Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Debate of Ibn ‘Abbaas with the Khawaarij

Ibn ‘Abbaas (radiyallaahu ta'aala anhu) narrated:

When the Harūriyyah (the Khawaarij) rebelled, they isolated themselves in a place. There were 6000 of them and they were united in rebelling against ‘Alee. Continuously people would come to ‘Alee and say, “Oh Leader of the Believers, verily these people are rebelling against you.”

He would reply, “Leave them, verily I will not fight them until they fight me and that is what
they will do.”

So when it came to that day, I came to ‘Alee before the noon prayer and I said to him, “Oh Leader of the Believers, delay the prayer until it is cooler perhaps I will speak to these people.”

He said: “Verily, I fear for you.”

I said, “Never! I used to be known as a man of good manners, I never harmed anyone.”

He gave me permission to go. So, I put on a very nice garment, the best of what one could get from Yemen and I combed my hair. Then, I visited them at midday while they were eating.

I had entered upon a people, the likes of whom I had never seen with regards to their exertion in worship. Their foreheads were wounded due to (constant) prostration (in prayer) and their hands had become rough like camels' feet, wearing recently washed, untidy shirts with very high raised clothing and with tired and worn out faces [due to not caring for themselves].

So, I greeted them and they said, “Welcome, oh son of Abbaas! And what is this cloak you are wearing?”

I asked, “What deficiency do you see from me? Indeed, I saw the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) dressed in the best of what you can find in Yemeni clothing, then I recited this verse:

"Say: Who has forbidden the adornment of Allaah which He has produced for His servants and the goods things of provision." [Soorah al-A'raaf 7:32]

Then they asked, “What has brought you here?”

I told them, “I have come to you from amongst the companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) – the Muhajirun and the Ansaar and from the son of the uncle of the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) (‘Alee), who is his son-in-law. And upon them descended the Qur’aan; they are more knowledgeable about it than you and there is not one of them (the companions) amongst you. I have come to convey to you what they say, and to convey to them what you say.”

A group amongst them said, “Do not debate with the Quraysh because verily Allaah, says:

"Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people." [Soorah Az-Zukhruf 43:58]

Then a group of them turned towards me and two or three of them said: “Verily, we will speak to him.”

So I said, “Come forward, what is the grudge you have against the companions of the Allaah’s Messenger and the son of his uncle (‘Alee)?”

They answered, “Three points.”

I asked, “And what are they?”

They said, “One of the points is that he (‘Alee) had men judge in a matter of Allaah while Allaah says:

"The judgment is for none but Allaah." [Soorah Al-An'aam 6:57 and Soorah Yusuf 12:40, 67]

“What have men got to do with the judgment?”

I said, “This is one point.”

They said, “As for the second point, then he fought and he did not take captives nor did he take the war booty. If they were disbelievers, then their captives are permissible for us and if they were believers then their captives are neither permissible to take nor was it allowed to fight them (in the first place).”

I said, “This is the second point, and what is the third point?” Or he said something similar.

They said, “He should remove the title of ‘Leader of the Believers’ (Ameerul-Mu’mineen) and if he is not the ‘Leader of the Believers’ then he is the ‘Leader of the Disbelievers’ (Ameerul-Kaffireen).”

I asked, “Do you have any points other than these?”

They replied, “These are sufficient for us.”

I said to them, “Do you understand that if I read to you from the Book of Allaah and from the Sunnah of His Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) that which refutes what you say, will you then return (back)?”

They said, “Yes.”

I said: “As for your statement that ‘Alee had men judge in a matter that was for Allaah; then I will read to you from the Book of Allah, where Allaah has delegated His judgment to men regarding the eighth of a quarter of a dirham. Allaah commanded the people to judge in this matter.

Do you not understand the saying of Allaah?

“Oh you who believe, do not kill the game while you are in a state of Ihram, and whosoever of you kills it intentionally, then the penalty is an offering equivalent to the one he killed, as judged by two just men among you.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:95]

And it is from the judgment of Allaah that He delegated men to judge in this matter. If Allaah willed, He could have judged in this matter but He allowed men to judge.

I ask you by Allah, is it better that men judge in something regarding reconciliation in disputes and in preventing bloodshed or regarding the hunting of a rabbit?”

They said, “Of course, this is better.”

“And regarding a woman and her husband (Allaah says):

“If you fear a breach between the husband and wife, appoint two arbitrators: one from his family and the other from hers.” [Soorah an-Nisaa 4:35]

“Is not men judging in reconciling disputes and in the prevention of bloodshed better than men judging regarding the private parts of a woman? Have we finished with this point?”

They replied, “Yes.”

I said, “As for your statement, ‘He fought but did not take captives and did not take war booty,’ then would you take your mother (in Islaam), Aa’ishah, as a captive, making her permissible for yourselves for that which you make permissible from other than her while she is your mother? If you say, ‘We make permissible from her that which we make permissible from other than her,’ then you have committed disbelief. And if you say, “She is not our mother,” then you have also committed disbelief:

“The Prophet is closer to the believer than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers.” [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:6]

“And so you are between the two ill judgments. So, which of them do you want to take?
Have we finished with this point?”

They replied, “Yes.”

“As for ‘Alee removing the title of ‘Leader of Believers’, then I will give you something that will please you; verily, the Prophet of Allaah contracted an agreement with the Mushrikeen
(the disbelievers of Quraysh) on the Day of Hudaybiyyah, and the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said to ‘Alee:

“Write, oh Alee: This is what Muhammad, the Messenger of Allaah, agrees with. They, the Mushrikeen, said, ‘If we knew you to be the Messenger of Allaah, we would not have fought you.’ So the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: Oh Allaah, indeed You know that I am Your Messenger. Erase it, Alee and write: This is what Muhammad Ibn Abd Allaah agrees upon."

“I swear by Allaah that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) is better than ‘Alee and even he erased his own name, and erasing his name does not erase his Prophethood. Have we finished with this point?”

They said, “Yes.”

So 2,000 of them came back while the rest of them rebelled and fought, based upon their misguidance, and the Muhajirun and Ansaar fought them.

[Taken from al-Silsilah al-Ṣaḥeeḥah (5/12-13) by al-Albaanee and Munaẓẓarāt a’immat al-Salaf, p.89-91. ]

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