It is known among us that a little while before the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) was martyred due to the poison he was given by Aisha (may Allah curse her), he said the following: “Bring me a piece of paper and pen that I may write to you a document after which you will never go astray after me.” Upon which the unjust Omar, son of al-Khattab (may Allah curse him) said: “The man is hallucinating.” Thereupon the Prophet was angered and expelled him along with those who were with him, and the prophet did not write the document later on.
I was in a discussion with a ‘Sunni’ who asked me several questions, and I was able to answer most of them. However, I could not answer this: How could Omar manage to prevent the revelation from being sent down upon the Messenger of Allah, and hence prevent the Messenger from writing his will?
Are you saying that Allah did not protect His Prophet from Omar in matters of delivering the religion? Allah says: “Allah will protect you from the people”.
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
What will this ‘Sunni’ say to what happened at Hudaibiya? As we know, the Great Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) was accompanied by his whole community towards the Sacred House of Allah to perform the Umrah by the order of Allah (Glorious and Exalted is He). Then how could Allah not protect His Prophet from the polytheists and still He revealed to him to go towards His House in Mecca? And how were the polytheists able to prevent him from doing so, which forced the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) to abandon his Umrah?! And how could the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) refrain from acting in accordance to the commandment of Allah (Exalted is He) concerning the completion of his journey to the Sacred House, and why did he not fight the polytheists, despite that the Muslims would have outnumbered the polytheists if any battle was to take place?! Allah would have assured their safety because He (Glory be to Him) said concerning the matter of the Hudaibiya:
If those who disbelieved would have fought you, they would have turned their backs, and they would have found no ally nor assistant.
The Qur’an 48:23
If the Prophet is never permitted to refrain from acting per the commandment of Allah concerning the writing of that book, then he is similarly not permitted to refrain from acting in accordance to the commandment of Allah concerning the performance of the Umrah. If Allah does protect His Prophet from the hypocrites in the matter of the writing of that book, then similarly He protects him from the polytheists in the matter of entering Masjid al-Haram. So what is this ‘Sunni’ going to say?!
If he would have said:
Allah instructed the Prophet to go to the Masjid al-Haram with the condition of not being stopped by any of the polytheists, and if he is to be stopped by any one of them, he should then reconcile with them, and Allah will protect His Prophet in all cases.
Similarly, Allah instructed His Prophet to inform his nation in writing on that particular Thursday with the condition of not being prevented from doing so by any of the hypocrites, and if he is prevented by anyone of them, he should inform his nation in speech, and Allah will protect His Prophet in all cases.
Additionally, if the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) had insisted on writing that book, it would have opened a door for the hypocrites to doubt in everything he says on behalf of Allah (Exalted is He), including the verses of the Qur’an! Why? Because the hypocrites who accompanied him (may the curse of Allah be upon them all) would have insisted – during when the book would be written – that the Prophet was rammed by hallucination, irrational talk, and for not being in his healthy mental state! This would have given them an opportunity, later on, to doubt in everything that is issued by the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family), claiming that he also was in a state of hallucination and mental disturbance when he delivered certain Qur’anic verses or uttered certain sayings to his nation!
Through this way, Omar and his party (may Allah curse him) would have been given a chance to remove whatever verses they wish to remove from the Qur’an, and reject whatever noble narrations they wish to reject, which would have resulted in making people doubt in the mere Prophethood and Message of Allah’s Messenger (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family).
The Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) was forced to refrain from writing that certain book to prevent a bigger division from taking place within Islam than the mere non-writing of the book. Since Omar and his company rejected his commandment in the first place and were insolent to such a degree that they crossed the limit against him and accused him of being in a state of hallucination and mental disturbance; there would be no advantage for the Prophet to insist on writing the book because they would then reject him in everything, and they would never have stopped to make people doubt in all that was issued by the Prophet later on.
This is why we find that after these unfortunate incidents took place during the Calamity of Thursday when some of his companions returned to the Prophet regretful for what they had done and asked him if they should bring him the materials so that he may write down his testament; he (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) rejected.
Shall we not bring you the shoulder and the materials, O Messenger of Allah?
People often used to write things down on the shoulder-bones of sheep due to the little availability of paper at that time.
Upon which he said:
After what you have said?! No, I will instruct you to hold on to my Household, that is better
Al-Irshad, by Al-Mufid, volume 1, page 184
Moreover, Umm Salama (may Allah be pleased with her) said regarding that testament of the Prophet that he gave verbally: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him) during the sickness in which he died, say while his house was filled with his companions:
O people, it is feared that I will demise soon and I will be taken (to Allah), so I will bring the proof before you: Indeed, I will leave with you the Book of Allah, my Lord (Glorious and Exalted is He), and my Family, my Household.’ Thereupon he took hold of Ali’s hand and said: ‘Ali is with the Qur’an, and the Qur’an is with Ali, they are two successors that assist one another, and they will not be separated till they meet me at the Lake Fount, during which I will ask them what I have left in them.
Kashf-ul-Ghumma, by Al-Irbili, page 43, and a similar version of this text was quoted in Al-Mu’jam-ul-Awsat, by Al-Tabarani, volume 5, page 135
As for the noble verse that says:
O Messenger, deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord, and if you do not do it then you have not delivered His Message. Allah will protect you from the people. Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.
The Qur’an 5:68
Its meaning is that Allah protects His Prophet when it comes to his delivering to the people the matter of the caliphate and succession of Ali, son of Abi-Talib (may peace be upon them both), and hence this matter is fulfilled and accomplished because the verse was revealed on the Day of Ghadeer. Therefore, the Prophet’s non-delivering of Ali’s successorship in writing during the Calamity of Thursday does not contradict that protection which Allah has mentioned in the verse. Allah will protect His Prophet in all cases, and His protection of His Prophet during that incident was when He commanded him to refrain from writing that book after the hypocrites did what they did.
Moreover, the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) had delivered Allah’s commandment concerning the succession of Ali (may peace be upon him) on more than one occasion, especially during the last days of his noble life. His commandment concerning the writing of the book was only to stress the matter of clarifying the succession of Ali to his people. And since it appeared that Omar and his company decided to reject the commandment, it would not have been wise to insist on the writing of the book due to the evil outcomes it would’ve caused later on; the matter would have developed into something worse; people would begin to doubt even in the Prophethood of the Great Messenger (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family).
Allah (Exalted is He) said:
You can not cause the dead to listen, nor can you cause the deaf to hear the call when they turn their backs. Nor can you guide the blind away from their deception. You can not make listen but he who believes in Our Signs, and they will submit.
The Qur’an 27:81-82
Hence you may know that the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) is commanded by Allah to deliver the message, and he does perform his duty in delivering the Revelation. However, if the disbelievers and the hypocrites turn their backs to his call, he is then not obliged to do so, because they are nothing but dead, deaf, and blind! This is exactly what Omar, son of al-Khattab, and his party (may Allah curse them) did, and hence the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) was no longer obliged to write that book for them because they are dead, deaf, and blind. What benefit is there to write a book for such hypocrites?!
Anyhow, regardless how the matter is; the criticism given by the ‘Sunnis’ on this incident applies to them as well, because they too narrate the incident of the Calamity of Thursday, even if they don’t acknowledge that the document whom the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) was about to write would include a clear statement on the succession of Ali (may peace be upon him). The ‘Sunnis’ have to answer to this criticism by themselves and explain why the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) withdrew from completing his task after he was confronted by Omar and his companions (may Allah curse them). The same answer the ‘Sunnis’ will give to this question, is the same thing we’re saying here.
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib