Misrepresentation of Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlwi’s view regarding Amir Muawiyah

Answering-Ansar says:

The admission by al Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi that Mu’awiya cursed Ali (as)

Al Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz was a leading Sunni scholar and was a lead name in his fight against the spread of Shi’aism in the Indian Subcontinent. Despite his opposition to the Shi’a he also made the acknowledgement in his Fatawa Azizi on page 214: “…The act of cursing Ali was introduced by Mu’awiya, this is not worse than fighting, for we learn from hadith that cursing a Muslim is Fisq, fighting him is kufr. It is established that Mu’awiya fought ‘Ali and in doing so he committed a great sin, to explain this away in terms of ijtihad is wrong”.

In another article it says:

In Fatwa Azizi by Shah Abdul Aziz we read that:: “Mu’awiya would curse Ali (as)”. Fatwa Azizi by al Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi, page 123 Hence Marwan and Mu’awiya were both Nasibis. They were enemies of Ali and embraced this as part of their faith. Their followers are also Nawasib. Their hatred takes numerous guises. In their lectures and writings their Nasibi thought becomes evident as does their hatred for the Shi’a of Ali. This party who pass fatwas of Kufr upon the Shi’a are in fact the spiritual descendants of Marwan and Mu’awiya and thus they adhere to an illegitimate belief formulated in the minds of the enemies of Ali (as).

We don’t find any such statement in Fatawa Azizi by Shah Abdul Aziz. Rather what we read in Fatawa Azizi regarding the hadith of Sahih Muslim in which Muawiyah said to Saad “What prevents you from abusing Abu Turab” is clearly different from what Answering-Ansar said. Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlwi answered in reply to this hadith two times. At one place he said :

In Muslim and Tirmidhi, it is mentioned that Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufiyan said to Saad ibn Abi Waqas: “What prevents you from abusing Abu Turab” Some advocates of Muawiyah make its tawil and say that “Muawiyah meant that why don’t you talk strictly to Ali and tell him that part away from the killers of Uthman, and gave them to us so we can implement the qisas.” But there are two problems in this explanation. The first problem is that this shows that this incident happened in the life of Ali. While we learn from the history that Muawiyah didn’t meet Saad, for Saad went to a place outside Madina when the fitna began, and resided there. And during those days, Muawiyah didn’t come to Madinah. Rather after the peace agreement between Muawiyah and Hassan, Muawiyah came for Hajj and at that time, he met only the people of Madinah . And the second problem is that the answer of Saad ” It is because of three things” is against this explanation, because the excess of virtues of a person doesn’t stop from giving an advice and saying a good word to him. At the very most (غاية الامر) it would mean that Muawiyah did this ugly act. And this would not be the first ugly act that happened in Islam, for cursing is a lesser crime than killing. Hence it is mentioned in a Sahih hadith that cursing a Muslim is fisq, and killing him is kufr. And when it is clear that killings happened, so it is better that we consider it that they committed major sins, but we should keep silent regarding such issues. Similarly we should say as the sahaba said about those who committed adultery and drinkinng, may Allah be pleased with all of them. And the interference at every ijtihadi mistake is a vile act (i.e to blame people for their error in ijtihad is blameworthy).

Shah Abdul Aziz answered this question again in more detail.

Amir b. Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas reported on the authority of his father that Muawiya b. Abi Sufyin appointed Sa’d as the Governor and said: What prevents you from abusing Abu Turab (Hadrat ‘Ali), whereupon be said: It is because of three things which I remember Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said about him that I would not abuse him and even if I find one of those three things for me, it would be more dear to me than the red camel. I heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) say about ‘Ali as he left behind him in one of his campaigns (that was Tabuk). ‘All said to him: Allah’s Messenger, you leave me behind along with women and children. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said to him: Aren’t you satisfied with being unto me what Aaron was unto Moses but with this exception that there is no prophethood after me. And I (also) heard him say on the Day of Khaibar: I would certainly give this standard to a person who loves Allah and his Messenger and Allah and his Messenger love him too. He (the narrator) said: We have been anxiously waiting for it, when he (the Holy Prophet) said: Call ‘Ali. He was called and his eyes were inflamed. He applied saliva to his eyes and handed over the standard to him, and Allah gave him victory. (The third occasion is this) when the (following) verse was revealed: “Let us summon our children and your children.” Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) called ‘Ali, Fitima, Hasan and Husain and said: O Allah, they are my family.

Imam Nawawi says in its Sharh

Mu’awiyah’s saying does not declare that he ordered Sa’ad to insult Ali, but asked him for the reason that prevented him from insulting. As if Mu’awiyah was saying to him: “Have you refrained from insulting Ali as a result of piety, fear or anything like that? If it was as a result of piety and veneration to refrain from insulting, then you are rightful and if it were other than that, then there would be another answer.” Or it might be that Sa’ad was in a group of people who insults Ali and he did not insult Ali with them, and could not prevent them and controverted them so Mu’awiyah asked him this question. They said: “And it may have another explanation, that what prevented you from making Ali wrong in his thought and opinion, and to show to people our good opinion and thought and that Ali was wrong?” [Quote from Sharh Muslim ends]

Perhaps Saad was in some group and he didn’t mentioned bad words about Ali and he couldn’t stop other people as well, and due to this reason Muawiyah asked him this question. Ulemas say that aside from these, there are possibilities of other tawil as well, that is ‘it can mean that what has stopped you from saying that the ijtihad and opinion of Ali is wrong and my ijtihad and opinion is correct. And a shorter version of this narration is also present in Tirmidhi.

As you can see very well, Shah Abdul Aziz mentioned the various possibilities in which these words could have meant. Answering-Ansar not only did tahreef in the wordings of Shah Abdul Aziz by adding the words “The act of cursing Ali was introduced by Mu’awiya”  and “to explain this away in terms of ijtihad is wrong” but also didn’t mention the context, and the complete answer, clearly misleading the readers, and took only the extreme single possibility that Shah Abdul Aziz mentioned that at the very most, it can mean that Muawiyah did curse Ali. This doesn’t mean that this is the only possible meaning of the words of Muawiyah according to Shah Abdul Aziz.

In brief, Shah Abdul Aziz never said that Muawiyah introduced the act of cursing Ali, not did he say that Muawiyah cursed Ali.

 رضي الله عنهم اجمعين

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