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The Companions and the Jewish Influence

Putting the fictitious Abdullah Ibn Saba aside, there have been some
non-fictitious Jews who influenced the companions in a great deal. The
attitude of Imam Ali ( as ) towards new converts from the people of the
Scriptures was very alert, as he ( as ) preserved the purity of the Islamic
Teachings. They didn't listen to allegations from those who adopted Islam
and claimed to have knowledge in religion through the Old Testament and
wanted to pass it on to Islam.
This sober attitude was taken by Imam Ali ( as ), while the prominent
companions ( in the eyes of the Sunnis ), were deceived by these
scriptural scholars. I shall mention some of them in my discussion.

Kaab al-Ahbar
A man named from Yemen named Kaab Ibn Mati al-Humyari also nicknamed as Abu
Ishaq, from the Clan of Thee Ra-een (or the Clan of Thee al-Kila a) came
to Medina during the time of Umar. He was a prominent Rabbi and came to be
known as Kaab al-Ahbar. He declared his Islam and resided in Medina until
the days of Usman. In this first part ( Part I ) I shall examine some of
the claims that he made, his deceiving Caliph Umar, his participation in
the plot of Caliph's assassination and Imam Ali's ( as ) attitude towards him.
This new Muslim was not an imaginary person as the Jew Abdullah Ibn Saba,
indeed Kaab was a real person, since he resided in Medina and was looked
upon with high prestige by the second and the third Caliphs. He narrated
many stories claiming that they were from the Old testament. Many famous
companions such as
- Abu Huraira
- Abdullah Ibn Umar
- Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-Aas
- Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan
reported his stories. This international Rabbi had reported many strange
tales, the contents of which testify for their own lack of authenticity.
One such tale is as follows :-
A companions named Qais Ibn Kharshah al-Qaisi reported that Kaab Al
Ahbar said :
Every event that has taken place or will take place on any
foot of the earth, is written in the Tourat ( Old Testament ),
which Allah revelaed to his Prophet Moses ( as ).
Sunni Reference :
Ibn Abdul Barr - al-Istiab, v3, p1287
Printed in Cairo 1380 A.H
Such a report should arouse the attention of the readers, because it states
that which is in-conceivable. The earth contains billions of square miles,
each mile contains millions of cubic feet (for lack of proper arithmetic),
and each part of the earth may become a place of thousands of events from
the time of Prophet Moses ( as ) until the Day of Judgment. Yet, Kaab
claimed that all these events are recorded in the Old Testament.
The parts of the Old Testament which were dictated or written by Prophet
Moses ( as ), don't come to 400 pages. Recording all the events of the
World bewteen the time of Moses ( as ) till the day of Judgment, may take
millions of pages. Furthermore, the pages of the Old Testament do not
record future events. All they contains are some past events which took
place during or before the time of the biblical Prophets. Considering these
aspects, the claim that Kaab made belies itself.

Kaab al-Ahbar counts the days of the Caliph Umar
This rabbi was able to deceive many companions through his trickery. Even a
prominent companion, such as Umar Ibn al-Khattab could not escape his
tricks. Kaab's influence had grown during the days of Umar's caliphate to
such a degree that he was able to say to Umar :
Kaab : Ameer al-Mumineen, you ought to write your will because you will
die in three ( 3 ) days.
Umar : How do you know that ?
Kaab : I found it in the Book of God, the Taurat ( Old Testament ).
Umar : By God do you find Umar Ibn al-Khattab in the Old Testament ?
Kaab : By God, no. But I found your description in the Old Testament
and your time is coming to an end.
Umar : But I do not feel any pain or sickness
On the following day Kaab came to Umar and said :
Ameer al-Mumineen, one ( 1 ) day has passed and you have only
two ( 2 ) more days.
The following day Kaab came to him and said :
Ameer al-Mumineen, two ( 2 ) days have gone and you have only
one day and one night remaining.
The following morning, Umar came out to lead the prayers at the mosque. He
used to comission men in order to arrange the rows of the worshippers. When
they were in a straight line, he started the prayer. Abu Lulu entered the
mosque carrying a dagger with two ( 2 ) heads and a handle in the middle.
He hit Umar six ( 6 ) times, one of them hit the Caliph in the navel,
killing him.
Sunni reference :
Tabari - History of al-Tabari, v4, p191
Printed by Dar al-Maarif - Cairo
Looking at the Old Testament, one does not find any names or predictions of
Umar. Also no Rabbi other than Kaab, claimed that the Old Testament
predicted the existence of Umar, his murder, or defined the time of his
death. Had information of this kind been contained in the Torah, the Jews
would have been proud of it and would have used it in an attempt to prove
that the Jewish religion is the right religion.

A part of the Conspiracy
It seems clear that Umar's assination was a conspiracy, and that Kaab was a
part of the plot. The assassination of Umar would weaken the Muslims because
an outburst of violence against the Caliphate would shake the confidence in
the Islamic regime and create confusion. Announcing the event before it
took place made the companions believe in what Kaab predicted and what he
claimed to be recorded in the Old Testament, therefore making him a
reliable source for future information. Such confidence would enable him to
interfere in major events and suggest the name of the future Caliph. A
number of prominent companions believed the information that Kaab used to
fabricate pertaining to the past and the future.
Kaab did not speak only about the events that happened on the earth, but he
also gave information concerning the heavens and the Divine throne. Al
Qurtubi in his Commentary on the Quranic Chapter of Ghafir reported that
Kaab said :
When God created his throne, the throne said : ' God didn't create any
creature greater than me. ' The throne then shook itself to show it's
glory. God roped the throne with a snake which had 70 thousand wings;
each wing had 70 thousand feathers; each feather had 70 thousand
faces; each face had 70 thousand mouths, and each mouth had 70
thousand tongues. Out of these mouths words glorifying Allah with a
quantity equal to the number of drops of rain that have fallen, and
the leaves on the trees, and the number of pieces of gravel and soil
and the number of the days of the world, and the number of angels. The
snake coiled around the throne, for the throne was much smaller than
the snake. The throne was covered by only half the snake.

Imam Ali's ( as ) attitude towards Kaab
Umar and a number of prominent companions had a very positive attitude
towards Kaab. However the most knowledgeable and the most farsighted among
them, namely, Imam Ali ( as ) discredited Kaab. Kaab did not dare to come
close to Imam Ali ( as ), despite the fact that the Imam was in Medina for
the duration of Kaab's stay. It is reported that Imam Ali ( as ) said about
Kaab : Certainly he is a professional liar !
Ibn Abbas's attitude towards Kaab
Tabari notes in his chronicles that Ibn Abbas ( as ) was told :
Kaab says that on the day of the judgment the sun and the moon will
be brought forth like two ( 2 ) stupefied bulls and thrown to hell !
Upon hearing this Ibn Abbas ( as ) was enraged and retorted three ( 3 )
times :
Kaab is a liar !
Kaab is a liar !
Kaab is a liar !
This is a Jewish notion, and Kaab wants to introduce it into Islam. Allah
is free from the things they attribute to Him. He never punishes those who
obey. Have you not heard that Allah says in the Quran :
And He has made subject you the sun and the moon, both diligently
pursuing their course [ Ibrahim 33 ]
Ibn Abbas further said :
The word 'Daibain' used in this Verse denotes constant obedience to
Then he continued :
How can He punish these two ( 2 ) heavenly bodies whom He Himself
praises for obedience. God curse the Jewish Scholar and his
learning ! What a shameless audacity to attribute Lies to Allah,
and to impute guilt to the two ( 2 ) obedient creatures !
Having said this, Ibn Abbas said this three ( 3 ) times :
To Allah we belong and unto Him shall we return !
To Allah we belong and unto Him shall we return !
To Allah we belong and unto Him shall we return !
Then Ibn Abbas went on to narrate what the Prophet ( Peace and Salutations
to his cleansed and Pure Progeny ) had actually said about the sun and the
moon :
Allah created two sources of light ! That which He named the Sun was
like the Earth, between the points of rising and setting. And that
which He ordained to be lustreless at times, He called the moon and
made it smaller than the Sun. And both of them appear to be small
because of their height in the sky and their distance from the earth.
Sunni reference :
Tabari - History of al-Tabari, v1, p62 - 63
European Edition
This concludes my first part of the discussion, Insha Allah in the future
portions I shall further pursue these topics:
- Kaab's interference in the Caliphate
- Kaab's during the reign of the Third Caliph
Kaab Interfered in the Caliphate
Kaab took advantage of Umar's good heartedness and used all his shrewdness
to make Umar keep Imam Ali ( as ) away from the Caliphate. Kaab was
motivated by his resentment towards Islam and his hatred of Imam Ali (AS).
After all it was Imam Ali ( as ) who had brought the Jewish Influence in
Hijaz to an end in the battle of Khaibar.
It is amazing that the Caliph had so much confidence in Kaab, he even
sought his advice about the future of the caliphate. Ibn Abbas reported
that Umar said to Kaab, in the very presence of Ibn Abbas, the following
Umar asked ...
I would like to name my successor because my death is near. What
do you say about Ali ? Give me your opinion and inform me of what
you find in *your books*, because you allege that we are mentioned
in *them* ?
Kaab answered ...
As to the wisdom of your opinion, it would be *unwise* to appoint
Ali as a successor because he is *very religious*. He notices every
deviation and does not tolerate crookedness. He follows only his
opinion in Islamic rules and this is not a good policy. As far as
*our* scriptures, we find that neither he nor his children will
come to power. And if he does, there will be confusion.
Umar asked ...
Why will he not to come to power ?
Kaab answered ...
Because he has shed blood and Allah has deprived him of authority.
When David wanted to erect Walls of the temple in Jerusalem, Allah
said to him : ' You shall not build the Temple because you have
blood. Only Solomon shall erect it. '
Umar asked ...
Did not Ali shed blood rightly and for the truth ?
Kaab answered ...
Ameer al-Mumineen, David also shed blood for the truth
Umar asked ...
Who will come to power according to *your scripture* ?
Kaab answered ...
We find that after the Prophet ( Peace be upon him and his Cleansed
and Pure Progeny ) and his two ( 2 ) companions (Abu Bakr and Umar)
power will be transfered to his enemies ( the Omayyads ) whom he
fought for religion.
When Umar heard this, he *sadly* said : ' We belong to God and to Him we
shall return '. Then he said to Ibn Abbas : ' Ibn Abbas, did you hear what
Kaab said ? By God, I heard the Messenger of God say something very
similar. I heard him ( Peace be upon him and his Cleansed Progeny ) say :
The Children of Omayyad shall ascend to my pulpit. I have seen them
in my dreams jumping on my puplit like monkeys.
Then the Prophet said that the following verse was revealed about the
Omayyads :
And We made that dream, which We have shown you, only as a test
to the people and the cursed tree in the Quran ...
Sunni reference :
- Ibn Abi al-Hadid in his Sharh, v3, p81
Printed by Mohammad Ali Subaih in Egypt
- Imam Fakhr ad Din al-Razi in his commentaries of the Holy Quran
Chapter 17, v5, pp 413 - 414
Second Printing by al-Matbaah al-Sarafeyah 1304 H
This dialogue should alert us to the deceptive and successful attempt on the
part of Kaab to influence future events by Satanic suggestions. It contains
a great deal of decepetion which produced many harmful results to Islam and
the Muslims. It is very easy to read the following into this dialogue : -
1. Kaab was very indictive towards Imam Ali ( as ) because he was
the one who had smashed the Jewish strong hold in the Arabic
Peninsula. Kaab thought, and rightly so, he would remove all the
Jewish influence from the Arab Society. Therefore, Kaab was very
anxious to have the leadership in the hands of the Omayyad who were
un-concerned with the future of Islam. They only concerned
Ahemselves with the materialistic aspect of the World. In addition
they were as hostile to Imam Ali ( as ) as Kaab. The Omayyads and
Kaab considered Ali their common enemy. He had destroyed their
leaders in the defense of Islam.
2. Kaab comments that Imam Ali is highly religious and he does not
close his eyes on any crokedness; nor does he tolerate any
deviation from the Islamic path, when further examined reflects
that either Kaab forgot or he deliberately deleted from his story
that the Messenger ( Peace be Upon him and his followers ) was the
most religious and the most successful head of the state in the
history of the World.
3. Kaab also found in * his * scriptures that neither Imam Ali (as)
nor his children would come to power because he has shed blood. In
addition, Kaab said that it is written that David did not build the
Temple of Jerusalem becuase he shed blood and that his son, Solomon
was destined to build it so. Kaab did not mention and he made the
Caliph forget that David, in spite of his shedding blood and being
prevented from constructing the Temple came to power and became the
Ruling King !
The Holy Quran declares that Allah said to David :
Oh David, We certainly have made you Caliph on earth. You should
judge between people rightfully ... [ Chapter 28 Verse 26 ]
Kaab also forgot that the great Prophet ( saw ) shed the blood of
enemies for truth. Infact he led several battles and this did not
prevent him from ruling and administering the affairs of the
Muslims, nor did it prevent him from building an Islamic State !
4. Furthermore, Kaab by saying that shedding blood prevents coming
to power, makes those who endeavor in the name of God less
valuable than those who do not endeavor. This contradicts the Holy
Quran which declares : -
Those believers who sit still, other than those who have
a disabling hurt, are not equal to those who endeavour in
the way of Allah with their wealth and * lives *. Allah has
conferred upon those who endeavor for religion with their
lives and wealth a rank above those who sit ( at home ).
And to each, Allah has promised good, but He has bestowed
on those who strive a great reward above the sedentary;
degrees of rank from Him, and forgiveness and Mercy. Allah
is ever forgiving, merciful. [ Chapter 4 Verse 95 ]
It would be illogical to think that Allah commands people to
endeavour in His way, then punishes the endeavours by preventing
them from coming to power.
5. It is indeed very curious that Kaab claimed that the Jewish
scriptures mention that Islamic Leadership would pass from the
Prophet ( saw ) and his 2 ( two ) companions to his enemies. There
is no mention of anything to this in the Old Testament in spite of
the fact that Kaab had said to Qais Ibn Kharsha :
There is no place on earth that is not mentioned in the Old
Testament, along with the events which will happen at that
place until the Day of Judgment.
Kaab actually did not find in his Jewish scriptures any of the
events that he had fabricated. He only stole what he overheard from
the Companions of the Prophet ( saw ). Companions including Umar,
reported that the Messenger ( saw ) of Allah said :
Banu Omayyad shall climb on my pulpit and I have seen them in a
dream jumping on the pulpit like monkeys.
Sunni reference :
- Jalal ud Din Suyuti, Tarikhul Khulafa
Translated by Major H. S. Barret, p12
Published by J. W. Thomas, Baptist Mission Press, Calcutta
- Imam Fakhr ad Din al-Razi in his Commentaries of the Holy
Quran, Chapter 17, v5, pp 413 - 414
Second Printing by al-Matbaah al-Sarafeyah 1304 H
It is amazing that the Calpih heard these words from the Messenger of God
and still did not suspect Kaab had stolen them from the Jewish scriptures.
Furthermore, Kaab said that he found in Jewish books that power will be
transfered after the Prophet ( saw ) and his 2 ( two ) companions to the
Prophet's ( saw ) enemies. This, how ever did not occur. The caliphate
passed to Usman after Umar, and Usman was not an enemy of the Prophet ( saw
). He was an important companion. Also to our surprise the claim made by
Kaab was shattered into pieces when Imam Ali ( as ) received the Caliphate.
It is more amazing that the Caliph heard all these false statements which
Kaab had attributed to the Old Testament and did not even command Kaab to
show him the Jewish book from which he received the information.
The second Caliph with all his prominence, righteousness and intelligence
took the word of Kaab as if it came from heaven and was inevitable. He
forgot the matter of his successor was in his hands. It was entirely upto
him to choose Imam Ali ( as ) or any other eprson. It was expected that the
second caliph would please the Prophet ( saw ) by preventing the Omayyads
from coming to power after seeeing the Prophet ( saw ) disturbed over his
dream in which the Omayyads were jumping on his pulpit like monkeys. One
word from Umar could have had changed the course of History.
The second caliph could have appointed Imam Ali ( as ) as his successor and
prevented the Omayyads from coming to power. Unfortunately, he kept the
Imam away from the Caliphate by forming a six member committee, most of them
who were very un-friendly to Imam Ali ( as ) and friendly to Usman, the
righteous Omayyad who was extremely attached to his clan. Contrary to what
was expected, however, the second caliph did that which Kaab liked and the
Prophet ( saw ) disliked.
Sunni reference :
- Ibn al-Atheer, al-Kamil, v3, p35
Published by Dar al-Kitab al-Lubnanai 1973 A.D
Thus a Jew, newly converted to Islam, claiming that he had knowledge of
what was in the past and what will be in the future, was able to change the
course of Islamic History through his influence on a prominent Caliph,
Umar. What a historic catastrophe !
Kaab during the reign of Uthman
The influence of Kaab continued to grow after the death of Umar. During the
reign of the Third Caliph, Kaab was able to give verdicts in Islamic
affairs. The Calpih * often * agreed with him, and no one among the
attendants of the Caliph's meetings would oppose him, except for people
like Abu Dhar who became so furious one time upon hearing Kaab's verdicts
in Islam that he hit him with his rod saying
Son of a Jewsih lady, are you trying to teach us our religion ?
To secure for himself a bigger influence and a better future after the
death of the Uthman, Kaab tried to please Muawiyah by predicting his future
arrival at the helm of the Islamic Rule. Caliph Uthman was returning from
his pilgrimage accompanied by Muawiyah and the caravan driver sang a song
in which he predicted that Ali would be successor of Uthman. Kaab belied
the singer saying :
By God, you * lie *. The ruler after Uthman will be the rider
of the blond mule.
Here Kaab was refering to Muawiyah, and he falsely attributed this
information to the Old Testament ! Muawiyah had also * ordered * Kaab to
narrate to the people of Damascus anything that puts Damascus and its
people above other provinces.
Sunni references :
- Ibn al-Atheer - Kamil, v3, p76
Known as Ali Ibn al-Sahibani - Second Print ( Mule reference )
- al-Tabari - History, v4, p343
Printed by Dar al-Maarif - Cairo ( Mule reference )
- Ibn Hajar Asqalani ( Sunni Hadith Scientist )
al-Isabah , v5, p323 ( Muawiyah ordering reference )

On Other Incidents
Ahmed reported that Jabir Ibn Abdullah reported that Umar came to the
Prophet ( Peace be Upon him and his Cleansed and Pure progeny ) with a book
which he obtained from some followers of the scripture. He read it in front
of the Prophet ( Peace be Upon him and his Cleansed and Pure progeny ).
The Prophet ( saw ) became furious and said :
Son of al-Khattab, by the One in Whose hand is my soul, if Moses
were alive, he would have to follow me.
Al Bukhari reports that Ibn Abbas said :
How do you ask the people of the scriptures about anything while
your book, which was revealed by Allah to His Messenger (Muhammad)
is the newest Book ? You read it pure without any interpolation
by any non Quranic words. The Quran has informed you that people of
the scripture tampered with and changed their book.
On the contrary other Companions, like Abu Huraira and Abdullah Ibn Amr
Al-Aas reported that the Messenger of God said :
Take from the Israelites, and you will * not * be committing a
Also al-Bukhari mentioned:
Sahih a-Bukhari Hadith: 4.667
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr al-Aas:
The Prophet said, "Convey to the people even if it were a single
sentence, and tell others the stories of Bani Israel, for it is not
sinful to do so.
It is worthy to note that Abu Huraira and Abdullah were both * students *
of Kaab. It is also reported that Abdullah Ibn Amr al-Aas acquired two (2)
camels loaded with books of people of the * scriptures * and used to give
information to Muslims from these * books *.
Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, who is the foremost * authority * on the Hadiths in
Sahih al-Bukhari, said :
Because of this ( as mentioned above ) many prominent scholars
among the students of the companions of the Prophet ( saw )
* avoided * taking information from Abdullah Ibn Amr al-Aas.
Sunni reference :
- Fath al-Bari, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v1, p167

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