Stages of the Prohibition of Recording the Hadīth
By: Sayyid Ali Al-Shahristani
Let us now have a look at the stages of the prohibition from recording the Hadīth and the gradual method followed in this respect, as well as the solution due to which the idea of the prohibition and the practice of Ijtihād became the legality adopted through all the confusing aspects explicated in this book.
It is now understandable that the decision of the prohibition of recording the Hadīth, which led to the invention of Ijtihād and Opinionism, passed by essential stages and definite periods since it was not originated by the Holy Prophet or deduced from any of his instructions. These stages will be hereinafter mentioned in the form of events.
(1) The Hadīth Circulated Increasingly
As a natural result of the wide scope of the personal opinions (Ijtihād) of Abū-Bakr and `Umar, as well as the Sahābah who imitated their conceptual course, and the emergence of contradiction between the mujtahids’ decisions and the Holy Prophet’s traditions (Sunnah), the reporting of Hadīth expanded very far and wide since it was seen as an essential matter for the conclusion of the most authentic and purest form of the religious law. In addition, such personal opinions were very manifestly discriminated from the reporting of Hadīth in general. For the Sahābah, the reporting from the Holy Prophet was such a natural matter. Accordingly, it is probable that Abū-Bakr’s famous saying (“You are reporting from the Messenger of Allah matters about which you are discrepant. People who will come after you will be more discrepant that you are.”) carried an indication to the multiplicity of trends during his reign and the Sahābah’s having adopted private views, which were different from the others’. This was the very reason behind the extension of the discrepancies among the Muslims that occurred later on. The reporting of Hadīth was thus a very strong trend whose influence can be clearly understood from `Umar ibn al-Khattāb’s famous saying, “You have reported very much Hadīth from the Messenger of Allah,” and from the statement of Ibn Sa`d, in al-Tabaqāt al-Kubrā, that reads, “During the reign of `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, the Hadīths were noticeably big in number,” and from the statement of al-Khatīb al-Baghdādiy, in Taqyīd al-`Ilm, that reads, “When `Umar knew that people had kept books of Hadīth...” as well as many other historical texts.
(2) Abū-Bakr Prohibited The Reporting And Set Fire To His Book Of Hadīth
After the reporting from the Holy Prophet had increased so prominently that it had become a sweeping trend, Abū-Bakr, having been the caliph, ordered the Sahābah not to report any material from the Holy Prophet to any further extent. He thus said, “Do not report anything from the Messenger of Allah. If one asks you about it, you should say: only does the Holy Qur'ān stand between you and us.” He then set fire to his book of Hadīth after he had said to his daughter `Ā'ishah, “Daughter; collect and bring me the papers comprising Hadīths that you have.” When she brought these papers to her father, he set fire to them... etc.
(3) `Umar Ordered The Sahābah To Reduce Reporting The Hadīth
Because the reporting of Hadīth continued increasingly during his reign and because the Sahābah did not comply with the instructions of Abū-Bakr, `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, more insistently, continued Abū-Bakr’s proposal of prohibiting the reporting and recordation of the Hadīth. As he saw off a group of the Sahābah that he had delegated to al-Kūfah, `Umar asked them, “Do you know why I am seeing you off?”
“Yes, we do,” they answered. “This is because for the sake of our being the companions and supporters of the Holy Prophet.”
Replying them, `Umar said, “This is true. But I am seeing you off for another matter that I wanted to tell you in private… you must reduce reporting the Hadīth and I am responsible for this decision.”
On another occasion, he said to them, “Reduce reporting from the Messenger of Allah except the affairs that are needed (or apparently needed)... etc.”
(4) `Umar Collected And Set Fire To The Sahābah’s Records Of Hadīth
The Sahābah did not comply with or carry out Abū-Bakr’s instructions of stopping recording the Hadīth in the same way as they had not been influenced by the event that he had set fire to his own book of Hadīth; rather the majority of the Sahābah kept many books of Hadīth and this matter was not welcomed by `Umar since the existence of such books would prevent the caliph from achieving his will. `Umar therefore ordered these books to be collected before him. Firstly, the Sahābah thought that `Umar wanted to check these documents and books and then decide the most authentic among them. Nevertheless, they were surprised when he set fire to them all!
As a matter of fact, this process of burning such books and documents was for the reason that they comprised materials that would act as official documents against `Umar and as clear evidences on ascribing mistakes to him. In order to avoid the occurrence of such matters of bad results, `Umar decided to wipe out these documents. As another motive, the records that belong to the first age of Islam and that were written down by one of the Sahābah enjoyed such an effective value that could refute the ruler’s opinion. Accordingly, a Hadīth that is found in a written form cannot be opposed or ascribed to forgery. The reporting of Hadīth, on the other hand, can be opposed by another Hadīth that is immediately fabricated without exerting huge efforts. For that reason, the ruling authorities allowed the reporting but disallowed the recordation of the Hadīth.
Some authors have argued that the permissibility of reporting the Hadīth and the impermissibility of recording it was because a sect of the Jews had believed that the religious heritage should be recorded while the opposite sect had believed that it should be memorized.
In addition, in view of the fact that Ka`b al-Ahbār and Wahab ibn Munabbih were intimate counselors of `Umar, it is likely that he was influenced by their opinions as regards the reporting and recordation of the Hadīth, since he needed to keep a tight rein on some of the reports from the Holy Prophet. The best treatment of this issue would be to separate between the two. It has been narrated that `Umar, once, asked Ka`b al-Ahbār about the origin of poetry, and the latter answered, “Some of the descendants of Ismā`īl (Prophet Ishmael) would have their Gospels (i.e. divine book) in their hearts and would speak of wisdom.”
According to another narration, Wahab ibn Munabbih said, “Once, Mūsā (Prophet Moses) said to the Lord: ‘In the Torah, I have read that a nation would keep their Gospels in their hearts wherefrom they would recite them, while they would be preceded by a nation who read their Gospels from their books but they would not retain them. I implore to You to make this nation mine.’ Yet, the Lord answered, ‘This is the nation of Muhammad.’”
Dr. Hasan Dha’dha’, in ‘al-Fikr al-Dīniy al-Isrā’īliy (The Israelite Religious Creed)’ pp. 97, quotes the following statement from the Talmud, Temura 14:
“As for a nation that narrates orally, you do not have the right to prove it in a written form.”
(5) `Umar Detained Some Of The Sahābah And Ordered The All To Stop Reporting And Recording The Hadīth
In spite of all the continuous steps and the collaborating measures, some of the grand Sahābah, indifferent to the ruling authorities’ opinions and trends, did not stop reporting and recording the Hadīth. Nevertheless, `Umar ibn al-Khattāb did not assume an indifferent attitude towards this; rather he issued strict decisions preventing unfalteringly any process of reporting and recording the Hadīth. He furthermore addressed to the Sahābah, preventing them from reporting the Hadīth, saying, “Certainly, your talks are the most evil talks and your words and the most evil words. Anyone of you who intends to say something must quote from the Book of Allah (i.e. the Holy Qur'ān) otherwise he must sit motionless.”
Very often, `Umar threatened the reporters of the Holy Prophet’s heritage. Previously in this book, `Umar ibn al-Khattāb’s situations against and menacing words to `Ammār ibn Yāsir, Abū-Mūsā al-Ash`ariy, and many others have been cited.
As a consummative step, `Umar detained the Sahābah who used to report the Hadīth in the holy city of al-Madīnah, the capital of the Islamic State, so that they would be always under his supervision and sight and also they would not disperse Hadīths violating his personal opinions. In this regard, historians have written down that `Umar ibn al-Khattāb arrested some of the Holy Prophet’s companions... etc. Other narrations have quoted `Abd al-Rahmān ibn `Awf as saying, “Before his death, `Umar ibn al-Khattāb ordered the companions of the Messenger of Allah, namely `Abdullāh (ibn Mas`ūd), Hudhayfah, Abu’l-Dardā', Abū-Dharr and `Uqbah ibn `Āmir, to be present before him although they lived in remote countries. He then reproached them for having spread the traditions of the Messenger of Allah in these countries.
“Are you now preventing us from such?” asked they.
“No, I do not,” answered `Umar. “Yet, you will reside here, and you will never depart me so long as I am alive. I am more knowledgeable. I will hear from you and reply.”
Hence, they could not leave the capital until the death of `Umar.
(6) The Two Caliphs Restricted The Religious Affairs To The Holy Qur’ān
As a substitute for the Hadīth and as a justification of their decision of prohibiting the reporting and recordation of it, Abū-Bakr and `Umar propagated the notion of “Only does the Holy Qur'ān stand between you and us,” and “I will never add anything to the Book of Allah” as well as the like slogan that they had raised in order to escape the thorough compliance with the texts of the Holy Sunnah and to make the practices move to a more expansive circle, which is the Holy Qur'ān in which the all believe and sanctify.
(7) `Umar Allowed The Sahābah To Practice Ijtihād And Act Upon Analogy
As he saw the wide range of the religious questions that he should answer,—although he had no acquaintance with sacred texts dealing with these questions—`Umar concluded that it was necessary to allow the Sahābah and himself to practice Ijtihād and to decide Qiyās and al-Maslahah (public interest) and other matters as principles in the Islamic legislation.
(8) `Umar Attempted To Restrict The Ijtihād
Because the concept of Ijtihād was practiced by the Sahābah in such a limitless manner, their opinions were exposed to contradiction and discrepancy and it became difficult to discriminate between these opinions. Having noticed that, `Umar ascended the minbar and warned the Sahābah against such discrepancies. For the same reason, he said to those whom he had summoned, “I am more knowledgeable than you are. I will hear from you and reply.”
The confirmation on the conducts of Abū-Bakr and `Umar in the so-called Shūrā Committee; `Uthmān ibn `Affān and Mu`āwiyah ibn Abī-Sufyān’s decisions of accepting only the Hadīths that were common during the reign of `Umar ibn al-Khattāb; `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Azīz’s decision of restriction the recordation of the Hadīth to the conducts of Abū-Bakr and `Umar other than anything else—all these stages by which the Islamic nation passed, and their likes, substantiate that the personal opinions of Abū-Bakr and `Umar became Sunnah that must be followed and their practices of Ijtihād became a third source of the Islamic legislation (besides the Holy Qur'ān and the Holy Sunnah) although neither Abū-Bakr nor had `Umar claimed such before.
From the previous, we can conclude that the concepts of Ismā`īl Ad-ham, Tawfīq Sidqī, Rashīd Ridā, and their fans in Pakistan who had denied the Holy Sunnah absolutely and claimed the obligation of the commitment to the Holy Qur'ān alone—these concepts have been an inevitable outcome of the decision of prohibiting the reporting and recordation of the Hadīth, which was decided by Abū-Bakr and `Umar.
Besides, all the justifications and motives that were declared by Abū-Bakr and `Umar as pretexts of the issuance of their decision have been proven untrue. The same thing can be said about all the discussions and reasons presented by all the authors and men of letters—Shiites and Sunnites, Orientalists and Muslims—in this respect. This is because the decision of the prohibition of reporting and recording the Hadīth had its private conditions, prior convictions, and personal motives in the view of `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, Abū-Bakr, `Uthmān ibn `Affān, and the Umayyad rulers... etc.
 Ibn Kathīr: al-Bidāyah wa’l-Nihāyah 6:62; al-Safūriy: Nuzhat al-Majālis 2:199.
 Ibn Kathīr: al-Bidāyah wa’l-Nihāyah 6:62; al-Safūriy: Nuzhat al-Majālis 2:199.
 See al-Rawhāniy: Buhūth(un) Ma`a Ahl il-Sunnah wa’l-Salafiyyah 97; al-Fadliy: Tārīkh al-Tashrī` al-Islāmiy 40; al-`Āmiliy: al-Sahīh Min Sīrat al-Nabiy.
 Ibn Shabbah: Tārīkh al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah 3:800.
 Ibn Mandhūr: Mukhtasar Tārīkh Madīnat Dimashq 17:101.
 It has been narrated on the authority of Hājib ibn Khalīfah al-Barjumiy that `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Azīz, having been the caliph, said in a sermon addressed to the Muslims, “Indubitably, all that which was decided by the Messenger of Allah and by his Two Companions (i.e. Abū-Bakr and `Umar) must be decided as religion that we adopt other than anything else, while any issue decided by others must be suspended.” See Abū-Na`īm: Hilyat al-Awliyā' 5:298; al-Suyūtiy: Tārīkh al-Khulafā' 1:241.
 Mustafā al-A`dhamiy: Dirāsātun fi’l-Hadīth al-Nubawiy, 32.
Two major issues can be inferred from the abovementioned discussions:
The warning against writing down the Hadīth was not legal; and all the narrations that are ascribed to the Holy Prophet in this respect have been totally forgeries. Actually, the decision of the prohibition of recording the Hadīth was originated from a political situation adopted by `Umar ibn al-Khattāb and the rulers who came to power after him (of course, except Imam `Alī ibn Abī-Tālib). It was natural that false Hadīths had been fabricated for the sake of justifying `Umar’s attitudes towards the reporting and recordation of the Hadīth.
If there had been authenticated narrations revealing that the Holy Prophet had warned against and prohibited from writing down his heritage and Hadīths and the Muslims had known about such Prophetic decisions, Abū-Bakr would not have written down five hundred Hadīths that he had received from people that he trusted; and he would not have sent a message comprising the sayings of the Holy Prophet about the rulings of the almsgiving and other topics to `Amr ibn al-`Ās and Anas ibn Mālik; and `Umar ibn al-Khattāb would not have summoned the Sahābah so as to discuss with them and seek their advices concerning the question of writing down the Hadīth and they then advised him to carry out; and he would not have ordered the people to bring him all the papers and books in which they had recorded the Hadīth... etc.
All these facts indicate and prove the legality of writing down the Hadīth. Later on, I will present a detailed thesis about the jurisprudential trend of the Sahābah who kept the Holy Sunnah in written form, the Ansār, and the Sahābah who participated in the battles led by Imam `Alī ibn Abī-Tālib. Such a thesis will expose how these Sahābah had disagreed to the trend of the ruling authorities who prohibited recording the Sunnah. In addition, these Sahābah and Ansār supported the trend of the thorough compliance with the sacred texts.
After the second caliph, namely `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, had been acquainted with the existence of records comprising the traditions of the Holy Prophet with the Sahābah, he ordered them to bring these records to him. While they had believed that the caliph just wanted to investigate these records and choose the most authentic among them, a surprise was waiting for them! The caliph collected these records and set fire to them!
A deep contemplation over the texts of the fabricated reports exposing that the Holy Prophet had warned against and prohibited from writing down his traditions and instructions divulges that such a prohibition had been preceded by the permissibility of recording the Hadīth. In other words, according to the claims of those who prohibited the recordation of the Hadīth, the Holy Prophet had first permitted the people to write down his traditions, but he then prohibited them from such. He thus said, “Anyone who had already written down anything should now erase it!” Thus, this fact proves false the claims of Dr. Subhiy al-Sālih and other scholars that the Holy Prophet had prohibited the Muslims from writing down his Hadīths so that they would not be confused with the Holy Qur'ān, but when the Holy Qur'ān was recorded in papers, the Holy Prophet allowed recording his traditions!
Once again, the decision of the prohibition of recording the Hadīth was a pure governmental resolution that was free from any legal form derived from the Holy Sunnah. on the contrary, the Holy Prophet, through numerous narrations and instructions, confirmed on the learning of writing and reading; in the issue of the prisoners of the Battle of Badr, he decided to release any prisoner who would learn ten of the Muslim individuals how to write and read; and he, on more than one occasion, confirmed the necessity of spreading his Hadīth. Nevertheless, Dr. Subhiy al-Sālih and other scholars have claimed that the Holy Prophet allowed the Muslims to write down his Hadīths after he had prevented them from such, while the abovementioned authentic narrations have manifestly confirmed the opposite.
As a consequence, we can conclude that the decision of the prohibition had two dimensions; the first was political and the other was related to the Muslim legislation and jurisprudence. The details of these two dimensions have been previously cited. In addition to the Muslim sectarian factors, the discrepancies about the traditions of the Holy Prophet were within the outcomes of the decision of prohibiting the reporting and recordation of the Hadīth. Thus, the claim of Goldtzeher that all the Hadīths that comprised the warning against writing down the Holy Sunnah was fabricated by the Opinionists and all the Hadīths that comprised the confirmation on the recording was fabricated by the Hadīthists—this claim has been also proven false. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that the foremost Opinionists, during the reigns of the Holy Prophet and the first three caliphs, had played a role in the fabrication of Hadīths calling for stopping recording the Holy Sunnah, while the reporting and recordation of the Hadīth were practiced by the grand Sahābah and were deemed legal by the Holy Prophet himself; rather these Hadīths were not fabricated by the Hadīthists, as has been claimed by Goldtzeher.
In view of that, I do not regard as necessary that some authors join between the Hadīths comprising the warning against recording the Hadīth and those comprising the confirmation on it, since, in my conception, the motives of the emergence of such two trends had been purely political. The details of this matter have been earlier in this book discussed. The exposition of these motives is the most important effort that is exerted in this regard. Yet, some scholars have attempted to make comparisons between these two categories of Hadīths, claiming that some of them can be categorized as Marfū` (related to the Holy Prophet without mentioning the intermediate series of narrators) while the others as Mawqūf (Discontinued Hadīth; a narration that is related to one of the Sahābah but the latter had not related it to the Holy Prophet), and thus the Marfū` must be preferred to the Mawqūf... etc.
It has been narrated that a number of the Sahābah and Tābi`ūn warned against and loathed writing down the Hadīth. As a matter of fact, these are personal impressions that were originated from their feelings towards the decision of the prohibition of recording the Hadīth. Besides, they stand for personal opinions. These Sahābah and Tābi`ūn did not want for the Hadīths to be documented in written forms so that they would not be confused with other materials; rather they intended that their contradictory items ensued from their personal opinions and their practice of Ijtihād as well the contradiction between their personal opinions and the Holy Prophet’s Sunnah would not come to view. Nevertheless, they used to note down their personal views so that any contradiction between these views would be avoided. When they did not like publicizing these notes, they set fire to them. In this respect, it has been narrated that al-Shi`biy told that Marwān, once, ordered a man to sit behind a curtain so that he would write down any word said by Zayd ibn Thābit who was present there. As he noticed the situation, Zayd said, “Excuse me, Marwān! I am just expressing my personal opinions!”
Dr. Muhammad `Ajjāj al-Khatīb says,
The Tābi`ūn disliked writing down the knowledge very much especially after their personal opinions had been circulated among the publics. They therefore anticipated lest their students would write down these personal opinions with the Hadīth and thus confusion would occur. It is now easily inferable that those who disliked writing down the religious knowledge had done such because they, most certainly, did not want their personal opinions to be written down. In this respect, our master scholar, Dr. Yūsuf al-`Ishsh, says, “It has been narrated that this generation (i.e. the Tābi`ūn) disliked writing down the religious knowledge. The one and only reason behind such was that because they all were jurisprudents (fuqahā) not reporters of Hadīth, and a jurisprudent usually speaks out both a Hadīth and his personal view, they anticipated that their personal views would be written down besides the traditions of the Holy Prophet. They therefore disliked the recordings.” Demonstrating examples on this fact, Dr. al-`Ishsh further says, “Actually, there are traditions revealing that the Sahābah disliked their personal opinions to be kept in written forms. For instance, Zayd ibn Thābit refused that Marwān would write down his words. It has been also narrated that Sa`īd ibn al-Musayyab, one the scholars whom are reported to have disapproved of writing down the religious knowledge, answered the man who had asked him about a question. The man then asked Sa`īd’s personal opinion about another question, and Sa`īd answered. The man then wrote down Sa`īd’s opinion. One of the companies of Sa`īd asked, “Are you going to let him write down your personal opinions?” Hence, Sa`īd asked the man to give him that paper, and he then tore it out. According to another narration, Jābir ibn Zayd said to those who were writing down his opinions, “You are writing materials that I may change tomorrow.”
Dr. Subhiy al-Sālih says,
They hated the writing of the religious knowledge more and more after their personal opinions had been publicized. They anticipated that people would write down these personal opinions next to the traditions of the Holy Prophet. Many narrations have confirmed this truth. However, the most obvious narration in this regard is that concerning the saying of Jābir ibn Zayd when those... etc.
It has been further narrated that Ibn `Awf said, “I believe that these records will certainly mislead the people.”
It has been narrated that `Umar ibn al-Khattāb refrained from accomplishing the book that he had written about the shares of grandmothers from inheritances. Accordingly, it is probable that such refraining was because he anticipated that such book, which comprised his personal views about the question, would be confused with Holy Sunnah. The same thing can be said about the Sahābah and Tābi`ūn who ordered their heirs to erase their books and terminate them by water. In plain words, these books and their likes must have comprised the authors’ personal views rather than the Hadīth of the Holy Prophet. Dr. Muhammad `Ajjāj al-Khatīb further says,
Historians have reported that these master scholars disliked writing down the religious knowledge. Manifestly, these reports have meant that the scholars disliked writing down their personal opinions, not the Hadīth and traditions of the Holy Prophet. Similarly, all the reports that carry the warning against and the prohibition from writing down in general have meant the writing down of the personal views. Those very scholars and Tābi`ūn are authentically reported to have allowed and urged their students to write down the Hadīths that they mentioned. This fact supports my previous idea.
In view of that, Zayd ibn Hārith disliked writing down his speech, because it was his personal opinions rather than reports from the Holy Prophet; and Sa`īd ibn al-Musayyab did the same thing for the same reason. Moreover, reference books of Hadīth and biography have comprised many texts in this regard.It is now evident that the deeds of these Sahābah cannot be presented as evidence on the discommendation of writing down the Holy Sunnah.
As long as this topic is being discussed, it seems suitable to refer to another issue; it has been narrated that the Sahābah used to write down the Hadīth in order to memorize it, and when they memorized, they used to erase it. Such narrations have been mentioned in the book of Taqyīd al-`Ilm and other reference books. To accept and to add this report to the many reports that revealed the Sahābah’s having issued religious verdicts in most cases out of their personal inferences lead us to the result that the personal opinions were mixed with the Hadīth in such a way that it became too confusable to discriminate between the two. For that reason, much of the Holy Prophet’s verbal heritage is in fact the words and understandings of the Sahābah, especially when we believe that Abū-Bakr and `Umar brought to existence the decision of the prohibition of reporting and recording the Hadīth and that the decision, which was never deemed legal by any of the texts of the Holy Sunnah, was a personal situation imposed by certain circumstances. In this regard, Shaykh Muhammad Abū-Zahw, in his book of al-Hadīth wa’l-Muhaddithūn pp. 126, says that the decision was a personal view of `Umar.
Yahyā ibn Ju`dah is reported to have said, “`Umar ibn al-Khattāb had wanted to write down the (Holy) Sunnah but he changed his mind afterward. He then wrote a missive to all the Islamic provinces ordering them to erase any written item of the Sunnah.”
The words of “had wanted”, “changed his mind”, and “wrote a missive to all the Islamic provinces” clearly indicate that `Umar ibn al-Khattāb had done so out of his personal desire and private volition.
The following is quoted from the book of Dalā'il al-Tawthīq al-Mubakkir: “All those who stood against recording the Hadīth had actually had their personal reasons. Moreover, even al-Fārūq (i.e. `Umar) who is considered the head of those who objected to the recordation of the Hadīth had not presented even a single report from the Holy Prophet to support his viewpoint that opposed the recording.”
Al-Qāsim ibn Muhammad ibn Abī-Bakr is also reported to have said, “`Umar, after he had received news confirming that people started to hold (or write) books, denied and disliked the matter... etc.”
This narration indicates that it was `Umar, not the Holy Prophet, who had denied and disliked the matter before his eyes fell on these documents. Of course, such a question is terribly noteworthy.
To sum it up, `Umar ibn al-Khattāb adopted the policy of prohibiting the reporting and recordation of the Hadīths including those comprising the merits of certain people and the religious laws. This policy was originated from his personal opinion, as it had never obtained legality from the Holy Prophet. For these reasons, we have not made any comparison between the narrations comprising the warning against the recordation of the Hadīth and those comprising the encouragement on it.
The issuance of laws deduced from the sources of the Islamic legislation (Sharī`ah) took two trends opposite to each other in principles and fundaments. Some Muslims have argued that personal opinions and fancies, as the opposites of the decisive evidences, are legal matters in the issuance of religious laws; and have also argued that the personal views of `Umar ibn al-Khattāb in many issues, such as that of the share of the al-Mu’allafah Qulūbuhum, should be considered legal.
On the other side, some of the Sahābah rejected such personal opinions unless they would be deduced from the sacred texts (of the Holy Qur'ān and Sunnah). They also believed that the Holy Prophet had been thoroughly compliant with the sacred texts and had never issued his personal opinions or fancies; rather he used to wait for the divine revelation in order to judge in the questions that were raised before him. In this respect, the Holy Qur'ān has declared:
“Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed.” [Holy Qur’ān: 53:3-4]
“We have sent down to thee the Book in truth, that thou mightest judge between men, as guided by Allah.” [Holy Qur’ān: 4/105]
“It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path.” [Holy Qur’ān: 33/36]
Most likely, these sacred texts of the Holy Qur'ān have proposed the acts of those practisers of Ijtihād who intended to recognize the actual interest, out of their personal opinions, while they were in the presence of the Holy Prophet who was the one and only to convey the instructions and laws of Almighty Allah. Hence, these sacred texts have carried clearly the illegality of such acts, since Almighty Allah has perfected His laws in His Book and commissioned His Prophet to explain them to the people. In his refutation of `Umar ibn al-Khattāb’s claims in the question of the divinely commissioned leadership (Imamate) of the Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt, `Abdullāh ibn `Abbās cited the third holy verse as his evidence.
Not only do Ijtihād and dependence upon personal views in the issuance of religious verdicts and in the judgment of religious affairs lack any decisive evidence from the Divine Revelation, but they are also considered violation against the Owner of the Sharī`ah and deciding laws opposite to what Almighty Allah has revealed. In this regard, the Holy Qur'ān reads,
“Say: Hath Allah indeed permitted you, or do ye invent (things) to attribute to Allah?” [Holy Qur’ān: 10/59]
These Sahābah disallowed the resting upon personal opinions as regards the religious affairs, because they knew for sure about the presence of certain individuals who had full acquaintance with the revelation and exact interpretation of the sacred texts, and they knew for sure that Almighty Allah has conferred upon these individuals with exclusive understanding and comprehension of the affairs of His religion. As everybody knows, the Sahābah also knew that it was permissible to neglect the personal inferences of the Sahābah since their words would be no more than personal views that lack any binding value in the Divine Legislation.
The preference of the opinions of Abū-Bakr and `Umar to the words of the Holy Prophet; the adoption of their personal views before comparing them to the Holy Qur'ān and Sunnah to see whether they are corresponding to these two or not; and the claim that `Umar being more knowledgeable than the others as regards the logics for the religious laws—these matters cannot stand before the facts.
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb intended to achieve an essential matter in the religious legislation; he wanted for his personal opinion-based decisions not to be criticized and objected after his death; rather he wanted for them to be included with the Islamic legislation. For this very matter, `Abd al-Rahmān ibn `Awf specified, as stipulation of holding the position of the leadership of the Islamic State, that `Uthmān ibn `Affān should rule according to the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger, and the conducts of the two Shaykhs—Abū-Bakr and `Umar, because any violation of the conducts of the two Shaykhs would strengthen and support the opposite party (of the objection to the personal views and the thorough compliance with the sacred texts). As he agreed to these stipulations, `Uthmān ibn `Affān had decided to act upon them, but in the last six years of his reign, he exceeded this red line since he regarded himself as qualified as the two Shaykhs to practice Ijtihād.
On the other hand, Imam `Alī ibn Abī-Tālib neither accepted the practice of Ijtihād in issues about which sacred texts are available nor agreed to the last stipulation, proposed by `Abd al-Rahmān ibn `Awf, of acting upon the conducts of the two Shaykhs; rather he only agreed to act upon the Book of Almighty Allah and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet.
Thus, two opposite trends came into view as regards the Islamic legislation; one trend was represented by Imam `Alī and his followers, such as `Abdullāh ibn `Abbās, `Ammār ibn Yāsir, Abū-Dharr al-Ghifāriy, Salmān, and many others and, from the next generations, al-Hasan ibn `Alī, al-Husayn ibn `Alī, `Alī ibn al-Husayn, Muhammad ibn `Alī, Ja`far ibn Muhammad, Mūsā ibn Ja`far and the other Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt and their followers and disciples. The other trend was represented by the rulers and their followers, such as Abū-Bakr, `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, `Uthmān ibn `Affān, Mu`āwiyah ibn Abī-Sufyān, `Amr ibn al-`Ās, `Abdullāh ibn `Amr, Abū-Hurayrah, Samarah ibn Jundub, Hushām ibn `Abd al-Malik, Abū-Ja`far al-Mansūr, and Hārūn al-Rashīd as well as the other Umayyad and `Abbāsid rulers.
Surely, those who adopted the dependence upon personal opinions in the issuance of religious laws used Ijtihād and Ta’wīl (individual interpretation) in order to save themselves from flagrant embarrassments among which were that they wanted to find excuses for `Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muljim for he murdered Imam `Alī ibn Abī-Tālib although that murderer was not included with the Sahābah; they wanted to find excuses for Yazīd ibn Mu`āwiyah for he killed Imam al-Husayn ibn `Alī; they wanted to find excuses for Abu’l-`Ādiyah for he killed `Ammār ibn Yāsir; they wanted to find excuses for Mu`āwiyah ibn Abī-Sufyān for he poisoned Imam al-Hasan to death; they wanted to find excuses for `Uthmān ibn `Affān for he set fire to the copies of the Holy Qur'ān; they wanted to find excuses for `Umar ibn al-Khattāb for he set fire to the books of Hadīth; and they wanted to find excuses for Abū-Bakr for he justified Khālid ibn al-Walīd’s crimes of killing Mālik ibn Nuwayrah and committing fornication with his widow at the same night!
Again, as a result of the caliph’s enactment of laws in the Islamic legislation, the idea of preferring the less virtuous to the most virtuous came to light. Accordingly, Mu`āwiyah, Yazīd, Marwān ibn al-Hakam, and his sons—all these are less virtuous than others are. Nevertheless, the public interest necessitated that they should sit on the chair of the leadership of the Islamic State.
Imam `Alī’s Attitude
Let us now cite some of the oppressions that were practiced against the Ahl al-Bayt owing to their having adhered to their beliefs and insisted on keeping the religion pure from any innovative matters and heresies.
Describing the harm that the people of Quraysh had inflicted upon the Hāshimites, Imam `Alī said,
“As Almighty Allah grasped the soul of His Prophet, the people of Quraysh took hold of the matter (of caliphate) against us. We were thus taken away from the right that we are the worthiest of having it among all the peoples. Yet, I found that endurance thereon was better than separating the word of the Muslims and shedding their blood, especially the people had just converted to Islam and the religion had just been so fresh that the least feebleness would spoil it and the least discrepancy would turn it over.”
In his missive to his brother `Aqīl, Imam `Alī further said,
“Certainly, the Arabs are today backing each other in waging war against your brother in the same as they backed each other in waging war against the Messenger of Allah in the past.”
On other occasions, Imam `Alī said,
“O Allah! I beseech Thee to take revenge on the Quraysh and those who are assisting them, for they have cut asunder my kinship and over-turned my cup and have joined together to contest a right to which I was entitled more than anyone else. They said to me: “If you get your right, that will be just, but if you are denied the right, that too will be just. Endure it with sadness or kill yourself in grief.” I looked around but found no one to shield me, protect me or help me except the members of my family.
When Allah took the Prophet (to Himself) a group of men went back on their tracks. The ways (of misguidance) ruined them and they placed trust in deceitful intriguers, showed consideration to other than kinsmen, abandoned the kin whom they had been ordered to love, and shifted the building from its strong foundation and built it in other than its (proper) place.”
In one of his sermons that he delivered before his disciples, Imam Muhammad al-Bāqir said,
“Before he was taken by Almighty Allah, the Messenger of Allah had informed that we are the worthiest of leading the people. Nevertheless, the people of Quraysh began to back one another until they swerved the matter (of the leadership) from its original place. Although they presented our due and our privilege as their pretexts against the Ansār, they alternated one another in seizing our right. When it returned to us, their allegiance to us was breached and wars were waged against us, and the holder of the matter was kept in increasing difficulty until he was killed.
Then, allegiance and pledges were sworn and given to al-Hasan but he was then betrayed and disappointed before the enemies. The people of Iraq further revolted against him until he was stabbed with a dagger in his flank, and his camp was stolen, and even the anklets of his bondwomen were about to be robbed. He therefore had to make peace with Mu`āwiyah in order to spare the lives of his adherents, who were very very few, and him.
Then, twenty thousand persons from the people of Iraq swore allegiance to al-Husayn but they then betrayed, fought against, and slew him although their allegiance to him were still hanged to their necks.
After that, we, the Ahl al-Bayt, have been still humiliated, oppressed, exiled, contemned, deprived (of our rights), slain, and terrified; and thus we have not experienced any security over the souls of our adherents and us... The fabricators and the deniers have thus found an excellent field for practicing their fabrications and denial in order to flatter their masters, wicked judges, and evil governmental officials in each and every city; they therefore forged lies against us and spread them to these individuals reporting from us that which we did not say or do so as to make people hate us.
This situation was in its highest level during the reign of Mu`āwiyah after the demise of al-Hasan. Accordingly, our adherents decreased in number, hands and legs were severed for the least doubt, and anyone who mentioned us or declared loyalty to us would be imprisoned, or his properties would be confiscated, or his house would be demolished. These misfortunes and ordeals increasingly perpetuated until the reign of `Ubaydullāh ibn Ziyād, the killer of al-Husayn.
As al-Hajjāj came afterward, he massacred them (i.e. the adherents to the Ahl al-Bayt) so violently and persecuted them for the least doubt or accusation to the degree that people preferred to be accused of infidelity and atheism to being accused of adherence to `Alī (i.e. being Shiites). Moreover, the situation reached such a gravely dangerous state that a man who was known as virtuous, pious, and truthful would narrate fabulously strange reports and events showing the merits and most virtuousness of some of the past rulers, while all such reports were definitely fabricated and such events had never occurred. Nevertheless, that man thought of them as true because they had been narrated by reporters known as truthful and pious.”
Referring to the fact that the Muslims had not carried out the instructions of the Holy Qur'ān and Sunnah; rather they were prevailed by several trends, Imam `Alī says,
“I wonder, and there is no reason why I should not wonder, about the faults of these groups who have introduced alterations in their religious pleas, who do not move on the footsteps of their Prophet nor follow the actions of the vicegerent. They do not believe in the unknown and do not avoid the evil. They act on the doubts and tread in (the way of) their passions. For them good is whatever they consider good and evil is whatever they consider evil. Their reliance for resolving distresses is on themselves. Their confidence in regard to dubious matters is on their own opinions as if every one of them is the Leader (Imam) of himself. Whatever he has decided himself he considers it to have been taken through reliable sources and strong factors.”
On another occasion, he said,
“Certainly the Qur’ān is with me. I never forsake it since I adopted its company. We have been with the Prophet in battles wherein those killed were fathers, sons, brothers and relations of one another. Nevertheless, every trouble and hardship just increased us in our belief, in our treading on the right path, in submission to (divine) command and in endurance of the pain of wounds. We now had to fight our brethren in Islam because of entry into Islam of misguidance, crookedness, doubts and (wrong) interpretation. However, if we find any way by which Allah may collect us together in our disorder and by which we may come near each other in whatever common remains between us we would accept it and would give up everything else.”
In a sermon that he delivered on return from the Battle of Siffīn, Imam `Alī further said,
“At that time people had fallen in vices whereby the rope of religion had been broken, the pillars of belief had been shaken, principles had been sacrileged, system had become topsy turvy, openings were narrow, passage was dark, guidance was unknown and darkness prevailed. Allah was being disobeyed, Satan was given support and Belief had been forsaken. As a result the pillars of religion fell down, its traces could not be discerned, its passages had been destroyed and its streets had fallen into decay.”
On another occasion, he said,
“I always apprehended from you consequences of treachery and I had seen you through in the garb of the deceitful. The curtain of religion had kept me hidden from you but the truth of my intentions disclosed you to me. I stood for you on the path of truth among misleading tracks where you met each other but there was no leader and you dug but got no water.”
Without doubt, the people of Quraysh exerted all possible efforts to boycott the Hāshimites in the beginning of the Divine Mission. Nevertheless, the Hāshimites endured and withstood the three-year siege imposed by the Arabs in the Abū-Tālib Col. Then all the Arabs agreed to participate in killing the Holy Prophet so that the Hāshimites would not be able to take revenge. For this reason, the Holy Prophet praised the Hāshimites saying, “They never let me down neither in the pre-Islamic era (i.e. Jāhiliyyah) nor in Islam. In fact, they and we are inseparably the same.” On saying this statement, the Holy Prophet intertwined his fingers.
The Hāshimites thus never separated or disappointed the Holy Prophet; rather they acted as his shelter and armor as they defended him to the last spark of his lifetime.
In the same way as the Arabs allied with each other against the Holy Prophet, they allied with each other to contend and annihilate his household. The schemes for which they had planned during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet were practically expanded and established after him. Except for the Ahl al-Bayt, the people of Quraysh decided the legality of dependence upon personal views in the issuance of religious laws, the legality of personal identifications of the public interest, the legality of exerting efforts for realizing the logics of the religious laws, and the prohibition of recording the Hadīth as well as any issue that would contribute in the spread of the Holy Prophet’s heritage and traditions. Moreover, they decided many such baseless matters. As is known by everybody, all these decisions were carried out practically afterward; the appointment of a successor (in the sense of crown prince) in the Islamic government became legal because they claimed the Holy Prophet’s having not nominated any individual as his successor and because Abū-Bakr nominated his successor; the recordation of the Hadīth became abominable and hateful because `Umar ibn al-Khattāb did not like it and then became permissible because `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Azīz practiced it; and it was decided that Prophethood and leadership of the Islamic State (i.e. Imamate) must not be joined for the same clan and the Messenger of Allah had not left any inheritance because Abū-Bakr and `Umar believed in such. In this respect, it seems possible to quote the following narration,
When `Uthmān ibn `Affān was decided as the caliph after `Umar, al-`Abbās ibn `Abd al-Muttalib said to Imam `Alī, “Did I not tell you (that this would happen)?”
Imam `Alī answered, “O Uncle: You have forgotten a matter! You should have considered the saying of `Umar (ibn al-Khattāb) -that he declared from the minbar (i.e. publicly)- that Almighty Allah would not allow the members of this family (i.e. the Hāshimites) to hold both the Prophethood and the caliphate! I only wanted him to belie his claim with his own words so that the people would realize that `Umar’s claim had been false and untrue and that we (i.e. the Hāshimites) can hold the position of the caliphate.”
Thus, al-`Abbās kept silent.
Had it been true that the Holy Prophet are ordered not to leave any inheritance, why did Abū-Bakr say, “I have handed over the properties, sword, and mule (i.e. riding animal) of the Messenger of Allah to `Alī.”?
Why did the widows of the Holy Prophet demanded Abū-Bakr with giving them their shares of the Holy Prophet’s inheritance?
These questions require urgent answers. In my conception, the misapprehensions have led to common beliefs that are still present in the history and daily lives of the Muslims.
I cannot find a reasonable justification why it was astoundingly surprising that Almighty Allah bestowed upon the family of Muhammad the Book, Wisdom, and a great kingdom while it was not surprising that He had bestowed upon the family of Prophet Abraham these things! In this respect, Almighty Allah has said in the Holy Qur'ān,
“Or do they envy ‘THE PEOPLE’ for what Allah hath given them of His bounty? But We had already given the people of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and conferred upon them a great kingdom.” [Holy Qur’ān: 4/54]
Imam `Alī has said,
“By Allah I swear; the people of Quraysh have hated us for nothing other than that Almighty Allah has preferred us to them and ordered them to follow us.”
As has been previously cited, in his reply to the message of Muhammad ibn Abī-Bakr, Mu`āwiyah said,
“It was your father and his fārūq (i.e. `Umar ibn al-Khattāb) who preceded anyone else in usurping the right of `Alī and in violating him. They had already agreed on and planned to do this...”
In any event, the most important point in this discussion is that the Muslim jurisprudence was certainly inflicted by political motives, and the actual religious laws became ambiguous because of private atmospheres that were fashioned by the ruling authorities and the Opinionist caliphs.
Supporting this fact, Ibn al-`Arabiy, as is recorded in the book of al-I`tisām, says,
Our master scholar, Abū-Bakr and Fihriy, used to raise his hands (to the level of the ears) during the genuflection (Rukū`) of the ritual prayers and when he raised his head after it. This manner has been decided by the Mālikiyyah and Shāfi`iyyah Schools of Muslim jurisprudence. Also, it has been decided by the Shī`ite Muslims. One day, he visited me in the place where I used to deliver my lectures and the time for the Dhuhr Prayer was about to commence. He went forward until he stood in the first line (of the followers of the congregational prayer) while I was sitting on the seashore breathing the pure air due to the hot weather. Abū-Tamnah, a captain, sat next to me along with his sailors waiting for the prayer and looking at the ships there. When Shaykh al-Fihriy raised his hands in the Rukū`, Abū-Tamnah said to his companions, “See how you let this man enter our mosque! Stand up, kill him, and throw him in the sea before anybody would see you.”
As I heard this order, I was terribly terrified. I thus said, “How strange this is! This is al-Tartūshiy! He is a jurisprudent!”
They asked me, “If he is such, why is he raising his hands (during the prayer)?”
I answered, “Thus did the Holy Prophet! And thus has decided the scholars of the Mālikiyyah School according to the narration of the people of al-Madīnah!”
I then tried to keep them quite until the Shaykh finished his prayer. I immediately hurried towards him. When he noticed the pale color of my face, he asked me about the reason and I told him of the whole story.
He then laughed saying, “I will be very lucky if I am killed because of my adherence to one of the traditions of the Holy Prophet!”
I said, “Is it lawful for you to do such? You are among the people who may shed your blood if you do it.”
He then changed the subject.
In this narration, Ibn al-`Arabiy advised his teacher to act upon Taqiyyah (pious dissimulation), while his teacher preferred to be slain for practicing one of the traditions of the Holy Prophet.
It is also appropriate to quote the following words of `Umar ibn al-Khattāb,
“During the time of the Messenger of Allah, people were called to account in the light of the Divine Revelations. Now, because the Divine Revelation has stopped, I will call you to account according to your external deeds. Hence, we will secure and show favor to him who shows us good deed, and we will not consider that which he conceals at all since it is only Almighty Allah Who calls to account for the hidden deeds. In the same way, we will neither secure nor believe him who shows us ill deed even if he claims the virtuousness of his inner self.”
As one of the examples on the political motives’ influence, al-Bukhāriy, as well as Muslim, wrote down, in their books of al-Sahīh, the reports of Marwān ibn al-Hakam, Abū-Sufyān, Mu`āwiyah ibn Abī-Sufyān, `Amr ibn al-`Ās, al-Mughīrah ibn Shu`bah, `Abdullāh ibn `Amr ibn al-`Ās, and Nu`mān ibn Bashīr, but they did not write down a single narration from Imam al-Hasan or Imam al-Husayn, the grandsons of the Holy Prophet; and they did not write down a single narration from Imam Ja`far al-Sādiq although they lived in the same age of him.
Herein, the names of those whose narrations were written down by al-Bukhāriy more than others are listed: Abū-Hurayrah, `Ā'ishah, `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, `Abdullāh ibn `Umar, and `Abdullāh ibn `Amr ibn al-`Ās. More detailed, al-Bukhāriy wrote down 446 narrations from Abū-Hurayrah, 270 from `Abdullāh ibn `Umar, and 442 from `Ā'ishah. From Lady Fātimah al-Zahrā', the daughter of the Holy Prophet, al-Bukhāriy narrated one narration only; and from Imam `Alī, he narrated twenty-nine narrations only. Let us thus put the following question:
Why has the al-Bukhāriy’s book of al-Sahīh included a very little number of Imam `Alī’s narrations (29 only) if compared with the narrations of Abū-Hurayrah (446)? Were Abū-Hurayrah or `Abdullāh ibn `Amr ibn al-`Ās closer and more favorite to the Holy Prophet than `Alī ibn Abī-Tālib? Was `Alī one of the Sahābah whom were described by Abū-Hurayrah as having been engaged in making deals in the marts rather than attending the sessions of the Holy Prophet?
Naturally, the answer is no.
In fact, the reason is something else. The reason is that the Qurayshite spirit held sway over the religious laws!
It has been narrated that, after accomplishing the matter of the new leadership on the Shūrā Day, al-Miqdād ibn al-Aswad said to `Abd al-Rahmān ibn `Awf, “You have neglected `Alī while he is most certainly one of those who judge with the right do justice in the light of truth.”
`Abd al-Rahmān answered, “By Allah, I have only exerted all my efforts for the sake of the Muslims’ good.”
Al-Miqdād replied, “I have never seen anybody given the like of what has been given to this Household after their Prophet. I am very surprised by the people of Quraysh! They have neglected the man who is the most knowledgeable and the fairest judge. By Allah, if only I could find supporters in this matter!”
`Abd al-Rahmān said, “Fear Allah, Miqdād! I only anticipate that you are leading a mutiny.”
One of the attendants asked al-Miqdād, “May Allah have mercy upon you! Who are the members of that Household? And who is that man?”
Al-Miqdād answered, “The Household are the descendants of `Abd al-Muttalib; and the man is `Alī ibn Abī-Tālib.”
The Holy Prophet is reported to have said during the sermon of the Farewell Hajj: “O People: Take the (governmental) donations so long as they are actual donations; but when the people of Quraysh fight each other for coming to power and give you such donations as bribes, then you should not take.”
Comparison Between The Two Trends
On balance, the separating edge between the two trends was the negligence of the Hadīth and the reference to the Holy Qur'ān alone. Declaring this decision, Abū-Bakr said, “Do not report anything from the Messenger of Allah. If one asks you about it, you should say: only does the Holy Qur'ān stand between you and us.”
The following points demonstrate some of the points of difference between the two schools:
1) The School of Ijtihād has believed that the Holy Prophet had the right to practice Ijtihād and decide verdicts depending upon his personal views, while the School of Thorough Compliance (or the School of the Ahl al-Bayt) denied such claim since it has been based upon fancy; and there is a great difference between fancy and conjecture on one side and certitude and conviction on the other.
2) The School of Ijtihād has claimed that the Holy Prophet did not nominate any successor, while the School of Thorough Compliance confirms that he nominated `Alī and his progeny as his successors and divinely commissioned leaders of the Muslim community.
3) The School of Ijtihād and the people of Quraysh prohibited the Muslims from writing down the traditions of the Holy Prophet, while the School of the Ahl al-Bayt practiced and called for it despite all the circumstances.
4) The School of Ijtihād has claimed that the Holy Qur'ān should be alone adopted and should not be confused by any other material, while the School of the Ahl al-Bayt confirmed that each text of the Holy Qur'ān can carry more than one meaning and can be interpreted into more than one sense; therefore, its facts and details cannot be comprehended except through the Holy Sunnah as well as the exegesis of those whom Almighty Allah has given exclusively the knowledge of the Holy Qur'ān.
5) The School of Ijtihād has not accepted resting upon the Holy Qur'ān in examining the opinions and words of the Sahābah; rather it has believed the Sahābah’s words’ being restricting the general meanings of the Holy Qur'ān! On the other hand, the School of the Ahl al-Bayt has called for the obligatory necessity of resting upon the Holy Qur'ān in deciding the acceptability of the Sahābah’s words and then whatever opposes the Holy Qur'ān must be thrown away. In this regard, the Holy Infallibles are reported to have said, “If I relate to you anything, you should first ask me for a proof from the Holy Qur'ān.”
“Refer all my word to the Holy Qur'ān; if they conform to it, then you should accept it, but if it does not, you should then throw it away.”
6) The School of Ijtihād has believed that all the religious laws deduced by the mujtahids must be decided as valid, while the School of the Ahl al-Bayt has believed that a mujtahid may be right or wrong.
7) The School of Ijtihād has canceled decency and justness as one of the stipulations in many religious laws, such as judicature, and even acts of worship. It has thus decided that it is lawful to follow, in a congregational prayer, any imām (leader) whether he is pious or wicked! On the other hand, the School of the Ahl al-Bayt has not acceded to such laws.
 This form has been mentioned in the report ascribed to Abū-Sa`īd al-Khidriy. See al-Khatīb al-Baghdādiy: Taqyīd al-`Ilm 30-31; Sahīh Muslim—Kitāb al-Zuhd 16:3 H. 21, 39.
 Subhiy al-Sālih: Ulūm al-Hadīth wa Mustalahuh 7-9; Muhammad `Ajjāj al-Khatīb: al-Sunnah qabl al-Tadwīn 53.
 Mustafā al-A`dhamiy: Dirāsātun fi’l-Hadīth al-Nubawiy, 82.
 Ibn Sa`d: al-Tabaqāt al-Kubrā 2 :361.
 The entire narration is written down in Ibn `Abd al-Rabb al-Qurtubiy: Jāmi`u Bayān al-`Ilm wa-Fadlih(i) 2:144.
 Ibn `Abd al-Rabb al-Qurtubiy: Jāmi`u Bayān al-`Ilm wa-Fadlih(i) 2:31. The words of Dr. Muhammad al-Khatīb are quoted from his book of ‘al-Sunnah Qabl al-Tadwīn 323-324.
 Subhiy al-Sālih: Ulūm al-Hadīth wa Mustalahuh 34.
 Al-Khatīb al-Baghdādiy: Taqyīd al-`Ilm 57.
 Muhammad `Ajjāj al-Khatīb: al-Sunnah qabl al-Tadwīn 324.
 For instance, refer to Ibn `Abd al-Rabb al-Qurtubiy: Jāmi`u Bayān al-`Ilm wa-Fadlih(i) 1:74, and al-Khatīb al-Baghdādiy: Taqyīd al-`Ilm 64.
 Dalā'il al-Tawthiq al-Mubakkir 239 as mentioned in Sayyid Muhammad Ridā al-Jalāliy: Tadwīn al-Sunnah al-Sharīfah 288.
 Ibn Abi’l-Hadīd: Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah 12:53.
 Al-Majlisiy: Bihār al-Anwār 31:371.
 Ibn Abi’l-Hadīd: Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah 1:249.
 Ibn Abi’l-Hadīd: Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah 3:67.
 Nahj al-Balāghah Sermon No. 216.
 Nahj al-Balāghah Sermon No. 149.
 Ibn Abi’l-Hadīd: Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah 11:43-44.
 Nahj al-Balāghah Sermon No. 88.
 Nahj al-Balāghah Sermon No. 121.
 Nahj al-Balāghah Sermon No. 2.
 Nahj al-Balāghah Sermon No. 4.
 Sunan al-Nassā’iy 7:131; Sunan Abī-Dāwūd 3:146, H. 2980.
 Shaykh al-Sadūq: `Ilal al-Sharā'i` 171, Chapter: 134, H. 1; Shaykh al-Majlisiy: Bihār al-Anwār 31:355.
 For details, see, for instance, Ibn Abi’l-Hadīd: Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah 16:240.
 Al-Qāsim ibn Muhammad: al-I`tisām bi-Habl-illāh al-Matīn 1:358.
 Muhammad `Ajjāj al-Khatīb: al-Sunnah qabl al-Tadwīn 403 as quoted from al-kifāyah 78.
 Tārīkh al-Tabariy; Ibn al-Athīr: al-Kāmil fī’l-Tārīkh 3:37 (Story of the Shūrā).
 Sunan Abī-Dāwūd 3:137 H. 2958.
 The majority of the Muslim jurisprudents, especially the Shī`ah Imāmiyyah scholars, have adopted th conception of the ‘Mukhatti’ah’, which means that a mujtahid may be right or wrong; when his conclusion is right (i.e. conforming to the actual law of Almighty Allah), he will be awarded a double reward, and when his conclusion is wrong, he will be awarded once only. The adopters of this conception also believe that the Islamic legislation comprises rulings for each and every event and a proof on such rulings can be found in sources other than the Holy Qur'ān and Sunnah. On the other hand, those who belong to the School of Ijtihād have adopted the conception of Taswīb.In the terminology of the Muslim jurisprudence and the Principles of the Muslim Jurisprudence (`Ilm al-Usūl), al-Musawwibah (the adopters of Taswīb) are those who argue that Almighty Allah has referred the rulings in the questions about which no sacred text (from the Holy Qur'ān and Sunnah) can be found to the mujtahids and thus whatever is decided by the mujtahids should be decided as the law of Almighty Allah.
The Establishment of the Two Trends during the Umayyad Reign
When they noticed that the adopters of the thorough compliance with the sacred texts would not stop recording the Hadīth despite of the many endeavors to wipe out the features of this matter, the Opinionists and the adopters of the legality of Ijtihād understood the necessity of humoring this trend and providing something for them in this regard so that they would not face any future problem as regards the legislation, since the postponement of the recordation of the Hadīth would result in its loss and extinction. As a consequence, the supporters of the School of Ijtihād exerted all efforts in finding the substitute by which they would face the School of the Thorough Compliance. Hushām ibn `Abd al-Malik (or `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Azīz), the Umayyad ruler, ordered Ibn Shihāb al-Zuhriy (died in AH 124) to write down the Holy Sunnah.
The Caliphs And The Recordation Of Hadīth
It has been narrated on the authority of Mu`ammar that Ibn Shihāb al-Zuhriy said,
“We disliked recordation of the knowledge (of Hadīth) until we were forced by those rulers. We thus decided not to prevent any of the Muslims from it.”
According to another narration, al-Zuhriy said,
“As the kings ordered me to write down the Sunnah, I did. I then felt embarrassed before Almighty Allah and thus decided to write it to the others in the same way as I had written to the kings.”
According to a third narration Abu’l-Malīh said,
“We had not have the courage to write down the knowledge of the Hadīth before al-Zuhriy until he was compelled to write down for Hushām (ibn `Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad ruler). As al-Zuhriy wrote for the sons of Hushām, the people could write down the Hadīth.”
It has been also narrated that after he had opposed Hushām ibn al-Hakam, Ibn Shihāb al-Zuhriy became his clerk; he thus accompanied him to the Hajj and became the teacher of his sons.
It is undeniable that all those who prohibited the recordation of the Hadīth during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet belonged to the tribe of Quraysh. This fact makes us doubt the soundness, spontaneity, and sincerity of the caliphs’ intentions as regards this matter. In the past, those people of Quraysh prevented `Abdullāh ibn `Amr ibn al-`Ās from writing down the words of the Holy Prophet during his lifetime. Their situations from the Hadīth during the reigns of `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, `Uthmān ibn `Affān, and Mu`āwiyah ibn Abī-Sufyān were very clear; they, without any hesitation, backed these rulers as regards the prohibition from recording the Hadīth. In addition, the situations of Abū-Sufyān and Mu`āwiyah, his son, against the Holy Prophet and the Divine Message encourages us to doubt the rulers’ intentions as regards the recordation of the Hadīth.
As soon as `Uthmān ibn `Affān came to power, Abū-Sufyān visited the tomb of Hamzah -the Holy Prophet’s uncle and the master of martyrs- and kicked it with his foot saying,
“See, Abū-`Imārah! The matter for which you had unsheathed your sword against us has now become in the hands of our boys who are playing with it as they like!”
The following narration has been reported by al-Mughīrah: When Mu`āwiyah visited al-Kūfah, al-Mughīrah pleased him to stop persecuting the Hāshimites lest he would be mentioned badly in the future. Answering him, Mu`āwiyah said,
“Too far and impossible is this! What sort of mention that I wish for myself in the future? When the son of (the tribe of) Taym (namely Abū-Bakr) came to power, he ruled justly and did what he had done; but as soon as he perished, his mention died with him, except that there may exist an individual who says, ‘Abū-Bakr was so-and-so!’ Then the son of (the tribe of) `Adiy (namely `Umar ibn al-Khattāb) came to power, tried his best, and ruled for ten years. As soon as he perished, his mention died with him, except that there may exist an individual who says, ‘`Umar was so-and-so!’ On the contrary, the name of the son of Abū-Kabshah (i.e. the Holy Prophet) is declared loudly five times a day! (i.e. I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) Which deed will then perpetuate and which mention will remain after that? Woe to you! Work on burying this mention!”
It has been also narrated that when Mu`āwiyah arrived in al-Kūfah, he declared,
“I have not fought you to make you perform the prayers, observe the fasting, carry out the Hajj, or defray the Zakāt! I have already known that you are doing these deeds; rather I have fought you in order to domineer over you.”
How is it then logic to refer in the religious laws to such a source about whom the Holy Prophet had a bad impression or such people who had taken such a unenthusiastic situation from the Divine Message? Moreover, some of these people had been accursed by the Holy Prophet by names! These individuals had endeavored to sow the seeds of dispersion among the Muslims and had led many conspiracies and trickeries against the Holy Prophet; how is it then logic to trust their reports or to put in their hands the treasuries of the Holy Sunnah?
It has been narrated that Bashīr al-`Adawiy came to `Abdullāh ibn `Abbās and reported many Hadīths one after another, while the latter neglected him totally. Having found that very strange, he asked Ibn `Abbās, “What for are you paying no attention to my words. I am reporting to you from the Messenger of Allah and you are ignoring me!”
`Abdullāh ibn `Abbās answered, “In the past, we used to open our eyes and ears to listen to any word reported from the Messenger of Allah. However, when people from all classes and levels broke into this field, we listened to none except those whom we know (as trustworthy).”
Because the policy of the Umayyad rulers was based upon distortion and terrorism, the reporters of Hadīth and the Prophetic traditions could not open their mouths with the facts, which were obviously apparent before everybody. For instance, it has been narrated that Hushām ibn `Abd al-Malik ordered Ibn Shihāb al-Zuhriy to claim that the verse of the Holy Qur'ān that reads,
“And to him who took on himself the lead among them will be a penalty grievous,” [Holy Qur’ān: 24/11]
was revealed about `Alī! On the other side, it has been also narrated that the same Ibn Shihāb al-Zuhriy, having related to Mu`ammar a Hadīth about the virtue and merits of Imam `Alī, asked him to conceal this Hadīth as much as he could, for the Umayyad ruling authorities would never excuse anyone revealing one of the merits of Imam `Alī. Mu`ammar then wondered, “So long as you know this fact about them, why have you supported them and stood in their line against the other party?”
Al-Zuhriy answered, “Stop this! The Umayyad rulers have given us shares in their fortunes and thus we have had to accede to their fancies.”
In his missive to Muhammad ibn Muslim al-Zuhriy, Imam `Alī ibn al-Husayn (Zayn al-`Ābidīn) presented the actual manner of the man who had fallen in the trap of the ruling authorities bringing about many impasses to himself. This immortal missive reads,
Allah save you and us from seditious matters and guard you against the Fire (of Hell) out of His mercy. You have been enjoying a state due to which it is serving for anyone who knows you to show compassion to you. You have been overburdened with the graces of Allah Who has given you a good physical health and a long age. Furthermore, He has constituted His claims against you when He charged you with the responsibility of His Book, made you understand His religion, introduced to you the traditions of His Prophet Muhammad. He has also imposed upon you a responsibility in every favor that He has done to you and every claim that He has instituted against you. He has tested your gratitude in every matter that He has done to you and every grace through which He has shown His favors to you. He says:
‘If you give thanks, I shall give you greater favors, but if you show ingratitude, know that My retribution is severe.’ [Holy Qur’ān: 14:7]
Consider to which party you will be added when you will (inevitably) stand before Allah Who will ask you about His graces; how you acted upon them, and about His claims; how you treated them. Never think that Allah will accept your unjustifiable excuses or will be satisfied with your negligence. Too far is that! Too far is that! It is definitely not in that manner. Allah has ordered the scholars to convey His knowledge to people and not to hide any part of it in His Book when He said:
‘When Allah made a covenant with the People of the Book saying: Tell the people about it without hiding any part?’ [Holy Qur’ān: 3:187]
You should know that the least of concealing knowledge and the lightest burden is to entertain the estrangement of an unjust person and pave the way of seduction to him through responding to him when he sought your nearness and called upon you. I am too afraid that you will acknowledge your sins with the betrayers tomorrow and will be asked about whatever you have gotten due to your supporting the unjust in oppression, since you have taken the gift that was not yours, you have been close to him who did not give back anyone’s right, you have not rejected a wrongdoing when he approached you, and you have responded to him who antagonized Allah.
As the unjust ones invited you, they make you the axis of the hand-mill of their wrongdoings, the bridge on which they cross to their misfortunes, and the stairs to their deviation. You have been the propagandist of their temptation when you took their courses. They have employed you as the means through which they aroused doubts against the scholars and dragged the hearts of the ignorant to them. The best one in their government and the most powerful of them could not achieve success like that which you have attained through showing their corrupt affairs as honest and attracting the attentions of the celebrities as well as the ordinary people to you.
If you compare what you have done to them with what they have given to you, you will find it too little. Likewise, they have built for you very trivial thing while they ruined your great things.
Look in yourself, for no one will look in you except you yourself, and maintain judgment with yourself as if you are the judge.
Look into your gratitude to Him Who nourished you with His graces when you were little and when you became old. I am too afraid you will be one of those about whom Allah says in His Book:
‘Their descendants who inherited the Book gained by bribery only worthless things from the worldly life saying, We shall be forgiven for what we have done.’ [Holy Qur’ān: 7:169]
You are not living in a permanent abode; you are in a temporary house that you will leave soon. How does a man stay after the departure of his matches? Blessed be those who are fearful of this world. How miserable those who die and leave their sins after them are!
Beware; you have been told. Take the initiative; you have been respited. You are dealing with Him Who is never ignorant. He who counts your deeds is never remiss. Supply yourself (with the necessary provisions); the long journey is approaching you. Correct your guilt; it has been inflicted by a cureless malady.
Do not think that I wanted only to censure, reproach, and dishonor you. I only wanted Allah to revive the opinions that you have missed and give you back your religious affairs that you have lost. This is because I remembered Allah’s saying:
“Keep on reminding them. This benefits the believers.” [Holy Qur’ān: 51:55]
You neglected the reference to your old men and friends who passed away while you remained after them like a hornless sheep.
See whether they had suffered what you suffered or faced what you faced. Had they neglected a good-deed that you did or had they been unaware of something that you retained?
The only difference between you and them is that you have occupied a distinctive standing in people’s minds that they have been pursuing your opinions and carrying out your orders. They deem lawful anything that you deem lawful and deem unlawful anything that you deem unlawful. You are not fit enough for so. It is, in fact, the departure of their scholars, the prevalence of ignorance upon them and you, the fondness of leadership, and the seeking of the worldly pleasures that they, as well as you, enjoy—these matters made them overcome you through their desire to gain what you have in possession.
Can you not feel the ignorance and deception that you live, while people are indulging into misfortunes and sedition? You have exposed them to misfortunes and tempted them by precluding them from their earnings because of what they have seen from you. Hence, they longed for attaining the level of knowledge that you have attained or obtaining, through it, what you have obtained. They therefore have drowned in a bottomless ocean and an immeasurable misfortune. May Allah give you and us. He is the One Whose help is sought.
So then, leave all that in which you are engaged so that you may catch up with the virtuous ones whom were buried with their tatters while their bellies were stuck to their backs. No screen was put between Allah and them. The worldly pleasures could not charm them and they paid no attention to them (such pleasures). They longed for (Allah), sought (Him), and soon caught up (with Him).
If this world makes you in such a manner, while you are attaining such an age, enjoying such a deep-rooted knowledge, and being so near of death, how can then a juvenile be saved (against the worldly pleasures), while he is ignorant, weak-minded, and brainless? We are Allah’s and to Him we will return. Upon whom should we depend? Whom should we blame? We should only complain of our grief and what are we suffering to Allah. We only charge our misfortune about you to Allah’s account.
Look into your gratitude to Him Who nourished you with His graces when you were little and when you became old, your magnifying Him Who makes you handsome among people through His religion, your preserving the dress of Him Who covered you up among people through His dress, and your closeness or remoteness from Him Who ordered you to come near and be modest to Him.
Why do you not wake up from your slumber, and reform yourself after your stumble? You should have said: By Allah I swear, I have not done any act for the sake of Allah and for stimulating one of the rites of His religion or terminating one of the wrong customs.
Do you show gratitude to Him Who settled all your needs in this way?
I am too afraid you are one of those about whom Allah the Exalted says: ‘They neglected their prayers and followed their worldly desires. They will certainly be lost.’ [Holy Qur’ān: 19:59]
Allah has ordered you to carry His Book and deposited His knowledge with you, but you have wasted them both. We thank Allah Who has saved us from that with which He has inflicted you.”
It has been also narrated that Mu`āwiyah ibn Abī-Sufyān bribed Samarah ibn Jundub with four hundred thousand dirhams for he had fabricated a report that the verse of the Holy Qur'ān that reads,
“And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah: And Allah is full of kindness to (His) devotees,” [Holy Qur’ān: 2/207]
was revealed to express the manner of `Abd al-Rahmān ibn Muljim, the murderer of Imam `Alī ibn Abī-Tālib!
In view of that, the fabrication of reports was not an offensive deed during the reign of Mu`āwiyah nor did the people at that time fear Almighty Allah or observe their duties to Him as they had gone on fabricating reports and accusing other authentic ones of being fabricated. In this respect, al-Madā'iniy says,
“Too many fabricated reports and circulated awful calumny came to surface. Unfortunately, the jurisprudents, judges, and governmental officials accepted and pursued these fabricated narrations. The hypocritical qurrā' (reciters of the Holy Qur'ān) and the poor people who had pretended themselves pious and religious were the foremost in fabricating and ascribing reports falsely to the Holy Prophet in order to gain prizes from the ruling authorities, to be honored by them, and to gain money, lands, and houses as gifts from the government. Unfortunately, such fabricated reports reached at the hands of pious men who—although they had never accepted fabrication and calumny— acknowledged and spread them thinking of them as true. Had they known the falsity of these reports, they would certainly have never related or adhered to them.”
“With the elapse of the reign of the Rāshidite Caliphs, the caliphate went to a people who overpowered the Muslim community unworthily while they were not acquainted with the knowledge of the religious laws. As a result, these rulers had to seek the aid of the fuqahā (jurisprudents) and to have them accompanied them on all occasions. The remainders of the genuine scholars attempted to escape and reject whenever they were summoned for undertaking this mission. As the peoples of these ages, save the religious scholars, witnessed how the genuine scholars escaped whenever they were summoned for such tasks, they sought to learn the religious knowledge no matter what the price would be so that they would attain such positions. Hence, the new religious scholar began to inquire about such position after the genuine scholars had been urgently called for holding them and, similarly, the new generations of the scholars became so humiliated owing to their advancing to the rulers after the genuine scholars had been honorable owing to their turning away from the rulers… etc.”
Al-Makkiy, in Manāqib al-Imām Abū-Hanīfah 1:171, has narrated the following,
Abū-Hanīfah said, “I, once, was summoned by one of the Umayyad family (or ruling authorities) to answer a jurisprudential question. In this very question, I believe that the most authentic answer was the saying of `Alī—may Allah be pleased with him—and I myself have acted upon this saying in my religious affairs. Hence, I began to ask myself what I should do to save myself from that trouble! I finally decided to be honest with that Umayyad individual and give him the very answer in which I believed.” Of course, this was because the Umayyads had neither issued verdicts according to `Alī’s sayings nor had they accepted him... In that age (i.e. the Umayyad reign), the name of `Alī was not mentioned at all. The master scholars used to say, “the Shaykh says” as an indication to him. The Umayyad ruling authorities prevented the people from calling the name of `Alī to their newborns otherwise, misfortune would inflict anyone who would violate such order.
It has been also narrated that Yūnus ibn `Ubayd asked al-Hasan al-Basriy how he always ascribed sayings to the Holy Prophet while he had not lived in his age. Al-Hasan al-Basriy answered,
“You are asking me about a matter that nobody before you had ever asked. Except for your close relationship with me, I should never answer you. We are living in an age that you know (It was the reign of al-Hajjāj). Therefore, whenever you hear me saying ‘The Holy Prophet said,’ you should know that I mean `Alī ibn Abī-Tālib. This is because we are living in an age when I cannot mention the name of `Alī.”
Al-Shi`biy is also reported as saying,
“We have actually suffered very much because of the family of Abū-Tālib; if we love them, we will be slain, and if we hate them, we will be in Hellfire!”
Shaykh Abū-Ja`far al-Iskāfiy is also reported as saying,
“Mu`āwiyah ibn Abī-Sufyān employed a number of the Sahābah and another number of the Tābi`ūn to fabricated offensive reports against (Imam) `Alī in order to encourage people to speak evil of him and to disavow him. For achieving so, Mu`āwiyah gave those terribly seductive prizes. They therefore fabricated many reports that pleased Mu`āwiyah. Among these Sahābah were Abū-Hurayrah, `Amr ibn al-`Ās, and al-Mughīrah ibn Shu`bah; and from the Tābi`ūn was `Urwah ibn al-Zubayr.”
Ibn `Arafah, known as Niftawayh, is also reported as saying,
“The majority of the Hadīths declaring the merits of the Sahābah were fabricated during the reigns of the Umayyad rulers. Those who had fabricated such reports intended to curry favor with these rulers through such fabricated matters thinking that they would put down the Hāshimites.”
These situations and their likes made Imam Muhammad al-Bāqir declare,
“The peoples are causing us a great misfortune! If we invited them (to join us), they would not respond; and if we leave them, they will never be guided to the right through anyone except us.”
Imam `Alī ibn al-Husayn is also reported as saying,
“You kept fabricating forgeries against us until the people began to hate us.”
In one of his famous Supplications, Imam `Alī ibn al-Husayn says,
“O Allah, this station belongs to Thy vicegerents, Thy chosen, while the places of Thy trusted ones in the elevated degree which Thou hast singled out for them have been forcibly stripped! But Thou art the Ordainer of that —Thy command is not overcome, the inevitable in Thy governing is not overstepped! However Thou willest and whenever Thou willest! In that which Thou knowest best, Thou art not accused for Thy creation or Thy will! Then Thy selected friends, Thy vicegerents, were overcome, vanquished, forcibly stripped; they see Thy decree replaced, Thy Book discarded, Thy obligations distorted from the aims of Thy laws, and the Sunnah of Thy Prophet abandoned!”
Explaining the discrepancy of the Muslims, Imam `Alī ibn al-Husayn said,
“What will they (i.e. the Muslim community) do after they have violated those who (legally) issue orders, and they have missed the age of the true guides, and they have been following their own impressions, plunging into deviant matters in the midst of murks?
Some sects of this ummah have adopted for themselves (as belief) the violation of the leaders (i.e. Imams) of the Religion and the Tree of Prophethood -the choicest of the religious-. They have thus deceived themselves with the trickeries of monkery, and have exaggerated in the sciences (of the religion), and have described Islam with its best qualities, and have decorated themselves with the best Sunnah; but when the time was prolonged for them and the distance seemed too far for them and they were tried by the same ordeals of the truthful ones, they turned back on their heels missing the path of true guidance and the emblem of redemption.
Other sects went as far as underestimating us, making excuses for the Qur'ānic verses which seem to them to be alike (i.e. the allegorical verses), giving their own interpretation thereof, and casting doubts about the transmitted narrations in our honor. They thus hurled themselves into the depths of the spurious matters and the darkest spots of gloom without any torch from the illumination of the Book (i.e. the Holy Qur'ān) or any tradition from the cores of knowledge. Nevertheless, they have claimed following the very true guidance. With whom shall people in this nation seek refuge, since the pillars of this creed have been forgotten and the nation has divided upon itself with dissension, each party accusing the other of atheism, while Almighty Allah says,
‘Do not be like those who became divided and disagreed with each other even after receiving the Clear Evidences.’ [Holy Qur’ān: 3:104]
Who can be trusted to convey the Divine proofs and interpret the Judgment other than the peers of the Qur’ān and the descendants of the Imams of Guidance, the lamps amidst the darkness, those whom Allah made as His Arguments against His servants? He has never left His creation alone without a Proof. Do you know them or find them except from the branches of the Blessed Tree, the remnant of the Elite from whom Allah has removed all impurity, purifying them with a perfect purification, clearing them from sinning and decreeing their love in His Book?”
When a man disputed with him about the ruling of a religious question, Imam `Alī ibn al-Husayn said to him,
“Listen! If you come with me to my house, I will show you the traces of (Archangel) Gabriel on our furniture. Will there be anyone more knowledgeable with the Prophet’s traditions more than we are?”
He is further reported to have said,
“Verily, the religion of Almighty Allah cannot be understood through the imperfect intellects, the fake opinions, and the baseless analogies. Rather, it is only understood through the thorough submission (to Almighty Allah). Hence, he who submits to us will have been saved, and he who follows us will have been guided to the true path, while he who acts upon analogies and personal opinions will have perished.”
Indeed, distortion has been one of the ordeals of the Islamic community. In his book of Tārīkh al-Madhāhib al-Islāmiyyah pp. 285-286, Ibn Zuhrah writes down the following,
“The Umayyad ruling authorities must have had a hand in the disappearance of the majority of (Imam) `Alī’s verdicts and judgments. It is unreasonable that while they cursed (Imam) `Alī publicly from the minbars and, in the same time, they allowed the scholars to mention his knowledge or to report his verdicts and sayings especially those related to the basis of the Islamic government.”
To dive into the details of this fact requires many big books and volumes; rather let us be sufficed with the following statement of Ibn al-Athīr in order to be acquainted with what had happened to those who wrote down the religious knowledge, or the heritage of the Holy Prophet, during the age of al-Hajjāj ibn Yūsuf al-Thaqafiy,
“Al-Hajjāj ibn Yūsuf al-Thaqafiy, the governor of Iraq in the Umayyad dynasty, stamped on the arm of Jābir ibn `Abdullāh al-Ansāriy and on the necks of Sahl ibn Sa`d al-Sā`idiy and Anas ibn Mālik in order to humiliate them and to make the publics stay away and not to hear from them.”
 Al-Khatīb al-Baghdādiy: Taqyīd al-`Ilm 107; Ibn Sa`d: al-Tabaqāt al-Kubrā 2:389; Ibn Kathīr: al-Bidāyah wa’l-Nihāyah 9:341.
 Ibn `Abd al-Rabb al-Qurtubiy: Jāmi`u Bayān al-`Ilm wa-Fadlih(i) 1:77.
 Abū-Na`īm: Hilyat al-Awliyā’ 3:363; Ibn Kathir: al-Bidāyah wa’l-Nihāyah 9:345 as is mentioned in al-Riwāyah al-Tārīkhiyyah 107.
 Mahmūd Abū-Rayyah: Adwā’un `Ala’l-Sunnah al-Muhammadiyyah 260.
 Ibn Abi’l-Hadīd: Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah 16:136.
 Al-Zubayr ibn Bakkār: al-Muwaffaqiyyāt 576-577; al-Mas`ūdiy: Murūj al-Dhahab 3:454; Muhammad ibn `Aqīl: al-Nasā'ih al-Kāfiyah 116; Ibn Abi’l-Hadīd: Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah 9:338; Al-Nawawiy: Commentary on Muslim’s al-Sahīh 1:81; al-Tabariy: al-Mustarshid 174.
 Ibn al-Maghāziliy: Manāqib `Alī 142 No. 186.
 Al-Nawawiy: Commentary on Muslim’s al-Sahīh 1:81.
 Ibn al-Maghāziliy: Manāqib `Alī 124 H. 186.
 Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrāniy: Tuhaf al-`Uqūl 198.
 Ibn Abi’l-Hadīd: Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah 4:73.
 Ibn Abi’l-Hadīd: Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah 4:59.
 Al-Dahlawiy: Risālat al-Insāf.
 This statement has been quoted by Asad Haydar in his famous book of ‘al-Imām al-Sādiq wa’l-Madhāhib al-Arba`ah’ 1:396.
 Jamāl al-Dīn al-Muzziy: Tahdhīb al-Kamāl, 6:124.
 Ibn Qutaybah: `Uyūn al-Akhbār 2: 112 as mentioned in al-Imām al-Sādiq wa’l-Madhāhib al-Arba`ah by Asad Haydar 1:397.
 Ibn Abi’l-Hadīd: Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah 4:63; al-Basyawiy: al-Ma`rifah wa’l-Tārīkh (Chapter: Biography of Abū-Hurayrah).
 Muhammad ibn `Aqīl: al-Nasā'ih al-Kāfiyah 89; Ibn Abi’l-Hadīd: Sharh Nahj al-Balāghah 11:46.
 Al-Sahīfah al-Sajjādiyyah, Du`ā' No. 8.
 Al-Arbaliy: Kashf al-Ghummah 2:98-99.
 Al-Halawāniy: Nuzhat al-Nādhir 45.
 Shaykh al-Sadūq: Ikmāl al-Dīn 9:31 H. 324
 Ibn al-Athīr: Usd al-Ghābah fī Ma`rifat al-Sahābah 2:472 (Biography of Sahl ibn Sa`d).
The Prohibition of Recording the Hadith, Causes and Effects
A Glance at the Methodologies and Principles of the two Muslims Schools of Hadith
By: Sayyid Ali Al-Shahristani