Rebuttal to Silas's Article Series "Islam's Royal Family"
Silas wrote a seven part series called "Islam's Royal Family" over here, here, here, here, here, here and here. We advise our readers to first read Silas's articles before continuing any further.
I will either be very briefly responding to the points in the articles or providing links.
PART ONE: MUHAMMAD'S WEALTH
The controversy of Fadak is well known. The Prophet (peace be upon him) claimed to not have left any inheritance to his family members. It appeared that some of them were not aware of this and some arguments arose. It did not arise out of greed just as Silas suggested. Just because someone is claiming and demanding money that they sincerely believe belongs to them that doesn't necessarily mean that they are greedy, but simply demanding their rights. If you know someone rips you off and you stand up for yourself, do people exclaim "Wow that guy is really greedy!"?
Yes, Fatimah was angry with Abu Bakr, but eventually she forgave him before she died. Taken from http://www.ahlelbayt.com/articles/sahabah/fadak5...
In the very reliable narration of Sunan Al-Bayhaqi, we read:
"When Fatima became ill, Abu Bakr came to her and asked for permission to enter. So Ali said, 'O Fatima, this is Abu Bakr asking for permission to enter.' She answerd, 'Do you want me to give him permission?' He said, 'Yes.' So she allowed him (to enter), and he came in seeking her pleasure, so he told her: 'By Allah, I only left my home and property and my family seeking the pleasure of Allah and His Messenger and you, O Ahlel Bayt.' So he talked to her until she was pleased with him." (Sunan Al-Bayhaqi)
This Hadith is narrated by Bayhaqi in al Sunan al Kubra (6:300-301) and Dala'il al-Nubuwwa (7:273-281) who said: "It is narrated with a good (hasan) chain." Muhibb al Din al-Tabari cited it in al Riyad Al Nadira (2:96-97 #534) and Dhahabi in the Siyar (Ibid). Ibn Kathir states it as Sahih in his Al Bidayah and Ibn Hajar in his Fath Al Bari.
How do we reconcile this Hadith with the Hadith narrated in Sahih Bukhari? This is a commonly used Hadith by the Shia propagandist:
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 325:
Narrated by Aisha:
After the death of Allah's Apostle, Fatima-the daughter of Allah's Apostle-asked Abu Bakr As-Siddiq to give to her what was her share of inheritance from what Allah's Apostle had left of the Fai (i.e. booty gained without fighting) which Allah had given him. Abu Bakr said to her, "Allah's Apostle said, 'Our property will not be inherited; whatever we (i.e. prophets) leave is Sadaqah (to be used for charity)." Fatima, the daughter of Allah's Apostle got angry and stopped speaking to Abu Bakr, and continued assuming that attitude until she died. Fatima remained alive for six months after the death of Allah's Apostle."
Both this Hadith and the Hadith stated earlier in Bayhaqi have been deemed to be authentic narrations by the Hadith scholars. Therefore, how do we reconcile the two? The explanation is simple: Aisha (ÑÖøì Çááå ÚäåÇ) may not have known that Fatima (ÑÖøì Çááå ÚäåÇ) had reconciled with Abu Bakr (ÑÖøì Çááå Úäå). Aisha (ÑÖøì Çááå ÚäåÇ) was not present at that moment, so she was unaware of it. This does not mean that the event did not take place. Furthermore-and this point cannot be stressed enough-the Hadith narrated by Aisha (ÑÖøì Çááå ÚäåÇ) really means that Fatima (ÑÖøì Çááå ÚäåÇ) did not speak to Abu Bakr (ÑÖøì Çááå Úäå) again about the issue of Fadak, not necessarily that she did not speak to him again at all.
As for Ali forbidding Abu Bakr from attending Fatimah's funeral, this is simply not true and there is something seriously wrong with the English translation of Tarikh Al Tabari. The Arabic states: æáã íÄÐä ÈåÇ ÃÈÇÈßÑ. The Arabic word yu'dhan (íÄÐä) means "to make Adhaan". In context, this means that Abu Bakr did not perform funeral prayers right after her burial. The translator probably mistakenly assumed that the root word for yu'dhan is 'Adhin (ÃÐä), which means "permission". So he translated it as Ali not giving permission for Abu Bakr to attend the funeral. Since Fatimah was buried quickly at night, Abu Bakr wasn't made aware of her death and that's why he wasn't able to perform the funeral prayer immediately. That doesn't mean that he didn't perform it eventually.
According to the narrations cited by Silas, Ali and Abbass eventually agreed with the reasoning of Umar.
So what happened was that there was a temporary misunderstanding where the companions Ali and Abbass and Fatimah thought that Fadak should be inherited to them, but it was later clarified that it wasn't. There would obviously be hard feelings at the beginning, but everything eventually cooled down. The companions were human and this is something natural. Silas said that the companions hated each other in the process, but he confuses "anger and frustration" with "hate". No where did we see that the companions "hated" each other, they simply had a dispute.
Also, the Qur'an doesn't teach that the Prophets (peace be upon him) left material inheritance, see this. Ali's intention wasn't to argue with the Prophet (peace be upon him), but to argue with Abu Bakr because he suspected that Abu Bakr might have misunderstood the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
PART TWO: THE NEW KING
Silas first mentions that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) died by poison, however we have already addressed that over here.
As for the narration mentioning Zubayr drawing his sword, here is the Arabic text:
حدثنا ابن حميد قال حدثنا جرير عن مغيرة عن زياد بن كليب قال: أتى عمر بن الخطاب منزل علي وفيه طلحة والزبير ورجال من المهاجرين فقال والله لأحرقن عليكم أو لتخرجن إلى البيعة فخرج عليه الزبير مصلتا بالسيف فعثر فسقط السيف من يده فوثبوا عليه فأخذوه».
This narration is weak. The chain contains Jareer ibn Haazim who used to mix up narrations just as Ibn Dawud and Al Bukhari mentioned in Al-Tareekh Al Kabeer, Volume 2, no. 2234. It also contains Al Mughira (known as Ibn Qaassim) and he was known for making mursal narrations and was a known Mudallis just as Ibn Hajar stated. This narration overall is considered mu'dal according to the sciences of hadeeth.
As for the narration attributed to Abu Sufyan "What has Abu Fasil to do with us? Indeed, the authority belongs to the Banu Abd Manaf." this narration is said to be weak by Muhammad bin Tahir Al Barzanji in his Saheeh Tareekh Al Tabari wa Da'eefuhu (The Authentic Narrations From Tareekh Al Tabari and Its Weak Ones), Volume 8, page 18.
PART THREE - BLOOD ON THE QURAN!
Silas has failed to do a comprehensive study on all the sources that discuss this issue. He makes a generalized statement that several of the companions fought against Uthman, yet fails to take into consideration how many opposed the rebellion against Uthman (see here, here, here and here).
Not all the companions were perfect; as a matter of fact the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated that some of them would even apostatize after he died:
Volume 8, Book 76, Number 585:
Narrated Abu Hazim from Sahl bin Sa'd:
The Prophet said, "I am your predecessor (forerunner) at the Lake-Fount, and whoever will pass by there, he will drink from it and whoever will drink from it, he will never be thirsty. There will come to me some people whom I will recognize, and they will recognize me, but a barrier will be placed between me and them." Abu Hazim added: An-Nu'man bin Abi 'Aiyash, on hearing me, said. "Did you hear this from Sahl?" I said, "Yes." He said, " I bear witness that I heard Abu Said Al-Khudri saying the same, adding that the Prophet said: 'I will say: They are of me (i.e. my followers). It will be said, 'You do not know what they innovated (new things) in the religion after you left'. I will say, 'Far removed, far removed (from mercy), those who changed (their religion) after me." Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection a group of companions will come to me, but will be driven away from the Lake-Fount, and I will say, 'O Lord (those are) my companions!' It will be said, 'You have no knowledge as to what they innovated after you left; they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from Islam)."
This indeed was a disappointing time in Islamic history.
Dr. Khalid Kabeer 'Alaal, Al-Thawra 'Ala Sayyidina Uthman bin 'Affan: Derasa fi Asbaabiha Al Dhaahira wal Khafiyah (The Rebellion Against Uthman bin 'Affan: A Study Into Its Apparent and Hidden Causes)
Mahmoud Amhazon, Tahqeeq Muwaqif Al Sahaabah fi Al Fitnah min Riwaayat Al Imam Al Tabari wal Muhaditheen (An Inquiry into the Stance of the Companions in Regards to the Rebellion From The Narrations of Al Tabari and the Scholars of Hadeeth)
PART 4 - FEUDS WITHIN THE ROYAL FAMILY
As for the following narration:
Then they brought Sa'd, and Ali said, "Give allegiance," But he replied, "I won't do so until the people have, but believe me, you've nothing to fear from me." Ali said, "Let him go." Then they brought Ibn Umar, and Ali said, "Give allegiance." And he replied, I won't do so until the people have." "Bring me a guarantor," Ali said to him. "I don't see why I should," replied Ibn Umar. "Let me cut his head off," said al-Ashtar, to which Ali replied, "No leave him alone! I'll be his guarantor. I knew it; you are as rude as a man as you were as a child."
Muhammad bin Tahir Al Barzanji in his Saheeh Tareekh Al Tabari wa Da'eefuhu (The Authentic Narrations From Tareekh Al Tabari and Its Weak Ones), Volume 8, page 615 said that this narration is weak. It contains Abu Bakr Al-Hidhli who has been abandoned by the scholars of hadeeth. Also, the narration is disconnected since Abu Mulayh didn't witness the event.
As for this narration:
The people gave allegiance to Ali, so he sent for al-Zubayr and Talhah. He then invited them to give allegiance, but Talhah delayed. Unsheathing his sword Malik al-Ashtar then said, "By Allah! You had better give allegiance, or else I will strike you through the forehead." "There is no way out of this," said Talhah and he gave allegiance, followed by al-Zubayr and everyone else.. A little later they explained, "We only did it out of fear for our lives, since we knew that he would never give us allegiance." Four months after Uthman's murder they went down to Mecca. (page 5).
Muhammad bin Tahir Al Barzanji said that it is extremely weak since the chain has Yunus bin Yazeed Al Ayli reporting from Al Zuhri, which Imam Ahmad said indicates fabrication. Also, the chain is severely mursal. (Ibid., page 616)
As for these narrations:
Talhah said, "I gave allegiance with a sword over my head." .. The people gave allegiance to Ali in Medina, but seven men were cautious and did not give it. They were Sad Waqqas, Ibn Umar, Suhayb, Zayd Thabit, Muhammad Maslamah, Salamah Waqsh, and Usamah Zayd. (page 9).
"Because you know that Muawiyah and his allies are men of the world," replied Ibn Abbas, "and should you confirm their posts they wouldn't care who had the overall command. ... But Ali ignored his advice and said to Ibn Abbas, "Go to Syria! I've appointed you its governor." "This isn't the right decision," replied Ibn Abbas. "Muawiyah is a man of the Banu Umayyah. He is the son of Uthman's father's brother and the governor of Syria. I won't be safe from his breaking my neck for Uthman. Or else the least he will do is throw me in jail and pass sentence on me." "Why?" Ali asked him. "Because you and I are related," he said, "and because everything imputed to you is imputed to me also." ...(page 22).
"Ali then said, "I'm sure they'll never refrain from coming out and saying, "We seek repayment for Uthman's blood." By Allah! We know that they [Talha and al-Zubayr] are the ones who killed Uthman." (page 23).
"By Allah! no. I will give him [Muawiyah] nothing but the sword." (page 24).
They are not reliable since they contain Al Waqidi. (Ibid., page 619 & 627-628)
As for this narration:
The Egyptians then said, "It's up to you, people of Medina. We've given you two days and by Allah! if you don't sort it out, tomorrow we'll kill Ali, and Talhah, and al-Zubayr and many other beside." The people then came to Ali and said, "We give you allegiance, for you see what has happened to Islam and how much we have suffered at the hands of relatives."
The chain is weak and also contradicts the authentic narrations, which state that the Muslims gave pledge of allegiance without mentioning being threatened to do so. (Ibid., page 622)
As for this narration:
As they were thus engaged, news suddenly arrived that the Meccans were going in a completely different direction. So Ali stood up among them to address them on the subject and said... "Talhah and al-Zubayr and the Mother of the Faithful [Aisha] have certainly joined together in discontent with my rule and have called on the people to set things right. (page 34).
It is also weak. (Ibid., page 634).
As for Aisha advocating the murder of Uthman, this is a lie as demonstrated here.
As for Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, the correct opinion is that he didn't kill Uthman and regretted and repented from his rebellion just as Ibn Abdul Birr and Ibn Kathir stated (see here).
It appears that Silas didn't bother checking whether he is citing from sources that Muslims deem authoritative or not. As we saw, almost everything he cited isn't authentic according to the standards that Muslim scholars have laid out.
PART 5: ALI AND MU'AWIYAH
Again Silas is appealing to narrations that are considered weak.
PART 6: HUSAYN AND YAZID
CONCLUSION: THE FRUIT OF ISLAM JUDGED
Silas makes the mistake by judging the fruits of Islam strictly based upon the actions of people, despite whether they contradicted the teachings of Islam or not. Rather, Silas should judge the fruits of Islam by those who properly adhere to its teachings and during the times at which they adhered to Islamic teachings. Silas also fails to perform comprehensive research on each of the topics he selected to discuss and instead only relies on one book and doesn't bother verifying whether the sources he is citing are authentic or not.
We believe that the first three generations of Islam contained the best Muslims, but that doesn't mean that all of the people in the first three generations were good Muslims. We had several early heretical groups rising during that time, civil war, etc. yet there were many great people who lived during that time who adhered to the teachings of Islam. These are the people we look up to and these are the people by whom we must judge the fruits of Islam.
Silas then appeals to Muslim terrorism around the world and says that this is the fruit of Islam. Well couldn't two play that game? Can't we say that the inquisition or the crusades were the fruits of Christianity? Can't we say that Israel - who is making the lives of Palestinians miserable mostly due to being backed up by Christian Zionists appealing to the Bible for scriptural support - is a fruit of Christianity? Silas will simply reply back by saying that we shouldn't judge the fruit of Christianity by individuals who aren't practicing the faith properly and I would agree with him on that. All I am asking for is the same courtesy to be shown towards Islam as well.
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