Is there only one difference between Aaron and Ali?

Answering-Ansar says:

Whilst Shi’a are in no doubt that the station of Prophethood ended with Muhammad (s) we would like to know why this Nasibi doesn’t seek to explain the Hadith in its entirety? The Prophet (s) is making it clear that other than Prophethood all other ranks that existed between Musa (as) and Harun (as) existed between him and Ali (as). Whilst we accept the second portion precluded Prophethood for Ali (as), all other relationships that Harun (as) had with Musa (as) existed, why doesn’t Ibn al Hashimi offer any comments about the opening words? If you look at the complete Hadith ‘Your position to me is like the position of Harun to Musa, except that there will be no prophet after me’ we can see that the sole rank the Ali (as) did not share with Harun (as) was that of Prophethood, The words of Rasulullah (s) ‘except there will be no Prophet after me’ proves that other than the station of Prophethood all the other ranks / duties that were associated with the Prophethood of Harun (as) had to also be possessed and filled by Maula Ali (as). Note that Muhammad(s) puts only one exemption clause in the nature of this relationship and that is that unlike Harun, Ali (as) will not be a prophet, hence the words, ‘…except that there will be no prophet after me.’ Given that the Qur’an states in black and white that Harun (as)’s relationship to Musa (as) is that of brother, vizier and khalifa it must be the same with Ali (as) for the only difference will be that Ali (as) is not a prophet.

Of course there were many differences between Aaron and Ali aside from Prophethood. The biggest is the difference in regard to successorship (if we suppose that Ali was supposed to be the first Imam after Prophet Muhammad). Because Aaron never became the Caliph after Moses.

And this is what Ibn al-Hashmi mentioned in his blog.

It was Prophet Yusha (Joshua) who became the Caliph (successor) of Musa, not Prophet Haroon nor his descendants. Throughout the Caliphate of the Shaykhayn and Uthman, Ali remained a spiritual guide for the people. Similar is the case with many of the Imams of the Shia, who secluded themselves from any temporal role and instead remained as spiritual guides.

The Hadith al-Manzilah does not at all help the Shia cause, but rather it is a strong proof against the Shia claims. Had the Prophet wished to imply that Ali was his successor, then he would have likened Ali to Prophet Yusha rather than Prophet Haroon. Instead, the Prophet likened Ali to Prophet Haroon whose role was not that of a temporal ruler but that of a spiritual guide.

So the simple logic which is not difficult for a sane person to understand is that if you try to prove the Imamate of Ali from this hadith, the first thing you should show is that Aaron became the Imam (shiogically speaking) after Moses. When this main and the fundamental ingredient is not present in the example of Aaron, how can you use this example to justify the Imamate of Ali?

Imam Nawawi’s sharh regarding this hadith also makes it very clear.

وليس فيه دلالة لاستخلافه بعده ، لأن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إنما قال هذا لعلي حين استخلفه في المدينة في غزوة تبوك ، ويؤيد هذا أن هارون المشبه به لم يكن خليفة بعد موسى ، بل توفي في حياة موسى ، وقبل وفاة موسى بنحو أربعين سنة

there isn’t any proof in it that he is the Caliph after the Prophet, as the Prophet [s] only said this to Ali when he made him a Caliph in Madina in Ghazwa Tabuk, and supporting this (is  the fact that) Aaron didn’t became Caliph after Moses, rather he died in the life of Moses, almost 40 years before the death of Moses.

Answering-Ansar has nothing to refute it. Trying to refute it, it further increases the problems for itself.

Answering-Ansar says:

Sadly for shameless Ibn al Hashimi rather than weaken the Shia stance it strengthens it after all what was the relationship between Musa (as) and Harun (as)? Who possessed a closer relationship with Prophet Musa (as) was it Harun (as) or Yusha bin Nun (as)? Had the comparison merely been to that of Yusha that would have been just one rank that of Leadership, nothing more than that, whereas the relationship between Musa (as) and Harun (as) was far greater. Rasulullah (s) by citing Hadith Manzila made it clear that the believers need to look no further than the Quran to recognize that station of Harun (as). Yusha may have indeed succeeded Harun as the Head of State, but he is not talked of in the Quran. We are not denying the excellence and honor bestowed upon Yusha bin Nun, but remember that excellence was one that linked him to Musa (as), he was his Khalifa. Harun (as)’s being the Khalifa of his brother only partially reflected the relationship between the two Prophets. The relationship between Harun (as) and Musa (as) was multi faceted as can be evidenced from the Quran.

Now of course Ahlus Sunnah don’t have any problem with anyone saying that this hadith shows the esteemed position of Ali near the Prophet (s). And we also have no problem with anyone saying that Aaron was superior to Joshua. Answering-Ansar’s statement that

Had the comparison merely been to that of Yusha that would have been just one rank that of Leadership, nothing more than that, whereas the relationship between Musa (as) and Harun (as) was far greater.

is just the fact we are trying to make the Shia understand. The one rank that Yushua had, was the rank of Leadership, Successorship, and that is the rank that the Shias try to prove for Ali from this hadith of Manzila, while this rank wasn’t with Aaron, and when Aaron didn’t have this rank, so how can this hadith show the Imamate and the Successorship of Ali?

Then Answering-Ansar says:

Rasulullah (s)’ citing the relationship between Harun (as) and Musa (as) sought to highlight the best possible relationship that best described his relationship with Ali (as) that was more than the fact he was his Khalifa as was Yusha bin Nun. The Prophet (s) therefore cited that relationship that a simile that could be gauged by looking at the Quran after all both Israelite Prophets are extolled on many occasions and we are informed that Harun (as) was brother, Vizier and Khalifa of Musa (as) – a relationship that likewise applied to Maula Ali (as).

Again we have to say the same thing. No doubt, Harun (as) was brother, Vizier and Khalifa of Musa (as), but he was the Khalifa of Musa (as) during his life. And we also don’t deny the fact that on the occasion of Tabuk, Ali was appointed Khalifa just like Harun (as) and on this occasion, the Prophet said this to make Ali assure that he shouldn’t be worried about what the people talk about him, his status is indeed just like the status of Harun (as) , who was not left by Musa because he lacked something, rather he was left by Musa (as) to guide the people and act as his deputy. And just like that incident didn’t made Harun (as) the wasi of Musa (as), similarly this incident at Tabuk doesn’t make Ali the wasi of Prophet Muhammad (s).

While Answering-Ansar should have tried to refute this fact (which is totally unrefutable) that Joshua became the wasi of Musa (as) , it started undermining this role and claimed that:

Yusha bin Nun may have been the Khalifa after Musa (as) but he didn’t possess the other attributes that Allah (swt) gave Harun (as) in the Quran. Allah (swt) describes Harun (as) as the Vizier, brother, helper and Khalifa of Musa (as).

In short, when the main subject on which our discussion lies is accepted not present in Aaron, that is he wasn’t the Wasi of Musa (as), so how can this hadith prove Ali to be the Wasi of Prophet Muhammad (s)? Hence it can be concluded that Shias in trying to prove the Imamate of Ali from this hadith of Manzila are making a fatal error. May Allah protect us from misguidance.

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  • Slave of Imam Mahdi(atjfs)  On July 11, 2013 at 10:28 am

    What abt this 🙂

    “Ibn Abbas report that the Messenger
    of Allah (P.B.U.H) said to Ali : Your
    status to me as Aaron status to Moses
    except you are not a prophet, I shall
    not leave without you being my
    successor of every believer after me”

    Albaani declared it ‘Hasan’ in Dhilal al-
    Janah, volume 2, page 337 Tradition 1188.

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