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Addressing the Unjust Rulers and Supporters to Establish the Right and Eradicate the Wrong

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On the Levels of Eradicating the Wrong Practiced by the Household of the Prophet (P) regarding the usurpation of the Caliphate from them:

Addressing the Unjust Rulers and Supporters to Establish the Right and Eradicate the Wrong:

Third Level: Addressing the unjust rulers and supporters directly with establishing the right and eradicating the wrong in response to the Prophet’s tradition that is famous for the two schools of thought in Islam. Ahmad said in his “Musnad,” “The Prophet (P) was asked, “Which is the best jihad that Allah favors?” He said, “A righteous word said to an unjust leader.””([1]) There was absolute encouragement to do so even if the word costs his life. In the narration of “Majmaa Al Bayan,” the collection of rhetoric,” the Prophet (P) says, “The best jihad is a righteous word in front of an unjust ruler that one gets killed for.”([2]) Imam Ali (P) said, “Allah means in the verse {But there is [also] a kind of man who would willingly sell his own self in order to please God}(Baqara: 207). A man is killed establishing the right and eradicating the wrong.”([3])

Here, I shall mention some of the less discussed evidence:

For example, Imam Husayn’s letter to Muawiyah was to warn and scold him for the sins he did. It was narrated by Ibn Qutaiba in “Imama wa Siyasa”, by Kashi in “Rijal”, by Qadi Nu’mani in “Da’aim Al-Islam”, by Tabarsi in “Ihtijaj”, and by the narration of Tousi. Imam Husayn (P) wrote to Muawiyah, “I received your letter in which you mention that you have known matters about me that you did not think of me as I did not desire them. You said that the good is enlightened and helped to achieve by Allah. As for what you heard about me, it was sent by the gossipers and chatterers, who want to disperse unity. These evil apostates have lied. I never wanted a war or dispute. I fear Allah in leaving that from you and from your party who are unjust and who do not abide by divine orders. They are the oppressor’s party and the supporters of the denounced devil.

Are you not the murderer of Hijr and his pious and devout companions who renounced heresy, established the right and eradicated the wrong? You killed them unjustly and offensively after you had given the people assured oaths and firm pacts. You dared to disobey Allah and did not observe his accord.

Did not you kill Amr Ibn Al-Hamq whom you defiled and mutated his devout face? You killed him after giving him promises that would get mountain goats down to you from the highest mountains if they understood your language.

Did not you claim Ziad to be Muslim and that he is the son of Abi Sufian? The Prophet (P) said that the son is the fruit of intercourse, and that prostitutes should be stoned. You assigned him to rule Muslims, to kill them, cut their hands and feetand crucify them on palm tree trunks. I am amazed, Muawiyah! It seems that you would not be part of this nation, and this nation is not part of you.

Did not you kill Al-Hadhrami whom Ziad told you he is a follower of Ali’s religion, May Allah honor his face, where Ali’s religion is his cousin’s (P) who made you what you are today. Otherwise, the best honor of yours and your ancestors would have been suffering in the two trips: Winter and summer. Then, Allah blessed you with us and relieved you from it.

You said, “Look at yourself, your religion, and the nation of Mohammad, and avoid dividing this nation and returning them to sedition. I assure you I do not know of any subversion graver than your leadership of this nation.

By Allah, I know nothing better than fighting you. If I shall do it, it would be to gain Allah’s satisfaction. If I do not do it, I ask forgiveness from Allah for my religion. I ask Him for support to what He favors and is satisfied with. You said, “When you plot against me, I would do the same.” I tell you to plot against me, Muawiyah the way you want. I swear, in the past, the gracious ones were plotted against. I hope you would only harm yourself and eliminate you work only. Plan for schemes as you wish, and fear God, Muawiyah! You should know that Allah has a book that records all small and big deeds, and Allah does not neglect your killing by suspicion, believing allegations, and crowning a boy who drinks alcohol and plays with dogs. I see that you have harmed yourself, destroyed your religion and lost your people. Peace!”([4])

(There is also) a letter from Imam Sajjad (P) to Mohamed Ibn Shehab al-Zahri, who is a scholar favored by Marwanid kings.([5]) Imam said, “May Allah protect us with you from sedition and save you from Hell. You have become in a state that requires those who know you to ask [Allah] for mercy to you. Allah’s graces have been laden upon you with a healthy body and a lengthy life. Allah’s proof has been sent to you with what you know from Qoran and jurisprudence of religion and the Prophet’s tradition that you know. He gave you what he destined and granted you every bliss you had and every proof sent to you. Heonly destined to challenge your gratitude and showed his grace on you. Allah said, {If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.}

See what kind of man you would be on Judgment Day when Allah questions you about how you observed His blessings upon you and how you responded to his evidence upon you. Allah will neither accept your excuses nor be satisfied with you shortcomings. It is never like that. He dictated in Qoran that scholars shall {Reveal to people and not withhold it}. The least you have withheld and the slightest of what you carried is when you soothed the loneliness of the oppressor and facilitated his path of vice when you stepped closer to him and responded when you were called. I fear that tomorrow you shall appear with your sin with the traitors. You would be asked about what you took by supporting the injustice of the oppressors. You took what is not yours from the one who has given you. You came close to who did not give anyone a right. You did not refute any wrongdoing when you were close. You loved whomever defied Allah. Have not he, when having called you, made you an axis to turn their injustice with? Have not they made you a bridge to their woe and a ladder to their perversion? You called to their evil and trod their path. With you, they get scholars into skepticism and lead with you the hearts of the ignorant people to them. You reached a point of reforming their corruption and affiliating scholars and non-scholars with them that even their closest ministers or strongest of supporters were not able to do. They have given you so much less than they had taken from you. They have built so little for you in comparison with what they have destroyed for you.

Look at yourself! No one else would look at it other than you. Judge yourself as a responsible man. See how you thank the grantor of graces to you as a small boy and as a man. I fear you would be like Allah said in Qoran, {And there followed them successors who inherited the Scripture [while] taking the commodities of this lower life and saying, "It will be forgiven for us."} (A’raf:169). You shall not be immortal on Earth. You will leave, and how long do you think you will stay after your peers. Blessed is who is fearful on Earth. Wretched is who dies and his sins remain after him. Beware, you have been told! Act as your time has come near! You are dealing with the Knowledgeable. The One Who is keeping your record is not negligent.

Be prepared as you will soon depart on a long trip. Repent for your sins as it is full of great woe. Be sure that I do not want to scold you, reprimand you, nor insult you. I wished for Allah to revive your thoughts and return to you what you have missed from your belief. I remember Allah’s saying, {And remind (by preaching the Quran, O Muhammad) for verily, the reminding profits the believers}. You forgot your peers and rivals, and you stayed after them like a bull with a broken horn([6]). Look and see if they were burdened with your challenge. See if they had fallen into what you had fallen into. Did they ignore an act of good you mention? Do you know anything they were ignorant of? You have this status in the eyes of people as they follow you, accept your opinion and act upon your order. If you allow something, they would do it. If you refrain from it, they would do the same. However, this is not because of you but because they revere you as they desire what you have. Their scholars are gone. Ignorance filled you and them along with the love of prominence and seeking worldly wishes. Cannot you see the ignorance and the arrogance you live in and what people suffer of calamity and sedition? You cast this calamity on them and lured them to leave their means of gain out of what they saw. Their souls wished to reach the knowledge you had or to use it to become like you. You have cast them into an endless bottomed sea. They have set into a dilemma that cannot be estimated. May Allah help us and help you, as he is our supporter.

Stop what you are doing to join the righteous people who were buried in their ragged clothes with their abdomens sticking to their backs. Those had no barrier between them and Allah. They were not allured and did not allure anyone with this world. They had a wish, and they had a request, then soon they followed the predecessors. If this world still gets someone like you to this extent with your old age, robust knowledge and the advent of your doom, how would the juvenile be safe in his life, and the ignorant in knowledge, the feebleminded in his opinion, and theinsane in his sanity? {We are to Allah, and to Him we return} Whom do we depend on? Whom do we blame? To Allah, we send our grievance,and what we see in you. Allah suffices us for our calamity with you.

Look how you thank Who nurtured you with blessings when young and old. See how you glorify Who made you nice in people’s eyes with his religion. See how you preserve the cover of who protected you with his cover among people. See how he brought you closer or took you farther from who ordered you to be close and humiliated. Why do not you awake after dozing, and stand after falling to rise. By Allah, you never stood to Him even once to revive Allah’s religion or eradicate a wrongdoing. Is this how you thank Who has put up with you? I am afraid you would be like those whom Allah said about them, {They neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil}. He entrusted you with his book and gave you his knowledge but you lost them. We thank Allah who protected us from your misfortune. Peace.”([7])

Another example is the saying of Imam Sadek (P) when Al-Mansour wrote to him, “Why do you not accompany us like other people do?” Imam answered, “We do not have anything to fear you for, and you do not have anything of the afterlife that we would wish you for. You are neither in grace to congratulate you, nor do you see it as a debacle so we would condole with you, what would we do at your place?” Mansour then wrote to him, “You can accompany us to provide us with advice.” Imam answered, “Whomever wants this world would not advise you, and whomever wants the afterlife does not accompany you.”([8])

A further example is the strictness and clarity from Imam Kadhem (P) in his stances to claim the rights of the Imams in the leadership of the nation. Ibn Shahr-Ashoub mentions in his “Manaqeb”: “The writers of the biography of the Caliphs say that Haroun Rashid used to say to Musa Ibn Jaafar, “Demarcate {in another version: take) Fadak for me to return it to you.” He would refuse. Haroun insisted so Imam said, “I would never take it unless it would be with its borders.” He asked, “What are those?” He answered, “If I specify them you would not return it?” He said, “By your grandfather, I would do.” Imam said, “The first border is Eden.” Rashid’s face changed and said, “Yes.” Imam said, “The second border is Samarqand.” Then, Rashid’s face turned dim. “Africa is the third border.” Rashid’s face turned black. He added, “Yes.” Imam continued, “Fourth is the sea side after the islands [Perhaps the Caspian Sea] and Armenia.” Rashid said, “We have nothing left. Come take my seat.” Imam Musa said, “I have told you that if I draw the borders you would not return it.” Then, he was determined to kill him.”([9])

This happened with the Abbasid Caliph Mohamed known as Al-Mahdi Ibn Abi Jaafar Al-Mansour. When Imam Musa Ibn Jaafar (P) saw him resolving grievances, he said, “Commander of the Faithful, why is our grievance not resolved?” So on and so forth to the end of the narration.

Imam also preached Haroun in what Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi narrated in (The History of Baghdad) “Tarikh Baghdad”, and other sources. He said, “Musa Ibn Jaafar (P) sent a letter to Haroun from prison saying, “With every day of my calamity that passes, a similar day of your pleasure will pass, too. This will continue until we all reach a day that does not pass when the wrongdoers lose.”([10])

Another example is of Imam Rida (P) like the incident narrated by Sheikh Sadouk in “Ilal Sharai’” and “Uyun Akhbar Al-Rida”. It was cited by Mohamad Ibn Sinan. He said, “I was at the seating of my lord Rida (P) in Khorasan. Ma’moun would seat him to his right if he appeared to people on Monday and Thursday. Ma’moun was told that a Sufi had committed a theft. He ordered to bring him. When he looked at him he found he was austere and signs of bowing on the ground appeared on his face. He said, “It is bad for such beautiful marks to be associated with this ugly deed. How could you be described as a thief with these beautiful marks and appearance? He said, “I was compelled to do so. I did not choose it. You stopped me from my right of Khums and return. Ma’moun said, “What right do you havein Khums and return?” He said, “Allah divided Khums in six parts.” Qoran says {And if you believe in anything you get of war booty - then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveler, if you have believed in Allah, and in that which We sit down to Our Servant on the day of criterion - the day when the two armies met}.

 The return was divided into six groups, {And what does Allah restore to His Messenger from the people of the towns - is it for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveler - so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich From among you}. The Sufi says, “You prevented me from my right and I am a stranger with no place to go and a poor who has nothing. I also memorize Qoran.” Ma’moun said, “Do you want me to stop a punishment and rule established by Allah against a thief for your stories you are telling me” The Sufi said, “Start by purging yourself, then purge others. Ma’moun looked at Imam Rida (P) and asked, “What is he saying?” He said, “He is saying he was stolen from, so he stole.” Ma’moun was furious and said to the Sufi, “By Allah, I will cut you to pieces.” The Sufi said, “You would cut me when you are my slave?” Ma’moun said, “When did I become your slave?” The Sufi said, “Your mother was bought with money of the Muslims. You are a slave for them in the East and West until they free you. As for me, I did not free you. You also took Khums and never gave the Prophet’s household their right. You also did not give our rights to my peers and me. Also, a vicious is not purged by another. A pure purges the vicious. Who can implement punishments does not implement them on others until he starts with himself. Have you not heard Allah’s words, {Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Then you will not reason?}. Ma’moun looked at Imam Rida (P), and said, “What is your opinion about him?” He (P) said, “Allah said to Mohammad (P), {Say, Allah has the explicit evidence}. This evidence did not reach the ignorant so that he would know it when he is ignorant. The scholar knows it by his knowledge. This world and the afterlife are erected by evidence. The man has presented his evidence.” Ma’moun ordered the release of the Sufi, and did not appear to people. He plotted to Imam Rida (P) and poisoned him.”([11])

Sheikh Tousi narrated in “Tahthibwa Istibsar” citing Abi Saeed Khorasani. He said, “Two men entered to Abi Hassan Rida (P) in Khorasan. They asked him about shortening the daily prayers. He said to one of them. “You have to shorten your prayer because you came to me.” He said to the other, “You have to pray as usual because you came to the ruler.”([12]) That meant his travel to the ruler is a sin so he does not shorten his prayers.





([1]) Musnad Ahmad: 5/251.

([2]) Majmaa al-Bayan: 2/423.

([3]) Majmaa al-Bayan: 2/301, Mustadrak: 2/438 citing Lub al-Lubab (Heart of Hearts).

([4]) Encyclopedia of the Words of Imam Husayn (P): 314 from al-Ghadeer for Allama Amini: 10/160, Bihar Anwar: 44/212, Section 9; Rijal “Kashi”: 1/252; “Ihtijaj”: 297.

([5]) It was said that Omar Ibn Abdul-Aziz wrote about him to people of different regions, “Follow Ibn Shehab. You would never find anyone with better knowledge of the past Sunnah.” Mak-houl was asked, “Who is the most knowledgeable person you have ever seen? He said, “Ibn Shehab.” He was asked, “Then, whom?” He said, “Ibn Shehab.” Then, he was asked, “Then, whom?” He said, “Ibn Shehab.” Al-Zahri remained with Abdul-Malek, then with Hisham Ibn Abdul-Malek, (Narrated from Tanqeeh al-Maqal: 3/186). On the margin of Nuskhat al-Tuhaf, Second imprint 1363 Solar Hegira – 1404 Lunar Hegira. Institution of Islamic Publishing. The Group of Instructors at Honorable Qum. Revised and commented on by Ali-Akbar Al-Ghafari, “Mohamed Ibn Muslim Ibn Obeidullah Ibn Shehab Al-Zahri as shows by the biography books was one of those deviated from the Commander of the Faithful and his descendants. His father Muslim was with Mus’ab Ibn al-Zubair, His grandfather Obeidullah was with the pagans during the Battle of Badr. He remained a ruler for the Marwanids turning in their world. Hisham Ibn Abdul-Malek made him the instructor of his children. He ordered him to recite traditions of the Prophet (P) to them so he recited four-hundred hadiths. Hence, their scholars commended him and overrated his stance to the extent that Ibn Hijr was amazed of the abundant knowledge he published.”

([6]) Perhaps he means that he had stayed like one of the two horns of a bull. Citing the margin of Muhaqeq al-Najaf, I would say: Perhaps the simile is the bad omen. Arabs used to see bulls with broken horn as a bad omen. Kumait Ibn Zaid (An ancient Arab poet) said describing this indifference to the interests and customs of people” If it were not the roaming [cattle] that return at night, [I would not ask] was it a bull with a sound horn or a broken one}. There are many verses of poetry to this notion.

([7]) Masterpieces of the Mind: 173-175.

([8]) Wasail Shia: The Book of Trade, Chapters of What is Traded with, Chapter: 37, Section 2.

([9]) Manaqeb Al Abi Taleb (Qualities of the Household of Abi Taleb), a chapter on the sublimity of his [Imam’s] matters; Bihar al-Anwar: 48/144, Section 20.

([10]) Encyclopedia of the Prophet and Household: 11/403 about the history of Baghdad.: 13/31-32; Memory of the Elite (Tathkirat al-Khawas): 360. Bidaya wa Nihaya for Ibn Atheer: 10/183; Comprehensive History (Kamel fi Ta’rikh): 6/164, etc.

([11]) Ilal Shar’I’: 240, Chapter 174 reason for Ma’moun’s killing of Imam Rida. Uyun Akhbar Rida: 452, Chapter 59 with the same title. In the citation, it is from Sinan only but in “Ilal”, Mohamad Ibn Sinan.

([12]) Wasail Shia: Book of Prayer; Chapters of the Traveler’s Prayer, Chapter 8, section 9.