3 Analysis of Baab Ardh al Amaal of Al Kafi, Are deeds presented to Prophet and Imams
(PDF files “Al Kaafi Series 1” can be downloaded from “PDF Download Files” Section)
Contradiction with the Quran and established facts
It is a well-known and undisputed rule that any narration that contradicts the Quran should be rejected. This is because we know that many people used to constantly fabricate narrations and lies, and attribute them to the Prophet (saww) and Imams (as) of Ahlulbayt. For Further detail on the issue, please refer to our book “Ghuluw”. (https://shiareformist.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/ghuluw.pdf)
In this regard a narration has been reported from Imam al Ridha (as) in which he says:
“…You should not accept any hadith that is attributed to us if it is in conflict with the Quran because whatever we say is in harmony with the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet (saww) as we only narrate from God and his messenger.” (Rijal Kashi)
Another narration from Imam Sadiq (as) reports: “Do not accept any narration except that which is in line with the Quran and Sunnah, or what you find in the narrations of the previous Imams (as), because Mughira bin Sa’eed (and other such exaggerators and liars), may curse of Allah be on him, inserted such narrations in the books of the companions of my father (Imam Baqir (as)) which he (as) had never said…..” (Rijal Kashi
Let us now take a look at some verses of the Quran and see if the Quran supports the view that the Prophet (saww) or Imams (as) are constantly informed about the deeds of people or not.
Verse 1: Surah Tawba, 9:101
Allah (swt) says addressing the Prophet (saww):
وَمِمَّنْ حَوْلَكُمْ مِنَ الْأَعْرَابِ مُنَافِقُونَ ۖ وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ ۖ مَرَدُوا عَلَى النِّفَاقِ لَا تَعْلَمُهُمْ ۖ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ ۚ سَنُعَذِّبُهُمْ مَرَّتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ عَظِيمٍ
And from among those who are around you of the dwellers of the desert there are hypocrites, and from among the people of Medina (also); they are stubborn in hypocrisy; you do not know them; We know them; We will chastise them twice then shall they be turned back to a grievous chastisement
A question arises, if the deeds of all people are constantly presented to the Prophet (saww) and the Imams (as), then surely even the deeds of the hypocrites, who Allah (swt) is talking about in these verses, would have been presented in front of the Prophet (saww); and if that was the case, then the Prophet (saww) would know about these hypocrites, but surprisingly, the verse indicates something totally opposite to that. The verse says “(oh Muhammad) you do not know them (the hypocrites); We know them…”. This clearly shows that there is a contradiction between the Quran and the belief that the deeds of all people are presented to the Prophet (saww) and Imams (as).
Since we know that any narration that contradicts the Quran should be rejected, we know that these narrations cannot be true; rather they are a fabrication of liars, as we will see when we analyze the chain of narrators of these narrations.
Verse 2: Surah Tawba, 9:43
Before Battle of Tabuk, some people came to Rasulallah (saww) and asked him if they could stay back and not participate in the battle. Rasulallah (saww) thought that the people are sincere, and gave them permission to stay back. At this point, Allah (swt) revealed the following verses:
عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنْكَ لِمَ أَذِنْتَ لَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَتَعْلَمَ الْكَاذِبِينَ
لَا يَسْتَأْذِنُكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ أَنْ يُجَاهِدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنْفُسِهِمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِالْمُتَّقِينَ
إِنَّمَا يَسْتَأْذِنُكَ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَارْتَابَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ فَهُمْ فِي رَيْبِهِمْ يَتَرَدَّدُونَ
Allah pardon you! Why did you give them leave until those who spoke the truth had become manifest to you and you had known the liars?
They do not ask leave of you who believe in Allah and the latter day (to stay away) from striving hard with their property and their persons, and Allah knows those who guard (against evil).
They only ask leave of you who do not believe in Allah and the latter day and their hearts are in doubt, so in their doubt do they waver.
A question arises, if the deeds of people were presented to the Prophet (saww) regularly, surely he would know that the people asking for leave are “hypocrites” (munafiqoon) (based on their past deeds) and they are not sincere. But from the above verses it is clear that Rasulallah (saww) did not know that those people are “hypocrites”.
This shows that the claim, that Rasulallah (saww) or the Imams (as) were regularly presented with the deeds of people, is not true.
Furthermore, we see that a general view that the Quran gives is that the deeds of people, their “Hisab” (accounting) etc are issues which are for Allah (swt) to deal with, the Prophet (saww) has nothing to do with these.
In Surah Isra, 17:17
وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِنْ بَعْدِ نُوحٍ ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِرَبِّكَ بِذُنُوبِ عِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا
How many generations have We destroyed after Noah? and enough is your Lord to note and see the sins of His servants.
Surah Maeda, 5:109
يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَا أُجِبْتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ
One day Allah will gather the messengers together, and ask: “What was the response you received (from men to your teaching)?” They will say: “We have no knowledge: it is You Who know in full all that is hidden.“
Surah Baqara, 2:204
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يُعْجِبُكَ قَوْلُهُ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا فِي قَلْبِهِ وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الْخِصَامِ
And of mankind there is he whose conversation on the life of this world pleases you (Muhammad), and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart; yet he is the most rigid of opponents.
If Rasulallah (saww) knew the deeds of these people, he would know that they are his enemies, then why would the prophet (saww) be pleased with what they apparently talk in front of the Prophet (saww)?
We know that Allah (swt) is “ستَّارٌ للعيوب ”, and even though Allah (swt) has clearly said in the Quran number of times that the duty of the Prophet (saww) is only to deliver the message, and he is not “Hafeedh” or “Wakeel” over the people, nor does he have anything to do with their “amaal” or “hisab”, then what is this argument that the Prophet (saww) and Imams (as) are presented with the deeds of people?
Nahjul Balagha, Letter 26:
In Nahjul Balagha, letter 26, to his Zakat Collectors
آمَرَهُ بِتَقْوَى اللهِ فِي سَرَائِرِ أُمُورِهِ وَخَفِيَّاتِ أَعْمَالِهِ، حَيْثُ لاَ شَهِيدَ غَيْرُهُ، وَلاَ وَكِيلَ .دُونَهُ
He (Amir al-mu’minin) ordered him to fear Allah in his secret matters and hidden actions, where there is no witness except He and no one watches save He.
Nahjul Balagha, Letter 71:
In letter 71 of Nahjul Balagha, which Imam Ali (as) sent to Munzir ibn Jarud Abdi:
Imam Ali (as) says:
The fact is that piety, honesty and righteousness of your father made me misjudge your character. I thought you were a worthy son of a worthy father and were following him in his honesty and righteousness. But all of a sudden I received about you news which confirms the fact that you do not check and control your inordinate desires, that you do not attach any importance to your life after death and you want to adorn and beautify your life at the cost of your salvation and that you are forsaking your religion to provide for your relatives.
If all that is reported to me about you is correct, then the very camel you own or even the strap-shoe is superior to you. You and men of your caliber are not the persons to be confided with the financial affairs of a country or to be assigned to important vacancies of the State or to be entrusted to check and control dishonesty and disloyalty. Therefore, as soon as you receive this letter come back to me.
How is it that even though (as per the narrations) the Imam (as) is regularly presented with “amaal” (deeds) of all people, yet Imam Ali (as) was unaware of the deeds of Munzir bin Jarud, and he misjudged his character? Moreover, Imam Ali (as) only came to know about his character when someone informed him of it, and Imam (as) is not even very sure about the truth of this news, since he says “If all that is reported to me about you is correct, then the very camel you own or even the strap-shoe is superior to you”.
In letter 43 of Nahjul Balagha, which Imam Ali (as) write to Masqalah ibn Hubayrah ash-Shaybani, the Governor of Ardashir Khurrah (Iran).
Imam ali (as) says:
I have come to know concerning you a matter which if you have done it you have displeased your Allah and disobeyed your Imam. You are distributing among the Arabs (Bedouins) of your kin who tend towards you the property of the Muslims which they collected by dint of their spears and horses and on which their blood was shed….
If Imam Ali (as) was regularly presented with the deeds of all the people, why does the Imam (as) say “I have come to know concerning you a matter which if you have done it you have displeased your Allah and disobeyed your Imam.”
Shouldn’t the Imam (as) be sure about what this person had been doing?
If we read most of the sermons and letters of Imams (as), and read their lives, they seem to be normal human beings, not super natural beings with extra ordinary powers and capabilities. It is surprising that such big contradictions don’t ring a bell in the minds of people.
Imams (as) unaware of the fabrication in hadith:
In the book “Kamal ud Deen wa Tamam un N’ema, pg112” (Sheikh Saduq), while answering one of the questions of the Zaydiyya sect about why, in spite of the presence of Imams (as), there was/is so much difference among the Imamiyya Shia themselves, Sheikh Saduq writes:
So I say, relying on the Almighty Allah: The difference between Imamiyah is from those liars who, like in every period of time, entered their folds till the problem became serious. The elders of Shias were pious, striving and they referred to the righteous people. They never had personal views and could not discriminate (between authentic and fabricated traditions). That is why they accepted traditions from and trusted even those who had concealed their identity. When this went on increasing and the reality became known to the people they complained to their Imams about it, so the Imams ordered them to take (only) those traditions and narrations that are accepted by all. But they did not do so and continued in their previous attitude. Thus betrayal was from their side and not from their Imams. The Imams also did not become aware of the false and true traditions that had got mixed as they were not having the knowledge of the Unseen (ilm al ghayb). He (i.e The Imam a.s) is a righteous slave of Allah having knowledge of the Book and Sunnah and among the traditions of Shias he becomes familiar only with those that reach him.
Sheikh Saduq (ra) clearly says that the Imams (as) were not aware of all the fabrications that were taking place, he was only aware of the fabrications that were reported to them by people.
Now if the deeds of all people were reported to the Imams (as), would the Imams (as) not know exactly who is fabricating the narrations and what they are fabricating?
We also know for a fact that the personally appointed representatives of many Imams (as) were corrupt and used to usurp money in the name of the Imam (as), but the Imams (as) did not know all this until people came and reported it to them.
Companions at the Haudh al Kawthar:
This is one of the favorite narration of Shias, found in both Shia and Sunni books, yet they do not ponder upon its implications. Here we will quote only the part of narrations that is relevant to the discussion.
In Sahih Bukhari, Ch 76, Hadith 585:
Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said, “On the Day of Resurrection a group of companions will come to me, but will be driven away from the Lake-Fount, and I will say, ‘O Lord (those are) my companions!’ It will be said, ‘You have no knowledge as to what they innovated after you left; they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from Islam).”
In Sahih Bukhari, Ch 76, Hadith 586:
Prophet said, “Some men from my companions will come to my Lake-Fount and they will be driven away from it, and I will say, ‘O Lord, my companions!’ It will be said, ‘You have no knowledge of what they innovated after you left: they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from Islam).
So if the deeds of all people were presented to the Prophet (saww) and Imams (as) regularly, why will it be said to Rasulallah (saww) “‘You have no knowledge of what they innovated after you left: they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from Islam).” Clearly, this means that the Prophet (saww) is unaware of the deeds of people.