Monday, October 20, 2008

Veracity of Tabari's Islamic History - 17

syed-mohsin naquvi wrote:

So, you are impying that Muawiyyah asked Sa'ad about him he (Sa'ad) not abusing Ali totally out of context? Please reflect and give us your thoughts on this.

Thank you.


Syed-Mohsin Naquvi

Dear and Respected Syed Sahab,

For kind perusal,


It is a lie that Mu’awiyah ordered to insult Ali from the pulpits. There is no rightful or clear evidence about that. Mu’awiya’s biography and manners refuses this accusation. What some of the historians mention about that has no value because when these historians presents these words about Mu’awiyah, they do not differentiate between true or false stories. In addition, most of these historians are Shia. But some of the Historians narrated in their books sound stories and false stories, but they are excused when they attributed these stories to their narrators so that we could judge these stories, whether to accept them or reject them. Among these historians is Al-Tabari, who lived in a time of Shia’s growing power. Al-Tabari says in the introduction to his history: “Let the person who reads through our book know that my reliance on whatever I recorded is on news and history with attribution to their narrators, without using intellect except
in rare occasions. The knowledge of what had happened before, and what is going to happen at present time, is not reached to those who did not see and their time did not allow them for it without being told by people and without the interference of intellect. Therefore, whatever news you find in my book about history that the reader may deny it, or the listener may abhor it because he did not find it truthful according to him, then let him know that we did not present it ourselves, but it came from some of the people who narrated the story to us. We just presented what we have been told.” [Tareekh Al-Tabari, Introduction, p.13]

It is a lie also what al-Tijani says that Muslim narrated in his Saheeh a similar incident in “Ali’s Virtues” Chapter which is narrated by A’amir bin Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas who narrated from his father who says: (Mu’awiyah bin Abi Sufyan ordered Sa’ad and asked him: “What prevented you from insulting Abu Turab (Ali bin Abi Talib)?” Sa’ad answered: “The prophet peace be upon him said three things to him (Ali bin Abi Talib), so I would not insult him because to have one of these three things is more beloved to me than Humr Al-Nni’am (a kind of best camels). I heard the prophet peace be upon him saying to appoint Ali as a leader when the prophet used to go to Jihad (Holy War). Ali then would say to him: “O’ Messenger of Allah, you left me with the women and children?” The prophet peace be upon him answered him: “Would not you be pleased if you were for me as Haroon was for Mousa? Except there is no prophecy after me.” And I heard the prophet saying at the day of Khaybar: “I would give this banner to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger and who Allah and His Messenger love him too.” He said: “Then we were looking for this honor.” Then the Prophet said: “Call Ali.” Ali was brought and he had sore eyes. So the prophet peace be upon him spitted in his eyes and gave him the banner. Then Allah granted victory to the Muslims by the hands of Ali. And when this verse revealed: “Come, let us gather together, our sons and your sons,” the messenger of Allah called Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Hussain and said: “O’ Allah, they are my family.”) [Saheeh Muslim with Explanation, Book of “The Companions,” Chapter of “Virtues of Ali,” #2404]

This hadeeth does not mean that Mu’awiyah ordered Sa’ad to insult Ali. But, as it is obvious, Mu’awiyah wanted to know the reason that prevented Sa’ad from insulting Ali. Therefore, Sa’ad gave him the reason, and we do not know that when Mu’awiyah heard Sa’ad’s answer got angry with him or punished him. Mu’awiya’s silence is a correction for Sa’ad’s opinion. If Mu’awiyah was despotic; forcing people to insult Ali as Rafizis claim, then Mu’awiyah would not be quiet and would force Sa’ad to insult Ali, but nothing of that happened. Hence, it is known that Mu’awiyah did not order to insult Ali nor was pleased by that.

Al-Nawawi [Interpreter of Saheeh Muslim] says: “Mu’awiyah’s saying does not declare that he ordered Sa’ad to insult Ali, but asked him for the reason that prevented him from insulting. As if Mu’awiyah was saying to him: “Have you refrained from insulting Ali as a result of piety, fear or anything like that? If it was as a result of piety and veneration to refrain from insulting, then you are rightful and if it were other than that, then there would be another answer.” Or it might be that Sa’ad was in a group of people who insults Ali and he did not insult Ali with them, and could not prevent them and controverted them so Mu’awiyah asked him this question. They said: “And it may have another explanation, that what prevented you from making Ali wrong in his thought and opinion, and to show to people our good opinion and thought and that Ali was wrong?” [Ibid. p250-252]

It is so strange that this Rafizis [and Mawdoodi and Jamat-e-Islami amongst Sunnis] objects on insulting Ali but do not abstain from insulting the best of the Companions i.e. Uthman and Muawiyah ! Their (Rafizis) books are full of that.

It is a firm thing that Mu’awiyah was among the writers of the revelation. Muslim narrated in his Saheeh from Ibn Abbas that Abu Sufyan asked the prophet peace be upon him for three things: (He (Abu Sufyan) said to the prophet: “O’ Prophet of Allah, give me three things.” The prophet said: “yes.” ... Abu Sufyan said: “Mu’awiyah, make him a writer (of the revelation) under your hands.” The prophet answered: “Alright.”) [Muslim with explanation. Book of “Virtues of the Companions,” Chapter of “Virtues of Abu Sufyan,”]

Ahmad narrated in his Musnad, and Muslim from Ibn Abbas who says: (Once I was a kid playing with other boys when I looked behind and I saw the prophet peace be upon him coming towards us. So I said: “The prophet did not come to anyone but to me.” So I went behind the door to hide. I did not feel until the prophet found me, grasped my neck, and pressed my shoulders gently. The prophet said: “Go and call Mu’awiyah for me.” And Mu’awiyah was his writer (of the revelation). So I went looking for Mu’awiyah and told him: “Go and answer the prophet of Allah peace be upon him because he needs you.”) [Musnad Ahmed, vol.1, Musnad Ibn Abbas #2651, and Muslim with explanation, Book of “Al-Birr wa Al-Silah,]

These two hadeeths prove that Mu’awiyah was one of the writers of the revelation.


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