أبو بكر بن العربي
Death: 543H 1148
DEFENCE AGAINST DISASTER by QADI ABU BAKR IBN AL-`ARABI
Accurately Determining The Position Of The Companions After The Death Of The Prophet, May Allah Bless Him And Grant Him Peace AL-`AWASIM MIN AL-QAWASIM
47. Addressed to Talha b. `Ubaydullah. ...with your eyes weeping. By Allah, we will not go until we have spilled his blood!" This was an immense force and oppression on the Companions. They lied in their faces and slandered them. If `Uthman had so wished, he could have asked the Companions for help and they would have helped him immediately.
48. They approached him about that several times. Mu`awiya offered to move the house of the khalifate to Syria or to help him with an army from Syria from which history had only known advancement and victory. The people came claiming injustice and that they had been wronged.
49. i.e. The rebels assumed the appearance of someone wronged. That is someone who claims that there are matters about which he complains. `Uthman thought that he owed it to them to make his proof clear to them and to people about what they alleged, and how he saw the matters in which they claimed they had been wronged. And he warned them and they flared up. The Companions wanted to strike them with spears.
50. To attack with a spear. That is a spear with a wide spear head. `Uthman directed them that none should fight because of him. He submitted and they left him to what he was content to do. It is an immense question of fiqh: Can a man submit or must he defend himself? When he submits and forbids anyone to defend him by killing, then is it permitted for someone else to defend him and not to pay any attention to his desire? The `ulama disagree about it. `Uthman did not do anything objectionable in the beginning of the business nor at the end of it. The Companions did not say that he did anything objectionable. Beware of paying any attention to all the false reports you hear.
51. The gauge of the reports of the history of every community in confidence in its sources and investigating their fitness by the character of the individuals to whom they are ascribed. The reports of Islamic history are transmitted by eye-witnesses who mentioned them to those who came after them and those who related them to those after them. People from those with bias have crept into those transmitters who forged reports on the tongues of others and circulated them in books, either to bring themselves near to some of the people of this world or out of partisanship for a position which they supposed to be part of the deen. One of the virtues of Islamic history - pursuant to what the `ulama of hadith do - is that it singles out a group of the `ulama for the criticism of the riwaya and transmitters, and distinguishes the truthful among them from the liars. That became a respected science which has rules and on which books have been written. Volumes filled with biographies have been written on the transmitters. They contain the information about the level of each transmitter in truthfulness, firmness and trustworthiness in the transmission. Then one of them might have a position based on a party or a madhab with which he inclined to passion. They mentioned that in his biography so that the one who studies their reports will be familiar with areas of strength and weakness in these reports.
Those who leap to write in the history of Islam and compose books in it before they are fully ready for it - especially in the criticism of the transmitters and recognition of what the `ulama’ verified about their integrity and lack of it - fall into an error which they would have been able to avoid if they had completed the means of knowledge in these areas.
Following the transmission of liars, many stated that `Uthman committed some injustices and objectionable things while he was ruler. They included:
1) He beat `Ammar until his intestines split open.
2) He beat ibn Mas`ud until his ribs were broken. He denied him his gift.
3) He innovated by collecting the Qur'an and in compiling and burning the copies of the Qur'an.
4) He set up the Hima (sanctuary for animals).
5) He drove Abu Dharr out to Ar-Rabadha.
6) He expelled Abu’d-Darda’ from Syria.
7) He brought back Al-Hakam after the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had exiled him.
8) He voided the sunna of shortening the travel-prayer.
9-12) He appointed Mu`awiya,.... (`Abdullah b. `Amir b. Kurayz)
52. The name of Ibn Kurayz is dropped from the root by the forgetfulness of the copyist or reader in the Algerian publication while he is mentioned in the following defence. It is clear to us that the volumes of the written source on which the Algerian edition was published, was written with some pages not in their proper places in the binding. We adjusted the order of their questions and their answers properly. We did not add any words to the root and we did not take any words from it. By that, we put the confusion right which is clear to the reader in the Algerian edition. ...and Marwan. He appointed al-Walid b. `Uqba who was a deviant and not one of the people of rule.
13) Giving Marwan the khums (fifth) of North Africa.
14) `Umar used to beat with the darra (stick) and he beat with the staff.
53. The darra is a small stick which the Sultan carries for curbing people.
15) He went above the step of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when Abu Bakr and `Umar went below it.
16) He did not attend Badr and was defeated on the day of Uhud. He was not at the Covenant of Ridwan (at Hudaybiya).
17) He did not kill `Ubaydullah b. `Umar for Al-Hurumzan who had given the knife to Abu Lu`Lu`a and encouraged him against `Umar until he killed him.)
18) He sent a letter with the slave of his camels to Ibn Abi Sarh, to kill those who were
mentioned in it..
All of this is false in isnad and text. As for their words: "`Uthman did injustices and objectionable things", that is false.
54. As you will see from the proofs which the author will bring, to discredit these questions of theirs, one by one, until we come to the last of them.
1-2) As for his beating Ibn Mas`ud and denying him his gift, that is a lie.
55. It was already stated in the margin, p. 49, when `Uthman was given the allegiance, `Abdullah b. Mas`ud said, "We have appointed the highest of us and we did not neglect anyone." When `Uthman was appointed, Ibn Mas`ud was the governor of `Umar over the people of Kufa and Sa`d b. Abi Waqqas was in charge of the prayer and was there. Sa`d and Ibn Mas`ud disagreed about a loan when Sa`d asked him for a loan - as will come. Therefore `Uthman dismissed Sa`d and kept Ibn Mas`ud. Up to this point, the relationship between Ibn Mas`ud and his khalif was untroubled. When `Uthman determined to make one copy of the Qur'an universal in the Islamic world, the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, agreed that it would be the complete copy which agreed with the last form of presentation in which the Book of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted, was presented to His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, before his death. Ibn Mas`ud wanted the writing of the mushaf to be entrusted to him. He also wanted his copy of the Qur'an which he had written for himself in the past to remain. (`Uthman acted contrary to what Ibn Mas`ud wanted in both cases.) `Uthman chose Zayd b. Thabit to write the single mushaf because Abu Bakr and `Umar had chosen him before that for this task during the khalifate of Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr and `Umar chose Zayd b. Thabit in the beginning because he was the one who preserved the final form in which the Book of Allah was presented to the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, before his death. `Uthman was right in this.
He knew, as all the Companions knew, the place of Ibn Mas`ud and his knowledge and he confirmed his belief. Then `Uthman was also right in purging all the other copies, including the copy of Ibn Mas`ud, because making the script of the mushaf the one with the most perfect form possible is by the consensus of the Companions the greatest of the things which `Uthman did. Most of the Companions were with `Uthman in that against Ibn Mas`ud. (Look at ‘The Path of the Sunna’ by Ibn Taymiyya, 3:19, 1-192). In any case, `Uthman did not beat Ibn Mas`ud and did not deny him his gift. He continued to recognise his worth as Ibn Mas`ud continued to obey him as his Imam to whom he had given homage and he believed that he was the best of the muslims at the moment of the homage. That he beat `Ammar is also a lie. If his intestines had broken open, he would never have lived.
56. At-Tabari related (5:99) from Sa`id b. al-Musayyib that there was a disagreement between `Ammar and `Abbas b. `Utba b. Abi Lahab which moved `Uthman to discipline them by beating them. I said: This is part of what the one in command does in cases like these both before and after `Uthman. How frequently `Umar did that to the likes of `Ammar and to those who were better than `Ammar by his right of rule over the muslims. When the Saba’ites organised the dissemination of rumours and began to send letters from every city to other cities with false reports, the Companions indicated to `Uthman that he should send men in whom he had confidence to the cities so that they could return and tell him the true state of affairs. `Uthman forgot what had come from `Ammar and sent him to Egypt with his full confidence to investigate the state of affairs there. `Ammar delayed a while in Egypt and the Saba’ites gathered to him to try to make him take their side. `Uthman and his governor in Egypt took steps to remedy this and `Ammar was brought back to Madina by force. `Uthman censured him for what he had dared to do. According to what Ibn `Asakir related in the History of Damascus (7:429), he said to him, "Abu’l-Yaqadhan! You slandered Ibn Abi Lahab when he slandered you, then you were angry with me because I took what was due from you and what was due from him. Oh Allah, I have been given the injustice between me and my community. Oh Allah, I draw near to You by establishing Your hudud on everyone and I do not care. Leave me, `Ammar.." He left. When `Ammar met the common people, he defended himself and denied that. When he met someone he trusted, he admitted what he had done and showed regret. People censured him, parted from him, and disliked him.
Ibn Taymiyya said in ‘The Path of the Sunna’ (3:192-192), "`Uthman was better than all who spoke against him. He was better than Ibn Mas`ud, `Ammar, Abu Dharr and others in many aspects, as is confirmed by proofs. The words of one who is surpassed do not detract from one who is better, let alone the opposite. That is how what `Ammar said against `Uthman is transmitted as well as what al-Hasan said about `Ammar. It is transmitted that `Ammar said "`Uthman has rejected with the notorious unbelievers." Al-Hasan b. `Ali objected to him saying that. It was the same with `Ali who said to him, "`Ammar, do you reject a Lord in whom `Uthman believes?" Ibn Taymiyya said, "It is clear from that that a believing man who is a wali of Allah, can believe that another believing man who is also a wali of Allah is an unbeliever, and he can be wrong in this opinion. That does not detract from the belief and wilaya of either of them." It is confirmed in the ‘Sahih’ that Usayd b. Hudayr said to Sa`d b. `Ubada in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "You are a hypocrite who argues for the hypocrites" and as `Umar b. al-Khattab said to Hatib b. Abi Balta`a, "Messenger of Allah, let me cut the neck of this hypocrite!" He, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "He was at Badr. How do you know? Perhaps Allah has looked with pity on the people of Badr and said, ‘Act as you like. I have forgiven you.’" `Umar was better than `Ammar and `Uthman was better than Hatib b. Abi Balta`a by many degrees.
`Umar’s proof in what he said to Hatib was more apparent than `Ammar’s. In spite of this, both of them are people of the Garden. How can `Uthman and `Ammar not be people of the Garden, even if one of them said what he said to the other? However, a group of the `ulama’ deny that `Ammar said that. The Shaykh al-Islam said, "In general, when it is said that `Uthman beat Ibn Mas`ud or `Ammar, this does not detract from any of them. We testify that the three are in the Garden and that they are among the great fearful awliya of Allah. A wali of Allah can do something that merits the punishment of the Shari`a, not to mention discipline. `Umar b. al-Khattab beat Ubayy b. Ka`b with the stick when he saw people walking behind them. He said, "This is abasement to the follower and temptation for the followed." If `Uthman disciplined those, either `Uthman was correct in doing it since they deserved that and they repented of that for which they were punished and made amends by discipline and other afflictions or it is by their immense good actions or other things, or it is said that they were completely wronged.
The statement about `Uthman is like the statement about them and more so. He was better than them and more entitled to forgiveness and mercy. The `ulama excuse that because of aspects with which one should not be occupied because they are based on something false.
57. i.e. on the claims of the liars, the enemies of the Companions of the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is that the Amir al-Mu’minun `Uthman beat `Ammar until his intestines split open and that he beat Ibn Mas`ud until his ribs were broken and denied him his gift. A truth is not based on something false. Do not spend time in keeping up with the ignorant. That has no end.
3) As for gathering the Qur'an, that was his greatest good work and the greatest virtue, even if he had found it already completed. However, he made it known and returned people to it and cut off the business of dispute about it. The promise of Allah was carried out to preserve the Qur’an at his hands as we have made clear in books on the Qur’an and elsewhere.
58. i.e. The books of Ibn al-`Arabi connected to the sciences of the Qur'an. We mentioned in his biography (pp. 27-28) that they included ‘The Lights of Dawn’ (in 70 or 80 volumes), ‘The Law of Interpretation’ which is among his great works, ‘The Judgments of the Qur'an’ published in Egypt and ‘The Book of the Obscure’ and ‘The Abrogating and the Abrogated’.
All the Imams....
59. In the preface of Imam Ahmad in his ‘Musnad’ (1:13, first edition, no. 76, second edition and 5:188-189, first edition), Imam al-Bukhari from his ‘Sahih’ in ‘The Book of Tafsir’ (book 65, sura 9, chap. 20, pt. 5, pp. 210-211), ‘The Book of the Virtues of the Qur'an’ (book 66, chap. 3 & 4, pt. 6, pp. 98-99), ‘The Book of the Judgments’ (book 93, chap. 37, pt. 8, pp. 118-119) and ‘The Book of Tawhid’ (book 97, chap. 22, pt. 8, pp. 176-177). ....related that Zayd b. Thabit said, "Abu Bakr sent to me about the murderous fight with the people of Yamana.
60. That was when the Banu Hanifa apostatized under the leadership of Musaylima the Liar and by the encouragement of the enemy of Allah, Ar-Rajjal b. `Anfawa b. Nahshal al-Hanafi. The generalship of the muslims belonged to the sword of Allah, Khalid b. al-Walid, and Zayd b. al-Khattab, the brother of `Umar, was martyred in this bloody fight. The huffaz of the Qur'an among the Companions consulted among themselves and said, "Oh people of the sura of the Cow, the dawn today is false." The Khatib of the Ansar and the bearer of their banner, Thabit b. Qays shrouded himself and dug his feet into the ground up to the middle of his legs.
He continued to fight remaining firm in his place with the banner until he was martyred. The Muhajirun said to Salim, the client of Abu Hudhayfa, "Do you fear we will come before you?" He answered, "Then I would be an evil bearer of the Qur'an." He fought until he was martyred. Abu Hudhayfa said, "They have adorned the Qur'an by action." He continued to fight until he was struck down. One of those martyred on that day was Huzn b. Abi Wahb, al- Makhzumi, the grandfather of Sa`id b. al-Musaayyib. The battlecry of the Companions of that day was, "Muhammad!" They were steadfast on that day with a patience which has never been matched, until the apostates sought refuge in Hadiqatu’l-Mawt and Musaylima and his men sought shelter in it. Al-Bara’ b. Malik said, "Oh company of muslims! Throw me inside the garden and I will open its doors to you." They carried him over the ditches and raised him with spears and threw him into the garden over the walls. He continued to fight the apostates by its door until he opened it and the muslims entered and there was victory. Among those who plunged into the garden was Abu Dujana, one of the fighters of Badr, and when he reached Musaylima, he got above him with his sword and killed him. He broke his foot in that battle, may Allah be pleased with him, and then obtained martyrdom. ‘The Beginning and the End’ (6:334-340) has the names of many of the martyrs of this terrible day in Islam.
They included those who knew the Qur'an by heart. While `Umar b. al-Khattab was with him, Abu Bakr said, "`Umar has come to us and said, ‘Fighting was intense on the day of Yamana, and many of the reciters were killed. I fear that if many more reciters are killed in other places, then much of the Qur'an will be lost. I think that the Qur'an should be gathered together.’ I said to `Umar, ‘How can we do something which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not do?’ `Umar said, ‘This is good, by Allah.’ He continued to argue with me until Allah opened my breast to it and I thought the same as `Umar thought about it.’" Zayd said, "Abu Bakr said, ‘You are a young man of intellect and we do not suspect you. You used to write down the revelation of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, so look for the Qur'an and assemble it.’ By Allah, if they had asked me to move a mountain, that would not have been heavier on me than what they commanded me to do in assembling the Qur'an. I said, ‘How can you do something which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not do?’ `Umar said, ‘By Allah, this is good.’ He continued to argue with me until Allah expanded my breast to that which he expanded the breast of Abu Bakr and `Umar. I sought after the Qur'an in order to assemble it from palm branches, thin stones and the hearts of men.....
61. `Usub, the plural of `Asib is a palm branch without leaves, they are the parts on which the leaves do not grow. Likhaf (the plural of lukhfa) are fine white stones. They used to write on both of them when paper was scarce. ....until I found the end of the sura At-Tawba with Khuzayma Al-Ansari which I did not find with anyone else: ‘A messenger from Allah has come from among you ...’ until the end of the sura."
The pages remained with Abu Bakr until Allah made him die. Then they were with `Umar during his lifetime. Then they were with Hafsa bint `Umar until Hudhayfa b. Al-Yaman came to `Uthman.
62. His hadith from that is in the ‘Sahih’ of al-Bukhari (book 66, chap. 3, pt. 6, p.99) from Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri from Anas b. Malik. He had raided with the people of Syria in the conquest of Armenia and in Azerbayjan with the people of Iraq. Mudhayfa told him about their disagreement about the recitation. Hudhayfa said to `Uthman, "Amir al-Mu'minin, save this community before they disagree about the Book as the jews and christians disagree!" So `Uthman sent a messenger to Hafsa, "Send us the pages of the Qur'an and we will make copies from them. Then we will return them." Hafsa sent them to `Uthman. Then he commanded Zayd b. Thabit., Abdullah b. Az-Zubayr, Sa`id b. Al-`As, and `Abdu’r-Rahman b. Al-Harith b. Hisham and they copied out copies of the Qur'an.
63. The two great men of Islam, Abu Bakr and `Umar were concerned about it. Their brother and in-law Dhu’n-Nurayn `Uthman completed it by gathering the Qur'an and making it firm and making its text one. Through that, they gave the greatest blessing to the muslims. By it, Allah fulfilled His promise when He said, "We sent down the remembrance and We preserved it." After these three shaykhs, the khalifate was given to the Amir al-Mu'minin `Ali and he carried on their work and confirmed the mushaf of `Uthman both in its start and recitation in all of the cities under his rule. There is a consensus from the first muslims that what Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman established was their greatest good deed. One of the `ulama’ of the Shi`a relayed this consensus from the tongue of the Amir al-Mu'minin `Ali b. Abi Talib. It has come in the book of the History of the Qur'an by Abu `Abdullah az-Zanjani (p. 46) that `Ali b. Musa, known as Ibn Ta’us (589-664), who is one of their `ulama’, transmitted in his book, ‘The Happiness of the Happy’, that Ash-Shahrastani said in the preface of his tafsir from Suwayd b. `Alqama, "I heard `Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be upon him, say, ‘Oh people! Allah! Allah! Beware of excess in the affair of `Uthman and your statement regarding burning the copies of the Qur'an. By Allah, he only burned them with permission from the assembly of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.’ We agreed. He said, ‘What do you say about this recitation about which people disagree? One man meets another man and says, "My recitation is better than your recitation?" This leads to kufr.’ We said, ‘What is your opinion then?’ He said, ‘I want people to agree on one copy. If you disagree today, those after you will have a worse disagreement.’ We said, ‘What you think is good.’" Something there is no doubt about is that the aggressors themselves in the khalifate of `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, used to recite the mushaf of `Uthman about which the Companions had agreed and `Ali was among them. But some followers in the succeeding generations have disgraced themselves by their idiocy and their rejection like Shaytan at-Taq, Muhammad b. Ja`far ar-Rafidi according to what Imam Ibn Hazm related in ‘The Fisal’ (4:181) from al-Jahiz. He said, "Abu Ishaq Ibrahim an-Nizam and Bishr b. Khalid informed them that they said to Muhammad b. Ja`far ar-Rafidi, known as Shaytan at-Taq, ‘Woe to you! Aren’t you shamed before Allah to say in your book on the Imamate: "Allah ta’ala did not say at all in the Qur'an, "The second of two when they were in the Case when he said to his companion, ‘Do not be sad, Allah is with us.’"’
They said, ‘By Allah, Shaytan at-Taq laughed a long time until it was as if we were the ones who had wronged him.’" This Shaytan at-Taq was the greatest of the propagandists of the Shi`a for the two Imams, Zayd and his nephew Ja`far as-Sadiq. He is the one who originated the lie that the Imamate is covenanted to certain individuals. No one had ever said that before this Shaytan at-Taq. Imam Zayd objected to him saying that in the assembly of Ja`far.
The claim of the Rafidites is to change the Qur'an when `Ali clearly stated that the Companions agreed on what `Uthman had undertaken. Abundant material has gone to the Christian missionaries who have used it as evidence. Ibn Hazm said to them in ‘The Fisal’ (2:78), "The Rafidites are not muslims. They are a group who follow the course of the jews and the christians in lying and rejection." I said: The last of them who disgraced himself by this business and disgraced the Shi`a by it was Husayn b. Muhammad Taqi an-Nuri at- Tabarasi in his book about an assembly ascribed to the Amir al-Mu'minin, `Ali, which was published in an-Najaf in 1292 and published in Iran in 1298. I have a copy of it. Part of the nature of factionalism, partisanship and bias is that it kills the intellects of people who ascribe to it and their character.
`Uthman said to the group of the three Qurayshis, "When you and Zayd b. Thabit disagree about some part of the Qur'an, write it in the tongue of Quraysh. It was sent down in their tongue." So they did that. When they had copied the pages and made copies of the Qur'an, `Uthman returned the pages to Hafsa and sent a copy of their copy to every area and commanded that every page and copy of any other Qur'an should be burned.