Saturday, 22 September 2018

Ayat al-Mubahala (Sura 3:61)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على خاتم النبيين

وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

Previously, I discussed the fact that the Ahl al-Bayt of Ayat at-Tathir (Sura 33:33) is referring primarily to the Ahl al-Kisaa, also known as the Panjtan Pak, namely, the Prophet Muhammad, his daughter Fatima, his grandsons Hasan and Husayn, and his cousin Ali (peace be upon them). In this column, I shall discuss another well-known verse of the Qur‘an, namely, the Ayat al-Mubahala:

فَمَنْ حَاجَّكَ فِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَكُمْ وَأَنفُسَنَا وَأَنفُسَكُمْ ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَل لَّعْنَتَ اللَّـهِ عَلَى الْكَاذِبِينَ

Then whoever argues with you concerning it from after what came to you of knowledge, then say, “Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, then let us pray humbly, and we invoke the curse of Allah on the liars.”

(Surah 3:61)

Now this Aya was originally revealed in connection with the Prophet’s debate with the Christians of Najran. The latter, due to their stubbornness, refused to budge in light of the powerful arguments made by the Prophet against the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth and against the polytheistic doctrine of the trinity. It was at that impasse that Allah revealed this Aya instructing His Prophet to challenge the Christians to a prayer contest known as Mubahala. And in the field of this contest, each party would have to present not only themselves, but also their women and their sons. It is quite noteworthy that the Prophet did not come out with any of his wives. Rather, as sayyidina Sa‘d b. Abi Waqqas ؓ has narrated:

وَلَمَّا نَزَلَتْ هَذِهِ الآيَةُ ‏{‏ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ‏}‏ دَعَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلِيًّا وَفَاطِمَةَ وَحَسَنًا وَحُسَيْنًا فَقَالَ ‏ اللَّهُمَّ هَؤُلاَءِ أَهْلِ

When the (following) verse was revealed: “Let us summon our sons and your sons...”, Allah’s Messenger called Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain and said: “O Allah, they are my family” (Sahih Muslim)

Imam Amir b. Sharahil al-Sha‘bi has further explained the Aya:

قَالَ الشَّعْبِيُّ : أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ : الْحَسَنُ وَالْحُسَيْنُ ، وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَكُمْ : فَاطِمَةُ ، وَأَنْفُسَنَا وَأَنْفُسَكُمْ : عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ

“Our sons: al-Hasan and al-Husayn. Our women: Fatima. Ourselves: Ali bin Abi Talib - Allah be pleased with them” (Ash-Shari‘a lil-Aajuri)

Incidentally, based on this Ayat al-Mubaraka, Amir ul-Mu‘minin Ali b. Abi Talib is the very Nafs (self) of the Prophet Muhammad , and that is, indeed, an enormous virtue.

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