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Home » History » Isma’il ibn Ali al-Razi (d. 1054) on Umar b. al-Khattab’s Honoring of al-Hasan b. Ali and al-Husayn b. Ali

Isma’il ibn Ali al-Razi (d. 1054) on Umar b. al-Khattab’s Honoring of al-Hasan b. Ali and al-Husayn b. Ali

The following tradition is taken from an eleventh-century work by the Persian Muslim scholar Ismā‘īl ibn ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥasan al-Rāzī (d. 445/1054) entitled Kitāb al-Muwāfaqa bayn Ahl al-Bayt wa-l Ṣaḥaba. Ismā‘īl ibn ‘Alī al-Rāzī was an eleventh-century scholar who had studied theology/hadith in Damascus (with ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Naṣr al-Tamīmī), Baghdad (with Abī Ṭāher al-Mukhalaṣ), Mecca (with both Aḥmad ibn Ibrahīm ibn Firās and Abū Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Naḥās), and Rayy (with ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn Fadalah). According to later scholars, he was inclined to the Mu’tazalite (rationalist) doctrine. He was also very well-versed (and wrote books on) Prophetic tradition (hadith), jurisprudence, and-according to the later Islamic scholar al-Dhahabī (d. 1348), he studied and taught Hanafi, Shafi’i, and Zaydi law.

This work was famously edited and commented upon by the famous Iranian Islamic scholar and exegete, Abū al-Qāsim al-Zamakhsharī (d. 1144). This tradition reveals the status of Ahl al-Bayt within Islam and shows how deeply rooted it is within the religious tradition. Moreover, this particular narration is important because it sheds light on the policy of the second caliph, ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, with regard to the ‘atā’ (military stipend) and how it was based on the notion of sābiqa (precedence within Islam based on relatedness/closeness to the Prophet).  The translation is my own and is based on pp. 144–148 of the Mukhtaṣar Kitāb al-Muwāfaqa bayn Ahl al-Bayt wa-l Ṣaḥaba (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 1999). 

Arabic Text

عن ابن عباس: لما فتح الله المدائن على أصحاب رسول الله في أيام عمر، امر عمر بالأنطاع فبسطت في مسجد رسول الله فأول من بدر إليه الحسن بن علي فقال: يا أمير المؤمنين أعطني حقي مما فتح الله على المسلمين فقال: بالرحب و الكرامة، فأمر له بألفٍ، ثم انصرف، فبدر إليه الحسين بن علي، فقال: يا أمير المؤمنين أعطني حقي مما فتح الله على المسلمين فقال: بالرحب و الكرامة، فأمر له بألفٍ، ثم انصرف، فبدر إليه ابنه عبد الله بن عمر فقال: يا أمير المؤمنين أعطني حقي مما فتح الله على المسلمين فقال: بالرحب و الكرامة، فأمر له بخمسمائة درهم، فقال: يا امير المؤمنين أنا رجل مشتد أضرب السيف بين يدي رسول الله، و الحسن و الحسين طفلان يدرجان في سكك المدينة، تعطيهم ألفاً ألفاً، و تعطيني خمسمائة؟ قال: نعم. اذهب فأتني بأب كأبيهم، و أم كأمهم، و جد كجدهم و جدة كجدتهم، و عم كعمهما، و عمة كعمتهما، و خال كخالهما، و خالة كخالتهما، فإنك لا تأتيني به. أما ابوهما فعليّ المرتضى، و أمهما فاطمة الزهراء، و جدهما محمد المصطفى، و جدتهما خديجة الكبرى، و عمهما جعفر بن أبي طالب، و عمتهما أم هانئ بنت أبي طالب، و خالهما إبراهيم بن رسول الله، و خالتهما رقية و أم كلثوم بنتا رسول الله.

فسمع بذالك عليّ فقال: سمعت رسول الله يقول: عمر بن الخطاب سراج أهل الجنة

Translation

Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbās: When al-Madā’in (Ctesiphon) was conquered by the grace of God in the days of [the caliph] ‘Umar, he ordered that several leather mats be laid out in the Mosque of the Prophet. The first to approach him was al-Ḥasan ibn ‘Alī [ibn Abī Ṭālib]. He said: “O Commander of the Believers, give me what is due to me from the wealth which God has bestowed upon the Muslims. ‘Umar said: Gladly and graciously. And he ordered that al-Ḥasan be given a thousand dirhams, after which the latter departed. Then al-Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī [ibn Abī Ṭālib] came to ‘Umar and said: “O Commander of the Believers, give me what is due to me from the wealth which God has bestowed upon the Muslims. ‘Umar said: Gladly and graciously. And he ordered that al-Ḥusayn be given a thousand dirhams, after which the latter departed. Then the caliph’s own son, ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Umar came to him and said: “O Commander of the Believers, give me what is due to me from the wealth which God has bestowed upon the Muslims. ‘Umar said: Gladly and graciously. And he ordered that his son be given five hundred dirhams [silver pieces]. ‘Abd Allāh said: “O Commander of the Believers, I am one who has fought side-by-side with the Prophet of God while al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn were mere infants playing in Medina, but you have granted them one thousand [dirhams] each? ‘Umar said: Indeed. Go and find me a father like their father, a mother like their mother, a grandfather like their grandfather, a grandmother like their grandmother, an uncle like their uncle, and an aunt like their aunt, and you will find that you will be unable to do so. Verily, their father is none other than ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, their mother is Fāṭima al-Zahrā’, their grandfather is the Prophet Muḥammad, their grandmother is Khadīja, their uncle is Ja‘far ibn Abī Ṭālib, their aunts are Ruqayya and Umm Kulthūm, the daughters of the Prophet.”

Upon hearing this, ‘Alī said: I heard the Prophet of God say: “Indeed, ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭab is like a shining lamp amongst the people of Paradise” [ḥadīth narrated by Ibn Māja]

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