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Did Imam Ali , Hasan and Hussain each name a son 'Abu Bakr'?

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whoaretheshia

Historical sources from both Shia and Sunni works (though there are differences of opinion) generally attribute for each of Ali, Hasan and Hussain a son with the kunya ‘Abu Bakr’. This is seen by polemicists to be convincing proof of the harmony and love between Ali b. Abi Talib and his sons, Hasan and Hussain for Abu Bakr, the first Sunni Caliph.

However, when one removes preconceived biases of their own sect, and takes a balanced and holistic perspective bringing forth the social, political and cultural dimensions of this issue, it becomes clear to any sincere seeker of the truth that there are no grounds to be making any conclusions based on this kunya.

Given the fact that all three of Ali, Hasan, and Hussain had children with the Kunya 'Abu Bakr', all of similar ages and all residing under hostile Ummayad rule in Medina is hardly a coincidence. 'Abu Bakr' was not merely a common Kunya , and we can hardly find any other examples of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Mu'awiyah or any of the other companions placing as much emphasis as this on it.

Historical and political background

The three son’s of Ali b. Abi Talib were known to have lived together in Medina, after the death of Ali and the abdication of Hasan b. Ali to Mu’awiyah. Medina is where the Ahlulbayt had migrated to from Kufa, and where they patiently endured severe persecution and abuse from the Ummayad regime who were inimical towards the Hashimites.

We find in a tradition regarded as Hasan-Saheeh by al-Albani, clear evidence of the Ummayad governor of Medina and his off-spring, Marwan ibn. al-Hakam, appointed by Mu’awiyah, pushing propaganda against Ali b. Abi Talib by undermining his position and elevating that of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman:

Quote
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The Caliphate of Prophecy will last thirty years; then Allah will give the Kingdom of His Kingdom to anyone He wills. Sa’id told that Safinah said to him: Calculate Abu Bakr’s caliphate as two years, ‘Umar’s as ten, ‘Uthman’s as twelve and ‘Ali so and so. Sa’id said: I said to Safinah: They conceive that ‘Ali was not a caliph. He replied: The buttocks of Marwan told a lie.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]

حَدَّثَنَا سَوَّارُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَارِثِ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُمْهَانَ، عَنْ سَفِينَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ خِلاَفَةُ النُّبُوَّةِ ثَلاَثُونَ سَنَةً ثُمَّ يُؤْتِي اللَّهُ الْمُلْكَ – أَوْ مُلْكَهُ – مَنْ يَشَاءُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ سَعِيدٌ قَالَ لِي سَفِينَةُ أَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ أَبَا بَكْرٍ سَنَتَيْنِ وَعُمَرَ عَشْرًا وَعُثْمَانَ اثْنَتَىْ عَشْرَةَ وَعَلِيٌّ كَذَا ‏.‏ قَالَ سَعِيدٌ قُلْتُ لِسَفِينَةَ إِنَّ هَؤُلاَءِ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّ عَلِيًّا عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ لَمْ يَكُنْ بِخَلِيفَةٍ ‏.‏ قَالَ كَذَبَتْ أَسْتَاهُ بَنِي الزَّرْقَاءِ يَعْنِي بَنِي مَرْوَانَ ‏

As one can gather from the tradition above, Marwan and his off-spring, who was appointed by Mu’awiyah as mentioned in Medina, pushed Ummayad propaganda against Ali b. Abi Talib, and partook in honouring the caliphs before him.

Another revealing report can be found in a report from Tarikh At-Tabari, where the infamous Umayyad Caliph decides to change the Qunya of a child who was named in honour of Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]:

Quote
“Ali b. `Abdallah b. `Abbas b. `Abd al-Muttalib. His mother was Zur’ah bt. Mishrah b. Ma`di-Karib b. Wali’ah b. Shurahbil b. Mu`awiyah b. Hujr al-Qird b. al-Harith al-Walladah b. `Amr b. Mu`awiyah b. al-Harith b. Mu`awiyah b. Thawr b. Muratti’ b. Thawr, that is, Kindah. His kunyah was Abu Muhammad.

It was reported that he was born the night `Ali b. Abi Talib, the Commander of the Faithful, was killed, in Ramadan 40/February 661. He therefore was given both the name and the kunyah of [`Ali b. Abi Talib], that is, Abu al-Hasan. `Abd al-Malik b. Marwan said to him: “By God, I shall not tolerate it that you would use both the name and the kunyah [of `Ali b. Abi Talib].” So he changed his kunyah and made it Abu Muhammad.”

Here is what it states in the foot-notes of this report:  l-Tabari, Ta’rikh, II, 1592. The matter of genealogy and family relations within the Quraysh was of crucial importance in Umayyad propaganda, which is reflected in the stance taken by `Abd al-Malik; see Sharon, “The Umayyads.

Such was the hatred of Ali b. Abi Talib that major Ummayad leaders, governors and Caliphs could not even tolerate people being named in honour of him. This is also evidence they took notice of honorific titles and partook in trying to change them.

While al-Kafi is a Shia source, a report within it also reveals the peculiar interest the Ummayad ruling-class had with the names of Hashimites:

Quote
Mu’awiyah appointed Marwan ibn al-Hakam as his agent in al-Madinah and ordered him to pay a  certain salary to the young people of Quraysh which he did. Ali ibn al-Husayn, ‘Alayhim al-Salam, has  said, ‘I went to him and he asked, ‘What is your name?’ I replied, ‘It is Ali ibn al-Husayn.’ He then  asked, ‘What is the name of your brother?’ I replied, ‘It is Ali.’ He said, ‘Ali and Ali. Is it that your  father does not want to leave any of his children without naming them all Ali?’ He paid me a certain  amount. I returned to my father and informed him of what had happened. He (the Imam) said, ‘Woe is  upon the son of al-Zarqa’, the leather- treating man. Even if one hundred sons will be born to me I will  not give anyone of them any other name except Ali.'” [Kitab al-Kafi]

Such was the hatred of Ali b. Abi Talib that the cursing of his name was commonplace after his death and during the caliphate of Mu’awiyah. We find in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad in a tradition al-Arnaut grades as ‘Saheeh’:

Quote
لي : أيسب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فيكم قلت معاذ الله أو سبحان الله أو كلمة نحوها قالت سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول من سب عليا فقد سبني
Abdullah al-Jadali said: ‘I came to Um Salama and she said to me: ‘How come Allah’s Messenger is being cursed among you?’. I replied: ‘We seek refuge from Allah or praise Allah or some similar words’. She said: ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) saying ‘whoever curses Ali has cursed me’

We also find that Ibn Kathir from Al Badaya wa Al Nahaya, Volume 8 page 285 reports:

Quote
ولما كان متوليا على المدينة لمعاوية كان يسب عليا كل جمعة على المنبر، وقال له الحسن بن علي: لقد لعن الله أباك الحكم وأنت في صلبه على لسان نبيه فقال: لعن الله الحكم وما ولد
“When Marwan was a governor of Mu’awiya in Madina, he would curse Ali every Friday from the pulpit (Minbar). Hasan bin Ali then said to him: “Allah then cursed your father by the tongue of His messenger when you were in his ‘Sulub’ (loins) and has said that the curse of Allah be upon Hakam and his progeny.”

Imam Dhahabi also cites in his Tarikh al-Islam that:

Quote
“Marwan bin Hakam used to curse Hadrat Ali (as) in the Sermon (Khutba) of Friday.”
Tarikh al Islam, by Al-Dhahabi, vol. 2, page 288

Abu Bakr b. Ali, Abu Bakr b. Hasan, and Abu Bakr b. Hussain

The son of Ali b. Abi Talib who was also known by the Kunya ‘Abu Bakr’ was actually named Muhammed al-Asghar according to Ibn al-Sabbagh al-Malik (al-Fusul al-Muhimmah, vol. 1 p. 644), Al-Masudi (al-Tanbih wa-l-Ashraf, p. 258), and al-Shaikh al-Mufid (al-Irshad, vol. 1, p. 354). There is no evidence Ali b. Abi Talib gave his son the Kunya ‘Abu Bakr’, but rather, the name ‘Muhammed’ was given to him. Furthermore, he was known as Muhammed al-Asghar as this was the younger of the sons of Ali named ‘Muhammed’. It is likely he would have been a baby or a infant by the time of the death of Ali b. Abi Talib, and not too far in age from the children of Hasan and Hussain also bearing the Kunya ‘Abu Bakr’.

These children of Ali, Hasan, and Hussain would have been of a similar age and would have lived most of their childhood and early youth in Medina, under the enmity and hatred of the Ummayad regime and in particular, the governor Marwan b. al-Hakkam and his ilk.

From Medina, these children of Ali and his sons would have joined Imam al-Hussain to Kerbala, where they were slaughter and became shaheed.

Points to take on board:


1. Ali b. Abi Talib, Hasan b. Ali, and Hussein b. Ali had children who were of similar age and given names, such as Muhammed.

2. There is no evidence the Kunya ‘Abu Bakr’ was bestowed upon them by the Imams.

3. Each of these children grew up under hostile Ummayad rule in Medina, where it was routine to curse Ali b. Abi Talib, undermine him, exult the first three Caliphs over him, and show hatred for those who named their children after Ali or bestowed on their children Kunya’s in honour of Ali.

4. There is evidence such as in the Tarikh of al-Tabari that Kunyas were changed because of the reason given in the previous point.

Conclusion

It is no coincidence that Ali b. Abi Talib, Hasan b. Ali, and Hussein b. Ali each had a son , who were of similar ages, bearing the Kunya ‘Abu Bakr’. This was not a common Kunya in those days, and we don’t even find such an emphasis made for it by Umar, Uthman, Mu’awiyah, Marwan or the children of the aforementioned.

Three Hashimites, children of Ali and his sons, living together under the hostile Ummayad regime who instituted the cursing of Ali, changed Kunyas, and sought to undermine Ali and exult the first three caliphs may have been given the Kunyas by those who showed clear enmity to Ali in order to undermine him, and what way best than to name him after those who they regarded superior to Ali and whom Ali regarded as usurping his right? There is even a tradition cited in this article whereby Marwan makes clear the authority of the first three and denies Ali being a legitimate Caliph.

Additionally, given the hatred against Ali and his sons, these Kunyas may have been given to some his children in order to protect them from oppression and persecution.

Some may at this point question why they chose to keep these Kunyas. The truth is, if a hostile Ummayad regime can place a governor in Medina who curses and institutes widespread abuse of Ali b. Abi Talib, it is not surprising for offensive attacks, abuses or even chosen nick-names to be publicly become a norm for members of society chosen for this persecution. If the governor of Medina is cursing their father and it becomes a norm in society, the sons of Ali and his children would barely have had power to fight back against this, and it may have been in their interest to merely bear with patience. Abu Bakr b. Ali, Abu Bakr b. Hasan, and Abu Bakr b. Hussain also did not live long after the death of Mu’awiyah, having joined Imam al-Hussain in his journey to Kufa and slaughter in Kerbala on that journey.

It should therefore be clear to any sincere seeker of the truth that the claim that Ali b. Abi Talib, Hasan b. Ali, and Hussein b. Ali named their children after Abu Bakr should do little to convince the objective individual, and is at odds with the historical and political realities and evidence available to us.


"I leave behind for you two weighty things, which if you hold onto, you will never go astray...the Quran and my Ahlulbayt" - Musnad Ibn Rawayh (al-Albani classes Isnaad *independently* as Hasan, and Matn as authentic, as does Al-Arnaut, Ibn Hajar and others.

whoaretheshia

Re: Did Imam Ali , Hasan and Hussain each name a son 'Abu Bakr'?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2019, 06:40:07 PM »
Additionally, mere names which may due to many possibilities are part of unclear matters. If we form judgements on our Aqeedah, we should take from the clear, and not the unclear based on speculation and preconceived biases.
"I leave behind for you two weighty things, which if you hold onto, you will never go astray...the Quran and my Ahlulbayt" - Musnad Ibn Rawayh (al-Albani classes Isnaad *independently* as Hasan, and Matn as authentic, as does Al-Arnaut, Ibn Hajar and others.

muslim720

Re: Did Imam Ali , Hasan and Hussain each name a son 'Abu Bakr'?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2019, 02:28:27 PM »
I will not burden you with authenticating historical reports but your entire premise rests on this:
"Some may at this point question why they chose to keep these Kunyas. The truth is, if a hostile Ummayad regime can place a governor in Medina who curses and institutes widespread abuse of Ali b. Abi Talib, it is not surprising for offensive attacks, abuses or even chosen nick-names to be publicly become a norm for members of society chosen for this persecution. If the governor of Medina is cursing their father and it becomes a norm in society, the sons of Ali and his children would barely have had power to fight back against this, and it may have been in their interest to merely bear with patience. Abu Bakr b. Ali, Abu Bakr b. Hasan, and Abu Bakr b. Hussain also did not live long after the death of Mu’awiyah, having joined Imam al-Hussain in his journey to Kufa and slaughter in Kerbala on that journey."

I went on a hunch to establish that there was no causation - only correlation - for Ahlul Bayt (ra) to name their children Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Aisha, etc.

Imam Zaynul Abideen (ra) had a son named Umar al-Ashraf Ibn Ali-e-Zainul Abideen (ra).  This, however, does not help my case because the Imam (ra) lived and died during Umayyad rule.

Imam Musa al Kadhim (ra) had a daughter named Aisha bint Musa (ra) and we know the Imam (ra) did not live under the Umayyads.  How do you explain this?

Also, Al-Khoei - in Mu‘jam rijāl al-ḥadīth wa-tafṣīl tabaqāt al-ruwāh - authenticates (declares thiqah) as many Shi'i narrators with the following names:
Umar - 5
Uthman - 3
Muawiya - 3
Yazeed - 3

Umayyads also ensured to infiltrate the sciences of Shi'i hadith?
"Our coward ran from those in authority" - Iceman (admitting the truth regarding his 12th Imam)

Hadrami

Re: Did Imam Ali , Hasan and Hussain each name a son 'Abu Bakr'?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 03:12:23 PM »
Forget about Abu Bakr name or kunya etc. Why imam name their daughter Aisha? Thats a very beautiful name 👍👍👍

whoaretheshia

Re: Did Imam Ali , Hasan and Hussain each name a son 'Abu Bakr'?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2020, 09:33:24 PM »
Forget about Abu Bakr name or kunya etc. Why imam name their daughter Aisha? Thats a very beautiful name 👍👍👍

This isn't proven, and disputed among sources.

"I leave behind for you two weighty things, which if you hold onto, you will never go astray...the Quran and my Ahlulbayt" - Musnad Ibn Rawayh (al-Albani classes Isnaad *independently* as Hasan, and Matn as authentic, as does Al-Arnaut, Ibn Hajar and others.

 

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