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Did the Sahaba become Kafir?


Islamic Salvation

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هلك الناس أجمعون قلت: من في الشرق و من في الغرب؟ قال: فقال: إنها فتحت على الضلال

All the people were destroyed. I said: whomever was in the east and the west? he said: it (the whole earth) was opened up to misguidance

هلكوا إلا ثلاثة ثم لحق أبو ساسان و عمار و شتيرة و أبو عمرة فصاروا سبعة

All were destroyed except three - then they were joined by Abu Sasan, Ammar, Shatira and Abu Amra, so they became seven [Ja`far al-Sadiq]

 

Did the Sahaba Apostatize?

There are narrations which indicate that all the companions were destroyed except three, these were then joined by four others, so they became seven who were saved. However, most of the scholars have understood this Halak [destruction] to be that of Dhalal [misguidance] i.e. perished in Salvific terms, not Kufr [disbelief] - which is the opposite of Islam.

 

Who are the three?

They are the pillars of the Madhhab. They are explicitly named in some of the narrations below:

أبي بصير قال: قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام: ارتد الناس إلا ثلاثة: أبو ذر، و سلمان، و المقداد؟ قال: فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: فأين أبو ساسان، و أبو عمرة الأنصاري؟

[al-Kashshi] Abi Basir said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: all the people turned back except for three - Abu Dhar, Salman and Miqdad? Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: so where is Abu Sasan and Abu Amra al-Ansari?!

أبي بكر الحضرمى قال: قال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: ارتد الناس إلاثلاثة نفر سلمان وأبو ذر والمقداد. قال: قلت: فعمّار؟ قال عليه السلام: قد كان جاض جيضة ثم رجع ... ثم أناب الناس بعد فكان أول من أناب أبو ساسان الانصاري وأبوعمرة وشتيرة وكانوا سبعة فلم يكن يعرف حق أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام إلاّ هؤلاء السبعة

[al-Kashshi] Abi Bakr al-Hadhrami said: Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: the people turned back except three individuals - Salman, Abu Dhar and Miqdad, I said: what about Ammar? He عليه السلام said: he wobbled a bit then he returned [to the truth] … then the people repented after that, so the first ones to return [to the truth] were Abu Sasan al-Ansari, Abu Amra, Shatira, and they became seven, none recognized the right of the commander of the faithful عليه السلام except these seven.

  • 'then the people repented after that, so the first ones ...' This shows that it was not just these seven, rather, these were the foremost of them.

علي بن أبي طالب عليهم السلام قال: خلقت الارض لبسبعة بهم ترزقون وبهم تنصرون وبهم تمطرون منهم سلمان الفارسي والمقداد وأبو ذر وعّمار وحذيفة رحمة اللّه عليهم. وكان علي عليه السلام يقول: وأنا إمامهم وهم الذين صلوا على فاطمة صلوات الله عليها

[al-Ikhtisas] Ali b. Abi Talib عليه السلام said: the earth was created for seven, because of them you are given sustenance, and because of them you are assisted, and because of them is rain made to fall on you, among them are Salman al-Farsi and al-Miqdad and Abu Dhar and Ammar and Hudhayfa - may Allah have mercy on them. Ali عليه السلام used to say: and I am their Imam, and they are the ones who prayed [Salat al-Mayyit] upon Fatima صلوات الله عليها            

 

The Three had a higher status than the Four

حمران قال: قلت لأبي جعفر عليه السلام: ما أقلنا لو اجتمعنا على شاة ما أفنيناها قال: فقال: ألا أخبرك بأعجب من ذلك قال: فقلت: بلى قال: المهاجرون و الأنصار ذهبوا إلا (و أشار بيده) ثلاثة

[al-Kashshi] Humran said: I said to Abi Ja’far عليه السلام - how few we (the Shias) are! if we gather to eat a sheep we will not be able to finish it, he (Humran) said: so he عليه السلام said: should I not inform you of something even more bewildering? he (Humran) said: I said: yes (do so), he said: the Muhajirun and the Ansar all diverted (i.e. went astray) except for - and he gestured with his hand - three.

In al-Kulayni’s variant the narration continues:

قال حمران: فقلت: جعلت فداك ما حال عمار؟ قال: رحم الله عمارا أبا اليقظان بايع وقتل شهيدا، فقلت في نفسي: ما شئ أفضل من الشهادة فنظر إلي فقال: لعلك ترى أنه مثل الثلاثة أيهات أيهات

Humran said: may I be made your ransom - what is the status of Ammar? He said: may Allah have mercy on Ammar Aba al-Yaqdhan, he pledged allegiance and died a martyr, I said in my heart: what thing is better than martyrdom, so he [the Imam] looked at me and said: perhaps you think that he [Ammar] is like the three [in status], how far! how far! [from truth that opinion is]. 

 

Does this mean all others became apostates?

The crux is the meaning of Ridda (ردّة) in these narrations. Whether it is to be understood in a linguistic sense or the technical sense of apostasy. If the latter is taken then it means all the Sahaba became Kafir [out of Islam] for not sticking to Ali.

Irtidad in the linguistic sense refers to ‘turning back from something’. It has been used with this meaning in a number of verses such as:

فَلَمَّا أَن جَاء الْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِيرًا قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

(i) So when the caravan herald [fore-runner] came he threw it on his face so he returned to seeing, he said: did I not say to you that I know from Allah what ye do not (12:96)

قَالَ الَّذِي عِندَهُ عِلْمٌ مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ

(ii) The one who had knowledge of a part of the Book said: I will bring it to you before your glance returns back to you [i.e. you blink and open your eyes again] (27:40)

مُهْطِعِينَ مُقْنِعِي رُءُوسِهِمْ لاَ يَرْتَدُّ إِلَيْهِمْ طَرْفُهُمْ وَأَفْئِدَتُهُمْ هَوَاء

(iii) Racing ahead, their heads bowed down, their glances not returning back to them [i.e. unblinking] and their hearts void (14:43)

Whenever Irtidad from the Diin - ‘turning back’ from the Diin i.e. apostasy in the technical sense is meant, the Qur`an qualifies it by explicitly mentioning Diin.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَن يَرْتَدَّ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ

(i) O you who believe, whoever turns back from his Diin from among you then Allah will bring about a people whom He loves and they love Him (5:54)

وَمَن يَرْتَدِدْ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُوْلَئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ

(ii) And whoever among you turns back on his Diin and dies whilst being a Kafir then those are they whose deeds have been nullified in the world and the hereafter (2:217)

It is clear that the narrations about the Irtidad of the Sahaba are not qualified by Diin. To understand that meaning from it would require further proof.

 

The Chosen Interpretation

The Irtidad in the narrations should be understood [in light of other narrations] as people turning away, after the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله, from what they had made incumbent on themselves in his صلى الله عليه وآله lifetime, when they gave the Bay`a to Ali b. Abi Talib as the leader of the believers i.e. Irtidad from Wilaya not apostasy from Islam. 

Instead, they decided to give the Bay`a to someone else because of expediency and other reasons. This was a betrayal of epic proportions that opened up the door of misguidance and innovation in the Diin, however, they had not exited the apparent Islam, nor were all on the same level of liability for this.

This interpretation is aided by the following texts:

أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: كان الناس أهل ردة بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وآله إلا ثلاثة. فقلت: ومن الثلاثة؟ فقال: المقداد بن الأسود، وأبو ذر الغفاري، وسلمان الفارسي، رحمة الله وبركاته عليهم، ثم عرَف أناسٌ بعدَ يسير. وقال: هؤلاء الذين دارت عليهم الرحا وأبوا أن يبايعوا، حتى جاؤوا بأمير المؤمنين مكرَهاً فبايع، وذلك قوله تعالى: وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىَ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ

(i) [al-Kafi] Abi Ja`far عليه السلام said: the people were the people of Ridda after the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله except three. I said: who are the three? He said: al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad, Abu Dhar al-Ghiffari and Salman al-Farsi, may Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon them, then the people came to know after a while [the truth], these [three] are those around whom the banner revolved and they refused to give Bay`a [to Abu Bakr], until when they brought the commander of the faithful عليه السلام by coercion and he gave the pledge of allegiance, and that is His words the Elevated - “Muhammad is not but a messenger, messengers have come and gone before him, if he dies or is killed, will you turn back on your heels, and whoever turns back on his heels then he will not harm Allah a thing and Allah will recompense those who are grateful” (3:144).

  • The narration indicates that the uniqueness of the three was that they did not give the Bay`a to the usurper because of knowing the true status of Ali, it was only when Ali was forced to give the Bay`a, and he did [for the Masliha which Allah willed], that the three also agreed to do it.
  • The meaning of 'then the people came to know after a while ...' is that some people recognized their fault, and acknowledged that the commander of the faithful was the most rightful person to assume leadership.

That all the others apart from the three were paralyzed by fear is shown in the narration below:

أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: جاء المهاجرون والأنصار وغيرهم بعد ذلك إلى علي عليه السلام فقالوا له: أنت والله أمير المؤمنين وأنت والله أحق الناس وأولاهم بالنبي عليه السلام هلم يدك نبايعك فوالله لنموتن قدامك! فقال علي عليه السلام: ان كنتم صادقين فاغدوا غدا علي محلقين فحلق علي عليه السلام وحلق سلمان وحلق مقداد وحلق أبو ذر ولم يحلق غيرهم؛ ثم انصرفوا فجاؤوا مرة أخرى بعد ذلك، فقالوا له أنت والله أمير المؤمنين وأنت أحق الناس وأولاهم بالنبي عليه السلام عليه السلام هلم يدك نبايعك فحلفوا فقال: إن كنتم صادقين فاغدوا علي محلقين فما حلق إلا هؤلاء الثلاثة قلت: فما كان فيهم عمار؟ فقال: لا؛ قلت: فعمار من أهل الردة؟ فقال: إنّ عمارا قد قاتل مع علي عليه السلام بعد ذلك

(ii) [al-Kashshi] Abi Ja`far عليه السلام said: the Muhajirun and Ansar and others came after that [the coup at Saqifa] to Ali عليه السلام and said to him: you are by Allah the commander of the faithful, and you are by Allah the most rightful person and closest to the prophet, put forth your hand so that we can pledge allegiance to you, for by Allah we are going to die in front of you [in your defense], Ali said: if you are truthful then come to me tomorrow having shaved your head [which would visually identify the ‘rebels’ to the authorities], so Ali shaved, so did Salman, Miqdad and Abu Dhar, and no one else did, then they came a second time after the first and said: you are by Allah the most rightful person and closest to the prophet, put forth your hand so that we can pledge allegiance to you, and they swore an oath, he said: come to me tomorrow having shaved your head if you are truthful, so no one shaved except three. I said: Ammar was not among them? He said: No, I said: Ammar is from the people of Ridda? He said: Ammar fought together with Ali after that.

  • This reaffirms that the uniqueness of the three is related to them not giving in and remaining with Ali to the end as far as his right is concerned. Note also how Ammar is not included among the Ahl al-Ridda, even in a historical sense, because of his later support for Ali.

In fact, one of the reasons behind Ali accepting to give Bay`a after his show of dissent was so that the masses do not renounce the faith totally. Recall that the Islamic polity was still unstable and there were a lot of Arab tribes whose allegiance had been personally to the prophet and not the Diin per se, the Jahiliyya was not far from their psyche.

أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: إن الناس لما صنعوا ما صنعوا إذ بايعوا أبا بكر لم يمنع أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام من أن يدعو إلى نفسه إلا نظرا للناس و تخوفا عليهم أن يرتدوا عن الاسلام فيعبدوا الاوثان ولا يشهدوا أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وكان الاحب إليه أن يقرهم على ما صنعوا من أن يرتدوا عن جميع الاسلام وإنما هلك الذين ركبوا ما ركبوا فأما من لم يصنع ذلك ودخل فيما دخل فيه الناس على غير علم ولا عداوة لامير المؤمنين عليه السلام فإن ذلك لا يكفره ولا يخرجه من الاسلام ولذلك كتم علي عليه السلام أمره وبايع مكرها حيث لم يجد أعوانا

(iii) [al-Kafi] Abu Ja'farعليه السلام  said: When the people did what they did - when they gave allegiance to Abu Bakr, nothing prevented the commander of the faithful عليه السلام from calling to himself (i.e. gather support to rival them publicly) except his fear for the people - that they would apostate from Islam, and begin worshiping the idols anew, and reject witnessing that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is his messenger; and it was more beloved to him to acquiesce to what they had done rather than them apostatizing from the whole of Islam. Verily, those who clambered upon this (opposing Ali for rulership) have been destroyed. As for the one who did not contribute anything to that (opposing Ali for rulership) and entered into what the people entered into without knowledge (about his status) nor enmity towards him then this act of his does not make him a disbeliever, and it does not remove him from Islam, and this is why Ali kept quiet about his matter (status), and gave allegiance while displeased, when he could not find any supporters.

  • The narration makes it clear that had the Imam fought for his leadership i.e. a civil war it would cause irreparable damage, this is because of the tenuous position that Islam had, even the outward Islam (the Islam of the Shahadatyn) would have been wiped out. There were a lot of external and internal enemies waiting for this infighting to make sure that the whole foundation of Islam crumbles.

 

Conclusion

The Umma became, for the most part, misguided after their prophet. This is something that had also happened to the communities of past prophets. But this misguidance should not be understood to have taken all of them out of Islam as a whole, rather, by ignoring a central commandment of the prophet they have done a great sin which struck a blow to the pristine Islam.

Furthermore, the protagonists differ relative to their role in the fiasco. Some were quite unaware of the whole thing and lacked full knowledge of the Haqq of Ali and his Ma`rifa, this could be because they were blind to the order of the prophet (total ignorance); had some doubts; did not have the ability to influence the outcome because of some constraints [swept away by the wave of events]; or because they showed cowardice and faltered in coming to Ali’s aid. Others later acknowledged their mistake and made up for it in the following years. All these in their different categories can be said to be the majority. Their fate in the next world of “realities” is left to Allah

On the other hand, there were those who administered the whole thing. They had full knowledge of what the prophet had ordered them and what the divine commandment required them to do. They also knew the position of Ali. Despite this, they fought against this explicitly. These are those who should be treated as apparent Muslims in the daily life in this world [according to most scholars]. This is, after all, how Ali himself treated them, praying in their mosques, visiting them in sickness, helping them out when they faced challenges, eating with them etc. part of which is Taqiyya and safeguarding the greater principles of Islam, but they are undoubtedly people of the fire in the next world.

Note that this interpretation is dependent on the position of differentiating between the Dharuriyat of the Diin and that of the Madhhab and considering the Shahdatayn alone to be enough in making someone a Muslim [unless taken out for some other reason]. Whilst this is a popular position among scholars today, it has had its detractors among the scholars of the past, one of them being someone like Shaykh Yusuf al-Bahrani, who considered the rejectors of the Wilaya as Kafirs with the fullest implication this has [even in this world].  

55 Comments


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  • Veteran Member
1 hour ago, E.L King said:

So basically it was kufr which opposes iman and not kufr which opposes Islam? 

One way of putting it is that Iman is Naqis [deficient]. The other is that one is Kafir in Akhera. Both have been used by scholars who adopt this position. We are to treat them as Muslims on the apparent in our dealings with them.  

Other scholars did not see this nuance, someone like Yusuf al-Bahrani says:

إنك قد عرفت أن المخالف كافر لاحظ له في الاسلام بوجه من الوجوه 

You have known that the Mukhalif is a Kafir, he has nothing to do with Islam [he has no portion in Islam], in any way whatsoever.

See his: Shihab al-Thaqib fi Ma`na al-Nasib

This is an extreme position that we reject for many reasons.

Edited by Islamic Salvation
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  • Veteran Member

Brother are there any ahaadith specifying the position of Malik ibn al-Nuwayrah? He died (according to my understanding, I may be mistaken) for not only refusing to give the zakaat, but for his loyalty to Imam Ali (as). Is his status like the three, or the seven, or below that?

It seems odd to me that he would not be considered among the elite considering he gave blood; during the very early period where confusion was widespread among the people he had baseerah. 

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  • Advanced Member

Umme Salma was steadfast on her Imaan. And as such these traditions talk about men folk and not women. Bani Hashim are also not included in these narratives. Read these narratives with special reference to Last Wish/Will of Prophet saww where he asked Hazrat Ali as to fight for his rights of caliphate if ansaar support him.

Ref. Sulaym bin Qais Hilali

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What about the following:

1. Bilal [ra]

2. Jabir ibn Abdillah al Ansari [ra]

3. Ibn Abbas [ra]

We even find in narrations Az Zubayr was one of the ones to stand by Ali a.s, but then later diverge.

4.Ubay ibn K'ab [ra]

5. Abdullah ibn Masu'd [ra] [i know this is a little bit of a khilaf issue]

6. Umar ibn abi salama [ra]

7. What of Abu Dujana [ra] , a man who even when death faced him stood by the Prophet [saw] ?

This is what the Prophet called out: "I am Muhammed and i am the Messenger of Allah, i am not killed, and i have not died" [words of the prophet from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith]

When the Prophet looked to Abu Dujanah [who was among the few who stayed with the Prophet he said: "O Abu Dujanah,you can also go; you have my permission to suspend your pledge of allegiance" [words of the prophet from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith same as above]

Now, have a look at the faith and Eman of Abu Dujanah [Radiyallahu Anhu! These words might make you shed a tear, and if not, evoke some reaction in your heart:]

"He[Abu Dujanah] turned around and sat before the Holy Prophet [saw] wept, and said: "No by Allah!", he raised his head to the sky and said: "No by Allah, i will not suspend my pledge of allegiance with you. I have pledged allegiance with you, then to whom can i return? Must i return to my wife who will die or the children who will also die or to the house that will be destroyed, or the asset that will vanish and the time of death that is approaching?' He kept fighting until his wounds made him to feel heavy when he and Ali were shielding him [The Holy Prophet.] [ from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith same as above]

 

If i understood this correctly, seven are the foremost, three are above the later four, but there are many others too?

Could it be possible that many feared not giving Bayah? After all, violence was used against those who rejected Abu Bakr. Perhaps some were bewildered and did not know what to do and gave Bayah out of taqqiyah but in their hearts wished they could give it to Ali a.s but know it was just not practical ?

Edited by QuranandAhlulbayt
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  • Veteran Member
9 hours ago, QuranandAhlulbayt said:

What about the following:

Jabir ibn Abdillah al Ansari [ra]

 

[1/135] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي نجران، عن عاصم بن حميد، عن محمد بن مسلم، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: حدثني جابر عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ولم يكذب جابر ...
 
[1/135] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from his father from Ibn Abi Najran from A`sim b. Humayd from Muhammad b. Muslim from Abi Ja`far عليه السلام who said: Jabir [b. Abdallah] narrated to me from the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله - and Jabir did not lie - …

https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-narrators/jabir-b-abdallah-al-ansari-and-jabir-b-yazid-al-jufi

These are some of the narrations about Jabir in our books.

https://sites.google.com/site/rijalalkashi/vol1/jabir-b-abdallah-al-ansari

I will post more about the others as their entries come up in Mu`jam or al-Kashshi.

9 hours ago, QuranandAhlulbayt said:

If i understood this correctly, seven are the foremost, three are above the later four, but there are many others too?

Correct.

9 hours ago, QuranandAhlulbayt said:

Could it be possible that many feared not giving Bayah? After all, violence was used against those who rejected Abu Bakr. Perhaps some were bewildered and did not know what to do and gave Bayah out of taqqiyah but in their hearts wished they could give it to Ali a.s but know it was just not practical ?

Furthermore, the protagonists differ relative to their role in the fiasco. Some were quite unaware of the whole thing and lacked full knowledge of the Haqq of Ali and his Ma`rifa, this could be because they were blind to the order of the prophet (total ignorance); had some doubts; did not have the ability to influence the outcome because of some constraints [swept away by the wave of events]; or because they showed cowardice and faltered in coming to Ali’s aid. Others later acknowledged their mistake and made up for it in the following years. All these in their different categories can be said to be the majority. Their fate in the next world of “realities” is left to Allah.

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  • Veteran Member
On 4/19/2017 at 0:38 AM, QuranandAhlulbayt said:

5. Abdullah ibn Masu'd [ra] [i know this is a little bit of a khilaf issue]

Indeed.

[78] و سئل عن ابن مسعود و حذيفة فقال: لم يكن حذيفة مثل ابن مسعود لأن حذيفة كان ركنا و ابن مسعود خلط و والى القوم و مال معهم و قال بهم
 
[78] And he [Ibn Fadhal] was asked about Ibn Mas`ud and Hudhayfa - so he said: Hudhayfa was not like [of the same status as] Ibn Mas`ud because Hudhayfa was a pillar [of support to Ali and rejecting the Khulafa] while Ibn Mas`ud became confused and accepted the group’s authority and inclined with them and professed them [as superior].  
 
On 4/19/2017 at 0:38 AM, QuranandAhlulbayt said:

If i understood this correctly, seven are the foremost, three are above the later four, but there are many others too?

 
و قال أيضا: إن من السابقين الذين رجعوا إلى أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام: أبو الهيثم بن التيهان و أبو أيوب و خزيمة بن ثابت و جابر بن عبد الله و زيد بن أرقم و أبو سعيد الخدري و سهل بن حنيف و البراء بن مالك و عثمان بن حنيف و عبادة بن الصامت ثم ممن دونهم قيس بن سعد بن عبادة و عدي بن حاتم و عمرو بن الحمق و عمران بن الحصين و بريدة الأسلمي و بشر كثير
 
He [al-Fadhl] also said: from among the fore-runners who returned back to the commander of the faithful عليه السلام were: Abu al-Haytham b. Tahiyyan, Abu Ayyub (al-Ansari), Khuzayma b. Thabit, Jabir b. Abdallah, Zayd b. Arqam, Abu Said al-Khudri, Sahl b. Hunayf, al-Bara` b. Malik, Uthman b. Hunayf and Ubada b. al-Samit - then those who were lesser than them - Qays b. Sa'd b. Ubada, Adi b. Hatim, Amr b. al-Hamiq, Imran b. al-Hussayn, Burayda al-Aslami and a large number of men besides.
 
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12 hours ago, Shaykh Patience101 said:

@Islamic Salvation

Hate to keep pestering you brother, but what about Abu Ayyub al-Ansari? If I recall correctly, he initially refused to give bayah to Abu Bakr, but there is the issue of him fighting under a Muslim army commanded by Yazid at Constantinople.

I noticed the section under his name on https://sites.google.com/site/rijalalkashi/vol1/abu-ayyub-al-ansari is empty.

This is how al-Fadhl explains the point you raise. 

[77] و سئل الفضل بن شاذان عن أبي أيوب خالد بن زيد الأنصاري و قتاله مع معاوية المشركين فقال: كان ذلك منه قلة فقه و غفلة، ظن أنه أنما يعمل عملا لنفسه يقوى به الإسلام و يوهي به الشرك و ليس عليه من معاوية شي‏ء كان معه أو لم يكن
 
[77] al-Fadhl b. Shadhan was asked about Abi Ayyub Khalid b. Zayd al-Ansari and his fighting together with Mua`wiya against the polytheists - he said: that was a lapse of understanding from him and an oversight, he thought that he was performing an act for its own sake, by which he would strengthen Islam and efface polytheism, and that he would suffer no consequences by way of Mua`wiya - whether he was there [present with him] or not [since it had nothing to do with him].
 
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On 19/04/2017 at 7:54 PM, Shaykh Patience101 said:

@Islamic Salvation

Hate to keep pestering you brother, but what about Abu Ayyub al-Ansari? If I recall correctly, he initially refused to give bayah to Abu Bakr, but there is the issue of him fighting under a Muslim army commanded by Yazid at Constantinople.

I noticed the section under his name on https://sites.google.com/site/rijalalkashi/vol1/abu-ayyub-al-ansari is empty.

Salam brother, that's interesting, do we have sources that narrate he refused to give bayah to Abu Bakr. Thanks 

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On 4/19/2017 at 3:44 AM, Islamic Salvation said:
 
[79] Abu Abdallah Muhammad b. Ibrahim said: narrated to me Ali b. Muhammad b. Yazid al-Qummi saying: narrated to me Abdallah b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. Salim from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: Bilal was a righteous slave while Suhayb was an evil slave - crying over Umar (i.e. after the latter was assassinated).
 
 

ختص: كان بلال مؤذن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله، فلما قبض رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله لزم بيته ولم يؤذن لاحد من الخلفاء وقال فيه أبوعبدالله جعفر بن محمد عليه السلام: رحم الله بلالا فإنه كان يحبنا أهل البيت، ولعن الله صهيبا فإنه كان يعادينا

al-Ikhtisas: Bilal was the Mua`dhin of the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله, so when the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله died, he [Bilal] remained in his house, and he did not give the Adhan for any one of the Khulafa, Abu Abdillah Ja`far b. Muhammad عليه السلام said about him: may Allah have mercy on Bilal, for he used to love us the Ahl al-Bayt, may Allah curse Suhayb for he used to have enmity with us.

يه: عن أبي بصير عن أحدهما عليهما السلام أنه قال : إن بلالا كان عبدا صالحا، فقال: لا اؤذن لاحد بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله، فترك يومئذ حي على خير العمل

al-Faqih: From Abi Basir from one of them عليهما السلام that he said: Bilal was a righteous slave, he said: I will not give the Adhan for anyone after the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله so 'Hayya ala Khayril Amal' was abandoned from that day.

يب: محمد بن علي بن محبوب، عن معاوية بن حكيم، عن سليمان بن جعفر، عن أبيه قال : دخل رجل من أهل الشام على أبي عبدالله عليه السلام فقال له: إن أول من سبق إلى الجنة بلال، قال: ولم؟ قال : لانه أول من أذن

Tahdhib al-Ahkam: Muhammad b. Ali b. Mahbub from Mu`awiya b. Hukaym from Sulayman b. Ja`far from his father who said: a man from the people of Sham entered to meet Abi Abdillah عليه السلام so he said to him: the first one to proceed to Janna will be Bilal, he said: why is that? he said: because he was the first to give the Adhan.

NOTE: al-Majlisi says that it could be the Imam who says this about Bilal, as is more likely, but there is an option that it is the Shami who said this, and the Imam responded - 'why do you say that?' [as a form of objecting to it] and the Shami answered, and the Imam remained silent because of Taqiyya. 

Also, Bilal being the first to proceed to Janna is not absolute, but could be relative to other Mu`adhins, or his class of the Sahaba who are not Ahl al-Bayt.

Salaam,

Here's a bit of other side perspective:

Sahih Bukhari Hadith Vol.2, Hadith. 375,
Narrated by Abdullah bin Ubaidullah bin Abi Mulaika
One of the daughters of 'Uthman died at Mecca. We went to attend her funeral
procession. Ibn 'Umar and Ibn Abbas were also present. I sat in between them (or
said, I sat beside one of them. Then a man came and sat beside me.) 'Abdullah
bin 'Umar said to 'Amr bin 'Uthman, "Will you not prohibit crying as Allah's
Apostle has said, 'The dead person is tortured by the crying of his relatives?"
Ibn Abbas said, "Umar used to say so." Then he added narrating, "I accompanied
Umar on a journey from Mecca till we reached Al-Baida. There he saw some
travelers in the shade of a Samura (A kind of forest tree). He said (to me), 'Go
and see who those travelers are.' So I went and saw that one of them was Suhaib.
I told this to 'Umar who then asked me to call him. So I went back to Suhaib and
said to him, 'Depart and follow the chief of the faithful believers.' Later,
when 'Umar was stabbed, Suhaib came in weeping and saying, 'O my brother, O my
friend!' (on this 'Umar said to him, 'O Suhaib! Are you weeping for me while the
Prophet said, "The dead person is punished by some of the weeping of his
relatives?" ' Ibn Abbas added, "When 'Umar died I told all this to 'Aisha and
she said, 'May Allah be merciful to Umar. By Allah, Allah's Apostle did not say
that a believer is punished by the weeping of his relatives. But he said, Allah
increases the punishment of a non-believer because of the weeping of his
relatives." 'Aisha further added, "The Quran is sufficient for you (to clear up
this point) as Allah has stated: 'No burdened soul will bear another's burden.'
" (35.18). Ibn Abbas then said, "Only Allah makes one laugh or cry." Ibn Umar
did not say anything after that.

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On 4/19/2017 at 3:44 AM, Islamic Salvation said:

[79] Abu Abdallah Muhammad b. Ibrahim said: narrated to me Ali b. Muhammad b. Yazid al-Qummi saying: narrated to me Abdallah b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. Salim from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: Bilal was a righteous slave while Suhayb was an evil slave - crying over Umar (i.e. after the latter was assassinated).

Is this reference to Suhayb bin Sinan/ aka Suhayb Ar Rumi RA?  Or a different Suhayb?

I'd be surprised, considering Suhayb Ar Rumi/bin Sinan was close companions of Bilal ibn Rabah RA and Salman e Farsi RA.  As non-Arab Sahaba, they frequently spent much of their time together.

Also, from tafsir, a Quran verse was reveled upon Suhayb's arrival to Medina after being held back by the Qu'raish... he had to give up all of his wealth that he acquired after arriving as a runaway slave of the Byzantine Empire to escape Mecca to Medina after the Hijrah.

"Thereupon, the glorious verse was revealed: ‘And of mankind is he who sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah And Allah is full of kindness to (His) slaves’ (Quran 2:201). "

In fact, he's also fought in every battle alongside the Prophet SAW, and never ran from any nor left his side.

Also, Suhayb lived out the rest of his life till old age, spreading for Da'wah until he died (In response to the OP's post). 

These were taken from WikiShia:

He and Imam Ali were the last of Immigrants who joined the Prophet (s) in the first half of Rabi' I.

Some have related the revelation of verse 207 of the sura al-Baqara to him. However, it is famous that it has been revealed about the role of Imam Ali  at Laylat al-Mabit.

Suhayb participated in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and other battles of the Prophet (s). About him, the noble Prophet (s) said, "the leaders are four people; I am the leader of Arabs, Suhayb is the leader of Romans, Salman is the leader of Persians and Bilal is the leader of Habesha."

Edited by wmehar2
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1 hour ago, wmehar2 said:

Also, Suhayb lived out the rest of his life till old age, spreading for Da'wah until he died (In response to the OP's post). 

To Elaborate further,

Suhayb spent any and all his wealth to the poor and community, even after the Prophet SAW died, and continued to spend his stipends for the needy and did not partake in corrupt Ummayyad wealth schemes.

This reeks of guilt by association, in a false accusation of a legitimate believing Sahaba  of being evil, all because he was cried over Umar's death and lead prayers after his death temporarily.  That's unfortunately not an academic/scholarly line of thought at all, and most importantly  it's not an Islamic line of logic.

Suhayb in his character was a Greek-Speaking Arab who was kidnapped from a wealthy family and brought up as a slave in Byzantine society, unlike Salman he had no knowledge of the Bible,, Hebrew and other Aristocratic attributes... instead Suhyab only learned directly from the Prophet's SAW Sermons.  His Arabic was harsh/heavy and himself had a difficult time re-learning it.

Contextually, Suhayb was a close companion but never could be in an inner circle of influence that was Umar, Uthman, and the rest of the "higher social ranked" Sahaba.  Instead he chose to act simply and directly in what he perceived was the direct way to please Allah SWT, e.g.(Hadith where he gave food after being questioned by 'Umar why he starved himself, that the Prophet SAW told him the best of people were those who gave food and charity). 

He was innocent to a fault, and perhaps ignorant.  Assuming Shia rhetoric of 'Umar and Abu Bakr is true of their plot to Usurp the Khilafah,  Suhayb was ignorantly in no place to understand with his lacking Arabic speech and distance from that social status (since he was a slave and not Quraish), the ramifications that 'Umar could have been an evil man and he was crying over an evil guy.

He seemed to be a goof ball as well, and is cited for making the Prophet SAW laugh on many occasions, and would never do it at any one else's expense.

Shame on the people who ascribe lies and false sayings to the Imams, AS on them all.

I've read deeply into the sources in al Kafi, and Yasser Habibs hate rhetoric and I find not a single ounce of legitimate nor logical premises of which to condemn/accuse Suhayb by direct actions, words, or speech.

Nearly all sources, even Shia indicate Suhayb as a righteous companion and follower of the Prophet SAW.

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Sometimes the question is asked - who is greater Salman, Miqdad or Abu Dhar?

The narration below goes some way in attempting to answer, though it is not free of some weakness in the chain. It should also be noted that it is limited to how they reacted in response to the order of Ali in the face of the usurping of his right and does not speak of their overall merit.

Furthermore, they did not in fact sin in the conventional sense of the word, what two of them did might be called lapses which arose because of the righteous anger against the injustice done to Ali.

Despite this, what was required in the face of this unimaginable betrayal was to submit totally to the unknown wisdom behind divine providence.

[24] علي بن الحكم، عن سيف بن عميرة عن أبي بكر الحضرمي قال: قال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: ارتد الناس إلا ثلاثة نفر سلمان و أبو ذر و المقداد قال: قلت: فعمار؟ قال: قد كان جاض جيضة ثم رجع، ثم قال: إن أردت الذي لم يشك و لم يدخله شي‏ء فالمقداد، فأما سلمان فإنه عرض في قلبه عارض أن عند أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام اسم الله الأعظم لو تكلم به لأخذتهم الأرض و هو هكذا فلبب و وجئت عنقه حتى تركت كالسلقة فمر به أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام فقال له: يا أبا عبد الله هذا من ذاك بايع فبايع و أما أبو ذر فأمره أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام بالسكوت و لم يكن يأخذه في الله لومة لائم فأبى إلا أن يتكلم فمر به عثمان فأمر به، ثم أناب الناس بعد فكان أول من أناب أبو ساسان الأنصاري و أبو عمرة و شتيرة و كانوا سبعة، فلم يكن يعرف حق أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام إلا هؤلاء السبعة

[24] Ali b. al-Hakam from Sayf b. Umayra from Abi Bakr al-Hadhrami who said: Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: the people turned back except three individuals - Salman, Abu Dhar and Miqdad, I said: what about Ammar? He عليه السلام said: he wobbled a bit then he returned [to the truth], if you want the one who did not waver and nothing of doubt entered him then it was al-Miqdad, as for Salman then it came to his heart a thought that the commander of the faithful عليه السلام knew the greatest name of God which if he were to intone - the earth would swallow them up, and it is indeed so [it is true], because of this he was pulled by the scruff of his neck and it was stricken until it left a swollen lump [cyst], the commander of the faithful عليه السلام passed by him and said: O Aba Abdillah this [i.e. suffering] is because of that [the thought you had] - so give the pledge of allegiance, as for Abu Dhar then the commander of the faithful عليه السلام had ordered him to remain silent, but he was not one to be affected by the blame of the blamer in regards his duty to Allah, he did not desist until he talked, so Uthman b. Affan passed by him and ordered that he be disposed of [and he was banished], then the people repented after that, so the first ones to return [to the truth] were Abu Sasan al-Ansari, Abu Amra, Shatira, and they became seven, none recognized the right of the commander of the faithful عليه السلام except these seven. 

NOTES:

al-Miqdad obeyed the order of accepting Ali's decision to give the Bay`a unquestioningly, Salman harboured the thought that Ali should use the Greatest Name of God to overpower his enemies once and for all [without being patient about the divine decree], while Abu Dhar was too scrupulous about the truth to remain quiet and had to publicly condemn the usurpers.

Edited by Islamic Salvation
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 [al-Kafi] Abu Ja'farعليه السلام  said: When the people did what they did - when they gave allegiance to Abu Bakr, nothing prevented the commander of the faithful عليه السلام from calling to himself (i.e. gather support to rival them publicly) except his fear for the people - that they would apostate from Islam, and begin worshiping the idols anew, and reject witnessing that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is his messenger; and it was more beloved to him to acquiesce to what they had done rather than them apostatizing from the whole of Islam. Verily, those who clambered upon this (opposing Ali for rulership) have been destroyed. As for the one who did not contribute anything to that (opposing Ali for rulership) and entered into what the people entered into without knowledge (about his status) nor enmity towards him then this act of his does not make him a disbeliever, and it does not remove him from Islam, and this is why Ali kept quiet about his matter (status), and gave allegiance while displeased, when he could not find any supporters.

Al-Salamu Alaykum brother @Islamic Salvation. I have a question, this explains why Imam Ali (AS) chose not to rise, but how does that fit in with Imam Al-Husayn's (AS) revolution against Yazid Al-Khabeeth (LA)? Does this mean the people were already murtadeen when Yazid (LA) became the [false] Khalifa?

Edited by E.L King
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I just recently observed the enemy of Ahlulbait (as) quoted one of these hadiths and made people think that Shias believe that most of the sahaba became kafir. Of course these kind of people never read the rest of the hadiths nor they try to understand the full meaning of the hadith, rather they just want to show that in the Shi'a authentic hadiths we find these kind of beliefs to make us look like kafirs.

Edited by Dhulfikar
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On 30/04/2017 at 4:46 AM, Islamic Salvation said:

al-Miqdad obeyed the order of accepting Ali's decision to give the Bay`a unquestioningly, Salman harboured the thought that Ali should use the Greatest Name of God to overpower his enemies once and for all [without being patient about the divine decree], while Abu Dhar was too scrupulous about the truth to remain quiet and had to publicly condemn the usurpers.

Brother, what is the source of this hadith?

I doubt the negative connotations for Salman because Salman is the ONLY companion about whom the Prophet said that he is from my Ahlul Bayt. 

As for what the hadith says about Abu Zar Ghaffari, I do not see anything negative in it.   

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On 4/18/2017 at 4:38 PM, guest051217 said:

What about the following:

1. Bilal [ra]

2. Jabir ibn Abdillah al Ansari [ra]

3. Ibn Abbas [ra]

We even find in narrations Az Zubayr was one of the ones to stand by Ali a.s, but then later diverge.

4.Ubay ibn K'ab [ra]

5. Abdullah ibn Masu'd [ra] [i know this is a little bit of a khilaf issue]

6. Umar ibn abi salama [ra]

7. What of Abu Dujana [ra] , a man who even when death faced him stood by the Prophet [saw] ?

This is what the Prophet called out: "I am Muhammed and i am the Messenger of Allah, i am not killed, and i have not died" [words of the prophet from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith]

When the Prophet looked to Abu Dujanah [who was among the few who stayed with the Prophet he said: "O Abu Dujanah,you can also go; you have my permission to suspend your pledge of allegiance" [words of the prophet from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith same as above]

Now, have a look at the faith and Eman of Abu Dujanah [Radiyallahu Anhu! These words might make you shed a tear, and if not, evoke some reaction in your heart:]

"He[Abu Dujanah] turned around and sat before the Holy Prophet [saw] wept, and said: "No by Allah!", he raised his head to the sky and said: "No by Allah, i will not suspend my pledge of allegiance with you. I have pledged allegiance with you, then to whom can i return? Must i return to my wife who will die or the children who will also die or to the house that will be destroyed, or the asset that will vanish and the time of death that is approaching?' He kept fighting until his wounds made him to feel heavy when he and Ali were shielding him [The Holy Prophet.] [ from Al Kafi Volume 8] [Reliable hadith same as above]

 

If i understood this correctly, seven are the foremost, three are above the later four, but there are many others too?

Could it be possible that many feared not giving Bayah? After all, violence was used against those who rejected Abu Bakr. Perhaps some were bewildered and did not know what to do and gave Bayah out of taqqiyah but in their hearts wished they could give it to Ali a.s but know it was just not practical ?

Umar b abi salma is mentioned fondly in nah jul balagah and kitab sulaym b qays he attened jamal and later goverened Bahrain for Ali

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On 4/20/2017 at 2:33 AM, Islamic Salvation said:

This is how al-Fadhl explains the point you raise. 

[77] و سئل الفضل بن شاذان عن أبي أيوب خالد بن زيد الأنصاري و قتاله مع معاوية المشركين فقال: كان ذلك منه قلة فقه و غفلة، ظن أنه أنما يعمل عملا لنفسه يقوى به الإسلام و يوهي به الشرك و ليس عليه من معاوية شي‏ء كان معه أو لم يكن
 
[77] al-Fadhl b. Shadhan was asked about Abi Ayyub Khalid b. Zayd al-Ansari and his fighting together with Mua`wiya against the polytheists - he said: that was a lapse of understanding from him and an oversight, he thought that he was performing an act for its own sake, by which he would strengthen Islam and efface polytheism, and that he would suffer no consequences by way of Mua`wiya - whether he was there [present with him] or not [since it had nothing to do with him].
 

Also abu ayyub was governer of medina and general at nahrawan for Ali when he was able to convince a lot of khawarij to return back to Ali

He also was a vocal critic of uthman as well

If abu ayyub was traitor to Alid cause he would have collaborated with bishr b abi artat when he raided medina but abu ayyub left and joined Ali in kufa

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On 4/19/2017 at 0:38 AM, guest051217 said:

What of Abu Dujana [ra] , a man who even when death faced him stood by the Prophet [saw] ?

[1/-] Ilal al-Sharai: Ahmad b. Ziyad b. Ja`far al-Hamdani from Ali b. Ibrahim b. Hashim from his father from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr al-Bazanti and Muhammad b. Abi Umayr from Aban b. Uthman from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said:

All the companions of the messenger of Allah ran away on the day of Uhud - no one was left among them except Ali b. Abi Talib عليه السلام and Abu Dujana Simak b. Kharasha. The prophet صلى الله عليه وآله said to him: O Aba Dujana - don’t you see your people? he said: I do, he said: join up with them, he said: this is not what I gave my pledge of allegiance to Allah and His messenger for! he said: you are released [from your pledge], he said: by Allah the Quraysh will never get the opportunity to say that I abandoned you and ran away until I taste what you taste! Then the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله prayed for a good recompense for him.

Whenever a group used to attack the messenger of Allah - Ali عليه السلام would face them and repel them until he had killed a large number of them and injured others. He continued this way until his sword broke so he came to the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله and said: O messenger of Allah – a man can only fight with his weapon but my sword has broken! So he (the prophet) gave him his sword Dhu al-Fiqar and he (Ali) kept on defending the prophet using it until marks [wound traces] were inflicted on him and he became unrecognizable [because of a multitude of injuries]. Jibril descended and said: O Muhammad this is an incomparable support from Ali to you! so the prophet said: he is from me and I am from him, Jibril said: and I am from you both, and they heard a voice from heaven saying: there is no sword but Dhu al-Fiqar and the there is no young champion except Ali.

https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-narrators/simak-b-kharasha

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14 minutes ago, Islamic Salvation said:

there is no sword but Dhu al-Fiqar and the there is no young champion except Ali

I have always heard it said that this phrase is not from our saheeh ahadith. Perhaps I've been incorrectly informed.

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      The problem with money and markets is that they strip exchanges between people of all social and cultural content. In market-based exchanges, you can buy/sell with complete strangers. This has its benefits and particularly for social/cultural/ethnic/ religious minorities within a society, the market provides an almost anonymous means of interacting with the majority.
      The impact of social networks
      In fact, the story can even become worse for the majority because the denser social links/networks between members of a minority may mean that they can exploit higher levels of trust between each other and thereby compete more effectively in the market-place.
      Over time, of course, this economic disadvantage may lead to significant differences between the wealth of the majority and minority communities.

      In the diagram below is your multiculti, fully assimilated, and integrated, fully equal nirvana. Everyone interacts with all others regardless of their colour or other distinguishing characteristics. There is one group (pink) who are the majority, and the others are minorities.

       
      The reality

      One group of people (coloured brown) realise that they come from the same village back home, they have a shared culture, heritage and so on, they start to spend more time together.
      Trust within minority groups
      These commonalities enable this specific minority to establish bonds of trust between themselves that are stronger than the ones that exist between people of different groups. So they decide to interact with each other more than they do with other groups.
      Role of religion
      The issue is even more acute when they share the same religion because then they are more likely to share the same values - which are even more important when it comes to building trust.
      Boundary spanners
      Accidentally, I drew the first picture in a way that helps illustrate another point. The minority group accrues another advantage, where it can become a 'boundary spanner' e.g. between two different societies (the red line). That advantage is less likely to be open to the majority groups in the two countries in which this minority lives.

      The economic impact
      There is an obvious economic angle to these social relations, since the bonds of trust help reduce the friction of doing business, in fact, trust is more valuable in some industries (the ones with more risk and potentially more rewards).
      Minorities outperforming majorities
      A social aspect to their interaction therefore has economic repercussions. Left unchecked a minority group will gain an advantage over others. Societies can persist with the multi-culti fantasy for years.
      Payback
      But at some point there will be a reckoning, there always is. Obvious trigger points are when the majority face economic dislocation and see how much better minority groups are doing. You can 'hope' that this time there won't be -  but that has not been the case over the previous millennia.
      Longer term implications
      Historically there are lots of examples of this all around the world and the end is never a happy one - with the majority usually seeking to address the problem via physical force. The challenge for societies is for them to offer minorities certain rights but at the same time put in place restrictions on the extent of their participation in the economic life of society so that they cannot dominate the majority.
      Islamic solutions
      In an Islamic society where distinctions between groups are not based on race, but rather of belief, this means that there has to be what seems like discrimination against non-Muslims, but which, is in fact, a sensible means of avoiding longer-term conflct between the majority and minority.
      An illustration of the problem in terms of resources
      The picture below illustrates the above idea. 
      The blue circles represent the majority in a society, each person gives an item of resource to the person immediately to their south and also one to their south-west. And they do so without regard to the 'colour' of the other person. Let's assume this is a very egalitarian society where the affiliations of individuals are completely ignored. The pink circles represent a minority and they behave in the same manner. However the yellow circles behave slightly differently, they give one item of resource without any discrimination to whoever is to their south, but instead of giving one item to the person to their southwest, they give instead to someone of their own tribe/religion/ethnicity/language group/cult or whatever other basis of commonality that they have established. Such an arrangement can be informal and communicated only to the group members - something which is helped by their being a minority in a society. Members of the yellow circle are able to identify each other due to their going to the same places of worship or gentlemen's clubs or 'lodge'. Such interaction may legitimately lead to higher levels of trust between members of the yellow group and their discriminatory behaviour could be argued to be inherently rational i.e. it makes sense from a business perspective.
      Economic performance of members of the yellow group may, as a result of this behaviour be better than that of other groups. It may seem to them that their accumulation is due to their greater intelligence, business acumen or another positive trait. There may well be elements of those present, but their discrimination in favour of their own group could certainly be an important factor.
      Such discrimination on their part can mean greater rewards for members of their own group and it may not be visible to outsiders, other than the realisation that this group of people are relatively better off than others.
      Is discrimination by the State a valid response?
      Any response by the majority to address this imbalance, e.g. by imposing restrictions on the economic or other activities of the yellow minority group is likely to attract charges of discrimination.
      Because such communications cannot be done discreetly, communicating with the whole of society requires broadcasting to everyone rather than taking the narrowcasting approach the minority group pursued when they decided to discriminate in favour of their own group. Such narrowcasting is possible because the minority group are able to communicate with each other discreetly and in a manner that excludes everyone else.
       

       
         2 comments
      Summary
      For Muslims, the questions around Riba are focused at the level of the individual because we want to know what we can and cannot do. This post looks at the broader societal issue. The conclusion is that riba and the business of lending can increase economic inequality between different segments in society.
      Assuming an Islamic state has an overriding need to address economic inequality - it cannot accede to the provision of credit in a manner that we are used to in the West.
      What is interest?
      This may seem obvious. but it's worth exploring since the result can generate new insights.
      Interest is a price charged by a lender to compensate them for not having the use of the money that they are lending. Interest can also be compensation for the fact that the money they have lent will be worth less in the future than today because of inflation Interest can also reflect a premium charged by the lender in order to account for the fact that some borrowers will not pay them back. The interest charged to the individual borrowers can vary because they vary in terms of their risk to the lender. Less risky borrowers are charged less and riskier ones are charged more. The last point is not immediately obvious to everyone it is important however and we shall come back to it.
      Access to credit
      In a free market, there are all sorts of lenders (e.g. seeking different levels of return and willing to take different levels of risk) and all sorts of borrowers (e.g. those with good 'credit scores vs. those with poor ones). Those with a good credit record can borrow more and more cheaply than those with a poor record. This may be because those with a good record have a history of making repayments on time and so on. And this is where we have our first macroeconomic effect.
      People who are poor and find it difficult to buy food and pay rent will invariably find it hard to keep up with their debt payments and if they don't pay their creditors on time, they will have a bad credit record. As a result, either they will not have access to credit at all or if they do, they will have to pay a higher price for it (a higher level of interest). This sounds crazy, but it is true. Credit is one product where the poor will generally pay more than the rich and it is certainly a product where those who need it to survive (rather than buying luxury goods) may not have access to it at all.
      Therefore in a society where there is credit, there are two mechanisms by which social inequality is increased, lack of credit to the poor and expensive credit where it is available. There is a third mechanism by which inequality is increased. If rich people have access to credit and the poor do not, the rich may bid up the prices of assets so that they become even more unaffordable to the poor. A real-life example of this is the UK property market, at the time of writing this post. Many young people are 'priced out' of the UK housing market because people with access to credit (e.g. investors) have bid up the prices of property.
      Materialism and credit
      A further reason why inequality is increased is that people are encouraged (as consumers) to buy things today and pay for them tomorrow. Over the period they borrow money, they pay interest. The assumption here is that the 'joy' they get for the chance to consume something earlier than they otherwise would have done compensates for the reduced consumption that they will have in the future. They will have reduced consumption because in the future their income will be paying interest for their previous consumption. 
      There is an important principle here. Such an approach to materialism has the following implications. This is a single-period gain. Because the only way you can keep doing it is to keep building up your debts! And at some point in the future, either you go bankrupt or the lender loses their capital or taxpayers' money is used to bail out both you and the lender. A materialist culture, therefore, combined with a system that makes credit easily available, rewards those people who have capital for pandering to the materialistic needs of the consumers but not much else.
      No easy solutions
      It would, however be naive to believe that the solution should be that lenders make credit available to all and at e.g. similar rates of interest. As we saw above interest performs a number of functions and one of these is to compensate lenders for risk. If lenders are forced to lend to the poor and at interest rates lower than they would normally offer, this may lead to losses for them.
      There is another reason why there are no easy solutions. If someone has poor financial circumstances, then offering them more credit and associated interest payments could add to their problems rather than improve them. Credit unions, which do not seek to make a profit and are run for the benefit of their members offer a partial but not a complete solution.
      Involvement of the State
      If the market is unable to lend without increasing inequality then we must consider the role of the State, the criteria it uses to make loans and how it manages demand if interest is not a pricing mechanism that it wishes to use. This may seem radical and an intervention that is far too statist and dirigiste some might even describe it as socialist or even communist.
      To put the above into context it's worth considering the role of the State when it comes to regulation of finance. It is notable that Martin Wolff a columnist writing in the Financial Times (the UK financial industry's newspaper) says:
      https://www.ft.com/content/09bfbb8d-22f5-4c70-9d85-2df7ed5c516e
      He arrives at this conclusion via an analysis of financial crises and not via the lens of inequality that I have used.
      It's worth examining some of the points that Wolff makes, they are widely considered to be true:
      This is a perennial issue, high levels of regulation stymie the returns that the financial sector can make and there is subsequently a call from economic liberals to remove the 'shackles', a new problem then arises, bailouts are needed and accompanied by new regulation.
      the latter being justification for a bailout.
      So state intervention in the financial markets is not an anomaly in a wholly capitalistic system. At the moment such intervention is justified given the damage that a bank run would cause for the whole economy.
      It's not outrageous therefore that if the welfare of the poor is considered to be important, the availability of credit for them and the terms of such finance should be of concern to policy-makers. 
      Practicalities of intervention
      One way of arriving at a solution is to consider why people need loans in the first place.
      It is clear that sometimes people need to borrow money to increase their earning power. Loans for such purposes are obviously a 'good thing'. This is one end of a spectrum and the State should intervene to provide such loans at 0% interest, thus making them completely halal. However, an effect of such intervention could be to encourage training providers to raise prices, so where government is effectively subsidising a sector it may also need to intervene in terms of the prices it is willing to pay. The same applies to goods such as medical services. Buying a car. Now we are moving along the spectrum, is the car for enjoyment or for work? And if it is for work, how blingy or spartan is it? The latter could attract state funding, but the former is less likely to do so. For enjoyment, people should be educated to understand that there is no alternative to saving up. And what about those who have capital?
      My understanding is that having capital is not a problem in Islam. Lending it for interest is a problem. But that is not the only productive use that capitalists have for their capital. They can own shares in enterprises and receive dividends for their risk capital i.e. the profit or dividends they make depends on the risk that they take. Such risk-taking can be inherently more productive than lending capital for interest. It can be applied to the development of new technologies and industries - rather than pandering to the materialist interests of consumers or indeed increasing such materialistic interests.
         7 comments
      [amended 19 August 2023 to include references to the Irish potato famine and two Bengal famines]
      Surah Yusuf
      Prophet Yusuf (عليه السلام) advised Pharoah to hoard grains during the years of plenty. I think this episode is a noteworthy one because it shows how a State can intervene in the marketplace in order to improve the welfare of the wider population.
      But as we shall see below, the government intervention that Prophet Yusuf (عليه السلام) instigated favoured some sections of the population over others - it was not neutral in terms of how it spread gains and losses across the population.
      https://www.al-islam.org/sites/default/files/singles/633-yusuf.pdf
      While there is other material in the Qur'an that deals with transactions within the marketplace between individual participants - this story stands out in terms of its focus on state intervention. 
      I'll be coming back to this issue later - but I think it informs the discussions we have about Islam and contemporary socio-economic theories. In particular, I think it illustrates that Islam does see the State as an active market participant and that in an Islamic state, the role of government is not one that is hands-off or laissez-faire.
       
      What policy options did Prophet Yusuf (عليه السلام) have?
      We should not take the story as presented 'for granted'. In reality, the Prophet (عليه السلام). had a range of choices open to him, and thinking those through helps us better understand the reasons for the policy he undertook and the reason why. 
      No government interference
      Let's start with the simplest and easiest option that Pharoah's government could have pursued once they knew that there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine (as predicted by the Pharoah's dream which was interpreted by Prophet Yusuf (عليه السلام).) .
      Pharoah could have left the entire issue to the 'market'. During the years of plenty, the price of food would have fallen and people would have enjoyed a higher standard of living. For example, the lower grain prices could have led to people rearing more cattle and their diets would have improved with more meat.
      However, during the years of famine, grain prices would have risen and those people who had accumulated assets in the years of plenty would be able to pay the higher prices in the famine years. Those who had not had such assets would have starved.
      This assumes a fairly high level of self-discipline on the part of the population, but as Milton Friedman would say, the people would have been 'free to choose'. This is not a hypothetical option. The British lack of action to the Irish potato famine has been attributed to the British government's ideological adherence to a laissez-faire approach to macro-economics:
      https://kenanfellows.org/kfp-cp-sites/cp01/cp01/sites/kfp-cp-sites.localhost.com.cp01/files/LP3_BBC Irish Famine Article for Lab.pdf
       
      The Bengal famine is another one where government policy was different to the one Prophet Yusuf ((عليه السلام).) prescribed to Pharoah. In this instance, it was lack of government restriction over the action of privateers:
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/29/winston-churchill-policies-contributed-to-1943-bengal-famine-study
       
      Going back still further, the Great Bengal Famine of 1770 has been directly attributed to British government laissez-faire economic policy.
      https://worldfinancialreview.com/the-political-economy-of-famines-during-the-british-rule-in-india-a-critical-analysis/
       
      Light interference - provision of information
      A common policy option nowadays, where people do not want direct government intervention is to recommend improving the provision of information to the population who will then be better able to make the correct decisions for themselves. The government could have mounted an information campaign during the years of plenty and told people to hoard food themselves, hoarding when there is no shortage is allowed in Islam.
      However such attempts to influence awareness about the famine to come and changing peoples' attitudes so that they saved more than they were used to, would likely have run against increased social pressures on people to do the opposite. For example typically in societies as wealth increases there is social pressure to spend more, in this case, for example, have more lavish weddings.
      Also providing information would have been a practical benefit for the better off e.g. those with storage capacity, but not so good for the poor (who would not have room to store grain, for example).
      The government (using a bit more intervention) could have given tax breaks to people who owned granaries, to help the poor who needed such facilities. Again this solution would be to focus on market-based interventions and simply alter the working of the market using incentives. Current economic theory holds that people discount future risks very heavily i.e. they don't perceive them as much of a threat as they should. So, for example, just telling people they should save for a pension does not work. 
      So we can likely predict that the solutions described above would not have worked had they tried them.
      Heavy interference
      This is what they actually did.
      In times of plenty, Pharoah's government did not let prices fall as would have happened under free market conditions. They kept prices higher than they otherwise would have been because the government intervened and took excess stocks of grain out of circulation.
      All people (rich and poor alike) had no option but to pay the usual higher prices - effectively, the government was taxing everyone, but this was not seen as a loss by anyone because the prices were no higher than usual.
      The government stored the grain centrally and then they decided to release the grain according to their own policies.
      Assumptions made by Prophet Yusuf's government
      If you leave people to their own devices they may not make the best decisions (whether they are rich or poor), this could be due to: People do not have the resources to cater for future shocks (mainly the poor) People do not have the discipline to address future shocks (applies to both the rich and the poor) The government can make better decisions than individuals acting in their own self-interest because: The government can have access to more and better information than individuals do The government may not be as susceptible to a lack of self-discipline  
      Conclusion
      Of all the policy options open to Prophet Yusuf (عليه السلام) he advised Pharoah to pursue the most interventionist one. Some people may be tempted to call this socialist or communist, but I think those terms carry a lot of excess baggage, so I won't bring them into the discussion.
      What I think can be safely inferred from his choice of policy is a fundamental principle that could inform economic policy in any Islamic state.
      Facing an external shock to the Egyptian economy, he went for the option that would cause the least pain to the worst off in society. Other policy options would have caused more pain for the poorest but somewhat less for the better off.
       
       
         0 comments
      Despite the prevailing data indicating that the majority of journeys undertaken by drivers in the United States span 50 miles or less, there persists a notable hesitation among many to embrace electric vehicles (EVs). This reluctance is largely attributed to "range anxiety," a term used to describe the fear that an EV will not possess sufficient battery life to cover long distances on a single charge. This phenomenon serves as a compelling example of how beliefs, often diverging from empirical reality, are not confined to the realm of religion.
      Critics of religion frequently argue that it fosters irrational thought patterns, suggesting that faith encourages adherence to beliefs despite contradictory evidence or the absence of empirical support. However, the phenomenon of range anxiety among potential EV buyers in the U.S. illustrates that the tendency to hold beliefs that do not align with reality extends beyond religious domains into everyday decision-making and perceptions.
      Notably, scholars like Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences for his work in behavioral economics, have explored how cognitive biases influence human behavior in various contexts, including decision-making under uncertainty. Kahneman's research highlights that humans often rely on heuristics and biases, leading to judgments that deviate from rationality, irrespective of the domain, be it religion or technology adoption.
      Therefore, the scepticism directed towards religion for promoting irrational beliefs could be seen as overlooking the broader human propensity to engage in irrational thought across various aspects of life. This insight challenges the notion that irrationality is uniquely fostered by religious beliefs and underscores the complexity of human cognition, which can lead to discrepancies between beliefs and reality in multiple spheres, including the adoption of new technologies like EVs.
       
      The above text was generated on chatgpt using the following prompt:
      I want to write a piece centred around the following paragraph: "Despite the majority of journeys being 50 miles or less, analysts say many US drivers bristle at the idea of buying an EV unless it can travel long distances on a single charge, commonly called “range anxiety”. I want to say that beliefs which don't accord with reality are not exclusive to religion. So, criticisms of religion that it encourages irrational thought are misplaced. Can you write say 200-300 words along these lines. Please quote any scholars if you can."
         6 comments
      [This post was initially published as 'A little conspiracy theory of mine' on Oct 25 2016. I've now retitled it and linked some of the text with the notion of the Great Replacement Theory.]
      Summary
      Britain, after the Second World War ostensibly recruited workers from various developing countries in order to fill skill shortages. However, around the same time, there was a concerted effort by Australia to recruit working-class Britons. A possible explanation to this anomalous situation is that there was a concerted policy by Britain and Australia to ensure that Australia remained white. This is one argument against the idea that inward migration into the West is somehow an attack on white people. The two examples of migration examined here represent the opposite.
      The Great Replacement Theory
      According to Prof Matthew Feldman there is a lite of versions of The Great Replacement Theory and a full-fat one and the latter holds that:
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/08/a-deadly-ideology-how-the-great-replacement-theory-went-mainstream
      In this post, I will argue that at least in terms of one example, this is indeed the case, but rather than representing some form of surrender on the part of the 'white race' as the far right claims the policy represents, it is actually the opposite.
      The Windrush Generation
      This is the narrative all Britons have been brought up with (the following is from the UK government's own website):
      http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/citizenship/brave_new_world/immigration.htm
      It sounds very multi-culti, liberal and nice. Britain needed labour, brown people needed jobs and everyone would get along swimmingly in post-war Britain. This was not illegal immigration, it was planned and made good economic sense.
      Here's some more justification from the British Library:
      http://www.bl.uk/learning/timeline/item107671.html
      To help immigration into the UK, the British Nationality Act of 1948 gave rights to all people from the commonwealth to settle in the country. West Indian immigration to the UK from the 1940's to the 1960s was about 170,000. In Britain, there was an increase of about 80,000 people originating from the Indian sub-continent from 1951 to 1961.
      So if there was such a shortage of labour in postwar Britain, surely the British government would have been aghast at the prospect of Britons leaving the UK? And trying to put a stop to it?
      Apparently not.
      The Assisted Passage Scheme from Britain to Australia
      Australia's 'Assisted Passage Migration Scheme' started in 1945 and involved 1 million people migrating from Britain to Australia.
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7217889.stm
      The following paper adds some nuance to this:
      Yet despite the 'reluctance' we still get:
      Stephen Constantine (2003) British emigration to the empire- commonwealth since 1880: From overseas settlement to Diaspora?, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 31:2, 16-35, DOI: 10.1080/03086530310001705586
      From the same paper the following motivation, which refers to policies in the nineteenth century could perhaps explain the flow of people observed at the top of this post:
       
      Conclusion
      In sum, Britain was allowed to go a bit brown, because it was essential that Australia, Canada and other dominions remain essentially white. And this racist policy was maintained until the facts on the ground had been established. This point is one counter-arguments to the 'Great Replacement Theory' that has been espoused in some far-right circles in the West.
       
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/08/a-deadly-ideology-how-the-great-replacement-theory-went-mainstream
       
      So we have two migration stories. And the funny thing is that the first story is covered in the press, and you'll also find the second story given a lot of attention.
       
      But the two are never mentioned together.
       
      It's when you put, what are otherwise very positive stories together, that something far nastier emerges. Something which is within plain sight but unacknowledged.
       
      https://contemporaniablog.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/poms-and-windrush/
         3 comments
      Summary
      Iran is often accused of sponsoring groups such as Hamas. But what form is any help likely to take? Some speculative answers in the absence of any tangible proof.
      Background
      A short period after the Iranian revolution in 1979, Saddam Hussain, the Iraqi President decided to invade the country. He was funded by the Saudis and Kuwaitis amongst others and supplied by various western countries. Iran was embargoed. So they had to develop their own capabilities both in terms of hardware and likely software (military tactics etc.).
      Later on Iran helped set up Hizbollah because the Shias of Lebanon were being trodden on by all the other communities of that country as well as the invading Israelis. Hezbollah proved to be instrumental in helping the Israelis leave.
      Fast forward many years and Iranian-backed militia defeated ISIS in Iraq, and Hezbollah helped do the same in Syria (worth noting that very useful experience was derided by some who felt they should stay within Lebanese borders). Throughout all of this, Iran and its allies have no doubt picked up quite a few experiences and ideas about what it takes to fight in urban settings.
      In contrast, all other Arab countries relied on foreign armies' training. How effective that has been can be seen from the experience of the Iraqi army vs ISIS and the Afghan army vs the Taliban.
      Since the Nakba the Palestinian resistance was never known for the sophistication of its urban guerrilla warfare.
      Hamas
      The current anti-Israeli insurgency seems to be based on a mixture of small arms, tunnels and tactics. Assuming that sophisticated arms can't be smuggled, I'd hazard that the most valuable support they have received has been 'soft'. Strategies and tactics and that sort of thing. Knowing how to work around informers, etc., would also likely be very useful.
      No doubt someone has also been advising them how small arms can be made in motorcycle workshops. The Omani forts of centuries past had various defence mechanisms. One of them was the liquid produced by pressed dates. Nourishment for peacetime but a weapon for sieges when it could be boiled and poured onto invaders' heads. The point is that dual-use technology has a rich heritage and is eminently useful for a Gazan economy under siege for years. 
      Again throwing resources at problems such as this needs a state actor.
      Conclusion
      In sum, the Muslim world likely now has its own West Point, albeit not located in a physical location and one that does not need powerpoint slides and manuals. But as I said at the very start all speculation on my part.
       
         1 comment
      Looks like I've been here a while ...
      Twenty years ago today! I think I joined up after returning from Hajj, I should have done it beforehand I guess. It's been fun in the main, but gotten quieter over the years. Still, it has also served as a diary and a place to keep thoughts and ideas. I can understand why some people leave after a while - it's often the same issues that keep cropping up. It helps to have as bad a memory as mine - so things seem newer than they really are.
      And what about the future? This site like the rest of the net was the result of some transformative changes in tech. I think we are about to go through another inflexion point with AI and things won't be quite the same again. Exciting and challenging times ahead and I think the possible source of new ethical and fiqhi questions, albeit variations on existing themes to some extent.
      If you are wondering what 'Stories for Sakina' is about - the posts on this blog also serve the dual purpose of being (my niece) Sakina's birthday cards.
      So, for this post, I thought I'd collect an eclectic mix of my posts over the last 20 years. Eclectic means they are a haphazard mix of different types of posts, witterings, jokes and attempts to be useful and even philosophical.
      Finally, some career advice
      I joined in 2004 and got made a Mod in 2008, and became an Admin sometime after 2020 I think. So for those of you at the start of your careers the takeaway is that you don't need to be good to get to the top, you just need to hang around.
       
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