What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: How is it to say Mawlā ‘Alī, as Wahhābīs regard this as polytheism?

Questioner: Bilal from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

To say Mawlā ‘Alī is absolutely correct and is in accordance with an authentic Hadīth; the Noble Prophet ﷺ used this to address him, so how can it be polytheism? Just as it is stated in a Hadīth of Jāmi’ al-Tirmidhī among the Sihāh Sittah [the six authentic books of Hadīth], and other than this, it is mentioned in Sunan Ibn Mājah and Musnad Imām Ahmad Ibn Hanbal that the Noble Prophet ﷺ stated that,

“مَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلَاهُ فَعَلِيٌّ مَوْلَاهُ”

“For whomever I am his Mawlā [protector], then ‘Alī is his Mawlā.”

[Jāmi’ al-Tirmidhī, vol 2, pg 213]

[Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, vol 1, Hadīth no 84, 118-119, 152]

[Sunan Ibn Mājah, vol 1, pg 45, Hadīth no 121]

Furthermore, it is stated in Musannaf Ibn Abī Shaybah that the Noble Prophet ﷺ held the blessed hand of Sayyidunā ‘Alī and stated,

“اللَّهُمَّ مَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلَاهُ فَعَلِيٌّ مَوْلَاهُ”

[Musannaf Ibn Abī Shaybah, vol 6, pg 372, Hadīth no 32118]

In addition, it is stated in Mustadrak narrated from Sayyidunā Buraydah Aslamī that,

“فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «مَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلَاهُ فَعَلِيٌّ مَوْلَاهُ» وَحَدِيثُ بُرَيْدَةَ الْأَسْلَمِيِّ صَحِيحٌ عَلَى شَرْطِ الشَّيْخَيْنِ “

“The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ stated that, ‘For whomever I am his Mawlā, then ‘Alī is his Mawlā.’ This Hadīth is authentic according to the conditions & requirements of the Shaykhayn (Imāms Bukhārī & Muslim).”

[al-Mustadrak li al-Hākim[1], vol 3, pg 110, Hadīth no 4578]

Moreover, it is stated in al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr narrated by Sayyidunā Zayd Ibn Arqam that the Noble Prophet ﷺ stated that,

«فَمَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلَاهُ فَعَلِيٌّ مَوْلَاهُ»

[al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr, vol 3, pg 189, Hadīth no 3039]

It is not only stated in one place in al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr, rather in many places, and likewise in Kanz al-‘Ummāl, that the Noble Prophet ﷺ has stated that,

“فَمَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلَاهُ فَعَلِيٌّ مَوْلَاهُ”

[Kanz al-‘Ummāl, vol 11, pg 602, 609, 610, Hadīth no 32904, 32946, 32950, 32951]

In a similar manner, it is stated in al-Sunan al-Kubrā, al-Ahādīth al-Mukhtārah, Ahādīth Ismā’īl Ja’far, Takhrīj al-Ahādīth al-Marfū’ah, al-Sunnah li Ibn Abī ‘Āsim, Musnad al-Bazzār, al-Kunā wa al-Asmā’, Tawhīd Ibn Abī Khuzaymah and Sharh Mushkil Āthār, and this Hadīth narration has been narrated many many times in all of these books, and this narration is present in several other Hadīths[2] also.

When this Hadīth is present in the books of Hadīth and it is also authentic in terms of its chain of narration, in that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ used the word Mawlā to address Sayyidunā ‘Alī, may Allāh increase him further in honour, so, Allah forbid, did the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ commit polytheism? Did he ﷺ preach polytheism? Never. There is no cure for the wahhābīs who see polytheism in everything, but they do not see where this verdict of polytheism is reaching to, thus it is imperative for all Muslims to save themselves and their offspring from them.

[1] There is also another narration in Mustadrak narrated by Sayyidunā Ayyūb Ansārī whereby he and some others came to meet Sayyidunā ‘Alī in Basra who was in his room, and thus called out to Sayyidunā ‘Alī, using the words “O my Mawlā.”

[2] For instance, Tabārānī, etc.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0626] Is it shirk to say ‘Mawla Ali’?

[Note: Though the Holy Qur’ān states Allāh as our Mawlānā towards the end of Sūrah al-Baqarah, and in many other places in the Majestic Qur’ān, it has also been mentioned alongside this that Sayyidunā Jibrīl and the pious believers are also the Mawlā of the Holy Prophet ﷺ.

We also use the term Mawlānā to address scholars of Islām, just how the name Ra’ūf (Most Kind) is used for Allāh, it is also used for the Holy Prophet ﷺ. The name Siddīq Akbar, meaning the most truthful, applies to Allāh, but it is used for Sayyidunā Siddīq Akbar (Abū Bakr). The name Fārūq Āzham, meaning the great differentiator (between truth and falsehood), applies to Allāh, but it is used for Sayyidunā Fārūq Āzham (‘Umar Ibn al-Khattāb). The name Ghanī applies to Allāh, but it is used Sayyidunā ‘Uthmān Ghanī. So why is this objection specific only to Sayyidunā ‘Alī? Clearly showing that this is merely a campaign by the wahhābīs only incited by blasphemy & hatred for Allāh’s beloveds.

One name is used for Allāh and for one of His beloveds, albeit there is a difference; it is all about perspective – Allāh is the Initial, He is the Mawlā (Master & Protector), etc on His Own accord, whereas for anyone else, it is a bestowment, a quality which is granted by Allāh.]

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