Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) Inviting the Descendants of Abdul-Muttlib to Islam
By: Allamah Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi
1) Anyone who is acquainted with the biography of the holy Prophet (pbuh), especially researching his conduct while laying the foundations of the Islamic State and its legislative system, the establishment of its bases, the issuing of its codes and the organizing of its affairs on behalf of the Almighty Allah..., will find `Ali (as) the vizier of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), his supporter against his foes, the custodian of his knowledge, the heir of his government, his vicegerent, and the one in charge after him. Whoever studies the statements and actions of the Prophet (pbuh), while at home or on a journey, will find his statements, peace and blessings of Allah Almighty be upon him and his progeny, sequential in this regard from the beginning of his Call till his demise.
2) Refer to such statements at the dawn of the Call, before Islam was preached in Mecca publicly, when the Almighty revealed unto him the verse "And warn thy nearest tribe (Qur'an, 26:214)." He invited them to the house of his uncle Abu Talib. They were forty men, more or less. Among them were his uncles Abu Talib, al-Hamzah, al-`Abbas, and Abu Lahab. The hadith in this regard is sequentially reported by Sunnis. At the conclusion of his statement to them, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, said:
"O descendants of `Abdul-Muttlib! I swear by God that I know no youth among the Arabs who has brought his people something better than what I have brought you. I have brought you the best of this life and the life to come, and God has commanded me to call you towards Him. Therefore, who among you shall support me in this matter and be my brother, the executor of my will, and my successor?"
All the listeners, with the exception of `Ali, who was the youngest among them, kept silent. `Ali responded by saying: "I, O Messenger of Allah, am willing to be your vizier in this matter." The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) then took `Ali by the neck and said: "This is my brother, executor of my will and vizier; therefore, listen to him and obey him." Those present laughed and kept saying to Abu Talib: "Allah has commanded you to listen to your son, and to obey him!"
3) Many of those who have learned the prophetic legacy by heart have reported the hadith above verbatim as such. Among them are: Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn Mardawayh, Abu Na`im, al-Bayhaqi in his book Al-Dala'il, both al-Tha`labi and al-Tabari in their exegeses of Surat al Shu`ara' in their book Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, in Vol. 2 of al-Tabari's Tarikh al-Umam wal Muluk. Ibn al-Athir has reported it as an undisputed fact in Vol. 2 of his Al-Kamil when he mentioned how the Almighty commanded His Messenger to declare his call to the public, Abul-Fida in Vol. of his Tarikh while discussing who was the first to embrace Islam, Imam Abu Ja`fer al-Iskafi al-Mu`tazili in his book Naqd al-Uthmaniyyah declaring its accuracy, al-Halabi in his chapter on the Prophet's hideout at the house of Arqam in his well-known Sirah.
In this same context, with almost identical wording, has this hadith been reported by many masters of hadith and most reliable Sunni authorities such as al-Tahawi, Diya' al-Maqdisi in his Mukhtara, and Sa`id ibn Mansur in his Sunan. Refer to what Ibn Hanbal has recorded of `Ali's hadith on pages 111 and 159 of Vol. 1 of his Musnad. He also pointed out at the beginning of page 331 of Vol. 1 of his Musnad, to a very significant hadith from Ibn `Abbas] containing ten characteristics in which `Ali has distinguished himself from everyone else. That hadith is published in Nisa'i, too, from Ibn `Abbas, on page 6 of his Khasa'is al `Alawiyyah, and on page 132, Vol. 3, of Hakim's Mustadrak. Al-Thahbi has narrated it in his Talkhis], vouching for its authenticity. Refer to Vol. 6 of Kanz al-`Ummal which contains all the details. Refer also to Muntakhabul Kanz which is cited in the footnote of Imam Ahmed's Musnad; refer to the footnote on pages 41 and 43 of Vol. 5 of the book to find all details. This, we believe, suffices to serve as glorious proof, and peace be with you.
Ummah's Politicians are the Ones Who Turned Away from Ahl al-Bayt,
1) Thank you for thinking so highly of me, the unworthy that I am, and I appreciate your compliments as well as the contents of my letters; therefore, I look humbly to such gracefulness, and I bow down before such kindness to honour its greatness and prestige.
2) But I request you to reconsider what you have stated regarding those who turned away from Ahl al-Bayt, generalizing them about all Ahl al-Qibla. I remind you that half of Ahl al-Qibla are the Shi`as of Muhammad (pbuh) who have not turned away nor shall ever turn away from the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt in as far as the origins and branches of the faith are concerned. It is their view that following their sect, peace be upon them, is one of the strict commandments of the Book and the Sunnah; therefore, they worship Allah Almighty thus in every time and place. This is the way of their good ancestors as well as that of their posterity since the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) passed away.
3) Those who have turned away from the beliefs of Ahl al-Bayt in as far as the roots and branches of the creed are concerned are the nation's politicians, the ones who control its destiny, due to their turning away from the succession (to the Prophet), affecting such a succession by elections, although they knew for sure that it was assigned for the Commander of the Faithful `Ali ibn Abu Talib (as). They saw that the Arabs would not tolerate such a succession if restricted to one dynasty; therefore, they started interpreting its texts, assuming power through elections so that every suburb of theirs may enjoy it sooner or later. So, it was here and it was there. They sacrificed their means and might to keep it that way and support that principle, eradicating all contrary views and trends. Necessity forced them to turn away from the school of thought of Ahl al-Bayt. They started interpreting the texts of the Book or the Sunnah to mean the necessity of following such a concept. Had they yielded to the clear proofs, and referred the elite and the commoners to them in matters relevant to the roots and branches of religion, they would have found no alternative to adhering to their principle. They would have then become among the greatest callers to Ahl al-Bayt. But this did not agree with their ambition, scheme and politics. Whoever looks carefully in these matters will find out that turning away from the imams of Ahl al-Bayt in his sect is but turning away from their leadership, which was next only to that of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), and that interpreting the arguments regarding their special leadership was adopted after interpreting the arguments regarding their general leadership; otherwise, nobody would have turned away from them.
4) Leave their texts and arguments alone, and look at them while overlooking the former; do you then find them, in their knowledge, deeds, or worship, less than Imam al-Ash`ari, or the other four Imams, or any others at all? And if the answer is No, then why should others be followed then? Leadership should be given to the most qualified.
5) Which just arbitrator decides that those who uphold their rope and follow into their footsteps are strayers? Sunnis are above passing such a judgment, and peace be with you.
 As on page 263, Vol. 3, of Sharh Nahjul Balaghah by Ibn Abul Hadid, Egyptian edition. As regarding his book Naqd al-`Uthmaniyya, it is a unique book worthy of the attention of any seeker of the truth. It is on page 257 and its succeeding pages up to page 281, Vol. 3, of the Sharh, at the end the commentary at the conclusion of the "qasi`a" sermon.
 Refer to the fourth page of that chapter, or to page 381 of the first volume of Al-Sira al-Halabiyya. Ibn Taymiyyah's wrecklessness is unfair, and his judgment is due to his well-known fanaticism. This hadith is quoted by the Egyptian sociologist Muhammad Hasanayn Haykal; refer to the second column on page five of the supplement to issue 2751 of his newspaper Al-Siyasa dated Thul-Qi`da 12, 1350, and you will find it there explained in detail. If you refer to the fourth column on page six of the supplement to issue 2785 of the same newspaper, you will find the author quoting this hadith from Muslim's , Ahmed's musnad, `Abdullah ibn Ahmed's Ziyadat al-Musnad, Ibn Hajar al-Haithami's Jami`ul Fara'id, Ibn Qutaybah's `Uyun al-Akhbar, Ahmed ibn `Abd Rabbih's Al-`Iqd al-Farid, `Amr ibn Bahr al-Jahiz in his dissertation on the descendants of Hashim, and Imam Abu Ishaq al-Tha`labi's Tafsir. This hadith is also quoted by the British author Georges in his well-known book A Treatise on Islam, translated into the Arabic by an atheist from a Protestant descent calling himself Hashim al-`Arabi. You can also find this hadith on page 79 of the treatise's Arabic version, 6th edition. Due to the fame this hadith enjoys, a few non-Arab writers have included it in their books, especially in French, English and German. In his book Heroes and Hero Worship, Thomas Carlyle quotes it briefly.
 Refer to hadith 6008 on page 392, and you will find it quoted from Ibn Jarir, while hadith 1045 on page 396 is quoted from Ahmed's Musnad and from al-Dia al-Maqdisi's Al-Mukhtara, and from al-Tahawi. Ibn Jarir has verified it. Also refer to hadith 6056 on page 397 and you will find it quoted from Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn Mardawayh, Abu Na`im, al-Bayhaqi on the branches of faith, and in the Dala'il, and hadith 6102 on page 401 and you will find it quoted from Ibn Mardawayh, and hadith 6155 on page 408 and you will find it quoted from Ahmed's Musnad and from Ibn Jarir from Al-Diya fil Mukhtara. Whoever researches Kanz al-`Ummal will find this hadith in various places throughout the book. If you look into page 255, Vol. 3, of Sharh Nahjul Balaghah by the Mu`tazilite Imam Ibn Abul-Hadid, or at the end of the explanation of the "qasi`a sermon" in it, you will find this hadith in its entirety.