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(bismillah) صلى الله على محمد وآله Recently, I came across a fascinating article regarding the hypocrites at Uqba that attempted to kill the Holy Prophet [sawa] after Tabuk. The full article can be read here (click!). I will here, however, provide a summarized version of its points with some extra points here. The great companion Huthayfa b. al-Yaman (d. 37 AH), who accompanied the Prophet [sawa] when he was attacked by these people at Uqba, was informed by the Prophet [sawa] of who these hypocrites were and then announced to everyone else that there were a number (12 ~ 14) hypocrites amongst them. This narration is saheeh and included in Sahih Muslim. This incident is famous and well accepted by everyone. Now, Ibn Hazim – an Andalusian Sunni hadith scholar of the 5th century H – comments on the incident and calls it a fabricated lie. He points to the one of the narrators – Walid b. Abdullah b. Jumay` - and accuses him of fabricating this hadith because he narrates reports accusing Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Talha, and Sa`d b. Abi Waqas of wanting to kill the Prophet [sawa] at Uqba after Tabuk. So the events are one and the same and he is solely accusing this narrator of fabricating because of the content of what he is narrating and it is completely irreconcilable with their doctrine and historical point of view. Also note that Ibn Hazim specifying fabrication to this particular narrator – on a content basis (istiqraa’) – means that the remainder of the chain and its narrators is correct. Ibn Hazim is in fact very late compared to many other narrator critics. In fact, most of the scholars of narrator praise and criticism give this narrator Walid b. Abdullah b. Jumay` strong authentication: Yaha b. Mu`ayn (d. 233 AH) – reliable, trustworthy Abu Hatim al-Razi (d. 277 AH) – righteous hadith Abu Dawud (d. 275) & Ahmad b. Hanbal (d. 241 AH) – there are no problems with him I think the problem presented to the opponents here is clear. It would give legitimacy to the narration as previously existing with the names of companions who according to them were the best of the best and the heavy weights. The narration in the books today does not include the names. This is not surprising as the narrators after Walid b. Jumay` and/or the compilers themselves would have censored the names and the content – a well known and apparent habit of theirs. It is also good to note that the person Walid b. Jumay` is narrating from the last companion to die, Abu al-Tufayl [ra], a hardcore shi’i rafidhi (you can see his article here (click!) Ibn Hajr tries to rescue the situation (and this narrator) by saying, he’s not thiqa (having good memory AND honesty), rather he was just sadooq (honest) and had awhaam (an imagination) and then goes to accuse him of tashayyu`. He then brings forward a narration where Umar asks Huthayfa if he is from the munafiqeen and Huthayfa replies in the negative. The article writer presents two points here. First, Umar asking such a thing is strange and suspicious. He himself should be aware if he was from the assailants at Uqba or not. So this is not some sort of moment of grand taqwa for Ibn al-Khattab. The second point, the article writing claims, is that Huthayfa did taqiyya – he hid the truth from Umar to spare himself. Now, at first glance, this argument seems extremely farfetched. But it in fact seems be on spot especially given what is presented following this argument: He presents a narration where Uthman summons Huthayfa, while Ibn Mas`ud is with him, interrogating Huthayfa about the rumors of him accusing him (Uthman) about “such and such” [there we go again with the censoring]. Huthayfa denies it and then leaves. Ibn Mas`ud then asks him “Why did you deny saying that when I heard you saying these myself!?” Huthayfa replies saying, essentially, I hid the truth to spare myself and my deen (taqiyya). All of the narrations about these incidents and events are saheeh by their isnad. Refer back to the original article and their scans to see it. You can also check each narrator yourself. Finally, another event brought forward is an incident where an early tabi` (possibly young companion, Shurayq) is sitting with Huthayfa in the masjid when Abdullah b. Mas`ud and Abu Musa al-Ash`ari walks in and he says “one of these two is a hypocrite.” Then Huthayfa goes on to praise Ibn Mas`ud very highly. Essentially clarifying – Abu Musa al-Ash`ari is the munafiq [hypocrite]. Sunni scholars tried to “save” the situation here by saying things like “Oh Huthayfa was just mad when he said this” – which is a saying without proof and is far from what is apparent. al-Thahabi, who is someone known to be extremely hostile to Shias and Shiism, tries to accuse al-A`mash in the chain because he has some tashayyu` in him and that Shias tend to dislike Abu Musa. Problem is that al-A`mash is EXTREMELY thiqa and relied upon by the Sunnis. He narrates about 370 times in Bukhari and Muslim’s saheeh. And they’ve never really made a fuss about his slight tashayyu` (khafeef tashayyu`) ever before and in fact most ignored it as anything of any real mention. Next, tadlees/irsal can’t be used as the excuse here either. The narrator al-A`mash is narrating from (Shurayq/Abu Waa’il) is from among his main teachers and al-A`mash `an Shurayq appears many times in the saheehayn AND several times with explicit hearing (simaa`) where he says “I heard Shurayq say” and the like. Shurayq is himself a giant thiqa narrator who was born during the Prophet [sawa]’s life (1 AH). Conclusion: No matter how you look at it, the probability of this hadith being reliable is very high, as Walid b. `Abdullah b. Jumay` was considered thiqa by the earliest rijal scholars, and was only weakened by Ibn Hazim for narrating this hadith. We cannot establish someone's weakness for the sole reason that he narrates a hadith some don't like. The hadith does not contradict the Qur'an or the Sunna in any way, and no doubts were placed on the transmitters' honesty and character. The hadith merely identifies the previously anonymous hypocrites that attacked the Prophet. Through this charge, and through other evidences that we have used to expose the malicious intentions of the 3 Caliphs, we can make a good case against Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. If they indeed tried to kill the Prophet, then this is the worst of their sins, and no Muslims from any sect should try to exonerate them. Put this beside the many other crimes they have committed against the Ahl al-Bayt and the sahaba, and you'll find that these guys were all bad apples. All deficiencies are mine and all truth is from Allah. May He [awj] forgive us and accept efforts for His cause. Ameen. في أمان الله
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