The Prophetic Traditions (Sunnah) in the School of the Ahlul-Bait

It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said:
May Allah prosper the person who heard my saying, memorized it, comprehended it and retold it (to others) as he had heard it, since a carrier of knowledge may not be a scholar and perhaps one may transport knowledge to a more learned one.”(38)
The Prophetic tradition means the specific actions, sayings and the declarations (confirmations)* of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).
Allah, the Almighty ordered us to follow the Prophet (s.a.w.) and practise his traditions (sunnah) by saying:
…whatever the Apostle gives you accept it, and whatever he forbids you abstain (from it).
Holy Qur’an (59:7)
Certainly you have in the Apostle of Allah an excellent examplar for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day…
Holy Qur’an (33:21)
…and If you have a dispute concerning any matter refer it to Allah and the Apostle.
Holy Qur’an (4:59)
*- Taqrir in Arabic means “confirmation”. it is a declaration, approval and signature and means that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), himself had a witness for the actions practised by the Muslims but, did not forbid them.
These divine instructions were strictly adhered to by the Ahlul-Bait and those who followed their radiant path and advocated sincere adherance to the Book of Allah and the Prophetic sunnah in interpretation, narration, jurisprudence, legislation and ideology and other Islamic knowledge and sciences.
Thus, the Prophetic sunnah is the second source among the sources of thought and legislation on which the Muslims depended for judgement, laws and values.
Most of the Shari’ah laws, and their concepts were not clearly detailed in the Book of Allah like the laws concerning the paying of poor-rate (zakat), prayer, wealth, holy struggle (jihad), family, and international relations and others.
Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) started explaining them and clarifying their rules to the Muslims through his sayings and actions. He (s.a.ws) told the Imams of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) to return to the Qur’an and the Prophetic traditions as two main sources for explaining Islamic laws and rules and to refuse analogy, opinion, approval and other sources upon which some jurists of Islamic sects depended in their inductions and inferences.
It is narrated that Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
Never is there anything but that is mentioned either in the Book of Allah or in the Prophetic tradition.”(39)
Sama’ah asked Imam Musa bin Ja’far: “I said to him: ‘Is everything found in the Book of Allah and the tradition of His Prophet (s.a.w.); or do you comment on them?’ He (a.s.) replied: ‘Yes, all things are found in the Book of Allah and the sunnah of His Prophet ‘”.(40)
Narrated Imam Ali bin Musa al-Ridha (a.s.) said:
Do not accept any saying (relating them to us) which disagrees with the Qur’an; surely our sayings should agree with the Qur’an and the Prophetic traditions; we speak either quoting them from Allah or His Messenger.”(41)
It is narrated that Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
Do not accept any narrative related to us unless they agree with the Qur’an and the sunnah.”(42)
Indeed the Imams of Ahlul-Bait memorized the Prophetic traditions quoting them from their fathers who quote them from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and called people to write them down from the period (of rule) of Ali and his son Hasan (a.s.) while the caliphs forbid the writing down of the sunnah and they continued so till the period of Umar bin Abdul-Aziz(43) who ordered, again, to write down the Prophetic traditions in the year of 99 A.H.(44)
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
My narration is my father’s, and my father’s is my grandfather’s, and my grandfather’s is his father’s, and his; father’s is the narrative of Ali bin Abi Talib, and the narrative of Ali is the narrative of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), and the narrative of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), is the words of Allah. the Exalted.”(45)
The Imams of Ahlul-Bait were those who comprehended and understood the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, memorized, narrated them to others, and explained their contents to the Muslim nation.
Scholarly Methods for Proving the true Sunnah:
In order to distinguish the true narratives (sunnah) from the interpolated and false ones, the scholars of the school of Ahlul-Bait placed some scholarly and ideological bases and measures for proving true sunnah. The most prominant of them are:
1. Any hadith (the Prophet’s sayings) should be checked with the Book of Allah to see whether it is correct or not. If it conforms with the Qur’an, then, it is of true hadith, but, if it contradicts the divine text, then it is a false one.
2. All hadiths mentioned in the books of hadith, disregarding the reliability of their narrators, should be checked and investigated by the scholars in order to be sure of the reliability of the narrator and his truthfulness.
3. The scholars should not accept any narration unless their narrators are described by piety and truthfulness, disregarding the sect or the group to which the narrator belonged.
Therefore, the method of the jurists of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) is not to view a book of hadith as completely correct or as completely false.
Monotheism According to the School of Ahlul-Bait
Imam Ali (a.s.) in Nahjul-Balagha says:
The foremost in religion is the knowing of Him, the perfection of knowing Him is to believe in His Oneness, and the perfection of believing in His Oneness is to be sincere to Him.”(46)
Belief in Allah, the One, and the Only, to Whom all the attributes of perfectness are ascribed and Who is above all the attributes of imperfection, is the main origin and base of the Islamic faith, thought, legislation and conduct…etc.
Therefore, the Imams of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) gave more importance to form a pure concept of monotheism free from doubts, perversions, and disbelief of pre-Islamic ignorance and the remnants of pagan thought and strived hard towards correcting such thought by explaining the true meanings and faith of monotheism as proved by the Qur’an.
For more details, we cite some narrations of Ahlul-Bait (ass.) concerning the true meanings of monotheism and its concepts.
Imam Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.) wrote to one of his companions and said:
Verily, Allah is High, and Mighty (Sublime) and Great and far above that the reality of His attributes should be comprehensible. Assign to Him only those attributes that He ha s assigned to Himself and refrain from qualifying Allah with anything besides those attributes.”(47)
Regarding the Almighty’s integrity and the purity of Islamic thought from polytheism and paganism, the Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) narrated:
Whoever likens Allah with His creatures is a polytheist; surely Allah is the Almighty and High. Nothing resembles Him and nothing is like Him, and He is totally the reverse of whatever is imagined.”(48)
One of the companions of Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq (a.s.) asked him about the correct sect in monotheism, He (a.s.) said:
You – may Allah be merciful to you – asked me about monotheism and what that group of people believe in. Exalted is Allah, the like of whom there is naught, and He is All-Hearing and All-Seeing: Allah is above what is attributed to Him by those describers who liken Allah to His creatures, those who are slanderous to Allah. Know you – may Allah be merciful to you that in respect to monotheism, the true doctrine is what is revealed in the Qur’an about the attributes of Allah, the Almighty, the Exalted. Attributed not to Allah, the Sublime, any ideas of nihilism and similitude. Neither should His existence be negated nor should He be likened (to anything). He is Allah, the Established the Existent. Exalted is He far above what the false interpreters attribute to Him. Exceed not the Qur’an or you will go astray after the clear exposition of truth.”(49)
Thus, the Imams of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) explain that the true monotheism is the one called upon by the Qur’an which unified Allah in His Self, His attributes, His deeds and His worships.
Divine Justice
“Allah (Himself) is witness that the re is no god save Him, and (so do) the angels and the men of learning, maintaining His creation injustice. There is no god save Him, the Almighty, the Wise.
Holy Qur’an (3:17)
Justice is one of the attributes of Allah, the Exalted and its effects are discerned in all of His acts.
Its manifestation can be seen in the world of creation and in the divine legislation and law, as well.
It (Divine Justice) can be seen in the obligations which He assigns upon His servants as can be seen in the Judgement and Punishment Day, and the compensation of the sufferings resulting from them without punishment nor revenge. Thus, the Qur’an talks about Allah, the Almighty’s Justice, and man’s responsibility of his deeds and, also, refuses the idea of fatalism. The Almighty says:
Allah enjoins justice and kindness.
Holy Qur’an (16:90)
…and your Lord wrongs no one.
Holy Qur’an (18:49)
…for it (is only) that which it has earned, and against it (only) that which it has deserved.
Holy Qur’an (2:286)
And whoever does good an atom’s weight will see it the n. And whoever does ill an atom’s weight will see it then.
Holy Qur’an (99:7-8)
We have shown him the way whe ther he be grateful or disbelieving.
Holy Qur’an (76:3)
And pointed out to him the two conspicuous ways.
Holy Qur’an (90:10)
Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea on account of that which men’s hands ban wrought,…
Holy Qur’an (41:30)
Different opinions, among the Muslims, appeared in explaining man’s acts and their relation with Allah, the Almighty. Even some Islamic schools believe that man has no free will and no option of his own, and all his behaviour and actions are predetermined by Allah, the Almighty. Therefore, he is forced to do what he does and is not free in his acts.
Others say that man has full choice to do whatever he wills, as his will is separate from Allah’s will, and that man does whatever he wills and Allah is actually incapable of stopping man from doing what he wills.
But, the Imams of Ahlul-Bait refute both of these beliefs and say: Neither Fatalism nor Self-Determination because, man, if he was forced to do what he does, he would not deserve punishment and reward and if man has full choice to do whatever he wills, Allah will not have power over all things.
Thus, the following three opinions appeared to explain man’s actions:
1. Fatalism
2. Self-Determination or Free will
3. Neither Fatalism nor Self-Dertermination Muhammad bin Ajlan, one of those who lived during the period of Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) narrated the explanation of the Imam (a.s.) regarding man’s actions: He said: I asked him (the Imam):
Did Allah leave His creatures to their affairs? He said: ‘Allah is more generous than to leave their affairs to them,’ I asked: ‘Then did He impose on them their actions? He replied: ‘Allah is more just than to compel a servant to do something, then torture him for that. “‘(50)
So, man is responsible for his own deeds, and therefore, deserves punishment and reward because man not only owns free will and option, but, also, Allah grants him kindness and help for guidance and salvation from error and misguidance if one chooses the path of guidance. According to the Qur’an’s declaration, man is free to choose one of the ways:
And pointed out to him the two conspicuous ways.” “We have shown him the way whether he be grateful or disbelieving.”
Ahlul-Bait and the Perverted Groups
The opponents of Islam realized that the Imam of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) were the very embodiment of originality and purity and acted as a refuge for Muslims in time of distress and calamities. They have a special status and respect in the self of every Muslim who loves the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.).
History tells us that diverse, deviated groups appeared, such as; the Zindiks, Exaggerators, Mazdakis, Jews, hypocrites, and even those who are affected with pagan thoughts which came either from the Magis, or from the philosophies of India, China, and Greece, and the like have used their different destructive attempts to deviate Islam and defame its illuminated face.
Some of these deviated groups have even slipped into the ranks of the school of Ahlul-Bait and claimed attachment to them in order to defame Islam and to pollute the right cause of Ahlul-Bait and its purity; like the Exaggerators and the Mazdakis who described the Imams of Ahlul-Bait through the attributes of Divinity and pretented that Allah, the Most Glorified, had transmigrated into the bodies of the Imams of the Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) and authorized the affair of the creation to them. But, the Imams of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) stood firmly against such destructive and deviated beliefs and disclosed them to the people; strongly repudiated, cursed, dismissed and renounced them.
Among these deviated groups were: ‘The Mughira Group’, the followers of Mughira bin Sa’id and ‘The Kattabiyah’, the followers of Abi Khattab Muhammad bin Abi Zainab al-Assadi.
Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, son of Imam al-Baqir (a.s.), is quoted to have said:
;May Allah curse Mughira bin Sa’id as he used to tell lies against my father, may Allah make him taste the heat of burning iron, may Allah curse those who say a bout us, what we do not say ourselves, may Allah curse those who try to take us away from the servitude of Allah, Who created us, and to Him is our return and in His hand is our control.”(51)
He (a.s.) also said:
;Don’t accept any saying (hadith) relating them to us except that which agrees with the Qur’an and the Prophetic traditions (sunnah) unless you see an evidence of our previous sayings with it; indeed Mughira bin Sa’id, may Allah curse him, has interpolated sayings (hadiths) in the books of the companions of my father of which he (my father) did not narrate them, so, fear Allah and don’t accept any saying related to us, which disagrees with the statement of Our Lord, the Exalted, and the traditions of our Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) – because we, if we narrate any hadith, we always say: The Almighty Allah or the Messenger ofAllah (s.a.w) said so and so.”(52)
He (a.s.) further said:
;Mughira bin Sa’id was intentionally belying my father; he used to take the books of his companions, who disguised themselves to be of the companions of my father, and then, they gave them to Mughira who interpolated in them preverted beliefs of unbelief and infidelity and, then, attributed them to my father and therefore, returned them to his companions and ordered them to distribute them among the Shi’a; whenever there is any exaggeration in the books of the companions of my father, be sure that it is the act of Mughira bin Sa’id who interpolated them in his books.
Regarding the exaggeration and the interpolation of Abi Al-Khattab and his lie against the Imams of Ahlul-Bait, Imam Ali bin Musa al-Rida (a.s.) said:
;Indeed Abi Khattab used to tell lies against Abi Abdullah (Imam al-Sadiq) (a.s.), may Allah curse Abi Khattab, whereas his companions used to interpolate these sayings (hadiths) up until today in the books of Abi Abdullah (a.s.); therefore, don’t accept any saying (hadith) related by them to us if they disagree with the Qur’an, because, all our sayings should agree with both the Qur’an and the Prophetic traditions.”(53)
Thus, the Imams of Ahlul-Bait fought the Exaggerators and deviated groups. They called on the Muslims to hold fast to the Book of Allah (the Qur’an) and the pure Prophetic traditions so that they can differenciate between the illuminated path of Ahlul-Bait to which the followers of the school of the Imamiya Shi’a firmly adhered and the misguidance of the Exaggerators and their strayed beliefs.
The Ahlul-Bait’s Method in the Political Field
Political action and thought forms a principal base among the pillars of Islam; Islam is a creed, system and legislation and its application in its social field needs a political authority, state and legitimate leadership. Therefore, this political action and thought takes, in the method of Ahlul-Bait, (a.s.) a high, important position which is based on foundations and principles; among them are:
1. The necessity of establishing an Islamic state and applying its laws.
2. The Muslim leader (Imam) is responsible for safeguarding Islamic laws, applying them and inviting others towards them. He is the political leader and guardian of the ideological line of the ummah (Islamic communities).
3. The Muslim leader (Imam) should be qualified with piety, behavioural righteousness, and be familiar with Islamic laws.
4. It is forbidden to obey or befriend the unjust ruler.
First, it is obligatory for the Muslims to advise him; if he does not respond, it becomes obligatory for the Muslims to boycott him, and if he does not respond, it becomes obligatory to depose him and revolt against him and pledge allegiance to a just ruler who acts according to the principles of the Book of Allah and the traditions of His Noble Prophet Muhammd (s.a.w.)
These are the clear facts in the practical life of Ahlul-Bait and their struggle against the tyrannical rulers; their guiding and educating the masses of the ummah; preparing them to be conscious vanguards and their support for the movements and revolutions which adopted reform and change.
Among the prominant state of refusing oppression and corruption is the state of Imam Husein bin Ali (a.s.) against the government of Yazid bin Mu’awiyah and his declaration for an armed revolution against him; the support of Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) for the revolution of Zayid bin Ali bin Husein in the year 121 A.H. against Husham bin Abdul-Malik; and the support of Imam Musa bin Ja’far for the revolution of Husein bin Ali in Madinah in the year 169 A.H. against the Abbasid caliph al-Mahdi.
The life of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) is a continuation of the way in which the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) took and, also, a confirmation for it. Imam Husein, the martyr (a.s.) narrates from his grandfather, the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), that he said:
Whoever witnesses an unjust ruler considering the prohibitions of Allah, the Almighty as permissible, breaking the covenant of Allah, opposing the practices of the Apostle of Allah (s.a.w.), treating his servants sinfully and cruelly and had seen all these misdeeds, but, did not oppose him by words or actions, Allah surely will punish him as he wills…”(54)
The life of the (Ahlul-Bait) (a.s.) and their words are a correction for the deviated way and falsified line which was founded by some unjust rulers and their preachers who supported and bowed down to them.
They depended on some forged hadiths which were narrated by Muslim in his Sihah; for example, the following narration is mentioned in the above-mentioned book, in the chapter on the order for the necessity of performing prayer, collectively that the Messenger of Allah Muhammad, (s.a.w.) said:
‘After me there will be rulers who would not be guided aright nor follow my traditions and among them there will appear men whose hearts look like the hearts of Satans but in the body of human beings.”
He asked: I said: O, Messenger of Allah, What shall I do, if I became aware of this?
He (s.a.w.) said: ‘You should listen and obey such rulers even if they beat your back or take your wealth, then you should listen and obey them ‘”(55)
All these forged sayings (hadiths) written by the tyrants, and their agents, forms a base for misunderstanding to the extent that some even built their political views on them. Nawawi in his explanation of Sahih Muslim said:
The jurists and the narrators of Ahlul-Sunnah say: The ruler should not be deposed because of doing corrupt, oppressive, and wronging other’s rights. (Such a ruler) should not be deposed nor revolted against, but it is obligatory to advise, and frighten him with the narrations concerning that.”(56)
The Imams of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) had a special position against such unjust rulers and they stood against such deviated political lines, therefore, these rulers began to use different kinds of tactics against them. Their (Ahlul-Bait) life is filled of illuminated images of sacrifice for the sake of faith and their history is the highest examplary of struggle for the sake of truth and who spent their best days between either being killed, poisoned, pursued on the earth or being punished in the darkness of prisons.
The Ahlul-Bait’s Method in Educating their Companions
Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said:
;I dislike for a man to die while there is still a habit of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) which he has not yet practised”(57)
The Ahlul-Bait took great care to educate the Muslims in accordance with the Book of Allah and the traditions of the Prophet, with the objective of building sound Islamic personalities that would hold aloft the torch of guidance.
Imam Al-Baqir (a.s.) tried to efface the doubts instigated by some of his contemporaries who, had some mischievous intentions behind their effort. They used to say that it sufficed a Muslim to love the Ahlul-Bait and to regard them as leaders, and, in such a case, there was no need to keep up the other obligatory duties of what had commanded. The Imam explained that the path of the Ahlul-Bait meant putting into practice all that had been brought by the Qur’an, and shown by the Prophet (s.a.w.).
;…by Allah, we have no absolution from Allah, nor are we relatives of Allah, nor have we any argument against Allah. You cannot be nearer to Allah except through obedience. So, whoever is obedient (to Allah) will be benefitted by our friendship, and whoever is disobedient (to Him), our friendship will benefit him naught “(55)
Amru bin Sa’id bin Hilal narrates:
;I said to Abu Ja’far (a.s.): May I be your ransom, I only see you very rarely, after years. Please give me a piece of advice which I may follow.’ Imam AI-Baqir replied: ‘I advise you to fear Allah, to be pious and diligent. Do know that there can be no piety without diligent… “‘(59)
He also advised one of his followers, named Abu Usama, and told him to convey it to his friends. Here is an extract of the said advice:
;…fear Allah and be good, and do not be bad, direct towards us every affection, and ward off from us every abomination, for we are not as they say. We have our rights in the Book of Allah, which were related to the Messenger of Allah and had been purified by Allah Our birth is so noble that anyone other than us claiming the like, is a liar.* Increase your remembrance of Allah, of death, of reciting the Qur’an and of sending blessings upon the Prophet (s.a.w.) as sending blessings on him is rewarded ten fold.”(60)
*- This refers to their noble relations to the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) through their mother, Fatima al-Zahra’ (a.s.), the Prophet’s daughter.
Imam al-Sadiq instructed one of his companions, Ismail bin Ammar, as follows:
;I advise you to fear Allah, to be pious, to be truthful, to pay your trusts, to be good to your neighbours and to be frequent in your prostration (prayers). Such were the orders of Muhammad (s.a.w.) to us.”(61)
Hisham bin Salim says that he heard Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) tell a man called Hamran this:
;Look at the one who is lower than you (in position) and do not look at the one who is higher than you, as in this way you will be more satisfied with what is your lot, and more deserving of Allah’s bounty. Do know that (good) routine deeds even if few are worthier than a regular deed lacking certainty. Do know that no piety is more beneficial than avoiding the prohibitions of Allah and refraining from wronging the people. Nothing is more pleasing than a good temper. No wealth is better than being content with the little which suffices. No ignorance is more bitter than conceit.”(62)
Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s.) also cites the Messenger of Allah as describing the believers:
;Whoever is displeased with his evil deed while being pleased with his good deed, is a faithful man.”(63)
These are the true attributes of a good Muslim on the bases of Ahlul-Bait who strived hard to educate and establish them. This is their true method in building and educating the Muslim society and ummah. This is their true call through which they addressed the followers of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) which was to follow the Book of Allah (the Qur’an) and the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and to build life on their principles. How beautiful it is when a Muslim is guided aright through their guidance and follows their will and listens to the remembrance of them.
A Look at the Islamic School, Jurisprudence
During the days of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), Muslims used to receive the regulations and precepts concerning worship, dealings, and judgements and other social issues, from the Prophet, himself, and had no problem in understanding Islam and obtaining shari’ah laws and regulations.
After his demise, people used to refer to the Book of Allah and the traditions of His Prophet, deriving from them percepts, laws and religious situations, on the authority of the Prophet’s Ahlul-Bait and those of the religious scholars of the companions who collectively agreed with the most learned among them, Imam Ali. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said:
I am leaving among you two precious things: The Book of Allah and my Progeny, my Household. And indeed, Allah, the Benign, the All-Aware has told me that these (two) will never part with each other until they return to me at the Pool of ‘Kawther’ in Paradise.
He (s.a.w.) also said:
The most learned among you, judicially, is Ali.
After recognizing his knowledge concerning the Book of Allah and the Prophet’s tradition. A’isha, one of the Prophet’s wives, describes him (Imam Ali) by saying:
He (Imam Ali) was the best informed, among the people, concerning the Prophet’s traditions.
Imam Ali was the final authority on deriving the Islamic rules and solving their problems.
As a result of what Islam caused of movements, and developments in the fields of society, state and the life of individuals, new issues and affairs concerning such fields appeared, and which later on, needed an organization, and a declaration of Islamic regulations.
An answer to those needs, the Islamic society witnessed a movement and a development in the fields of jurisprudence, legislation, the appearance of jurisprudence, and induction in a developed way, therefore, different schools, views and sects of jurisprudence appeared.
This happened in its distinguished form at the end of the first and second century of Higra (emigration) at the period of the two Imams, Muhammad al-Baqir and his son, Ja’far al-Sadiq, upon whom the narrators of Hadiths, jurisprudents, commentators, and others, witnessed their knowledge. For instance, Abu Hanifa, Malik and others studied at the hands of Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq.
The Imams of Ahlul-Bait called on Muslims to follow the Book of Allah and the Prophet’s traditions as the only two sources of Islamic laws and legislations while other Islamic schools of jurisprudence depended other additional for the sources in inducting of laws other than the above-mentioned sources. Among them were:
1. Opinion and Analogy, whose cause is inducted
2. Approval
3. The Closing and Opening of Pretexts
4. Simple Interests
The Imams, of Ahlul-Bait, and their students, who were related to their jurisprudential school, used academic ways of dialogues with the chiefs of other diverse schools of jurisprudence and called on them to depend on the Book and the sunnah as the only two sources.
It is worth mentioning, here, that other Islamic schools differ among themselves in accepting and rejecting such sources like analogy and to act with opinion; upon which the Hanafi sect depended. The one who studies these diverse views of jurisprudence, and their principles; which were inducted from them in a comparative study, will find that the reason of difference can be found in two main causes:
1. The difference in accepting and rejecting some narrations, in accordance with the conditions of accepting the narration, with an emphasis on the reliability of the narration.
2. The acceptance of certain Islamic schools of jurisprudence as sources of legislation, other than the Qur’an and the Prophet’s traditions; like analogy, approval…etc. and refusing them.
For example, each of the Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali, Zaydi, Shi’a Imamiya jurists,…etc. has its own way and conditions for accepting the narrations proved by the Prophetic traditions.
This difference caused by these two foundations affects the jurists’s views and opinions. This, in return, leads to the appearance of jurisprudential difference among them. Thus, it is not a difference between the two sects (the Sunnis and the Shi’as) as some try to pretend in order to sow the seed of disunity and discord among the Muslims. In truth, it is only a scholarly difference among the Muslim jurists, altogether. Therefore, it is not true that this scholarly difference be a cause of discord and disunity among the Muslims. Thus, it is obligatory for all the Muslims to have scholarly dialoges and understandings and to open the door of Ijtihad (endeavouring to discover and deduce the Islamic laws and regulations from their sources) by those of the sects who closed it, so that the scholars can reach a satisfied answer and a safe, lawful position. Surely, the scholarly differences based, on safe foundations, should not be considered as a main cause for social and political difference nor to isolate the Muslims who are one single nation and who, altogether, agree that the Book of Allah and the traditions of His noble Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) are the origin and main source for Islamic knowledge, law, and thought.
Hereunder are examples of the jurists opinions, showing their points of agreement and disagreement in spite of whether they belong to the Sunnis or the Shi’as:
Both the Imamiya and the Hanbalis say that the ‘First Testimony’ (in the prayer) is compulsory, whereas the Hanafis, the Shafi’is and the Malikis say that it is recommended, and not compulsory.
The ‘Last Testimony’ is said by the Shafi’is, the Imamiya and the Hanbalis to be compulsory, whereas, the Malikis and the Hanafis say that it is recommended, and not compulsory.(64)
The Shafi’is, the Malikis and the Hanbalis say. The Taslim (submission in the prayer) is compulsory. the Hanafis say: It is not compulsory, while the Imamiya differ among themselves: some say: It is compulsory, whereas, others say: It is recommended. Among those who regard it as recommended was Mufid, Sheikh Tusi and Allama Hilli.(65)
In respect to collective prayer, the Hanbalis say: It is compulsory on every able person, and if one left it and prayed as an individual, one would be a sinner, although his prayer is correct. On the other hand, the Imamiya, the Hanafis, the Malikis and the majority of the Shafi’is regard it as not compulsory on everyone, nor on a few, but, nonetheless, highly recommended.
Concerning those who deserve the poor-rate (zakat), the Shafi’is and the Hanbalis say that whoever gets half of his requirements is not regarded as poor, and deserves not zakat (poor-rate). The Imamiya and the Malikis say that the poor, according to the religion, is the one who does not have a year’s provisions for himself and his household; so, whoever had a farm, a property or cattle, that was insufficient to sustain him and his family for a whole year, deserved to receive a portion of the zakat. The Imamiya, the Shaf’is and the Hanbalis say that whoever was able to earn his bread is not allowed to receive the zakat, whereas, the Hanafis and the Malikis say: He is allowed to receive the zakat and it should be paid to him.
Concerning staying overnight in Muzdalifa during the hajj rites, the Hanafis, the Shafi’is and the Hanbalis say that it is compulsory, and whoever does not stay there will have to offer a sacrifice – as in ‘al-Mughni’, whereas the Imamiya and the Malikis say: it is not compulsory but recommended.
Regarding the pelting in Jamrah al-Aqaba – (it is the largest symbol of the devil which is situated on the outskirts of Mina towards Mecca, and seven pebbles on the tenth day should be thrown at it, and is considered among the obligations of the pilgrimage (hajj)), – the Malikis, the Hanafis, the Hanbalis and the Imamiya say: It is not allowed to pelt the Jamrah al-Aqaba before dawn, but, if the pilgrim throws before dawn without having an excuse, he should repeat it, again, whereas, they allowed the pilgrims to do so if they have excuses, such as, elderliness, sickness and fear, whereas, the Shafi’is say. It is allowed to do so because the above-mentioned time is recommended and not obligatory.
Concerning the contract of marriage, the Imamiya, the Hanbalis, and the Shafi’is say. The contract cannot be correct through correspondence, whereas the Hanafis say that it is correct to do so if both sides engaged in marriage are in one place.
The Shafi’is and the Malikis say that the guardian is the sole authority who has the right of consent to the marriage of a mentally sane grown, mature girl if she is virgin, but if she is a widow, he shares in her marriage consent, and neither of them has the sole right of consent. Moreover, it is he who concludes the marriage contract, as it can never be concluded by the girl’s words alone, although her content is necessary.
The Hanafis say that a mature, sane girl has the right to choose her husband and to conduct the marriage contract herself, irrespective of whether she is virgin or widow, and no one has authority upon her, nor the right to object, provided that she chooses a worthy suitor.
Most of the Imamiya jurist say that the mature, sane girl has the right to conduct all kinds of procedures and deals, including marriage contracts, both as a virgin and a widow. She has, thus, the right to conclude contracts, on her own behalf and on behalf of other than herself, both directly and through agency, in consent and acceptance, similar to the man, without the least difference.(66)
Concerning divorce, Abu Zuhra says:
According to the Hanafi sect, the divorce of everybody is valid, except of the child, the insane and the idiot. So, the divorce is legal even if done jokingly, or by a drunkard, or unwillingly and by the one wearing the ihram (pilgrim robes) for hajj rites.”(67)
He adds:
According to the Hanafi sect, the divorce done even by mistake or unintentionally and by the forgetful is valid.”(68)
Of the same books he says:
Malik and Shafi’ agreed with Abu Hanifa and his followers in respect to the validity of divorce even in jest, while Ahmad (bin Hanbal) did not agree, regarding such a divorce as incorrect.”(69)
The Imamiya, on the authority of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.), say:
No divorce (is valid) except for the one who wants it.
These were some examples of comparative jurisprudence, selected to show the reader the real scholarly controversy in the Islamic sects, and how these sects meet in some instances and differ in some other matters, regardless of their Shi’ism or Sunnism.
We have already seen the Hanafi and the Shaf’i agreeing in some cases with the Imamiya, and differing from the Hanbali, and the Maliki, or the Maliki agreeing with the Imamiya and differing from other Sunni sects. This is an explicit fact observed in all the subjects of jurisprudence and its different branches. The jurisprudental dispute cannot be termed a discord between the Shi’ites and the Sunnites. It is a scientific, methodical dispute among the five schools of jurisprudence. We have to look for the legal religious proofs, and commence a scientific discussion until we get to the core of the truth regarding the correctness of the school, as Allah has only a single, practical verdict for every case.
Those who try to illustrate the dispute between the Shi’ites and the Sunnis as if they were against one another, or two contradictory sects, are but falsifying the truth, getting away from the method of sound scientific objectivity, and attempting to serve the enemies of the Islamic Ummah, by sowing the seeds of disunity.
But, the neutral, doctrinal, scholarly method is the one able to unify all the Muslims and to bring them all together.
Sheikh Muhammad Shaltut, the rector of Al-Azhar Theological University (Cairo) had issued a verdict allowing the followers of different Islamic sects – the Hanafis, the Hanbalis, the Malikis and the Shafi’is – to act according to the Imamiya (Shi’a) sect, as well as, according to other Islamic sects, as this, he said, was lawful and correct. He was followed, in his opinion, by the next rector of al-Azhar, Dr. Muhammad Fahham.
It is worthwhile to state the texts of the verdicts issued by them in this respect
The following verdict is issued by Al-Sayyid, His honour, the rector of Al-Azhar Theological University about the legality to worship according to the Imamiya Shi’a Sect:
Sheikh Shaltut was asked that:
Some people say that if a Muslim is to conduct his worship and other deals correctly, he must follow one of the four Islamic sects, among which are not the sects of the Imamiya Shi’a nor the Zaidi Shi’a. So, does your honour accept this idea in its generality, and forbid following, for example, the Twelvers (Imamiya Shi’ites)?
The Sheikh replied:
1. Islam does not compel any of its followers to follow a particular sect, but we say: Every Muslim has the right to ‘imitate’ first and foremost, any sect that has correctly been quoted and whose relevant precepts have been recorded in its particular books. Whoever follows one of these sects may move to any other, whichever of them, without any restrictions.”
2. The Ja’fari School known as the Imamiya school of Twelvers Shi’ites, is a school according to which it is lawful to worship, the same as the other Sunnite sects. It is necessary for the Muslims to know that, and to get rid of unjust prejudice towards particular sects- Because, neither Allah’s religion nor His Shari’ah (Islamic laws) are related to a particular sect or restricted to a school, so all of them are able to discover Islamic rules and codes from the Qur’an and the sunnah and are acceptable before Allah, the Almighty; therefore, it is lawful for those who are not able to give opinions, nor to do ijtihad to follow them and practise what they decide in their jurisprudence and there is no difference concerning this in worship and dealings.
The late Dr. Muhammad Muhammad Fahham, the rector of al-Azhar commenting on Shaltut’s verdict, said:
May Allah have mercy on Sheikh Shaltut who perceived this significance, and in his explicit verdict, displayed courage, as he allowed acting according to the Imamiya Shi’a School, considering it an Islamic juristic school, founded on the Book, the sunnah and the most correct proof I pray to Allah to grant success to those who act upon this sound course of introduction among the brethren.
And say: Act! Allah will behold your actions, and (so will) His Messenger and the believers. Our last invocation is: Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
It is obvious, then, that the road to the unification of the nation is wide open before the faithful believers of Islam. They have to unite their ranks, to discard their petty controversies and prejudices, to uproot the causes of division, and to subject the scientific points of view to research and discussion.
We ask Muslims, everywhere, to comprehend the critical, political and social situation through which the ummah is passing, and to look at one another with affection and brotherhood, and to identify those who instigate bigotry, and to put their scientific view points for scientific dialogues and research without any instigation and fanaticism, lest the enemies of Islam, in particular, misuse them while we face Zionism and imperialism and their agents.
Finally, we implore Allah, the High, the Omnipotent, for His help to unify the ranks of this nation, to keep away the elements who agitate commotion amongst the Muslims and who prevent the application of divine laws. Weakening the ranks of the Muslims, and causing division among them, cannot be but a support to the enemies of Allah, and a service to the tyrants and superpowers.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
Notes:
1. Narrated by Tirmidhi in ‘Manaqib Ahlul-Bait’ vol. 2, p. 308, citing Umar bin Abi Salama, the Prophet’s adopted son, who said: ‘The verse, ‘Allah only wants to remove uncleanness far from you, O people of Ahlul-Bait, and purify you a thorough purifying’ was revealed in the house of Umm Salama. Then, the Prophet (s.a.w.) called Fatima, Hasan, Husein and Ali, behind himself, covered them with a cover and said: ‘O Allah! This is my household, so remove uncleanness from them and purify them a thorough purifying. Umm Salama said: ‘Am I with them, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘You are at your place. You are alright.”‘
2. Ibn Mardawaya, on the authority of ibn Abi Shaiba, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, also, Ibn Mundir, Tabarani and Hakim, corrected. For more details, refer to Allama Tabataba’i’s al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, the interpretation of the Tathir verse.
3. Taqiyuddin Ahmad ibn Ali Miqrizi (died 845H.), Fadhil Aal al-Bait, p. 21.
4. Zamakhshari, Tafsir al-Kashshaf’, Chapter Aal-Imran, verse No. 61, and also, mentioned in the interpretation of al-Tha’alibi on the authority of Mujahid and Kulaini.
5. Fakhruddin Razi, al-Tafsir al-Kabir, interpretation of Chapter Ahzab, verse No. 56.
6. Allamah Tabataba’i, al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an.
7. Muhaqiq Hilli, one of the great Shi’i jurists, who lined in the 7th century of the Hijra. Mentioning the obligations of the prayer, he said: Seventhly: The Testimony is obligatory to recite once in a two-Rakat prayer, mad twice in a three and four Rak’at prayer. If one or the two of them were dropped, intentionally, the prayer is regarded as null and void. In each, five things are compulsory: Sitting during the Testimony, reciting the two testimonies, sending blessings of the Prophet (s.a.w.) mad his progeny; Shara’i al-Islam, vol. 1, chapter on prayer.
8. Zamakhshari, al- Tafsir al-Kashshaf interpretation of Chapter Insan. Fakhr Razi states the same narration in al- Tafsir al-Kabir, quoting al-Kashshaf. Tabarasi has also ginen an identical narration in Majma’ al-Bayan.
9. Zamakhshari, Tafsir al-Kashshaf interpretation of chapter Ma’ida, verse No. 55.
10. Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuszul, interpretation of chapter Ma’ida, verse No. 55.
11. Narrated Hakim Hasakani in Shawahidal-Tanzil, vol. 1, p.190, Beirut Edition in ‘1393 H. that Abdullah bin Abi Awfa said: On Ghadir Khum, I heard the Prophet of Allah saying: After reciting the Tabligh nerse, he lifted up AU in his hand until the whiteness of his armpit was disclosed, then continued saying: For whomever I am master, this, Ali, is his master…; It is narrated by Wahidi in Asbab al-Nuzul, p. 135. Suyuti in Dur al-Manthur, vol. 2, p. 198; that Abi Sa’id al-Khidri said: This verse “Tabligh” is revealed concerning Ali b in Abi Talib.
12. Narrated by Hakim Hasskan, vol. 1, p. 192-193.
13. Tarikh ibn Kathir, vol. 5, p. 213.
14. Musnad Ahmad, vol. 4, p. 281, Sunan ibn Maja, chapter on the merits of Ali. Tarikh ibn Kathir, vol. 5, p. 209, vol. 5, p. 210.
15. Musnad Ahmad, vol. 4, Sunan ibn Maja, chapter on the merits of Ali.
16. Majma’ al-Zawa’id; Hakim, vol. 3, p. 109-110, Ibn Kathir, vol. 5, p. 209.
17. Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, p. 118-119, vol. 4, p. 281; Sunan ibn Maja, vol. 1, p. 43,p. 116; in Musnad Ahmad, the word ‘na’im’ meaning ‘yes’ is also narrated, vol. 4, p. 281, 368, 370; Ibn Kathir, vol. 5, p. 209, the same narration but with a slight difference.
18. Musnad Ahmad, vol. 4, p. 281, 368, 370, 372; Ibn Kathir, vol. 5, p. 209, 212.
19. Narrated by Hakim Hasakani, vol. 1, p. 190, he (s.a.w.) lifted up his hand to the extent that his armpit’s whiteness is disclosed, in p. 93, the same narration but with a slight difference.
20. Hakim Hasakani, Shawahid al-Tanzil, vol. 1, p. 191; Ibn Kathir, vol. 5, p. 109: ‘I am the master of every believer.’
21. Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, p. 118-119; vol. 4, p. 281, 370, 372, 373; vol. 5, p. 347, 370; Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol. 3, p. 109; Sunan Ibn Maja and Hakim Hasakani, vol. 1, p. 190-191; Tarikh Ibn Kathir, vol. 5, p. 209-213; Ibn Kathir in vol. 5, p. 209 says: I asked Zayid: Have you heard it from the Messenger of Allah? He replied: All those who were present In the area full of lofty trees saw and heard it with their own ears and, then, Ibn Kathir continued saying: ‘Our Shaikh, Abu Abdullah al-Dhahabi said: This narration is correct.’
22. Stated by Ibn Jarir Tabari in his Tafsir, Suyuti in Dur al-Manthur in different ways, and also adds that even the Prophet’s companions used to say: ‘The best of men came’, whenever Ali attended them. Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa, p. 96; Shablanchi in Nur al-Absar, p. 70, 101.
23. Muhibuddin Tabari, Dhakha’ir al-Uqba fi Manaqib dhawi al-Qurba, p. 30.
24. This narration, with a slight difference in wording, was stated by Tabarani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabir, vol. 1, p. 24 (MSS). Muttaqi Hindi in Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 6, p. 220; Muhibuddin Tabari in Dhakha’ir al-Uqba, p. 121, and Suyuti in Ihya al-Mayit, p. 29.
25. Kulaini, al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 603.
26. Ibid, p. 605.
27. 28 & 29 & 30. Ibid, vol. 2, p. 606, 607, 609, 613.
31. Shaikh Tabarasi, Majma’ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, the Preface, Ch. The Fifth Ad.
32. Ibid.
33. Shaikh Balaghi, Aala’ al-Rahman fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol. 1, p. 18, 2nd edition.
34. Ibid. vol. 47, p. 270,
35. Allama Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 3rd Edition.
36. Raghib Isfahani, Mu’jam Mufradat alfad al-Qur’an, Mashaf
37. Tabarasi, Majma’ al-Bayanfi Tafsir al-Qur’an, the Preface.
38. Zainuddin Amili, al-Diraya, p. 113, Nu’man Press.
39. Kulaini, al-Usul min al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 59.
40. Ibid, p. 62.
41. Kishi, Rijal al-Kishi, translated by Mughira bin Sa’id.
42. Ibid.
43 & 44. Suyuti, Tadrib al-Rawi fi Sharh Taqrib al-Nawawi.
45. Allama Amin, A’yan al-Shi’a, vol. 3, p. 34.
46. Imam Ali (a.s.), Nahjul-Balagha.
47 & 48. Kulaini, al-Usul min al-Kafi, vol. l, ch. on Tawhid.
49. Saduq, Tawhid, p. 80.
50. Ibid, p. 361.
51. Rijal al-Kishi.
52. Ibid.
53. Ibid.
54. Tarikh al-Tabari, vol. 6, p. 329, 1st Edition in Egypt. Ibn al-Athir, vol. 4, p. 9. 1st Edition, Egypt.
55. Sahih Muslim, vol. 6, p. 20, Book on Imara (principality).
56. Nawawi in his explanation of Sahih Muslim, vol. 12, p. 229. See also Sunan Bayhaqi, vol. 8, p. 158. For more details refer to Allam Askari, Qiyam al-A’imah bi Ihya’ al-Sunnah, vol. 1, p. 118.
57. Tabrasi, Makarim al-Akhlaq, p. 39, Al-A’lami Printed House.
58. Ibid, p. 67.
59. Ibid, p. 66.
60 & 61. Ibid.
62. Ibid, p. 72.
63. Ibid, p. 77.
64. Bidayat Mujtahid, vol. 1, p. 125, quoted from ‘al-Fiqh ala al-Madhahib al-Khamsa’ by Muhammad Jawad Mughniya.
65. Shaikh Muhammad Jawad Maghniya, al-Fiqh ala al-Madhahib al-Khamsa
66. Ibid.
67. Abu Zuhra, Al-Ahwal al-Shakhsiyah, p. 283.
68. Ibid, p. 186.
69. Ibid, p. 284.

Source: imamreza.net

Source: almujtaba.com


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