It has been narrated that a man, once, asked (`Abdullah) Ibn `Abbas about the legal share of a daughter from her father's legacy when there is also his full sister. Ibn `Abbas answered, "The share of the testator's sister is nothing. The whole inheritance must be given to the daughter who receives a half of it in the form of her legal share and the other half in the form of the nonexistence of other heirs."
"But `Umar decided something else," said the asker.
"Are you more knowledgeable that Allah?" answered Ibn `Abbas with annoyance.
The asker then went to Ibn tawus al-Yamaniy because he could not understand Ibn `Abbas's statement. Explaining the question, Ibn tawus said to the asker, "My father has told me that he had heard Ibn `Abbas saying, Almighty Allah says (in the Holy QUR'AN), If it is a man that dies leaving a sister but no child, she shall have half the inheritance. 4/176; while you are deciding that such a sister shall have half the inheritance even if she has children!"(1)
In the aforesaid question, `Umar distributed equally the inheritance between the testator's daughter and full sister. In his opinion, daughters are not included when the word 'son' is used.(2) This is in fact a concept that was used in the pre-Islamic era. Yet, this opinion is obviously opposite to the Holy QUR'AN that reads,
"Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's Inheritance: to the male, a portion equal to that of two females. 4/11"
Accordingly, the word 'children' in the holy verse indicates both sons and daughters. Hence, the children's testator prevent the brothers and sisters (i.e. their uncles and aunts) from receiving anything from the inheritance. In this respect, the Holy QUR'AN reads,
"If it is a man that dies leaving a sister but no child, she shall have half the inheritance: If such a deceased was a woman, who left no child, her brother takes her inheritance. If there are two sisters, they shall have two-thirds of the
1- Al-Hakim al-Nisapuriy: al-Mustadrak `Ala'l-Sahihayn 4: 339; al-Bayhaqiy: al-Sunan al-Kubra 6:233; al-Muttaqiy al-Hindiy: Kanz al-'Ummal 11:44 H. 30588. 2- To explain it, the Holy QUR'AN, in the verse involved, judges that a testator's full sister will have half the inheritance in case the testator does not have a 'walad' (son). In Arabic, the word 'walad' is mainly denoting boys, not girls. `Umr therefore understood that when a testator does not have a boy (walad), half the inheritance will be the legal share of his full sister. Yet, by 'walad', the Holy QUR'AN means both sons and daughters.
inheritance between them. If there are brothers and sisters, they share the male having twice the share of the female. Thus doth Allah make clear to you His law lest ye err; and Allah hath knowledge of all things. 4/176"
Ibn `Abbas also objected to another decision of `Umar as regards the shares of inheritances. When he was asked to distribute an inheritance, `Umar did not recognize how the shares should be distributed; he therefore had to confess, saying, "In fact, I do not know which category of you (the heirs) has been preferred according to the law of Allah. The best solution that I can see is that to distribute the inheritance among you in equal shares." Objecting to this opinion, Ibn `Abbas said, "I swear by Allah that if you had followed the instructions of Allah in this regard, the shares of the inheritances would never have been imperfect."(1)
On a third occasion, `Umar issued two different verdicts for the same question. About the shares of the inheritance of a lady who had a husband, mother, two half (maternal) brothers, and two full brothers, `Umar decided to give the husband half the inheritance, the mother the sixth, and the two half brothers the remainder, which is the one third. Hence, the two full brothers were given nothing because no shares remained.
A similar question was provided before `Umar and he decided to follow the same previous distribution. But one of the full brothers objected to him saying, "We share with the testator in the father while they only share with a mother. Hence, if you will deprive us of shares because of our father, you should give us a share through our mother in the same way as you have decided a share for these half brothers through their mother. Even if our father was a donkey, we and they lived in the same womb!" Having been convinced of their pleading, `Umar decided to make them partners in the remainder, which is the one-third of the inheritance.(2) When he was reminded that his decision about a similar case had not been this one, `Umar said, "Well, that decision was for that case and this decision is for this!"(3)
Al-Shafi`iy, in al-Risalah, Abu-Dawud and al-Bayhaqiy have recorded on the authority of tawus that `Umar, once, asked the attendants whether they had heard anything from the Holy Prophet about the blood money for fetuses. Haml ibn Malik ibn al-Nabighah stood up and said, "One of my bondmaids, once, hit another pregnant one on the abdomen that she aborted her fetus. In
1- Al-Bayhaqiy: al-Sunan al-Kubra 6:253 H. 12237; al-Hakim al-Nisapuriy: al-Mustadrak `Ala'l-Sahihayn 4:378 H. 7985. 2- Al-Jassas: Ahkam al-QUR'AN 2:111. 3- Al-Muttaqiy al-Hindiy: Kanz al-'Ummal 11:25 H. 30481; Al-Jassas: Ahkam al-QUR'AN 2:111.
this case, the Holy Prophet decided a coot as the blood money for the fetus." `Umar thus said, "If I have not heard this story from you, I would decide another thing. In fact, I was about to depend upon my own opinion in this question."(1)
`Ubaydah al-Salmaniy is reported as saying, "I have memorized one hundred different rulings that `Umar had decided as regards the share of grandfathers from inheritances!"(2)
Dr. Muhammad Madkur, commenting on `Umar's various opinions about the share of grandfathers from inheritances, says,
"`Umar insisted on making grandfathers precede brothers as regards the shares of inheritance. He used to say, 'If I have the right to decide, I will give the whole inheritance to the grandfather.' He then changed his mind and said, 'I am afraid that I will disappoint them. They all may be right.' He then again changed his mind and decided to distribute it among them provided that the share will not be less than one-sixth. Again, he changed his mind and decided to distribute it among them provided that the share will not be less than one-third. Such contradiction and instability occurred only because the question was not explained by any sacred text at all; therefore, personal opinions must have been the judge. From the dialogue between Zayd ibn Thabit and `Umar ibn al-KHATTAB, we can conclude that Zayd used a style of simile making his opinion logic and acceptable."(3)
After citing the statement of `Ubaydah al-Salmaniy and the holy verse, "For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third. 4/11," Dr. Qal`achiy says,
"From this verse, we can conclude that the remainder is the share of the grandfather. In fact, `Umar noticed his instability as regards the share of the grandfather with the existence of brothers of the testator; he therefore consulted the Sahabah more than once. Yet, he could not reach at a decisive resolution. A little time before his death, `Umar wanted to find a positive solution for the question so that the matter would not be left unsettled. He consequently wrote an epistle in this regard and prayed to Almighty Allah saying: 'O Allah! If this matter is correct, I please you to bring it to an end.'
1- `Abd al-Ghaniy `Abd al-Khaliq: Hijjiyyat al-Sunnah 344-347; Al-Wafi al-Mahdiy: Ma'l-Ijtihad fi'l-Shari'ah al-Islamiyyah 451. 2- `Abd al-Razzaq: al-Musannaf 10:262 H. 19043-5; Muhammad Rawwas Qal`achiy: Mawsu'at Fiqh `Umar ibn al-KHATTAB (Encyclopedia of `Umar's jurisprudence) 53. 3- Dr. Muhammad Sallam Madkur: Manahij al-Ijtihad fi'l-Islam 172.
When he was stabbed, he erased that epistle so that none would realize what had been written therein. He then declared: 'I have written a book about the share of the grandfather and the Kalalah and I have prayed to Almighty Allah to guide me in this matter. Yet, I think that I would better leave you in the state in which you were."(1)
Al-Suyutiy, in al-Ashbah wa'l-Naša'ir, commenting on `Umar's various opinions about the question of the grandfathers' share of inheritances, says,
"The reason of such variation is that the second Ijtihad was not better than the first. This means that he could not determine anything. This of course would bring about intense hardship since if a decision is canceled, the other will be canceled and so on."(2)
The following issue proves unfalteringly that `Umar ibn al-KHATTAB used to practice Ijtihad in questions the rulings of which have been previously decided by the Holy QUR'AN and Sunnah:
The Holy Prophet, once, told him that he would never understand the ruling regarding the share of grandfathers from inheritances. Nevertheless, `Umar exceeded that prediction and acted upon his personal opinions in this issue. In this connection, it has been narrated on the authority of Sa`id ibn al-Musayyab that `Umar, once, asked the Holy Prophet, "How are the shares of grandfathers from inheritances counted?"
The Holy Prophet answered, "Why are you asking about this, `Umara I see coming that you will die before you understand this issue."
Truly, `Umar departed life before he could understand that question.(3)
Al-Salihiy al-Dimashqiy, in Subul al-Huda wa'l-Rashad 9:287, has recorded that Ibn Rahawayh and Ibn Mardawayh narrated on the authority of Sa`id ibn al-Musayyab that `Umar asked the Holy Prophet about the shares of the Kalalah from inheritances.
"Has Almighty Allah, in the Holy QUR'AN, not explained it (saying, And if a man or a woman leaves property to be inherited by neither parents nor offspring, and he (or she) has a brother or a sister, then each of them two shall have the sixth, but if they are more than that, they shall be sharers in the third after (payment of) any
1- Muhammad Rawwas Qal`achiy: Mawsu'at Fiqh `Umar ibn al-KHATTAB 53-54. 2- Al-Wafi al-Mahdiy: Ma'l-Ijtihad fi'l-Shari'ah al-Islamiyyah 452 as quoted from al-Suyutiy: al-Ashbah wa'l-Naša'ir 101. 3- This narration has been recorded by al-tabaraniy, in his al-Mu`jam al-Awsat 4:295 H. 4245. The series of narrators has been also decided as authentic. See also tabaqat al-Muhaddithin bi-Isbahan 3:564; al-Haythamiy: Majma` al-Zawa'id 4:227; al-Muttaqiy al-Hindiy: Kanz al-`Ummal 11:58 H. 30611.
bequest that may have been bequeathed or a debt that does not harm (others); this is an ordinance from Allah: and Allah is Knowing, Forbearing 4/12)?"
`Umar yet did not understand the verse; therefore, Almighty Allah revealed his Saying, "They ask you for a decision of the law. Say: Allah gives you a decision concerning the person who has neither parents nor offspring; if a man dies (and) he has no son and he has a sister, she shall have half of what he leaves, and he shall be her heir she has no son; but if there be two (sisters), they shall have two-thirds of what he leaves; and if there are brethren, men and women, then the male shall have the like of the portion of two females; Allah makes clear to you, lest you err; and Allah knows all things. 4/176"
Again, `Umar did not yet understand the verse. He thus asked his daughter Hafsah, one of the Holy Prophet wives, to ask the Holy Prophet to explain the question for her when she would find him relaxed and pleased. When she did, the Holy Prophet said, "It was your father who asked you to do such. I see that your father shall never understand this question." As a result, `Umar used to say, "I shall never understand this question. It was the Messenger of Allah who said so."(1)
In conclusion, it is not improbable to say that Imam `Ali's famous saying, 'One who likes throwing oneself in the depths of Hell may issue a verdict about the grandfather's share of inheritance,'(2) arose from the innumerable contradictory verdicts of Abu-Bakr and `Umar, in particular, as regards the matter involved about which they openly violated the Holy QUR'AN.
THE CLAIM OF THE HOLY PROPHET'S ADOPTION OF PERSONAL OPINIONS
In the light of the preceding discussion, the caliphs had to adopt Ijtihad as a starting point through which the difference between the Sahabah's religious opinions, or the caliph for one side and the Sahabah for the other, can be justified since it is the shelter to which the Opinionists and their fans can resort for solving any opposition noticed in the Sahabah's religious opinions. Yet, the subject must be investigated from its roots with rationality so that it will be proven whether the Holy Prophet used his personal views in the issuance of religious rulings or this claim has been fabricated against him for the sake of giving good reason for the Sahabah's Ijtihad.
1- Al-Jassas: Ahkam al-QUR'AN 3:18; Tafsir Ibn Kathir 1:595; Jalal al-Din al-Suyutiy: al-Durr al-Manthur 2:754. 2- Sunan al-Darimiy 2:450 H. 2902; al-Bayhaqiy: al-Sunan al-Kubra 6:245 H. 12196; Musannaf `Abd al-Razzaq 10:262; Musannaf Ibn Abi-Shaybah 6:268.
At the outset, it is illogic that the Messenger of Allah whose divine mission is to convey the laws of Almighty Allah to all the peoples on this planet could betake personal views as method of identifying the divine laws. Had he been allowed to use his personal outlooks, he would not have waited for the Divine Revelation so as to judge in the questions of the li`an (oath of condemnation between spouses),(1) the shares of maternal and paternal aunts from inheritance, and others.(2) Since the Holy Prophet was able to obtain certainty through waiting for the Divine commandments, it should be illogic for him to depend upon hypothetical decisions that are the natural outcomes of Ijtihad. Furthermore, the Holy QUR'AN has confirmed the necessity of the commitment to the Holy Prophet's words, such as in the holy verses:
"And whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back. 59/7"
"But no, by the Lord, they can have no real faith until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction. 4/65"
It is thus impossible for Almighty Allah to order us to commit to words that are grounded upon conjectures and are mistakable, while He, the Almighty, has taught us that "conjecture avails nothing against Truth. 53/28"
It is now obvious that the insistence on the argument that the Holy Prophet rested upon his personal views in the issuance of religious rulings has been invented in order to find acceptable excuses for the Sahabah's Ijtihad in general and the personal opinions of Abu-Bakr and `Umar in particular and to grant such Ijtihad and opinions a legal mark. A thorough, yet impartial, investigation of history and Hadith proves this fact. Again a thorough investigation of the proofs on the Holy Prophet's supposed Ijtihad that the Opinionists have provided shows that their one and only purpose has been the meaning that he made mistakes in the field of issuing religious rulings. They therefore attempted to find solution for this complicated problem through the invention of Ijtihad and Opinionism.
Even if we succumb to the idea that the Holy Prophet's words and deeds were originated from his personal opinions that are, according to the Opinionists' supposition, allowable, why do most of their statements and intimations
1- Tafsir al-tabariy 18:83; Musnad Ahmad 1:238 H. 2131; Sunan Abi-Dawud 2:277 H. 2256; al-Wahidiy: Asbab al-Nuzul 213; al-Suyutiy: Lubab al-Nuqul fi Asbab al-Nuzul 153. 2- This incident has been narrated by Abu-Dawud, in al-Sunan, al-Nassa'iy, in al-Sunan (on the authority of Zayd ibn Aslam), al-Hakim al-Nisapuriy, in al-Mustadrak `Ala'l-Sahihayn, and al-tabaraniy, in al-Mu'jam al-Saghir.
suggest that he broke the commandments of Almighty Allah on many occasions, such as the famous narration of offering prayer for a hypocrite, and also failed to meet the humanitarian restraints, such as in the story of the blind when he frowned and turned away, to the degree that al-Zamakhshariy has been so impolite that he claimed that Almighty Allah's saying "Allah pardon you" stands for the happening of a felony since pardon is always associated with felonies; therefore the interpretation of the verse is that 'you have made a mistake and very bad was your deed!'(1) It is extremely impudent to dare say such a thing about the Holy Prophet.
The Opinionists who prohibited the recording and reporting of the Hadith have dared to say such things about the Holy Prophet while they have confirmed that the Divine Revelation agreed to `Umar in all the questions in which the Holy Prophet was wrong! Then, the Holy Prophet submitted to `Umar!
The gentle reader is now dispensing with further explanation and can easily understand the mystery beyond such contradiction and the secret beyond their ascribing mistakes to the Holy Prophet while `Umar's situation was always so accurate that even the Divine Revelation testified for him!
Again, even if we yieldingly accept that the Holy Prophet was no more than an ordinary mortal who enjoyed divine talents; most of his worldly affairs and decisions had nothing to do with the Divine Revelation; even in military affairs he used to consult the Sahabah, such as in the truce with the Ghatafan tribe during the Battle of al-Ahzab,(2) the decision of fighting during the Battle of Uhud,(3) the adoption of Salman al-Farisiy's opinion about the digging of a trench around the city of al-Madinah during the Battle of al-Ahzab,(4) the adoption of Habbab's opinion about choosing the place of residence just before the Battle of Badr, and the adoption of Sa`d ibn Mu`adh's opinion concerning the establishment of an arbor (5)and many other occasions. Even if we overlook the fact that all the words and deeds of the Holy Prophet, throughout his holy lifetime, were on the instructions of Almighty Allah and that he consulted his companions only to appease them and teach them
3- Al-Zamakhshariy: Tafsir al-Kashshaf 2:274. 2- Ibn Husham: al-Sirah; Dr. Nadiah Sharif al-`Umariy: Ijtihad al-Rasul 95. 3- Ibn Husham: al-Sirah 3:64. (Al-Bukhariy, Muslim, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Nassa'iy and other historians have also referred to this event.) 4- Ibn Husham: al-Sirah 3:235. 5- Ibn Husham: al-Sirah 2:271. For more details about the aforesaid events, refer to Dr. Nadiah Sharif al-`Umariy: Ijtihad al-Rasul 83-146.
experience and management since his final decisions were all received from the Heavens-even if we overlook all theses fact, still the Holy Prophet's issues were unlike `Umar's Ijtihad and adoption of personal views all of which were in the field of the religious rulings, not in worldly affairs. Besides, even if we accept to them as regards the personal opinions of the Holy Prophet, he (the Holy Prophet) is still unlike others, for his opinions were based upon sound grounds since he had full acquaintance with the actual advantages, disadvantages, overtures, and results of all subjects. On this account, his supposed Ijtihad is not like the others' Ijtihad.
Back to the main topic, the Opinionists have just intended, by the invention of the conception of the Holy Prophet's having rested upon his personal views, to argue that the Sahabah were only imitating the Holy Prophet; hence, they must not be blamed for such.
To rest upon the explicit circumstances of an issue does not denote the Ijtihad as a term. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said,
"My judgments are based upon the explicit circumstances of an issue that is filed before me. While you are making me the judge in your disputes, some of you may err in providing his case or his evidences."(1)
This statement denotes that a judge must give a verdict on the light of the presented proofs and claims, not the actuality that may be hidden or unknown unless awareness of the unseen is obtained. Although the Prophets, Messengers, and their Successors can be acquainted with the unseen, they have been ordered to judge according to the explicit claims and proofs except in special cases, such as the story of al-Khidr with Prophet Moses.
It has been also familiar that the Holy Prophet used to judge according to the regulations and laws known to everybody so that the human regulations and legal laws will not be infringed. On account of his connection with the Divine Revelation, the Holy Prophet recognized the actuality of each issue because he has been full acquainted with the Preserved Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfuš). In this regard, all Muslims agree unanimously that the Holy QUR'AN was revealed twice; the first complete revelation occurred on the Grand Night (Laylat al-Qadr)(2) and in the second time, the QUR'AN was revealed in sections on definite involved occasions. It is now not unacceptable to claim that some of the Holy Prophet's judgments were issued on the grounds of his previous knowledge of the unseen -of course, only when the situation requires such- before the second partial revelation of a verse in this regard.
1- Dr. Nadiah Sharif al-`Umariy: Ijtihad al-Rasul 97. 2- The Holy QUR'AN Surah of al-Qadr (No. 97).
Another example that supports our discussion is the Holy Prophet's having wished had the Kiblah(1) been turned to the Sacred Masjid. Had he been permitted to rest upon his personal views, he would certainly have decided the Sacred Mosque as the new Kiblah and would not have turned his face towards the holy Mosque of Jerusalem (for prayer) for more than six months. Only when the holy verse, "We see the turning of thy face for guidance to the heavens: now Shall We turn thee to a Kiblah that shall please thee. Turn then Thy face in the direction of the Sacred Masjid. 2/144" was revealed, he turned his face towards the new Kiblah. This is of course a clear-cut proof that the Holy Prophet waited for and firmly observed the commandments of Almighty Allah, unlike the claim that he might have rested upon personal opinions as regards the religious issues.
Then, the Opinionists have argued that the following holy verse encourages Ijtihad and deems legal for the Holy Prophet to rest upon it:
"We have sent down to thee the Book in truth, that thou mightest judge between men, as guided by Allah: so be not (used) as an advocate by those who betray their trust. 4/105"(2)
The statement 'as guided by Allah' comprised by the holy verse has been interpreted into 'by means of your view and personal efforts in the field of deducing the religious rulings'. This is indeed contrary to the actual meaning of the verse, since in its first part, Almighty Allah tells that 'Book' must be the reference in the deduction of rulings.
The fans of the School of Opinionism has intended to validate their personal views even in the field of the religious schools. During the Holy Prophet's lifetime, they used to prefer the rulings to be derived from the Holy QUR'AN and the words of the Holy Prophet who prohibited them to rest upon their opinions since he was the authority that protected against committing mistakes. Yet, as soon as he departed this world, they applied their personal views to all the issues, whether there were sacred texts in this respect or not.
During the reign of `Umar, this trend attained its climax after the Opinionists and the ordinary people had been influenced by this trend.
The Sahabah's reference to and receipt from the Holy Prophet indicated that their opinions might have been acceptable due to the approval of the Holy Prophet, not the personality of the owner of the opinion.
1- Kiblah is the direction towards which Muslims must turn their faces during prayers (in the past, the holy Mosque of Jerusalem; and now the Holy Ka'bah). 2- Of course, the matter will be more obvious in the origin text of the holy verse.
Incidents prove that resting upon personal opinions in the issuance of religious rulings was definitely rejected during the Holy Prophet's lifetime: It has been narrated that when Usamah ibn Zayd was the commander of a brigade, he ordered to raid on a group of people among whom was Mirdas who had already converted to Islam. Having seen the attacking horsemen of Usamah's brigade, Mirdas drove his sheep towards a corner in the mountain so as to save them. When the horsemen caught him, he received them with statements of Allahu Akbar and the two creeds of Islam; but Usamah ibn Zayd killed him and took his sheep. When the Holy Prophet heard of this incident, he was terribly depressed. He then said to them, "You have killed him only because you wanted to seize his sheep!" He then recited Almighty Allah's saying, "And do not say to any one who offers you peace: You are not a believer. Do you seek goods of this world's life! 4:94"(1) The Holy Prophet then ordered Usamah to undergo the blood money for the man.
Because Usamah rested upon his personal view in the issue, the Holy Prophet reproached him and regarded his decision as invalid. Accordingly, he ordered Usamah to undergo the blood money.(2) Similarly, the Holy Prophet said about the crime of Khalid ibn al-Walid, "O Allah! I am releasing myself before You from the deed of Khalid."(3)
For shedding more light on the subject, let us re-quote Dr. Madkur as saying:
"We thus can argue that the Holy Prophet did not require Ijtihad in this very sense. After the departure of him and, more precisely, during the age of the Sahabah that ends with the elapse of the first century after the Hijrah, the Sahabah, because of the expansion of the Islamic State and the conquests, had to encounter new questions that they had never known before. They therefore had to experience the jurisprudential questions, especially after the cessation of the Divine Revelations, so as to find solutions for the first-time issues that occurred to their cursorily incremental state that comprised miscellaneous countries and races."(4)
Dr. al-Dawalibiy also says,
"During the Holy Prophet's lifetime, the Ijtihad did not play any considerable
1- Tafsir al-Fakhr al-Raziy 11:3, Al-Zamakhshariy: Tafsir al-Kashshaf 1:552 and Tafsir Ibn Kathir 1:851-2. 2- Al-Jassas: Ahkam al-QUR'AN 3:223. 3- Sahih al-Bukhariy 4:1577 H. 4084; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal 2:150 H. 6382; Ibn Sa`d: al-tabaqat al-Kubra 2:148; Ibn `Abd al-Barr: al-Isti`ab 2:428. 4- Dr. Muhammad Sallam Madkur: Manahij al-Ijtihad fi'l-Islam 43-44.
role; rather it was restricted to certain issues."(1)
Dr. Nadiah al-`Umariy says,
"Even during the Holy Prophet's lifetime, `Umar used to suggest verdicts that he considered in agreement with virtue, right, and advantage."(2)
All the aforecited quotations support our confirmation that Ijtihad, as a current term, was not regarded as valid during the Holy Prophet's lifetime; rather it became a meaningful term at the hands of Abu-Bakr and `Umar and their fans because they required the issuance of ruling verdicts with which they had not had acquaintance.
Back to the main topic, which is `Umar ibn al-KHATTAB's situation with the Sahabah and their opinions about him, we have previously cited his situation with a Sahabiy, namely `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, about him he said to the people of al-Kufah when he decided to send him there along with `Ammar ibn Yasir to teach them religious affairs: "These two are among the most excellent companions of the Holy Prophet and among the warriors of the Battle of Badr. You should thus follow and listen to them. Be it known to you that I have preferred you to myself as I sent to you `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud."(3) Despite such praise and appreciation, `Umar detained and settled an account with `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud because he had spread and reported very much of the Hadith. Because of this very situation, `Uthman, later on, durst prevent `Abdullah from reporting the Hadith and reciting his own copy of the Holy QUR'AN although the Holy Prophet has been reported as instructing his people to rest upon `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud's copy of the Holy QUR'AN, and durst lash him forty whips causing some of his ribs to be broken and forcing him to emigrate and die away from his hometown.
`Umar had to resort to violence as having dealt with the Sahabah because he knew that they had been unsatisfactory with his jurisprudential opinions and had objected to his views that were against the Holy Sunnah. Nevertheless, the Sahabah did not change their situations; they insisted on following what they had received from the Holy Prophet to the degree that one of them directed embarrassing questions to `Umar, in the presence of people, in order to inform that his personal views had been always inaccurate and far away from the Sunnah.
1- Al-Wafi al-Mahdiy: Ma'l-Ijtihad fi'l-Shari'ah al-Islamiyyah 32 as quoted from al-Dawalibiy, in al-Madkhal ila 'Ilm Usul al-Fiqh 78. 2- Dr. Nadiah Sharif al-`Umariy: Ijtihad al-Rasul 259. 3- Ibn Sa`d: al-tabaqat al-Kubra 6:13; al-Dhahbiy: Tadhkirat al-Huffaš 1:41; Abu'l-Mahasin: Mu`tasar al-Mukhtasar 2:314.
THE SAHABAH'S FREQUENT INQUIRIES TO THE CALIPH
The following citations are sufficient for proving such questionings:
Al-Harith narrated that `Abdullah ibn Aws came to `Umar and asked him about the ruling appertained to a lady who menstruates during circumambulating the Holy Ka`bah.
"Such a lady must postpone the Circumambulation to be the last of her rituals," answered `Umar.
"This is true," said al-Harith, "The Holy Prophet also said the same answer."
As he heard this statement, `Umar said to the man, "Damn you! You have asked me a question that you had put before the Holy Prophet so that I would contradict him."(1)
Husham ibn Yahya al-Makhzumiy narrated that a man came to `Umar and asked about the ruling concerning a lady that, during the season of the ritual Hajj, menstruated on the Nahr (Immolation) Day.
`Umar answered, "It is impermissible for such a lady to continue unless she is clean."
The man objected saying, "The Holy Prophet gave me a ruling other than this."
`Umar immediately hit the man with the rod he had in his hand and reproached, "Why do you ask me about a matter that the Holy Prophet had already decided?"(2)
It is worth mentioning that there is a big difference between the decisions of the Holy Prophet as regards religious questions and the verdicts of `Umar. The Holy Prophet's decisions are unrepealable since their source is the Divine Revelation, while `Umar's verdicts, like any other verdict, can be generally repealed. `Umar thus aimed at canceling any difference that could be cited between the Holy Prophet's decisions and his verdicts so that he would be able to find a legal feature to his personal views to take them to the level of the Holy Prophet's words. Yet, he had to pass by many stages before he could attain such a rank. He therefore claimed that the Holy Prophet rested upon his personal opinions in some religious rulings and thus his words might descend to the rank of the ordinary Opinionists and might be compared to any
1- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal 3:416; Sunan Abi-Dawud 2:208 H. 2004; al-ahad wa'l-Mathani 3:228 H. 1589; al-tabaraniy: al-Mu`jam al-Kabir 3:262 H. 3353; `Abd al-Ghaniy `Abd al-Khaliq: Hijjiyyat al-Sunnah 358. A similar narration is recorded by Sayyid Muhsin al-Aminiy, in al-Ghadir 6:112. 2- Al-Madkhal Ila'l-Sunan al-Kubra 1:104 H. 34; al-Suyutiy: Miftah al-Jannah 1:44; Iqaš al-Himam 1:8; `Abd al-Ghaniy `Abd al-Khaliq: Hijjiyyat al-Sunnah 372 as quoted from Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyyah: A'lam al-Muwaqqi'in; Sunan Abi-Dawud. 3- Refer to Dr. Nadiah Sharif al-`Umariy: Ijtihad al-Rasul 352-353.
other verdict and then rejected! This is of course one of the most anomalous opinions!
A thorough investigation in the Sahabah's objections to `Umar's opinions proves obviously that the Sahabah doubted the accuracy of `Umar's views. Yet, presentation of the aforesaid narrations does not authorize testing the capacities of a Muslim since this matter has been largely condemned through many traditions. Imam `Ali is reported as saying,
"When you ask, you must intend for learning something, not for embarrassing the addressee, for an ignorant is similar to a knowledgeable and, thus, an arbitrary scholar is similar to an obstinate ignorant."(1)
He has also said,
"People are generally imperfect and self-important. The asker is obstinate and the answerer is conceited."(2)
The Sahabah, although they were acquainted with the abomination of putting question for the purpose of test and obstinacy, tended to ask `Umar in order to embarrass him since they thought that such embarrassment would save them from their troubles and would make the others understand that `Umar's opinions were not always compatible to the religious instructions and the Holy Prophet's jurisprudential questions most of which were ignored by `Umar. They also intended to inform the Muslims that `Umar had not possessed a distinctive capacity of inferring the religious rules from the sources (namely, the Holy QUR'AN and Sunnah).
In my conception, the Sahabah, by presenting such issues before `Umar in order to embarrass him, did not mean to criticize the personality of `Umar; rather they only intended to defend the Islamic legislation and to prevent the personal views from finding a place in the sacred field of the issuance of religious issues. Many are the narrations that prove that the Sahabah did not belittle or criticize the personalities of Abu-Bakr and `Umar, even when they disagreed with them, since the two held the leadership of the Islamic nation. The ordinary Sahabah who were not experts in the religious issues, however, adopted the opinions of Abu-Bakr and `Umar because they used to refer to the supreme leader in these questions.
It is now clear that the Sahabah disagreed with `Umar on various questions and he himself gave different opinions on the same question and such disagreements would affect the religious laws in the coming ages. On this account, a big number of Muslim jurisprudents, in order to evade confusion
1- Nahj al-Balaghah 3:320. 2- Nahj al-Balaghah 3:234.
between the Holy Prophet's decisions and the personal opinions that were issued after his noble lifetime, have made great efforts in the field of differentiating between the two since the Holy Prophet's decisions rested upon the Divine Revelations; therefore the Holy Prophet's decisions were called 'Sunnah' while the personal opinions were called 'Ijtihad'. In this respect, Dr. Madkur says,
"Naturally, the Ijtihad of the Sahabah created disagreement in viewpoints and contradiction in religious verdicts. Having not stopped at analogy, the Ijtihad of the Sahabah included all the aspects of opinions on bases of intuition, sound nature, and the spirit of Islamic legislation in addition to full awareness of the rational ground on which opinions were founded and its role in issuing religious questions."(1)
INFLUENCE OF OPINIONISM ON MUSLIM JURISPRUDENCE
Some authors have argued that the reason beyond the Sahabah's having issued disagreeing religious rulings was the difference in their intellects, awareness, and courses. Yet, those authors have absolutely pretended to forget the actual motives that made `Umar and his fans, who rested upon their personal opinions since the Holy Prophet's lifetime, adopt Opinionism in addition to the requirements of the general situation of the Islamic State. Everybody knows that the Muslims' disagreements were not about whether the Holy QUR'AN and Sunnah can be accepted as sources of the Islamic legislation or not; rather they disagreed about the point whether the words that were reported from Holy Prophet were actually said by him so that they would be included with the Sunnah or they were only fabricated for personal interests.
It seems that discrepancy in the reports from the Sahabah as regards the religious laws had a conception other than the claim of its having been a natural result of resting upon Ijtihad. This is because such discrepancy signifies disagreement about the intellectual trends that ruled at that time in addition to the fact that not every discrepancy can be justified as being personal Ijtihad.
Let us take the Basmalah (the phrase Bism-illahir-rahmanir-rahim: In the Name of Allah; the All-compassionate, the All-merciful) as an example: reference books of Hadith and biography of the Holy Prophet comprises a variety of opinions regarding this statement even in the opinions of a definite Sahabiy. In a narration, Anas ibn Malik is narrated as having recited the Basmalah, during the obligatory prayers, in audible voice; and in another narration he is
1- Dr. Muhammad Sallam Madkur: Manahij al-Ijtihad fi'l-Islam 80.
narrated as having instructed not to recite it audibly since Abu-Bakr and `Umar, when he had followed them in congregational prayers, did not recite it audibly; and in a third narration he is narrated as having issued another ruling about this very issue.
Referring to the four discrepant opinions of Anas ibn Malik as regards the Basmalah, al-Fakhr al-Raziy says,
"Three reports from Anas support the opinion of the Hanafiyyah School and three others contradict it: First, it has been narrated from Anas that when Mu`awiyah neglected the Basmalah in a prayer, the Muhajirun and Ansar objected to him. This narration proves that reciting the Basmalah in the obligatory prayers was such a ordinary thing that all the Sahabah knew and practiced. Second, Abu-Qulabah narrated on the authority of Anas that the Holy Prophet, Abu-Bakr, and `Umar recited the Basmalah during the prayers. Third, when he was asked whether it is obligatory to recite the Basmalah audibly or not, Anas answered that he did not know. Hence, reports from Anas as regards this question have been immensely confusing and contradictory. It is thus imperative to investigate the other indications. There is also another accusation concerning the same question; it has been narrated that `Ali used to recite the Basmalah in audible voice during the prayers and he also emphasized on it; yet when the Umayyad dynasty came to power, they emphasized on neglecting it so that they would cancel all the traditions of `Ali. Anas might have feared the Umayyad ruling authorities and therefore his verdicts became contradictory and confusing. In my conception, whatever contradiction occurs between the verdicts of Anas and Ibn al-Mughaffah from one side and `Ali from the other, we will certainly accept `Ali's verdict, which is more acceptable under all circumstances. This is in fact a decisive solution for the question."(1)
The aforesaid discussion of al-Fakhr al-Raziy proves the intrusion of the ruling authorities in the religious laws. `Abdullah ibn `Abbas is also reported as saying,
"Have the people comprehended a verse that was not given to any Prophet other than our Holy Prophet and Prophet Solomon, son of Davida This Verse is Bism-illahir-rahmanir-rahim (In the Name of Allah; the All-compassionate, the All-merciful)."(2)
It has been also narrated that Muhammad ibn Mansur said,
"I have heard Ja`far saying that people have neglected one of the grandest
1- Tafsir al-Fakhr al-Raziy al-Kashshaf 1:206. 2- Jalal al-Din al-Suyutiy: al-Durr al-Manthur 1:7; al-Itqan 1: 268 as quoted from al-Bayhaqiy: Shi'ab al-Iman.
Names (of Almighty Allah). This is Bism-illahir-rahmanir-rahim."(1)
Although many religious laws have been exposed to such discrepancy and contradiction, let us cite another example on the ruling regarding extending the arms during the prayers (instead of folding them). Some narrators have reported that the Holy Prophet used to extend his hands during prayers and accordingly Malik ibn Anas decided this method as the Sunnah (the Holy Prophet's actual deed)(2) while others reported the opposite. A third group of narrators have reported that he put one hand on the other without specifying the very place and a fourth group reported that he put his hands above the navel and so on. Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad was reported as saying,
"If I neglect the audible reciting in the prayers, some men of authority did neglect it, and if I do it, also some men of authority did do it."(3)
This narration proves that the two trends were followed by two groups of grand Sahabah each of which was followed by people.
It is now obvious that the expansive reports of the Sahabah, especially in the questions were the Ahl al-Bayt's opinions were opposed, establish the existence of two trends as regards the Islamic law: The first trend included the Ahl al-Bayt and a few of the Sahabah who confirmed the Basmalah being a part of the Surahs and thus it is obligatory to recite it audibly in prayers. The second trend included others who opposed this ruling. The same thing is applicable to the question whether it is obligatory to extend one's arms in prayers or to put them one on the other. Hence, discrepancy among the Sahabah was deep-rooted and based upon adopted fundamentals. A group rested upon the authentic traditions of the Holy Prophet while another group depended upon the verdicts of grand Sahabah who decided their personal views, according to definite criteria, even if such would oppose the Holy Prophet's words and deeds. In other words, one who decided the impermissibility of adding 'Amen' to the Surah of al-Fatihah had depended upon a fundamental of the Muslim jurisprudence while he who decided the Basmalah as being a part of the Surahs had also depended upon a fundamental in which he believed. The same thing can be said about all the religious laws that were opposite to the words of the Ahl al-Bayt. From this cause, it can be confirmed that the discrepancies of the Sahabah were originated from their personal tendencies and trends that they had decided as fundamental pillars of the code of Islamic law; therefore, not all of them were pure Ijtihad, especially in the questions in which they have agreed with the Ahl al-Bayt that
1- Ra'b al-Sad' 1:255 H. 353. 2- Bada'i al-Sana'i` 1-2:201. 3- Dr. Muhammad Sallam Madkur: Manahij al-Ijtihad fi'l-Islam 128.
prove that some of the Sahabah observed certain fundamentals despite everything. It is thus quite inaccurate to claim that such narrations are doubtful because they were added by the miscreants to the Muslim jurisprudence as well as other unfounded claims.
As they inferred the religious rulings from the Holy QUR'AN and Sunnah, the Sahabah wanted to attract people's attention to the existence of some people who issued personal views in the questions about which there were sacred texts just because those people were not full acquainted with all the indications of such sacred texts. Hence, people should follow either those who rested upon their personal opinions or those who committed themselves to the sacred texts.
Let us have another look at the aforementioned narration about the ruling appertained to a lady who menstruates during circumambulating the Holy Ka`bah. According to `Umar's verdict, such a lady must postpone the Circumambulation until she would be pure and only then she would be permitted to perform the Circumambulation.(1) It is yet well-known that Zayd ibn Thabit and `Abdullah ibn `Umar, having been influenced by `Umar's verdict, also decided the same thing. However, both Zayd(2) and `Abdullah(3) changed their verdicts later on. It has been also narrated that `Umar himself retreated perhaps after he had been informed about `a'ishah's famous report that when Safiyyah menstruated after she had performed the Ifadah (one of the rituals of the Hajj), the Holy Prophet permitted her to continue.(4)
It has been also narrated that `Abdullah ibn `Abbas, answering the message of Zayd ibn Thabit in which he confessed of his inaccuracy in the question involved, said,
"I know better what the Holy Prophet said about (the rulings concerning) women. Yet, I desired to provide the proof on my claim from the Holy QUR'AN that reads: 'Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and (again) circumambulate the Ancient House. 22/29' Such a lady did complete the rites, perform the vows, and circumambulated the
1- Muhammad Rawwas Qal`achiy: Mawsu'at Fiqh Zayd ibn Thabit 107 as quoted from Ibn Qudamah: al-Mughni 3:461 and al-Majmu' 8:229. 2- Muhammad Rawwas Qal`achiy: Mawsu'at Fiqh Zayd ibn Thabit 107. 3- Muhammad Rawwas Qal`achiy: Mawsu'at `Abdullah ibn `Umar 285. 4- Muhammad Rawwas Qal`achiy: Mawsu'at Fiqh `Umar ibn al-KHATTAB 333 as quoted from Ibn Hazm: al-Muhalla 7:170.
House. Nothing thus remained."(1)
The previous words of `Abdullah ibn `Abbas demonstrate that the Holy Prophet's decision was based upon the Holy QUR'AN to which `Umar himself invited people by his famous saying, "Sufficient for us is the Book of Allah." Hence, `Abdullah ibn `Abbas, after Zayd ibn Thabit had informed him that `Umar contradicted the Holy QUR'AN, wanted to bind `Umar with his own claim.
Imam `Ali and `Abdullah ibn `Abbas presented the Holy QUR'AN's texts, conceptions, and indications as their evidences on the actual rulings of the Islamic law in face of the personal views of the other Sahabah. Such presentations occurred so repeatedly that they undoubtedly indicate the following points:
First, they intended to prove to the Muslims that the majority, if not all, of the religious rulings can be deduced from the Holy QUR'AN though the matter requires a little investigation, ponderation, inference, and sound rationality. Hence, it is unnecessary to resort to innovated sources of deduction, such as analogy and its likes, establishment of new fundamentals, and thorough dependence on Ijtihad and personal opinions.
Second, because scandalous discrepancies and contradictions occurred in the reports of the Sahabah, and even in the reports of a single Sahabiy, in addition to the imperfect conveyances from the Holy Prophet that they, in many cases, did not receive directly from him-these matters and others would make it unfeasible to rest upon the Sunnah in the issuance of religious rulings. Besides, not all the reporters have understood the very signification of the Holy Prophet's words. If we add to the previous the ruling authorities' having prohibited the reporting and recording of the Hadith and the Sahabah's having been afraid of breaking this decision, we conclude that thorough resting upon the Sunnah would be unconvincing except in a few cases when reports support each other in a definite matter. Hence, reference to the Holy QUR'AN would be inevitable taking into consideration the fact that an inference from the Holy QUR'AN cannot be denied or refuted.
Third, Imam `Ali and `Abdullah ibn `Abbas aimed at binding those who claimed the sufficiency of the Holy QUR'AN in solving all the problems with their claim. Such binding would show clearly the inconsistency between those Sahabah's claim and their theoretical and practical failure in the deduction of rulings from the Holy QUR'AN. On the other hand, the Sahabah who complied
1- Al-Bayhaqiy: al-Sunan 5:163 as is written in Mustafa al-A`zamiy: Dirasatun fi'l-Hadith al-Nubawiy, 136.
with the sacred texts comprehensively and who believed in the necessity of joining the Holy Sunnah to the Holy QUR'AN were proven as the most experienced in deducing the religious rulings from these two sources.
To sum it up, the Islamic jurisprudence has unfortunately been influenced by the personal opinions of `Umar and thus the religious rulings have been affected by the discrepant and contradictory opinions of the Sahabah. This is because `Umar exerted all efforts in binding people with his decisions making them as sacred as the Holy Sunnah. Similarly, some of the Sahabah pursued him in this regard causing discrepancy to the Islamic law. For instance, Abu-Hanifah, his two disciples, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Zufar, and Ibn Abi-Layla-all these master scholars of Sunnite jurisprudence have decided that full brothers must be deprived of the heritage of their sister who had a husband, a mother, and two half (maternal) brothers in addition to these two full brothers as has been decided by `Umar in an earlier issue. Malik and al-Shafi`iy, however, have decided shares to those full brothers as has been decided by `Umar on another occasion. Yet, the most astonishing matter in this respect is that those master scholars have decided the accuracy of `Umar's both decisions although the question was the same! Moreover, they have decided that `Umar was not inerrant; that he might have committed mistakes! To support their claims, each has searched for other 'evidences'. As a consequence, none should ever blame one who wonders whether Almighty Allah has decided the earlier or the later opinions of `Umar in this very issue! If the earlier decision was the correct, why did `Umar give the two full brothers shares of the heritage on the second occasion despite the fact that he knew that heritage is a financial right; and if such a right is violated, one will be responsible for the shortage in the shares of the othersa Correspondingly, if those two full brothers should have enjoyed certain shares from their sister's legacy, why did `Umar deprive them of their shares in the earlier case?
Because of their intense emphasis on following the manners of Abu-Bakr and `Umar, the Holy Sunnah has been overlooked in such cases and none has recognized it save its real people. Unfortunately, such Ijtihad that violated the sacred texts found a large area in the field of the Muslim jurisprudence and thus became the ruler. Hence, in that age, the fabricated reports that claimed the prohibition of reporting and recording the Hadith were the prevalent. In plain words, the manners of Abu-Bakr and `Umar became the dominant over the code of the Islamic law; and the Sahabah's questions that were directed to the caliphs became a common feature of their relationship with the ruling authorities. It has been narrated that when Sa`id ibn Sufyan asked him about a religious question, `Uthman ibn `Affan interrogated him whether he had
asked anyone else about the same question. When Sa`id answered negatively, `Uthman said: "Well, I will certainly behead him whom you ask about the very question and give you an answer dissimilar to mine!"(1) Commentary on this incident is left for the gentle readers.
1- Tahdhib Tarikh Madinat Dimashq 1:54; Hayat al-Sahabah 2:390-391 as is in al-'amiliy: al-Sahih 1:89.