Is “Mabit night” a virtue for commander of faithful [AS]?
When Ali [AS] slept in the bed instead of Prophet [PBUH], if he knew that he’ll get martyred or not? If so, what was its virtue for him? Or he didn’t know that he’ll get martyred? Is there anything about it in Sunni books?
There are certain and documented answers for proving the virtue of “Mabit night”:
1: according to Shiite and Sunni narratives this act of commander of faithful [AS], was the absolute obedience of god and prophet [PBUH], while disobeying prophet [PBUH] by companions has been recorded.
2: Ali [AS] wanted to sacrifice himself for Prophet [PBUH] sincerely from bottom of his heart, and was known as the first person who sacrifice himself in the path of god and was proud of a Quran verse that was revealed because of him. Of course this crown of honor doesn’t depend on martyrdom or lack of martyrdom, knowledge or lack of knowledge, on the other hand he went through a lot and faced many problems after this event.
3: assuming that proving this virtue depends on lack of knowledge to the martyrdom, there are many contexts such as: his preparation for martyrdom mentioned in many resources and his talk about being happy of getting martyred instead of Prophet….prove clearly that “Tha’alabi” narrative is wrong and in many narratives the weakness of this narrative, in terms of document and content has been mentioned and according to this idea, the great virtue has been proved for Ali [AS].
Preface: there is consensus that Ali [AS]slept instead of prophet [PBUH].
“Ibn abi al hadid” writes:
قد ثبت بالتواتر حديث الفراش ، فلا فرق بينه وبين ما ذكر في نص الكتاب ، ولا يجحده الا مجنون أو غير مخالط لأهل الملة.
Ibn Abi al-Hadid, description of Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 13, p. 261 searched by:, Mohammed Abu al-Fadl Ibrahim.
“Ibn Abi al hadid” quotes from “Abu ja’afar” that this sleeping of Ali [AS] instead of prophet [PBUH] has been proved successively,
there isn’t different between this event and events that mentioned in Quran. This event is just denied by idiots and foolish people.
First answer: this deed [his sleeping instead of prophet [PBUH] was obeying god almighty.
Shiite narratives: Ali [AS] obeyed god’s order.
Late Sheikh “Tusi” quotes from “Ibn abbas” in the book “Amali” that prophet didn’t sleep in bed following divine command and Ali [AS] slept instead of him obeying god’s order.
أَخْبَرَنَا جَمَاعَةٌ مِنْهُمْ الْحُسَينُ بْنُ عُبَيدِ اللَّهِ، وَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ عُبْدُونٍ، وَ أَبُو طَالِبِ بْنُ غرور [عَزْوَرٍ]، وَ أَبُو الْحَسَنِ الصَّقَّالُ، وَ أَبُو عَلِي الْحَسَنُ بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ أُشْنَاسٍ، قَالُوا: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْمُفَضَّلِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْمُطَّلِبِ الشَّيبَانِي، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ سُفْيانَ بْنِ الْعَبَّاسِ النَّحْوِي، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ عُبَيدِ بْنِ نَاصِحٍ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عُمَرَ بْنِ وَاقِدٍ الْأَسْلَمِي قَاضِي الشَّرْقِيةِ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ أَبِي حَبِيبَةَ، يعْنِي الْأَشْهَلِي، عَنْ دَاوُدَ بْنِ الْحُصَينِ، عَنْ أَبِي غَطَفَانَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ:
اجْتَمَعَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ فِي دَارِ النَّدْوَةِ لِيتَشَاوَرُوا فِي أَمْرِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ)، فَأَتَى جَبْرَئِيلُ (عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ) رَسُولَ اللَّهِ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) وَ أَخْبَرَهُ الْخَبَرَ، وَ أَمَرَهُ أَنْ لَا ينَامَ فِي مَضْجَعِهِ تِلْكَ اللَّيلَةَ، فَلَمَّا أَرَادَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) الْمَبِيتَ أَمَرَ عَلِياً (عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ) أَنْ يبِيتَ فِي مَضْجَعِهِ تِلْكَ اللَّيلَةَ، فَبَاتَ عَلِي (عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ) وَ تَغَشَّى بِبُرْدٍ أَخْضَرَ حَضْرَمِي كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) ينَامُ فِيهِ، وَ جَعَلَ السَّيفَ إِلَى جَنْبِهِ، فَلَمَّا اجْتَمَعَ أُولَئِكَ النَّفْرُ مِنْ قُرَيشٍ يطُوفُونَ وَ يرْصُدُونَهُ وَ يرِيدُونَ قَتْلَهُ، فَخَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) وَ هُمْ جُلُوسٌ عَلَى الْبَابِ، عَدَدُهُمْ خَمْسَةٌ وَ عِشْرُونَ رَجُلًا، فَأَخَذَ حَفْنَةً مِنَ الْبَطْحَاءِ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ يذُرُّهَا عَلَى رُءُوسِهِمْ هُوَ يقْرَأُ «يس وَ الْقُرْآنِ الْحَكِيمِ» حَتَّى بَلَغَ «فَأَغْشَيناهُمْ فَهُمْ لا يبْصِرُونَ» فَقَالَ لَهُمْ قَائِلٌ: مَا تَنْظُرُونَ قَدْ وَ اللَّهِ خِبْتُمْ وَ خَسِرْتُمْ، وَ اللَّهِ لَقَدْ مَرَّ بِكُمْ وَ مَا مِنْكُمْ رَجُلٌ إِلَّا وَ قَدْ جَعَلَ عَلَى رَأْسِهِ تُرَاباً. فَقَالُوا: وَ اللَّهِ مَا أَبْصَرْنَاهُ. قَالَ: فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ (عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ) «وَ إِذْ يمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيثْبِتُوكَ أَوْ يقْتُلُوكَ أَوْ يخْرِجُوكَ وَ يمْكُرُونَ وَ يمْكُرُ اللَّهُ وَ اللَّهُ خَيرُ الْماكِرِينَ».
Tusi, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, al alam, p. 445, Qom.
Idolaters got together in “ dar al nadvah” discussing about the fate of prophet Muhammad [PBUH], “Gabriel” came down and informed prophet [PBUH] and ordered him not to sleep in the bed at that night, when prophet wanted to rest ordered Ali [AS ] to sleep instead of him, Ali [AS] did so and put a green blanket on him and put his sword on his side, prophet [PBUH] left the house while “Quraysh” collected people would walk around Prophet’s house and would watch it and wanted to kill prophet [PBUH]. They were about 25 persons, Then prophet [PBUH] poured two handfuls of soil on their head while saying:
“يس وَ الْقُرْآنِ الْحَكِيمِ”…. “فَأَغْشَيناهُمْ فَهُمْ لا يبْصِرُونَ”
Then he told them you see nothing. indeed, god has put you losers, swear to god a man passed by you and soil was poured on your head all. Then they said: swear to god we didn’t see him and god revealed this verse:
“وَ إِذْ يمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيثْبِتُوكَ أَوْ يقْتُلُوكَ أَوْ يخْرِجُوكَ وَ يمْكُرُونَ وَ يمْكُرُ اللَّهُ وَ اللَّهُ خَيرُ الْماكِرِينَ”
“Tahavi”: Ali [AS] followed prophet’s [PBUH] order!
“Tahavi” is a Sunni famous scholar. He says that this deed was pleased by prophet.
فعقلنا لما في هذا الحديث أن لبوس علي رضي الله عنه قميص النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ونومه في مكانه كانا بفعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ذلك به.
Abu Ja 'far Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn salamah Al tahavi, died in: 321 Ah, description of the mushkel Al asar, vol 10, p 273 Publishing House: Institute Al resalah - Lebanon / Beirut.
After probing into these narratives we found out that what Ali [AS] did was prophet’s order including
wearing prophet’s [PBUH] cloth and sleeping instead of him. In these narrative issues like: divine order to prophet [PBUH] about lace of sleeping in the bed and ordering Ali [AS] to sleep instead of prophet [PBUH] and big peril threatening Ali [AS] and Ali’s obedience from god’s command, have been restated. And regardless of his knowledge or lack of knowledge of getting martyred, this deed is absolute obedience of divine order which is amongst the biggest virtues.
And god says in Quran:
“ومن يطع الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما.”
Whosoever obeys Allah and His messenger, he verily has gained a signal victory.
Surah. AL-AHZAB .
Companions and disobeying prophet [PBUH], despite their knowledge of safety .
In similar cases prophet [PBUH] asked companions to do something that seemed like to be perilous and on the other hand prophet [PBUH] gave the promise of surviving and immunity but companions didn’t trust him and disobeyed him. [In a valid narrative] “Huzaifah” quotes: during “KHandagh” war, prophet [PBUH] asked companions two times that one of them goes to the foe to bring information from them, but no one accepted.
فقال حُذَيْفَةُ يا بن أخي والله لقد رَأَيْتُنَا مع رسول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِالْخَنْدَقِ وَصَلَّى رسول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنَ اللَّيْلِ هَوِيًّا ثُمَّ الْتَفَتَ إِلَيْنَا فقال من رَجُلٌ يَقُومُ فَيَنْظُرَ لنا ما فَعَلَ الْقَوْمُ يَشْتَرِطُ له رسول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إنه يَرْجِعُ أَدْخَلَهُ الله الْجَنَّةَ فما قام رَجُلٌ ثُمَّ صلى رسول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم هَوِيًّا مِنَ اللَّيْلِ ثُمَّ الْتَفَتَ إِلَيْنَا فقال من رَجُلٌ يَقُومُ فَيَنْظُرَ لنا ما فَعَلَ الْقَوْمُ ثُمَّ يَرْجِعُ يَشْرِطُ له رسول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الرَّجْعَةَ أَسْأَلُ اللَّهَ أَنْ يَكُونَ رفيقي في الْجَنَّةِ فما قام رَجُلٌ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ مع شِدَّةِ الْخَوْفِ وَشِدَّةِ الْجُوعِ وَشِدَّةِ الْبَرْدِ فلما لم يَقُمْ أَحَدٌ دعاني رسول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فلم يَكُنْ لي بُدٌّ مِنَ الْقِيَامِ حين دعاني فقال يا حُذَيْفَةُ فَاذْهَبْ فَادْخُلْ في الْقَوْمِ فَانْظُرْ ما يَفْعَلُونَ.
Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal vol. 5, p. 392, author’s name: Ahmad ibn Hanbal Abu Abdullah Al sheibani, died in: 241 H
“Huzaifah” says: my brother’s son, I was with prophet [PBUH], he said prayer, then told us who is ready to go amongst enemy to bring information? No one accepted, prophet [PBUH] promised that person to survive and said god shall send him to the heaven but nobody accepted, then prophet [PBUH] said prayer and told us: is there any one to bring information from the enemy’ I’ll guarantee his safety and he’ll be in heaven with me, but no one accepted due to the intensity of cold air and
hunger and fear. Then prophet [PBUH] called upon me and ordered me to do so.
Above narrative shows that assurance and confidence to safety can’t cause someone to do some ting and follow the order, but following order, requires special faith and belief, like what commander of faithful [AS] did at “Almabit night”.
Second response: “Al mabit” night is the instance of purchasing soul, whether with knowledge or not
As some of Sunni and Shiite scholars have said, one of verses that was revealed about commander of faithful [AS] related to “mabit night” is this verse:
“وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يشْرِى نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَاء مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ”
This verse proves that instance of this verse, is the one who has subjected his life to sale [whether he gets martyred or not, whether he knows about martyrdom or not] when they were selling Josph [AS] at the market, Egyptian old woman, came to the market, she knew that she can’t buy “Juseph”, but she said I’m buyer! Now the question is that what’s wrong with it if someone knows that the product of his soul is not sold in an event, but he subjects his life to sale with sincere intention?!
giving life and whole the world in exchange of demanding religion.
“Fakhr Razi” is amongst Sunni famous scholars, he says that this verse is the instance of giving entire world and soul in exchange of demanding religion.
اعلم أنه تعالى لما وصف في الآية المتقدمة حال من يبذل دينه لطلب الدنيا ذكر في هذه الآية حال من يبذل دنياه ونفسه وماله لطلب الدين فقال : «وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يشْرِى نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَاء مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ»
Fakhr al-Din Muhammad ibn Umar al-Razi Al Shafei died in: 604 H, great interpretation, vol. 5, p. 0173.
Know that the previous verse was about people who sell their religion to get the world, and this verse is about those who sacrifice their life to demand and get the religion.
Commander of faithful [AS], the first person who sacrificed himself for Prophet [PBUH].
“Hakem Neishaburi” a Sunni scholar, quotes a narrative from Imam “Sadegh” [AS] and introduced Ali [AS] as the first devoted of prophet Muhammad [PBUH]:
وقد حدثنا بكر بن محمد الصيرفي بمرو ثنا عبيد بن قنفذ البزار ثنا يحيى بن عبد الحميد الحماني ثنا قيس بن الربيع ثنا حكيم بن جبير عن علي بن الحسين قال إن أول من شرى نفسه ابتغاء رضوان الله علي بن أبي طالب.
Mohammed bin Abdullah Abu Abdullah al-Hakim Al nEIsabury.died in: 405 AH, Al mustadrak vol. 3, p. 5. Publishing House: the house of scientific book.
“Hakim ibn Khair” quotes from Imam “Sajjad” that the first person who sacrificed his life in the path of god and acquiring god’s satisfactory, is commander of faithful [AS]. “Zahabi” has said this narrative in his description for “Hakem’s book, and he didn’t say any thing to confirm “Hakem’s valid narrative.
It’s said in different Shiite and Sunni narratives that commander of faithful [AS] went through a lot and ran the risk of all problems at that night.
The swollen body of commander of faithful [AS]
In the book “traits” written by “seyyed Razi” the story of assaulting to Ali [AS] and his serious wounding have written which proves the truth of other narratives.
... قَالَ ابْنُ الْكَوَّاءِ لِأَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَينَ كُنْتَ حَيثُ ذَكَرَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى نَبِيهُ وَ أَبَا بَكْرٍ فَقَالَ ثانِي اثْنَينِ إِذْ هُما فِي الْغارِ إِذْ يقُولُ لِصاحِبِهِ لا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنا فَقَالَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ع وَيلَكَ يا ابْنَ الْكَوَّاءِ كُنْتُ عَلَى فِرَاشِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ص وَ قَدْ طَرَحَ عَلَي رِيطَتَهُ فَأَقْبَلَتْ قُرَيشٌ مَعَ كُلِّ رَجُلٍ مِنْهُمْ هِرَاوَةٌ فِيهَا شَوْكُهَا فَلَمْ يبْصِرُوا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ حَيثُ خَرَجَ فَأَقْبَلُوا عَلَي يضْرِبُونَنِي بِمَا فِي أَيدِيهِمْ حَتَّى تَنَفَّطَ جَسَدِي وَ صَارَ مِثْلَ الْبَيضِ ثُمَّ انْطَلَقُوا بِي يرِيدُونَ قَتْلِي فَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ لَا تَقْتُلُوهُ اللَّيلَةَ وَ لَكِنْ أَخِّرُوهُ وَ اطْلُبُوا.
Sharif Al-Radi, Mohammad ibn Hussein: 406 AH, characteristics of Shiite imam, Page 58, Researcher: Amin, Mohammad Hadi.
“Ibn Kava’a” said to commander of faithful [AS]: where were you when this verse was revealed about prophet [PBUH] and “Abubakr”?
“ ثانِي اثْنَينِ إِذْ هُما فِي الْغارِ إِذْ يقُولُ لِصاحِبِهِ لا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنا”
Woe to you “Ibn al Kava’a”, I was in prophet’s bed and put prophet’s blanket on me, “Quraysh” people assaulted me with prickly and spiny sticks and caudgel, they didn’t see prophet [PBUH] when he left the house, so they beat me up by anything that they had till my body was swollen and blistered, then they wanted to kill me, some said don’t kill him tonight, look for him. [Prophet].
Assaulting commander of faithful [AS] with cudgel and stone.
Late Sheikh “Tusi” says in the book “Al amali”:
دخل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ، وأبو بكر إلى الغار ، فلما خلق الليل وانقطع الأثر ، اقبل القوم على على صلوات الله عليه ، قذفا بالحجارة والحلم ، فلا يشكون انه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ، حتى إذا برق الفجر ، وأشفقوا ان يفضحهم الصبح ، هجموا على على صلوات الله عليه ، وكانت دور مكة يومئذ سوائب ، لا أبواب لها ، فلما بصر بهم علي عليه السلام قد انتضوا السيوف ، واقبلوا عليه بها ، يقدمهم خالد بن الوليد بن المغيرة.
Al Tusi, Muhammad ibn al hasan, Al amali, P 467.
Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] and “Abubakr” went to the cave, and when it got dark and not thing was clear, idolaters assaulted Ali [AS] by stone and cudgel and had no doubt that he’s prophet [PBUH], till sun came up and they were afraid of being decried, attacked on Ali [AS], at that time houses of “Mecca” didn’t have door and guard. When they saw Ali [AS], they pulled their swords out and assaulted him and their leader was “Khale ibn valid”.
As you see, in all mentioned narratives, the existence of divine order on behalf god to Ali [AS] and prophet [PBUH] and Ali’s obedience of divine order and his courage are clear and this actis incomparable with the act of all prophet’s companions. In Sunni narratives his injury and getting stoned and tortured by idolaters have been mentioned. Some narratives from “Hakem neishaburi” and “Ahmad ibn hanbal” in this regard:
Ahmad ibn hanbal says:
“قال فَانْطَلَقَ أبو بَكْرٍ فَدَخَلَ معه الْغَارَ قال وَجَعَلَ علي يرمَى بِالْحِجَارَةِ كما كان يرْمَى نبي اللَّهِ وهو يتَضَوَّرُ قد لَفَّ رَأْسَهُ في الثَّوْبِ لاَ يخْرِجُهُ حتى أَصْبَحَ”
Abu Abdullah Ahmad ibn Hanbal died in: 241 H, the documentary of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, p. 330, Publishing House: Institute Qertabah – Egypt.
“Ibn abbas” says: “Abu bakr” moved to the cave and went to the cave with prophet [PBUH] and said Ali [AS] was stoned, as prophet was stoned, and was in great pain and had wrapped up his head by a piece of white cloth till morning.
Assuming that what “sa’alabi” has said is true that Ali [AS] was sure that he won’t get martyred, but that doesn’t mean that god has promised him about safety of other threats and that doesn’t mean that Ali [AS] was sure that no danger threatens him except martyrdom and as It was said he was tortured and went through a lot , despite such great threats, a figure like commander of faithful [AS] accepted to sacrifice himself and made his body as shield against stone, sword and cudgel to protect Prophet [PBUH], this act is the biggest virtue and the most obvious instance of sacrificing and puchasing soul and the matter of this sacrificing is more clear when it’s compared with the prior of some of companions who used to escape from battle field [like “Ohod” war].
Hakem neishburi” says in the book “Al mustadrak”:
حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ، ثنا زِيادُ بْنُ الْخَلِيلِ التُّسْتَرِي، ثنا كَثِيرُ بْنُ يحْيى، ثنا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي بَلْجٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ مَيمُونٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِي اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا، قَالَ: " شَرَى عَلِي نَفْسَهُ، وَلَبِسَ ثَوْبَ النَّبِي صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ، ثُمَّ نَامَ مَكَانَهُ، وَكَانَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ يرْمُونَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَقَدْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَلْبَسَهُ بُرْدَةً، وَكَانَتْ قُرَيشٌ تُرِيدُ أَنْ تَقْتُلَ النَّبِي صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَجَعَلُوا يرْمُونَ عَلِيا، وَيرَوْنَهُ النَّبِي صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَقَدْ لَبِسَ بُرْدَةً، وَجَعَلَ عَلِي رَضِي اللَّهُ عَنْهُ يتَضَوَّرُ، فَإِذَا هُوَ عَلِي، فَقَالُوا: إِنَّكَ لَلَئِيمٌ إِنَّكَ لَتَتَضَوَّرُ، وَكَانَ صَاحِبُكَ لا يتَضَوَّرُ، وَلَقَدِ اسْتَنْكَرْنَاهُ مِنْكَ ". هَذَا حَدِيثٌ صَحِيحُ الإِسْنَادِ وَلَمْ يخَرِّجَاهُ. وَقَدْ رَوَاهُ أَبُو دَاوُدَ الطَّيالِسِي، وَغَيرُهُ، عَنْ أَبِي عَوَانَةَ بِزِيادَةِ أَلْفَاظٍ.
[قال الذهبي في التلخيص] صحيح.
Mohammed bin Abdullah Abu Abdullah al-Hakim Al neishabury died in: 405 AH, mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 5.
“Hakem” quotes a narrative from “Ibn Abbas”: Ali [AS] sold his breath [he sacrificed his life for the sake of god] and wore prophet’s cloth [put prophet’s blanket on him] and slept in prophet’s bed, polytheists stoned him thinking that prophet is sleeping, Ali [AS] would shout from much pain, then they figured out that he’s Ali [AS], they told him, you’re a mean person, you were shouting of much pain not your companion [Prophet] and we didn’t know that you were here, “Hakem” says in continue, the document of this narrative is valid and those two [“Bukhari and muslem] didn’t quote it and “ talyasi” and others quoted it. “Shams al din zahabi” says in the description of the book “Mustadrak” that this narrative is valid. “Heithami” believes that this narrative is valid too:
رواه أحمد والطبراني في الكبير والأوسط باختصار ورجال أحمد رجال الصحيح غير أبي بلج الفزاري وهو ثقة وفيه لين.
“Ahmad” has quoted this narrative in the book “Musnad” and “Teirani” has quoted it in the book “ great Mu’jam ” and “middle Mu’jam” and the narrators of this hadith in “Ahmad ibn hanbal’s quotation, are the narrators of “Shahih bukhari”.
This act of commander of faithful [AS] was so valuable and great that a verse was revealed about this great act of commander of faithful [AS] and he was given the medal of the trade of selling soul in the path of god and his knowledge or lack of knowledge to martyrdom is not barrier for giving this virtue to Ali [AS].
Third response: Ali [AS] would see it likely to get martyred.
Plus two above responses that were related to his knowledge to lack of martyrdom, another response is that Ali [AS] would see it likely that he will get martyred:
Contexts related to Ali’s [AS] lack of knowledge to surviving:
First context: his preparation for martyrdom and rejecting the theory of knowing the surviving and immunity.
Late Sheikh “Tusi” quotes another narrative from “Anas ibn malek” similar to previous narrative, about the events of “al mabit night” and Ali’s sleeping instead of prophet [PBUH] and restates that Ali [AS] was ready for martyrdom:
- أَخْبَرَنَا جَمَاعَةٌ، عَنْ أَبِي الْمُفَضَّلِ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سُلَيمَانَ الْبَاغَنْدِي، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الصَّبَّاحِ الْجَرْجَرَائِي، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ كَثِيرٍ الْمُلَائِي، عَنْ عَوْفٍ الْأَعْرَابِي مِنْ أَهْلِ الْبَصْرَةِ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ أَبِي الْحَسَنِ، عَن أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ: لَمَّا تَوَجَّهَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) إِلَى الْغَارِ وَ مَعَهُ أَبُو بَكْرٍ، أَمَرَ النَّبِي (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) عَلِياً (عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ) أَنْ ينَامَ عَلَى فِرَاشِهِ وَ يتَوَشَّحَ بِبُرْدَتِهِ، فَبَاتَ عَلِي (عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ) مُوَطِّناً نَفْسَهُ عَلَى الْقَتْلِ، وَ جَاءَتْ رِجَالُ قُرَيشٍ مِنْ بُطُونِهَا يرِيدُونَ قَتْلَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ)، فَلَمَّا أَرَادُوا أَنْ يضَعُوا عَلَيهِ أَسْيافَهُمْ لَا يشُكُّونَ أَنَّهُ مُحَمَّدٌ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ)، فَقَالُوا: أَيقِظُوهُ لِيجِدَ أَلَمَ الْقَتْلِ وَ يرَى السُّيوفَ تَأْخُذُهُ، فَلَمَّا أَيقَظُوهُ وَ رَأَوْهُ عَلِياً (عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ) تَرَكُوهُ وَ تَفَرَّقُوا فِي طَلَبِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ)، فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ (عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ) «وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يشْرِي نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغاءَ مَرْضاتِ اللَّهِ وَ اللَّهُ رَؤُفٌ بِالْعِبادِ».
Tusi, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, Al amali, p. 447.
When prophet [PBUH] and “abu bakr” went to the cave, prophet ordered Ali [AS] to sleep in his bed and put his blanket on him, Ali [AS] slept in the bed while preparing himself for dying, then some of “Quraysh" people entered and wanted to kill prophet [PBUH] before killing him by sword, despite of they were sure that he’s prophet, some said: let’s awake him to feel the pain and see the sword ready to kill him, after removing the blanket they saw Ali [AS], then they left the house looking for prophet [PBUH] and tis verse was revealed: some sell their soul for god’s satisfaction and god is kind with creatures. It’s written in this text that Ali [AS] slept instead of prophet [PBUH] when he ordered Ali [AS], and the most important point is this sentence:
“موطنا نفسه علي القتل”
It says that Ali [AS] had prepared himself for dying, and this issue is compatible with being unaware of immunity not with being aware of surviving.
Second context: saving prophet’s life using of his own life.
It’s written in many of Sunni and Shiite books that commander of faithful [AS] has described his great act at that night in an elegant piece of poem, he says that he saved prophet’s life by his own life, this praise from an infallible Imam [AS] and in perspective of companions is considered a great virtue.
وقيت بنفسي خير من وطىء الحصا
ومن طاف بالبيت العتيق وبالحجر
رسول إله خاف أن يمكروا به
فنجاه ذو الطول الإله من المكر
وبات رسول الله في الغار آمنا
موقى وفي حفظ الإله وفي ستر
Tusi, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, Al amali, p 468,
I saved the best person has ever stepped on the earth, the kindest person who performed “Tawaf” around “Ka’aba” and “Ismael stone”, by my soul. The prophet who was afraid of idolaters’ plot, at this time god saved him from their plot, he slept in the cave safety while his life was in god’s protection.
In this piece of poem written in Sunni books, Ali [AS] says that he sacrificed his life to protect [PBUH], it’s natural to not accept that some one is sure about his surviving while saying that I sacrificed myself for prophet [PUHB] and was ready for dying.
Third context: Ali‘s happiness and satisfactory from sacrificing himself for prophet [PBUH].
Late “Sadoogh” has cited a narrative in “Khesal”, that commander of faithful said in response of a question from a Jewish about divine test that he faced: sleeping in prophet’s bed was done due to god’s order and it was amongst the biggest divine tests.
أمره بالخروج في الوقت الذي خرج فيه إلى الغار فأخبرني رسول الله ص بالخبر و أمرني أن أضطجع في مضجعه و أقيه بنفسي فأسرعت إلى ذلك مطيعا له مسرورا لنفسي بأن أقتل دونه فمضى ع لوجهه و اضطجعت في مضجعه و أقبلت رجالات قريش موقنة في أنفسها أن تقتل النبي ص فلما استوى بي و بهم البيت الذي أنا فيه ناهضتهم بسيفي فدفعتهم عن نفسي بما قد علمه الله و الناس ثم أقبل ع على أصحابه فقال أ ليس كذلك قالوا بلى يا أمير المؤمنين.
Al-Sheikh Al sadoogh, Al-khesal, vol. 2, p 367, Correction and research: Ali Akbar Ghaffari,
When the time of his migration came up, god ordered him to move toward “Thur” cave, prophet told me to sleep in his bed and protect his life by this sacrificing, I accepted at once while I was obedient and happy to be killed for him, prophet [PBUH] moved and I slept instead of him, and “Quraysh” heroes arrived, thinking to kill prophet [PBUH], then I faced them at home, drew my sword and defended myself as god and people know, then he said to his companions: isn’t true, all of the said: yes it is, O’ commander of faithful [AS].
In this narrative some points are clear that one of them is this that, mission was done with divine order and prophet’s conveying, secondly: Ali [AS] did this act at once and with quite belief and believed that saving prophet’s [PBUH] life depends on his martyrdom and accepted this mission willingly and these points show that his sacrificing was unique and rare.
Fourth context: Ali’s [AS] sleeping instead of prophet and the possibility of his martyrdom.
Sheikh “Tusi” has quoted a narrative showing the happiness of prophet [PBUH] of Ali’s safety after “Al mabit night”.
... عَنْ أُمِّ هَانِئٍ بِنْتِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ، قَالَتْ: لَمَّا أَمَرَ اللَّهُ (تَعَالَى) نَبِيهُ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) بِالْهِجْرَةِ وَ أَنَامَ عَلِياً (عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ) فِي فِرَاشِهِ وَ وَشَّحَهُ بِبُرْدٍ لَهُ حَضْرَمِي، ثُمَّ خَرَجَ، فَإِذَا وُجُوهُ قُرَيشٍ عَلَى بَابِهِ، فَأَخَذَ حَفْنَةً مِنْ تُرَابٍ فَذَرَّهَا عَلَى رُءُوسِهِمْ، فَلَمْ يشْعُرْ بِهِ أَحَدٌ مِنْهُمْ، وَ دَخَلَ عَلَي بَيتِي، فَلَمَّا أَصْبَحَ أَقْبَلَ عَلَي وَ قَالَ: أَبْشِرِي يا أُمَّ هَانِئٍ، فَهَذَا جَبْرَئِيلُ (عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ) يخْبِرُنِي أَنَّ اللَّهَ (عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ) قَدْ أَنْجَى عَلِياً مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ.
Tusi, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, Al amali, Page 447.
“Um hani” the daughter of “Abu taleb” says: when god ordered prophet [PBUH] going to the cave, he put Ali [AS] in his bed and covered him by his blanket, left the house while “Quraysh” famous figures were there, he got little soil and poured on their head, not of them understood. Prophet [PBUH] came to my house. He told me in the morning, I give you good tidings, “Gabriel” came down and told me that god saved Ali [AS].
One of things that proves the possibility of Ali’s martyrdom is the last part of above narrative. If prophet [PBUH] was sure about Ali’s surviving at that night, it’d be meaningless to say that “Gabriel” came down and said that god saved Ali [AS].
fifth context: sleeping on the bed and belief in martyrdom.
Amongst narrative that proves Ali’s lack of knowledge to martyrdom is Sheikh “Tusi’s narrative from “Mujahed”. He quotes from “Abd Allah Shedad” that Ali [AS] would see it likely to get martyred and this bravery is incomparable with so-called “Abu bakr’s presence in the cave.
... عَنْ مُجَاهِدٍ، قَالَ: فَخَرَتْ عَائِشَةُ بِأَبِيهَا وَ مَكَانِهِ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) فِي الْغَارِ، فَقَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ شَدَّادِ بْنِ الْهَادِ: وَ أَينَ أَنْتِ مِنْ عَلِي بْنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ حَيثُ نَامَ فِي مَكَانِهِ وَ هُوَ يرَى أَنَّهُ يقْتَلُ فَسَكَتَتْ وَ لَمْ تُحِرْ جَوَاباً
Tusi, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, Al amali, Page 447.
“Mujahed” says: “Ayeshe” was proud of his father saying that “Abu bakr” was in the cave with prophet [PBUH], then “Abdu Allah Shedad” said: this virtue is incomparable with Ali’s [AS] virtue, because he slept t in prophet’s bed seeing it likely to get killed. “Ayeshe” said nothing.
This sentence shows that martyrdom state was An expectable state for commander of faithful [AS]. According to this text and previous sentences, we can’t accept that he was aware of his surviving. Imam’s awareness of different event in case of willing to know about them.
Many things have been said about the knowledge of Imam [AS], that one of them is that, if Imam [AS] wants, he can be aware of an event and if he doesn’t will to know about something he won’t be aware of that event like average people.
علي بن محمد وغيره ، عن سهل بن زياد ، عن أيوب بن نوح ، عن صفوان ابن يحيى ، عن ابن مسكان ، عن بدر بن الوليد ، عن أبي الربيع الشامي ، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال : إن الامام إذا شاء أن يعلم علم
Sheikh Al kuleini, d: 329 H, vol. 1, p. 258, Correction and research: Ali Akbar Ghaffari .
“Ibn rabi’e Shami” quotes from Imam “Sadegh” [AS]: indeed, Imam [AS] wills to know something, he’ll know.
So it’s proved that the necessity of Imam’s foreknowledge is not that, Ali [AS] has knowledge to surviving or not and it doesn’t cause any fault for him but if infallible Imam wills to know something and he can’t be aware of it, in this case it’ll be in contradictory with the knowledge of infallible Imam. And at “Al mabit night” as long Ali [AS] doesn’t want, he can’t be aware of the fact of event. Narratives that prove Ali’s [AS] knowledge to immunity and their reviewing.
The only resource that has quoted this claim and others follow it too, is “sa’alabi’s quotation. Some
Sunni say that prophet [PBUH] said to Ali [AS] to sleep in his bed and told him: you’ll be fine.
“Sa’alabi” and the narrative of Ali’s [AS] knowledge to surviving.
وقال الثعلبي : ورأيت في الكتب إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لما أراد الهجرة خلف علي بن أبي طالب بمكة لقضاء ديونه ورد الودايع التي كانت عنده فأمره ليلة خرج إلى الغار وقد أحاط المشركون بالدار أن ينام على فراشه صلى الله عليه وسلم وقال له : (إتشح ببردي الحضرمي الأخضر ، ونم على فراشي ، فإنه لا يخلص إليك منهم مكروه إنشاء الله ، ففعل ذلك علي
Abu Ishaq Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al sa’alabi Al neisabury, died in: 427 AH - 1035 AD, interpretation of Al sa’alabi, vol. 2, p 126, researcher: Imam Abi Muhammad ibn Ashour. “Sa’alabi”Sunni narrator says: I saw in the books that when prophet [PBUH] wanted to migrate, he put Ali [AS] as his successor in “Mecca” to pay his debts and give back people’s deposits, at the night that prophet [PBUH] went to the cave and idolaters had surrounded his house, he ordered Ali [AS] to sleep instead of him and told him to put his green blanket on him and said that god willing you’ll be survived then Ali [AS] did so.
Response: “Sa’alabi’s contradictory talk about Ali‘s [AS] knowledge to immunity.
What “Sa’alabi” said in that narrative doesn’t have any document and is just a claim without any confirmation from any reliable resource, and he himself has quoted a narrative that is in contradictory with this narrative:
فأوحى الله تعالى إلى جبرئيل وميكائيل إني قد آخيت بينكما وجعلت عمر أحدكما أطول من عمر الأخر فأيكما يؤثر صاحبه بالبقاء والحياة ؟ فإختار كلاهما الحياة فأوحى الله تعالى إليهما : أفلا كنتما مثل علي بن أبي طالب ج آخيت بينه وبين محمّد صلى الله عليه وسلم فبات على فراشه ( يفديه ) نفسه ويؤثره بالحياة ، إهبطا إلى الأرض فاحفظاه من عدوه.
Abu Ishaq Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al sa’alabi Al neisabury, died in: 427 AH - 1035 AD, interpretation of Al sa’alabi, vol. 2, p 126, researcher: Imam Abi Muhammad ibn Ashour
At “Al mabit night” god almighty said to “Gabriel” and “Michael”: I made brother hood treaty amongst you, one of you will live longer, which one of you is ready to be sacrificed for another one? Both of them preferred life to death, god told them: why aren’t you like Ali [AS], I made brother hood treaty between Ali [AS] Muhammad [PBUH] he is sleeping in prophet’s bed to protect Prophet [PBUH], go to the earth and save him.
It’s restated in this narrative that Ali [AS] slept in the bed to sacrifice his life for prophet [PBUH], and it shows that he wasn’t sure about surviving or else this talk would be meaningless.
Based on contexts in both mentioned resources that show that he was ready for martyrdom and the news of surviving Ali [AS] at that night by “Gabriel” made it clear that prophet [PBUH] was unaware of Ali’s [AS] fate, and after realizing about the invalidity of “Sa’alabi’s narrative and narratives that are against his narrative, we conclude this talk that Ali [AS] was sure about surviving is baseless.
Proving virtue in case of accepting “Sa’alabi’s narrative”
As we proved in first and second responses, even if it’s proven that Ali [AS] was aware of surviving, it
won’t be in contradictory with the praise of sleeping in prophet’s [PBUH] bed!
The comparison between Ali’s [AS] sleeping in prophet’s [PBUH] bed and “Abu bakr’s accompanying with prophet [PBUH] in the cave.
Referring to Sunni famous books shows that “Abu bakr” was in the cave with prophet [PBUH] while Ali [AS] was in prophet’s bed, and despite of prophet [PBUH] told him several times to be patient and quiet and despite the revealing Quran verse:
“لاتحزن الله معنا”
But “Abu bakr” was still impatient and nervous and was about to reveal prophet’s hideout, indeed, if “Abu bakr” believed in prophet’s talks, so why prophet [PBUH] prohibited him of being upset and impatience?
Knowledge to surviving is the biggest virtue.
Assuming that we accept baseless narratives like what “Sa’alabi” has said that commander of faithful [AS] was aware of his lack of martyrdom, according to Sunni confirmed resources knowledge to lack of martyrdom and sleeping in the prophet’s bed, are the biggest virtues for Ali [AS], because knowledge to surviving is whether for having foreknowledge or for having quite faith to divine promises and prophet’s [PBUH] talks that just by once god’s order, confidence and faith were made for commander of faithful [AS]. both assumptions are the highest indicator for a companion, because knowing about surviving is whether for foreknowledge which shows his position is higher than other companions since not of them had such ability, so Ali [AS] was the best companion higher than “Abu bakr”, or he didn’t have foreknowledge and did that mission trusting in divine order and prophet’s promise that no danger will threaten you that it shows his obedience and certain position, the same position that “Abu bakr” didn’t have little bit of it whom even Prophet’s constant promises about immunity and safety couldn’t make him calm.