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Questions about Ghadeer and Appointment of Imam Ali: Implicit or Explicit?‏

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What do you say about these narrations from Sunni sources?

Hasan ibn Al-Hasan:
فقال له الرافضي ألم يقل رسول الله عليه السلام لعلي من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه؟ فقال أما والله أن لو يعني بذلك الامرة والسلطان لأفصح لهم بذلك كما أفصح لهم بالصلاة والزكاة وصيام رمضان وحج البيت ولقال لهم أيها الناس هذا وليكم من بعدي 
The Rafidhi said: ‘Did not the Messenger of Allah (saw) say to Alee (a.s): “Whomever I am his Master (Mawla) then Alee is his Master (Mawla)?”‘ He said: ‘By Allah (swt), if he meant by that the leadership, then he should have clarified that, like he clarified the issue of Salat and Zakat and fasting in Ramadan and the Hajj of the House. He should have rather said: “O people this is your Master (Wali) after me”‘.
Source: Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d. Vol. 7, Pg. # 314.

 

 “Did not the Messenger of Allah say to Ali: ‘If i am Mawla of someone, Ali is his Mawla?’” He (Al Hasan) replied, “By Allah, if he meant by that Amirate and rulership, he would have been more explicit to you in expressing that, just as he was explicit to you about the Salah, Zakat and Hajj to the House. He would have said to you, ‘Oh people! This is your leader after me.’ The Messenger of Allah gave the best good counsel to the people (i.e. clear in meaning). “If it is like what you say, that Ali was chosen for this after the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny), then he would be the most flawed from all the people, because he didn't do as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny) commanded.”
(Source: Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Volume 5) Similar is present in Ibn `Asakir (volume 4, page 166) and (awāsim min qawāsim page 115).

 

As salāmu alaykum!

 

Part of our aqeeda is to affirm that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, made every aspect of the religion clear for all Muslims—then and now. We therefore reject any claim that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, left any matter ambiguous. Furthermore, we say that if any matter was left obscure in the matters of faith, the Prophet was at fault and the religion was not completed. This is based upon the ayāt of Qur’ān such as Q. 5:3 {Today, We have perfected your religion…}. Also, in Hajj al-Wada’, the Prophet asked all of the Muslims ((Have I not faithfully conveyed to you all that is needed in your religion?)) or something to that effect, and all of the Muslims said: “Indeed, O Messenger of Allah.” No one asked him to clarify anything related to usury, kelala, successorship or the like. Therefore, the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, exculpated himself from any charge that he left any matter unexplained.

 

That being the case, one of our imams, Imam al-Qāsim bin Ibrahim ar-Rassi (as) posed the question in his book The Imamate of Those who Preceded ‘Ali: “Is the Imamate/Caliphate a part of the religion or not?” If you say yes then that means the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, did indeed clarify it. If you say no, then you have to admit that what happened at Saqeefa and subsequently was outside of the religion and illegitimate.

 

Given that the Prophet clarified everything in the religion, we say that the hadith of Ghadir ((Whoever I am his authority Ali is his authority…)) was clear in designating ‘Ali as his successor. We discuss this in great detail in our book The Establishment of Clear Exposition.http://www.lulu.com/shop/the-imam-rassi-society/the-establishment-of-clear-exposition-a-commentary-on-al-h%C4%81dis-the-fundamentals-of-the-religion/hardcover/product-15838789.html;jsessionid=3D8C8121FECA3446911760612BB9964D

 

For the sake of brevity, we will simply say that there is an explicit hadith in which the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, DID say regarding ‘Ali: ((He is your leader (waliyukum) after me)). It is narrated in the Sunan of at-Tirmirdhi and other books on the authority of Imran bin Husayn that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said: ((What do you want from ‘Ali?! ‘Ali is from me and I am from him! Verily, ‘Ali is the guardian/leader (wali) of every believer after me)). This hadith was authenticated by Sheikh Nasrudeen al-Albani in his Šahīh wa Ða’īf Sunan at-Tirmidhi.

 

In another narration in Musnad Ahmed, Khasā`is Amīr al-Muminīn of an-Nisā`i, As-Sunan al-Kubra of an-Nisā`i, and Fađa’il as-Sahāba by Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal on the authority of Burayda, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, is also narrated to have said regarding ‘Ali ((He is your leader (waliyukum) after me)).

 

Here is a very explicit hadith designating Ali as leader. It used the exact wording (waliyukum) of the narration in Tabaqāt as- Sa’d! He, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said wali. The problem is that there will be those who say that he should have used mawla to mean leader. When he said mawla, they say “Why didn’t he say the word wali”?!  These same people are quite comfortable saying that Abu Bakr was the leader after the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, when he is referred to as the “Wali of Allah’s Messenger” by Umar in Saheeh al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim. But when ‘Ali is called Wali by the blessed tongue of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, it doesn’t mean leader, it means ‘friend’?!

 

All such attempts point to the fact that there are those who tried to obfuscate the clear designation of Amir al-Mumineen, Ali bin Abi Tālib (as) as leader of the Muslims after the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. We ask Allah to lift the blinders of sectarianism so that we can see the truth! Ameen! 


 

 

What is the position of the early Zaydi imams about the wilaya of Ali in general and hadith al-Ghadeer in particular? I thought that Zaydis believed that the appointment of Ali was implicit and not explicit.


Regarding the explicit appointment of Imam Ali (as) as well as the import of hadith Ghadeer and so forth, the early Zaydi imams were in agreement that it was explicit and not implicit. Below are some narrated statements of our early imams (as) prior to and contemporary with Imam ar-Rassi (as) and al-Hadi (as). This shows us that the doctrine of implicit appointment was something that came along much later.

 

Imam al-Hussein bin ‘Ali (as)—It is narrated by Hāfiz Muhammad bin Suleiman al-Kufi with a complete chain of narrators that a man came to Imam al-Hussein (as) and asked him about his father, ‘Ali (as). He said:

Verily, Allah—the Blessed and Exalted—taught His Prophet every manner. When He completed this, He bestowed upon him the affair (al-amr). Then, He said: {Whatsoever the Messenger gives thee, take it. Whatever he prohibits thee from, leave it} (Q. 59:7). Verily, Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, taught ‘Ali this very same manner that he was taught. When He completed this, he bestowed upon him the affair. Then, he said: ((Whoever I have authority over, Ali has authority over)).       

 

Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad as-Sādiq (as)—It is narrated on the authority of Imam Mu’ayyad Billah Ahmed bin al-Hussein al-Hāruuni (as) with his chain of authority going to Ja’far as-Sādiq that he was asked about the meaning of what the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, said to ‘Ali on Ghadīr. He said:

By Allah, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, was asked about it and he said: ((Allah is my Guardian. He has more authority over me than I have over myself, and I have no say in the matter with Him. I am the guardian of the believers. I have more authority over them than they have over themselves, and they have no say in the matter with me. Whomever I am the guardian of, I have more authority over him than he has over himself, and he has no say in the matter with me. So, ‘Ali is his guardian. He has more authority over one than one has over himself, and he has no say in the matter with him)).

 

Imam Zayd bin ‘Ali (as)—It is narrated by Hāfiz Muhammad bin Suleiman al-Kufi with a complete chain of narrators that Imam Zayd (as) was asked the intended meaning of the hadith: ((Whoever I have authority over, Ali has authority over)). He replied:

He, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, appointed (nasaba) him in a known way so that it can be recognised who is the Party of Allah in the case of separation (furqa).   

 

Imam Zayd (as) was also reported to have said in his Tathbīt al-Wasīya:

‘Ali (as) had more right to Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, than the people. He was their imam after their Prophet.

 

Imam Zayd (as) was also reported to have said regarding the hadith: ((Ali’s position to mine is like that of Aaron’s position to Moses except that there will be no Prophet after me)):

He [i.e. the Prophet] likened him to Aaron in position. Therefore, it is necessary that position be known to us and not unknown. Aaron does not have position except in three things: position of brotherhood, position of partnership [i.e. in Prophethood] and position of successorship (khilāfa). The intellect excludes the position of brotherhood due to lineage. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, excluded the position of Prophethood due to his exception. Nothing remains except Imamate.

 

Imam al-Hasan bin al-Hasan (as)—It is narrated by Hāfiz Muhammad bin Suleiman al-Kufi with a complete chain of narrators that al-Hasan bin al-Hasan (as) was asked the intended meaning of the hadith: ((Whoever I have authority over, Ali has authority over)). He replied:

Allah did that to make evident the one who is protected (ma’suum) in the religion and not astray.

 

Imam Ahmed bin Isa bin Zayd (as)—Sharīf al-Hasani narrated with a complete chain of narrators that Imam Ahmed bin Isa (as) said:

Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, appointed ‘Ali bin Abi Tālib (as) as the leader of the people. He was the best of them according to Allah and him [i.e. the Prophet]. He made people to know that he is to be after him.

 

Imam al-Hasan bin Yahya bin al-Hussein bin Zayd (as)—Sharīf al-Hasani narrated with a complete chain of narrators that Imam al-Hasan bin Yahya (as) said:

The imam that was obligatory to obey after Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, was ‘Ali bin Abi Tālib (as).

   

Sharīf al-Hasani also narrated with a complete chain of narrators that Imam al-Hasan bin Yahya (as) said:

There is consensus among the scholars of Allah’s Messenger’s Progeny that ‘Ali bin Abi Tālib was the best of people after Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. He was the most knowledgeable of them, as well as the one most deserving of his [i.e. the Prophet’s] position.     


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