Chapter 14 : Imam ‘Ali- (‘a) will Fight for Interpretation of the Qur’a-n

Ibn Hanbal says:

Waki-‘ has related to us from Fitr from Isma-‘i-l bin Raja-’ from his father from Abi Sa‘i-d who narrates that the Messenger of Allah (S) said (addressing his companions):

“Inna minkum man yuqa-tilu ‘ala- ta’wi-lih kama- qa-taltu ‘ala tanzi-lih” (Who among you will fight for the interpretation [of the Qur’a-n] as I fought on its revelation)?

Abi Sa‘i-d says:

At this Abu- Bakr and ‘Umar got up but the Messenger of Allah (S) said:

“la-, wa la-kin kha-sif al-na‘l (No [not you] but the one who is busy mending the shoe).”

(Abi- Sa‘i-d adds):

Wa ‘Ali-yun yakhsifu na‘lahu (And [Imam] ‘Ali- [(‘a)] was mending his shoes.[56]

It is recorded that during the Battle of Siffi-n the Prophet’s loyal companion ‘Ammar bin Ya-sir who was on the side of Imam ‘Ali- (‘a), referred to this famous hadith of the Prophet in favour of Imam ‘Ali- (‘a) while facing the Syrian army of the rebel Mu‘a-wiyah bin Abi- Sufya-n, and recited the following epic verses (rajaz):

Nahnu darabna-kum ‘ala- tanzi-lih

Wa al-yawm nadribukum ‘ala- ta’wi-lih

(We had fought you on the revelation [of the Qur’a-n] and today we are fighting you on its correct interpretation).[57]


[56] Al-Musnad, Matba‘ah al-Maymaniyyah, vol. 3, pp. 31 & 33; also refer to p. 82 of the same volume where the hadith says Imam ‘Ali- (‘a) was mending the Prophet’s shoes.
[57] Ta-ha- Husayn, al-Fitnah al-Kubra- (‘Ali- and Prophethood), vol. 2, p. 77, 6th edition, Da-r al-Ma‘a-rif, Egypt, 1969.