The Stand Of The Islamic State In Iran
To uncover the liars and hypocrites who claim dedication to Islam, the Almighty chose to create in Iran (the biggest Shi'ite country) a popular revolution, replacing the non-Islamic and Zionist agent government of the Shah by a real Islamic government. This new government has revived the rule of the Book of God, the Sunnah of the Prophet, and the instructions of the members of the House of the Prophet.
The first item on the agenda of the new Islamic government was to deport the Israeli representative from Iran and to give the Israeli Embassy in Iran to the Palestinians. After one year of this unique event, the Egyptian government made peace with Israel and allowed it to establish an Israeli Embassy in Egypt (the country to which the good Sunni Muslims look up for religious guidance).
Thus, this Embassy was the first Israeli Embassy established in an Arab country. Israel was certain that it had no serious enemy in the Middle East because most of the governments of the Arab countries were hostile to Israel in words, peaceful in deeds. The Shah (who was imposed on the Iranian by the imperialistic forces) was a true servant of Israel. When the Islamic Republic of Iran was established, Israel, for the first time, felt that it had a real enemy in the Middle East.
The Islamic Republic is based on the principles of justice without compromise. The establishment of the new Islamic Republic had on Israel the effect of a destructive earthquake. It was expected from the Arab governments to welcome the establishment of the new formidable enemy of Israel. Iran's appearance on the political and military arena in the Middle East was an unexpected heavenly gift.
It was only logical to expect the Arab governments to establish an alliance with the Islamic Republic and to take advantage of the great and unique opportunity to give Israel a devastating defeat. Unfortunately, most of the Arab governments took an extremely shameful attitude towards the new Islamic government, one that was not expected from any country other than Israel. However, in spite of its hostility toward the Islamic government, Israel did not enter an open war against Iran. The reason is obvious.
The Arab governments which claim to be protectors of Islam have fulfilled the mission which pleases Israel and fulfills its goals.
Thus, Israel did not need to spend any Israeli blood or fund. The Arab governments spent more than one hundred and fifty billion dollars in their shameful war against the Islamic Republic, the most hostile enemy to Israel, proving that they are more friendly to the enemies of Islam than they are to the true Islamic nation.
The Shi'ite Muslims In South Lebanon
However, Israel was surprised with a new and unexpected development in South Lebanon. Israel faced in 1984-85 a new enemy that was small in number but big in courage, having no arms except faith in God and love of martyrdom in the way of God.
Isaac Rabin, the Israeli Defense Minister, said that it never came to his imagination, nor did he find in the records of the Israeli information that a human being would be transformed into a living bomb that goes toward its target to explode the target and itself.
However, what did not cross the mind of any Israeli has become a devastating reality to Israel and astonishing to the whole world. A few hundred Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim heroes alone were able to fulfill what Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States were unable to fulfill. The few hundred Lebanese heroes defeated Israel, forced its army to retreat and liberated an important portion of the occupied land of South Lebanon. These Shi'ite Lebanese have demonstrated a heroism unparalleled in history. Unarmed men, women, and children sold their pure souls to their Lord to please Him and to defend His religion. Their battle produced priceless results, among them are the following:
1. These heroes achieved the first true victory against Israel. They forced the Israeli forces to retreat rapidly for the first time.
2. It erased the shame which the Arab nation had in many military defeats.
3. The battle liberated the Muslims in general and the Arabs in particular from the complexes of fear and despair which the repeated defeats had produced and had made the Arab people believe that the Israelites are invincible.
4. What these heroes achieved was physical evidence proving that it is possible for any Arab people to defeat the Zionists if they believe in God and the hereafter and love martyrdom.
5. They have given to all oppressed people of the earth the living example which proves that it is possible for poor people to challenge powerful nations if they face death courageously. Yes, it is permissible to say that what happened and what will happen in South Lebanon is a start of a world-liberating battle.
What Was The Attitude Of The Arab Governments?
The size of the result of this liberating battle in South Lebanon was expected to meet a great appreciation by the Arab governments. It was expected that the Arab oil countries would shower the people of Lebanon with billions of dollars to compensate them for the sacred battle which cost the people of South Lebanon their material wealth as well as their best youth. Tens of thousands of homeless families were left exposed to the cold of winter and the heat of summer, with no protection.
These governments, which are swimming in a sea of wealth, not only refused to fulfill the minimum of their humane, Islamic, and national duties but took a hostile attitude by starting a strong and inhumane campaign against the Shi'ite heroes of South Lebanon. They conducted an extremely cruel campaign of deportation against the Lebanese Shi'ites who had lived under the authority of those governments for years, perhaps decades.
They deported them without giving them even the opportunity to prepare themselves for that deportation. This action made the economical crisis of South Lebanon suffocating. Thus, these governments rewarded the heroes of Islam with what displeases Allah and His Messenger and pleases only the Israelites and their allies.
It seems as if these Arab governments have avenged the Israeli defeat by punishing the ones who defeated Israel. It should be made absolutely clear that the aim here is not to accuse our Sunni brothers with what some of them accused us. Certainly, we respect them and respect their imams. They are too pious to deliberately take from Ka'b Al-Ahbar or Wahb Ibn Munabbih or others from the Jews who adopted Islam superficially and hid what was in their hearts.
If some of the caliphs or prominent companions listened to these fake converts, we believe that the Mujtahid would be excused in his endeavor to research and find the truth, if he is not negligent in his research. Those who directed accusations at their Shi'ite brothers should have studied Islamic history thoughtfully and seriously. Had they done that, they would have learned that the Shi'ites were the most formidable opponents of the Zionists and their allies.
It would not be logical for a camp to direct accusations toward another camp while the accusations are disproved by clear evidence, and while the accusers have committed worse than the accusations they hurled at the Shi'ites. I hope that our honorable Sunni brothers will dispel from their minds those imaginary accusations which some people spread against their Shi'ite brothers, for it is clear that the Shi'ites are innocent of all these false and fabricated accusations.
Are The Shi'ites Negative Towards The Companions?
Muslim scholars differ in answering two questions pertaining to the companions of the Messenger of God:
1. Who are the companions of the Prophet Muhammad?
Most of the Sunni scholars consider all those who adopted Islam during the time of the Prophet, saw the Prophet, and prayed with him to be of his companions. However, it seems that the Messenger himself did not agree with these scholars.
Al-Tabari in his History part 3, page 68, reported that there was an argument between Khalid Ibn Al-Walid and Abdul Rahman Ibn Awf when Khalid killed some members of Banu Jadhimah. The Messenger of God sent Khalid as a missionary for Islam (not as a fighter). Khalid exceeded the order of the Messenger and killed a number of men from Banu Jadhimah after he gave them the assurance of no-harm.
Some men from Banu Jadhimah had killed Al-Fakih Ibn Al-Mughirah Al-Makhzumi, uncle of Khalid, and Awf Ibn Abd-Awf, father of Abdul Rahman, before the conquest of Mecca. Now Khalid acted in revenge in spite of the Prophet's orders. In their heated dialogue, Abdul Rahman said to Khalid: "You followed the method of the pre-Islamic era."
"I only avenged the killing of your father."
"You lie. I already killed the killer of my father, but you avenged the killing of your uncle."
Their heated argument led to a verbal abuse on the part of Khalid. When the Prophet found out about it, he said to Khalid:
"...Khalid, leave my companions alone. By God, should you have a piece of gold the size of Uhud Mountain, and you spend it in the path of God, your charity would not compare to a morning or evening trip in defense of Islam by any one of my companions." (Ibn Hisham, in his Sirat of the Prophet, part 2, page 421).
This statement of the Prophet indicates that Khalid was not considered a companion of the Prophet because he told him to leave his companions alone. Thus, the Prophet clearly indicated that Khalid is not one of his companions. Yet, this statement was uttered by the Prophet after the conquest of Mecca (which took place two years after Khalid adopted Islam, shortly after the pact of Al-Hudaybiyyah).
The exclusion of Khalid from the community of the Prophet's companions means the exclusion of thousands of companions who adopted Islam during the time of the Prophet, who met the Prophet, and who prayed behind him.
2. Are all Companions of the Prophet Righteous?
The righteousness of all the companions and their worthiness of confidence are matters about which the Shi'ites and the Sunnis argue. The majority of the Sunni scholars believe that all the companions are righteous and worthy of our confidence.
The Shi'ite scholars are selective. The Sunni scholars cite Qur'anic verses for substantiating their claim: "Muhammad is the Apostle of God; and those who are with him are firm against unbelievers, compassionate towards one another. You see them bowing and prostrating, seeking grace from God and His satisfaction ... The mark of prostration shows on their faces... Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness, and a great reward." (ch. 48. v. 29)
Thus, the Almighty described the companions of the Messenger as firm against the unbelievers, merciful among themselves; and that they bow and prostrate. The mark of their prostration shows on their foreheads; and that Allah promised those who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness and a great reward.
All these descriptions substantiate the piety and virtue of the companions. The verse, however, does not include all the companions. It only includes the companions who were firm against the unbelievers, merciful among themselves. Thus, the companions who were not firm against the unbelievers or were unmerciful to the believers would not be included by the verse.
It would be only logical to say that those who shed the blood of Muslims without justification in civil wars such as Talhah, Zubayr, and Mu'awiyah are not included in this Qur'anic statement, plus all companions who joined them in their unrighteous wars against Imam Ali, and those who divided the Muslims and destroyed their unity.
Furthermore, the end of the verse clearly indicates that the praise was not to include all the companions because it declares that only those who believed in Islam and did good deeds will be entitled to forgiveness and great rewards. One of the verses which is offered as evidence of the righteousness of all the companions of the Prophet is the following: "And the early Muslims from the Meccan migrants and the Medinite Ansar (the helpers) and those who followed them with their good deeds, Allah is well pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him; and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That is the mighty achievement." (ch. 9, v. 100)
This verse, however, speaks of the virtue of the migrants and Medinites who adopted Islam at the early state of the Islamic era. Thus, it does not include the thousands of the companions who adopted Islam after the Hudaybiyyah truce or after the conquest of Mecca. These were not from the early Muslims. Their Islam took place about twenty years after the proclamation of Islam and about eight years after Hijrah. Another verse which is cited for the righteousness of all companions is the following:
"Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance unto thee beneath the tree; He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down tranquility to them and rewarded them with a speedy victory..." (ch. 48, v. 18) This verse also does not include all the companions who declared their Islam after signing the Hudaybiyyah pact which took place during the sixth year after Hijra.
The declaration of the allegiance to the Prophet under the tree took place shortly before signing the pact. The companions who gave allegiance under the tree at Hudaybiyyah were about fourteen hundred. It is worthy to mention that a number of students of the companions (such as Sa'id Ibn Al-Musayyab and Al-Shi'abi and Ibn Sirin) said that the early migrants were those who prayed to the two Qiblas (Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa and Al-Ka'bah). (Abu 'Umar Yusuf Ibn Abd-Barr, Al-Isti'ab part 1, pages 2-3)
Do The Hadiths Of The Prophet Substantiate The Righteousness Of The Companions
Some scholars tried to substantiate the righteousness of the companions through a number of hadiths:
l. It is reported that the Messenger of God said, "None of those who attended the battle of Badr or the pact of Hudaybiyyah will enter Hell."
2. It is also reported that the Prophet said: "None of those who gave their allegiance under the tree (during the event of Hudaybiyyah) will enter the Fire." (Ibn Abd al-Barr, page 4) The two hadiths do not substantiate the righteousness of any companions except the companions who were present at Badr and Hudaybiyyah. Putting them together, their number would not reach two thousand, while the number of the companions was much bigger.
Those who attended the conquest of Mecca were ten thousand, and those who went with the Prophet to Tabuk were about twenty-five thousand. Thus, the majority of the companions of the Prophet would not be included in these two hadiths.
The Opinions Of The Selectionists
The Shi'ite Muslim scholars did not put all the companions in one rank; nor did they say that all of them were righteous. Some of them were righteous to the highest degree. Some of them were truthful and worthy of confidence, but they were not entirely righteous. Some of them were not known to be righteous or unrighteous, and some of them were known to be devious.