Some of the Acts of Sahabah
I shall discuss some issues about the companions in this article. For a followup to this discussion, please see "Then I Was Guided" by Dr. Muhammad al-Tijani al- Samawi; Published in 1989 by the Fajr Establishment in London, Great Britain. The Author has four books out now, may Allah (SWT) reward him generously for risking his life in the Arab World to speak the TRUTH about the Shi'i/Sunni problem, and why he became a Shia.
The four books are:
1. Thooma Ihtadiyat -- Then I Was Guided (1989)
2. Ma'ah al-Sadiqin -- With the Truthful Ones (1989)
3. Fas'aloo Ahl al-Zikr -- Ask Those Who Possess the Message (1992)
4. al-Shia Hum Ahl al-Sunnah -- The Shia Are The (True) Followers of the Sunnah (Sunnah--here meaning the custom/way of the Prophet (S.A.W.)) (I am NOT sure if this book has been published and released to the public yet -- It was still in the writing process when I first heard of it).
Please note that the author, Dr. Muhammad al-Tijani al-Samawi, spent years of research before writing these books and becoming, himself, a Shia. He is also now a recognized and certified Shi'i Religious Scholar, with authority to give Fatwas (Religious Opinions), which is no easy task in the Shi'i schools of jurisprudence, philosophy, and the sciences. He received his Doctorate degree from the Sorbonne University, the French University that is ranked among the best universities in the world. His thesis was a discussion of al-Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib's (A.S.) most famous book "Nahjul Balagha" (The Way of Eloquence). This book is recognized by both the Sunnis and the Shia as a model Par Excellence in classical Arabic Eloquence, next only to the Quran itself in beauty and grandeur. The proof to that statement is that the Sunnis themselves have taken it upon themselves to explain the meanings of the text and to teach it in various Islamic universities. Among those Sunnis who wrote the commentary for this book is Ibn Abil Hadid. A mor recent commentary by the Sunnis is of Muhammad Abduh from al-Azhar University. The commentary of these scholars on the book of "Nahjul Balagha" can be found in many Mosques and libraries.
Shedding the blood of Innocents
al-Bukhari narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said the following to his companions in his last speech:
Sahih al-Bukhari Hadiths: 5.688 and 7.458 Narrated Abu Bakra:
The Prophet said: "... Surely, you will meet your Lord, and He will ask you about your deeds. Beware! Do not become infidels after me by cutting the throats of one another. It is incumbent on those who are present to convey this message (of mine) to those who are absent. May be that some of those to whom it will be conveyed will understand it better than those who have actually heard it."
On the other hand, the documented history confirms that some companions (some of whom were also promised paradise according to some fabricated traditions) shed the blood of thousands of Muslims in various civil wars. Good examples of them are Talha and Zubair who were the first companions who waged war against Ali (A.S.) after people paid oath to him as their legitimate Caliph. They could not see him in power, and found him a great obstacle for their robberies. Thus shed the blood of 10 thousand Muslims in the battle of "Camel", in order to overthrow Ali from power. (see any Sunni history books for details). Their plot was finally failed and both Talha and Zubair were killed. Muawiyah and Amr Ibn al-Auss are another examples, who waged the war of Siffin against Ali (A.S.) killing other thousands of Muslims. Allah states:
"And Whoever kills a believer deliberately, his reward is Hell forever, and the Wrath of Allah is upon him, He cursed him and prepared a great punishment for him." (Quran 4:93)
As such, is there any reason we should respect ALL of the companions and follow ALL of them, even those among them whom Allah cursed by the above verse of Quran? Why should we love one whom Allah curses, and why should we follow one whom Allah has promised Hell forever?
Collecting Gold and Silver
al-Bukhari narrates the Prophet (S.A.W.) said the following after the Battle of Uhud:
Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 8.434 Narrated 'Uqba bin 'Amir:
The Prophet went out and offered the funeral prayer for the martyrs of the (battle of) Uhud and then ascended the pulpit and said, "I am your predecessor and I am a witness against you. By Allah, I am now looking at my Tank-lake (Al-Kauthar) and I have been given the keys of the treasures of the earth (or the keys of the earth). By Allah! I am not afraid that you become polytheist after me, but I am afraid that you will start competing (for the luxuries of this world).
The tradition clearly indicates that after his (S.A.W.) death, some of the companions will abandon the religion, and compete against one another for the wealth of this temporary existence. And they indeed competed until the swords were drawn and the wars were waged, thereby fulfilling the prophecy.
Some of the famous companions were eager to collect gold and silver. Great Sunni Historians like Mas'udi and Tabari and others stated that the wealth of Zubair on its own came out to 50,000 Dinars and 1000 horses with 1000 slaves and many holdings in Basrah, Kufah, Egypt, and many other places. This massive wealth was accumulated while many Muslims starved to death. (See Muruj al-Dahab by al-Masudi, v2, p341)
The agricultural products from Iraq alone brought for Talha 1000 Dinars EVERY DAY!, and perhaps more than that. (Muruj al-Dahab by al-Masudi, the same page)
Abdul Rahman Ibn Awf had 100 horses, 1000 camels, and 10,000 sheep. After his death, the quarter of his wealth which was divided among his wives came out to 84,000 Dinars. (Muruj al-Dahab by al-Masudi, the same page)
Uthman Ibn Affan left on the day of his death 150,000 Dinars, apart from an enormous wealth of land, cattle and villages. (Muruj al-Dahab by al-Masudi, the same page)
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 100,000 Dinars. (Muruj al-Dahab by al-Masudi, the same page)
These were just few examples to show that some of the companions were more interested in the present life. Comparing the poverty of people at that time, one get suspicious to how they got so much money from nothing while the rest of people were in poverty. This gives a good idea of why they waged war against Ali (A.S.) to overthrow him from power. They found him a big obstacle for their misconducts of treasury and territories.
The question now is this: If these so-called pious companions were so busy collecting money and competing among one another in worldly gain, while many Muslims died from poverty, where then was that so-called piety and sense of sacrifice that the Sunnis attribute to them (the companions)? This is a sign for those who reflect!
The Companions among One Another
In the previous articles we have seen how Allah (SWT) describes the companions in the Quran; how the Prophet (S.A.W.), before his (S.A.W.) death, foretells their behavior after his death; and now we will take a look at what the companions thought of one another's actions and their remarks concerning their own behavior.
It is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari, v1, p122, under the chapter of "al-Eidiyan -- The Two Eids (Muslim Festivals)" that the Prophet (S.A.W.) used to pray first, and then deliver the sermon (khutba). That custom (sunnah) remained as such until Marwan, the Ruler (Amir) of Medina during Muawiyah's reign, started to deliver the sermon (khutba) before the prayer.
It should be noted that the Sunnis do exactly the same thing to this day. This was NOT the sunnah (way or custom) of the Prophet (S.A.W.). Keep in mind that the Sunnis maintain that the actions of the companions are enough to alter the custom of the Prophet (S.A.W.)!!! The question to the Sunnis is: If the companions' actions were enough to alter the Prophet's (S.A.W.) custom, why then do we need the Prophet's (S.A.W.) custom in the first place? Let's just follow any innovations the companions may come up with!
You might wonder why the companions made the sermon before the prayer? Dr. al-Samawi states that many people would not stay for the sermon after they prayed. As such, the prayer and sermon times were switched. Superficially, this is true, but this is not the real reason, he continues. During the days of Muawiyah, it was ordered, as I mentioned in other posts, that whenever the name of al-Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (A.S.) was mentioned, he (A.S.) should be cursed! Many of the believers at that time loved Ali (A.S.) and would not tolerate such an action; as a result, they were killed one after the other, until all the believers had to listen to the curses and maintain their silence at the threat of the sword. One way to escape the listening to the repeated cursing was to escape the sermon. Muawiyah and his men didn't like that, so the sermon was switched to precede the prayer in an effort to force the people to stay through the whole sermon and listen to the cursing! Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great)! By Allah (SWT), do you still not see the conspiracy against the Prophet's (S.A.W.) family? Is this how al-Imam Ali (A.S.) is to be treated? The Prophet (S.A.W.) had said:
"To love Ali (A.S.) is a sign of Faith, and to hate him (A.S.) is a sign of hypocrisy!!!"
This tradition is narrated in Sahih Muslim, v1, p61. Check for yourself. In Sahih al-Bukhari, v2, p76; and Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p300 narrate that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said to Ali (A.S.):
"You are a part of me, and I a part of you."
Also, Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p201 narrates that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
"I am the city of knowledge, and Ali is it's door." Keep in mind that you can only enter a city through its door; meaning that any knowledge from the Prophet (S.A.W.), since he (S.A.W.) is the City of Knowledge, can only be accessed through the door, his (S.A.W.) son-in-law Ali (A.S.). What's more, Musnad al-Imam Ibn Hanbal, v5, p25, narrates that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
"Ali is the master of every believer after me."
If ANY head of state, whether today or in times immemorial, ALWAYS has a trusted vicegerent to take his place and manage his affairs in his absence, would you then believe that the Prophet (S.A.W.), who was sent as the FINAL Messenger from He (SWT) Who created the universe, didn't also have a vicegerent to manage his (S.A.W.) affairs after his (S.A.W.) death? A vicegerent that Allah (SWT) also trusts and loves? Would you believe that Allah (SWT) would leave the affairs of the "...Best of Nations sent forth to mankind...[3:110]" to random selection and ruling? No, by Allah (SWT), a vicegerent was INDEED chosen by Allah (SWT) and His (SWT) Messenger (S.A.W.), and that vicegerent was al-Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (A.S.).
Again, Sahih Tirmidhi, v2, p298, narrates that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
"Whoever I was his Master, then Ali is his Master! O Allah, support those who support him, and alienate those that alienate him!!!"
That is Ali (A.S.), the fearless warrior, and the defeater of the champions of Quraish. May the Blessings and Peace of Allah (SWT) be extended to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and his (S.A.W.) Family, Amen.
Now, ask yourself: If this is how the Prophet (S.A.W.) praised Ali (A.S.), then who are the companions, especially Muawiyah, to curse him (A.S.)? Did you know that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said, as narrated in Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v6, p33:
"Whoever curses (or verbally abuses) Ali, then he has cursed me, and whoever has cursed me, then he has cursed Allah (SWT), and whoever has cursed Allah (SWT), then Allah (SWT) will throw him into the hellfire."
That means that by cursing Ali (A.S.), the companions were cursing the Prophet (S.A.W.), and by cursing the Prophet (S.A.W.), they were cursing Allah (SWT), and by cursing Allah (SWT), they shall enter the hellfire! By Allah (SWT), they will be asked to account for what they've said! That is a promise by Allah (SWT), which He (SWT) shall not break!
Dr. al-Tijani asserts that during his search for the truth, he tried wholeheartedly to identify these heinous charges with the hypocrites and the malevolent companions ONLY; but he soon discovered that there is NO way of excluding the SO-CALLED righteous companions, in the sight of the Sunnis, from these charges. For we see that the first companion to threaten the burning down of al-Imam Ali's (A.S.) house is none other than `Umar Ibn al-Khatab himself -- the man that the Sunnis claim is of such faith and courage that he terrifies Satan himself! And the first to wage war against al-Imam Ali (A.S.) were Talha, al-Zubayr, and none other than `Aisha herself, the wife of the Prophet (S.A.W.) that is the most beloved woman in the sight of the Sunnis. Note that `Aisha is also the daughter of Abu Bakr! Others aggressors include, but are NOT limited to, Amr Ibn al-Aas, Muawiyah, and many others that oppressed the family of the Prophet (S.A.W.). Are these not righteous companions in the sight of the Sunnis? Do we need to say more?
As Dr. al-Samawi states: "If we wanted to provide all the occurrences (sayings) of the Prophet's (S.A.W.) praise of Ali (A.S.), we can easily fill an entire book!"
The companions also changed the prayer rules, and the first to do so was `Uthman Ibn `Afan, the third caliph. Sahih Bukhari narrates in v2, page 154, that the Prophet (S.A.W.) always prayed two (instead of four) rak'at during travel, as is mandated by Allah (SWT) in the Quran. Abu Bakr and `Umar did the same, then came `Uthman and prayed four rak'at during travel instead of two! This tradition is also narrated in Sahih Muslim, v1, p260. Who is `Uthman to violate the orders of Allah (SWT) and His (SWT) Prophet (S.A.W.) with regards to the Salat (Prayer)? Question and reflect, and may Allah (SWT) guide us all.
Let's see what `Umar did: Sahih al-Bukhari narrates in v1, p54:
"Shaqiq Ibn Salamah said: I was with Abdullah and Abu Musa, so Abu Musa told Abdullah: What should a man do if he was in a state of Janabah (the biological state of sperm ejaculation after a dream or when a man has sexual intercourse with his wife) and had no water to clean?" Abdullah said: "He shall not pray until he finds water." So Abu Musa said: "But didn't you hear the Prophet (S.A.W.) tell `Amar Ibn Yasir (RA) that all he had to do was Tayamum?" Abdullah replied: "Didn't you know that `Umar (Ibn al-Khatab) didn't approve of that?" So Abu Musa answered: But Allah (SWT) said in the Quran: "...Or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand (or earth), and rub therewith your faces and hands...[Quran 4:43]" So Abdullah didn't know what to say, except: "If we allow them that (meaning the Tayamum), then they will use it at the slightest instance like when the water is too cold (to make ablutions or bathe)." Abu Musa told Shaqiq: "Is that why Abdullah disapproved of the matter?" Shaqiq said: "Yes."
NOTE: Tayamum is the pounding of the hands on sand, mud, or rock, and then wiping the face and the hands; this is considered a full ablution (Wudu') in the absence of water. Note that there are more details to the process Tayamum which are not covered here.
As one can see, `Umar violated the Quran, Allah's (SWT) DIRECT orders, and the Prophet's (S.A.W.) custom by his disapproval of the Tayamum! By Allah (SWT), who is `Umar to disapprove of what Allah (SWT) has commanded? This is a sign for those who reflect!
The companions themselves have admitted that they changed the sunnah (custom of the Prophet (S.A.W.)) many times: Sahih al-Bukhari narrates in v3, p32, under the category of "The Battle of Hudaiybiyah" that:
`Ala Ibn al- Masib said: "I met al-Bara Ibn `Azib, so I said may you be happy all the time, for you were the companion of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and you have made a pact (bay'ah) with him (S.A.W.) under the tree." So al-Bara said: "O son of my brother, you know not of what we have changed after his (S.A.W.) death!!!"
This is a direct confession by a very close companion that they have changed the religion of Allah (SWT) and violated His (SWT) orders. Again, who are the companions to change the religion of Allah (SWT)? This is the same reason that the Islamic Ummah (Nation) is still living in deplorable conditions where the most basic of human rights is not even granted. This is a sign for those who reflect.
It is also narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari, v2, p201, after a long tradition that:
`Umar, when he was stabbed and Ibn `Abbas was offering some form of consolation, said: ".......By Allah (SWT), if I had enough gold to fill the entire earth, I would offer it to ransom myself from Allah's (SWT) punishment before I see Him (SWT)."
If `Umar was such a faithful companion, why would he wish to ransom himself from Allah (SWT)? Could it be because he committed many injustices and he will on the Day of Judgment be held accountable for them? Question for yourself.
Abu Bakr was no different: It is narrated in "The History of al-Tabari (Tarikh al-Tabari),", p41 that:
Abu Bakr said when he saw a bird on a tree: "How happy are you O bird! You eat of the fruit and you lay on the tree, and there is no punishment or reward for you! I wish I was a tree on the side of the road, so that a camel might eat me and excrete me, and I was never a born human!!!"
Would you believe, by Allah (SWT), that if a man was of such spiritual purity, as the Sunnis claim Abu Bakr to be, he would wish that he was never born, let alone be a human? Indeed, Abu Bakr realized that his time has come and all his actions will be scrolled before him in an open book, and that is when his loss will be manifested; thus, he wished he was never born a human! Allah (SWT) says in His (SWT) Holy Quran:
"Behold! Verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve; those who believe and (constantly) guard against evil;-- for them are Glad Tidings, in the life of the Present and in the Hereafter: No change can there be in the Words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme Triumph. [10:62-64]"
Also, Allah (SWT) says: "In the case of those who say, "Our Lord Is Allah," and further, stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time):
"Fear ye not!" (they suggest), "Nor grieve! But receive the Glad Tidings of the Garden (of Bliss), the which ye were promised! We are your protectors in this life and in the Hereafter: Therein shall ye have all that you shall desire; therein shall ye have all that ye ask for! -- A hospitable gift from One Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful! [41:30-32]"
The question is that if these Glad Tidings from Allah (SWT) are for ALL of the believers of mankind, and that they should have "...no fear, nor shall they grieve...," why then were Abu Bakr and `Umar fearful? It should be that they, if they were true believers, should be the least fearful of us, for they were the companions of the Seal of Prophethood (S.A.W.) himself! But Allah (SWT) is the Most Truthful when He (SWT) says:
"Every soul that hath sinned, if it possessed all that is on earth, would fain give it in ransom: They would declare (their) repentance when they see the Chastisement: But the judgment between them will be with justice, and no wrong will be done unto them. [10:54]"
Again, Allah (SWT) says:
"Even if the wrong-doers had all that there is on earth, and as much more, (in vain) would they offer it for ransom from the pain of the Chastisement on the Day Of Judgment: but something will confront them from Allah, which they could have never counted upon! For the evils of their deeds will confront them and they will be (completely) encircled by that which they used to mock at! [39:47-48]"
These are the so-called companions that the Sunnis strike as an example of spiritual purity and guidance!!! By Allah (SWT), they shall answer for their deception of the Muslims all these years, and their concealment of the truth.
Again, you might wonder, if the companions were of such high honor and spiritual elevation, why did they kill `Uthman Ibn `Afan, the third Caliph that destroyed Islam? Keep in mind that `Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (S.A.W.), herself called for the death of `Uthman -- check The History of al- Tabari (Tarikh al-Tabari), v4, p407. Also check The History of Ibn Atheer (Tarikh Ibn Atheer), v3, p206. Did you know also that the Muslims during the reign of `Uthman were so infuriated by him, that when he died, he was NOT buried in the same area as the other companions? Nor was he washed or Islamically prepared for burial! If this is a rightly guided caliph, I seriously question what is a MISGUIDED Caliph then?
Then we hear of `Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (S.A.W.), who, along with the other wives, was ordered by Allah (SWT) to:
"...stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former times of Ignorance; and establish regular prayer, and give Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger ...[33:33]"
Why, then, if `Aisha was ordered to stay in her home after the death of the Prophet (S.A.W.), did she go out and ride a camel and wage war against al- Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (A.S.), whom she NEVER liked? (This is known as `The Battle of the Camel') This is a sign for those who reflect.
Side Comments: Responses to Sunni Brothers
Some Sunni brothers, in response to my article when it was first posted, have forwarded two contentions:
FIRST, they have defended the motives of Abu Bakr and `Umar in the traditions I quoted above, such the saying of Umar that: ".......By Allah (SWT), if I had enough gold to fill the entire earth, I would offer it to ransom myself from Allah's (SWT) punishment before I see Him (SWT)." Or the saying of Abu Bakr that: "How happy are you O bird! You eat of the fruit and you lay on the tree, and there is no punishment or reward for you! I wish I was a tree on the side of the road, so that a camel might eat me and excrete me, and I was never a born human!!!"
The Sunni brothers contended that it is the spiritual purity of a believer to wish that he was never born, as Abu Bakr did; or that small sins in the eyes of a true believer warrant that he wishes to ransom himself with the treasures of the Earth from the flames of the hellfire, as `Umar did, to prove his sincerity and faith. The Sunni brothers also asserted that the Prophet (S.A.W.) asked forgiveness for himself (S.A.W.). The SECOND objection was that the verses I quoted from the Book of Allah (SWT) are NOT addressing Abu Bakr and `Umar, and that those companions addressed are NOT to be equated with the ranks of Abu Bakr and `Umar.
My response to their FIRST contention was as follows:
As for the Prophet (S.A.W.) asking forgiveness for himself, then that doesn't mean that he wishes that he (S.A.W.) was never born; and that doesn't invalidate his (S.A.W.) infallibility. His (S.A.W.) asking for forgiveness is a sign of piety and an admittance of infirmity (weakness) before Allah (SWT). It is not that he (S.A.W.) has committed a grievous sin, and is now asking for forgiveness; for if the Prophet (S.A.W.) was a sinner, who in the community will punish him (S.A.W.)? Or who is qualified to punish him (S.A.W.)? -- for they are all sinners, and a sinner cannot punish a sinner. Or if he (S.A.W.) was a sinner, what kind of idiot would follow him (S.A.W.), and believe him (S.A.W.) to be a GUIDED Messenger (S.A.W.) sent by He (SWT) Who created the Universe? Furthermore, if he (S.A.W.) was a sinner, that would mean that Allah (SWT), by sending a sinful Messenger, approves of sin! (May Allah (SWT) Forbid Such A Ludicrous Contention
And we know that Allah's (SWT) JUSTICE and His (SWT) abhorrence of sin and evil are among the First and Foremost articles in our faith. As such, Allah (SWT) will NOT send a sinful Messenger. Purified be ALL the Prophets and Messengers of Allah (SWT) from such claims that scratch their character by claiming that they are sinners. Or have we become like the Jews and the Christians, where the Bible states that the Prophet Lot (A.S.) was drunk and lay naked before his (A.S.) children!? This is a sign for those who reflect!!!
As for Abu Bakr and `Umar, I render the following: To ask forgiveness is one thing, and to wish that you were never born, or to wish to ransom yourself with all the gold of the earth, is another matter altogether. Indeed, to wish that you were never born is an insult to Allah (SWT), because you are claiming that Allah's (SWT) Justice and Mercy are not enough for you. It is also an insult because there is an underlying implication that your entry into hell is not really your fault; such an insinuation means that your entry into hell is an act of injustice by Allah (SWT)! (May Allah (SWT) Forbid Such A Ludicrous Contention
If one truly believes, he realizes that not the LEAST INJUSTICE will be done to him; and he will NOT enter hell unless he TRULY DESERVES it. Such is the Justice of Allah (SWT). Not like people who wish they were never born to hide their OWN guilt and sins. A true believer submits to Allah (SWT) in totality, and admits that he is weak and sinful; then he asks for forgiveness. He doesn't insult Allah (SWT) by wishing that he was never born.
Indeed, the concept of sin and repentance has always baffled me, until Allah (SWT) guided me. Listen to what the Shia say about repentance (tawbah): "al-Tawbah (Repentance) is the mechanism by which Allah (SWT) regulates evil in society. By giving each person a chance to repent, the sinner is assured that he is NOT COMPELLED to keep on sinning. That regulatory mechanism ensures that the feelings of guilt that usually accompany acts of sin, are not turned into feelings of desperation and uselessness, thereby leading to more sin and the destruction of society. It (tawbah -- repentance) is a great mercy from Allah (SWT) indicating His (SWT) infinite wisdom." I add, that sin itself is part of your own creation. Not that Allah (SWT) has forced you to sin, and then punishes you for it; but, rather, Allah (SWT) has made you an erring human being, then He (SWT) tests you to see whether you will admit your error (sin), or claim that you didn't commit any sin and it wasn't your fault, thereby fostering a level of arrogance detested by Allah (SWT). Indeed, to sin and admit your guilt SINCERELY with the true belief that it was all your fault (when it really is), and then ask for forgiveness from Allah (SWT) is much more favorable than insulting Allah (SWT) by wishing that you were never born. I would also add that erring is part and parcel of the learning process, which is an innate feature of our composition and existence. If we don't make mistakes, we will never learn, and if we never learn, we will never evolve and grow. It is the arrogance that has polluted the minds of many individuals that has precluded our growth -- for we err and sin, yet we refuse to acknowledge our fault therein!
Enough is what al-Imam Zayn al-'Aabidin (A.S.), the son of al- Imam al-Husain (A.S.), said in his (A.S.) supplication (dua'): "O Allah, for even if I enter the hellfire, I will tell the people there of my love of Thee!!!" What does this eloquent, beautiful, and striking statement mean? It is by Allah (SWT), one of the most beautiful and touching prayers I have ever heard! Here's what it means before you jump to conclusions on your own:
al-Imam Zayn al-'Aabidin (A.S.) is saying: "O Allah, my belief in You is such that I don't doubt Your Justice; for even if You throw me into hell, it is because I deserve that and it is due to what I have done in this earthly existence. Nonetheless, even if I enter the hellfire, I will tell the people there of my love to (and faith in) Thee, such that You haven't done ANY injustice to me, and I love You for Your Justice, Mercy, and Greatness." That is what a true believer says, EVEN if he's entering the hellfire!!! He doesn't wish he wasn't born! My response to their SECOND contention is as follows: (The second contention, in case you forgot, was that the verses I quoted from the Book of Allah (SWT) are NOT addressing Abu Bakr and `Umar, and that those companions addressed are NOT to be equated with the ranks of Abu Bakr and `Umar.)
ASSUMING that these verses are NOT addressing Abu Bakr and `Umar (and Allah (SWT) knows best who He (SWT) is addressing), they (the verses), nonetheless, illustrate an important point: NOT ALL the companions are considered equal in the sight of Allah (SWT). As such, my question is: why do the Sunnis claim that ALL the companions were righteous? Why, when Allah (SWT), Himself, has acknowledged that CERTAIN companions are NOT righteous, do the Sunnis stubbornly object to the Shia's view of the companions? It is indeed ironic that Allah (SWT), our CREATOR Who (SWT) knows us BEST, makes a statement about His (SWT) Own creatures, yet the Sunnis refuse to abide by that (statement), and claim they know better!
At the expense of repetition, I reiterate my previous statement: If Allah (SWT) has made a CLEAR distinction among the companions, why do the Sunnis refuse to acknowledge that?
Furthermore, my Sunni brothers, by suggesting (themselves) that these verses address companions other than Abu Bakr and `Umar, have advocated and strengthened the Shia's claim: NOT ALL the companions were righteous; and, as such, there is a favoritism extended by Allah (SWT) to some companions, but NOT to others. Similarly, as Allah (SWT) favors CERTAIN companions, so do the Shia take the same stance.
Is it not closer to reason that we make distinctions among the companions? Didn't the disciples of Jesus (A.S.) betray him (A.S.)? Didn't the Jews betray Musa (A.S.)? And so on... Are the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) any different? Are they not humans who may err and sin? Do you not see a pattern of differentiation among all of Allah's (SWT) creation? Are all believers, whether today or in times past, of equal stature? Do we not observe that some believers are sincere and others not? Why then do the Sunnis refuse to accept this truism? Even if the Shia EXCLUDED Abu Bakr and `Umar from their direct attack, the Sunnis will STILL REFUSE to acknowledge that some of the Prophet's (S.A.W.) companions were non- righteous, malicious individuals. By Allah (SWT)! Didn't Allah (SWT) devote a WHOLE Surah (Chapter) in His (SWT) Book about the hypocrites? And doesn't Allah (SWT) say:
"They are in varying grades in the sight of Allah, and Allah sees well all that they do. [3:163]"
Another remark, which my Sunni brothers overlooked in defense of their arguments, might be that the individuals addressed in the aforementioned verses or the Hypocrites Chapter are NOT considered companions in the sight of the Sunnis. If my Sunni brothers should ever forward such a remark, my response would be:
The definition of the word "companions," according to the Sunnis, is: ANY person who has seen the Prophet (S.A.W.) is considered a companion. The generation that appeared AFTER the Prophet's (S.A.W.) death are called "Tabi-'uoon -- The Followers." As such, the above contention fails again.
Now, if my Sunni brothers suggest that the word "companions" ONLY addresses those sincere believers that were close to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and memorized the Quran and the hadiths, and kept constant prayer, then they have said EXACTLY what the Shia have been always trying to say: NOT ALL THE COMPANIONS WERE RIGHTEOUS. Nonetheless, EVEN under this assertion, the Shia will refuse to admit Abu Bakr and `Umar, among others, to be included among the ranks of the righteous; not after what they have done to the family of the Prophet (S.A.W.).
Suffice it to conclude with what al-Zamakhshari, the great Sunni scholar and poet, said:
Doubt and conflict have abounded, each claims he is on the right path I have chosen to hold tight to (the belief that) "There Is No Deity, But Allah" and my love for Ahmad (Muhammad) and Ali A dog won a great reward by loving the People of the Cave (Ahl al-Kahf), how, then, can I lose anything by loving the family of the Prophet (S.A.W.)!?
In conclusion, I appeal to your sense of truth and honesty to objectively study the arguments presented by the Shia. After all we say, do you still believe that we are Kuffar? Are we asking you to blindly accept our arguments, or are we supporting our belief with unimpeachable proofs? Are we not using your OWN books as evidence? Question and ask for the truth. May Allah (SWT) forgive us our sins, and guide us to that which pleases Him (SWT).