfather Ali bin Abi Talib said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) came in to Fatimah and I, one night and woke us up to pray, then he went back to his house and prayed for part of the night, and he did not hear any movement from us. He came back to us and woke us up, and said: ‘Get up and pray.’ I sat up, rubbing my eyes, and said: By Allah, we will only pray that which has decreed for us; our souls are in the hand of Allah (SWT) and if He wants to make us get up, He will make us get up.’ The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) turned away, striking his hand on his thigh, saying: ‘We will only pray that which Allah (SWT) has decreed for us! But man is ever more quarrelsome than anything.“[Sunan an-Nasai, vol 2, page 460, #1612: Sahih].

(ii). When the Prophet(SAWS) asked Ali to erase the expression of “Apostle of Allah” during treaty of Hudaibiyah, Ali refused the instruction because in his view the instruction was non-peremptory, hence he made ijtihad. We read:

…So Ali bin Abi-Talib started writing the treaty between them. He wrote, “This is what Muhammad, Apostle of Allah has agreed to.” The (Meccans) said, “If we knew that you (Muhammad) are the Apostle of Allah, then we would not have prevented you and would have followed you. But write, ‘This is what Muhammad bin Abdullah has agreed to..’” On that Allah’s Apostle said, “By Allah, I am Muhammad bin Abdullah, and, by Allah, I am Apostle of Allah.” Allah’s Apostle used not to write, so he asked Ali to erase the expression of “Apostle of Allah”. On that Ali said, “By Allah, I will never erase it!” Allah’s Apostle said (to Ali), “Let me see the paper.” When Ali showed him the paper, the Prophet erased the expression with his own hand. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 4, page 259-260, #3184].

(iii). In Shia book we read Ali and Fatima made ijtihad and didn’t follow the advice of Prophet:

Narrated Jabir and also Narrated Zaid bin Ali narrated from his father(AS) : When Hasan(AS) was born in Fatima’s(AS) house, She asked Ali(AS) to name him. He replied, ”I won’t surpass Prophet(SAWS) in naming this baby at all.” Meanwhile Prophet(SAWS) himself arrived hearing the news of birth, and the baby was presented to him covered in a yellow draper. He(Prophet) said: ”Didn’t I forbid you people to cover the baby with a yellow draper?” Then He(SAWS) removed the yellow draper and threw it away and then took a white draper and covered him with it. [Ilal al-Shara’i, vol 1, Page 104-105, #5&#7, by Sheikh al-Sadooq]

(iv). In Shia book we read Fatima(RA) made ijtihad, and didn’t follow the advice of Prophet(S)  due to motherly compassion.

It is narrated from Bar’a khazaaiya that when Fatima(RA) was pregnant with Imam Hasan, The Messenger of Allah(SAWS) decided to go on a journey and said to Fatima(RA), Jibraeel has informed me that you will be giving birth to a son, don’t feed him when he is born until I return. When Imam Hasan was born, Fatima didn’t feed him for three days and was waiting for the Prophet(SAWS). As three days passed and he didn’t return, Fatima(RA) felt compassion for Imam Hasan(RA) and fed him. Afterwards, when Prophet(SAWS) came and asked about what she did, Hazrat Fatima replied, I fed him out of motherly compassion. He(SAWS) said, whatever happens, happens with the will of God. [Jila al-uyoon, vol 2, page 98].

(v). In Shia Book we read, Ali(RA) didn’t follow the saying and Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS) in regards to dying the hair and instead made his own ijtihad.

When asked to explain the saying of the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) that:Banish your old age (by hair-dye) and do not acquire resemblance to the Jews”. Ali replied, “The Prophet(S) said this at a time when the religion was confined to a few, but now that its expanse has widened and it is firmly settled everyone is free in his action. [Nahjul Balagha, page 606-607, Saying #17].

Comment: Imam Zain al-Abideen(rah) preferred the Sunnah of Prophet(S) over ijtihad based Sunnah of Ali(ra) in this case. [See, al-Kafi, H #12433 , Ch 43, H #8Hasan(good) or Muwathaq(reliable) as per al-Majlisi in Miraat al-Uqool, vol 22, page 398].

(vi). When the Prophet(S) announced that Asr prayer should be prayed in Banu Quraiza, but some Sahaba out of fear that Asr time would expire prayed Asr before reaching Banu Quraiza because in their view the instruction was non-peremptory, hence they made ijtihad.

It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah who said: On the day he returned from the Battle of Ahzab, the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) made for us an announcement that nobody would say his Zuhr prayer but in the quarters of Banu Quraiza (Some) people, being afraid that the time for prayer would expire, said their prayers before reaching the street of Banu Quraiza. The others said: We will not say our prayer except where the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) has ordered us to say it even if the time expires. When he learned of the difference in the view of the two groups of the people, the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) did not blame anyone from the two groups. [Sahih Muslim vol 5, page 63, #1770].

Comment: As we can see, one group of Sahaba apparently went against the command of Prophet(SAWS) due to their Ijtihad, however when Prophet(SAWS) came to know about it, He didn’t blame any of the groups and thus acknowledged their action which they did based on their ijtihad. In the same way, the dispute that occurred between the Sahaba during the Pen and Paper event was an Ijtihadi dispute as Allamah Shahrastani have stated in his “al-Milal wa al-Nihal, page 17-18“, that’s why Prophet(SAWS) didn’t condemn any of the groups.

The Sahabah questioning the Prophet(SAWS) about some issues does not undermine the fact that they would hasten to follow his instructions and do what Islam required, because they would discuss things with him(SAWS) until the revelation came confirming what the Prophet told them, whereupon they would hasten to obey the command.

Imam An-Nawawi stated: The companions of the Prophet(SAWS) would discuss some issues with him before he gave them definitive and binding instructions, as when they discussed the terms of the treaty between him and Quraysh with him on the day of al-Hudaybiyah. But once he issued definitive instructions, none of them would discuss it with him. [Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol 11, page 133].

Similarly, Imam Ibn Hajar stated:  The Sahabah used to discuss some issues with Prophet(S), so long as he had not issued definitive instructions; once he did that, however, they would comply with them. [Fath al-Baari, vol 1, page 209].

Lastly, we say that, even if some Extremist and biased Shias disagree with our explanation, then we say that, it’s better to leave the judgement to Prophet(SAWS), and the Prophet(SAWS) accepted the suggestion of Umar, hence Prophet rejected the idea to dictate from himself, and as per Ibn Abbas – the main narrator of Pen and Paper Event- , Prophet left this world when he was in a state of pleasure with Umar[See Bukhari, #3692].

Shia Argument #2

Ibn Taymiyyah said that Prophet(SAWS) left the wish to write the document was because people indulged in doubt.

Ibn Taymiyyah said: When Prophet(SAWS) saw that People indulged in doubt, so he thought that the doubt will not end even after dictating the document, therefore, there wasn’t a benefit of writing it. [Minhaj as-Sunnah, vol 6, page 25].

Response:

The view of Ibn Taymiyyah doesn’t support the Shia agenda if we read the context of Ibn Taymiyyah’s statement, because Ibn Taymiyyah rejects the idea that, Prophet(SAWS) intended to write something obligatory. Ibn Taymiyyah stated that Prophet(SAWS) intended to write about the Caliphate of Abu bakr. And as per Ibn Taymiyyah, the additional reason due to which Prophet(SAWS) left the wish to write the document was because he knew that Allah(swt) would eventually gather the believers upon the leadership of Abu Bakr. Now let’s read the context of Ibn Taymiyyah’s statement.

Imam Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah stated:

Prophet(SAWS) wanted to write that document, which was mentioned by Ayesha(in regards to Caliphte of Abu Bakr). When Prophet(SAWS) saw that People indulged in doubt, so he thought that the doubt will not end even after dictating the document, therefore, there wasn’t a benefit of writing it. He even knew that Allah would gather the people upon the person, about whom he described in the following words, “Whereas Allah and the believers will refuse everyone except Abu Bakr”. The words of Ibn ‘Abbaas, “What a calamity it was when the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) was prevented from writing that document” mean that the thing that prevented it happening was a calamity; it was a calamity for those who doubted the legitimacy of Abu Bakr’s caliphate, or were not certain about the matter, because if there had been a document, there would have been no doubt. As for those who knew that his caliphate was legitimate, it was not a calamity for them, Alhamdulillah…It was not permissible for him to abandon writing the document because of the doubts that some had about (its importance). If what he intended to write in the document was something that he was obliged to convey and disclose, then the Prophet(SAWS) would have disclosed it and written it in a document, and he would not have paid any attention to the view of anybody, for he was the most obedient of creation to Allah. Thus it is known that when he decided not to write the document, the document was not obligatory and it would not have contained anything of religious matters that he was obliged to write at that time, because if that had been necessary, he would have done it. [Minhaj as-sunnah, vol 6, page 24-26].

Imam Ahmed Ibn Taymiyyah also said at another place:

“In conclusion, it is clear that, through his sayings and deeds, the Prophet(SAWS) indicated on many occasions that his companions should choose Abubakr as the first Khalifah of the Muslim nation. The Prophet(SAWS) intended to write a letter confirming his decision, but then he came to know that the Muslims would choose Abubakr anyway, and so, based on that knowledge, he decided not to write the letter. Had there been any doubt in his mind regarding whether or not his companions would choose the right candidate, He(saw) would have made the matter crystal-clear for them; instead, he knew that they would make the right decision, and so he deemed it sufficient to indicate to them on numerous occasions and in many ways that Abubakr was his choice to be the Khalifah after his death”.[(Minhaaj As-Sunnah vol 1, page 139-141); Taken from The Biography of Abubakr as-Siddiq, by Ali Sallabi, page 233-234].

Shia Argument #3

Shiawebsite(Shiapen) stated:

If there is any doubt as to the fact that Umar was rejecting the final command of the Seal of Prophets in the Calamity incident, let us study this tradition from the Musnad of Ahmad, Volume 3 page 346 declared ‘Sahih’ by Shaykh Shoib al-Arnaut, which deals with what Umar was up to in the Calamity of Thursday:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا موسى بن داود حدثنا بن لهيعة عن أبي الزبير عن جابر : أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم دعا عند موته بصحيفة ليكتب فيها كتابا لا يضلون بعده قال فخالف عليها عمر بن الخطاب حتى رفضها

Jabir said: ‘The Holy Prophet (pbuh) asked for a paper to write his Will after which which no one would get astray, but Umar objected until he rejected it’.

Now this tradtion is quite clear that Umar rejected the command of Mohammad (s) on his deathbed. {ScreenShot}

Response:

Firstly, It’s the deceit of Shias in mentioning the grading by Subaib Arnaut, because Shaykh Shuaib Arnaut actually weakened this chain, and didn’t authenticate the report on its ownself but rather due to the support of corroborating reports.

Shaykh Shuaib al-Arnaut stated:

قال شعيب الارناؤوط : صحيح لغيره ، وهذا إسناد ضعيف لسوء حفظ إبن لهيعة…

Sahih li Ghayrihi(Sahih due to corroborating evidence). And this chain is weak due to weakness of Ibn Lahiyah…[Musnad Ahmad, vol 23, page 68, #14726].

Secondly, In this report of Musnad Ahmad which has a weak chain, the term “farafadhaha(he rejected it)”, linguistically, can be attributed to either the Prophet(S) or Omar, since its unclear who rejected it. However, the authentic narration in Musnad Abi Ya’ala, is the stronger narration, and it clearly points to the Prophet(SAWS) being the person rejecting it and not Omar. We read:

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم دعا عند موته بصحيفة ليكتب فيها كتابًا لا يضلون بعده ولا يضلون. وكان في البيت لغط وتكلم عمر بن الخطاب فرفضها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم.

The Messenger(SAWS) asked, towards his death, for a saheefah(page) to write something that will cause them not to be misguided or misguide, and voices were raised in the house and Omar spoke, so the Messenger(S) rejected it(Sahifah). [Musnad Abu Ya’la, vol 3, page 394-395, #1871].

This report is also present in these books as well,  which further supports the fact that Prophet(SAWS) rejected it, not Umar. [Musnad Abu Ya’la, vol 3, page 393, #1869] ; [Juzz ibn Feel, page 156-157, #135&#136: Sahih] ; [Tabaqat al-Kubra ibn Saad vol 2, page 187] ; [الثالث من أحاديث محمد بن أيوب الرازي #91].

Thus Ahlus-Sunnah prefer the rational way of accepting the authentic and clear reports over weak and unclear reports. And the authentic and clear report states that it was Prophet(SAWS) who rejected the Sahifa. Therefore, the Shia argument is based on their misunderstanding of the report, hence discarded.

Shia Argument #4

Shiawebsite(Shiapen) stated:

Fact one is that in Islam it is compulsory for a Muslim approaching death to write a Will, based on the verse of the Quran which is accepted by even the monarchists:“It is prescribed for you when death approaches one of you, if he leaves behind any goods that he makes a bequest for Parents and (the nearest kinsmen) in goodness, this is a duty upon the pious” (The Quran 2:180). This is not at all controversial between Sunni and Shia – our monarchist brothers should go and ask their Sheikh if they themselves should write a Will – he will tell them that if they live their lives by Islam they MUST make a Will in Islam before they die.

Response:

Shias have based their argument on ignorance. The Verse about wasiyyah of inheritance(2:180) was abrogated by the verse of inheritance. So it isn’t compulsory or obligatory to leave wasiyyah(will).

Imam Ibn Katheer stated in his commentary for the verse 180 of Chapter 2:

This Ayah contains the command to include parents and relatives in the will, which was obligatory, according to the most correct view, before the Ayah about inheritance was revealed. When the Ayah of inheritance was revealed, this Ayah was abrogated, so fixed shares of the inheritance for deserving recipients were legislated by Allah. Therefore, deserving inheritors take their fixed inheritance without the need to be included in the will or to be reminded of the favor of the inherited person. For this reason we see the Hadith narrated in the Sunan and other books that Amr bin Kharijah said: I heard Allah’s Messenger saying in a speech: (Allah has given each heir his fixed share. So there is no will for a deserving heir).

Imam Ahmad recorded that Muhammad bin Sirin said: Ibn Abbas recited Surat Al-Baqarah (chapter 2 in the Qur’an) until he reached the Ayah: (…if he leaves wealth, that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin.) He then said,This Ayah was abrogated.” This was recorded by Sa`id bin Mansur and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak Al-Hakim Said, “It is Sahih according to their criteria (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)”.

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Ibn Abbas said that Allah’s statement: (a bequest to parents and next of kin) was abrogated by the Ayah: (There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether the property be small or large ـ a legal share.) [Quran 4:7].  Ibn Abu Hatim then said, “It was reported from Ibn `Umar, Abu Musa, Sa`id bin Musayyib, Al-Hasan, Mujahid, Ata, Sa’id bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Sirin, Ikrimah, Zayd bin Aslam and Ar-Rabi bin Anas. Qatadah, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Tawus, Ibrahim An-Nakha’i, Shurayh, Ad-Dahhak and Az-Zuhri said that this Ayah (2:180 above) was abrogated by the Ayah about the inheritors (4:7).” [Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer, vol 1, page 490-491].

Similarly, We read in Shia Tafsir, Shia Allamah Muhammad Husain Tabatabai stated:

In any case, it is said that the verse was later abrogated by the verse of inheritance. If so, then it would only be its “obligatoriness” which was abrogated,….The Fifth or the Sixth Imam said about the verse, Bequest is prescribed for you…: “It is abrogated. The verses of inheritance abrogated it.” (al- ‘Ayyashi ) The author says: This tradition may be reconciled with the preceding ones if we say that it was only its obligatoriness which was abrogated. [Tafsir al-Mizan, vol 2, page 253-255].

Note: It’s not even necessary to write a will, it can be made in a verbal form too. If we read the next verse Shias quoted from Surah al-Baqarah i.e.{If anyone changes the bequest AFTER HEARING IT..(Quran 2:181)}. We find that the will can even be made in verbal form too.

Shia Argument #5

The Shias belief is that, what Prophet(S) wanted to dictate was obligatory command, hence Prophet(S) eventually did make the Tablet to be written down and he dictated the names of Twelve Imams from Ahl al-Bayt on it.

Response:

This Shia claim is a preposterous and goes against established facts. Ali(RA) himself never claimed of having any such document, when he was asked about such a thing, Ali(RA) replied that he didn’t have any such thing except a sheet on which certain matters related to jurisprudence were written. We read:

It was narrataed from Al-Ashtar that he said to Ali: “What the people have been hearing from you has become widespread. If the Messenger of Allah(S) told you anything, then tell us,” He said: “The Messenger of Allah did not tell me anything that he did not tell the people, except that in the sheath of my sword there is a sheet, in which it says: ‘The lives of the believers are equal in value, and they hasten to support the asylum granted by the least of them. But no believer may be killed in return for a disbeliever, nor one with a covenant while his covenant is in effect.”‘ It is an abridgement of it.” [Sunan an-Nasai, vol 5, page 397, #4750 : Sahih] ; Similarly [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 1, page 119-120, #111].

Imam al-Qurtubi stated:

Shias and Rafidis have stated numerous invalid and fabricated Ahadith, and have forged textual evidences(nusoos) about Prophet(SAWS) appointing Ali(RA) as his Caliph, while claiming that these have reached the level of Tawatur according to them. All of this is an outright mixture of lies. [Al-Mufhim lima Ashkala min Talkhees Kitaab Muslim vol 4, page 557].

Secondly, If the Shia claim had any truth in it, then the Shias wouldn’t have differed so much about the identity of the Imams. Anyone who reads the Shia Books, such as Firaq al-Shia by al-Nawbakhti, etc, would see the chaotic situations Shias faced after the death of several of their Imams, due to not knowing who the next Imam would be, most of the other Shia sects such as Waqifiyah, Ismailiyah, etc, emerged due to this confusion and lack of any such evidence.

Thirdly, some Shia narrators to whom these Fabricated reports were attributed, we find through other Shia reports that these narrators themselves had no idea about the identity of certain Imams. For example:

Sa’d bin Abdullah al-‘Ash’ari said: Abu Hashim Dawud bin al-Qassim al-Ja’fari said: I was with Imam Abu al-Hassan(10th Imam) when his son Abu Ja’far died -and he had pointed to him and appointed him- So I started thinking to myself: “This is similar to the case of Imam Abu Ibrahim(as) and Isma’il.” so Abu al-Hassan(AS) came to me and said: “Yes O Abu Hashim, it appeared to Allah in Abu Ja’far and he replaced him with Abu Muhammad, it also appeared to Allah in Isma`il after his father Abu Abdullah(AS) had pointed to him and appointed him, it is exactly as you thought to yourself even if the haters will hate. Abu Muhammad my son is my successor after me, he has what you need and the Imamah praise be to Allah.”[al-Ghaybah, by al-Tusi, page 82-83, #84] ; Similarly [al-Kafi, vol 1, page 295-296, H#849].

Comment: In al-Kafi there is a report from Narrator Abu Hashim Dawud bin al-Qassim al-Ja’far, where he narrates from Imam al-Jawad(9th Imam) the hadeeth having the names of Twelve Shia Imams. While, we find that this same narrator – Abu Hashim Dawud bin al-Qassim al-Ja’fari –  thought that the elder son of 10th Imam would be Imam and was surprised when he died. For more information on this topic refer this article{Link}. {ScreenShot}.

Esteemed Shia scholar of Hadith – Muhammad Baqir al-Behbudi stated:

[And you (reader) now know after the research on “al-Shudhudh `an Nizam al-Imamah” that the narrations about the general identity of the Imams such as the narration of the Tablet (1) and others, are all fabricated during the time of al-Ghaybah (2) and al-Hayrah (3) and some short time before it. For if these narrations were available with the Imami Shia, they would not have disagreed so openly and greatly about the identity of the Imams, nor would the biggest personalities and narrators of Hadith have faced much confusion for long years, nor would they have needed to quickly write books proving the Ghaybah to unveil the confusion from the hearts of the nation in such great numbers. [Ma’rifat al-Hadith, page 172].

Footnotes:
(1) Narrations of the Tablet are those when Jabir(RA) walks in on Fatima(RA) and sees a tablet with the names of the Imams on it.
(2) al-Ghaybah is the period of occultation of Twelfth Imam of Shias, when he was never seen nor heard from by anyone except four people and only for a couple of years, then followed by the greater occultation.
(3) al-Hayrah is the great confusion that struck the followers of the Imami branch of Tashayyu when the news of their Imam stopped reaching them after the death of the fourth emissary and lots of them abandoned the Madhab.

 

V. Why did Prophet(SAWS) ask the people to leave if he accepted the view of Umar?

Prophet(SAWS) said to his companions who were disputing among themselves, “Go away (and leave me alone). It is not right that you should quarrel in front of me.” [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 1, page 121, #114].

Similarly we read, The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Leave me, for my present state is better than what you call me for.” Then he ordered them to do three things. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 5, page 438-439, #4431].

Prophet(SAWS) said: Let me be. The state in which I am now is better. I urge you to do three things…[Sahih Muslim, vol 4, page 375, #1637].

Allamah Qadhi Iyad stated: The words of the Prophet, “Leave me. I am better as I am,” i.e. the situation I am in now is better than giving the command. I leave you with the Book of Allah if you leave what you have asked me for. [Al-Shifa, page 737]

It needs to be kept in mind that these words “Leave me’, were not directed by the Prophet(SAWS) to a specific person or a group, rather these were directed towards both the groups disputing with each other. In essence this was a command to end the difference of opinion by asking them to leave and abandon this discussion.

Messenger(SAWS) was silent on Umar’s statement and did not object to it. It was only when the noise and disagreement became unbearable that he said, “Leave me!” However, nothing here indicates specific dismissal of ‘Umar’s words, especially if we consider that the hadith goes on to state that he imparted three instructions thereafter.

Shaykh Ali al-Tantawi stated: ‘Umar offered his suggestion, saying that the Book of Allah was sufficient, and the Prophet agreed with him. If he had wanted to go ahead and write the statement, he would have told Umar to be quiet and he would have done what he wanted. [Akhbar Umar, page 45-46].

Even Ibn Abbas – the main narrator understood it in the same way, his objection was that people shouldn’t have disputed before the Prophet(SAWS).  Ibn Abbas said: The people differed in their opinions although it was improper to differ in front of a prophet. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 4, page 248, #3168].

Moreover, keeping aside the conjectures and speculation based arguments of Shias; it is authentically proven that Prophet(SAWS) left this World, in a state where he was pleased and happy with his companions.

Anas ibn Malik said: Abu Bakr used to lead the people in prayer during the fatal illness of the Prophet(SAWS) until it was Monday. When the people aligned (in rows) for the prayer, the Prophet(SAWS) lifted the curtain of his house and started looking at us and was standing at that time. His face was (glittering) like a page of the Mushaf, and he smiled cheerfully. We were about to be put to trial for the pleasure of seeing the Prophet. Abu Bakr retreated to join the row as he thought that the Prophet(SAWS) would lead the prayer. The Prophet(SAWS) beckoned us to complete the prayer and he let the curtain fall. He passed away on that very day. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 1, page 386-387, #680].

Also, as per Ibn Abbas, Prophe(SAWS) died while he was pleased with Umar.[See, Sahih al-Bukhari #3692].

Shia Argument #1

Umar was disrespectful and he had ill-mannered attitude.

The Quranic verse: Believers! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as you may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and you perceive not. [49: 2].

This verse was revealed for Abu bakr and Umar, and even in the incident of Pen and Paper, Umar raised his voice over voice of Prophet(S).

Response:

During the Event of Pen and Paper, Umar did not raise his voice above the voice of the Messenger(SAWS) rather, some Sahaba raised their voices above the voices of others, as the dispute was between the two groups of Sahaba present there and this does not violate the Quranic verse cited by the Shias. The argument is therefore self-defeating.

As for, the verse(49:2), it was revealed to teach the etiquette to the people who sat among the audience of the Prophet(S) or came to visit him. Its purpose was that the believers should treat the Prophet(SAWS) with the highest respect and reverence when visiting him and talking to him. Nobody should raise his voice louder than his. We read in Sahih al-Bukhari:

Narrated Ibn Abi Mulaika: The two righteous persons were about to be ruined. They were Abu Bakr and `Umar who raised their voices in the presence of the Prophet (SAWS) when a mission from Bani Tamim came to him. One of the two recommended Al-Aqra’ bin Habeas, the brother of Bani Mujashi (to be their governor) while the other recommended somebody else. (Nafi`, the sub-narrator said, I do not remember his name). Abu Bakr said to `Umar, “You wanted nothing but to oppose me!” `Umar said, “I did not intend to oppose you.” Their voices grew loud in that argument, so Allah revealed: ‘O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet.’ (49.2) Ibn Az-Zubair said, “Since the revelation of this Verse, Umar used to speak in such a low tone that the Prophet (SAWS) had to ask him to repeat his statements.” But Ibn Az-Zubair did not mention the same about his (maternal) grandfather (i.e. Abu Bakr). [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 6, page 314, #4845].

It is true that this verse was revealed when – Righteous Believers – Abu bakr and Umar argued with each other(not Prophet) and raised their voices, but they didn’t raise their voices above the voice of Prophet(SAWS), which the verse prohibits,  that is why the hadeeth in Bukhari states that {“The two righteous persons were  ABOUT TO BE ruined…”} Notice that, It doesn’t say “they were ruined” rather it says “about to be ruined”, because as said earlier, they didn’t raise their voices above the voice of Prophet(SAWS) and this verse was revealed as a precautionary warning in a general sense to teach the believers the etiquette.

Companions of Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) were direct learners of etiquettes by the Prophet(SAWS) himself, and this was their learning stage. Companions were normal people of that time, they didn’t come from sophisticated and civilised background. Before Islam they were living a life that was usual and accepted way of life at that time, so they were bound to make some mistakes during their learning stage. Hence, they were told that in presence of Prophet(SAWS), they must not talk in a loud voice, just as one speaks loudly to one another in a way that offends him. Instead, they were required to speak to him in terms of respect, honor and calmness.

And it’s not just that mistakes occurred from Umar(RA) during the learning stage due to which Quranic verses were revealed, rather Quranic verses were revealed due to mistake of Ali(RA) as well, as found in Shia book.

The Quranic verse 5:87 {O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors.} was revealed in regards to Ali(RA) and some other companions, as per Shia book.

Esteemed Shia Allama al-Majlisi stated:

Narrated Ali ibn Ibrahim WITH AUTHENTIC CHAIN, in his Tafseer commentary of verse “O you who believe! do not forbid (yourselves) the good things which Allah has made lawful for you(5:87) from Abu Abdullah(AS) : It was revealed about Ameer al-Momineen(commander of faithful), Bilal and Uthman ibn Maudhun. And Ameer al-Momineen(AS) promised that he would never sleep at night, as for Bilal, he promised that he never would eat during the day, as for Uthman ibn Maudhun he promised that he never would marry (meaning he would never have intercourse with wife). And wife of the Uthman ibn Maudhun entered upon Aisha, and she was beautiful woman. Aisha asked: Why I see you upset?…. His wife said: By Allah, my husband didn’t approached me from such and such time….. (when Prophet entered to Aisha, she said that to him) He went out, and called to congregational prayer. People gathered, and minbar was set, he praised Allah, then said: What happen with group which prohibited upon themselves pure things? Listen, I sleep during the Night, I married and I Eat during the day. And whoever would go astray from my Sunnah is not from me. [Ayn al-Hayat, vol 1, page 348] ; Similar views can be found even in Sunni Tafseer. [See (Tafseer al-Tabari, vol 8, page 608-612} and (Musannaf Abdur Razzaq, vol 5, page 232, #11110)].

Secondly, As for Umar(RA), then Ibn Az-Zubair said, “Since the revelation of this Verse(49:2), Umar used to speak in such a low tone that the Prophet(SAWS) had to ask him to repeat his statements. [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 6, page 314, #4845].

This shows that Umar(RA) always abided the command in verse(49:2) after it was revealed and never violated it.

Thirdly, if Shias argue that the Sahaba disputing with each other in the presense of Prophet and Sahaba raising their voices over each other in the presense of Prophet was also wrong, then we say that the blame is then on all the Sahaba who were present, not just one particular group, because all of them raised their voices. If Shias believe that the other group which objected to Umar’s opinion were Ali and his supporters, then the blame is on them too, since Prophet(Saws) asked all of them to leave, not just one particular group.

Lastly, we would like to repeat what we said earlier that, During the Event of Pen and Paper, Umar did not raise his voice above the voice of the Messenger(SAWS) rather some Sahaba raised their voices above the voices of others and this does not violate the Quranic verse. Hence, the argument is therefore self-defeating.

Shia Argument #2

Shiawebsite(Shiapen) stated:

Allamah Shahrastani in his classic book (indeed the pre-eminent Sunni treatise on the topic, standard reading in all good Sunni madrasahs) concerning divisions in Islam attests that the origin of disputes amongst the companions originated from this tragic episode of the Calamity of Thursday, so how can it be a non-event? He writes:“the first dispute that took place during the Prophet’s sickness, according to what the Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad b. Isma’il al-Bukhari relates on the authority of Abdullah b. Abbas, is as follows: When the last sickness of the Prophet became acute, he said, ‘Bring me an inkpot and writing material; I shall write something for you so that you will not be led astray after my departure’. Umar said, ‘the Prophet has been overcome by pain, God’s Book is sufficient for us’. A noisy argument arose among those gathered; whereupon the Prophet said ‘Go away there should be no quarrelling in my presence’. Ibn Abbas says, ‘What a tragedy which prevented us from having some writing of the Prophet!”.
Al Mihal al Nahal, by Allamah Muhuummud b. Add’al Karim Shahrastani, page 18 – English translation by A.K.Kazi and J.G.Flynn (publishers Kegan Paul International, First Edition 1984)

An event that formed the root origin of disputes amongst the Sahaba can never be deemed a non-episode.

Response:

Had Shias quoted the words of Allamah Shahrastani, just before what they quoted, it would have been clear that Allamah Shahrastani considered the disputes amongst Sahaba as Ijtihadi disputes. Let us see what Allamah Shahrastani said, just before and after the quote cite by Shias.

Allamah Shahrastani stated:

As for the differences that rose among the Companions at the time of the Prophet’s sickness and after his death, these are said to have been differences of personal judgment, Ikhtilafat ijtihadiya, and their aim was simply to maintain the rites of the sharia and to establish religious practises(part quoted by Shias)…I have referred to these two disputes because critics might regard them as differences which have affected the faith. This, however, is not so. Their aim was simply to uphold religious principles at a time when hearts were unsettled, and to cool down the heat of strife which is very powerful at a time of change. [al-Milal wa al-Nihal, page 17-18].

Secondly, Shias have failed to even get the gist of what Allamah Shahrastani stated. He never intended to say that, the Event of Pen and Paper was the root origin of disputes amongst the Sahaba, rather he merely meant that, this incident was, {“the first dispute that took place during the Prophet’s sickness”}, it was in specific to the dispute during Prophet’s sickness, as he clearly stated. However, this doesn’t mean that the disputes or differences never occurred amongst Sahaba during the lifetime of Prophet(SAWS). It’s well known that on many occasions differences occurred between Sahaba during the lifetime of Prophet(SAWS), and there were cases wherein Prophet(SAWS) acknowledged the view of both the groups of Sahaba who differed due to their ijtihad, [See Sahih Muslim, #1770].

 

VI. For whom did Prophet(s) want to dictate the document on another occasion and why didn’t he dictate?

Shia Argument:

What was the third thing which the narrator conveniently forgot in the hadeeth of Qirtas? Actually Prophet(S) wanted to dictate the name his successor when he asked for pen and paper.

Dr. Ali Muhammad Sallabi stated in his book: The Scholars differed concerning the statement that the Prophet(S) wanted to write. It is said that he wanted to state that the Caliphate should go to a specific person lest there be disputes and tribulations concerning it; or that he wanted to write something in which he would sum up the most important rulings, so as to dispel the risk of dispute concerning them and so that there would be agreement upon what was stated. [Umar ibn al-Khattab, his life and times, vol 1, page 138]

Response:

The main issue with the Shia perspective of the Pen and Paper event is the sheer amount of baseless speculation. In the Shia narrative, two main baseless assumptions are made. The first is that the Prophet(SAWS) wanted to appoint Ali as his successor. The second is that the Companions knew of the Prophet’s intention to appoint Ali. However, nowhere in the narration do we find clear cut evidences that this was the case. These assumptions are based on Shia preconceptions and the hesitation of the Companions in writing the will.

Were the Companions aware of a Clear Appointment for Ali? Ironically, Hadith Al-Ghadeer is perhaps the greatest evidence that both assumptions are flawed. Firstly, if Hadith Al-Ghadeer was indeed an appointment of Ali as Shias claim, then there is no reason to even write a will. Surely, a statement of appointment by the Prophet(SAWS) in front of over ten thousand of his Companions, has much more weight than a written document. As we all know, documents can be forged, while the testimony of ten thousand eye-witnesses cannot be rejected under any circumstances. It makes no sense to assume that the Companions assumed that the will was about the appointment of Ali, since such an appointment was allegedly already made, as per the Shia claim.

Moreover, Ali and Abbas(members from Ahlelbayt) themselves didn’t believe that Prophet asked Pen and Paper for appointing Ali, as we find in an authentic report.

It is related from Ka’b ibn Malik, who was one of the three to whom Allah turned that Ibn ‘Abbas informed him that:`Ali bin Abu Talib came out of the house of Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) during his fatal illness. The people asked, “O Abu Hasan (i.e. Ali)! How is the health of Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) this morning?” Ali replied, “He has recovered with the Grace of Allah.” Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib held him by the hand and said to him, “In three days you, by Allah, will be ruled (by somebody else ), And by Allah, I feel that Allah’s Apostle will die from this ailment of his, for I know how the faces of the offspring of `Abdul Muttalib look at the time of their death. So let us go to Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) and ask him who will take over the Caliphate. If it is given to us we will know as to it, and if it is given to somebody else, we will inform him so that he may tell the new ruler to take care of us.” `Ali said, “By Allah, if we asked Allah’s Apostle for it (i.e. the Caliphate) and he denied it us, the people will never give it to us after that. And by Allah, I will not ask Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) for it.”[Sahih al-Bukhari vol 5, page 444-445, #4447] ; Similarly [Musnad Ahmad vol 2, page 432-433, #2374 : Isnad Sahih] ; [Musnad Ahmad, vol 3, page 68, #2997].

On the other hand it is also proven from authentic reports that, there was another instance when Prophet(SAWS) wanted to dictate about the Caliphate of Abu bakr, and there was no one to stop him, but Prophet(SAWS) himself left this idea, because he was informed through revelation about the future that the believers will eventually appoint Abu bakr.

A’isha reported that Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) in his (last) illness asked me to call Abu Bakr, her father, and her brother too, so that he might write a document, for he feared that someone else might be desirous (of succeeding him) and that some claimant may say: I have better claim to it, whereas Allah and the Faithful do not substantiate the claim of anyone but that of Abu Bakr. [Sahih Muslim, vol 6, page 243, #2387] ; [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 7, page 319, #5666] ; [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 9, page 205, #7217] ; [Musnad Ahmad, vol 42, page 50, #25113 : Isnad Sahih] ; [Musnad Ahmad, vol 17, page 420, #24632: Isnad Sahih].

Similarly, Abdul Rahman ibn Abi Bakr reported: During the last days, Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) said to him:“Bring ink and paper. I shall write something for you, so that you will never go astray later on.” Allah’s Messenger then turned his back to us. A little while later, he turned to us and said: “Allah and the believers will refuse everyone except Abu Bakr. [Mukhtasar al-Mustadrak, vol 5, page 2163, #747 : Isnad Sahih].

The famous Taba Taba’ee Sufyan ibn Uyaynah stated over this event that:

قال سفيان انما زعموا اراد ان يكتب فيها استخلاف أبي بكر

The objective was to dictate the khilafah (succession) of Abu Bakr.[Dala’il al Nubuwwah vol 7, page 182].

Allamah Nasir Hasan ash-Shaykh stated:

The Prophet(SAWS) alluded here to how he expected some disagreement over the caliphate after his death, but at the same time made it clear that the disagreement would not last for long since the believers would, to be sure, refuse to have anyone other than Abubakr as their leader and Khaleefah. In the end, what transpired in the courtyard of Banu Saa’idah corresponded exactly to what the Prophet(SAWS) said in the aforementioned hadeeth: People disagreed with one another for short while, but then that disagreement was quickly followed by a unanimous decision to appoint Abubakr as their Khaleefah. [Aqeedah Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa’ah Fis-Sahabah, vol 2, page 651].

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah stated:

There is no authentic hadeeth proving that Prophet(SAWS) appointed Ali as his Caliph, however there are authentic reports proving the Caliphate of Abu bakr. Shias claim that Prophet(SAWS) had categorically established the evidence for Caliphate of Ali, if this was the case then what was the need to write it? Shias who aren’t accepting something hearing(the reports), would they accept if it was written? [Minhaj as-sunnah, vol 6, page 317-318].

Imam Ibn Katheer stated:

Some of the innovators, amongst the Shiah etc., have misconstrued(from the narration of Qirtas) that in this document, Prophet(SAWS) intended to dictate that which supports their ideology(a decree in favour of Ali). This is grasping onto conjecture and abandoning that which is explicit; whereas the Ahlus-Sunnah grasp onto the explicit and refute that which is conjecture. This is the method of those who are firm in knowledge, as Allah(SWT) explains in the Qur’an. This is the position where the feet of the deviated have slipped, but we — the Ahlus Sunnah — follow the way of the truth and wherever the truth goes, that is where the Ahlus Sunnah can be found. What Prophet(SAWS) intended to dictate has been reported in other authentic ahadith, and he clarified his intention…..On the Thursday, five days before he passed away, the Messenger of Allah had delivered an address in which he had asserted the excellence of Abu Bakr over the other Companions, in addition to his explicit instructions that Abu Bakr lead them in prayer. It may perhaps be that this address should be viewed as a substitution for what he intended to write in the document. He had washed himself prior to making that noble address. They had sprinkled over him water from seven water-skins. [Al-Bidayah Wa al-Nihayah, vol 5, page 228].

There are other supporting reports as well, which hint that Prophet(SAWS) wanted to dictate the Caliphate of Abu bakr.

(a). Prophet(SAWS) praised Abu bakr(RA) in specific, five days before his death.

Jundub ibn Abdullah al-Bajali related: I heard from the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) five days before his death that he said, “I stand acquitted before Allah of taking any one of you as a friend; for Allah has taken me as His friend, as he took Ibrahim as His friend. Had I taken any one of my Ummah as a friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr as a friend. Beware of those who preceded you and used to take the graves of their prophets and righteous men as places of worship, but you must not take graves as masjids; I forbid you to do that.” [Sahih Muslim, vol 2, page 26, #532].

Comment: The Prophet(SAWS) departed from this world on a Monday morning. Five days prior to that would be the Wednesday. And Prophet(SAWS) singled out Abu Bakr and praised him.

Similarly, Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet(SAWS) went out in his fatal illness with his head wrapped with a piece cloth, he sat on the Pulpit and praised Allah and thanked him, then said: “There is no one who had done more favor to me with life and property than Abu Bakr bin abi Quhafah. If I were to take a Khalil(Beloved intimate friend), I would certainly have taken Abu Bakr but the Islamic brotherhood is superior. Close every opening in this mosque except that of Abu Bakr.”[Sahih ibn Hibban vol 15, 275, #6860: Isnad Sahih] ; [Musnad abu Ya’la al-Mousili #2558].

Comment: Imam Ibn Katheer commented on it that, There is clear indication in this to the Caliphate of Abu Bakr(RA), that he will come from this door to lead the Muslims in prayer. [Al-Bidayah Wa al-Nihayah, vol 5, page 230].

(b). Prophet(SAWS) was happy seeing people pray behind Abu bakr(RA), on the day he died.

Anas ibn Malik said: Abu Bakr used to lead the people in prayer during the fatal illness of the Prophet(SAWS) until it was Monday. When the people aligned (in rows) for the prayer, the Prophet(SAWS) lifted the curtain of his house and started looking at us and was standing at that time. His face was (glittering) like a page of the Mushaf, and he smiled cheerfully. We were about to be put to trial for the pleasure of seeing the Prophet. Abu Bakr retreated to join the row as he thought that the Prophet would lead the prayer. The Prophet beckoned us to complete the prayer and he let the curtain fall. He passed away on that very day. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 1, page 386-387, #680].

(c). Prophet(SAWS) directed a woman towards Abu bakr(RA) incase if he died.

Narrated Jubair bin Mut’im: A woman came to the Prophet(SAWS) who ordered her to return to him again. She said, “What if I came and did not find you?” as if she wanted to say, “If I found you dead?” The Prophet (SAWS) said, “If you should not find me, go to Abu Bakr.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 5, page 17, #3659] ; [Sahih Muslim, vol 6, page 242, #2386].

Comment:  Commenting on this Hadeeth, Imam Ibn Hajar said, “This hadeeth refutes the Shi’ites, who claim that Prophet(saw) appointed Ali and Ibn Abbas to rule over the Muslim nation after his death”.(Fath al-Bari, vol 7, page 24).

(d). Prophet(SAWS) directed certain towards Abu bakr(RA) to give Zakat, incase if he died.

Narrated Anas ibn Malik: When envoys of Banu Mustalaq separated from Prophet(S) , I followed them. They said to me: O Anas! Go back to Prophet(S) and ask him, When we separated from you, we forgot to ask, if you would die, to whom should we give zakat?. Prophet(S) said: Give it to Abu Bakr. I went back to them and said that. They asked me: Go back and ask, if Abu Bakr would die, then to whom? Prophet(S)  said: Go back to them and say, it (should be given then) to Umar. They asked me to go back and ask, if Umar would die, then to whom? I went, and Prophet(S)  said: Go back to them, and say (in this case) to Uthman. [Mustadrak ala al-Sahihayn, vol 3, page 82, #4460 : Isnad Sahih] ; [Arbaeen fi shuyookh as-soofiyah, page 115-116: Isnad Hasan].

(e). Prophet(SAWS) advised the people to stick to Abu Bakr and Umar after him.

Narrated Hudhaifah: “We were sitting with the Prophet(SAWS) and he said: ‘I do not know how long I will be with you, so stick to the two after me,’ and he signaled towards Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.” [Jami al-Tirmidhi, vol 6, page 349, #3663: Isnad Hasan] ; [Sunan ibn Majah, vol 1, page 144, #97: Hasan] ; [Silsilah al-Ahadeeth al-Sahihah, vol 3, page 234-235: Isnad Hasan].

(f). Prophet(SAWS) appointed Abu bakr as the Imam to lead the Muslims in prayer during his final illness.

Narrated Abu Musa: “The Prophet(SAWS) became sick and when his disease became aggravated, he said, “Tell Abu Bakr to lead the prayer.” Aisha said, “He is a softhearted man and would not be able to lead the prayer in your place.” The Prophet(SAWS) said again, “Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer.” She repeated the same reply but he said, “Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer. You are the companions of Joseph.” So the messenger went to Abu Bakr (with that order) and he led the people in prayer in the lifetime of the Prophet. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 1, page 385-386, #678].

Comment: Abu Bakr(RA) leading the Muslims in prayer during the final illness of Prophet(SAWS) is proven from Mutawattir narrations.  This fact was narrated by (1). Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari [Sahih al-Bukhari #678] ; (2). Anas bin Malik[Sahih al-Bukhari #680] ; (3). Abdullah ibn Abbas[Sahih Muslim #479] ; (4). Ayesha[Sahih al-Bukhari #679] ; (5). Abdullah bin Umar[Sahih al-Bukhari #682] ; (6). Abdullah bin Masood[Sunan an-Nasai #778: Isnad Hasan] ; (7). Salim bin ‘Ubaid[Sunan ibn Majah #1234: Isnad Sahih] ;  (8). Abdullah ibn Zam’ah[Sunan Abi Dawud #4660: Isnad Hasan] ; (9). Umar bin Khattab[Sunan an-Nasai #778: Isnad Hasan] ; (10). Ali ibn Abu Talib[al-I’tiqad by Bayhaqi, page 492-493] ; [Tabaqaat al-Kubra, vol 3 page 167] ; [Mustadrak ala Sahihayn, #4422] ; [Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah #2455] ; (11). Zubayr bin Awwam[al-I’tiqad by Bayhaqi, page 492] ; [Mustadrak ala Sahihayn, #4422] ; (12). Abbas bin Abdul Mutallib[Musnad Ahmad #1784 & #1785] ; (13). Buraidah bin al-Husaib[Musnad Ahmad #23060] ; (14). The Ansar[Sunan an-Nasai #778] ; etc.

Shah Wali Allah Muhaddith Dehlawi stated: During the final illness, Messenger of Allah(SAWS) appointed Abu Bakr al-Siddiq to lead the salah and Allah’s Messenger(S) refused to let anyone else lead the salah. This is proven from Mutawatir narrations. [Qurrat al-aynayn fi tafdil al-shaykhayn, page 5]. Similar statement was made by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami. [al-Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, page 92]

Imam Ibn Katheer stated: Shaykh Abul-Hasan al-Ashari said, “That the Prophet(SAWS) placed Abubakr ahead of all of his Companions is something that every Muslim is required to know. It proves beyond a doubt that, out of all the Prophet’s companions, Abubakr was the most knowledgeable, and he knew the most Quran. In a narration that is not only authentic, but is also agreed upon by all scholars, the Messenger of Allah(S) said, ‘The one who leads the people should be he who knows the most from the Book of Allah. If more than one of them are equal in recitation, then it should be the most knowledgeable regarding the Sunnah. If they are equal regarding their knowledge of the Sunnah, then it should be the eldest among them. And if they are equal in age, it should be the first of them to have accepted Islam[Sahih Muslim, #1532 & #1534]”. I(Ibn Katheer) say, “This saying of Al-Ashari, may Allah have mercy on him, is something that should be written down with Gold Ink. We should remember that the qualities that are mentioned in the hadeeth he quoted are all qualities that were possessed by Abubakr”. [Al-Bidayah Wa al-Nihayah, vol 5, page 236].

Conclusion:

Thus Ahlus Sunnah consider the decision of leadership the responsibility of the Muslim community. The mention of Abu Bakr in the previous narrations, in addition to his appointment to lead the Salah, are strong suggestions from the Prophet for his preferred candidate. Sahaba chose for their worldly affairs the one whom the Prophet(SAWS) chose for their religion, and the prayer was the root of Islam, and the most important matter, and the pillar of the religion. So the Muslims gave the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr, and he deserved that.

Therefore, the Event of Pen and Paper had nothing to do with appointment of Ali as Caliph. If Prophet(S) had intended to appoint his successor or appoint a leader for the ummah after him by asking to bring pen and paper, then he confirmed this for Abu Bakr by his actions and word. The directive of Prophet(S) was fulfilled, and the Sahabah obeyed completely in this regard; accepting the leadership and khilafah of Abu Bakr.

Imam Ahmed Ibn Taymiyyah said, “In conclusion, it is clear that, through his sayings and deeds, the Prophet(SAWS) indicated on many occasions that his companions should choose Abubakr as the first Khalifah of the Muslim nation. The Prophet(SAWS) intended to write a letter confirming his decision, but then he came to know that the Muslims would choose Abubakr anyway, and so, based on that knowledge, he decided not to write the letter. Had there been any doubt in his mind regarding whether or not his companions would choose the right candidate, He(SAWS) would have made the matter crystal-clear for them; instead, he knew that they would make the right decision, and so he deemed it sufficient to indicate to them on numerous occasions and in many ways that Abubakr was his choice to be the Khalifah after his death”.[(Minhaaj As-Sunnah vol 1, page 139-141); Taken from The Biography of Abubakr as-Siddiq, by Ali Sallabi, page 233-234].

Allamah Nasir Hasan Ash-Shaikh stated: The Ahadeeth(narrations) that allude to Abubakr’s caliphate are so numerous and are related by so many narrators(Mutawattir) that it is impossible – even for the people of innovations – to give any plausible reason to reject them. Those that do reject such ahadeeth do so only out of intransigence and because of a perverse, deep-rooted hatred towards the Prophet’s Companions. [Aqeedah Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa’ah Fis-Sahabah, vol 2, page 648].

Shia Argument #1
Shiawebsite[Shiapen] stated:

There was an opinion amongst the sahaba that the Prophet (s) had dictated a will in favour of Maula Ali (as). We read in Sahih Muslim Book 13, Number 4013:

Aswad bin Yazid reported: It was mentioned before A’isha that will had been made (by the Holy Prophet) in favour of Ali (as the Prophet’s first caliph), whereupon she said: When did he make will in his favour? I had been providing support to him (to the Holy Prophet) with my chest (or with my lap). He asked for a tray, when he fell in my lap (relaxing his body), and I did not realise that he had breathed his last. When did he make any will in his (‘Ali’s) favour?

Response:

It’s a lie that there was an opinion amongst the Sahaba that the Prophet(SAWS) had dictated a will in favour of Ali, rather this opinion originated from the deviant extremist group that emerged during the liftetime of Ayesha(RA) and their deviant view was mentioned before Ayesha(RA) by some people, which surprised Ayesha, so she refuted it.

Two of the earliest and most reliable Shia historians – Al-Hasan bin Musa Al-Nawbakhti and Sa’ad bin Abdullah Al-Qummi. Together they stated:

“A group of scholars from the companions of Ali(AS) said that Abdullah bin Saba was a Jew, who converted to Islam, and befriended Ali (alaihi alsalam), and he used to say, as a Jew that Yusha’ bin Noon is after Musa(AS) with this view, and so he said in Islam after the death of the Prophet(SAWS) about Ali the same (belief). He was the first to say that it is mandatory that Ali(AS) was the Imam, and the first to disassociate from his enemies, and he made takfeer of them. It is in this light that those there were against the Shias said: The origins of Rafdh are taken from Judaism.” [Firaq Al-Shia, pages 67-69].

Note: The hadeeth cited by Shias from Sahih Muslim doesn’t state that a will was dictated as in “written down”, rather it just speaks about a will in general and a will can be made in a verbal form too. In Surah al-Baqarah we read: {If anyone changes the bequest AFTER HEARING IT..(Quran 2:181)}. We find that the will can even be made in verbal form too.

Moreover, it shouldn’t be surprising to see Ayesha(RA) refute the false ideas of deviant extremist group, because she wasn’t alone in that, rather some of their false ideas were refuted by Ali(RA) and other members of Ahl al-bayt too. Below are few examples.

(a). Abu Tufail Amir bin Wathila reported: I was in the company of Ali bin Abi Talib, when a person came to him, and said: What was it that Allah’s Apostle(SAWS) told you in secret?Thereupon he (hadrat Ali) was enraged and said: Allah’s Apostle(SAWS) did not tell me anything in secret that he hid from people, except that he told me four things. He said: Commader of Faithful, what are these? He said: Allah cursed him who cursed his father; Allah cursed him who sacrificed for anyone besides Allah; and Allah cursed him who accommodates an innovator (in religionb) ; and Allah cursed him who changed the minarets(the boundary lines)of the land. [Sahih Muslim vol 5, page 318-319, #1978].

Comment: The Deviant Extremists believed that Prophet(SAWS) taught Ali(RA) 1000 doors of knowledge in secret, and they attributed these fabrications to Ali.[See, Amaali by al-Sadooq 450-453, Or, Amaali, al-Sadooq 593, urdu], So these were the deviant extremist who were being refuted by Ali and Ayesha.

(b). Muhammad ibn Asim from Shubabah bin Siwar from al-Fudayl ibn Marzuq; he said: I asked ‘Umar bin ‘Ali and Husayn bin ‘Ali the Uncles of Ja’far; I said, “Is there among you, Ahl al-Bayt, a person whose obedience (ie obedience to him) is obligatory and that whoever doesn’t recognize him dies the death of Jahiliyya(pre-Islamic times)?” Both of them said: “No, by Allah! This is not from us! Whoever says that about us is a liar.”  I said to ‘Umar bin ‘Ali: “May Allah have Mercy on you. [It is said] that you claim that the Prophet(SAWS) appointed Ali as his successor, and then Ali appointed al-Hasan to be his successor, then al-Hasan appointed al-Husayn to be his successor, then al-Husayn appointed Ali bin al-Husayn as his successor then Ali appointed Muhammad bin Ali as his successor.“ So he said, “By Allah, my father died without uttering two letters (it’s a figure of speech that means he wasn’t the successor of anything) with regards to succession. May Allah destroy them! By Allah, surely these people are nothing but a burden on us. This is (from) Khunays al-Kharu’?, was it Khunays al-Kharu’?” I said, “He is al-Mu’alla ibn Khunays.” He said, “Yes, al-Mu’alla bin Khunays, by Allah, I thought long in my bed wondering about people whom God had given knowledge as they were being lead astray by this al-Mu’alla bin Khunays. [Tabqat al-kubra by ibn Saad, vol 7, page 314- 315 ; Shaykh abi Nasr Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Imam in his Book, Tu’oun Rafidhah al-Yaman, page 17 said ” sanad Hasan”(chain is good).]

Comment: A Member from Ahl al-bayt, “Umar bin Ali bin al-Husayn bin Ali bin Abi Talib”,  rejected the claim of deviant extremists that Ali was appointed by Prophet(SAWS) as his successor. So these were the deviants whom Ayesha(RA) refuted.

(c). The Rafidhi said to Al Hasan ibn Hasan, “Did not the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) say to Ali: ‘If I am Mawla of someone, Ali is his Mawla?’” He (Al Hasan) replied, “By Allah, if he meant by that Amirate and rulership, he would have been more explicit to you in expressing that, just as he was explicit to you about the Salah, Zakat and Hajj to the House. He would have said to you, ‘Oh people! This is your leader after me.’ The Messenger of Allah gave the best good counsel to the people (i.e. clear in meaning). “If it is like what you say, that Ali was chosen for this after the Prophet(SAWS), then he would be the most flawed from all the people, because he didn’t do as the Prophet(S) commanded”. [Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d. Vol. 7, Pg. # 314-315; Chain is Good] ; [Similar is present in Tareekh Ibn Asakir, vol 4, page 166] ; [al-I’tiqad by Bayhaqi, page 499: Isnad Sahih] ; [Tahreer al-Insan wa Tajreej al-Tughyaan, page 277: Isnad Sahih].

Comment: The great grandson of Ali(RA) refuted the view of a Rafidi(deviant extremist)  that Ali was appointed as Successor of Prophet. So Ayesha refuted people who held such deviant ideology.

(d). We read in Shia Book, Ali(RA) stated:

إنما الشورى للمهاجرين والأنصار ، فإن اجتمعوا على رجل وسموه إماماً كان ذلك لله رضى

Verily shura (consultation) is only the right of the Muhajireen and the Ansar. So if they decide upon a man and declare him their Imam(leader), then it would be deemed to mean Allah’s pleasure. [Nahjul Balagha, Letter #6, page 495].

Comment: If Prophet(SAWS) would have left a will, then Ali(RA) wouldn’t have stated that Muhajireen and Ansar had the right of Shura(consultaion to appoint leader). The reason Ali(RA) gave reference of appointment of Caliph through Shura by Mujahireen and Ansar, is because Ali(RA) believed that Muawiya(RA) held the same Islamic belief and call to Islam, their ONLY difference was over the Martyrdom of Uthman(RA), nothing else. [See, Nahjul Balagha, Letter #58].

Also, the Shia imaginations based on conjecture are even refuted by authentic reports where we find that, Ali(RA) himself during the final illness of Prophet(SAWS), had no idea who would be the Caliph after Prophet[See, Sahih al-Bukhari #4447]. And Ali denied that Prophet(SAWS) appointed anyone as Caliph[See, Majma al-Zawaid #14334] and several of other such reports, see our article on {Ghadeer Khum}.

Shia Argument #2
Shiawebsite[Shiapen] stated:

From assessing hadith, there is one narration that provides us with a clear indication of what that missing third order actually was. The Sunni scholar Shah Ismail Shaheed, in his book “Mansab-e-Imamate” records the following Prophetic tradition:

“If you make Ali your Khalifa, although I do not think you will, you will find him to be a Guide (Hadi), one who is Guided (Mahdi), and one who will take you to the Right Path (Sirratul Mustaqim)”.
Mansab-e-Imamate, by Shah Ismail Shaheed, page 46

Response:

The report cited by Shias is from a secondary source, which didn’t quote the full narration. The author(Shah Ismail Shaheed) of this book, on page 68, even mentioned a portion of this report regarding Abu bakr. And on Page 72, he mentioned the portion about Ali, which was cherry picked by Shias. [See, Mansab-e-Imamat, page 68 & 72].

Most likely, Shias had checked the primary source for this report, due to which they preferred to quote the secondary source instead of the primary one, because the complete report from the primary source – Musnad Ahmad – destroys the Agenda of Shias.

Let’s see the complete report:

حدثنا أسود بن عامر ، حدثني عبد الحميد بن أبي جعفر يعني الفراء عن إسرائيل ، عن أبي إسحاق ، عن زيد بن يثيع ، عن علي رضي الله عنه ، قال : ” قيل : يا رسول الله ، من نؤمر بعدك ؟ قال : إن تؤمروا أبا بكر تجدوه أمينا زاهدا في الدنيا ، راغبا في الآخرة ، وإن تؤمروا عمر تجدوه قويا أمينا لا يخاف بالله لومة لائم ، وإن تؤمروا عليا ولا أراكم فاعلين تجدوه هاديا مهديا يأخذ بكم إلى الطريق المستقيم ”

It was narrated that Ali said: It was said: O Messenger of Allah(SAWS) who should be appointed in charge after you are gone? He said: If you appoint Abu Bakr, you will find him trustworthy and uninterested in worldly gains, seeking the Hereafter. If you appoint Umar, you will find him strong and trustworthy and not fearing the blame of anyone for the sake of Allah. If you appoint Ali which I do not think you will do – you will find him a guide and guided; he will take you on the straight path. [Musnad Ahmad, vol 1, page 426, #859 : Isnad Da’eef(weak)]

Firstly, this report is weak as declared by Shaykh Shuaib al-Arnaut in his Tahqeeq of Musnad Ahmad. [Musnad Ahmad vol 2, page 214, #859: Isnad Da’eef]. Also declared weak by Shaykh al-Albani in his Takhreej of Mishkat. [Mishkat al-Masabih, vol 3, page 1730, #6124: Isnad Da’eef]

Secondly, This report shows that, Prophet(SAWS) was suggesting the candidates along with their qualities who were eligible to be appointed by as Caliph by people, Prophet(S) didn’t say that Allah will choose and appoint the Caliph as Shia claim, rather he left it on the Muslims to decide, thus this report destroys Shiism from its roots.

Thirdly, The secondary source cited by Shias(Mansab-e-Imamat), have a lot of weak and unreliable reports in it, not only in favour of Ali(RA), but also in favour of Shaykhain as well. As for the report in question then, even though some Scholars authenticated the chain of this report, however the correct view is that it is weak report as stated by Shaykh Shuaib al-Arnaut and Shaykh al-Albani. It has Majhool(anonymous) narrators like Abdul Hameed bin Abi Jafar al-Fara’a and Abu Ishaq is a Mudallis and he is narrating with “AN”, without clarification of hearing from Zaid.

Shia Argument #3
Shiawebsite[Shiapen] stated:

The Sahaba were aware that a will in favour of Ali (as) was in circulation
Right at the beginning of his (s) mission when the Prophet (s) was instructed “And warn your tribe of near kindred…” (26: 214), he (s) summoned his close relatives and delivered this speech, the first call to Islam:

“Al-Fadl bin Sahl- Afan bin Muslim- Abu Awana- Uthman bin al-Mughira- Abi Sadeq- Rabeea bin Najed narrated that a man came to Ali and said: Oh commander of believers, why only you inherited your cousin without your uncle? He (Ali) replied: The messenger of Allah invited the children of Abdulmutalib and he cooked for them food, they ate till they get fulfilled and the food remained as if no one had touched it, then he (the prophet) brought water and all of them drank from it, but the water remained as if no one had touched it or drank from it. Then he (the prophet) said: ‘Oh children of Abdulmutalib, I have been sent to you specially and to the people in general, and you saw the sign of that, therefore who among you give baya to be my brother, my companion, my inheritor and my minister.’
No one responded for that, hence I responded and I was the youngest among them, he (the prophet) said: ‘Sit down’ for three times. I responded and He say ‘Sit down’, till the third time he clapped by his hand on my thigh and said: ‘You are my brother, companion, inheritor and minister’. Hence I inherited my cousin without my uncle.”
Khasais by Imam Nesai, page 85

Response:

This report is Munkar(denounced), because of Majhool narrator and also there is Ilal(hidden defect) in the chain.

Imam Ahmad was asked about the narration of Abi Sadiq from Rabee’a bin Najith from Ali. He responded by saying that Abu Awana, the main narrator of this narration made a mistake. He narrated it two times; the first is what you see above. The second is through a completely different chain that includes Maysara Al-Kindi. Imam Ahmad mentioned that Musa bin Isma’eel said that he heard it from Abu Awana twice; the first from Abu Awana’s memory and the second from his book. He concluded that the first narration is a mistake and the second chain is the correct chain. [See, Muntakhab min al-ilal lil-Khallal, page 207-208, #119].

Note: Narrator Maysara Al-Kindi who is present in the correct chain, is an anonymous(majhool) narrator.

Imam al-Dhahabi declared this hadeeth to be Munkar(denounced).

Al-Dhahabi said regarding Rabee’a bin Najith in Al-Mizan: He is barely known, and Abi Sadiq narrated from him a Munkar hadith. [Mizan al-itidal, vol 2, page 45, #2758].

Shaykh al-Albani declared the chain of this report as Da’eef(weak). [Silsila al-Ahadith al-Daeefa wa al-Mawdua, vol 12, page 646, #5793].

Hence the hadeeth from Khasais by Imam Nasai is Munkar(denounced) and thus rejected.

Moreover, this Munkar report contradicts the authentic reports where we find that Ali(RA) himself during the final illness of Prophet(SAWS), had no idea who would be the Caliph after Prophet(SAWS). [See, Sahih al-Bukhari #4447].

Prominent Sunni Scholars after verifying the reports regarding Prophet(S) appointing Ali as Caliph, have reached to the conclusion that all such reports are very weak and unreliable and they go against authetically established reports.

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah stated: There is no authentic hadeeth proving that Prophet(SAWS) appointed Ali as his Caliph, however there are authentic reports proving the Caliphate of Abu bakr. [Minhaj as-sunnah, vol 6, page 317-318].

Imam Ibn Katheer stated: What many ignorant Shia and foolish story-tellers fabricate that he(Prophet) bequeathed Caliphate to ‘Ali, is nothing but a blatant lie, slander, and grave fabrication. [Al-Bidayah Wa al-Nihayah, vol 7, page 225].

Mulla Ali Qari stated: Some of the Experts have said that, all the reports about Wasaya of Ya Ali are fabricated, except Hadeeth al-Manzilah. [Asrar al-Marfoo’ah fi al-Akhbar al-Mawdoo’ah, page 376, #614].

Imam al-Qurtubi stated:

Shias and Rafidis have stated numerous invalid and fabricated Ahadith, and have forged textual evidences(nusoos) about Prophet(SAWS) appointing Ali(RA) as his Caliph, while claiming that these have reached the level of Tawatur according to them. All of this is an outright mixture of lies. If anything related to this had been true or known amongst the Sahaba on the day of Saqifa, they would have mentioned and referred to it, and Ali(RA) would have presented it as his evidence. Also, it wouldn’t have been permissible for him at all to be silent over a matter like this one, because this was the right of Allah and the right of His Messenger, and the right of Ali(RA) himself and even the right of all the Muslims. Moreover, the high standing of Ali(RA) in terms of knowledge and his firmness in the religion is also known, and his valour too demanded that he wouldn’t be afraid of anyone concerning the Religion of Allah, just as he didn’t fear Muawiya(RA), and besides, he wasn’t afraid of the people of Shaam, when they opposed him. In addition, when Uthman(RA) was martyred, Muslims appointed Ali(RA) as the Caliph, based on Ijtihaad. Neither Ali(RA) himself nor any other companion mentioned any textual evidence about the matter. Hence, it is unequivocally settled that the claimant of this claim is a liar.[Al-Mufhim lima Ashkala min Talkhees Kitaab Muslim vol 4, page 557].

 

VII. The word “delirious” was said by the group which was against Umar.

In the traditions about the pen and pen Event, the word “delirious” was used in two forms, in some narrations which were reported in detailed manner, it was used in interrogative form as a question(i.e. Ahajara/Is he delirious?) and in some narrations which were narrated in a summarized manner this word was used in declarative form(i.e. “Hajara/Yahjuru”).

Example of Interrogative/detailed form(Ahajara) :

They said, ‘What is wrong with him? Do you think he is delirious? Ask him. [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 4, page 248, #3168] ; [Sahih Muslim, vol 4, page 375, #1637] ; [Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nasai, vol 5, page 366-367, #5823].

Example of declarative/summarized form (Hajara/Yahjuru) :

They said, “Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) is seriously delirious. [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 4, page 179-180, #3053] ; [Sahih Muslim, vol 4, page 376, #4233].

But the form that would be considered correct and would be preferred is the one in which it was narrated in interrogative form as a rhetorical question, as these narrations were reported in a detailed manner, which gives us a better picture of the event.

Imam an-Nawawi stated: Him saying Ahajara Rasool Allah(Is Messenger of Allah(S) delirious?). This is how it is in Sahih Muslim and others. Ahajara(Is he delirious?) as a question, and this is more correct than those that narrated Hajara and Yahjuru, because none of that is correctly attributed to him(S). [Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol 11, page 135].

Allamah Qadhi Iyad stated:

Those who transmit the verb in the hadith as hajara, meaning “he is delirious” are not correct. When someone is delirious, one says, “Hajara hujran”, and when someone speaks in an unseemly manner, one says, “Ahjara hujran.” Ahjara is transitive of hajara. The soundest and most fitting reading of the hadith is “Is he not delirious? with the sense of negation on the part of the one who thought that he should not write a document….And the variant of hajara (he is delirious) can be taken as having the interrogative particle (alif) elided, so it really is “a hajara (Is he delirious?). [Al-Shifa, page 734-735].

Similarly, Shaykh Ghulam Mustafa Zaheer stated:

In the word “Ahajara” the Hamaza is in the understanding of denial, Hajara is past tense(action). In some ahadeeth the words Hajara/Yahjur came without Hamza, even there Hamza is Mahzoof(omitted) , in the speech of Arabs these type of omissions are common. [As-Sunnah, #87-98, page 198].

Scholars on Islamqa Website stated:

فالرواية التي جاءت بصيغة الاستفهام أصح من الروايات الأخرى باتفاق المحدثين :
القاضي عياض في “الشفا” (2/886) ، والقرطبي في “المفهم” (4/559) ، والنووي في “شرح مسلم” (11/93) ، وابن حجر في “فتح الباري” (8/133)
والاستفهام يدل على الشك ، وليس على الجزم .

There is agreement between all the Muhadditheen that the reports which has the interrogative(Istifham) form (i.e. Ahajara), is the correct one. For example: Qadhi Iyadh in al-Shifa(vol 2, page 886) ; al-Qurtubi in al-Mufham(vol 4, page 559) ; Nawawi in Sharh Muslim(vol 11, page 93) and Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari(vol 8 page 133). While, al-Istifham(interrogative form) proves it to be said in a doubtful way and not a declarative way. [Islamqa Question No. 154865] ; {Online link}.

The scholars have written regarding these narrations where the word “Ahajara(Is he delirious?)” is mentioned, that it was said as a rhetorical question. In other words, this was not said to attribute delirium to Prophet(SAWS), but to deny it, and was uttered by those Sahaba who were in favour of having the document written. They objected to the hesitance of the other Group of Sahaba and said that Prophet(SAWS) was not experiencing delirium, and the paper should be brought in accordance with the instructions of the Prophet(SAWS). This makes it clear that whoever said this word was not Umar(RA) because he was not in favour of having the document written at that time.

The hadith clearly mentions that this question was asked by several persons as it’s in plural form(فَقَالُوا/They said). The purpose of the question was to refute those who said, “do not write!” They were in essence saying, “How can we delay? Do you think he is like anyone else that speaks incoherently when he is sick?” In further refutation of this notion, the narration then states, “Ask him for clarity.”

Assuming that the attribution of delirium was implied, then on account of the word “اِسْتَفْهَمُوْهُ’ Ask Him”, the text will be disjointed, and meaningless. Since questioning a person whom you perceive to be experiencing delirium is futile. Thus, it was never intended to be literal but was asked rhetorically.

Allamah al-Kirmani quotes Imam al-Nawawi in his commentary of Bukhari: 

Imam al-Nawawi says that the word ‘اهجر’ (Ahajara) contains the letter hamza (ا) which is used to indicate a rhetorical question for negation. In other words, it was to negate those Sahabah who were not in favour of having the document written, that ‘does not make the matter of the Prophet(SAWS) akin to one who speaks unstable things because of delirium….Alternatively, this word ‘هجر’(Hajara) means separation, the opposite of connecting, i.e. the questioner asked, Is Prophet(S) leaving this temporary world? The word (هجر) is used in the past tense (to denote certainty) because the signs of departure from this temporary world were clearly evident. [Sharh al-kirmani ala Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 8, page 283-284].

The point worthy to note is that, in none of the reliable reports where Ahajara/Hajara was used do we find the mention of Umar(RA), there is no reliable hadeeth which states that Umar used it. Infact, the people to whom this word is attributed are “unknown(They said…)”, so the claim that Umar used this word is based purely on conjecture and speculation. While on the other hand as per the clear and explicit reports the words which Umar and those who agreed with him, used were, “Allah’s Messenger is seriously ill”, As can be seen in these reports.[Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 9, page 279, #7366] ; [Sahih Muslim, vol 4, page 376-377, #4234] ; [Musnad Abi Awana, vol 3, page 476, #5757-5759].

Scholars on Islamqa Website stated:

فظن قائل هذه العبارة – وهو مبهم لا يُعرف ، ولم تُسَمِّه الروايات الصحيحة –

The person who said this thought – His name is not known and unclear in the authentic reports. [Islamqa Question No. 154865] ; {Online link}.

Therefore, the claim that Umar used the word Ahajara/Hajara is based on speculation and conjecture, while over-looking the explicit reports where the words which were used by Umar are mentioned in an explicit manner. It is not valid for Shias to accuse and critcize someone over an ambiguous report and by over-looking the narrations which mention the words he used in an explicit manner.

Shia Argument #1

Umar accusing the Prophet(S) for delirium is not based on conjecture but there is a hadeeth which states that it was Umar who said those words.

حدثنا أحمد ، ثنا ، محمد بن إسماعيل ، ثنا عثمان بن سعيد الزيات ، ثنا عبد الله بن حكيم بن جبير ، عن أبيه ، عن سعيد بن جبير ، عن ابن عباس ، قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في مرضه : ” آتوني بدواة وصحيفة أكتب لكم كتابا لا تضلوا بعده أبدا ” . قال عمر : إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يهجر ، وكثر اللغط في البيت ، فقالوا : لا نأتيك به ، فقال بعدما قال : ربما استقالوها بعد

[Juzz min hadeeth Abi al abbas bin uqdah #25]

Response:

This Report is Fabricated by narrator Abdullah bin hakeem bin jubayr, he was a Rafidi and he was declared as Matrook al-hadeeth(abandoned).

Imam al-Dhahabi stated: Abdullah bin hakeem bin Jubayr was a Ghali Rafidi and he narrated reports which looked like Fabricated. [Mizan al-itidal, vol 2, page 411, #4277].

Imam Ibn Hajar stated: Imam Abu Zura’a rejected his narrations; Imam Abu Hatim said, he fabricated ahadeeth; Imam al-Hakim said he narrated fabricated reports. [Lisan al-Mizan vol 4, page 466-467, #4209].

Another problem in the chain is narrator Muhammad bin Ismail he is Majhool al-haal(anonymous).

As we can see, since there was no reliable report which showed that Umar(RA) used the word Yahjuru for Prophet(SAWS), that is why a Rafidi fabricator had to fabricate a report stating Umar said those words.

Shia Argument #2

Shiblli Nomani says: Some traditions even go to the length of affirming that it was Omar himself who pronounced the words of the Prophet to be ravings (Heaven preserve us from the blasphemy).

Response:

Shias have misunderstood and misquoted the statement of Shibli Nomani. What Shias quote is a portion from the objection of critics, which Shibli Nomani was stating.

Shibli Nomani made an assumption that, it’s something a critic could say, it wasn’t his personal view. However, this might not be clear to someone who reads the English Translation of the Book, al-Farooq Translated by Zafar Ali Khan, because this translation is a bit unclear and the Translator even added some un-needed words from himself in the Translation, For example Zafar Ali Khan Translated “Naudhubillah” as “Heaven preserve us from the blasphemy”, while “Naudhubillah” means “We seek refuge with Allah”. That’s why we would like to present the Original Urdu quote from the book al-Farooq of Shibli Nomani with a better translation for the clear understaning of the readers.

Maulana Shibli Nomani stated:

“This incident is apparently awful. A critic could say from it that, it would be insolent and rebellious when the Prophet lying on his death-bed is impelled by infinite solicitude for his people to say: “Let me write for you directions which will save you from falling into error;” and when it is evident that these directions, intended to be written with a view to saving the people from going astray, these would emanate from him in his capacity of Prophet and would thus be inspired and infallible. Yet, Umar acts carelessly and says that there is no need and Quran is sufficient for us. In addition some of the traditions state that it was Umar himself who pronounced the words of the Prophet to be ravings.(We seek refuge with Allah). This criticism has for a long time been maintained…[Al-Farooq, page 67].

From the proper translation it is clear that, the quote cited by the Shias is a portion from the objection of a critic which Shibli Nomani mentioned as an assumption.

As for the claim of the critics that some of the traditions state that it was “Umar himself who pronounced the word of the Prophet to be ravings”, then we say that the report which is being referred is a fabrication by a weak and abandoned Rafidi Narrator. Narrator Abdullah bin hakeem bin jubayr, he was a Rafidi(Deviant Extremist) and he was declared as Matrook al-hadeeth(abandoned). Hence the report based on which the critics made their argument itself is discarded, as it was a desperate fabrication by an unreliable Rafidi Narrator.

Shia Argument #3

Ibn Atheer stated: From among the uses(of the word Hajar) is the hadeeth about the final illness of Prophet(s) – “They said: what is wrong with him. Is he delirious”, meaning, are his words confusing due to his illness. It was said as a form of questioning, meaning, Did His words change and get muddled due to his illness?, And this is the best that can be said about it and this cannot be a declarative sentence but rather it has the questioning, because it means either talking incoherently or delirious and the person who said this was Umar, and this cannot be assumed of him(that he would state it in a declarative form). [al-Nihaayah fi Ghareeb al-hadeeth wa al-Athar, page 1000].

Ibn Taymiyyah said:

فلما كان يوم الخميس هم أن يكتب كتابا فقال عمر ماله أهجر فشك عمر هل هذا القول من هجر الحمي أو هو مما يقول على عادته فخاف عمر أن يكون من هجر الحمى
“On Thursday he (the Holy Prophet) determined to write a will. But, Umar said: ‘What is wrong with him, is he delirious?’ Umar had doubts if that statement (of the Holy Prophet) was a rave due to illness, or was a regular statement. Thus Umar feared that the Holy Prophet might have been raving due to fever”. [Minhaj al-Sunnah, Volume 6, page 315]

Response:

It is true that Imam Ibn al-Atheer al-Jazari(d.606 H) and Imam Ibn Taymiyyah(d.728 H)  said that, the words “What is wrong with him is he delirious”, were said by Umar(RA). This is an odd view and most likely Ibn Taymiyyah took this view from Ibn Atheer.

However, it should also be noted that both of them also stated that, Umar said those words in a doubtful way and in an uncertain manner and he was in doubt because no one is infallible except Prophet(S). [See Minhaj as-sunnah vol 6, page 24].

Our view is that, Imam Ibn Atheer and Imam Ibn Taymiyyah or anyone else who held the same odd view, has erred in this matter, because they are basing their view on conjecture that it was Umar(RA) who said those words, while there is no clear evidence to prove that Umar said those words.

On the other hand several prominent Sunni Scholars, basing their view on authentic reports, outrightly rejected the view that Umar(RA) said the words, “What is wrong with him, is he delirious?”, and as per their view, these words were said in an rhetorical manner to refute those who were against writing of the document. For example, See [Haqbat min al-Tareekh, page 214, by Shaykh Uthman al-Khamees] ; [As-Sunnah, #87-98 page 198, by Shaykh Ghulam Mustafa Zaheer] ; [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 4, page 248, #3168, See footnotes by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan] ; [Sahih Muslim, vol 4, page 375, #1637, See footnotes by Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee] ; [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 4, page 408-409, #3168, See Tashrih of Maulana Mohammad Dawud Raz] ; [Minnat al-Mun’im, vol 3, page 94, by Safi ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri] ; [Sharh al-kirmani, vol 8, page 283, by Allamah al-Kirmani] ; [Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol 11, page 135, by Imam al-Nawawi] ; [Al-Shifa, page 734-735, by Allamah Qadhi Iyad], etc.

Scholars on Islamqa Website stated:

فظن قائل هذه العبارة – وهو مبهم لا يُعرف ، ولم تُسَمِّه الروايات الصحيحة

The person who said this thought – His name is not known and unclear in the authentic reports. [Islamqa Question No. 154865] ; {Online link}.

Allamah Qadhi Iyad stated:

The soundest and most fitting reading of the hadith is “Is he not delirious?” with the sense of negation on the part of the one who thought that he should not write a document.[Al-Shifa, page 734].

Allamah al-Kirmani quotes Imam al-Nawawi in his commentary of Bukhari: 

Imam al-Nawawi says that the word ‘اهجر’ (Ahajara) contains the letter hamza (ا) which is used to indicate a rhetorical question for negation. In other words, it was to negate those Sahabah who were not in favour of having the document written, that ‘does not make the matter of the Prophet(SAWS) akin to one who speaks unstable things because of delirium.[Sharh al-kirmani ala Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 8, page 283].

What further proves the incorrectness of  Ibn Atheer’s and Ibn Taymiyyah’s odd view is that, the words after “What is wrong with him, is he delirious?” are “Ask Him”. Assuming that the attribution of delirium was implied, then on account of the word “اِسْتَفْهَمُوْهُ’ Ask Him”, the text will be disjointed, and meaningless. Since questioning a person whom you perceive to be experiencing delirium is futile. Thus, it was never intended to be literal but was asked rhetorically, which means it wasn’t said by Umar, but rather by the group which opposed Umar, and they used it in a rhetorical manner.

And not only Ibn Taymiyyah or Ibn Atheer, but we even reject the incorrect views of other Scholars which were either based on speculation or weak reports. For example some Scholars held the view that it was Ali(RA) to whom Prophet(S) had commanded to bring the Paper and he didn’t bring it, those scholars based their view on the following report.

Narrated Ali: Prophet(SAWS) ordered me to bring a paper so that he can write something for the Ummah(community) after which they will not go astray.” ‘Ali said, “I feared that he might pass away in my absence, so I said, ‘I will remember it. So the Prophet(S) said: I advise you regarding the prayer, zakat and kind treatment of slaves. [Musnad Ahmad, vol 2, page 84, #693].

However, we reject even this view of those Scholars, because this report is actually Da’eef(weak) even though Shaykh Ahmad Shakir graded its chain as Hasan(good) but he was known to be Mutasahil(lenient) in his gradings. The proper grading of this report is that, its weak because narrator Nu’aim bin Yazeed is Majhool(anonymous), as graded by Shaykh Shuaib al-Arnaut, See [Musnad Ahmad, vol 2, page 105, #693]. Likewise it was graded Da’eef(Weak) by Shaykh al-Albani as well in his Tahqeeq. See [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, page 64, #156].

Anyways, as for Imam Ibn Atheer’s and Imam Ibn Taymiyyah’s incorrect assumption that Umar said those words, then for argument’s sake considering this perspective we say that; Even though in the coming centuries it has become accepted among the scholars that it is impossible for the Prophet(SAWS) to become delirious, it was not a view that had achieved consensus during the time of Prophet’s Companions, for they were not exposed to these philosophical discussions. Rather, they understood the religion as it was presented to them and did not partake in such discussions seeing as to how it was unnecessary when they had a prophet from Allah among them. In other words, those Sahaba who uttered those words had no issue with reconciling the idea that the Prophet(SAWS) being a human could be prone to human traits or could be delirious due to illness, without it contradicting his status as a Prophet.

Similarly, Shia Scholar Sayyid Ni’mat Allah al-Jaza’iri sated: We don’t deny that Prophets(AS) can fall asleep during prayer times until the time passes, then pray Qadha after that, and this is not a defect. [Anwar al-Nu’maniyyah, vol 4, page 28].

Shia Shaykh al-Sadooq Stated: The Imam is born. He also has children. He gets ill and he gets cured. He eats and drinks. He urinates and defecates. He gets married. He sleeps. He forgets and he makes mistakes. He gets happy and sad. He laughs and cries. He lives and then dies. [Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha, vol 1, page 193].

Some Shias like to claim that holding such a view is disbelief. We would like them to provide their proof that one who testifies that “there is no god but Allah and Mohammad is His Messenger” is a disbeliever if they believe in the possibility of a prophet becoming delirious when suffering from an extreme ailment. Secondly, we direct those Takfeeri Shias towards reliable Shia tradition, wherein we find that Prophet(SAWS) lost his mind(Ma’azAllah).

As per authentic Shia narration regarding the Mi’raj, the Prophet(SAWS) allegedly said:

فنظرت إلى شيء ذهب منه عقلي

میں نے سر اٹھایا تو ایک ایسی شے دیکھی کہ جس سے میری عقل گم ہو گئی

“I looked at something which caused me to lose my mind.” [Ilal al-Shara’i, vol 2, page 310] ; [Ilal al-Shara’i (Urdu) vol 2, page 245] ; [Jawahir al-Kalaam, vol 10, page 184: Isnad Jayyid(Good) as per Shia Shaykh Mohammad Hasan al-Najafi].

The excuse/explanation which Shias try to give to these words, we ask them to apply the same towards the words in Hadith al-Qirtas. Also, In regards to the Pen and Paper Event in reliable Sunni reports, then it is important to keep in mind that the specifics of this Event have not been narrated in a detailed manner. At face value, one would make the assumption that the statement, “Is he delirious?” was uttered at the mere suggestion of the writing of a will. An assumption like this is due to a shallow reading. The hesitation of the Companions was due to their uncertainty of what the Prophet(SAWS) was intending to say due to his fatigue.

If Shias have any objection over explanation we gave for Imam Ibn Taymiyyah’s perspective, then we ask the readers to again refer Section (I) of this article, because the main narrator of this Event – Ibn Abbas – didn’t infer from this Event, what the Shias who came Centuries later try to infer. On the contrary Ibn Abbas after this event believed that Prophet(SAWS) left this world while he was pleased with Umar, this decisive fact should never be over-looked.

Shia Argument #4

Shiawebsite[Shiapen] stated:

The stance of the grand scholar of Ahl’ ul Sunnah Imam Abdul Hamid Ghazzali makes it clear that the Prophet (s) wanted to commit to paper what he had declared Ghadir Khumm.

“Rasulullah declared ‘Of whomsoever I am Maula Ali is his Maula’. Umar [r] accepted this congratulating Ali [r] saying “Congratulations you have become the Maula of men and women”, but after this his desire for power overtook him and when the Prophet said “Bring me a pen and paper so that I can remove any doubts over who will succeed me, Umar [r] replied “Leave him for he is talking nonsense”. Sirr’ul Alameen, by Abdul Hamid Ghazzali page 9

Response:

This book – Sirr al-Alameen – is spuriously attributed to Imam Ghazali by Shias. The Book about which Shias should be ashamed of due to the deceit it carries, Shias proudly quote it to deceive lay people.

Allamah Shah Abdul Aziz al-Dehlawi stated that Shia writers wrote books and assigned them to prominent Sunni figures to defame the Sahabah and invalidate the doctrine of the Ahlus-sunnah. An example is a book called “Sirr al-Alamin” which is attributed to Imam Muhammad Ghazali. [See, Tohfa Ithna Ashariya, page 95, Deceit#21].

Similar thing was stated by Shaykh Abdurrahman Badawi. [See, Mu’alfat al-Ghazali by Abdurrahman Badawi, Page 271-272]

Al-Ghazali Website states: Prof. Mashhad al-Allaf has written a postscript to A. Badwai’s work giving detailed reasons why the above works(including Sirr al-Alamin) are not works by al-Ghazali. Reasons such as no mention in the texts of al-Ghazali’s other works; language that is used in these works is not the norm that al-Ghazali uses in his works; mention of works by people that were born years after al-Ghazali had died; terminology that al-Ghazali never used in his other works; foul language that scholars such as al-Ghazali would never use. For more information see his {paper}.

William al-Sharif stated: The Book, Sirr al-Alamin, cannot be attributed to al-Ghazali. A sentence in the book says: “And al-Ma’arri recited poetry to me about himself when I was a young man.{Sirr p.80} This cannot be true, because the famous poet al-Ma’ari died in AH 449/CE 1057, while al-Ghazali was born in AH 450/CE 1058.[The Dearest Quest: A Biography of Ibn Tumart, by William al-Sharif, page 68]

Hence the quote cited by Shias is rejected outrightly as it’s from a falsely attributed book to Imam Ghazali, and the book itself contains misinformation.

Shia Argument #5

Shiawebsite[Shiapen] stated:

The Sunni Muhadatheen had a habit of covering up traditions that painted the Sahaba in a bad light.

Imam Bukhari in partiular had a habit of covering up traditions that painted the Sahaba in a bad light.

The premise for this line argument submitted by Ibn al Hashimi is that Bukhari would have recorded the words delirious had these indeed been the words of Umar. Unfotunately Ibn al Hashimi is seeking to falsely convince his readers that the great Hadeeth narrator would never commit dishonesty when recording narrations, no matter how incriminating they were. The reality is Imam Bukhari had a proven track of doing just that, he would intentionally tamper with those traditions that painted the Sahaba in a bad light.

Response:

When Shias realized that their allegations were based on conjecture and lacked proper evidence, due to which their bubble of conjecture got burst, then it was quite obvious for them to react out of desperation in this manner. Shias who allege that, Sunni Muhadditheen had a habit of covering up traditions that painted the Sahaba in a bad light, are deprived of common sense. If it was the agenda of Sunni Muhadditheen to cover up traditions, then they wouldn’t have included those narrations in their Collections in the first place. It was quite easy for them to leave out those traditions from their Collections, instead of including them and giving a chance to ignorant opponents to criticize them. The Sunni Muhadditheen including traditions about the shortcomings of Sahaba in their Hadith Collections, in itself is a clear evidence for their honesty and unbaisness.

Secondly, Due to ignorance of basic principles of Hadeeth Science and incompetence in understanding that different versions in a hadeeth could occur due to different Hadith Transmitters, Shias have made these foolish and unacademic allegations. To answer these allegations of Shias, let us discuss few examples.

Example #1: Here is one example, where in we find that Shias out of ignorance thought that, Imam Al-Bukhari hid the name of Samura due to some form of bias. However, the fact is that, this was the version that Imam al-Bukhari heard from the narrator who transmitted him the report. The same version can be found in the books of other Hadith collectors as well, which nullifies the allegation on Imam al-Bukhari. [See:Response to Efforts of Bukhari to Hide Identity of Alcohol Seller Sahabi]. {Screenshot}.

Example #2: In other case, al-Bukhari dropped a portion from a report because he was in doubt about that portion, due to another conflicting report. [See:Response to Distortion Committed by Bukhari]. {Screenshot}.

Example #3: In this example, we’ll see that the other Extremist deviants, i.e. the Nasibis can allege that Sunni Muhadditheen or Imam al-Bukhari in particular tried to cover up traditions which portrayed Ali(RA) in bad light. See this report in [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 7, page 19, #5063], A Nasibi could argue that, al-Bukhari intentionally hid the names of the three Sahaba, which included Ali(RA), while Shias themselves mentioned the names of those three Sahaba in their book [Ayn al-Hayat, vol 1, page 348]. But this allegation would be based on the ignorance of the Nasibi, because there were other Sunni Muhadditheen as well, who brought this report in their Collections without mentioning the names of those Sahaba, [See, (Sahih Muslim #1401) ; (Sunan al-Nasai #3219)]. This is because the Hadith Narrators themselves narrated that Hadith in this manner, hence the Muhadditheen included the report in the same way it was narrated to them by the Hadith Narrators. Thus this invalidates the criticism on Imam al-Bukhari.

Example #4: In another case, a Nasibi could argue that al-Bukhari in [#7305], covered up the words wherein al-Abbas(RA) criticized Ali(RA) with extremely harsh words, such as a liar, dishonest person, as found in [Sahih Muslim #4577]. But there are is no reason to accuse Al-Bukhari of tampering with the text. The wordings in both narrations are different and there are no evidences of fabrication. It is possible that the differences in the narration are due to the different narrators. The narration also exists in, [Musnad Abu Ya’la, #4] ; [Musnad Ahmad #1781] ; [Sunan Abu Dawud #2963] ; [Sunan al-Nasai #4153], without the inclusion of the harsh words, which means that this version of the narration existed before Al-Bukhari.

The main problem is that the deviants such as the Rafidah and Nasibis, by misrepresenting the Sunni belief that all the Sahaba are Just(Aadil) and that it is prohibited to criticize Sahaba for their mistakes due to their great service to Islam and their praise by Allah and His Messenger(S), they find it easy to convince their audience by cherry picking certain traditions and portraying that Sunni Muhadditheen tried to cover up the traditions, since lay people aren’t aware of the versions in which different Hadeeth Transmitters would narrate ahadeeth. While those who study Sunni Hadith collections in an unbiased manner, they will agree that they find reports about the shortcomings and mistakes of High Ranking Sahaba including Members of Ahl al-bayt such as Ali(RA), which would prove the honesty of Sunni Hadith collectors. However, the Deviants think that by their cheap tactics and unacademic allegations, they can harm the credibility of Sunni Hadith Collections. But they don’t realize that, these foolish arguments can backfire their own beliefs. For example, one can say that, because the Shias believe in the infallibility of their Imams, Shia Hadeeth Collectors purposely hid or abandoned reports regarding the mistakes of their Imams, etc.

Now, after lifting the blame from the Sunni Muhadditheen, its time to show mirror to the Shias, because Shias accusing the Sunni Muhadditheen for tampering the traditions is like the “Pot calling the Kettle black”. When it comes to tampering the traditions, the Shia Muhadditheen were the Champions, and to prove this fact, we would be presenting the testimonies of Shia Scholars.

Testimony #1:

Esteemed Shia Schoar Mohammad Taqi al-Majlisi in the book “Rawdat al-Muttaqin fi Sharh Manla Yahduruhu al-Faqih lil Saduq” under “Kitab al-Hajj” in the section of the visit of the grave of the two Imams Musa bin Ja’afar(rah) and Abu Ja’afar al-Thani (rah),  accuses the other Shia Muhaddith Shaykh al-Saduq of altering the Du’ah which has to be said at their graves in Baghdad.

Esteemed Shia Scholar Mohammad Taqi al-Majlisi stated:

“From the narrations that the author(al-Saduq) has mentioned are some that have been narrated by al-Kulayni in al-Kafi from the Hadith of Muhammad ibn Ja’afar al-Razzaz al-Kufi from Muhammad bin ‘Isa bin ‘Ubeid from he who mentionned it from Abu al-Hassan(AS) : “Say in Baghdad: Peace of Allah be upon you O Wali of Allah – Peace of Allah be upon you O Hujjah of Allah – Peace of Allah be upon you O light of Allah in the darkness of the earth – Peace of Allah be upon you whom Allah had al-Badaa concerning you, I came to you knowing your right and opposing your enemies so intercede for me with your Lord, then ask Allah for your Hajat and for what you need, he said: And you send peace on Abu Ja’afar like this.(1)”

“The author(al-Saduq) removed the part that says [Peace of Allah be upon you whom Allah had al-Badaa concerning you] because he does not believe that Allah had al-Badaa concerning Ismail ibn Ja’afar although we see that the narrations about al-Badaa are Mutawatirand cannot be rejected so that we could leave this saying”. [Rawdat al-Muttaqin, vol 5, page 440] ; another edition [Rawdat al-Muttaqin, vol 9, page 388-390].

Testimony #2:

Esteemed Shia Scholar Baqir al-Majlisi stated al-Saduq and al-Mufeed:

al-Saduq – rahimahullah – mentioned  this ziyarat (in) exactly the same (form) in al-Faqih, EXCEPT HE DROPPED SAYING OF (Imam)ALAIHI SALAM: O THOSE REGARDING WHOM ALLAH MADE BADA.

Then al-Majlisi quoted from Shia Shaykh al-Mufeed, manner of ziyarat, and said:

Then (al-Mufeed) mentioned ziyarat in the same (form), EXCEPT HE CHANGED HIS WORDS: O REGARDING WHOM ALLAH MADE BADA, to: O AMIN ALLAH! [Bihar al-Anwar, vol 102, page 62].

Testimony #3:

Shia Scholar Yusuf al-Bahrani in Hadaiq an-Nadhirah said about Shia Muhaddith Shaykh al-Saduq.

While Yusuf al-Bahrani was discussing a report he said:

والظاهر أن هذا التفسير من كلام الصدوق ، الذي يدخله غالبا في الأخبار

And apparently this commentary is from the words of Saduq, WHICH HE OFTEN INSERTS IN THE REPORTS. [Hadaiq an-Nadhirah, vol 18, page 230] ; another edition [Hadaiq an-Nadhirah, page 201]. Similar statement was made by Mohammad Taqi Majlisi in [Rawdat al-Muttaqin vol 3, page 66].

So we find that Yusuf Bahrani testifies that the Great Shia muhaddith OFTEN inserted in the reports his own comments.

Testimony #4:

Esteemed Shia scholar Mohammad Baqir al-Majlisi comments on a narration that al-Saduq quoted from al-Kafi, then he says about him:

بيان : هذا الخبر مأخوذ من الكافي ، وفيه تغييرات عجيبة تورث سوء الظن بالصدوق ، وإنه إنما فعل ذلك ليوافق مذهب أهل العدل

This narration is taken from al-Kafi and in it are extremely weird changes which creates a feeling of mistrust towards al-Saduq, and that he only did this act to be in agreement with the Madhhab of Ahl al-‘Adl. [Bihar al-Anwar, vol 5, page 156].

Testimony #5:

Esteemed Shia scholar al-Tabrasi says about Shia Muhaddith al-Saduq in his book:

It appears that in some locations al-Saduq may Allah have mercy on him used to summarise the long narrations and used to drop parts of them as he saw fit (…He mentions a Hadith…) and this narration was narrated by Ahmad bin abi Talib al-Tabrasi in al-Ihtijaj from the Imam(AS) with many additions which were dropped by al-Saduq in al-Tawheed, the proof is that these parts which were removed were only those in which the Imam(AS) stated that there is deletion and alteration in the glorious Quran, these are nine parts and since deletion and alteration were not from al-Saduq’s beliefs then he removed everything which contradicted his opinion (…Then he mentions the opinions of al-Majlisi and al-Kathimi…) and from here we sense that the famous al-Ziyarah al-Kabirah al-Jami’ah which he narrated in al-Faqih and al-‘Uyoun and then the companions took it from him and placed it in their books is actually a summary of al-Ziyarah which was narrated by al-Hadi (as) (…) because it contains all the contents of the previous Ziyarah with many additions which disagree with al-Saduq’s belief concerning the Imams (as), so observe and compare the two Ziyarat to see the truth of my claim.[Mustadrak al-Wasael, vol 11, page 169-171].

Testimony #6:

Shia Scholar Allamah Muhammad Hussain al-Tabataba’i commented on the corrupted text in Shia Hadeeth by saying: “Maybe it was altered intentionally by narrating according to the meaning, because the apparent text implies that a body exists (i.e for Allah). This leads to the corruption of both the text and meaning. [Tafsir al-Mizan, vol 8, page 330].

Testimony #7:

Esteemed Shia Scholar Baqir al-Majlisi said about Shia Muhaddith al-Kulayni:

I say: It appears as though something was dropped (from text), because this hadith is from the book of Al-Barqi Al-Mahasin, with the same chain, from Al-Qasim though Al-Hasan his grandfather through Abu Hasan Musa (as). And when asked about Allah “ala al-arshi istawa” he said: he overcame everything, great and small. Al-Tabrasi narrated this as well. So we don’t need anything more since the tafseer scholars explained istiwa’a to mean isteela’ (to overcome). And we’ve examined in parts of our books that the “throne” refers to all His creations, and this is one of methods in which it is stated to make His existence, knowledge, and power clear. And this is strange, by Al-Kulayni, and it is probably by the scribes. [Miraat al-Uqool vol 2, page 39-40].

Baqir al-Majlisi also said in the same book:

Al-Saduq narrated in Al-Faqeeh with an authentic chain and added after Al-Aslami and he that shaved his head (as) during Hudaibiya, Khirash bin Umayah Al-Khuza’ee. And it seems as though this was dropped by Al-Kulayni, or his scribes…[Miraat al-Uqool vol 17, page 119].

Baqir al-Majlisi also said:

Firstly: That this is specifically talking about them working and benefiting from this, which gained them serenity. And this is affirmed by what was narrated by Ali bin Ibrahim in continuation of this narration, which is “…and this was easy upon Allah, so that you will not feel sorry on what you missed out upon and be happy upon what He has given you”. And we are the ones that don’t feel bad upon what we missed of the dunya, and are not happy by what we gain, and this weak shortening of the hadith from the author(al-Kulayni) is weird, unless Ali bin Ibrahim narrated this in both ways.[Miraat al-Uqool vol 11, page 350].

Note: Shias even tried to criticize Imam al-Bukhari for Tadlees, however this allegation was rejected by Sunni Scholars as mentioned by Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee.[See Fath al-Mubeen fi tahqeeq tabqaat al-Mudalliseen, page 39]. Some Shias who aren’t aware of basic Hadeeth principle try to criticize Imam al-Bukhari for Tadlees al-Shuyookh, as if it’s soomething problematic. Those ignorant Shias were refuted by other Shias who had an idea about the principles of Hadeeth Science.[See Nader Zaveri refuting ignorant Shias], and a detailed refutation is present in this link.[Response to: Bukhari is Mudalis?]. {Screenshot}.

 

VIII. What did Umar mean by his statement “The Book of Allah is sufficient” ?

Umar(RA) made the statement, “The book of Allah is sufficient for us,” in refutation of those who argued with him and not in rebuttal of Allah’s Messenger(SAWS). Added to this is the fact that it became clear to him that the command of the Messenger(SAWS) was not peremptory. He therefore made his statement in refutation of those Sahaba who argued with him relying on the words of Allah: {This day have I perfected your religion for you. (Quran 5:3)}. And also the hadeeth of Prophet(SAWS), whose wordings were extremely similar, to what Prophet(SAWS) had said on the Day of Arafah, during his Farewell Pilgrimage just before the Religion was perfected, since the verse of perfection of religion was revealed on the day of Arafah.

Jabir narrated Prophet(SAWS) said: “You shall not go astray if you hold onto what I have left among you: The Book of Allah.” [Saheeh Muslim #1218], As we can see, the wordings are extremely similar, to what Prophet(SAW) during the Pen and Paper Event and thus, Umar knew that his answer was correct, while refuting the those Sahaba who argued with him.

Therefore, this statement of Umar, was confirmation of ‘Umar’s deep understanding and knowledge. The Messenger(SAWS) was fully aware of what he himself said and what ‘Umar said. The fact that he did not refute Umar indicates that he regarded ‘Umar’s statement as correct. The Prophet’s silence on Umar’s statement and subsequent abandonment of writing indicate that he agreed with ‘Umar.

Imam An-Nawawi said:  The words of ‘Umar, “the Book of Allah is sufficient for us”, were answering back those who disagreed with him; it was not a counter-argument to the instruction of the Prophet(SAWS).[Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol 11, page 135].

Imam Ibn Hajar stated: The fact that the Prophet(SAWS) did not object to ‘Umar indicates that he thought his view was correct. When ‘Umar said, “the Book of Allah is sufficient for us”, he was referring to the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says: “We have neglected nothing in the Book” [al-An‘aam 6:38]. It may be that the aim was to make things easier for the Messenger of Allah(SAWS), when ‘Umar saw that he was in great distress. Thus he sensed that what he wanted to write was not something they could not do without. If that had been the case, the Prophet(SAWS) would not have refrained from writing it because of their differences. This view cannot be undermined by what Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “What a calamity it was…”, because ‘Umar was definitely more knowledgeable than him. [Fath al-Baari, vol 8, page 134].

Secondly, from the statement, “the book of Allah is sufficient for us”, Umar(RA) didn’t mean that only Quran is sufficient for us, and there is no need for the Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS), because the one who follows Quran will have to follow the Sunnah by default, since following the Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS) is proven from Quran. This is also proven from authentic narrations where in we find that Prophet(SAWS) said, he would judge between two person accoring to Allah’s Book, and he judged them as per the Law of Allah which isn’t in Quran but from Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS).

Narrated Abu Huraira: While we were with Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) a bedouin got up and said, “O Allah’s Messenger(SAWS)! Settle my case according to Allah’s Book.” Then his opponent got up and said, “O Allah’s Messenger(SAWS)! He has said the truth! Settle his case according to Allah’s Book (Laws) and allow me to speak,” He said, “My son was a laborer for this man and he committed illegal sexual intercourse with his wife. The people told me that my son should be stoned to death but I ransomed him with one-hundred sheep and a slave girl. Then I asked the religious learned people and they told me that his wife should be stoned to death and my son should receive one-hundred lashes and be sentenced to one year of exile.’ The Prophet(SAWS) said, “By Him in Whose Hands my life is, I will judge between you according to Allah’s Book: As for the slave girl and the sheep, they are to be returned; and as for your son, he shall receive one hundred lashes and will be exiled for one year. You, O Unais!” addressing a man from Bani Aslam, “Go tomorrow morning to the wife of this (man) and if she confesses, then stone her to death.” The next morning Unais went to the wife and she confessed, and he stoned her to death. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 9, page 225-226, #7260] ; [Sahih al-Bukhari #7193, #7194].

Comment: The mentioned Judgement as per Allah’s book regarding exiling for one year is not in Quran but in Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS). Hence the following Quran by default demands following Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS). Therefore, Umar(RA) didn’t intend to mean Sunnah is not needed by the statement, Quran is sufficient for them.

Moreover, Umar himself used to advise people to follow the Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS). We read:

It was narrated from Shuraih that: He wrote to ‘Umar, to ask him (a question), and ‘Umar wrote back to him telling him: “Judge according to what is in the Book of Allah. If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah, then (judge) according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah(SAW). If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah(SAW), then pass judgment according to the way the righteous passed judgment. If it is not (mentioned) in the Book of Allah, or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah(SAW), and the righteous did not pass judgment concerning it, then if you wish, go ahead(and try to work it out by yourself) or if you wish, leave it. And I think that leaving it is better for you. And peace be upon you.” [Sunan an-Nasai, vol 6, page 208, #5401: Sahih].

Therefore, if any Shia tries to negate the Sunnah from the statement of Umar that,“The book of Allah is sufficient for us,” then it is unfair and unjust. This would be attributing such words to the speaker which he never meant. By the statement “The book of Allah is sufficient for us”, even the Sunnah by default will be included in it, because following the Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS) is proven from Quran, so this implies that, Umar refuted those Sahaba who argued with him, by stating that Quran and the teachings of Prophet(Sunnah) which they had received until then were sufficient for them.

Shia Argument #1

Shiawebsite(Shiapen) stated:

During his own reign, Umar appeared to be – in contradiction to the stance he displayed previously – fully aware that the Quran is NOT sufficient for us. In fact, the same Umar – who had previously claimed that “The Quran is sufficient for us” as a justification to disobey the Prophet, ignore the Messenger’s role as the clarifier of the message, prevented him from writing his last instructions and will, thereby disobeying Allah’s command to take whatever the Prophet gives – used to advise his own representatives during the time of his Caliphate to follow sources other than the Quran for guidance, and explicitly acknowledged that the Quran is NOT sufficient to clarify details! The Sunni Jamaat, Hakikat Kitabevi, record that during his Caliphate:

“Umar ibn al Khattab (RA) appointed Shuraih as a Qadi and told him ‘Look at what is revealed explicitly in the Book. Do not ask others for such matters! If you cannot find {an answer to what you are asked} in it, resort to the Sunna of Muhummud (AS)! If you cannot find in it either, perform ijtihad and give your answer according to how you understand”.
Advice for the Muslim, by Waqf Ikhlas, p 109 (Waqf Ikhlas Publications, seventh edition, Istanbul, Turkey).

Response:

Firstly, the argument made by Shias is based on their misunderstanding. Umar(RA) didn’t mean to negate Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS), by stating that “The book of Allah is sufficient for us”, rather He meant that, Quran and the teachings of Prophet(Sunnah) which they had received until then were sufficient for them. Because the one who follows Quran will have to follow the Sunnah by default, since following the Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS) is proven from Quran.

Secondly, Umar(RA) didn’t derive his understanding out of thinair, rather he based his view on the teachings of Prophet(SAWS), because Prophet(SAWS) said during the day of Arafah, when the Religion was perfected that: “You shall not go astray if you hold onto what I have left among you: The Book of Allah.” (Saheeh Muslim #1218), As we can see, the wordings are extremely similar, and thus, Umar knew that his answer was correct.

Therefore it is incorrect to claim that Umar(RA) contradicted himself, rather the Shias misunderstood Umar.

Shia Argument #2

Shiawebsite(Shiapen) stated:

According to Sunnies, to believe that the ‘Quran is sufficient’ is a Khariji belief as has been attested by Imam Dhahabi in Tazkirah tul Hufaz, Volume 1 page 3:

ولم يقل حسبنا كتاب الله كما تقوله الخوارج

”He didn’t say that ‘Quran is sufficient’ as the Khawarij do”

Response:

By the statement “the book of Allah is sufficient for us”, Umar(RA) didn’t mean that only Quran is sufficient for us, and there is no need for the Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS), because the one who follows Quran will have to follow the Sunnah by default, since following the Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS) is proven from Quran. So this implies that, Umar refuted those who argued with him, by stating that Quran and the teachings of Prophet(Sunnah) which they had received until then were sufficient for them, and this view is contrary to the views of the heretics who reject and disbelieve in the established Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS). Hence, the argument of Shias is null and void.

 

IX. Why is Sunni view reasonable and correct in comparison to Shia view?

If we assume that the Sunni understanding is correct, then the Prophet(SAWS) would have been pleased with Umar after the Event of Pen and Paper occurred. Whereas, if the Shia understanding is correct, then the Prophet(SAWS) should have cursed Umar and should have been angry at him and the other Sahaba, after this Event.

Now the thing is, neither the Sunnis nor the Shias were present at that incident to be able to judge the situation. This Event in detail reaches us through the Sahabi Abdullah ibn Abbas. Therefore, Abdullah ibn Abbas is the only person who can make that judgement for us and settle the matter.

Abdullah ibn Abbas spoke to Umar bin al-Khattab when the latter was laying on his deathbed after being fatally wounded:

يا أمير المؤمنين، ولئن كان ذلك لقد صحبت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأحسنت صحبته، ثم فارقته وهو عنك راضٍ

O Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen, if this (wound) should lead to your death (then know that) you have been a good companion of Rasul-Allah(SAWS) and he departed (from this world) while being pleased with you. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 5, page 36, #3692].

Conclusion, it is established without doubt that the Sunni understanding is reasonable and correct in comparison to Shia understanding because, unlike Shias who formed their views on speculation and conjecture, Sunnis have formed their view on the understanding of the Sahabi – Ibn Abbas – who is the main narrator of the Event of Pen and Paper. And as per Ibn Abbas –  who is a member of Ahl al-bayt -, the Prophet(SAWS) was pleased with Umar until the end of his life and this would not be possible if the Shia scenario had even a grain of truth to it.

Moreover, another Sahabi Anas bin Malik testified that Prophet(SAWS) was happy with Sahaba, when he saw them praying behind Abu Bakr, the day he left this world.

Anas ibn Malik said: Abu Bakr used to lead the people in prayer during the fatal illness of the Prophet(SAWS) until it was Monday. When the people aligned (in rows) for the prayer, the Prophet lifted the curtain of his house and started looking at us and was standing at that time. His face was (glittering) like a page of the Mushaf, and he smiled cheerfully. We were about to be put to trial for the pleasure of seeing the Prophet. Abu Bakr retreated to join the row as he thought that the Prophet would lead the prayer. The Prophet beckoned us to complete the prayer and he let the curtain fall. He passed away on that very day. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 1, page 386-387, #680].

As we can see, the Sunni view is reasonable and correct because it is based on definite and categorical evidence, contrary to Shia objections which are based on conjecture and speculation.

 

X. Is it appropriate to use Sunni sources against Shias to justify Sunni beliefs and views?

Shias might argue that we have based most of our explanations and clarifications upon (reliable)Sunni reports,which aren’t a hujjah(binding evidence) on Shias. Shias could say that, when debating with Chistians we don’t use Quran to prove our claim but we quote their books, such as the Bible. In response we say that, this concept hasn’t been properly understood by the people. When someone makes a claim, then it’s the responsibility of the claimant to produce the evidence from the authoritative sources of the opponent, BUT the opponent has the full right to use the sources which he deems authoritative to disapprove the argument made by the claimant, since the opponent is in a defensive position. It isn’t necessary for the opponent to refute back the claimant with evidences which are authoritative in the view of the claimant. The purpose behind someone making a claim by citing evidence from the source of the opponent is that, this claimant wants the opponent to believe in his/her claim; so the question revolves around forming a BELIEF, hence the opponent has the full right to answer the claim from the sources he believes to be authoritative, because the opponent formed his beliefs based on the sources which he deems to be authoritative. Thus, the claimant demanding the opponent to refute the claim from the sources which the opponent doesn’t consider to be authoritative would be preposterous. That’s why we never find; a Muslim while debating a Christian makes a claim from Bible, like Jesus wasn’t the Son of God, then demands the Christian not to use Bible, to refute him. Let us give few examples for a better understanding. Suppose, a Christian being the claimant makes a claim against a Shia opponent that Prophets of God were sinful, and he (mis)uses some Quranic verses to back his claim, in this scenario, a Shia wouldn’t look into Bible to disapprove the claim of the Christan, but rather he will use his own sources to disapprove the claim of the Christian, because he is in a defensive position, and has the full right to justify his belief from the sources which he considers to be authoritative. In another example, A Zaydi Shia claims to the Ithna Ashari(Twelver) Shia, that Mutah was prohibited by Prophet(SAWS) and he quotes some traditions from Twelver Shia books to back his claim, now in this case, it isn’t necessary for the Twelver Shia to justify his stance from Zaydi Shia sources; Since he is in a defensive position, and the Twelver Shia will have the right to refute back the Zaydi Shia using the his own Twelver Shia sources. Likewise, another example is of Ismaili Shia or Waqifi Shia using Twelver Shia sources to make claims that justify their belief about Imamah, in that case it won’t be necessary for the Twelver Shia to refute other Shia Sects using the authoritative sources of the claimants, rather the Twelver Shia will use his own sources to refute the claims of Ismaili or Waqifi Shias. Or take example of an Athiest or a Christian making claim that Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) violated Quran by having more than four wives at a time. In, this case Muslims won’t go after searching what the authoritative book for that Athiest or Christian says regarding this matter, Muslims would use Quran to refute this claim. Thus, this is the correct understanding of this concept which is often misunderstood by the people, because people don’t form their beliefs based on the sources of their opponents, which they consider to be unauthoritative, rather people form their beliefs based on the sources which they deem to be authoritative. Likewise, Twelver Shias didn’t form their beliefs and views based on Zaydi or Ismaili Sources. Similarly, Ahlus-sunnah didn’t form their views and beliefs based on Shia Sources, etc, thus when a claim is made against the belief of Shias, Shias will have the full right to justify and defend their belief using their own authoritative sources, likewise when a claim is made against Sunnis, then Sunnis will have full right to justify and defend their belief using authoritative Sunni sources. And the one who tries to prevent or object them from using their authoritative sources out of desperation, actually hints that his claim was weak and wrong, because he knows that the claim he made was a misrepresentation and he fears of it getting destroyed.

Coming to the anticipated Shia objection in regards to explaining the Pen and Paper Event in the light of reliable Sunni sources, then they can be answered in multiple ways in addition to the explanation we gave above; one of those is that, these reports are to educate Sunnis, since reliable Sunni reports are Hujjah upon Sunnis and they need to understand this Event in a proper way in the light of reliable reports. As for Shias, then we say that, they cannot use this Event in the first place to attack Umar(RA), because all of the reports about Pen and Paper Event in Shia books are WEAK, hence a Sunni can respond them by stating that, this Event is unreliable as per Shia books because all of those reports are weak as per Shia Hadeeth Science, and if the Shias want to indulge in a discussion with Sunnis using reliable Sunni reports, even when there isn’t any reliable Shia report in their books, then in that case they will have to accept the other reliable reports from Sunni Books which refute their speculative and conjecture based allegations. They don’t have any right to cherry pick Sunni reports and reject other reliable Sunni reports.

 

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his companions.

Article by Ibn Ahmed al-Hindi.

2 thoughts on “The Event of Pen and Paper(Hadith al-Qirtas) – As understood by its Main Narrators.

  1. JazakAllah Brother. May Allah show us the right path. Respect of Sahaba is respect of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

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