Sin by revolting?

Question:

It was claimed by the people of innovation, that according to Imam As-Sadiq (a.), it was a sin to revolt against the ruler and thus Imam Al-Husain (a.) committed a mistake when he revolted against Yazid. What are the reports that reached the lovers of the Ahl-ul-Bait (a.)?

Response:

The desperation of not being able to legitimize their role model Yazid, the son of Mu’awiyah, drives the followers of Abu Bakr to produce some amazingly strange teachings.

Abu Basir reported that Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (a.) said: “Every flag, that is raised before the rising of Imam Al-Mahdi (a.), has an idol as their owner, who is worshipped besides God.” [Wasa’il-ush-Shi’ah of Al-Hurr Al-Amili, Volume 15 Page 52 Hadith 6]

وعنه، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن الحسين بن سعيد، عن حماد بن عيسى، عن الحسين بن المختار، عن أبي بصير، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: كل راية ترفع قبل قيام القائم عليه السلام فصاحبها طاغوت يعبد من دون الله عز وجل

This report does not talk about someone being a sinner for raising a flag, but about an idol (taghut), which is also mentioned in the Qur’an:

“God is the guardian of those who believe; He leads them out of the darknesses into the light. Those who do not believe have idols as their guardians; they lead them out of the light into the darknesses. These are the companions of the Fire; they will dwell therein forever.” [Al-Baqarah 2:257]

الله ولي الذين آمنوا يخرجهم من الظلمات إلى النور والذين كفروا أولياؤهم الطاغوت يخرجونهم من النور إلى الظلمات أولئك أصحاب النار هم فيها خالدون

The question to ask is what did the Imam (a.) mean by flag? Was he speaking about a material or a government? Was he speaking to the people of his time or was he speaking about the past events, such as the rebellion of Mu’awiyah against Imam Ali (a.)? In order to clarify these questions, one must understand how the flag is defined by the Infallibles (a.) themselves.

Iys Ibn Al-Qasim reported that Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (a.) said: “You alone are obligated to the reverence of God, besides Whom there is no partner and take care of your own souls. By God, if a man has a shepherd for his sheep and then finds a man who is more knowledgeable about his sheep than the one who is in charge of them, he will dismiss him him and will bring the man who is more knowledgeable about his sheep than the one who was in charge of them. By God, if one of you had two souls and if he struggled with one and tested it, then the second would remain with him and be dealt with according to the experiences he had, but he has only one soul. When it passes away, then by God, the repentance passes away and you are more entitled to choose your own souls. If any of us should come to you, be careful for which cause you go out. Do not say: “Zaid went out!” for Zaid (a.) was a scholar and a truthful one and he never made a claim of his own, but he called you to the the satisfaction of the family of Muhammad (s.). If he had been victorious in his appearance, he would have handed it over to the one to whom he called out to you (to the imam) . The people who gathered went out against the ruler so that he would be overthrown. But to what cause does the one who has gone out from us call you to today? To the satisfaction of  the family of Muhammad (s.)? We call you as witnesses that we are not well pleased with him and he is already disobeying us today, although he does not even have anyone with him. When he raises the flags and increases in power, he does not listen to any of us except the one, with whom the sons of Fatimah (a.) made an agreement. By God, your leader is none other than the one about whom the sons of Fatimah (a.) made an agreement. When the month of Rajab has arrived, then gather together in the name of God and if you wish, then delay it to the month of Sha’ban and if you wish, then fast with your families, for this may serve you towards the fear of God and it is sufficient, as far as the sign of the descendant of Abu Sufyan is concerned.” [Wasa’il-ush-Shi’ah of Al-Hurr Al-Amili, Volume 15 page 50 – 51 Hadith 1]

محمد بن يعقوب، عن علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن صفوان بن يحيى، عن عيص بن القاسم قال سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: عليكم بتقوى الله وحده لا شريك له وانظروا لأنفسكم، فوالله إن الرجل ليكون له الغنم فيها الراعي، فإذا وجد رجلا هو أعلم بغنمه من الذي هو فيها يخرجه ويجئ بذلك الرجل الذي هو أعلم بغنمه من الذي كان فيها، والله لو كانت لأحدكم نفسان يقاتل بواحدة يجرب بها ثم كانت الأخرى باقية تعمل على ما قد استبان لها، ولكن له نفس واحدة إذا ذهبت فقد والله ذهبت التوبة فأنتم أحق أن تختاروا لأنفسكم، إن أتاكم آت منا فانظروا على اي شئ تخرجون، ولا تقولوا خرج زيد، فان زيدا كان عالما وكان صدوقا ولم يدعكم إلى نفسه، وإنما دعاكم إلى الرضا من آل محمد صلى الله عليه وآله ولو ظهر لوفى بما دعاكم إليه إنما خرج إلى سلطان مجتمع لينقضه، فالخارج منا اليوم إلى اي شئ يدعوكم إلى الرضا من آل محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم فنحن نشهدكم انا لسنا نرضى به وهو يعصينا اليوم وليس معه أحد، وهو إذا كانت الرايات والألوية أجدر أن لا يسمع منا إلا من اجتمعت بنو فاطمة معه، فوالله ما صاحبكم إلا من اجتمعوا عليه إذا كان رجب فاقبلوا على اسم الله، وإن أحببتم أن تتأخروا إلى شعبان فلا ضير، وإن أحببتم أن تصوموا في أهاليكم فلعل ذلك يكون أقوى لكم، وكفاكم بالسفياني علامة

Thus, the flag can only be referring to that person who does not call for the satisfaction of the Imam from the family of Muhammad (s.) and who makes a claim of his own. While the reports of the infallibles (a.) call for the recognition of the twelve rightful successors of the Messenger (s.), the reports followed by the people of innovation, unfortunately, seem to call for the recognition of the tyrants.

Evidence:

Ayyub reported that Nafi’ said: “When the people of Medina overthrew Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah, Abdullah ibn Umar gathered his neighbors and descendants and reported that Prophet Muhammad (s.) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, a flag will be established for every traitor.” Then he said: “We swore allegiance to this man according to the oath of allegiance sworn to God and His Messenger (s.) and I do not know a more enormous traitor than the one who swears allegiance to a man according to the oath of allegiance sworn to God and His Messenger (s.) and then declares war upon him. I do not know any of you who overthrew him and did not take the oath of allegiance in this matter except that there is a separation between me and him.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith 6694]

حدثنا سليمان بن حرب حدثنا حماد بن زيد عن أيوب عن نافع قال لما خلع أهل المدينة يزيد بن معاوية جمع ابن عمر حشمه وولده فقال إني سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول ينصب لكل غادر لواء يوم القيامة وإنا قد بايعنا هذا الرجل على بيع الله ورسوله وإني لا أعلم غدرا أعظم من أن يبايع رجل على بيع الله ورسوله ثم ينصب له القتال وإني لا أعلم أحدا منكم خلعه ولا بايع في هذا الأمر إلا كانت الفيصل بيني وبينه

Abdullah ibn Abbas reported that Prophet Muhammad (s.) said: Whoever sees a thing from his commander that he detests, let him remain patient, for whoever separates himself from the community by only a span, he dies the death of those from the time of ignorance.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith 6646]

حدثنا أبو النعمان حدثنا حماد بن زيد عن الجعد أبي عثمان حدثني أبو رجاء العطاردي قال سمعت ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال من رأى من أميره شيئا يكرهه فليصبر عليه فإنه من فارق الجماعة شبرا فمات إلا مات ميتة جاهلية

Abu Hurairah reported that Prophet Muhammad (s.) said: “Whoever moves out from the obedience and separates from the community dies the death of those from the time of ignorance and whoever fights under the flag of a blinded one, becomes angry due to lineage or gives help and dies as a result, dies the death of those from the time of ignorance. Whoever goes out against my community, striking both the righteous and the immoral among them, sparing no believer and not even the one who fulfills his agreement, he is not from me and I am not from him.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1848]

حدثنا شيبان بن فروخ حدثنا جرير يعني ابن حازم حدثنا غيلان بن جرير عن أبي قيس بن رياح عن أبي هريرة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال من خرج من الطاعة وفارق الجماعة فمات مات ميتة جاهلية ومن قاتل تحت راية عمية يغضب لعصبة أو يدعو إلى عصبة أو ينصر عصبة فقتل فقتلة جاهلية ومن خرج على أمتي يضرب برها وفاجرها ولا يتحاشى من مؤمنها ولا يفي لذي عهد عهده فليس مني ولست منه

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