Status of the Sahaaba [radhiallaahuanhu] and the Shi’a Objection

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Glad tidings of Jannah and absolution

So those who emigrated and were driven out of their homes, who suffered in My cause, who fight and were slain – (will most certainly blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into gardens beneath which rivers flow. A reward from Allah; and with Allah is the best of ‘reward (Surah Aal-`Imran: 19.5)

In this ayah Allah praises the Muhajirin and gives them the glad tidings of Jannah. He informs us that in return for the persecution and hardship which they so gladly bore for His sake, and for the sacrifices which they were so eager to make, He will not only grant them admission into Jannah, but He will even condone the wrongdoings they might have been guilty of.

Look at the greatness of the Muhajirin as illustrated by this verse. Look at the fondness with which Allah mentions them and the sublime way in which He describes their privileged status in the Hereafter. Their entry into Jannah is emphatically guaranteed; and in equally emphatic language they are assured that even the iniquities they might have been guilty of will bring them no harm. Their reward will be a special one, a reward directly from Allah.

I would like to ask those who have had an opportunity to look at this ayah of the Qur’an who the Muhajirin are to whom Allah makes these promises, and to whom He gives the glad tidings of Jannah. Were the men called Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman of those Muhajirin? Are the ones whom the Shi’ah speak ill of not the same ones who left their homes? Are they excluded from the promise

I will most definitely blot out from their iniquities?

Brothers! After reading this ayah, why waste your time and efforts looking for the faults of the Muhajirin? For even if you do manage to find a fault or two you may be assured that it will be of no advantage to you for as long as you accept that they were of the Muhajirin. Such faults will be of no consequence, because it is Allah Himself who announces:

Most certainly will I blot out from them their iniquities, and most certainly will I admit them into gardens beneath which rivers flow.

As-Sabiqun al Awwalun

And the early pioneers – the Muhajirin and the Ansar and those who follow them in good: Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with him. And He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein, forever. (at-Tawbah:100)

Here Allah clearly and unequivocally states His pleasure with the Muhajirin and the Ansar and those who follow their way. He also announces to them the happy tidings of Jannah. In our opinion, if anyone should ponder over this ayah and reflect upon its meaning, he would invariably come to the conclusion that the Muhajirin and the Ansar were truly virtuous and great. Who could believe anything else about them when Allah says that He is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and when He Himself describes to them the abode He has prepared for them in the Hereafter?

It is now up to the Shi`ah to think whether or not the Sahabah whom they detest were of the Muhajirin and the Ansar. If they were, then of course they are all assured entry into Jannah. And if they are not, then who are the ones spoken of in this ayah? My brothers! What does it mean to believe in the Qur’an? Does it mean one must harbour enmity towards people with whom Allah says that He is pleased? Or that you must deny that such people are Muslims whose entry into Jannah the Qur’an guarantees?

A Shi`i objection

Let us now look at a Shi`i objection. It is said that the names of the first three khulafa are not mentioned in the ayah, therefore denial of their virtue does not amount to rejection of the ayah. In response to this objection we refer to the testimony of Imam Baqir wherein he includes the three khulafa in the purview of those whom the Qur’an praises and gives glad tidings. This testimony we bring from a work not of the Ahl as-Sunnah, but of the Shi’ah themselves. The author of the book al-Fusul narrates the following:

Imam Baqir said to a group of people who spoke ill of Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman: “Tell me, are you of

the Muhajirin who were driven out of their homes and their possessions, seeking the grace of Allah and His pleasure, and supporting (the cause of) Allah and His Messenger?” (al-Hashr:8)

They replied: “No.”

Next he asked them: “Are you then of

those who, before them, had settled into this abode (Madinah) and into Iman, who love those who migrate to them.?” (al-Hashr:9)

They replied: “No.”

Imaam Baqir then told them: “You yourselves have said that you are not of these two groups. I now bear testimony that you are neither of those about whom Allah says:

And those who come after them, Who .say: Our Lord, forgive us, and forgive our brothers Who believed before us. And Make not in our hearts rancour against those who believe. Our Lord, You are Most Kind, Most Merciful.” (al-Hashr:l0)

My brothers, you call yourself “Imamiyyah”. You regard the words of the Imams as no less in status than the verses of the Qur’an. Why is it then that you do not believe their words when it comes to the excellence and merit of the Sahabah? Why do you not follow your Imams? Why do you reject their words when they speak of the virtue of the Sahabah?

To come back to the point, this narration proves that according to Imam Baqir the three khulafa definitely fall within the scope of the ayah. The promise of Paradise which Allah here makes to the Muhajirin and the Ansar applies to them as well. It also confirms that the Imam was extremely upset at those who speak ill of the khulafa and regarded them as being outside Islam and Iman. There can thus be no answer except to say that it was all said in taqiyyah. But for how long can taqiyyah be invoked to explain things away? It is sad indeed that when Allah Himself makes such clear mention of the virtue of the Sahabah, and the Imams too mention it in terms no less lucid, that the Shi’ah are still looking for proof of their merit.

Another Shi`i illusion

Another illusion of Shi’ah goes that by “Muhajirin” Allah means exclusively those who made hijrah sincerely for His sake, while by “Ansar” only those are meant who extended help solely for His pleasure. Those who emigrated or gave assistance for worldly reasons are therefore excluded. To this we respond in three ways.

Firstly, at the time when the Muhajirin emigrated from Makkah and the Ansar received them in Madinah, what worldly benefit was there to be gained? Did those who left Makkah hear that a treasure had been discovered in Madinah that they rushed to gain their share of it? Or did the Muhajirin bring such alot of wealth with them that the Ansar was tempted by it to take them into their own homes? If the hijrah of the Muhajirin and the nusrah of the Ansar were not for the sake of Allah, what was then the cause behind it?

Secondly, if it is true that the Muhajirin and the Ansar were motivated by worldly aims, then it must also follow (Allah forbid) that their praise as contained in the Qur’an must be meaningless and obsolete. If the hijrah of the Muhajirin and the nusrah of the Ansar were not for the sake of Allah, then about who is it that Allah says:

And the early pioneers – the Muhajirin and the Ansar

If they were all hypocrites, then about who is it that Allah says:

Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with him.

And if it is argued that some of them were sincere while others were motivated by worldly desires, we might well ask them to name the sincere ones who made hijrah and nusrah purely for the sake of Allah. The moment it comes down to giving names they will be unable to go beyond three or four. It is quite obvious that the hijrah and nusrah of such a small group does not achieve much.

Thirdly, this illusion has been refuted by Allah Himself in the Qur’an. He Himself undertook to answer for the Muhajirin and the Ansar. There are two other verses in the Qur’an wherein Allah has made it clear that the deeds of the Muhajirin and the Ansar were done for His sake. The first of the two is in Surah Hajj where Allah says about the Muhajirin:

‘those who were taken from their homes unjustly, for no reason other than that they said.- Allah is our Lord. (al-Hajj:40)

This ayah clearly proves that the cause for the emigration of the Muhajirin was nothing other than the fact that the unbelievers could not reconcile themselves to these people calling Allah their Lord, and as a result started persecuting them. If the Shi’ah will now, after hearing this ayah, still insist that the Muhajirin emigrated for worldly greed, then well and good. I will never ever say something like that.

About the Ansar, Allah Ta’ala says:

‘And those who, before them, who had settled into this abode (Madinah) and into Imaan, who love those who migrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that whic they (muhajirin) have been given, and give (the Muhajirin) preference over themselves even though they themselves were in need. And whoever is freed from his own covetousness, such are the successful?’ (al-Hashr 9)

Look at this ayah, and see how Allah praises the great-heartedness of the Ansar. Look how Allah Himself attests to the fact that when they received the Muhajirin in their midst and extended the hand of assistance to them, it was only for His sake.

It is confusing, to say the least, that while Allah Ta’ala openly declares that the hijrah of the Muhajirin and the nusrah of the Ansar were both sincerely done for His sake, that the Shi’ah could still insist it was for worldly greed. Friends, please ask yourself that when you do so, do you thereby show that you believe in the Word of Allah or that you reject it? Do you submit to the decree of Allah or do you oppose it? Allah says they were good; you say no, they were worse than bad. Allah says He is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him; you say no, it is all wrong, neither is Allah pleased with them nor are they pleased with Him. Allah says they made hijrah and nusrah solely for His sake; you say no, they did it out of worldly greed. Please think what you are saying and doing.

Brothers, had there been only one or two verses of this nature in the Qur’an there might have been scope to interpret it differently. But when the whole Qur’an is filled with references to the Muhajirin and the Ansar, then how is one to go about interpreting things away, and how far can one then make the claim that the meaning of the text has been corrupted? The real situation is that they have chosen the madhhab of `Abdullah ibn Saba, but now they are in a fix. They cannot refute the Qur’an, but neither are they accepting it.

Al-Istiqamah vol.1 no.4