( 146 )
- And the believers, the men and the women, are friends one of the other; they enjoin virtue and prohibit vice; they observe worship, pay Zakat obey Allah and His Messenger; Allah will Shower Mercy on them. He is Almighty, All-wise.
Sura Taoba Verse 71.
- The hypocrites, the men and the women, are as one another, they enjoin vice and prohibit virtue.
Sura Ibid Verse 67.
However, nowadays the physical structure is said to be like a machine. Excreting is considered to be similar to pumping function.
Contrary to what is said about electricity that there exists a force between two charged bodies-an- attractive force if the charges are unlike, and a repulsive one if the two charges are alike.
Sura Al-Anbiya verse 107.
He rather showed love to all things, including animals and solid bodies. Therefore, we in his biography see that all his arms and articles of daily use had proper names. His horses, his swords, his turbans all had proper names. All of them were objects of his love and attraction. It means that he believed in individuality of every thing. The history of this behaviour cannot be traced to any other person except him. In fact, this behaviour speaks of his being the symbol of human love and affection. Once he passed by the mount of Ohod, and with brilliant looks and a loving glance he showered his love on Ohod saying, "It is the mountain which loves us and we love it". What a man! even the mountains and stones shared his love.
( 147 )
- Bihar-ul-Anwar, new Edition: Vol. 62, pp. 193-6. We may say that his resentments are also manifestation of his love and affection, like a father who becomes angry with his son, because he loves the son and is worried about his future. If the son disobeys, the father becomes harsh and sometimes gives him beating but the fact remains that he takes no notice of others' children doing much more mischief. He becomes harsh to hit son, because he is concerned about him; but he becomes indifferent to others, because he has no love for them.
On the other hand, sometimes attachments are spurious, that is to say, there are feelings which are ruled by wisdom as the Quran says:
"In the enforcement of Divine laws, your love and affection should not be attached with the defaulters. Because Islam which is concerned about individuals is likewise concerned about the society".
The most heinous of sins is the one that is considered to be very minor and insignificant.
"The worst of sins is the sin which the sinner takes to be easy and immaterial. The publicity of sin reduces its gravity in the eyes of the people and projects it to be immaterial". (Nehj-ul-Balaqha: Wisdom, 36).
( 148 )
It is for this reason that Islam says: if a sin has been committed but it could not be concealed and became public, then the sinner becomes liable to prosecution either for Divine PenAliy (Hadd) or for punishment under ordinary Law (Ta'zeer).
In Islamic jurisprudence, it is said as a matter of Rule: Act ofommis-sion of every obligation and act of commission of every prohibition, if not visited with Hadd, is visited with Ta'zeer. Ta'zeer involves penAliy lesser than Hadd and the sentence is awarded by a magistrate according to his discretion.
As a consequence of commission of a sin, by one person and its publicity, the society gets closer to the sin by one step; and this is from amongst the worst of the evils. Thus every sinner must be punished with a penAliy proportionate to his sin, so that the society resumes the track, and the gravity of sin is not lost sight of.
For these reasons, penAliy and punishment is the love which diverts towards the society.
Nehj-ul-Balagha: Wisdom, 11.
Preface to Volume I., The last of the Prophets, pp. 11, 12.
Nehj-ul-Balagha: Wisdom, 139.
( 149 )
Ibid: Discourse, 169.
Kulliyat-i Dr. Iqbal Lahori (Persian) pp. 6-7.
Jalal-ud-Din Suyooti says in Durr-i-Mansoor, in the context of Verse 7 of Surah from Ibn-e-'Asaakar reporting from Jabir-bin-Abdullah, who said: "We were in a session of the Prophet; Ali also appeared there the Prophet said, 'By Him who is Master of my soul, this man and his Shi'ites are the exalted of the Day of Judgment". And Manawi, on bases of two reports reproduces it in Kunooz-ul-Haqaiq, and Haithami in Majma'ul-Zawa'id, and Ibn-i-Hojr in As-Sawaiq-ul-Muhraqa have described the same subject in a different trance.
Nehj-ul-Balagha: Wisdom, 62.
Bihar-ul-Anwar: Vol: 6, pp. 281-2 (New print), and At-Tafseer-ul-
Kabeer (Fakhr-i-Razi), under verse 9 of Surah KAHF.
- In the Dictionary called Burhan-i-Qati', it is said about Ikseer:
"An element which melts, mixes and augments, i.e., Transmutes copper to gold. Effective and useful medicine. Metaphorically: the glance of ideal leader of spirituality is also called Ikseer. Coincidentally, love has three characteristics; it melts, mixes and augments. But the cause of popular similarity is the third one, i.e., augmenting transmutation. Therefore, the poets call 'love' a remedier, a remedy, a Plato, a Galen (Jaaleenoos). Maulvi says in the Preface:
( 150 )
Happy be thou, my fond love! O, the remedier of all my ailments, 0, the medicine of my pride, my grace, .0, thou! my Plato, my Jaaleenoos,
The Oracle of Secret, Hafiz
"Of His signs is that He created spouses among yourself for your comfort and created ties of love and tenderness amongst you."
Marriage and Morals p. 150.
Risala-i-Ishq: Bu Ali and Sadr-ul-Mutahalihileen Safar-i-Soem.
38: Surah Ibrahim
23 Surah Shoora
Safeena-tul-Bihar: Vol: 1, p. 201, Root: "Hob".
Ibid: p. 662, Root: "Sama"'.
36 Surah Fosilat
Nehjul-Balagha: Letter No. 53.
Sharh-i-Ishaaraat: Volume, 3, p. 383 (New Print).
( 151 )
- Love has demerits as well. Of all its demerits one is that because of the absorption of the lover in the beloved's beauty, he ignores the defects of the latter. Love of every thing makes deaf and dumb.
Love of something makes the lover's heart and vision diseased (Nehj-ul-Balagha).
Sa'di says in 'Gulistan':
Every man glorifies his own intellect and his son's charm.
This adverse effect is not at variance with what we read in the text that love makes the wits sharp and the understanding sensitive. Sensitivity of intellect means that the man divorces stupidity and his energies are put to action. However, the adverse effect of love is not that it stupefies, the adverse effect is that love makes one indifferent. Indifference is not the same thing as stupidity. Very often even men of lesser wisdom with maintenance of "mental equilibrium are less indifferent. Love, no doubt, sharpens appreciation, but it exclusively restricts the appreciation to one focus, it was for this reason that we have said in the text that the peculiarity of love is unification and it is an effect of this unification and concentration that gives birth to defect of being indifferent to the rest of the matters.
Over and above this, love not only condones a defect but also presents it as a merit and a charm. Because one of the influences of love is that wherever it appears it beautifies those premises. Makes a particle of beauty the sun. Rather it makes the black rosy and gives brilliance to darkness. In words of Vehshi:
( 152 )
If you sit in the sockets of my eyes, But for the beauty of Laila, you will see nothing.
So obviously for this very reason love is not like knowledge which is invariably proportionate to the "known". Love is a hidden and psychological phenomenon more in degree than the external and the visible phenomenon, i.e., degree of love is not proportionate to the degree of beauty (of the beloved); it is rather proportionate to the degree of the capacity and quality of the lover. In fact lover has a quality, a material and a fire under ashes such as always look for an excuse and an opportunity and as soon as the occasion arises and a coincidence occurs-the secret of this coincidence remains still unknown, hence it is said that love is illogical-that hidden potential finds manifestation and it beautifies proportionate to its own force, and not proportionate to the charm of the beloved. Thus we have read in the text that the lover considers the beloved's demerits and thorns respectively as merits and roses or Jasmine.
Bihar-ul-Anwar, Vol: 15 Kitab-ul-Ashar p. 51 (old print).
AUama Taba Taba'ee.
Bihar-ul-Anwar, Vol. 21, pp. 215-15 (New Edition).
Sharh-i-Ibn-Abi Hadeed, (Beirut Edition) Vol: 3, p. 576. and Seerat-i-Hisham, Vol: 2, p. 94.
Sharh-i-Nehj'ul-Balagha, Vol: 2 (Beirut Edition), p. 220.
( 153 )
- Prophet's Love with them is not subjective, i.e., it is not only for the reason that they happen to be his daughter and his daughter's sons; even if anyone else would have been like them he would have loved him too. The Prophet loved them for the reason that they were ideal personalities and
that God loved them. Otherwise, the Prophet had other daughters too whom neither he loved so much nor the Ummah has such a commitment towards them.
Sura I'raaf, verse: 157.
Sura Ahzab, verse: 21.
At-Tafseer-ul-Kabeer (Fakhr Razi), Vol: 27, p. 166. (Egypt Edition).
Asad-ul-Ghaba, Vol: 6, p. 23.
Kanz-ul-Ommal Jama'ul-Jawami'a by Suyooti, Vol: 6, p. 156.
Hulyat-ul-Auliya, Vol: 1 p. 63.
In this context we find abundant reports. We have seen more than ninety such reports in authentic books of the Sunnies, all of them stressing love with Ameer-ul-Momineen (Ah). In Shia sources the reports are still greater in number. The Late Majlisi in vol: 39 of Bihar-ul-Anwar (new edition) has specified a chapter "In Animosity and Love of Ameer-ul-Momineen" and has quoted 123 reports in that Chapter.
( 154 )
Ar-Riaz-un-Nosra Vol: 2, p. 219, up-till where I reached I noticed twenty more such reports having been quoted in Sunni authorities.
As-Swa'iq-ul-Mohriqa, p. 76. Still five more reports are quoted from different Sunni authorities.
Mustadrak-us-Saheehain. Vol: 3, p. 131. This story has been narrated in more than eighteen different tones in authentic sources of Sunnis.
Bihar-ul-Anwar Vol: 62, pp. 295-6 (New Edition).
Sura Ma'ida, Verse: 56.
Seerat Ibn-e-Hisham Vol: 6. p. 250.
Earlier to it the Prophet had made their mention in the same nomenclature-as he is reported having said "after me you will fight against ' :
" Reporting this tradition in Sharh-i-Nehj-ul-Balagha, Ibn-i-Abi Hadeed
(Vol: 1, p. 206) says "this report is one of the proofs of the Prophet-hood of the last of Messengers, as it is such an unequivocal prophecy of a future event which does not admit of any other construction or interpretation".
- Nehj-ul-Balagha, Khutba Shiqshiqia-3.
( 155 )
- The word (khurooj), when it relates to Ali has two meanings near each other: first is to retract during War and hostility and the second is Disobedience, Mutiny and Sedition. The Persian synonym of Khawarij ' is "Shorshian" and it is taken from the second meanings of "khurooj". This group was called ' Khawarij ' for their having disobeyed the command of Ali and for their having revolted against him. As they based their disobedience on a religious dictum, so they became a religions denomination. This ' Khawarij ' became their proper name. Therefore after them no one else rising up and revolting against a sitting regime has been called a ' Khariji '. If they would not have had a special creed and belief, they would have been reckoned like all the subsequent rebels. They had their own notions that subsequently acquired a special status. Alihough they were never fortunate to establish a government, yet they succeeded in evolving a jurisprudence and a literature for themselves. (Ba Zahi-ul-Islam, Vol: 3, pp. 360-7, 6th Edition). There have been people who though could never rise in revolt yet they were the followers of Kharijite Doctrine, as it is said about Amr-bin-Obaid and some other Mo'tazilites. Such of the Mo'tazilites who believed like Kharijites in absolute obligation of enjoining virtue and enforcing prohibition and in perpetual condemnation of the guilty of a major sin, are said to be like-minded of Kharijites.
So much so that some women also had kharijite belief, a story of such a women is narrated in Kamil Mabrid Vol: 2, p. 156. Hence the proximity between the dictionary and technical meanings of this word.
- Lam'a Vol: Kitab-ul-Jihad (First Chapter) and Sharh-i-Kitab-ul- Jihad (First Chapter) and Sharh-i-Kitab-ul-Jihad, the rule of enjoining virtue and, enforcing prohibition.
( 156 )
- Enforcing prohibition is meant to achieve the currency of virtue and elimination of evil. Therefore, it should be adopted only where there is possibility of this achievement, but if we find it to be a futile effort what else is the obligation of enforcing it.
Secondly, this rule is put in practice to achieve harmony and is essentially enforced where it does not lead to an evil still greater than the assailed one. These two objectives can be achieved only by insight in practice. One who lacks insight in practice cannot anticipate whether his action will result in the achievement of the object or it may lead to a greater mischief. Enforcement of all injunctions is not conditional with happy consequences; therefore even if such consequences are not anticipated obedience to any of such injunctions is not waived. In-spite of the fact that each and every injunction is meant to secure benefit and harmony, an individual is not supposed to ensure the consequences of its enforcement. It is not said about the daily prayers that if you find them useful, offer the same, otherwise do not. It is said about fasting that if it is harmful, do not fast. Likewise, Hajj and Zakat are not made conditional to such consequences. But in matter of enjoining virtue and enforcing prohibition, it is so ordained that one should visualise the consequences and reactions of doing so, and see whether or not doing it is in the interest of Islam and the Muslim Public? It means the anticipation of consequences is the responsibility of the enforcing agency.
Every one has a right, rather he is duty bound, to let his reason, wisdom and practical insight operate to visualize the consequence of his discharging this duty, because it is not an absolute command. (Please refer to GuftariMah Vol: 1, Discourse on enjoining virtue and enforcing prohibition.
( 157 )
Except for the Kharijites, all other Muslim sects believe in the compulsory nature of "practical insight" in the matters of enjoining virtue and enforcing prohibition. The Kharijites out of their stagnation, aridity and peculiar prejudices, used to say enjoining virtue and enforcing prohibition is an absolute command and compliance with it is not conditional on the probability of achievement of desired ends and non-apprehension of mischief that may follow; therefore, no one should sit in arithmetical exercise to calculate all its consequences. They revolted, resorted to terrorism and wasted their own blood and of others knowing fully well that their rebellion will yield no fruits.
Zahi-ul-Islam Vol: 3, p. 330, quoting from Alfarq-bain-ul-Firq'.
Ibid, p. 332.
Nehj-ul-Balagha, Khotba: 60, and Sharh (Ibn-i-Abi Hadeed), Vol:
Kama of Ibn-i-Aseer, Vol: 3, p. 338.
Al-Milal-wa-Nihel by Shahristani.
Sura Ahzab Verse: 6.
Ali and Prophet-hood, p.60.
Sura A'raf Verse: 206.
Iba-i-Abi-Alhadeed Vol: 2, p. 311.
( 158 )
69,70. Al Imamat-wa-Siyasat, pp. 141-3 and Kamil Mabrid Vol. 2.
Fajr-ul-Islam, p. 263, quoting Al-Aqd-ul-Fand.
73- Al-Aqd-ul-Fareed Vol: 2, p. 389.
- Kamil Mabrid. Vol. 2 p. 116.
75.. Nehj-ul-Balagha, Khotba No. 69.
Ibid, Khotba No. 92.
Ibid, Khotba No. 148.
Sura Al-Anaam, Verse: 57.
Nehj-ul-Balagha, Khotba No. 40.
Sura Tawba, Verse: 84.
Nehj-iil-Balagha, Khotba: 127.
Sura Anaam, verse 57.
Nehjul Balagha Khotba, 40.
( 159 )
Sura Tawba, verse 84.
Nehjul Balagha, Khotba 127.
Of all the catastrophes which be-fell the Muslims what attract our attention most are the blows both ideological and spiritual sustained by the Muslims. The Quran held insight and probe to be the bases of the message of Islam. The Quran has itself opened for the people the course of individual judgement and application of reason "Why not a group of their sects issue forth to probe in the faith-" (Sura 9 : 122). Mere looking to a matter is not called a probe into it.
"If you are mindful of Allah, He has gifted you with a light which may bless you with ability to discern" (Sura 29 : 69).
"Those who strive in our way, we open our ways to them".
The Kharijites in paradoxical opposition to the teachings of the Quran which are desirous of keeping Islamic jurisprudence ever dynamic and enlivening, laid the basis for stagnation and retrogression. They took the Islamic ideas as dead and static and introduced forms and formalities as integral part of Islam.
Islam never concentrated on formalism and the out-ward form of life. Islamic teachings lay all stress on the inmost and spirit of man. It provides man with a way to achieve ends.
Islam has kept the objects, the goals, the procedure and the way to achieve them within its own jurisdiction, and but for them it has given absolute liberty to man in all other matters. In this way Islam has avoided confrontation with the expansion of culture and civilization.
( 160 )
A formality or material means having sacrosanctity cannot be had in Islam. Nor it has been made obligatory on a Muslim to preserve formalism. In this way avoidance of conflict with formalism has facilitated the course of Islam for consonance with the expansion of knowledge and civilization and for over-coming the intervening major obstacle.
This all is an outcome of forging harmony between reason and religion. On the one hand it provides stability and solidarity to the principles and on the other it separates them from formalities. These basic norms have numerous manifestations without affecting realities.
However seeking conformability amongst realities and manifestations is not so simple a task as to be under-taken by every one; it rather requires correct appreciation and deep under-standing. The Kharijites lacked insight and felt content with what they had heard. Therefore when Amir-ul-Momineen commissioned Ibn-i-Abbas for a debate with them, he advised him saying: "Do not argue with them on the basis of the Quran, because it admits of variant interpretations, you may imply one thing and they do the other. But the Sunnah and the sayings of the Prophet are definite and you should make the same the bases of your reasoning, and they will not be in a position to avoid your argument".
That is to say the Quran provides fundamentals in the course of disputations: they may refer to one thing as its conformable and advance their argument, and you may refer to the other with the same plea. In debates such a course leads to no purposeful solution. They do not, have so much wisdom as to be sufficient for deducting its correct purport and apply it to proper cases. You should rather talk with them on the authority of Sunnah which is descriptive and which has created precedents. Here Ali has indicated their mental aridity and stagnation coexisting with their fanaticism evidencing severance of reason from religion.
( 161 )
Kharijites were the product of ignorance and rational retrogression. They did not possess the capacity to be objective and analytical. They could not make distinction between the rule and the precedent. They thought that because the arbitration fell to doubt, therefore the very rule and bases of arbitration were void and fallacious. Whereas the fact may be that its bases was sound and void but its execution became improper. We come across three scenes in the story of arbitration:
(1). History proves that Ali was not agreeable to arbitration and took the offer of Mua'viya and his collaborators as a fraud and a ruse. Ali lay every stress on his views and expressed his fury.
(2). He would say if arbitration is inevitable, Abu Moosa is an un-wise person and not equal to this task. A competent man with integrity may be selected. He himself proposed the names of Ibn-i-Abbas and Malik-ul-Ushtar for this mission.
(3). Ali also stressed that the rule of arbitration is valid and not void.
Abul-Abbas Mibrad in " " volume-2 Page 144 says "Ali personally argued his case with the Kharijites and asked them to say on oath of Allah: was there any one else more bitterly opposed to the suggestion of arbitration than any self? They replied, Allah be a witness, there was none". He said, "Will you deny that it were you who coerced me to accept it"? They replied, Why should we? He said, "Then why have you refracted from me"? They replied, "We have committed a blunder and a major sin which we must repent.
( 162 )
We have repented. Let you also repent". Ali said, "I seek Allah's forgiveness from all the sins". All of them who were about six thousand in number, rejoined him saying: Ali has repented, we are awaiting his orders bidding a march towards Syria. Ash'as bin Qais came to Ali and said, "You take arbitration as transgression and insistence on it as infidelity"? Ali mounted the pulpit and reciting preliminary Khotba said, whosoever says that I have resiled from arbitration .is a liar. Whosoever takes it as a transgression is himself a bigger transgressor". Kharijites also walked out of the mosque and rose again in insurgence against Ali.
Ali says, "It (arbitration) has been void because Mu'aviya and his collaborators exploited it as a ruse, and because Abu Moosa happened to be an unwise person. I was saying so from the very initial stage but you did not accept it. But this is no reason to declare the basic concept of arbitration to be void".
On the one hand people maintained no distinction between the Government of the Quran and the Government by a man/men. The Government of the Quran means to rule in all circumstances in the manner provided by it. The Government by a man/men means to follow the ideas and dictates of a man/men. The Quran itself does not speak, therefore, its realities are to be followed. This object too cannot be achieved without human contribution.
Ali himself illustrating it says, "we have not held man to be the ruler; we declare that the Quran rules. But this Quran is a bound script. It does not speak and needs a vocal adherent and people to follow it. When the people of Syria required us to accept the Quran as the ruler, we were none to refuse it. Whereas Allah himself says in the Quran:
( 163 )
"When ever you have dispute in any matter, refer it to Allah and His Prophet". Reference to God means to follow His Book and reference to Prophet means to follow his Sunnah. If there every be a judgment in accordance with his Book, we will emerge exAliant and if there is ever a judgment in accordance with the Prophet's Sunnah, we will be its fore-most choice. (Nehjul Balagha, Khotba 125).
Here we come across a confusion, the bases of Shiah faith and the belief that Ali's authority and Imamate is by appointment and on the bases of the Divine Command. Why did then Ali submit to arbitration and thereafter insisted on its validity.
The confusion is resolved by Ali himself in his above Khutba (Sermon) which says: if the Quran is properly appreciated and looked into, then but for his Imamate and caliphate no other inference will follow, and same will be the result from deliberations into Prophet's Sunnah.
Influences of Islamic Sects on one another
The study of Kharijites' history is beneficial to us from the aspect of looking into their influence on political, doctrinal, juristic and fundamental developments in Islamic history.
Different sects maintaining their doctrinal complex and in-spite of being mutually distant do influence one another. Some times the spirit of one religious denomination influences the others. One denomination in-spite of being antagonistic to the other accepts the teachings and the spirit of the other. Human mind is plagiarist. Some times men may appear to be Sunnis but in reality they are Shiahs and some times vice-versa. Some times a man may look like a formalist and disciplinarian but in reality he may be a Sufi, and some times vice-versa. Similarly sect-wise and denomination wise, one may be a Shiah but practically and spiritually he may be a kharijite. This is as true of individuals as of communities and nations.
( 164 )
Sects while integrating into a society, keeping intact their precepts, do influence beliefs and manners of one another. As beating by mourners of their own breasts with sharpened knives and beating of drums and trumpets infiltrated through orthodoxy of Qafqaz into Iran. As people were mentally prepared to accept these practices soon they ran every where like an electric current.
For this reason the spirit of different sects may be looked into. Sometimes a sect is a product of credulity. "As it is thy brother's performance, so it is the best" like Sunnis who attach presumption of correctness to personalities. Another sect may be the product of reason and attribution of importance to principles of Islam and not to personalities; they will be necessarily critical people, like the Shiahs of early period. A sect like Sufis' may be product of the principles that give importance to the intrinsicality and spiritualism. A sect may be product of principle and stagnation like the Kharijites.
If we have acquainted ourselves with the spirit of each sect and its first assertion in history, only then we may be in a better position to understand the subsequent developments by which some of the beliefs of one denomination crept into the other and how and to what extent in-spite of each sect being within the frame of its own nomenclature accepted the spirit of others, from this angle beliefs and ideas are like vocabulary which travels from one people to another without any conscious human effort, for example, after the conquest of Iran by Muslims many an Arabic word travelled into Persian and, vice versa, quite a few thousand Persian words travelled into Arabic. Likewise is the influence of Turkish on Arabic and Persian, as has been the case of Turkish in the days of Mutawakkil, Saljuks and Mughals; so is the case with all the languages of the world. In the same way, manners and tastes affect and are affected.
( 165 )
The Kharijites way of thinking-stagnation of wisdom and severance of reason from religion-has in course of history of Islam influenced the Muslim society in a numerous ways. Alihough all the sects pose to be their adversaries yet Kharijites' spirit snuggles their way of thinking. This phenomenon is only due to what we have, said earlier. "Human nature is plagiarist and social integrations have made this plagiary easier".
A number of Kharijites always exist who are prone to oppose whatever is new. So much so that even material means of existence are sanctified by them in-spite of the fact that, as we have said earlier, Islam lends no sacrosanctity to material means and formalism.
Amidst dogmatic, scholastic and juristic sects of Islam, we come across such schools of thought that are the product of severance of reason from religion and rightly their school is the theatre of the exhibition of Kharijites' thought. They have expelled wisdom from the course of discovery of truth and have rejected the analogical deduction from even subordinate legislations. They condemn such an attempt as an innovation
and blasphemy. The fact remains that the Quran frequently invites man to reason and declares human insight to be the bases of appreciation of Divine Message.
( 166 )
The Mo'tazilahs came into being in the early second century of Hijra era. Their emergence was due to the discussions and disputations in a bid to evolve an exposition of the words 'Kofr' (infidelity) and Iman (faith), that is to say, whether commission of a major sin is a cause of infidelity or not. They were people prone to think freely and bring about a system based on rationalism. Alihough they were ignorant of the very rudimentaries and preliminaries of Islamic learning yet they believed in liberal exploration of Islamic thought. They were so much critical of traditions (Ahadis) as to entertain only such a few of them which sub-served the belief of their own rational contrivance.
These people first rose to confront and controvert the Ahl-i-Hadith (the traditionalists) and the formalists who only took the letter of traditions to be the authority being indifferent to the significance and essence of Hadith and the Quran, and gave no credence to rational approach to a clear text. The Mo'tazilites acknowledged the value of probe and insight but they (the traditionalist', evaluated formalities alone.
In the course of one and a half centuries after their emergence, the Mo'tazilites had to face strange notions till when finally the Ash'arites came into existence who rejected absolutely the value of reason, probe and rational and philosophical approach. They claimed that the Muslims were bound to blindly follow whatever reached them in the form of reports and were not allowed to look into or probe in the depth of their meanings. Every type of query, research, discussion and reasoning was said to be an innovation. Imam Ahmed-bin-Hambal, who is one of the four Sunni Imams, strenuously opposed the Mo'tzilites, which led to his imprisonment and sentence of lashes, but he persisted in his endeavours.
( 167 )
Ultimately the Ash'aries emerged victorious and rolled off the mat of reason. This victory heavily told upon the intellectual and scientific progress of Islam.
Ash'arites counted Mo'tazilites from amongst the people of innovation. One of their poet after the victory of their religion says:
The period of innovators' authority is gone,
Their rope became loose, thereafter it broke away,
Their party, which was mustered by Satan, was collected for dispersion. O co-believers! whether in their innovations had they any Imam worthy to be followed?
(Al-Motazilah by Zahidi Jaar-uUah, P. 185)
The juristic school of Akhbarites in Shiahs who swayed during the eleventh and twelfth Hijra centuries, are prototype of Sunni formalists and traditionalists. Their juristic approach is similar to former (with the only difference of acceptable traditions to each) severance of reason from religion.
Akhbarites have completely divorced reason, hi the course of deduction of rules of Islam from the texts, they deny authenticity and validity to reason; they rather hold such a pursuit to he forbidden. In their works, they have been extremely harsh towards the Usoolis - the other Shiite juristic school and say that only the Quran and the Sunnah are the authority. Virtually they ignore even the Quran and hold the letter of Hadith to be the rule.
( 168 )
Presently we are not in a position to examine different schools of Islamic thought and to deal with all such groups who insist on severance of reason from religion which is essence of Kharijism. This discussion spreads on a vast field. Our object was only to point out the influence exerted by the different denominations on one another and that Alihough the Kharijites' belief did not endure long yet its spirit has been lingering on throughout the centuries so much so that even today quite a few contemporary writers and the enlightened thinkers of Islamic world present their ideas in modem and current dialect and attempt to link it with contemplative Philosophy.
Sura Hojrat, verse 9.
Nehj-ul-Balagha, Sermon, 147;
Ibid, letter No. 27,
We notice that in the course of the history of Islam whenever a reformer rose to bring about renaissance of Islam and to reform the Muslim social order, endangering the interests of the exploiters and the vested interest, the latter would invariably and immediately disguise themselves in the robes of the pious and pretend to be fanatic formalists.
Mamoon-ur-Rashid, an Abbasid Caliph, who is notorious for his debauchery and extravagance among the history of despots, no sooner did he hear of the insurgence of Alavies, hastened to put off his royal garment and put on patched clothes, for appearance in public. His pretension beguiled even Abu Hanifa Askafi who though was neither indebted to him for any monetary gain nor he drew any benefit from him, to recite some numbers in his praise:
Mamoon like whom amongst the Kings of Islam/None has been so simple like a Beduin and a rustic.
He had fur coat on him once. It was so smooth.
But now it has become worn and torn.
( 169 )
Jesters were astonished by its sight.
They questioned him about it.
He replied, "let a tradition remain from Kings.
In Arab and Ajam he had no sewn linen".
All others who adopted the destructive and disastrous policy of "raising the Quran on launces" and suppressed all the efforts and sacrifices and nipped the movements in bud, could not have done so without the ignorance of people and their inability to differentiate between the letter and the spirit. People closed the doors of revolutionary movements and deprived themselves of reforms. They always woke up but when its spearheads had been incapacitated and it had always to be started anew. Of all the important lessons to be learnt from Ali's biography, one is that such confrontation is not peculiar to a specific people. Wherever some of the Muslims, who claim to be tailor-masters of Islam, become instrumental to the aliens and facilitate the cause of imperialists and the imperialists exploit them as a warding device and hold them as a shield because without them their battle cannot be won, the Muslims should first combat against such shields and remove them to surmount the barrier, so as to strike deep into enemy's center. Perhaps Mo'aviya was successful in exploiting the Kharijites. On that day also Mo'aviya and, likewise, Ash'as-bin-Qais were successful in exploiting the Kharijites as a shielding device.
( 170 )
For us the moral of the Kharijites' story is that every revolutionary movement must first do away with the shielding device and should fight against ignorance, as Ali did, because soon after catastrophe of arbitration, he first dealt with Kharijites and thereafter he wanted to chase Mo'aviya to annihilation.