Ameer-ul-Mominin Ali: The first fighter against Islamism – by Shaheryar Ali

“The Qur’an is a book, covered, between two flaps, and it does not speak. It should therefore necessarily have an interpreter. Men alone can be such interpreters…..” (Imam Ali in Nehj ul Balaga)



Battle of Siffin

On the grounds of Siffin, when the best of Arabs showed the skill of his sword to Muawiyah, his friend the greatest of Politicians born to an Arab woman, Amr asked him to raise Koran on the spears. As the sun rose Ali and his armies saw a strange picture. The rival armies had raised Koran on their spears and were chanting. O sons of Hashim we have book of God between us. Ali asked his men, not to be fooled by this “political trick” and attack, as the day is yours.

Jammat [the “charismatic community” of muslims was the original legitimizing signifier in earlier muslims in opposition to later capitulation to “ideology and Koran” this fact finds expression in adoption of the term “Ahel e Sunnah wal Jammat” by centrists , people of community and tradition as opposed to Kharjittes who were literalist and Aehl e Hadees who were textualists .

Terms cannot be applied to present day sects. Watt, Formative period of Islam] was in grip of Fitna, muslims were fighting muslims. Pious companions of Muhammed were sure of imminent end of days. Who was on right path? Muhammed had long before said to his companions who asked him once how to choose the right path in Fitna. He had told them “Truth follows Ammar [bin Yasir] where ever he goes. Ammar was killed by Muawiyah’s men who when went to Amr to get reward heard “o you fools you have stained us for ever—-“. The game seemed to be over but Amr had a plan one which left its imprints for ever in lives of muslims.

The politician’s mind had already defeated the sword. How can we attack those who have book of Allah on their spears? Our blood, our kin and our brothers in faith, replied groups of Ali’s men. This was the first recorded abuse of religion for sake of politics in Islam. Later Amr and Mauwiyah showed what importance they accorded to principles of religion and morality when Amr deceived the old Mus’a , in the fiasco which in Islamic history is known as “Fitna e Tehqeem”.

Dejected by the treachery and shrewdness of politics those who had refused to follow Ali to battle gathered and chanted “La Hukam illallah”. Born were the first Islamist known as the “Kharijites. In history they were known as the “Suhart”, those who sold there souls to Allah!!

When they were chanting the verse from Koran, La Hukam illallah they were proclaiming the end of history. Asserting that the “only” judge in all the matters of community including politics is Allah and Allah alone with this they were denying the importance of social, historical and economic factors which were shaping the muslim community. “There is no room for negotiations, arbitration and political settlement. Because Allah through his book, final and correct has given the Absolute truth, static in time and space. Un- altered clear and for all times” This was passionate plea of religious fervor, subjugating the body-politic to text, The Koran. Companions had recollection of Muhammed who had once told them “There will come a time when a group of people will leave our ranks. They will recite the Quran with fervour and passion but its spirit will not go beyond their throats. They will leave our ranks in the manner of an arrow when it shoots from its bow” He was warning against those who would make religion into an ideology and will judge people on words of ink. But the times were tough old warnings were being ignored.

Ali , in whose house Koran was revealed and in whose house Muhammed started his ministry , was an apostate for accepting the judgment of humans instead of Allah and Koran… Thus started the bloody revolution of Kharjites that rocked the Moslem world for ever—-

The main tenets of the Khawarij were:

1. A revolt against the tradition of community which was main paradigm of Islamic thought at times of Muhammed’s companion.

2. Subjugation of all matters of community to command of Koran especially politics, Reading Koran literarily as “it says” with no room for historicity.

3. Those who are lax in there “iman” those who commit grave sins are not Moslems and their murder is permissible “Muslim who committed a major sin became de facto an apostate and earned the death penalty”. Most muslims who lived under caliphs [who were unjust and tyrants] and didn’t revolt were thus non muslims.

4. The rulers of muslims or Imams must be pious, those who must strictly follow Koran, if they don’t than its duty of every Muslims to revolt against them and those who dont revolt and keep living under them are “kafirs” like them who can be killed to destabilize the ruler.

5. They rejected the tribal nature of Islam and refused to accept only Quresh as Caliphs, piety and not tribe form the basis of Caliphate.

They revolted against many rulers and all muslim schools declared them heretics, but as Watt demonstrated in his study that most of  Their tenants especially there “literalist and scripture- centered view slowly absorbed into the Sunni doctrine.


Ali was the first ruler to identify this evil. He fought them trying to eliminate this poison of “absolutism” and the practice of “cold blooded murder” of civilians in name of Allah, Koran and Islam.

On there call to supremacy of Koran, Ali delivered his famous speech which shows his philosophical approach to question of Language, text and humanity. Whilst the fundamentalist raises the status of “text” to extreme, rejecting, history and tradition thus essentially reducing the text to a contemporary conflict laden discourse .They forget one thing that language is product of “human” mind and call to text is ultimately a call to a “human interpretation” of text. Ali said:


“The Qur’an is a book, covered, between two flaps, and it does not speak. It should therefore necessarily have an interpreter. Men alone can be such interpreters…..” (Nehj-ul-balaga, sermon 124)

The words of wisdom fell on deaf ears. They continued their loot and plunder killing innocent civilians in their Jihad against the tyrants [most of them were tyrants].

What is important to note is that “absolutism” arose in reaction to a political conflict, a stage of civil war. This “absolutism” re surges within Islamic thought at times of political turmoil; Ibn e Taymiyyah, during Mongol invasion, Islamism as reaction to colonialism and Suicidal Neo-Kharjites Al Qaida, Taliban and there theological contemporaries Hizb ul Tehrir , Al Muhajroon in reaction to USA’s neo-colonialism.

These Islamists and post-islamist draw a lot of their thought from Kharjites as Ziauddin Sardar notes in his article “Searching for Islam’s soul”

“Notice, also, that this tradition has a very specific view of sin. A perfect tradition must lead to perfect Muslims, who do not and cannot commit sin. Those who commit sin – that is, disagree or deviate – cannot be Muslims. Those outside this tradition are sinners and have to be brought to the Straight Path. The victims of sin themselves become sinners who have to be punished.
Third, this tradition is aggressively self-righteous; and insists on imposing its notion of righteousness on others. It legitimizes intolerance and violence by endlessly quoting the famous verse from the Qur’an that asks the believers “to do good and prevent evil deeds.” The
Bali bombers justified their actions with this verse. The Islamic Defenders Front, based in Indonesia, frequently burns and destroys cafes, cinemas and discos – places it considers to be sites of immoral or immodest behaviour. The hated religious police in Saudi Arabia are on the streets every day imposing a “moral code” (mainly on women). In Pakistan, the religious scholars succeeded in banning mixed (male and female) marathons. Just where does this tradition come from? It can be traced right back to the formative phase of Islam”

He goes on tracing this Neo-Kharjite thought to the original Kharjites, those who revolted against Ali.


“Although the Kharjites were eventually suppressed, their thought has recurred in Islamic history with cyclic regularity. Like their predecessors, the neo-Kharjites have no doubt that their identity is shaped by the best religion with the finest arrangements and precepts for all aspects of human existence; and there can be no deviation from the path. Those who do not agree are at best lesser Muslims and at worst legitimate targets for violence”

(Struggle for Islam’s soul, Ziauddin Sardar)

The night when Ali, the man who wrote to Malik Ashter telling him:

Beware of blood and spilling it unlawfully, for nothing is more deserving of vengeance (from God), greater in its consequence or more likely to (bring about) a cessation of blessing and the cutting off of (one’s appointed) term than shedding blood unjustly. God – glory be to Him – on the Day of Resurrection will begin judgment among His servants over the blood they have spilt. So never strengthen your rule by shedding unlawful blood, for that is among the factors which weaken and enfeeble it, nay, which overthrow and transfer it. You have no excuse before God and before me for intentional killing, for in that there is bodily retaliation….

fell a victim to Kharjite , Ibn e Muljam who killed Ali because he in his eyes was not a “Muslim” because he didnt followed Koran as he thought  it should be followed,a Neo-Kharjite blew himself up in heart of Islamabad, killing the “corrupt”, “immoral” muslims of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Their blood was halal [Halal- ud -dum is fatwa which allows murder on grounds apostasy or treason from Islamic government was famously given by Pakistani clerics against Bengali population during Bangladesh war of liberation and against “communists” during height of class war in Pakistan millions lost their life] on reason of not revolting against the Kaffir -USA-Tout government.[democratically elected PPP government who are kaffir on all grounds, Left wing, headed by Shai and secular] The battle of Saffin and Neharwan continues——


They “…used to go out with their swords to the marketplace. And when the innocent people gathered together without being aware of it, they suddenly cried out ‘La Hukm illa lillah’ (the decision is God’s) and lifted up their swords against anybody they happened to overtake, and they went on killing until they themselves were killed. The people used to live in constant fear of them….” ” (Malati, Tanbih, p. 51 – quoted from “The Concept of Belief in Islamic Theology” – Isutzu)

Courtesy: Sherry’s weblog

bani hashim

Related post: The Muawiyan admirers of Ali – by Abdul Nishapuri

5 responses to “Ameer-ul-Mominin Ali: The first fighter against Islamism – by Shaheryar Ali”

  1. آغاز ہو رہا ہے ۔۔۔ کربل کی کہانی کا

    لوگوں یہ جنازہ ہے۔۔ اِسلام کے بانی کا

    يا علي ♥ يا علي ♥ يا علي ♥……..اللّهُمّ الْعَنْ قَتَلَةَ أَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

  2. Very nice, there is no doubt that Al-Qaida, Taliban and other militias (mostly Wahabi and Deobandis) are latest form of Khwarij

    Groups of Khawrij will keep on appearing till Day of Judgement

  3. اللّهُمّ الْعَنْ قَتَلَةَ أَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

  4. Sermon 18
    Amir al-mu’minin said in disparagement of the differences of view among the theologians.

    When (1) a problem is put before anyone of them he passes judgement on it from his imagination. When exactly the same problem is placed before another of them he passes an opposite verdict. Then these judges go to the chief who had appointed them and he confirms all the verdicts, although their Allah is One (and the same), their Prophet is one (and the same), their Book (the Qur’an) is one (and the same).

    Is it that Allah ordered them to differ and they obeyed Him? Or He prohibited them from it but they disobeyed Him? Or (is it that) Allah sent an incomplete Faith and sought their help to complete it? Or they are His partners in the affairs, so that it is their share of duty to pronounce and He has to agree? Or is it that Allah the Glorified sent a perfect faith but the Prophet fell short of conveying it and handing it over (to the people)? The fact is that Allah the Glorified says:

    . . . We have not neglected anything in the Book (Qur’an) . . . (Qur’an, 6:38)
    And says that one part of the Qur’an verifies another part and that there is no divergence in it as He says:

    . . . And if it had been from any other than Allah, they would surely have found in it much discrepancy. (Qur’an, 4 :82)
    Certainly the outside of the Qur’an is wonderful and its inside is deep (in meaning). Its wonders will never disappear, its amazements will never pass away and its intricacies cannot be cleared except through itself.


    (1). It is a disputed problem that where there is no clear argument about a matter in the religious law, whether there does in reality exist an order about it or not. The view adopted by Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash`ari and his master Abu `Ali al-Jubba’i is that in such a case Allah has not ordained any particular course of action but He assigned the task of finding it out and passing a verdict to the jurists so that whatever they hold as prohibited would be deemed prohibited and whatever they regard permissible would be deemed permissible. And if one has one view and the other another then as many verdicts will exist as there are views and each of them would represent the final order. For example, if one scholar holds that barley malt is prohibited and another jurist’s view is that it is permissible then it would really be both prohibited and permissible. That is, for one who holds it prohibited, its use would be prohibited while for the other its use would be permissible. About this (theory of) correctness Muhammad ibn Abdi’l-Karim ash-Shahrastani writes:

    A group of theorists hold that in matters where ijtihad (research) is applied there is no settled view about permissibility or otherwise and lawfulness and prohibition thereof, but whatever the mujtahid (the researcher scholar) holds is the order of Allah, because the ascertainment of the view of Allah depends upon the verdict of the mujtahid. If it is not so there will be no verdict at all. And according to this view every mujtahid would be correct in his opinion. (al-Milal wa’l-nihal, p.98)
    In this case, the mujtahid is taken to be above mistake because a mistake can be deemed to occur where a step is taken against reality, but where there is no reality of verdict, mistake has no sense. Besides this, the mujtahid can be considered to be above mistake if it is held that Allah, being aware of all the views that were likely to be adopted has ordained as many final orders as a result of which every view corresponds to some such order, or that Allah has assured that the views adopted by the mujtahids should not go beyond what He has ordained, or that by chance the view of every one of them would, after all, correspond to some ordained order or other.

    The Imamiyyah sect, however, has different theory, namely that Allah has neither assigned to anyone the right to legislate nor subjected any matter to the view of the mujtahid, nor in case of difference of views has He ordained numerous real orders. Of course, if the mujtahid cannot arrive at a real order then whatever view he takes after research and probe, it is enough for him and his followers to act by it. Such an order is the apparent order which is a substitute for the real order. In this case, he is excused for missing the real order, because he did his best for diving in the deep ocean and to explore its bottom, but it is a pity that instead of pearls he got only the sea-shell. He does not say that observers should except it as a pearl or it should sell as such. It is a different matter that Allah who watches the endeavours may price it at half so that the endeavour does not go waste, nor his passion discouraged.

    If the theory of correctness is adopted then every verdict on law and every opinion shall have to be accepted as correct as Maybudhi has written in Fawatih:

    In this matter the view adopted by al-Ash`ari is right. It follows that differing opinions should all be right. Beware, do not bear a bad idea about jurists and do not open your tongue to abuse them.
    When contrary theories and divergent views are accepted as correct it is strange why the action of some conspicuous individuals are explained as mistakes of decision, since mistake of decision by the mujtahid cannot be imagined at all. If the theory of correctness is right the action of Mu`awiyah and `A’ishah should be deemed right; but if their actions can be deemed to be wrong then we should agree that ijtihad can also go wrong, and that the theory of correctness is wrong. It will then remain to be decided in its own context whether feminism did not impede the decision of `A’ishah or whether it was a (wrong) finding of Mu`awiyah or something else. However, this theory of correctness was propounded in order to cover mistakes and to give them the garb of Allah’s orders so that there should be no impediment in achieving objectives nor should anyone be able to speak against any misdeeds.

    In this sermon Amir al-mu’minin has referred to those people who deviate from the path of Allah and, closing their eyes to light, grope in the darkness of imagination, make Faith the victim of their views and opinions, pronounce new findings, pass orders by their own imagination and produce divergent results. Then on the basis of the theory of correctness they regard all these divergent and contrary orders as from Allah, as though each of their order represents divine Revelation so that no order of theirs can be wrong nor can they stumble on any occasion. Thus, Amir al-mu’minin says in disproving this view that:

    When Allah is One, Book (Qur’an) is one, and Prophet is one then the religion (that is followed) should also be one. And when the religion is one how can there be divergent orders about any matter, because there can be divergence in an order only in case he who passed the order has forgotten it, or is oblivious, or senselessness overtakes him, or he wilfully desires entanglement in these labyrinths, while Allah and the Prophet are above these things. These divergences cannot therefore be attributed to them. These divergences are rather the outcome of the thinkings and opinions of people who are bent on twisting the delineations of religion by their own imaginative performances.

    Allah must have either forbidden these divergences or ordered creating them. If He has ordered in their favour, where is that order and at what place? As for forbidding, the Qur’an says:

    . . .Say thou! ‘Hath Allah permitted you or ye forge a lie against Allah ?’ (10:59)
    That is, everything that is not in accordance with the Divine orders is a concoction, and concoction is forbidden and prohibited. For concocters, in the next world, there is neither success or achievement nor prosperity and good. Thus, Allah says:

    And utter ye not whatever lie describe your tongues (saying): This is lawful and this is forbidden, to forge a lie against Allah; verily, those who forge a lie against Allah succeed not. (Qur’an, 16:116)

    If Allah has left religion incomplete and the reason for leaving it halfway was that He desired that the people should assist Him in completing the religious code and share with Him in the task of legislating, then this belief is obviously polytheism. If He sent down the religion in complete form the Prophet must have failed in conveying it so that room was left for others to apply imagination and opinion. This, Allah forbid, would mean a weakness of the Prophet and a bad slur on the selection of Allah.

    Allah has said in the Qur’an that He has not left out anything in the Book and has clarified each and every matter. Now, if an order is carved out in conflict with the Qur’an it would be outside the religious code and its basis would not be on knowledge and perception, or Qur’an and sunnah, but it would be personal opinion and one’s personal judgement which cannot be deemed to have accord with religion and faith.

    Qur’an is the basis and source of religion and the fountain head of the laws of shari`ah. If the laws of shari`ah were divergent there should have been divergence in it also, and if there were divergences in it, it could not be regarded as Divine word. When it is Divine word the laws of shari`ah cannot be divergent, so as to accept all divergent and contrary views as correct and imaginative verdicts taken as Qur’anic dictates.

  5. Syedna Ali ibn-e-Abu Talib is the true spirit of Islam. May Allah let us follow his footsteps so we could be successful in this life and hereafter.