Distorting Historical Facts – Part 2

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We have already established in the first part of this series that some historians have been unethical in recording early Islamic history, misrepresenting historical facts. An example of such distortion from Tarikh-e-Tabari has already been cited. We now present another example of such forgery and criminal fabrication.

Although here it is important to note the views of the writer, the publisher is no less guilty in suppressing the facts. In subsequent editions, he has brazenly and unabashedly lied and distorted facts.

Regarding the last verse revealed upon the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Yaqoobi writes:

اِنَْ آخِرَ مَا نُزِْلَ عَلَيْهِ: اَلْيَوْمَ اَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِيْنُكُمْ وَ اَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِيْ وَ رَضِيْتُ لَكُمُ الْاِسْلاَمَ دِيْنًا وَ هِيَ الرِْوَايَةُ الصَْحِيْحَةُ الثَْابِتَةُ الصَْرِيْحَةُ وَ كَانَ نُزُوْلُـهَا يَوْمَ النَْصُْ عَلِيٌْ اَمِيْرُ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ عَلِيُْ بْنَ اَبِيْ طَالِبٍ صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ بِغَدِيْرِ خُمٍْ…

This is a well established, correct and a widely reported tradition. This verse was revealed on the day when in Ghadir-e-Khum, Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) was appointed as the Chief of the Believers (Ameerul Momineen). [1]

In recent editions, this fact is distorted as follows:

وَكَانَ نُزُوْلَهَا يَوْمُ النَْفَرِ عَلِيٌْ اَمِيْرَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ عَلِيَْ بْنَ اَبِيْطَالِبٍ صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ  بَعْدَ تَرَحُْمْ…

This verse was revealed on the day of hatred (نعوذ باللہ) for Ameerul Momineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) after he was shown mercy!!![2]

The dishonest publisher has altered two words over here to avoid the mention of Ghadir-e- Khum and change its entire meaning. The word “be ghadir” (بغدیر) is replaced with “baade tarhama” (after he was shown mercy) and the word “nass”[3] (نص) is replaced with “an-nafr’[4] (النفر). The word “nass” (نص) in history indicates the clear mention of the matter of Mastership in favour of Imam Ali (a.s.) by the Holy Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.).

Though there are many other examples of such fraudulent distortions of historical facts, over here we suffice with just two examples. Unable to achieve their aims with even such vile tactics, these shameless writers adopted another method in some of their other books.

This new approach was to bring down the position of the divinely appointed Imams (a.s.) by citing references from books written by their followers. Needless to say, they failed even in this approach.

In this tactic, they started narrating out of context traditions from the divinely appointed Imams (a.s.) to portrait them negatively. Consequently, the reader becomes sceptic believing that either the Imam (a.s.) said something evidently wrong or the narrator has ascribed falsehood to him or that the Shia faith per se is false. Even in the first two cases (ascribing falsehood either to Imams (a.s.) or the narrator) they ultimately aim to ascribe falsehood to the Shia faith.

It will not be out of place to say that when these dishonest people found themselves deprived of real wisdom, they resorted to distortion of facts from Shiite books. This was done with the sinister aim of creating serious doubts in the minds of the true believers along with the falsification of true incidents, thereby weakening the true beliefs.

The following are some examples of this approach:

The First Tradition

We have some narrations from the wealth of intellect and wisdom a part of which are intended by Imams (a.s.) only for some specific people but which have been purposely and wrongly generalized for all believers.

In the beginning as well as at the end of this tradition Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) has cursed Mughairah b. Abi Saeed and Abul Khattab who were ascribing divinity to Imam (a.s.) and spreading falsehood among the people.

قَالَ اَبُوْ عَبْدِ اللهِ یَوْمًا لِاَصْحَابِهÙ- لَعَنَ اللهِ الْمُغِیْرَةَ بْنِ سَعِیْدٍ…

Imam (a.s.) disowned whatever falsehood they were ascribing to him and said that Mughairah b. Saeed was the same person who used to ascribe false things even to his (Imam’s) father — Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.). At the end of the narration, he (a.s.) mentions thus:

“By Allah! If these people were to be examined through us and we ordered them (to take us out of the realm of being servants and ascribe divinity to us), then it was necessary for them not to accept it. Then how are they (doing this) while they see us fearing Allah?  I seek Allah’s help in hating them and having enmity with them.”

Thereafter he (a.s.) addressed his followers:   “I make you all as witnesses that I am the son (descendent) of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and if I worship Him (God), He showers His mercy upon me. If I disobey Him, He will chastise me severely.”

This tradition is especially for the two people mentioned (and for others like them) and not for all the Shias! Here, it is necessary that before we finally conclude, we know something more about the characters of Mughairah b. Abi Saeed and Abul Khattab in the light of the sayings of Imams (a.s.). (The same narrations, which introduce a mischief-maker like Abul Khattab also familiarize us with the character of Mughairah b. Abi Saeed).

Mughairah is among those who used to ascribe false things to Imam Baqir (a.s.) and the Imams (a.s.) have consistently cursed him.

That is why he even used to claim that Mohr b. Abdullah b. Hasan (who had expired) is still alive and is the Imam after Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.). Hence “Kashi” in his book of “Rejaal” has narrated many traditions about the cursing of Mughairah b. Abi Saeed. We have mentioned some of them below:

The First Narration

One of the companions of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) had heard a ruling in relation to ablutions (Wuzu) from Mughairah b. Abi Saeed and he asked Imam (a.s.) about it. Imam (a.s.) said:

فَقَالَ وَمَا تَصْنَعُ بِهٰذَا فَهٰذَا قَوْلُ الْمُغِيْرَةَ بْنَ سَعِيْدٍ لَعَنَ اللهُ الْمُغِيْرَةَ…

“What have you got to do with this tradition? This is the saying of Mughairah b. Saeed, may Allah curse him!”[5]

The Second Narration

Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says:

…فَاِنَْ الْمُغِيْرَةَ ابْنَ سَعِيْدٍ كَذَبَ عَلٰى اَبِيْ وَ اَذَاعَ سِرَْهٖ فَاَذَاقَهُ اللهُ حَرَْ الْحَدِيْدِ وَ اِنَْ اَبَا الْخَطَْابَ كَذَبَ عَلَيَْ وَ اَذَاعَ سِرِْيْ فَاَذَاقَهُ اللهُ حَرَْ الْحَدِيْدِ.

“Certainly, Mughairah b. Saeed has ascribed lies to my father and has bared his secrets. May Allah burn him in the fire of Hell! And surely Abul Khattab has accused me of lying and has revealed my secrets. May Allah punish him in the fire of Hell.”[6]

The Third Narration

قَالَ اَبُوْ الْحَسَنَ الرِْضَا: كَانَ الْمُغِيْرَةَ بْنَ سَعِيْدٍ يُكَذِْبُ عَلٰي اَبِيْ جَعْفَرٍ فَاَذَاقَهُ اللهُ حَرَْ الْحَدِيْدَ…

Imam Reza(a.s.) says:

“Mughairah b. Saeed used to ascribe falsely to my ancestor (Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.). Hence Allah has punished him in the fire of Hell.”[7]

Mentioning all the traditions narrated by the divine Imams (a.s.) concerning Mughairah b. Saeed and Abul Khattab will lengthen this article.

The traditions which mention their names are:

“They are the example of this verse:”

هَلْ اُنَبِْئُكُمْ عَلٰي مَنْ تَنَزَْلُ الشَْيَاطِيْنُ. تَنَزَْلُ عَلٰي كُلِْ اَفَْاكٍ اَثِيْمٍ. [8]

Imam (a.s.) said, “Abul Khattab and Mughairah b. Saeed are among those who purposely used to ascribe falsely to  my father.”

The character of these two was such that all the companions of Imam (a.s.) knew them well. They were notorious to such an extent that whatever the Shias used to hear from them, (even if it was true) they used to narrate it before Imam (a.s.) and get it verified.

Their lies and mischief had fallen to such pits that the Shias even refrained from narrating any tradition or explanation of a Quranic verse or any other matter, which they heard from the infallible Imams (a.s.) in front of Mughairah. This was because if Mughairah heard it, he was sure to distort it.


  1. Such liars were well known to the companions of immaculate Imams (a.s.).
  2. Imams (a.s.) appropriately introduced these liars to their followers.
  3. Despite such a categorical approach of the Imams (a.s.), dishonest historians aimed to ascribe to a majority of Imams’ (a.s.) followers (what was meant for these two) and thus distort the sayings of Imams (a.s.). Few select persons formed themselves into a group and made themselves near the followers of Imams (a.s.) so as to contaminate their beliefs and indulge in mischief.
  4. The Shias and the followers of Imams (a.s.) had learnt that if anything was narrated before them about which they were in doubt whether it was narrated from Imam (a.s.) or not, they used to patiently wait and verify it from Imam (a.s.) at the first available opportunity. If it was not possible for them to contact Imam (a.s.), they used to evaluate such doubtful narrations in the light of the Holy Quran and other reliable narrations. This methodology based on the teachings of Imams (a.s.) is prevalent till date among the Shias. During the major occultation of Imam-e-Zamaana (a.t.f.s.), the traditionalists rely on this method.

[1] Tarikh-e-Yaqoobi, vol .2, pg. 37, printed in Najaf, 1358A.H.

[2] Tarikh-e-Yaqoobi, vol .2, pg. 43, printed in Najaf, 1379A.H

[3] It means highlighting the intended meaning leaving no room for doubt.

[4] Which means hatred

[5] Tahzeeb al-Ahkam, vol.1, pg. 349, Chap.14

[6] Mustadrak al-Wasail,vol.9, pg.191 and 121

[7] The book of Rejaal  by Kashi regarding Mughairah b. Saeed, pg. 223

[8] Surah Shura: 221-222.

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