Muawiyah, not a nasibi?

 I begin this post with first quoting Shaykh Nami’s words, and then attempting to understand them:

Not all those who opposed Imam Ali are Nasibis.

It is a common mistake to consider anyone who waged a war against the Ahl al-Bayt, as Nasibi. The Nawasib, according to the definition that we accept, are those who embrace the hate of Ali (as) as part of their faith.”

“There is no evidence that the likes of Mu'awiya, Talha and Aisha, are considered Nasibis or impure. Whatever wrong they did, does not classify them to be infidels or Nasibis from a jurisprudential perspective. This is the view of our late Imam Khomeini in the book of Tahara P:457”

  • What does this mean?  

Shaykh Nami is elaborating that Muawiyah, Talha, Aisha, Abu Bakr, etc do not fall the jurisprudential (fiqhi) label of “Nasibi”.

What is fiqh with regards to Nawasib?

It refers to how we Shi’a are supposed to treat and deal those falling under the label of Nasibi - which Sh Nami defines as “those who embrace the hate of Ali (as) as part of their faith”. 

For example: 

  • Is it permissible to marry a Nasibi?
  • Is it permissible to eat from food of a Nasibi?
  • Is a Nasibi considered pure to touch, as a Muslim would be?

From my understanding - Sh Nami sees that a “nasibi” is someone who has genuine belief/faith in Islam - but sees the hatred of Ali as the path to achieving a full understanding of the religion and getting close to Allah.

Once fiqh is applied to an individual with these characteristic, it is not pemissible to marry him. Not permissible to eat his food or touch him. And so on. 

  • Can Muawiyah, Aisha, Uthman, etc be labeled “nawasib” from a fiqhi (jurisprudential) perspective?

I agree with Sh. Nami’s perspective that they mustn’t be considered “nawasib” from a fiqhi position. That is, if we go by his definition of a “nasibi”.

Because a nasibi has faith in Islam - and sees hatred of Ali as indispensible to his faith and belief.

Meanwhile - Muawiyah, Aisha, Uthman, and so on fall under a different category which has its own fiqhi implications, and that is “munafiqeen”.

However, fiqh is not how we should understand who is a nasibi. Fiqh is a set of instructions on how we can deal with someone who is fits certain characteristics. 

For example, there are ahadith describing someone who leaves prayers as committing “kufr asghar”.

You are a kafir in Allah’s eyes but fiqh wise - you won’t be considered a murtad and your property taken from you, wife divorced from you, etc - as the punishment of someone leaving Islam. 

Fiqh is just how an Islamic judge or society should deal with you, it doesn’t determine your wicked status.

So I believe Sh Nami was wrong in saying Muawiyah is not a nasibi but Muslim - as per fiqhi considerations. 

It does not take into account that he was a munafiq.

The munafiqeen are individuals who lived in the time of Rasul Allah - and had significant influence and following among Muslims, both during and after the Prophet’s lifetime. 

Allah says: “And among you [Muslims] are those who listen to them [i.e, the hypocrites]” (9:47)

This made the Prophet not extinguish them, nor punish them in many cases. This is why Aisha was not punished for the slander of Maria (per Shi’i sources) - as her father had influence, and..

This is why Ubayd Allah ibn Salul was not punished by the Prophet for his treason and conspiring against Muslims - in addition to what Sunni sources say of him leading the campaign to slander Aisha.

The Prophet’s manner in dealing with munafiqeen for the greater benefit of preserving the ummah is why our Imams did not call for any attacks against Aisha, despite Imam al-Hasan describing her in the below fashion: 

(Al-Kafi, vol 1, page 300)

And know [O Husayn], that I will be struck by Aisha in acts that will be witnessed by Allah and the people - [in addition] to her enmity towards Allah, to his Prophet, and her enmity towards us Ahlulbayt

واعلم أنه سيصيبني من عائشة ما يعلم الله والناس صنيعها وعداوتها لله ولرسوله وعداوتها لنا أهل البيت

Taking upon this hadith, Aisha would be defined in her outlook on life by enmity towards Allah and the Ahlulbayt. 

However, she faces the fiqhi connotations of a munafiq - not a nasibi. That is why she is not harmed. But it doesn’t mean she isn’t a nasibi in the eyes of God or the people - it’s just that the Shi’a shouldn’t excercise the punishment of nasibism on her. 

As for example, our ahadith permit killing and stealing from the nasibi (fiqh wise) - this is something the Shi’a would not have been allowed on Aisha because the munafiqeen were saved from punishment.

To prevent bloodshed and inner dissension is why the Prophet allowed the munafiqeen to intermingle among Muslims, marrying each other - dealing with each other. 

  • Fiqh of munafiqeen vs nawasib

A munafiq has no personal faith in Islam, their fate is in hell .. “Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire - and never will you find for them a helper” (4:145)

The munafiqeen’s purpose was to destroy Islam and the Islamic state from the inside. However, the Prophet was not able to extinguish them.

Being so, they have fiqhi rulings specific to dealing with them - separate from the rulings of nawasib. 

For example: 

  • It is impermissible to pray over a munafiq’s dead body: 

“And do not ever offer ˹funeral˺ prayers for any of their dead, nor stand by their grave ˹at burial˺, for they have lost faith in Allah and His Messenger and died rebellious.” (9:84)

Yet, however

  • Unlike the nawasib, it was permissible to marry the munafiqeen: 

(Al-Nawadir by Ahmad ibn ‘Isa al-Ash’ari, page 129) 

Abi Abdilah (al-Sadiq) said: 

Rasul Allah married (his daughters) to two munafiqeen - widely known for their nifaq:

Abu al-‘Aas ibn al-Rabee’. And he (the Imam) was quiet with regards to the other man

331 - ابن أبي عمير، عن حماد بن عثمان، عن معمر، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام، فقالزوج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله منافقينمعروفيالنفاق ثم قالأبو العاص بن الربيع، وسكت عن الاخر (6).

It seems the other munafiq man Rasul Allah married his daughter to mentioned in the hadith is Uthman, as evident in the following Rijal al-Kashi, vol 1, page 394 hadith:

قد زوج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله أبا العاص ابن الربيع وعثمان بن عفان، وتزوج عايشة وحفصة وغيرهما

This reflects what I mentioned earlier regarding the different treatment regarding munafiqeen - despite their kufr and nasb, for purpose of preventing bloodshed among Muslims.

Wa Allahu A’lam