In his book, Al-Du’faa Al-Kabir, Al-‘Uqayli (d. 322) mentioned a brief and interesting 2nd century discussion that took place between a Sunni and a Shi’ite on the status ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan, may Allah be pleased with him.
The story involves the reliable Sunni transmitter, ‘Abbad b. ‘Abbad, and the Rafidi transmitter, Yunus b. Khabbab. Yunus was a notorious liar and forger in the Sunni tradition, and he is unknown (majhul) in the Twelver tradition (Al-Jawaheri 679).
Al-‘Uqayli said: Ibrahim b. ‘Abdulaziz informed us, he said: Ibrahim b. Ziyad Sabalan informed us, he said: ‘Abbad b. ‘Abbad once told us:
I approached Yunus b. Habib while he was storytelling in Mina at Al-Mubarah, and I asked him about the hadith of the grave. He thus transmitted it to me and then said: “There is a clause[from the hadith] the vile Murji’ites (Sunnis) have concealed.”
I asked him: “What is it?”
He said: “[The servant is then asked in his grave]: ‘who are those individuals?’ and he replies: ‘Ali is my Wali.”
I (‘Abbad) thus said: “I have never heard of that.”
He (Yunus) asked me: “Where are you from?”
I said: “I am from the people of Basrah.”
He said: “You love ‘Uthman, the murderer of the Prophet’s daughters!”
I thus said: “You claimed that [Uthman] killed one of them, so why would [the Prophet] allow him to marry the other daughter?!”
He then told me: “You are a filthy Uthmanite!”
In this brief passage, one is exposed to the classical Shi’ite position: the belief that ‘Uthman had murdered both daughters of the Prophet whom he had married. Asides from the fact that this entire narrative simply is a fabricated and baseless tale, let us evaluate the implications of this claim:
- The Prophet betrothed his daughter to a vile hypocrite (according to Twelver theology)
- That hypocrite proceed to physically abuse the Prophet’s daughter until she eventually died due to continuous trauma and abuse.
- After the murder of the first daughter, the Prophet allowed for his second daughter to marry that very same hypocrite who had previously murdered His other daughter!
- The murderous hypocrite was left unpunished throughout the Prophet’s life.
The reality of the matter is that early Shi’ite forgers of hadith, while attempting to incriminate ‘Uthman, ended up implicating the Messenger of Allah in this preposterous fabrication. Let us ask a simple and honest question: Would any sane father with an ounce of care and compassion for his children allow for his daughter to live with a hypocrite? Would he allow her to marry that hypocrite? Would he allow for his daughter to marry a hypocrite who had previously abused and murdered her sister?
The Twelver cop-out to explain the Prophet’s alleged behavior in this fabrication is perhaps worse then the initial claim itself: Twelver polemicists will argue that the Prophet did so for mere political interests. They claim that the Prophet simply was concerned about ‘Uthman’s potential to uprise and become an obstacle to Islam, so he “sacrificed” both his daughters in an attempt to subdue ‘Uthman!
Asides from the fact that the narrative is historically baseless, the behavior embodied in it would never be deemed appropriate for any father, let alone the Messenger of Allah. As stated by ‘Abbad, “You claimed that [Uthman] killed one of the daughters, so why would [the Prophet] allow him to marry the other daughter?!”
Here is the notorious Twelver figure, Yasser Al-Habib, providing the same laughable excuse to this joke of a narrative on ‘Uthman’s marriage to the Prophet’s daughters:
In conclusion, there is not much to say. The Truth is apparent, and falsehood is apparent. May the curse of Allah be upon the liars who attempt to conceal the Truth and replace it with frail, preposterous and baseless conjecture that ultimately reviles the Messenger of Allah.
And Allah is the Witness of Abu Al-‘Abbas
Al-Jawaheri, Muhammad. Al-Mufid Min Mo’jam Rijal Al-Hadith. 2nd ed., Al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1424.
Al-‘Uqayli, Muhammad. Al-Du’afaa’ Al-Kabir. Edited by Abdulmu’ti Kal’aji, 1st ed., Dar Al-Maktabah Al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1404.