Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dr. Zakir Naik, Hazrat Omar and Mut‘ah Marriage - 1

Dr. Zakir Naik, Indian Muslim Scholar

New Age Islam wrote:

Islam,Terrorism and Jihad 07 Dec 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com

Muslim response to Mumbai terror in sync with the national mood, but what is wrong with our intellectuals?

Unity among Muslims and Dr. Zakir Naik’s Evil: A Point of View by Dr. Maulana Abbas Ali Naqvi Translation from Urdu by: Syed Raihan Ahmad Nezami

The History of Karbala Abu ‘Ammar’s History of Karbala being published below is bound to prove controversial.

RE:3. Mutah is clearly mentioned in Sura Nisa Ayat number 24. It was also practiced during the reign of Abu Bakr? Who gave Omar the authority to ban it?In doing the above, are you not going against the Quran?[Shaukat]

Dear Shaukat Sahab,

Hazrat Ali [May Allah be pleased with him] was used to be caretaker Caliph whenever Hazrat Omar [May Allah be pleased with him] was out of Medina and Hazrat Ali was one of the most important Advisor of Hazrat Omar [References: the same Hisotry from where you quote all the bad things narrates this important fact]. Hazrat Ali [May Allah be pleased with him] was Father in Law of Hazrat Omar [May Allah be pleased with him] because of his marriage with Syeda UMM KULTHUM [May Allah have mercy on her soul] [she was the daughter of Ali from Fatimah Bint Mohammad] - May Allah be pleased with both Ali and Fatimah], therefore this question of Muta'ah being Illegal should have been asked from Mawla Ali as to why did the "LION OF ALLAH" tolerated this Going against the Quran decision of Omar?

Umm Kulthum was the second daughter of ‘Ali and Fatimah, and the youngets of their four children. She was born in about the year 6 AH. She became of marriagable age during the khilafah of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, and the khalifah asked for her hand in marriage. This is recorded by Ibn Sa‘d in his work at-Tabaqat al-Kubra (vol. 8 p. 338, ed. Muhammad ‘Ab al-Qadir ‘Ata, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut 1990) as follows:

I was informed by Anas ibn ‘Iyad al-Laythi, who reports on the authority of Ja‘far ibn Muhammad [as-Sadiq], and he from his father [Muhammad al-Baqir]—

that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab asked ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib for the hand of Umm Kulthum in marriage. ‘Ali said, "I had kept my daughters for the sons of Ja‘far." ‘Umar said, "Marry her to me, O Abul Hasan, for by Allah,there is no man on the face of the earth who seeks to achieve through her good companionship that which I seek to achieve." ‘Ali said, "I have done so."

Then ‘Umar came to the Muhajirun between the grave [of Rasulullah r ] and the pulpit. They—‘Ali, ‘Uthman, Zubayr, Talhah and ‘Abd ar-Rahman—used to sit there, and whenever a matter used to arrive from the frontiers, ‘Umar used to come to them there and consult with them. He came to them and said, "Congratulate me." They congratulated him, and asked, "With whom are we congratulating you, O Amir al-Mu’minin?" He replied, "With the daughter of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib."

Then he related to them that the Nabi r said, "Every tie of kinship, and every association will be cut off on the Day of Qiyamah, except my kinship and my association." [‘Umar said,] "I have had the companionship of Rasulullah r ; I would like also to have this [kinship]."

Two children were born from this marriage, namely Zayd and Ruqayyah. After the martyrdom of ‘Umar she was married to her cousin ‘Awn ibn Ja‘far, and after his death to his brother Muhammad ibn Ja‘far. Ultimately she died while married to a third of the sons of Ja‘far, namely ‘Abdullah during the first half of the fourth decade after the Hijrah. Her son Zayd died on the same day as his mother, and the funeral prayer for mother and son was performed together.

The marriage of Umm Kulthum has been unanimously accepted as a fact of history by all major biographers and historians. Its authenticity has never been contested by anyone—not even the staunchest Shi‘ah—during the first four centuries after the Hijrah. It was only during the fifth century that ash-Shaykh al-Mufid (died 413 AH) appears to have woken up to the threat that the acceptance of this marriage holds for the doctrine of the Shi‘ah and their particular view of history.

At this moment it needs to be noted that the above narration was recorded by Ibn Sa‘d from a man called Anas ibn ‘Iyad al-Laythi, who report directly on the authority of Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq, and he from his father Muhammad al-Baqir. In other words, we have here a purely Shi‘i chain of narration. Anas ibn ‘Iyad al-Laythi is regarded by reputable Shi‘i rijal, critics such as an-Najashi and Ibn Mutahhar al-Hilli, as a companion of Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq who was "thiqah, sahih al-hadith" (reliable, a transmitter of authentic hadith). (See al-Ardabili, Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 1 p. 109, Dar al-Adwa, Beirut 1983) Since he narrates directly from the "infallible" Imam, there can be no question about the veracity of his report. Thereupon, his report is corroborated by a wealth of other narrations all of which affirm the historicity of this marriage. Above it all is the fact that for over three centuries this marriage remained uncontested.

In later centuries the marriage of Umm Kulthum would become a major bone of contention for Shi‘i polemicists. This marriage as a topic in Shi‘i theology owes its importance to its open contradiction to Shi‘i views of religion and history. This is expressed by the Shi‘i authors Muhammad al-Hassun and Umm ‘Ali Mashkur in their book A‘lam an-Nisa al-Mu’minat (p. 182) in the following terms:

The marriage of Umm Kulthum to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab is counted amongst the important issues presented to us by Islamic history, and as one of those matters around which debate and research has continued at length—and still continues. Those who regard this marriage as an authentic fact use it to prove the righteousness of her husband [‘Umar] and ‘Ali’s u acceptance of him. Otherwise, why would he give him his daughter in marriage? As for those who reject the historic occurrence of the marriage, or are of the opinion that it took place under pressure which ‘Umar brought to bear upon ‘Ali u use this issue to justify the unrighteousness and viciousness of ‘Umar, and that ‘Ali u did not approve of him.

Shi‘i writings on the marriage of Umm Kulthum

The same authors then proceed to enumerate a list of five independent books on the marriage of Umm Kulthum written by the ‘ulama of the Shi‘ah from as early as the 4th century, down to as late as the present age. This list is not exhaustive, and excludes discussions of the same issue in other larger works. The works listed are:

al-Mas’alah al-Muwaddihah ‘an Asbab Nikah Amir al-Mu’minin

—by ash-Shaykh al-Mufid (died 413 AH). It is alternatively entitled Inkah Amir al-Mu’minin Ibnatahu min ‘Umar. This book is metioned by Aqa Buzurg Tehrani in adh-Dhari‘ah (vol. 2 p. 396 no. 3641) and a manuscript of it is kept at the library of Ayatullah Mar‘ashi Najafi in Qum.

Jawab as-Su’al ‘an Wajh Tazwij Amir al-Mu’minin Ibnatahu min ‘Umar

—by Sayyid Murtada (died 436 AH). It is also mentioned by Aqa Buzurg Tehrani (vol. 5 p. 183 no. 811) and a copy is preserved at the library of Ayatullah Mar‘ashi Najafi in Qum.

Tazwij ‘Umar li-Umm Kulthum

—by Shaykh Sulayman ibn Abdullah al-Mahuzi (died 1121 AH). It is mentioned by Tehrani in adh-Dhari‘ah.

Tazwij Umm Kulthum bint Amir al-Mu’minin wa-Inkar Wuqu‘ihi

—by Shaykh Muhammad Jawad al-Balaghi (died 1352AH/1932). It is mentioned by Tehrani at two places in adh-Dhari‘ah (vol. 4 p. 172 and vol. 11 p. 146).

an independent treatise by Sayyid Nasir Husayn of Lucknow, India (died 1361AH/1941).

The above clearly demonstrates the attention the marriage of Umm Kulthum has enjoyed with Shi‘i authors, and indicates the strategic importance of this marriage in Sunni-Shi‘i polemics and dialogue.

Chronologically speaking, attitudes amongst the Shi‘ah towards the marriage of Umm Kulthum can be divided into three stages: (1) before the 5th century AH, (2) after the 5th century AH, and (3) after the establishment of the Safavid Empire in the 10th century. Each of these stages will now be dealt with separately.


Shi‘i activity during the first century after the Hijrah had been confined to a large extent to revolutionary insurrections, starting from the campaign of the Tawwabun who sought to avenge the murder of Husayn, and continuing in the exploits of people like Mukhtar ath-Thaqafi and Abu Muslim al-Khurasani. It was only during the latter half of the second century that evidence begins to surface of some sort of intellectual activity amongst the Shi‘ah. However, here too, the scope of that activity was limited to the documentation of the sayings which the Shi‘ah ascribe to their Imams.

The fourth century after the Hijrah witnessed the compilation of Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub al-Kulayni’s monmumental work al-Kafi. This work enjoys the following distinctions:

in it the author sought to document the minor compilations of Shi‘i hadith by previous authors into one major compendium

it was compiled in Baghdad during the Minor Occultation of the Hidden Imam (as stated by Aqa Buzurg Tehrani in adh-Dhari‘ah, vol. 17 p. 245) at a time when the representative of the Imam resided in that city, which afforded the opportunity for its contents to be scrutinised an ratified by the Imam himself (as stated by Ibn Tawus in his book Kashf al-Mahajjah, p. 159) This is in itself proof of the authenticity of the narrations contained in the book (says al-Hurr al-‘Amili in Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 20 p. 71).

it actually bears the seal of approval of the Hidden Imam himself, and he was the one who named it "al-Kafi" (meaning "sufficient") by saying, as reported by al-Khwansari in Rawdat al-Jannat (vol. 6 p.116): "hadha kafin li-shi‘atina" (This is sufficient for our Shi‘ah).

In this work the author has documented at least FOUR traditions to the Imams which affirm the marriage of Umm Kulthum to ‘Umar. In fact, he has devoted the 23rd chapter in the Book on Marriage (Kitab an-Nikah) in Furu‘ al-Kafi to the marriage of Umm Kulthum (bab tazwij Umm Kulthum). Two of the four traditions are contained in this chapter, while the other two are found in a related chapter on where a widow whose husband has died should spend her waiting period, or ‘iddah (bab al-mutawaffa ‘anha zawjuha al-madkhul biha ayna ta‘taddu wa ma yajibu ‘alayha).

However some of these traditions impart a unique flavour to the entire episode, in that now for the first time it becomes presented as a marriage concluded by sheer force and terror, in which ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, for all his nobility and courage, could not protect his young daughter, and was compelled, on threat of physical violence to his person, to give her to the khalifah. The traditions documented in al-Kafi are as follows:

‘Ali ibn Ibrahim—from his father—from Ibn Abi ‘Umayr—from Hisham ibn Salim and Hammad—from Zurarah, who narrates that

—Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said regarding the marriage of Umm Kulthum: "That was a ‘woman’ who was taken from us by force." (Furu‘ al-Kafi, vol. 5 p. 347, Dar al-Adwa, Beirut 1992)

[The word ‘woman’ here is an attempt from the writer of this article to preserve the honour of the Ahl al-Bayt, since a literal translation of the original Arabic would prove too vulgar.]

Muhammad ibn Abi ‘Umayr—Hisham ibn Salim, who narrates that

—Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said: "When [‘Umar] proposed to Amir al-Mu’minin, he said, ‘She is a child.’

Then he [‘Umar] met ‘Abbas and asked him, ‘What is wrong with me? Is there a problem with me?’ ‘Abbas asked, ‘Why?’ ‘Umar replied, ‘I asked your nephew for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and he rejected me. Oh, I swear by Allah, I will fill the well of Zamzam with earth, I will destroy every honour that you have, and I will set up two witnesses to testify that he stole, that I may cut off his right hand.’

‘Abbas thereupon came to ‘Ali and informed him of what had transpired. He asked ‘Ali to put the matter in his hands, and ‘Ali complied." (Furu‘ al-Kafi, vol. 5 p. 347-348, Dar al-Adwa, Beirut 1992)

Humayd ibn Ziyad—Ibn Sama‘ah—Muhammad ibn Ziyad—‘Abdullah ibn Sinan—Mu‘awiyah ibn ‘Ammar—Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq:

—[Mu‘awiyah ibn ‘Ammar says:] I asked him about a woman whose husband died: Should she spend her ‘iddah in her house, or where she wants to? He replied, "Where she wants to. When ‘Umar died, ‘Ali u came and took Umm Kulthum to his house." (Furu‘ al-Kafi, vol. 6 p. 117, Dar al-Adwa, Beirut 1992)

Muhammad ibn Yahya and others—Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Isa—al-Husayn ibn Sa‘id—an-Nadr ibn Suwayd—Hisham ibn Salim—Sulayman ibn Khalid, who says:

—I asked Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq about the woman whose husband has died: Where should she spend her ‘iddah? In her husband’s house, or where she wants to? He said: "Where she wants to. When ‘Umar died, ‘Ali u came, took Umm Kulthum by the hand, and took her to his house." (Furu‘ al-Kafi, vol. 6 p. 117, Dar al-Adwa, Beirut 1992)


We have here four chains of narration up to Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq. An investigation into the authenticity of these chains of narration by Shi‘i—and not Sunni—standards reveals that each and every one of them is a highly reliable and accurate chain.


al-Kulayni received the reports from Ibn Abi ‘Umayr through his teacher ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi, who is his source for about one third of the material in al-Kafi. ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim is the author of an early Tafsir of the Shi‘ah, and is highly regarded by Shi‘i rijal critics such as an-Najashi and Ibn Mutahhar, who declare him to be "thiqatun fil hadith, thabt, mu’tamad, sahih al-madhhab" (reliable in hadith transmission, reliable dependable, correct in belief.) (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat vol. 1 p. 545)

‘Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi reports from his father Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi. He is reputed to have been the first to spread the hadith of the Shi‘ah from Kufah to Qum. Reports via him abound in al-Kafi, through his son. He has been generally accepted by the Shi‘ah as a reliable narrator. He is even mentioned by Abu Ja‘far at-Tusi as having met the 9th Imam. (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat vol. 1 p. 38) His reliability as a narrator is attested to in a contemporary work on the authority of his son, Ali ibn Ibrahim, Ibn Tawus and al-‘Allamah al-Hilli. (Abu Talib at-Tajlil at-Tabrizi, Mu‘jam ath-Thiqat, p. 5)

Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi reports on the authority of Muhammad ibn Abi ‘Umayr. This Ibn Abi ‘Umayr is one of the most reliable Shi‘i narrators ever. Abu Ja‘far at-Tusi says of him: "kana min awthaq an-nas" (he was of the most reliable of people). (al-Fihrist p. 169) More importantly, he was of the elect group of Shi‘i narrators called the Ashab al-Ijma‘ (Men of the Consensus). What this means is that when the chain of narration is proven authentic up to one of these men, the rest of the chain up to the Imam may automatically be assumed to be authentic too. (See the details of this consensus in al-Mamaqani, Miqbas al-Hidayah fi ‘Ilm ad-Dirayah, vol. 2 pp. 171-208) The authenticity of this narration is therefore proven on grounds of this consensus.


This report also came down to al-Kulayni through ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim, from his father, from Ibn Abi ‘Umayr. The discussion on the first chain of narration is therefore fully applicable to this chain too.


al-Kulayni reports this narration from his teacher Humayd ibn Ziyad. This Humayd is graded by the Shi‘i rijal critics as "‘alim jalil al-qadr, wasi‘ al-‘ilm, kathir at-tasnif, thiqah" (a learned scholar, of great status, wide knowledge, a prolific author, reliable) (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 1 p. 284)

Ibn Sama‘ah is properly known as al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Sama‘ah. He was one of the foremost Shi‘i fuqaha of Kufah, and is described as "kathir al-hadith, faqihun thiqah" (a prolific narrator of hadith, a jurist, reliable). (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 1 p. 225)

Muhammad ibn Ziyad is properly known as Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Ziyad al-‘Attar. He is described as "thiqah" (reliable). (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 2 p. 91)

‘Abdullah ibn Sinan was an eminent Imami Shi‘i of Kufah about whom it is stated: "thiqatun min ashabina, la yut‘anu ‘alayhi fi shay’" (one of our reliable associates against whom no criticism whatsoever can be levelled). (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 1 p. 487)

Mu‘awiyah ibn ‘Ammar was an eminent and leading Shi‘i narrator of Kufah who narrates from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq. His Shi‘i biographers have documented about him that he was "wajhan min ashabina muqaddaman, kabir ash-shan, azim al-mahall, thiqah" (a leading figure amongst our associates, pre-eminent, great in status, exalted in position, reliable). (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 2 p. 239)

The opinions of the Shi‘i critics of hadith regarding the narrators of this report as reproduced here unequivocally indicate that what we have here is a authetic report.


al-Kulayni recorded this report on the authority of his several of his teachers, one of whom is Muhammad ibn Yahya al‘Attar al-Qummi. He was regarded as "shaykhu ashabina fi zamanihi, thiqah, ‘ayn, kathir al-hadith" (the shaykh of our associates in his time, reliable, an outstanding personality, a prolific narrator of hadith). (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 2 p. 213)

Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Isa al-Qummi was "shaykh al-Qummiyyin, wa-wajhuhum, wa-faqihuhum, ghayra mudafa‘" (the shaykh of the people of Qum, and their undisputed leader and jurist). (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 1 p. 69) Abu Ja‘far at-Tusi and al-‘Allamah al-Hilli have unequivocally declared him "thiqah" (reliable). (ar-Rijal p. 366; and al-Khulasah p. 13)

al-Husayn ibn Sa‘id is described as "‘ayn, jalil al-qadr" (an outstanding personality of great stature) and"thiqah" (reliable). (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 1 p. 241)

an-Nadr ibn Suwayd is rated as "Kufi,thiqah, sahih al-hadith" (a reliable Kufan who transmits authentic hadith). (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 2 p. 292)

Hisham ibn Salim is credited with having been a student of Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq. His reliability as a transmitter of hadith is attested to by the emphatic statement of al-‘Allamah and an-Najashi: "thiqatun thiqah" (reliable, and once again reliable). (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 2 p. 315)

Sulayman ibn Khalid is mentioned as having been a student of Imam al-Baqir. His death is recorded to have caused Imam Ja‘far extreme grief. He is universally acclaimed as "thiqah" (reliable). (Jami‘ ar-Ruwat, vol. 1 p. 378)

This investigation concludes that each of the narrators of the four narrations affirming the marriage of Umm Kulthum documented in al-Kafi was a reliable Imami Shi‘i transmitter with whose abilities and trustworthiness in hadith transmission the Shi‘i authorities have expressed their satisfaction. The significance of this fact will come to light when we discuss the turnabout that occurred after the development of Shi‘i kalam (scholastic theology) at the hands of ash-Shaykh al-Mufid in the fifth century.

Besides al-Kulayni, there were during this time other Shi‘i authors too who affirmed the marriage of Umm Kulthum in a way much similar to that of al-Kulayni. One of these was Abul Qasim al-Kufi (died 352 AH). He devoted a number of pages in his book al-Istighathah fi Bida‘ ath-Thalathah to the marriage of Umm Kulthum, and after presenting several arguments and counter arguments, he concludes the following:

Rasulullah r entrusted upon ‘Ali u all that he needed at the time of his death. He informed him of everything that will be done to him by his Ummah, mentioning the usurpers one by one. ‘Ali u said, "What do you command me to do?" and Rasulullah r answered, "Have patience and forbearance until the people return to you of their own volition. At that time you must fight the breakers of oaths, the unjust and those who out of the fold. Do not oppose any of the Three, for thereby you will bring about your own destruction, and the people will go from hypocrisy to disunity."

‘Ali u was thus keeping this covenant, protecting thereby the oppressed Muslims, and preserving the Religion, so that people would not return to open Jahiliyyah, with tribes seeking to stir up sedition by settling old scores.

Thus, when ‘Umar asked for the hand of Umm Kulthum, ‘Ali u thought to himself: "If I say no, he will want to kill me, and if he tries to kill me I will protect myself, and that would mean breaking the covenant with Rasulullah r and going against his command. Should that happen, that thing would come to pass which Rasulullah r tried to prevent, and for which reason he asked me to exercise patience, which is that people will fall into apostasy." It was better to hand over Umm Kulthum to him than to kill him. He thus handed her over to him, knowing fully well that what the man had usurped of the wealth of the Muslims and of their government, and what he had perpetrated by denying his (‘Ali’s) right and sitting on the place of the Prophet r , and his changes to and corruption of the laws and ordinances of Allah were far more terrible and dreadful than his forcible possession of his daughter. He handed her over, and resigned himself to patience, just like the Prophet r had ordered him to do.

In doing so he placed his daughter in a position similar to that of Asiyah bint Muzahim, the wife of Fir‘awn, since Allah mentions her in the words: "She said: O my Lord, build for me a house by you in Paradise, and save me from Fir‘awn and his doings, and save me from the unjust people." Indeed, what Fir‘awn had wreaked upon Bani Isra’il—killing their infants and raping their women—in his search for Musa was much more ghastlier than his forcible possession of his wife Asiyah, and his marriage to her. She is a believing woman and of the people of Paradise, as attested to by Allah Himself.

The case of this man with Umm Kulthum is the same as the case of Fir‘awn with Asiyah. His unjust usurpation of leadership, wherein he opposed Allah and His Messenger r , by denying the Imam his right, and his confiscation of the goverment of the Muslims, whilst governing their wealth, their persons and their lives with laws other than the laws of Allah and His Messenger r —all of that was more dreadful in the sight of Allah than his forcible possession of the bodies of a thousand believing women, not even to mention the body of a single woman. (al-Istighathah fi Bida‘ ath-Thalathah p. 90)

Abul Qasim al-Kufi seems not to spare a moment’s thought for the fact that this was not just any woman. This was the daughter of ‘Ali and Fatimah. This was the granddaughter of Rasulullah r . This was the sister of Hasan and Husayn. What the Shi‘ah here seek to subject their Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib to is unspeakable. Which father would sit by idly while his daughter is being forcibly taken by an abominable enemy? This is the extent to which their twisting and corruption of history has led them—that they are prepared to place upon their Imams the kind of shame that even the simplest ones amongst themselves would never bear. And the evil plot only entraps its own people. (al-Fatir:43)

In addition, this attempt by Abul Qasim al-Kufi to explain the marriage of Umm Kulthum is full of discrepancies, some of which we will make mention of hereunder:

The comaprison between Umm Kulthum and Asiyah is unjustified. Asiyah was not the daughter of a Nabi who was forced to hand her over in marriage to a tyrant. She was married to him even before Musa was born. Her marriage to Fir‘awn was not concluded under threat and compulsion, neither could it have been caused her father (whoever he was) any sort of embarrasment.

Abul Qasim’s report speaks of Rasulullah r informing ‘Ali of exactly what would be done to him by each of the three khulafa. He must therefore have known that ‘Umar will demand his daughter. Yet when the time comes to pass he refuses the marriage on grounds that she is too young (see the second narration from al-Kafi), and even Abul Qasim’s own report mentions him weighing his options. Someone who knows what is coming has no need to weigh his options.

The reason for preserving the peace with the three khulafa is given as the fear that people will revert into apostasy. Yet in a narration from Imam al-Baqir documented in al-Kafi, apostasy is mentioned to have set in immediately after the death of Rasulullah r : "Kana n-nasu ahla riddatin ba‘da Rasulillahi r illa thalathah" (After the death of Rasulullah r the people were apostates, except three.) (Rawdat al-Kafi, vol. 8 p. 167, no. 341) If they were thus already apostate, what reason did he have to sacrifice his own daughter’s honour and chastity in order to preserve the non-existent?

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