Oppressive Rulers Appointed the Imams of Ahlul Sunnah
What proves that the Imams of the four “Sunni” sects, too, acted in contradiction to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger who commanded them to follow the Purified Progeny, is that we could not find even one person among them who obeyed such a command, boarded their ship, and came to know who the Imam of his time was.
Abu Hanifah al-Nu`man, was a student of Imam al-Sadiq. He is famous for having said: Lawla al sanatan, la halaka al-Nu`man, that is, “Had it not been for those couple of years [during which he was a student of the Imam, as], al-Nu`man would have perished.” Yet we find him inventing a sect based on analogy and the derivation of one's own opinion in opposition to the available clear ahadith.
Malik, who also learned from Imam al-Sadiq, is quoted saying, “No eyes have ever seen, nor ears have ever heard, nor anyone was ever impressed by anyone more acquainted with jurisprudence, or more learned, than Ja`far al-Sadiq.”
Yet we find him, too, inventing an Islamic sect of his own, abandoning the Imam of his time for whom he testifies as being the most knowledgeable and the best informed of all people of his time with regard to jurisprudence. The fact is that the Abbasides who held the reins of authority propped him up and called him “Imam Dar al-Hijra,” hence he became thereafter the man of influence and authority, the man whose word wielded a great deal of influence on people.
Al-Shafi`i, who is accused of being a follower of Ahlul Bayt, has said the following lines of poetry in their praise:
O Household of Allah's Messenger! Loving you is an obligation
Which Allah has enforced in His Honored Revelation;
Suffices you a great honor if one sends no prayer unto you all,
It will be as though he did not say his prayers at all.
And the following verses lauding them are also attributed to him:
When I saw people being carried away to the seas
Of misguidance and ignorance by their creeds,
I boarded, in the Name of Allah, the Ark of Salvation:
The Household of the Prophet, the Seal of Revelation.
And I upheld Allah's Rope: them shall I obey and hope,
That I obey the One Who commanded us to uphold His Rope.
He is also famous for having said these lines:
If one loving Muhammad's family
Is rebuked and called a Rafidi,
Then O jinns and mankind: Testify
That: Yes! A Rafidi am I!
If the jinns and mankind are to testify that he is Rafidi, then why did he follow the sects which were established to oppose Ahlul Bayt?! Rather, he himself, like the others, invented a sect carrying his own name, abandoning the Imams of Ahlul Bayt to whom he was a contemporary.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal made the name of Ali the fourth in the list of the “righteous caliphs,” after being rejected as such. He wrote a book recounting Ali's merits. He became famous for having said, “Nobody among the sahaba, according to all authentic musnads, has as many virtues as Ali, may Allah be pleased with him...”
Yet he himself invented an Islamic sect called “al-Hanbali” despite the testimony of his contemporary scholars that he was not a faqih at all. Shaykh Abu Zuhra has said, “Many scholars of earlier times never counted Ahmad ibn Hanbal as a jurist; among them was Ibn Qutaybah, whose time was very close to that of Ahmad, and Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, and others.”1
Then Ibn Taymiyyah came to lift the banner of the Hanbali sect. He incorporated into it some new theories which, among other things, prohibited the visiting of graves or the building of structures over them, or the seeking of nearness to Allah through the Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt; all of the above constituted, according to him, shirk, polytheism.
These are the four sects, and these are their imams and what they have said about the Purified Progeny of Ahlul Bayt.
So, they either say what they do not do, which is a big abomination very much hated by Allah, or they may not have invented these sects at all but, rather, their own followers among the henchmen of the Umayyads and Abbasides were the ones who founded them with the help of oppressive rulers then attributed them to these imams after the latter's death. This you will come to know, Insha-Allah, in the next researches.
Are you not amazed about these imams who were contemporary to the Imams of guidance from Ahlul Bayt, then they turned away from the latter's Straight Path and were not guided by their guidance, nor were they enlightened by their light, nor did they prefer their hadith which quotes their grandfather the Messenger of Allah ? Rather, they preferred over them Ka`b al-Ahbar, a Jew, and Abu Hurayra the Dawsi about whom the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib has said, “The person who told the worst lies about the Messenger of Allah is Abu Hurayra al-Dawsi”?!
Hazrat Ayesha said the same about him. And they prefer over them Abdullah ibn Umar who was famous for his hatred of Imam Ali, and who refused to swear the oath of allegiance to him, preferring to swear allegiance to the leader of misguidance al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi instead. And they prefer over them Amr ibn al-As, Mu`awiyah's minister of deception and hypocrisy.
Do you not wonder how these imams granted themselves the authority to be the jurists of Allah's creed through their own views and personal opinions till they put an end to the Prophet's Sunnah through what they introduced of analogy and the belief in the sanctity of all the sahaba, closing the door of evidence and that of the public's secured interests, etc., up to the end of the list of their innovations for which Allah never sent down any proof?
Did Allah and His Messenger neglect the completing of the creed, permitting these men to complete it through their own ijtihad and permit and prohibit as they pleased?!
Do you not wonder about the Muslims who claim to uphold the “Sunnah” how they follow men who never knew the Prophet, nor did he know them?!
Do they have a proof from the Book of Allah, or from the Sunnah of His Messenger permitting them to follow and emulate those four Imams who founded those sects?!
I challenge the thaqalain, the two species of mankind and the jinns, to bring about one single evidence for the above from the Book of Allah or from the Sunnah of His Messenger... No, by Allah! No! They will never be able to bring it about even if they assist one another.
No, by Allah! There is not a single proof in the Book of Allah, nor in the Sunnah of His Messenger, except to follow and emulate the Purified Imams from the Prophet's Progeny, peace of Allah and His blessings upon him and them. How to prove this can be done through numerous arguments, convincing proofs, and glorious facts.
So learn a lesson, O people who have vision! (Holy Qur'an, 59:2)
Surely it is not the eyes that are blind, but blind are the hearts that are in the breasts. (Holy Qur'an, 22:46)
This is recorded on p. 170 of Abu Zuhra's book Ahmad ibn Hanbal. ↩