Written by Kalaam Posted by 13S2010
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
The 12 Imams didn’t narrate this important incident
We don’t find the hadith of pen and paper in the authentic Shia narrations. There is not a single Sahih Shia narration regarding this incident. One is just amazed at the omission of this important incident from the Shia books. While the Shias try to accuse Umar (ra) for this incident, they forget that the real accusation is actually upon the Shia Imams who didn’t narrate this important narration. The only thing which relieves them of this accusation is that they didn’t consider this incident to be of any importance. While the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) are the number one target in the Shia book in the narrations of the 12 Imams, the absence of this narration proves that even their Imams didn’t find anything wrong with this incident. If this incident indeed happened and the Shia Imams didn’t narrate it, it raises serious concerns on the knowledge of the Shia Imams.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) lived for 4 days after this incident
This incident happened on Thursday. The Prophet (peace be upon him) died on Monday. Even if we consider the Monday to be the very next one, there were four days during which the Prophet (peace be upon him) could make his will written. Ali and the Bani Hashim were present with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and they could read and write. We don’t find any narration that the Prophet (peace be upon him) made his will recorded during these days. It can be due to two reasons. Either he didn’t consider it obligatory, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) was duty bound to preach what is revealed to him, or it was something he had already told the people and he wanted to stress it again by making it written. The fact is that the Prophet (peace be upon him) didn’t make his will recorded, and this goes in the favour of Umar (ra) and against the Shias, who want to presume that it was regarding the imamate of Ali, which couldn’t have been the case, since the Prophet (peace be upon him) was duty bound to preach what is revealed to him.
The companions were asking a question, and not making a statement
In the narrations, we read that the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were asking question regarding the state of the Prophet (peace be upon him), nowhere did they make a statement regarding his condition.
It was the duty of Ali to bring pen and paper, not the other companions
The other companions were guests, so it was not their duty to bring pen and paper, rather it was the duty of Ali and Aqeel and the other household members to bring pen and paper. It is strange that a guest is supposed to bring pen and paper in the house of his host.
Ibn Abbas never accused Umar (ra) in any one narration
In all the narrations, we see that Ibn Abbas said
فتنازعوا ولا ينبغي عند نبي تنازع
The people differed in their opinions although it was improper to differ in front of a Prophet.
It proves that even he didn’t consider the words of Umar (ra) to be blameworthy. He complained only about the quarrel, and the quarrel was done by both sides, whether they wanted the will to be written, or those who didn’t want the will to be written in view of the condition of the Prophet (peace be upon him). If Ibn Abbas had seen the Shia view on this narration, he himself would have been amazed to see such a strange conclusion on the basis of his narration. The Shias can’t provide a single narration in which Ibn Abbas criticized Umar (ra).
If the pen and paper event was for the documentation of Imamate of Ali, then Ghadeer incident loses all its value
As Farid brother mentioned to me, the pen and paper event couldn’t be for the documentation of Imamate of Ali. Because Shias claim that the Ghadeer incident was regarding the announcement of Imamate of Ali. Hence if the Imamate of Ali was announced in front of a large gathering of the companions, it doesn’t make sense that the Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted to write it down at the hands of Ali in the small gathering in his house. If the people got misguided even after the Ghadeer incident, they were not going to be protected from misguidance because of the Pen and paper incident. So the Pen and Paper incident can neither be regarding the imamate of Ali, nor it can be regarding anything new.
What the Prophet (peace be upon him) meant from ‘So that you will not go astray’
There are two things that result from this statement. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was mentioning this regarding the whole Ummah, or he was mentioning it regarding each and every one in the Ummah. The second is not possible, since he already prophecized that 72 sects will be deviated. So it means that he was mentioning this regarding the whole Ummah. And the Whole Ummah didn’t go astray like the previous nations. The Prophet (peace be upon him) didn’t write the will again because he realized that the whole Ummah wouldn’t go astray. This might be due to his agreement with what Umar said that Quran is sufficient (and in its presence, the whole Ummah will not go astray) or it might be due to any other reason due to which the Prophet (peace be upon him) didn’t write it again.
Ali must have been in agreement with the view of Umar
This must have been the case, and if it was otherwise, why would Ali quarrel? If he wanted the will to be written, who could stop him from bringing the pen and paper as he was the member of the household, and it was his duty to bring pen and paper. He couldn’t be waiting till the result of the conflict. This doesn’t make sense, if we believe that he wanted the will to be written. He couldn’t be overpowered by the guests as well, since the bani hashim were present in the house, and he was not alone. So if he wanted the will to be written, he would have brought the pen and paper and write the will of the Prophet (peace be upon him).