Al-Amini’s Evidences for the Shia Understanding
According to the view of Al-Amini, the meaning of the term mawla means “one who has more of a right.” Al-Amini suggests that “one who has more of a right” is evidence of the appointment of Ali as a successor, since that would imply that Ali is more rightful of the caliphate than anyone else. Al-Amini (1/651-667) provides twenty evidences for this view, which we will go through briefly.
Keep in mind that the vast majority of this section of Al-Amini’s book is based on weak additions that he desperately uses in order to affirm his view. The only evidences that Al-Amini uses that happen to be authentic are #1 and #18.
Al-Amini’s first point is that the hadith starts off with the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying, “Am I not more of a priority to you than yourselves?” The term used in Arabic is awla which shares the root with mawla, and hence, the meanings are the same, and that Ali is more of a priority to the believers than themselves.
The inclusion of similar words in the text does not necessitate that the meanings are the same. An obvious evidence of this is from Surat Al-Ikhlaas, when Allah states that he is ahad, meaning: One. Then, He uses the same word later on in the Surah when he says, “Nor is there to Him any equivalent.” Allah uses the same word, ahad, to refer to “an equivalent”. In other words, the word is used as a numerical adjective, but is used again a few words later as a noun.
Either way, those that argue for this view will find it problematic as we shall see in response to Evidence #2, which is also evidence of words with similar roots having completely different meanings, even if they appear in the same sentence.
Yes, there is no doubt that when a word is usually used twice in a sentence the meanings will be similar, however, this argument does not hold much weight when we return to the context, which gives a much clearer meaning for the term mawla.
The second evidence is the addition that includes, “O’ Allah befriend who befriends him, and be a foe to his foes.” Then the other addition of, “And bring victory to those that bring him victory and let down those that let him down.”
The words used are: Waali man walaah.
These words also match mawla in the root word. However, the meaning is very different from the sentence used in the beginning of the narration that we discussed under Evidence #1. The first statement uses the term awla (more rightful/priority) while this one means waali (befriend/ally).
Furthermore, Al-Amini states that this addition is used to solidify Ali’s position of power by providing him the allegiance that is required to rule, and that such a supplication is evidence for his infallibility in all matters.
Response: The simple rebuttal to this is that these are all based on the preconception that the term mawla is used for appointment. One can attain allegiance of others without being in a position of power and one can attain infallibility, by Shia standards, without one being in power either.
Furthermore, we have previously pointed out in another article that there is much doubt regarding this addition in the first place, which prevents it from being binding evidence.
Al-Amini uses a narration which includes a strange addition which is, “O’ people, Allah is my mawla and I am the mawla of the believers, and I am more rightful to them than themselves, so whoever I am a mawla to then Ali is his mawla.”
This narration is attributed to Zaid, Jareer, and Huthaifa bin Usaid. However, none of them are authentic. The narration is authentic from the narration of Zaid and Huthaifa, but with the regular wording that we find in most hadiths, without these additions. Refer to this article for the correct wording.
Al-Amini shares a wording that suggests that the religion became complete with Hadith Al-Ghadir. This has been refuted as weak as well.
The inclusion of statements in the hadith like, “I am about to be called upon,” suggesting that his death is near.
Response: This is not evidence of an appointment, nor is the wording authentically attributed to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Refer to the correct wordings here.
Another piece of evidence is the narrations in which Ali is congratulated. However, none of that is authentic, as we have explained previously.
Al-Amini uses the addition of, “let the witnesses notify those that are absent,” as evidence for an appointment.
Response: The usage of this term can be found in other hadiths, like in Saheeh Al-Bukhari (5550) in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibits the blood of Muslims and warns them of killing one another. He then says, “Let the witnesses notify those that are absent.”
Such wordings are used as emphasis for all matters that are important and not just matters that have to do with appointment. Regardless, the addition is not among the authentic wordings of the narration.
Another piece of evidence is the inclusion of the term “after me” at the end of the report.
This was included in the narration of Ikmaal Al-Deen, as well as the weak hadith of Buraida through Al-Ajlah, the hadith of Imran bin Husain with the incorrect addition, as well as the weak hadith of Ibn Abbas through Amr bin Maymoon.
Al-Amini provides other reports through Al-Ghalabi in Abu Nu’aym’s Hilyat Al-Awliya 1/86, which Al-Amini grades as authentic with reliable narrators. However, Al-Ghalabi was accused of fabricating hadiths by Al-Daraqutni. Refer to his biography in Mizan Al-I’itidal. The narration also includes Fahad bin Ibrahim bin Fahad who used to narrate hadiths that he did not hear. See Su’alaat Al-Sahmi.
He also includes another report through Ibn Abbas which includes more than one anonymous narrator, including Abdul Rahman bin Imran, Ya’qoub bin Musa, and Mohammad bin Ja’afar bin Abdul Raheem.
To suggest that these narrations are authentic is nothing more than a downright lie.
Al-Amini uses the addition that includes, “O’ Allah you are a witness upon them and I have notified them and advised.”
Response: Again, this addition is baseless and cannot be found in the authentic wordings of the narration. Also, it is not evidence of Imamate in any way shape or form. It is only a statement used to express emphasis and importance.
Al-Amini uses narrations that in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) states that he fears that people will reject him as evidence.
Al-Amini relies on three narrations, the first can be found in the section on Ayat Al-Tableegh, another is from the hadith of Sulaym bin Qais (a Shia source), and the last is through a chainless report from Ibn Abbas.
Another evidence is the inclusion of the word “appoint” in the narration.
Al-Amini mentions sources including the Shia book of Sulaym bin Qais, Ayat Ikmaal Al-Deen, and Ayat Al-Tableegh. Refer to the section on Omar bin Al-Khattab as well. Al-Amini also mentions baseless reports that are attributed to Al-Hasan bin Ali and Abdullah bin Ja’afar.
Another addition includes the Prophet (peace be upon him saying that this matter, “is upon the necks of the people,” suggesting that it is a great matter that needs to be fulfilled.
This, again, is based on the narration that has been weakened under the section on and Ayat Al-Tableegh and a baseless report attributed to Ibn Abbas.
Another evidence is that the religion has been made complete with Ghadir.
This has been refuted in our section on Ayat Ikmaal Al-Deen.
Al-Amini uses traditions in which some of the students of the narrators of the hadith cautiously ask about the narration, implying that it is of a great matter. For example, he quotes Sa’eed bin Al-Musayyab asking Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas about hadith Al-Ghadir while expressing that he fears asking.
Not surprisingly, the narration is weak, and it comes through Ibn Uqda. It also contain Sahm bin Husain who is anonymous in status according to Al-Bukhari.
Al-Amini also quotes Al-Zuhri who tells his student, “Don’t narrate this in Al-Sham.” However, Al-Amini does not include the full quote, which continues, “…for you hear them curse Ali until they have filled your ears.”
In other words, Al-Zuhri had no issues with his student narrating this hadith anywhere else, since everyone accepted the merits of Ali, except for the people of Al-Sham, which was filled with haters of Ali. Regardless, there is no indication that this statement by Al-Zuhri or his student suggests that they believed that the narration implied an appointment for Ali.
Al-Amini also quotes from Zaid bin Arqam that he said to his student, “You are the people of Iraq, and you are what you are,” as evidence that this narration implies an appointment for Ali. This does not need to be refuted and it shows the desperation of Al-Amini to bring as many evidences as possible, no matter how weak.
Al-Amini states that the narration of Al-Ghadir was used as evidence by Ali for his appointment. This has been refuted in detail in another article.
Another evidence is the hadith in which a group of men enter upon Ali and refer to him as a mawla. This narration is weak. Refer to the section on Abu Ayoub. However, the narration can be used as evidence that Ali did not believe that he was appointed, since he responded by saying, “How am I your mawla, when you are Arabs?” This implies that he assumed that they meant that they were his slaves.
Al-Amini argues that some companions did not want to admit that they heard hadith Al-Ghadir, so Ali cursed them.
This has been refuted here.
An actual authentic narration that is mentioned by Al-Amini is the hadith of Abu Al-Tufail, who is confused by hearing this hadith from Ali. He then goes to Zaid bin Arqam to confirm the narration. Al-Amini suggests that this is evidence that Abu Al-Tufail understood that this narration meant that Ali was appointed. However, Al-Amini does not bring any tangible evidence for this.
Also, this narration itself is proof that Ali never used the hadith to establish his caliphate, not during the time of Abu Bakr, Omar, nor Uthman, and it shows that Ali never narrated this hadith during his own caliphate except a hundred days before his death, according to the narrator from Abu Al-Tufail, Fitr bin Khalifa.
Al-Amini argues that Al-Harith Al-Fihri was punished by Allah for rejecting Ali. This was refuted in another article.
The last piece of evidence that is provided by Al-Amini is the narrations in which Omar refers to Ali as the mawla of all believers. The hadith, with a chain, can be found in Al-Khawarizmi’s Manaqib p. 160. The narration comes through Ibrahim bin Hayyan who was accused of fabricating hadiths by Ibn Adi. Refer to his biography in Al-Kamil fil Dhu’afaa’.
Al-Amini mentions other source with no chains, as usual.
In light of the above, we come to the conclusion that the vast majority of what Al-Amini uses as evidence for his understanding is not reliable according to hadith standards. The only evidences provided that are authentic are #1 and #18, and they are not sufficient evidences for the Shia understanding.