Then I Was Guided

Muhammad al Tijani Samawi (m)


A Meeting with Al Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al Sadr

I went with Abu Shubbar to al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr's house, and on the way he
honoured me and talked to me about the famous Ulama and about Taqlid (adoption of a legal
decision by the Mujtahid) and so on ... until we entered the house where we found al Sayyid al
Sadr surrounded by many young turbaned students. Al-Sayyid stood up and greeted us, then I
was introduced to him and he welcomed me warmly and sat me next to him. After that he started
asking me about Tunisia and Algeria and about famous Ulama like al-Khidr Husayn and al-Thahir
ibn Ashoor and others. I enjoyed his talk, and despite his high position and the great respect he
commands from his students, I found myself at ease with him and felt as if I had known him before.

I benefitted so much from that meeting because I listened to the questions asked by the students
and his answers to them, also I appreciated then the idea of adopting the decision of the living
Ulama who could answer all sorts of questions directly and clearly. I became convinced that the
Shia are Muslims worshipping Allah alone, who believe in the message of our Prophet Muhammad
(saw). At the beginning I suspected that what I saw was just acting, or perhaps as they call it
Taqiyyah, i.e. they show what they do not believe; but these suspicions disappeared quickly since
it was inconceivable that the hundreds of people that I saw or heard coordinated their acting, and
why should there be acting any- way? Besides who was I, and why should they be concerned
about me to the extent that they used Taqiyyah with me? And all their books, whether they were
old ones that had been written centuries ago or the newly published ones, all professed the unity of
Allah and praise His Messenger Muhammad (saw). There I was, in the house of al-Sayyid
Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, the famous religious authority inside Iraq and outside it, and every time
the name of Muhammad (saw) was mentioned, the entire audience shouted in one voice "May
Allah's blessings be upon Muhammad and his household."

When the time for prayer was due, we left the house and went to the mosque, which was next
door, and al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr led the midday and afternoon prayers. I felt as if I was
living among the Companions (of the Prophet), for there was a solemn invocation from one of the
men who had a moving voice, and when he finished the invocation the whole audience shouted,
"May Allah's blessing be upon Muhammad and his household." The invocation was basically to
thank and glorify Allah, the Great Majesty, and then Muhammad (saw) and his good and purified

After the prayer, al-Sayyid sat in the Mihrab (the prayer niche) and people came to greet him,
some asked him private questions, others asked him general questions, and he answered each one
of them accordingly. When the person obtained an answer for his question, he kissed the hand of
al- Sayyid then left, what lucky people to have such a dignified learned Imam who lives their
experiences and solves their problems.

Al-Sayyid showed me so much care and generosity to the extent that I forgot all about my family
and tribe, and felt that if I stayed for one month with him, I would have become a Shii, because of
his manners, modesty and generosity. Whenever I looked at him he smiled and asked me if I
needed anything, and I did not leave his company during the four days, only when I wanted to go
to sleep. There were many visitors who came to see him from all over the world; there were Saudi
Shii from Hijaz, others came from Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Syria, Iran,
Afghanistan, Turkey and Black Africa; and al-Sayyid spoke to each one of them and solved their
problems, later they left him feeling happy and comforted. Here I would like to mention a case
which was brought to al-Sayyid when I was in his company, and I was very impressed by the way
he dealt with it. I mention it because of its historical importance so that the Muslims know what
they have lost by leaving the rule of Allah.

Four men, who were probably Iraqis, judging by their accents, came to see al-Sayyid Muhammad
Baqir al-Sadr. One of them had inherited a house from his grandfather, who had died a few years
ago, and had sold that house to a second person (he was present then). One year after the
completion of the sale, two brothers came and proved that they were also legal inheritors of the
dead man (i.e. the father). The four of them sat before al-Sayyid and each one of them produced a
number of papers and deeds, which al-Sayyid read, and after he spoke for a few minutes with the
men, he passed a fair judgement. He gave the purchaser the full right to his house, and asked the
seller to pay to his two brothers their shares from the selling price, and after that they stood up and
kissed al-Sayyid's hand and embraced each other. I was astonished about what had happened and
asked Abu Shubbar, "Has the case ended?" He said, "Yes, everyone received his right. Praise be
to Allah!" In such case, and in such a short time, only a few minutes, the problem was solved. A
similar case in our country would have taken at least ten years to resolve, some of the plaintiffs
would die and their sons resume the case; often the legal costs exceed the price of the house. The
case would move from the Magistrate Court to the Appeal Court to the Court of Review, and at
the end no one is satisfied, and hatred between People and Tribes are created.

Abu Shubbar commented, We have the same thing if not worse." I asked, "How?" He said, if
people take their cases to the state courts, then they would go through the same troubles which
you have just mentioned, but if they follow the Religious Authority and commit themselves to the
Islamic Laws, then they would take their cases to him and the problem would be solved in a few
minutes, as you saw. And what is better than the Law of Allah for people who could comprehend?
Al-Sayyid al-Sadr did not charge them one Fils, but if they went to the state courts, then they
would have paid a high price."

I said, "Praise be to Allah! I still cannot believe what I have seen, and if I had not seen it with my
eyes, I would not have believed it at all."

Abu Shubbar said, "You do not have to deny it brother, this is a simple case in comparison with
other more complicated ones which involve blood. Even so, the Religious Authorities do consider
them, and it takes them a few hours to resolve." I said with astonishment, "Therefore you have two
governments in Iraq, a government of the state and a government of the clergy. He replied, "No,
we have a government of the state only, but the Muslims of the Shii Madhhab who follow the
Religious Authorities, have nothing to do with the government of the state, because it is not an
Islamic government. They are subjects of that government simply because of their citizenship, the
taxes, civil laws and personal status; so if a committed Muslim had an argument with a non
committed Muslim, then the case must be taken to the state courts, because the latter would not
accept the judgement of the Religious Authorities. However, if two committed Muslims had an
argument, then there is no problem, whatever the Religious Authorities decide is acceptable to all
parties. Thus, all cases seen by the Religious Authorities are solved on a day-to-day basis,
whereas other cases linger on for months and years."

It was an incident that made me feel content with rule of Allah, praise be to Him the Exalted one,
which helped me to comprehend the words of Allah in His Glorious Book:

... And whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the
unbelievers (Holy Qur'an 5:44).

... And whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the
unjust (Holy Qur'an 5:45).

... And whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the
transgressors (Holy Qur'an 5:47).

That incident aroused in me feelings of anger and resentment about those who change the just rules
of Allah with some unjust, man-made rules. They even go further, and with all impudence and
sarcasm, they criticize the divine rules and condemn them for being barbaric and inhuman because
it draws the limits. cuts the hand of the thief, stones the adulterer and kills the killer. So where did
all these new theories, that are foreign to us and our culture come from? There is no doubt they
came from the West and from the enemies of Islam who know that the application of Allah's rules
mean their inevitable destruction because they are thieves, traitors, adulterers, criminals and

I had many discussions with al-Sayyid al-Sadr during these days, and I asked him about everything
I had learnt through the friends who talked to me about their beliefs and what they thought about
the Companions of the Prophet (saw), and about Ali and his sons ... beside many other issues that
we used to disagree upon.

I asked al-Sayyid al-Sadr about Imam Ali and why they testify for him in the Adhan [the call for
prayers] that he is "Waliy Allah" [the friend of Allah]. He answered me in the following way:

The Commander of the Believers, Ali, may Allah's blessings be upon him, was one of
those servants of Allah whom He chose and honoured by giving them the
responsibilities of the Message after His Prophet. These servants are the trustees of
the Prophet (saw), since each prophet has a trustee, and Ali ibn Abi Talib is the
trustee of Muhammad (saw).

We favour him above all the Companions of the Prophet (saw) because Allah and
the Prophet favoured him, and we have many proofs of that, some of them are
deduced through logical reasoning, others are found in the Qur'an and al-Sunnah [the
Tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (saw)], and these proofs cannot be suspect,
because they have been scrutinized, and proven right, by our own learned people
(who wrote many books about the subject) and those of the Sunni Madhahibs. The
Umayyad regime worked very hard to cover this truth and fought Imam Ali and his
sons, whom they killed. They even ordered people, sometimes by force, to curse
him, so his followers - may Allah bless them all started to testify for him as being the
friend of Allah. No Muslim would curse the friend of Allah in defiance of the
oppressive authorities, so that the glory was to Allah, and to His Messenger and to all
the believers. It also became an historical land mark across the generations so that
they know the just cause of Ali and the wrong doing of his enemies. Thus, our
learned people continued to testify that Ali is the friend of Allah in their calls to
prayer, as something which is commendable. There are many commendable things in
the religious rites as well as in ordinary mundane dealings, and the Muslim will be
rewarded for doing them, but not punished for leaving them aside.

For example, it is commendable for the Muslim to say after al-Shahadah [i.e. to
testify that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad (saw) is His messenger]:
And I will testify that Heaven is true and Hell is true, and that Allah will resurrect
people from their graves.

I said "Our learned people taught us that the priority of the succession was for our master Abu
Bakr al-Siddiq, then to our master Umar al-Faruq, then to our master Uthman, then to our master
Ali, may Allah bless them all." Al-Sayyid remained silent for a short while, then answered me,

Let them say what they want, but it would be impossible for them to prove it on legal
grounds, besides, what they say contradicts their books which state: The best of the
people is Abu Bakr then Uthman, and there is no mention of Ali because they made
him just an ordinary person, however, the later historians started to mention him for
the sake of mentioning the Rightly Guided Caliphs.

After that I asked him about the piece of clay on which they put their foreheads during the prayers
and they call it "al-Turbah al-Husayniyyah". He answered,

We all prostrate on the dust, but not for the dust, as some people claim that the Shia
do, for the prostration is only for Allah, praise be to Him the Highest. It is well
established among our people, as well as among the Sunnis, that the most favourable
prostration is on earth or on the non-edible produce of the earth, and it is incorrect to
prostrate on anything else. The Messenger of Allah (saw) used to sit on the dust, and
he had a piece of clay mixed with straw, on which he used to prostrate. He also
taught his Companions, may Allah bless them all, to prostrate on the earth or on
stones, and forbade them from prostrating on the edges of their shirts. We consider
these acts to be necessary and important.

Imam Zayn al-Abideen Ali ibn al-Husayn [may Allah bless them both] took a Turbah
[a piece of clay] from near the grave of his father Abu Abdullah, because the dust
there is blessed and pure, for the blood of the chief martyr was spilt on it. Thus, his
followers continue with that practice up to the present day.

We do not say that prostration is not allowed but on Turbah, rather, we say that
prostration is correct if it is done on any blessed Turbah or stone, also it is correct if it
is done on a mat which is made of palm leaves or similar material.

I asked, with reference to our master al-Husayn, may Allah's blessings be upon him, "Why do the
Shia cry and beat their cheeks and other parts of their bodies until blood is spilt, and this is
prohibited in Islam, for the Prophet (saw) said: He who beats the cheeks, tears the pockets and
follows the call of al-Jahiliyyah is not one of us."

Al-Sayyid replied,

The saying is correct and there is no doubt about it, but it does not apply to the
obsequies of Abu Abdullah, for he who calls for the avenging of al-Husayn and
follows his path, his call is not of the Jahiliyyah. Besides, the Shias are only human
beings, among them you find the learned and not so learned, and they have feelings
and emotions. If they are overcome by their emotions during the anniversary of the
martyrdom of Abu Abdullah, and remember what happened to him, his family and his
companions from degradation to captivity and then finally murder, then they will be
rewarded for their good intentions, because all these intentions are for the sake of
Allah. Allah - praise be to Him, the Highest - who rewards people according to their

Last week I read the official reports from the Egyptian government about the suicide
incidents that followed the death of Jamal Abdul Nasser. There were eight such
incidents in which people took their lives by jumping from buildings or throwing
themselves under trains, besides them there were many injured people. These are but
some examples in which emotions have overcome the most rational of people, who
happen to be Muslims and who killed themselves because of the death of Jamal
Abdul Nasser, who died of natural causes, therefore, it is not right for us to condemn
the Sunnis and judge them to be wrong.

On the other hand, it is not right for the Sunnis to accuse their brothers the Shia of
being wrong because they cry for the chief martyr. These people have lived and are
still living to this present day the tragedy of al-Husayn. Even the Messenger of Allah
(saw) cried after the death of his son al- Husayn, and Gabriel cried also.

I asked, "Why do the Shia decorate the graves of their saints with gold and silver, despite the fact
that it is prohibited in Islam?"

Al-Sayyid al-Sadr replied,

This is not done just by the Shia, and it is not prohibited. Look at the mosques of our
brothers the Sunnis in Iraq or Egypt or Turkey or anywhere else in the Islamic world,
they are all decorated with gold and silver. Furthermore, the mosque of the
Messenger of Allah (saw) in al-Madinah al-Munawarah and the Kaba, the House of
Allah, in the blessed Mecca is covered every year by a cloth decorated by gold
which costs millions. So such a thing is not exclusive to the Shia.

I asked "The Saudi Ulama say that touching the graves and calling the saints for their blessings is
polytheism, so what is your opinion?"

Al-Sayyid al-Sadr replied:

If touching the graves and calling the dead is with the understanding that they could
cause harm or render a benefit, then that is polytheism, no doubt about it, the
Muslims are monotheists and they know that Allah alone could cause harm or render
a benefit, but calling the saints and Imams [may Allah bless them all] with the
understanding that they could be an intermediary to Allah, that is not polytheism. All
Muslims, Sunnis and Shias, agreed on this point from the time of the Messenger up to
the present day, except the Wahabiyyah, the Saudi Ulama who contradict all
Muslims with their new creed. They caused considerable disturbances among the
Muslims, they accused them of blasphemy, they spilt their blood and even beat old
pilgrims on their way to the House of Allah in Mecca just because they say "O
Messenger of Allah, may peace be upon you", and they will never let anybody touch
his blessed grave. They had so many debates with our learned people, but they
persisted in their stubbornness and their arrogance.

Al-Sayyid Sharaf al-Din, a famous Shi'i learned man, went on pilgrimage to the
House of Allah during the time of Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, and he was one of those
Ulama who were invited to the King's palace to celebrate with the King 'Id al-Adhha,
in accordance with the customs there. When his turn came to shake the King'shand,
Sayyid Sharaf al-Din presented him with a leather bound Qur'an. The King took the
Qur'an and placed it on his forehead then kissed it. Al Sayyid Sharaf al-Din said, "O
King, why do you kiss and glorify the cover which is only made out of goat's skin?"
The King answered, "I meant to glorify the Holy Qur'an, not the goat's skin."
Al-Sayyid Sharaf al-Din then said, "Well said, O King. We do the same when we
kiss the window or the door of the Prophet's (saw) chamber, we know it is made of
iron and could not harm or render a benefit, but we mean what is behind the iron and
wood, we mean to glorify the Messenger of Allah (saw) in the same way as you
meant with the Qur'an when you kissed its goat's skin cover.

The audience was impressed by al-Sayyid and said, "You are right." The King was
forced to allow the pilgrims to ask for blessings from the Prophet's relics, until the
order was reversed by the successor of that king. The issue is not that they are afraid
of people associating others with Allah, rather, it is a political issue based on
antagonizing and killing the Muslims in order to consolidate their power and authority
over the Muslims, and history is the witness to what they have done with the Muslim

I asked him about the Sufi orders, and he answered me briefly,

There are positive and negative aspects to them. The positive aspects include
self-discipline, austere living, renunciation of worldly pleasures and elevating one's self
to the spiritual world. The negative aspects include isolation, escapism and restricting
the mention of Allah by verbal numbers and various other practices. Islam, as it is
known accepts the positive aspects but rejects the negative ones, and we may say
that all the principles and teachings of Islam are positive.

Skepticism and Perplexity

The answers of al-Sayyid al-Sadr were clear and convincing, but it was very difficult for a person
like me to comprehend them. Twenty-five years of my life had been based on the idea of glorifying
and respecting the Companions of the Prophet, especially the Rightly Guided Caliphs. The
Messenger of Allah commanded us to follow their teachings, in particular Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and
Umar al-Farooq, but I had never heard their names mentioned since I arrived in Iraq. Instead, I
heard strange names that I had never come across before, and that there were twelve Imams, and
a claim that the Messenger of Allah had stated before his death that Imam Ali should be his
successor. How could I believe all that (that all Muslims and the Companions of the Prophet- who
was the best of people -, after the death of the Prophet agreed to stand against Ali - may Allah
honour him) when we had been taught from childhood that the Companions of the Prophet - may
Allah bless them all - respected Ali and knew very well what kind of man he was. They knew that
he was the husband of Fatima al-Zahra and the father of al-Hasan and al-Husayn and the gate to
the city of knowledge.

Our Master Ali knew the quality of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, who became a Muslim before anybody
else, and accompanied the Prophet to the cave, as is mentioned by Allah, the Mighty, in the
Qur'an, and whom the Messenger of Allah charged with the leadership of the prayers during his
illness, and said about him, if I was taking a very close friend, I would have chosen Abu Bakr."
Because of all that, the Muslims elected him as their caliph. Imam Ali knew the position of our
master Umar, with whom Allah glorified Islam, and the Messenger of Allah called him al-Farooq,
he who separates right from wrong. Also Imam Ali knew the position of our master Uthman, in
whose presence the angels of the Merciful felt shy, and who organized al-Usrah's army, and who
was named by the Messenger of Allah as "Dhu al-Nurayn", the man who is endowed with two
lights. How could our brothers al-Shia ignore or pretend to ignore all that, and make these
personalities just ordinary characters subject to all worldly whims and greed so that they deviated
from the right path and disobeyed the orders of the Messenger after his death. This was
inconceivable since we know that these people used to hasten to execute the orders of the
Messenger; they killed their sons and fathers and members of their tribes for the sake of glorifying
Islam and its ultimate victory. He who would kill his father and son for the sake of Allah and His
Messenger could not be subject to worldly and transitory ambitions such as the position of Caliph,
and ignoring the orders of the Messenger of Allah.

Yes, because of all that I could not believe all the Shia were saying, in spite of the fact that I was
convinced about many things. I remained in a state of doubt and perplexity: doubtful because of
what the Shii learned scholars Ulama said to me, which I found sensible and logical; and perplexed
because I could not believe that the Companions of the Prophet - may Allah bless them all - would
sink to such a low moral stand and become ordinary people like us, neither sharpened by the light
of the Message nor able to be enlightened by Muhammad. O my God, how could that be? Could
the Companions of the Prophet be at the level described by the Shia? The important thing is that
doubt and perplexity were the beginning of weakness and the realization that there were many
hidden issues to be uncovered before reaching the truth.

My friend came, then we travelled to Karbala, and there I lived the tragedy of our master
al-Husayn in the same way his followers, and only then did I know that he had not died an
ordinary death. People tend to crowd around his grave like butterflies and cry with such sorrow
and grief that I have never seen before, as if al-Husayn had just been martyred. I heard speakers
who aroused the feelings of people when describing the incident at Karbala, accompanied by
crying and wailing, and soon the listener loses control of himself and collapses. I cried and cried
and let myself go as if crushed, and felt a relief that I had never experienced before that day; I felt
that I had been in the ranks of al- Husayn's enemies and had suddenly changed sides to be one of
his followers who sacrificed themselves for his sake. The speaker was reciting the story of al-Hurr,
who was one of the commanders in charge of fighting al-Husayn, who stood in the middle of the
battlefield shaking like a leaf, and when one of his friends asked him, "Are you afraid of death?" He
answered, "No, by Allah, but I am choosing between heaven and hell." Then he kicked his horse
and went towards al-Husayn and asked, "Is there a repentance, O son of the Messenger of

When I heard that, I could not control myself and fell on the floor crying and felt as if I was in the
position of al-Hurr, asking al-Husayn, "Is there a repentance, O son of the Messenger of Allah?
Forgive me O son of the Messenger of Allah. The voice of the speaker was so moving that people
started crying and wailing, and when my friend heard my cries, he embraced me, like a mother
embracing her child, and started crying and calling, "O Husayn...O Husayn..."

These were moments, during which I learnt that meaning of real crying and felt that my tears
washed my heart and body from the inside, and then I understood the meaning of the Messenger's
saying: If you knew what I know, you would have laughed little and cried more.

I was depressed throughout the day, although my friend tried to re-assure me and cheer me up by
offering me some refreshments, but I had lost my appetite completely. I asked him to repeat the
story of the martyrdom of al-Husayn, for I did not know much about it except the fact that our
religious leaders told us that the enemies of Islam killed our masters Umar, Uthman and Ali, and
that the same enemies killed our master al-Husayn; and that is all we knew. In fact we used to
celebrate Ashura, as one of the festival days of Islam; alms were distributed and various types of
food were cooked and the young boys went to their elders who gave them money to buy sweets
and toys.

However, there are a few customs in some villages during Ashura: people do not light fires or do
any kind of work. People do not get married or celebrate a happy occasion. We usually accept
them at face value without any explanation given, and strangely enough, our religious leaders talk to
us about the greatness of Ashura and how blessed it is.

After that we went to visit the grave of al-Abbas, the brother of al-Husayn. I did not know who he
was, but my friend informed me about his bravery. We also met many pious religious leaders
whose names I cannot recall in detail, but I can still recall their surnames: Bahr al-Ulum, al-Sayyid
al-Hakim, Kashif al-Ghita, al-Yasin, al-Tabatabai, al- Feiruzabadi, Asad Haidar, and others, who
honoured me with their company.

They are truly pious religious leaders, possessing all the signs of dignity and respect, and the Shia
population respect them and give them one fifth of their incomes.

Through these donations they manage the affairs of the religious schools, open new schools,
establish presses and assist students who come to them from all over the Islamic world.

They are independent and not connected in any way with the rulers; unlike our religious leaders
who would not do or say anything without the approval of the authorities, who pay their salaries
and appoint them, and remove them whenever they want.

It was a new world that I had discovered, or rather, Allah had discovered for me. I started to
enjoy it having previously kept away from it, and gradually blended with it after I had opposed it. I
gained new ideas from this new world, and it inspired me with the quest for knowledge and
research until I reached the desired truth which always comes to mind whenever I read the saying
of the prophet: The sons of Israel were divided into seventy-one groups, and the Christians were
divided into seventy-two groups, and my people will be divided into seventy-three groups, all of
which, except one group will end up in Hell.

Here is not the place to talk about the various religions which claim to be the right one and that the
rest are wrong, but I am surprised and astonished whenever I read this saying. My surprise and
astonishment is not at the saying itself, but at those Muslims who read it and repeat it in their
speeches and brush over it without analyzing it or even attempting to find out which the group is
going to be saved and which are going to be doomed.

The interesting thing is that each group claims that it is the saved one. At the end of the saying
came the following: "Who are they, O Messenger of Allah?" He answered, "Those who follow my
path and the path of my Companions." Is there any group that does not adhere to the Book
[Qur'an] and Sunnah (the prophetic tradition), and is there any Islamic group that claims
otherwise? If Imams Malik or Abu Hanifah or al-Shafii or Ahmed ibn Hanbel were asked,
wouldn't each and everyone of them claim that he adheres to the teachings of the Qur'an and the
Right Sunnah'?'

These are the Sunni Madhahib, in addition to the various Shii-groups, which I had believed at one
time to be deviant and corrupt. All of them claim to adhere to the Qur'an and the correct Sunnah
which has been handed down through Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophets Family) who knew best about
what they were saying. Is it possible that they are all right, as they claim? This is not possible,
because the Prophets saying states the opposite, unless the saying is invented or fabricated. But
that is not possible either, because the saying is accepted by both the Shia and Sunnis. Is it
possible that the saying has no meaning? God forbid that His Messenger (saw) could utter a
meaningless and aimless saying, as he only spoke words of wisdom. Therefore we are left with one
possible conclusion: that there is one group which is on the right path, and that the rest are wrong.
Thus, the saying tends to make one confused and perplexed, but in the meantime it encourages
research and study by those who want to be saved.

Because of that, I became doubtful and perplexed after my meeting with the Shia, for who knows,
they might be saying the truth! So should I not study and investigate?

Islam, through the Qur'an and Sunnah ordered me to study, investigate and to compare, and Allah
- the Most High said:

And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our
ways (Holy Qur'an 29:69).

He also said: Those who listen to the word, then follow the best of it; these are they
whom Allah has guided, and those it is who are the men of understanding (Holy
Qur'an 39:18)

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,

Study your religion until it is said that you are mad.

Therefore research and comparison are legal obligations for every responsible person.

Having reached this decision and resolution, and with this promise to myself and my Shii friends
from Iraq, I embraced them and bade them farewell, full of sorrow since I liked them and they
liked me. I felt that I had left dear and faithful friends who had sacrificed their time in order to help
me. They did it out of their own choice and asked for nothing except the approval of Allah, Praise
be to Him. The Prophet (saw) said, "If Allah chooses you to guide one man (to the right path),
then that is worth more than all the riches on earth."

I left Iraq having spent twenty days among the Imams and their followers, and the time had passed
like a nice dream from which the sleeper was loathe to awake. I left Iraq feeling sorry for the
brevity of this period. and sorry to leave dear friends who were full of love for Ahl-al-Bayt.

I left Iraq for the Hijaz seeking the House of Allah and the grave of the Master of the First and the
Last (saw).

The Journey to Hijaz

I arrived in Jeddah and met my friend al-Basheer, who was very pleased to see me and took me
to his home and showed me the highest degree of generosity. We spent the time by going around
in his car visiting places, and did the Umrah together, and we spent a few days together full of
worshipping and other pious works. I apologized to my friend for being late due to my long stay in
Iraq and told him about my new discovery, or rather new faith. He was open minded and well
informed, so he said to me, "This is true, for I hear that they have some great learned scholars, but
also they have many deviant groups that cause us considerable trouble during the pilgrimage. I
asked him, "What are these problems they cause?" He said, "They pray around the graves and
enter al-Baqee in groups crying and wailing and they carry with them pieces of stones on which
they prostrate themselves; and if they visit the grave of our master al-Hamzah in Uhud, they make
up a funeral ceremony, beating their chests and wailing as if al-Hamza had just died. Because of all
that, the Saudi government prevented them from visiting the graves."

I laughed and said, "Is it because of that you judge them as being deviant from Islam?" He said,
"That and other reasons. They come to visit the Prophets (saw) grave, but at the same time they
stand around the graves of Abu Bakr and Umar and curse them, and some of them throw dirt and
litter on the graves."

When I heard these allegations I remembered what my father had told me when he came back
from the Pilgrimage that they throw dirt on the Prophet's (saw) grave. There is no doubt that my
father never saw them with his own eyes because he said, "We noticed some soldiers from the
Saudi Army beating a few pilgrims with sticks and when we protested against their humiliating
treatment of the pilgrims of the House of Allah, they answered us: These are not Muslims, they are
Shia who brought dirt to throw on the Prophet's (saw) grave. My father said: We then left them at
that, and cursed them and spat at them."

And now I heard from my Saudi friend who was born in al-Medinah al-Munawwarah that they
came to visit the Prophet's (saw) grave but throw dirt on Abu Bakr's and Umar's graves. I became
suspicious of the two stories, for I had been on pilgrimage and had seen the blessed room where
the graves of Prophet (saw) and Abu Bakr and Umar are locked and nobody could come near
them to touch the door or window or indeed to throw anything inside them for two reasons. Firstly
there are no gaps, and secondly there is a strict guard with tough soldiers watching each door, and
every one of them carries a whip in his hand to beat the pilgrims who dare to enter the room. It is
very likely that some of the Saudi soldiers in their prejudice against the Shia accused them with
these allegations to justify their aggression towards them or perhaps to provoke other Muslims to
fight them and to spread rumours in their countries, that the Shia hate the Messenger of Allah and
throw dirt on his grave, thus killing two birds with one stone.

A distinguished man whom I trusted told me the following story: We were going around the House
of Allah when suddenly a young man suffered a severe pain in his stomach and vomited. The
soldiers who were guarding the Black Stone started beating the man and accused him of defiling
al- Kaba. He was taken out in a deplorable way then was tried and executed the same day.

All these dramatic stories went round in my mind and I thought for a second about the justification
of my Saudi friend for blaspheming the Shia, but could not find anything apart from the fact that
they beat their chests and cry and prostrate themselves on stones, besides the fact that they pray
by the graves. I asked myself, "Is this sufficient proof to blaspheme he who believes that there is no
God but Allah and that Muhammad (saw) is His Servant and His Messenger? And he prays, gives
alms, fasts Ramadan, visits the House of Allah on pilgrimage, does good deeds and prevents bad

I did not want to antagonize my friend and to enter into a useless discussion with him so I briefly
said, "May Allah enlighten us and enlighten them, and lead us on the right path, and may Allah
curse the enemies of Islam and the Muslims."

Every time I went around the House of Allah during al- Umrah, and during my visit to the Blessed
Mecca where I found only a few visitors, I prayed and asked Allah genuinely to open my eyes and
to lead me to the truth. I stood by the place of Ibrahim (a.s.) and recited the following verse from
the Qur'an:

And strive hard in (the way of) Allah (such) a striving as is due to Him: He has
chosen you and has not laid upon any hardship in religion; the faith of your father
Ibrahim; he named you Muslims before and in this, that the Messenger may be a
bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people; therefore
keep up prayer and pay the alms and hold fast by Allah, He is your Guardian, how
excellent the Guardian and how excellent the Helper. (Holy Qur'an 22:78).

Then I started calling our master Ibrahim. or rather our forefather Ibrahim, as the Qur'an calls him:

O Father, you, who called us Muslims. your off spring have disagreed after you,
some of them became Jews, others Christians and some others became Muslims; and
the Jews were divided among themselves into seventy one groups the Christians were
divided into seventy two groups and the Muslims were divided into seventy-three
groups; all of them are in darkness, as you told your son Muhammad (saw). but only
one group stayed faithful to your oath. O Father!

Is it the way that Allah wants it to be for His creation, as the fatalists believe, so Allah assigns to
each soul its destiny, to be Jewish or Christian or Muslim or atheist or polytheist; or is it for the
love of this world and deviation from Allah's commands, that they forget Allah, so that He makes
them forget themselves.

I could not make myself believe in fatalism, and that Allah assigns a destiny to each individual,
rather I tend to believe that Allah has created us and inspired us to understand what is right and
what is wrong, and sent us His messengers to explain the complicated matters and to show us
what is right or wrong. But man fell under the spell of this life's temptation and with all his
arrogance, selfishness, ignorance, curiosity, stubbornness, injustice and tyranny deviated from the
right path and followed the devil.

He distanced himself from the Merciful, so he lost his way, and the Holy Qur'an expressed that in
the best way in the words of Allah:

Surely Allah does not do any injustice to men, but men are unjust to themselves (Holy
Qur'an 10:44).

O our father Ibrahim ! We cannot blame the Jews nor the Christians for not following
the right path after they have been shown the way ... Look at this nation which Allah
rescued when He sent your son Muhammad (saw) to it, who took it out of the
darkness and enlightened it and made it the best nation in the world. It too has been
divided into too many warring groups, despite the fact that the Messenger of Allah
(saw) has warned them and pressed them until he said, "It is forbidden for a Muslim
not to speak to his brother Muslim more than three times."

Whatever happened to this nation which is divided into many small and warring
states, some of which do not even know one another. O our father Ibrahim, whatever
happened to this nation... It used to be the best nation in the world; it ruled from the
East to the West and introduced knowledge and enlightenment to other nations.

Today it has reached a low ebb in its history; its land has been violated and its people have been
expelled... Its al- Aqsa Mosque is occupied by a Zionist gang and no one is able to liberate it. If
one visits their countries, one will find nothing except wretched poverty, terminal hunger, barren
lands, diseases, bad manners, intellectual and technical backwardness, tyranny, persecution, and
dirt. It is enough to compare the toilets in Western Europe to that in our countries, and see how
much difference there is in hygiene between the two. It is ironic to find this low level of hygiene in
our countries despite the fact that Islam has taught us that "cleanliness is a sign of faith, and dirt is a
sign of the devil". Has the faith moved to Europe and the devil come to live in our midst? Why
Muslims are frightened to declare their faith even in their own countries! Why the Muslim cannot
even be the master of his own face, since he cannot grow his own beard! The Muslims cannot
dress in Islamic costumes, whereas the sinful publicly drink alcohol and commit awful wrongs, and
the Muslim cannot even correct them and show them the right way. In fact I have been informed
that in some Islamic countries like Egypt or Morocco there are fathers who send their daughters to
sell their bodies, out of need and poverty, may there be no power or might but that of Allah the
High and the Mighty.

O God why have you abandoned this nation and left it in darkness? No, my God, please forgive
me, for it is this nation that abandoned You and chose the devil's path, and you, with all Your
wisdom and might said, and Your saying is the truth:

And whoever turns himself away from the remembrance of the Merciful God, We
appoint for him a devil, so he becomes his associate (Holy Qur'an 43:36).

There is no doubt that the deterioration of the Islamic nation to this low state of submissiveness and
backwardness is a sign of its deviation from the right path, and a small minority or one group
among seventy three would not effect the destiny of a whole nation.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

You are commanded to do good deeds and to prevent any objectionable act;
otherwise Allah will put your wicked ones in charge of you, then your good people
would call, but no one will listen to them.

O God, we believe in what you have sent us and we follow the Messenger, so will you consider us
with the believers? O God, please do not change our hearts after you have enlightened us. Please
God, have mercy on us, for you are the Giver. O God, we have unjustly treated ourselves, and if
you do not forgive us and have mercy on us, then we will certainly be among the losers.

I left for al-Medinah al-Munawwarah with a letter from my friend al- Basheer for one of his
relatives there, so that I could reside with him during my stay in al-Medinah.

He had already spoken to him on the phone, and when I arrived he received me warmly and put
me up in his house. As soon as I arrived, I went to visit the grave of the Messenger of Allah (saw),
so I cleaned myself and put on my best clothes. There were only a few visitors in comparison to
those who come during the season of Pilgrimage, therefore I managed to stand before the graves
of the Messenger of Allah (saw), Abu Bakr and Umar, something which I could not do during the
Pilgrimage because of the crowds. As I tried to touch the doors for blessing, one of the guards
rebuked me, and when I stayed for a long time to do my supplication and salutation, the guards
ordered me to leave. I tried to speak to one of the guards, but it was in vain.

I went back to the blessed court and sat down to read the Qur'an and to improve my recitation of
it. I repeated the recitation several times because I felt as if the Messenger of Allah (saw) was
listening to me. I said to myself: Is it conceivable that the Messenger (saw) is dead like any other
dead person? If so, why do we say in our prayers "May peace be with you O great prophet, and
may Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you" in a form which sounds as if we were addressing
him. The Muslims believe that our master al- Khidr (sa) is not dead, and that he would return the
greetings of anybody who greets him. Also, the followers of the Sufi orders believe that their
Shaykhs, Ahmed al-Tijani or Abdul Qadir al-Jilani come to see them openly and not in their sleep,
so why are we reluctant to grant this noble deed to the Messenger of Allah, and he is the best of all
mankind? But the reassuring thing is that the Muslims are not reluctant towards the Messenger of
Allah except the Wahabis, from whom, for this and various other reasons, I started to feel
estranged. I found their manners very coarse, because they treat other Muslims who disagree with
their beliefs very harshly. I visited al-Baqee Cemetery once, and while I was calling for mercy
upon the souls of Ahl al-Bayt, I noticed an old man standing near me crying, and because of that I
realized he was a Shii. He positioned himself towards the Kaba and started to pray, and suddenly
a soldier rushed towards him, as if he had been monitoring his moves, and kicked him while he
was in a position of prostration. The man fell on his back unconscious, then the soldier started
beating him and cursing him. I felt so sorry for the old man and thought he might have been killed
and so I shouted at the soldier, "You must not do that! Why did you beat him while he was
praying?" He rebuked me and said, "You be quiet and do not interfere, or else I will do to you
what I have just done to him!" I realized that the soldier was full of aggression, so I avoided him,
but I felt angry at myself for not being able to help those who are unjustly treated, and felt angry at
the Saudis who treat the people as they like without any check or accountability for their actions.
There were some visitors who witnessed the attack, but all that they could do was to say, "There is
no power or might but in Allah." Others said, "He deserves what he got because he was praying
by the graves." I could not control myself, so I said to that particular person, "Who told you that
we must not pray by the graves ? He answered, ' The Messenger of Allah (saw) prevented us
from doing so." I replied angrily. You are lying about the Messenger of Allah." I became aware of
the dangerous situation and feared that some of the visitors might call the soldier to attack me, so I
said gently, if the Messenger of Allah prevented us from praying by the graves, why should millions
of pilgrims and visitors disobey him and commit a sin by praying by the graves of the Prophet
(saw), Abu Bakr and Umar in the Holy Mosque of the Prophet and in many other mosques
around the Islamic world. Even if praying by the graves is a sin, should it be prevented with such
harshness? Or should we prevent it by gentle action. Allow me to tell you the story of the man who
urinated in the mosque of the Messenger of Allah and in his presence, and some of his
Companions drew their swords to kill him, but he stopped them and said: Let him go and do not
harm him, and pour some water on the place where he urinated. We are sent to make things easy
and not difficult. We are sent to spread the good words and not to make people keep away from

The Companions obeyed his orders, and the Messenger of Allah (saw) asked that man to come
and sit next to him and spoke to him nicely. He explained to him that the place was the House of
Allah and should not be dirtied, and the man seemed to have understood the point, for he later was
seen in the mosque wearing his best and cleanest clothes. Allah - the Great - was right when He
said to His Messenger (saw):

If you had been rough and hard-hearted with them, they would certainly have
dispersed from around you (Holy Qur'an 3:159)

Some of the visitors were moved when they heard the story, and one of them took me aside and
asked me, "Where do you come from?" I said, "From Tunisia." He then greeted me and said, "O
brother, by Allah, take care of yourself and do not say such things here at all, and this is my advice
to you, for the sake of Allah." I became so angry and bitter about those who claim that they are the
guardians of al- Haramayn and treat the guests of the Merciful with such harshness, so that no one
is allowed to voice an opinion or to believe in a belief that does not suit their way of thinking, or
indeed, to recite a saying (of the Prophet) that does not coincide with their own recitation of the

I went back to the house of my new friend, whose name I did not then know, and he brought me
some supper and sat in front of me and asked me where I had been. I told him my story from the
beginning to the end and said, "My brother, I have started to be dissatisfied with the Wahabis and
have begun to lean towards the Shia."

Suddenly the expression on his face changed and he said to me, "I warn you not to say anything
like that again!" Then he left me without even finishing his supper, although I waited for him, until I
went to sleep. I woke up next morning with the call for prayers from the Mosque of the Prophet
(saw), and found the food was untouched, which meant that my host had never come back. I
became suspicious and feared that the man might have been a member of the secret service, so I
left the house quickly and went to the Prophet's Mosque praying and worshipping. After the
afternoon prayers I noticed a speaker giving a lesson to some worshippers, so I went towards him,
and later learnt from one of the listeners that he was the Qadi (magistrate) of al- Medinah. I
listened to him as he was explaining some Qur'anic verses, and after he had finished his lesson and
was about to leave, I stopped him and asked him, "Please Sir, could you give me some indications
as regard the interpretation of the following Qur'anic verse:

And Allah only desires to keep away the un-cleanness from you, O people of the
House, and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. (Holy Qur'an 33:33).

I asked, "Who is being referred to as Ahl al-Bayt in this Qur'anic verse?" He answered me
immediately, "The wives of the Prophet (saw), and the verse started by mentioning them:

O wives of the Prophet, you are not like any other women, if you fear God. Holy
Qur'an (22:32)

I said to him, "The Shia Ulama say that it is Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, but of course I
disagree with them because the beginning of the verse states: O wives of the Prophet. But they
answered me as follows. That if the verse meant them [i.e. the wives of the Prophet], then the
grammatical form would have been feminine throughout. But the Highest says:

You are not (like any other women) if you fear God, be not soft in your speech, speak, stay in
your houses, do not display your finery, keep up your prayers, give the alms, obey Allah and His
Messenger. (All the above verbs are in the feminine form.)

And then, in the section of the verse which refers to Ahl al-Bayt, the form changes, so He says: To
keep away the uncleanness ... and to purify you (in the masculine grammatical form).

He removed his spectacles and looked at me then said, "Beware of these poisonous ideas, the
Shias change the words of Allah in the way they like, and they have many verses about Ali and his
off-spring that we do not know. In fact they have a special Qur'an. They call it The Qur'an of
Fatimah. I warn you not to be deceived by them."

I replied, "Do not worry Sir, I am on my guard, and I know many things about them, but I just
wanted to find out. " He asked, "Where are you from?" I said, "From Tunisia." He asked, "What is
your name?" I replied, "Al-Tijani." He laughed with arrogance and said,"Do you know who
Ahmed al-Tijani was?" I answered, "He was the Shaykh of a Sufi order." He said, "He was an
agent of the French Colonial authorities, and the French Colonial system established itself in
Algeria and Tunisia with his help, and if you visit Paris go to the National Bibliothique and read for
yourself in the French Dictionary under "A" and you will find France gave the Legion de Honour to
Ahmed al-Tijani who gave them incalculable help."

I was surprised at what he said, but I thanked him and bade him farewell.

I stayed in al-Medinah for a whole week, and I prayed forty prayers and visited all the holy places.
During my stay there I made very careful observations, and as a result I became more and more
critical of the Wahabis.

I left al-Medinah al-Munawwarah and went to Jordan to see some friends I had met while on my
way to the pilgrimage, as I indicated before. I stayed with them for three days, and found them full
of hatred towards the Shia, more so than the people in Tunisia.

There were the same stories and the same rumours, and everyone I asked for proof, answered
that "he had heard about them", but I found nobody who had had contact with the Shia or read a
book by the Shia or even met a Shii in all his life.

From Jordan I went to Syria, and in Damascus I visited the Umayyad Mosque, next to which is
the place where the head of our master al-Husayn is resting; also I visited the grave of Salah al-Din
al-Ayyubi and our lady Zaynab bint Ali ibn Abi Talib.

From Beirut I took a ship that was going directly to Tripoli. The journey lasted for four days,
during which I relaxed physically and mentally. I reviewed the whole trip in my mind and
concluded that I had developed an inclination and respect towards the Shia; in the meantime I
started to resent and keep away from the sinister Wahabis. I thanked Allah for what He had given
me and for His care. and asked Him, Praise he to Him the Highest, to lead me to the right path.

I arrived home eager to meet my family and friends. and found them all well. I was surprised when
I entered my house and found many books had arrived home before me. hut I knew where they
had come from. When I opened these books, which filled the whole house, I felt grateful to those
people who had not broken their promises. In fact the books they sent me by post exceeded the
number of books that had been given to me as presents there.

The Beginning of the Research

I was very grateful for the books which I organized and kept in a special place, which called the
library. I rested for a few days, and received the time-table for the new academic year, and found
out that I had to work for three consecutive days, and that for the rest of the week I was off-duty.

I started reading the books, so I read "The Beliefs of al-Imamiyya" and "The Origin and Principles
of al-Shia", and felt that my mind was at ease with the beliefs and ideas of the Shia. Then I read
"al-Murajaat [correspondences]" by al-Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi. As soon as I read the
first few pages, I became engrossed in it and could not leave it unless it was necessary, and even
took it with me to the institute. I was surprised at the straight forward clarity of the Shii scholar
when he solved problems that appeared complicated to the Sunni scholar from al-Azhar. I found
my objective in the book, because it is not like any ordinary book where the author writes
whatever he likes without criticism or discussion, for "al-Murajaat" is in the form of a dialogue
between two scholars, who belong to a different creed, and are critical of each other's statement.
Both base their analysis on the two important references for all Muslims: The Holy Qur'an and the
Right Sunnah which is approved in Sihah al-Sittah. I found that there was something common
between myself and the idea of the book: for I was an investigator searching for the truth, and was
willing to accept it wherever it was found. Therefore I found this book immensely useful, and I owe
it a great deal.

I was astonished when I found him talking about the refusal of some of the Companions to comply
with the orders of the Prophet(saw), and he gave many examples, including the incident of "Raziyat
Yawm al-Khamis (The Calamity of Thursday)", for I could not imagine that our master Umar ibn
al-Khattab had disagreed with the orders of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and accused him of
Hajr (talking irrationally), and I thought at the beginning that it was just a story from the Shia
books. However, I was even more astonished when I noticed that the Shii scholar made his
reference to the incident in the "Sahih of al-Bukhari" and the "Sahih of Muslim".

I travelled to the Capital, and from there I bought the "Sahih of al-Bukhari", the "Sahih of Muslim",
the "Mosnad of Imam Ahmed", the "Sahih of al-Tirmidhi", the "Muwatta of Imam Malik" and other
famous books. I could not wait to get back to the house and read these books, so throughout the
journey between Tunis and Gafsah I sat in the bus looking through the pages of al-Bukhari's book
searching for the incident of "The great misfortune of Thursday" and hoping that I would never find

Nevertheless, I found it and read it many times; and there it was, exactly as it has been cited by
al-Sayyid Sharaf al-Din.

I tried to deny the incident in its entirety, and could not believe that our master Umar had played
such a dangerous role; but how could I deny it since it was mentioned in our Sihahs; the Sihahs of
al-Sunnah, in whose contents we are obliged to believe, so if we doubt them or deny some of
them, it means that we abandon all our beliefs. If the Shia scholar had referred to their books, I
would not have believed what he said, but he was referring to the Sihahs of al-Sunnah, which
could not be challenged, because we are committed to believe that they are the most authentic
books after the Book of Allah. Therefore, the issue is a compelling one, because if we doubt these
Sihahs we are left with hardly any of the rules and regulations of Islam to rely on. This is because
the rules and regulations which are mentioned in the Book of Allah take the form of general
concepts rather than details. We are far from the time of the Message, and have thus inherited the
rules of our religion through our fathers and grandfathers with the help of these Sihahs, which
cannot be ignored. As I was about to embark on long and difficult research, I promised myself to
depend only on the correct Hadiths that are agreed by both the Shia and the Sunnah, and that I
would drop all the sayings which are mentioned exclusively by one group or the other. Only
through this just method could I keep myself safe from emotional factors, sectarian fanaticism and
national tendencies. In the meantime I would be able to pass through the road of doubt and reach
the mountain of certainty, and that is the correct path of Allah.

The Companions of the Prophet as seen by the Shia and the Sunnis

One of the most important studies which I consider to be the cornerstone for all the studies that
lead to the truth is the research into the life of the Companions, their affairs, their deeds and their
beliefs; because they were the foundations of everything, and from them we took the principles of
our religion, and they enlightened our darkness, so that we can see the rules of Allah. Many
Muslim scholars- convinced of the above - embarked on the study of the lives and deeds of the
Companions, among them: "Usd al-Ghabah fi Tamyeez al-Sahabah", and "al-Isabah fi Maarifat
al-Sahabah", and "Mizan al-I'tidal" and various other books which look critically and analytically at
the lives of the Companions, but all from the point of view of the Sunnis.

There is a slight problem here, and that is that most of the early scholars wrote in the way which
suited the Umayyad and Abbasid rulers who were well known for their opposition to Ahl al-Bayt
and all their followers. Therefore, it is not fair to depend on their works alone without reference to
the works of the other Muslim scholars who were persecuted and ultimately killed by these
governments simply because they were followers of Ahl al-Bayt and the cause behind the
revolutions against the oppressive and deviant authorities.

The main problem with all that was the Companions themselves, for they disagreed about the wish
of the Messenger of Allah (saw) to write them a document which would help them to remain on
the right path until the Day of Judgement. This disagreement deprived the Islamic nation of a unique
virtue, and has thrown it into darkness until it was divided and plagued with internal quarrels and
finally ended up as a spent force.

It was they who disagreed on the issue of the Caliphate [the successorship of the Prophet], and
were divided between a ruling and an opposing party, thus dividing the nation into the followers of
Ali and the followers of Muawiyah. It was they who differed in the interpretations of the Book of
Allah and the sayings of His Messenger, which led to the creation of the various creeds, groups
and subgroups; and from them came many scholars of scholastic theology and schools of thoughts
and philosophies inspired by political ambitions with one aim in mind and that was to obtain power.

The Muslims would not have been divided and in disagreement had it not been for the
Companions, for every disagreement that has been created in the past, or is being created at the
present time is due to their disagreement about the Companions. There is one God, one Qur'an,
one Messenger and one Qiblah, and they all agree on that, but the disagreement among the
Companions started on the first day after the death of the Messenger (saw), in the Saqifah [house]
of Bani Saidah, and has continued up to the present day, and will continue for as long as Allah wills

Through my discussions with the Shiite scholars, I discovered that, in their views, the Companions were divided into three categories:

The first category included the good Companions who knew Allah and His Messenger truly well,
and they acclaimed him [the Messenger] to the last moments of their lives. They were truly his
friends by words and deeds, and they never abandoned him, but rather stood their ground with
him. Allah - the most High - praised them in many places in His Holy Book, and the Messenger of
Allah (saw) also praised them in many places. This group of Companions are mentioned by the
Shia with reverence and respect, they are also mentioned by the Sunnis with the same reverence
and respect.

The second category were the Companions who embraced Islam and followed the Messenger of
Allah (saw) either through choice or through fear, and they always showed their gratitude to the
Messenger of Allah (saw) for their Islam. However, they hurt the Messenger of Allah (saw) on a
few occasions, and did not always follow his orders, in fact they often challenged him and
challenged the clear text with their points of view, until Allah, through the Holy Qur'an, had to
intervene by rebuking them or threatening them. Allah exposed them in many Qur'anic verses, also
the Messenger of Allah (saw) warned them in many of his sayings. The Shia mention this group of
Companions only because of their deeds, and without respect or reverence.

The third type of Companions were the hypocrites who accompanied the Messenger of Allah
(saw) to deceive him. They pretended to be Muslims but inside themselves they were bent on
blasphemy and on deceiving Islam and the Muslims as a whole. Allah has revealed a complete
Surah in the Qur'an about them, and mentioned them in many other places, and promised them the
lowest level in Hell. Also the Messenger of Allah (saw) mentioned them and issued warnings about
them, and even informed some of his close friends about their names and characteristics. The Shia
and the Sunnis agree in cursing this group of Companions and have nothing to do with them.

There was a special group of Companions who distinguished themselves from the others by being
relatives of the Prophet (saw), in addition to having possessed ethical and spiritual virtues and
personal distinctions from Allah and His Messenger that no one else was honoured with. These
were Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet's Family) whom Allah cleansed and purified, and ordered us to
pray for them in the same way as he ordered us to pray for His Messenger. He made it obligatory
for us to pay them one fifth of our income, and that every Muslim must love them as a reward for
the Muhammadan Message. They are our leaders and we must obey them; and they are people
firmly rooted in knowledge who know the interpretation of the Holy Qur'an and they know the
decisive verses of it, as well as those verses which are allegorical.

They are the people of al-Dhikr whom the Messenger of Allah equated with the Holy Qur'an in his
saying "the two weighty things" (al-Thaqalayn), and ordered us to adhere to them [2], He equated
them to Noah's Ark: whoever joined it was saved, and whoever left it drowned [3]. The
Companions knew the position of Ahl al-Bayt and revered them and respected them. The Shia
follow them and put them above any of the Companions, and to support that they have many clear
texts as proofs.

The Sunnis respect and revere the Companions but do not accept the above classification and do
not believe that some of the Companions were hypocrites, rather, they see the Companions as
being the best people after the Messenger of Allah. If they classify the Companions then it would
be according to their seniority and their merits and their services to Islam. They put the Rightly
Guided Caliphs in the first class, then the first six of the ten who were promised with heaven,
according to them. Therefore when they pray for the Prophet (saw) and his household they attach
with them all the Companions without exception.

This is what I know from the Sunni scholars, and that is what I heard from the Shii scholars
regarding the classification of the Companions; and that is what made me start my detailed study
with the issue of the Companions. I promised my God - if He led me on the right path - to rid
myself from emotional bias and to be neutral and objective and to listen to what the two sides said,
then to follow what was best, basing my conclusions on two premises:

1. A sound and a logical premise: that is to say that I would only depend upon what everybody is
in agreement with, regarding the commentary on the Book of Allah, and the correct parts of the
honourable Sunnah of the Prophet.

2. The mind: for it is the greatest gift that Allah has given to human beings, and through it He
honoured them and distinguished them from the rest of creation. Thus, when Allah protests about
what His worshippers do, He asks them to use their minds in the best possible way, and He says:
Do they not understand? Do they not comprehend? Do they not see? . . .etc."

Let my Islam primarily be the belief in Allah, His angels, His Books and His messengers; and that
Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger; and that the Religion of Allah is Islam; and that I
will never depend on any of the Companions, regardless of his relation to the Messenger or his
position, for I am neither Umayyad nor Abbasid nor Fatimid, and I am neither Sunni nor Shii, and I
have no enmity towards Abu Bakr or Umar or Uthman or Ali or even Wahshi, the killer of our
master al-Hamzah, as long as he became a Muslim, and the Messenger of Allah forgave him. Since
I had forced myself into this study in order to reach the truth, and since I had rid myself, sincerely,
from all my previous beliefs, I decided to start, with the blessing of Allah, by considering the
attitudes of the Companions.

[2].Kanz al Ummal, vol 1 p 44
Ahmed's Musnad, vol 5 p 182

[3].al Mustadrak, al Hakim (al Dhahabi's abridged), vol 3 p 151
Al Sawaiq al Muhriqah, Ibn Hajar, p 184, 234

The Companions at the Peace Treaty of al Hudaibiyah

Briefly the story is as follows:

In the sixth year after the Hijrah (emigration of the Prophet from Mecca to Madinah), the
Messenger of Allah with one thousand and four hundred of his Companions marched towards
Mecca to do the Umrah. They camped in "Dhi al-Halifah" where the Prophet (saw) ordered his
Companions to put down their arms and wear the Ihram (white gowns worn especially for the
purpose of the pilgrimage and the Umrah), then they dispatched al-Hady (an offering for sacrifice)
to inform Quraysh that he was coming as a visitor to do the Umrah and not as a fighter. But
Quraysh, with all its arrogance, feared that its reputation would be dented if the other Arabs heard
that Muhammad had entered Mecca by force. Therefore, they sent a delegation led by Suhayl ibn
Amr ibn Abd Wadd al-Amiri to see the Prophet and ask him to turn back that year, but said that
they would allow him to visit Mecca for three days the year after. In addition to that, they put
down some harsh conditions, which were accepted by the Messenger of Allah as the
circumstances warranted such acceptance, and as revealed to him by his God, Glory and Might be
to Him.

A few of the Companions did not like the Prophet's action and opposed him very strongly, and
Umar ibn al-Khattab came and said to him, "Are you not truly the Prophet of Allah?" He
answered,"Yes, I am." Umar asked, "Are we not right and our enemy wrong?" The Prophet
answered, "Yes." Umar asked, "Why do we then disgrace our religion?" The Messenger of Allah
(saw) said, "I am the Messenger of Allah and I will never disobey Him and He is my support."
Umar asked, "Did you not tell us that we would come to the House of Allah and go around it?"
The Prophet answered, "Yes, and did I tell you that we were coming this year?" Umar answered,
"No." The Prophet said, "Then you are coming to it and going around it." Umar later went to Abu
Bakr and asked him, "O Abu Bakr, is he not truly the Prophet of Allah?" He answered, "Yes."
Umar then asked him the same questions he had asked the Messenger of Allah, and Abu Bakr
answered him with the same answers and added, "O Umar he is the Messenger of Allah, and he
will not disobey his God, Who is his support, so hold on to him."

When the Prophet had finished signing the treaty, he said to his Companions "Go and slaughter
(sacrifices) and shave your heads." And by Allah one of them stood up until he had said it three
times. When nobody obeyed his orders, he went to his quarters, then came out and spoke to no
one, and slaughtered a young camel with his own hands, and then asked his barber to shave his
head. When the Companions saw all that, they went and slaughtered (sacrifices), and shaved one
another, until they nearly killed one another [4].

This is the summary of the story of peace treaty of al-Hudaibiyah, which is one of the events
whose details both the Shia and Sunnah agree upon, and it is cited by many historians and
biographers of the Prophet such as al-Tabari, Ibn al-Athir, Ibn Saad, al-Bukhari and Muslim.

I stopped here, for I could not read this kind of material without feeling rather surprised about the
behaviour of those Companions towards their Prophet. Could any sensible man accept some
people's claims that the Companions, may Allah bless them, always obeyed and implemented the
orders of the Messenger of Allah (saw), for these incidents expose their lies, and fall short of what
they want! Could any sensible man imagine that such behaviour towards the Prophet is an easy or
acceptable matter or even an excusable one! Allah, the Almighty, said:

But no! By your God! They do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of
that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not and
any straightness in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire
submission. (Holy Qur'an 4:65)

Did Umar ibn al-Khattab succumb to them and find no difficulty in accepting the order of the
Messenger (saw)? Or was he reluctant to accept the order of the Prophet? Especially when he
said, "Are you not truly the Prophet of Allah? Did you not tell us? ..." etc, and did he succumb
after the Messenger of Allah gave him all these convincing answers? No he was not convinced by
his answers, and he went and asked Abu Bakr the same questions. But did he succumb after Abu
Bakr answered him and advised him to hold on to the Prophet? I do not know if he actually
succumbed to all that and was convinced by the answers of the Prophet (saw) and Abu Bakr! For
why did he say about himself, "For that I did so many things..". Allah and His Messenger know the
things which were done by Umar.

Furthermore, I do not know the reasons behind the reluctance of the rest of the Companions after
that, when the Messenger of Allah said to him, "Go and slaughter [sacrifices] and shave your
heads." Nobody listened to his orders even when he repeated them three times, and then in vain.

Allah, be praised! I could not believe what I had read. Could the Companions go to that extent in
their treatment of the Messenger. If the story had been told by the Shia alone, I would have
considered it a lie directed towards the honourable Companions. But the story has become so well
known that all the Sunni historians refer to it. As I had committed myself to accept what had been
agreed on by all parties, I found myself resigned and perplexed. What could I say? What excuse
could I find for those Companions who had spent nearly twenty years with the Messenger of
Allah, from the start of the Mission to the day of al-Hudaibiyah, and had seen all the miracles and
enlightenment of the Prophethood? Furthermore the Qur'an was teaching them day and night how
they should behave in the presence of the Messenger, and how they should talk to him, to the
extent that Allah had threatened to ruin their deeds if they raised their voices above his voice.

[4].Sahih, Bukhari, Book of al Shurut, Chapter: Al Shurut fi al Jihad vol 2 p 122

The Companions and the Raziyat Yawm al Khamis
(The Calamity of Thursday)

Briefly the story is as follows:

The Companions were meeting in the Messenger's house, three days before he died. He ordered
them to bring him a bone and an ink pot so that he could write a statement for them which would
prevent them from straying from the right path, but the Companions differed among themselves,
and some of them disobeyed the Prophet and accused him of talking nonsense. The Messenger of
Allah became very angry and ordered them out of his house without issuing any statement.

This is the story in some details:

Ibn Abbas said: Thursday, and what a Thursday that was! The Messenger's pain became very
severe, and he said, "Come here, I will write you a document which will prevent you from straying
from the right path." But Umar said that the Prophet was under the spell of the pain, and that they
had the Qur'an which was sufficient being the Book of Allah. Ahl al-Bayt then differed and
quarrelled amongst themselves, some of them agreeing with what the Prophet said, while others
supported Umar's view. When the debate became heated and the noise became louder, the
Messenger of Allah said to them, "Leave me alone."

Ibn Abbas said: The disaster was that the disagreement among the Companions prevented the
Messenger from writing that document for them [5].

The incident is correct and there is no doubt about its authenticity, for it was cited by the Shii
scholars and their historians in their books, as well as by the Sunni scholars and historians in their
books. As I was committed to consider the incident, I found myself bewildered by Umar's
behaviour regarding the order of the Messenger of Allah. And what an order it was! "To prevent
the nation from going astray", for undoubtedly that statement would have had something new in it
for the Muslims and would have left them without a shadow of doubt.

Now let us leave the points of view of the Shia, that is that the Messenger wanted to write the
name of Ali as his successor, and that Umar realized this, so he prevented it. Perhaps because they
do not convince us initially with that hypothesis. But can we find a sensible explanation to this
hurtful incident which angered the Messenger so much that he ordered them to leave, and made
Ibn Abbas cry until he made the stones wet from his tears and called it a "great disaster"? The
Sunnis say that Umar recognized that the Prophet's illness was advancing, so he wanted to comfort
him and relieve him from any pressure.

This type of reasoning would not be accepted by simple-minded people, let alone by the scholars.
I repeatedly tried to find an excuse for Umar. but the circumstances surrounding the incident
prevented me from finding an excuse. Even if I changed the words "He is talking nonsense" - God
forbid - to "the pain has overcome him", I could not find any justification for Umar when he said,
"You have the Qur'an, and it is sufficient being the Book of Allah." Did he know the Qur'an better
than the Messenger of Allah, for whom it was revealed? Or was the Messenger of Allah - God
forbid - unaware of what he was? Or did he seek, through his order, to create division and
disagreement among the Companions - God forbid. Even if the Sunni reasoning was right, then the
Messenger of Allah would have realized the good will of Umar and thanked him for that and
perhaps asked him to stay, instead of feeling angry at him and telling them to leave his house. May
I ask why did they abide by his order when he asked them to leave the room and did not say then
that he was "talking nonsense"? Was it because they had succeeded in their plot to prevent the
Prophet from writing the document, so that there was no need for them to stay any longer? Thus,
we find them creating noise and difference in the presence of the Messenger, and divided into two
parties: one agreeing with the Messenger of Allah about writing that document, while the other
agreed with Umar "that he was talking nonsense".

The matter is not just concerned with Umar alone, for if it was so, the Messenger of Allah would
have persuaded him that he could not be talking nonsense and that the pain could not overcome
him in matters of the nation's guidance and of preventing it from going astray. But the situation
became much more serious, and Umar found some supporters who seemingly had a prior
agreement on their stand, and so they created the noise and the disagreement among themselves
and forgot, or perhaps pretended to forget, the words of Allah - the Most High:

O You who believe! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet, and
do not speak loud to him as you speak loud to one another, lest your deeds become
null while you do not perceive (Holy Qur'an 49:2).

In this incident they went beyond raising their voices and talking loud to accusing the Messenger of
Allah of talking nonsense - God forbid - then they increased their noise and differences until it
became a battle of words in his presence.

I think the majority of the Companions were with Umar, and that is why the Messenger of Allah
found it useless to write the document, because he knew that they would not respect him and
would not abide by the command of Allah by not raising their voices in his presence, and if they
were rebellious against the command of Allah, then they would never obey the order of His

Thus, the wisdom of the Messenger ruled that he was not to write the document because it had
been attacked during his lifetime, let alone after his death.

The critics would say that he was talking nonsense, and perhaps they would doubt some of the
orders he passed whilst on his death-bed, for they were convinced that he was talking nonsense.

I ask Allah for forgiveness, and renounce what has been said in the presence of the holy
Messenger, for how could I convince myself and my free conscience that Umar ibn al-Khattab
was acting spontaneously, whereas his friends and others who were present at the incident cried
until their tears wet the stones, and named the incident "the misfortune of the Muslims". I therefore
decided to reject all the justifications given to explain the incident, and even tried to deny it so that
I could relax and forget about the tragedy, but all the books referred to it and accepted its
authenticity but could not provide sound justification for it.

I tend to agree with the Shii point of view in explaining the incident because I find it logical and
very coherent.

I still remember the answer which al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr gave me when I asked him,
"How did our master Umar understand, among all the Companions what the Messenger wanted to
write, namely the appointment of Ali as his successor- as you claim - which shows that he was a
clever man?"

Al-Sayyid al-Sadr said: Umar was not the only one who anticipated what the Messenger was
going to write. In fact most of the people who were present then understood the situation the same
way as Umar did, because the Messenger of Allah had previously indicated the issue when he
said, "I shall leave you with two weighty things: the Book of Allah and the members of my Family
(Ahl al-Bayt) and their descendants, if you follow them, you will never go astray after me." And
during his illness he said to them, "Let me write you a document, if you follow its contents, you will
never go astray." Those who were present, including Umar, understood that the Messenger of
Allah wanted to reiterate, in writing, what he had already said in Ghadir Khum, and that was to
follow the Book of Allah and Ahl al-Bayt and that Ali was the head of it. It was as if the holy
Prophet (saw) was saying, "Follow the Qur'an and Ali." He said similar things on many occasions,
as has been stated by many historians.

The majority of Quraysh did not like Ali because he was young and because he smashed their
arrogance and had killed their heroes; but they did not dare oppose the Messenger of Allah, as
they had done at the "Treaty of al-Hudaibiyah', and when the Messenger prayed for Abdullah ibn
Abi al- Munafiq, and on many other incidents recorded by history. This incident was one of them,
and you see that the opposition against writing that document during the Prophets illness
encouraged some of those who were present to be insolent and make so much noise in his

That answer came in accordance with what the saying meant. But Umar's statement, "You have
the Qur'an, and it is sufficient, being the Book of Allah" was not in accordance with the saying
which ordered them to follow the Book of Allah and the Household [Ahl al-Bayt] together. It
looks as if he meant to say, "We have the Book of Allah, and that is sufficient for us, therefore
there is no need for Ahl al-Bayt." I could not see any other reasonable explanation to the incident
other than this one, unless it was meant to say, 'Obey Allah but not His Messenger." And this
argument is invalid and not sensible. If I put my prejudices and my emotions aside and base my
judgement on a clean and free mind, I would tend towards the first analysis, which stops short of
accusing Umar of being the first one to reject the Prophet's Tradition (al-Sunnah) when he said, "It
is sufficient for us, being the Book of Allah".

Then if there were some rulers who rejected the Prophet's Traditions claiming that it was
"contradictory", they only followed an earlier example in the history of Islam. However, I do not
want to burden Umar alone with the responsibility for that incident and the subsequent deprivation
of the nation of the guidance. To be fair to him, I suggest that the responsibility should be borne by
him and those Companions who were with him and who supported him in his opposition to the
command of the Messenger of Allah.

I am astonished by those who read this incident and feel as if nothing happened, despite that it was
one of the "great misfortunes" as Ibn Abbas called it. My astonishment is even greater regarding
those who try hard to preserve the honour of a Companion and to correct his mistake, even if at
the cost of the Prophet's dignity and honour and at the cost of Islam and its foundations.

Why do we escape from the truth and try to obliterate it when it is not in accordance with our
whims . . . why do not we accept that the Companions were human like us, and had their own
whims, prejudices and interests, and could commit mistakes or could be right?

But my astonishment fades when I read the Book of Allah in which He tells us the stories of the
prophets- may Allah bless them and grant them peace - and the disobedience they faced from their
people despite all the miracles they produced .. Our God! Make not our hearts to deviate after
thou hast guided us aright, and grant us from Your Mercy; surely You are the Most Liberal Giver.

I began to understand the background to the Shia's attitude towards the second Caliph, whom
they charge with the responsibility for many tragic events in the history of Islam, starting from
"Raziyat Yawm al-Khamis" when the Islamic nation was deprived of the written guidance which
the Messenger wanted to write for them. The inescapable fact is that the sensible man who knew
the truth before he encountered the men seeks an excuse for the Shias in this matter, but there is
nothing we can say to convince those who only judge truth through men.

[5].Sahih, Bukhari, Chapter: About the saying of the sick, vol 2
Sahih, Muslim, End of the book of al Wasiyyah, vol 5 p 75
Musnad, Ahmed, vol 1 p 335, vol 5 p 116
Tarikh, Tabari, vol 3 p 193
Tarikh, Ibn al Athir, vol 2 p 320

The Companions in the Military Detachment under Usamah

The story in brief is as follows:

The Prophet (saw) organized an army to be sent to Asia Minor two days before his death. He
appointed Usamah ibn Zayd ibn Haritha, (who was eighteen years old), as its commander in chief,
then the holy Prophet attached some important men, both Muhajireen and Ansar, to this
expedition, such as Abu Bakr, Umar, Abu Obaydah and other well-known Companions. Some
people criticized the Prophet for appointing Usamah as the commander in chief of that army, and
asked how could he have appointed so young a man as their commander. In fact the same people
had previously criticized the Prophet for appointing Usamah's father as an army commander before
him. They went on criticizing until the Prophet became so angry that he left his bed, feverish and
with his head bandaged, with two men supporting him and his feet barely touching the ground (may
my parents be sacrificed for him). He ascended the pulpit, praised Allah highly then said,

O People ! I have been informed that some of you object to my appointing Usamah
as commander of the detachment. You now object to my appointing Usamah as
commander in chief as you objected to me appointing his father commander in chief
before him. By Allah, his father was certainly competent for his appointment as
commander in chief and his son is also competent for the appointment [6].

Then he exhorted them to start without further delay and kept saying,

"Send the detachment of Usamah; deploy the detachment of Usamah, send forward the
detachment of Usamah." He kept repeating the exhortations but the Companions were still
sluggish, and camped by al-Jurf.

Events like that made me ask, "What is this insolence towards Allah and His Messenger? Why all
that disobedience towards the orders of the blessed Messenger who was so caring and kind to all
the believers?"

I could not imagine, nor indeed could anybody else, an acceptable explanation for all that
disobedience and insolence. As usual, when I read about those events which touch on the integrity
of the Companions, I try to deny or ignore them, but it is impossible to do so when all the
historians and scholars, Shia and Sunnis, agree on their authenticity.

I have promised my God to be fair, and I shall never be biased in favour of my creed, and will
never use anything but the truth as my criterion. But the truth here is so bitter, and the holy Prophet
(s.a.w.) said, "Say the truth even if it is about yourself, and say the truth even if it is bitter..." The
truth in this case is that the Companions who criticized the appointment of Usamah disobeyed all
the clear texts that could not be doubted or misinterpreted, and there is no excuse for that,
although some people make flimsy excuses in order to preserve the integrity of the Companions
and "the virtuous ancestors". But the free and sensible person would not accept such feeble
excuses, unless he is one of those who cannot comprehend any saying, or is perhaps one of those
who are blinded by their own prejudice to the extent that they cannot differentiate between the
obligatory task that must be obeyed and the prohibition that must be avoided. I thought deeply to
find an acceptable excuse for those people, but without success. I read the points of view of the
Sunnis which provide us with an excuse based on the fact that these people were the elders of
Quraysh, and were among the early followers of Islam, whereas Usamah was a young man who
had not fought in the decisive battles that gave Islam its glory, such as Badr, Uhud and Hunayn;
and that he was a young man with no experience of life when the Messenger of Allah appointed
him military commander. Furthermore, they thought that human nature, by its inclination, makes it
difficult for elderly people to be led by young men, therefore they [i.e. the Companions] criticized
the appointment and wanted the Messenger of Allah to appoint a prominent and respectable

It is an excuse which is not based on any rational or logical premise, and any Muslim who reads
the Qur'an and understands its rules must reject such an excuse, because Allah- the Almighty -
says: "Whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep
back" (Holy Qur'an 59:7).

"And it behooves not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any choice in
their matter when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter; and whoever disobeys Allah
and His Messenger, he surely strays off a manifest straying" (Holy Qur'an 33:36).

So what kind of an excuse could any rational person accept after reading all these clear texts, and
what can I say about people who angered the Messenger of Allah, when they knew that the
Messenger's anger is Allah's anger. They accused him of talking "nonsense", and they shouted and
disagreed in his presence when he was ill (may my parents be sacrificed for him), until he ordered
them to leave his room. That did not seem to be enough for them, and instead of returning to the
right path and asking Allah's forgiveness for what they had done to His Messenger, and asking the
Messenger for forgiveness as the Qur'an taught them, they went on criticizing him, despite all the
care and kindness he had for them. They did not appreciate him or respect him, and two days after
having accused him of talking "nonsense", they criticized him for appointing Usamah as military
commander. They forced him to come out in the appalling condition which the historians describe.
Due to the severity of his illness, he had to walk with the support of two men, then he had to swear
by Allah that Usamah was a competent commander for the army. Furthermore, the Messenger
informed us that they had criticized him previously for appointing his father as a commander, which
indicates that these people had had many previous confrontations with him, and that they were not
willing to obey his orders or accept his judgement, rather, they were prepared to oppose him and
confront him, even if such behaviour went against the rules of Allah and His Messenger.

What leads us to believe that there was open opposition (to the orders of the Prophet), was that in
spite of all the anger shown by the Messenger of Allah, and the fact that he himself tied the flag
with his noble hand to the post and commanded them to march immediately, they were sluggish
and reluctant to move, and did not go until he had died (may my parents be sacrificed for him).
The Prophet(s.a.w.) died feeling sorry for his unfortunate nation, which he feared would go
backwards and end up in hell, and no one would be saved except a few, and the Messenger of
Allah described them as a handful.

I am surprised that those Companions angered the Prophet on that Thursday and accused him of
talking "nonsense", and said, "It is sufficient for us that we have the Book of Allah", when the Holy
Qur'an states:"Say if you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you" (Holy Qur'an 3:31).
As if they were more knowledgeable about the Book of Allah and its rules than he to whom it had
been revealed. There they were, two days after that great misfortune, and two days before he [the
holy Prophet] went up to meet his High Companion, angering him even more by criticizing him for
appointing Usamah, and not obeying his orders. Whereas he was ill and bed-ridden in the first
misfortune, in the second one he had to come out, with his head bandaged and covered by a
blanket and supported by two men with his feet barely on the ground, and address them from the
top of the pulpit. He started his speech with the profession of the unity of Allah and praised Him in
order to make them feel that he was not talking nonsense, then he informed them about what he
knew regarding their criticism of his orders. Furthermore, he reminded them of an incident which
had occurred four years previously, in which he was criticized by them. After all that, did they
really think that he was talking nonsense or that his illness had overcome him so that he was
unaware of what he was saying?

Praise and thanks be to You, Allah, how did these people dare oppose Your Messenger. They
disagreed with him when he signed the peace treaty, they opposed him very strongly even when he
ordered them to make the sacrifice and shave their heads, and even repeated it three times
although no one cared to obey; and again they pulled him by his shirt to prevent him from praying
for Abdullah ibn Ubay and said to him, "Allah forbade you from praying for the hypocrites!" As if
they were teaching him what had been revealed to him, when You said in Your Holy Qur'an: "We
have revealed to you the reminder that you may make clear to men what has been revealed to
them" (Holy Qur'an 16:44).

And You said: "We have revealed the Book to you with the truth that you may judge between
people by means of that which Allah has taught you"(Holy Qur'an 4:105).

And You said, and Your saying is the truth: "We have sent among you a messenger from among
you who recites to you Our Verses and purifies you and teaches you the Book and the wisdom
and teaches you that which you did not know" (Holy Qur'an 2:151).

I am astonished at those people who put themselves in a position higher than that of the Prophet.
On one occasion they disobeyed his orders, and on another occasion they accused him of talking
nonsense, and then talked loudly and without respect in his presence. They criticized him for
appointing Zayd ibn Harithah to the military command, and after him his son Usamah. How could
they leave the scholars in any doubt, after all this evidence, that the Shia are right when they put a
question mark on the position of some of the Companions, and show their resentment towards
these positions purely out of respect and love for the Messenger and the members of his

I have mentioned only four or five of these controversial issues to be brief and to use them as
examples, but the Shii scholars could recount hundreds of situations in which the Companions
contradicted the clear texts. In all this the Shia refer to sources written in books by Sunni scholars.

When I look at a number of positions taken by a few of the Companions with regard to the
Messenger of Allah, I stand astonished; not because of the attitudes of those Companions alone,
but because of the position of the Sunni scholars who gave us the impression that the Companions
were always right and could not be criticized. Thus they prevented any researcher from reaching
the truth and left him puzzled in the midst of all these contradictions.

In addition to the examples that I have mentioned above, I will bring some more in order to
establish a better picture of those Companions, so that we may understand the position of the Shia
towards them.

According to al-Bukhari in his Sahih, Vol. 4 Page 47, section "The virtue of Patience when one is
hurt" and the words of the Almighty "...And those who are patient, surely they will be rewarded",
in the Book of Conduct he said:

Al-Amash told us that he heard Shaqiq saying that Abdullah told him: Once the Holy Prophet
divided something among a group of men, as he used to do, when one man from al-Ansar stood
up and said, "This division is not for the sake of Allah." I said, "For my part, I shall have a word
with the Prophet (s.a.w.)." So I went to see him, and I found him with his Companions. I explained
my grievances, and the Prophet's face changed and showed signs of anger, and I wished that I had
not told him, then he said: "Moses was hurt more than that but he was patient."

Al-Bukhari mentioned in the same book - i.e. the book of Conduct - in the chapter concerning
smiling and laughter that Anas ibn Malik was heard saying: I was walking with the Messenger of
Allah (s.a.w.) who was wearing a Najrani cloak with a rather thin edge to it, and suddenly a man
approached him and pulled harshly at his cloak. Anas continued: I looked at the side of the
Prophet (s.a.w.) and noticed that as a result of that harsh pull, the edge of the cloak went up to his
shoulder, then the man said, 'O Muhammad, give me some of what you have from Allah's wealth!"
The Prophet turned to him and laughed, then he ordered his Companions to pay him something.

Al-Bukhari also mentioned the following incident in the Book of Conduct and put it in the chapter
concerning "He who does not face people with blame", he said: Aisha said that the Prophet
(s.a.w.) did something and made it permissible, but no one followed what the Prophet did. The
Prophet (s.a.w.) happened to hear about it, so he decided to address the people. He first thanked
Allah then said: "What is the matter with people who refrain from the thing I did? By Allah, I know
more than any of them about Allah, and I fear Him most... !"

When we look deeply at incidents like those above we find that the Companions put themselves
on a higher level than the Prophet, and thought that he was wrong and they were right.
Furthermore, there were some historians who deliberately corrected the position of the
Companions, even if that contradicted the action taken by the Prophet, and showed them at a level
of knowledge and piety higher than that of the Prophet. As is the case when they judge the
Prophet wrong in the case of the Prisoners of War at the battle of Badr, so it appears that Umar
ibn al-Khattab was right. They also tell wrong stories, such as the following saying attributed to the
people: If Allah decided to inflict a disaster on us, no one will escape except Ibn al-Khattab. In
other words, they were saying, "If it was not for Umar, the Prophet would have perished." God
protect us from such a corrupt and shameful belief, and he who adheres to this kind of belief is
surely far from Islam, and ought to review his thinking or rid himself of the devil.

Allah - the most High - said:

"Have you considered him who takes his low desire for his God, and Allah has made him err
having knowledge and has set a seal upon his hear and his heart and put a covering upon his eye.
Who can then guide him after Allah? Will not they be mindful?" (Holy Qur'an 45:23)

I believe that those who think that the Prophet (s.a.w.) was subject to his emotions to the extent
that he deviated from the right path and made a judgement not for the cause of Allah, or those who
refrained from doing things which were done by the Messenger of Allah thinking that they were
more knowledgeable and more pious than the Messenger, do not deserve any respect or
appreciation from the Muslims. They were put at the same level as the angels, as the best people in
the whole of creation after the Messenger of Allah, so that Muslims are obliged to follow them and
take them as an example, just because they were the Companions of the Messenger of Allah.

That contradicts the belief of Ahl al-Sunnah, who pray for Muhammad and his family, and then
add all the Companions. If Allah - praise be to Him the Most High - appreciated them and put
them in their correct position and ordered them to pray for His Messenger and the purified
members of his family, they should have submitted and known their place with Allah. Why should
we then put them in a position which is higher than they deserve. and equate them with those
people whom Allah has elevated and preferred above all people?

Let me then conclude that the Umayyads and the Abbasids, who opposed-Ahl al-Bayt and exiled
them and killed them with their followers, got the gist of that distinguished position and recognized
its danger for them. For if Allah - praise be to Him - would not accept the prayers of a Muslim
unless he prays for them (Ahl al-Bayt): how could they justify their opposition to them. Therefore,
they attached the Companions to Ahl al-Bayt in order to give the impression to the public that they
are equal.

Especially when we know that their masters and dignitaries were Companions who bought some
other Companions known to have weak personalities and asked them to distribute fabricated
sayings (of the Prophet) in praise of the Companions and the next generation, and in particular
those who reached the position of Caliphs (i.e. the Umayyad and Abbasid) and they were the
direct reason behind them attaining this position and becoming rulers over all the Muslims. History
is the best witness to what I am saying: Umar ibn al-Khattab, who was well known for his
strictness towards his governors whom used to dismiss them on mere suspicions, was quite gentle
towards Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and never disciplined him. Muawiyah was appointed by Abu
Bakr and confirmed by Umar throughout his life, who never even rebuked him or blamed him,
despite the fact that many people complained about Muawiyah and reported him for wearing silk
and gold, which was prohibited to men by the Messenger of Allah. Umar used to answer these
complaints by saying, "Let him be, he is the Kisra (king) of the Arabs." Muawiyah continued in the
governorship for more than twenty years without being touched or criticized, and when Uthman
succeeded to the caliphate of the Muslims, he added to his authority further districts and regions,
which enabled him to a mass great wealth from the Islamic nation and to raise armies to rebel
against the Imam (Leader) of the nation and subsequently take the full power by force and
intimidation. Thus he became the sole ruler of all Muslims, and later forced them to vote for his
corrupt and alcohol drinking son Yazid, as his heir and successor.

This is a long story so I will not go into its details in this book, but the important thing is that we
should understand the mentality of those Companions who reached the position of caliph and
facilitated the establishment of the Umayyad state in a direct way, so as to please Quraysh which
did not want to see both the Prophethood and the caliphate in the House of Bani Hashim(7). The
Umayyad state had the right, or indeed was obliged to thank those who had facilitated its
establishment, most of all the "story tellers" whom it hired to tell tales about the virtues of their
masters. In the meantime it elevated them to a higher place than that of their enemies, Ahl al-Bayt,
simply by inventing virtues and merits, which if (may Allah witness) examined under the light of
logical and legal evidence mostly disappear, unless there is something wrong with our minds or we
have started believing in contradictions.

For example, we hear so much about Umar's justice which the "story-tellers" attributed to him. It
was even said about him "You ruled with justice, therefore you can sleep." It has also been said
that Umar was buried in a standing position so that justice would not die with him, . . . and you
could go on and on talking about Umar's justice. However, the correct history tells us that when
Umar ordered that grants should be distributed among the people during the twentieth year of
al-Hijrah, he did not follow the tradition of the Messenger of Allah, nor did he confine himself to its
rules. The Prophet (s.a.w.) distributed the grants on an equal basis among all Muslims and did not
differentiate between one person and another, and Abu Bakr did the same throughout his
caliphate. But Umar introduced a new method. He preferred the early converts to Islam to those
who came later. He preferred al-Muhajireen (immigrants from Mecca to Medinah) from Quraysh
to other Muhajireen. He preferred all the Muhajireen to al-Ansar (followers of Prophet
Muhammad in Medinah who granted him refuge after the Hijra). He preferred the Arabs to the
non-Arabs. He preferred the freeman to the slave(8). He preferred (the tribe of) Mudar to (the
tribe of) Rabia for he gave three hundred to the former and two hundred to the latter(9). He also
preferred al-Aws to al-Khazraj. (10)

Where is the justice in all this differentiation, O people who have minds?

We also hear so much about Umar's knowledge, to the extent he was described as the most
knowledgeable Companion, and it has been said about him that he agreed with his God on many
ideas that were revealed in various Qur'anic verses, and that he disagreed with the Prophet about
them. But the correct history tells us that Umar did not agree with the Qur'an, even after it had
been revealed. When one of the Companions asked him one day during his caliphate, "O
Commander of the Believers, I am unclean, but I cannot find water to wash." Umar answered, "Do
not pray." Then Ammar ibn Yasir had to remind him about Tayammum [ritual cleaning with earth],
but Umar was not convinced, and said to Ammar, "You are responsible only for the duties which
have been assigned to you"(11).

Where is Umar's knowledge regarding the Tayammum verse which had been revealed in the Book
of Allah, and where is Umar's knowledge of the Tradition of the Prophet (s.a.w.) who taught them
how to do Tayammum as well as Wudu [ritual ablution]. Umar himself confessed on many
occasions that he was not a scholar, and that all people, even women were more knowledgeable
than him, and he was heard saying many times, "If it was not for Ali, Umar would have perished."
And throughout his life he did not know the rule of al-Kalalah [relatives of the dead excluding the
son and the father], although he passed various different judgements about it, as history witnesses.

We also hear a great deal about the courage and physical strength of Umar, and it has been said
that Quraysh feared the day when Umar became a Muslim, and that Islam became even stronger
when he entered the religion. It has also been said that Allah glorified Islam with Umar, and that the
Messenger of Allah did not call for Islam openly until after Umar had become a Muslim.

But the correct historical references do not seem to indicate that courage, and history does not
mention one famous or even ordinary person who has been killed by Umar in a dual or a battle like
Badr and Uhud or al-Khandaq. In fact the correct historical references tell us exactly the opposite;
they tell us that he escaped with the fugitives in Uhud, and escaped on the day of Hunayn, and that
when the Messenger of Allah sent him to take the city of Khayber he returned defeated. He was
never even the leader in the military detachments in which he served, and in the last one (that of
Usamah) he was put under the charge of young Usamah ibn Zayd. So where is all that courage
compared to these historical facts ... O people who have minds?

We also hear about Umar's piety and his great fear of Allah, to the extent of crying. It has been
said that he was afraid of being accountable before Allah if a mule tumbled in Iraq because he did
not pave the road for it. But the correct historical sources tell us that he was a rough man who
lacked piety and did not hesitate to beat a man until he bled because he asked him about a
Qur'anic verse, and even that women used to miscarry their babies out of fear when they saw him.
Why did he not fear Allah when he raised his sword and threatened anybody who said that
Muhammad had died, and he swore by Allah that he had not died, rather, he had gone to talk to
his God in the same way as Moses did. Then he threatened to kill whoever said that Muhammad
was dead(12).

Why did he not fear Allah when he threatened to burn Fatimah al-Zahra's house if those who
refrained from voting for the successorship of the caliphate did not come out(13)? It has been said
that when he was told that Fatimah was inside, he answered, "So what!" He violated the Book of
Allah and the Tradition of the Prophet and passed rules and judgements during his caliphate which
contradicted the texts of the Holy Qur'an and the noble Tradition of the Prophet (s.a.w.)(14).

So where was all that piety and fear of Allah in all these bitter and sad historical facts, O good
worshippers of Allah? I took this great and famous Companion as an example, and I have
summarized a great deal to avoid prolongation, but if I wanted to talk in some detail, I could have
filled many volumes. But as I said I have mentioned these historical references as examples and not
for specific reasons.

What I have mentioned is a small amount, but it gives us a clear indication as to the mentalities of
the Companions and the contradictory attitudes of the Sunni scholars and historians. For on the
one hand they forbid people from criticizing them or doubting their intentions, but on the other hand
they write in their books things that make people doubt their deeds and criticize them.

I wish the Sunni scholars had not written about these matters in such a way that it clearly sullies the
dignity of the Companions and ruins their integrity. If they had not we would have been spared all
that confusion.

I still remember meeting a scholar from al-Najaf whose name was Asad Hayder (author of
"Al-lmam al-Sadiq wa al- Madhahib al-Arbaah") and as we were talking about the Sunnis and the
Shia he told me a story about his father. He (i.e. the father) had met a Tunisian scholar from
al-Zaytunah during the pilgrimage season some fifty years ago, and started a debate about the
Imamate of Ali - may Allah's peace be upon him - and his eligibility to the succession for the
caliphate. The Tunisian scholar listened attentively as the other man mentioned four or five reasons.
When he had finished, the scholar from al-Zaytunah asked him, "Have you got any other reasons?"
The man answered, "No." Then the Tunisian scholar said, "Get your rosary out and start counting,
then he listed some hundred reasons that my father had not known before.

Shaykh Asad Hayder added, "If the Sunnis read what is in their books, then they would say similar
things to what we are saying and we would not have any differences between us for a long time."

By my life! It is the inevitable truth, if only man would liberate himself from his blind prejudice and
his arrogance and submit to the clear proof.

The Opinion of the Quran regarding the Companions

First of all, I must say that Allah - praise be to Him the Most High - commended, in many places in
His Holy Book, the Companions of the Messenger of Allah who loved. obeyed and followed the
Messenger without personal greed and without opposition or arrogance, and only wanted the
acceptance of Allah and His Messenger; those Companions have pleased Allah and He pleased
them, and that is the way for those who fear Allah.

This group of the Companions are appreciated by the Muslims because of their attitudes towards
the Prophet (saw) and their works with him, therefore they are liked and respected by all Muslims,
and they are appreciated whenever people mention their names.

My study does not concern itself with this group of Companions who are respected by both the
Sunnis and the Shia, nor is it concerned, with those who were well known for their hypocrisy, and
who are cursed by all Muslims, Shia and Sunnis, whenever their names are mentioned.

However, my study is concerned with the group of Companions about whom the Muslims have
expressed different views. There are verses in the Holy Qur'an where they are rebuked and
threatened because of their attitudes in certain positions, and the Messenger of Allah (saw) warned
them on many occasions, and warned other people about them.

The outstanding differences between the Shia and the Sunnis is concerned with this group of
Companions, because the Shia criticize their sayings and deeds and complain about their justice,
whereas they are respected by the Sunnis, in spite of their contradictions. My study is concerned
with this group of the Companions because through it I will be able to reach the truth, or part of it.
I say that, so that no one may think that I have neglected the Quranic verses which commend the
Companions to the Messenger of Allah, and that I exposed the verses which criticize them. In fact
through my research I discovered that some verses contain praise for the Companions, but if you
read in between the lines you find that they contain criticism of them, and vice versa.

I shall not write here about all the hard work that I have done in the past three years in preparing
this study, but I will confine myself to some Qur'anic verses as examples, and not for any specific
reason. For those who want to go further, I advise them to research and compare, as I did, in
order that they may find the Right Faith by themselves, and through their own work. That is what
Allah wants for everybody, and that is what the conscience of each individual wants. Thus, one
would achieve an absolute conviction that will not be shaken by any storm. After all, the divine
guidance which results from personal conviction is far better than that which comes as a result of
external factors.

Allah - the Most High - says in praise of His Prophet (saw): "And found you unable to see [the
way] then He showed you the way" [Holy Qur'an 93:7]. That is He found you searching for the
truth, so He led you to it.

He also said: "And those who strive hard for Us, We will guide them in Our ways" [Holy Qur'an

1. The turning back verse

Allah - the Most High - says in His Glorious Book: "And Muhammad is no more than a
messenger, the messengers have already passed away before him, if then he dies or is killed, will
you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do
harm to Allah in the least, and Allah will reward the grateful." Allah, the Great, has told the truth
[Holy Qur'an 3:144].

This Qur'anic verse is clear about how the Companions will turn back upon their heels, and only a
few will stand their ground, as the above Qur'anic verse indicated in the expression of Allah about
them. Those who stand their ground and do not turn back are the grateful, for the grateful are only
a small minority, as in the words of Allah- the Most High: "And very few of My servants are
grateful" [Holy Quran 34:13].

Also there are many sayings of the Holy Prophet (saw) which explain the "turning back", and we
will refer to some of them, and even if Allah - the Most High - did not specify the punishment of
those who turned back on their heels in this Qur'anic verse: He glorified the grateful who deserve
His reward. However, it is important to know that those who turned back on their heels do not
deserve the reward of Allah and His forgiveness, as has been emphasized by the Messenger of
Allah (saw) in many of his sayings, some of we will discuss - if Allah wills - in the course of this
book. We could not explain the Qur'anic verse with reference to Tulayha, Sujah and al-Aswad
al-Ansi, out of respect for the Companions, because the above-mentioned Companions have
turned back and abandoned Islam, and even claimed the prophecy during the lifetime of the
Messenger of Allahs who fought them and finally defeated them. Nor indeed can we explain the
Qur'anic verse with reference to Malik Ibn Nuwayrah and his followers, who refused to pay Zakat
(alms) in the time of the caliph Abu Bakr, for many reasons. They refused to pay al-Zakat (alms)
and give it to Abu Bakr because they wanted to wait and see what happened, for they had
accompanied the Messenger of Allah on his farewell pilgrimage, and voted for Imam Ali ibn Abi
Talib at Ghadir Khum after the Messenger of Allah appointed him as Caliph after him, and indeed
Abu Bakr himself voted for Ali. Therefore, they were astonished when a messenger from the
caliph came to tell them the news of the holy Prophet's death and at the same time asked them to
pay Zakat in the name the new caliph, Abu Bakr. It is a case in which history does not want to go
too deep, for the sake of the Companion's honour. Furthermore, Malik and his followers were
Muslims according to the testimony of Umar and Abu Bakr themselves and other Companions
who disapproved of Khalid ibn al-Walid's killing of Malik. History testifies that Abu Bakr paid
compensation for Malik's death to his brother Mutammem out of the Muslim's treasury, and
apologized for his killing. It is well established that the apostate must be killed, and no
compensation be paid out of the Muslim's treasury for his killing, and no apologies issued for killing

The important thing is that the "turning back" verse refers to the Companions who lived with the
Messenger of Allah in al-Medinah al- Munawwarah, and indicates the immediate "turning back"
after the Prophet's death. The Prophet's sayings explain all these things in such a clear way, that no
one could doubt it. We shall deal with these matters soon, if Allah wills. History also testifies for
the "turning back" that happened after the death of the Messenger of Allah, and when we view the
events which took place among the ranks of the Companions we notice that only a few managed
to come out unscathed.

2. The Holy War [Jihad] Verse

Allah - the Most High - said: "O You who believe, what (excuse) have you that when it is said to
you: Go forth in Allah 's way, you should incline heavily to earth; are you contented with this
world's life instead of the Hereafter? But the provision of this world's life compared with the
Hereafter is but little. If you do not go forth, He will chastise you with a painful chastisement and
bring in your place a people other than you, and you will do Him no harm; and Allah has power
over all things" (Holy Qur'an 9:38-39).

This Qur'anic verse is clear about the reluctance of the Companions to go and fight in the Holy
War [Jihad], and how they chose to be content with the life on earth, in spite of their knowledge of
its short duration. Their action warranted a rebuke and a threat from Allah - the Almighty - that a
terrible torture was awaiting them, and that He would change them for others who were true

The threat to change them came in many Qur'anic verses which indicate clearly that they showed
their reluctance to fight in al-Jihad- Holy War - more than once, and Allah- the Most High - says:
"And if you turn back He will bring in your place another people, they will not be like you" (Holy
Qur'an 47:38).

Also the Almighty says: O You who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his
religion, then Allah will bring a people, He shall love them and they shall love Him, lowly before the
believers, mighty against the unbelievers, they shall strive hard in Allah's way and shall not fear the
censure of any censurer, this is Allah's grace, He gives it to whom He pleases, and Allah is
Ample-giving, Knowing (Holy Qur'an 5:54).

If we want to investigate the Qur'anic verses which emphasize this issue and talk about the
classification of the Companions, which the Shia advocate, then we would need a special book for
it. The Holy Qur'an expressed all that in the most direct and eloquent way: Let there arise out of
you a nation, inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong, and
these it is that shall be successful.

And be not like those who became divided and disagreed after receiving clear signs, and these it is
that shall have a grievous chastisement.

On the day, some faces will be white (lit up) and some faces will be black (in the gloom), to those
whose faces will be black (will be said): Did you reject the faith after accepting it? Taste then the
chastisement for rejecting the faith. But those whose faces will be white, they will be in Allah's
mercy, therein to dwell" (Holy Qur'an 3:106-107).

These Qur'anic verses, as every intelligent scholar knows, are addressing the Companions, and
warning them of the division and disagreement among themselves after they have already been
shown the Right Path. They also tell them that a great torture is awaiting them, and divide them in
two groups: The first group: when they will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement, everyone of
them would have a white face, and those are the grateful who deserve the mercy of Allah. The
second group: when they will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement, everyone of them would
have a black face, and those are the apostates, whom Allah - the Almighty - promised the great

It is well-known that the Companions were divided after the death of the Messenger of Allah.
They disagreed among themselves to such an extent that they fought each other bloody wars which
led to the regression and the backwardness of the Muslims and made them easy target for their
enemies. The above Qur'anic verse could not be interpreted in any other way except that which is
readily accepted by people.

3. The Submissiveness

Allah - the most High - said: "Has not the time yet come for those who believe that their hearts
should be submissive for the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? And
[that] they should not be like those who were given the book before, but the time became
prolonged to them, so their hearts hardened, and most of them are transgressors". (Holy Qur'an

In al-Durr al-Manthur by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, the author says: when the Companions of the
Messenger of Allah (saw) came to al-Medinah and started to enjoy a higher standard of living after
having lived through many hardships, they seemed to slow down, so they were punished for that,
and hence the verse "Has not the time yet come for those who believe" was revealed. Another
version of the story, which came from the Prophet (saw), was that Allah- the Most High- found
some reluctance in the Muhajereen seventeen years after the first revelation of the Holy Qur'an,
and therefore Allah revealed the verse "Has not the time yet come for those who believe". If those
Companions - who are the best people according to the Sunnis - did not feel humble before the
name of Allah or His right revelation of seventeen years, so that Allah found them slowing down,
and rebuked and warned them for their hardened hearts which were leading them to corruption,
we cannot blame the people of Quraysh who only entered Islam in the seventh Hijri year after the
conquest of Makkah.

These were some examples which I have selected from the Glorious Book of Allah which give us
clear indications that not all the Companions were right, as the Sunnis believe.

If we study the sayings of the Prophet (saw), then we will find many more examples, but just to be
brief, I shall refer to some of those examples and the interested reader may further his own
knowledge if he so wishes.

The Opinion of the Messenger regarding the Companions

1. The hadith of the Pool

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: As I was standing, there came a group of people whom I
recognized, and a man stood between the group and myself, then said: "Let us go." I said, "Where
to?" He said, "To Hell, by Allah!" I asked, "What have they done?" He answered, "They turned
back after you had departed, and I expect only a few will reach salvation."[15]

[15]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 4 p 94-99, 156, vol 3 p 32
Sahih, Muslim, vol 7 p 66

The Messenger of Allah (saw) also said:

I shall arrive at the pool before you, and he who passes by me will drink, and whoever drinks from
it will never feel thirsty. There will come to me people that I know and they know me, but we shall
be separated, then I shall say, "My companions." An answer shall come, "You do not know what
they did after you left." Then I shall say, "Away with those who changed after me."

When we look deeply at the various sayings that have been referred to by the Sunnis in their
books, we will have no doubt that most of the Companions changed or even became apostates
after the departure of the Messenger of Allah, except a few who were considered to be the
minority. The above sayings could not be applied to the third type [of Companions], for they were
the hypocrites, and the text states: I shall say, "My companions."

These sayings confirm and explain the Holy Qur'anic verses that we mentioned earlier on, which
talked about their retreat and their apostasy and the terrible torture awaiting them.

2. The hadith of the Competition of the World

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

I lead you and am your witness, and by Allah I now look at my pool and have been given the keys
to the treasures of the earth [for the earth's keys], and by Allah I am not worried that you become
polythiest after me, but I am worried that you will compete for it" [16]

[16]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 4 p 100-101

The Messenger of Allah (saw) was right. They competed for this world to the extent that they
fought against each other, and each party accused the other of blasphemy. Some of the famous
Companions were eager to collect gold and silver, and historians such as al-Masudi in Muruj
al-Dhahab" and al-Tabari and others stated that the wealth of al-Zubayr on its own came to fifty
thousand Dinars and a thousand horses with one thousand slaves and many holdings in Basra
al-Kufa Egypt and many other places [17].

[17]Muruj al Dhahab, al Masudi, vol 2 p 341

The agricultural products from Iraq alone brought Talhah one thousand Dinars every day, and
perhaps more than that.

Abdul Rahman ibn Awf had one hundred horses, one thousand camels and ten thousand sheep.
After his death, quarter of his wealth which was divided among his wives came to eighty four
thousand Dinars. [18]

[18]Same as 17

Uthman ibn Affan left on the day of his death one hundred and fifty thousand Dinars apart from an
enormous wealth of land, cattle and villages.

Zayd ibn Thabit left an amount of gold and silver that had to be broken by hammers! Apart from
money and agricultural holdings which came to one hundred thousand Dinars. [19]

[19]Same as 17

These were just a few historical examples. since we do not want to go into detailed analysis of
their importance at the moment, we only mentions them as a proof and support of the sayings, that
they [these companions] were more interested in the present life.

The Opinion of the Companions about Each Other

1. Their testimony that they themselves have changed the tradition of the Prophet

Abu Saeed al-Khudari said: On the first days of 'Id al-Fitr [breaking the fast of Ramadan] and 'Id
al-Adha [celebrating the end of the Pilgrimage], the first thing the Messenger of Allah (saw) used
to do was to say his prayers in the mosque, then he went to see the people, who sat in rows in
front of him, and then he started to deliver advice or orders or even finalize outstanding issues, and
after all that he would leave. Abu Saeed added: The situation continued to be like that, until one
day, either Fitr or Adha, I went with Marwan, who was the governor of al-Medinah. When we
arrived at the mosque, which had a new pulpit built by Kathir ibn al-Salt, Marwan headed for the
pulpit (before praying), so I pulled him by his clothes, but he pushed me and went up on to the
pulpit. He addressed the people before he prayed, so I said to him, "By Allah you have changed
it." He replied, "O Abu Saeed, what you know has gone." I said, "By Allah, what I know is better
than what I do not know." Marwan then said, "People did not sit for us after the prayers, so I put
[it] before the prayers". [20]

[20]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 1 p 122 (al Idayn book)

I looked for the reasons which led those Companions to change the Sunnah [the tradition] of the
Messenger of Allah (saw), and found that the Umayyads (and most of them were Companions of
the Prophet) and Muawiah ibn Abi Sufian (writer of the revelation, as he was called) in particular
used to force people to swear at Ali ibn Abi Talib and curse him from the pulpits of the mosques,
as most of the historians have mentioned in their books.

Muslim, in his Sahih, wrote in a chapter entitled, "The virtues of Ali ibn Abi Talib", the following:
Muawiah ordered his governors everywhere to take the curse [of Ali ibn Abi Talib] as tradition,
and that all the speakers must include it in their speeches. When some of the Companions
protested very strongly against such a rule, Muawiah ordered their killing and burning. Among the
famous Companions who were killed at the order of Muawiah were Hijr ibn Adi al-Kindi and his
followers, because they protested and refused to curse Ali, and some of them were buried alive.

Abu al-Aala al-Mawdudi wrote in his book "Caliphate and Kingdom": Abu al-Hasan al-Basri said:
Muawiah had four features, and if he had only one of them, it would have been considered a great

1.Making decisions without consulting the Companions, who were the light of virtues.
2.Designating his son as his successor. His son was a drunkard, corrupt and wore silk.
3.He claimed Ziyad [as his son], and the Messenger of Allah said, "There is offspring for the
honourable woman, but there is nothing for the whore."
4.His killing of Hijr and his followers. Woe unto him from Hijr and the followers of Hijr. [21]

[21] al Khilafah wa al Mulk, Syed Abul A'la Maududi, p 106

There were some good Companions who used to dash out of the mosque immediately after the
prayers so that they did not have to listen to the speeches which always ended with the cursing of
Ali. For that reason the Umayyads changed the tradition of the Messenger of Allah. They put the
speech before the prayers, so that people listened to it against their will.

What kind of Companions were these people! They were not afraid of changing the tradition of the
Messenger of Allah, or even the laws of Allah, in order to reach their wicked and low objectives
and to satisfy their sinister desires. They cursed a man whom Allah had kept cleansed and purified,
and made it obligatory for people to pray for him in the same way as they prayed for His
Messenger. Furthermore, Allah and His Messenger made it obligatory for people to love him, and
the Prophet (saw) said, "Loving Ali is believing, and hating him is hypocrisy" [22].

[22]Sahih, Muslim, vol 1 p 61

But these Companions changed the rules and said, "We heard, but we disobey." And instead of
loving him, praying for him and obeying him, they swore at him and cursed him for sixty years, as
has been mentioned in the history books.

Whereas the Companions of Moses plotted against Aaron and tried to kill him, some of the
Companions of Muhammad killed his Aaron and pursued his sons and followers everywhere. They
removed their names from the Diwan (account books of the treasury) and prohibited anyone to be
named after them. As if that was not enough for them, they cursed him and forced the faithful
Companions to do so unjustly and by force.

By Allah! I stand astonished and perplexed when I read in our Sihahs how much the Messenger of
Allah loved his "brother" and cousin Ali and how he put him above all the Companions, and even
he said, "You are to me as Aaron was to Moses, but there will be no prophet after me." [23]

He also said the following things about Ali:

"You are from me, and I am from you" [24].

"Loving Ali is believing, and hating him is hypocrisy" [25].

"I am the city of knowledge, and Ali is its gate" [26].

"Ali is the master of all the believers after me"[28].

"Whoever accepted me as his master, then he should also accept Ali as his master. O Allah be
friendly with his friends, and be enemy to his enemy" [28]

[23]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 2 p 305
Sahih, Muslim, vol 2 p 356
Mustadrak, al Hakim, vol 3 p 109

[24]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 1 p 76
Sahih, Tirmidhi, vol 5 p 300
Sunan, Ibn Majah, vol 1 p 44

[25]Sahih, Muslim, vol 1 p 61
Sunan, al Nasai, vol 6 p 117
Sahih, al Tirmidhi, vol 8 p 306

[26]Sahih, Tirmidhi, vol 5 p 201
Mustadrak, al Hakim, vol 3 p 126

[27]Musnad, Ahmed Hanbal, vol 5 p 25
Mustadrak, Hakim, vol 3 p 134
Sahih, al Tirmidhi, vol 5 p 296

[28]Sahih, Muslim, vol 2 p 362
Mustadrak, Hakim, vol 3 p 109
Musnad, Ahmed Hanbal, vol 4 p 281

If we study all the virtues that the Prophet (saw) attributed to Ali, which have been mentioned and
approved by our scholars in their books, then we would need to write a whole book.

So, how did the Companions ignore all these texts, swear at him, plot against him, curse him from
the pulpits of the mosques and then fight against him and finally kill him?

I tried in vain to find a reason for the behaviour of those people, but found nothing except the love
of this life and the competition for it, in addition to the tendency to apostatize and turn back on
their heels. I have also tried to attach the responsibility to a group of bad Companions and some
hypocrites, but regrettably those were only a few among the famous and the important. The first
who threatened to burn his house - with its inhabitants - was Umar ibn al-Khattab, and the first
who fought him were Talhah, al-Zubayr, Aishah bint Abi Bakr - Umm al-Mumineen, Muawiah ibn
Abi Sufian, Amr ibn al-'Aas and many others.

I am astonished, and my astonishment will never end, and any responsible free thinker would agree
with me, as to how the Sunni scholars agree on the righteousness of all the Companions and ask
for the blessings of Allah to be upon them and pray for all of them without exception, although
some of them say: "Curse Yazid, and no further." But where is Yazid amongst all these tragedies
which no religion or logic could approve? I appeal to the Sunni people, if they truly follow the
Prophet's tradition, to ask themselves how they could accept somebody to be righteous when the
laws of the Holy Qur'an and the Prophetic tradition judge him as being corrupt, an apostate and an
unbeliever. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "He who insults Ali, insults me. He who insults me,
insults Allah. And he who insults Allah, Allah will throw him into Hell" [29]. If that is the
punishment for those who insult Ali, one wonders about the punishment of those who fought him
and ultimately killed him. What are our scholars' opinions regarding all these facts, or are their
hearts locked solid?! Say, O God please protect us from the tricks of the devil.

[29]Mustadrak, hakim, vol 3 p 121
Khasais, al Nasai, p 24
Musnad, Ahmed Hanbal, vol 6 p 33
al Manaqib, al Khawarizmi, p 81
al Riyadh al Nadira, Tabari, vol 2 p 219
Tarikh, as Suyuti, p 73

2. The Companions even made changes in Prayers

Anas ibn Malik said: I knew nothing during the lifetime of the Prophet(saw) better than the prayer.
He said: Have you not lost what you have lost in it? Al-Zuhri said: I went to see Anas ibn Malik in
Damascus, and found him crying, I asked him, "What is making you cry?" He answered, "I have
known nothing but these prayers, and they have been lost." [30]

[30]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 2 p 134

I would like to make it clear that it was not the followers who implemented the changes after all the
intrigues and civil wars, rather it was the caliph Uthman who first made changed in the Prophet's
tradition regarding the prayers.

Also Umm al-Mumineen Aishah was involved in these changes. Al-Bukhari and Muslim, both
stated in their books that the Messenger of Allah (saw) performed two prayers at Mina, and Abu
Bakr after him, then Umar and Uthman who later performed four prayers. [31]

[31]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 2 p 154
Sahih, Muslim, vol 1 p 260

Muslim also stated in his book that al-Zuhri asked 'Urwah, "Why did Aishah complete her prayers
during the journey?" He answered, "She improvised in the same way as Uthman did." [32]

[32]Sahih, Muslim, vol 2 p 134

Umar used to improvise and interpret the clear texts of the Prophet's tradition, and even the Holy
Qur'anic texts. Like he used to say: two pleasures were allowed during the life of the Messenger of
Allah, but now I disallow them and punish those who commit them, I tell the person who is in a
state of ritual impurity, or cannot find water not to pray. That was in spite of the words of Allah -
the Most High - in Surat al-Maidah: "If you do not find water, then use clean sand."

Al-Bukhari stated in his book, in a chapter which deals with ritual impurity: I heard Shaqiq ibn
Salmah saying: I was with Abdullah and Abu Musa, and Abu Musa asked, "What do you say
about a man who is unclean but cannot find water?" Abdullah answered, "He should not pray until
he finds water." Abu Musa then asked, "What do you think about what the Prophet said to
Ammar [regarding the issue of impurity] when Ammar asked him?" Abdullah said, "For that reason
Umar was not satisfied with [that]." Abu Musa said, "Forget about what Ammar said, but what do
you say about the Qur'anic verse?" Abdullah did not know what to say, but he justified his stance
by saying, "If we let them do that, then whenever the water becomes cold, they avoid using it to
clean themselves, and instead they use sand. I said to Shaqiq, "Abdullah is most certainly hated for
that." He said, "Yes". [33]

[33]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 1 p 54

3. The Companions Testify against themselves

Anas ibn Malik said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said to al-Ansar: You will notice after me
some great selfishness, but be patient until you meet Allah and His Messenger by the pool. Anas
said: We were not patient. [34]

[34]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 2 p 135

Al-Ala ibn al-Musayyab heard his father saying: I met al- Bara ibn Azib - may Allah honour them
both - and said to him, "Bless you, you accompanied the Prophet (saw) and you voted for him
under the tree." He said, "My son, you do not know what we have done after him" [35].

[35]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 3 p 32

This early Companion, who was one of those who voted for the Prophet under the tree, and who
received the blessing of Allah, for Allah knew what was in their hearts, testifies against himself and
his companions that they did not keep the tradition. This testimony is confirmation of what the
Prophet (saw) talked about and predicted in that his Companions would break with his tradition
and fall back on their heels.

How could any sensible person, after all this evidence, believe in the righteousness of all the
Companions, as the Sunnis do?

He who believes that, is definitely reversing the order of logic and scholarship, and there will be no
intellectual criteria for the researcher to use in his quest for the truth.

4. The testimony of the Shaykhan against themselves

In a chapter entitled "The virtues of Umar ibn al-Khattab", al-Bukhari wrote in his book: "When
Umar was stabbed he felt great pain and Ibn Abbas wanted to comfort him, so he said to him, "O
Commander of the Believers, you accompanied the Messenger of Allah and you were a good
companion to him, and when he left you, he was very pleased with you. Then you accompanied
Abu Bakr, and you were a good companion to him, and when he left you, he was pleased with
you. Then you accompanied their companions and you were a good companion to them, and if
you left them, they would remember you well." He said, "As for the companionship of the
Messenger of Allah and his satisfaction with me, that is a gift that Allah- the Most High - has
granted to me. As for the companionship of Abu Bakr and his satisfaction with me, that is a gift
that Allah - Glory be to Him - has granted to me. But the reason you see me in pain is for you and
your companions. By Allah, if I had all the gold on earth I would use it to ransom myself from the
torture of Allah - Glory and Majesty be to Him - before I saw Him. [36]

[36]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 2 p 201

He has also been quoted as saying the following, "I wish I was my family's sheep. They would
have fattened me up to the maximum. When they were visited by friends, they would have killed
me and roasted part of me, and made qadid (meat cut into strips and dried) from the other part of
it, then they would have eaten me, and lastly, they would have relieved me with their bowle
evacuation ... I wish I had been all that, rather than a human being." [37]

[37]Minhaj as Sunnah, Ibn Taymiyya, vol 3 p 131
Hilyat al Awliya, Ibn Abi Nuaym, vol 1 p 52

Abu Bakr apparently said a similar thing to the above. He looked at a bird on a tree, then said,
"Well done bird ... You eat the fruits, you stand on the trees and you are not accountable to
anybody nor indeed can anybody punish you. I wish I was a tree by the road, and that a camel
would come along and eat me. then relieve me with his bowel evacuation ... I wish that I had been
all that, rather than a human being." [38]

[38]Tarikh, Tabari, p 41
al Riyadh al Nadira, vol 1 p 134
Kanz al Ummal, p 361
Minhaj as Sunnah, Ibn Taymiyya, vol 3 p 120

He also said, I wish that my mother had not given birth to me ... I wish I was a straw in the mud.
[39] These are some texts that I used just as examples and not for any specific reason.

[39]Tarikh, Tabari, p 41
al Riyadh al Nadira, Tatabri, vol 1 p 134
Kanz al Ummal, p 361
Minhaj as Sunnah, Ibn Taymiyya, vol 3 p 120

And this is the Book of Allah which gives the good news to the worshippers of Allah who believe
in Him: "Now surely the friends of Allah - they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve. Those who
believe and fear (Allah). They shall have good news in this world's life and in the Hereafter, there is
no changing in the words of Allah; that is the great achievement" (Holy Qur'an 10:62-64).

Allah also says: "(As for) those who say, our Lord is Allah, then continue in the right way, the
angels descend upon them, saying, "Fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden
which you were promised. We are your guardians in this world's life and in the Hereafter, and you
shall have therein what your souls desire and you shall have therein what you ask for. An
entertainment by the Forgiving, the Merciful" (Holy Our'an 41:30-32).

How could the two Shaykhs. Abu Bakr and Umar, wish that they were not from the human race,
which Allah honoured and put it above all His creation? Even the ordinary believer, who keeps on
the straight path during his lifetime, receives the angels to tell him about his place in heaven, and
that he should not fear the torture of Allah, nor be depressed about his legacy in life, and that he
has the good news while he is in this life before reaching the life Hereafter. Then how could the
great Companions, who are the best of creation after the Messenger of Allah (so we have been
taught), wish they were excrement or a hair or a straw when the angels had given them the good
news that they would go to heaven? They could not have wished to have all the gold on earth to
ransom themselves from the torture of Allah before meeting Him.

Allah - the Most High - said: "And if every soul that has done injustice had all that is in the earth, it
would offer it for ransom, and they will manifestly regret when they see the chastisement and the
matter shall be decided between them with justice and they shall not be dealt unjustly" (Holy Quran

Allah also said: "And had those who are unjust all that is in the earth and the like of with it, they
would certainly offer it as ransom (to be saved) from the evil of the punishment on the day of
resurrection; and what they never thought of shall become plain to them from Allah. And the evil
(consequences) of what they wrought shall become plain to them, and the very thing they mocked
at shall beset them" (Holy Qur'an 39:47-48).

I wish sincerely that these Qur'anic verses did not involve great Companions like Abu Bakr
al-Siddiq and Umar al-Faruq ... But I often pause when I read these texts so that I can look at
some interesting aspects of their relations with the Messenger of Allah (saw), and how that relation
went through many turmoils. They disobeyed his orders and refused him his wishes, even in the last
moments of his blessed and honourable life, which made him so angry that he ordered them all to
leave his house and to leave him. I also recall the chain of events that took place after the death of
the Messenger of Allah, and the hurt and lack of recognition that afflicted his daughter al-Zahra.
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Fatimah is part of me, he who angers her angers me" [40].

[40]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 2 p 206

Fatimah said to Abu Bakr and Umar: I ask you in the name of Allah - the Most High - did you not
hear the Messenger of Allah (saw) saying, "The satisfaction of Fatimah is my satisfaction, and the
anger of Fatimah is my anger, he who loves my daughter Fatimah loves me, and he who satisfies
Fatimah satisfies me, and he who angers Fatimah angers me?" They said, "Yes, we heard it from
the Messenger of Allah (saw)." Then she said, "Therefore, I testify before Allah and the angels that
you have angered me and did not please me, and if I meet the Prophet I will complain to him about

[41]al Imamah Was Siyasah, Ibn Qutaybah, vol 1 p 20
Muhammad Baqir as Sadr, Fadak in History, p 92

Let us leave this tragic story for the time being, but Ibn Qutaybah, who is considered to be one of
the great Sunni scholars, and was an expert in many disciplines and wrote many books on Qur'anic
commentary. Hadith Linguistics, grammar and history might well have been converted to Shiism, as
somebody I know once claimed when I showed him Ibn Qutaybah's book "History of the

This is the type of propaganda that some of our scholars use when they lose the argument.
Similarly al-Tabari was a Shi'ite, and al-Nisa'i, who wrote a book about the various aspects of
Imam Ali, was a Shiite, and Taha Husayn, a contemporary scholar who wrote "Al-Fitnah
al-Kubra" and other facts, was also a Shi'ite!

The fact is that all of these were not Shiites, and when they talked about the Shia, they said all
sorts of dishonourable things about them, and they defended the fairness of the Companions with
all their might. But the fact is that whenever a person mentions the virtues of Ali ibn Abi Talib, and
admits to the mistakes that were committed by the famous Companions, we say that he has
become a Shiite. And if you say in front of them, when you mention the Prophet, "May Allah bless
him and his Family" or say, "Ali, may Allah's peace be upon him" then you are branded a Shiite.
According to that premise, one day, during a debate, I asked one of our scholars, "What do you
think of al-Bukhari?" He said, "He is one of the leading authorities in Hadith (the Prophetic
tradition) and we consider his book to be the most correct book after the Book of Allah, as all our
scholars agree." I said to him, "He is a Shiite." He laughed and said, "God forbid that Imam
al-Bukhari be a Shiite." I said, "Did you not say that whoever says Ali, may Allah's peace be upon
him, is Shiite?" He answered, "Yes." Then I showed him and those who were with him al-Bukhari's
book, and in many places when Ali's name appears, he put "May Allah's peace be upon him" as
well as the names of Fatimah and al-Husayn. The man did not know what to say. [42]

[42]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 1 p 127, 130, vol 2 p 126, 205

Let us return to the incident mentioned by Ibn Qutaybah in which Fatimah allegedly was angered
by Abu Bakr and Umar. If I doubt the authenticity of that story, then I could not doubt the
authenticity of al-Bukhari's book, which we consider to be the most correct book after the Book
of Allah. As we have committed ourselves to the fact that it is correct, then the Shiites have the
right to use it in their protestation against us and force us to keep to our commitment, as is only fair
for sensible people. In his book, al-Bukhari writes in a chapter entitled "The virtues of the relatives
of the Messenger of Allah" the following: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Fatimah is part of
me, and whoever angers her angers me." Also in a chapter about "The Khaybar Raid" he wrote:
According to Aishah, Fatimah- may Allah's peace be upon her - daughter of the Prophet, sent a
message to Abu Bakr asking him for her share of the inheritance of the Messenger of Allah, but he
refused to pay Fatimah anything of it. Fatimah became so angry at Abu Bakr that she left him and
never spoke to him before her death. [43]

[43]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 3 p 39

The final result is one, al-Bukhari mentioned it briefly and Ibn Qutaybah talked about it in some
detail, and that is: the Messenger of Allah (saw) is angry when Fatimah is angry, and he is satisfied
when Fatimah is satisfied, and that she died while she was still angry with Abu Bakr and Umar.

If al-Bukhari said: She died while she was still angry at Abu Bakr, and did not speak to him before
she died, then the end result is quite clear. If Fatimah is "the leading lady among all the ladies" as
al-Bukhari declared in the section al-Isti'dhan, and if Fatimah is the only lady in this nation whom
Allah kept clean and pure, then her anger could not be but just, therefore Allah and His Messenger
get angry for her anger. Because of that Abu Bakr said, "May Allah - the Most High - save me
from His anger and Fatimah's anger." Then he cried very bitterly when she said, "By Allah, I will
curse you in every prayer that I do." He came out crying and said, "I do not need your pledge of
allegiance and discharge me from my duties." [44]

[44]Tarikh al Khulafa, Ibn Qutaybah, vol 1 p 20

Many of our historians and scholars admit that Fatimah - may Allah's peace be upon her -
challenged Abu Bakr in many cases such as the donations, the inheritance and the shares of the
relatives, but her challenge was dismissed, and she died angry at him. However, our scholars seem
to pass over these incidents without having the will to talk about them in some detail, so that they
could as usual, preserve the integrity of Abu Bakr. One of the strange things that I have read
regarding this subject, is what one of the writers said after he had mentioned the incident in some
detail: God forbid that Fatimah should claim something that does not rightly belong to her, and God
forbid that Abu Bakr denied her rights.

The writer thought that through this weak reasoning, he would be able to solve the problem and
convince the researchers. He appears to be saying something similar to the following: God forbid
that the Holy Qur'an should say anything but the truth, and God forbid that the sons of Israel
should worship the calf. We have been plagued with scholars who say things that they cannot
comprehend, and believe in the object and its antithesis, simultaneously. The point is that Fatimah
claimed and Abu Bakr dismissed her claim, so she was either a liar - God forbid - or Abu Bakr
treated her unjustly. There could be no third solution for the case, as some of our scholars would

If one refuses to accept the logical reasoning that the leading lady among all ladies is a liar because
her father, the Messenger of Allah, said, "Fatimah is part of me, and who- ever hurts her hurts me."
And by intuition one accepts that a person who lies does not deserve such a saying from the
Messenger of Allah (saw). Therefore, the saying itself is a clear indication of her infallibility. The
purification verse from the Holy Qur'an is another indication of her infallibility, and it was revealed
in her honour and the honour of her husband and her two sons, as Aishah herself testified [45].
Hence, there is nothing left for sensible people but to accept the fact that she was unjustly treated,
and that she was easy to be branded a liar by somebody who was willing to let her burn unless the
remaining people in her house came out to vote for him. [46]

[45]Sahih, Muslim, vol 7 p 121, 130
[46]Tarikh al Khulafa, vol 1 p 20

Because of all that, she - may Allah's peace be upon her - refused entry to Abu Bakr and Umar
when they asked her permission. Even when Ali allowed them to enter, she turned her face to the
wall and refused to look at them [47]. Furthermore, before she died, she asked to be buried
secretly, and at night, so that none of them could be present at her funeral [48], and to this day, the
grave of the Prophet's daughter is unknown.

[47]Tarikh al Khulafa, vol 1 p 20
[48]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 3 p 39

I would like to ask why our scholars remain silent about these facts, and are reluctant to look into
them, or even to mention them. They give us the impression that the Companions are like angels,
infallible and sinless, and when you ask them why the caliph of the Muslim's Uthman was
murdered, they would say: It was the Egyptians - and they were not believers - who came and
killed him, thus ends the subject with two words.

When I had the opportunity to carry out research into history, I found that the main figures behind
the killing of Uthman were the Companions themselves, and that Aishah led them, calling for his
death publicly and saying: "Kill Na'thal (the old fool), for he was not a believer." [49]

[49]Tarikh, Tabari, vol 4 p 407
Tarikh, Ibn Athir, vol 3 p 206
Lisan al Arab, vol 14 p 193
Taj al Arus, vol 8 p 141
Al Iqd al Farid, vol 4 p 290

Also we know that Talhah, al-Zubayr, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and other famous Companions
besieged him in his house and prevented him from having a drink of water, so that they could force
him to resign. Furthermore, the historians inform us that they did not allow his corpse to be buried
in a Muslim cemetery, and that he was finally buried in "Hashsh Kawkab" without washing the
corpse and without a shroud.

O Allah, praise be to You, how could they tell us that he was unjustly killed, and that those who
killed him were not Muslims. This is another case similar to that of Fatimah and Abu Bakr: Uthman
was either unjustly treated, therefore we may pass judgement on those Companions who killed him
or those who participated in his killing that they were criminal murderers because they unlawfully
killed the caliph of the Muslims, and threw stones at his funeral, and humiliated him when he was
alive and then when he was dead; or that the Companions killed him because he committed certain
deeds which were not compatible with Islam, as the historical sources tell us.

There is no third option, unless we dismiss the historical facts and accept the distorted picture that
the Egyptians, who were not believers, killed Uthman. In both cases there is a definite rejection of
the common belief that all the Companions were right and just, without exception, for either
Uthman was unjust or his killers were not just, but all of them were Companions, and hence our
proposition becomes void. Therefore we are left with the proposition of the followers of Ahl
al-Bayt, and that is that some of the Companions were right and some others were wrong.

We may ask a few questions about the war of al-Jamal, which was instigated by Umm
al-Mumineen Aishah, who played an important role in it. How could Umm al-Mumineen Aishah
leave her house in which Allah had ordered her to stay, when the most High said: "And stay in your
houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yours" (Holy Qur'an

We may also ask, how could Aishah allow herself to declare war on the caliph of the Muslims, Ali
ibn Abi Talib, who was the master of all Muslims? As usual, our scholars, with some simplicity,
answer us that she did not like Imam Ali because he advised the Messenger of Allah to divorce her
in the incident of al-Ifk. Seemingly these people are trying to convince us that that incident - if it
was true - namely Ali's advice to the Prophet to divorce Aishah, was sufficient for her to disobey
the orders of her God and her husband, the Messenger of Allah. She rode a camel that the
Messenger of Allah forbade her from riding and warned her about the barking of al-Hawab's dogs
[50], she travelled long distances from al-Medinah to Mekka then to Basrah, she permitted the
killing of innocent people and started a war against the commander of the believers and the
Companions who voted for him, and she caused the deaths of thousands of Muslims, according to
the historians [51]. She did all that because she did not like Ali who advised the Prophet to
divorce her. Nevertheless the Prophet did not divorce her so why all this hatred towards Imam
Ali? History has recorded some aggressive stances against Ali that could not be explained and
these are some of them. When she was on her way back from Mekka Aishah was informed that
Uthman was killed, so she was delighted, but when she learnt that people had voted for Ali to
succeed him she became very angry and said, "I wish the sky would collapse on the earth before
Ibn Abi Talib succeeds to the caliphate." Then she said, "Take me back." Thus she started the civil
war against Ali, whose name she never liked to mention, as many historians agree.

[50]al Imamah was Siyasah
[51]Al Tabari, Ibn al Athir and other historians who wrote about the events in the Year 36 A.H

Had Aishah heard the saying of the Messenger of Allah (saw): Loving Ali is believing, and hating
him is hypocrisy? [52]. To the extent that some of the Companions used to say, "We recognized
the hypocrites by their hatred of Ali." Had Aishah not heard the saying of the Prophet: Whoever
accepts me as his master, then Ali is his master? Undoubtedly she heard all that, but she did not
like it, and she did not like mentioning his name, and when she learnt of his death she knelt and
thanked Allah. [53]

[52]Sahih, Muslim, vol 1 p 48
[53]Al Tabari, Ibn al Athir, who wrote about the events in the Year of 40 Hijri

Let us move on, for I do not want to discuss the life of Umm al-Mumineen Aishah, but I have tried
to show how many of the Companions violated the principles of Islam and disobeyed the orders of
the Messenger of Allah (saw), and it suffices to mention the following incident which happened to
Aishah during the civil war, and on which all historians tend to agree. It has been said that when
Aishah passed by the waters of al-Hawab and heard the dogs barking, she remembered the
warning of her husband, the Messenger of Allah, and how he prevented her from being the
instigator of "al-Jamal" war. She cried, then she said, "Take me back . take me back!" But Talhah
and al- Zubayr brought fifty men and bribed them, then made them testify that these waters were
not al-Hawab's waters. Later she continued her journey until she reached Basrah. Many historians
believe that those fifty men gave the first falsified testimony in the history of Islam. [54]

[54]Al Tabari, Ibn al Athir and other historians who wrote about the events of the Year 40 A.H

O Muslims! You who have enlightened minds ... assist us in solving this problem. Were these truly
the honourable Companions, of whom we were always led to believe in their righteousness, and
that they were the best people after the Messenger of Allah (saw)! How could they give a falsified
testimony when the Messenger of Allah considered it to be one of the great sins, whose
punishment is Hell.

The same question crops up again. Who was right and who was wrong? Either Ali and his
followers were wrong, or Aishah and her followers and Talhah and al-Zubayr and their followers
were wrong. There is no third possibility. But I have no doubt that the fair researcher would take
Ali's side and dismiss Aishah and her followers who instigated the civil war that devastated the
nation and left its tragic marks to the present day.

For the sake of further clarification, and for the sake of my own satisfaction I mention here what
al-Bukhari had to say in his book about the civil war. When Talhah, al-Zubayr and Aishah
travelled to Basrah, Ali sent Ammar ibn Yasir and al-Hasan ibn Ali to al-Kufah. On their arrival,
they went to the mosque and addressed the congregation, and we heard Ammar saying, "Aishah
had gone to Basrah ... and by Allah she is the wife of your Prophet in this life and the life hereafter,
but Allah, the Most High, is testing you to know whom you obey: Him or her." [55]

[55]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 4 p 161

Also al-Bukhari wrote in his book a chapter about what went on in the houses of the Prophet's
wives: Once the Prophet (saw) was giving a speech, and he indicated the house where Aishah was
living, then said, "There is the trouble ... there is the trouble ... there is the trouble ... from where
the devil's horns come out ..." [56]

[56]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 2 p 128

Al-Bukhari wrote many strange things in his book about Aishah and her bad manners towards the
Prophet to the extent that her father had to beat her until she bled. He also wrote about her
pretention towards the Prophet until Allah threatened her with divorce... and there are many other
stories but we are limited by space.

After all that I ask how did Aishah deserve all that respect from the Sunnis; is it because she was
the Prophet's wife? But he had so many wives, and some of them were better than Aishah, as the
Prophet himself declared [57]. Or perhaps because she was Abu Bakr's daughter! Or maybe
because she played an important role in the denial of the Prophet's will for Ali, and when she was
told that the Prophet recommended Ali, she said, "Who said that? I was with the Prophet (saw)
supporting his head on my chest, then he asked me to bring the washbowl, as I bent down he died,
so I cannot see how he recommended Ali [58]. Or is it because she fought a total war against him
and his sons after him, and even intercepted the funeral procession of al-Hasan - Leader of the
Heaven's youth - and prevented his burial beside his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah, and said
"Do not allow anybody that I do not like to enter my house."

[57]Sahih al Tirmidhi
al Istiab, Ibn Abd al Barr, Biography of Safiyya
[58]Sahih, Bukhari, vol 3 p 68

She forgot, or maybe ignored the Messenger of Allah's sayings about him and his brother, "Allah
loves those who love them, and Allah hates those who hate them," Or his saying, "I am at war with
those who fight against you, and I am at peace with those who appease you." And there are many
other sayings in their honour. No wonder, for they were so dear to him!

She heard many more sayings in honour of Ali, but despite the Prophet's warning, she was
determined to fight him and agitate the people against him and deny all his virtues. Because of that,
the Umayyads loved her and put her in a high position and filled the books with her virtues and
made her the great authority for the Islamic nation because she had half of the religion.

Perhaps they assigned the second half of the religion to Abu Hurayrah, who told them what they
wanted to hear, so they bestowed on him various honours: they gave him the governorship of
al-Medinah, they gave him al-Aqiq palace and gave him the title of "Rawiat al-lslam" - the
transmitter of Islam. He made it easy for the Umayyads to create a completely new religion which
took whatever pleased them and supported their interests and power from the Holy Qur'an and
the tradition of the Prophet. Inevitably, such a religion lacked any seriousness and became full of
contradictions and myths, hence most of the facts were buried and replaced by lies. Then they
forced the people to believe in these lies so that the religion of Allah became a mere joke, and no
one feared Allah as much as they feared Muawiah. When we ask some of our scholars about
Muawiah's war against Ali, who had been acknowledged by al-Muhajireen and al-Ansar, a war
which led to the division of Islam into Sunnis and Shiites and left it scarred to this very day, they
simply answer by saying, "Ali and Muawiah were both good Companions, and both of them
interpreted Islam in his own way. However, Ali was right, therefore he deserves two rewards, but
Muawiah got it wrong, therefore, he deserves one reward. It is not within our right to judge for
them or against them, Allah- the Most High - said: "This is a people that have passed away, they
shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to
answer for what they did" (Holy Qur'an 2:134).

Regrettably, we provide such weak answers that neither a sensible mind nor a religion, nor indeed
a law would accept. O Allah, I am innocent of idle talk and of deviant whims. I beg You to protect
me from the devil's touch.

How could a sensible mind accept that Muawiah had worked hard to interpret Islam and give him
one reward for his war against the leader of all Muslims, and for his killing of thousands of innocent
believers, in addition to all the crimes that he committed? He was known among the historians for
killing his opponents through feeding them poisoned honey, and he used to say, "Allah has soldiers
made of honey."

How could these people judge him as a man who worked hard to promote Islam and give him a
reward for that, when he was the leader of a wrong faction? There is a well known Hadith of the
Prophet, and most of the scholars agree its authenticity, "Woe unto Ammar .. he will be killed by
the wrong faction." And he was killed by Muawiah and his followers.

How could they judge him as a promoter of Islam when he killed Hijr Ibn Adi and his companions
and buried them in Marj Adhra in the Syrian desert because they refused to curse Ali ibn Abi

How could they judge him a just Companion when he killed al-Hasan, leader of the Heaven's
youth, by poisoning him?

How could they judge him as being correct after he had forced the nation to acknowledge him as a
caliph and to accept his corrupt son Yazid as his successor, and to change the Shurah
[consultative] system to a hereditary one? [59]

[59]Read Khilafat o Mulukiyat by Syed Abul A'la Maududi

How could they judge him as a man who had worked hard to promote Islam and to reward him,
after he forced the people to curse Ali and Ahl al- Bayt, the Family of the chosen Prophet, and
killed those Companions who refused to do so, and made the act of cursing Ali a tradition? There
is no power but in Allah, the Most High, the Great.

The question crops up over and over again. Which faction was right, and which faction was
wrong? Either Ali and his followers were wrong, or Muawiah and his followers were wrong, and
the Messenger of Allah (saw) explained everything.

In both cases, the proposition of the righteousness of all the Companions does not hold ground
and is incompatible with logic. There are many examples for all these subjects. and if I want to
study them in detail and discuss them for all their aspects, then I would need volumes. But I
wanted to be brief in this study so I mentioned a few examples, but thank Allah, for they have been
enough to refute the claims of my people who froze my mind for a period of time, and prevented
me from looking at the Hadith (prophetic tradition) and the historical events with an analytical view,
using the intellect and the legal yard-sticks which the Holy Qur'an and the honourable Prophet's
tradition taught us to do.

Therefore, I shall rebel against myself and rid myself of the dust of prejudice with which they
engulfed me. I shall free myself from all the chains and fetters that I have been tied with for more
than twenty years, and say, "I wish my people knew that Allah has granted me forgiveness and
made me among the honourable people. I wish my people could discover the world they know
nothing about. but nevertheless oppose."