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SAHÂBA ‘The Blessed’

Waqf Ikhlâs Publications No: 18

  1-Sahâba ‘The Blessed’



  4-The Sahâba ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’


  6-Translation Of The First Volume, 251st. Letter

  7-Fifteenth Letter Of The Second Volume Of Maktûbât


  9-The Event Of Kerbelâ

10-A Biography Of Hadrat Imâm Rabbânî Ahmad Fârûqî Serhendî ‘Quddisa Sirruh’

11-A Biography Of Sayyid Abdulhakîm Efendi

12-The Two Most Beloved Darlıngs Of Muslims (Introduction)

13-The Two Most Beloved Darlings Of Muslims (Hadrat Abû Bakr And Hadrat ’Umar)

14-Supplementary Chapter-1

15-Supplementary Chapter-2

16-First Volume, 56th Letter

17-Second Volume, 38th Letter

18-Second Volume, 29th Letter

19-Second Volume, 45th Letter

20-Second Volume, 61st Letter

21-Second Volume, 62nd Letter

22-The Earlıest Fitna In Islam/Introduction

23-The Earlıest Fitna In Islam

24-Superıorıtıes Of Sahâba ‘The Blessed’

25-Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’

26-Eightieth Letter

27-First Volume, 177th Letter

28-First Volume, 178th Letter

29-First Volume, 228th Letter

30-First Volume, 230th Letter

31-Second Volume, 89th Letter

32-A Piece Of Advice

33-Conversion Of The Hijri Lunar Year Into The Christian Year

‘The Blessed’

Ahmad Fârûqî

“The Sahâba and the Ahl-i Bayt
always loved each other”

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The pure life led by each and every one of the Ashâb-i-kirâm (Sahâba) sets an example for us to follow. We should imitate them and try to deserve love of Allâhu ta’âlâ. A Muslim who follows in their footsteps will obey the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ and the laws of the state. It is sinful to disobey the commandments, and a crime to violate the law. A perfect Muslim will not commit sins or crimes. To be a ‘Muslim’ means to be a ‘good person’. He will know that Muslims are brothers. He will love his nation and his national flag. He will be good to all other people. He will never harm non-Muslims, tourists or disbelievers. He will not attack their property, lives, chastity or honour. He will admonish wrongdoers. He will not cheat or doublecross anyone. He will never quarrel. He will treat others with a smiling face and a sweet tongue. He will always work. He will learn his religion and science well. He will teach them to his children and to his acquaintances as well. He will not backbite others or gossip. He will always say useful things. He will earn a living through halâl (canonically legitimate) means. He will not impinge on anyone’s rights. A Muslim who has acquired these qualities will be loved by Allah as well as by people. He will lead a life in comfort and peace.

My youth has gone by like a sweet dream, weep, oh, my eyes!
Weeping’s made me a lunatic, the grave would lead me homewise!


Typeset and Printed in Turkey By:

İhlâs Gazetecilik A.Ş.
Istanbul Tel: 90.212.454 30 00




Beginning with Basmala, this book is written in the name of Allah!
The best refuge is in the name of Allah!
His blessings are beyond all calculations;
Most Compassionate, Most Forgiving is Allah!

Allâhu ta’âlâ created Paradise and Hell beforehand. Preordaining, in the eternal past, that He would fill both of them with men and genies, He declared this fact in His Books. As there have been believing and good people deserving Paradise since (the first man and Prophet) Âdam ‘alaihis-salâm’, there have also been faithless, unwise and wicked people who have been committing the evils which will carry them to Hell. These two groups of people will go on occupying the earth till Doomsday. The number of angels is incomparably greater than that of men, and they are all faithful and obedient. Men, by contrast, are more rarely faithful than they are faithless, disobedient and transgressive.

Good people and wicked ones have always tried to annihilate each other, the wicked have also attacked one another and lived in distress and anxiety throughout history. Believers have performed jihâd in order to discipline unbelievers and to guide them to true faith and thereby to endless bliss, and to steer mankind to a happy and peaceful life in this world and the next. Unbelievers, on the other hand, have established dictatorial regimes, wherein a minor group abuses the weak and the inferior in order to lead a life of debauchery and dissipation and to satisfy their voluptuous desires. And, in order to conceal their evils, harms and disservices, they have attacked Prophets ‘alaihim-us-salâm’ and the religions they brought because they established the principles of ethics, virtue and integrity. In some centuries these attacks were pressed with deadly weaponry, and sometimes they were made in clandestine warfare, which included false propaganda, mischief-making, raising social commotions, subversion, undermining religions from within, and destroying Islamic states from the within.

Likewise, the luminous Islamic religion, which is a guide to salvation and improvement and a beacon to material and spiritual progress, and which was revealed to our master, the final and the highest Prophet Muhammad Mustafâ ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wa sallam’, whom Allâhu ta’âlâ created as the most superior, the most beautiful and the most honourable one of the entire mankind worldover in all respects, and chose and sent him as the Prophet to all nations, was subjected to the same treatment. Faithless, immoral and lecherous people not only attacked His religion in crusading expeditions, which included all sorts of torment and barbarity, but also strove hard to dupe Muslims by disguising themselves as Muslims, making mendacious and misleading oral and written statements, setting brothers against one another and thereby demolishing Islam from within. The damage caused by their seditionary endeavours howls of their success.

Subversive activities among Muslims date back to the time of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’, when a Yemeni Jew, who had professed to embrace Islam and changed his name to Abdullah bin Saba’, sowed the first seeds of discord among Muslims. He started a diabolical trend. He attempted to vilify the Sahâba, who were the companions of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. The heresy invented by the Jew was called the Rafidî sect, an appellation which has ultimately changed into the Shiite sect. His example was followed by many an enemy of religion, who invented many a heresy under the cloak of religious men and misled millions of Muslims out of the true course.

The Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ had foretold about this deplorable catastrophe that was going to befall his Umma (Muslims), with the following statements: “My Umma will part into seventy-three different groups. Seventy-two of them will swerve from the right path and end up in Hell. One group will abide by my and my Sahâba’s path.” This group of the right path has been called Ahl as-sunna(t).

The earliest of these heretical sects, the Râfidî sect, which is the worst, too, reappears from time to time and spreads among ignorant communities, and the faithless fan it to exploit it as a weapon. That this sect is a non-scientific assortment of distorted facts and events reinforced with some misinterpreted Koranic verses and Prophetic utterances manifests itself in the so-called book Husniyya, one of their recent publications, in the booklets which they sometimes hand out to uneducated people at the entrances of mosques, and in the statements they make. Naming a few valuable books is one of the stratagems that they use to make their absurdities believable, although they cannot cite a single line from those authentic books. When uneducated people hear the names of those books, they believe these people. Their absurd and unsound slanders, and the true tenets of belief explained in the light of Qur’ân al-kerîm and hadîth-i-sherîfs by the scholars of (the right path called) Ahl as-Sunnat, are collated under the adjudication of authentic documents in the book Ashâb-i-kirâm (Sahâba ‘The blessed’), by Sayyid Abdulhakîm Effendi ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’. During the printing of this book, a list of the biographies of the two hundred and sixty-five celebrities mentioned in the book was appended in alphabetical order for the purpose of informing our dear readers about them. The Turkish original, Ashâb-i-kirâm, of our book ‘Sahâba the Blessed’ was printed in 1982 for the first time. Allâhu ta’âlâ has now blessed us with the lot of realizing its twenty-second edition, (and also this first edition in English).[1]

May Allâhu ta’âlâ bless Muslims with reading this book with unbiased attention and thereby learning the true path!

Muslims on the earth today have parted into three groups. The first group are Muslims who follow the path led by the Ashâb-i-kirâm. They are called the Ahl as-Sunnat, or the Sunnî Muslims (Sunnites), or the Firqa-i-nâjiyya (the group to be saved from Hell). In the second group are the enemies of the Ashâb-i-kirâm. They are called Râfidîs, or Shiîs (Shiites), or Firqa-i-dâlla (heretical group). The third group are inimical towards the Shiites as well as towards the Sunnites. They are called Wahhâbîs, or Nejdîs, which comes from the Arabian province Nejd, the birthplace of their heresy. The third group are also called the Firqa-i-mel’ûna (the accursed group). Indeed, it is written in our (Turkish) books Kıyâmet ve Âhıret and Se’âdet-i Ebediyye, (and also in our publications in English, such as Advice for the Muslim, and in the fourth chapter of The Sunnî Path,) that they call Muslims ‘disbelievers’. Our Prophet has accursed a person who calls a Muslim ‘disbeliever’. The breaking of Muslims into these three groups was contrived by Jews and British plotters.

Any person who indulges in the sensuous desires of his nafs and has an evil heart will go to Hell, regardless of the group he belongs to. Every Muslim should continually say the words, “Lâ ilâha il-l-Allah,” in order to purify himself of the unbelief and sinfulness which are inherent in his nature, -this act of purification is termed ‘Tazkiya-i-nafs’-, and also the words, “Astaghfirullah,” in order to purify his heart from the disbelief and sinfulness which he contracted from his nafs, from the devil, from evil company or from harmful and subversive books. If a person obeys the (commandments and prohibitions of the) Sharî’at, his prayers will certainly be accepted. Not performing (the daily prayers called) namâz, looking at women who have not covered their bodies properly or at other people who expose those parts of their body that must be covered, and consuming goods that have been earned through (an illegal way called) harâm, are symptoms of a person’s disobeying the Sharî’at. Such a person’s prayers will not be accepted.


If any person thanks and praises any other person in any manner at any place at any time and for any reason, all this thanks and praise belong to Allâhu ta’âlâ by rights. For, He, alone, is the creator, the educator, the trainer of everything and the maker and the sender of every goodness. He, alone, is the owner of power and authority. To say that a certain person ‘created a certain thing’ would mean to attribute ‘creation’ to someone other than Allâhu ta’âlâ, which in effect would, like praising a fly for having constructed an apartment house or for driving, be a squalid sin, not to mention the derision it would provoke against the person concerned.

May all benedictions and good wishes be on Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’, His Prophet and Darling, on his Ahl-i-Bayt (immediate relatives), and on all his Ashâb (Companions) ‘ridwânullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihim ajma’în’!

Nişancızâde Muhammed bin Ahmed ‘rahima hullâhu ta’âlâ’, the author of the grand tome of history entitled Mir’ât-i-kâinât, states as follows: “The Sahâba have been described in various ways. It is written in Mawâhib-i-ladunniyya that a Believer who saw our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ at least for a moment, or who talked with him at least for a moment, if he was a blind person, as the Prophet was alive and after he had been appointed as the Prophet, is called a Sâhib or a Sahâbî, regardless of his age at that blessed moment. When they are more than one, they are called Ashâb, or Sahâba, or Sahb. A person who was a disbeliever when he saw the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and became a Believer after the Prophet’s passing away, or a person who was a Believer when he saw him and reneged Islam –may Allâhu ta’âlâ protect us against it– after the Prophet’s passing away, is not a Sahâbî. Ubaydullah bin Jahsh and Sa’laba bin Abî Khâtib were among the Sahâba, but afterwards they reneged Islam. According to scholars, if a person who reneged Islam (after the blessed event that had made him a Sahâbî) became a Muslim once again, he is still a Sahâbî.” Wahshî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ also was one of the Sahâba, and he passed away as a Sahâbî. The phrase that reads as “Wahshî (wild, untamed both in name and in body,” in the well-known book entitled Muhammediyye means his state before converting to Islam. Why shouldn’t Washî have been a Sahâbî while other people became Sahâbîs by joining the Believers and seeing only once the blessed face of our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ after an eighty years’ life as unbelievers? Also Jinnîs who have these qualifications are Sahâbîs.

The book of explanations entitled Hadîqat-un-nadiyya, written by Abdulghanî Nablûsî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, is very valuable. It was printed in Istanbul in 1290 [A.D. 1873]. Its first part was reproduced by offset process in 1400 [A.D. 1980]. It is written as follows on its thirteenth page: “A jinnî or a human being who met the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam’ after having become a Believer and who is known to have died as a Believer is called a Sahâbî. According to this definition, a blind person as well as a person who did not see for more than a moment, are Sahâbîs. An angel cannot be a Sahâbî. When the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ passed away, there were more than one hundred and twenty-four thousand Sahâbîs. They were all learned, mature and noble people.”

All religious authorities say in consensus that the Sahâba ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ are the third best and highest creatures after Prophets ‘alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-taslîmât’ and angels. A Muslim who saw Rasûlullah (Messenger of Allah) ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ at least once is much higher than those who did not see him, including Weys al-Qarânî, (who did not see him, either). When the Sahâba entered Damascus, Christians who saw them admired them and said, “These people are higher than the apostles of Îsâ (Jesus) ‘alaihis-salâm’.” Abdullah ibni Mubârak ‘rahima hullâhu ta’âlâ’, one of the greatest scholars in this religion, said, “The dust that drifted into the nostrils of the horse that Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was riding as he accompanied Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam’ was a thousand times higher than ’Umar bin ’Abdul’azîz, (who was not a Sahâbî).

The virtues of the Sahâba ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ are cited in a number of âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs.

It is purported in Sûra Âl-i-’Imrân: “Of the entire human race, you are the best umma and the best community.” In other words, “You are the second best people after Prophets.”

Sûra Tawba purports: “Allâhu ta’âlâ is pleased with those Sahâbîs who, born and living in the blessed city of Mekka as they were, migrated to the illuminated city of Medina, as well as with those Muslims who have been following their example in goodness. And they, too, are pleased with Allâhu ta’âlâ. Allâhu ta’âlâ has prepared Gardens of Paradise for them.”

As is purported in Sûra Anfâl, Allâhu ta’âlâ addresses to His beloved Prophet: “Allâhu ta’âlâ and Believers who follow you will suffice for you.” At that time the Ashâb-i-kirâm were very few in number. However, their grades in the view of Allâhu ta’âlâ being very high, they were said to be adequate in spreading Islam.

It is purported in Sûra Fat-h: “Muhammad ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ is the Prophet of Allâhu ta’âlâ, and all those people who are with him, [i.e. all the Ashâb-i-kirâm,] are harsh towards the unbelievers. Yet they are compassionate and tender towards one another. You will see most of them making the rukû’ (bowing with both hands on knees during the performance of prayer called namâz or salât) or making the sajda (prostration during namâz). They beg Allâhu ta’âlâ to give all people all sorts of goodness and superiority in this world and the next. They also wish for ridwân, i.e. that Allâhu ta’âlâ be pleased with them. It will be seen on their faces that they have been making the sajda very much. These facts about their states and honours have been stated in the Torah as well as in the Injîl (the original, genuine Bible revealed to Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’). As is stated in the Injîl, they are like crops. As a flimsy sprout appears from the soil, becomes thicker and taller, likewise, they were few in number and weak, yet they spread far and near in a short time. They filled everywhere with lights of îmân. As others marvel at a sprout’s growing in a short time, likewise, as these people’s beautiful manners and fame spread over the earth, those who saw it were astonished and they admired them, while unbelievers became angry.” The fame stated in this âyat-i-kerîma covers not only those Muslims who were among the Ashâb-i-kirâm when it was revealed, but also those who would join those most fortunate Believers afterwards. It is a known fact that Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ also was a Sahâbî who rendered great services to the spread of Islam. Like any other Sahâbî, he, too, is included in these praisals showered on them by Allâhu ta’âlâ.

The following hadîth-i-sherîfs telling about the greatness and the high grades of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ are written on the three hundred and twenty-sixth (326) page of the book entitled Mir’ât-i-kâinât:

1– “Do not speak ill of any of my Ashâb. Do not say something that would not be worthy of their honour! I swear in the name of Allâhu ta’âlâ, whose power holds my nafs, that if any one of you paid gold as huge as the mount Uhud in the name of alms, he would not earn thawâb (blessings, rewards that a Muslim will be given in the Hereafter for the pious acts he has done in the world) equal to the amount earned by one of my Ashâb for paying one mudd.” Giving alms is an act of worship. The thawâb earned for acts of worship is dependent on the purity of intention. This hadîth-i-sherîf shows how pure the hearts of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ were. [Mudd means ‘menn’, which is equal to two ritls, or 260 dirham-i-shar’î, or 875 grams. Sadaqa-i-fitr (the alms that a Muslim rich enough has to pay poor Muslims on the ’Iyd day after the holy month of Ramadân)[2] is half a sâ’ (at least), which makes two mudds, or 1750 grams of wheat.]

2– “Each and every one of my Ashâb is like the stars in the sky. Adapting yourself to any one of them will guide you to love of Allâhu ta’âlâ.” In other words, if you act in accordance with the advice given by any one of them, you will be walking along the right way. As the stars help people out in the sea or in a desert to find the direction they have to follow, so those who follow the directions given by these people will be walking in the right path.

3– “Fear Allâhu ta’âlâ that you should speak ill of my Ashâb! After me, do not use them as targets of your evil purposes! Do not feel grudge against them by following your nafs! Those who love them do so because they love me. Those who dislike them do so because they dislike me. Those who hurt them with their hands and tongs will have hurt Allâhu ta’âlâ (by doing so), which is an offence that will incur exemplary punishment without any delay.”

4– “The most useful and the best of the (Muslim) people of all times are the people of my time, [which means all the Ashâb-i-kirâm]. Next to them are the Believers of the second century (after me), and next are those of the third century.”

5– “The fire of Hell will not burn a Muslim who has seen me, nor any (Muslim) who has seen those who have seen me.”

Ahmad ibn Hajar Haytamî Makkî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ was one of the greatest scholars of the Islamic religion. He lived in a time when India, (his country,) was rich in scholars and Walîs and the sun of Islam had reached the height to enlighten the entire world. Yet there were still some heretics whose hearts had been blackened with ignorance and egoistic personal ambitions and who therefore were vilifying the Ashâb-i-kirâm, so much so that their bigotry had driven them beyond the boundaries of decency. Fortunately, however, it happened to be the time of Humâyûn Shâh ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, the Indian Sultân, a deeply pious sovereign who was extremely respectful to scholars. He was a champion of justice and benevolence, an adroit statesman under whose administration each and every personality would receive the due treatment, and a generous benefactor of Muslims. He was the founder of the Jurjânî state in India and the son of Bâbur Shâh ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’. Scholars of that happy time came together and resorted to Hadrat Ibn Hajar for the silencing of the heretics. Upon this, he wrote two huge books containing explanations about the virtues of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. With authentic documents, proofs and testimonies, he gave the lie to the enemy. The following are the English translations of two of the hadîth-i-sherîfs written in Sawâ’iq-ul-muhriqa, one of the books:

6– “Allâhu ta’âlâ chose me from among the Qoureish tribe, the noblest people, and selected the best people as companions for me. He chose a few of them as my viziers and my assistants in communicating Islam to people. And he singled out some of these few as my As-hâr, i.e. my relatives through marriage. May those who abuse them or slander them or swear at them be accursed in the view of Allâhu ta’âlâ, and in the view of all angels and men! On the Rising Day Allâhu ta’âlâ will reject their fard and sunnat acts of worship.” [Abû Bakr and ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ were both his viziers and his as-hâr. For, the former was the father of Âisha ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhâ’, one of the Azwâj-i-mutahhara (the Blessed Wives of the Messenger of Allah), and the latter was the father of Hafsa ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhâ’, (another one of the Blessed Wives). Also Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, who was a brother of our Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ blessed wife Umm-i-Habîba ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’, and also his father Abû Sufyân and his mother Hind ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’ were among the as-hâr. These three people are therefore included in this hadîth-i-sherîf.]

7– The following hadîth-i-sherîf is written in the same book:

Protect my right concerning the affection (I feel) for my Ashâb, for my relatives, for those who help me, and for those who follow the path I have shown! Those who protect my right of Prophethood by loving them: Allâhu ta’âlâ will protect them against harms and disasters in this world and the next. Allâhu ta’âlâ hates those people who disregard my right of Prophethood by hurting them. So near is the time when Allâhu ta’âlâ will torment the people He hates.”

These hadîth-i-sherîfs show clearly that we should love and respect each and every one of the As-hâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. We should believe that the combats among them were intended to carry out the commandment of Allâhu ta’âlâ. None of those who joined those combats had any ambitions for position, fame or money. They all meant to carry out the commandment of an âyat-i-kerîma and a hadîth-i-sherîf.

When ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ attained martyrdom, all the Muslims elected Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ Khalîfa. The first thing Hadrat Khalîfa tried to do was to re-establish peace. Most of the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ demanded of the Khalîfa that he arrest the murderers of Hadrat ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ as soon as possible and retaliate on them. Among the people who supported this view were two of the ’Ashara-i-mubashshara,[3] i.e. Talha ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, who was related to our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ by the seventh grandfather in retrospect and who had joined the Believers during the earliest days of Islam and had undergone very cruel torments inflicted by the unbelievers, –for instance, the unbelievers would tie him and Abû Bakr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ to a post in order to prevent them from performing namâz-, (and he and Khâlid ibn Zayd abâ Ayyûb al-Ansârî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ were brothers of the Hereafter,) and Zubayr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’; and our Mother Âisha ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’, who had attained the honour of being praised in the Qur’ân al-kerîm by Allâhu ta’âlâ and who had been our Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ darling till death separated them. Yet the Khalîfa said, “The country is still in turmoil. If I start now, it may escalate the fitna and may perhaps cause a second catastrophe. Let me put down the insurrection first, and then I will carry out the retaliation, which is a commandment of Allâhu ta’âlâ[4]. The other party was of the ijtihâd that any delay would “make it quite impossible to find the murderers and carry out Islam’s commandment. Now is the best time to do it.”

Talha ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, who was one of the holders of the former ijtihâd, had not joined the Holy War of Bedr because he had been in Damascus for some duty, yet he had joined all the other Holy Wars. In the War of Uhud, for one, he had undergone various tortures in the way of Allâhu ta’âlâ. He had shielded Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ with his own body and had carried our master ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ on his back up to the rocks under a shower of arrows.

It is reported on the authority of Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ that Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated, “Talha and Zubayr are my neighbours in Paradise.” Zubayr bin Awwâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was the son of Hadîja-t-ul-kubrâ’s[5] ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ brother, and his mother was Safiyya, a paternal aunt of our master ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. He was fifteen years old when he embraced Islam during the earliest days of Islam. He was the first person to draw a sword in the way of Allâhu ta’âlâ. In other words, he was the first Islamic officer. At the most dangerous moments of most of the Holy Wars, he fought before the Messenger of Allah, which cost him many a wound. Our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated, “Every Prophet has a hawârî (apostle). My hawârî is Zubayr.” Two of the six people whom ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ named as the people whom he thought would be worthy of succeeding him as Khalîfa as he was about to pass away were Talha and Zubayr. Zubayr was very rich and had sacrificed all his wealth for the sake of the Messenger of Allah.

These great persons insisted positively that qisâs (retaliation) be made immediately because their ijtihâd showed so. At that time, the ijtihâd performed by the As-hâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ led them to three different conclusions. The ijtihâd of one group agreed with that of the Khalîfa, while another group were of the ijtihâd concordant with that of the other party. There was yet a third group whose members preferred silence. Each and every one of these people had to act upon his own ijtihâd and not to follow someone else. People in the first and second groups increased in number. Meanwhile, a Jew named Abdullah bin Saba’ incited the difference into a warlike situation, which ended in the events called Basra and Jamal (Camel).

In those days Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was in Damascus, as the governor of the territory. Being of the ijtihâd concordant with that of the third group, he did not let Muslims under his administration take part in the combats. Owing to his policy, all the Muslims living there led a life of comfort and peace. However, when Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ invited the Damascenes, Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ reconsidered the situation in the light of a number of hadîth-i-sherîfs and reached a new ijtihâd agreeing with that of the other party. The Khalîfa was about to make an agreement with the Damascenes, when the Jews intruded their Zionist finger into the matter, inflaming the two parties to the warfare known as the combats of Siffîn.

In those wars, the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ never thought of hurting one another, wreaking vengeance on one another, or attaining caliphate, sovereignty, high positions or wealth; all they endeavoured to do was to carry out Islam’s commandment, on which they had different ijtihâds. A number of documentary accounts of the wars expose the fact that even during the wars they exchanged letters, counselled one another and extended best wishes to one another. For instance, during the war of Siffîn, Constantine II, the emperor of Byzantium, was harassing the Muslim cities along the border. Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ wrote him a letter that said: “If you do not stop this molestation right away, I will make peace with my master, assume commandership of his army, be there and burn your cities, making you a swineherd.” It was amidst those same commotions when Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, the Khalîfa, addressed to a mass audience, saying, “Our brothers disagree with us. This does not make them sinners or disbelievers. It is their ijtihâd that is different.” As they fought against each other, one party said, “My brother,” about the other, while the other party said, “My master,” about the former. Their fights were on account of different ijtihâds and were not intended to seize power, to acquire wealth, or to achieve fame. Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated that a mujtahid with the correct ijtihâd would receive two to ten blessings whereas the mistaken one would be given one. All the Ashâb-i-kirâm were mujtahids. And it is fard (obligatory) for each mujtahid to act upon his own ijtihâd.

Abû Zur’at-ir-râzî, one of the great teachers who added to Imâm-i-Muslim’s education ‘rahimahumallâhu ta’âlâ’, states as follows in a book of his: “A person who belittles or vilifies the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ is a zindiq.[6] Muslims should know the enemies of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ as their own enemies, and they should feel deeper antipathy towards them than they do towards the enemies of the Ahl-i-bayt. While they do not accurse or even criticize Abû Jahl, who was an arch enemy of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and perpetrated the bitterest torments and persecutions against him, they look on Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, who attained praisals and affections on the part of the Messenger of Allah ‘salla-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, as an enemy of the Ahl-i-bayt, vilify and accurse that blessed person - May Allâhu ta’âlâ protect us against that abominable misdeed! What kind of faith is that, and what kind of Muslims are they? The Ashâb-i-kirâm are the people who conveyed to us the fact that Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ is the Prophet of Allâhu ta’âlâ and that the Qur’ân al-kerîm is the heavenly book that Allâhu ta’âlâ revealed to him. Denying the greatness and the rectitude of the Ashâb-i-kirâm is synonymous with rejecting the information they conveyed to us, (which is Islam;) it goes without saying, therefore, that people who will do so will demolish their own faith.”

Ibn Hazm says that all the Ashâb-i-kirâm are Ahl-i-Jannat (People of Paradise). For Allâhu ta’âlâ declares about them, as is purported in an âyat-i-kerîma, “I shall grant them high grades.” It is purported in the Sûra Hadîd, “We have promised Husnâ, i.e. Paradise to all of them.” And in the Sûra Anbiyâ, “I made them People of Paradise in the eternal past, before I created anything. Hell is far from them.” These âyat-i-kerîmas show that all the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ are Ahl-i-Jannat. None of them shall be close to fire of Hell. For they have been given the good news (that they shall go to) Husnâ, i.e. Paradise.

Moreover, as is written in the three hundred and twenty-seventh (327) page of the same book, Mir’ât-i-kâinât, the following information exists in all the books of Aqâ’id (books telling about the tenets of creed): There are definitely authentic documents showing that it is wâjib for all Muslims to know all the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ as great people, to have an optimistic opinion about all of them, to believe that they were all pious and just Muslims, not to criticize any of them, not to feel hostility against any of them, and not to have a bad opinion about some of them as if it were a requirement to be fulfilled to perfect your love for the rest.

Allâma Sa’daddîn Taftâzânî ‘rahima hullâhu ta’âlâ’ states in his books Sharh-i-aqâ’îd that the wars that took place among the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ were based on religious reasons. If the statements criticizing them are in contradiction to adilla-i-qat’iyya (definitely authentic documents), i.e. âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs, people who make those statements become disbelievers. If not so, they become sinful, heretical and aberrant people.

The following hadîth-i-sherîf is written in Mawâhib-i-ladunniyya: “Be quiet when you hear the names of my Ashâb ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’! Do not make statements that would not go with their honour!

It would not befit Muslims to make statements that would not go with the honour of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘ridwânullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihim ajma’în’. Their combats were not based on bad reasons or evil intentions. Company with the best and the highest of mankind ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, which meant a lifetime illuminated with his blessed lectures and counsels, had purified and enlightened their nafses and souls, purging their hearts of all sorts of rancour and strife. Because each and every one of them had attained the grade of ijtihâd, it was obligatory and wâjib for them to act upon their own ijtihâd. When their ijtihâds disagreed, the right course for each of them to follow was to act upon his own ijtihâd and not to follow the others. Their disagreements, as well as their agreements, were the requirements of the right way and had nothing to do with the desires of the nafs.

Some people stigmatize those who fought against Imâm-i-Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ as disbelievers. However, more often than not there were differences of ijtihâd also between our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and some of the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. These differences did not make them sinful. When Jebrâîl (Archangel Gabriel) ‘alaihis-salâm’ came (to rectify any possible mistakes), no message (in the nature of reproof) was sent (through him). Then, could those blessed people be blamed for disagreeing with Imâm-i-Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ in ijtihâd? Could they ever be called disbelievers? In fact, the ones with the disagreeing ijtihâd were in the majority, and they were mostly greater ones of the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’; among them were the beloved ones of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, as well as those who had been blessed with the good news that they were People of Paradise. Could they ever be criticized or called disbelievers? It is these people who conveyed to us almost half of Islam’s religious knowledge. To impute any fault to them means to undermine half of the religion. None of Islam’s great authorities has ever done anything that would mean disrespect to those great people. Leaders of the four Madhhabs[7] and greater ones of the Sôfiyya-i-aliyya[8] deemed those people as great and exalted.

Islam’s second most correct book after the Qur’ân al-kerîm is (the tremendous book of hadîth-i-sherîfs entitled) Bukhârî-i-sherîf. Shiites agree with this fact. This very book, Bukhârî-i-sherîf, contains all the hadîth-i-sherîfs that were conveyed by any one of the Sahâbî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’. The wars among the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ did not bring any harm to the authenticity and truthfulness of their reports. This book, (Bukhârî-i-sherîf, that is,) as well as all the other books of Hadîth, contains hadîth-i-sherîfs conveyed by Hadrat Alî as well as those conveyed by Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’. The wars they fought against one another did not devalue their reports. Books contain reports from the ones who were with Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ as well as reports from those who sided with Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’. Had Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and those who were with him had a venial offense, the hadîth-i-sherîfs they conveyed would not have been written in books. None of the religious scholars took it into consideration to have agreed with Imâm-i-Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ as a criterion in their selections of hadîth-i-sherîfs. It should be added, however, that Imâm-i-Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was the rightful side in these wars. Yet those who did not agree with his ijtihâd cannot be said to have erred. For, many of the Sahâba and the Tâbi’în, and some of the highest scholars, including leaders of our Madhhabs, disagreed with Imâm-i-Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ in a number of matters that needed ijtihâd. If it were to be taken for granted that Imâm Alî’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ ijtihâd was always correct, all this number of great religious authorities would not have disagreed with him in their ijtihâd. In some matters, even Hadrat Alî himself ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ admitted ijtihâds that were discordant with his ijtihâds.

The following hadîth-i-sherîf is written in the three hundred and twenty-seventh (327) page of Mir’ât-i-kâinât:

Beat those people who vilify my Ashâb and those who make statements offensive to their honour.”

Imâm-i-Jalâladdîn Suyûtî[9] quotes the following hadîth-i-sherîf in his book Jâmi’us-saghîr: Allâhu ta’âlâ will forgive my Ashâb for the mistakes they will make after me. For, no other people did the service equal to theirs to Islam.” The following hadîth-i-sherîf is written in the same book: “I shall do shafa’ât, (i.e. I shall intercede in the Hereafter) for everybody. Yet I shall not intercede for those who vilify my Ashâb.”

It is written in Khulâsa-t-ul-fatâwâ: Those who swear at Hadrat Abû Bakr and Hadrat ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ become disbelievers. Those who say that Imâm-i-Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was higher than the two Khalîfas, (i.e. Hadrat Abû Bakr and Hadrat ’Umar,) become people of bid’at and dalâlat. They have dissented from the Ahl as-sunna, which in its turn is something that will cause them to go to Hell.

It is written in the same page, i.e. in the three hundred and twenty-seventh (327) page (of the book Mir’ât-i-kâinât) that Imâm a’zam Abû Hanîfa ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ stated: “It is one of the symptoms of (being among) the Ahl as-sunna(t) wa-l-jamâ’a(t) to hold Abû Bakr and ’Umar higher and to love ’Uthmân and Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’. Holding the first two Khalîfas higher while cherishing the other two is peculiar to people who have saved themselves from Hell. That the first two were higher was stated by all the Ashâb-i-kirâm and conveyed by all the Tâbi’în to the imâms of our Madhhabs, who in their turn wrote it in their books. It is an established fact, for instance, that Imâm-i-Shâfi’î and Abul Hasan Esh’arî ‘rahima-humallâhu ta’âlâ’ stated that Abû Bakr and ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ were the highest Muslims in this Umma(t). Another positively known fact is that Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was occupying the office of caliphate when he said to the notables around him that “Abû Bakr and ’Umar were the highest of this Umma.” Imâm-i-Zahabî and Imâm-i-Bukhârî ‘rahima-humallâhu ta’âlâ’ reported that they had heard the hadîth-i-sherîf, “After me, Abû Bakr and ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ are the highest of this Umma,” from Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. Moreover, Abdurrazzâq Lâhijî, a Shiite scholar, acknowledges that these two (Khalîfas) are the highest, and adds, “Could I leave Imâm Alî’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ way and follow my own opinion although I know that he is so high and say that I love him? For, he stated that Abû Bakr and ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ were superior to him.” Abdurrazzâq bin Alî Lâhijî was a professor in the city of Qum. He passed away in 1051 [A.D. 1642].

During the caliphates of Hadrat ’Uthmân and Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’, mischief and public disturbances were on the increase and people were mostly uneasy and hurt. Therefore, it was made a requirement of being in the Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-jamâ’at to love these two Khalîfas; thereby the Ashâb-i-Khayr-ul-bashar ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ were defended against ignorant people’s calumniations and Muslims were protected against the peril of feeling hostility against the Khalîfas of our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. As is seen, it is one of the requirements of being in the Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-jamâ’at to love Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ as well. Yet, love also has its limitations. If a person exceeds the limitations in his love of Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, calumniates the Ashâb of our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and thereby dissents from the path led by the Ashâb-i-kirâm, the Tâbi’în-i-izâm and the Salaf as-sâlihîn[10], he is called a heretic. Nor are those wretched people who are devoid of loving Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ in the Ahl as-sunna, for it is a requirement of being in the Ahl as-sunna. They are called Khwârij (Khârijîs). If those who claim to love Ahl-i-bayt loved all the Ashâb-i-kirâm as well, everything would be quite all right. If they admitted that the wars among the Ashâb-i-kirâm were based on benevolent reasons and good intentions, they would be in the Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-jamâ’at and would be immune from being Ahl-i-bid’at. It is a characteristic trait of the Ahl as-sunnat to embellish one’s respect and high esteem for all the Ashâb-i-kirâm with one’s affection for the Ahl-i-bayt. Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: “If a person loves my Ashâb, he does so because he loves me. And enmity against them is enmity against me.” Then, why should one not love the Ahl-i-bayt? All the Ashâb-i-kirâm loved one another and the Ahl-i-bayt as well. The Sunnîs have deemed the love of Ahl-i-bayt as a part of îmân. They have said that dying as a Believer is dependent upon the potency of this love.

It is written as follows in the three hundred and twenty-seventh [327] page of the book Mir’ât-i-kâinât: Our scholars classify the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ in three groups: The first group are the Muhâjirîn, i.e. those Muslims who migrated to Medina from Mekka or elsewhere until the conquest of Mekka. Talha and Zubayr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ were two of the greatest ones of the Muhâjirîn.

The second group, called Ansâr-i-kirâm, were those Muslims living in the blessed city of Medina or in its vicinity. They were honoured with the title Ansâr (Helpers) on account of the help they offered to our master, the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Khâlid ibn Zayd abâ Ayyûb al-Ansârî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was one of the greatest Ansâr. It is stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf conveyed by Imâm-i-Tirmuzî: “On the Rising Day each of my Ashâb will rise from his grave and, leading the Believers of the country where he passed away and showering haloes and lights on them, he takes them to the square of Arasât.” Accordingly, all the Believers in Istanbul will come to the place of judgement behind Hadrat Khâlid ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and under his light.

The third group were the people who embraced Islam in Mekka or elsewhere upon the conquest of the blessed city or afterwards; they are Sahâbîs, although they are neither Muhâjirs nor Ansâr. Mu’âwiya and ’Amr ibn al-Âs ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ are two of the greatest ones in this group.

Imâm-i-Wâqidî states: Of all the Sahâbîs who passed away in Kûfa (today’s Najaf), Abdullah ibn Awfâ was the last one. The last one to pass away in Damascus was Abdullah bin Yasr. The last one of those who passed away in Medîna-i-munawwara was Sahl bin Sa’d; he was ninety-five years old when he passed away. Enes bin Mâlik was the last one to pass away in Basra. Abu-t-tufayl Âmir, who was the last one of those who passed away in Mekka-i-mukarrama, was at the same time the last of them all; he passed away in the hundredth year of the Hijrat (Hegira).

All the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’, with the exception of a few close relatives of Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, were younger than the Messenger of Allah. Although the number of Rasûlullah’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ Ashâb is not exactly known, he went to Mekka with ten thousand people and to the Holy War of Tabuk with a seventy-thousand-strong army, while ninety-thousand people accompanied him in his Farewell Hajj. More than one hundred and twenty-four thousand Sahâbîs were still alive at the time of his passing away.

There are numerous books rendering correct accounts about the virtues and values of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. The book Usud-ul-ghâba, by Shaikh Shams-ud-dîn Alî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, contains biographies of more than seven thousand and five hundred Sahâbîs; it was translated into European languages. The correct ones among the books telling about the Islamic history are the ones written by Wâqidî, by Ibn Khaldûn, and by Ibn Hillighâ ‘rahima humullâhu ta’âlâ’. These books contain nothing that would be incompatible with Islam or Islamic manners about the Sahâba-i-kirâm. Meyers Lexicon, a technical encyclopaedic dictionary in German, gives an appreciative disquisition on the importance of the Islamic civilization in its four hundred and seventy-eighth (478) page and reports that “The history of Wâqidî telling about the Holy Wars was translated into German in 1882 by Welhausen. Ibn Sa’d, a disciple of Wâqidî, wrote about the life of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam’ and the lives of his Ashâb ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. His book, of nine volumes, was translated in 1921 by Sachau. The history of Ibn Khaldûn, which consists of seven volumes, was translated in 1858 by Qutemere.” A passage beginning in the four hundred and seventy-eighth page of the book Meyers Lexicon, and also the passage below the entry ‘Islam’ were read and translated in the presence of the great Islamic scholar Sayyid Abdulhakîm Arwâsî Efendi ‘quddisa sirruh’; he expressed his appreciation.

The history books in Turkish telling about the wars among the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ are mostly translated versions of the history books that were written during the Abbasid domination and which, therefore, reflect the time’s trends and preferences. That is why the accounts given about such blessed people as Hadrat Âisha, Mu’âwiya, Talha, Zubayr and other Sahâbîs in those books carry some fault-finding aura about them. None of Islamic governments succeeding the Umayyads and the Abbasids attempted to sabotage the Sunnî credo, and the Turks hold best for our argument. Owing to them, the credo has survived to our time.

Ibn Hajar-i-Makkî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ states as follows in the beginning of his book: O you Muslim, whose heart is full with the love of Allâhu ta’âlâ and with the love of Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’! Your first duty is to mix the love of our Prophet’s ‘alaihis-salâtu wa-s-salâm’ Ashâb-i-kirâm with the love of the Ahl-i-bayt-i-nabawî in your heart. As we love the Ahl-i-bayt because they are Rasûlullah’s descendants, so we should love the others because they are his Ashâb (Companions). For, the honour that the Ashâb-i-kirâm attained is very high. Others cannot attain that honour. An essential of that honour is that the blessed looks of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ penetrated into them, giving them spiritual support and help. Others do not have this exclusive merit. None of the later comers attained their perfections and vast learnings or the (spiritual property called) haqîqat which they inherited from our master, the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Every Muslim has to know them all as just, pious and learned Muslims and as Walîs and mujtahids. Allâhu ta’âlâ gave them the good news that He would forgive them for any possible mistake on their part. An âyat of the Qur’ân al-kerîm purports, “Allah ‘jalla jalâluh’ is pleased with them all. Also, they are pleased with Allâhu ta’âlâ.” To blame or vilify any one of the Sahâba-i-kirâm means to deny this âyat-i-kerîma. There is no doubt that Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ is one of the notables of the Sahâba-i-kirâm with respect to genealogy. He is a very close and intimate relative of our master ‘alaihis-salâtu wa-s-salâm’, both through genealogy and through nikâh.[11] Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ praised his finesse and beneficence. Honours such as Islam, sohbat, kinship and relationship through nikâh came together in his person; each of these honours would in itself be enough to cause one to be close to Rasûlullah in Paradise. When the honours of finesse, knowledge and caliphate are added to them, a person with understanding and with an average degree of peace, faith, piety and belief in his heart would save us any extra words in this respect.

Imâm-i-Rabbânî Ahmad Fârûqî Serhendî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ states as follows in the thirty-sixth letter of the second volume of his masterpiece, Maktûbât: One of the symptoms of Ahl as-sunnat is to believe that the Shaikhayn, i.e. Abû Bakr as-siddîq and ’Umar ul-fârûq ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhumâ’ are the highest ones (of the Sahâba) and to love the two sons-in-law (of Rasûlullah), i.e. ’Uthmân and Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’. All the Ashâb-i-kirâm and the Tâbi’în-i-izâm said in unanimity that the Shaikhayn were higher. Those who had not attained the honour of seeing the blessed face of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and yet who were lucky enough to see a few Sahâbîs, are called the Tâbi’în. Having seen the Sahâba-i-kirâm made these people great in this religion. The statements of the Ashâb and the Tâbi’în were conveyed to us by our scholars. For instance, Muhammad bin Idris Shâfi’î, the leader of the Shâfi’î Madhhab, and Abul Hasan Alî Esh’arî, one of the leaders of the Ahl as-sunna, state that it is a definite and absolute fact that Abû Bakr and ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ are higher than all the other Ashâb. One day during his caliphate Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ said to a large audience: “Abû Bakr and ’Umar are the highest of this Umma.”

As is written in the twelve-volumed book of history by Imâm-i-Muhammad Zahabî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, Muhammad bin Ismâ’îl Bukhârî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, the author of the Bukhârî-i-sherîf, which is the most authentic book of Hadîth and is considered to be the basis of the Islamic religion, states: Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ stated, “The best member of this Ummat, after our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, is Abû Bakr ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’. The second best is ’Umar, and after him comes someone else.” When his son said, “And it is you,” he replied, “I am one of the Muslims.”

So many are the reports testifying to the superiority of Abû Bakr and ‘Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ that it has become an indisputable fact. Denying this fact is comparable to disignoring the existence of the sun. People who do so must be either vulgarly ignorant or blind or imbecilic. Abdurrazzâq, one of the eminent Shiite scholars, saw that there was no reason to deny the realities and acknowledged the superiority of the Shaikhayn. Imâm-i-Rabbânî states as follows:

Imâm ’Umar’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ ten-year caliphate and the first six years of Imâm ’Uthmân’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ twelve years in the office make up a period of welfare and rest; throughout that period, not only were the Islamic rules and rites carried out perfectly in all the Muslim countries, but also the Islamic world made considerable territorial gains. In fact, the entire Arabia and a large section of Africa became parts of the Muslim land, Tripolitania, Fîzân, Benghazi, Tunisia, Algeria, Fes, Morocco, Damietta, Zeyyad, Aden, San’â, Assyria, Bahrain, Hadhramaut, Qatif, Nejd, Iraq entirely, India, Sind, China, Samarkand, Hîva, Bukhâra, Turkestân, Iran and Caucasus found themselves under the sway of Islam, and the Islamic flag was carried to positions before the city walls of Istanbul. Because the inhabitants of the countries conquered mostly enthused over the honour of converting to Islam, the Muslim population rapidly soared to numbers well above millions. This non-stop territorial enlargement, doubled with the express increase of population, lay the groundwork for an abrupt meeting of a variety of different cultures, which meant differring ideas, thoughts, customs and understandings. Some irreligious impostors lost no time in provoking the most sensitive extremes in these diverse cultures into such situations as would make clashes and conflicts irretrievable, and fomenting an insurrection against the Khalîfa. Therefore, the last six years of the caliphate of ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was a period of confusions and upheavals. Sad to say, the gentle and tender elements that were prevalent in the blessed Khalîfa’s nature would not let him take the draconian measures to put a timely end to the chaos, so that thirteen thousand of the rebels took the liberty of besieging the blessed city of Medîna and demanding that the Khalîfa should retire. Imâm ’Uthmân’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ answer was: “I will not just doff the attirement that the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ made me put on,” which was a decision perfectly agreeable with the common ijtihâd of the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ and the Tâbi’în-i-izâm. Yet it was impossible to dissuade the rebels. Thus the horrifying martyrdom took place on the eighteenth day of Zilhijja in the thirty-fifth year of the Hijrat. Some people annually celebrate that day. After him, Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ became Khalifa, rightfully and by a unanimous vote of all the Muslims.

Since differences, controversies and hostilities among the people of those vast territories were on the increase during the times of these two Khalîfas, affection towards these two blessed sons-in-law was made indicative of one’s being in the group of Ahl as-sunnat. This was intended to close a possible gap whereby the ignorant could transgress the bounds of deference due to the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. Then, joining the group of Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-jamâ’at, the people blessed by our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ with the good news of Paradise, requires feeling affection for Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. A person devoid of this affection is not Ahl as-sunnat or Ahl al-Jannat. Such people are called Khawârij. There are also people, however, who squander this affection due to Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ on criticizing or cursing one or all of the Ashâb-i-kirâm on the presumption that it is an essential condition for this affection. These people are aside from the way guided by the Ashâb-i-kirâm, by the Tâbi’în-i-izâm and by all the greatest scholars. They are called Râfidîs. ‘Râfidî’ means ‘dissenter’, or ‘dissident’. These people have dissented from the Ahl as-sunnat. ‘Ahl as-sunnat’ means ‘people who follow the moderate and correct way.’ By neither disliking Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ nor misusing the affection due to him, they have protected themselves against excess in one direction or the other.

Ahmad ibn Hanbal ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, the leader of the Hanbalî Madhhab, quoted the following hadîth-i-sherîf on the authority of Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’: Imâm Alî said: The Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: “Yâ Alî! You are like Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. Jews became his enemies. They calumniated his blessed mother Hadrat Maryam. And Christians overestimated him. They extolled him to heights that were above his real position. In other words, they called him Son of Allah.” After reporting this hadîth-i-sherîf, Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ stated, “On account of me, two groups of people have been doomed to destruction. One group will love me too much and ascribe to me things that I do not have. The others will feel hostility towards me and spread various slanders about me.” This hadîth-i-sherîf compares the Khawârij to Jews, and people who are hostile to the Ashâb-i-kirâm to Christians.

As we have stated already, the number of the Ashâb-i-kirâm is above one hundred and twenty-four thousand. This is a number equal to the number of Prophets ‘alaihim-us-salawâtu wa-t-taslîmât’. Each of them represents a Prophet. Abû Bakr as-siddîq represents Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’, ’Umar ul-Fârûq represents Mûsâ (Moses) ‘alaihis-salâm’, ’Uthmân-i-zinnûrayn represents Nûh (Noah) ‘alaihis-salâm’, Alî-y-yul-murtadâ represents Îsâ (Jesus) ‘alaihis-salâm’, and Hadrat Mu’âwiya represents Dâwûd (David) ‘alaihis-salâm’ ‘ridwânullâhi ’alaihim ajma’în’. We know that Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ was created without a father, which is something without the law of causation but within the power of Allâhu ta’âlâ, that he was raised up to heaven, and that he will descend to earth and land in Damascus, which, again, is something outside of the law of causation. The known facts about his birth, life and ascension gave rise to three different beliefs concerning him. One group of people developed too high an opinion about him, calling him ‘God’ -may Allâhu ta’âlâ protect against that belief- and saying that God had entered him and that he was the Son of God. This group are Christians.

Another group, seeing the extraordinary events about him, demoted him to extremely low grades far below his noble person, and said that his father was not known -may Allâhu ta’âlâ protect us against saying so-. This group are Jews.

Others, the third group, that is, knew that the extraordinary facts about him were all within the endless power of Allâhu ta’âlâ and had hikmats (hidden divine causes) about them; this group believed that he was only a human and a Prophet. The path taken by this group is correct. These extraordinary events concerning Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ were told clearly and in detail in the (original) Torah. The facts about these three groups and their beliefs are written at a number of places in the Qur’ân al-kerîm. Islamic scholars learned these facts from the Qur’ân al-kerîm and explicated them in detail in their books. Because the Sahâba-i-kirâm also knew these facts well, Muhammad the Sarwar-i-’âlam and the Sayyid-i-awlâd-i-Âdam ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam’ said to Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, who was his paternal uncle’s son and also his son-in-law and also his spiritual brother: “You are like Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’.” This hadîth-i-sherîf spread among the Ashâb-i-kirâm. This hadîth-i-sherîf was one of the hadîths telling about unknown things, and its truth manifested on Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ during his caliphate. At that time people parted into three groups. One group overestimated Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and said that Allah had entered Imâm Alî and his children -may Allâhu ta’âlâ protect us against that belief-, and others claimed that Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was the Prophet but Jabrâîl ‘alaihis-salâm’ had by mistake revealed the Qur’ân al-’azîm-ush-shân to Muhammad ‘alaihis-salât-u-wa-s-salâm’. A third group deviated from the right path by holding Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ superior to the other three Khalîfas as well as to all the other Sahâba. The first group’s belief (concerning Hadrat Alî) is like the belief that Christians hold about Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’.

The second group of people marred their own belief by casting aspersions on Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and tarnishing his honourable reputation. This group are called Khawârij (Khârijîs). The hatred they felt against Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and his innocent progeny caused them to swerve from the right way. These people are like Jews. The third group are the people who have known Imâm Alî and his children and household and all the Ashâb-i-kirâm as they are described in the hadîth-i-sherîfs of the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. These people with the correct îmân (belief) are called the Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-jamâ’at. They are the only group to be saved from Hell. Of the people who fought against Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’; Âisha ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’, who was the beloved wife of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and at the same time the blessed daughter of Abû Bakr as-siddîq; Talha and Zubayr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’, who were among the ten people called Ashara-i-mubash-shara because they had been given the good news that they would go to Paradise; and Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, who was a brother-in-law of our master the Fakhr-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ because he was the brother of our blessed mother Umm-i-Habîba ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’, –who in her turn was one of the blessed wives of the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’–, and at the same time his secretary of wahy, (i.e. the trustworthy person whose duty was to write the âyat-i-kerîmas revealed to the Messenger of Allah,) were the greatest members of the Ashâb-i-kirâm.

It is stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf, “Observe my right of prophethood by loving my Ashâb. Allâhu ta’âlâ will protect and help those people who observe my right in this manner, in everything they are involved in. Allâhu ta’âlâ dislikes those who do not observe my right of prophethood. The time when they shall suffer punishment is quite imminent.”

He states in another hadîth-i-sherîf: “People are increasing in number, and my Ashâb are becoming less and less numerous and, inversely, more and more valuable. Do not curse my Ashâb! May Allah accurse those who curse my Ashâb!

He states in another hadîth-i-sherîf:

Do not criticize or try to vilify any of my Ashâb! I swear on the name of Allah, under whose power I live, that if one of you gave a piece of gold as big as the mount of Uhud in the name of alms he would not earn thawâb equal to the blessings that one of my Ashâb would be given for alms worth one mudd [two ritls, or 260 dirham-i-shar’î, or 1209.6 gr] of barley.”

He states in another hadîth-i-sherîf:

How lucky for those who saw me, and how lucky for those who saw those who had seen me, and how lucky for those who saw those who had seen those who had seen me! All those people are so lucky and so happy. Their destination, Paradise, is the best place.” Those who saw the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ are the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘ridwânullâhi alaihim ajma’în’. Those who saw them are the Tâbi’în, and people who saw the Tâbi’în are the Taba’i tâbi’în. Two of the Tâbi’în are Imâm a’zam Abû Hanîfa and Imâm Mâlik, (the learders of the Hanafî and Mâlikî Madhhabs, respectively). And two of the Taba’i tâbi’în are Imâm Shâfi’î and Imâm Ahmad, (the leaders of the Madhhabs called Shâfi’î and Hanbalî, respectively).[12]

The following hadîth-i-sherîf is written in the book Sawâiq-ul-muhriqa, by Ibn Hajar-i-Makkî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’:

Allâhu ta’âlâ chose me from among the entire mankind. He bestowed on me all superiorities and goodnesses, and chose Ashâb (Companions) for me. From among my Ashâb, He chose me relatives and assistants. If a person loves and respects these people for me and for my prophethood, Allâhu ta’âlâ will protect him against Hell. If a person disregards my right by disliking, criticizing or hurting them, Allâhu ta’âlâ will burn and torment them with the fire of Hell.”

The following hadîth-i-sherîf is written in the same book:

Allâhu ta’âlâ chose me from among all people. He chose the best people as my Ashâb and relatives. After them many people will appear and they will criticize my Ashâb and my relatives. By casting aspersions on them, they will try to malign them. Do not sit with such people! Do not eat and drink with them! Do not give them your daughters or accept their daughters in marriage!” This hadîth-i-sherîf shows that we must love and respect all the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’.

Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ states, “After me, Muslims will part into seventy-three different groups. Seventy-two of them will go to Hell, and only one group will enter Paradise.” This one group, called Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-jamâ’at, are those people who follow the way guided by our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and by his Ashâb. Leaders of our four Madhhabs and the great scholars educated by them are the people who learned this way from the Ashâb-i-kirâm, carried it safely throughout centuries, and made it reach us. It is these same great scholars, again, who say that one of the conditions for being in the Madhhab of Ahl as-sunnat and a distinguishing symptom indicative of being so is to love all the Ashâb-i-kirâm. Hadîth-i-sherîfs show that it is necessary to say nothing but goodness about the Ashâb-i-kirâm, to respect them, to know all of them as great, and to say, “radiy-Allâhu ’anh”, when the name of any one of them is mentioned. Especially the Muhâjirîn, who migrated from Mekka-i-mukarrama to Medina-i-munawwara; the Ansâr, who met the Muhâjirîn in Medîna and granted them asylum and extended their warmest hospitality to them; the fourteen hundred Sahâbîs, who promised allegiance to our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ under a tree and who sacrificed all their existence for his sake; the Sahâbîs who joined the Holy War of Bedr and those who attained martyrdom in the Holy War of Uhud deserve profoundest reverence. The Ummat-i-Muhammad ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ (Muslims) have reached a consensus on that these people (the Sahâba) are very exalted. What devolves on us Muslims is to think of the meritorious and self-sacrificing services they rendered to the Islamic religion and to pronounce the benediction ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’ on them all. For, they were the pioneers and guides in the Islamic religion. It is them who took the lead in following our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, in spreading his religion over the world and making it known to all, who took the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ from His Prophet and brought them to us, and who strengthened the foundation of the Islamic religion. It is them who made Islam reach every country. It is them who spread Allâhu ta’âlâ’s religion over His lands and among His human slaves. Is there a blessing greater than the Islamic religion that has reached us? All of us must be always thankful to them for their goodnesses. The acts of grudge, enmity, vilification and malediction perpetrated against the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ and based on concoctions, lies, slanders and false stories, which did not exist in times closer to that of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and which appeared afterwards, are all the soot and grime of the earliest sedition manufactured by Abdullah bin Saba’. It is wâjib[13] for us all to keep away from these corybantic movements and the like.

We should believe in the fact that the wars among the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ were based on religious considerations, rather than being the consequences of evil purposes or maleficent intentions. From the religious, logical, traditional and historical points of view, we have no business to comment on whether their actions were right or wrong or to pass judgment on their preferences. Anything that is overtly disagreeable with or contradictory to the Qur’ân al-kerîm or hadîth-i-sherîfs is kufr (disbelief). What makes an act or behaviour heretical, sinful or corrupt, however, is not necessarily in overt and direct contradiction to them. Then, it is not something religiously permissible to criticize or malign Mu’âwiya or other people like him ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’. For, they are all in the group of Sahâba-i-kirâm whom Allâhu ta’âlâ and our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ praises. Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated, “May people who malign or curse any one of my Ashâb be accursed in the view of Allâhu ta’âlâ and angels and all people!” It is not something sinful not to curse the devil, who is accursed. The wisest policy is not to curse any creature. Nor is it anything advisable to curse Yazîd or Hajjâj.

The Muslims in the group of Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-jamâ’at esteem and love each and every one of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’; then, why should one presume that they do not love Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ despite his multifarious relationships to our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wasallam’, -he was his paternal first cousin, son-in-law, and spiritual brother-, and in the face of the fact that he was praised in so many hadîth-i-sherîfs that no other Sahâbî attained an equal number of praisals? Such an ignorant presumption, alongside its slanderous implication, would mean to deliver love of Hadrat Alî into Shiites’ possession.

It is stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “Allâhu ta’âlâ has commanded me to love four people. So I love them.” When he was asked who they were, he explained, “Alî is one of them; Alî is one of them; Alî is one of them; and (the others are) Abû Zer, Mikdâd and Salmân.”

Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ commanded the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘ridwânullâhi ’alaihim ajma’în’ to be brotherly with one another. Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ came to the Huzûr-i-sa’âdat and said, “Yâ Rasûlallah (O Messenger of Allah)! Why didn’t you make me anyone’s brother?” Upon this the Prophet stated, “You are my brother in the world and in the Hereafter.”

One day Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ related: Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ said to me, “He who loves you is a Believer. He who dislikes you is only a munâfiq[14].”

Abû Sa’îd-i-Hudrî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ stated: “The criterion by which we knew Believers from munâfiqs was based on sympathy and antipathy for Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’.”

It is stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “I am the city of knowledge. Alî is the gate to the city.” Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ related: I was very young when Rasûl-i-akram ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ wanted to send me as a judge to Yemen. I said, “O Messenger of Allah! I am young yet. How can I be a judge for the people there?” He put his blessed hand on my chest and invoked, “Yâ Rabbî (O my Allah)! Give hidâyat (guidance) to his heart and thebât (firmness, perseverance) to his tongue!” It is stated in another hadîth-i-sherîf, “Alî is the most eligible for judgeship and the most knowledgeable of you.” It is stated in another hadîth-i-sherîf, “It is an act of worship to look at Alî. A person who has hurt Alî has hurt me, so to speak.” It is stated in another hadîth-i-sherîf, “Affection towards Alî is affection towards me. And affection towards me is affection towards Allâhu ta’âlâ. Enmity towards Alî is enmity towards me. And enmity towards me is enmity towards Allâhu ta’âlâ.” It is stated in another hadîth-i-sherîf, “Allâhu ta’âlâ ordered me to give my daughter Fâtima in marriage to Alî. Allâhu ta’âlâ created each prophet’s progeny through him, yet He creates my progeny through Alî.” In another occasion he stated, “Îmân (belief) has its symptoms: Its first symptom is to love Alî. Alî is the guide of the good. A person who helps Alî will attain help himself. Those who try to cause trouble to Alî incur their own destruction. Paradise is in love with three people: Alî, Salmân and Ammâr.” It is stated in another hadîth-i-sherîf, “A munâfiq’s heart will never share the combined love for the following four people: Abû Bakr, ’Umar, ’Uthmân, and Alî.” ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’.

All the hadîth-i-sherîfs written so far were translated from the book Manâqib-i-Chihâr Yâr-i-ghuzîn, by Hadrat Sayyid Ayyûb. The book, which renders a perfectly long and elaborate account of the greatness of the four Khalîfas and of all the Ashâb-i-kirâm, is in Turkish; it was printed in 1325, and reproduced in 1998 (A.D.). We importantly recommend that those who understand Turkish read it.

Affection towards Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ is symptomatic of being in (the group of) Ahl as-sunnat. And it is wrong to say that affection towards him necessitates disaffection towards the other three Khalîfas. To dislike another Sahâbî or a few other Sahâbîs for the purpose of showing affection towards him means to deviate from the right course. Imâm-i-Shâfi’î ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ stated in a distich:

If they call those who love Alî ‘Shiites’,
Know, you, o humans and genies, I am a Shiite.

Both Shiites and Sunnites profess love of Muhammad’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ Âl and Ahl-i-bayt (household and children). What makes them different is that one group love the other Sahâba as well, whereas the other group do not. The Ahl-i-bayt and the Âl-i-Abâ, or the Âl-i-Rasûl ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’, are loved above all by the Ahl as-sunnat.

The book Manâqib-i-Chihâr Yâr-i-ghuzîn, from the four hundred and fortieth [440] page onwards, enlarges on the greatness of the Ahl-i-bayt ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. The first episode reads as follows:

Allâhu ta’âlâ says to the Ahl-i-bayt, i.e. Imâm Alî, Fâtima-t-uz-zahrâ, Imâm Hasan and Imâm Husayn, in the Qur’ân al-kerîm: “Allâhu ta’âlâ wishes to remove all sorts of deficiency and dirt from you, and He wills to clean you with perfect purification.” The Ashâb-i-kirâm asked, “O the Messenger of Allah! Who are the Ahl-i-bayt?” At that moment Imâm-i-Alî joined them. The blessed Prophet took him under his blessed overcoat. Then he sent for Hadrat Fâtima. When she came, clad as she was properly and in a manner compatible with Islam’s prescription, he took her under his blessed overcoat, too. The next comer was Imâm-i-Hasan. He took him to his one side; and taking the final comer, Imâm-i-Husayn, to his other side, he stated “Here, these are my Ahl-i-bayt.” These blessed people are also called Âl-i-Abâ or Âl-i-Rasûl ‘ridwânullahi ’alaihim ajma’în’.

It is related as follows in the ninth episode in the two hundred and forty-first [241] page of the same book: Imâm-i-Hasan and Imâm-i-Husayn ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ became ill at a very young age. When the children recovered health, their father and their mother Fâtimatuzzahrâ and their servant Fidda began to fast. The first day, they were about to have (the dinner called) iftâr[15], when some orphans came to the door. Giving all the food to the orphans, they began the next day’s fast without eating anything. The second day’s food also was dispensed with, this time to some very poor people who had knocked on the door at the same hour as the orphans had done the previous evening and asked for something to eat “for Allah’s sake.” So the third day’s fasting began, hungry as they were. The third evening’s visitors were some slaves, who, too, were given all the day’s food lest they should go back empty-handed. Upon this, an âyat came down; it purported, “These people have kept their vows. With the fear of the Rising Day, which is long and perpetual, they have given their food which they liked so much and hungered so strongly for to very poor people, to orphans and slaves. They said, ‘It is for the sake of Allah that we give this food to you to eat. We expect nothing in the name of gratitude on your part. Nor do we demand anything in return.’ Therefore, Janâb-i-Haqq (Allâhu ta’âlâ) has blessed them with the drink called sharâb-i-tahûr (purest drink).”

Affection towards the Ahl-i-bayt-i-nabawî causes salvation at the time of death, which means to migrate to the Hereafter with îmân (as a Believer). Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ states in a hadîth-i-sherîf, “My Ahl-i-bayt are like Nûh’s (Noah’s) ‘alaihis-salâm’ ark. He who follows them will attain salvation. He who lags behind will perish.”

The Ahl-i-bayt-i-nabawî have myriad virtues and perfections, which would cost an endless list to attempt to make a tally of. It is beyond the human power to tell about them or to praise them. The values and greatnesses they possess are best understood from the âyat-i-kerîmas. Imâm-i-Shâfi’î puts it so beautifully: “O you the Ahl-i-bayt-i-Rasûl! Allâhu ta’âlâ commands in the Qur’ân al-kerîm to love you. The greatness of your value and your high grades can be imagined from the fact that (a daily ritual prayer called) namâz[16] performed without a benediction pronounced on you will not be acceptable. Your honour is so great that Allâhu ta’âlâ salutes you in the Qur’ân al-kerîm.”

It is farz for every Believer to love the Ahl-i-bayt. It causes one to die with îmân. Some people with unsound wisdom and narrow reasoning capacities make a mistake in this subject. They say that love requires antipathy towards the beloved one’s enemies, (which is right). Presuming that Âisha-i-siddîqa, Mu’âwiya, Talha and Zubayr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’ were enemies of the Ahl-i-bayt because they fought against the Ahl-i-bayt, -although they did so in consequence of their ijtihâd-, they nurse a grudge against those great people. Thereby they deviate from the right course. In fact, as it becomes clear in the light of âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs, those wars between the Ashâb-i-kirâm and the Ahl-i-bayt did not ensue from worldly ambitions such as position and fame. They were based on difference of ijtihâd. When they met, their aim was not to make war, but to reach an agreement. It was the plotting and intrigue carried on by the Jew named Abdullah bin Saba’ and his accessaries that inflamed the event so that it escalated into a warlike situation. All the Ashâb-i-kirâm loved the Ahl-i-bayt ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. Not to believe so, i.e. to think that the Ashâb-i-kirâm were hostile to the Ahl-i-bayt, means to deny the âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs. The âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs show the fact that the Ashâb-i-kirâm established their capital of îmân out of their love of Ahl-i-bayt.

Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ served as a writing secretary in the presence of our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Abû Nuaym states that Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was one of the writing secretaries of Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, that he had beautiful handwriting, and that he was eloquent, gentle, and dignified. Zayd bin Thâbit ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ states that Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ wrote the Wahy (âyat-i-kerîmas) brought by (the Archangel) Jebrâîl and Rasûlullah’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ letters. Then, he was a person whom the Fakhr-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ trusted. Does this high position not indicate how exalted he was? Do those people who criticize and malign that great person not denigrate, by doing so, someone to whom the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ entrusted the business of writing the Qur’ân al-kerîm? To try to evade this question with the prevarication that afterwards he took a turn for the worse would be even a more insolent felony. For, the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ was the Sultân of ’Ilm al-ladun, i.e. he was made to know (by Allâhu ta’âlâ) everything that would happen as well as all that had happened; how could it ever be supposed, then, that he did not know about a future treason?

There is not a single Muslim unaware of Abdullah ibn Mubârak’s high grade in knowledge. He was a religious imâm (leader). He was quite advanced in every branch of knowledge. He had accumulated in his person all the branches of scientific knowledge as well as those of the traditional knowledge. He was possessed of profound knowledge in fiqh (knowledge teaching Islam’s commandments, prohibitions, practices, daily transactions, etc.), in adab (Islamic manners and rules of behaviour), in nahw (Arabic grammar), in lughat (an extensive branch in linguistics that includes sub-branches such as lexicon, syntax, semantics, etc.), fesâhat (rhetoric), belâghat (eloquence, belles lettres), shejâ’at (bravery, valor), furûsiyyat (horsemanship), sehâ (beneficence), and karam (generosity, kindness). He was steady with midnight prayers of namâz (called tahajjud). He made hajj[17] various times and joined numerous Holy Wars against the enemies of religion. At the same time, he was a great merchant and dispensed a hundred thousand gold coins to the poor yearly. He feared Allâhu ta’âlâ very much. He avoided the harâm and doubtful things. He offered financial help to his friends and people who were in straights and ran for their rescue when they were in trouble. He did many a generous kindness to great religious luminaries such as Sufyân-i-Sawrî, Sufyân bin Uyayna, Fudayl bin Iyâd, Ibn Sammâk, and Mesrûq. His practices were always in concordance with his theory. His learnings were a perfect reflection of Rasûlullah’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ teachings. Mawlânâ Abd-ur-Rahmân Jâmî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ praises Abdullah bin Mubârak very highly and explains his superiority with examples in his book Shawâhid-un-nubuwwa, which he wrote in the Fârisî language. The so highly praised, great scholar states as follows: “The dust that went into the nostrils of the horse that Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ rode as he accompanied Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ is a thousand times as good as ’Umar bin Abd-ul-’azîz’.” What other words do you think would be needed to confute the obdurate claims?

Whenever the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ said, “Sami’ Allâhu liman hamidah,” in (the bowing position called) rukû’ as he conducted namâz in jamâ’at, Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, who stood in the first line, would add, “Rabbanâ laka-l-hamd.” This expression won (the Prophet’s) approval and approbation, and to say so was established as a sunnat till the end of the world. Such a great attainment! Given the aforesaid comparison wherein the name of Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ‘anh’ evokes a praisal of such a great Islamic scholar as Abdullah ibni Mubarak, whose physical and spiritual superiorities have been acknowledged by all the religious leaders, what could be so futile as groping for evidence to prove to the contrary, as these ignorant, self-indulgent and obstinate people do?

Enemies of Islam who try to mislead the younger generations profess love of Ahl-i-bayt. If their love of Ahl-i-bayt contained itself within its precincts, if they were not inimical towards the Ashâb-i-kirâm, if they respected the Ashâb-i-kirâm and believed that the wars among the Ashâb-i-kirâm were based on ijtihâd and reflected their unselfish religious zeal, then they would be clear of the anathema that makes them people without a certain Madhhab. For, dislike for the Ahl-i-bayt makes one a Khârijî. Dislike felt towards the Ashâb-i-kirâm means heresy. On the other hand, if you love and respect the Ahl-i-bayt and all the Ashâb-i-kirâm, you are in the group of Ahl as-sunnat. This means to say that to be a person without a certain Madhhab means to feel antipathy towards some of our Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ Ashâb-i-kirâm. And to be a Sunnî Muslim means to protect yourself against this antipathy and love all of them. A person with firm îmân, a sound reasoning and an adequate realization of the greatness of Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ will know that to love is better judgement than being hostile to them. Because he loves our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, he will love each and every one of them. In fact, as we have already stated, it is declared in a hadîth-i-sherîf, “Affection towards them originates from affection towards me. And hostility to them is because of hostility to me.”

It is hard to understand why these people should think that the Sunnî Muslims are inimical towards the Ahl-i-bayt. As we have stated in the previous pages, it is the Sunnî Muslims who say that dying with îmân, (as a Believer, that is,) is dependent on loving the Ahl-i-bayt.

Imâm-i-Rabbânî ‘quddisa sirruh’ states as follows in the thirty-sixth (36) letter: This faqîr’s (my) father was deeply learned in the zâhirî (physical) and bâtinî branches of knowledge. [Bâtin means something pertaining to the heart.] He always advised and encouraged to love the Ahl-i-bayt. He said that affection towards them would be of great help in dying with îmân. This faqîr (I) was with him as he was passing away. As his consciousness of this world grew weaker towards his last breath, I reminded him of his recurrent advice and asked him about the effect of that love. Amidst those difficult moments he had the zeal to say, “I am bathing in an ocean of affection for the Ahl-i-bayt.” I immediately made hamd-u-thenâ (thanks and praise) to Allâhu ta’âlâ. Love of Ahl-i-bayt is a capital for the Ahl as-sunnat. This capital will be the source of all the earnings in the Hereafter. People who do not know the Ahl as-sunnat do not recognize the temperate, equable and true love cherished by these great people and, equating this modest and fair love with antipathy, they lend themselves to an overdose of love. They stigmatize the Ahl as-sunna as Khârijîs. These wretched people do not know that there is a reasonable and moderate type of love between excessive love and absence of love. And the right one is usually the medial and central one. This center of right and justice has devolved on the Ahl as-sunnat. May Allâhu ta’âlâ lavish rewards on those great people for their toil! Âmîn.

It is paradoxical that the people who exterminated the Khawârij and wreaked the Ahl-i-bayt’s vengeance on them were in the group of Ahl as-sunnat. Do they think the Ahl as-sunnat Muslims are Shiites? Do they call those who love the Ahl-i-bayt ‘Shiites’? It is odd of them to call the Ahl as-sunnat ‘Shiites’ when it suits their purposes, and ‘Khawârij’ when it does not. They are so ignorant that when they hear expressions articulating love of Âl-i-Muhammad ‘alaihi wa ’alâ âlihi-s-salâtu wa-s-salâm’ from the Awliyâ among the Ahl as-sunnat, they think that these people are Shiites. As a matter of fact, Ittilâ’ât-i-Hefteghî, a Persian periodical that was issued regularly in Teheran during the Second World War, concocted a number of ridiculous stories in its attempt to prove that most of the Sunnî scholars and Awliyâ, including Sa’dî Shirâzî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, who was a member of the Qâdirî order, were not among the Ahl as-sunnat Muslims. Naturally, it received the answer it deserved: mockery. In fact, as he himself (Sa’dî Shirâzî) stated in his writings, and as it is written in the book Kâmûs-ul-a’lâm, by Shams-ad-dîn Sâmi Bey, he had received a full spiritual degree from Shihâbuddîn Suhrawardî, who in turn had been a disciple educated and graduated with a full spiritual degree by Ghaws-i-a’zam Sayyid Abdulqâdîr Geylânî. In other words, he had acquired his spiritual degree in Tasawwuf from the great luminaries of Ahl as-sunnat. His lifetime, more than four score and ten years, contains a military career in the wars against the crusades.

These ignorant people call some blessed Sunnî scholars ‘Khârijîs’ on the grounds that they prohibit from an excessive and harmful affection for the Ahl-i-bayt ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ and try to establish an all-embracing affection that includes also love of the other three Khalîfas.[18] Shame on these two groups of ignorant people, and shame on them thousands of times! How do they dare make such unsuitable statements? We consign ourselves to Allâhu ta’âlâ’s protection against such excessive and dangerous affection and against the calamity of disaffection.

Excessive and dangerous affection is to say, as they do, that affection for Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ necessitates hostility towards the other three Khalîfas. One must be reasonable and think well; what kind of affection could it be to stipulate hostility towards Rasûlullah’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ Khalîfas, who were his representatives? How could it ever necessitate cursing the Ashâb of the Best of Mankind? ‘alaihi wa âlihi wa ashâbihi-s-salawâtu wa-t-tehiyyât’. They blame the Ahl as-sunnat for synthesizing love of Ahl-i-bayt with respect and deference to Rasûlullah’s Ashâb, for not harbouring ill will towards any one of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ or maligning them on account of the wars and tumults among them, and for knowing all of them as virtuous people whose hearts were free from vices such as jealousy and prejudice. Because the scholars of Ahl as-sunna ‘rahima-humullâhu ta’âlâ’ esteem our master the Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ company and his words highly, they have a very high opinion of the great and valuable people who attained the honour of attending his sohbat (company, togetherness) and hearing the effective words, which were a source of flavour and life for ears and hearts. Yet they distinguish between the right ones and the mistaken ones. They know, however, that the base motives such as worldly ambitions, sensuous desires and bigotry had no business in their mistakes, which were purely based on ijtihâd and re’y. The Ahl as-sunnat Muslims will have to feel animosity, so to speak, against those great religious guides of ours, the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ to win these aberrant people’s approval. The Khârijîs, on the other hand, want you to be inimical towards the Ahl-i-bayt ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’, who are Hadrat Muhammad’s ‘alaihi wa ’alâ âlihi-s-salâtu wa-s-salâm’ household and closest relatives so that they will be pleased with you. Yâ Rabbî (O our Allah)! After You guide us to the right way, protect us from going wrong and deviating from the right way! We will perish if we are left to ourselves. Bless us with Your Mercy from Your endless Treasury of Compassion! You, alone, are the true, magnanimous Benefactor who gives all sorts of goodness to everybody without any return!

As we have explained, according to the scholars of Ahl as-sunnat, the Ashâb-i-kirâm parted into three groups (with respect to ijtihâd). One group had reached the conclusion after their ijtihâd, which was based on authentic documents, that Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was right. The other group, whose ijtihâd also was based on other authentic documents, were of the opinion that the other party was right. The authentic documents whereon the third group’s ijtihâd was based led them to the conclusion that no party had a clearcut ascendancy over the other (with respect to their ijtihâd). Each and every one of these three groups had to act upon their own ijtihâd. Accordingly, the first group had to support Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. By the same token, the second group had to help the other party, as their ijtihâd necessitated to do so. What was correct for the third group to do was not to interfere at all, for it would have been incompatible with their ijtihâd to give preference to one party over the other. Then, all three groups acted upon their own ijtihâd. They did what was necessary and wâjib for them to do. Which one of them can ever be criticized or castigated for that? Imâm-i-Shâfi’î and ’Umar bin ’Abd-ul-’azîz state, “Since Allâhu ta’âlâ has protected us from smearing our hands with their blood, we should protect our tongues from interfering with their business!” This statement shows that it would be wrong for us even to say that one party was right and the other party was wrong. For, a mujtahid will be given a blessing even when he is mistaken; that blessing is for his ijtihâd and painstaking investigation.

When the ijtihâds of two mujtahids disagree with each other, each mujtahid has to consider his own ijtihâd to be right and the other one’s ijtihâd wrong. For instance, bleeding nullifies ablution in the Hanafî Madhhab; yet it does not, in the Shâfi’î Madhhab. Certainly, one of them is correct and the other one is incorrect. However, can there be more than one correct side in the same issue? This is a rather deep and complicated matter. Considering that only one of them is correct, the others should be wrong in the view of Allâhu ta’âlâ; yet Allâhu ta’âlâ gives two to ten blessings to the correct side, and one blessing to the erroneous sides each, in addition to the kindness of forgiving them their error. There are also scholars who say that it is possible for there to be more than one (contradictory but at the same time) correct answers for the same matter. For instance, it was a canonical rule in the dispensation of Âdam ‘alaihis-salâm’ for girls to marry their brothers, which was, inversely, harâm (forbidden) in the dispensations of the prophets ‘alaihim-us-salawâtu wa-t-taslîmât’ who came after him; both of these opposite tenets, however, were the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Since there cannot be mistakes in the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ, both of the commandments are correct. The former was a commandment dictated to Âdam ‘alaihis-salâm’ and his ummat, whereas the latter was an injunction granted to the other prophets and their ummats, and both of them were suitable for the ummats they concerned. What is correct for every mujtahid is his own re’y and ijtihâd. An ijtihâd is right and correct for the Muslims of the Madhhab which it belongs to. Then, there are more than one correct ways. Therefore, a person who follows one of the (four Islamically accepted) Madhhabs cannot claim that the Muslims of the other (three) Madhhabs are in the wrong way or that their ijtihâd, (which makes their Madhhab different from his own,) is a wrong way. As is seen, every mujtahid has to act upon his own ijtihâd. The ultimate divine causes and the ulterior benefits underlying this divine rule are elucidated in a hadîth-i-sherîf, which reads as follows: “My Ummat’s (Muslims’) reaching different conclusions in their ijtihâd ensues from Allâhu ta’âlâ’s extensive compassion,” which points to a vast area of conveniences that Muslims can utilize without having to overstep the bounds of Islam. For instance, if a person in the Hanafî Madhhab has a bleeding that he cannot stop, it will be difficult for him to renew his ablution, which will be continually broken on account of the continual bleeding. He can overcome the difficulty by transferring himself to, or by only imitating, the Shâfi’î Madhhab, (which is based on the ijtihâd, in this respect, that bleeding will not break one’s ablution). By the same token, if a person in the Hanafî Madhhab has his teeth filled or crowned without any darûrat to do so, his ghusl[19] will not be accepted in his Madhhab. This person will absolve himself from the state of canonical uncleanliness (janâbat) by adapting himself, (in matters pertaining to ghusl, ablution and other acts of worship whose acceptability is dependent on ghusl and ablution,) to the Shâfi’î Madhhab, (whose ijtihâd says that washing inside the mouth is not one of the precepts of ghusl). On the other hand, the difficulties encountered in the Shâfi’î Madhhab in matters such as nikâh,[20] talâq, and zakât[21] are surmounted by adapting yourself to the Hanafî Madhhab. Likewise, the dilemmas faced in matters pertaining to water[22] by people in the Hanafî and Shâfi’î Madhhabs are resolved by adopting the conveniences offered in the Mâlikî Madhhab. There are many other examples for the conveniences (to be utilized owing to the existence of [four, as of today,] different Madhhabs). For instance, during a journey, people in the Hanafî Madhhab may adapt themselves to the Shâfi’î Madhhab and perform early and late afternoon prayers, and evening and night prayers, at the same time, respectively. For, when a person in the Hanafî Madhhab performs namâz on a moving ship or train, his namâz becomes nullified if he loses his standing position in the direction of Ka’ba because of the change of directions on the course followed by the ship or train. The teachings offered by the Islamic scholars about the utilization of the other (three) Madhhabs are written at length in the Turkish book Se’âdet-i-ebediyye, (a part of which has been translated into English and published in fascicles under the title Endless Bliss).

It is the greatest blessing of Allâhu ta’âlâ for a person to love the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’, to be attached to them, and to yearn for a life-style imitative of theirs, for they are the most valuable and select group strained out of the entire mankind. Since it is stated, “A person will be with the people he loves,” in a hadîth-i-sherîf, those who love them will be with them, and very close to the positions they occupy in Paradise.

The scholars of Ahl as-sunna ‘rahima-humullâhu ta’âlâ’ have realized by means of the documentary evidences they had obtained that Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was right and that the other party were mistaken in their ijtihâd. In fact, since it was a mistake made in ijtihâd, no one has the right even to make a comment. Then, how can anyone ever say that they were guilty and accursed people? They performed ijtihâd, which was a religious commandment. They exerted themselves and did their best. The conclusion they reached was the truth in their eyes. Their disagreeing with each other was like the disagreements (with respect to some religious practices) among the leaders of the (four) Madhhabs. As we have stated earlier in the text, Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ said, “Our brothers do not agree with us. They are not disbelievers. Nor are they sinful at all. For they have ijtihâds and findings that protect them against disbelief and sinfulness.” Some people traduce those who fought against Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. Scholars, on the other hand, state that Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was right, although they do not fault-findingly comment on the ijtihâd of the other party. They do not censure, or even criticize any one of them. Our master, the Khayr-ul-besher (the Best of Mankind) ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, stated, “Fear Allâhu ta’âlâ if you should say anything about my Ashâb!” He repeated this statement several times in order to stress its importance. At another occasion he stated, “Each of my Ashâb is like a star in the sky. If you follow any one of them, you will attain salvation.” There is a great number of hadîth-i-sherîfs emphasizing the value, the greatness and the highness of each Sahâbî. Then, we should hold all of them as valuable and exalted people, and we should know that all their actions, including those which appear to be mistakes, were the fruits of beautiful intentions. This is the Madhhab of Ahl as-sunnat.

Some people have overstepped the bounds of moderacy in this matter. They say that those who fought against Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ were disbelievers. They do not feel shame at hurling the bitterest invectives at the greatest religious leaders. If their purpose were to state that Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ had been right and the other party had been mistaken, following the way led by the Ahl as-sunnat would suffice for that purpose. They would not have to curse or castigate those great paragons of the religion, which is quite incompatible with Islam. Indeed, the course these people have been pursuing in the name of religion appears to consist in cursing the Ashâb-i-kirâm, the blessed Companions of our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, which is sheer irreligiousness. What kind of a religion can something be if its basic act of worship is to swear at our Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ Khalîfas? Throughout long centuries, several people in the world have fabricated various falsities and swerved from the right way by adhering to heresies. Of all those heretics, no group have equalled Shiites and Khârijîs in their race to get away from Islam. What share from the right way could be considered due to people whose credo is based on a systematic vituperation of Islam’s spiritual élite? This group consists of twelve sub-groups; all of them hold the belief and say that the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ were disbelievers. They mention them with the most offensive and slanderous language. They deem it as an act of worship to curse three of the four Khalîfas. When they learn the hadîth-i-sherîfs admonishing about the torment that be inflicted on such people in Hell, they think that others are meant by such people. Would they know the consequence of the course they have been following and ceased from their attitude; how beautiful it would be if they desisted from their animus towards our master the Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ Ashâb-i-kirâm! Likewise, Christians call themselves ‘Îsawîs’ (followers of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’), while Jews are Mûsawîs (followers of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’) in their own view. Neither group calls itself ‘disbelievers’. Both groups are wrong; they are all disbelievers.

Enmity against the Ashâb-i-kirâm was invented by a Jewish convert named Abdullah bin Saba’. Although it was forgotten in the course of time, Shâh Ismâ’îl Safawî rekindled it and spread it over the world, thus inflicting a gaping wound on the Islamic religion and causing an abyss in the Islamic world. The ancestry of this man, who founded the State of Safawiyya in Iran in 907 [1501 A.D.], can be traced back to Safiy-ad-dîn Ardabilî, his sixth grandfather, a pious Muslim in the (chain of Islamic scholars called) Sôfiyya-i-aliyya, and who had received a full spiritual degree from Muhammad Geylânî. Safiy-ad-dîn’s great grandson, Junayd, was deported from Ardabil by the ruler of the Akkoyunlu State, Mirzâ Jihân Shâh, who had been alarmed by the huge number of his disciples and followers. He came to Diyâr-i-Bakr, in southeastern Turkey, and received asylum from Hasan (the Tall), the ruler of the Karakoyunlu State. Later he married Hasan the Tall’s sister. Also, his son, Khaydar, married Hasan the Tall’s daughter. Shâh Ismâ’îl’s father and later his brother were killed. Afterwards he took revenge for his father, established a government in Tabriz, Iran, and proclaimed overt enmity towards the Ashâb-i-kirâm. In order to mislead Muslims easily, he claimed to be a descendant of Imâm Mûsâ Kâzim ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’, one of the Twelve Imâms. All the Muslims living in Iran up until his time had been Sunnî Muslims. He was a notorious sadist whose cruelties include the spitting and roasting alive of Shirwanshah, whose sole offense was to have been the third ruler of the State of Dirbandîya, to the west of Caspian Sea, because the earlier rulers of that state had exterminated the fitna and fasâd (mischief and instigation) provoked by his father, and his putting all the Sunnî Muslims to the sword when he invaded Tabriz.

Before Shâh Ismâ’îl’s heretical movement, which is the only dirty passage blemishing Islam’s history, not a single word critical of the Ashâb-i-kirâm had been heard from any scholar or teacher or disciple at any lecture or conference in any school or madrasa in any of the Islamic countries. Scholars of the Hanafî Madhhab had not given their approval even for cursing Yazîd. Only, a few people who had been misguided had taken an overrating attitude towards the Ahl-i-bayt ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. Yet they had not said anything incompatible with Islam or Islamic manners about the Sahâba-i-kirâm. In underrating the value of the Ahl-i-bayt, Abbasids were ahead of Umayyads.

Shâh Ismâ’îl, whose reign coincides with that of Yavuz Sultân Selîm Khân ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’, exploited the religion as a means for his political purposes and did his best to mislead Muslims out of the way of Ahl as-sunnat in order to achieve his goals. Sending his men out far and near, he smeared Muslim countries with his heresies. Because the Bektâshî order was in the hands of the ignorant in those days, the heresy easily caught on in the Bektâshî convents. So the convents were closed for the purpose of protecting the country from the nuisance. The remnants of the convents scattered around, found asylum in other convents here and there, and carried on their activities, this time in a clandestine way and in a sporadic frequency. They began to imbue the naive and gullible Anatolian Muslims coming to the convents with the noxious idea that love of the Ahl-i-bayt necessitates enmity towards the Ashâb-i-kirâm. The convent leadership, (wherein the leaders are called shaikhs,) mutated into a legacy that passed from the father on to the son, which in turn meant its mostly being occupied by incompetent, heedless and unlearned people, who were totally unaware of the Sunnî creed and therefore fell easy prey to the dissemination of the corrupt credo. They related false stories reflecting their heretical views and base worldly ambitions and interests in the name of historical accounts of the wars among the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. They distorted the facts and events. They concocted abominable tales. They misinterpreted âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs. In the course of time the ugly credo tunneled its way into all the dervish convents, so that there was almost no dervish convent left unstained with the smudges of the Shiite heresy.

During the entire Umayyad period, except for the times of a few of the Khalîfas such as Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, his grandson Mu’âwiya II, and ’Umar bin Abd-ul-’azîz, the detestable practice of vilifying the Ahl-i-bayt and fabricating lies that were not worthy of their high grades was rife among the Muslims. The Abbasid dynasty, on the other hand, had no members knowledgeable enough to perform ijtihâd, and the candidates for caliphate tried to seize the office only for worldly purposes; this state of affairs offered a misleading example for the time’s historians, so they wrote about the events among the Ashâb-i-kirâm by likening them to those among the Abbasid Khalîfas. Also, they calumniated, blemished and misrepresented the Umayyad Khalîfas.

Perhaps these people identify the Ahl-i-bayt-i-nabawî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ with themselves. They think that those exalted people also were inimical towards Hadrat Abû Bakr and ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’. They imagine their own hypocritical, double-faced persons in their visualization of those great people. They surmise that the widely known friendship between Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and the other three Khalîfas must have been a mere façade to mask some inner political considerations and that his apparent affection and homage towards them must have been insincere and hypocritical. So ambivalent an attitude. If these people loved the Ahl-i-bayt really because they loved Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, they would inevitably feel animosity towards his enemies. In fact, their vituperation of his enemies would necessarily be more acrid than all this scurrility they have been waging against the postulated enemies of the Ahl-i-bayt. No one has heard any one of these people curse or swear at Abû Jahl, who was Rasûlullah’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ arch enemy and who continuously hurt and tormented his blessed body and delicate soul. On the other hand, they do not hesitate to curse and cast the dirtiest aspersions on Abû Bakr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, who was the most beloved companion of the messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and whose great and exalted person attained many a praise in âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs; and this they do only because they suppose he was an enemy of the Ahl-i-bayt. What kind of a religion is it that they have been practising in the name of Islam? May Allah protect us against a belief based on the supposition that Hadrat Abû Bakr and Hadrat ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ were hostile to the Ahl-i-bayt. If these unconscionable people only did not begrime the names of the greatest ones of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ in the maledictions they have been pronouncing against the enemies of the Ahl-i-bayt, there would be no difference between them and the Ahl as-sunnat Muslims, who, too, feel animosity towards the enemies of the Ahl-i-bayt and say that they are evil and base people. Another thing that makes the Ahl as-sunnat Muslims good people is that they have not given their sanction to those who will curse in name a certain disbeliever or villain, with the hope that the person concerned may have become a Muslim or made tawba, although they approve of a condemnation directed towards disbelievers en masse. The few disbelievers they curse in name are the ones who are certainly known to have died as unbelievers, -may Allah protect us against such a destiny! These people, on the other hand, do not feel shame to curse Hadrat Abû Bakr and Hadrat ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhuma’. They speak ill of the greater ones of the Ashâb-i-kirâm. May Allâhu ta’âlâ guide them to the right way!

They differ from the Ahl as-sunnat Muslims in the following two important points:

1– The first difference is that the Ahl as-sunnat Muslims say that all four Khalîfas were rightly-guided and their caliphates were rightful. For, our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated, “After me, there will be a thirty-year period of caliphate.” This is one of the hadîth-i-sherîfs foretelling about future events. The thirty-year period was over by the end of the caliphate of Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. This hadîth-i-sherîf refers to the (first) four Khalîfas whose caliphates were in correct order. These people, by contrast, do not believe in the righteousness of the caliphates of the (first) three Khalîfas. They say, “The first three caliphates were obtained by force. No one but Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ had the right to become Khalîfa. Hadrat Alî’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ homage and obedience to the other three Khalîfas were a requirement of (the dissimulative policy called) taqiyya, which means that he had to do so, though unwillingly.” These words of theirs show that they think that the Ashâb of the Best of Mankind behaved mendaciously and hypocritically towards one another. According to these people, “Those who loved Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and the ones who were against him pretended to have sympathy for one another for years, they hid the antipathy in their hearts, and they dissembled their enmity by acting friendly.” According to them, all the Ashâb-i-kirâm, who were educated and matured in the blessed sohbat of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, were “deceitful, mendacious and double-faced people. They hid what really was in their hearts and dissembled affection, which their hearts did not feel at all.” Accordingly, they must have been “the worst of this Ummat (Muslims),” and Rasûlullah’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ sohbat must have been “the worst of all the sohbats and lessons,” since the wickednesses imputed to them would have been communicated by him. According to these people, the era of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ must have been “the worst era,” since it is allegedly an era wherein “animus, vengeance and hypocrisy prevailed.” However, Allâhu ta’âlâ declares, as is purported in the Fat-h sûra of the Qur’ân al-kerîm: “They are always compassionate towards one another.” May Allâhu ta’âlâ protect us against such heretical beliefs!

If the predecessors of this Ummat had all the so-called wickednesses, could their successors have anything in the name of goodness? Have these people not seen or heard of the âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs telling about the superiority attained by attending the sohbat of our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and about the goodness and value of this Ummat? Or do they not believe them although they have heard of them? It is those great people who taught us the Qur’ân al-kerîm and hadîth-i-sherîfs. If the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ were wicked people, wouldn’t something learned from them be wicked, too? Is their real purpose under the cloak to undermine the religious faith and thereby to destroy Islam? Pretending to love the Ahl-i-bayt, they are trying to annihilate Islam. If they only spared some value at least for the ones who had loved Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and exempted them from the shame of hypocrisy that they impute to them all! If the Ashâb-i-kirâm, some of whom, they allege, loved Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and the others did not, had pretended to get along together and hidden the alleged vices of mendacity, grudge and hypocrisy, how could they ever have had any goodness at all? How could their words ever be believable? They speak ill of Abû Hurayra ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and swear at him. They are unaware of the fact that to censure him means to censure half of Islam’s teachings. As is stated by our superiors who have attained the grade of ijtihâd in religious scholarship, there are three thousand hadîth-i-sherîfs communicating Islam’s teachings. In other words, three thousand Islamic rules, (termed ahkâm-i-shar’iyya,) have been conveyed by way of sunnat. Fifteen hundred of these three thousand hadîth-i-sherîfs have been reported on the authority of Abû Hurayra. Then, to vilify him means to vilify half of the ahkâm-i-shar’iyya. Imâm-i-Muhammad bin Ismâ’îl Bukhârî states that more than eight hundred people reported hadîth-i-sherîfs that they had heard from Abû Hurayra ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. Each and every one of those eight hundred people was either a Sahabî or a Tâbi’. Four of them are Abdullah bin Abbâs; Abdullah bin ’Umar; Jâbir bin Abdullah; and Enes bin Mâlik ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum ajma’în’. The statement censuring Abû Hurayra ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, which these aberrant people report, is not a hadîth-i-sherîf. It is a mere concoction. On the contrary, the hadîth-i-sherîf praising him for his deep learning and his broad comprehensive capacity is (among those most authentic groups of hadîth-i-sherîf termed) mashhûr[23]. First, imagine such a great person guilty of hostility towards Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, and then, hurl a torrent of invectives against him as a form of punishment; what a rank injustice! This aberration is consequent upon an overdose of sympathy. It may cost them their îmân. Their allegation also bears the construction that Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ “pursued the two-faced policy of tacit consent.” How will they explain away the praises he lavished on the Shaikhayn, i.e. Hadrat Abû Bakr and ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’? What will they do in the face of his statements, which he made in the presence of several people during his caliphate and which emphasized the previous three Khalîfas’, (i.e. Hadrat Abû Bakr’s, Hadrat ’Umar’s and Hadrat ’Uthmân’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’,) eligibility for the office? In fact, if they answer that he deliberately did not say that caliphate had been his right or that the previous three Khalîfas had occupied the office unjustly, then what compelled him to emphasize their eligibility for the office and to acknowledge their superiority to him? Furthermore, how will they construe the hadîth-i-sherîfs telling about the superiority of the first three Khalîfas, and what other construction will they suggest about the hadîth-i-sherîfs giving the good news of Paradise to other Sahâbîs? As a matter of fact, they cannot permissibly say that our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ was also two-faced. Prophets have to state the facts. And even furthermore, what will they say about the âyat-i-kerîmas praising those great people? Will they blame Allâhu ta’âlâ, too?

Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the Qur’ân al-kerîm, as is purported in the sûras Tawba, Mâida, Mujâdala, and Bayyina, “We are pleased with all their doings. And each and every one of them is pleased with Allâhu ta’âlâ.” That means to say that they both loved and were loved.

It is purported in the sûras A’raf and Hijr, “We, ’azîm-ush-shân, have removed ghil and ghish from their hearts.” It means, “We have exterminated such vices as grudge, treachery and animus towards one another in their hearts.” That means to say that no Sahâbî could possibly have harboured any jealousy or any grudge against any other Sahâbî. These vices had already been uprooted and thrown away from their hearts. All of them had attained (the grade called) Haqq-ul-yaqîn. The wars and struggles among them were based on ijtihâd. Since every one of them had to act upon his own ijtihâd, none of them can be blamed.

Jenâb-i-Haqq (Allâhu ta’âlâ) declares to His Rasûl-i-ekrem (the Prophet) ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, as is purported in the Anfâl sûra, “Allâhu ta’âlâ and those Believers who adapt themselves to you will suffice for you.” At that time the number of the Ashâb-i-kirâm was quite small. A careful reflexion on the meaning of the âyat-i-kerîma will reveal the greatness and highness of the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. Accordingly, each and every one of them would have been of adequate help in the Sarwar-i-’âlam’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ task of propagating the Islamic religion over the world. Allâhu ta’âlâ places their name beside His Own Name, and declares, “I am sufficient for you, and these people will serve as the manifestation of My sufficiency. In appearance, they will be sufficient for you, and you will need no one else.”

Jenâb-i-Haqq declares, as is purported in the sûra of Fat-h, “Allâhu ta’âlâ is pleased with those Believers who have paid homage to you, [that is, who have promised that they will do all your commandments unconditionally,] under the tree.” Those people were the Sahâba-i-kirâm. And He adds, “And He gives them Sekîna, [i.e. serenity and firmness to their hearts,] and He knows their love, sidq (faithfullness) and ikhlâs (true attachment) to you, and He blesses them with the good news that He will reward them with a fat-h (conquest) and a victory which is very close.” This âyat-i-kerîma points to the promise made under a tree called Sidra, or Sumra, at the peace agreement of Hudaybiya. As is seen, it is stated (in the Qur’ân al-kerîm) that each and every one of the Sahâba ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ had attained ridâ-i-ilâhî (love and approval of Allâhu ta’âlâ), that their hearts were pure and true and blessed with Sekina, and that they would be rewarded with Fat-h-i-qarîb (conquest which is very close); all these blessings clearly testify about the greatness of their grade and honour.

Another âyat-i-kerîma of Fat-h sûra purports, “Those who have made homage to you, i.e. those who have promised with solemn resolution that they will keep you company in your Holy Wars and Jihâd and in your endeavours to propagate the Islamic religion, to admonish My slaves and to guide them to the right way; they have made mubâye’a (a covenent) with Allah jalla shânuhû.”

Another âyat-i-kerîma purports, “They love Allâhu ta’âlâ. And Allâhu ta’âlâ loves them, too.” As is seen, all the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ had attained a grade where one loves Allâhu ta’âlâ and is loved by Him.

It is purported in Tawba sûra, “Allâhu ta’âlâ is pleased with the inhabitants of Mekka-i-mukarrama, who have been called Muhâjirîn, with the inhabitants of Medîna-i-munawwara, who have been called Ansâr, and with those who follow them in goodness. And they, too, are pleased with Allâhu ta’âlâ.” Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was one of the great ones and notables of the Sahâba who lived in Mekka-i-mukarrama.

The sublime meaning of the seventy-second âyat of Anfâl sûra is: “All these people have furnished a dwelling for the Prophet ‘alaihis-salâtu wa-s-salâm’ among themselves and helped and supported him in his spreading the Islamic religion.” As Imâm Mâlik ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ stated, during the conquest of Damascus, the Damascene Christians acknowledged, “The Ashâb (Companions) of your Prophet are better than our Apostles. For, their names are mentioned and they are praised in the Torah and in the Gospels.”

Imâm Mâlik ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ took the above âyat-i-kerîma of the sûra-i-Fat-h as a basis for his conclusion that those who disliked the Ashâb-i-kirâm would become disbelievers. Imâm Shâfi’î ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ also reached the same conclusion.

As these âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs show, Allâhu ta’âlâ and His Messenger ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ recognized all the Ashâb-i-kirâm as ’âdil (just, pious, righteous) people. When a group of people are good in the view of Allâhu ta’âlâ and in the eyes of His Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, what could be the importance of others’ not recognizing them as good people, and how could it ever harm the fact that they are good people? Supposing that the Sahâba-i-kirâm were not praised in âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs, certain facts about them, e.g. that they supported Islam and helped our master the Prophet ‘alaihis-salâtu wassalâm’ at the sacrifice of their property, lives, parents and children and the firmness of their îmân, would suffice to show clearly that they all were ’âdil Muslims, and we would still have to know them as such. This is the Madhhab held by the scholars of Ahl as-sunnat.

So many are the hadîth-i-sherîfs stating the great virtues, the high grades, the honours and the ranks of the Sahâba-i-kirâm that it is impossible to cite them one by one. The hadîth-i-sherîfs stated about all of them would make up huge volumes of books. Let us state some of them:

Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated:

All my Ashâb are luminous like stars, both as a community and individually. If you adapt yourself to any one of them and follow the way he guides, you will attain love of Allâhu ta’âlâ, which is the true salvation, perfection and felicity for the human race.” It is for this reason that our religious leaders, the Islamic superiors, adopted the statements, the behaviours and the actions of each of the Sahâba-i-kirâm as documents and exemplary models. What our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ means in this hadîth-i-sherîf is this: “If you recognize any one of my Ashâb as the imâm (leader) of your Madhhab, adapt yourself to his guidance, act upon his ra’y and ijtihâd, and follow the way he guides, then you will be following the right way.” Hence, they were all mujtahids. Each and every one of them had attained the knowledge, the high grade, the perfection and luminosity of heart that would enable them to extract from âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs those religious teachings that had not been explained with overt clarity in âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs. It is for this reason that, whenever the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ was to send his Sahâbîs abroad on the mission of teaching Islam to other people, -in fact, many Sahâbîs were sent overseas for the same purpose-, he would usually give them the following advice: “You will most probably encounter new events and situations for which you will not find overtly explained solutions in the Qur’ân al-kerîm or in the hadîth-i-sherîfs. First, minutely study the âyat-i-kerîmas (that you want to utilize to extract solutions for the questions and problems you encounter), taking into consideration all their aspects such as their delâlat (denotations, significations, connotations), ishârat (indications, signs), rumûz (symbols, ciphers), ifâda (phraseology, expression), the affirmative and contradictory meanings they convey, and the obligations that their commandments include, and then act upon the rules you will extract, telling other people to follow your example!” This is the duty of mujtahids. He likened each of the Sahâba-i-kirâm to a star, for people who have lost their ways out in the open seas, in mountains, on hills and in dales, in wildernesses and deserts, and people who need to know the direction of qibla or other directions find their way owing to stars and their light. After the time of happiness, (i.e. the time of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’,) the Khulafâ-ir-râshidîn (the earliest four Khalîfas, namely, Abû Bakr, ’Umar, ’Uthmân, and Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum ajma’în’) and all the other Sahâbîs knew one another as mujtahids. None of them said that the others’ ijtihâds were wrong. Likewise, most of the Tâbi’în-i-kirâm attained the grade of ijtihâd owing to the education and training they received in the sohbats and lessons of the Ashâb-i-kirâm. By the same token, their sohbats and lessons raised some of their successors, the Taba’i tâbi’în, to the grade of ijtihad. Imâm-i-a’zam Abû Hanîfa, Imâm Mâlik, Imâm Shâfi’î, Imâm Ahmad bin Hanbal, Imâm Awzâî, Sufyân-i-Sawrî, Sufyân bin Uyayna, and Dâwûd-i-Tâi were only a few of them. Their number became lower and lower in the course of time, so that by the end of the third (Islamic) century scholars knowledgeable enough to fulfil the requirements for performing ijtihâd could no longer be raised. Meanwhile, the Madhhabs of most of the earlier mujtahids were forgotten, and only four of them survived; they are today’s four valid Madhhabs; the names of their leaders (imâms) were Imâm-i-a’zam, Imâm Shâfi’î, Imâm Mâlik, and Imâm Ahmad bin Hanbal ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’. After them, no one has attained the rank and grade (of ijtihâd). Therefore, today’s Muslims have only four choices of Madhhabs; they have to adopt only one of them.

May Allâhu ta’âlâ bless people who do not believe in the Madhhabs with discernment sound enough to see the facts in the face of the âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs of which we have paraphrased only a few! Everybody knows that hypocrisy is a sign of villainy. Can a Sahâbî ever be said to have been a hypocrite, especially if he was (Hadrat Alî, whose nickname was) Lion of Allah, who was among the greatest ones? It would not be something anomalous for them to say that he kept the truth secret for a couple of days for some social or other reasons. Yet it would be a vicious and ignoble slander against the Lion of Allah to impute to him a thirty-year-long quiescence that could have been indicative of treacherous motives and to say that he lived in hypocrisy for such a long time. It is said (by scholars) that venial sins develop into grave sins when they are committed continuously. One should imagine the gravity of committing continuously for thirty years a sin that is symptomatic of wicked and hypocritical motives. If they had been aware of the monstrosity of their allegation and admitted the superiority of the Shaikhayn (Hadrat Abû Bakr and Hadrat ’Umar), they would have been saved from that awkward situation of having so perfidiously debased the blessed name of Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’. This would have been the milder one of the two vexatious choices in their view. Another point we would like to stress is that acknowledging the superiority of the Shaikhayn would by no means connote an intention to disparage Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’ or to deny his caliphate. Nor would it in the least mar his high grade in Wilâyat or his ranks of hidâyat and irshâd. In contrast, their allegation that he followed a two-faced policy strips him of all these virtues and honours. For, two-faced behaviour goes only with hypocrites, with liars and swindlers, who are the basest people.

It had been foretold in hadîth-i-sherîfs that the Shaikhayn (Hadrat Abû Bakr and Hadrat ’Umar) would take the office of caliphate, and even that their graves would be beside that of Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Those who are interested in the hadîth-i-sherîfs uttered in praise of Abû Bakr as-Siddîq and ’Umar-abnil-Khattâb and ’Uthmân-abnil-Affân and Alî-y-ibni-Abî Tâlib ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’; I recommend that they read the Turkish book Manâqib-i-chihâr Yâr-i-ghuzîn, which was printed in Istanbul in the hijrî years twelve sixty-four (1264) and thirteen twenty-five (1325).

The Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ states about Abû Bakr as-Siddîq ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ as follows: “With the exception of prophets ‘alaihim-us-salawâtu wa-s-salâm’, the sun has not risen or set over a person superior to Abû Bakr. He states in another hadîth-i-sherîf, “I have poured into Abû Bakr’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ chest all the knowledge that Allâhu ta’âlâ poured into my chest.”

The Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ states as follows in one of the hadîth-i-sherîfs in praise of ’Umar-abnil-Khattâb ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’: “If another prophet were to come after me ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ would be (that) prophet.” Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ asked Jebrâîl (the Archangel Gabriel) about the grade of Hadrat ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. “(The Angel) Jebrâîl as I am, were I to state all the virtues and perfections that ’Umar is endued with, beginning to recount them one by one by the time when the universe was created, I would not have completed my account of them at the time of Doomsday,” was the Angel’s answer. However, all the superiorities of Hadrat ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ would add up to only one of the superiorities that Abû Bakr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was graced with.

It is stated as follows in one of the hadîth-i-sherîfs praising Imâm ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’: “Every prophet has a companion in Paradise. ’Uthmân will be my companion there.” It is stated as follows in one of the hadîth-i-sherîfs uttered to describe the high grade of Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’: “Alî’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ closeness to me is identical with the closeness of the prophet Hârûn (Aaron) to Mûsâ (Moses) ‘alaihis-salâm’.” Hârûn ‘alaihis-salâm’ was Mûsâ’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ brother, vizier, and assistant. That the people who deny the Madhhabs have misinterpreted and distorted these hadîth-i-sherîfs is explained in the book Documents of the Right Word, which also provides the answers they deserve. Imâm Ahmad ibn Hanbal states that no other Sahâbî has the number of hadîth-i-sherîfs uttered about him equal to that of the hadîth-i-sherîfs uttered about Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’.

2– The second difference is that the Ahl as-sunnat Muslims state that the wars among the Ashâb-i-kirâm were intended not for worldly gains but for the establishment of truth. They know that all the Ashâb-i-kirâm were far from vices such as grudge and animus. For, all the Ashâb-i-kirâm had attained perfect purity owing to the sohbat and guidance of the Best of Mankind, and vices such as grudge and animus had been extirpated from their hearts. Each and every one of them had attained the grade of ijtihâd. Since every mujtahid had to act upon his own ijtihâd and finding, they would necessarily disagree on points whereon their ijtihâds turned out differently, and it would be correct for every one of them to follow his own ijtihâd. Then, their disagreements as well as their agreements were correct. Their disagreements did not stem from their sensuous desires and ambitions or from their nafs-i-ammâra. They were the natural fruits of differing ijtihâds.

Ijtihâd means to bring a covert (Islamic) commandment to light by comparing the unclearly stated commandments to those which are stated clearly. This work is commanded in the âyat-i-kerîmas reading as, “Fa’tabirû...” and “Was’alû ahl-az-zikri... .” These âyat-i-kerîmas purport to “Apply all your physical, mental and spiritual energy to derive Islamic rules by comparing matters that do not exist in the Qur’ân al-kerîm or in the hadîth-i-sherîfs to those which these sources contain.”

It is stated as follows in the book Mîzân: There are quite a number of âyat-i-kerîmas commanding the work of ijtihâd. The blessed meaning of the forty-fourth âyat-i-kerîma of the Nahl sûra is, “So that you should explain what We have revealed to thee....” And the blessed meaning of the fifty-ninth âyat-i-kerîma of Nisâ sûra is, “Consult to the Book of Allah and to the hadîths of the Messenger!” This âyat-i-kerîma commands to perform ijtihâd.

Of the disciples of Imâm a’zam Abû Hanîfa, the most eminent ones of those who had attained the grade of ijtihâd were Imâm Abû Yûsuf, Imâm Muhammad, Imâm Zufar, and Ibn Nujaym ‘rahima humullâhu ta’âlâ’. They disagreed with Imâm a’zam only in a few matters. They acted upon their own ijtihâds in those matters. For it was farz (fard) for them to act upon their own ijtihâds in those matters, and they were not permitted to follow Imâm a’zam’s re’y and ijtihâd.

By the same token, each and every one of the Sahâba-i-kirâm was a mujtahid in every sense of the word, and therefore it was farz for them to act upon their own re’y and ijtihâd in matters that were not clearly stated in âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs. So they did not adapt themselves to the re’y and ijtihâd of those Sahâbîs who, they knew, were superior to them. For this reason, throughout the lifetime of the Sarwar-i-’âlâm ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and also during the caliphates of the Khulafâ-ir-râshidîn (the four earliest Khalîfas, namely Abû Bakr, ’Umar, ’Uthmân, and Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum ajma’în’), those blessed Sahâbîs who were sent out to distant countries on the mission of teaching Islam would be told to make qiyâs (analogy, comparison) in matters without clear explanations in âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs. For instance, when the Most Honourable of the entire creation assigned Mu’âz bin Jabal ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ as the governor of Yemen, he questioned him, “What will be the basis of your decisions and orders there?” “I shall act upon the Book of Allâhu ta’âlâ,” was the latter’s answer. Then the blessed Prophet proceeded, “What will you do when (you encounter matters whose solutions) you cannot find in the Qur’ân al-kerîm?” This time, Mu’âz bin Jabal was ready with the answer, “I shall adopt the hadîth-i-sherîfs of the Prophet of Allâhu ta’âlâ ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ as the guiding principles and laws whereon to base my decisions, and act upon his statements, manners and behaviours.” The Best of Mankind pressed on, “What will you do if you cannot find a clear answer among Rasûlullah’s utterances, either?” The reply was, “I shall act upon my own ijtihâd without going beyond the area drawn by âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs.” When the Rasûl-i-ekrem ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ heard these answers, he paid hamd and thanks to Allâhu ta’âlâ for the knowledgeability and greatness Mu’âz bin Jabal ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was endued with. This event is written in books on the branch termed Usûl-i-fiqh, in Menâr and in its annotation Ibn Melek ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’.

A group of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ fought against Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum’ because their ijtihâd differed from his ijtihâd. Shiites call those people ‘disbelievers’. They curse them with all sorts of abominable invectives because those people fought. Yet the fact is that the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ had had ijtihâds different from that of our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ in several matters whose solutions required ijtihâd. They had not been blamed for those different ijtihâds of theirs. Nor had they been told to recant their ijtihâds by the angel who had brought down the Wahy afterwards.

Then, can those who disagreed with Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ in ijtihâd ever be called ‘disbelievers’? Can the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ ever be blamed for this? Quite a number of Muslims disagreed with him in ijtihâd. And they were mostly the greater ones of the Ashâb-i-kirâm; in fact, some of them had been blessed with the good news that they would go to Paradise. It is not something easy to call them ‘disbelievers’ or even to criticize them. It was these great people who conveyed to us half of the Islamic religion. Wouldn’t aspersions cast on them be destructive of half of the religion? How can these great people ever be spoken ill of despite the fact that no Islamic scholar has refused a single hadîth-i-sherîf quoted by any one of them? All the hadîth-i-sherîfs they communicated have been accepted by all the learned Muslims regardless of their rank positions and branches in the Islamic sciences. The second most authentic Islamic book after the Qur’ân al-kerîm is (the book entitled) Bukhârî-i-sherîf. Shiites believe so, too. This faqîr, [i.e. Imâm-i-Rabbânî himself,] heard Ahmad Tabtî, an eminent Shiite scholar, acknowledge the fact that after the Kitâbullah (the Book of Allah, the Qur’ân al-kerîm) Bukhârî is the second most authentic book. That book contains hadîth-i-sherîfs conveyed by those (of the Ashâb-i-kirâm) who did not follow Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ as well as by those who followed him. The wars among them did not by any means damage their justice and rectitude. The book quotes hadîth-i-sherîfs on the authority of Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ as well as those on the authority of Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. Had there been any obscurities or blameworthy aspects about Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ or his quotations, the blessed compiler (of the book Bukhârî-i-sherîf) would not have written in his book any hadîth-i-sherîfs on the authority of him. The early Islamic scholars and the experts of hadîth always did so, i.e. they fully trusted in the authenticity of all the hadîth-i-sherîfs conveyed by all the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ and, holding the disagreements that had taken place among them above themselves, they indiscriminately wrote in their books all the hadîth-i-sherîf conveyed by all of them. Having disagreed with Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ (on the part of the Sahâba) was not a sin or a fault in their view. It must be known well that Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was not necessarily right in all the (other) matters whereon he disagreed with the others. Nor were those who disagreed with him always wrong. It is true that he was right in (the disagreements that were fomented into) the so-called wars. Yet this does not mean that he must have been always right. In fact, it was by no means a rare event that the greater ones of the Tâbi’în and the religious leaders did not follow him and acted upon their own ijtihâds. If the right had always been on his side, no one would have disagreed with his ijtihâd. For instance, Qâdî Shurayh ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, one of the greater ones of the Tâbi’în and an upper-class mujtahid, did not base his judgement on his ijtihâd and refused Imâm Hasan’s testimony. Other mujtahids also followed Qâdî Shurayh’s example and did not accept sons as witnesses for their fathers. In many other occasions, ijtihâds disagreeing with that of the exalted Imâm (Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’) were preferred. Our conscientious readers are quite aware of these facts. Then, it is not something sinful to have disagreed with Hadrat Alî’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ ijtihâd. Nor is it permissible to censure those who did so.

Âisha-i-Siddîqa ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ was the darling of Allâhu ta’âlâ’s darling. She was so beloved to our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ that he would always have her with him. He passed away in her room, in her bed, and with his blessed head on her lap. He was buried in her musk-smelling room, and he has been there ever since. Aside from all these superiorities and values, she was a great scholar and a mujtahid. Our master the Prophet ‘alaihis-salâtu wassalâm’ had left to her the task of teaching others half of the religion. Whenever the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ encountered a puzzling question, they would come to her, ask her and learn the answer from her. It is something incompatible with Islam to criticize and cast abominable aspersions on such an exalted and blessed person, who had attained the highest honours such as Siddîqa and Mujtahida, only because she did not agree with the Emîr [Alî] ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. A person who believes our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ will not utter such words. As Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was our Prophet’s sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ son-in-law and paternal first cousin, likewise Âisha ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ was his zawja-i-mutahhara (one of his pure wives), and a most beloved one, too.

Until a couple of years ago, whenever this faqîr [Imâm-i-Rabbânî means himself] gave food to miskîns (very poor Muslims), I had been making my niyyat (intention for a certain act of worship, e.g. charity) to (present the blessings earned by means of the charitable act to) the souls of the Ahl-i-abâ. In other words, I used to send the blessings to the souls of Alî, Fâtima, Hasan and Husayn ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’ as well as to the soul of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. One night I had a dream. In the dream, I saw the Fakhr-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and made salâm to him. He would not take my salâm, and turned his face away from me, stating, “I ate my meals in Âisha’s house. Those who wanted to send me food would send it to Âisha’s house.” I realized that the blessed Prophet’s turning his face away from me was because I had not added Hadrat Âisha’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ name to the blessings that I had been pronouncing on the souls of the aforesaid blessed people after distributing food (to poor Muslims). From then on, I have added Hadrat Âisha, and even all the Zawjât-i-mutahhara (the blessed wives of the Prophet) into my niyyat. Ever since, I have been adding the names of all the Ahl-i-bayt ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ into my prayers. For, those people, too, (i.e. the Zawjât-i-mutahhara,) were among the Ahl-i-bayt. Then, distress caused to Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ through (something done against) Hadrat Âisha-i-Siddîqa would be deeper than that caused through Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’. Any person with common sense and reason will know this fact well. Indeed, these words of ours are intended for those who love and respect Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ because they love and respect our master, the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. If a person loves him directly, without the sake of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ in between, then we have no words to say to him; he will not take advice. His purpose is to demolish Islam and to defile Islam’s tenets.

These people want to eliminate Muhammad ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, to establish a new religion without him, to love and attach themselves directly to Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’. As a matter of fact, the annals of humanity teem with depictions of tyrants and dictators with a number of idiotic lackeys and hangers-on around them toadying and trying to ingratiate themselves with the hope of worldly advantages. All those flatterers, and the people they lackeyed to and made partners to our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and even to the Creator, Allâhu ta’âlâ, in greatness, tumbled down, their bodies rotting, putrefying, and degenerating into noisome sights. Their dirty souls went straight to Hell, the place of torment and retribution for the unrestrained life they had led in the world and for the insults they had flung at Islam. They saw that they had been wrong.

It is an act of disbelief, aberration and heresy to turn away from Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ and to hold someone else above him and more beloved than him. Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ hates people who do so. All the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’, including Hadrat ’Uthmân and Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’, are loved for the sake and love of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. For, it is stated (in a hadîth-i-sherîf), “He who loves them, does so because he loves me. And their enemy, is so because he is my enemy.”

Talha and Zubayr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ were two of the greatest Sahâbîs and were also among the (people who were blessed with the good news that their destination was Paradise and who have been called) Ashara-i-mubashshara. How can one ever censure them despite the fact that they were given the good news that they would go to Paradise? To curse them means to curse yourself. As ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was about to pass away, he nominated six people he thought eligible for caliphate and recommended that one of them be chosen for the office. He himself could not make a choice among those six people. Two of those six great people were Talha and Zubayr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’. Both of them relinquished their right of candidature in favour of the other four. Talha ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was the kind of person who sacrificed and slew his own father on account of his impudent behaviour towards the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Allâhu ta’âlâ praises him for that behaviour in the Qur’ân al-kerîm. As for Zubayr (radiy-Allâhu ’anh’; the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ reports that his murderer is in Hell. Those who censure and curse him are no less wicked than his murderer. Both of them are among the greatest Islamic luminaries and are very much beloved of all Muslims.

How could one ever find justification for belittling the Ashâb-i-kirâm in the face of the fact that they worked night and day and beyond the limits of human energy in their championship of the cause of Islam and in their enthusiasm to support the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’? They sacrificed their property in the way of Allâhu ta’âlâ. They left their relatives, families, children, homes, houses, streams, fields and trees for the love of Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. They gave priority to his blessed body over their own, and to love of him over their affection for their property and progeny. They are the people who attained the honour of having kept company with the Best of Mankind, whose sohbat, i.e. company, togetherness, embellished them with such blessings and high grades as have never fallen to others’ lot. They eye-witnessed miracles and wonders. They observed blessings and pieces of knowledge which others have never had the chance to know of. They were endued with such purity of heart and spiritual maturity as no one after them has ever been given. Mountains of gold others paid in the name of charity would not deserve even half the next-worldly blessings and rewards that those most fortunate people earned by giving a handful of barley as alms. Allâhu ta’âlâ praises them as follows in the Qur’ân al-kerîm: “I am pleased with them. And they, in turn, are pleased with Me.” People who nurse a grudge and enmity towards them are described as “kâfirûn (disbelievers, unbelievers),” at the end of Sûra-i-Fat-h. Then, enmity towards them should be avoided with the same dread as one would feel towards becoming an unbeliever. The excessive affection which those blessed people felt towards the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ made them beloved to him. They cannot be criticized for having disagreed on some matters and having acted upon their own ijtihâd. Their disagreement was intended to find the truth and (to obey the commandment telling each and every one of them to act upon his own ijtihâd and) not to adopt someone else’s ijtihâd. By the same token, it would have been wrong for Imâm Abû Yûsuf to have followed Imâm a’zam Abû Hanîfa, (who was his teacher) ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’, after having attained the grade of ijtihâd. It was correct of him to follow his own ra’y. Imâm Shâfi’î ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’ would follow his own ra’y instead of adopting the ijtihâds of the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. He always considered it the right way to make a judgement in accordance to his own ra’y and not to follow any Sahâbî’s ijtihâd, regardless of who the Sahâbî was and how great he was, including the Siddîq-i-a’zam (Hadrat Abû Bakr) and Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’. Since it was possible and permissible for any mujtahid not to adopt the words (ijtihâds) of a Sahâbî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, why should the Sahâba-i-kirâm be held culpable for having disagreed on matters of ijtihâd or for having discussed those matters among themselves? From time to time, the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’ did disagree with the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ on some matters (whose solutions necessitated the onerous job) of ijtihâd, and they were not condemned, reprehended or criticized for having disagreed with our master ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’; nor were they prohibited from doing so. If Allâhu ta’âlâ had been displeased with those disagreements on the part of the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’, certainly He would have prohibited them from doing so and would have declared that He would torment those who were responsible for the disagreements. As a matter of fact, He warned and reprehended some of them for talking loud with the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’.

For the same matter, when the blessed Prophet consulted with the Sahâba-i-kirâm about what they should do with the prisoners captivated in the Holy War of Bedr, they offered differing opinions. ’Umar-ul-Fârûq and Sa’d ibn Mu’âz ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ were of the opinion that the captives should be killed. The other Sahâbîs ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’ said, “Let’s demand a ransom for their release.” The Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ accepted the second opinion and set the captives free. Upon this an âyat-i-kerîma was revealed to state that the first opinion would have been correct.

Realizing the greatness of the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ and what the Madhhabs are, requires knowing well what ijtihâd is.

Do not take pride in your property;
Nor at all say, “There is none else like me!”
It takes an adverse wind to winnow away all that’s yours,
Rendering an abandoned chaff of thee.



‘Ijtihâd’ means ‘to endeavour hard, to exert oneself, and to work as hard as one can’. The purpose in performing ijtihâd is to work hard and to try to derive new rules from the Qur’ân al-kerîm by analogy, i.e. by comparing the âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs with hidden meanings to overtly stated ones. For instance, the blessed meaning of the âyat-i-kerîma commanding to obey your parents is, “Do not say, ‘Fie on you’, to them!” No mention is made to battery or invective. Since the exclamation “Fie on you,” which is by far milder than these forms of maltreatment, is expressed literally, mujtahids have deduced by ijtihâd that it must certainly be harâm (forbidden) to beat or curse or insult one’s parents. Likewise, the Qur’ân al-kerîm literally prohibits consumption of wine, without naming the other hard drinks. The reason for the prohibition of wine is that it blurs one’s mind and suspends one’s mental activities, as is understood from the (Arabic) expression used in the âyat-i-kerîma.[24] Hence, mujtahids have deduced by way of ijtihâd that all sorts of drinks carrying the features that cause wine to be forbidden must be forbidden as well; so they have stated that all sorts of intoxicants are harâm. Allâhu ta’âlâ commands to ‘do ijtihâd’ in the Qur’ân al-kerîm. It is understood from various âyat-i-kerîmas that scholars of high grade and profound knowledge have been enjoined that they should perform ijtihâd. Then, ijtihâd is (an Islamic commandment called) farz enjoined on people in possession of full authority, eligibility and expertise, i.e. those who have the ability and capacity to understand the rules and matters hidden in the âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs whose meanings cannot be understood clearly, by way of analogy, deduction and induction from their significations, tenors of discourse and denotations.

Being worthy of the grade of ijtihâd requires a number of conditions and qualifications to be fulfilled. First of all, it is necessary to have full knowledge of the higher linguistic and literary branches of the Arabic language in addition to a perfect commitment of the entire Qur’ân al-kerîm to memory; to know the ma’nâ-i-murâdî (the intended meaning), the ma’nâ-i-ishârî (the denotative meaning), the ma’nâ-i-zimnî (the implied meaning), the ma’nâ-i-iltizâmî (the preferential meaning) of âyat-i-kerîmas; to know when and for what reason and about what each âyat-i-kerîma was revealed and whether it is kullî (general) or juz’î (special, particular), nâsikh (abrogating) or mansûkh (abrogated), muqayyad (limited) or mutlaq (absolute, unrestrained), in addition to many other facts about them; to know how they were derived from the qirâ’at-i-sab’a and qirâ’at-i-’ashara and qirâ’at-i-shâzza; to know by heart all the hadîth-i-sherîfs in the (six grand books of hadîths called) Kutub-i-sitta and in the other books of hadîth; to know when and why each hadîth-i-sherîf was uttered and the extent of its comprehension; to know the contextual and the temporal order of hadîth-i-sherîfs, (i.e. what hadîth-i-sherîfs preceded and followed what others,); to know the matters they concern; to know the events whereon they were uttered; to know the names and biographies of their conveyors and reporters; to master the methods and rules of the Islamic science called fiqh; and to have an extraordinary spiritual wisdom and an illuminated and pure heart and conscience equipped with light of îmân and tranquility to learn and understand the twelve basic sciences, the symbols and signs of âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs and their apparent and spiritual explanations.[25] These sublime qualifications and faculties are the requirements and conditions of the rank of ijtihâd. However, people with such powerful mental faculties and virtues could be trained and educated only with the blessing of sohbat, which rose with our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and attained its zenith in his time, termed the ‘Asr-i-sa’âdat (Era of Happiness), preserving its impetus during the centuries of the Ashâb-i-kirâm, the Tâbi’în, and the Taba’i tâbi’în. As time plodded along leaving the Era of Happiness farther and farther behind, thoughts and ideas were polluted, heresies appeared, and scholars in possession of these superior and valuable merits became fewer and fewer, completely dwindling away by the end of the fourth (Islamic) century. These facts are written with clarity in the books Mîzân-ul-kubrâ, Radd-ul-muhtâr, and Hadîqa.

The blessed meaning of the âyat-i-kerîma reading as Fa’tabirû is: “O, you, owners of wisdom! In matters beyond your mental capacity, adapt yourself to those who know them and who have attained full penetration in the depths of those matters.”

The exalted people who have attained the grade of ijtihâd have to act in accordance to their own ijtihâd. They cannot adapt themselves to other mujtahids’ ijtihâds. In fact, this rule applied to cases of the same nature during the lifetimes of prophets ‘alaihim-us-salawâtu wa-s-salâm’, too; any one of the sahâbîs (companions) of a prophet would act in accordance to his own ijtihâd even when his ijtihâd was contrary to that of his prophet. A question may arise at this point. Did prophets ‘alaihim-us-salawâtu wa-s-salâm’ perform ijtihâd, too? Yes, they, too, made ijtihâd by comparing the commandments which Allâhu ta’âlâ did not state overtly to those which He stated overtly. However, what made their ijtihâd, which was naturally susceptible to erring, different from others’ ijtihâd was that it was at the same time susceptible of correction; that is, when their ijtihâd led them to an incorrect conclusion, Allâhu ta’âlâ would immediately send Jebrâîl ‘alaihis-salâm’ and rectify their error by way of Wahy. In other words, prophets’ ‘alaihim-us-salawâtu wassalam’ ijtihâd would never remain incorrect. For instance, the ijtihâd performed by the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and some of the Sahâba-i-kirâm concerning the policy that should be followed with the prisoners captivated in the Holy War of Bedr turned out to be at loggerheads with the ijtihâd of ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and a few other Sahâbîs. Upon this an âyat-i-kerîma arrived and thereby Allâhu ta’âlâ declared to them that Imâm ’Umar’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ ijtihâd was correct. Likewise, the Sûra Abasa was revealed for the correction of an error of ijtihâd. [Tafsîr-i-Husayn Kâshifî.] Another example is Hadrat ’Umar’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ ijtihâd for the elucidation of the delicate situation involved in when our master, the blessed Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ ordered (the Sahâbîs around him) to bring him an inkpot and a pen as he was about to pass away; this event will be dealt with later in the text.

After the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’, scholars of high grade were raised; among them were the four widely known leaders (of Madhhabs, namely, Imâm-i-a’zam Abû Hanîfa, Imâm-i-Mâlik, Imâm-i-Shâfi’î, and Imâm-i-Ahmad bin Hanbal), and other scholars who performed ijtihâd within the Madhhabs (of the previous four leaders); a few of them were Imâm Abû Yûsuf, Imâm Muhammad, Imâm Zufer, Ibn Nujaym, Imâm Râfi’î, Imâm Nawawî, Imâm Ghazâlî, and others of the same generation. As the distance between the time lived in and the ’Asr-i-sa’âdat (Era of Happiness) gradually widened, other links were added to the twelve chains of narration whereby hadîth-i-sherîfs were being conveyed and reported, so that it was being a matter demanding considerable thought to make a choice among the chains of narrations and the untold number of narrators. The difficulty involved worsened with time and, by the end of the fourth Islamic century, it was no longer possible to train and educate any scholars with the capacity to perform ijtihâd. From then on Muslims have had to make a choice among the aforesaid four leaders (imâms) and adapt themselves to his Madhhab.

Some of the assiduous saboteurs of Islam, who do not seem to understand the subtleties of Islam despite all their shrewdness, have been campaigning against the statement that “the gate to ijtihâd has closed.” They attack it in their books and conferences. Yet their breath reeks of alcohol as they speak on the platforms and their addled brains produce ludicrous sophisms provoking derision on the part of the audience. Al-hamdulillah (Gratitude and praise be to Allah), the pure and limpid ocean of young souls, overcast under the clouds of apostasy hanging over the Islamic world, are being illuminated by the sporadic lights of the sun of truth.

Since ijtihâd is an act of worship, i.e. a commandment of Allâhu ta’âlâ, no mujtahid can say, “It is wrong,” about another mujtahid’s ijtihâd. For, each mujtahid’s ijtihâd is right and correct in his own view. For instance, Imâm Shâfi’î ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ said, “If a person dislikes the ijtihâd and ra’y of Imâm a’zam Abû Hanîfa ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’, may he be accursed in the view of Allâhu ta’âlâ, (and may he be deprived of His Compassion,)” although he was not in the Hanafî Madhhab. Statements made by Imâm Abû Yûsuf and Imâm Muhammad and the other (great scholars called) imâms and in disagreement with those of Imâm a’zam do not show that they disliked or rejected him. They are intended to express (the conclusions they had reached by way of) ijtihâd. They were obligated to state (the results of) their ijtihâd. The Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ would command his blessed Sahâbîs he was to send out to distant countries to consult to the Qur’ân al-kerîm in case of quandaries and to act in accordance to their own ra’y[26] and ijtihâd in matters whose ready-made solutions could not be found in the Qur’ân al-kerîm. He would advise them not to adapt themselves to others’ ra’y and ijtihâd even if they were superior to them in knowledge and mental capacity.

By the same token, Imâm Abû Yûsuf and Imâm Muhammad ‘rahima-humallâhu ta’âlâ’ would act in accordance to their own ijtihâds rather than adapting themselves to the ra’y and ijtihâd of Hadrat Imâm a’zam Abû Hanîfa ‘rahmatullâhu ’alaihim’, their teacher and master as he was. Indeed, Imâm a’zam ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’, their educator, was superior to them in knowledge and mental dimensions.

The differences among the four Madhhabs are the fruits of that mandatory research. Whereas bleeding will break the ablution of a Muslim in the Hanafî Madhhab it is not an event nullifying ablution in Imâm Shâfi’î’s ijtihâd. If a person in the Shâfi’î Madhhab performs namâz without renewing his ablution though, say, one of his hands is seen to have been bleeding, no one in the Hanafî Madhhab can say that he has performed namâz without an ablution. For, what he has done is congruent with the ijtihâd of the leader of the Madhhab he has been following. By the same token, if a person in the Hanafî Madhhab performs namâz without renewing his ablution although his bare hand, etc. has (even for a moment) contacted the skin of a woman, [who is not one of those eighteen women whom Islam has eternally forbidden him to marry,][27] no one in the Shâfi’î Madhhab can blame him for having made namâz without an ablution. In fact, our imâms, [i.e. the greatest Islamic scholars,] disagreed with one another in quite a few technicalities in matters pertaining to ablution, to namâz, to nikâh (marriage contract prescribed by Islam), to inheritance, to wills and testaments, to talâq (divorce, dissolution of marriage), to crimes and murders, to (business transactions such as) buying and selling, and in many other matters. All these disagreements were based on ijtihâd. None of them said, “They are wrong,” about any other’s statements.

Similarly, the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘ridwânullâhi ’alaihim ajma’în’ disagreed with one another in a number of matters; yet none of them said that any other’s ijtihâd was wrong; nor did it ever occur to them to accuse one another of aberration or wrongdoing. For instance, Abû Bakr as-Siddîq ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, the time’s Khalîfa, sent a Muhtadî,[28] and a Sahâbî for company, to Hadrat ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, who was in charge of the Bayt-ul-mâl (Treasury Department in an Islamic State), and ordered him, (through the Sahâbî,) to pay him his share of zakât (from the Bayt-ul-mâl). His purpose was to encourage the muhtadî to become a Muslim. Yet ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ would not give him anything in the name of zakât. Later, when Hadrat Abû Bakr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ asked ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ why he would not pay him zakât despite the âyat-i-kerîma commanding payment of zakât to people in that group, called muallafa-i-qulûb, the latter’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ answer was, “The commandment intended to soften the hearts of disbelievers (by paying them a share from zakât) was valid at a time when disbelievers were excessively wicked and before the realization of the victory promised by Allâhu ta’âlâ. But now Muslims are in the ascendant and disbelievers are weak and defeated. It is no longer necessary to win disbelievers’ hearts by means of property.” He went on with two quotations, first quoting the âyat-i-kerîma invalidating the commandment enjoining payment of zakât to the group of disbelievers called muallafa-i-qulûb, and then adding the hadîth-i-sherîf called Mu’âz. This disagreement between the ijtihâd of Imâm ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and that of the Siddîq-i-a’zam (Abû Bakr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, the Khalîfa,) should not be construed as rejection of his order. It was merely a statement of his ijtihâd in his capacity as the director of the Bayt-ul-mâl, [where Muslims’ money and property had been consigned to his care]. Indeed, Abû Bakr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ did not blame him for that ijtihâd of his. On the contrary, that event added new material to the facts whereon his ijtihâd had been based, so that he and all the other Sahâba-i-kirâm joined Hadrat ’Umar’s ijtihâd. Imâm Rabbânî exemplifies the differences of ijtihâd between the Ashâb-i-kirâm and Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ with the following event, in the ninety-sixth (96) letter (of his book Maktûbât):

One day, as the time of his passing away seemed to be quite close, our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ ordered, “Fetch me some paper. I’ll write something for you!” Some of the people being there said, “Let’s give him a piece of paper,” while another group were of the opinion that they should not do so. ’Umar-ul-Fârûq ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was in the second group. “The Book of Allâhu ta’âlâ will suffice for us,” he said. Some people are still criticizing and maligning him on account of that event. They would not be doing so if they knew the essence of the matter. Indeed, ’Umar-ul-Fârûq ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ knew that the Wahy (revelation of the Qur’ân al-kerîm) had already come to an end, that Jebrâîl ‘alaihis-salâm’ would no longer bring any news from heaven, and that there was no other way than ijtihâd and ra’y for inferring new rules. The things that Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ was to write at that moment were facts that could be found by way of ijtihâd. They could be found by other mujtahids as well, since Allâhu ta’âlâ had commanded to “Perform ijtihâd!” After a moment’s reflection over all these facts, ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ knew that they should avoid exacerbating the very difficult and painful situation Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ was in. Considering that the ijtihâd which others would perform would be quite adequate, he said, “The Qur’ân al-kerîm will be sufficient for us.” He meant to say that the Qur’ân al-kerîm was a source adequate for others to base their ijtihâds on. In fact, as is inferable from his mention of the Qur’ân al-kerîm alone, the rules intended to be written (by the Messenger of Allah) were to be the conclusions of an ijtihâd based on the Qur’ân al-kerîm, rather than on hadîth-i-sherîfs; that was what he understood from the manners and modes (of the situation wherein the Messenger of Allah uttered his aforesaid order). Then, Hadrat ’Umar’s preventing others from bringing paper was a fruit of the mercy and compassion ingrained in his nature and activated by his anxiety not to tire and pester Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, who was already suffering the agonizing pains of the illness (of death). Besides that, the blessed Prophet’s asking for paper was not a formal commandment, but an urge of compassion that he felt to save others from the trouble of ijtihâd. Otherwise, if it had been a commandment, he would have insisted on his demand for paper instead of changing his mind upon the diversity of opinion among his Ashâb ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’, since it would have been necessary to deliver a commandment.

Question: At that moment ’Umar-ul-Fârûq ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ also said, “Let’s see if he is talking subconsciously.” Why did he make that remark?

Answer: Imâm-i-Rabbânî ‘quddisa sirruh’ answers this question as follows: ’Umar-ul-Fârûq ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ thought that that utterance (of Rasûlullah’s) could be a kind of raving which was said unintentionally in a fever. As a matter of fact, his (the Prophet’s) words, “I’ll write...,” support that likelihood, since Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ had never written anything throughout his lifetime. Furthermore, his utterance contained also the final clause of purpose: “... lest you should deviate from the right course after me!” How could there have been logic in talking about deviating from the right course since Islam had already reached perfection, the blessing had been completed, and Allâhu ta’âlâ had been pleased? If ‘deviation from the right course’ was still a likelihood with all that perfection and completeness, what could be written to stop it at a stroke? What could be written to prevent a deviation which something written in twenty-three years was supposed to have failed to anticipate? ’Umar-ul-Fârûq ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ concluded from these reasonings that Rasûlullah’s statement had been made unconsciously, which was only human. Some of the Sahâbîs said, “Let’s ask him,” while others objected to the idea and said that they should not disturb him, so the voices were being raised. Upon this, Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ warned, “Get up, and do not dispute with one another! It is not something good to dispute in the presence of the Prophet.” He did not repeat his former request. Nor did he ask for a pen or paper.

If the disagreements between the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ and our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ on matters to be derived by way of ijtihâd had been based on arbitrary options and personal prejudices, the Sahâbîs responsible for the disagreements would have become apostates. [May Allâhu ta’âlâ protect all of us from such perdition!] They would have gone out of Islam. Indeed, any behaviour disrespectful towards the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, regardless of its degree, is an act of disbelief. We trust ourselves to Allâhu ta’âlâ’s protecting against such a grave offence. The fact, however, was that those disagreements were the fruits of their endeavours to carry out the commandment (which said), “Fa’tabirû,” (in the Qur’ân al-kerîm). As a matter of fact, it is an error and an act of violation for a person who has attained the grade of ijtihâd to follow someone else’s ijtihâd in matters whose solutions necessitate ijtihâd. However, ijtihâd is not practicable in rules that are clearly stated in the Qur’ân al-kerîm or in hadîth-i-sherîfs. It is farz for every Muslim to obey such rules.

In conclusion, we would like to say briefly that all the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ led a life far from ostentation, always trying to purify their hearts and habits, and free from anxiety to have themselves liked by others. They paid no attention to outward appearance and held essence and truth of highest importance. Their essential concern was to do Rasûlullah’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ commandments and to avoid hurting him. They sacrificed their parents, their children and their families for the sake of that Sarwar. Their belief in him was so strong and so true that they would drink his spit before it touched the ground, as if it were autumnul rain. When he had a haircut or trimmed his beard, they would jump for the clippings and catch them before they fell on the ground, for the honour of carrying one of his hairs was more valuable to them than crowns and thrones. Khâlid bin Walîd ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, a hero who devastated the stupendous Roman armies and conquered many fortresses and countries, said that he owed all his victories to the saqal-i-sherîf[29] he had been carrying on his head.

These (blessed hairs that are called) saqal-i-sherîf are keepsakes handed down from one generation to another and devoted to mosques. They are visited on holy days. It is a widely known fact, and an evidence for their strong belief in and true attachment to that Sarwar, that whenever he had himself bled they would drink his blood. If those great people, who are quite far from dirty habits such as lies and slanders, are heard to have said something that appears to be unseemly towards him, we should interpret them with good will and attain salvation by thinking of the purpose rather than of the words.

Question: When the ahkâm-i-ijtihâdiyya (rules derived by way of ijtihâd) may be erroneous, how can we ever trust the ahkâm-i-shar’iyya (rules of the Sharî’at, Islam) coming from Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’?

Answer: Prophets’ ‘alaihim-us-salâm’ ahkâm-i-ijtihâdiyya develops into ahkâm-i-shar’iyya afterwards. In other words, it is not possible for prophets ‘alaihim-us-salâm’ to remain in error. After mujtahids employ their ijtihâd in the ahkâm-i-ijtihâdiyya and the differences appear, Allâhu ta’âlâ declares the correct conclusion. Thereby the truth becomes known. As a matter of fact, all the ahkâm-i-ijtihâdiyya derived during the lifetime of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ was subjected to the correction of the Wah-y that was revealed on the spot, so that there is not a single doubtful one among them. Then, all the ahkâm (Islamic rules, principles and commandments) coming from the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ are true. All of them are guaranteed, since they were all declared by way of Wah-y (revelation of âyat-i-kerîmas). The purpose for the commandment of ijtihâd in this category of rules, (in the ahkâm-i-ijtihâdiyya, that is,) although the truth about them would be declared afterwards, was to give mujtahids a chance to attain higher grades and more blessings. Not so is the case with the ahkâm-i-ijtihâdiyya derived after our master the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’; they are not guaranteed; they are based on assumptions and, therefore, doubtful. Although it is necessary to do them, he who denies them will not become a disbeliever. However, if a person denies a rule (a commandment, a prohibition, a principle or a tenet) whereon the ijtihâds of all mujtahids are in agreement with one another, he becomes a disbeliever.

In short, we should illuminate our hearts with reverence and affection towards the Ahl-i-bayt and have a high opinion about all the Sahâba-i-kirâm without discrimination against any one of them ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. We should observe each and every one of them in the high rank and grade assigned to him by our master, the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’! We should believe that the disputes and wars among them were based on good intentions and accepted reasons, and we should not blame or criticize any one of them!

Imâm Shâfi’î and Imâm Ahmad ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ said, “As our hands were not smeared with their blood, so let us not imbrue our tongues (by censuring them)!” Then, we should know all the Sahâba-i-kirâm as pure and innocent people because they were the disciples of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and we should hold the belief that it is necessary to love them very much and to respect them deeply. All the Sahâba-i-kirâm, the Tâbi’în-izâm, the Taba’i tâbi’în, the mujtahids, the mutakallimîn (scholars in the branch of Islamic knowledge called Kalâm), the fuqahâ (scholars in the Islamic science called Fiqh), the muhaddithîn (scholars of Hadîth), the mufassirîn (scholars of Tafsîr), and all the pious Muslims in this Ummat held this same belief.

This right path is the madhhab and the belief of the zumra-i-nâjiyya (group of salvation) called Ahl as-sunnat wa-l jamâ’at. When a person attends the lessons of one of the Awliyâ of this noble Ummat (Muslims) for a couple of days, the beautiful merits and virtues treasured in that Walî’s heart and soul will assimilate him in such fruitful manner as the spiritual benefits he will reap from the Walî’s sohbat (having been together with him) will not have any comparable equivalents among all the imaginable worldly blessings; then, how could there ever be found a grain of sense in believing the statements made, or the books written, by those malignant people whose confined mental capacities cannot reach beyond the periphery of their vicious earthly life, and then visualizing base and ugly motives behind the disagreements and wars among the Ashâb-i-kirham? Indeed, the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ felt excessive affection for the Rasûl-i-akram ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, so much so that for his sake they would sacrifice their lives, their property, their possessions, their children, their wives, their parents and their homelands. Attending his sohbat for a long time, they had been acculturated with all the features, traits and patterns of the most beautiful moral values innate in the constitution of our master, the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, and their selves, hearts and nafses had been purified from all sorts of evils and basenesses. Such inappropriate statements and opinions about the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’, who were the Companions of our master, the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, are never permissible.

Those poor people who say or write so; don’t they know that enmity towards the Ashâb-i-kirâm is no different from direct enmity towards the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’? By blaming them they are blaming the Fakhr-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. It is for this reason that the eminent scholars of our religion said, “Any behaviour disrespectful towards or critical of our Prophet’s ‘alaihis-salâtu wassalâm’ Ashâb means denial of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’.”

The events (wars) of Jamal and Siffîn cannot be grounds for blaming them. Neither party (in either of those two wars) became sinful; perhaps both parties earned blessings. Indeed, as is stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf, a mujtahid who reaches a wrong conclusion in his ijtihâd deserves one blessing, whereas he would be given two to ten blessings if he found the truth by way of ijtihâd. There is no doubt about the fact that the disagreements among them had nothing to do with hidden motives or worldly ambitions; they were the results of disagreeing ijtihâds. Imâm Abdulwahhâb Sha’rânî states as follows in his (abridged version which he entitled) Muhtasar of the book Tazkira by Imâm (Abû Abdullah) Muhammad (bin Ahmad) Qurtubî: “The wars and disagreements between Mu’âwiya and Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ were a religious matter arising from disagreements of ijtihâd. They were not intended for worldly gains. In other words, they were not after sultanate or sovereignty; why should they be criticized, then? Indeed, they must be commended for their disagreements, since they were done for religious purposes.” Imâm Qurtubî and Abdulwahhâb Sha’rânî are among the great notables of Islam. As is revealed in the same book, Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated, “Later, [i.e. after me,] fitna will arise among my Ashâb and they will fight one another. Jenâb-i-Haqq will forgive them, on account of the sohbat they have had with me. No one will be forgiven for the fitna that will arise among the Muslims (of the generations) that will come after them.” For, they are not Sahâbîs; they have not been blessed with (Rasûlullah’s) sohbat. Everyone will be resurrected and taken to the place of judgement (in the Hereafter) in the company of the people they have loved in the world. All the Sahâba-i-kirâm loved the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ very much.

It is understood from a hadîth-i-sherîf quoted in the same page that people killed from both parties as well as their killers are people of Paradise. All of them were great mujtahids. If a mujtahid’s ijtihâd indicates a conclusion different from that of another mujtahid with a higher grade in the science of ijtihâd, he has to follow his own ijtihâd. It is not correct for him to follow the other’s ijtihâd. Imâm-i-Abû Yûsuf and Imâm-i-Muhammad were Imâm a’zam Abû Hanîfa’s disciples; and Abû Sawr and Muzanî were Imâm Muhammad Shâfi’î’s disciples; these people had quite a number of ijtihâds in disagreement with their masters’ ijtihâds. There are many things which are halâl (permitted) in their ijtihâd and harâm (forbidden) in their master’s ijtihâd, and vice versa. They cannot be considered sinful or erroneous (on account of those disagreements). No one (no scholar) has (considered or) said so. For their disagreements were the results of ijtihâd. They were mujtahids, too. Likewise, each and every one of the Ashâb-i-kirâm was a mujtahid. All of them, from Wahshî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ to Hadrat Abû Bakr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, and including Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, were mujtahids. Each of them had attained the honour of being blessed with the purifying and heart-penetrating looks and benedictions of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. For instance, Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ had been blessed with this benediction which he (the Best of Mankind) had pronounced on him: “Yâ Rabbî (O my Rabb)! Make him hâdî and mehdî!” ‘Hâdî’ means ‘he who has attained the right path, the true guidance’. And ‘mehdî’ means ‘person who guides others to the right path’. If thought is given to the matter, it will be seen that this benediction implies the highest grade, both in the world and in the Hereafter. To doubt about it means to assert that a benediction pronounced by the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ may not be accepted (by Allâhu ta’âlâ). As the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ cited the names of the greater ones of the Sahâba, he stated about Hadrat Abû Bakr as-Siddîq ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’, “He is the most merciful one of my Ummat.” And his description of Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was: “He is the most halîm (clement, gentle, mild, patient) and the most generous of my Ummat.” Due consideration will give a clear idea about the heights that these two valuable attributes reach.

Ibn Hajar-i-Makkî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ wrote as follows in the twenty-seventh page of his book Tat-hîr-ul-jenân: Abdullah ibn Abbâs ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ states as follows: (One day) Jebrâîl ‘alaihis-salâm’ came to our master, the Prophet ‘alaihis-salâtu wassalâm’, and said, “O Muhammad ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’! I recommend Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ to you. Trust him in having the Qur’ân al-kerîm written.” He wrote in the same page: One day the Rasûl-i-akram ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ visited Umm-i-Habîba ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’, his blessed wife, in her room. At that moment, Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was asleep with his head on his sister Umm-i-Habîba’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ lap. Upon seeing them in this manner, the Rasûl-i-akram ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ asked, “Yâ Umm-i-Habîba! Do you love your brother so much?” When our blessed mother replied, “I do love my brother very much,” Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ observed, “Allâhu ta’âlâ and His Messenger love him, too.”

It is written in the same book: Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ had the honour of having attained close relationship with our master, the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. For, his sister Umm-i-Habîba ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ was one of the blessed wives of our master, the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’.

Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ states in one of his hadîth-i-sherîfs: “Allâhu ta’âlâ has promised me that the families who gave me their daughters in marriage and the families I gave my daughters to, will be with me in Paradise.”

Another hadîth-i-sherîf informing about the virtues of Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ is this: Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ said to Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’: “When you become ruler, i.e. Khalîfa, do your duty well!” Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ stated (later), “It was when I heard this hadîth-i-sherîf that I began to feel wish and enthusiasm for caliphate. For this hadîth-i-sherîf gave me the good news that I was going to be Khalîfa.” The Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ foretold that Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was going to become Khalîfa later. This prediction is one of the Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ mu’jizas (miracles). Because Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ firmly believed that this hadîth-i-sherîf would definitely prove true, he was awaiting the time for its realization. However, its correct time was after Imâm Alî’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ passing away, and even after Imâm Hasan’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ relinquishing the office (of caliphate) to him. Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ acted too soon, attempting to realize his wish after the war which Âisha and Zubayr and Talha ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’ fought against Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, which was a mistake because it was premature. However, since his mistake was a result of ijtihâd, he cannot be blamed for it.

As is written in the same book, the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ took counsel with Abû Bakr and ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’. He asked them, “Tell me your opinions!” He said it twice. They said, “Allâhu ta’âlâ and His Messenger ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ know everything better.” Then he (Rasûlullah) sent for Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. When Hadrat Mu’âwiya came to the place, Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ said, “Take (counsel with) Mu’âwiya in your businesses. He is staunch and trustworthy.”

In another hadîth-i-sherîf he pronounced this benediction: “Yâ Rabbî! Equip Mu’âwiya with knowledge and judgement! Grant him a high rank and position in Muslim countries! Facilitate the performance of his orders! Protect him against torment!” ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ praised Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and appointed him governor of Damascus to replace his (Mu’âwiya’s) dead brother Yazîd, -who had been appointed governor after the conquest of Damascus by Hadrat Abû Bakr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’-, and did not dismiss him from office throughout his ten-year caliphate. His governorship continued during the caliphates of Imâm Alî and Imâm ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’, too; those two blessed Khalîfas would not dismiss Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ from office. During that long period, Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was always popular among the people living within his jurisdiction and no one voiced a complaint against him, whereas governors of other provinces had numerous files of complaint lodged against them.

Sayyid Abdulqâdir Geylânî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, the ghaws-i-a’zam and also one of the greatest leaders in the (succession of scholars called) Sôfiyya-i-aliyya, enlarges on the caliphates of Abû Bakr, ’Umar, ’Uthmân, Alî, and Hasan ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’ in the fifty-fourth page of the first chapter of the book Ghunya-t-ut-tâlibîn, which he wrote in order to teach Islam to all Believers and to rectify their credal misunderstandings, and adds: [When Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ passed away, Imâm Hasan ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, anxious to prevent bloodshed among Muslims and to maintain public peace, relinquished his right of caliphate to Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and went under his command. From that day on, Mu’âwiya’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ caliphate was rightful and sahîh (legal according to Islamic law). So, the meaning which the Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ had purported in his hadîth-i-sherîf, “This son of mine is sayyid, i.e. great. Through him Allâhu ta’âlâ will conciliate between two great parties of Muslims,” manifested itself. As is seen, Imâm Hasan’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ homage made Mu’âwiya’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ caliphate compatible with Islam and put an end to the disagreement between the two parties of Muslims. The Tâbi’în, the Taba’i tâbi’în, and all the Muslims worldover recognized Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ as Khalîfa. The Sarwar-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ had stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf (to Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’), “When you become Khalîfa, behave gently and manage well!” And in another hadîth-i-sherîf, “The Islamic mill will work continuously for thirty-five or thirty-seven years!” Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ used the word ‘mill’ (in this hadîth-i-sherîf) in order to symbolize Islam’s power and firmness. The first thirty years of the period mentioned covers the times of the earliest four Khalîfas and that of Imâm Hasan ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’, and the remaining five or six or seven years is the duration of time wherein Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was Khalîfa. His caliphate lasted nineteen years and a few months.]

There is a newly printed Turkish version of the book Ghunya.

It is written in the third page of the second volume of Mir’ât-i-kâinât: “Hadrat Mu’âwiya’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ father was Abû Sufyân, and his fifth father in retrospect, ’Abd-u-Menâf, was at the same time one of the grandfathers of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu’ anh’ was born nineteen years before the Hegira. He and his father joined the Believers on the very day when Mekka-i-mukarrama was conquered. He was tall, white-complexioned, beautiful and handsome, and majestic. He was one of Rasûlullah’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ scribes entrusted with the duty of writing copies of the Qur’ân al-kerîm, whereby he attained many a benediction on the part of the Messenger of Allah. He was also honoured with the good news that he would become Khalîfa. One day, Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ was riding an animal with Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ behind him on the back of the animal, and they were talking, when he (the Prophet) pronounced this benediction on him: “Yâ Rabbî! Give him much knowledge and mildness!” It is written in all books of history that he was a topic of public talk on account of his great wisdom, keen intellect, compassionate tenderness, unstinting generosity, finesse, and mildness. The innumerable folk-tales about his forbearance and clemency were compiled in two huge books in Arabic. Four geniuses were raised in Arabia: Hadrat Mu’âwiya; ’Amr ibn al-Âs; Mughîrat-ebn-Shu’ba ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhumâ’; and Ziyâd bin Ebîh. Many scholars stated that he was extremely majestic, valiant, prudent, determined, and merciful, so that he had been created, as it were, so as to be an administrative authority. In fact, whenever ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ saw him he would say, “This person is an Iranian Shâh.” He would never reject a personal request, and would always give much more than the amount asked from him. One day, when Hasan ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ told him about his debts, he gave him eighty thousand gold coins. He appointed ’Amr ibn al-Âs ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ as governor of Egypt and donated to him two-years’ revenues obtained from Egypt.

His elder brother Yazîd, governor (of Palestine) in Damascus appointed by ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’, appointed Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ to act for him (as governor of Palestine) in the event of his death. ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, the Khalîfa, made him permanent governor upon Yazîd’s passing away. Hadrat ’Uthmân, Alî and Hasan ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’ did not dismiss him from office. In the forty-first year of the Hegira, he became Khalîfa rightfully and in a manner suitable with Islam, which was approved by all the people living in Muslim countries. That year was called Âm-ul-jamâ’a. When he became Khalîfa, he began to make jihâd against the disbelievers in Africa. A year later he sent a commander named Abdurrahmân (with an army) to Sijistân [Seistan], to the east of Iran, and the next year another army to Sudan, and conquered those places from disbelievers. In the forty-fourth year (of the Hegira) he conquered the city of Kabul, and shortly afterwards his army under the command of Muhallab conquered India and Samarkand. Muhallab was a great hero who went into a number of combats against the Khawârij later and thereby prevented their spread. In the forty-fifth year Afriqiyya [Tunisia] was conquered. The great and tough combats engaged in China in the forty-seventh year cost Muslims quite a number of martyrs, and joining the Holy War in Cyprus in person, he realized the conquest of the island.

For a number of long years Cyprus remained in the hands of Muslims. It is written in the fifth page of the final section of the book Akhlâq-i-alâî, “The island of Cyprus holds many graves belonging to people who were among the Ashâb-i-kirâm and the Tâbi’în-i-izâm. As a matter of fact, Umm-i-Hirâm ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’, Enes bin Mâlik’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ maternal aunt, is buried there.” One day, Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ slept in her house. He woke up, smiling. She asked, “O the Messenger of Allah! Why are you smiling?” The blessed Prophet’s answer was: “O Umm-i-Hirâm! I saw (in my dream) some of my Ummat boarding ships and going out for Holy War against disbelievers!” Umm-i-Hirâm requested, “O Messenger of Allah! Pray for me so that I be one of them!” So our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ pronounced this benediction: “Yâ Rabbî! Make her one of them!” During the time of Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, Umm-i-Hirâm and her husband boarded one of the ships bound for Cyprus and went there. In Cyprus she fell down from the horse she was riding and attained martyrdom. The second conquest of Cyprus was accomplished in 828 [1425 A.D.], by the Egyptian Sultân Eshref Tatar. And it was conquered for the third time in 978 [1570 A.D.] by Sultân Selîm Khân II. After the Treaty of Berlin, it was left to England only in the administrative dimensions. In the fiftieth year (of the Hegira) Hadrat Mu’âwiya sent his son Yazîd out for the conquest of Istanbul. A considerable number of Sahâbîs in the army under Yazîd’s command, including Khâlid ibn Zayd abû Ayyûb al-Ansârî ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’, attained martyrdom in Istanbul. The peace treaty bilaterally signed stipulated that Byzantium would pay a tax annually. In the year fifty-four another army of the Khalîfa (Hadrat Mu’âwiya) under the command of ’Ubaydullah ibn Ziyâd, [not ibn Zayyâd, one of the Abbasid Khalîfas,] crossed the Asiatic river Oxus on camels and conquered Bukhâra. Islam spread all over Asia and Africa. Qudus-i-sherîf (the blessed city of Jerusalem), a place formerly conquered by ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, had fallen into the hands of disbelievers afterwards. Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ recaptured it. In short, our Prophet’s invocation, “Yâ Rabbî! Make Mu’âwiya dominant everywhere!” met with Divine Acceptance and he was dominant over all those countries from Kairouan in (Tunisia) Africa to Bukhâra in Asia, and from Yemen to Istanbul. He was liked and respected by all people. The Ahl-i-islâm (all Muslims) were enjoying the luxuries of a life of comfort and abundance. He would dress smartly, ride graceful horses, and lead a life of pleasures, without violating the limitations of a lifestyle drawn by Islam, which was a blessing of moderation he had attained owing to the sohbat of Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and the benedictions that the Best of Mankind had pronounced over him. He took utmost care to avoid wrongdoing and cruelty. After a long-term career as a governor in Damascus, -four years under Hadrat ’Umar, twelve years under Hadrat ’Uthmân, five years under Hadrat Alî, and six months under Hadrat Hasan ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’-, he became Khalîfa over all Muslim countries in a canonical and legal way upon Hadrat Hasan’s relinquishing his right of caliphate, and stayed in office for nineteen years. He passed away when he was seventy-nine years old, in the sixtieth [60] year of the Hegira. He was buried in Damascus. He had been respectfully keeping some hair and nail clippings belonging to our master, the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. He requested in his last will that those blessed clippings be put on his mouth and eyes after his death in order to benefit from their blessedness. He had three sons, named Abdurrahmân, Yazîd, and Abdullah; and four daughters, named Hind, Ramala, Safiyya, and Âisha.”

It is stated as follows in the translation rendered by the poet Mahmûd Abdulbâqî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ of the book Mawâhib-i-ladunniyya, written by Imâm Ahmad bin Muhammad Qastalânî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, a scholar of Egypt: “According to ibn Is-hâq, Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ served as a governor for twenty years in Damascus and as Khalîfa for twenty years. Imâm Ahmad bin Hanbal states that Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ pronounced this benediction on him: ‘Yâ Rabbî! Teach Mu’âwiya knowledge and calculation! Protect him from Hell!’ He is renowned for his duty to write copies of the Qur’ân al-kerîm.”

Muhammad Shamsaddîn Sâmi Bey states as follows in Qâmûs-ul-a’lâm: “Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was one of the eminent Sahâbîs. His father Abû Sufyân and his (elder) brother Yazîd and his mother Hind embraced Islam on the day when Mekka was conquered. He had joined the Believers earlier, secretly for fear of incurring his father’s fury. He and his father were true and staunch Muslims; they fought in positions ahead of Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Abû Sufyân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ lost one of his eyes in the Holy War of Tâif, and he lost his other eye in the Holy War of Yermuk in the thirteenth year (of the Hegira) during the caliphate of Hadrat Abû Bakr as-Siddîq. One of the honours that Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was blessed with was that he served as a secretary to our master, the Fakhr-i-’âlam ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. When Hadrat Abû Bakr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ sent an army to Damascus, he (Hadrat Mu’âwiya) and his elder brother Yazîd fought under the command of Khâlid bin Walîd ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. In the forty-first [41] year of the Hegira, in the city of Qûfa, homage was paid to him as Khalîfa, and thereafter he served as Khalîfa for twenty years. Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was extraordinarily wise, extremely intelligent, perfectly eloquent, strongly influential, and soothingly soft-spoken. He was very patient, clement, kind and generous. When the time’s Khalîfa, the Fârûq-i-a’zam (’Umar) ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ honoured Damascus, the city wherein Hadrat Mu’âwiya’s fixed abode of governorship was located, he entered the city in his usual, plain and modest attire, which had won him universal admiration especially among his Roman counterparts, and when he saw Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ in his tidy and elegant appearance, he exclaimed, “This man is like one of the Shâhs of Iran.” As long as Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ held office as Khalîfa, he rendered great services for the propagation and promotion of Islam and conquered many countries. Islamic scholars quoted numerous hadîth-i-sherîfs on the authority of him in their books, [which is a cogent evidence for his greatness and for the fact that he was believed and trusted.] He requested (in his last will) that after death his body be wrapped in a shirt, a keepsake from the Fakhr-i-kâinât ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, and intered with the nail clippings that he had been keeping as blessings from our master, the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, on his eyes and mouth.”

Ahmed Cevdet Paşa of Lowicz ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, a renowned scholar who rendered a great service to Islam by preparing the highly valuable book entitled MajallaÊand at the same time the author of the most dependable twelve books of Ottoman History, states as follows in the hundred and ninety-second page of the seventh chapter of his Qisâs-i-Anbiyâ (History of Prophethood): In the sixtieth year of the Hegira, Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, after delivering the (Friday sermon called) Khutba, made this short speech: “O Muslims! It has been a rather long time that I have been reigning over you. I have made you tired of myself. And I am tired of you, too. I am being eager to part with you. And you are eager to part with me, too. Yet the Khalîfas that will succeed me will be no better than I have been. As a matter of fact, my predecessors were better than me. If a person wishes to attain Allâhu ta’âlâ, Allâhu ta’âlâ, in turn, will wish him to attain Him. Yâ Rabbî! I wish to attain Thee. And I pray Thee that it be Thine Will also that I attain Thee! And do bless me with eternal felicity!” Then he became ill. He sent for his son Yazîd and gave him this advice: “My son! I have saved you from a multitude of expeditions and journeys. I have provided facilities for all your future activities. I have made everybody obedient to you. I am leaving you such tremendous property as has not fallen to anyone else’s lot. Watch over the people of Hidjâz, for they are your origins. They are the most respectable people that will come to you. Keep an eye on the people of Iraq, too! Even if they should request that you dismiss a civil servant daily, do so! Take good care of the people of Damascus, too, for they are your supporters. Have them come back to Damascus when their mission (out of Damascus) is over. Otherwise, staying too long in other countries will cause degeneration in their moral values. There are three people likely to be your rivals. One of them, Abdullah bin ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhumâ’, is a devoted worshipper. When others pay homage to you, he will pay homage, too. Husayn bin Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhumâ’ is a noble but light person. People of Qûfa may provoke him to rise against you. When you achieve a victory over him, forgive him! He is our relation. He has plenty of rights over us. He is a grandson of our master, the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. As for Abdullah bin Zubayr ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhumâ’; he is like a lion. Protect yourself very well against him.”

He made the following statements towards his passing away: “When I die, liberality and generosity also will die with me. Gates of benefaction will be closed for many people. People who ask (for something) will be empty-handed.” “I wish I had been a Qouraishî living in the village of Zî Tuwâ and not a Khalîfa!” He passed away in the month of Rajab ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. He was tall, white-complexioned, majestic, extremely patient, and tender-hearted. His tenderness was a topic for public talk. One day, a man entered his presence and hurled very nasty and vicious insults at him. He did not even answer him. When he was asked (by people around him) if he ought to have the patience to stand that, too, he replied, “We will not concern ourselves with others’ words unless they mean harm to (what’s under) our realm.” This is a shining example of the freedom of speech he granted to his people. He is the founder of the first social organization of Muslims. In addition, he established an interurban postal system. Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ had remarked, “Don’t you ever entertain a negative opinion about Hadrat Mu’âwiya’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ administration! If you lose him, you will see heads appear from the back!”

’Amr ibn al-Âs ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, well-known for his valour and superior intellect and one of the Sahâbîs who fought against Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, passed away on the night previous to the ’Iyd-i-fitr in the forty-third [43] year of the Hegira. That night he wept with grief. His son asked him, “Why are you weeping? Are you afraid of death?” He said, “No, I’m not afraid of death? Yet I’m afraid of what I’m going to experience after death. I’ve led three different stages of life. Formerly, I was a disbeliever. I was an arch enemy of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. If I had died then, I would definitely have gone to Hell. Then I became a person with the deepest feelings of shame towards the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. If I had died then, everybody would be congratulating me. They would think I had gone to Paradise and they would say about me, ‘He was honoured with Islam and he died as a good person.’ Later I became a governor and assumed administration of millions of people, which meant to take on a responsibility concerning the rights of all that lot of people. I do not know in what state I am now. Do not weep for me after my death! Carry my janâza (to my grave) silently! Do not put stones or trees on my grave!” Making tawba and istighfâr, (i.e., repenting for his sins and invoking Allâhu ta’âlâ for forgiveness,) he passed away. He had conquered Egypt and served as the governor of Egypt for four years during the time of Hadrat ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, four more years in the time of Hadrat ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, and two more years in the time of Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’.

Imâm-i-Ghazâlî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’, the Hujjat-ul-islâm, relates the following episode in the three hundred and thirty-first [331] page in the chapter about sehâ [generosity] of his book Kimyâ-i-sa’âdat, which is in Persian: Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ made a visit to Medîna-i-munawwara and, as he was proceeding along one of the streets, Hadrat Hasan ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ came from behind and said, “I am in debt. Help me!” So he (Hadrat Mu’âwiya) gave an order and Hadrat Hasan was given a camel load of gold, i.e. eighty thousand coins of gold.

Alî bin Amrullah ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ relates the following episode in the chapter captioned Îsâr of his book Akhlâq-i-Alâî: Îsâr means ‘patience of giving something that you need to someone else.’ Abdullah bin Ja’far Tayyar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ was the most famous one of generous Muslims ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’. Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ had profound sympathy for him. He would give him a yearly salary, which was ten million dirhams of silver. Yet the latter would distribute all that money to poor and needy Muslims, to orphans and widows, so much so that he would find himself in debt by the end of the year. When Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was asked why he gave him that much money and caused him to waste the state’s treasury, he replied, “I do not give that property to Abdullah. I give it to the poor people living in Medina-i-munawwara. Go ahead and make an investigation if you like!” So they conducted an investigation and saw that the state treasury was being spent properly because he was giving all the money to poor Muslims and orphaned children and his own family was living a frugal existence. The Khalîfa’s strategy, vigilance and generosity won their admiration.

What is written so far in the book The Sahâba ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ consists of a few passages summarized from the books of great Islamic authorities. In the light of these facts which are stated unanimously by the greatest Islamic scholars, we should not believe the oral or written fibs invented by heretical trash from Hurûfî[30] convents or some dervishes who do not even concern themselves with (the basic acts of Islamic worship such as) ablution and (the daily prayers called) namâz! We should save ourselves from the eternal perdition and sorrow by holding fast to the principles of belief and worship taught in the books written by scholars of Ahl as-sunnat! Yes. It is farz and necessary for all people of both sexes to learn Islam, tenets of belief and acts of worship. Yet we should learn them not from books written for certain purposes at drinking bouts or from those translated from books written by enemies of religion, but from the teachings of the scholars of our (four) Madhhabs!

Some people say, “No Muslim has named his child ‘Mu’âwiya’. This indicates a general aversion to this name and to the person who possessed this name.” This reasoning is faulty. Even an ignorant person would only jeer at it. Shiyt, Hûd, Shuayb, Alyasa’ are a few of the names of great prophets ‘alaihi-s-salawâtu wa-t-taslîmât’, and Bâqir and Hasan Askarî are the names of two of the twelve imâms, who were descended from Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’; on the other hand, names such as Bara’, Aws, Iyâs, Buhayr, Basbasa, Tamîm, Sa’laba, Seqaf, Jabr, Hâris, Hâtab, Hârisa, Hubâb, Haram, Hurays, Hasîn, Hârija, Hâbbab, Hubayd, Hiras, Huraym, Hallâd, Hunays, Hulayd, Hawwât, Hawli, Zukays, Râfi’, Reb’î, Ruhayla, and Rafâ’a belonged to people who were among the three hundred and thirteen great Islamic warriors (who fought against the unbelievers in the Holy War of Badr and who are therefore called the) Ashâb-i-Badr and were blessed with the good news that they would go to Paradise. These names, and many others which would be impractical for us to cite one by one, are not used by Muslims today. Would this be sufficient grounds for classifying the owners of these names among ‘people disliked’ in defiance of the fact that they were the greatest prophets ‘alaihim-us-salâm’ and the most beloved ones of the Ashâb-i-kirâm? In fact, that the owners of these names were all higher than Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, and that they are darlings of all Muslims, is a reality as obvious as the sun. It is a dangerous kind of ignorance not to like Hadrat Mu’âwiya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’; and not to know him is therefore at one’s own peril. Accordingly, sophistries of this sort, which are intended to vilify him and to mislead the younger generation, serve merely to exploit that ignorance and thereby to rekindle the ignominious slander.

We do not have any kinship or acquaintance with those Sahâbîs ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’ who fought against Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. In fact, the wars among them are a source of grief for us. Yet we have been commanded to love them because they were the Ashâb of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. We have been commanded not to hurt any one of them and not to feel enmity towards them. We love them because we love our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. We avoid all sorts of feelings and actions that would imply hostility towards them or (that would) be offensive to their souls. Any behaviour offensive or inimical towards them will reach and hurt our master, the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. However, we distinguish between the rightful and the mistaken parties. That is, Hadrat Amîr (Alî) ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was right. And those who were against him made a mistake (in their ijtihâd). Any comments beyond this limitation would be at least misbehaviour.

Ismâ’îl Kemâleddîn Karamânî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ writes as follows in his explanation of the book Sharh-i-’aqâ’id: Imâm Alî ‘karram-Allâhu wajhah’ stated, “Our brothers do not listen to us. They are not disbelievers. They are not sinful, either. For they are doing what they understand of Islam.” It is not a sin to err in ijtihâd. Nor does it deserve to be blamed. We should think that they are the Ashâb (of the blessed Prophet) and we should know them all as good people!

May Allâhu ta’âlâ keep us all in the right way! There are some people who have learned their religion from history books that were concocted later. Because these people are quite unaware of the books written by great religious authorities and have not even heard of Islam’s documentary sources and proofs, they blindly talk and write about what they imagine in the name of Islam. May Allâhu ta’âlâ protect us from hearing what they say, from reading what they write, and from believing their lies! Âmin. Those who have îmân and who have tasted the flavour inherent in îmân will embrace the words and writings derived from the scholars of Ahl as-sunnat ‘rahima-humullâhu ta’âlâ’. They will enjoy hearing and reading them. They will hate and keep away from the words and writings of those ignorant people who pass themselves as religious men.

Imâm-i-Rabbânî ‘quddisa sirruh’ ends the thirty-sixth letter of the second volume (of his Maktûbât) as follows: Let us conclude our letter about the Sahâba-i-kirâm ‘ridwânullâhi ’alaihim ajma’în’ with some laudatory reports about the Ahl-i-Bayt-i-Rasûl ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’:

Sayyid-i-kâinât ‘alaihi wa ’alâ âlihi-s-salawâtu wa-s-salâm’ stated, “If a person loves Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, he does so definitely because he loves me. If a person behaves inimically towards him, he does so definitely because he (that person) is my enemy. He who hurts him, definitely hurts me (by doing so). And he who hurts me, definitely hurts Allâhu ta’âlâ (by doing so).”

It is stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf, “Allâhu ta’âlâ has commanded me to love four people, and He has intimated (to me) that He loves them.” When the Messenger of Allah was requested to name those four people, he explained, “Alî is one of them; Alî is one of them; Alî is one of them; (the others are) Abû Zer, Mikdâd, and Salmân.” It is stated in another hadîth-i-sherîf, “It is an act of worship to look at Alî’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ beautiful face, and perhaps even at his blessed body, with affection.” Berâ’ bin Âzib ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ relates: One day, the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, seated as he was, stated, “Yâ Rabbî! I love Hasan (my elder grandson)!” ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’.

Hadrat Abû Bakr ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ relates: One day, Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ was with Imâm-i-Hasan, when he first looked at us and then turned his blessed looks towards Hasan ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, saying, “This son of mine is a sayyid and effendi. I hope and expect that Allâhu ta’âlâ will reconcile two groups of Muslims through him.”

Usâma bin Zayd ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ relates: One day I saw our master, the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, with Hasan and Husayn ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ sitting on his blessed lap. He stated: “These two are my sons and my blessed daughter’s sons. Yâ Rabbî! I love them. (Please, You, too,) love them, and love also those who love them!”

Enes ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ relates: The Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ was asked whom he loved best among his Ahl-i-bayt ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’. He stated, “(I love) Hasan and Husayn (best).” ‘radiy-allâhu ’anhumâ’.

It is stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf, “Fâtima ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ is a part from me. He who angers her will have hurt me (by doing so).” Abû Hurayra ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ relates: Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ said to Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’: “Fâtima is more beloved than you are to me. And I hold you in higher esteem than I do her, [which means, ‘You are more valuable to me’]!”

According to a narration on the authority of Hadrat Âisha, whenever they (the Ashâb-i-kirâm) wanted to present a gift to our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, they would bring it only when the blessed Messenger was in the blessed and pure room of Âisha Siddîqa ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’, and thereby they would try to attain our blessed Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ sympathy through the intercession of that cherished mother of ours. Another narration coming from Âisha ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ reads as follows: The Zawjât-i-tâhirât (the Blessed Wives) of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ parted into two groups. Hafsa and Safiyya and Sawda and I were in one group, while Umm-i-Salama and the others made the other group ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhunna’. That second group communed among themselves and chose Umm-i-Salama as their spokeswoman to enter the blessed Prophet’s presence and request that the Ashâb-i-kirâm bring their gifts wherever Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ happened to be instead of awaiting the time when he would honour Âisha-i-Siddîqa’s room with his blessed presence. The honourable Prophet expressed his annoyance as follows: “Do not hurt me. The Wahy comes to me only when I am covered with Âisha’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ clothes.” As a matter of fact, revelations of the Qur’ân al-kerîm never happened as he was in the beds of his other Blessed Wives. He would be sent Wahy only when he was in Hadrat Âisha’s bed ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhunna’. Upon hearing this, Umm-i-Salama ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ pledged never to hurt Rasûlullah again and craved for forgiveness. On another occasion, the Messenger of Allah inquired of Fâtima-t-uz-zahrâ ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’, who had undertaken the spokeswomanship of the group: “O my daughter! Why don’t you love someone who is beloved to me? Isn’t my darling your darling as well?” When Fâtima ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ said, “Yes,” the Best of Mankind stated, “Then, love her, too!

Another report on the authority of Âisha-i-Siddîqa ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ reads as follows: “I would feel upset whenever I heard our master, the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, mention the name of Khadîja ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’, although I had never seen her. Because he loved her very much, he would send presents to her family. Sometimes I would say, jokingly, “Is Khadîja ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ the only woman in the world? Aren’t there others as well?” He would cite the good qualities she had had and he would say, “She was so good, and I had children from her!

Abdullah ibn Abbâs ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ related: Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated, “Abbâs is from me, and I am from him!

He stated in another hadîth-i-sherîf, “There is vehement torment awaiting those who hurt me on account of my family!

Abû Hurayra ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ reports: Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated, “The good ones among you are those who will be good towards my Ahl-i-bayt after me.” Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ reports: Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated, “In the Hereafter I shall intercede for those who are good to my Ahl-i-bayt!” Again, Imâm Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ reports: Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated, “People who will pass the bridge of Sirât without their feet slipping are those who love my Ahl-i-bayt and my Sahâba.”

Yâ Rabbî! For the sake of Fâtima ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhâ’ and her sons, bless us with the lot of migrating to the Hereafter with îmân (as Believers)! Only bless us with the fortune of holding fast to the skirts of Âl-i-Rasûl[31] ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, and then accept or refuse our prayers.

The passage below is the translation of the seventeenth letter in the book entitled Maqâmat-i-Mazhariyya. The book was written by Abdullah Dahlawî, a great Walî and one of the true Islamic scholars of India. He passed away in Delhi in 1240 [1824 A.D.]. He lies beside his master, Mazhar Jân Jânân. The book, in Persian, contains a biography of Mazhar Jân Jânân and twenty-four letters written by him. Mazhar Jân Jânân passed away in 1195 [1781 A.D.], when he was eighty-four years old. He is in Delhi, beside the mosque he had built ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihimâ’:

The scholars of the Madhhab of Ahl as-sunnat relate the wars among the Ashâb-i-kirâm in a manner that would become the high honours possessed by those great people. As a matter of fact, those great people were praised as follows in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “The best people are those who live with me.” As for the disagreements among those great people, whose reasons are beyond their comprehension; they consign them into the knowledge of Allâhu ta’âlâ, thus avoiding a possible animadversion on the pure people of that auspicious century. All the scholars who were educated in the Islamic sciences of Hadîth and Fiqh during the earliest three (Islamic) centuries, although those three centuries had been praised (in hadîth-i-sherîfs) as ‘auspicious centuries’ and, being quite close to the time of the Ashâb-i-kirâm, the scholars educated therein had firsthand knowledge concerning the Ashâb-i-kirâm and the matters and situations they had been involved in, -in fact, they stated that Alî Murtadâ’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ opponents had been wrong-, warned that it would never be permissible to speak ill of any one of them. As a matter of fact, the combats and reciprocal denunciations between the troops of Damascus and Baghdâd were only a matter of a couple of days and were based on differences of ijtihâd, and those pure people did not entertain any bad opinions about one another, let alone looking on one another as disbelievers. The so-called fitna dates back to the martyrdom of ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’, the Amîr-ul-mu’minîn, (Imâm Alî’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ predecessor in caliphate). By the time when the wars started, the Ashâb-i-kirâm had parted into three groups. One group sided with the Khalîfa, Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’, who was right. The second group were on the side of the Amîr of Damascus. The third group did not join any of the two parties. Scholars of Hadîth and mujtahids in the science of Fiqh held all three groups of the Sahâba equal in their business of compiling the hadîth-i-sherîfs reported on the authority of the Ashâb-i-kirâm, for they believed that their words were valuable and true. If they had considered one of the three groups as disbelievers or wrongdoers, they would have rejected their reports, instead of using them as authentic documentary sources in their employment of ijtihâd and derivation of Islamic rules. To malign any one of those three groups means, in effect, to demolish Islam from within. Conversely, not to criticize those great people engenders a benefit to Islam and symbolizes high esteem concerning the sohbat, the company, of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam’. The irrefutable argument that “the relatives of the Messenger of Allah deserve highest esteem” would merely be an inapposite statement of the plain truth in the face of the fact that none of the relatives of the Messenger of Allah called the Sahâbîs who fought against them ‘disbelievers’. Yes, people who fight one another will normally dislike and censure one another. Yet those auspicious people, who are praised in a number of hadîth-i-sherîfs, never censured one another. It is wâjib (incumbent) upon all Muslims to love the relatives of the Messenger of Allah. Any inclination towards hurting them will spoil this love.

It is not something right to talk or write about the wars that took place among the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’. Those events should be a source of mute sadness for us. Some people, who are called ‘Shiites’, are excessive in this matter. Misled by some concocted narrations, they compare those pure people to their own selves, which are immured within the murky confines of their nafses. They are so unreasonable that they call the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘disbelievers’. However, it was them who conveyed to us the life and the utterances of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam’. How could one ever make allowance for the possibility that those great people might have been unable to weather the blights of disbelief, in defiance of the fact that they spent their entire lives in Rasûlullah’s sohbat, matured and reached perfection under his tutorship and guidance, sacrificed their property and lives for his sake, and after him endeavoured to spread his religion? Should we presume that Allâhu ta’âlâ might not have had mercy on them for the sake of those services and endeavours? If they did not attain divine mercy, how and from whom can we sinful later comers expect mercy and forgiveness? Do the annals of Prophets and Awliyâ contain a single account of a Prophet or a Walî whose ummat or followers altogether relapsed into disbelief or became enemies of his offspring or family? If it had been the case, it would have been useless and senseless for Allâhu ta’âlâ to have sent Prophets. The time, which in fact has been praised as the best of times, would have been the worst of times; and the best people would have been the worst.

A Believer who saw the Messenger of Allah is called ‘Sahâbî’.
Ashâb-i-kirâm is the name of the entire community.

Haloes filled forthwith a heart that saw the Messenger;
Holy Qur’ân lauds his Sahâbîs in large measure.

They all gave their property’n lives for the Prophet’s cause.
Sources of knowledge they were in peacetime, and lions in wars.

Hadîth-i-sherîfs symbolize his Sahâba with stars in the night;
Follow any one of them, and you are in a path that’s quite bright!

His Sahâba treated one another with love and eulogy;
Muslims who came afterwards said so all with unanimity.

The Qur’ân and hadîths they, alone, to us conveyed.
Purity of their hearts for other’s minds trust purveyed.

To abuse one of them means to injure Islam’s root.
He who maligns the Ashâb will decay Qur’ân’s fruit.

If you are a true Muslim hold each and every one with respect;
And first say ‘salât-u-salâm’ to the Messenger’s Ahl-i-bayt!


[1] This English version does not contain the biographies.
[2] Please see the third chapter of the fifth fascicle of Endless Bliss, for Sadaqa fitr, available from Hakîkat Kitâbevi, 34262 Fâtih, İstanbul, Türkiye.
[3] The ten people who were given the good news that they would go to Paradise.
[4] This commandment, retaliation, is termed ‘Qisâs’.
[5] The first Blessed Wife of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. She was very rich, deeply learned and wise. She gave all her property to the Messenger of Allah. She served him perfectly for twenty-four years.
[6] A heretic; a blasphemous person.
[7] There are four correct but different ways, called Madhhabs, in matters pertaining to acts of worship and behaviour in Islam. Please read our other publications for details.
[8] A chain of great Islamic scholars.
[9] Jalâladdîn Abdurrahmân bin Muhammad (849 [1445], Egypt-911 [1505 A.D.], Egypt), one of the greatest mujtahids of Hadîth in the Shâfi’î Madhhab. Even Christians praise him in their books. For instance, it is written about him as follows in the well-known scientific encyclopaedia Meyer Lexicon: “Suyûtî, who spent his entire lifetime with dedicated and untiring lucubration, has more than three hundred written works.”
[10] Who the Ashâb-i-kirâm were has already been explained in the text. The Tâbi’în-i-izâm are those fortunate people who saw at least one Sahâbî although they had not seen the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Salaf as-sâlihîn were the earliest Islamic scholars.
[11] Marriage as prescribed by Islam.
[12] There are four different ways, called Madhhabs, with respect to religious practices. A Muslim has to adapt himself to any one of these Madhhabs in his daily acts of worship. For further information, please see our other publications, such as The Sunni Path, Endless Bliss, five fascicles.
[13] Necessary; a religious duty; incumbent on.
[14] A person who pretends to be a Muslim though he is not.
[15] Iftâr means the dinner that you eat when you break fast after sunset. There is detailed information about fasting in the second chapter of the fifth fascicle of Endless Bliss.
[16] The first chapter of the fourth fascicle of Endless Bliss contains detailed information about namâz, importance of namâz, kinds of namâz, and how to perform it.
[17] Hajj means an act of worship, which, alongside its other rituals and technicalities, mainly consists of visiting the Ka’ba. Detailed information about hajj can be found in the seventh chapter of the fifth fascicle of Endless Bliss.
[18] The first four Khalîfas, called Khulafâ-ar-râshidîn, are Abû Bakr, ’Umar, ’Uthmân and Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum ajma’în’. ‘The other three Khalîfas’ means, therefore, ‘the first three’.
[19] Please see the fourth chapter of the fourth fascicle of Endless Bliss for detailed information about ghusl for a better understanding of the subject and of such terms as darûrat and haraj.
[20] ‘Nikâh’ means a marriage contract performed in a manner prescribed by Islam. ‘Talâq’ means ‘breaking of marriage’. Please see Endless Bliss, twelfth chapter of the fifth fascicle.
[21] Two and half percent of one’s property dispensed to poor Muslims. Please see Endless Bliss, first chapter of the fifth fascicle for details.
[22] Please see Endless Bliss, seventh chapter of the fourth fascicle for detailed information on water and kinds of water.
[23] There is detailed information in the fifth and sixth chapters of the second fascicle of Endless Bliss about kinds of hadîth-i-sherîf and books reporting hadîth-i-sherîfs.
[24] The word used in the âyat-i-kerîma is ‘hamr’, which means ‘To blur (mind)’.
[25] The parenthesized explanations of the technical Arabic terms are intended to help the reader develop an idea about the magnitude of the job of ijtihâd. In fact, they are quite short of reflecting the intrinsic meanings in the terms.
[26] Lexical meaning of ‘ra’y’ is ‘opinion’. Throughout the English version we have avoided using its lexical English equivalent lest we should confine the colossal world of meaning treasured up in the scientific and technical word ‘ra’y’ into the cubicle of ‘opinion’.
[27] There is detailed information in the eighth chapter of the fourth fascicle of Endless Bliss about the situations and conditions that make it harâm for a Muslim to marry any one of the certain women.
[28] Someone who has newly converted, or expected to convert, to Islam.
[29] Hairs from the Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ blessed beard.
[30] Hurûfîs are a heretical group among Muslims. Please see the thirty-seventh chapter of the second fascicle of Endless Bliss.
[31] The Prophet’s family.