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Fatwa Title

:

The stance of Ahlus-Sunnah towards each of the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them

Fatwa No.

:

34055

Fatwa Date

:

07/03/2012

Question:


What is the ruling on calling ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him, bad names? Who is higher in rank, ‘Umar or ‘Uthmaan, may Allaah be pleased with them?


Fatwa:

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

 

It is not permissible to call ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib or any other  Companion, may Allaah be pleased with them, bad names. Moreover, it is an act of apostasy to criticize him in anything related to the genuineness of his faith or justice, because there are many texts that indicate his virtues and merits. For example, it was reported on the authority of Abu Surayhah or Zayd ibn Arqam, may Allaah be pleased with them, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that a person who has allegiance to ‘Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him, has allegiance towards the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, himself. Then he supplicated Allaah The Almighty to grant victory to anyone who supports ‘Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him, and to cause anyone who antagonizes him to lose. [At-Tirmithi and Ahmad]

Moreover, it was reported on the authority of Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, told Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him, that his rank in relation to him is similar to that of Haaroon (Aaron) in relation to Moosa (Moses), may Allaah exalt their mention. However, he added that Haaroon, may Allaah exalt his mention, was a prophet, whereas the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is the seal of the prophets and after him no other prophet would be sent. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

In addition to the aforementioned virtues, ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him, was also the first minor to convert to Islam, the cousin of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the husband of his daughter Faatimah, may Allaah be pleased with her, and the father of Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, may Allaah be pleased with them, whom the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, loved very much. When this is the rank of Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him, how could a Muslim dare hate him or call him bad names? Instead, it is an obligation for a Muslim to love him and be loyal to him, without exaggeration or understatement. This is the stance of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa'ah.

In this regard, it is also worth mentioning that there were two Muslim groups who deviated regarding `Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him. While one of them exaggerated their love and praise for him, followers of the second group declared their enmity towards him. However, Allaah the Exalted guided Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa'ah to follow the truth.

As for the part of the question that is related to preference for ‘Umar or ‘Uthmaan, may Allaah be pleased with them, Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa'ah unanimously agree that ‘Umar is higher in rank than ‘Uthmaan, may Allaah be pleased with them, and this was the view of the Companions themselves, may Allaah be pleased with them. Referring to this, it was reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, that during the lifetime of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they used to consider Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him,  the best after the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthmaan, may Allaah be pleased with them. As for the other Companions, they used to consider them of the same rank. [Al-Bukhari]

This citation is used as explicit evidence behind the belief that Abu Bakar, may Allaah be pleased with him, is higher in rank than ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him. As for considering ‘Uthmaan higher in rank than ‘Ali, may Allaah be pleased with them, there is a difference among the scholars in this regard and this is the view of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa'ah. However, some of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) are of the view that ‘Ali is higher in rank than ‘Uthmaan, may Allaah be pleased with them. This was mentioned by Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him. He added that the aforementioned Hadeeth was quoted as supporting the view of the majority of the scholars that ‘Uthmaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, is higher in rank than `Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him. 

Allaah Knows best.

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb


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