How could one respond to the question of Umar’s marriage with Umm Kulthoom, daughter of Ali, given that there is a Sahih narration reported from Hisham, son of Salim al-Jawaliqi, upon this issue, who without a doubt was a trustworthy narrator and from the defenders of the Divine Authority of the Imams (peace be upon them)?
Could you please shed light on this issue?
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
There are two traditions narrated by Hisham, son of Salim al-Jawaliqi, regarding the story of Umm Kulthum’s marriage to Umar (may the curse of Allah be upon him), neither of which indicates that the marriage has actually occurred.
The first tradition is from Ali, son of Ibrahim, from his father, from Ibn Abi Umayr, from Hisham, son of Salim, and Hammad, from Zurarah, who narrates that Imam Abi Abdullah al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) said regarding the marriage of Umm Kulthum
That was an honor which was taken from us by force.
al-Kafi,by al-Kulayni, volume 5, page 346
The phrase ‘Faraj’ in the Arabic text of the narration is used as a metaphor for the phrase ‘Irdh’, which means one’s honour related to one’s female relatives. This has been explained in Bihar ul Anwar by Allamah Majlesi (may Allah rest his soul in peace).
If we assumed that this tradition was not said based on Taqiyya, then, in other words, it would mean:
Our opponents enemies who floated this fabricated story (of the marriage) had taken this female’s honour from us by force.
The second tradition, with the same chain of narrators as the previous one, however, is from Muhammad, son of Abi Umayr, from Hisham, son of Salim, who narrates that Imam Abi Abdullah al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) said:
When he [Umar] proposed to the Commander of the Believers, he [the Commander] said: ‘She is a child.’ Then he [Umar] met Abbas and asked him: ‘What is wrong with me? Is there a problem with me?’ Abbas asked: ‘Why?’ Umar replied: ‘I asked your nephew for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and he rejected me. Oh, I swear by Allah, I will fill the well of Zamzam with earth, I will destroy every honour that you have, and I will set up two witnesses to testify that he [Ali] stole, that I may cut off his right hand.’ Abbas thereupon came to Ali (peace be upon him) and informed him of what had transpired. He asked Ali (peace be upon him) to put the matter in his hands, and he complied.
al-Kafi,by al-Kulayni, volume 5, page 346
If we assumed that this tradition also was not said based on Taqiyya then we would only find that Imam Ali (peace be upon him) let Abbas to deal with Umar’s rudeness and insolence in insisting the marriage (against their will). Meaning that we would not find any proof that the marriage actually occurred. In fact, that is what has led some scholars to come to the conclusion that Umar could not get married to Umm Kulthum (peace be upon her), because as Imam Ali (peace be upon him) had put the matter in the hands of Abbas, Abbas delayed the marriage, after he had made Umar believe that he would get him married to Umm Kulthum (peace be upon her). During that time, Umar (may the curse of Allah be upon him) was killed by Abu Lu’lu’ah (may Allah be pleased with him). Meaning that Umar was killed before he could get married to Umm Kulthum (peace be upon her).
This is on the assumption that the previous two traditions were not said based on Taqiyya for safety reasons; otherwise, there is a strong reasonable possibility that they were. For the reason that our Imams (peace be upon them) have advised us that in order for us to ensure whether a particular tradition attributed to them, is true or not, we should look it up in the books of their opponents. If we find it in their books, then we should reject it, as it will be either forged or said under Taqiyya (i.e. used to guard themselves against the oppressors).
And as we have originally found the traditions regarding Umm Kulthum’s marriage to Umar (may the curse of Allah be upon him) in the books of our opponents, then according to the advice given by our Imams, it is very likely that those traditions have been falsely attributed to the Imams (peace be upon them), and therefore one may doubt about their validity.
Whatever the case is; even if we assumed that the previous two traditions were not said under Taqiyya, and their interpretation was rather what the opponents of Ahlul Bayt claimed to be true, then they would demonstrate the fact that Umar threatened the Commander of the Believers that he would destroy a sign which was appointed by Allah (i.e. Zamzam) and cut off the right hand of the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him), due to which Imam Ali (peace be upon him) had to forcibly put the matter in the hands of his uncle, Abbas.
They would also demonstrate the fact that Lady Umm Kulthum (peace be upon her) had to forcibly accept that marriage for the sake of religion just how Lady Asiya, daughter of Muzahim, had to sacrifice when she accepted to get married to the tyrant Pharaoh (may the curse of Allah be upon him).
The ignorant opponents of Ahlul Bayt flew with joy over finding these two traditions by which they thought they could prove the marriage of their master, Umar, to Umm Kulthum. Had they paid more attention to the fact that by proving these traditions true, they would only be proving the fact that their master, Umar, was a rapist tyrant who forced women to get married to him without even their guardian’s consent.
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib