Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim
As salam alaikum
Prophet (saaws) said both:
- I leave you Qur'an and my Sunnah, and
- I leave you Qur'an and my Ahlul Bayt.
But he did not stop there. He said also many other things granting authority in knowledge to Sayyidina Abu Bakr as Siddiq and Umar al Faruq, may Allah be pleased with them. The afdaliyya of Sayyidina Abu Bakr is well known even if in earlier times there was a minority position stating otherwise, yet the consensus was reached among the ulama of later times. And even if you don't share the idea of his afdaliyya, he is among the best of the best of sahabas with no doubt and was granted knowledge to be a guide to Ummah, as wel as the second Caliph.
So the conclusion pointed by someone here that Ahlul Bayt had to be the main source for knowledge (hadith, fiqhm, usul fiqh) is erroneus, yet indeed they had to be a main reference among other references.
Among the 4 imams of fiqh two of them learned with Imam Jafar as Sadiq. When awliya have taight this, even if there could have been small ground for the historical scope of such learning, many awliya have clearly stated this fact and it makes then clear, for whoever accepts them, that it was so and not, as an opinion mentioned by someone, that Imam Abu Hanifa received merely refuge in the house of the imam.
Were there political persecutions and risks for common ulema that could partially explain that they did not mention the early imams on their fields? For common ulama, yes. The higher ones, at least two of the imams, went to them to learn.
But while that political aspect may be an important factor in this scenario, a second yet more subtle factor is equally or even more important: the imams themselves, having received such privilege in knowledge, knew also what the majority of ulama were teaching and how the hadith, fiqh and usul fiqh was growing and having seen that what was already in the ground was good and correct they decided not to add more than what was commonly available as this last itself good (taking from other main sources of knowledge).
It is the same as what has been narrated from a great wali in ba'lawi history about whom it was said that he reached the degree of Mujtahid Mutlaq yet he himself saw that his judgments were equal or pretty much like the shafi madhhab and so decided not to open his own door as his people had already something correct [BTW, I am hanafi : )]
Besides it, the hadith about I leave you my Ahlyl Bayt point to them as reference, yes, as a new Buh's Ark, yes, but emphasis is also given to treating them well by future generations. So why this last mention of them? Precisely in porder to warn people to respect them, love the, and not to kill them. A karamat as we know what happened to so many of them starting with Sayyidina Hussein (as), as well as the next of imams.
Finally, precedence in rank and principality in reference does not entail necessariously supremacy in each specific field of knowledge under the tools and methods of that same knowledge.
May be I should explain it: it is well known, as explained by sidi Abdulaziz ad Dabbagh, that the Qutb al Aqtab in each time, the wali muhammadi per excellence in each generation, has complete and full knowdlege of shariah, of Islam. Not only that, he receives knowledge of previous shariahs, etc, etc. To the point that as sidi Abdalaziz ad Dabbagh expressed that if all the ulama of the world die, this unique person with his knowledge would be enough to recover the whole knowledge. However, his absolute masterhip on knowledge does not entail that he may reach to it through the external ways, learning, 'cross-examination' at the hands of his teachers, as it happens in the methodology of external sciences.
Sidi Abdulaziz himself was ummi and he could not have been considered, pursuant to the methodologies and criterion of external knowledges, as such, yet he was by way of Haqq.
- There are other auhtorized sources of knowledge,
- Ahlul Bayt had to be first of all well treated, loved and no injustice should touch them,
- Relative precedence is given to them in general, with high position in knowdlege yet this does not entail to accomplish with the eternal criteria of each field, and their internalk authority is opened only to people with high himma and ikhlas at their own time,
- Imams of the 4 Imams went to them and they consented that what the Ummah had was enough,
- Plus political circumstances avoiding fitna and further cruelties
So we should not think that we, the general Ummah, 'lost' something that makes, hasha astaghfirullah, our way incomplete. Nor we should think that we, the general Ummah, have additional obligations in relation to them that we cannot fulfill.
The innumerable awliya, noth sayyids and non sayyids, as well as all the Aqtab, that are found only in Ahlus Sunnah wal Yammah, for centuries and centuries is pretty much more than enogh proof of the complete path that we have.
Notwithstanding it, knowledge that Rasul (saaws) received is of three levels:
- One that remains only between him and Allah (azza wa jal).
- One that he disclosed to special and selected among his sahabas (and we have a hadith for this, and it is well known among al turuq, as consensus of people of tasawwuf)
- One that was subject to the general public, and it is what has reached us in a complete way.
Are there more things that we can learn from Ahlusl Bayt? And more meaning to followng them? Yes, but not at the general level, but at the second one mentioned above. And not only from the Imams, also from the tachings of the Khulapha e Rashidin themselves (as it is known that Sayyidina Abu Bakr as Siddiq, on the external knowledge, narrated only few ahadith).
It is in this reealm that the Aqtab, the Poles, of the Ummah follow and learn and give their full support, in a way that is proper for this second level of relationship, to the Imams of Ahlul Bayt.
And it is in this second level that they come to know, and then they let us known, that those Imams are indeed 12, and it does not mean that we do not take from fields of knowledge of other sayyids. We do! From Shaykh Abdalqadir al Jilani, etc., etc., up to our time, sayyids 'Imams' for us. But it is only to indicate that those 12 are a special category that deserves a special treatment and authority among all of Ahlul Bayt, in this second level of relationship.
The 12th not born hundreds of years ago as shias claimed, but he is for Ahir Zaman, yet his spiritual role, his ruhaniyat, was there already before.
And these are teachings that we take from awliya and ulama that belong to the purest Ahlus Sunnah way, those who themselves are under the shadow of Sayyidina SAbu Bakr as Siddiq (ra). So no suspicion of 'shiaism' could be attributed to them. They are among those who clearly reject the shia myths and acclaim the authority (both political and spiritual authority= of the 4 khulapha and acknowledge the afdaliyya of Sayyidina Abu Bakr as Siddiq (ra). I refer here to two giants of naqshbandi tariqa, the siddiqui tariqa, among Ahlus Sunnah wal Yamaah.
And I end by quoting them:
By Imam Ahmad Faruqi as Sirhindi (qs), from: Mukasfifat-i `Ayniyya
"The road of Hazrat Abubakr the champion of truth has already been discussed. Hazrat [Umar] Faruq had a different road as well. In the same way, Hazrat Uthman had a separate road as well.
The ways to reach Allah for the wayfarers are these four.
The way of Hazrat Ali is the best known.
Most of the sufi silsilas have reached their destination along this way. In the same way, the way of Hazrat Abubakr is a different silsila and it is specific to the silsila of the khwajegan.
However, the great sufi shaykhs have traversed via silsilas other than these [two] silsilas and have reached their intended destinations (maqsud). As these paths were secret, it was difficult to traverse on them. As a poet had composed,
Naqshbandis are a wondrous caravan of masters
Who carry through a secret path to the sanctuary of the caravan
The path of Hazrat Amir [Ali] was manifest and so that path became wellknown.
And the paths of Hazrat [Umar] Faruq and Hazrat [Uthman] the possessor of two lights were hidden, and so it was hard to travel on their paths. As a result, sufi shaykhs chose the wellknown path [that was the path of Hazrat Ali]. Another point is that Hazrat Ali came last [among the four well instructed caliphs]. And that is why his tariqa attained more name and fame.
Ignorant people consider the tariqa of Hazrat Ali complete and the tariqas of the other three caliphs incomplete. Alas! Their arrogance! Since their wayfaring has been on the path of Hazrat Ali, they have rejected and denied all the tariqas except his. It is a bad deed!
I have seen many great shaykhs who have done their wayfaring on the path of Hazrat Umar Faruq (rad).Even Hazrat the great succour (ghawsu ‘lthaqlain) [Abdulqadir Jilani] (rah) arrived on (wasil) [the station of] the unseen person (ghaybI dhat) on this path. He did not travel on the path of Hazrat Amir [Ali] more than annihilation and abidingness (fana’, baqa’), which is [only] the first step on the path of friendship. Hazrat Shaykh Abu Sayid Kharraj also wayfared on the path of Hazrat [Umar] Faruq.
[Those who think that only Hazrat Ali’s tariqa is the complete tariqa], it seems that they have not heard the hadith, If there were a prophet after me, he would be Umar (law kana nabiun ba`di lakana Umrun). If it [Umar’s tariqa] did not have the capability to make others perfect and to benefit others (takmil, ifadat), then how would he relate to the station of prophethood [when the prophets are charged with rectifying and benefitting the people]? Take heed! Don’t be an ignoramus!
You may know that the masters who have reached (wasilan) the person of God and has been given the title “solitary (afrad)” are few. Indeed, the prominent companions and the twelve imams of the prophet’s family have realized this felicity. And among the prominent friends, the pole who is the great succour (qutbI ghauth ‘lthaqlayn), the pole of the Lord (qutbI rabbani) Muhyi aldin Shaykh Abdulqadir Jilani (qs) was distinguished by this felicity. He had a distinguished standing on this station such that there have been only few friends with this distinction".
Also read the following words of Imam Ahmad Faruqi as Sirhindi (qs):
“And there is another way close to the spiritual sovereignty and this is the way of the Saints and the general friends of Allah, and this way is marked by its characteristic passion and it carries the guarantee of mediation and the leader and chieftain of the Saints of this way is ‘Alī al-Murtada. And this grand office is reserved for him. On this way, the feet of the Holy Prophet are on ‘Alī’s head and Fatima and Hasan and Husayn are included with him.
I believe that he enjoyed this position even before his physical birth, as he did after it, and whosoever has received the divine blessing and guidance, has received it through him, because he is closest to the last point on this way and the centre of this spot belongs to him.
And when his period ended, the grand office passed on to Hasan and Husayn and then on to each one of the Twelve Imāms, individually and elaborately.
And whosoever received guidance in their life and after their death, received it through these Saints. And the refuge and place of shelter of the Saints of high ranks are these Saints, (because they are the centre of all spiritual activity) and the sides tend to converge on the centre” (Maktubat, Volume 9:173#123).
Or these words too:
“O Brother! Indeed Imam ‘Ali is the holder of the keys of the Sainthood, Wilayah, of the Prophet Muhammad [s] and the training regime for the status of Aqtab, Awtad and Abdaal, who are from amongst the reserved Awliya, is done under the shelter of his Sainthood. The rank of Qutb al-Aqtab, who is the greatest Qutb and the guide and mentor of others, lays under his (‘Ali’s) feet. His orders are issued under the supervision and support of ‘Ali and he performs his duties under the supervision and support of ‘Ali and fulfills his tasks. Sayyida Fatima and both of her sons, the Imams (Hasan and Husayn) share this rank with ‘Ali.” (Maktubat Imam Rabbani, Volume 1:438#251)”
The great alim and naqsbandi shaykh Shah Wali Allah (qs) also wrote:
“This Faqir has come to know that from all the other relations, the Twelve Imams [ra] have the relation of central pole leadership (Qutb). And the way of Tassawuf (Sufism) had taken birth during their lifetime. But all the orders of Aqaed and Shariah are limited to the ahadeeth of the Prophet (saww). And they have the order (Amr) of inner (Batin) leadership (Qutbiyat), which is free from the problems of Shariah. And in regards to the very leadership (Qutbiyat), each of them had an indication and ‘Nas’ for the next one to come, and the affairs of imamate which they said, actually referred to this kind of central pole leadership (Qutbiyat).” [Maqalaat al Waziyah fi Naseehat al-Wasiyah, page 7 (Lucknow)].
As mentioned, the special authority of Imams of Ahlul Bayt is primarily here, and it is not exclusive of other -considered even afdal-.
Imam Rabbani again:
"The reality of Hazrat [AbuBakr] the champion of truth is the divine name that is his lord (rabb). That is his origin of enti¯cation (mabda'-i ta`ayyun). And that is directly (bi-tawassut) the shadow of the Muhammadan reality (zill-i haqiqat-i muhammadi) with nothing else in-between them.
[The reality of Hazrat Abu Bakr is the direct shadow. And as such, it is the direct] follower and heir of [the Muhammadan reality with nothing else in-between them. As a result,] whatever that is there in that [Muhammadan] reality, all of it is in that [direct] shadow [which is the reality of Hazrat AbuBakr].
It is for this reason that [Abu Bakr] is the most perfect (akmal) and most excellent (afdal ) heir (warith) in this [Muhammadan] community. The Prophet (salam) said, Whatever Allah had poured into my breast, I poured that all into the breast of Abu Bakr. Ma sabba `Llahu shay'an ¯ sadri illa wa qad sayabtuhu ¯ sadri Abi Bakr-in".
And Shah Wali Allah also wrote (from Qurrat-ul-’aynayn fî-tafdîl-ish-shaikhayn):
“Shaikh Muhyiddîn Arabî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’ makes a list of the things that will bring a person closer to Allâhu ta’âlâ. He states that the grade of Siddîqiyyat, the highest one, belongs to Hadrat Abû Bakr, the grade of Muhaddithiyyat, (the second highest,) belongs to Hadrat ’Umar, and the grade of Uhuwwat belongs to Hadrat Alî.
According to this faqîr, (i.e. in Shah Wali Allah’s understanding,) the Shaikhayn ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ are like the light-radiating layer around the sun. Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ is like the moon which receives and reflects the lights radiated. Whereas the Shaikhayn ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ radiate the lights of the path of Nubuwwat, Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ radiates the lights of the path of Wilâyat. It is for this reason that our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated, “If I were to choose a halîl [friend] for myself, I would choose Abû Bakr,” and “If a prophet were to come after me, ’Umar would certainly be a prophet,” and “Alî is from me. And I am from him.”
This faqîr, [i.e. Hadrat Shâh Waliyyullah Dahlawî,] asked Rasûlullah’s ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam’ spiritual entity during a (spiritual meditation termed) murâqaba:
What is the reason for the Shaikhayn’s ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhumâ’ superiority over Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ despite his superiority in the honour of genealogy and in the sobriety of his judgments as well as his leadership of the orders of Tasawwuf?
He blessed my soul with the following answer:
“Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam’ has two blessed faces: One which is zâhir [visible, outward]; another one which is bâtin [invisible, inward]. His face which is zâhir administers justice among people, provides brotherhood, and shows the right path. In the performance of this duty, the Shaikhayn ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhumâ’ are like his hands and feet. Through his other face, which is bâtin, he gives fayz to hearts. The Shaikhayn cooperate with him in this duty as well!” ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’”.
We have a complete way, and there is a knower above every knower and the those at the top of awliya have even higher ways to reach direct, continuos aand fresh support, training and knowledge from Ahlul Bayt and the Shaykhain are a mater to far to even understand.
The Holy Prophet (sws) is saying to us,' The way you believe, that's how you will live. The way you live, that's how you will die. The way you die, that's how you will be buried. The way you will be buried, that's how you will get up to the Judgment Day'. Watch yourself, look at yourself, say to yourself, `Am I happy with this situation that I'm living in right now? Is it enough for me to get up for the Judgment Day like this?' (Words of Sahib us-Sayf Sheykh Abdul Kerim Effendi Hazleteri el Hakkani el Kibrisi).