Fifth Sign: It gives information about the things that will happen to Ahl al-Bayt. "Why was Hz. Ali not given priority in holding the Caliphate though he was worthy of it more than others?”

FIFTH SIGN

We will cite in this Sign a few examples of Hadiths concerning the matters of the Unseen.

It has come down to us through an authentic chain of transmission at the degree of ‘consensus,’ that the Noble Prophet declared from the pulpit in the presence of his Companions: “This my grandson Hasan is a master of men by means of whom Allah will reconcile two great groups.”1

Forty years later, when the two largest armies of Islam met each other, Hasan made peace with Mu‘awiya, and thus proved the prophecy of his noble grandfather (Upon whom be blessings and peace).According to another authentic narration, the Prophet said to ‘Ali: “You will fight the perfidious, the just, and the deviator,”2 thus predicting the battles of the Camel and Siffin, and that fought against the Kharijites.

He again said to ‘Ali, when he was displaying love for Zubayr: “He will fight against you, but will be in the wrong.”3

He also said to his wives: “One among you will take charge of a rebellion; many around her will be killed;”4and the dogs will bark all around her.”5 All these certain and authentic traditions are the proven predictions of the struggles of ‘Ali against ‘A’isha, Zubayr and Talha during the Battle of the Camel, against Mu‘awiya at Siffin, and against the Kharijites at Harawra’ and Nahrawan.

The Prophet (PBUH) also informed ‘Ali about a man who would stain ‘Ali’s beard with the blood of his own head.6 ‘Ali knew the man; it was ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Muljam the Kharijite.

He also mentioned a man marked with a peculiar sign, Dhu’l-Thudia. When the man was found among the dead of the Kharijites, ‘Ali showed him as a proof of the rightness of his cause, declaring at the same time the miracle of the Prophet.7

According to another authentic tradition related by Umm Salama and others, the Noble Prophet also predicted that Husayn would be killed at Taff (Karbala).8 Fifty years later the painful event took place as predicted.

He also repeatedly predicted that after his demise, his Family would face death, calamities, and exile, and gave some details.9 What he had predicted later came true exactly.

In this connection, a question may be asked: although ‘Ali, with his extraordinary bravery and profound knowledge in addition to his kinship to Allah’s Messenger, greatly deserved to be Caliph, why did he not precede others in holding the Caliphate, and why did Islam experience such disorder during his Caliphate?

A n s w e r : A great spiritual pole from the Prophet’s Family is reported as saying: “The Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) had desired that ‘Ali be Caliph, but it was made known to him from the Unseen that the will of Allah Almighty was different. He then abandoned his desire, submitting himself to Allah’s will.”

One of the reasons why Allah’s will was different could have been that after the demise of the Prophet (PBUH), when the Companions were more than ever in need of alliance and unity, if ‘Ali had taken the leadership, this would most probably have aroused in many persons and tribes a tendency to compete, because of his uncompromising nature, and fearless, ascetic, heroic, and independent character, and widely known courage -as was the case during his Caliphate- and divisions among the believers would have resulted.

Another reason for the delay of ‘Ali’s Caliphate is the following: at the time of his Caliphate, the Muslim community, which had rapidly developed through the intermingling of many tribes and peoples, possessed such traits as reflected the opinions of the seventy-three sects that the Noble Prophet (PBUH) had predicted would evolve in due time.10 Therefore, in the face of such disturbances, someone was then needed with the wondrous strength, courage, respectability and sagacity of ‘Ali, someone having the force of the respected Hashimites and the Prophet’s Family, so that he could resist the sedition. And indeed he did so, in a fashion conformable to the prediction of the Prophet, who had said to him: “I have fought for the revelation of the Qur’an; you will fight for its explanation.”11 A further reason for this delay is that without ‘Ali, worldly rule would most probably have caused the Umayyad kings to go completely astray. However, being confronted with ‘Ali and the Prophet’s Family, and having to appear equal to them and to preserve their prestige before the Muslims, all the leaders of the Umayyad dynasty, even if not they themselves, in any event due to their encouragement and recommendations, their followers and supporters, worked with all their strength to preserve and disseminate the truths of Islam and belief and the Qur’anic decrees. Thus, they produced thousands of punctilious interpreters of the Law, and authorities on Hadith, and saints and purified scholars. Had they not been faced by the strong religiosity, sainthood, and virtuousness of ‘Ali and of the Prophet’s Family, it is possible that the Umayyads would from the very beginning have gone completely astray, as happened at the end of their rule, and as did the ‘Abbasids.

I t   m i g h t   a l s o   b e   a s k e d : “Why did the Islamic Caliphate not remain in the Prophet’s Family, since they were the most deserving and fitted for it?”

T h e   A n s w e r : Worldly rule is deceptive, and the Prophet’s Family had been appointed to preserve the decrees of the Qur’an and the truths of Islam. Not to be deceived by power, the one who was to hold it and the Caliphate had to be as sinless as a prophet, or as purehearted and unworldly as the Four-Rightly Guided Caliphs, ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz and the Mahdi of the ‘Abbasids. In fact, the Caliphate of the Fatimid dynasty which was founded in the name of the Prophet’s Family in Egypt, and the rule of the Almohads in Africa, and the Safavid dynasty in Iran showed that worldly rule was not suitable for the Prophet’s Family, for it caused them to neglect their primary duty, the protection of religion and the service of Islam. When, on the other hand, they gave up worldly rule, they brilliantly and most successfully served Islam and the Qur’an.

Now see: of the poles of sainthood descended from Hasan, especially the Four Poles12 and above all ‘Abd al-Qadir Gilani, and the Imams of Husayn’s line, especially Zayn al-‘Abidin and Ja‘far al-Sadiq, each became like a spiritual Mahdi, dispelled wrongdoing and spiritual darkness, and spread the light of the Qur’an and the truths of belief. And in so doing each showed he was a true heir of his noble forefather.

I t   m a y   t h e n   b e   a s k e d : “What was the wisdom in the awesome and bloody dissension that was visited on blessed Islam and the luminous Age of Bliss, and what aspect of mercy was there in it, for they did not deserve such distress?

T h e   A n s w e r : Just as a heavy spring rainstorm stirs into action the potentialities of all the varieties of plants, seeds, and trees, and causes them to develop, so each blossoms in its particular way and performs the duties inherent in its nature, so too, the dissension visited on the Companions and their successors stirred their potentialities into action, which were all different and like seeds; it spurred them on. Exclaiming, “Islam is in danger! Fire! Fire!”, it put fear into all the groups and made them hasten to protect Islam. According to its abilities, each of the groups shouldered one of the numerous different duties of the Islamic community and strove in utmost earnestness. Some working for the preservation of the prophetic Hadiths, some for the preservation of the Shari‘a, some for the preservation of the truths of belief, some for the preservation of the Qur’an, and so on; each group undertook a particular duty. They strove in performing the duties of Islam. Numerous multicoloured flowers opened. And through the storm, seeds were cast to all the corners of the most extensive world of Islam; half the earth was transformed into a rose-garden. But sadly, together with the roses, the thorns of the deviant sects appeared in the garden.

It was as if the Hand of Power had shaken that era in wrath, rotated it with intense vigour, and electrified the men of zeal. Through the centrifugal force of that movement, a great many enlightened interpreters of the Law, luminous scholars of Hadith, holy memorizers of the Qur’an, gifted scholars, men of purity, and poles of sainthood were flung off and caused to emigrate to the remote corners of the world of Islam. It fired with enthusiasm all the people of Islam from East to West and awakened them to the treasures of the Qur’an. Now we return to our subject.

There are thousands of events that Allah’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) predicted and that happened as he foretold. Here we shall mention a few of them. The majority of those we will cite are agreed upon by the six well-known and most authentic books of Hadith, particularly by Bukhari and Muslim. There is ‘consensus in meaning’ concerning the reports, while others, on account of being verified by meticulous researchers, may also be considered to have this certainty.

According to an authentic and certain narration, the Noble Messenger(Upon whom be blessings and peace) said to his Companions: “You will be victorious over all your enemies, will succeed in the conquest of Makkah,13 Khaybar,14 Damascus and Iraq,15 Persia, and Jerusalem,16 and will share among yourselves the treasures of the rulers of the greatest empires, the Byzantines and the Persians.”17 He did not say this as a matter of conjecture or personal opinion; he said it as if he had seen it, and what he said came true as predicted. This was despite the fact that at the time he foretold this he had to migrate to Madinah with a handful of followers, with the rest of the world, including the environs of Madinah, hostile to him!

He also repeatedly declared, according to authentic and certain narrations, that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar would outlive him and be his Caliphs, that they would act for Allah’s sake and within the bounds of the pleasure of Allah and that of the Prophet, that Abu Bakr’s rule would be short, and that ‘Umar would remain a long time to succeed in many conquests. Thus he said: “Incumbent upon you is following the path of those who come after me, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.”18

He also declared: “The earth was laid out before me, and its eastern and western extremities were displayed to me; the realm of my community shall extend over whatever was laid out before me.”19 And his words proved to be true.

According to an authentic and certain narration, before the Battle of Badr, he pointed out one by one the places where the leaders of the Quraysh would be killed, saying: “Abu Jahl will be killed here, ‘Utba here, Umayya here, etc.,”20 and added, “I shall kill ‘Ubayy b. Khalaf with my own hands.”21 His predictions all proved to be true.

Again, according to an authentic and certain narration, he informed his Companions about what was happening in the celebrated Battle of Mu’ta, near Damascus -at a distance of one month’s journey from where he was- as if he were seeing his Companions fighting in the battle, and said: “Zayd has taken the banner and been struck; now Ibn Rawaha has taken the banner and been struck; now Ja‘far has taken the banner and been struck; now one of Allah’s swords [i.e. Khalid] has taken it.”22 Two to three weeks later Ya‘la b. Munabbih returned from the battlefront. In his presence, the Noble Prophet described the details of the battle, and Ya‘la swore by Allah that what had taken place at the battle was exactly the same as the Prophet had described.23

According to an authentic and certain narration, the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) said: “After me, the Caliphate will last thirty years; then it will be rapacious monarchy.”24The beginning of this affair is prophethood and mercy; then it will be mercy and Caliphate; then it will be rapacious monarchy; then it will be arrogance and tyranny.”25 He thus predicted the six-month-long caliphate of Hasan and the period of the Four Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and, following that, the transition of Caliphate to monarchy and monarchy’s being beset by intrigues and tyranny. This is exactly what later occurred.

Again, according to an authentic narration, he declared: “‘Uthman will be killed while reading the Qur’an.”26And it may be that Allah will cause him to be dressed in a shirt at that time. His deposal may also be sought.”27 These events, too, all took place exactly as predicted.

Also according to an authentic narration, while cupping the Prophet (PBUH), ‘Abd Allah b. Zubayr tasted his blessed blood. And then the Prophet said: “Woe unto the people for what shall befall them at your hands, and woe unto you for what shall befall you at their hands,”28 predicting that ‘Abd Allah would lead the Muslims with extraordinary bravery, would face terrible attacks, and that because of him fearsome events would befall people. What he foretold came about exactly: during Umayyad rule, ‘Abd Allah b. Zubayr declared his Caliphate in Makkah, heroically fought in many battles, until finally Hajjaj the Tyrant attacked him with a large force, and following a fierce battle the illustrious hero was martyred.

Again, according to an authentic narration, he foretold the characteristics of the Umayyad dynasty29 and the tyrannical rule of many of its monarchs, including Yazid and Walid,30 and Mu‘awiya’s taking the leadership of the Muslims. He advised justice and gentleness, and said: “When ruling, act with forebearance.”31 He predicted that the ‘Abbasid dynasty would emerge after the Umayyads to remain in power for a long time, and said: “The ‘Abbasids will come forth with black banners and rule for much longer than they [the Umayyads] rule.”32 All these predictions proved to be true.

According to an authentic narration, the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) also said: “Woe to the Arabs for the evil that has drawn near,”33 suggesting the dreadful disorders to be caused by Jenghiz and Hulagu, and their destruction of the ‘Abbasid state. All this proved to be true.

According to an authentic narration, when Sa‘d b. Abi Waqqas was gravely ill, the Prophet said to him: “It may be that you will be spared so that some may benefit by you, and others harmed by you,”34 thus predicting that he would be a great commander winning many victories, and many peoples would benefit from him entering the fold of Islam, while others would be destroyed by him. His words proved to be true; Sa‘d led the Muslim armies, wiped out the Persian Empire, and caused many peoples to reach guidance, the path of Islam.

Also according to an authentic narration, when the Negus, the Abyssinian ruler, who had accepted faith earlier, died in the seventh year of the Hijra, Allah’s Prophet (Upon whom be blessings and peace) informed his Companions about it; he even performed funeral prayers for him.35 One week later came the news confirming the death of the Negus on the very same day as the Prophet had said.

According to an authentic narration, when the Noble Prophet was with his closest four Companions on the top of Mount Uhud (or Hira), the mountain began to tremble. He said, “Steady! For on you are a prophet, a veracious one [siddiq], and a martyr,”36 and foretold the martyrdom of ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali. It too proved true.

Now, O unfortunate, wretched man without heart who says that Muhammad (PBUH) was only a clever person and then closes his eyes to that Sun of Truth! Of all his fifteen different kinds of miracle, you have thus far heard only the hundredth part of one kind, that relating to his predictions which have the certainty of ‘consensus in meaning.’ To discover future events through one’s own sagacity and thus succeed even in one hundredth part of the Prophet’s predictions, one would have to be of the highest genius. Even if we merely called him a genius as you call him, could such a man with the sagacity of a hundred geniuses have ever seen anything wrongly? Or could he have ever stooped to reporting it wrongly? Not to heed the word of such a hundredfold genius concerning happiness in both worlds is therefore the sign of a hundredfold madness!

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1. Bukhari, Fitan 20; Sulh, 9; Fada’il Ashab al-Nabi 22; Manaqib 25; Darimi, Sunna 12; Tirmidhi, Manaqib 25; Nasa’i, Jum’a 27; Musnad v, 38, 44, 49, 51; ‘Abd Allah Kattani, Nazm al-Mutanathir 125.
2. al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, iii, 139, 140; al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id vii, 138; Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa vi, 414.
3. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa’l-Nihaya vi, 213; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak iii, 366, 367; ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 686, 687.
4. al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari xiii, 45.
5. Musnad vi, 52, 97; Ibn Hibban, Sahih, viii, 258 no: 6697; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak iii, 120.
6. al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak iii, 113; Musnad i, 102, 103, 148, 156.
7. Bukhari, Manaqib 25; Adab 95; Istitaba 7; Muslim, Zakat, 148, 156, 157; Abu Da’ud, Sunna 28; Musnad iii, 56, 65.
8. Imam Ahmad, Fada’il al-Sahaba 1357; Musnad i, 85; iii, 242, 256; vi, 294; ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 702.
9. Ibn Maja, Fitan 34.
10. See, Page 137 fn. 60.
11. al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id vi, 244; Musnad iii, 31, 33, 82; Ibn Hibban, Sahih ix, 46 no: 6898.
12. The Four Poles of sainthood, namely, ‘Abd al-Qadir Gilani, Ahmad Rufa’i, Ahmad Badawi, and Ibrahim Dasuqi. (Tr.)
13. ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Bukhari i, 678, 679. See, Concordance.
14. ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 679. See, Concordance.
15. ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 678. See, Concordance.
16. ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 678, 679. See, Concordance.
17. Bukhari, Jihad 15; Manaqib 25; Iman 3; Muslim, Fitan 75, 76; Tirmidhi, Fitan 41.
18. Tirmidhi, Manaqib 16, 37; Ibn Maja, Muqaddima 11; Musnad v, 382, 385, 399, 402.
19. Muslim, Fitan 19, 20; Abu Da’ud, Fitan 1; Tirmidhi, Fitan 14; Ibn Maja, Fitan 9; Musnad iv, 123, 278, 284.
20. Muslim, Jihad 83; Janna 76; Abu Da’ud, Jihad 115; Nasa’i, Jana’iz 117; Musnad i, 26; iii, 219, 258.
21. al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak ii, 327.
22. al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak iii, 298; Bukhari, Maghazi 44.
23. al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa’ iii, 210; Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzi, Zad al-Ma’ad (Tahqiq: Arnavud) iii, 385.
24. Musnad v, 220, 221.
25. Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 340; Musnad iv, 273.
26. al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak iii, 103.
27. See, al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak iii, 100.
28. al-‘Asqalani, al-Matalib al-‘Aliya iv, 21; al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id no: 2708; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak iii, 554.
29. Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 338; ‘Ali al-Qari, i, 683; al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 179.
30. al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami’ al-Saghir no: 2579; al-Albani, Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Sahiha no: 1749; al-‘Asqalani, al-Matalib al-‘Aliya no: 4528.
31. al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id v, 186; Ibn Hajar, al-Matalib al-‘Aliya (Tahqiq: ‘Abd al-Rahman al-A’zami) no: 4085.
32. Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 338; Musnad iii, 216-218; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak iii, 326.
33. Bukhari, Fitan 4, 28; Muslim, Fitan 1; Abu Da’ud, Fitan 1; Tirmidhi, Fitan 23; Ibn Maja, Fitan 9; Musnad ii, 390, 399; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak i, 108; iv, 439, 483.
34. Bukhari, Jana’iz 36; Manaqib al-Ansar, 49; Fara’id, 6; al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa’ iii, 209; ^Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 699; Abu Na’im, Hilyat al-Awliya’ i, 94.
35. Bukhari, Jana’iz 57; Manaqib al-Ansar 38; Muslim, Fara’id 14; Abu Da’ud, Jihad 133; Buyu’ 9; Tirmidhi, Jana’iz 69; Nasa’i, Jana’iz 66, 67; Ibn Maja, Sadaqat 9, 13.
36. Bukhari, Fada’il al-Sahaba 101; Ibn Maja, Jana’iz 64; Musnad iv, 240, 282, 283; Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’, i, 340.

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