The following is a response to the article on RevisitingtheSalaf.org entitled: Alaihissalam for The Ahlulbayt. The article was published on the 6th of March, 2012, and can be found here.
In this article, RTS attempts to show that Ahl Al-Sunnah are trying to rewrite history by removing the term “alayhi al-salam” that can be found attributed to members of Ahl Al-Bayt.
RTS starts off by quoting several narrations in which the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) teaches the companions how to say Salat upon him; he shows that this is combined with Salat upon the Ahl Al-Bayt.
However, RTS goes a bit too far when quoting the following narration:
Narrated Alee ibn Abi Talib who said: “Every Dua will be accepted if you send blessings on Muhammad (saw) and household of Muhammad (saw).”
Al-Haithami: Narrated by Al-Tabarani in Al-Awsat, and it’s narrators are Trustworthy, and it was mentioned before in the beginning of the chapter through ibn Masoud and it is a good Hadeeth, and the Hadeeth of Jabir and Hadeeth of Fudhala ibn Ubaid.
Source: Majmahul Zawahid. Vol. 10, Pg. # 180.
Al-Tabarani’s chain includes Abdulkarim Al-Khazaz. Mughlatai in his Iktifa’a 3/7 (Dar Al-Azhar) shows the weakness of this narration by quoting those that weakened him, including Al-Azdi, Abu Hatim Al-Razi, Ibn Abd Al-Bar, Al-Saji, and Ahmad bin Hanbal. Al-Tabarani himself says that nobody has narrated this narration except for Abdulkarim Al-Khazaz. (Al-Mu’jam Al-Awsat 1/211, Dar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyah, 1420, first edition)
RTS then accuses Ahl Al-Sunnah:
If one wishes to use ‘Alayhis Salaam’ upon the Messengers of Allah (saw) or the Ahlulbayt (a.s), according to the ‘Tashayyu’ (Those who follow the 12 successors after the Prophet), it is deemed permissible. It should not come as a surprise in order to prevent people from using this term the Nawaasb have attempted to even remove it from some of the manuscripts.
In the first example, RTS quotes a narration from Musnad Ahmad, with the Tahqeeq of Shuayb Al-Arnaut, in which the term “Alayhi al-salam” that follows the name of Ali cannot be found. RTS hints that Ahl Al-Sunnah have removed this term due to their Nasb. However, if we go through the very first pages of the same edition of the book, we find that Shuayb Al-Arnaut includes the term “alayhi al-salam” for Ali (p.213). This implies that there is no foul play occurring, for if that was the case, then the editors would have removed the term from all of the text. Thus, it becomes clear that these differences occur due to the different variations in the manuscripts that reach contemporary editors.
RTS also gives other examples of this alleged manipulation of the text, in which he says:
Now A Revised Edition in Which the very same Hadeeth ‘(عليه السلام)’ has been replaced with ‘(r.a)’!
Source: Saheeh Bukhari, Printed by: Dar Ibn Kathir (Damascus and Beirut) Pg. 1260 Book 65 H # 4949.
However, the Dar Ibn Kathir publishing house itself includes the term “alayhi al-salam” with the name Ali in other pages. See page 1064 and 1225. Once again, this shows that this so-called Nasb plays no part in these events. Ironically, the latter example is included by the RTS author himself in the next example. Then, ironically, RTS also includes other narrations in which Al-Hussain bin Ali and Fatima Al-Zahra’a are both included with the terms “alayhi alsalam” in the same version that is provided by Dar Ibn Kathir. How does this in any way show that there is manipulation occurring in the text?
In the end of the article RTS argues:
The exists [sic] a difference in opinion regarding the phrase ‘(A.S)’ according to the so called ‘Ahl Sunnah’. For the followers of the Ahlul-Bayt such a matter is impossible to be under dispute. So the question remains on where the evidence lies ?”
The evidence lies with Ahl Al-Sunnah. For the difference of opinion does not necessitate for the truth to leave the bounds of Ahl Al-Sunnah, and this is the case with all of the matters of the Shari’ah.
It should be known that the difference that exists within Ahl Al-Sunnah regarding this matter is nothing more than an issue of jurisprudence. It is not a sectarian issue. The evidence for this is available in the text quoted by RTS:
وأما الصلاة على غير الأنبياء والملائكة عليهم السلام فقد أضطربت فيها أقوال العلماء فقيل تجوز مطلقا قال القاضي عياض وعليه عامة أهل العلم وأستدل له بقوله تعالى هو الذي يصلي عليكم وملائكته وبما صح من قوله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم اللهم صل على آل أبي أوفى وقوله عليه الصلاة و السلام وقد رفع يديه : اللهم أجعل صلواتك ورحمتك على آل سعد بن عبادة وصحح إبن حبان خبر إن أمرأة قالت للنبي صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم : صل علي وعلى زوجي ففعل وفي خبر مسلم أن الملائكة تقول لروح المؤمن : صلى الله عليك وعلى جسدك
“Sending blessings on other than the Prophets & Angels on this matter the views of the Scholars are different. In the view of Qazi Ayad and most of the Scholars, it is lawful. The have permitted this based on the following verse:
نَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَـئِكَـتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِىِّ يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً
Allah sends His blessings on the Prophet (saw), and also His angels (do so). O you who believe! Send your blessings on him, and greet him with Taslim (33.56)
Also the Saheeh Hadeeth:
1. The Prophet (saw) said, “O Allah ! Send your blessings upon the offspring of Aboo Aufa.”
2. The Prophet (saw) opened his hands and said: ‘O Allah send your blessing & mercies upon the family Sa’d ibn Ubadah’
3. Ibn Hibban in a corrected narration that a woman approached The Prophet (saw) and requested ‘O Allah (swt) send blessings on me and my husband’ and The Prophet (saw) sent blessings in this manner.
4. According to Imam Muslim’s report the Angels recite for every momin ‘Sala Allah alayka wa ala jasdhaak'”
Source: Ruh al-Ma’ani fi Tafseer al-Quran, Vol. 22, Pg. # 75.
The statement by Al-Alusi shows that there is evidence for Salat upon the children of Abu Awfa, the family of Sa’ad bin Ubadah, a female companion and her husband, and in one narration, all the believers. The question that scholars of Ahl Al-Sunnah asked is: “Do these evidences show that one can make Salat upon them as well (without the inclusion of the Prophet (pbuh)?)” Those that said: Yes, also hold the opinion that this can be done for Ahl Al-Bayt. Those that said: No, hold that it is not permissible to do so. Thus, the matter is not a sectarian issue, for if it was, then we would have found the terms “alayhi alsalat wal salam” for individual companions occurring on a much more frequent basis.