Conspiracy Against Imam Ali (as)

A Sunni brother mentioned that:

It is quite difficult for us to digest the so-called "conspiracy theory." Despite many years of companionship, how could only few people out of all his companions hold on to Muhammad's instructions on the issue of Caliphate and the rest disobey him?

I would certainly accept the argument of this brother if he can convince me why almost all the companions of Moses became worshipers of a golden calf after so many years of training?! According to Sahih al-Bukhari, the Messeenger of Allah has told Ali that the story of Moses and Aaron (Haroon) is similar to that of the story of him and Ali. The tradition is as follows:

"Your position to me is like the position of Aaron to Moses, except that there shall be no Prophet after me"

Sunni References:

(1) Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English version, Traditions 5.56 and 5.700 (2) Sahih Muslim, Arabic, section of virtues of Ali, v4, pp 1870-71 (3) Sunan Ibn Majah, p12 (4) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, p174 (5) al-Khas'is, by al-Nisa'i, pp 15-16 (6) Mushkil al-Athar, by al-Tahawi, v2, p309

Now, the position of Aaron (Haroon) to Moses is given by the verses of Quran, among which are the following three:

(Moses said: "O' Allah) assign me a vizier from my family, (that is) my brother Aaron (Haroon) ...," (Allah) said: "We granted your requests, O' Moses." (Quran 20:29-36).

Allah, Exalted, also said:

"Surely We gave the book to Moses and assigned his brother Aaron as his vizier." (Quran 25:35).

He, Exalted He is, also said:

"... And Moses said unto his brother Aaron: Take my place in my comunity." (Quran 7:142).

Notice that "Ukhlufni" and "Khalifa" (Caliph) are exactly from the same root. Now, to realized what was narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari, we need to replace the word "Moses" with "Muhammad" and "Aaron" with "Ali", and we are all set!!

The sentence becomes "And Muhammad (PBUH&HF) said to his 'brother' Ali, take my place among my community." Of course, the tradition in Sahih al-Bukhari excluded the Prophethood for Imam Ali, and what remains for him is the leadership of the community.

Putting the above 3 verses of Quran beside what has been narrated by al- Bukhari and Muslim, Ibn Majah and many others, we solves the mystery! Ali is the "brother" and his deputy/successor. By the above authentic tradition, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) meant that as Moses had left behind Aaron to look after his people when he went to Miqaat (meeting Allah), in the same way he was leaving Ali behind to look after the affairs of Islam after he met Allah (i.e., his death).

Confirming what the above tradition implies, we find in the many reports that Imam Ali (AS) received the title of the "brother" of Prophet when Prophet established the "brothering" among his followers (see Sahih al- Tirmidhi, v5, p363; Sirah Ibn Hisham, p504; Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, v4, p251).

Interestingly enough, the Prophet in that occasion made Abu Bakr and Umar brother of each other (al-Tabaqat, by Ibn Sa'd, v3, part 1, p123). If Abu Bakr was really the closest to the Prophet, he would have chose him for himself instead of Imam Ali.

In fact, if we look deeper to the situation of after death of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), and the leaving of Moses to MIQAAT (appointment with Allah), we will see more analogy to what Prophet (PBUH) said to Ali (AS).

Quran states that: Moses (AS) with the order of Allah, assigned Haroon (AS) as his successor (Caliph) and left his people to him, and left for MIQAAT (appointment with Allah) for a total of forty days. After leaving of Moses, most of his companions turned against Haroon, and were deceived by Sameri, and became worshipers of a golden calf. (See Quran 7:142, 20:90-97, 20:83- 88).

The analogy that Prophet (PBUH) mentioned in the above tradition, seems to be a reality after his demise. Most of companions (except Abu Dhar, Miqdad, Salman al-Farsi, Ammar, and ...) became disloyal to Ali (AS) after the death of Prophet (PBUH), turned against him, and preferred some other people to him.

The majority of people disobeyed Ali (AS), as their forefathers disobeyed Haroon (AS). They did not take lessons from Quran and the history, and thus the history repeated over and over again. The repetition of the history of the Children of Israel for Muslims is confirmed by Prophet (PBUH&HF):

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 9.422

Narrated Abu Sa'id al-Khudri:

The Prophet said, "You will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit (i.e., inch by inch) so much so that even if they entered a hole of a mastigure (lizard), you would follow them." We said, "O Allah's Apostle! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?" He said, "Whom else?"

This tradition is also narrated by Muslim in his Sahih , v8, p57. It is also narrated in Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v3, pp 84, 94.

Think for a while... Why would the Prophet (PBUH&HF) compare his companions to the Jews and the Christians, knowing full well that the Jews and the Christians have mutilated and perverted the religion of Allah (SWT)? Because Allah (SWT) had told him (PBUH&HF) that your companions will turn back, except the select few.

Imam Ali (AS) was still a divinely-appointed Imam during the time of the first three rulers, and what these rulers could take from him was the rulership (which is one of the rights of Imam) and not the position of Imamat. As for Imam Ali pledging Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, he was compelled to that since he had no choice and he was compled to do so.

We, however, never accuse the Imams of being cowards. What Imam Ali did was his duty which is similar to what Haroon did as his duty.

Quran states that when Moses (PBUH) came back from MIQAAT he was very angry since Allah had informed him that his community went astray during his absence. Moses came and started questioning his brother Haroon, that why he did not take action to prevent this corruption. Quran states that Haroon (Aaron) replied:

"(O' Moses) people did oppress me and they were about to kill me." (Quran 7:150).

The above verse gives another striking similarity between Ali and Haroon. Since Muslims all believe that Haroon was a true prophet of God, they do not allow themselves to call him coward.

In fact Taqiyya (dissimulation) is mentioned in Quran in several verses. This requires another article by its own, to explain the importance of Taqiyya according to Quran and the numerous traditions of Prophet (PBUH&HF) reported in the authentic Sunni collections.

Nevertheless Ali did his duty after the death of the Messenger of Allah, as Haroon (Aaron) did:

"Before this, Aaron had already said to them: 'O my people! you are being tested in this, for verily your Lord is (Allah) Most Gracious; so follow me and obey my order.'" (Quran 20:90).

Sahih al-Bukhari confirms that Imam Ali refused to give his allegiance to Abu Bakr for six months. He gave his allegiance to Abu Bakr only after the martyrdom of his wife Fatimah al-Zahra, Daughter of the Holy Prophet, six month after the departure of Prophet. (see Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English version, Tradition 5.546).

After the death of Prophet (PBUH&HF), for forty days, Ali (AS) was contacting the well-known people at night, reminding them the instructions of prophet about his right to Caliphate, asking them to join him to get the power. But non responded except Abu Dhar, Miqdad, and Salman al-Farsi and some more.

The Prophet had already instructed Ali that if the number of his followers at that upheaval exceeds 40 men, he should take the action otherwise he should keep silent since the only remaining pious people would be killed without being able to help Islam. Ali (AS) was not afraid of being killed, and he kept silent only to keep the faded lawn of Islam alive.

After he was sure that there would no success in his revolting, he kept silent. During his silence, he indeed started cooperating with the first 2 Caliphs as consultant and did his best to decrease the damage as much as possible.

If he had not done so, Islam would have been destroyed completely. Imam Ali said: "I tolerated those periods as if there was a thorn in my eye and a sharp bone stuck in my throat." (Nahjul Balagha, the sayings of Imam Ali).

Islam was very young at that time (only 23 years old!) and division among Muslims could have totally removed Islam from the surface of the earth. So he kept silent, as Haroon (Aaron) kept silent to prevent division:

(Moses) said: "O' Aaron! what kept you back when you saw them going wrong?"... (Aaron said:) "...Truly I feared you would say 'You caused a division among the Children of Israel and you did not respect my word!'" (Quran 20:92-94).

Abu Sufyan was one of those who wanted to destroy the young Islam by encouraging Ali to revolt when he was sure that Ali will have no success due to small number of his followers. But the revolt of Ali would at least cause the civil war and the destruction of Islam. al-Tabari reported:

When people gathered to give their oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, Abu Sufyan came while saying, "By God, I see a cloud of smoke which nothing but blood will clear. O family of Abd Manaf! Who is Abu Bakr that he should be the master of your affairs?

Where are Ali and al- Abbas, the two oppressed ones?" He then said (to Ali): "O Abul Hasan! stretch your hand so that I give you the oath of allegiance."... Ali rebuked him, saying: "By God, you do not intend anything but (to stir up) Fitnah (dissension). For long you have desired evil for Islam. We do not need your advice."

Sunni reference: History of al-Tabari, English version, v9, p199 As we quoted the tradition of al-Bukhari earlier, the Prophet confirmed that the history of the Children of Israel will be repeated for Muslims. In fact Quran has mentioned the stories of the Children of Israel to give us a way to understand the true history of Islam itself.

There are many other striking similarities in this regard written in Quran. Please see the artcle of "The Twelve Imams (Part II)" for the Quranic verses in this regard.

Side Comments

A Sunni brother mentioned that Aaron (Haroon) died during the liftime of Moses, and as such, this is not a correct analogy to confirm the caliphate of Ali using the tradition of Sahih al-Bukhari in which the Prophet said: "Your position to me is like the position of Aaron (Haroon) to Moses but there is no prophet AFTER me."

The claim that Aaron died during the life-time of Prophet Moses (if true) does not hurt this argument at all, if you very carefully read the following paragraphs:

As Moses (AS) had left behind Aaron to look after his people when he went to Miqaat (meeting Allah), in the same way the Prophet (PBUH&HF) was leaving Ali behind as his deputy to look after the affairs of Islam after he met Allah (i.e., his death).

This assertion becomes more evdient when we look at the last phrase of the tradition of al-Bukhari where the Messenger of Allah mentioned: "but there is no prophet AFTER me". Think about the word "AFTER" in the statement of the Prophet. Don't you think that the Prophet Muhammad is talking about AFTER his death? That position (leadership) which the Prophet entrusted to Ali was with Ali till his death. No body except the Prophet Muhammad can take this position back from him.

Prophet Moses (AS) was away from his people for 40 days and he came back and met them along with Haroon (AS). Likewise, Prophet Muhammad is away from us (living in the heaven), but he will soon meet us and his companions as well as Imam Ali on the Day of Judgment.

He will then question them the same way as Moses questioned his people, specially those who left his religion and worshipped the golden calf. Look at the following tradition from Sahih al-Bukhari to have some idea about the would-be conversation between Prophet Muhammad and some of his companions:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 8.585

Narrated Abu Hazim from Sahl bin Sa'd:

The Prophet said, "I am your predecessor (forerunner) at the Lake- Fount, and whoever will pass by there, he will drink from it and whoever will drink from it, he will never be thirsty. There will come to me some people whom I will recognize, and they will recognize me, but a barrier will be placed between me and them." Abu Hazim added: Nu'man bin Abi 'Aiyash, on hearing me, said.

"Did you hear this from Sahl?" I said, "Yes." He said, " I bear witness that I heard Abu Said Al-Khudri saying the same, adding that the Prophet said: 'I will say: They are my companions. Then it will be said to me, 'You do not know what they innovated (new things) in the religion after you left'.

I will say, 'Far removed, far removed (from mercy), those who changed after me." Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection a group of companions will come to me, but will be driven away from the Lake-Fount, and I will say, 'O Lord (those are) my companions!' It will be said, 'You have no knowledge as to what they innovated after you left; they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from the true Islam).

Another person claimed: Not all of the people of Moses worshipped the calf and those who did not killed the ones who did by the order of God.

Perhaps, this brother has been told another story. But Quran tells us that all the followers of Moses (except a few) were deceived by Sameri. The companions of Moses did not kill Sameri either. The were rather about to kill Aaron (AS) who tried to advise them on that affliction.

If the number of those who preserved their faith was a lot, Aaron wouldn't have been in trouble. Here are some verses of Quran concerning the event:

7:148 And the community of Moses, after (he had left them), chose a calf (for worship), (made) out of their ornaments, of saffron hue, which gave a lowing sound. Saw they not that it spake not unto them nor guided them to any way? They chose it, and became wrong doers.

7:150 And when Moses returned unto his people, angry and grieved, he said: Evil is that (course) which ye took after I had left you. Would ye hasten on the judgment of your Lord? And he cast down the tablets, and he seized his brother by the head, dragging him toward him.

(Aaron) said: "Son of my mother! Lo! People did oppress me and they were about to kill me. Make not the enemies rejoice over my misfortune nor count thou me amongst the sinful people."

20:90 Before this, Aaron had already said to them: "O my people! you are being tested in this, for verily your Lord is (Allah) Most Gracious; so follow me and obey my order."

20:91 They had said: "We will not abandon this cult but we will devote ourselves to it until Moses returns to us."

So the last verse disproves the claim that the true followers killed the wrong doers before Moses (AS) come back. Yes, after Prophet Moses came back, he punished the influential individuals among those who led people astray. But he did not kill them:

20:97 (Moses) said (to Sameri): "Go! Your (punishment) in this life will be that you will say 'Touch me not'; and moreover (for a future penalty) thou hast a promise that will not fail: now look at thy god of whom thou hast become a devoted worshipper: we will certainly (melt) it in a blazing fire and scatter it broadcast in the sea!"

Another brother mentioned that if Ali wished could very well incite forcful rebelion since he is from a very strong tribe Bani Hashm, and both Abu Bakr and Umar from a week tribe Adiyy, and Taym. Then why did he keep silent and did not use force to restore his right after the election held in Saqifah?

If Bani Hashim were strong with respect to other tribes, as the above brother claims, then Muslims wouldn't have had to migrate from Mecca to Medina. Also they wouldn't have been subject to economical sanctions in She'b Abi Talib.

The exceptional brevity of Imam Ali (AS) in various wars and his killing of the most important warriors of Arabs, is well-known for even Sunnis. Imam Ali mentioned that he himself has killed 40,000 infidels by his sword (this figure includes those who were killed by him in the civil wars).

Killing the lions of Arabs developed a very intensive and long-lasting hatred in the heart of the Arabs from different tribes. For this very reason, most Arabs due to their tribal ties, even after embracing Islam, were not friendly toward Imam Ali and other members of Ahlul-Bayt.

This hatred gave its fruit on the issue of Caliphate, and later in the civil wars at the time of Imam Ali (AS) as well as the prosecution of Ahlul-Bayt and their partisans after his martyrdom which continued with utmost brutality for a number of centuries.

The hatred of the house of Umayyah against Bani Hashim (the clan of Prophet and Ali) is well-known. The wars of Abu Sufyan and his son Muawiyah against Prophet and Ali respectively, also the horrible massacre of the grandson of prophet at Karbala by the grandson of Abu Sufyan, are only some of top items among the long list of such crimes.

You might also want to refresh the memory that when Muawiyah took over the power, he instituted the Sunnah of cursing Imam Ali. Sunni history books and Sunni collections of traditions clearly state that Muawiyah commanded all the Imams of the mosques throughout the Muslim world to CURSE Imam Ali in every Friday prayer. (Sunni references are available upon request).

Now, we turn to the events of Saqifah and the "election" of Abu Bakr: During the lifetime of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), the Mosque of Prophet was the center of all Islamic activities. It was there that the decision of war and peace were made, delegations were received, sermons were delivered and cases were decided. It is not surprising that when the news of the demise of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) spread, the Muslims assembled in that very Mosque.

On the other hand, Saqifah of Bani Sa'idah was located three miles OUTSIDE Medina and was a secret location for the evil activities of some Arab tribes. (see Ghiyath al-Lughah, p228).

Why then Sa'd Ibn Ubadah and his fans as well as Abu Bakr and Umar, left the Mosque secretly and without informing other prominent companions and went three miles outside Medina to discuss the issue of Caliphate?

Why didn't they discuss the issue as important as this among the Muslims inside the mosque? Wasn't that they wanted to usurp the Caliphate without the knowledge of people? Why did Abu Bakr and Umar with Abu Ubaydah slip out the mosque secretly? Was it because Ali and Bani Hashim were present in the mosque and in the house of Prophet, and they did not want them to know the plot?

Also, we should keep in mind that it was the custom of the Arabs that once a person was declared, even by a small group, to be the chief of the tribe, others hesitated to oppose him, and willy nilly followed suit. Due to their dislike of Imam Ali (AS) (which I discussed earlier), they did not respect his right, nor did they even informed him of this meeting.

They SIMPLY neglected the last sermon of Prophet in Ghadir Khum where the Messenger of God declared him as his successor just two and a half months months before the incedent of Saqifah.

A Sunni brother mentioned that: If Imam Ali disaproved Uthman, then why did he risk the lives of his beloved sons, al-Hassan and al-Hussain, trying to protect the life of his adversary from the blood-thirsty rioters in Medina?

According to the Shia sources such news are dubious. We do not have any strong evidence that Imam Ali sent his sons to support Uthman's House. In fact, al-Tabari who is one of the important Sunni Historians said that Imam Ali deserted Uthman since Uthman did insisted in keeping Marwan in his administration. Here is the related part from the History of al-Tabari, when the siege over Uthman was very severe:

People informed Ali of the news. Then Ali came to Uthman and said: "Surely you have satisfied Marwan (again), but he is satisfied with you only if you deviate from your religion and reason, like a camel carrying a litter that is led around at will.

By God, Marwan is devoid of sense in regard to his religion and his soul. I swear by God, I think he will bring you in and then not send you out again. After this visit, I will not come again to chide you. You have destroyed your own honor and you have been robbed of your authority."

When Ali departed, Uthman's wife told him: "I have heard that Ali said to you that he will never return to you, and that you have obeyed Marwan (again), who leads you wherever he wishes." Uthman said: "What shall I do?" She responded: "You should fear God alone, who has no partner, and you should adhere to the practice of your two predecessors (Abu Bakr and Umar).

For if you obey Marwan, he will kill you. Marwan enjoys no prestige among the people, and inspires neither awe nor love. People have only abandoned you due to Marwan's position (in your councils). Send to Ali, then, and trust in his honesty and uprightness. He is related to you and he is not a man whom people disobey." So Uthman sent to Ali, but he refused to come, saying: "I told him I would not return."

Sunni reference: History of al-Tabari, English version, v15, pp 176-179 Even we suppose that Imam Ali protected Uthman in his last days, the protection was not because he loved Uthman to be on power.

He did so (if true) since he knew that this is a conspiracy, and he knew that those companions who plotted to kill Uthman, would become the avenger of his blood tomorrow, as it happened (e.g., the companions like Talha, Zubair, Muawiyah, and ...) and it became a custom of assassination of Caliphs with self-judgments including the assassination of Ali (AS) himself.

Another reader mentioned that, if some companions conspired against Imam Ali and usureped his right of Caliphate, is it not a possibility that they conspired to alter the Quranic text? The compilers and transmitters of the Quran were fallible and sinners.

As for protection of Quran, it is the will of Allah! Even if all the people of the world gather to change it they will fail. Muslims could recall the history that Allah willed to raise and preserve Moses in the house of His Enemy, Pharaoh.

Also there was no reason for Umar or Abu Bakr to delete something from Quran, because the name of Imam Ali did not appear in Quran. (eventhough his name was in the divine commentary which was revealed with Quran but was not a part of text of Quran. It is no surprise that this divine commentary was suppressed). Nonetheless, Sunni documents agree that at least 300 verses of Quran directly revealed on the honor of Imam Ali. (reported by Ibn Asakir, al-Suyuti, Ibn Hajar, etc.) Beside that that, Ibn Abbas said:

"There is no verse in Quran in which the term 'Believers', unless Ali is at the top of them and the chief of them and the more virtuous one among them. Surely Allah has admonished the companions of Muhammad (PBUH) in Quran, but He did not refer to Ali except with honor."

Sunni references:

  • Fadha'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p654, tradition #1114
  • al-Riyadh al-Nadhirah, by Muhibbuddin al-Tabari, v3, p229
  • Tarikh al-Khulafaa, by al-Hafidh Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, p171
  • Dhakha'ir al-Uqba, by Muhibbuddin al-Tabari, p89
  • al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 9, section 3, p196
  • Others such as Tabarani and Ibn Abi Hatam

Also, not all were sinners. The Sunni traditionists and historians Imam Ali (AS) was the FIRST who compiled Quran. It took Imam Ali one week after the death of Prophet to Finnish his compilation. Imam Ali presented this Quran to the rulers of that time and they had a chance to review it and learn about the missing verses of their own collections and they did correct what they missed.

(Please see the article of "The Quran Compiled by Imam Ali" for the references in this regard) As you see the one who corrected them was an infallible one, and thus we have all reasons to believe that the Quran that we have today is the very same as what was revealed to Prophet except that it is not in the correct sequence. But nothing is missing from it.

A brother mentioned that according to the verse:

If two parties among the Believers fall into fighting make peace between them. If then one of them transgresses against the other, fight that which transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies then make peace between them with justice and be fair, for Allah loves those who are just. (Quran 49:9)

Quran did not remove the characeristic of belief from either of the two warring factions. That two Muslims fight is not an indication that one of them is unbeliever.

The above comment is correct. But the verse does not imply that any warring faction is necessarily Muslim even though they say so by their tong. There is no doubt that a believer can be killer of an innocent and also there is no doubt that such killer will go to Hell for ever as the foolowing verse testifies:

"And Whoever kills a believer deliberately, his reward is Hell forever, and the Wrath of Allah is upon him, He cursed him and prepared a great punishment for him." (Quran 4:93)

The above verse (4:93) does not exclude believers from that punishment. Whoever does so, is entitled to the same punishment be it believer or unbeliever.

I also think you forgot to think about the latter portion of the verse you quoted which was: "If then one of them transgresses against the other, fight that which transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah." Talha and Zubair are entitled to this last portion. Because Imam Ali frequently asked them for reconciliation, but they killed his messenger when he was carrying Quran to them for a sign of asking for reconciliation.

The story is written in the History of Tabari, v4, P312. So those companions are "Baaggee" -- transgressor according to the verse you quoted, and should have been fought as Imam Ali did, and they will be the companions of Hell forever.

A brother mentioned that according to Quran, Moses who was a Prophet of god was confused with the strange actions of al-Khidhr. But when at the end , Moses (AS) was told about the reasons behind those actions, he completely admired them. Moses (AS) was a Prophet, but still He could not see the complete picture related to these events; none of us are in the position of Moses (AS). None of us has a clear picture of what we are criticizing from the actions of the companions.

I would like to remind that brother that he is discrediting you the most important investment which Allah gifted to everyone that is logic (Aql). If I came to know God, it was due the using this investment. If I found that Islam is the best religion, it is because I used my brain and concluded that the instructions given in Quran are sound instructions and the regulations of Islam are the best among all other alternatives.

If one discredit this precious thing, he will lose every thing including his religion, and he will accept any irrational 'fatwa' as a religious command, he will accept some killers of innocents go to paradise without giving it a thought.

Moses (AS) did not discredit this precious thing, and he asked Prophet Khidr for clarification, and he finally got the answers and was convinced shortly after the incidents. Now, can provide any rational justification for what some companions did after the demise of prophet?

It it about 14 centuries passed and we could not come up any justification for their deads. So why should we still blindly follow their narrations and their sayings which are in clear contradiction with tha sayings of Ahlul-Bayt?

Asking question is not sin. Remaining ignorant is a big loss though. Also comparing a sinless prophet with a sinfull companion is like comparing heavens with the earth.

A Wahhabi contributor claimed that the Shia do not follow the Sunnah of the prophet since it was transmitted by his companions.

This Wahhabi fellow did not even give it a second thought that the Shia follow Imam Ali (AS) who was the BEST of the companions of the Prophet and their most knowledgeable one, the Strong Rope of Allah (3:103), and His Right Path (1:6). Neither his proximity of relationship with Prophet was preceded (42:23), nor his preceding in accepting the religion (56:10-11).

We stick to the instructions of Ahlul-Bayt who are pure and infallible according to Quran and Hadith. Hence, we do not need to follow those of companions who opposed/fought Ahlul-Bayt.

Thus the Shia, indeed, follow the Sunnah transmitted by a Prophet's companion, the best of them. However, Wahhabis follow the worst of them, that is Muawiyah, and take his Sunnah which has no similarity with the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH&HF).

A Wahhabi mentioned: It is part of our Sunni dogma to respect and love the all the companions of the Prophet. Our scholars remind us that vilification of the companions is Kufr.

Interestingly enough that those companions who remained loyal to Ali received severe punishment from the government of the time, and were not respected at all. One example is Abu Dhar who was exiled to the worst climate location in the reign of Uthman because they could not stop him from telling the truth. They kept him there till he died (martyred).

Abu Dhar was the one that prophet said in his virtue that "The Earth does not carry nor the Heavens cover a man more frank and truthful than Abu Dhar".

Wasn't Abu Dhar a great companion of prophet? So why shouldn't they have respected him according to your judgment? It seems that even Uthman did not accept your type of judgment! nor Talha and Zubair when they were fighting against their legitimate Caliph Ali (AS). Are all of them Kafir by your judgment?

When the Shia reflect on the mistakes of the companions, they do so in retrospect of history. It would be very interesting to look at some of the comments of both the Wahabi and the Sunni scholars in this retrospect.

Ibn Taymiyyah, the Shaykhul Islam of the Wahabis, writes And merely abusing some one other than the Prophets does not necessarily make the abuser Kafir; because some of those who were in the time of the Prophet (i.e companions) used to abuse one another and none of them was declared kafir because of this (practice); and (also) because it is not Wajib to have faith particularly in any of the companions; therefore abusing any of them does not detract from the faith in Allah and His books and His messengers and the Last day.

Wahabi reference: As Sarimu l masul, Ibn Taymiyyah, page 579 Published in 1402/1982 by Alam al-Kutub

The name of Mulla Ali Qari requires no introduction to the Sunnis, and he writes in his work of Sharah Fiqh al Akbar that To abuse Abu Bakr and Umar is NOT Kufr, as Abush Shakur as Salimi has correctly proved in his book, at Tamhid. And it is becuase the basis of this claim (claim that reviling the Shaykhan is kufr) is not proven, nor its meaning is confirmed.

It is so because certainly abusing a Muslim is fisq (sin) as is proved by a confirmed hadith, and therefore the Shaykhan (Abu Bakr and Umar) will be equal to the other (Muslims) in this rule; and also if we suppose that some one murdered the Shaykhan, and even the two sons in law (Ali and Usman), all of them together, even then according to Ahlussunnah wa al- Jamah, he will not go out of Islam (i.e will not become kafir) ...

Sunni ref: Mulla Ali Qari, Sharah al Fiqh al Akbar Matba Uthmaniyah, Istanbul, 1303 page 130 Matba Mujtabai, Delhi, 1348, page 86 Matba Aftab e Hind, India, No date, page 86

Interesting note:

The above quote was taken from three (3) editions, printed in India and Turkey. Now a new edition has been printed by Darul Lutubil Ilmiyah, Beirut in 1404/1984, which claims to be the first edition, and from which four pages (including the above text) have been OMMITED. The deleted portion contains the declaration that ... those who believe that Allah has a body are definitely kafir according to the Ijma without any difference of opinions.

Do I need to comment on Wahabi scholarship?

Another prson mentioned: Why is it that you want Sunnis accept a selected number of traditions from the Sunni sources which refutes the integrity of people like Abu Bakr, Umar Ibn al-Khattab? This point really irks me.

I am sorry it irks you! It is not completely correct, however. We have nothing against the persons of Abu-Bakr, Umar and Ashia. We are looking at history in retrospect and evaluating their actions - which should not be considered a sin. Afterall, they were human beings who were capable of making mistakes. Why not learn from their mistakes - particularly if done in a sensetive way.

We just mentioned some traditions from Sunni books, actions and sayings of the companions. If it sounds insulting it is not because the Shia put them in there. I tried to give supportive evidence to my argument, objectively, with no disrespect for the companions (khulafaa particularly).

We feel that they made ijtihad in certain cases, that we don't agree with - we choose to follow the ijtihad and teachings of others such as Imam Ali and th Imams of his decendent - what is wrong with that? We also feel that there has been a lot that has been attributed to them in the form of Hadiths, that they have not necessarily said or agree with.

This is due, in part, to the Umayads who hated Ahlul Bayt and wanted to make them look as less than who they were, either by elevating the status of the people you named and others, or by fabricating hadeeths in conflict.