The matter of the appointment of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) as the rightful Caliph of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has been often discussed as the defining factor for being declared as Shia.
So much so, that we find several scholars of the Ahle Tasannun are forced to adopt undesirable practices to retain their positions among their communities.
Here we will discuss one of the most famous historians of the Ahle Tasannun and the methods that he adopted to hide the appointment of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) as the Caliph of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in the incident of Zul Asheera where the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) first announced his Prophethood to his close family members on the command of Allah, the High.
Abu Ja’afar, Mohammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari
Tarikh al-Tabari (Tarikh al-Rosol wa al-Mulook)
Chapter of the beginning of the Prophethood of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) when Allah sent the angel Jibraeel (a.s.) to him with His Message and what occurred from the events till the time of the migration to Mecca
Volume 2, Page 361
Abdullah Ibn Abbas reports from Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.):
When this verse was revealed upon the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), “and warn your closest relatives” (Surah Shuara (26): Verse 214), the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) called me and said to me, “O Ali! Surely Allah ordered me that I should warn my closest relatives….Arrange a cubic measure (saa’) of food, put a leg of lamb in it and fill for us a large cup of milk. Gather the children of Abd al-Muttalib so that I may speak to them and convey what I have been ordered. I did what he (s.a.w.a.) ordered. I called them to him (s.a.w.a.) while on that day they were approximately 40 people….
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) spoke, “O children of Abd al-Muttalib! By Allah! Surely, I do not know of any youth from the Arabs who has come with something greater than what I have brought to you all. Verily I have brought to you the best of the world and the hereafter. Indeed, Allah the High has ordered me that I call you all towards Him. So, whoever of you will assist me in this matter, he will be my brother, my successor and my Caliph among you all.” He (a.s.) said, “The entire group held back from it all together and I said, “Surely, I O Prophet of Allah, will be your supporter upon it” While I was the youngest of them in age, having the most-childlike watery eyes, the paunchiest of them and the slimmest of them in shins. Then he held my neck and said, “Surely this is my brother, my successor and my Caliph among you all. Then listen to him and obey him.” The group (of Quraish) started laughing and said (mockingly) to Abu Talib (a.s.), “Surely you have been ordered that you should listen to your son and that you should obey him.”
Tafseer al-Tabari (Jami’ al-Bayaan ‘An Taweel Aay al-Quran)
Surah Shua’rah (26:214)
Abdullah Ibn Abbas reports from Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) that when this verse was revealed upon the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) “And warn you closest relatives” the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.) called me and said, “O Ali! Surely I have been ordered that I should warn my closest relatives.”
Then he (s.a.w.a.) said, “O Children of Abd al-Muttalib! Surely, by Allah, I do not know of any youth in Arabia who has come to his nation with something greater than what I have brought to you all. Verily I have come to you all with the best of the world and the hereafter, and surely Allah has ordered me that I should call all of you towards Him. Then which of you will assist me in this that he becomes my brother and so and so?
The group held back from this altogether… I said, “I, O Prophet of Allah!” Thereafter, he took hold of my neck and said, “Surely he is my brother and so and so. So listen to him and obey him.” The group got up laughing and said to Abu Talib (a.s.), “Surely he has ordered you to listen to your son and obey him.”
A quick glance at the above two documents prove for us that:
- Unlike what the Ahle Tasannun claim that there is no document concerning the succession of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and hence, we are bound to resort to the Consultative Council (Shura) or selection of the successor, the above document clearly establishes that he (s.a.w.a.) did appoint his successor as per the narration of Tarikh Tabari.
- Announcement of Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s (a.s.) appointment as successor of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was twenty years before Ghadeer right when the he (s.a.w.a.) has announced his Prophethood.
- Tabari, the greatest historian and commentator of the Quran of the Ahle Tasannun, hiding the successorship of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) has distorted the saying of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) in his own Tafsir. Perhaps, he has forgotten that earlier he has recorded the original document in his Tarikh.
- Now, the Ahle Tasannun should take a call whether they are the followers of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) (in declaration of the succession of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)) or that of Tabari (in his denial and distortion)?