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This is unquestionably untrue. Ponder on these points-
1.When the Shi'as want to prove any thing against the Sunnis they do not quote Shi'a books or Shi'a traditions. They quote references from the Sunni books. Therefore, if any Sunni wished to prove to us any virtue of 'Umar, he should cite references from the Shi'a books. Is it not stark foolishness to quote a Sunni tradition against the Shi'as? Well, even the Hindus and the Christians could easily prove the 'truth' of their religion vis-a-vis Islam if they were allowed to quote from their own books.

2.Even the Sunnis believe that the Prophets must be Ma'sum (infallible) untainted with kufr (infidelity) throughout their lives i.e. even before being invested with prophethood. See, for example, "Mawaqif' of Qadi 'Izzududdin, and "Sharh-e­ Mawaqif' of Sharif Jurjani. Also refer to "Fiqh-e-Akbar" of Imam Abu Hanifa and its 'Sharh' by Mulla 'Ali Qari.

Now 'Umar was a "Mushrik'' (idol-worshipper) for at least 40 years. How could a has-been idol worshipper be a "potential prophet"?

3.Prophets must be top-most in divine knowledge and embellished with other virtues. 'Umar blundered more than 100 times in his judgments and rulings, so much so that once a woman silenced him in an open gathering and refuted his ruling by quoting an 'aya of the Qur'an upon which he was constrained to say
کل الناس افقه من عمر حتی المخدرات فی الحجال
(Every person is more knowledgeable in religion than 'Umar even the women who sit in seclusion). Is this the qualification of a potential prophet?

4.In the "Sanad" (chain of tradition of this alleged hadith) there is the name of one Musharrih about whom Ibn Jawzi (a well-known Sunni authority on Hadith and Religion) has said:
"Ibn Habban has said that the writings/books of Musharrih became topsyturvy; therefore quoting him in proof is invalid':

When the Sunni scholars themselves say that one of the narrators of this 'tradition' was unreliable and confusion was worse confounded in his books how do they expect the Shi'as to believe in such a spurious "hadith"?
Abu Hurayrah had accepted Islam at the end of the 7th year of hijrah­ after the conquest of Khayber which was on the 24th or 25th of Rajab of 7A.H. The Prophet (s.a.w.a) died at the end of the 2nd or the beginning of the 3rd month of 11 A.H. Thus the total period Abu Hurairah could be with the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was about 3½ years. Such a man should not be called as one who was constantly with the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

In such a short period, he claimed to hear so many ahadith from the Prophet (s.a.w.a) which exceed by far all the ahadith narrated in the Sunni books from the four Caliphs, Bibi Fatimah, all wives of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) (including 'A'ishah) and Imam Hassan and Imam Husayn.

Traditionists have found that there are 5,374 traditions narrated by Abu Hurayrah. Now look at the ahadith of some of the above-mentioned personalities recorded in Sunni books:
Abu Bakar 142 ahadith
'Umar537 ahadith
'Uthman146 ahadith
'Ali586 ahadith
Tota 1.411
These four Caliphs had jointly spent a total of about 86 years with the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Now compare 1,411 ahadith in 86 years with 5,374 ahadith in 3½ years!!

People in early days of Islam knew that Abu Hurayrah was an inveterate liar. 'Ali (a.s.) called him, "the greatest liar"; 'Umar flogged him and forbade him transmission of hadith. It was during Mo'awiyah's reign that Abu Hurayrah's "wonderful memory" came to the fore. Mo'awiyah established a department of propaganda in which a few companions like Abu Hurayrah and some of the companions' disciples, like 'Urwah Ibn az-Zubayr, were employed. They flooded the Islamic world with their "traditions" belittling the family members of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and extolling their enemies. In the process the holy name of the Prophet was besmeared too. It is such "traditions" which serve as the armoury for the enemies of Islam.

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