Truth must be the criterion not personalities

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اَبَانُ بْنُ اَبِي عَيَّاشٍ دَخَلْتُ عَلٰى عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْحُسَيْنِؑ وَ عِنْدَهُ اَبُو الطُّفَيْلِ عَامِرُ بْنُ وَاثِلَةَ صَاحِبُ رَسُولِ اللّهِ ﷺ وَ كَانَ مِنْ خِيَارِ اَصْحَابِ عَلِيٍّؑ وَ لَقِيتُ عِنْدَهُ عُمَرَ بْنَ اَبِي سَلَمَةَ ابْنَ اُمِّ سَلَمَةَ زَوْجَةِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ فَعَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ كِتَابَ سُلَيْمِ بْنِ قَيْسٍ فَقَالَ لِي صَدَقَ سُلَيْمٌ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ اِنَّهُ يَضِيقُ صَدْرِي بِبَعْضِ مَا فِيهِ لِاَنَّ فِيهِ هَلَاكَ اُمَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ ﷺ رَأْساً مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَ الْاَنْصَارِ رَأْساً وَ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرَكُمْ اَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَ شِيعَتِكُمْ فَقَالَ يَا اَخَا عَبْدِ الْقَيْسِ اَ مَا بَلَغَكَ اَنَّ رَسُولَ اللّهِ ﷺ قَالَ اِنَّ مَثَلَ اَهْلِ بَيْتِي كَمَثَلِ سَفِينَةِ نُوحٍ فِي قَوْمِهِ مَنْ رَكِبَهَا نَجَا وَ مَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهَا غَرِقَ وَ كَمَثَلِ بَابِ حِطَّةٍ فِي بَنِي اِسْرَائِيلَ فَقُلْتُ نَعَمْ فَقَالَ مَنْ حَدَّثَكَ فَقُلْتُ سَمِعْتُهُ مِنْ اَكْثَرَ مِنْ مِائَةٍ مِنَ الْفُقَهَاءِ فَقَالَ مِمَّنْ فَقُلْتُ سَمِعْتُهُ مِنْ حُبَيْشِ بْنِ الْمُعْتَمِرِ وَ ذَكَرَ اَنَّهُ سَمِعَهٗ مِنْ اَبِي ذَرٍّ وَ هُوَ آخِذٌ بِحَلْقَةِ الْكَعْبَةِ يُنَادِي بِهِ نِدَاءً يَرْوِيهِ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللّهِ ﷺ فَقَالَ وَ مِمَّنْ فَقُلْتُ وَ مِنَ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ اَبِي الْحَسَنِ الْبَصْرِيِّ اَنَّهُ سَمِعَ مِنْ اَبِي ذَرٍّ وَ مِنَ الْمِقْدَادِ بْنِ الْاَسْوَدِ وَ مِنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ اَبِي طَالِبٍؑ فَقَالَ وَ مِمَّنْ فَقُلْتُ وَ مِنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ وَ عَلْقَمَةَ بْنِ قَيْسٍ وَ اَبِي ظَبْيَانَ الْحُسَيْنِيِّ وَ مِنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ اَبِي لَيْلَى كُلُّ هَؤُلَاءِ اَخْبَرَ اَنَّهُ سَمِعَهُ مِنْ اَبِي ذَرٍّ قَالَ اَبُو الطُّفَيْلِ وَ عُمَرُ بْنُ اَبِي سَلَمَةَ وَ نَحْنُ وَ اللّهِ سَمِعْنَاهُ مِنْ اَبِي ذَرٍّ وَ سَمِعْنَاهُ مِنْ عَلِيٍّؑ وَ الْمِقْدَادِ وَ سَلْمَانَ ثُمَّ اَقْبَلَ عُمَرُ بْنُ اَبِي سَلَمَةَ فَقَالَ وَ اللّهِ لَقَدْ سَمِعْتُهُ مِمَّنْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِنْ هَؤُلَاءِ كُلِّهِمْ سَمِعْتُهٗ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللّهِ ﷺ سَمِعْتُهٗ اِذْ نَادَى وَ وَعَاهُ قَلْبِي فَاَقْبَلَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِؑ فَقَالَ اَ وَ لَيْسَ هَذَا الْحَدِيثُ وَحْدَهُ يَنْتَظِمُ جَمِيعَ مَا اَفْظَعَكَ وَ عَظُمَ فِي صَدْرِكَ مِنْ تِلْكَ الْاَحَادِيثِ اتَّقِ اللهَ يَا اَخَا عَبْدِ الْقَيْسِ فَاِنْ وَضَحَ لَكَ اَمْرٌ فَاقْبَلْهُ وَ اِلَّا فَاسْكُتْ تَسْلَمْ وَ رُدَّ عِلْمَهُ اِلَى اللّهِ فَاِنَّكَ بِاَوْسَعَ مِمَّا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَ الْاَرْضِ

Abaan Ibn Abi Ayyaash is the narrator of the book Sulaim Ibn Qais directly. He reports, “I went to Imam Sajjad (peace be upon him) and inquired about his opinion concerning this book. At that moment, Abu al-Tufail Aamir Ibn Waathelah – a companion of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) and a very good companion of Ali (peace be upon him) – was sitting with him (peace be upon him). There, I also met Umar Ibn Abi Salamah, the son of Umm Salamah the wife of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny). [Umm Salamah before her marriage to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) was married to a man called Abu Salamah, from whom she had a son called Umar. This Umar was a nice man and was trained and brought up in the house of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny)].

I presented to him (peace be upon him) the Book of Sulaim. Imam (peace be upon him) said, “Sulaim – may Allah have mercy on him –has spoken the truth.”

I said, “May I be held your ransom! Some concepts in it straiten my heart. For, in it is the destruction of the nation of Muhamamd (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) including the top Muhajireen, Ansar and the Taabeen except you Ahle Bait (peace be upon him) and your Shiites.”

Imam (peace be upon him) replied, “O brother of Abd al-Qais! Have you not heard that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) said, ‘Surely, the likeness of my Ahle Bait is like that of the Ark of Noah in his nation? Whoever boards it will be saved and whoever is left behind will be drowned and the likeness of the door of Hettah in the Bani Israel?”

I replied in the affirmative.

He (peace be upon him) asked, “Who has narrated to you?”

I answered that I have heard it from more than hundred learned scholars.

He (peace be upon him) inquired again, “Like whom?” (i.e. give some examples)

I said, “I have heard it from Hubaish (or Hanash) Ibn al-Motamir and he mentioned that he had heard it from Abuzar while he was holding the latch of the door of the Kabah calling out loudly that he had heard it from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his holy progeny).”

Imam (peace be upon him) asked, “And from who else?”

I answered, “Al-Hasan Ibn Abi al-Hasan al-Basri who heard it from Abuzar and from Miqdad Ibn Aswad and Ali Ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him).”

(Al-Hasan al-Basri was an erratic (متقلبة) personality. There is a personality that is unstable (قلقة) and there is an erratic one. The latter stems from natural short-coming (قصور) while the former is due to one’s weakness in faith (تقصير). The latter needs someone to guide him, otherwise he gets swayed by anyone. But the former is like a chameleon who changes his colour as per his convenience and material/worldly benefits. Al-Hasan al-Basri initially was among the supporters of Ali (peace be upon him) but later, became the backer of the Umayyads like Marwan and his governor Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf (l.a.). He openly voiced his support for both these tyrants. So much so that it is said, “But for the sword of Hajjaj and the tongue of al-Hasan al-Basri, the government of Marwan couldn’t have stabilized (لو لا سيف الحجاج و لسان الحسن البصري لم يستقم الحكم الاموي المرواني).” Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) had even called him as the Saamari of this nation. Al-Hasan al-Basri has narrated the above narration during his period in truth).

He (peace be upon him) asked, “From who else?”

I replied, “From Saeed Ibn al-Musayyeb, Alqamah Ibn Qais, Abu Zabyaan al-Janbi (al-Janb was an Arabian family) and Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abi Lailaa, all of whom reported that they heard from Abuzar.”

At this, Abu al-Tufail and Umar Ibn Abi Salamah intervened, “By Allah! We have also heard it from Abuzar and we have also heard it from Ali (peace be upon him), Miqdad and Salman.”

Thereafter, Umar Ibn Abi Salamah turned towards me and said, “I have heard it from the one who is superior to all of these. I heard it from the Messsenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his holy progeny). I heard him (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) when he said loudly and my heart retained it.”

Then Imam Ali Ibn al-Husain (peace be upon him) turned towards me and asked,

“Is this narration alone not enough to pacify all that bothers you and is great in your heart than all these (other) narrations (recorded in the Book of Sulaim)? Fear Allah! O Brother of Abd al-Qais, if a matter is clear for you, accept it and if not, keep quiet, you will be safe and refer its knowledge to Allah because with you (is the license to leave the matter due to ignorance) is whatever is vaster than the heavens and the earth.”

Note:

Abd al-Qais is the name of the narrator’s family. If the matter is clear, then accept it. That is, even if the whole world is against you like about Prophet Ibraheem (peace be upon him) the Noble Quran says he was a single nation (أمة واحدة).

Reference:

1.    Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 23, p. 124, H. 52

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