Concerning slanderous statements against ʼAbū Sufyān: The stance of the ʼAhl al-Sunnah clarified

By Mawlānā Sulaymān al-Kindī

Foreword: The following article attempts to answer and clarify certain comments that we have noticed are in vogue in recent times amongst the Sunnī community. These issues concern mainly on the level of Islām of those who came after the Conquest of Makkah such as ʼAbū Sufyān, the status of individuals such as Muʻāwiyah and the general fitna that gripped the ʼUmmah following the assasination of ʻUthmān. We hope that the response provided by Mawlānā Sulaymān al-Kindī, who is an expert researcher; author; translator and academic, will be sufficient to bring about with clarity the stance of the ʼAhl al-Sunnah with regards to these often controversial and highly emotional issues. May Allāh bless the author and keep the ʼUmmah on the straight path. ʼĀmīn! Mawlānā Sulaymān al-Kindī begins by quoting a sample of comments that he received by mail:

Mail sent to me:

Here is a post of a XXXXX scholar – XXXXXX- who is both provocative and controversial. He denies being Shi’i or Zaydi:

“KNOW YOUR HISTORY: The night before the Conquest of Makkah, the leader of the Kuffar of Quraysh, head of the Umayyad Clan and chief enemy of Islam Abu-Sufyan was brought to the Tent of the Prophet (SAW) under the protection of al-Abbas (RA). When Umar (RA) saw him, he continuously tried to kill him, but the Prophet (SAW) prevented Umar (RA) from that due to the protection granted by his uncle al-Abbas (RA). Thereafter, the Prophet said to Abu-Sufyan: “Isn’t it high time you testified that there is no God but Allah?”. Abu-Sufyan replied: “I guessed if there was another God, he would have helped me by now!”. Then the Prophet (SAW) said: “Isn’t it high time you testified that I am the Messenger of Allah?”. Abu-Sufyan replied: “My heart is still doubtful of that”. Then al-Abbas (RA) looked at Abu-Sufyan and said: “WOE UNTO YOU! TESTIFY OR I WILL CHOP YOUR HEAD OFF”. So Abu-Sufyan proclaimed the Shahadah.” (سيرة ابن هشام و تاريخ الطبري و سيرة ابن كثير)

And here are comments from him on this post:

“The Prophet (SAW) considered Abu-Sufyan and his sons amongst the Mu’allafati Qulubuhum i.e. “Those new converts who hearts must still be SOFTENED TOWARDS ISLAM”!!! This was obvious as he had NOT accepted Islam by his free-will but due to fear. Thats why they were given lots of MONEY after Hunayn but the proper Sahabah were not given anything or very little (they didnt care about Dunya in any case). His wife Hind cursed him when she heard he had recited the Kalimah. The Prophet (SAW) then made her blood Halal, even if she was next to the Kabah. SO she ran away, and then later on entered Islam in a devious manner, in order to save her life. Anyways, after the Batte of Hunayn, the Prophet (SAW) did not take Abu-Sufyan with in the Battle of Tabuk. He was left in Makkah. Ulama mention that the reason the Prophet (SAW) left Ali (and not others like he would normally do) in Medina was to safeguard Medina if Abu-Sufyan decides to attack it.”

“I dont consider Abu-Sufyan and outright Munafiq. I believe he eventually realized that his beloved Kufr Days were over and that Arabia was never going to return to Shirk. For this reason, the Prophet (SAW) send Khalid bin al-Waleed WITH ABU-SUFYAN to demolish the Idol of al-Lat, after the people of Taif had accepted Islam. However, he continued to seek power and fame. Tribalism remained his motive, and was inherited by his family. We don’t see much of Abu-Sufyan after that except that he came to the Prophet (SAW) saying: ‘Your SAHABAH dislike me and my family, so please give us some position so that we may retain our respect’. Then he requested that the Prophet (SAW) use his son Muawiyah as a writer as he knew how to read and write. So the Nabi (SAW) used Muawiyah to write some letters, though NOTHING of the Qur’an. The Qur’an was primarily written by ALI (who was the actual writer of the Prophet), and Ubayy and Zaid bin Thabit, among other seniors.”

“After the death of the Prophet (SAW), we see Abu-Sufyan coming to Ali (RA) and condemning the Khilafah of Abu-Bakr (RA) and ridiculing it. In fact, he promised Ali that he will fill Madina with the men and horses of Quraysh to uproot the lowly Abu-Bakr and appoint Ali. But ALI rebuked Abu-Sufyan and chased him out saying: “You REMAIN an enemy of Islam. We are satisfied with Abu-Bakr”!!!”

“One cannot compare Sayyidna Umar (RA) with people like Abu-Sufyan. Firstly, Umar accepted Islam willingly and when there was NO WORLDY BENEFIT in accepting Islam. Secondly, Umar spent years defending Rasul-Allah (SAW). Abu-Sufyan did nothing of the sort. Thirdly, Umar is praised in Quran as from the Sabiqun, and in many Ahadith by name, while Abu-Sufyan is from the Mu’allafah and never praised by the Rasul (SAW). He was not from the Sabiqun or Muajirun or Ansar (but was thier arch enemy). In fact, in the terminology of the Salaf, he wasn’t even from the Sahabah. The Sahabah never used the term “Sahabi” for people like Abu-Sufyan.”

“Our problem today is that, under a highly exaggerated, distorted and even un-Quranic perception of “Suhbah and Sahabah” we are treating Abu-Sufyan as equal to Abu-Bakr, Muawiyah as equal to Ali, Yazid as equal to Husayn…etc. One MUST distinguish between those who are called “Sahabah” simply due to being part of that generation, and those who are the Actual Sahabah, praised in Quran and Hadith. To use Ayat revealed in praise of the actual Sahabah as in praise of Abu-Sufyan is utterly RIDICULOUS because when those Ayat were revealed Abu-Sufyan was still a Kafir FIGHTING THOSE VERY SAHABAH who the Ayah was praising!”

Any comment,

My Reply:

wa alaykumus salām

Whether this person is Rāfiḍī or not, his style is the same. Mix one lie and distortion with many truths and the entire truth becomes a lie. Our friends of the Wake Up Project follow the same blueprint. If we refer to Ibn Hishām (Allāh’s mercy be upon him)whom he supposedly references, the section he CAPS locks actually reads:

، فلما رآه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ويحك يا أبا سفيان ، ألم يأن لك أن تعلم أنه لا إله إلا الله ؟ قال : بأبي أنت وأمي ما أحلمك وأكرمك وأوصلك ، والله لقد ظننت أن لو كان مع الله إله غيره لقد أغنى عني شيئا بعد ، قال : ويحك يا أبا سفيان ألم يأن لك أن تعلم أني رسول الله قال : بأبي أنت وأمي ، ما أحلمك وأكرمك وأوصلك أما هذه والله فإن في النفس منها حتى الآن شيئا . فقال له العباس : ويحك أسلم واشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله قبل أن تضرب عنقك

When Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم saw him he said, “Woe unto you Abū Sufyān!” Has the time not yet come for you to know that there is no god but Allāh?” [Abū Sufyān] replied, “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you. How forbearing you are! How noble you are! How you maintain ties of kinship! By Allāh! It has already occurred to me that were there a god besides Allāh he would have helped me by now.” 

[Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم ] said, “Woe unto you Abū Sufyān!” Has the time not yet come for you to know that I am Allah’s Messenger?”

[Abū Sufyān] replied, “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you. How forbearing you are! How noble you are! How you maintain ties of kinship! As for this, by Allah, there remains something in me until now.”

Al-‘Abbās then said to him, “Woe unto you! Accept Islām and testify that there is no god besides Allāh and that Muḥammad is Allāh’s Messenger, lest your neck is struck!”

Whilst Abū Sufyān (may Allāh be pleased with him) might not have entered Islām with the same enthusiasm compared to others, that does not detract from the Ahlus Sunnah recognising him as a Companion of Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم of whatever degree. The slanderer you write about is most dishonest. He deliberately censors the respectful words of Abū Sufyān (may Allāh be pleased with him) towards Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم . The general warning of al-Abbās (may Allāh be pleased with him) that he may be slain on the morrow if the Muslims entered Makkah forcefully, is distorted into an immediate ultimatum to accept Islām or die.

Interpretation is based on context and not one’s personal agenda. If there are incidents of Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم forcing someone to embrace Islām or die, it may be in the fairy tales of the Rawāfiḍ. As for the Muslims, we know of his anger when a Muslim slew an unbeliever in the heat of battle just after the unbeliever proclaimed the declaration of faith. Furthermore his anger was based on Allāh’s condemnation of the incident. [an-Nisā: 94]. The Qurān and Sunnah belie any possible existence for a context of Abū Sufyān (may Allāh be pleased with him) facing the choice of embracing Islām or immediate decapitation. Yes, if he had resisted the next day in battle, he most certainly would have deserved such a fate.

Indeed, the possible Rāfiḍī does not insult Abū Sufyān, but he insults Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم . For he not so indirectly claims his intelligence, judgement and insight to be greater than that of Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم who appointed Abū Sufyān (may Allāh be pleased with him) over Najrān, a position he held at the time of the demise of Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم . If it is so clear to the slanderer that Abū Sufyān (may Allāh be pleased with him) only accepted Islām for worldly gain, does he not slander Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and say that he was blind to all this? Is it not in fact wrong to intentionally and knowingly appoint such a person over the affairs of the Muslims? The slander is not against Abū Sufyān (may Allāh be pleased with him), it is against Muḥammad صلى الله عليه وسلم .

Much can be said in response to the lie that he never defended Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم . Instead I shall simply quote one incident from al-Muntaqā of as-Sayyid Muḥibbuddīn al-Khaṭīb:

During the Jihād of aṭ-Ṭāif an arrow struck Abū Sufyān’s eye. Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said to him, “If you wish, I shall pray for you and Allāh will restore your eye. But if you wish, be patient and you will have Paradise.”

Abū Sufyān replied whilst experiencing that severe pain whose reality only one who has suffered the same can understand, “I choose Jannah.”

This is a promise guaranteed by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم during the most perfect form of worship i.e. Jihād. Abū Sufyān is in Paradise and may those who harbour evil against him have their noses rubbed in the depths of Hell.

Hind – may Allāh be pleased with her

Similarly whilst all accounts do mention Hind (may Allāh be pleased with her) veiling herself out of fear, why should we bother by the childish allegation of “devious”. Devious is he who pretends that Hind could not have fled Makkah, as others had, if she was a die-hard unbeliever. Devious is he who omits the fact that Hind revealed herself before the completion of the oath of allegiance and Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم smiled at her whilst the stern ‘Umar (may Allāh be pleased with him) laughed. [Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr]. Devious is he who fails to mention that the oath was administered under the injunction in al-Mumtaḥinah, “O Prophet! When the believing females come to you to pledge allegiance unto you…” Thus by Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم completing the oath, he recognised Hind as a believer on Allāh’s behalf. Such recognition is far superior to the mud cast by the devious one against the Companions of Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم .

Scribe of the Qurān

I leave it to you to choose between the slanderer saying that Mu‘āwiyah (may Allāh be pleased with him) was not a scribe of the Qurān and the testimony of al-Imām Aḥmad, “Mu‘āwiyah, may Allāh be pleased with him, was the scribe of Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم . He was his Companion, brother-in-law and his confidant in regards revelation.” [ash-Sharī‘ah lil Ājirī]

The Imām was also asked, “What do say in regards one who says, ‘I do not call Mu‘āwiyah a scribe of revelation, nor maternal uncle of the believers, for he usurped the Khilāfah with the sword.’”

He replied, “This is an evil and rejected statement. Avoid such people and do not sit with them. We should clarify their affair to the people.”

Those whose hearts were softened

Was this person born on the moon to claim that we regard all the Companions on the same level? One with basic knowledge knows that Abū Bakr (may Allāh be pleased with him) was the greatest amongst them. The Four Khulafā’ were superior to the others. The Ten blessed with tidings of Paradise are higher than the others. Those who never fought at Badr can never equal the 313 who did. Yet even those on the lower levels who only embraced Islām after the Conquest of Makkah and whose hearts required softening occupy spectacularly lofty ranks and Allāh Himself promises them:

…those amongst you who spent before the Conquest and fought are not equal [to those who came later]. They are of immense greater rank than those who spent later and fought. Yet for each has Allāh promised goodness…. [al-Ḥadīd: 10]

A word of advice

It may be said that my reply should have been much longer and tackled every statement. I find it fruitless to tackle every word of falsehood spoken. There are oceans of falsehood to occupy us and keep up from doing what we should. Concentrate on primary principles and be firm on them. If we discuss theology with Christians for example, do we focus on circumcision and pork or do we discuss the essentials of Trinity vs Monotheism?

The religion born from filth focusses on filth and slander. Rather than doing good, they have enough fairy tales to keep you occupied for ten lifetimes. Do not become unintentionally ensnared in such traps of lies and semantics.

سليمان الكندي

Original article can be found at: http://kindi313.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/slander-against-abu-sufyaan/

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