Lecture Date: 21.11.2009
Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib stated in his Saturday speech that those who call themselves “Ahl A-Sunnah wa Al-Jama’a” are in reality those who organized themselves against the Shia with the purpose of cursing Imam Ali (Peace be upon him). The Sheikh explained that when we examine the history books such as those of Mohammad Ibn Aqeel Al-Alawi Al-Shafee, we discover that the people protested at the time of the banning of the cursing of Imam Ali (Peace be upon him), as they claimed that this cursing was “Sunnah”.
Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib explained that Ibn Hanbal was the one who would put an end to this practice, but for reasons other than the love for the Ahl ul-Bayt (Peace be upon them all), as we will reveal later. Initially, Ibn Hanbal himself only accepted the first three caliphs, as accepting and following Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) would have meant supporting the opponent of A’isha, which would have led to serious contradictions in their faith. But the pressure from the Shia forced them to change their stance, especially as the rejection of Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) was causing a serious rift in the Islamic society and causing people to convert to Shia Islam.
There were those who chose to support the Ahl ul-Bayt such as Abu Dhar and Amr ibn Saeed ibn Al-As, who was an honest Ummayad, and spread Shia Islam in Bahrain. Abu Dhar helped to bring Shia Islam to Lebanon. Shia Islam spread gradually from Arabia to Iraq and from there to Iran and to Afghanistan after that. People knew about Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) and his right to lead the Muslims, so Ibn Hanbal declared him to be one of the Caliphs, so that he could ask people who were thinking about accepting Shia Islam as to why they were leaving, since his community respected Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) as well. He would say: “Stay with us, don’t go to Shia Islam, we like Ali as well”. The people of Sham even witnessed their own sons turning to Shia Islam, so something had to change to stop its spread. The origins of the Bakri faith however, are based on the hating of Imam Ali (Peace be upon him).
Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib now asked as to whether Ibn Hanbal really believed in the caliphate of Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) or whether he was just deceiving people. Upon examining history, the Sheikh discovered that even though Ibn Hanbal heard that the Islam which Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) preached came before that of Abu Bakr, he still insisted that the latter was superior. He brought what he called proofs from the Quran, but Abu Bakr is mentioned nowhere. It is also known that Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) was a Muslim before Abu Bakr, but his faith seems to be disregarded by these Bakri scholars as Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) was only a youth at the time, while Abu Bakr was a grown up. He never stopped envying and hating Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) for accepting Islam earlier than him. Ali ibn Hazm said that he once attended a session with Ibn Hanbal, who stated that even after accepting Imam Ali (Peace be upon him), one should continue to doubt in him just a little.
Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib concluded his speech by reiterating that Bakri scholars declared all companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his pure family) as trustworthy to stop criticism of those we cannot trust. All those who continued to do so were declared to be “unbelievers”. The contradictions within their concept of Islam persisted, as for example the Bukhari’s accepting of hadeeth of Hariz Ibn Othman, who hated Imam Ali (Peace be upon him). Ibn Hanbal did not stop co-operating with those who hated Imam Ali (Peace be upon him), but at the same time declared all those who criticised the companions to be unbelievers.