The Other Terms for the “Shī‘ah”
After the caliphate of the Commander of the Faithful ‘Alī (‘a) and with the spread of Shī‘ism, in addition to the name “Shī‘ah”, other appellations such as ‘Alawī, Imāmah, Husayniyyah, ‘Ithnā ‘Asharī, Khāṣṣah, Ja‘farī, Turābī, and Rāfiḍī were gradually applied to the friends of the family of the Prophet
#7779;). Although the Ahl al-Bayt’s (‘a) adherents as a whole were called “Shī‘ah” as usual, these appellations and titles were also applied to the Shī‘ah on various occasions.
Sometimes, the enemies also used to give certain titles to the Shī‘ah with the aim of belittling and degrading them. During the time of Mu‘āwiyah, for example, the Banū Umayyah and the people of Shām used the epithet “Abū Turāb” [literally, “Father of the Earth/Soil”] for ‘Alī (‘a) among all his epithets and sobriquets and they used to call his Shī‘ah as “Turābīs”. After the Battle of Ṣiffin and the rule of ‘Alī (‘a), whenever Mu‘āwiyah wanted to dispatch ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ḥaḍramī to Baṣrah, he would give instructions regarding the tribes but concerning the tribe of Rabī‘ah, he said
: “Leave alone the Rabī‘ah as all of them are turābīs.” According to Mas‘ūdī, Abū Mikhnaf had a book entitled, Akhbār at-Turābiyyīn, from which he has narrated the event of ‘Ayn al-Warad.
The enemies of the Shī‘ah used to apply to them the label, “Rāfiḍī” and in most cases, whenever they liked to accuse somebody of abandoning religion, they would brand him a rāfiḍī, just as ash-Shāfi‘ī says:
Åä ßÇä ÑÝÖÇð ÍÈø Âá ãÍãøÏ ÝáíÔåÏ ÇáËøÞáÇä Ãäøì ÑÇÝÖì
If loving the progeny [āl] of Muhammad is rafḍ, the two worlds (of mankind and jinn) shall therefore be the witness that I am indeed a rāfiḍī.
It has been recorded in history that after the uprising of Zayd ibn ‘Alī, the Shī‘ah were then called Rāfiḍī. Shahristānī thus says
: When the Shī‘ah of Kūfah learned from Zayd ibn ‘Alī that he does not declare disavowal against the two sheikhs [shaykhayn] (Abūbakr and ‘Umar) and regard as permissible the Imamate of a deserving one [mafḍūl] in the existence of the most deserving one [afḍal], they abandoned him. Therefore, they were then identified as Rāfiḍī because rafḍ means “abandonment”.
Regarding the label, ‘Alawī, Sayyid Muḥsin Amīn says
: After the murder of ‘Uthmān and the confrontation between Mu‘āwiyah and ‘Alī (‘a), the supporters and followers of Mu‘āwiyah were called “‘Uthmānīs” as they used to love ‘Uthmān and be inimical to ‘Alī (‘a). In addition to “Shī‘ah”, the followers of ‘Alī (‘a) were also called “‘Alawīs”, and this practice persisted till the end of the Umayyad rule. During the ‘Abbāsid period, the labels ““‘Uthmānī” and “‘Alawī” were abrogated and only “Shī‘ah” and “Sunnī” were used.
“Imāmīs” was another term applied to the Shī‘ah usually in contradistinction to the Zaydīs. As Ibn al-Khaldūn writes, Some Shī‘ah believe in explicit traditions substantiating the proposition that Imamate [imāmah] is solely in the person of ‘Alī and after it will also be transferred to his descendants. They are Imāmiyyah with aversion toward the two sheikhs [shaykhayn] (Abūbakr and ‘Umar) for not considering ‘Alī as superior and not paying allegiance to him. They do not accept the Imamate of Abūbakr and ‘Umar. Other Shī‘ah believe that God did not appoint a specific person but described the characteristics of the Imām which conform to the personality of ‘Alī and the people were at fault in not recognizing this. They do not abuse the two sheikhs and they are Zaydīs.
Keeping in view of the surviving poems from the supporters and companions of Imām al-Husayn (‘a), it can be discerned that after his martyrdom, his Shī‘ah and supporters were also called “Husaynīs”. In many of their poems they introduced themselves as “Husaynīs” or “of the religion of Husayn”. In this regard, Ibn ‘Abd Rabbih thus says: “Among the rāfiḍīs are the Husayniyyah and they are companions of Ibrāhīm al-Ashtar who used to roam around the alleys of Kūfah shouting
: “Yā lithārāt al-Ḥusayn!” They were called Husayniyyah.”
Meanwhile, the term “Qaṭ‘iyyah” [lit. “Decisiveness”] was applied to the Shī‘ah after the martyrdom of Imām Mūsā al-Kāẓim (‘a) in contradistinction to the Wāqifiyyah. That is to say that they were certain and decisive with respect to the martyrdom of Imām al-Kāẓim (‘a) and believed in the Imamate of Imām ar-Ridā (‘a) and the Imāms after him, whereas the Wāqifiyyah were not convinced of the death of Imām al-Kāẓim (‘a).
Nowadays, the label “Ja‘fariyyah” is applied to the Shī‘ah more on account of jurisprudence in contradistinction to the four Sunnī schools of jurisprudence [madhāhib]. The reason for this term is that the Shī‘ah jurisprudence took form more through Imām Ja‘far aṣ-Ṣādiq (‘a) compared to all the Imāms (‘a) and most traditions on our jurisprudence are narrated by him (‘a). Nonetheless, keeping in view a poem we have from Sayyid Ḥumayrī, it can be understood that only on account of jurisprudence during Imām aṣ-Ṣādiq’s (‘a) period the term “Ja‘farī” was applied to the Shī‘ah, but this term has also been applied to them in terms of principles of religion [uṣūl] in contradistinction to other sects. The poem of Ḥumayrī is as follows:
ÊÌÚÝÑÊ ÈÇÓã Çááå æ Çááå ÃßÈÑ
In the Name of Allah, I became a Ja‘farī, and Allah is the great.
By becoming a Ja‘farī, Sayyid Ḥumayrī is referring to the correct course of the Shī‘ah Imāmiyyah in contradistinction to the Kaysāniyyah.
The Status of ‘Alī (‘a) among the Companions [ṣaḥābah]
The Commander of the Faithful ‘Alī (‘a) occupied a special position among the Companions of the Prophet
#7779;). Mas‘ūdī says: In terms of all the virtues and merits that the Companions of the Holy Prophet (S)possessed, such as precedence in Islam; hijrah [emigration]; helping the Prophet; kinship with him; contentment [qinā‘ah]; sacrifice [īthār]; knowledge of the Book of Allah; jihād; piety [wara‘]; asceticism [zuhd]; judgment [qaḍā’]; jurisprudence [fiqh]; etc., ‘Alī (‘a) had abundant share and perfect delight. This is apart from the fact that some of the virtues are possessed by him alone such as brotherhood [ukhuwwah] of the Prophet and statements of the Prophet such as: “You are to me as Hārūn (Aaron) is to Mūsā (Moses),” “Of whomsoever I am master [mawlā], ‘Alī is also his master. O God! Befriend him who befriends him and be inimical to him who is inimical to him”; and also the supplication of the Prophet for him; when Anas brought a cooked bird to the Prophet
#7779;), he said: “O God! Let the most beloved creature (after him) come in so as to partake with me.” Then, ‘Alī (‘a) came in and partook with the Prophet. This is while the other Companions did not possess those virtues.
Among the Banū Hāshim, ‘Alī (‘a) was also the nearest person to the Prophet
#7779;). He grew up in the house of the Holy Prophet (S)and under his training. He (‘a) slept in the Prophet’s
#7779;) bed during the night of hijrah, returned to their respective owners the possessions entrusted to the Holy Prophet (S)and joined the Holy Prophet (S)in Medina.
The most important of all is ‘Alī’s (‘a) position in Islam. The Most Noble Messenger
#7779;) determined this position at the very beginning of the Prophetic mission.
When the Prophet received instruction from God to invite his kith and kin, it was only ‘Alī in the assembly who was ready to assist and accompany the Holy Prophet (‘a). Then, in that very assembly, the Most Noble Messenger
#7779;) announced before the elders among his relatives that ‘Alī is the executor of his will [waṣī], minister [waẓīr], caliph [khalīf], and successor notwithstanding the fact the he was the youngest among those who were present.
The Holy Holy Prophet (S)informed his Companions on several occasions of the status and position of ‘Alī (‘a), admonishing them to recognize his position. The Holy Holy Prophet (S)was watchful of his their attitude toward ‘Alī (‘a) particularly after the spread of Islam when many individuals with diverse motives joined the ranks of Muslims. This is especially true with respect to the Quraysh whose envy toward the Banū Hāshim had amplified by then. Ibn Shahr Āshūb thus narrates on the authority of ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb
I used to annoy ‘Alī, the Holy Prophet (S)once came to me and said
: “You are annoying me, O ‘Umar!” I said: “I seek refuge in God from annoying the Messenger of Allah!” He said: “You are annoying ‘Alī and he who annoys him annoys me”.
Muṣ‘ab ibn Sa‘d has narrated from his father, Sa‘d ibn Abī Waqqāṣ, that
: “I and another person were in the mosque and we were abusing ‘Alī. Infuriated, the Prophet came to us and said: ‘Why do you annoy me? He who annoys ‘Alī annoys me’.”
Haythamī has narrated
Buraydah al-Aslamī, who is one of those who had gone to Yemen under the commandership of ‘Alī, says
: “I went back to Medina earlier than the army. The people asked me: ‘What news?’ I said: ‘There is news. God made the Muslims victorious.’ They asked: ‘Why did you come earlier (than the army contingent)?’ I said: ‘‘Alī has allocated a bondwoman from the khums for himself. I have come to inform the Prophet of it…’ When the Prophet was informed of it, he was annoyed and said: ‘Why are some people belittling ‘Alī? Anyone who finds fault with ‘Alī finds fault with me. Anyone who would separate from ‘Alī has separated from me. ‘Alī is from me and I from him. He has been created out of my essence and I from the essence of Ibrāhīm (Abraham) though I am superior to Ibrāhīm… O Buraydah! Don’t you know that ‘Alī deserves more than one bondswoman? He is your guardian [walī] after me.
Ibn Shahr Āshūb also narrates a similar hadith from Sunnī muḥaddithūn such as Tirmidhī, Abū Na‘īm, al-Bukhārī, and Mūṣallī.
As such, ‘Alī (‘a) had earned special respect among the Companions. Again, Ibn Shahr Āshūb has thus narrated from Anas ibn Mālik
: During the period of the Holy Holy Prophet (S)whenever we wanted to know if a certain person is a bastard or not, we would know it from the spite of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib. After the Battle of Khaybar, every man would hug his child and go. If ever he would see ‘Alī along the way, he would point to ‘Alī with his hand to the child and ask him: “Do you like this man?” If the child would say, “Yes,” he would kiss his child and if the child would say, “No,” he would put the child on the ground and say, “Go to your mother!” ‘Ubādah ibn Ṣāmit also says: “We used to test our children with the love for ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib. If we found out that one of them does not like him, we would know that he will never be an upright person.”
During the latter years of the Prophet’s
#7779;) life, the issue of ‘Alī’s (‘a) position was more publicized so much so that the title waṣī [executor of one’s will] became one of his widely known titles, which was accepted by both his friends and foes especially after the Holy Holy Prophet (S)said to ‘Alī (‘a) before going to the Tabūk expedition:
ÃäÊ ãäøí ÈãäÒáÉ åÇÑæä ãä ãæÓìٰ ÅáÇø Ãäøå áÇäÈíø ÈÚÏí
“You are to me as Hārūn (Aaron) is to Mūsā (Moses) with the only difference that there shall be no prophet after me.”
In the course of the Farewell Pilgrimage [Ḥajj al-Widā‘] in Mīnā and in ‘Arafah also, the Holy Holy Prophet (S)informed the people in several speeches about twelve persons shall be his successors and all of whom are from Banū Hāshim. Finally, on the return from Mecca in Ghadir Khumm, he
#7779;) received instruction from God to announce the succession of ‘Alī (‘a) to all the Muslims. He ordered the Muslims to halt and mounting a pulpit made out of the camel saddles he delivered a long speech. He then said:
ãä ßäÊ ãæáÇå ÝåÐÇ Úáíø ãæáÇå Çááøåãø æÇá ãä æÇáÇå æ ÚÇÏ ãä ÚÇÏÇå æÇäÕÑ ãä äÕÑå æÇÎÐá ãä ÎÐáå
Of whosoever I am Master [mawlā], then ‘Alī is also his Master [mawlā]. O Allah! Be Thou a Friend of him who is a friend of him (‘Alī), and be Thou an Enemy of him who is his enemy. Help him whoever helps him, and forsake him whoever forsakes him.
Then, he asked the people to pay allegiance to ‘Alī (‘a). ‘Allāmah al-Amīnī has given a comprehensive explanation of this subject in the first volume of the book, Al-Ghadīr.
In this manner, the Messenger of Allah
#7779;) asserted his successor’s identity to the people. Thus, the public was of the opinion that after ‘Alī (‘a) would succeed (as the leader of Muslims) the Holy Prophet (S)after his demise. In this regard, Zubayr ibn Bakkār says: “All the Muhājirūn and the Anṣār had no doubt that ‘Alī will be the caliph and master of the affairs after the Messenger of Allah
This subject is so clear in the poems that have been recorded from the time of Saqīfah and these poems bespeak of a smaller degree of distortion that has ever happened in poetry. ‘Utbah ibn Abī Lahab recited this poem after the event of Saqīfah and Abūbakr’s inauguration:
ãÇ ßäÊ ÃÍÓÈ Ãä ÇáÃãÑ ãäÕÑÝ Úä åÇÔã Ëãø ãäåÇ Úä ÃÈí ÍÓä
ÃáíÓ Ãæøá ãä Õáøی áÞÈáÊßã æ ÃÚáã ÇáäøÇÓ ÈÇáÞÑÂä æ ÇáÓøää
æ ÃÞÑÈ ÇáäøÇÓ ÚåÏÇð ÈÇáäÈí æ ãä ÌÈÑÆíá Úæä áå Ýí ÇáÛÓá æ ÇáßÝä
ãÇ Ýíå ãÇ Ýíåã áÇíãÊÑæä Èå æ áíÓ Ýí ÇáÞæã ãÇ Ýíå ãä ÇáÍÓä
ãÇÐÇ ÇáøÐí ÑÏåã Úäå ÝäÚáãå åÇ Ãä ÐÇÛÈäÇð ãä ÃÚÙã ÇáÛÈä
I was not imagining that the caliphate affair would be withdrawn from the Banū Hāshim and much less to Abū’l-Ḥasan (‘Alī).
Is he not the first person to pray facing your qiblah and of the people the most knowledgeable of the Qur’an and the Sunnah?
He is the last person to look at the face of the Prophet; Jibra’īl (Archangel Gabriel) was his aid in bathing and enshrouding him (the Prophet).
They do not think about what he has and what they have; whereas within the community [qawm] there is nobody who possesses his points of goodness.
What is it that made them withdraw from him? Say that this loss of ours is the gravest of all losses!
After ‘Utbah’s recitation of this poem, ‘Alī (‘a) asked him not to recite it again and said
: “For us the safety of religion is more important than anything else.”
Ibn Abī ‘Abrah Qurshī has also said:
ÔßÑÇð áãä åæ ÈÇËäÇÁ ÞíÞ ÐåÈ ÇááøÌÇÌ æ ÈæíÚ ÇáÕÏíÞ
ßäøÇ äÞæá áåÇ Úáì æ ÇáÑÖÇ ÚãÑ æ ÃæáÇåã ÈÐÇß ÚÊíÞ
Thanks to Him Who is worthy to be praised! The dispute was no more and the allegiance was paid to Ṣadīq (Abūbakr).
We were saying
: “‘Alī is the owner of caliphate; we were also pleased with ‘Umar; but the best of them in this case is the old [‘atīq] (Abūbakr)!”
During the course of the dispute between the Anṣār and Quraysh that had surfaced on the event of Saqīfah, ‘Amrū ibn al-‘Āṣ has spoken against the Anṣār. In reply to him, Nu‘mān ibn al-‘Ajlān—one of the poets of the Anṣār—has recited a poem in which ‘Alī’s (‘a) right has been emphasized:
ÝÞá áÞÑíÔ äÍä ÃÕÍÇÈ ãßøÉ æ íæã Íäíä æ ÇáÝæÇÑÓ Ýí ÈÏÑ
æ ÞáÊã ÍÑÇã äÕÈ ÓÚÏ æ äÕÈßã ÚÊíÞ Èä ÚËãÇä ÍáÇá ÃÈÇÈßÑ
æ Ãåá ÃÈæÈßÑ áåÇ ÎíÑ ÞÇÆã æ Ãä ÚáíÇð ßÇä ÃÎáÞ ÈÇáÃãÑ
æ ßÇä åæÇäÇ Ýí Úáíøò æ Ãäå áÃåá áåÇ íÇ ÚãÑ æ ãä ÍíË áÇÊÏÑí
ÝÐáß ÈÚæä Çááå íÏÚæ Åáì ÇáåÏì æ íäåì Úä ÇáÝÍÔÇÁ æ ÇáÈÛí æ ÇáäøßÑ
æÕíø ÇáäøÈí ÇáãÕØÝì æ ÇÈä Úãå æ ÞÇÊá ÝÑÓÇä ÇáÖáÇáÉ æ ÇáßÝÑ
Say to the Quraysh
: “We are the army of (the Conquest of) Mecca and the Battle of Ḥunayn, and the cavalry of Badr!”
You said that appointment of Sa‘d to the caliphate is unlawful [ḥarām], but your appointment, ‘Atīq ibn ‘Uthmān, of Abūbakr is lawful [ḥalāl].
[And you said
:] Abūbakr is the man of this task and can perform it well, but ‘Alī was the most deserving of people to the caliphate.
We were on ‘Alī’s side and he was the man for this job, but you do not understand, O ‘Amrū!
This man (‘Alī), by the help of Allah, calls (us) toward guidance, and forbids perversion, oppression and evil.
He is the executor of will [waṣī] of al-Mustafā the Prophet, his cousin, and the killer of the champions of disbelief [kufr] and misguidance [ḍalālah].
With the aim of thanking Faḍl ibn al-‘Abbās who, under ‘Alī’s (‘a) order, had defended the Anṣār, Ḥassān ibn Thābit has recited this poem:
ÌÒì Çááå ÚäøÇ æ ÇáÌÒÇÁ ÈßÝøå ÃÈÇ ÍÓä ÚäÇ æ ãä ßÇä ßÇÈì ÍÓä
ÓÈÞÊ ÞÑíÔÇð ÈÇáÐí ÃäÊ Ãåáå ÝÕÏÑß ãÔÑæÍ æ ÞáÈß ããÊÍä
ÍÝÙÊ ÑÓæá Çááå ÝíäÇ æ ÚåÏå Åáíß æ ãä Ãæáì Èå ãäß ãä æ ãä
ÃáÓÊ ÃÎÇå Ýí ÇáåÏì æ æÕíøå æ ÃÚáã ãäåã ÈÇáßÊÇÈ æ ÈÇáÓøää
May God give good reward to Abū’l-Hasan for us as the reward is in his hand. Who, by the way, is like Abū’l-Hasan?
Concerning which you were a member, you were ahead of the Quraysh. Your breast is expansive and your heart tested (pure and sincere).
You preserved what the Messenger of Allah instructed regarding us. Except you, who could be foremost for him, and who could be?
Are you not his brother [akh] in guidance and the executor of his will [waṣī], and among them, the most knowledgeable of the Book and the Sunnah?
Initially, Abū Sufyān opposed the institution of (Abūbakr’s) as caliphate and defended the Commander of the Faithful (‘a). Apart from the speeches he delivered in this regard, he also composed the following poem:
Èäí åÇÔã áÇ ÊØãÚæÇ ÇáäøÇÓ Ýíßã æ áÇ ÓíøãÇ Êíã Èä ãÑøå Ãæ ÚÏí
ÝãÇ ÇáÃãÑ ÇáÇø Ýíßã æ Åáíßã æ áíÓ áåÇ ÇáÇø ÃÈæ ÍÓä Úáíø
O Banī Hāshim! Do not allow others to get involve in your affair especially Taym ibn Murrah or ‘Adī.
The affair of caliphate belongs to you alone and it is only Abū’l-Hasan ‘Alī who is its man.
Finally, on that very day of Ghadīr Khumm, the Prophet’s poet, Ḥassān ibn Thābit, asked the Messenger of Allah’s
#7779;) permission to narrate the event of Ghadīr in poetry, and thus recites:
íäÇÏíåã íæã ÇáÛÏíÑ äÈíøåã ÈÎãø æÇÓãÚ ÈÇáÑøÓæá ãäÇÏíÇ
æÞÏ ÌÇÁ ÌÈÑÆíá Úä ÃãÑ ÑÈøå ÈÇäøß ãÚÕæã ÝáÇÊß æÇäíÇ
æ ÈáÛåã ãÇ ÃäÒá Çááå ÑÈøåã Åáíß æ áÇ ÊÎÔ åäÇß ÇáÃÚÇÏíÇ
æ ÞÇã Èå ÇÐ ÐÇß ÑÇÝÚ ßÝøå ÈßÝ Úáíø ãÚáä ÇáÕæÊ ÚÇáíÇ
ÝÞÇá Ýãä ãæáÇßã æ äÈíøßã¿ ÝÞÇáæÇ æ áã íÈÏÇ ÃåäÇß ÇáÊøÚÇãíÇ
Åáåßó ãæáÇäÇ æ ÃäÊ äÈíøäÇ æ áã ÊáÞ ãäøÇ Ýí ÇáæáÇíÉ ÚÇÕíÇ
ÝÞÇá áå: Þã íÇ Úáíø ÝÅäøäí ÑÖíÊß ãä ÈÚÏí ÅãÇãÇð æ åÇÏíÇ
Ýãä ßäÊ ãæáÇå ÝåÐÇ æáíøå ÝßæäæÇ áå ÇÊÈÇÚ ÕÏÞ ãæÇáíÇ
åäÇß ÏÚÇ: Ãááøåãø æÇá æáíøå æßä ááøÐí ÚÇÏì ÚáíøÇð ãÚÇÏíÇ
ÝíÇ ÑÈø ÇäÕÑ äÇÕÑíå áäÕÑåã ÅãÇã åÏì ßÇáÈÏÑ íÌáæ ÇáÏíÇÌíÇ
Their Prophet calls on them on the day of Ghadīr Khumm; now, listen to the call of the Prophet
: Jibra’īl brought a message from God that “You are under the protection of God; so, do not be dejected.”
Convey what has been revealed by Allah, their Lord, and here do not be afraid of the enemies.
He raises ‘Alī along with him; while he raises the hand of ‘Alī along with his hand, he announces in a loud voice.
Then he said to the people
: “Who is your Master [mawlā] and your guardian [walī]? Then, without showing inattention, they said: “Your Lord is our Master [mawlā] and you are our guardian [walī], and no one among us today disobeys you.”
Then he said
: “Stand up O ‘Alī! For, I am indeed well pleased that you are the Imām and guide after me.”
[He then said
:] “Therefore, of whomsoever I am master, ‘Alī is his master also. May you be their true supporters!”
He then prayed, saying
: “O Allah! Be Thou a Friend of those who are his [‘Alī’s] friends, and be Thou an Enemy of those who are his enemies.
So, O Lord! Help his supporters as they help the Imām of guidance who is like the moon during a dark night”
As is evident from this poem, in transcribing the Prophet of Islam’s
#7779;) speeches about ‘Alī (‘a), Ḥassān has called him Imām, guardian [walī] and guide [hādī], which clearly stipulates the leadership and headship of the ummah.
Yes, the masses of Muslims did not imagine that after the Holy Prophet’s
#7779;) demise, somebody would contest ‘Alī (‘a) on the issue of caliphate and succession to the Prophet
#7779;). As Mu‘āwiyah has written in reply to the letter of Muḥammad ibn Abūbakr, We and your father during the period of the Messenger of Allah
#7779;) used to consider obedience to the son of Abū Ṭālib as expedient for us and his virtues were not concealed to us. After the demise of the Prophet
#7779;), your father and ‘Umar were the first persons to trample upon his position and called on the people to pay allegiance to them.
This is why those who were not around Medina during the last months of the Prophet’s
#7779;) life and were uninformed of the conspiracies—such as Khālid ibn Sa‘īd and Abū Sufyān—were vehemently agitated when they returned to Medina, after the demise of the Prophet
#7779;), to see Abūbakr sitting in the Prophet’s
#7779;) lieu introducing himself as the Prophet’s
#7779;) caliph. Even Abū Sufyān—when he returned from a journey and saw the situation as such—came to ‘Abbās ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib and ‘Alī (‘a) and asked them to revolt in order to get their rights but they refused. Of course, Abū Sufyān has no intention in these moves.
In conclusion, although most of the Prophet’s
#7779;) Companions recognized the caliphate of Abūbakr officially, they did not forget ‘Alī (‘a) as being the most deserving [afḍal]. Whenever he was in the mosque, no know except him would issue edict [fatwā] on religious issues as they used to regard him as “the leading judge of the ummah” [aqḍī’l-ummah] as stipulated by the Most Noble Messenger
#7779;). ‘Umar used to say: “May God forbid that day when a problem would arise and Abū’l-Hasan is not present.” As he used to say to the Companions of the Prophet
#7779;): “Whenever ‘Alī is in the mosque, no one except him has the right to issue any religious edict.”
Although after the demise of the Prophet
#7779;), ‘Alī (‘a) was not able to acquire political power, his virtues and distinctions were narrated by the same Companions of the Prophet
#7779;). Ibn Haythamī—who is one of the staunched Sunnī ‘ulamā’—regarded the number of narrators of the hadith about Ghadīr as 30 persons from among the Companions, but Ibn Shahr Āshūb has counted 80 narrators of the hadith on Ghadīr from among the Companions.
Meanwhile, the late ‘Allāmah Amīnī has counted the following 110 narrators of the hadith on Ghadīr from among the Companions: Abū Hurayrah; Abū Laylā al-Anṣārī; Abū Zaynab al-Anṣāri; Abū Fuḍālah al-Anṣārī; Abū Qudāmah al-Anṣārī; Abū ‘Umra ibn ‘Amrū ibn Muḥṣīn al-Anṣārī; Abū’l-Haytham ibn Tayyihān; Abū Rāfi‘; Abū Dha’īb; Abūbakr ibn Abī Quḥāfah; Usāmah ibn Zayd; Ubā ibn Ka‘b; As‘ad ibn Zurārah al-Anṣārī; Asmā’ bint ‘Umays; Umm Salmah; Umm Hānī; Abū Ḥamzah Anas ibn Mālik al-Anṣārī; Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib; Zubaydah Aslamī; Abū Sa‘īd Thābit ibn Wadī‘ah al-Anṣārī; Jābir ibn Sumayrah; Jābir ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Anṣārī; Jublah ibn ‘Amrū al-Anṣārī; Jabīr ibn Muṭ‘am al-Qurshī; Jarīr ibn ‘Abd Allāh Bajlī; Abū Dharr Jundab ibn Junādah; Abū Junaydah al-Anṣārī; Ḥubbah ibn Jawīn ‘Arnī; Ḥabashī ibn Junādah as-Salūlī; Ḥabīb ibn Badīl ibn Warqā’ Khazā‘ī; Ḥudhayfah ibn Asīd Ghaffārī; Abū Ayyūb Khālid ibn Zayd al-Anṣārī; Khālid ibn Wālid al-Makhzūmī; Khuzaymah ibn Thābit; Abū Sharīḥ Khuwaylid ibn ‘Amrū Khazā‘ī; Rafā‘ah ibn ‘Abd al-Mundhir al-Anṣārī; Zubayr ibn ‘Awwām; Zayd ibn al-Arqam; Zayd ibn Thābit; Zayd ibn Yazīd al-Anṣārī; Zayd ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Anṣārī; Sa‘d ibn Abī Waqqāṣ; Sa‘d ibn Junādah; Salmah ibn ‘Amrū ibn Akū‘; Samrah ibn Jundab; Sahl ibn Ḥanīf; Sahl ibn Sa‘d al-Anṣārī; Ṣadī ibn ‘Ajlān; Ḍamīrah al-Asadī; Ṭalḥah ibn ‘Ubayd Allāh; ‘Āmir ibn ‘Amīr; ‘Āmir ibn Laylā; ‘Āmir ibn Laylā al-Ghaffārī; ‘Āmir ibn Wāthilah; ‘Ā’ishah bint Abībakr; ‘Abbās ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn ‘Abd Rabbih al-Anṣārī; ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn ‘Awf al-Qurshī; ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn Ya‘mur ad-Daylā; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Abī ‘Abd al-Athar al-Makhzūmī; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Badīl; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Bashīr; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Thābit al-Anṣārī; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ja‘far al-Hāshimī; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ḥunṭab al-Qurshī; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Rabī‘ah; ‘Abd Allāh ibn al-‘Abbās; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Abī ‘Awf; ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Umar; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Mas‘ūd; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Yāmīl; ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān; ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Āzib al-Anṣārī; Abū Ṭarīf ‘Adī ibn Ḥātam; ‘Aṭiyyah ibn Basar; ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Āmir; ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib; ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir; ‘Umārah al-Khazrajī; ‘Amrū ibn al-‘Āṣ; ‘Amrū ibn Murrah Jahnī; Fātimah bint Rasūl Allāh
#7779;); Fātimah bint Ḥamzah; ‘Umar ibn Abī Salmah; ‘Umrān ibn Ḥaṣīn al-Khazā‘ī; ‘Amrū ibn Ḥumq al-Khazā‘ī; ‘Amrū ibn Sharāḥīl; Qays ibn Thābit al-Anṣārī; Qays ibn Sa‘d al-Anṣārī; Ka‘b ibn ‘Ujrah al-Anṣārī; Mālik ibn Ḥuwayrath al-Laythī; Miqdād ibn ‘Amrū; Nājiyah ibn ‘Amrū; al-Khazā‘ī’ Abū Burzah Faḍlah ibn ‘Uṭbah Aslamī; Nu‘mān ibn ‘Ajlān al-Anṣārī; Hāshim Marqāl; Waḥshī ibn Ḥarb; Wahhab ibn Ḥamzah; Abū Juḥayfah; Wahhab ibn ‘Abd Allāh; and Yu‘lā ibn Murrah. Among the narrators of the hadith on Ghadīr, individuals who had hostile relationship with ‘Alī (‘a)—such as Abūbakr, ‘Umar ‘Uthmān, Ṭalḥah, ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn ‘Awf, Zayd ibn Thābit, Usāmah ibn Zayd, Ḥassān ibn Thābit, Khālid ibn Walīd, and ‘Ā’ishah—can also be noticed. Even those Companions who sometimes disagreed with him defended him against his enemies. For example, Sa‘d ibn Abī Waqqāṣ—who was among those who voted in favor of ‘Uthmān and against ‘Alī (‘a) at the 6-man council after the death of ‘Umar, and did not extend cooperation with ‘Alī (‘a) during his caliphate and preferred neutrality—in his conversation with Mu‘āwiyah, thus said to Mu‘āwiyah: “You fought and waged war with a person who was more deserving than you to the caliphate.” Mu‘āwiyah asked: “Why?” He replied: “One reason is that the Messenger of Allah
#7779;) said concerning: ‘Of whosoever I am Master [mawlā], then ‘Alī is also his Master [mawlā]. O Allah! Be Thou a Friend to him who is a friend of him (‘Alī), and be Thou an Enemy to him who is his enemy,’ and other reasons are his virtues and merits.”
Similarly, ‘Abd Allāh, the son of ‘Amrū ibn al-‘Āṣ, along with his father was in the army of Mu‘āwiyah. When ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir was killed and his head was brought before Mu‘āwiyah, two persons were in dispute as each of them was claiming to have killed ‘Ammār. ‘Abd Allāh said
: “It is better for one of you to relinquish his right to the other because I heard the Messenger of Allah
#7779;) say: ‘‘Ammār shall be killed by a tyrant group’.” Mu‘āwiyah was annoyed and said: “So, what is he doing here?!” ‘Abd Allāh replied: “Since the Messenger of Allah
#7779;) ordered me to obey my father, I am here with you, but I will not fight.”
The presence of ‘Ammār in the ranks of the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) whose killers had been described by the Messenger of Allah
#7779;) as a tyrant group during that chaotic period was a clear testimony to the truthfulness of ‘Alī (‘a) so much so that even the son of ‘Amrū ibn al-‘Āṣ admitted it.
After the caliphate of the Commander of the Faithful ‘Alī (‘a), other names have also been given to the Shī‘ah. Contemptuous labels such as Rāfiḍī and Turābī were used by the enemies of the Shī‘ah with the aim of debasing them. Some other labels such as ‘Alawī, Imāmī, Husayniyyah, ‘Ithnā ‘Asharī, Khāṣṣah, and Ja‘farī were applied to them as well.
‘Alī (‘a) had a distinguished position among the Companions of the Holy Prophet (S)as well as being the nearest one to the Holy Prophet (S)among the Banū Hāshim. He grew up in the Prophet’s
#7779;) house, and most important of all, the Most Noble Messenger
#7779;) had appointed him as his minister [wazīr] and successor [khalīfah] and the masses of people were aware of it.
1. Briefly list the terms used to refer to the Shī‘ah.
2. What labels did the enemies of the Shī‘ah address them with?
3. Why were the Shī‘ah called ‘Alawī or Ja‘farī?
4. What is the statement of Mas‘ūdī regarding ‘Alī’s (‘a) position?
5. How many narrators are there for the hadith on Ghadīr from among the Companions of the Prophet (‘a)?
6. The poems that were recited on the event of Saqīfah bespeak of which subject?
7. What was the position of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (S)vis-à-vis abusing ‘Alī (‘a)?