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Friday, August 13, 2021

The Great Truth

“How to know the Big Truth that is ignored by most people? And you are directed to the exact religion that takes you the the Great Success (Victory)…?

Dear All, I will start with a small introduction which could be a great one too, and after that I will unveil to you the great news (as named by almighty Allah SWAT), do not rush and follow me until the end and after that you may judge and decide.” By: Abdul Malik Al Siyabi


Note: The following PDF was created and edited by Bint Ibadh Blog. To download the book, please click on the image.




Thursday, May 27, 2021

The Tale of Bin Mugarab


Bin Mugarab

          It was recounted that Bin Mugarab’s tribe had lived in a village by a creek (falaj) in Al-Ihsa region in Saudi Arabia. A heated dispute arose between the dignitaries of the tribe and Bin Mugarab’s father, who died in mysterious circumstances (1). Bin Mugarab swore by God to take his revenge on them in return for his father’s strange death or for some other sound reason that only he could know.

          He began to build an imposing mud-and-stone palace with an external kitchen, but founded on salt. When he had finished it, he invited all sheikhs and the other socialites of his village to come to a traditional rich feast that he was giving, also pretending that he highly respected them. He treated them very gently to convince them of his high opinion of them, so they would not distrust him and reject his invitation. They accepted his invitation, and in a few days, they started to arrive at his party.

          He hired a doorkeeper and ordered him not to allow any of the guests to leave the palace (2). It was said that during the preparation of the lunch a Bedouin passer-by saw people entering the palace. He asked the doorkeeper about the reason for their coming. “Was it because of an invitation, Brother? What do you have inside?” inquired the Bedouin. “O Bedouin, Entrance, Entrance, No Exit,” replied the doorkeeper.

          The Bedouin was suspicious about the matter. “Could I enter?” asked the Bedouin. “Entrance, Entrance, No Exit,” The doorkeeper reiterated.

The Bedouin understood that it was possible to enter, but it was not possible to leave. To make certain, the Bedouin enquired, “What time is the feast?

“Don’t scoop twice,” the doorkeeper said. The Bedouin took some food from the cooks, and went away.

          Bin Mugarab requested the common villagers to change the direction of the creek towards his palace to show his guests his hospitality in its best manifestation. They indeed did so.

          The servants started bringing the food in and setting the dining wares. When they had finished, he called the sheikhs and the other leading figures of the village to help themselves. As they engaged wholly in eating food, Bin Mugarab turned the water into the salty foundations of the palace. The doorkeeper locked the door in order not to allow anyone to leave. The palace fell down upon them, and they all died. After that Bin Mugarab realized that to stay in the village would be impossible, and that he would be murdered especially by the eminent men of the village, who did not attend the feast in revenge of what he had committed. Therefore, he decided to flee.

          Together with his daughter, his servant, and his she-camel, he left the village stealthily for Oman in search of a safe haven. It took him several months to cross the desert before reaching his destination. He looked for the safest place and trusting people to settle in with. It was Summer when Bin Mugarab entered Oman through Al-Dhahra region, and moved eastward from one village to another until he reached Al-Dakhiliya region (3). He continued moving eastward from village to village, and passed through Wadi Bani Rawaha. He intended to go to Samail, and to have a siesta under the wadi shady trees by Wabal. (4)

“What’s the name of this village?” Bin Mugarab asked his guide.

“Wabal,” the guide answered.

“What’s the name of the other village ahead?” asked Bin Mugarab.

“Saija, but it is far,” replied the guide.

“What’s the name of the village we left behind,” asked Bin Mugarab.

“Wisad,” answered the guide.

“We’ll go back to it and spend the night there,” said Bin Mugarab.

“This is a nice place. Why will we go back there?” said the guide.

“Far be it from me that they would say Bin Mugarab spent his night at Wabal. It is better that they would say I slept the night at Wisad rather than I slept at Wabal,” said Bin Mugarab.

          They went back to Wisad to spend the night there. Then Bin Mugarab moved in the morning eastward to Samail. He did not like it. Therefore, he moved on to Wadi Al-Tayyin. He continued his journey eastward. He crossed the mountains between Tayyin and Quriyat, and when he reached Tiwi, he was alone on his she-camel.

          On his journey eastward, it was narrated that his daughter was riding the she-camel, when the latter tried to wade across the wadi to the other side. Suddenly, the she-camel stopped for some reason. His daughter shouted at it to wade on and called it, “O daughter of wadi-wader.” Bin Mugarab raised doubts about what she said. He began to fixate on what she had said. He did not understand the meaning of her words, and wondered for what reason she had uttered them. What was her intent? Satan whispered evil to him to kill her, and without hesitation he did, and buried her there. Afterwards alongside with his servant he went on. Then an argument occurred between him and his servant, resulting in the latter’s death.

          Bin Mugarab left his she-camel grazing and went to Tiwi Suq to buy some necessities. Then he suddenly caught sight of a man driving his she-camel from one clover farm into another.

“Why did you drive the she-camel from that clover farm into this one,” He asked the man.

“This strange she-camel was in my neighbour’s farm, and I brought it into mine because the neighbour has to be protected by the right of neighbourhood,” answered the man.

“Do you protect those who live 1n your neighbourhood and your guests?” asked Bin Mugarab.

“Yes, we do. We protect our neighbours, give the refuge-seeker shelter and refuge, highly honour strangers, and everyone who lives with us is one of us,” replied the man.

“What’s the name of this village,” asked Bin Mugarab.

“Tiwi,” the man answered.

“Tiwi? O soul be agreeable,” said Bin Mugarab.

          Bin Mugarab resolved to stay at this village. He invested all his money in trade, and became one of the most affluent and influential people of the village. He had his own palaces, farms, real estates, servants, attendants and retinue. But for all those years, he was haunted by the memory of what he had done and by the fear of being found out and killed in revenge for it. He lived in extremes. On the one hand, he was quite sure his avenger would never reach him while he was alive for, he had more people, more money and more influence than they, but on the other hand, he had misgivings that they would certainly come. Because he eventually became old, he decided that when he would die, he would be entombed in an unreachable cave inaccessibly located on a mountainside. Therefore, he built a stone flight of steps from the foot of the mountain up to the cave, and laid a small gold piece under every step. Then he dug a grave inside that cave to be laid to rest in when deceased. He also ordered his servants and suite to bury him in that grave, and to demolish the flight of steps and take the gold pieces as a reward, once finally expired.

          Bin Mugarab fully adhered to this idea, believing that if he died and his old people happened to come to Tiwi in search of him, and found that he was already dead, they would probably disinter his corpse and mutilate it. Thus, the cave was inaccessible and they could not reach him at all. He also took several other measures, among which were that he showered the notable men of the village, his servants and cortege with money, and expanded the circle of his friends, as well, to ensure his inhumation after his death.

          One day, Bin Mugarab pretended that he was dead. But his servants did not honour his wishes and resolved not to carry his coffin up to the cave and inter him in the grave that he had dug for himself. They made a decision to bury him anywhere, instead. They rushed towards the flight of steps and set about destroying it, taking the gold pieces. Bin Mugarab heard what they agreed on. When they all left for the flight of steps, he rose to his feet and followed them. He saw everything with his own eyes. He rebuked them. They felt ashamed of themselves and of what they had done, and swore by God and all the righteous people that they would live up to their promise. Bin Mugarab was fully sure that he would be laid to rest in his grave in the cave.

          Bin Mugarab died, and his servants really were true to their word this time. They carried out his order perfectly. They carried his coffin up to the cave, entombed him in his grave, entirely demolished the flight of steps, and took the gold preces.

          Meanwhile, his old people had been looking for him everywhere to avenge themselves on him. They left Al-Ihsa for Oman and travelled along the same road that he had taken when he fled his village. They asked about him at every village they entered, and received the same answer that he had gone to the village so-and-so until they finally arrived at Tiwi. There the people knew that some people would sooner or later come and ask about Bin Mugarab. So, when they were asked about him, they answered that he was buried in that cave.

          His old people pledged to track him down no matter where, and swore by God that they would cut him into pieces, if they found him alive. But if they found him dead, they would exhume his body, dismember it and pulverize his bones to dust with the hooves of their horses. When they looked at the cave, and double-checked with the villagers, they made certain that his tomb was there, but it was unreachable. They rode their horses up the mountain to the top. There they got off, bound some horses and lowered them into the cave so that they would tread on Bin Mugarab’s grave and die there in the cave.

_______________________

(1)     There were some speculations that the quarrel was between the tribe’s luminaries and Bin Mugarab himself. Bin Mugarab means in Arabic son of the experienced. Translator

(2)    Many Omani proverbs and stock sayings grew out of Bin Mugarab’s invitation, among which are Entrance, Entrance, No Exit. Bin Mugarab’s invitation is not confined to those at home only, but extends to everyone. Bin Mugarab’s invitation is not limited. Of course, this is indicative of great generosity. They also say, “Bin Mugarab’s invitation is not sufficient enough for a stranger.” Never ladle twice. This connotes that there is a danger lying in food. Tiwi! O my soul be agreeable. This means that Tiwi is a very beautiful village. Translator

(3)    It was called Interior Oman at that time. Translator

(4)    Wabal is a village in Oman. It was the name of the village at whose wadi Bin Mugarab decided to take siesta. Later on, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos renamed it as Manal. Translator

 

Reference:

Tales from Oman, translated by D. Abdulsalam Ali Hamad, pg: 7-15. 


Saturday, May 22, 2021

A Brief Review of the Biography and Activities of Sheikh Abu Is'haq Ibrahim Attfayish

His Biography

Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Yusuf Attfayish (Abu Is'haq)

A scholar from Bani Yasgun, Mizab. He was born in 1305 H/ 1886 CE in Algeria. He studied with the great scholar Muhammad bin Yusuf Attfayish (Qutb Ala'emah), and AlHaj Ibrahim Zarqoon then he moved to the capital of Algeria and studied with Sheikh Abdul-Qader AlMajawi. After that, he travelled to Tunisia and studied with Sheikh Muhammad bin Yusuf Alhanafi and Sheikh Attaher bin Ashoor (the author of Attahreer wa Tanweer). Sheikh Ibrahim had very strong ties with other Islamic scholars like Muhib Adeen Alkhateeb, Sayyed Qutub, Muhammad Rasheed Ridha, and Hassan Albana.


His writings and books:

Sheikh Ibrahim has left some books including:

   1] Addi'ayah Ila Sabeel Almu'mineen (The Publicity to the way of believers), published.

   2] Mujez Tareekh AlIbadiyah (A Brief History of Ibadhis), published.

  3] AlFarq byn Alibadiyah Walkhawarij (The difference between lbadhis and Khawarij), published many times in Arabic.

   4] Usmat Alanbiya, unpublished letter.

   5] Almuhkam WalMutashabeh, unpublished.


In Tunisia he was also active in politics which in turn made Franc expel him from Tunisia in February 1342H/ 1923CE, so he chose to move to Cairo, Egypt, where he started his intellectual productions and contributions. In 1359H/ 1940CE, the Ministry of Interior in Egypt appointed him as a supervisor of the Correction Department at Dar AlKutub AlMisriyah (Egyptian Books House) where he worked on Aljame Li'ahkam Alqur'an and Almujam Almufahras Li'alfadh Alqur'an.



  • He edited and published a number of important books such as:

1- Between 1344H/1925CE to 1349H/ 1930 CE, he established Alminhaj Magazine in Egypt

2- Tuhfat Al'ayan Biseerat Ahlu Oman (History of Oman), by A'Salimi, two volumes.

3-    Three volumes of Kitab Sharh A’Neel, by Alqutb.

4-    Jame Arkan AlIslam, by AlKharousi.

5-    Shamel Alasl Walfare, By Alqutb Attfayish.

6-    Musnad Arabie bin Habeeb, In Hadith.

7-    AlMaqsoorah in language, by Ibn Durayd.

8-    Some volumes of Aljame Li'ahkam AlQuran, by AlQurtubi.

9- AIMu'ajam AlMufahras Lialfadh AlQur'an AlKareem, by Muhammad Fu'ad Abdulbaqi.

He also has some replies to some orientalists' writings published in the Arabic version of Da'erat Alma'aruf AlIslamiah.

 

Other activities:

  • He established Jameyat AlHidayah AlIslamiah (Islamic Guidance Society) which was headed by his friend, Alkhudur Husain Altunisi.
  • He was active in Jameyat Alshuban Almuslimeen (Muslim Youth Society) in which he had very strong ties with Hassan AlBana.
  • He was an active member in the Cooperative group of North Africa Minorities.
  • He was appointed by the Ministry Of Endowments in Egypt to supervise the Ibadhi Endowments in Egypt.
  • He also played a crucial role in political Issue in Oman. He was an active member at the Omani Imamate Office in Cairo and Imam Ghalib selected him as a representative to the United Nations to defend the Omani Issue in the 1950s.
  • To serve the Islamic Publicity, he travelled to Zanzibar (Tanzania), Nafusa, Libia, Quds, Juresulum, Mizab, Algeria.

 

He died in Egypt on the 20th of Sha'ban 1385H/ 26th of December 1965.


Reference:

The Differences between Ibdhis and Khawarij, written by: Sheikh Ibrahim Attfayish, translated by: Muneer AlHadhrami and Abdullah AlRawahi. 


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Oman and Ibadhism: Part VI


17

The Mediation (Intercession)

 

THE critics have critisized the Ibadhis regarding their opinion on Mediation, saying that their allegation that there will be no Mediation in the Hereafter for perpetrators of the great sins is not acceptable for many reasons.

          The fact is that the Ibadhis do not deny the Mediation, but it is for the believers who are obedient. As for the perpetrators of the great sins, there will not be Mediation for them unless if they have repented. If one asks a question why should those who have repented need the mediation knowing that by repenting they will be forgiven?

          Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamed Al-Khalily in his interpretation of the version: “Then guard yourselves against a day when one soul shall not avail another nor shall intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped (from outside)”. (II: 48). And the Almighty Has mentioned that the Mediation shall only be for those who are acceptable. The Quran says: “And they offer no intercession except for those who are acceptable”. (XXI: 28). Also, it will only be by His permission: He says: “Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth?” (II: 255).

          Some scholars have attempted to summarise these verses and concluded that God will enable the prophets and the pious to intercede for one who is acceptable by God; that is to intercede for the repentant so that God accepts his repentance. There are some narratives from the Prophet to that effect: “No one among you will enter the Paradise on the Day of Judgement except by the Grace of God, then by his performance, then by my mediation”.

          Repentance, therefore, is acceptable to God, but that does not prevent the Prophet from playing a role in the mediation for the acceptance of this repentance. That is so because a person is apt to shortcomings and is therefore in need of good wishes from others, and the Mediation is among those good wishes. The Prophets, the Angels and the Pious do intercede for one who is acceptable to God. God Himself Has said that His Angels shall pray from forgiveness for the believers: “Our Lord; Thy Reach is over all things, in Mercy and Knowledge. Forgive, then, those who turn in Repentance and follow Thy Path; and preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire!” (XL: 7) (Taken from the tape of Al-Khalily’s translation of the Quran).

          Al-Salmy in his ‘Mashariq Anwar Al-Uquul’ has defined Mediation as a plea for an early entry into the Paradise or addition of the rank therein from the Lord to His believing servants. Hence, Mediation is confirmed to the Ibadhis, and it is for the obedient believers among the Muslims. Merging Mediation with their opinion regarding the perpetrators of the great sins, the Ibadhis believe that as the perpetrators of the great sins are companions of the Hell of Fire to dwell therein forever (with concrete justifications), they understand Mediation to mean addition of recompence and rank for the believer.

          Al-Talaty has also defined it that: “It is a request of the Prophet to God to permit the believers to enter their abodes in the Heavens (immediately) after the Judgement”. (See Al-Talaty: AL-AQIDA AL-MUBARAKA— p. 165).

          The Ibadhis have supported their opinion on Mediation with many Quranic evidences and the Prophetic Traditions. Sheikh Khamis bin Said Al-Shaksy says: “Mediation is the right of the believers whom God Has accepted their performances. God says: “And they offer no intercession except for those who are acceptable” (XXI: 28). And He says: “On that Day shall no intercession avail except for those for whom permission has been granted by (God) Most Gracious, and whose word is acceptable to Him” (XX: 109). And He says: “No intercession can avail in His presence, except for those for whom He has granted permission”. (XXXIV: 23) (See Minhaj Al-Talibiin: Khamis bin Said Al-Shakshy—Vol. 1 p. 520).

          In the “Kamus Al-Sharia we read: “Our companions—May Allah Bless them— have said: Medication is an undeniable right but it is for the obedient believers sans companions of great sins among the disobedient and the sinful, and the evidence of that is from the Quran: “And they offer no intercession except for those who are acceptable” (XXI: 28) And: “On that Day shall no intercession avail except for those whom permission has been granted by (God) Most gracious and whose word is acceptable to Him” (XX: 109) And! “No intimate friend nor intercessor will the wrong-doers have, who could be listened to” (XL: 18) (See Kamus Al-Sharia Vol. 5 p. 506—Jamil bin Khamis Al-Saady).

          Many verses have come on this issue commending the influence of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and to praise his high rank before God—also it will be clear to the observer that Mediation does not benefit an infidel or a sinner overloaded with crimes. There are no sings in the verses dealing with Mediation supporting the illusory of those who neglect the Religious Commands and interdictions but therein all power is God’s and that nothing will benefit anyone in the Hereafter except his piety and God’s satisfaction.

          The Ibadhis have given many traditions which confirm Mediation for the believers and deny it for the persistent disobedient. Many have come in the reliable books in different narrations but agreeing in the meaning. Among these is the Tradition of the Prophet (S.A.W.) when he sat on the pulpit and said: “O Abbas, uncle of the Messenger of God, O Fatma bint Muhammad, O people of Muhammad in general! Surely, in the name of He who holds my soul, I am to my Lord firmly obedient; so, nobody should be deceived by his mind and says: I am an uncle of the Messenger of God or says I am the daughter of Muhammad or a relative of Muhammad. You have to purchase your souls from God, because if you do not do that you will perish along with those whom you know have perished”.

          (This tradition has been narrated in the book “Kamus Al-Sharia Vol. 5 p. 507).

          In another Tradition the Prophet said: “O you children of Abdil Muttalib, surely God has instructed me to warn you—and certainly I cannot profit you anything against God (with my advice) and that my associates among you are those who fear God—O Fatma bint Muhammad, and O Safiya, Muhammad’s aunt—purchase your souls from God, for certainly I cannot avail you ought from God”.

          And among the contemporary scholars who discussed the Mediation is Muhammad Al-Ghazaly. He has reviewed the texts and made comparisons between them in more than one occasion and then declared that to depend upon the Mediation gives people courage and makes them plunge into crimes. He says: “The common Muslims shout the Traditions which deal with the mediation of the Prophet (S.A.W.) for some of the sinners and they comment on such traditions in such a manner that it occurs to you that the rules of punishment have been nullified and that the Fires of the Hell are about to change into coolness—and be peaceful to the believing sinners. And much do those ignorant neglect the religious duties and fall into dirty sins and then say that Muhammad’s Community is excellent, and this is a notorious policy (wrong method). Muhammad (S.A.W.) is the first to denounce this policy and combats its followers and warns them that they are the companions of the Hell. And to say that the laws are suspended for followers of a prophet is an empty stupidity.

          God says: “Then guard yourselves against a Day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from her nor shall intercession profit her nor shall anyone be helped (from outside) (II: 123) then he says: Let those see the God’s word with regard to companions of the Fire: “What led you into Hell-Fire?” (LXXIV: 42) The strange thing for the Muslims is that they are affected by this stain and forget God’s word: “Not your desires, nor those of the people of the Book (can prevail): whoever works evil, will be requited accordingly, nor will he find, besides God, any protector or helper”. (IV: 123). (See Muhammad Al-Ghazaly: Aqidat Al-Muslim p. 253).

          Also Muhammad Abdo in his ‘AL-MANAR—has discussed Mediation and explained that the straight nature of Islam and its plain method require that the Muslim should be sincere to God, serious in good performance and far from lazyness in performing duties or clinging on the desires. In his translation of the verse: “Whoever works evil, will be requited accordingly nor will he find, besides God, any protector or helper”, he says: All such desires for Mediation are like confused medley of dreams giving promises without ever living up to them (lighting without a down pour) and gloomy clouds, but the axis for salvation rests on faith and performance, as God has declared saying: “If any do deeds of righteousness,—be they male or female—and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them”. (IV: 124).

          He adds that in these two verses are expressions and warning which make one understand castles of desires and fortresses of deceptions which the lazy, the ignorant and the sinner among the Muslims who take the Religion as the political identity to depend upon and to protect themselves with it, thinking that God Awards anyone who calls himself a Muslim in preference over he who calls himself a Jew or a Christian, simply by virtue of the heart, believing that consideration is given on account of names and titles and not on account of knowledge and performance.

(See AL-MANAR Vol. 5 pp. 437-38—Muhammad Rasheed Redha).

          With this brief discussion, the critic should understand the following:

(1)  The Ibadhis are not alone in denying Mediation for perpetrators of the great sins. Many other scholars who have pursued this topic—particularly the contemporary ones—have the same opinion.

 

(2) The evidences which the Ibadhis have adopted whether from the Quran or the Sunnah are sufficient to support their opinion.

          Sheikh Muhammad Abdo comments on this topic and says: “It is strange to avoid the positive signs from the Quran for the sake of the general interpretations whereas even these general interpretations should basically convey what these (Quranic) verses have indicated”.

(3) The belief in denying Mediation for the great sinners agrees with the spirit of Islam which is based on faith and performance and exerting effort for the sake of achieving God’s pleasure. Hence, giving free rein to passions and loading the self with faults and spreading evils destroy the spirit of the Sharia which calls for adherence to God’s Orders and avoidance of His prohibitions in order to ensure the good ending. Sayyid Qutub says: “There shall be no Mediation on that Day for one who has not brought faith and good performance”.

(See Sayyid Qutub: FIY DHILAL AL-QURAN Vol. 1 p. 71).  

 

18

The Balance (Justice(

 

ANOTHER controversial issue which the critics have discussed with regard to the opinion of Ibadhis is the question of the Balance. The critic has indicated that there is mutual approach between the Ibadhis and the Sunnites in the auditives but he then criticises them for their opinion on the Balance and accuses them that they interpret the verses and the Traditions to prove their point of view. He says: “What the Ibadhis have done in interpreting the verses and the Traditions which prove that the Balance is an object is not acceptable”. He also says: “they do not believe that the Balance which God keeps for the account of His servants is the balance which has two sides and an organ on which daily activities—bad and good—are weighed, but they believe that by the Balance is meant distinguishing the activities and elaborating them and rewarding them because the activities of the people—according to them—are characteristic and not by volume.

          Let us first see the word ‘Balance’ in the language: The word means justice and equity. Balancing the activities, that is distinguishing them, elaborating them and rewarding them is well known in the Arabic language. A person tells his friend: “Weigh your words”...And based on this, the Ibadis are not alone in this translation of the Balance. Many have adopted their opinion, among whom AL-DHAHAK, QITADA and MUJAHID.

          Al-Qartaby says: “Mujahid, Qitada and Al Dhahak have said that the Balance has been mentioned symbolically and not a real balance but it means Justice”. (A1-Jamil LIAHKAAM AL-QURAN, Vol. 11, p. 294).

          And in “LISANIL-ARAB, Vol. 13, p. 447”, Juweybar related from Al-Dhahak that the Balance, Justice and others said. The Balance: The Book in which there are activities of mankind. Al-Razy said in his translation of the verse”, and in establishing the balance there are two opinions:

   Mujahid said: This is a symbol and the intention is justice—Similarly it is related from Qitada and Al-Dhahak that the balance of justice in the activities. He whose good deeds outweigh his bad deeds his balance will be a heavy one—that is, his good deeds will sweep his bad deeds, and whose bad deeds outweigh his good deeds his balance will be less—that is his bad deeds will sweep his good deeds. (Related by Ibni Jariyr; from Ibni Abbas).

 

   The second opinion is that which says that the Balance has two sides and is an organ. Al-Jaytaly comments on the subject and says: “Our companions have said that the balance of performances is specifying and elaborating them and balancing the purposes. There is a sign for that which says: ‘And the balance on that Day is justice’. Justice on the Day of Judgement becomes heavy and a person is saved, and the fault becomes light when weighted and a person perishes in the same way as he took things lightly in the world and committed crimes. The activities are characteristic and are not visible by eyes and be weighed with the balance. They are weighed by specifications and elaborations and be rewarded accordingly.

          The learned translators have said much on this topic which is ideological, but the scholars of the Sunnite sects have differed much on the issue.

          Sayyid Rasheed Redha says: “The Sunnite scholars have differed. Those who say that the balance is by the scale dispute: Is it one scale (for all) or for each individual there is a scale? or for each performance there is a scale? And in the case of the object to be weighed, is it the people or the performances—or in case of the nature of the object to be weighed and the scale used for the purpose—for whom is it used? Is it for the believers specially or is it for them and for the infidels? And what is the position with regard to the heavy and light weights?

          The dispute increases on questions of this nature and the contemporary scholars attribute this dispute to the fact that the Muslims are busily occupied with things other than their fundamental issues. Sayyid Qutub clearly explains his position and says: We do not touch here the question of the weight and the truth about the Balance as the disputants have done with the non-Islamic thinking in the history of the Islamic thinking. The nature of God’s activities are outside the parables and the comparisons. (See Al-Dhalal, Vol. 3, p. 1261).

          The Sunnites, however, have relied-in their translation of the Balance—on a number of narrations which indicate that the Balance has two sides and is an organ. It is proper here to mention some of those narrations and to discuss them later on. Here we shall mention the most famous proof for them which is ‘Hadith of Al-Bitaqa’ which has been related by Al—Tirmidhy in the section: “Whoever dies and he affirms that there is no god but Allah” which is the narration of Abdulla bin Umru bin A1-Aas (Tradition) which says: “God will deliver a man from my community publicly on the Day of Judgement and will announce for his ninety-nine records each of them will be like a range of vision (as far as the eye can see). Then Will say: “Do you deny any of these things? Have my recording guardians oppressed you? And he will say: No, my Lord—And (God) will say: Do you have an excuse? And he will say: No, my Lord. And (God) will say: But you have with us a good deed, and there is no oppression on you today. He (God) will produce BITAQA (Card) on which will be: “I confirm that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger”. He will say: O my Lord, what is this card with this recording! And He will say: Because you will not be oppressed.” Then the records will be kept on one side of the scale and the card on another side. The records will be inconstant and the card will be heavy as nothing can be heavy with the name of God (Related by Al-Tirmidhy in the Book ‘AL-IYMAN’, and Ibni Inajih in the Book AL-Zahd and Ahmed bin Hanbal).

          This is the most important tradition which the Sunnites rely on in their interpretation of the Balance. We give below some comments on this Tradition:

1.     Narrations have been given about the Balance that it has two sides and is an organ but nothing has been mentioned in the reliable traditions except what has been mentioned by Al-Bukhary in his Book which is the narration of Abi Hurrayrah saying: “Two light words on the tongue, heavy on the scale and beloved to God: (these are): God be praised and Commanded—Praised be my Glorious God”, we have already mentioned that the unilaterally related narrations are not relied upon in ideology. So, it is preferable to leave

1.aside the narrations which have not appeared in the Books of Traditions which are acceptable.

 

2.    The author of Al-MANAR comments on the text of the narration saying! If a narration is not found in the two books of the Traditions (AL-SAHIHAIN) nor in the relied books of the traditions regarding the nature of the Balance or that it has two sides and organ, then we are not deceived by the statement of Al-Zujaj that “This is what the Sunnites have reached a consensus”; because many of the writers find it convenient to use the word “consensus” particularly those who are not lawfully committed—and Al-Zujaj is not among them—They find it convenient to attribute everything found in the books of the Sunnites to their community even if its origin is unknown and even if it is not confirmed by those who came later. This question has been disputed by the predecessors and the successors alike (See TAFSIR AL-MANAR, Vol. 8, p. 323).

 

3.    In the text of the narration of the Card are contentions. Al-Tirmidhy said that this is the narration of Hassan and Gharib and it has been related by Al-Hakim who rectified it, but his rectification does not lift it to the stage of correctness and strength—his rectification is not relied upon. The author of AL-MANAR says: “Were there no people who spoke about the supporters of this narration other than Abdulla bin Shariyk who described it as a lie, it would have been sufficient. And Ibni Hablan and supported by Abdulla bin Omar Al-Kharasany who said that it has negetations.

          Thus, the narration is not endorsed by its backing or its signs to be taken as a proof of its ideology; nor predominance. As for strength, it is sufficient to quote the comment of Al-Ghazaly on the narration when he said: “This narration provokes reasoning, and if taken outwardly it imposes on people many inconveniences and invalidates God’s word: “God Prospereth not the work of those who make mischief, and God by His words doth prove and establish His Truth, however much the sinners may hate it” (XL 81-2).

          This narration—if it is correct—is meant for an idolater who embraced Islam for a short time before his death, and could not live longer—after becoming a Muslim—to correct his past mistakes. As for freeing this narration and the like unconsciously is to destroy the whole Religion (See Aquidat Al- Muslim—Muhammad Al-Ghazaly, pp. 141-42).

          After this brief discussion on different aspects of the issue, we say that the Sunnites have discussed questions of ideology like this as have other non-Sunnite sects and have applied their intellect in the texts to support their opinion; and the best example for that is their differences with regard to the Balance and the performances which are weighed. Had they not applied their intellect they would not have differed on interpretation—as the author of AL-MANAR says: “Surely the successors among those belonging to the Sunnite sects have embarked—like others—into judging an opinion in the invisible issues” (See AL-MANAR, p. 323).

          Hence, there is no room to accuse the Ibadhis of advancing intellect over the Sharia.

 

 

19

The Imamate

 

ONE critic has made a comparison between the Ibadhis and the Khawarij regarding the Imamate and its conditions, and also regarding deviation from the unjust Imam. After giving a number of differences, he drew the following conclusion: “That the Ibadhis, in spite of many amendments and subdivisions which led to those differences (perhaps for effort—according to him—) they nevertheless participate on—the whole with the Khawarij on the question of the Imamate.

          On this statement, we have some observations.

1.     The critic has given five judgements for the Khawarij—These are:

 

—They do make it obligatory to elect the Imam,

—They do consider masculine (Male) as a condition for the Imam (some of them),

—They allow a woman to assault the unjust Imam,

—They consider it duly bound to attack the unjust Imam;

—They do not find it necessary to restrict the Imamate to the Qurayshi.

          When he exp1ained the position of Ibadhis he mentioned their differences with the Khawarij in the first four points and ensured their agreement with them in the fifth point.

          Now then, after this clear comparison, is it easy to consider the Ibadhis that they agree with the Khawarij in this issue as a whole? Does their agreeing with the Khawarij on one point mean their sharing with them in many (other) issues? 

2.    The question of the Imamate for the Qurayshes. The Ibadliis were not alone who dwelt on the issue of the “Imamate for the Qurayshes” but many predecessor agreed with them on their ruling, such as AL-BAAQLANY, IBNI KHALDUN and the modem writers such as ABI ZAHRA that intelligence and influence do not indicate conclusive evidence that the Imamate must be from the Qurayshes, but the demand, according to ABI ZAHRA, is the demand for merit and not for legality, considering that the issue indicates the demand. (See Abu Zahra. TAAREKH Al-MADHAHIB AL-ISLAMIYAH. p. 81).

          Ibni Khaldun speaks from the Sharia foundation that Sharia laws are based on the valuation (justice) and wisdom in the provision of the Qurayshi lineage and not merely a blessing which is not the object of the Sharia. It is wisdom which is the qualified fanaticism for protection, that settle the difference and disunion. The Qurayshes were a league and victorious and were generally recognised by the Arabs. He says: “To condition their Qurayshite lineage for this position while they are fanatic would be more serious in regulating religious community and unanimity...if it is confirmed to single out the Qurayshes, it will be for removing contention for their fanaticism and triumph, and our understanding is that the Law Maker (God) Does not assign the laws to a tribe or generation or community, We understand that to be sufficient and we looked at that repeatedly and removed the defect of specifying the Qurayshes and made it a condition for anyone in charge of the Muslim affairs to be from a community which has strong and victorious team-spirit to be followed by others and the word be united for better protection”. This is a verification of the speech of Abu Bakar when he said: “O community of Helpers (ANSAR) in the name of God, we do not deny your generosity and I have not preceded you in Islam, but the Arabs do not come together and do not listen nor obey except to a man from Quraysh. So, we are the commanders and you are the Ministers”.

          It is a fact that the Qurayshi had a status before Islam at its emergence, and for this, Abu Bakar Al-Siddiq said: ‘surely the Arabs will not follow Religion except for this community of Quraysh.’ Hence the Qurayshi condition is a transitory condition attached to their popularity for power and might, until the authority vanished. Nay, there are scholars

who consider that the root of the dispute among the Muslims in the Qurayshi condition is lack of expressing a firm opinion regarding the truth of the text.

          As for the seventh condition, what is disputed therein and inciting the dispute, is lack of clarification of the truth of the text and opposition to many texts which came to cancel what called for fanaticism, so says Afif Abdil Fatah Tabra. He completed his statement by saying that there should not be continuity in the condition of the Qurayshis. Among the texts which he referred to is the Prophet’s statement that whoever employs a person from a group wherein there is (another) one who is more agreeable to God has betrayed God, me and the Believers—(Related by Abu Daud and Al-Tirmidhy).

          The Imamate, therefore, cannot be determined on the basis of lineage and kinship, and the correct magnitude (standard of Judging) is piety, knowledge, power and strength. When these qualities are available in the person of a Quraysh, he will be more appropriate for the position; if not, then there should not be any consideration for the Qurayshi. The Prophet has said. This is still with the Qurayshi as long as he does not provoke inventions and then God unveils him to them and reviles them as He reviles this improvisation.

 

 

 

20

Fear (Al-Taqiya(

 

THE Ibadhis are accused that they do not permit yielding to fear under duress, and this not true because they are unanimous in permitting it by statement (not by action). They base their reason on the verse: “Except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith” (XVI: 106).

          Similarly, when Musailima tested two persons and told one of them: “What do you say about Me”. He replied: ‘you are a messenger of God’. And he let him free. Then he told the second but he refused to reply and said: ‘I am deaf’. Musailima killed him. When the news reached the Prophet, he said: “The first has acted by God’s permission and the second has come out openly with the truth”. (See AL-SALMY-AL-MASHARIQ. p. 452).

          With regard to yielding to fear for action, there is no unanimity in forbidding it, such as duress to kill without Justification. Also, there are other types of duress which people differ in permitting it, such as to drink alcohol or to destroy one’s property. There are among the Ibadhis who permit to yield to duress if the compelled action is permitted (religiously) in case of dire necessity, such as drinking alcohol, eating the dead and eating pork. That is so because to safeguard one’s self is a duty and there is no harm in that for a human being or an animal. (This is the opinion of Ibni Barka and supported by Al-Fakhri Al Razy, but Al-Salmy opposed them and stood for permission and not obligatory—See Al-Salmy-Mashariq. pp. 352-54).

          However, the Ibadhis are not alone in permitting yielding under duress for statement. We see other scholars who permit it in befriending the enemy by words when confronted by fear and compulsion and inability to proclaim enmity. Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab, in the sixth note of the Book “MAJMUUAT AL-TAWHEED” has explained that quoting from Ibni Jariyr Al-Tabry and Ibni Abi Hatim who relate from Ibni Abbas that: “Yielding to duress is not (permitted) in actions but it is permissible in statements. God Has forbidden the believers to take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than (fellow) believers lest the unbelievers show them gentleness outwardly while they opposed them in the Religion”. This is so according to God’s Word. “except by way of precaution”, (in which case you may do so to guard yourselves from them). See III: 28; and Majmuuat Al-Tawhid of Ibni Taymiyah and Muhammad Abdul Wahab. p. 160).

 

21

Conclusion

 

THE contemporary critic of Ibadhism has been Dr. Sabir Taimah of Egypt in his book “AL-IBADHIYA AQIDA WA MADH-HABA” To him and to others who have been misled by him we record some of our observations briefly with regard to what has come in his book:

(1)           The author has begun from previous ideas based on “The Sunnite Culture” which he considered the correct standard of assessing the understanding of other Islamic sects of the Quran and the Sunnah. We believe that there will be no one to oppose us that this principle is dangerous in that it limits the freedom of creative thinking and judging others’ thinking. We have no objection to the author to adopt “The Sunnite methodology” in thinking and understanding Islam, but we refuse to consider it the only correct methodology and that the others are invalid. The least that can be said in such a thinking is that, it is against objectivism which the author has exceedingly called for it. It also prevents freeing our speculation at the time when we badly need it. We are in need of Islamic liberated speculation and understanding of the texts without ignoring the culture and we need critical methodology to study this culture and understand it free from restriction and chained mentality which the broken and sectioned culture has formed.

 

(2)           We again censure the author for his fanatic confidence in the former writers of essays and we consider that to be the influence of a particular mentality formulated by methods written by people who believe that the Sunnite methodology is the correct one and that the others are futile. To prove our opinion, it is sufficient to say that the author has ignored to rely on the creative policy when he quoted from the works of others.

 

(3)           The author has not adhered to his promise that he will “put on record for the adherents of the sect the controversial issues with regard to loading the texts more than they can bear or ignore some of what is said regarding some of them” and to record all that “in the form of a question and an inquiry”, but he has begun, thereafter, by giving severe judgements and has taken procedures which anyone adopting the same principle and beginning from the same point, will essentially end with the same conclusion.

 

(4)          The author has insisted on the question of the Ibadhis ignoring their principle which calls for advancing the Sharia over the intellect but without differentiating between this principle and the question of understanding the text by intellect. We are absolutely certain that the Ibadhi scholars have never thought of using tricks on any text in order to justify an opinion which they have formed. They are the more distant people in avoiding the Sharia and following the lust. In view of the seriousness of these provisions, we call for respecting our learned scholars however much they may differ in their legitimate effort (IJTIHAU).

 

(5)           The author has called the Ibadhis to verify the principles and to correct them according to the inferences of “The Sunnites” and to melt away in this melting pot in order to realise unity. This is a good thing, but he has not specified for us which opinion or which methodology should the Ibadhis resort to—is it the concept of AL-ASHAIRA or of the AL-MAATARIDIYA or the AL-SALAFI-YIN? We are waiting for the directions. The means have become confusing for us, in that the controversy between those (factions) is not less than that which is now prevailing between the Ibadhis and them collectively. We refuse to stir an

(5)issue which we want it to remain dormant, nay to die.

 

(6)          We claim that:

 

(a)          The lbadhi sect is the first speculative movement based on the Quran and the Sunnah the foundations of which were firmly fixed by the adherent Abu Shautha Jabir bin Zayed (died in 96 A.H.). His students continued thereafter, under severe conditions, to explain those foundations and to illustrate and elaborate them.

 

(b)          The universe belongs to God the Creator posses- sing characteristics of perfection which are of subjective nature not distinct from Being (there is nothing like unto Him), lest we indulge in specifications and dualism—there is no pre-existent except God.

 

(c)           God, there is nothing like unto Him, no creature can see Him not in this world nor in the Here-after.

 

(d)          The Quran is God’s words, His Revelation and Inspiration and it is Created for God—Most High—as the creature is distinct from being the creator.

 

(e)          God is Truthful in His promise for recompence and in his warning for punishment. He rewards the pious with perennial happiness and punishes the sinners with everlasting agony. There is no escape for perpetrators of the great sins—who have not repented—from the Hell.

 

(f)           There is no intercession for the perpetrators of the great sins among the believers. God is Judicious, and the aim of the presence of the human being is to construct the land by word and actions according to God’s wish and satisfaction, otherwise there is no difference between the sinners before Islam and after Islam. Faith is by word and deed, and we judge that absence of this principle from the Muslim minds and its eradication has contributed to a great extent in damaging the Muslims, and we do not submit that a man of principle should have his thinking in one field and his deeds in another.

 

(g)          The Imamate is a legitimate thing and obligatory and it is the right of every Muslim who is capable. Also, obedience is obligatory even if the Imam is Abyssinian whose head is like a dried grape.

 

(h)          We Yield to fear under duress but for words and not deeds, and it is only for a dire need. We allow it in destroying property in order to save life—for example—if there is a guaranty.

          After all this, we confirm that Dr. Sabir Taimah’s book “AL-IBADHIYA—AQIDAH WA MADH-HABA” has not illustrated the principles of Ibadhism as the Ibadhis themselves believe. It is far—very far—from giving the true picture about the Ibadhis.