The Eclipse of Islam: What happened to Islam after Umar? By Ghulam Ahmad Parwez
Table of Contents
1 – Preface
2 – What happened to Islam after Umar?
3 – Impact of Ajami religions on Muslims’ beliefs
4 – Glossary
Addressing the opening session of the 10th Islamic Summit Conference in Malaysia on October 16, 2003, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir bin Mohammad, lamented that the Muslim Ummah is divided into several groups and sub-groups. “Over the last 1400 years the interpreters of Islam, the learned ones, the ulamas have interpreted and reinterpreted the single Islamic religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), so differently that now we have a thousand religions which are often so much at odds with one another that we often fight and kill each other,” Mahathir said adding: “From being a single Ummah we have allowed ourselves to be divided into numerous sects, mazhabs and tarikats, each more concerned with claiming to be the true Islam than our oneness as the Islamic Ummah.”
One has look to back far to understand the current horizontal and vertical division in the Muslim society on the basis of sects and religious beliefs.
Only going back into its history one can comprehend the reasons for emergence of various religious beliefs and sects in Islam, which are largely based on different interpretations of religious issues.
It is said that knowledge of the past is the key to understanding the present. There is always a connection between the way in which we contemplate the past and the way in which we contemplate the present. German philosopher Søren Kierkegaard believed that life must be lived forward, but it can only be understood backward.
In her popular book – History of Islam – Karen Armstrong argues that in the modern West, we have made a point of separating religion from politics; this secularization was originally seen by the philosophers of Enlightenment as a means of liberating religion from the corruption of state affairs, and allowing it to regain and retain its pristine originality. Therefore, there is a symbiotic relationship between history and religion.
According to Armstrong: “In Islam, Muslims have looked for God in history. Their sacred scripture, the Quran, gave them a historical mission. Their chief duty was to create a just community in which all members, even the most weak and vulnerable, were treated with absolute respect. The experience of building such a society and living in it would give them intimations of the divine, because they would be living in accordance with God’s will.
A Muslim had to redeem history, and that meant that state affairs were not a distraction from spirituality but the stuff of religion itself. The political well-being of the Muslim community was a matter of supreme importance. Like any religious ideal, it was almost impossibly difficult to implement in the flawed and tragic conditions of history, but after each failure Muslims had to get up and begin again.”
Being a keen student of history I was deeply interested in finding out out how Islam, which at one time became the unifying force for the Arab people, was divided into various sects. I read many books and hundreds of articles on this subject but was unable to find an unbiased research work on this sensitive subject. Among the Urdu books, I found Mazahibul Islam by Maulana Najmul Ghani Rampuri. This is an exhaustive book on the subject but, I believe, it lacks the modern research technique.
There are many books written by Western authors but, like the 18th century Orientalists, their work is not impartial or unbiased but is agenda driven. One such recent book I was able to go through is “After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam” by a Jewish journalist, Lesley Hazleton. I am referring to this book since in a Google search for Islamic Sects, her book pops up on dozens of websites. Like many other western authors’ books on this subject, Hazelton doesn’t give an unbiased story and probably all her source material is from the English language books, not from Arabic books.
It will not be entirely out of place to say that for centuries European Orientalists have been working to defame and ridicule Islam through their ‘scholarly’ enterprises and the Neo-Orientalists in Europe and America are now following in their footsteps. Alarmingly, such semi-official US think-tanks as the Rand Corporation, in their “scholarly” enterprises, are demeaning Islam and Muslims while suggesting to exploit Sunni, Shiite and Arab, non-Arab divides to promote the US policy objectives in the Muslim world. Not astonishingly, the American neo-Orientalists are asking for the subordination of Islamic/Middle Eastern study in universities to American foreign policy interests.
In my quest to find a well researched book on the history of early days of Islam I came across the biography of the Second Caliph of Islam, Umer Bin Khattab – “Shah Kar-e-Risalat” [literally, ‘The Prophet’s Masterpiece’]- by a well-known Islamic scholar, Ghulam Ahmed Parwez. The 14th and final chapter of this biography provides an analytical story of the political and intellectual difficulties in the history of Islam. Parwez has virtually compressed several thousand pages of Islamic history into the 100 or so pages of this chapter. This exhaustive chapter may be described as an independent and comprehensive book.
While translating this chapter of “Shahkar-e-Risalat,” I found a very informative footnote on the subject which details some of the historical references given by Parwez. This is an article by Khawaja Ibadullah Akhtar, published in the November 1954 issue of Tolu-e-Islam – Impact of Ajami religions on the beliefs of Muslims. I thought it appropriate to translate this article too.
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. It is very difficult to translate material from one language to another because every language has its unique expressions, idioms, terminology and tone. That is why it is often said that one language cannot be translated perfectly into another language. And when it comes to religious subjects it becomes more difficult.
Translators always risk inappropriate spill-over of source-language idiom and usage into the target-language translation. On the other hand, spill-over have imported useful source-language calques and loanwords that have enriched the target languages.
In my translation, I have tried my best to strictly follow the text but sometimes I was forced to digress a little in a bid to explain and clarify a concept. At several places, I have also used Arabic terminology for which I could not find any appropriate or equivalent English word.
At the end I have given a glossary of Arabic words and religious terminology which have been used in the translation. I hope that the glossary will help in clarifying any ambiguities in the translation.
I believe that this work of Parwez is purely an academic and research enterprise with extensive references to early Islamic books. This study does not aim to offend any individual or group. It should be read in a spirit of knowledge-seeking. Historical facts are facts; history cannot be swept clean like a blackboard and, as Aldous Huxley says, facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Al Hajj Ibn-e-Abdus Salam, Islamabad, January 2015
[Translation of chapter 14 “Shola-e-Ishq Siaahposhe Huwa terey baad” of the book Shahkaar e Risaalat [‘The Prophet’s Masterpiece], a biography of Umar by Ghulam Ahmad Parwez. In this chapter, Allama Parwez provides a detailed account of non-Arab influence on Islamic beliefs. Translated by Al Haajj Ibn-e-Abdus Salam]
Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths:
What their hearts conceal is far worse. (3/118)
In 641 AD, Persian General Hormazan surrendered to the Arab army after a six month siege of the town of Tuster near Ahwaz. He was brought to Media before Caliph Umar Bin Khattab who wanted to know Hormazan’s thoughts over the incredible defeat of Iran by a handful of Arabs who were considered too low in the Iranian eyes even to enter a battle with. Caliph Umar asked Hormazan: “What is the reason that in the past whenever Arabs dared to attack you, you repelled them very easily? But now the same Arabs are vanquishing your empire and you are helpless. You are in front of me in a devastated condition and your emperor is running to save his life.”
Harmazan replied: “It is very obvious that in the past wars, Iranians were on the one side and the Arabs on the other. It was not difficult for Iranians to defeat the Arabs. But in the present wars, Iranians are alone while Arabs and their God are on the other side. It is not possible for us to confront these two powers, which is the reason that we were defeated.”
Secret of the Muslim power. This was a blunt reality that was described by Harmazan in a few words. We should admire the wisdom of those people who very clearly visualized the distinguished feature of Islam and in this way found the secret of the power of Muslims.
What Harmazan said was actually a reflection of this Quranic verses:
Verily, Allah is with the believers. (8/19)
Helping the believers is every incumbent on us. (30/47)
Iranians realized that as long as God is on the side of the Muslims, they or any other world power would not be able to subjugate them. Therefore it is imperative that they should be separated from God in order to take revenge. And after that all our history is the detail of how we were delinked from God. It is very obvious that God does not descend on the earth to help the Muslims. The meaning of “with God” was that the Muslims of that era spent their lives in accordance with the Book of God, which resulted in the establishment of Deen.
A tangible proof of God’s promise was:
Allah by no means gives the unbelievers a way against the believers. (4/141)
Muslims alienated from the Quran
Defeated nations conspired against the Muslims so that they should be alienated from the book of God (the Quran). Iqbal calls this a non-Arab (ajami) conspiracy.
It may be pointed out that when Iqbal talks about Arabic Islam in comparison to Ajami Islam, he does not mean Arab and Iranian states or territories. By ‘Arabic Islam’ he means the Islam that was given to humanity by God Almighty through Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and which is now preserved in the Quran. By Ajami Islam, Iqbal means the prevalent Islam that is a distortion of the original. He refers to the first one as Arabic Islam because the Quran’s primary invitees were Arabs and it was revealed in their language.
He refers the other one as ‘Ajami’ because it was Iran (a non-Arab cultural territory) where the distortion of Islam began; thus, currently, Islam is a mixture of non-Quranic ideas and beliefs which are mainly based on the ancient Iranian religion (Magian/Zoroastrian) and civilization.
Difference between the victories over the Iranians and the Romans
The Muslims defeated the Iranian and Roman empires during the early Caliphate [the time of the first four caliphs, commonly referred to as ‘the righteous caliphs’] era but there was a basic difference between the two victories. Only a part of the Roman Empire was occupied by the Muslims but and the whole empire was not disintegrated nor did their civilization vanish. On the other hand, the Iranian empire was occupied in its entirety and their centuries- old civilization, of which they were proud, vanished.
Therefore, the Muslim victories caused a deep wound on the psyche of the Iranians. Consequently, they were forefmost in hatching conspiracies against the Muslims (rather, Islam). Jews and Christians supported them. Their endeavour was to conceal the real meaning of Quran from the Muslims. No doubt they were very much successful in their effort.
There was another difference between Iran and Rome. As we have seen earlier, though the Muslims captured their territory but their residents were given full religious freedom. No one was converted to Islam by force because it was against the teachings of the Quran. The Christian citizens of the Roman Empire generally followed their own religion while the Iranian citizens generally embraced Islam. Most of them accepted Islam at the time of attacks by the Muslim armies.
Iranians embrace Islam
There were intellectuals and army officers among the Iranian population that embraced Islam. For example, Emperor Yazdegerd III had prepared a 4000-man special unit from the tribe of Wailem that was called Soldiers of the Emperor. After the victory at Qadsiyya, this unit defected and embraced Islam. Saad Ibn Abi Waqas gave this unit permission to settle in Kufa.
Similarly, the commander of the infantry of Yazdegerd III was a very prominent officer, known as Siah. When the Emperor left Isfahan, he sent Siah with a special unit to confront the Muslims. However, instead of fighting the Muslims, he embraced Islam along with his unit. They all settled in Basra.
Bazan was Anushirwan’s Governor in Yemen. Most of the army under his command accepted Islam.
As we mentioned earlier, the personal unit of Emperor Yazdegerd III embraced Islam. These people were not only soldiers but, like the Nine Advisors (Noratan) of the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar of India, were special advisors to the Shahinshah and used to be called Asawra. The biggest symbol of honor and nearness to the Emperor was the golden bangle. Those who were given this symbol used to be called the Asawra people. A bangle is called asura, the plural of which is asawra. In the Quran, iIt is said about the people of Paradise that they will be wearing golden bangles (18/21), which means they will enjoy a higher degree of honor.
After the Muslim victories, these people became Muslims in large numbers. We do not want to say, or should say, that all these people came to the fold of Islam with mal intentions. However, as we will come to know later, the intellectuals among these people entered into the Muslim umma with malign objectives: , so that they could introduce ancient Zoroastrian ideas and customs into Islamic philosophy.
As a matter of fact, the simple Arab people were no match for the sophisticated Iranian thoughts and their clever political manoeuvres.
Therefore, in this sphere, they were defeated easily. However, the Iranians who embraced Islam with sincerity were no different than the Arab Bedouin Muslims about whom the Quran says:
The desert Arabs say, “We believe.” Say, “Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say. (49/14)
Umar was aware of this situation. Therefore, he wanted to give proper education
and training to the neo-Muslims in order to bring an intrinsic change in them and embed the real Islamic belief in their hearts. But the conspiracy of Harmazan was successful before Umar could implement his program. He realized that the biggest obstacle in the way of taking revenge from the Muslims is the person of Umar and the Iranians would not be successful in their objectives unless he was removed. The path would be clear once this obstacle was removed. As a consequence of Umar’s demise, not only the nNeo-Muslims could not be educated and trained, but also it became easy for the shrewd Iranians to infiltrate their thoughts among them.
We see two fronts of non-Arab conspiracies to achieve their objectives. One was aimed at weakening the Muslim empire and gaining political dominance. The other was aimed at imprinting Islam with non-Arab ideas and beliefs. If we analyze deeply, we find that their main objective was not to gain political dominance; rather their political clout was used to achieve the second objective.
This is a valley where even angels do not dare to enter
However, this is a very delicate question. The reason is that there is no aspect of our present Islam which has not been affected and entrapped in non-Islamic ideas by the Ajami conspiracy. This applies to any strand of Islam of the followers of Sharia of any school of thought or the followers of Tariqa; they all carry a deep imprint of the Ajami (un-Islamic) ideas.
It is obvious that when someone says that our present Islam is corrupted with un-Islamic beliefs and thoughts, our religious leaders abhor this and insist that the Islam which they practise is the true Islam.
Hence, it sounds strange and shocking when someone says that the present Islamic beliefs or schools of thought are clearly against the Quranic text.
Books of Tradition and History
This argument may not be understood and some people may be shocked, but this is a reality. The reason is that for them authority in Deen are Tradition and history. Only that meaning of Quran is accepted which is supported by traditional accounts and history. In other words, these religious leaders have subordinated the Quran to the traditions and history rather than subordinating the traditions and history to the Quran.
We will discuss this in detail later. You may be astonished to know that the collections of traditions and history books were all compiled by Iranians (not Arabs).
Sunnis consider six of these Tradition collections as authentic. These are called Saha Sitta (‘The six authentic ones’). The Shias have four such books of Tradition. However, the collectors of all these authentic collections of Ttraditions (ahadith) whether of Sunnis or Shias, were all Iranians.
Similarly, the first history book in Islamic literature, which is considered authentic, was written by Imam Tabri, who was also an Iranian. The first book of the commentary on the Quran was also written by Imam Tabri. Remember, all these books were compiled without any written record in the 3rd and 4th centuries of the Hijra calendar.
It is very obvious how authentic these books could be after the passing away of the Prophet (PBUH).
There is an additional problem with the Shia books of traditions and history. Taqiyya (hiding one’s Belief) is one of the foundations of Deen to them. What is taqiyya and what is its place in Islam? To explain this, we will refer to their most authentic book of traditions, Usul-e-Kafi.
1. Abu Jaffar said that while dealing with your opponents be friendly in public but remain their opponent secretly.
2. Abu Abdullah said it is not enough that Imama (the system of divinely-appointed religious leaders of the Shia) is recognized and accepted, but our beliefs should be kept secret from our opponents who should not be told about our traditions. Only our friends should be
conveyed our salutations and ask them to pray for God’s mercy for those who show friendliness to our opponents in the state of taqiyya.
Addressing Sulaiman, he said, “You belong to the Deen wherein God will honor you if do not reveal it and you will be dishonored if you reveal it.
This is the importance to taqiyya:
Hazrat Abu Abdullah said that taqiyya is the Deen of mine and my ancestors. Whoever does not practice taqiyya, is not in the fold of Deen.
(Urdu translation of Syyed Zafar Hassan, Vol II Page 240-247)
Imams followed this practically. According to Kafi:
I heard Abu Abdullah saying: “Whoever knows that whatever we say is right (correct), should trust us for whatever we say. If he hears something that is against the command of God, he should understand that we had said that to prevent any harm from our enemies; in other words, he said what he did by way of taqiyya. (Al Shafi – Vol I, Page 72-73)
According to another tradition, Imam Jaafar Sadiq asked a Shia, “If one year I tell you a tradition and the following year I relate another tradition that is contrary to the first one, which one are you going to follow? He said, “The last one”. The Imam said, “May God have mercy on you!” (This means that the first tradition was told under taqiyya.) (Al Shafi
– Vol I, Page 73)
Surely, it is difficult or impossible to know the reality from the books of traditions and history compiled by these people.
The question of the age of Aisha (the Prophet’s wife)
That, then, is the veracity of our (Shia and Sunni) traditions and history compilations which are not only considered sacred but to criticise them logically is considered kufr (infidelity). It is generally accepted that Aisha was only six years old at the time of her marriage to the Prophet. This assertion is contrary to the clear instruction of the Quran that puberty is a condition of nikah (marriage). On the other hand, this assertion provided an opportunity to the Orientalists to demean the personality of the Prophet.
After a long and extensive research, this scribe has proved that Aisha’s age was between 17 and 18 years at the time of her marriage. These people – the ultra-conservationists and the deeply religious – should have thanked
God Almighty that this research helped clear the misunderstanding and removed the blemish on the personality of the Prophet caused by Orientalists because of wrong traditions.
However – as you may already know – what was the reaction of these people? They argued that in this case we will have to concede that the tradition of Bukhari is wrong and that will tantamount to kufr . Therefore, this person (the writer) is a rejectionist of Tradition. Hence, 1000 ulamas issued a fatwa (religious decree) of kufr against me.
This is the extent, then, of the sacredness of these books which is perpetuated through labelling as infidel anybody who challenges their authenticity. This, also, is the result of the Ajami conspiracy.
In this situation, you can well imagine, that when we declared these historic episodes and traditions as fabrication, why it was impossible for the traditionalist ulamas (religious leaders) to agree with it.
My maslak (belief)
I have explained my point of view about the traditions and history in the introduction of the book. Here, I will repeat it briefly:
1. Authority in Deen comes from the Book of God – the Quran – which explains itself. The books of traditions and interpretations which are in accordance with the Quranic teachings should be accepted while the ones which contradict the Quranic teachings should be rejected.
2. We believe in the prophet-hood of Mohammad (PBUH) and the Quran gives testimony to the righteousness of all sahaba (companions of the Prophet). Therefore, we do not regard those books of traditions & history which contain such material that brings a bad name to our prophet’s personality or which are against some prominent sahaba as authentic.
That is my belief. Regarding the prominent religious elders of any sect, who came after sahaba and command great reverence, my point of view is that if anything is attributed to them that goes against the Quran, it is attributed to them wrongly. If they were really the elders of Deen, then they would not have said such things. But, if someone insists that this attribution is correct, then the following Quranic verse is sufficient for my guidance:
That was a people that have passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and ye of what ye do! Of their merits, you will not be asked any questions. 2/141
Of the material in the forthcoming pages, my belief is that all matters which are contrary to the message of Quran have been wrongly wrongly attributed to those elders.
I am neither Shia nor Sunni, or follower of any other school of thought, or of Ahle Hadith. I am a simple Muslim. I firmly believe that the Quran is God’s last, complete and immutable book and consider Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) as the last and final prophet of God. Prophet-hood ended with him.
I analyze history and traditions in the light of the Quran. Whatever I have written in the following pages, it is to show how Ajami conspiracies clearly detached Muslims from the Quran and distorted Islam. My effort is to argue with the authority of history and tradition. If somebody dislikes that, its responsibility does not lie with me but with history and tradition. However, I will apologize to them because I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.
I would like to clarify another point. As I said earlier, distortion in Islam began in Iran. All un-Islamic ideas and beliefs in Islam were borrowed from the ancient Iranian religion, Zoroastrianism. By this I by no means whatsoever hold the present Iranians responsible for it; the responsibility lies with the Iranians of that ancient time. Therefore, if (according to history) they are blamed for anything, their successors or the present Iranians are not responsible for that. Hence, whatever will be said about Iran, we will mean the ancient Iranians.
The issue of khilafa (Caliphate)
It was the issue of khilafa that split the Muslim umma (nation). In the beginning, it was a political issue but later it twisted into a religious issue. In this way this united umma split into two permanent religious sects (Sunni and Shia) and it became impossible to bring them together. In chapter III (about khilafa) we have seen that the caliph was elected with the consultation of umma. However, when Abu Bakar was chosen in this way, Ali objected by saying that he was the heir of the Prophet’s legacy (which includes khilafa); thus, khilafa was his inherent right and nobody could take it from him. For some time he struggled to pursue his claim but after the passing away of his wife, the Prophet’s daughter, Fatima he fell silent. During the reign of Umar he remained silent but during the reign of Usman the conflict over khilafa became so intense and divisive that it was never resolved.
The Right of Inheritance
In his well-known work of history, Ibn-e-Jarir Tabri has given details of Usman’s election. Without going into details, we will quote briefly: ‘When Usman was elected, Ali turned and walked away. But he returned when Abdul Rehman ben Auf stopped him. He pledged allegiance at the hand of Usman but kept murmuring “This is a fraud…a big fraud.”’ (Tabri; vol III)
Nahjat ul Blagha (a collection of the sermons and sayings of Ali) is considered a very authentic Shia book that includes a sermon by Ali, entitled Shaqshaqia, in which he says that after the demise of the Prophet the three caliphs usurped his right of succession (to the Prophet) which he had rceived in inheritance. (Nahjat ul Blagha – pp.136-37)
However, there was a flaw in the claim of khilafa through inheritance because of which it could not be promoted further (as we will see later). The Abbasids (the clan of the Prophet’s uncle Abbas) claimed that on the basis of the traditional inheritance, they, and not Ali or his sons, had the right to khilafa. Their argument was that in the presence of an uncle, according to Sharia, the inheritance goes to the uncle and not his descendents. At the time of the Prophet’s demise, Abbas was alive, therefore, his inheritance should have gone to him and not to the Prophet’s cousin, Ali. This claim of The Abbasids took the shape of family or political controversy. It later twisted into religious controversy because of other reasons. In order to find that reason we need to understand its background.
Iranian’s belief about their emperors
Iranians believed that their emperors were super-human beings with Godly traits and authority. They were not elected by the people but appointed by God to rule. Hence, they had the sole right to rule and nobody could snatch their right which was transferred to their descendents through inheritance. They were God’s shadow and His representative on earth. They were considered infallible; therefore, it was incumbent on people to obey their orders. These beliefs were at their extreme during the period of Sassanid emperors when the Quran was revealed sweeping all these beliefs away.
Abdullah Ben Sabah
A strange personality, known as Abdullah Ben Sabah, appears on the scene during the reign of Hazrat Usman. His alias was Ibn-e-Soda. Some historians declare him as a concocted personality (for example, Dr. Taha Hussain of Egypt – El Fitna al Kubra (1947) dealing with the problems during Usman’s reign). But those who believe that he was a real person say that he was a Jew from Yemen who embraced Islam in Madina, where he stayed for a while and learned the art of statecraft. He then moved to Kufa and made it the first center of his conspiracies.
According to some historical reports, he spent some time in Madayen (Iran). Later he went to Egypt from where he spread the network of his conspiracy that was aimed at forcing Usman to quit khilafa in favor of Ali.
In 35 AH, an armed unit comprising the residents of Egypt, Basra and Kufa arrived in Madina and laid siege to the house of Usman, assassinated him and declared Ali as caliph.
After the martyrdom of Usman (as historians report) when there was armed confrontation between Ali and the Prophet’s widow, Aisha (The Battle of the Camel), Abdullah Ben Sabah was present in the army of Hazrat Ali. It was his party that attacked the army of Aisha when they saw the possibility of conciliation and thus escalated the conflict.
Later on in the battle of Saffain between Ali and Muawiyya, the same party was busy in conspiracies on the side of Ali.
Such was the political role of Abdullah Ben Sabah. However, his conspiracy that caused an irreparable damage to Islam is his ideologies which he spread extensively.
The belief in “Return” (raja)
First, he said he was astonished at the simplicity of Muslims that they believed that Jesus (Christ) will return to Earth again but do not believe that Prophet Mohammad will return. The Prophet will definitely come back, he said. This belief could not become popular among the Muslims but the Shias adopted it about the sons of their Imam.
Later on, he said every prophet had a khalifa and an heir and that Ali was the heir of the Prophet. According to the clear instructions of the prophet, Ali should have been the Khalifa. Those who had prevented Ali from becoming khalifa, had actually usurped his legitimate right. Now the Muslims should depose or assassinate Usman and Ali should be appointed khalifa in his place. This is the only way that the Muslims can mend their mistake and repent for their sins.
The effect of the concept of “God-appointed” Imam
The result of the propagation of these ideas was that the Muslims began to adopt the same ideas regarding khilafa that were attributed to the Iranian emperors. According to these ideas, khilafa (this term was later replaced with Imama, which was more comprehensive and all embracing than khilafa) is not the kind of office that God leaves for the human intellect; it cannot be determined through a decision by the umma. This is an essential pillar of Deen and a basis of Islam. It is not appropriate for the Prophet that he should leave this matter undecided at the mercy of the umma. Therefore, it is essential that he should appoint an Imam for the umma. Hence the prophet, at the orders of God, leaves a will. For the imama of Ali, the prophet had willed, that is why Ali is called ‘heir of the Prophet’. Similarly, every Imam leaves a Will in favor of his successor Imam. The Imam is appointed by God because this Will is in accordance with the orders of God. An Imam does not commit any mistakes, that is why he is called “Imam, the pious.” Therefore, if anybody else becomes successor of the Prophet, he is a usurper. It was also said that the right of Imama belongs to Ali and his descendents.
Demarcation line between kufr and eemaan (Disbelief and Belief)
Obviously, this idea about khilafa was against the belief of Sunnis and (for the first time) created two sects in the umma which remained in constant conflict. Later on, the idea of the God- appointed Imam was declared an essential part of the faith and became a demarcation line between disbelief and belief (kufr and emaan).
According to this belief, Shia and Sunni are not the two sects of Muslims but (as the Shias believe) the non-Shias who do not believe in Imama are outside the fold of Islam. Hence, Shias do not consider Sunnis as Muslims. Later on, Shias split into several sects like the Sunnis. However, all Shia sects have the same view as far as khilafa is concerned. Detail of this issue will be given later when it will be shown that the Shia’s claim that these beliefs are on the basis of the knowledge that was given to the Imams by God.
(According to historical records) This, then, were the form the ideas planted by Abdullah Ben Sabah eventually grew to. As has been mentioned earlier, he came from Yemen which was under Iranian control at that time. Many Iranians were living in Yemen; therefore the roots of the ideas of Sabah were Iranian ideas and beliefs. Later on he spent more of his life in Kufa and Basra where Iranians had settled after having embracing Islam. He also lived in Madayen, which was the capital of the Iranian empire. All this indicates that his ideas were a reflection of the Iranians beliefs and customs.
In his book, the Egyptian scholar Husnain Haikal has reproduced a long passage from History of the Historian published by Encyclopaedia Britannica that indicates that when the Iranians embraced Islam, it deeply affected Muslim politics and religion. It says:
“Iranian belief declared their king as the son of God. He was considered a god of greatness and reverence by birth. Therefore, when Iranians revolted against the governments of Madina and Damascus, they gathered around Ali, the cousin and legal heir of the prophet, who was kept away from the khilafa. An aura of reverence was created around his personality just as their ancestors used to do for their emperors.
“Their ancestors called their emperor the Son of God and a sacred king while their books referred to them as Syed and Murshid. Similarly, during their Islamic period they gave the title of Imam to Ali. This title has significant meaning despite its simplicity.
“When Ali was martyred, the Iranians gathered around his two sons (Hassan and Hussain) and later around their descendents. It is said that Hussain had married the daughter of the last ruler of the Sassanid dynasty. Hence, along with the sacred right of Imama, this marriage created a family link. Later on, the blood of Hussain, shed in Karbala, gave reverence to this unity that was established between Islam and ancient Iran.
“It was the Iranian rebellion that snatched power from the Umayyads and handed it to the relatives of the prophet, The Abbasids. In this way, they implemented and authenticated the principle of Imama, though they were unable to crown the particular family for which they had exerted all their efforts.” (Umar Farooq-e-Azam by Hasnain Haikal, Urdu translation – p.419)
Shia traditions regarding Shehrbano
In chapter six, we mentioned the marriage of Yazdegerd III’s daughter to Hussain. In this respect, a tradition in the Shia book of hadith – Usul-el-Kafi – is worth considering. Within the context of the birth of Ali Ben Hussain, it is said that his mother’s name was Salama (More famous as Shehrbano) Bint Yazdigard ben Shahryar ben Sheroya ben Kasra, the last Persian emperor. The passage goes on to say:
“Imam Baqer said that when the daughter of Yazdegerd was presented to Umar, the virgins of Madina climbed to their roof tops to have a glimpse of her beauty. When she entered the mosque, it became bright (with her presence). When Umar saw her, she veiled her face. She said, “Woe be on Hormuz as it is because of him that that I have to see this bad day!” Umar said, “Are you abusing me (because I saw you and you call this a bad day)?” and wanted to punish her but she denied the allegation.
“Amir ul momeneen (The Leader of the Faithful) said that she should be given permission to choose anyone from the Muslims and should be considered as war booty. Then she walked through people and put her hand on the head of Imam Hussain. Amirul Momenin asked, “What is your name?” She said, “Jahan Shah.” Umar said, No, it will be Shehrbano.” Then he said to Imam Hussain, “Abu Abullah! You will have a son from her womb who will be the best in the world.” Hence Ali Ibne Hussain was born, who was the best Arab because he was Hashmi and the best Ajami because he was Iranian.” (Kitab us Shaafi – Vol. I, pp. 578-79)
Salman Farsi (Salman, the Persian) is yet another person because of whom (according to historical reports) Ali had contacts with the Iranians. In his book Asad Al Ghaba Fi Seerat As Sahaba, Ibne Aseer writes that Salman Farsi was one of the companions of the Prophet. There is a controversy about his age which has variously been reported to have been between 250 and 600 years. He is said to have had seen the era of the disciples of Jesus Christ and enjoyed their company. He was aware of the prediction of Jesus about the appearance of Ahmed (Parakleet) who would emerge in Yathrab (Medina).
Salman Farsi was captured and enslaved by a Jew who was coming to Yathrab on a trade mission. In this way he reached there with the Jew. After the hijra (the migration of the Prophet from Mecca to Yathrab) he embraced Islam. The Prophet secured his freedom with the financial help of his companions. When the Prophet established brotherhood between the migrants (muhajreen) from Mecca and local residents (ansar) in Medina, Salman could not be put in either category. Therefore, the Prophet declared that Salman belonged to his household. (From: Izalat Al Khulafaa by Shah Walihullah).
Thus Salman Farsi was considered a member of ahl e bait (the household of the Prophet.) When this verse of Sura Juma was revealed: And others from among them who have not yet joined them (62/3), the Companions asked who were the people who would come later. Salman Farsi was sitting next to the Prophet; he touched Salman on the shoulder or head and said that those people would be from his nation, and an individual of great majesty would be born in that nation who would be capable of finding the he would obtain the true Faith even if it was hiding in far away stars.
Similarly, it is mentioned in Tirmizi that when this verse was revealed:
If ye turn back (from the Path), He will substitute in your stead another people (47/38), people asked the prophet which nation Allah would choose instead of them? He touched Salman on the shoulder and said, “His nation, his nation”.
These traditions not only established the superiority of the Iranians over the Arabs but also opened the way for a belief in the “Return of the Messiah.”
That, then, is the background of Salman Farsi about whom Shias believe that after the passing away of the Prophet, besides the ahl e bait, only three individuals remained faithful to Islam: Miqdad, Abu Dar and Salman Farsi. (Some Shia traditions add two more names which are: Ali’s slave Qmbar, and Ammar ben Yasir who supported Ali’s claim to the caliphate.)
In the passage quoted earlier from History of the Historian, it is said that though the Iranians were unable to crown those whom they wanted but they snatched the empire from the Umayyads and handed it over to the Abbasids who were related to the Prophet. We wanted to show how the Iranians of that time weakened the Islamic state through exploitation of internal differences and splits. Hence that period of history also became our topic of discussion that how they continued their conspiracies which resulted in the transfer of power from the Umayyads to the Abbasids and its collapse after the fall of Baghdad.
Imam Hassan surrenders khilafa
The Islamic empire was divided into two parts (after the assassination of Usman); one part was under the leadership of Ali with Kufa as its capital while the other part was under amir (ruler) Moawiyya with its capital at Damascus. After the martyrdom of Ali, Hassan succeeded him but, after a few days, he abdicated in favor of Moawiyya. According to Ibne Khaldun, “Hassan wrote to Moawiyya that he was willing to step down if he was given all the money (50 million dirhams) in the treasury of Kufa. Moreover, he demanded to be regularly paid the tribute (tax) of Darul Jabru (which was part of Faris). (Ibne Khaldun, vol. II, p. 456)
After this issue was resolved, the whole empire fell under the rule of Moawiyya.
Hasnain’s (the two brothers, Hassan and Hussain) relations with Moawiyya:
It is worth mentioning that both brothers enjoyed very good relations with Moawiyya. For example, Ibne Katheer writes: “When the khilafa (Caliphate) of Moawiyya was established, Hussain, along with his brother Hassan, used to visit him. The amir used to receive them with great honor and offer very expensive gifts. On more occasions than one, they were paid 200,000 dirhams. (Al Bidaya Wal Nihaya, vol. 8)
This relationship continued with Hussain after the death of Hassan. The commentator of Nahjat Al Blagha, Ibne Abi Haddad writes: “Moawiyya was the first person in the world who gave gifts of a million dirhams; his son Yazid doubled this amount. These gifts were given to the two sons of Ali – Hassan and Hussein – every year. (Shrah Ibne Abi Haddad, vol. II)
Moreover, they had family ties. For example, Hussain’s niece Umm e Mohammad – the daughter of his half brother Abdullah Ben Jafar at-Tayyar– was married to Yazid while a wife of Hussein’s (mother of Ali Akbar) was the daughter of Moawiyya’s sister.
Enmity between the Umayyads and the Abbasids:
When the Umayyads came to power, the Iranian aimed their conspiracies at them. For this purpose, they found a strong pawn in the form of the Abbasids. The two rival clans – the Umayyads and the Abbasids – came from a common ancestor as this family tree shows:
When the Umayyads came to power, it sparked a fire of jealousy among the Abbasids. Iranians, who had been waiting for such an opportunity, exploited this development. At this point, another character, known as Abu Muslim Khorasani, entered the scene. He was the biggest propagandist of the Abbasid claim to khilafa. The Abbasids had no special qualities that could gather people around them. To meet this shortcoming, Abu Muslim used the same old formula but the target was different this time. He propagated the idea that khilafa was the right of ahl e bait and they should get it.
Look at the family tree of Ali to understand the term ahl e bait:
Hassan and Hussein were born to Fatima, whose descendents are generally called sadaat. Ali married several times after the passing away of Fatima. According to traditions, he had 18 sons and 18 daughters. All his sons who were not born to Fatima were called Alawis.
In the above family tree we have mentioned only one son from Ali’s other wives – Mohammad Ibne Hanfia – because this discussion is about him. We will later talk about the two prominent Shia sects – Asna Ashri (the Twelvers) and Ismaeli.
Imama is considered inherently confined to Baqer, the son of Zain ul Abidin, and his descendents. However, another sect Zaidia, believe that Imama was transferred to his other’s son, Zaid. Another Shia sect believes that after Ali, Imama was transferred to Mohammad Ibne Hanfia. This sect is called Kisania.
We have introduced these personalities and sects briefly at this point because although the Abbasids were very obvious in the anti-Umayyads campaigns but at many places Fatimides and Alawis also played an important role.
The Umayyad caliphs had given a village in Hamima (that was situated on the way from Madina to Damascus) as an estate to Ali, the son of Abdullah Ben Abbas. He used to live in that village.
The Imam of Kisania sect, Abu Hashim, who was once passing through that village, expired there. Since he had no son, the Abbasids claimed that he had willed in favor of Ali. In this way, the Abbasids became interested in Imama and supporters of Kisania.
After the death of Ali, his son, Mohammad became Imam. He realized that there was no attraction in the name of the Abbasids to rally people around him. Therefore, he told his propagandists that they should not name anybody in their propaganda but say that the right of Imamat belongs to ahl e bait. For this purpose, he established his headquarters in Khorasan where it was easy for him to find support from Iranians.
Abu Muslim Khorasani
At this point, Abu Muslim Khorasani emerges on the scene. His name was Ben Usman Ben Bashari. He was a very intelligent person and a master of administrative skills. He was of Iranian origin and a descendent of Buzjamher. He was born in Isfahan and raised in Kufa. He had no rival in the art of propaganda. The son of Mohammad (Abbasid), Ibrahim, was impressed with his qualities and entrusted him the department of propaganda. In the name of ahl e bait, he propagated so intensely that the foundations of the Umayyad Empire were shaken. At the same time, the Fatimides were also busy in conspiracies against the Umayyads. For example, In 61 AH, the tragedy of Karbala happened. In 122 AH, Zaid, the son of Zain ul Abidin, revolted in Kufa and Zaid’s son Yahya revolted in Khorasan. In 127 AH, Abdullah Ibne Muawiyya (from the family of Jaffar Tayyar) revolted in Kufa but was not successful.
Coming of Mehdi (the Promised One)
However, Abu Muslim’s propaganda was successful. At the same time a belief in the coming of Mehdi also became popular. It was also said that he would come from Khorasan. The color of his army’s clothes and standards would be black. Abu Muslim propagated the idea of appearance of the awaited Imam very intensely and, when found that the situation was ripe, came out with a big army in black uniform carrying black standards. He conquered Khorasan in 128 AH and, after a decisive battle in 132 AH, he ended the Umayyad Empire that was taken over by the Abbasids. Their first Abbasid caliph was Abdullah who became famous as as-Saffah. Although the Abbasids took revenge from the Umayyads, they feared that Abu Muslim’s power might become a threat to them; therefore, they executed him in 137 AH.
We have seen that the Abbasids got the empire through the love of ahl e bait. Naturally, ahl e bait did not like that their name was being exploited everywhere to secure the empire and when it was captured, he Abbasids became its rulers. Therefore, Mohammad Ben Nafs Zakiyya revolted against them but was unsuccessful. His claim was that the inheritance of Imama goes to the off-spring of Ali and not of Abbas.
Abbasid caliph Mansoor rejected this claim and retorted that according to the law of inheritance, khilafa went to the offspring of Abbas. They exchanged very interesting letters which are mournful and exemplary. We reproduce it in full in order to show that how khilafa – which according to the Quranic instruction should have been given assigned with the consultation of Umma on the basis of personal qualities without consideration of ancestry or family – changed into inheritance.
The first letter is from Abu Jafar Abdullah ben Mohammad (Mansoor – Abbasid caliph) to Mohammad Ben Abdullah (Nafs Zakiyya). He writes:
“In the Quran, Allah says that those who fight against Allah and his prophet and create mischief in the world, should be killed, or hanged, or their hands and feet of opposite sides should be cut off or they should be exiled. Therefore, in the name of the Prophet, I urge you that before I capture you, you should repent. I pledge to pardon all your brothers, followers and companions who participated in this rebellion. Moreover, I will give you 100,000 dirhams so that you can live wherever you choose to live and I will meet all your future needs. I will release all ahle bait and Shias who are in my prisons without giving them any punishment. If you agree with this proposal, send your representative to get a written pledge from me.”
Nafs Zakiyya’s response was:
“From Amirul Momenin Mohammad Ben Abdullah Mehdi to Abdullah Ben Mohammad: I also offer you the same pardon that you have offered me. You know that khilafa is our right and you got it because of our Shias. Our father, Ali, was the heir and Imam. I, his son am alive, so how can you become heir? You know very well that during the periods of jahilia (pre-Islamic age of ignorance) and Islam both, nobody had the honor and rank that we had. During the period of jahilia, it is we who were born from the womb of Prophet’s grandmother, Fatima Bent Umro, and not you. In the family of Hashim, I am the best and belong to honorable mother and father.
“I do not have non-Arab blood in my veins. Allah always distinguished my ancestors. Mohammad (PBUH) is the most distinguished in the world. I am his son. My father, Ali, was distinguished among the companions (of the Prophet), unparalleled in knowledge and brave in Jihad. My mother was Khadija, who was among the first in the umma who offered prayers for the first time. Fatima was the best of her daughters. She is the leader of the women of Paradise. In the Islamic period, Hassan and Hussain were the best sons of Hashim (and are the leaders of youth in Paradise). I am the son of the elder one.
“Now note that Ali was the son of Hashim from the side of his parents. Hassan is the son of Abdul Muttalib from the side of his parents and I am the son of the Prophet from the side of my parents. Allah has always preserved distinction and even this distinction is maintained in Hell. It means that I am the son of the one who has higher rank in Paradise and will be given minimum punishment in Hell. In this way, I am the son of those people who are the best among good people and also those who have very low rank in the errant people (of jahilia).
“In witness of Allah, I pardon you for everything, except any violation of Sharia or any agreement for which you are responsible. I will be more committed to my pledge than you. What kind of pardon are you offering me? Is it that of Ibne Hira or that you gave to your uncle Abdullah or Abu Muslim?”
When Mansoor received this letter, his scribe asked permission to write the reply. Mansoor said that it was his job because when the issue was of lineage and family feuds, he had to write himself. He wrote:
“From Amirul Momenin Abu Jafar Abdullah ben Mohammad to Mohammad Ben Abdullah: “Received your letter. In order to incite people and gain popularity among the illiterates, you have woven a net of ancestral honors which is based on females while women do not enjoy the same rank as an uncle. You know, the Prophet’s four uncles (Hamza, Abbas, Abu Talib and Abu Lahab) were alive at the time of his prophet hood. Two of them embraced Islam, one of whom was my father; but, the other two remained kafir (infidel), one of whom was your father.
“You express pride in the ancestry from the side of women, which is foolishness. If there was any share in the ranks from women’s ancestry, then all ranks would have gone to the mother of the Prophet (PBUH). But Allah gives honor in Deen to whomever He wants.
“It is strange that you are proud of the mother of Abu Talib, Fatima Binte Umro. Mind it that Allah did not give an opportunity to any of her sons to become Muslim. The Prophet’s father would have been the first one, if Allah had chosen to provide this opportunity. However, Allah enlightens with Islam whoever He wishes.
“You express pride in that Ali is Hashmi from the side of his parents, Hassan is the son of Abdul Muttalib from the side of his parents and your ancestry reaches the Prophet from the side of your parents. If this was a matter of pride, then the Prophet should have been more eligible for that but he was Hashmi only from one side.
“You also call yourself a son of the Prophet although the Quran has clearly denied that:
Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets….(33/40)
“You are right when you say that you are a son of his daughter. No doubt this is a very close relationship but you neither claim inheritance through this relation nor Imama. Your father, Ali tried to get khilafa on the basis of this close relationship. He caused grief to Fatima by causing her to clash with Abu Bakr. In his anger he did not inform anybody about her illness and she was hastily buried at night when she died. However, no one agreed to abandon Abu Bakr in order to support his (Ali’s) claim to khilafa.
“During the illness of the Prophet, he (Ali) was ignored when the prophet asked Abu Bar to lead the prayers. After that, Umar became khalifa. Then, khilafa was left to the decision of shura (consultancy council). In this too he was not selected and Usman became khalifa. Then, he put pressure on Talha and Zubair and tried to take oath of allegiance from Saad Ben Abi Wiqas who shut down his door on him. When Ali passed away, Hassan replaced him. Moawiyya sent an army from Damascus. He took some money and abandoned his Shias and khalifa both in favor of Moawiyya and left for Madina.
“Therefore, even if you had any claim you have already sold it. You said that in Hell, Allah took care of your rank and your father Abu Talib will get the minimum punishment. This is very unfortunate. For a Muslim, Allah’s punishment, whether it is big or small, is not a matter of pride.
“You write that you do not have any non-Arab blood in your veins. It looks that you consider yourself more honorable than Ibrahim, the son of the Prophet, who was more honorable than you in all respects. In your family there was Zain ul Abidin who was better than your grandfather, Hassan Ben Hassan. Then his son Mohammad Baqer was better than your father and his son Jafar Sadiq is better than you, although all of them had Ajami blood.
“You also claim that you are better than all Bani Hashim because of your lineage and parents. The prophet is from Bani Hashim. You keep in mind that on the Day of Judgment you have to face Allah.
“In Saffain, your father (Ali) had pledged to accept the decision of the mediators. You may have heard that the mediators had removed him from khilafat. During the period of Yazeed, your cousin Hussain ben Ali came to Kufa to confront Ibne Ziyad. He was murdered by the same people who were his supporters. Subsequently, many people rose to claim khilafa. All were assassinated or hanged by the Umayyads.
“Eventually, we became powerful and we took our revenge and also your revenge from them. They used to curse you after prayers; we stopped that. You were given high ranks. Now you present all this to us as proof (of your claim). Do you think that if we had shown reverence for Ali, we consider him greater than Abbas and Hamza who passed away with dignity while Ali was involved in wars where Muslim blood was shed?
“You may know that during the period of jahilia, Abbas was caretaker of Saqqia Haj and Zamzam, not Abu Talib. In the court of Umar your father raised this claim but decision was given in our favor.
“At the time of the Prophet’s demise, only Abbas of all his uncles was alive. Therefore, from the decedents of Abdul Muttalib, he was the only rightful heir to the khilafa; subsequently, several of the Bani Hashim rose to claim the khilafa but the Abbasids came out victorious. Hence, the ancient honors and current successes became the lot of Abbas and his descendents.
“Abbas was forced into the battle of Badr because of your uncles Talib and Aqeel. Otherwise, both would have died of hunger, or would have been reduced to living off the charity of Utba and Ahaiba; they escaped poverty because of our father. Moreover, in the beginning of Islam when there was famine, Abbas helped Abu Talib. He also paid money to secure release of your uncle Aqeel.
“In short, both in jahilia and Islam we have done favors to you. Our father favored your father and we are kind to you and gave you the status which was not possible for you to attain; also, we took that revenge on your behalf that you were unable to take by yourselves. With peace.”
One learns from these letters that the concept of a divine government had vanished and a great khalifa of Sunnis, Abu Jafar Mansur and a recognized (Mehdi) Imam of ahl e bait, Nafs Zakiyya, were claiming the khilafa on the basis of inheritance. The only dispute was whether the inheritance should go to the descendents of a daughter or an uncle. (Tareekh al Ummat, vol. 8, Allama Aslam Jeerajpuri)
One can see that in this correspondence there is nothing but family pride and taunt. After that, Mansur sent an army against Nafs Zakiyya who was defeated and executed in 145 AH.
In Uyunul Akhbar there are recorded similar arguments between caliph Mamoon Al Rasheed and Imam Raza. Mamoon asked the Imam on what ground he claimed the khilafa. He replied that it was his relationship with the Prophet, Ali and Fatima. Mamoon argued that if hid claim was on the basis of relationship with Ali, then the Prophet had many such heirs who had more close relationship with him and some had the same rank; if it was based on the relationship with Fatima, then Hassan and Hussain deserved (the khilafa) after her. The question was: Why had Ali usurped their (Hassan and Hussain) right by taking over the khilafa. Imam Raza was unable to answer this question.
Abu Muslim had risen with the mission to revive the Iranian empire. He was not successful but, later, an entire family came to the Abbasids with the same objective. This family was not able to revive the Iranian empire; however, it devoid the great Abbasid Empire of Islam and the Arab imprint on Islam. Both were replaced by a non-Arab imprint. This was the biggest success of the Iranian conspiracy.
History knows this family as the Bramka. There is a controversy over the reasons regarding the adoption of their name. However, most believe that the root of this word is “bir mah gah” which means the grand worshipper in charge of the biggest Fire Temple of Iran. A statue of the moon god was placed in this temple, known as Nou Bahar. Jamasep ben Yeshtrasep was the ancestor of the Bramka, who was appointed the first worshipper in charge of Nou Bahar. To honor his services, he was later appointed the Chief Worshipper (Chief Justice) of the whole empire. This was the highest office to which even emperors bowed. He was later appointed the Prime Minister.
This family enjoyed such great influence that Iranian prophet Zoroaster gave her daughter in marriage to Jamasep, while a cousin of Jamasep’s was married to Zoroaster.
Khalid Barmaki attained a very high position in the court of the first Abbasid caliph, Abullah Ben Mohammad Ben Ali, alias as-Saffah). Since we are not writing the history of Bramka, we will not go into details as to how he acquired this position. At this point, it will suffice to know that this family had already acquired great influence during the reign of the first Abbasid caliph.
One can well imagine the extent of close relations between the caliph and Khalid from the fact that the wife of the caliph breast-fed Khalid’s daughter while Khalid’s wife breast-fed the the caliph’s daughter. Khalid was appointed the ruler of Faris province during the reign of caliph Al- Mehdi. Khalid’s son Yahya was also a very able and shrewd person. Caliph Mansoor appointed him Governor of Azerbaijan. But Khalid found another important assignment for him. He was appointed a teacher of the Crown Prince, Haroon Al Rasheed. This brought great influence and honor for the Bramka family and (the tutorship) became hereditary. Two sons of Yahya – Fazl and Jaafar – were more able than their father and grandfather. During the reign of caliph Haroon Al Rasheed, all affairs of the empire were in the hands of Yahya who used to run them with the advice of his sons. The result was that the khilafa was nominally with Abbasids but it was run by the Bramkas.
The whole society was colored with non-Arab ideas
The family not only acquired political influence but all corners of the empire were colored with the Iranian culture. Yahya established bait al hikma (Wisdom House) in Baghdad where a large amount of non – Arab history and literature was translated into Arabic. At the same time, he arranged high-level religious debates where Iranian, Jewish and Christian religious leaders and philosophers used to engage in arguments with Muslim scholars over Islamic beliefs and ideas. The result of these discussions was very obvious. First of all, the simple Arab nation did not want to get involved in the philosophical intricacies. Their freedom of thought had already been suppressed because of political expediencies of the empire.
On the other hand, their opponents in these debates were intellectuals and learned persons of the Iranian nation that had pondered for centuries on the issues of philosophy, logic and religion. They were accompanied by Jewish and Christian scholars who were well-versed in Greek philosophy. Consequently, after every debate a storm of doubts would erupt about Islamic beliefs and ideas while the Ajami beliefs and ideas looked reasonable. Moreover, all treasuries were in the custody of Bramka who gave huge honorariums to the Megan, Jewish and Christian debaters that attracted the leaders of other religions from distant places.
We will later show how through this conspiracy the Quranic Islam turned into Ajami Islam. At this moment, we want to confine our discussion to the political influence of Iranians.
Yahya Barmaki had several sons but only Fazal and Jafar became prominent. The rank of Bramka in the Abbasid family can be judged from the fact that Fazal and Haroon Rasheed were brothers-in-milk. Haroon’s mother Khaizran, who enjoys a high status in history, breastfed him Fazal at the same time.
When Haroon Al Rasheed came to power, he wanted to appoint Fazal to a high-ranking position but Yahya kept Fazal inside the palace and handed over the empire’s affairs to Jafar. Thus, both the internal and external affairs of the empire came under the control of the two brothers. The experience of their aging father was used to maintain the grip on power. The empire was actually in the hands of these three persons.
However, as happens generally, the intoxication of power, wealth and government make people careless. As they became careless in hiding heir conspiracies, Haroon Al Rasheed came to know their real face and their downfall began. Whenever Haroon Al Rasheed toured his empire he would realize that Bramka and not he controlled the country. This created doubts in his mind which resulted in the downfall of Bramka.
The End of Bramka
He executed Jafar and imprisoned Yahya and Fazal, who were tortured; the details are hair-rising: their properties were seized and they were completely wiped off. Some historians claim that Jafar was murdered because he had secretly married the sister of Haroon Al Rasheed. However, according to researchers, this is no more than a concocted story. The reasons for the execution of Jafar and the downfall of Bramka were those that we had mentioned earlier and Ibne Khaldun has narrated them in detail in his history book.
Bramka vanished. They were not successful in reviving the Iranian empire but they were highly successful in the objectives for which they had come. They turned the Arab empire of the Abbasids into an Iranian one: the Arab society was turned into non-Arabic and their religion (Islam) into an Ajami one. (Later on we will see that Islam which was preached after that was Ajami Islam, not the one given by Mohammad (PBUH) – the Deen of God).
Abu Muslim was the first in this chain. He inducted Iranian volunteers into the Abbasid army which transformed the military power from Arab to non-Arab. He enlisted Khalid Bramka in his army and got access to the Abbasid court on his recommendation. During his premiership Fazal recruited an all-Iranian army in Khorasan province, which numbered no less than 500,000. Moreover, Iranians (Bramka) occupied all key the positions in the empire. Iranian officers were appointed in the treasuries in the capital and provinces. Therefore, even caliph Haroon Rasheed was not able to spend a single penny without the permission of Yahya.
When (Imam) Mohammad Ben Ali Abbas died, Abu Muslim made the army wear black uniforms to mourn the death of the Imam. The standard of the empire was also given black color, and from then on, (Imam) Ibrahim Abbasi, along with his family, began wearing black. Abbasids made the black dress their symbol. As we wrote earlier, black dress and standard were made the traditional symbols of the Expected Liberator and played a key role in the success of Abu Muslim. (Just imagine, how shrewd this person was!).
In this way, Abu Muslim gave the Abbasid’s conventional conduct an Iranian hue and Bramka transformed their psyche into an Ajami one. In fact, the whole society was given the same color. Iranian Nauroz celebrations began in the Abbasid Empire during the premiership of Khalid, while Jafar Barmaki introduced the Meherjan celebration.
These two celebrations were the eids (festivities) of Zoroastrians. (In Iran, Nauroz is celebrated to this day.) In Muslim countries the observance of Shab-e-Barat (’Night of Deliverance’) with fireworks refreshes the memories of fire temples of the Bramka. Some historians say that the Bramka were Shia but Shia historians do not accept this claim.
As a matter of fact, it is wrong to categorize them as Shia or Sunni. They had embraced Islam but the ancient Zoroastrianism was deeply ingrained in their minds. They popularized the ancient Iranian religious beliefs and ideas under the guise of Islam, which was their real objective.
(Fatemeen) The Fatimids of Egypt
The tale of the Abbasids is not over yet and their complete downfall at the hands of Iranians is still to come. For the moment, we will pause to take a look at the activities of the Alwis and Fatemeen (Fatimids) in Egypt. From time to time, they used to revolt against the Abbasids according to their capacity and means: they unsuccessfully revolted 62 times against the incumbent government between 138 AH and 358 AH. [Ref: Tehqeeq e mazeed khilafat e Muawiyya wa Yazeed (‘Further Research into the Caliphate of Muawiyya and Yazeed’) by Mahmood Ahmed Abbasi].
Only one of their groups, known as Fatemeen, was able to establish its government. Their first caliph established his independent government in Rafada (North Africa) in 297 AH. He belonged to a Shia sub-sect, the Ismaeli. His government remained confined to North Africa till 385 AH. Later on, he conquered Syria and Egypt, which became known as the Fatemeen State of Egypt. They ruled with great pomp and show and played a significant role in propagating Ismaeli Shia religion. For this purpose, they built a huge mosque that was named Jamia Al-Azhar. This mosque was actually the center of this sect. (Jamia Al-Azhar is still functioning in Egypt but it is now a university of Sunnis).
This government gradually became weak because of internal rifts which reached its climax when the Crusades began. Instead of confronting the crusaders along with other Muslim governments, they joined the crusaders.
The Fatemeen government ended when Salahuddin Ayubi (Saladin) defeated the crusaders. It became part of the Abbasid Empire in 567 AH. Most historians say that it was not appropriate for the Fatimid rulers to call themselves as such because the founder of this kingdom was Abdullah Ben Mamoon Al Qaddah who was an atheist from Iran. In public he used to show allegiance to the Ismaeli Imam, Mohammad Ben Ismael. He declared himself a Fatimid and established an independent state. Other historians say that his Fatimid ancestry was legitimate. This discussion is not our subject matter.
Our objective is to show what kind of conspiracies were hatched against the Abbasids and which were successful. It does not affect our objective if any conspiracy was of Iranian origin directly or indirectly. Even if Qaddah (Iranian) was not Fatimid, he no doubt played a great role in the success of the Fatimids.
Let us now return to Baghdad. We were discussing that first Abu Muslim and later Bramka made the Abbasid Empire a center of Iranian beliefs and ideas.
Abu Muslim was assassinated, Bramka disappeared but their planted seed of Iranian beliefs and ideas continued to flourish. Consequently, the center of the Abbasid Empire became weak while the provinces gained more power, Iran being the most conspicuous of them. A vivid example was the Kingdom of Daylam (the Buyid dynasty). The Daylam region, situated south of the Caspian Sea, was conquered during the period of Umar. However, their residents continued to practice their old religion. Later on, they embraced Islam. Buyah Daylami was their prominent personality. He had three sons – Ali, Hassan and Ahmed – who were very famous like their father. Ali gained strength and established the State of Daylam (the Buyid dynasty). Other brothers established their rule in a number of Iranian provinces and later included Iraq in their domains. At the invitation of some nobles of Baghdad, they moved forward and, in 334 AH, Ahmed entered Baghdad where he was received with royal protocol by caliph Mustakfi. (From this one can well imagine the clipped power of the Abbasid caliphs.) The caliph recognized his kingdom and gave Ali the title of Imad ud Daula; to Hassan, Rukun ud Daula and to Ahmed, Moaz ad Daula. The caliph also ordered to engrave their names on state coins. After that the caliph became a religious figurehead whose name was proclaimed in sermons during Friday congregational prayers while real power was in the hands of the Buyids.
Only after 40 days of his appointment as Moaz ad Daula, Ahmed deposed and imprisoned Mustakfi in a very degrading manner. The Buyids were Shia. Moaz ad Daula was the first ruler to order observance of ashura in Baghdad. He ordered the public to close their shops and mourn Hussein and women to come outdoors bareheaded. He also ordered his subjects to celebrate Eid al Ghadir on 18th Zilhij (the 12th month of the Hijra calendar). The population of Baghdad was mostly Sunni who protested at this but Moaz ad Daula suppressed them. Consequently, many of the Sunnis left Baghdad. The Buyids remained in power till 447 AH when Seljuks displaced them.
End of Abbasid government
Seljuks remained in power till 590 AH and, after their downfall, sermons in Abbasid caliphate’s name was delivered for another 66 years in Baghdad; then, its power ended forever. Ibn Alqami, a staunch Shia was the caliph’s vizier when Halegu, a grandson of Genghis Khan came to power. On the other side, Mohaqiq Nasirudding Tusi, who was also the same type of Shia, was the vizier of Halegu who attacked Baghdad with the conspiracy of both ministers. He destroyed Baghdad and assassinated caliph Motasim and, with that, the Abbasid Empire ended in 656 AH.
In this way Iranians took revenge of their defeat at Qadsiyya. Basically, it was a political revenge that they took from the Muslims.
Iranians acknowledge this
Whatever I have said so far is not mere conjecture on my part; it is something acknowledged by Iranian intellectuals themselves. Hussain Kazemzada is a prominent contemporary historian. In his book Tajalliyaat e Rooh e Iran dar Adwaar e Taareekhy (‘Miracles of the Iranian Spirit Through Historical Periods’), he writes:
Since the day Saad ben Abi Waqqas conquered and dominated Iran on behalf of the second caliph of Islam [Umar, the Iranians nurtured sentiments of hatred and revenge. On several occasions, this grudge emerged but it really came out into the open with the establishment of Shia sect. Learned and informed people recognise the fact that, besides the controversies over beliefs and ideas, a political issue was also responsible for the emergence of the Shia. Iranians could never forget, accept or forgive the fact that a few barefoot desert-dwelling Arabs had taken over their age-old empire with its treasury looted and thousands of innocent people killed.
The said historian further writes: Our intellectuals neither had any love for Bani Fatima, nor any enmity with the family of the Umayyads. Their sole objective was to topple the Arab rule and restore their own honor and power. Since the Hashemite caliphate had ended with Ali and the purely Arab rule of the Umayyads was recognized as the central government of the Islamic world, and the Arabs were imposed on Ajam, our ancestors had no alternative but to support and incite the Hashemites. And, our elders did just that.
[ NOTE: We have taken the first of the above excerpts from Mahmood Ahmed Abbasi’s Tehqeeq e Mazeed be Silsila e Khilafat e Moawiya wa Yazeed (‘Further Research into the Caliphate of Moawiyya and Yazid’). The second, an abridged quotation, is from Khawaja Ibadullah Akhtar’s article
Ajami mazahib ka Asar Musalmanon kay Aqaaed per (‘The Impact of Ajami Religions on the Beliefs of Muslims); this article was published in Tolu-e-Islam in November 1954].
When Iranians ended the Umayyad Empire by inciting the Hashemite, and the Hashemite (Abbasid) rule was established, they invited Halegu Khan to bring to an end the Arab empire. In this way, in the words of Qasimzadeh, they took revenge from the Arabs for their defeats at the hands of the Arabs.
However, this was the revenge that they took from the Arabs or Muslims, now we will discuss about revenge on Islam which had ended their Zoroastrian religion.
Foundations of Islam
Before we go into the details of the Ajami conspiracies against Islam, we will refresh our memories about the foundations of the Deen that Allah gave to human beings through the Prophet and which is preserved in the Quran.
According to the Quran:
• Study, observation, experience and teachings are means through which human beings acquire knowledge. This knowledge can be acquired by every human being through the process of deduction and induction.
• There is also another kind of knowledge that Allah gives directly to his chosen, pious people. This is called wahi (divine revelation) and the people who get this knowledge are called Prophets. The last time this knowledge was given to Prophet (Mohammad) and with him this method of knowledge ceased. In other words, prophet-hood ended with Mohammad. Now, knowledge can be acquired by experience and observation only. The end of the prophet-hood means that now nobody can get knowledge directly from God.
• What was revealed to the Prophet is all preserved in the Quran which is a complete code of conduct for humanity for all times: it is complete and immutable, its meanings are very clear, it is in Arabic and can be understood by applying attention, thought, knowledge and wisdom, the Prophet gave this to us in its present form and not a single word of it has ever been changed, Allah has taken responsibility for its preservation.
• Deen, which is preserved in the Quran, is a system of life which is
implemented in its own independent, sovereign state. The State is established by the umma which elects the best person as head
of state who runs the affairs of the state with the consultations of umma. The objective of the State is to implement the laws of the Quran and establish a society in accordance with these principles and values.
• This State was first established by the Prophet. After his death, this State continued to exist for a time. After that, the train the umma derailed. This is called the Ajmi distortion in the Deen because, as we discussed earlier, its first source was in Iran. This term (ajami) means all such beliefs, ideas and schools of thought which are against the Quran, no matter where they come from.
We have seen that the first conflict in the umma emerged over the claim of the khilafa of Ali. It was asserted that the khalifa cannot be elected. He is appointed and named by God and is called ‘Imam’.
The first Imam is Ali and then this Imama went to his descendents by inheritance. Earlier, we discussed only one aspect of this belief that was about politics. Before we go further, let us look at the family tree of those who are recognized as Imam.
The family tree of those who are recognized as Imam:
* Batni, Bohri, IAgha Khani are called Ismaelis after him. These sects consider Imamat as hereditary.
Kisania was the first Shia sect that recognizes Ali’s son Mohammad Ben Hanfia as Imam. He was not born of Fatima but another wife of Ali’s, Hanfia. In other words, this sect gave preference to Alwis over Fatimids. When Mohammad Ben Hanfia died, one group of his followers concocted the belief that the Imam was Mehdi (the Promised One), who will return. He did not die but had disappeared from the vision of the people. He will return on earth soon and establish his government. Please note how this belief in “Return”, which was implanted by Abu Abdullah Ibne Sabah, was applied. We will also see that this concept had been applied to a number of Shia personalities. Kaisanias believed that Imam is the personification of God and like God he is eternal. Khorasan was the capital of this sect from where it spread its network of conspiracies against the Umayyad Empire.
Another Shia sect is called Zaidia. They recognize the majority of Imams from Ali down to Zainul Abidin but, after him, they recognize his younger son Zaid as Imam not his elder son Baqer. They believe that Imama will remain in the descendants of Ali, but it will not be confined to any particular line or family. This is the most moderate Shia sect and very close to the Sunni fiqh.
Imamia and Ismaelia
Shia groups which recognized Imam Baqer, and after him his son Jafar Sadeq, later split into two groups. These are the two groups which became famous in history. One of the groups said that after Jafar, his older son Ismael was the God-appointed Imam, while the other group recognized his other son, Musa Kazim as Imam. The first group is called The Sixers (because it recognizes six Imams) or Ismaelis. Batni Fidai and other similar Shia sects generally belong to this group. Today, Agha Khanis and Bohris are two famous branches of this sect. The other sect is called The Twelvers or, simply, Imamia. The dominant majority of Shias belong to this sect; they recognize 12 Imams. About the last Imam (Mohammad) of this chain they believe that he is alive and hidden in a cave in Iraq. He will reappear near the Day of Judgment and establish his just rule all over the whole world. (He is also called Imam Mehdi.)
Staunch Sects of Shias
All Shia sects believe that the Imam is appointed by God and their hidden Imam will return. However, the beliefs of some staunch Shia sects are based on exaggerations. For example, one sect, Khurrum Deenia, considered the Imam as God, prophet and angel. It did not believe in the Day of Judgment and denied any accountability of one’s deeds to God. This sect believed in the concept of ‘The Return of the Imam’.
This sect also believed in reincarnation which they called raja [transfer of the human spirit (in this world) from one body to another body]. Certain staunch sects believed that our prophet and other prophets will return to earth near the Day of Judgment and all will recognise the prophet-hood of Mohammad. Similarly, Ali will also return to earth and will assassinate Moawiyya and his descendants.
The founder of Khattabia sect, Abu Khattabia used to call Imam Jafar Sadeq God and himself his prophet.
Whenever some Imams denied and opposed such beliefs, these people said that they are saying this because of taqiyya, otherwise they support our beliefs. (Earlier we explained the meaning of taqiyya which is a belief common to all Shia sects.) Khattabia also believed that in every age there are two prophets: natiq (one who speaks) and samit (who remains silent). Mohammad (PBUH) was a natiq prophet whie Ali was a samit prophet.
Beliefs of some staunch sect were so deplorable that we abhor even at mentioning them. However, all of them called themselves Muslim. Their task was to hatch conspiracies against the incumbent government. Obviously, it was a Sunni government whether it was the Umayyads or the Abbasids. When they were unsuccessful in their conspiring, they will console their followers by saying, “Don’t worry. In the final days (near the Day of Judgment) the Hidden Imam will appear and establish a Shia government.
These staunch sects emerged and disappeared at different historical moments and now we find their foot prints only at certain places but they have no significance. Only two Shia sects were of historical importance which are still present today – they are Ismaelia (Agha Khani Khojas and Bohris) and Imamia (Asna Ashri) who are in the majority.
Let us now discuss beliefs of these two sects.
Ismaelis always kept their beliefs and teachings strictly secret and it was very difficult to say anything about them with certainty. (The real name of this sect is Batnia or hidden) Sometimes back one of this sect’s researcher, Dr. Zahid Ali (former Arabic Professor and Vice Principle of Nizam College Hyderabad Deccan) took the courage to publish a book based on his sect’s authentic (secret) books and documents. The title of his book is Hamaarey Ismaeeli Mazhab ki Haqeeqat aur iska Nizaam (‘The Reality of Our Ismaeli Religion and its System’).
We are reproducing here excerpts from the 1954 edition of this book. About the foundation and teachings of this sect, he writes:
“The founder of this sect was Haimoon Qaddah of Iranian origin (he has already been mentioned within the context of the Fatimide) or his son Syed Abdullah. His objective was to create a religious movement which could confront Abbasi khilafat. For this purpose (Imam Abdullah) formed a group which included such persons who were by nature inclined towards the Mutazela ideologies and philosophical thoughts. Help of Ahle Beit was sought to make this successful because the Shias who were attached to the Ahle Beit could easily accept this religion.”
About their beliefs, Dr. Zahid Ali writes:
“Their basic foundation is on the principle that the prophet formulated the visual Sharia (Islamic laws) while Maulana Ali explained its hidden meanings. After him six imams completed the hidden teachings and the seventh Imam (Maulana Mohammad Ben Ismael) suspended or abrogated the visual Sharia of Mohammad. All the Imams from his descendants, who came so far and will continue to appear till the day of judgment, are all Qaem Khalifas. If any of the Khalifas got opportunity to appear in the world he will explain the hidden knowledge and convert the whole world into Ismaeli religion….The main characteristic of the Ismaeli teaching is its secrecy.
“We cannot reveal our real beliefs, with the exception of privileged members of our faith, to others because of political and state interests since our general population was Sunni. (This was during the reign of Fatimides of Egypt) Hence our teachings to our privileged members were different than to the common Ismaelis. Junior members of our sect were also not told of those secrets which were unveiled to the mature members.” (Preface B)
About their beliefs he writes that the Imam has the right to abrogate Sharia. He can cancel Sharia whenever he wants and re-impose it when he wishes.
About the Quran, they believe:
‘Jews and Christian abandoned their original Torat and Ingeel (Torah and Bible) and compiled their books on the basis of their opinions and speculations. Muslims did the same thing. The prophet had collected Quran and handed over to his wasi (heir) in the presence of his companions. Those people became careless and collected Quran according to their own ideas and beliefs. The third Khalifa destroyed the copy of the Quran compiled by the elders and prepared another copy. Then Hajjaj set this book on fire and prepared another copy, taking out parts at his whim. Now this copy of Quran is in the hands of the Muslims.’ (Preface)
Dr. Zahid Ali has presented many examples of differences between the Quran that the Muslims have now and the Quran that was compiled by Ali. For example, see the verse 67 of Sura Maeda. (It may be pointed out that their (Ismaeli belief) about Hazrat Ali’s compiled Quran is that it is with their Imams who will unveil it near the Day of Judgment.)
Taqiyya is their fundamental belief. Also, they believe in taaweel which means that the Quran cannot be understood by its literal meanings but these letters have concealed meanings which only Imams know. Real meanings of the Quran can be understood or determined through taaweel. That is why the Prophet is called Rasul-e-Natiq (the prophet who speaks or rules on earthly matters) while Wasi (the Prophet’s Vicegerent is called Rasul-e-Samit, one who rules on the batin (hidden).
Hidden meanings: A vivid example of taweel is the hidden meaning of La Ilaha Illal Lah, which is La Imam Illa Imam Uz Zaman. (p. 408) Wudu
(ablution) means Ali because both words have three letters. Sala (prayers) means the Prophet because both have four letters. Therefore, the meaning of “la Salat Illa Wudu” is that without the acceptance of Ali as the heir of the Prophet, the recognition of the Prophethood of Mohammad is meaningless. (p. 424)
As another example, the Quran says that Allah told Adam not to go near the Forbidden Tree; this means that “the imam mustaqar, Maulana Abu Talib, had prevented the Prophet from revealing the hidden meanings which is the prerogative of Maulana Ali”. Zalim Al Awwal (the first transgressor), Iblis (the Devil), obtained this knowledge from the Prophet by deceit. This was his (the Prophet’s) first sin; the other was that he told one of his wives the secret that her father will usurp his heir’s right. (p.461) Still another example: “In verse 2/1-2, Alif Laam Meem, Zaalikal Kitabo Lareba Fehe, Zaalikal Kitabo is referred to Maulana Ali”. (p. 551)
In short, the Ismaelis determine meanings of all the Quranic verses by taaweel which keeps changing.
The focal point of the philosophy of Ismaelis and other Shia sects is the belief in Imam which started as follows:
“Maulana Abdul Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet, is from the lineage of Hazrat Ibrahim, and was, just like Ibrahim, an imam mustaqar during the time of Hazrat Esa (Christ), which means that he had Nabuwat, Risalat, Wasayat and Imamat – all the four in his person. At the divine guidance, he had given separate ranks to two of his sons – Maulana Abdullah and Maulana Abu Talib. To the former, he gave the status of Nabuwat and Risalat, thus making him the head of public (open) preaching. The latter was given the rank of Wasayat and Imamat and the headship of the hidden, or concealed, preaching. Maulana Abu Talib gave the status of Nabuwat and Risalat to Mohammad (PBUH) and Wasayat and Imamat to Maulana Ali. This fact reflects the grandeur and honor of Maulana Abu Talib that like Maulana Abdul Muttalib, all four honors were concentrated in him. (pp. 63, 64) Hence, Maulana Ali was mustaqar Imam and the Prophet Mohammad was sent to confirm Maulana Ali….The prophet’s last message was about Maulana Ali’s Wilayat (rulership). It means that the real purpose of the prophet’s appointment was to eliminate disbelief in the Wilayat of Maulana Ali. All people believe in God but they commit shirk (polytheism) when they do not believe in the Wilayat of
Maulana Ali.” (p. 360)
About the Imam, they believe:
“Even if you see the Imam committing adultery, drinking wine or indulging in other immoral acts, you should not doubt his piety because Allah has saved the Imams from all such acts.” (p. 363)
“Our pious Imams are higher in ranks than the prophets. (They are like master and slave.) Imams cannot sin but prophets can commit sins. Not only Moses but Mohammad is also included in these prophets.” (p. 366)
Agha Khani and Bohri
In the Indian sub-continent, Ismaelis consist of Khojas (Agha Khanis) and Bohris. Their beliefs are very bizarre. About their beliefs, we will quote from the book of Mirza Mohammad Saeed Dehlvi’s book Mazahab aud Batni Taleem (Religion and Hidden Preaching):
In ancient times, when Hazrat Ali was Vishnu (Hindu god), Hazrat Mohammad took the form of Waidoyas. When Hazrat Ali appeared in this world, he was the 10th awtar (incarnation) of Vishnu, Nishi Kalanki. Some Khojas also believe that Hazrat Ali was god and Mohammad was his prophet. (*) All Nazari Imams, including the present Agha Khan, are considered the incarnation of Hazrat Ali. In this way, he has the same rank of godliness that Hazrat Ali has. Khojas and Shamsi Hindus consider him their god. These people also believe in reincarnation, the Day of Judgment, Paradise and Hell. They consider the Quran as the last authentic book but do not recognize the Quran that the Muslim umma now has as unauthentic….Nazaria sect follows the dominant sect of the country in which they reside. For example, in Turkistan they follow Hanafi law while in Iran, Athna Ashri law.
(*) Nazari is the most famous sect of Ismaelis. Hassan Ben Sabah was one of their Imams. Batni Fidais, known in history as the Assassins, were his followers. Agha Khanis and Bohris belong to this sect.
Imamia or Athna Ashri
These were briefly the beliefs of one of the important Shia sect, Ismaelis. We will now focus on the other Shia sect, i.e. Imamia (Athna Ashri) sect.
As we said earlier, Imama is the central belief of Shias. About their concept of Imama, we will present an excerpt from their most important book which is considered to be a vital pillar of this sect. This book is Al Usul Al Kafi by Kaleeni. For them this is the most authentic book of Hadith (traditions). Every hadith of this book is narrated by one of their Imams. The book is written by Mohammad Ben Yaqub Ben Ishaq Al Kalani Al Razi (died 329 AH). This quotation is taken from the Arabic edition, printed by Haidri Press, Teheran and published by the Islamic Book House, Teheran. It was translated in Urdu by “The Great Author” Maulana Syed Zafar Hassan Amrohvi and published in 1966 by Shamim Book Depot, Nazimabad, Karachi under the name Kitab Ash-shafi. (The second part of Usul Al Kafi was published under the name of Faroh-e-Kafi by the same translator).
Usul Al Kafi: As mentioned earlier, revelation is acquiring knowledge directly from God and the revelation process discontinued with Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). All revelations of the prophet are preserved in the Quran. God has taken responsibility for its protection. The end of prophet hood means that the Quran is the [ultimate] authority in Deen. Now, nobody has the right in the name of God to force someone to accept any belief or idea which is outside or contrary to the Quran. Acquiring knowledge directly from God was the privilege of the prophets but in Usul Al Kafi we see that Imama has also been included in that, though another term is used for that, i.e. Mohaddas.
The belief in Mohaddas
In Usul Al Kafi Zarara relates that he asked Imam Mohammad Baqir,* regarding the [Quranic] verse kana rasulan nabbian, the difference between nabi and rasul. He said that a nabi sees an angel in his dream, hears an angel’s voice while he is awake but does not see him while a rasul hears an angel’s voice and sees him in dream as well as while he is awake. I asked him what the status of an Imam is. He said that an Imam hears an angel’s voice but cannot see him. Then he recited the following [Quranic] verse: wa ma arsalna min qablika men rasulen wa la nabi wa la mohaddas. (Ash-Shafi Vol. I, p-203) (* Imam Al Baqir (d. 735) developed the concept of the esoteric method of reading of the Quran.)
Before proceeding further we will see that the words “wa la mohaddas” are not found in the said Quranic verse (22/52). In the Arabic version of Usul Al Kafi this explanation is given about this tradition: wa la mohaddas innama qara Ahle Beit alaihe salam (Vol I p-167) which means that the words wa la mohaddas are written in the Qirat-e-Quran of Ahle Beit [the version (reading) of the Quran attributed to the Prophet’s family].
This is not something strange or unusual because there are many verses about which Al Kafi says that Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) revealed in this form but they are now not included in the Quran. At this point we will only focus on the concept of mohaddas which means that the angels bring God’s messages to him. Mohaddas can hear the angels but cannot see them. Another tradition says: “A mohaddas talks with the angels, hears their voice but cannot see them even in dream.” (Ash-Shafi, vol. 1, p.204)
Another tradition says: ‘Ali said that “there will be 11 mohaddas from me and my descendents’. (Ash-Shafi, vol. 1, p.281)
No practical difference between a Rasul and a Mohaddas
You will notice that as far as the acquisition of knowledge directly from God through angels is concerned there is no difference between a rasul and a mohaddas. Other traditions in Al Kafi explain this point. For example, about the Prophet, the Quran says:
…… So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you….. (59/7)
But a tradition in Al Kafi quotes Imam Jafar as saying ‘accept whatever Ali says and keep yourself away from which Ali forbids’ (Ash-Shafi, vol. 1 p. 255) This is because God has honored Ali the same way as he has honored the Prophet. This means that the fountain of knowledge of both was the same. After that it is added:
“Amirul Momenin (Ali) often used to say “God has assigned me to allocate places in Paradise and Hell. I am Farooq-e-Akbar (Discriminator the Great); I am the cause of unity of all Muslims; I represent those verses which authenticate Imama. All the angels, souls and prophets recognized my wasaya (succession to the Prophet) as they did for Mohammad. I am elevated to the rank of Imama as Mohammad is elevated to the rank of Prophethood…and this rank is given to us by God.” (Ash-Shafi, vol. 1 p. 255)
Another tradition said:
“An Imam is unique in his era. Nobody can match his qualities or his wisdom. There is no substitute for him and nobody is equal to him. He is bestowed with special honors and ranks from God. (Ash-Shafi, vol. 1, p. 231)
About the Imam, it is written that he is from the descendants of the Prophet
– from the children of Sayyeda Tahira Massoma [Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter] (Ibid. p. 233). Prophets and Imams are appointed by God. They are given wisdom and knowledge from God which is not given to anybody else. (Ibid. p. 224)
This point is further clarified in another tradition:
“Imam Jafar Saqid said: Imam’s knowledge is his access….which is extended up to heavens; so that the process of revelation is not disconnected. Allah’s instructions are conveyed only through an Imam. God does not accept deeds of the people unless they come through Imam….Imam is chosen and liked by God. He is pious and a favored person of God and the prophet. He is a hadi (guide) who knows the metaphysical secrets….God created Imams before the creation of human beings. (Ibid. pp. 235-36)
Do you notice that the only difference between nabi and mohaddas is of wording?
The concept is that God talks to men even after the end of prophet hood. (i.e. knowledge can be obtained directly from God.) This belief continues to surface in different shapes and modes. It opened the closed door of prophet hood. We will talk about the people who entered in through this door by various ways and means. At this moment, we will remunerate some more qualities of these Imams.
Imam Jafar said “we are…the persons whose following is a duty (who must be obeyed). There is no alternative for the people but to accept our divine knowledge, it is not acceptable to be ignorant about us. The person who recognized us is a momen and who rejected us is a kafir (infidel). Whoever neither recognized nor rejected us is a disillusioned person unless he returns to our obedience as ordained by God”. Imam Baqer said, “our love is faith and our rejection is kufr. (Ash-Shafi, vol. I, p. 215-16)
According to another tradition about Amirul Momenin (Ali) Imam Mohammad Baqer said:
After the Prophet, obedience of Ali is a must just like that of the Prophet…disobedience of his commands – however small – tantamounts to disbelief. The Prophet was the Gate to God through which entry is obligatory; he was a path that whoever followed reached God. Amirul Momenin was just like that. After him, successive Imams enjoyed the same status. (Ash-Shafi, vol. I, p. 227)
For Muslims, the Quran was, and remains, the authority for Deen. But Imam Mohammad Baqer says: ‘Nobody has the power to claim that he has complete knowledge of the external or literal (Zahir) and hidden or esoteric (Batin) meaning of Quran, except the Osi’as (Imams)’. (Ash-Shafi, vol. I, p. 261) Here, the word Batin (hidden) is used that we will explain later.
About the knowledge of Imams, it is believed that their knowledge is greater than those of the Prophet i.e. Knowledge began with the Prophet but it reached its climax with the Imams.
In Al Kafi it is narrated: ‘I heard Imam Jafar saying “Knowledge would have ended if it had not been increased by us”. I asked, “Is there any knowledge which you get but not the Prophet?” He said, “Knowledge is first presented to the Prophet and then to Imams but it reaches its climax with us”. (Ash-Shafi, vol. I, p. 291)
About Revelation, the Quran says that this knowledge is not iktisabi, meaning that the Prophet does not get revelation whenever he wants but it comes according to the wisdom of God. Whenever and whatever He wants, tells the prophet through Revelation. But with respect to the Imams, Imam Jafar says that the Imam is given knowledge whenever he wants. (Ash-Shafi, vol. I, p. 295)
About the knowledge of ghaib (unknown) the Quran says that only God knows about it but He gives through Revelation this knowledge to the prophets whenever He likes. However, an imam’s position about the knowledge of ghaib is:
‘Imam Jafar Sadeq said, “If an Imam who does not know what hardships he will face or what will be his fate, then he is not capable of leading people; he cannot be a representative of God.” (Ash-Shafi, vol. I, p. 295)
The pivotal belief of Christians is that Eesa (Christ) sacrificed his life for the sins of the people. It means that his blood became the atonement of the sinners’ sin. One tradition of Al Kafi says: ‘Imam Musa Kazim said “(Because of abandoning taqqiya) God was displeased with us Shias and gave me an opportunity to choose between them and my life. So I gave my life and saved them”’. (Ash-Shafi, vol. I, p. 297)
Another tradition says: ‘Imam Jafar said, “God does not shy away from punishing those who bow before a cruel king and love a cruel Imam though these people may be very pious. However, God is shies away from punishing those whose deeds are not good but they bow before the God-appointed Imam.”’ (Ash-Shafi, vol. I, p. 462) So, this becomes the basis of salvation, piousness and standard of belief and disbelief.
‘Abu Hamza says that he heard Imam Mohammad Baqer saying, “Ali is a gate that was opened by God. Whoever enters that door is momen and whoever remains outside, is unbeliever and for those who are in the middle (neither inside nor outside his door), God says that they remain on at His mercy (i.e. He will pardon or punish to whom He would like).
These Imams were not only recognized by the Umma (followers) of Mohammad but they were also recognized by the previous prophets. Hence there is a tradition:
Imam Raza said that all divine books mention the Wilayat of Ali. God did not send any rasul who was not aware of the prophet hood of Mohammad and the wasaya [succession to Mohammed] of Ali. (Ash-Shafi, vol. I, p. 540)
The status of Ali
Since we are talking about the status of Ali, it will be appropriate to present a few examples of Shia beliefs in this respect.
Shias publish a monthly magazine from Lahore – Ma’areful Islam – which prints a special issue annually in September or October on Ali and Fatima. In the Sept-Oct 1972 issue of this magazine, Allama Majlasi has quoted Ali as saying:
“I am the embodiment of the blessed names, of the highest examples and the biggest signs, of God. I am the guardian of Heaven and Hell. I will allow the deserving people entry into Paradise and send the people to Hell who deserve hellfire. I am responsible for punishing those who deserve Hell. All living creatures return to me. I am The Center. After death all creatures return to me. I am responsible for the accountability of all. God consulted me at the time of formation of creatures. I will be their witness on the Day of Judgment. I have the knowledge of the life and death of all creatures. All verses, miracles and the books of prophets are entrusted to me. I am their guardian. I am the one with the Staff and the Sign [Moses]. I am the one for whom clouds, thunder, lightning, darkness, lights, air, mountain, skies, stars, the sun and the moon have been conquered….I know the secrets of Nature which God had given to Mohammad and that were passed on to me by Mohammad. Allah has bestowed me with His name, His kalima, His wisdom and intelligence. O people! Recognize me before you lose me. God, I bear witness to You and seek help from You. (pp. 60-61)
It is written in the Sept. 1971 issue of this magazine:
Mohammad would not have born if Maula [master] Ali was not born. And the Earth and the sky would not have been created if Mohammad was not born. Hence, there would have been nothing if Ali was not born. (p. 8)
Another quote from the November 1967 issue of this magazine:
When he (Ali) appeared in the Torah of Moses, he became the tongue and speech of God. When he appeared in Zaboor [Psalms], he became the embodiment of Dawood [David]. Later, he appeared in the style of Sulaiman’s [Solomon] prayers. When he appeared in the Bible of Christ, he became the Helper and the Innocent Child. When he appeared in the gospel of Yuhanna [John], he roared and recited verses in praise of God while mounted on a white horse. When he appeared in the Quran, he was referred to at various places as honorable, brave and marvelous. Sometimes he was the hand of God and sometimes the truthful tongue of the prophets. (p. 91)
It is written in the continuation of this statement:
Move forward….when this unique first Imam appeared in the Zend Avesta of Zartusht [Zoroaster], he became the flame of fire. In Janemat [Jainism] he appeared as Shanti and Ahina, in Vedas as Om, in Shasters as Parmatma, in Gayans as Mahabali, in Geeta as Nara’ian, in Rama’in as Mahatema and he was seen by gods as Singh, Sher, Asad, Lion – this Lion and Singh is being worshipped for centuries in temples. When Krishenji used to see 14 innocents in the shape of 14 attributes, one of the attributes was that of Singh i.e. Lion. (Ali is also called by Shias Sher-e-Khuda i.e. the Lion of God) (pp. 91, 92)
These are some of the examples of the Shia belief about Ali’s illustrious position. You may be aware of their kalmia [Declaration of Faith]:
There is no God but One God, Mohammad is His prophet and Ali is his Wali (Vicegerent). (Maarif-e-Islam, Nov. 1967, p.141)
The present Quran is mutilated
Have you noticed how the concept of a mohaddas was twisted. When salvation was made dependent on the allegiance to a God-appointed imam, the result was that the Quran lost its significance and there was no importance of the finality of prophet hood. However, the matter did not end there. Along with this, such beliefs were popularized that ended the protection and permanence of the Quran. About a number of verses, Kitabul Hujjat of Al Kafi says that they were not revealed in this way. Some examples:
About laqad ahadna, Imam Jafar Sadeq said that these words were about Mohammad, Ali, Fatima, Hassan, Hussain and Imams from their lineage. Adam forgot this and by God this verse was revealed in this way to Mohammad. (Ash Shafi, p. 513)
In the Quran this verse is like this: And certainly We gave a commandment to Adam before, but he forgot… (20/115)
According to another tradition: Imam Jafar said that verse 67/29 was revealed with this addition: “Shortly you will know who is in error. O the group of liars! I inform you about the Wilaya of Ali, after me. Now who is in open disbelief? (Ash Shafi, p. 512)
In the Quran, this verse is like this: So you shall come to know who it is that is in clear error. (67/29)
Another tradition: About verse 70/12, Imam Jafar said that this verse was revealed like this: “When somebody asked about the punishment to disbelievers (in the Wilaya of Ali), and there was no one to salvage them? Imam said that this verse was revealed with the Wilaya of Ali. (Ash Shafi, p. 518)
This verse is like this in the Quran: A questioner asked about the penalty to befall the unbelievers, which none can repel. (70/1-2) Now the question arises: how were these words revealed but deleted from the Quran?
Imam Mohammad Baqer said that Jibreel [archangel Gabriel] used to come to the Prophet with these (complete) verses but people usurped their right (the right of Mohammad’s descendants) and changed the message. Hence we sent punishment from heaven upon those who had usurped the right of Mohammad’s descendants. These people were sinful. (Ash Shafi, p. 520)
The verse in the Quran is: But the transgressors changed the word from that which had been given them; so, We sent on the transgressors a plague from heaven, for that they infringed (Our command) repeatedly. (2/59)
The uniqueness and fundamental importance of the Quran is that it is the last book of God which is complete and immutable. Not a single world or letter can be added or subtracted or changed because God has taken responsibility for its preservation: We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption). (15/9)
It will shake our very belief if there is any doubt about the authenticity of any word of the Quran. It will become just like the mutilated versions of the revealed books of the earlier prophets – Torah and the Bible.
There are numerous such examples in Al Kafi as we mentioned above, according to which the concept of preservation and perpetuality of the Quran is negated.
The hidden (concealed) meanings of Quran
Now let us talk about those verses about which it is said that they are not changed but they are explained or translated in such a way that we do not find their authentication from the Quran. About their meanings, Imam Mohammad Baqer said that whatever was revealed about Ali, people committed kufr by disbelieving it. (Ash Shafi, Vol. 1, p. 513)
Another tradition says that the Quran has been changed. (According to their belief) Imams acquired knowledge direct from God. This is called Taaweel. (We discussed earlier about Taaweel and the hidden meanings of Quran within the context of Ismaeli beliefs.)
For example, about the meaning of nabaa el azeem in verse 78:1-2, Imam Jafar Sadeq said that nabaa el azeem means wilaya. It was asked if it meant wilaya of God. The Imam said it meant wilaya of amir ul momenin (Ali). (Ash Shafi, Vol. 1, p. 514)
Similarly, about verse 10:105 (And that you should keep your course towards the religion uprightly; and you should not be of the polytheists), Imam Mohammad Baqer said it means wilaya.
Revealed treatises other than the Quran: The issue is not confined to the Taaweel in the meaning of the Quran but it goes further as one can see in the following two traditions of the 39th chapter (Kitab Al Hujjat) of Al Kafi:
Abu Basiri relates that he went to Imam Jafar Sadeq and said he wanted to ask a question in total privacy. The Imam raised the curtain that separated his room from the rest of the house and said, “Now you can ask whatever you want”. I asked, “Your Shias say that the Prophet taught one chapter of knowledge to Ali from whom one thousand chapters were opened to him?” The Imam said, “Abu Mohammad (alias of Abu Basir), the Prophet taught 1000 chapters to Ali and from each chapter another 1000 chapters were opened to him”. I said, “By God, this is called knowledge”. The Imam paused for a while and then said, “Abu Mohammad, we have Jame.” I asked, “Imam, tell me what is Jame?” He said, “It is a revealed book which is 70 times longer than the hand of the Prophet who dictated this himself and Ali wrote in his own handwriting. This contains everything which is allowed and forbidden, and everything that we may need, even about the compensation of a small scratch on body is mentioned in that.” Then he put his hand on me, snapped his fingers and said, “Even compensation of this (small matter) is mentioned.” He said this is in a strong voice. I said, “This is real knowledge.” The Imam said, “It does not end here.”
After a little pause, the Imam said, “We also have Jfar (but) People don’t know. I asked him what Jfar was. He said, “This is a pot from the time of Adam which contains the knowledge of all prophets and Osias (testators) and all the learned persons who appeared in Bani Israel. I said, “This is knowledge.” He said, “It does not end here.” And, after a brief pause, said, “We have the mashaf (treatise) of Fatima, people don’t know what is the treatise of Fatima? I asked what that is. This treatise is three times voluminous than the Quran. In your Quran there is only one letter that is apparent (meaning). I said by God this is knowledge. He said that it does not end here.
After a pause he said, “We have the knowledge of ma kana wa ma yakun, i.e. what will happen till the Day of Judgment. I said, “This is knowledge.” He said, “There is more.” I asked, “What is that?” He said, “We know all about what incidents will occur day and night and sequence of events and what will happen till the Day of Judgment.
The narrator says that I he heard Imam Jafar as say, “In 128 AH (during the reign of Bani Abbas) philosophers will appear (who will be disbelievers of in Islam and Unity of God). I saw this in the Treatise of Fatima.” I asked him what the Treatise of Fatima was. He said, “When the prophet passed away, Fatima was in deep grief. God sent an angel to console her, who talked to her. Fatima informed amir ul momenin (Ali) about the angel. He said, “When the angel comes to you next time and you hear its voice, tell me. When the angel came, Fatima alerted the amir ul momenin who wrote down all what the angel said. All that was written down in the Treatise (Mashaf). Then Imam said that not only about the heaven and hell but all the events up to the Day of Judgment are written in the Mashaf. (Ash Shafi, Vol. 1, p. 270-72)
Up to this point there is no mention of allowed and forbidden as pointed out by Ash Shafi. However, after two, three traditions, it is said:
A narrator says I heard Imam Jafar Sadeq saying, “We possess something because of which we are not dependent on people but people are dependent on us. We have a book that was dictated by the Prophet and scribed by Ali. This book enlists what is Halal (allowed) and what is Haram (forbidden). We know everything that you are going to start and when you complete or end that. (Ash Shafi, Vol. 1, p. 273-74)
All these commands were brought by the angels who descended at the command of God.
How angels came to the houses of Imam?
It is narrated by Abu Hamza Thamali that he went to see Ali Ben Al Hussain. “For a while I waited outside then I went inside the house. I saw that the Imam is was picking something and giving to someone behind the curtain. I asked him, “What you are picking?” He said, “They are small parts of the feathers of angels. When they leave, we collect them and make taaweez (amulets) for kids. I asked him, “Do the angels visit you?” He said, “Yes, they come as soon as I go to bed.” (Ash Shafi, Vol. 1, p. 407)
What is the relationship of Iranianism with these beliefs?
Remember, we began with the dialogue between Umar and Hurmazan, the latter had said, “We were defeated by the Arabs because you have the Book of Allah. We, or any other nation, cannot overcome you as long as you have this book.”
Later on, we saw how Quran was made to disappear from the practice of Umma.
Now the question arises that:
All the beliefs and ideas we mentioned in the previous pages are attributed to the Imams who were all Arabs. Then how did Iranianism come into it?
These beliefs and ideas are of one Muslim sect – the Shias –and not those of the majority of Muslims (Sunnis). Did the Quran disappear from their practice too and if so, how did it happen?
These questions are very important and require thorough study and deep understanding. I would like to emphasize again that I am neither Sunni nor Shia. I do not belong to any sect. I am a student of the Quran. My belief, rather my conviction, is that this great book of God is the only authority in Deen and the standard or measure to judge truth and falsehood (right and wrong). In my view any belief, any idea of any sect or school of thought that goes against this is not genuine, even though it is attributed to our respected elders of any sect. In this respect my stance is that I see any such attribution as malicious and say that those elders would not have said that.
The ideas and beliefs about which we referred to in the preceding pages were all attributed to the Shia Imams. However, we do not have any book about which we can definitely say that this was written by them. All sayings of these people (Imams) are conveyed to us through the compilers of traditions.
Compilers of Hadith were all Iranians
As I wrote earlier, Kalini is considered as the most authentic among the Shia compilers of hadith. He was born in Ray (the present Teheran) in 250 AH. He died in 329 AH. The 11th Imam of (Imamia) Shias, Hassan Askari died in 260 AH. After him, the 12th Imam Mohammad Al Muntazar, who was about four or five years old, disappeared (near Baghdad) in a cave near Samara. (Dr. Zahid Ali, p.155)
It is clear from this discussion that Kalini did not get all his traditions directly from any Imam but from other narrators. The three other Shia books of hadith were compiled after this. These books are: La Yahzaruh Al Faqih (Sheikh Mohammad Abn Ali, died in 381 AH) and Tahzeeb wa Istabsar (Abu Jafar Mohammad Ben Hassan, died in 460 AH)
Weak traditions of Al Kafi
About Al Kafi, it is written in the introduction of Ash Shafi, Volume I:
‘Out of the 16,199 of Al Kafi’s ahadith, only 5072 can be relied on. Out of the rest, 144 are most reliable, 1,116 authentic, 302 strong and 9,450 are weak.’ (p. 6)
Maulana Syed Zafar Hassan also wrote in Forogh-e-Kafi’s translation: The Shia sect has never claimed about their hadith books that all their traditions are authentic. Presence of a tradition in a book does not mean that it is considered correct unless it is judged on the measure/standard of tradition. (p. 5)
In my view, the “standard of Hadith” is that any hadith which goes against the teachings/commands of the Quran is not authentic. On the basis of this argument, I dare say that whatever is written in the previous pages about the beliefs and ideas which are attributed to the Imams is not correctly attributed. They should be considered in accordance with the above remarks of Syed Zafar Hassan. These traditions should be considered as weak. However, Shias consider them authentic and I have no right to give any judgment on them. Anyhow, I have to be careful because the Shias are blaming me of the heresy of the rejection of hadith.
I am accused of the rejection of hadith
In the introduction of Ash Shafi (Vol. I) Allama Mohammad Hassan writes:
“It is regrettable that among Muslims a group is always present which not only rejects the usefulness of hadith but says:
‘It is better that this meaningless literature is drowned in pure wine.’ (This is a useless literature which should be destroyed.)
The foundation of this fitna (mischief) was laid down during the last moments of the Prophet’s life when he asked for a pen and ink and it was said that the Book of God was enough. And those people were lashed during the Khilafat of the believer in “the book of God is enough for us” (meaning Hazrat Umar) who talked about this incident. (Al Farooq by Shibli Nomani). This misguided concept, while passing through different Islamic periods reached its climax in the period of Molvi Chakralvi and Mr. Parwez. When this idea had appeared in public with its real colors and contours, the believers in “the book of God is enough for us” are also making noise. Many books have been written to denounce this idea but it proved unproductive. (Introduction, Ash Shafi, Vol. I, p. 3)
My “rejection of Hadith” is confined to only those hadith which are against the teachings of the Quran. Their attribution to the Prophet or our respected elders is wrong. They cannot say anything that is against the Quran. I never said:
The traditions which are not against the teachings of the Quran, I recognize them as authentic. I consider it an honor that for the crime of saying “the book of God is enough for us”:
I am small but I am associated with great people. (Although I am very small in comparison to Umar, I am proud that I have an ideological relation with such a great companion of the Prophet.)
Ajami impact on the Sunni beliefs and Schools of Thoughts
Now we will discuss the other question, i.e. how the Iranian conspiracy affected Sunni beliefs and ideas. It may be recalled that the central point of the Ajami conspiracy was to end the importance and greatness of the Quran. In this connection they first floated the idea that the Prophet did not leave the Quran with the umma in a compiled form. He left it in scattered pieces. There are strong traditions about the compilation of the Quran. (We will detail these traditions later). At this point it is enough to understand that there are six compilations of hadith which Sunnis consider as most authentic books after the Quran. About the compilation of the Quran, these traditions say:
Imam Ibne Ibi Daud quotes Zaid Ben Thabit as saying that in the year when Yamama people were killed, Abu Bakr sent someone to call me. Umar was also present. Abu Bakr told me, “He (Umar) says that many qurra (people who had learned the Quran by heart) have been killed. I fear that if the blood of more Qaris is shed, then the Quran may be lost. In my opinion, the Quran should be collected. I told Umar how can we do something that was not done by the Prophet? Umar said that by God this is a very good thing. Umar insisted on that until God guided me like him and I also supported his idea”. Abu Bakr further told me, “You are a young intelligent person who had been writing the revelations for the Prophet. We do not consider you a person who tells a lie and attributes it to somebody. Hence, you should write the Quran”. This assignment was more difficult for me than moving a mountain. I asked both of them, “Why do you want to do this (collection) which the prophet had not done?” Abu Bakr and Umar said that by God this is a very good job. They both insisted on that till God guided and I agreed with their idea. Hence, I began to search the Quran on the pieces of papers, leaves of dates, stones and the huffaz (memorizers) of the Quran till I found that a verse was missing that I had heard the prophet reciting: ‘Now hath come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves’. (9/128) I searched this verse and found it with Khazema Ben Thabit. I added it to its chapter. (Muqam-e-Hadith, p.276)
The traditions say that:
(1) The Quran was collected by Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq and revised by Hazrat Zaid.
(2) It was collected by Hazrat Umar.
(3) Not even Hazrat Umar but by Hazrat Usman as mentioned in the 4th chapter titled Hasbuna Kitaballah.
According to these traditions, certain verses were not collected and after research it was discovered that those verses were eaten by the goat of Hazrat Aisha.
About the verse of rajm (stoning to death), Hazrat Umar insisted that in the lifetime of the prophet it was part of the Quran. During his khilafa, when he was told to include this verse of the Quran, Umar said that he will not include them in the Quran but the command in this verse will be implemented.
Consequently, punishment for adulterers was stoning in accordance with this verse. The Quran compiled by Abu Bakr or Umar was with Hazrat Hafsa. In his reign, Marwan burnt this compilation. (Other traditions say that it fell down in a well.) Whatever is the case, the umma was deprived of this copy (or copies) of the Quran.
About the compiled copy of Hazrat Usman, Imam Ibne Abi Daud, in his book Kitab Al Masahif, writes: After collection was completed, Hazrat Usman saw it and said you have done a great job. However I can see some mistakes, but don’t worry the Arabs will correct them. through their dialects (linguistic habit).
After that, during the reign of Bani Umayya, Hajjaj Ben Yusef made changes at 11 places in the Quran of Hazrat Usman. About the Quran (that we now have), it is said that this was corrected by Hajjaj. Moreover many companions of the prophet had copies of the Quran which differed from the copy of Hazrat Usman at many places.
These are all the traditions of the Sunnis about Quran.
You can well imagine if such ideas are spread about the compilation of the Quran, how can it maintain its commanding position? We will detail later how and when these ideas were spread and what is the role of Iranians in this?
The concept of abrogation of verses
In short, the Quran, (in whatever way it was collected as these traditions say) was handed over to the umma. Now it was said that it contains many verses which had been abrogated. It means that there are many verses which are recited but their command is abrogated or not effective. There is another belief in this connection, that certain verses supersede other verses. Another belief is that certain verses have been cancelled in view of some hadith. We will discuss the second belief later. As far as the first belief is concerned, it is left to the judgment of ulamas (religious scholars) to declare any verse cancelled or abrogated. This attitude became so common that about 500 (there are total 6236 verses in the Quran) verses were considered abrogated. The count of the abrogated verses was different in different times, until Shah Walihullah limited them to five.
Irrespective of the number (500 or 50), the fact remains that there is a belief that certain Quranic verses are recited but their command is not effective [in accordance with the decision of a religious scholar (alim) and not God!].
Now the question arises that how the Quran which escaped cancellation should be understood. At this point, the role of Iranians became very clear. We have seen that according to the belief of mohaddas, there are two kinds of revelations: one comes to the prophet and the other to the Imams. The only difference was in the mode of revelation but there was no doubt that both were revelations.
This was the Shia belief while in Sunnis the belief was introduced that there were two kinds of revelations which were both conveyed to the prophets. One was called wahi jili (or wahi matlu) and the other was called wahi khafi (or wahi ghair matlu). Wahi jili is the Quran and wahi matlu is the traditions of the prophet. (*)
* (The belief in the two kinds of revelation prevailed among Jews. One was called Shaktab (wahi matlu) and the other one Shab-alfa (wahi ghair matlu). We, the Muslims, acquired this belief from them.)
Just like the Quran
The belief was formulated about wahi ghair matlu that this is just like the Quran. Hence, it is narrated from Maqdad Ben Maadi Karb:
The prophet said, ‘I am given the book (the Quran) and with it another just like it (another book like Quran). Shortly one man will appear …., who will say, “Follow that Quran too. Whatever is halal (allowed) in that consider halal and whatever is haram (forbidden) in that consider haram. (Abu Bakr Khateeb Baghdadi – Kitab Al Kifaya)
“Just like it” are the traditions.
It is said that the belief in the wahi matlu and wahi ghair matlu was formulated by Imam Shafei. He was born in Asqalan province in 150 AH. During the reign of Haroon Al Rasheed he was living in Yemen which was a Shia center. He was accused of being a Shia and that is why he was called in to the court of Haroon Rasheed. He often used to travel to Iraq. In 204 AH he died in Egypt. (Tareekh-e-Fiqah Islami by Allama Khizri, p.347)
It does not matter who developed this idea, but the fact is that according to this belief another treatise of revelations, outside the Quran came into existence which is called Hadith.
People who had a clear picture of Deen and believed in the greatness and uniqueness of the Quran opposed this belief and argued that authority in Deen is only the Quran. These people were labeled Motazila. So much intensive propaganda was launched against them that even today if anybody talks about reason and wisdom and his argument cannot be refuted, then it is enough to say that he is a Motazila and he will be automatically considered a non-believer.
The story of the struggle between Motazila and Shafei is very long and we will not go into details of that. It is suffice to say that the idea of Imam Shafei became a pillar of Islam. Read carefully about the status that the traditions got because of this belief.
The status of tradition (Hadith)
In his book Jama`t e Islami ka Nazeriya e Hadees (Jamat-e-Islami’s concept of Hadith), Maulana Mohammad Ismael, former president of Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith writes:
“After research and authentication the hadith has got the same status as that of the Quran. As a matter of fact, the rejection of hadith has the same impact on faith and Deen that the rejection of the Quran has….Rejection of those hadith which are considered authentic according to the criteria of the judgment of hadith and the Imams of sunna (Prophetic model) is kufr (disbelief) and excludes such persons from the fold of the milla (the fraternity of Islam).  …..Jibreel (Gabriel) used to bring down the Quran and Sunnah both. He used to teach the Prophet Sunnah like the Quran. That is why we do not believe in differentiating between the two revelations.”
Up to this point, the Quran and Hadith are being equated, but Imam Ozai says that the Quran needs hadith (for explanation) while hadith does not need the Quran. (Muktasar Jame Bayan Al Ilm, p.223)
Another Imam of hadith, Yahya Ibne-Khathir writes:
‘Hadith can give judgment on the Quran but the Quran cannot give judgment on Hadith.
There is also another belief regarding hadith i.e. hadith can abrogate a command of the Quran. In the booklet Fitna e Inkaar e Hadees (Hersey of the Rejection of Hadith), Allama Hafiz Mohammad Ayub writes:
‘It is not necessary for the saying of the prophet to be enforced only if it is in accordance with Quran; and to be not valid if it is not in accordance with the Quran. The proof of this argument is given in the Quran which says: “It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if you leave behind any goods, that you make a bequest to parents and next of kin…” (2:180). The prophet said that a will was not needed for heirs. This tradition is being implemented continuously. This means that it is not legitimate to leave a will for heirs. This tradition has cancelled the Quran and the saying of the prophet was implemented against the command of this Quranic verse. (p.85)
This is the status of traditions given to them in comparison to the Quran. Now the question is how and when these beliefs came into existence? In chapter IV (God’s book is enough for us), we discussed in detail that the prophet did not compile and leave behind any book of his sayings. Traditions were not collected during the reign of the first 4 caliphs; rather they strictly opposed this idea. After that, we do not find any collections during the period of companions of the prophet and Bani Umayya. They were compiled during the reign of Bani Abbas.
Shias recognize only those traditions which are narrated by their Imams. For them traditions of Sunnis are not acceptable. The Sunnis believe that any tradition that is narrated by Shias is not acceptable. For Ahle Hadith, anyone who rejects any tradition of Bukhari and Muslim is a kafir. Hanafis do not recognize 200 traditions of Bukhari and Muslim. Imam Bukhari, who is considered as the most authentic collector of traditions, collected 600,000 traditions but accepted only six or seven thousand and rejected the rest. Other collectors did the same.
All collectors of traditions (Ahadith) were Iranians
The Sunnis accept six of these books as the most authentic. You will be astonished to know that, like the Shia books of traditions, the collectors of these traditions were all Iranians.
This chart shows (1) Name of the Hadith collector (2) Number of traditions collected (3) Number accepted as genuine traditions
1. Imam Mohammad Ismael Bukhari
(Collected) 600,000 (Accepted) 2762 after deleting duplication of traditions
(d. 256 or 260 AH, resident of Bukhara)
2. Imam Muslim Ben Hajjaj
(Collected) 300,000 (Accepted) 4348
(d. 261 AH Resident of Neshapur)
3. Imam Abu Musa Mohammad Tirmizi
(Collected) 300,000 (Accepted) 3115
(d. 279 AH Resident of Tirmiz)
4. Imam Abu Daud
(Collected) 500,000 (Accepted) 4800
(d. 275 AH Resident of Seestan)
5. Abu Abdullah Ibne Maja
(Collected) 400,000 (Accepted) 4000
(d. 273 AH Resident of Qazween)
6. Imam Abdul Rehma Nisai
(Collected) 200,000 (Accepted) 4321
(d. 303 AH Resident of Nisa village in Khorasan province)
Just think over it, not a single collector of the traditions is Arab but all Iranians, who had no written material to rely on. All traditions are based on verbal statements or narrations. These traditions were collected about 200/250 years after the death of the prophet without any written record but only on verbal statements. According to his own statement, he collected 600,000 but decided to retain 2700/2800 in his collection and rejected the rest. Those traditions listed in his books are considered equal to the Quran and can even cancel or supersede the Quranic commands. Their rejection is kufr. At this point, we will not go into details about the type of traditions found in these collections. However, hereunder are some examples of traditions collected during the reign of Abbasis:
Love of Abbasis
The prophet said, ‘No one will be considered a believer unless that person loves Abbas and his descendents (Tojih Al Nazar, p.17; also in Jame Al Bayan). Ibne Kathir has also recorded this tradition (Part 25, commentary on surah Shoora, p.13)
Obviously, the motive behind such traditions was political. Numerous such traditions are present in these books which say:
The prophet said, ‘You should love God because of His blessings on you, love me because of the love of God and love my Ahle Beit because of my love.” (Tirmizi, quoted from Ibne Kathir, surah Shoora.
Another example: The Quran says: Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin,” (42:33).
In explaining this verse, Ibne Abbas said: ‘The prophet had blood relations with all the Quresh. God pronounced through him that he did not want any reward for the preaching of Quran but accord me only the treatment of a relative.”’ After this, Imam Tirmizi quoted this saying of Saeed Ben Jabar: ‘In this verse qurbaa means the descendents of Mohammad (PBUH). It means that he did not want any reward for his preaching but only the love of his descendents’. (All Syeds are included in this).
Companions of the Prophet became apostates
Ibne Abbas relates this sermon of the Prophet: “You will be resurrected barefoot, naked and without circumcision.”…..Then the prophet said “when some people from my Umma will be taken by the angels towards hell, I will say, ‘Oh my God, these people are my companions.’ A voice will come from God ‘You don’t know what they did after you.’ In response I will say “I was a witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when Thou tookest me Thou was the Watcher over them. Thou art Witness over all things.” (5:117) God will say, ‘Mohammad! These people became disbelievers after you.* (Bukhari – Kitab Al Tafseer)
* Earlier, we mentioned a Shia tradition that said that only three or five individuals remained Muslim after the death of the Prophet. That was a Shia tradition and this is a Sunni tradition in Bukhari.
What has been written above about the compilation of the Quran is all found in these books of traditions. And the traditions that say that after the death of the Prophet all his companions became un-believers, are also found in these books. Mind it, that all these books are not of Shias but of Sunnis and authentic to the extent that (according to their belief) rejection of any tradition will excommunicate a Muslim from the fold of Islam.
Imam Ibne Jarir Tabri: Now, it was not difficult to raise a new edifice of Islam on the basis of the books of traditions. This job was done by a Sunni Imam, Mohammad Jarir Ibne Jabri. (The word Imam has a special meaning for Shias but Sunnis call their scholars Imam, such as Imam Bukhari, Imam Tabri and Imam Abu Hanifa.)
About Imam Tabri, Allama Tamanna Emadi says: Ibne Jarir was a native of Amal in Tabristan. He was born and raised there. After completing his education he left home and searched knowledge for 44 years. He was Shia but called himself Sunni because of taqiyya. His grandfather’s real name was Rustam, but was named Yazeed after embracing Islam. He used to write his name as Mohammad Ben Jarir Ben Rustam on the books which he wrote specially for Shias, while for his books for the non-Shia Muslims he used to write his name as Mohammad Ben Jarir Ben Yazeed. (Shias do not accept that he was Shia. He was born in 224 AH and died in 311 AH.)
Imam Tabri wrote a 30-volume commentary on the Quran in which he relevant traditions under every verse. This method meant that this commentary was not written by Imam Tabri but it is from the Prophet himself. What is the result of this methodology? Now only that explanation of Quran is considered authentic that is written by Imam Tabri. It is very obvious that when it is said that the Prophet has explained a verse, no Muslim will dare to challenge that meaning or say that he has a better understanding of this verse. No Muslim will have the courage to challenge the commentary of Tabri while at the same time no Muslim would tolerate that challenge.
Consequently, the explanation of the Quran has been confined to Tafseer-e-Tabri and all doors of critical analysis have been closed. Therefore all the commentaries (interpretations) of the Quran written after Tabri duplicate the same pattern and whoever dares to challenge this is declared Rejecter of Traditions, and of prophet hood and an unbeliever. Imagine, just one action confined the Quran the beliefs and ideas which were written in the books that were compiled by the Imams.
Imam Tabri’s History
Another way to portray Islam at the time of the Prophet and his Companions was to write an authentic history of that period. But Imam Tabri blocked this path by writing a 13-volume book of history, which is considered as the most authentic history by the Sunnis. Tabri’s explanation is called the Mother of Explanations and his history is called the Mother of History. All history books written subsequently are based on Tabri’s work, in which he adopted this method: to support his explanation of the Quranic verses, he listed all events of the time of the Prophet and his Companions. On the other hand, to support or authenticate the events of this period, he listed traditions in his Explanation. In this way, Tafseer-e-Tabri and Tareekh-e-Tabri became the most authentic books for the era of the Prophet and his Companions.
And the Islam based on these books moved forward.
Islam was no longer Deen but became religion
The belief that beyond Quran, knowledge can be acquired directly from God, not only resulted in the fabrication of traditions but also they got the status of Deen. Consequently, Islam no longer remained Deen but it turned into religion. We explained the difference between Deen and religion in the third chapter. Briefly, Deen can become a practical system in its independent state. An independent state means a state which is ruled in accordance with the laws (commands, principles and values of Quran) of God. If such a state does not exist then Deen does not flourish and it turns into religion. In religion fundamentals of Deen take the shape of rituals, which do not produce the results as desired by the Deen. By performing these rituals one is happy or has an illusion that he is fulfilling the commands of God.
The meanings of the verse “istakhlaf fil ard” have been changed
The following verse of Sura Noor is the most prominent Quranic verse about the establishment of an independent Islamic state:
Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion – the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace…. (24/55)
It is clear from this verse that the establishment of an independent government is a mandatory result of the firm belief and good deeds. And Deen can be established only in this way. This means that Deen cannot be established without the establishment of our Muslims’ own government.
But we have seen that the establishment of government is not necessary for Imama. History shows that, with the exception of Ali, not a single Imam had power (government). To overcome this difficulty, it was said that in this verse “istakhlaf” means spiritual Imama and not worldly power.
According to Al Kafi: Imam Abu Jafar said, ‘First of all God created Shab Qadar in which first He created the Prophet and the Wasi. God’s wisdom made this a yearly occurrence in which all events of the coming year were registered. Whoever will deny this will deny the knowledge of God because Prophets and Mohaddas tell people what they receive from God. Jibreel brings this information during that night’. I asked, ‘Do Jibreel and other angels visit Mohaddas and others?’ He said, ‘There is no doubt about the prophets. Besides this, since the beginning of the universe and till the end, a representative of God will remain on earth. And, during every Shab Qadar, God will send His commands to that person who is close to Him.
By God, angels and spirits descended during Shab Qadar on Adam with the message of God. When Adam died, he was succeeded by his Wasi. After Adam, God’s commands came to the prophets and later to their Osia in Shab Qadar.
And by God, when the command of God came to all prophets from Adam to Mohammad Mustafa, he was ordered to convey this to such and such person. In His book, after the Prophet, about the Walyan-e-Amr God said: “The people who are believers and have good deeds, God has promised that they will be made khalifa on earth like their predecessors.”…It means that God says that after your Nabi I will make you khalifa of my knowledge, Deen and prayers just like the Osias of Adam. Then he sent the last prophet so that nobody is worshipped except Him. He said, ‘I should be worshiped with faith. No prophet will come after Mohammad.’ So those who say contrary to this are disobedient of Allah. So, after Mohammad, God has given access of knowledge to Walian-e-Amr. (Ash Shafi, Vol 1, p-284-85)
Not only that, in other traditions of Al Kafi, desire of power and government is called a path of destruction.
One tradition says: Imam Raza said that the desire of power is more dangerous and damaging than the presence of two wolfs in the herd of sheep that lost its keeper. (Ash Shafi, Vol 2, p-316)
Another tradition says: Hazrat Abu Abdullah said that whoever wished for state and government (power) is destroyed. (Ibid.)
Separation of religion and politics: With this belief the worldly government and spiritual state were declared as two separate domains. But the worldly government was condemned. This separation of religion and politics based on the concept of Imama, was not confined to Shias but also penetrated the Sunnis. The monarchy had already become hereditary under the influence of the belief in hereditary Imama. (That is why after the four caliphs (khalifas), all Muslim kingdoms, whether of Shias or Sunnis, were established on the basis of inheritance.)
Under the concept of duality of religion and politics, government affairs and Islamic law affairs were also divided into two entities. State affairs went to the king while Islamic legal affairs were assigned to religious leaders. The difference in the personal law and public law is also the result of this division. In this way the state was divided into two entities in which two parallel governments were established – one of the king and the other of the religious leaders.
This division, not only resulted in the division of the government but also damaged the system of legislation that was proposed by the Quran and was the basis of Deen. Legislative principle of the Quranic political system was that the Umma with consultation and within the limits of Quranic commands and principles should make laws according to the need of the time. Quranic limits were unchangeable but new laws used to change with the need of the time. However, monarchy ended the system of consultation while legislation according to the need of the time was declared illegal by the religious leaders.
Possibility of legislation ended
The Imam Shafei School of Thought declared that all commands and laws are present in the traditions, which are complete and not changeable. Therefore, there is no need to make new laws (according to the need of time) nor any change is allowed in the present laws. This was the belief of Ahle Hadith that was resisted by ulamas (Ahle Fiqh) who said that in the light of the Quran and traditions, and on the basis of analogy (Qiyas) new commands can be made. And any command which has consensus of the umma will become law. We have a popular belief that there are four sources of law – i.e. the Quran, traditions, analogy and consensus. This is based on the Faqhi (Legal) School of Thought.
This provided an opportunity to make new laws but later they also adopted the belief that the door of Ijtehad (independent judgment) has been closed. Therefore, previous legal decisions cannot be changed and new laws cannot be formulated.
Ahle Hadith believed that when there is a conflict between the Quran and Hadith, then the command of tradition will prevail because tradition supersedes the Quran and can even abrogate a Quranic command. This belief was adopted by the followers of the four Sunni schools of thoughts – Hanafi, Shafei, Hanbali and Maliki).
A prominent Imam of Hanafi Fiqh, Abul Hassan Ubaidullah Al Karkhi says: ‘Any verse that is against this school of thought which we follow, is either Ma’awal (has more than one interpretation) or cancelled and similarly any such tradition is Ma’awal or cancelled. (Tareekh Fiqh Islam – Compiled by Allama Khizri, P-421)
It means that if there is a conflict between the Quranic command and a decision of Fiqh, then first it should be tried to expand the meaning of the verse to conform to the Fiqh explanation. If it is not possible then it should be considered as cancelled. On this point, there is a heated debate between
Ahle Hadith and Ahle Fiqh because Ahle Hadith does not consider any tradition cancelled which they believe is authentic. However, they both agree on the cancellation of the Quranic commands.
At the present moment, the umma is divided into these sects – i.e. Shia and Sunni. In Sunnis we have Ahle Hadith, and Ahle Fiqh while Ahle Fiqh is divided into Hanafi, Shafei, Hanbali and Malki Fiqh or schools of thoughts.
All these sects recognize traditions or the decision of Imams as authority in Deen. The Quran is now used only for recitation or blessing.
(In our time, Molvi Chakralvi invited people towards pure Quranic teachings. But for him also Islam was a religion and not Deen. Hence his followers also became a sect (Ahle Quran) and in this way he became a cause of damage for the Quranic thoughts.)
Revival of the capitalist system
The list of man-made ideologies which cause atrocities on human society is very long. But in principle we can confine them in three categories: 1. Monarchy; 2. Religious leadership; and 3. the capitalist system. The Quran ended all these curses and gave the human being real freedom. In the previous chapters of this book, we have seen a reflection of this freedom or emancipation. In the present chapter, we detailed the Ajami conspiracies which effectively snatched the Quran away from Muslims, revived these curses and enforced them as ‘real’ Islam. We have given a detailed description of this conspiracy in the current chapter. We have already seen how these two curses were revived? And how the capitalist system was revived and made part of Islam. This is a very tragic story which needs an independent book. (I have written a lot on this subject). At the present moment we will focus on the point that after declaring traditions as authority of Deen instead of the Quran, it was not difficult to revive these curses.
These traditions were fabricated or compiled during the reign of Bani Abbas when the capitalist and feudalist system had been imposed on the state system. Traditions were fabricated to declare them Islamic. Some of them entered into the books of traditions and some in our history books. The Islamic law (Fiqh) was based on these traditions. Hence the capitalist system was declared Islamic according to the traditions and Fiqh.
A few examples: O ye who believe! there are indeed many among the priests and anchorites, who in Falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of Allah. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah: announce unto them a most grievous penalty, (9/34) On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, their flanks, and their backs.- “This is the (treasure) which ye buried for yourselves: taste ye, then, the (treasures) ye buried!” (9/35)
This is an unambiguous Quranic command which uproots the capitalist system. Now see how this verse is explained in accordance with the traditions: Ibne Abbas said, ‘When this verse was revealed, it had a negative impact on the Muslims, who considered it a burden. Umar told the people that he would remove their worry and resolve this problem. Umar went to the Prophet and said, ‘This verse is a burden on your companions.’ The Prophet said, ‘God made Zaka mandatory to clean the rest of your assets. Inheritance was made mandatory so that your heirs can inherit your assets.’ Ibne Abbas says that Hazrat Umar was very pleased to hear this and cried with joy, ‘Allaho Akbar, Allaho Akbar.’ (Abu Daud, quoted in Mishkat, chapter Al Zaka)
According to this explanation, that was presented as a saying of the Prophet, the meaning of this Quranic verse was that after paying two and half percent Zakat every year one can accumulate as much wealth as one likes.
This argument was supported by history which said that there were many big capitalists among the companions. Usman Ghani was a very rich person. Abdul Rahman Ben Auf had a huge business. The first camel of his trade goods caravan used to be in Madina and the last one in Egypt. On the basis of such traditions and historic episodes, Islamic laws were developed according to which no limit can be imposed on the ownership of wealth, property and land. It is not possible to go into detail here. In our era, Maulana Modudi had given a brief in his book Masala e Milkiyat e Zameen (The issue of the ownership of land):
‘Islam did not impose any limit on the quantity of any kind of property. The ownership of legitimate things, which are acquired through legitimate means (when all Islamic legal dues have been paid) can be kept without any limit. There is no limit on the ownership of money, animals, under use goods, houses, rides or anything. Then why the Islamic law is inclined towards limiting the ownership of agricultural property or preventing acquisition of land by one person is made practically impossible.’ (1950 Edition, p-52)
This is the Islam which is presented to us through Fiqh, traditions and history. If anybody dares object, he is silenced by saying, ‘Who understands Islam better, you or the prophet and the respected elders?’
Did you see the result of the Ajami conspiracy?
Changes in beliefs
So far we had confined our discussion to the commands of God. However the basic issue is belief, because it is belief which is the building block of life of both an individual and a nation. When the Quran says: “Because Allah will never change the grace which He hath bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls: and verily Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things).” (8/53)
It meant that psychology is changed through beliefs. It was the result of the Quranic beliefs and ideas that the Arabs produced a great revolution (in the early period of Islam). Ajam knew this reality and distorted these Quranic beliefs so that now we are unable to find even their traces. In this context we will present an example. The basic teaching of the Quran is that a human being is responsible for his own deeds and nations made their own fate. It was the belief in the accountability, that a small group of Muslims not only became the inheritors of the empires of Rome and Iran, but also destroyed or overshadowed their centuries-old civilization and led humanity into a new era. Iranians and Christians both had declared that human beings are helpless (or their fate is pre-determined). The nations who had this belief were unable to confront Arabs (Muslims) who believed in making their own world. Hence this belief became the first target of the Iranians.
The belief in fate
Fate was the basis of Magian belief. For them “whatever was written in fate” was a firm decision that could not be changed. This was against the Quranic belief. Iranians spread this belief among the Muslims. According to history, Mabid ben Khalid Jhanni was the first among the Muslims who raised this issue. He took this from an intellectual known as Abu Yunis, who belonged to Asawra. (We have mentioned earlier that Asawra was an army of intellectuals of the Iranian emperor that was settled in Kufa and Basra.) Ghaslan Damishqi took this idea from Mabad and spread it further. The focal point of this belief was that a human being is in the grip of his fate. He is helpless and powerless.
Some historians believe that Jaad Ben Dirham was the founder of the belief of jabr (compulsion). According to Ibn Al Nadeem, he was of Iranian origin and the follower of Mani’s religion but in public he proclaimed that he was a Muslim. Jehim Ben Safwan who was from Khorasan learnt about this belief from Darham. He propagated it among the Muslims. (On the issue of Fate my independent book – Kitab Al Taqdeer – has been published.)
The first sect that appeared among Muslims (without any distinction of Shia or Sunni) was the Jabria (or Qadria) sect. This belief is contrary to the Quranic belief of accountability of one’s deeds. Now the question arises, how a belief that was quite against the basic belief of the Quran, became popular among the Muslims?
Traditions about fate
In the light of the discussion in the previous pages we can find an answer to this obviously difficult question very easily. Traditions were fabricated in support of this belief. After that it was not difficult to declare it as an “Islamic belief.” In this respect we will reproduce a few traditions from the chapter on Destiny in Mishkat (which is considered as an authentic collection of traditions):
1. Hazrat Abdullah Ben Umar relates that the prophet said, ‘God wrote the
destiny of its creatures 50,000 years before the creation of sky and earth and when his throne was on water.’ (Muslim)
2. Hazrat Umar quoted the Prophet as saying, that ‘Everything depends on fate, even wisdom and foolishness also depend on that. (Muslim)
3. Hazrat Ali relates that there is no one amongst you whose destiny has not been written, if he will go to hell or heaven. (Bukhari and Muslim)
4. Hazrat Abu Huraira says that the prophet said if God has written some adultery in one’s fate, that man will commit that. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Moreover the Prophet said that God created Adam and then touched the back of Adam with His right hand, produced descendants and said, ‘I have produced them for heaven and they will do the deeds of heavenly people.’ Then again God touched the back of Adam with His right hand, produced descendants and said that I produced them for hell and they will do the deeds of the people of hell. After hearing this, one person asked the Prophet, ‘What is the use of good deeds?
The Prophet said, ‘When God creates somebody for Paradise, so he guides him to do the deeds of the people of Paradise…and sends him to paradise for his deeds. Similarly, when God creates someone for hell, He guides him to do the deeds of the people of hell…And he is sent to hell for his deeds. (From Malik, Tirmizi, Daud)
5. Hazrat Abdullah Ben Omer relates that once the prophet came holding two books in his hands. He addressed the people and said, ‘Do you know what these books are?’ We said, ‘Oh Prophet! We don’t know.’ About the book in his right hand, the Prophet said, ‘This book is from God which contains the name of the people of Paradise. Now nothing can be deleted or added in this.’ Referring to the book in his left hand the Prophet said, ‘This book is also from God which contains the names of the people of hell. Now nothing can be added or deleted in this. (From Tirmizi)
6. Hazrat Abu Durda narrates that the Prophet said, ‘God has freed himself from five things related to every human being. It means, He has written five
things in his fate, which are his age, good or bad deeds, abode, return (death) and (rizq) subsistence. (From Ahmed)
Obviously, when someone will think over such traditions in the light of clear teachings of Quran and knowledge, many questions will be raised in his mind and he will seek a satisfactory answer of these questions. The people who had fabricated these traditions were aware of this situation and thought about its solution. Hence they fabricated such traditions which closed the door of discussion of this issue. For example:
Abu Huraira says, ‘We were discussing the issue of fate that the Prophet came and his face became red like pomegranate after hearing our discussion. In a state of great anger he said, ‘Are you commanded to discuss this? And I was sent among you for this purpose? The nations prior to you were destroyed because they discussed this issue. So I say swear, and again I say, swear that you will never discuss this issue. (Tirmizi)
This means that they popularized the belief in fate among the Muslims and also closed the door of its discussion.
The Bramka propagated this belief with full force. Magians believed that events of the forthcoming year and fate of the people was decided on the night of Noruz. Bramka introduced this as a Muslim belief with the name of Shab-e-Barat (the Night of Fate). Fireworks at Shab-e-Barat refresh the memories of the flames of Zoroastrian temples. Shias believe that Shab-e-Qadar is the night when fates are decided (by God). According to Al Kafi, Imam Abu Jafar said: ‘First of all God created Shab Qadar in which first He created the Prophet and the Wasi. God’s wisdom made this a yearly occurrence in which all events of the coming year were registered. Whoever will deny this he will deny the knowledge of God because Prophets and Mohaddas tell people what they receive from God. Jibreel brings this information during that night. (Ash Shafi, Vol 1, p-284-85)
In this tradition, the part which says: “who denies this, he denies the knowledge of God” is very significant.
According to the Quran, there are five pillars of faith: God, Angles, Prophets, Divine books and the Day of Judgment. These pillars are mentioned in the Quran. One becomes a Muslim by accepting them and a non-believer if one rejects them. But now you know that the pillars of Islam are six and not five:
I believe in God; His books; His prophets; and that good deeds and bad deeds; and good and evil had been determined by God and life after death. This mean that five pillars of faith were commanded by God while one was added later. Now no one can become Muslim if he does not believe in Fate. As usual this addition was done according to traditions. For example: Ali narrated that the Prophet said: ‘A person cannot become Momen unless he has faith in four things. (1) Gives witness that there is no one worth worshipping except God. I am His prophet, God sent me with Haq. (2) Death is reality. (3) Believes in resurrection after death and (4) Believes in Fate. (From Tirmizi)
In this way, the belief in fate became a pillar of faith – i.e. the belief that profit, loss, grief and happiness, health and sickness, wealth and poverty, honor and dishonor, good and evil (even at the national level) rise and fall, their life and death, victory and defeat, subjugation and ruler- ship, are all pre-destined by God.
Human efforts cannot bring any change in them – only that will happen which is the will of God.
You do research to know the causes of the decline of the umma, special committees are appointed, commissions are formed but there is no need of all this research because the belief in fate is enough to know the cause of the destruction of nations.
Ajami conspiracy made this energetic nation a heap of dust by propagating this belief among the Muslims and making it a pillar of faith.
The angle of thought is so deviated that if somebody says that this sixth pillar of faith is an addition in Quran and against its fundamental teachings, the whole community rises to kill him. Just think over, with this belief as a pillar of faith, will this nation be able to rise again on its feet ever?
One meaning of fate was explained by Umar (See Chapter 4 of this book) and the other meaning was given by the Ajami conspiracy. The meaning given by Farooq (that was in accordance with the Quran) was declared kufr but Ajami meanings became a pillar of Muslim faith. This is how the Ajamis took revenge from the Muslims.
This is not the end of the Ajami conspiracy. Still there is another arrow in their quiver arsenal. Wisdom, knowledge and expertise all collapsed in front of this arrow which proved the last nail in the coffin of Islam.
We have seen that the break of the seal of the finality of the Prophet and to open a door parallel to Revelation (through Mohaddas). The concept of Mohaddas was presented but this was confined to the Imams of Shias. Hence this belief was confined to that sect.
On the other hand, in Sunnis, the idea of two kinds of Revelation was developed and those beliefs which were outside the Quran were declared equal to the Quranic beliefs. However this was confined to the personality of the Prophet and all such (non-Quranic) beliefs were listed in the books of traditions. It was felt necessary that the possibility of acquiring knowledge direct from God should be opened. This need was met with the idea of tasawwuf (mysticism), about which Allama Iqbal wrote to Syed Sulaiman Nadwi:
There is no doubt that Tasawwuf was an alien plant in the land of Islam that was raised in the Ajami intellect. (Iqbalnama – Vol. 1, p-78)
It is said that the first person in Islam who became famous as Sufi was a resident of Kufa. His name was Abul Hashem Usman Ben Shareek, who died in a hermit near Ramla in 160 AH.
The basic belief of Tasawwuf is that a human being can attain such a status through intensive prayers that he can directly communicate with God. It is apparent that Shias cannot subscribe to this idea of Tasawwuf because they limit this communication with God to their God-appointed Imams. Hence they opposed the Sufis. However, it is ironic that all Sufi houses (with the exception of Naqshbandia) trace their lineage to Ali through these (Shia) Imams. Ali is considered the Chief Sufi (Wali). For them the status of wilaya is higher than khilafa. Not only that, the Sufis believes that only the Ahle Beit can attain the higher status in Tasawwuf. Ibne Arabi writes in Fatoohat e Makkia that the chief Sufi is always from Ahle Beit. Other Sufis who do not agree with this idea believe that the chief of the Sufi chiefs (Qutub Al Aqtab) is always from Ahle Beit. (Tahqiq-e-Syed wa Sadat, Mahmood Ahmed Abbasi, p-219)
Sheikh Akbar Abne Arabi
Shias believed in the idea of Mohaddas which meant that Imams get knowledge from the same fountain of divine knowledge from which the Prophet got Revelation. The people who believe in Tasawwuf have similar views. Grand Sufi Mohiuddin Ibne Arabi, who is called the Great Sheikh, writes in his well known book Fahoosul Hukm:
“Sufis get (knowledge) from the same source from which the Prophet got.”
About the traditions he says: No tradition is free from the error of meaning and personal understanding. Hence Sufis directly ask the Prophet about that. Although Sufis are under the prophets but both get revelations…Though the vicegerents of the Prophet (i.e. the Sufis) cannot step outside the circle of the Islamic laws (Shariat) but there is a critical point which only people like us can understand.…… Arbab-e-Shariat are those who give command in accordance with the Quran and traditions. When they don’t find a clear answer in the Quran and traditions, they rely on analogy and interpretation (Ijtehad) but this interpretation is based on Quran and traditions.
However, among us, there are people who take (this interpretation or knowledge) from God through divine inspiration (kashf) and revelation…Hence the divine inspiration (kashf) to them and revelation to the Prophet are the same. This is the reason that when the Prophet passed away, he did not appoint anybody his successor because he knew that there will be many people in his Umma who will take khilafa from God and will become vicegerent of God. God gives this vicegerent the same religious commands and knowledge which He gave to the prophets…. (Letters to Saleem – Vil. 3, p-42-44)
Researchers believe that Ibne Arabi was influenced by the ideas and beliefs of Ikhawan-e-Safa, which was a group of authors who followed the Ismaeli school of thought.
The group wrote several pamphlets anonymously. Their teachings became popular in Africa and Andlus (Spain) through the writings of Mohammad Abul Qasim Andlusi (died in 395 AH).
Therefore researchers believe that Ibne Arabi was influenced by their philosophy. The picture of Sufism that we see in his writings is apparently a reflection of the teachings of Ikhawan-e-Safa. (Mazhab aur Batni Taaleem by Mirza Mohammad Saeed)
Sufism is against the teachings of the Quran
Sufis call their knowledge a divine inspiration (kashf and Ilham). Like the word mazhab, we do not find these words in the Quran. Nor the words tasawwuf or sufi are there. You have noticed that in wahi and kashaf or ilham, the difference is of wording but their meanings are the same i.e. access to knowledge directly from God. The beliefs and ideas which Sufis presented are contrary to the teachings of Islam. For example:
(1) Aharman and Yazdan was the basic concept of Mazdaism which meant a continued struggle between good and evil. Sufis say that the human being is separated from the Spirit of God and stranded in the material swamp. Material is evil while the Spirit of God is good. Now there is a struggle between material and spirit.
The object of human life is that the human body pulls itself out of this material swamp and unites with its origin. The logical result of this belief was that the worldly affairs were considered hateful. Hence the abandonment of family and worldly enjoyment – i.e. abandoning the worldly affairs – became a basic condition for the cleanliness of the self.
About the material universe, the Quran says that God has chained it with His laws and it is the duty of Momenin (Muslims) to unveil these laws and conquer the forces of Nature. Opposite to this Quranic idea, the concept of hating and abandoning the world as the purpose of life, shakes the foundation of Islam and surely paralyses a nation which follows such ideology.
(2) The Quran says that God created this universe which is a reality. However (following the Platonian concept of abstract idea) the idea of Sufism is that this material world does not exist.
There is only one existence which is God and whatever we see is God everywhere. This is called the ideology of Wahdat Al Wujud (Omnipresence of God).
To what extent these people had stretched their idea of Omnipresence of God can be seen from the statement of a Grand Sufi (Sheikh-e-Akbar): “So, in a way, the Pharaoh had the right to say, ‘I am your higher god’ because he was not separate from God, though he appeared in the personality of the Pharaoh. (Fasus Al Hukm)
(3) The Sufis claim that their beliefs and ideas are based on the Quran. That is why they say that the literal meanings of the Quran are for the common people while its real meanings are hidden which only Sufis can know.
This statement of Ibne Arabi shows how they mutilate the Quranic verses through hidden knowledge: The simple translation of verse 20/55 is: From the (earth) did We create you, and into it shall We return you, and from it shall We bring you out once again.
Ibne Arabi in its explanation writes: “We all come out from one source (God) and after death will merge in this Oneness. Then we will get perpetual life and again we will be resurrected.” (Fasus Al Hukm)
Authority for the hidden knowledge
It is believed about the hidden/concealed knowledge that it is not revealed to common people but it is confined to special personalities. Some traditions were fabricated to authenticate this concept, such as: Abu Huraira said, ‘The Prophet gave me two pots of knowledge. I disseminated one (of open knowledge) but if I reveal the other (hidden knowledge), people will cut my throat. (Bukhari, Bab Al Ilm; also Mishkat, Bab Al Ilm).
As mentioned in the reference, this tradition is from considered the most authentic book. It is a matter of neither Imam Bukhari nor others who attribute such Prophet ever realized that it will have a negative personality of the Prophet.
Bukhari which is great regret that traditions to the reflection on the
God sent revelations to the Prophet and commanded: O Messenger! Proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission (5/67). On the other hand God said: But the transgressors changed the word from that which had been given them; so We sent on the transgressors a plague from heaven, for that they infringed (Our command) repeatedly (2/59).
In view of these clear commands from God, it is a serious allegation on the Prophet to say that the divine knowledge that was given to the Prophet, he divided it into two parts. One part was revealed while the other was conveyed to some privileged people with the instructions that it should not be revealed to public. However our Ahle Sharia lists this in the most authentic books of traditions while Ahle Tariqa (followers of Sufism) present this as a proof of hidden knowledge.
This hidden knowledge is not written anywhere but is transferred from generation to generation of Sufis through intuition. This is called iIm e laduni. It is not necessary that a disciple gets this knowledge directly from his master (murshid). This can be achieved through a hidden method despite the passage of a long time. For example, it is said about Junaid Baghdadi (died in 298 AH) that he received the knowledge of tasawwuf from a companion of the Prophet, Ans Ben Malik. Sufis believe that this hidden knowledge was conveyed to Ali by the Prophet and then transferred verbally after Ali. Besides this transferred knowledge, Sufi saints also receive knowledge directly from God through which Quran’s hidden meanings are unveiled.
On the distortion of the meanings of the Quran, Allama Iqbal writes in one of his letters:
“As a matter of fact search of hidden meanings in any religion or working code and symbols of a nation amounts to mutilation of that working code. This is a very subtle way of abrogation. And this method is invented and adopted by those nations whose nature is mischievous. Majority of Ajami poets are those who by nature were tilted towards the philosophy of omnipresence. Iranian nation was inclined towards this philosophy before the advent of Islam which blocked its development for sometimes. However Iran’s natural aptitude resurfaced with time. In other words, in other (Sunni) Muslims such literature was produced that was based on the ideology of omnipresence. These poets adopted novel and dubious ways to deny and abrogate the teachings of Islam.” (Iqbalnama, Vol. 1, p-35)
Keeping this in mind, Allama Iqbal wrote in another letter: ‘As far as I know, in Fasus Al Hukm there is nothing but atheism and heresy.’ (Ibid. p-44)
(4) Deen is the name of a complete system and regulation for the social life of human beings. It progresses in its own state. That is why Umar said, ‘No Islam without social life. Islam cannot be imagined without a group (social life).
However, Sufism abhors social life. Sufis believe in individual salvation through mediation and contemplation in hermits. According to this ideology, there cannot be any difference between Islam and Hindu vedaant, Christian monasticism and (pre-Islamic) Iranian Magians.
Opposition to Jihad
Islam describes life as a constant struggle and the final shape of this struggle is when a group of Momins (Muslims) comes out for war to resist tyranny and oppression. When they return a victorious, they are called Ghazi and the people who lose their lives are eligible for perpetual life. There is no better deed in Islam than Jihad. But Sufism calls this Jihad a ‘Minor’ Jihad but calls the abandoning of society and exercising self control as ‘Major’ Jihad. Not only that, they see the armed Jihad with contempt. In this respect they have a popular stanza:
[A ghazi, who has not yet been martyred, continues the search for an opportunity of martyrdom. But he is misguided, because the martyr of love of God is higher in status. On the Day of Judgment, it will be declared that he was killed by the enemy while the other one is killed by a friend. (It means that the martyr of love is fortunate that he was killed at the hands of his beloved, God.)]
Criticizing this stanza, Allama Iqbal says, ‘From the poetic point of view this stanza is wonderful and deserves praise but if we evaluate it impartially, we find that it is very deceptive and a clever method is used to reject Islamic Jihad. It is the art of the poet that though a person is being given poison, he thinks he is given the water of immortality. Unfortunately, Muslims have been believing this for several centuries. (Letter to Siraj Din Pal in Iqbalnama, Vol. 1, p-36)
All mystic poetry was produced during the period of political downfall of the Muslims. And it should have been like this because when a nation loses power and energy, as Muslims lost after the Tartar attack, its thinking is changed. For them their weakness becomes a thing of beauty and abandoning this world (seclusion) becomes a way of seeking pleasure. Nations hide their laziness and defeat in their struggle for survival behind the curtain of seclusion. In Indian Muslims we see that the climax of poetry reached in the marsias (poetry about the martyrdom of Imam Hussein) of Luckhnow. (Ibid. p-44)
In another letter, he writes: ‘For centuries Indian Muslims are under the influence of the Iranian thoughts. They are not aware of the Arabic Islam and its objective and mission. Their literary as well as social ideals are Imams.’ (Ibid. p-24)
He calls this “Magian Heritage” of Muslims and writes with great grief and sorrow: ‘This Magian heritage has deride up the roots of Islam. It has also blocked the development of Islamic spirit and achievement of its objectives.’ (Ahmadiat and Islam)
Allama Iqbal and Tasawwuf: In 1917, Allama Iqbal wrote an article – Islam and Mysticism – that was published in New Era, a newspaper of Luckhnow, on July 28, 1917. In this article he described Sufism as ‘jugglery’. What kind of teachings is found in the Sufi books? I cannot give detail here but I have given a few examples in my book Saleem key Naam Khutoot (Letters to Saleem), Volume III.
The claim of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
When this belief of Sufism (which was based on the Shia concept of mohaddas) opened the door of divine inspiration, then naturally there was a possibility of claiming prophet hood. Hence, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani, climbing on these stairs, claimed that he reached the status of a prophet. First he wrote:
“Our prophet is the last among the prophets. No prophet can come after him. That is why in Sharia (Islamic law) mohaddases are the vicegerents of the Prophet.” (Shahadat Al Quran, p-28)
At another place he writes: “I did not say anything to people except what I have written in my books that I am a mohaddas and God communicates with me as he did with other mohaddases.” (Himayat Al Bushra, p-96)
In view of our earlier discussion, it is not difficult to understand where Mr. Mirza borrowed the idea of Mohaddas from? Its source is Shia and Sufi literature.
As we mentioned earlier, the concept of Mohaddas was first appeared among the Shias. It was argued that in verse: And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet, but when He desired, (22/52) there was the word Mohaddas after prophet (Nabi) which is not present in the Quran. To authenticate his claim of “Mohaddas” Mr. Mirza also quoted this verse with the addition of Mohaddas.
On the issue of Sufism, an article was published on July 11, 1973 by Paigham-e-Sulah, which is the spokesman of the Lahori branch of Mirza’s followers. This article says:
‘The terms which are used in his (Mr. Mirza’s) books led to some confusion among our own people and others who consider them the claimer of prophet hood. Such terms were “Zilli Nabi, Brozi Nabi, Ummati Nabi, Ghair Sharei Nabi, Fana Fil Rasul and Majazi Nabi. Now the issue is what the source and meaning of these terms is. It is apparent that these terms are not mentioned in the Quran and the traditions. We do not find them even five to six hundred years after the prophet but when we go through the pages of history we find that these terms were coined by the Sufis.’
This is the bias of their claim. After that when (according to him) he received God’s messages, he writes:
I swear by God that I believe in these (Ilham) messages in the same way as I believe in the Quran and other divine books. I consider Quran as the word of God and similarly I consider the divine messages revealed to me as God’s messages. [Haqiqat-al Wahi (The Reality of Revelation)] p-211
His son and his first khalifa said:
‘Remember that when a new prophet comes then the knowledge (teachings) of the previous prophet also comes through him and not directly. The new prophet becomes a channel for the previous prophet. A wall is erected around the old prophet, thus nothing can be seen except through the new prophet. Therefore, there is no Quran except that one which is presented by the reincarnated Masih (Masih Mo’ud) and there is no tradition except that is seen through the prism of Masih Mo’ud.’ (Akhbar Al Fazal, Qadian, July 15, 1924.)
And, do you know the major quality for which God had chosen Mr. Mirza for this office? ‘The last truth was appeared in the solitude of Qadian by God and He talked to Masih Mo’ud who was of Iranian origin.’ (Ibid. Feb. 3, 1935) (Coincidently, Mirza Ali Mohammad Bab and Bahauddin were also from Iran and their deed was to cancel the command of Jihad.)
Do you see, where his lineage is linked? The biggest achievement of this “God-appointed” (prophet) was that he cancelled the command of Jehad.
“The intensity of Jihad, i.e. the religious wars was gradually reduced by God. During the era of Hazrat Musa, people were killed even for the belief in God, even suckling infants were killed, and then during the period of our prophet, killing of children and old people and women was banned. Therefore certain nations only paid jazia (poll tax) instead of accepting (Islam) faith that was considered as a way of salvation. And then Masih Mo’ud completely banned Jihad.” (Arbaeen, No 4, p-15, Notation by Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Rabbani)
From today the human Jihad through sword is banned by the command of God. Now, anybody who raises a sword against an infidel and calls himself Ghazi, disobeys the prophet who said 1300 years ago that after the appearance of Masih Mo’ud all Jihad with the sword will be banned. There is no Jihad with the sword after my appearance. We raise the white flag of faith and reconciliation. (Qadiani Madhab, p-296)
Gist of the Persian conspiracy: This was a brief introduction of the conspiracy through which the Iranians not only took revenge from the Arabs for their defeat, but also uprooted the foundations of Islam. Allama Iqbal summed up all this discussion in one sentence: “The result of the vanquish of Iran was not that Iran accepted Islam but Islam was painted in the Iranian color.” New Era, July 28, 1917)
This is the Persian Islam (i.e. Magian Heritage) which is being practiced since centuries ago. It does not distinguish Shia or Sunni or Ahle Hadith or Ahle Fiqh or Arbab e Sharia or Ashab e Tariqa. All are painted in the same color.
And the result is:
The magic of this conspiracy is that our religious leaders are in a constant violent dispute over the principles and minute details of Islam and issue fatwa of infidelity against anybody who says:
[Appraise yourself in the mirror of Quran. Your present condition has been rotten and you should escape from yourself. Weigh your character in the balance of Quran and instigate the old era revolutions. (i.e. show the enthusiasm of action of the early days of Islam).]
All (ulamas) are united in vehemently opposing such person.
What is the solution?
Now the question how this Ajami conspiracy can be countered and how Islam can be salvaged from this wreckage?
Allama Iqbal believes that it is definitely possible.
“The only condition is that the Islamic world moves forward in this direction with the spirit of Hazrat Umar, who was the first critique and freedom loving heart of Islam, who dared to say during the last days of the prophet: “For us the book of God is enough.” (Khutbat Iqbal)
This is also my wish and mission of life. This book is the latest contribution in my humble efforts in that respect.
Impact of Ajami religions on the beliefs of Muslims
After the death of the Prophet all pseudo-prophets and claimers of godly attributes were all Ajamis and in future also they are likely to be the same. Many people claimed to be Masih Mou’d (the promised Masih). I have written about them in my book “Madahib-e-Islamia,” I will not go into detail here but confine my discussion to their impact on the beliefs of Muslims.
After Abu Muslim, Hakeem Al Muqna claimed prophethood and godly attributes. Mohammad Al Mahdi Abbasi “Imam” was Khalifa while his cousin Esa Ibne Musa was his commander in chief. After Esa’s death, Saad Al Harshi was appointed commander who seized Muqna and after beheading him sent his head to Al Mahdi. However, Muqna’s followers said that he was not killed but had disappeared and will return at an appropriate time. During the reign of Hadi, the son of Mohammdad Al Mahdi, traditions were fabricated in a large number in support of the concept of “return”. Khalifa established a special department – known as Al Zinidqa people – to deal with these fabrications. Many fabricators were arrested and executed. Their search was continued during the reign of Al Mahdi, Hadi and Haroon Al Raheed and the Zindiqs, who had occupied high offices, were removed or executed. Among them was Bramka, a prominent Zindiq. When Abdul Kareem Wadda was arrested, he said that he had fabricated thousands and thousands of traditions that are now circulating throughout the Muslim world which cannot be eliminated by your efforts.
Ibne Nadeem had given a long list of prominent Zindiqs who were apparently Muslims but from the core they were the followers of Mani. One of them “Al Ja’ad Ben Waraim” was executed by the Umayya Khalifa Hash-
sham. Another poet “Bashar Ben Bard” was executed in 784 AD. In 848 AD, the eighth Abbasi Khalifa, Mo’tasim Billah executed his minister Mohammad Ben Al-Ziyat and his supporters.
One particular quality of these pseudo-prophets was that they expressed their allegiance to the incumbent government and also practically opposed the enemies of the government. There was enmity between Abbasids and Umayyads who were backed by Arabs. Hence, in order to weaken the Arabs, Abbasids adopted the same policy that the Mughul King Akbar had devised to weaken the Afghan power. Abbasids pitted Ajamis against the Arabs.
This political maneuver worked for a while but the Ajamis became very strong and dominated the government machinery. When Haroon’s son Mamoon came to power, the Ajamis again became powerful. Mamoon’s mother was of Persian ancestry. In his reign Babak Kharmi revolted. He claimed prophethood and godly attributes. The power of the Ajami forces can be judged from the fact that the Abbasid army officers, Ibne Maad, Esa Ibne Mohammad and Mohammad Ibne Hameed Tusi, were repeatedly defeated by them. At last he was defeated by Afsheen’s military trap. Tabri and Masoudi write that Babak Kharmi was the cause of the bloodshed of at least 300,000 Muslims.
Afsheen, who suppressed the revolt of Babak, was of Persian origin. At that time Abdullah Ben Tahir was Abbasid governor of Khorasan. In his reign Mazyar emerged from Tabristan. He was secretly backed by Afsheen. Tabri writes that he was also a hidden Zindiq. Mazyar was a prince of Safad and also a Fire Temple Priest. When both were arrested and presented in the court of Ibne Ziyarat, two persons gave witness against Afshee. Both had fresh marks of lashes which were given at Afsheen’s order. One of the man was Imam of a Mosque and the other one was Moazzan (Caller of the prayer). Afsheen, in his defense said that he had pledged to Mazyar that his people will be free to practice their religious rites and Muslims will not interfere but both of them attacked a temple and converted it into a mosque. Protection of minorities and Zimmis is responsibility of the government. Therefore, I gave them appropriate punishment. This plea was enough to let him free but when he was physically searched, a tablet of “Zora” was found on him on which some quotation of the Iranian wise men, Zoroaster, Mani and Mazdak were written. Afsheen said that I agree that this book contains some infidelity and polytheistic ideas which he ignores. “I got this book in inheritance. It is a book just like Kalila Wa Damina, which is read by Muslims.”
This argument was also proved convincing. Then, after some more witnesses, Mazyar was presented. He said that Afsheen had correspondence with my brother Kehyar. In one of his letters, he invited him to participate in a conspiracy against the government. He wrote that it is very easy to defeat the Arabs. If you revolt, then there will be no body in the Abbasid officers, except me, who can be sent to confront you. I will have my own forces with me who will join your side. Abbasid army consist of Arabs, African Moors and Turks. Arabs are hungry people, African flies are few in numbers, who will not stay long in front of your arrow men. When the quivers of the Turks will be empty of arrows, your mounted force will cut them down with swords. Afsheen also accepted this statement and said that he know that Kehyar was planning to revolt and he wanted to arrest him through his political maneuver as he did earlier in the case of Babak Kharmaki.
Afsheen had embraced Islam but had not circumcised. He said that he did not circumcised because of health reasons. The court said that in the battlefield there is no greater danger than the sword and armory. Afsheen was a political person but lacked knowledge about Islam, otherwise he would have replied in the words of Khalifa Umar Ben Abdul Aziz, which he said to his Governor of Egypt, in response to a query, that Egyptians are becoming Muslims in large numbers, probably they wanted to avoid Jaziya (poll tax), should I test them by asking them to have circumcision.
The Khalifa wrote, you fool, the Prophet did not appear to collect poll tax or circumcise people. If you do anything that prevented people from becoming Muslims, then I will send a slave to punish you.
After considering all the facts, the court decided that Afsheen is Zindiq. He was executed during the reign of Mo’tasim Billah.
After the death of Imam Jaafar Sadiq, “Shian-e-Ali” split into two sects. Twelve Imamis recognize his son Musa as Imam while Seven Imami Ismaelis recognize his elder son Ismael as the legitimate Imam. Twelve Imamis say that Ismael had died during the life time of his father. He was expelled from the family because of his political activities and other reasons. Now the claimers of the lineage of Ismael are not his descendents but of another person, known as Abdullah Maimoon Qadda. Al Khattab Mohammad Ben Abi Zainab Asadi Ajada was one of the pupil of Imam Jaafar Sadeq. Many Shia sects are attributed to Khattab who was in favor of Ismael after Imam Sadeq. But the Persians shunned him. Ismael died or disappeared in 145 AH, while Abu Khattab was killed in 138 AH (755 AD). Imam Jaafar Sadeq died in 147 AH. Obviously all these events occurred during the life time of the Imam.
Abul Khattab founded a new sect that is called Khattabia. He had one pupil, named Maimoon alias Qaddah who convinced Mohammad Ben Ismael and both went to Tabristan. Qaddah devised a new theory of lineage which is the basic belief of Khattabia sect. He propounded that the real son is spiritual son and not the natural born with the union of a man and a woman. The teacher who teaches and trains a person spiritually is his real father. Whoever will follow him will be his son.
Nasiruddin Tusi Ismaeli says that an Imam has four kinds of children, First one is spiritual or real, just like Salman Farsi. The second one is physical, with body and shape. The third one is both spiritual and physical, just like Hassan. The fourth one is physical and spiritual, just like Imam Hussein.
Nasir Khusro Alvi Ismaeli, in his reportage, writes that all Qaramtis in Bahrain used to call themselves Syed and traced lineage to Bani Fatima. In fact Bani Fatima were called Imams and Sharifs in Arabia while in Balkh, Bhukhara and Afghanistan, they were called Syeds. Bani Fatima Ismaelis had given the title of Syed to their propagators.
Around 300 AH, a person known as Qarmati Ben Al Hassan, a propagator of Bani Fatima Ismaeli appeared on the scene. Shahristani says that Batnia Ismaeli sect has many names. In Iraq it is called Batnia, Qaramta and Mazdakia while in Khorasan it is called Ta’aleemia and Mulahida (Sufi saints). Qaramtis were very powerful in Bahrain. They had also occupied Yemen. In Iraq they caused bloodshed for a long time. Abbasi Khalifas, Al Muktafi and Al Muqtadar, were powerless. During the Haj season they attacked Mecca, killing thousands of pilgrims. They also took away the Black Stone from Kaaba and blocked routes of Haj pilgrims for three years. Fatimide Khalifa of Egypt wrote that your mischief is bringing a bad name to us. Qarmatis handed over the Black Stone to the Qazi of Neshapore who brought it to Mecca and reinstalled it.
For sometime, Qaramta or Batnis were powerful in Khawarzam (Khiva) and Ghazni. Qaramtis were also concentrated in Multan (Punjab) where Abdul Fattah Qarmati was the ruler. Sultan Mahmood of Ghazni attacked to eliminate Qaramatis. A large number of Qaramtis were killed. Abul Fattah was arrested and jailed in Ghazni fort where he died because he could not bear the hardships of imprisonment. Remaining Qaramtis escaped to Kashmir and present Kafiristan. Sultan Ghaznavi had announced throughout his kingdom that Qaramtis should be killed wherever they are found. In Punjab, they had established monestries where they donned Sufi costumes and provided Batni spiritual guidance. In Multan, still there are some people from this sect who are mostly Hindus and called “Shamsi.” Here we have a tomb of a Qarmati elder, Shams Sabzwari, which is mistakenly assumed as the tomb of Shams Tabrezi.
Another Batni propagator is Hassan Ben Sabah, whose followers are notorious in history for spreading terror in the Islamic world. It will be suffice to say that these people were called Hashasheen. Hassan had seen the miracle of hasheesh (bhang) in Sindh where Hindu Sadhus were very fond of it.
Hassan wrote a book “Fasul Chahargana.” Imam Fakhrudding Razi worte a critique of this book. Hassan’s original book is not available but Imam had given excerpts from his book. Syed Amir Ali, in his book – The History of Saracene – writes that the Batnia Ismaeli sect’s beliefs have similarities with Zoroastrian, Mani and Mazdaki beliefs. In the Muslim world, these Batni Sufis enjoyed the same reverence that is enjoyed by the Indian Sadhus and Christian monks. Their huts, monasteries, convents and solitary corners are considered sacred which pilgrims visit with deep reverence.
If today Muslims take a critical view of their beliefs in the light of these historical events, then it will become clear that they are very far from the teachings of the Quran and Islam but close to Zoroastrian, Mani and Mazdaki religions.
Hussain Ben Mansoor Hallaj (243-309 AH / 858-922 AD)
We will end our discussion of these historical events with another Qaramti Sufi elder – Hussain Ben Mansoor Hallaj – about whom Sheikh Atarad and Khawaja Hafiz said: Jurmush A’an Bood Keh Raaz Afsha Mee Kard (He was the person who disclosed the secret, what is that secret?) It is the same Batni Ismaeli or Mani teaching that “God appeared in the shape of human being but I did not know.” Qaramtis were so powerful that they came out from the shelter of Taqqiya and openly professed their faith. One of them was Hallaj. He professed that “I am God.” The government would have tolerated him but the Qaramtis were now revolting openly.
In Al Fahrist, Ibne Nadeem, writes that this person was of the Persian ancestry. He posed as a scholar and learned person but was devoid of any knowledge. He called himself Sufi but was not well versed with Sufism. However, he was a master in flattery and attracted many followers. He started interference in the government affairs. It was the reign of Abbasi Khalifa Al Muqtadar. After the arrest, he was presented before Khalifa’s Wazir (Minister) Abul Hassan Ali Ben Essa who found that he does not know the Quran, Hadith or Arabic literature. The minister told him that only some illiterates will be impressed by him and advised him to go to a school in order to acquire some knowledge.
In the beginning, Hallaj was a propagator for the 8th Shia Imam Ali Raza. Once he was arrested in Kufa and punished with lashes. He had written 40 books. In one of the books he wrote “I am the one who brought the flood of Noah, destroyed the nation of Noah and killed Aad and Thamud.”
Areeb, who had completed the history of Tabra upto his era, says that Hallaj was a juggler. In Shias, he was a Shia; in Sunnis, a Sunni; and in Mutazela, a Mutazeli. In short he used to change his colors. He told his confident followers that “I see in you Moses, Christ or Prophet Mohammad. I have infused in you their spirit.” And these comedians (misguided people) used to say: “I am Mohammad and Ahmed like Mustafa.”
Historian Al Soli of Jerjan, who was a Mani, but had embraced Islam, had the opportunity to meet Hallaj several times and found that he was a talkative illiterate but sought reverence by donning Sufi dress.
These historical writings show the real personality of Hallaj but his followers attributed many miracles to him that he was like Masiah. He resurrected dead bodies. He had all the miracles which were given to prophets. His chosen followers were given the status of prophet hood. In other words, he was given the status of God.
When Wazir Hamid heard about him, he thought that he may be a pious person. Illitrates can be influenced by fake scholars, but they cannot hide reality from the learned people. When Wazir Hamid put him to test, he found him empty from any knowledge. Wazir thought that prison’s hardships will teach him a lesson. But his followers spread rumors that in prison sometimes he expands his body to such an extent that the prison cannot accommodate him. Last time, he was arrested in Sus and brought to Baghdad. He was mounted on a camel and a man was announcing loudly “Look at him, he is a Qaramit propagator. He was taken to the coast of Tigris river and crucified in 309 AH (922 AD).
It is clear from these events that when “Zindiq” swept all government departments – the Wizarat was in their hands and ultimately the Abbasi Khilafat was under their protection – then it was natural that the general public was attracted towards them. At the same time they deceived people with their Sufi costume and the beliefs of the people were manipulated. But this did not end with those claimers of “God in human form” and pseudo-prophets. They had been claiming divinity in every era and even in our era too and most probably there will be more such claimers in the future. People with weak faith will rally around them. The basis of their claims are the same concocted beliefs and concepts about which Ahmed Ben Hanbal said that they have no authenticity.
Just Like That
Zindiqs made fanatic efforts to penetrate their beliefs in the Quran but it is preserved in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Huffaz (who know the Quran by heart). Therefore, they were not successful in that attempt but fabricated traditions which are now part of authentic books of traditions, Bukhari and Muslim, which say that a part of the Quran was lost. Hence such traditions were fabricated, quoting prominent companions of the Prophet – Hazrat Umar and Abdullah Ben Masoud. The Second Caliph Umar Ben Khattab was quoted as saying in a sermon that “the verse about Rajm was in the Quran that we used to recite and stone adulterers. I would have definitely included it in the Quran but I am afraid that the people will say that Omar has included this verse.”
Ibne Masoud has been quoted as telling a gathering that keep reciting Quran so that you remember it. At one time we also remembered it but now forgot two verses which are equal to “Barat.” Now remember only two verses. Then he recited the two verses which are given in Muslim. These two verses are also not part of the Quran.
If we trust the compilations of the authentic traditions, then it can be concluded that the Quran is not a preserved book. Muslims now have the choice to accept the claim of God in the Quran that “I am its Protector,” or believe in the traditions of Muslims and Bukhari. A particular sect has always endeavored to create some conformity between the traditions which openly violate the Quran and its teachings. They argue that although these verses of Rajm and other two verses, were revealed but their recitation has been canceled. The dangerous device of “Nasikh and Mansukh” is also the creation of Zindiqs. The objective was to create doubt about the authenticity of the Quran.
Far sighted, Zindiqs knew that the Quran was beyond the reach of Satanic infiltration but they may divert attention of the Muslims towards their beliefs in which they were successful. Their beliefs, mainly based on the exegesis of Quran and predictions, are preserved in the six authentic collections of traditions. The Quran claims that it is itself the best explanation. Its verses are clear. The Quran’s first addressee were illiterate infidels of Mecca who understood its meaning but other Arabic speaking people and companions of the Prophet needed some explanation. No doubt, the Prophet, besides the Quranic verses, talked about different topics and was consulted on the issues of government. All these discussions were in accordance with the need of the time but these are now given the status of permanence even though one tradition is stated with successive continuation of tellers that the Prophet said that do not write anything attributed to me except the Quran. This tradition was implemented for about 200 years, then what was the need to write a large number of traditions attributed to the Ajami or semi-Arab people? It may be pointed out that the Arabs also call those Arab people Ajami who had been settled in the Ajam for a few generations.
The concept of “Just Like That” was developed and publicized in order to negate all claims of Quran.
The Quran challenged the infidels who said that the Quran is written by Mohammad (PBUH). If this is a human poetry then you should produce such verses. The Quran claims that nobody, in any era, will be able to produce such verses. Infidels could not produce an answer to this Quranic challenge, but the Muslims themselves did that and presented traditions saying “Just Like That”. The Quran says that there would have been many inconsistencies if it was not the word of God. Obviously there will be great contradictions in the human verses. This fact cannot be denied that there are often contradictions in the verses of great poets too. To overcome this difficulty, support of revelation was harnessed and argued that traditions are also a sort of revelations. Quranic revelations are Wahi Matlu or Jili while traditions are Wahi Ghair Matlu or Khafi. In Wahi Khafi only meanings are revealed while the words are given by the receiver of the Wahi. Even a student of psychology knows very well that thoughts only come into mind in the shape of words and that it is impossible for a human being to perceive abstract thoughts. Revelation can be conveyed only through the language of a nation. It is not possible that sahib-e-wahi (to whom wahi is sent) is Punjabi or Persian and the revelation is in Arabic or English. Sometimes it is in intelligible words which he himself cannot understand. It may be pointed out that Just Like That’s interpretation was also necessary and this job was performed by Mujaddid or Mohaddas, the terms which were also devised by Zindiqs.
The people who claimed prophethood of low level, they were considered Mujaddad or Muhaddas. Someone said that Mujaddad is not a prophet but he is close to a prophet. Others said that Mujaddad knows the real message of the Prophet. There is no doubt that some traditions are authentic while others are weak and many fabricated. But a tradition is considered authentic if a Mujaddad says so although it had been declared fabricated or weak by the elder Imams.
On the reality of revelation, a Mujaddad-e-Azam of our era Mirza Ghulam Ahmed of Qadian says: ……Quranic revelation is distinct from the other revelation which is conveyed from God through meanings only. Prophet’s words are Wahi Ghair Matlu. All traditions are Wahi Ghair Matlu. Sometimes, Satan interferes in this low class revelationwhich is called Hadith…and prophets when err in their independent judgment also commit a mistake of wahi because the prophet is never without wahi at any time. He loses his own personality and becomes an instrument in the hand of God….Hence when there will be a mistake in his judgment, it will be called the mistake of Wahi and not his judgment…then immediately the Wahi Matlu warns the prophet about this mistake. This is the reason that prophets also committed mistakes in their independent judgments which were corrected later. (A’eena Kamalat-e-Islam, P-290-291)
No comment is required on this quotation. However certain comments need explanation. If the prophet’s mistake in judgment is a mistake of revelation then it will be considered a mistake of God for which God will be responsible. When this logical possibility was raised then it was argued that Wahi Matlu immediately removes this Satanic inference. It is necessary that the prophets should be warned about their mistakes which should be corrected….
In Saha Sitta, traditions are listed which are openly against Quran’s Wahi Matlu. The high class Wahi did not cancel or amended them but are considered under this low class Wahi. Bukhari had to sift through hundred of thousands of fake traditions. If author’s (Ghulam Ahmed) postulation was correct them such traditions would not have been circulated in the first instance. For almost 200 years these traditions were circulated then recorded and are still preserved.
This is a matter of great courage that the sanctity of the prophets (who are human beings) was recognized to the extent that their mistake of judgment was seen as a mistake of Wahi. This means that the prophets were flawless from any mistake but God is not free from mistake. Remember that Wahi is only the Quran. The concept of Wahi Ghair Matlu or Khafi is a meaningless terminology devised by Sindiqa. Unfortunately, still there is one sect that has firm a belief in that and it is harping “Just Like That.”
At the end we would like to say that today what is called “Shariat-e-Islami” (The Islamic Law) is mainly based on the traditions. It has no permanent status as every word of the law should be written. Traditions were not written at the time of the Prophet. The Quran is the only authentic and permanent book of Islamic teachings. Consultation is the basic principle of Deen with authority to formulate laws in accordance with the requirement of the particular era. Such laws will always be open to amendment and cancellation.
(Tolu-e-Islam – November 1954)
G l o s s a r y
Ahadith – Sayings of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). (Single –
Ahle Beit – The house of the Prophet (The Prophet, Hazrat Ali, Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain and Hazrat Fatima)
Ahle Hadith – A school of thought which first appeared during the Umayyad period, which would not permit jurists to use ijtihad (independent judgment) and insisted that, all legislation should be based on Ahadith.
Ahle Shariat – The followers of Islamic laws of any Sunni school of thought
Ajam – Non-Arab (A non-Arab is called Ajami)
Alim – A religious leader (pl. Ulama)
Amirul Momenin – Khalifa, Caliph
Ansars – Local residents of Medina
Arbab-e-Shariat – Those who give command in accordance with the Quran and traditions. When they don’t find a clear answer in the Quran and traditions, they rely on analogy and interpretation (Ijtehad) but this interpretation is based on Quran and traditions.
Arbab-e-Tareeqat – The adherents of Sufism or one of the Sufi order or brotherhood.
Arkan-e-deen – Pillars of faith
Asna Ashri – The major Shia Sect who believe in 12 Imams
Batni – Esoteric (An Ismaeli doctrine: Mode of speech that is intelligible only to the initiated.)
Batniyya – Esotericism, Hidden
Batni Ma’ani – Hidden meanings, concealed meanings, mystic meanings.
Bukhari – Book of the traditions of the Prophet collected by Imam Mohammad Ismael Bukhari (d. 256 or 260 AH) from Bukhara.
Faqhi – Legist (Fiqh – Islamic jurisprudence)
Fasiq – Rebellious, disobedient to God
Fiqh – Islamic jurisprudence (Faqhi – Legist)
Fitna – Mischief
Ghaib – Unknown
Hadith – A saying of the Prophet (pl. Ahadith)
Hafiz – People who learn the Quran by heart. (pl. Huffaz)
Halul – Incarnation, embodiment in human flesh
Hanafi law – Interpretation of law by Imam Abu Hanifa
Haq – Reality, truth
Haq-wa-batil – Truth and Falsehood. Right and wrong.
Haram and Halal – Forbidden and allowed
Hijrat – Migration of the Prophet from Mecca to Medina
Ijtehad – Independent judgment
Jahilliyat – The age of ignorance. (Usually pre-Islamic period is referred as Jahilliyat).
Kafir – Unbeliever/Infidel
Kalma – Confession that God is One and Mohammad (PBUH) is His prophet.
Kashf – Divine inspiration
Khilafat – Caliphate
Khalifa-fil-ard – God’s vicegerent on earth
Kharijites – At the battle of Saffain when Hazrat Ali accepted mediation, a large group from his supporters repudiated his cause, citing the verse, “No rule but God’s”, leaving to fight both sides. In their opinion, the right of arbitration was God’s alone, and the choice of caliph should not be questioned by mere mortals. Thus they opposed both Muāwiyya for his “rebellion” and Alī for submitting to the arbitration. They became known as Kharijites: Arabic plural Khawārij, singular Khārijī, derived from the verb kharaja “come out, leave the hold. Their ideas sparked discussions about the nature of God, predestination and human freedom.
Khulfa-i-Rashidin – The first four Righteous Caliphs also known as the Orthodox Caliphs – they are Hazrat Abu Bakr (632-634 AD), Hazrat Umar Ibn Khattab (634-644 AD), Hazrat Usman Ibn Affan (644-656 AD) and Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib (656-661).
Kufr and Eemaan – Disbelief and belief
Iktisabi knowledge – A posteriori knowledge (based on experience)
Ilham – Divine inspiration
Imamia (Athna Ashri) sect –
Ismaeli – Shia Sect
Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith –
Jaame’ – Treatise
Jahiliat – Pre-Islamic period
Jazia – Poll tax paid by non-Muslims for their protection
Jfar – Numerology
Jibreel – Angel Gabriel
Kafir – Infidel
Kufr – Infidelity
Mani – Founder of Manichaeism in Iran (216-276 AD)
Ma’awal – Client
Mas’haf – Treatise
Maslak – A school of thought
Momen – Muslim
Mutazila – Speculative rationalist Islamic school of philosophy of the ninth century which emphasized man’s freedom of will.
Masih Mo’ud – Reincarnated Christ (Masih)
Muhajreen – Refugees
Mujahidat, Riyadat, Muraqbat & Chilla Kashi – Intensive prayers
Majusi – Adherents of Zoroastrian religion
Magian – Adherents of Mazdaism (Mazdak was the founder of Mazdaki religion in Iran (494 – 524 A.D.)
Murshid – Master of a mystical order/brotherhood such as Qadri and Chisti orders.
Muslim – A man who accepts the Islamic faith. This is also the name of a book of the saying of the Prophet (Ahadith) collected by Imam Muslim Ben Hajjaj (d. 361) from Neshapur, Iran.
Nahjatul Blagha – Collection of speeches and sayings of Hazrat Ali.
Natiq – One who speaks
Qiyas – Analogy
Qutub Al Aqtab – Chief of the Sufi chiefs
Raj’at – Return of Imam
Rasul-e-Samit – The Rasul who rules on the batin (hidden)
Rasul-e-Natiq – The Rasul who speaks or gives Sharia (divine code of life)
Rizq – Subsistence, Food
Samit – Who remains silent
Sahabas – Companions of the Prophet
Shariat – Islamic principles/laws
Shirk – Belief in more than on God, polytheism
Sufi – A mystic
Sufism – Islamic mysticism
Sunnat – Tradition of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)
Tana’sukh – Metempsychosis, re-incarnation
Taqdeer – Destiny, pre-determination, fore ordained
Taqiyya – Dissimulation. Shia belief that a Shia can hide his belief to protect his interests
Tashbiah – Anthropomorphic (Anthropomorphism – the attribution of a human form in or personality to a god, animal or thing)
Ta’wil – Allegorical interpretation
Toba – Repentance
Umma –– Community of all Muslims that transcends state borders, nationalities, races and linguistic barriers.
Wali (pl.Uliya) – Saint (Saints) – Pious people close to God
Wasi – Executor, authorized agent of God
Wilayat – Sovereignty
Wahdat Al Wujud – Omnipresence of God
Wahi Khafi/Jali (or Wahi Ghair Matlu/ or Wahi Matlu) – It is generally believed by many Muslims that there are two kinds of Wahi or revelation. One is called “Wahi Jili” (or Wahi Matlu) and the other is called “Wahi Khafi” (or Wahi Ghair Matlu). Wahi Jili is Quran and Wahi Khafi is the traditions of the prophet. In Wahi Khafi only meanings are revealed while the words are given by the receiver of the Wahi. It may be pointed out that the belief in the two kinds of revelation prevailed among Jews. One was called Shaktab (Wahi Matlu) and the other one Shab-alfa (Wahi Ghair Matlu.
Wishnu – Hindu god
Zahiri – Externalist, Literalist / Batniyya – Esoteric , hidden
Zindiq – All atheists and heretics. Zindiq is a from Zind, one who follows Zand (Manicheans were called Zindiq)