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"The Righteous Imam"

"The Righteous Imam"

Another area where revision was carried out was to delete references to the term 'righteous Imam' although the author, being Sunni, is clearly not using the term in the sense it is used by the Shi'ah.  A couple of examples are given below:

Chapter 2, Verse 191

And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.

Commentary footnote 205




In this case, the Amana edition did not delete this reference to a righteous Imam although they removed the phrase "(a most important condition)".  The IFTA edition removed the whole underlined section!

In another place, both the Amana and IFTA editions deleted the reference:


Chapter 2, Verse 216

Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.

Commentary footnote 236




Perhaps it was felt that the term "righteous Imam" may lead readers to start thinking about how a Muslim leader may be righteous or unrighteous, and how to distinguish between the two, which would lead to a re-appraisal of accepted history.  To understand the Shi'ah point of view on Imamate and  righteous leadership, please see the following resources:


Those who caused much sorrow to the Holy Prophet [s]

Chapter 66, Verse 1

O Prophet! Why holdest thou to be forbidden that which Allah has made lawful to thee? Thou seekest to please thy consorts. But Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Commentary footnote 5529




The Amana edition is different from the original, and the IFTA edition has further deletion!  The changes can be analysed as follows:

The criticism of A'ishah

In order to tone down the criticism of A'ishah, daughter of Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhafa, the Amana edition replaces the word 'imprudence' with 'behavior' and deletes the cross reference to footnote 2962 which talks about an example of such imprudence.  IFTA deletes the whole comment about her which spanned several lines!

The criticism of Hafsa

Both Amana and IFTA completely delete the reference to inappropriate behaviour by Hafsa, wife of the Prophet [s] and daughter of 'Umar b. al-Khattab.

The cause of sorrow for the Prophet [s]

The fact, as stated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, that these two wives of the Prophet [s] caused much sorrow to the Holy Prophet [s] is now gone!  Although it may seem to some readers that Abdullah Yusuf Ali's judgement on the two wives of the Holy Prophet [s] was rather harsh, it is actually reflected in many commentaries and books of hadith and is supported by solid historical evidence.  For details see:


The Ahl al-Bayt of the Holy Prophet [s]

Chapter 33, Verse 33

And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.

Commentary footnote 3715




Although the Amana edition kept the wording intact from the original commentary, the IFTA edition decided to re-write a condensed passage.  As in the other cases, the reader is given no clue that any change has taken place.

In fact, three changes of substance have taken place:

Deletion of the grammatical argument

Abdullah Yusuf Ali believed that the wives of the Holy Prophet [s], by default, are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, in addition to Imam Ali [a], Lady Fatimah [a], and Imams Hasan and Husayn [a].  Although most Sunnis either agree with this position or the Shi'a position that states that the wives were excluded from the Ahl al-Bayt, a group within the Ahl al-Sunnah believe that the Ahl al-Bayt were only restricted to the wives.  Their view would become indefensible on account of the grammatical argument that Abdullah Yusuf Ali mentioned, and which has now been deleted from the IFTA edition.

Inclusion of doubt

The phrase included by the IFTA edition, "... generally in accordance with the narrative of Umm Salama" introduces an element of doubt in the mind of the reader by attributing the inclusion of the four individuals solely to, what appears to be, a single narrative by Umm Salama, a very noble wife of the Holy Prophet [s].  Nothing could be further from the truth!  The inclusion of the Holy Prophet [s] and the four, to the clear exclusion of all the wives, is reported not only by Umm Salama through reliable chains of narration, but also through other wives of the Prophet [s]. 

Deletion of merit

As if this was not enough, the IFTA edition also deletes the mention of Imams Hasan and Husayn [a] as the 'beloved' grandsons of the Prophet [s]!

Those who wish to know more about the grammatical argument and other evidence that the wives were excluded from the Ahl al-Bayt, as well as the merits of the real Ahl al-Bayt and their being beloved to the Holy Prophet [s], please examine the following resources:


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Kindly send any comments or suggestions about this site, or any relevant factual data with full references to be included in it, to the
Shi'a Encyclopedia team of the Ahlul Bayt DILP

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