What is the calamity of Thursday in the history of Islam???????
The Tragedy of Thursday
On a Thursday, just three days before the demise of Prophet (PBUH&HF), the Messenger of Allah asked for pen and paper in order to state his last will and repeat the declaration/assignment of his successor for his Ummah. Major Sunni sources including Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim mentioned that an opposition group among the companions whose leader was Umar, accused prophet of talking non sense (May Allah protect us) in order to prevent this writing. They questioned the rationality of Prophet to discredit the his will. Below is some of the traditions concerning this tragic episode:
It is narrated in Sahih Muslim that:
Reference: Sahih Muslim, Chapter of "Kitabul-Wasiyyah" in section "Babut- Tarkil-Wasiyyah", 1980 Edition, Arabic version (Saudi Arabia), v3, P1259, Tradition (#1637/21).
The other version is given by al-Bukhari and Muslim which indicates the role of Umar in that catastrophe:
The above tradition can also be found in Sahih Muslim, Chapter of "Kitabul- Wasiyyah" in section "Babut-Tarkil-Wasiyyah", 1980 Edition, Arabic version (Saudi Arabia), v3, p1259, Tradition (#1637/22).
More addresses for similar traditions:
Also as indicated above (Sahih al-Bukhari Hadiths: 9.468 and 7.573), Umar said: "The Prophet is seriously ill, and you have the Quran, so Allah's Book is sufficient for us." Umar and those who supported him prevented prophet from writing (ordering to write) that statement, by accusing him of talking no sense. As I have mentioned in the discussion about "Quran and Ahlul-Bayt", prophet clearly indicated that we should follow both Quran AND Ahlul-Byte in order not to go astray. So Quran alone is not sufficient as opposed to what Umar said above.
There is a bizarre commentary in the footnote of above traditions in Sahih Muslim (1980 Edition, Arabic version). It says: The above incident shows the high virtue of Umar, since he knew that people might not follow what prophet would write, and as a result, people would go to hell because of their disobedience of the order of prophet. So Umar prevented Prophet from writing, in order to save people from going to hell !
Also in the footnote of the same section of Sahih Muslim it is mentioned that Prophet possibly wanted to assign a Caliph on that Thursday, and the matter might have been the matter of successorship which caused such dispute.
In fact, most of the people who where present there, understood the intention of prophet, the same as what Umar did. Because prophet had previously indicated the issue when he said several times that: "I shall leave for you two precious Symbols: The book of Allah, and my progeny, that is my family (Itrat & Ahlul-bayt). If you follow them, you will never go astray after me." (Sahih al-Tirmidhi; a close version is also given in Sahih Muslim), and also they were present in GHADIR KHUM where prophet said: "Whoever I am his master, Ali is his master." (see Sahih al-Tirmidhi; Sunan Ibn Maja; Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal; al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim; Khasa'is, by al-Nisa'i). So when prophet during his illness said that "Let me write something that you never go astray after me", those people who were present, including Umar, quickly understood that prophet wants to repeat what he had already mentioned, but this time in writing. A few Quranic verses should also be mentioned here. Allah said in Quran:
Allah also said:
He, Exalted, also said:
He, Exalted He is, also said:
So when such a prophet, three days before his death, wished to write a document of his will to save the Muslims from going astray, he was accused of talking no sense (paranoid)!
The reason that prophet did not repeat his request (if it is true) was that he already was discredited by his companions and was accused of talking no sense. So even if he would say something, those people would not believe in him and would say such instruction has been given while he was talking no sense (paranoid). So Umar made it easy, and by saying that prophet is talking nonsense, ended it up.
There are few Sunni traditions which allege that prophet was confused to assign which person as his successor and finally failed to assign any body as his successor and left it to people to decide. Some even claim that prophet was willing to assign Abu Bakr, but he left it to people.
If Umar have ever heard of such sayings (that prophet was willing to assign Abu Bakr as his successor), he would never stop prophet from stating his will, and would never accuse him of talking no sense. Rather he would let prophet tell his will and assign Abu Bakr as his successor. We all know, the main support in "Saqifah Bani Sa'idah" for the secret nomination of Abu Bakr for Caliphate, was Umar.
So if Umar have not heard of such traditions (the tendency of Prophet to assign Abu Bakr), there is a great possibility that those traditions were fabricated later.
Also it contradicts several authentic Sunni traditions regarding the assignment of Ali-Ibn-Abi-Talib as prophet's successor. As you know there are a huge number of fabricated traditions which was created by several pay- rolled scholars in support of some rulers, and mainly to justify what happened.
Finally, I would like to bring to your attention the importance and seriousness of the tragedy:
1- Notice that any person utters his most important wishes when he wants to write the statement of his will at the end of his life.
2- Notice the importance of the person who wants to write the will, who is the last Prophet of God, the best mankind ever. No human in the world was more enthusiastic than him about his community. The person who Allah has ordered us in Quran to follow him unconditionally.
3- Notice that prophet said this statement would be the key element in the destiny of Muslims according to the above traditions. They will never go astray if they abide it.
In such critical moment, people who claimed to be his sincere companions, stopped/insulted him. Those companions are responsible for misleading the Muslims throughout history and the generations to come.
Blessed believers, this topic, in which the brother Devoted has presented the textual proof so beautifully, was the moment the Ummah began to separate and who the true Khalifah was to be resided in the hadeeths of the Prophet, may peace and blessing be upon him, the brother has mentioned in his answer about the Saqeefah incident and I suggest any who wants to know about it should look it up. Inshallah, I would like to point out another important part of Islam that has been affected by the calamity of Thursday.
Allah azza wal jall has stated in His Holy book, " Surely, We have revealed the reminder and We will most surely be it's guardian." (15:9) By the mercy of Allah the Qur'an has not met the the same fate as the Torah and other scriptures given to man from Allah. But this claim can not be made about the second source of legislation, the sunnah of the Rasul (saws), this source has been, unfortunately, exposed to fabrications and distortions, as the brother has stated, what we must bear in mind is what was said by the Rasul, May peace and blessings be upon him and his family, "Anyone who attributes false reports to me, will certainly find himself in Hellfire. (sahih bukhari 1:52 & sahih muslim 1:10)
Now with this clearly understood, let's begin our discussion with a hadeeth which has the grade of sahih, according to the system of Ilm Rijal, implemented by others, not the Rasul saws.
" You must erase anything that has been recorded about me except the Holy Qur'an." (Reported by Abu-Sa'id Al-Khidriy, Sahih Muslim, Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal) Keep in mind, this statement was supposedly made during lifetime of the Rasul saws, lets investagate this hadeeth using what the Rasul has stated we do.
" There are many who misquote me, and he who misrepresents me has his abode in hell. When a report is related to you on my behalf weigh it against the Qur'an." ( reported by abu Huraiah, sahih bukhari & sahih muslim) " When a hadeeth is reported to you from me, put it before the Book of Allah. If it agrees with the Holy Qur'an accept it, otherwise reject it." (reported by ibn Mas'ud)
Now let's implement what our Messenger saws has commanded we do, that being to weigh the hadeeth I began this discussion with against the Book. In the book of Allah it states, " And we have sent down to you the reminder and advice,( O Muhammad) that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and they may give thought." ( 16:44) This Aya has clearly stated why the sunnah is so important, and that being, the Rasul saws had to explain to his ummah what was revealed to him. This fact he knew all to well, so would he say or do anything that went against the command of Allah as this hadeeth has stated so blatantly? The answer to this is NO! So this hadeeth is to be rejected, but in doing so, we must investigate why this hadeeth was graded to be sahih when it clearly contradicts the Qur'an, there is a mindset that we must deal with. Let's begin!
It has been narrated that A'ishah, may Allah have mercy on her, said, " My father collected the hadeeth of the messenger saws, which was five hundred texts. He spent the night so sleeplessly and restlessly that I was sad for him. I therefore asked, Are you moving restlessly due to an ailment or information that you received? In the morning, he asked me to fetch him the collection of hadeeth that he had put with me. When I fetched them he set fire to them. As I asked for the reason, He replied, "I ANTICIPATE THAT I WOULD DIE WHILE I STILL HAVE THIS COLLECTION AMONG WHICH THERE "MIGHT" BE REPORTS OF A MAN I DEEMED TRUSTWORTHY WHILE HE WAS THE OPPOSITE; THEREFORE, I WOULD BE THE NARRATR OF FALSE REPORTS ." ( AL-Dhahbiy: Tadhkirat Al-Huffaz 1:5, Al-qasim Ibn Muhammad ( died in 1029 AH): Al-I'Tisam Bi-Habl-illah Al Matin 1:30, and Abdul al-Ghaniy' Abdul al Khaliq: Hijjiyyat Al-Sunnah) Also reported in within Ibn Abi-Mulaykah's Hadeeths (mursal) " After the demise of the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr gathered the people and said, "YOU ARE REPORTING ABOUT THE RASUL SAWS INCONSISTENT NARRATIONS. PEOPLE COMING AFTER YOU WILL BE ENGAGED IN MORE INTENSE DISCREPANCY. THEREFORE, DO NOT REPORT ANYTHING ABOUT THE PROPHET SAWS, AND IF ANYONE ASKS YOU, YOU SHOULD SAY REFER TO THE BOOK OF ALLAH AS THE ARBITRATOR. YOU SHOULD THUS DEEM LAWFUL WHATEVER IS LAWFUL THERIN AND DEEM UNLAWFUL WHATEVER IS UNLAWFUL THEREIN." ( Al-Dhahbyiy: Tadhkirat Al- Huffaz 1:32 and Abdul al Ghaniy Abdul Al-Khaliq: Hijjiyyat Al Sunnah 394)
Now let's analyze these two situations thoroughly: First point- According to the Mother of the believers, her fathers reason or burning 500 hadeeths was because there maybe an dishonest person or persons among the narrators. So out of the 500 hadeeths collected, Abu Bakr did not hear one hadeeth directly from the Prophet? Also, from the words of the mother of the believers, " My father collected the hadeeth," means that he collected after the demise of the Rasul saws, because had the Rasul saws had been alive, Abu Bakr could have taken the 500 hadeeth to the Prophet saws for scrutinity. Also, no historian or biographers ever stated that Abu Bakr ever stated that Abu Bakr collected 500 hadeeths during the lifetime of the prophet saws. Another thing we must keep in mind is that if what was reported by Sa'id Al Khidry is authentic then Abu Bakr disobeyed the Rasul's saws commandement by collecting the 500 hadeeth's, and notice when he gathered the people he did not say to them that it has been prohibited by the Rasul saws,to report or collect the hadeeths, he never said that he destroyed the 500 hadeeths because the Rasul saws commanded such.
Second point: When Abu Bakr gathered the people and prohibited them from relating hadeeths, stating for them to refer to the book of Allah ONLY, this goes against the Qur'an sura 16:44 previously cited. Allah azza wal jall has told us that the sunnah is needed to explain the book of Allah, without the sunnah, there is no explanation of the Qur'an, for the Rasul saws has stated, " I should not find anyone of you reclining on his couch, while one of my orders comes to him, saying we do not know of this! Whatever we find in the book of Allah, we follow it! Behold I was given the book and it's like along with it."(sahih Bukhari & muslim) It is a fact that the Rasul saws was a walking talking Qur'an as Allah has stated, " Your companion has not strayed nor has he erred nor does he speak on his own inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed to him." (53:2-4) The Qur'an clearly refutes the claim of Abu Bakr and Abu Sa'id, so this must be rejected. Also, let me inform you that this decision made by Abu Bakr in his reign extended to the reign of Ummar ibn Khattab, UthmanIbn Affan, Ali Ibn Talib lifted it, then Mu' awiyah Ibn Sufyan placed it back on and it was so up until the reign of Umar Ibn Abdul Al Aziz who canceled it and ordered people to record the sunnah. There are many hadeeths in the sahih sitta that orders the believers to record, such as Sahih Bukhari 1:53H.112, Sahih Muslim 2:988H.1355, Sunan Al Tirmidhy 5:29H.2667, to name a few, so if the Rasul saws ordered the believers to record, write down the sunnah any who is rightly guided will hear and obey, it is sad that the facts dictate that the calamity of Thursday has set the stage for the Rasul saws commands to be disregarded, and this can be seen with the implementation of the system of Ilm Rijal and so forth.
In Closing: In my opinion the reason for this practice was to hide from the people the wrong done at Saqeefah to the Ummah of our Beloved Prophet saws, and please know that the Rasul didn't leave nothing to chance, insahllah, as I will show, the hadeeth of the ARIKAH (COUCH) Has been related through different series of narrators such as, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood, Al Darimy, Al Byhalia, Ismail al Isbahaniy, Ibn Hazm. " I see coming very soon that a man from you will be leaning on a couch and as my hadeeth is said to him he will answer, the Book of Allah is the decisive judge; I will deem lawful only what I find lawful in it and deem unlawful only what I find unlawful in it." The arabic word Arikah stands for a well-upholstered couch found in a house, according to Ibn Al Athir: Al-Nihayah 1:40, " The ruler who governs the affairs of people must be the first one for whom an arikah is arranged. The phrase very soon used by the Rasul saws in the hadeeth is taken into consideration, it is clear that the ruler who governed the affairs directly after the Rasul saws was Abu Bakr, and it is clear that Abu Bakr said the words the Rasul saws predicted." I seek refuge with Allah from that. Ummar Ibn Khattab said to the Rasul saws when he was ordered to get the ink pot that the Qur'an suffices us, and then Abu Bakr says the same and both statements go against the Book of Allah. Some may read this and say that I'am bashing the companions and I say to them, my salvation is not based off of the itteebah of any of them, it is based off of the ittebah of the blessed messenger saws for he is the best example to follow.
" And whatever the Messenger gives you accept it; and whatever he forbids you ,refrain from it." (59:7) Salaam.
@confused soul your question has a twofold answer and this is the beginning of it.salaam