Caliphs visit the Holy Prophet (s)
We narrate the second fabricated tradition from Muslim Nayshaburi. In hisSahih , Muslim narrates the following:
Abd al-Malik bin Shuayb bin Laith bin Sa'eed narrates from his father, from his grandfather from Aqil bin Khalid from Ibn Shahab from Yahya bin Sa'eed bin 'As from Sa'eed bin 'As who quote Aisha, wife of the Holy Prophet (s) and Uthman as saying:
Abu Bakr sought permission from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) for entrance (in his apartment) as he had been lying on his bed covered with the bed-sheet of A'isha, and he gave permission to Abu Bakr in that very state and he, having his need fulfilled, went back. Then Umar sought permission and it was given to him in that very state and, after having his need fulfilled, he went back. And 'Uthman reported: Then I sought permission from him and he got up and raid to A'isha: Wrap yourself well with your cloth, then I got my need fulfilled and came back. And A'isha said: Allah's Messenger, why is it that I did not see you feeling any anxiety in case of dressing properly in the presence of Abu Bakr and 'Umar (Allah be pleased with them) as you showed in case of 'Uthman. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Verily Uthman is a person who is very modest and I was afraid that if I permitted him to enter in this very state he would not inform me of his need.[^13]
Transmitters of Tradition
We need to evaluate the transmitters of this fabricated tradition. The scholars of the science of rijal hold varied opinions concerning them.
'Aqil bin Khalid
One of the transmitters this chain includes is 'Aqil bin Khalid. Although Abu Hatam, commenting on him, says that he though not a memorizer of tradition was author of a book and was truthful. Majishun describes him as a policeman. Zahabi says that he was a stupid governor (of one of the Syrian cities). Yahya Qattan regarded 'Aqil as weak in terms of transmitting traditions.[^14]
Among others, this chain includes the name of Zuhri. He was among the most well-known figures who was deviated from the straight path of Imam Ali (a.s), commander of the faithful and the Holy Prophet's progeny (a.s) and was thus fabricating traditions with the aim of underrating them and overrating their opponents.
Commenting on this regard, Ibn Abi al-Hadid says: Zuhri was among those figures who were deviated from the straight path of Imam Ali (a.s) and the Holy Prophet's family (a.s). Jarir bin Abd al-Majid quotes Muhammad bin Shaiba as saying: One day I went to the mosque of Medina. I saw that Zuhri and Urwa bin Zubair were sitting there talking ill of Ali (a.s).
Ali bin al-Husain learnt about it and thus he walked towards them. When he reached them he said: O Urwa! My father complained against your father before Allah and Allah passed a judgment in favor of my father against your
father. As far you Zuhri! If I were in Macca I would have shown you the position of your father.
Ibn Abi al-Hadid adds: 'Asim bin Abu 'Amir Bajli narrates from Urawa's son that Yahya bin Urwa said: Whenever my father mentioned the name of Ali he would talk ill of him.[^15]
Speaking about Zuhri, Ibn Abd al-Barr says: In his Jami'a, Mu'ammar, quoting Zahri, says: Zaid bin Haritha is the first one who embraced Islam.Abd al-Razzaq says that no one other than Zuhri has made such a claim.[^16]
The word mentioned above implies that Zuhri has told a lie, because it was Imam Ali (a.s) who was the first to embrace Islam whereas Zuhri wanted to refute this virtue.
Moreover, Zuhri's hostility towards the Holy Prophet's progeny was so intense that he did not hesitate to narrate from Umar bin Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas! Speaking in this regard, Zahabi says: Umar bin Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas, quoting his father and Ibrahim and Abu Ishaq quoting Umar Sa'ad, say that Zuhri and Qutada narrate from Umar Sa'ad in 'mursal' format.
Ibn Mu'aeen exclaims saying how the killer of Imam Husain could be a credible person.[^17]
It has to be said that Zuhri is among the supporters and secret agents of Ummayyid rule. Commenting on him in hisRijal al-Mishkat, Sheikh Muhadith , Abd al-Haq Dihlawi says: Because of accompanying rulers, Zuhrihad a weak faith. Scholars and pious people close to him were critical of him, pinpointing to him the risks of accompanying rulers.
In response, Zuhriwould always say that he was sharing their good deeds and was loathing their evil actions.
The scholars and pious people would, in turn, say: Don't you see that they cherish false ideas and do evil deeds?
Ibn Khallakan says that Zuhriwent on accompanying Abd al-Malik and his son, Hisham, after his father's death. Yazid bin Abd al-Malik used to make use of him in in judiciary matters.[^18]
It was because of this that Ibn Mu'aeen criticized him. Quoting Ibn Mu'aeen, Hakim Nayshaburi says: Best chains are those in which 'Amash narrates from Ibrahim from 'Alqama from Abdullah. Somebody addressing Ibn Mu'aeen said that 'Amash is also like Zuhri. Ibn Mu'aeen in response said: You regard 'Amash as equal to Zuhri! Zuhriis after worldly gains working for Ummayids. This is while A'amash is a forbearing fakir who knows the Holy Quran and keeps distance from rulers.[^19]
It was on account of this that Imam Zayn al-'Abdidin (a.s) wrote him a letter, admonishing him, reminding him of Allah['s wrath] and the hereafter and telling him about the bad consequences of accompanying rulers and staying in their castles.
God save you and us from seditious matters and guard you against the Fire (of Hell) out of His mercy. You have been enjoying a state due to which it is serving for anyone who knows you to show compassion to you. You have been overburdened with the graces of God Who has given you a good physical health and a long age. Furthermore, He has constituted His claims against you when He charged you with the responsibility of His
Book, made you understand His religion, introduced to you the traditions of His Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him and his family). He has also imposed upon you a responsibility in every favor that He has done to you and every claim that He has instituted against you. He has tested your gratitude in every matter that He has done to you and every grace through which He has shown His favors to you. He says:
If you give thanks, I shall give you greater (favors), but if you show ingratitude, know that My retribution is severe. Consider to which party you will be added when you will (inevitably) stand before God Who will ask you about His graces; how you acted upon them, and about His claims; how you treated them. Never think that God will accept your unjustifiable excuses or will be satisfied with your negligence. Too far is that! Too far is that! It is definitely not in that manner. God has ordered the scholars (to show people and not to hide any part of it) in His Book when He said:
When God made a covenant with the People of the Book saying: Tell the people about it without hiding any part.You should know that the least of concealing knowledge and the lightest burden is to entertain the estrangement of an unjust person and pave the way of seduction to him through responding to him when he sought your nearness and called upon you. I am too afraid that you will acknowledge your sins with the betrayers tomorrow and will be asked about whatever you have gotten due to your supporting the unjust in oppression, since you have taken the gift that was not yours, you have been close to him who did not give back anyone's right, you have not rejected a wrongdoing when he approached you, and you have responded to him who antagonized God. As the unjust ones invited you, they make you the axis of the hand-mill of their wrongdoings, the bridge on which they cross to their misfortunes, and the stairs to their deviation.
You have been the propagandist of their temptation when you took their courses. They have employed you as the means through which they aroused doubts against the scholars and dragged the hearts of the ignorant to them. The best one in their government and the most powerful of them could not achieve success like that which you have attained through showing their corrupt affairs as honest and attracting the attentions of the celebrities as well as the ordinary people to you. If you compare what you have done to them with what they have given to you, you will find it too little. Likewise, they have built for you very trivial thing while they ruined your great things. Look in yourself, for no one will look in you except you yourself, and maintain judgment with yourself as if you are the judge. Look into your gratitude to Him Who nourished you with His graces when you were little and when you became old. I am too afraid you will be one of those about whom God says in His Book:
Their descendants who inherited the Book gained (by bribery only) worthless things from the worldly life saying, "We shall be forgiven (for what we have done). You are not living in a permanent abode; you are in a temporary house that you will leave soon. How does a man stay after the departure of his matches? Blessed be those who are fearful of this world. How miserable those who die and leave their sins after them are! Beware; you have been told. Take the initiative; you have been respited. You are
dealing with Him Who is never ignorant. He who counts your deeds is never remiss. Supply yourself (with the necessary provisions); the long journey is approaching you. Correct your guilt; it has been inflicted by a cureless malady.
Do not think that I wanted only to censure, reproach, and dishonor you. I only wanted God to revive the opinions that you have missed and give you back your religious affairs that you have lost. This is because I remembered God's saying: Keep on reminding them. This benefits the believers. You neglected the reference to your old men and friends who passed away while you remained after them like a hornless sheep. See whether they had suffered what you suffered or faced what you faced. Had they neglected a good-deed that you did or had they been unaware of something that you retained?
The only difference between you and them is that you have occupied a distinctive standing in people's minds that they have been pursuing your opinions and carrying out your orders. They deem lawful anything that you deem lawful and deem unlawful anything that you deem unlawful. You are not fit enough for so. It is, in fact, the departure of their scholars, the prevalence of ignorance upon them and you, the fondness of leadership, and the seeking of the worldly pleasures that they, as well as you, enjoy-these matters made them overcome you through their desire to gain what you have in possession.
Can you not feel the ignorance and deception that you live, while people are indulging into misfortunes and sedition? You have exposed them to misfortunes and tempted them by precluding them from their earnings because of what they have seen from you. Hence, they longed for attaining the level of knowledge that you have attained or obtaining, through it, what you have obtained. They therefore have drowned in a bottomless ocean and an immeasurable misfortune. God give you and us. He is the One Whose help is sought. So then, leave all that in which you are engaged so that you may catch up with the virtuous ones whom were buried with their tatters while their bellies were stuck to their backs. No screen was put between God and them. The worldly pleasures could not charm them and they paid no attention to them (such pleasures). They longed for (God), sought (Him), and soon caught up (with Him). If this world makes you in such a manner, while you are attaining such an age, enjoying such a deep-rooted knowledge, and being so near of death, how can then a juvenile be saved (against the worldly pleasures), while he is ignorant, weak-minded, and brainless? We are Allah's and to Him we will return.
Upon whom should we depend? Whom should we blame? We should only complain of our grief and what are we suffering to God. We only charge our misfortune about you to God's account. Look into your gratitude to Him Who nourished you with His graces when you were little and when you became old, your magnifying Him Who makes you handsome among people through His religion, your preserving the dress of Him Who covered you up among people through His dress, and your closeness or remoteness from Him Who ordered you to come near and be modest to Him. Why do you not wake up from your slumber, and reform yourself after your
stumble? You should have said: By God I swear, I have not done any act for the sake of God and for stimulating one of the rites of His religion or terminating one of the wrong customs. Do you show gratitude to Him Who settled all your needs in this way?
I am too afraid you are one of those about whom God the Exalted says: (They) neglected their prayers and followed their worldly desires. They will certainly be lost. God has ordered you to carry His Book and deposited His knowledge with you, but you have wasted them both. We thank God Who has saved us from that with which He has inflicted you. Salaam.[^20]