By: Mohammad Reza Al-Mudhafar
Translated by: Dr. Hassan Najafi
***** IN THE NAME OF GOD *****
I am very much grateful to Allah for this opportunity, for this task. Such book is the need of the day. We have been at failure to serve our English speaking
readers by purveying them the vital information. I bank hope on Mr. Shari and his like ones to fill the chasm. The book has come forward with a good mission by him.
The book is in Arabic written by late al-Mudhaffer, a scholar and a man of renown in literary circles. He had several students in Najaf (Iraq). About his knowledge this has truly been said; what Mohammed Abdoh was to Egypt, Mudhaffer was to Najaf.
I have tried to make the translation as interesting as possible in the most possible simple English. In order to provide the reader with some information or background surrounding to certain Arabic terms or historical incidents I have
given the footnotes where necessary which do not exist in the original text.
The name SAQIFA means a rooflet. The word can well be interpreted as (1) a shade, i.e. any covering that provides a shade, (2) a shelter and (3) a veranda. It
is a triangular saloon or a hall without also of the palm tree to support the roof which also of the trunk patches, leaves, sticks obtained out of palm trees. Such shelters or verandas were for sometimes like town halls (of our days) and
occasionally served as go downs where they kept their grains or grass. There were four of such shelters (i.e. SAQIFAS). The known one among them is that of Bani Sa’ada Bin Ka’ab Bin al-Khazraj –a man from ANSAAR (helpers).
Sa’ad Bin Ebada was their spokesman and chieftain of al-Khazraj tribe. This shade or shelter, that is SAQIFA, which is the theme of this book, has gone down in history as SAQIFAT BANI SA’ADA because of the secret meeting there immediately after the demise of the Prophet with the intention to install
Sa’ad Bin Ebada as the caliph.
I presume, occasionally rather rarely, some metaphoric expressions might strike odd to the reader. For the sake of constancy and the binding of honesty
with the text I had to let them creep into the translation. I have never gone ahead nor lagged behind; I have kept pace with this great scholar. And I am glad that my breath did not fail me too.
Dr. Hasan Najafi
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate To him be the Praise for bestowing the bounties. Salutation to His Prophet and his progeny and his noble companions.
Influence of Belief upon Historian:
Hardest of the incumbencies upon a historian is to remove the dust of bigotry of personal inclinations towards his religion or his nationality or his homeland or its kin from his sleeves. It is rather next to impossible to set aside from his pen his faith and his flair. The self inspires the mind to believe in the bents and
the affections that are its and which often stand a mighty alps between the glimpse of his mind and the Truth unless he makes the attempt to get out of his own self, the inherited one which he has already grown upon, and emancipate
his thought from the captivity so as to soar in the open air of Truth. If you see a bird, happy and fortunate enough to have had been freed from its cage; follow it if you too be free like it. You will find its wings loaded with dust of the cage
and its legs still afflicted by the chain. So, its fluttering is feeble and it’s flying flaccid. It might fall down in an abyss — never chosen.
Such is the case with one who tries to get rid of his personality of belief and
its influence. But as for one who writes history to feed his belief or to gratify the self or his milieu; you better bid him thousand and one farewells! I beseech the Almighty to espouse me with success so that to be not that one.
I presume, it is not an exaggeration if I say that the preceding historians mostly — I say MOSTLY so as to be circumspective in my saying — were from the second category. But, even the historians of our time also have fallen in the same line. Pellucidly apparent become their desire through their pens and
obvious is the congruity of the paces of history with the spirit they possess in spite of their demonstration of freedom of opinion or justice to the facts and truth. So, they choose among the traditions that which does not contaminate
their opinion; what is incoherent with their inclinations, they do not believe. So, what a liar and how vile is he to them whose narration does not concur with their belief and likewise how trustworthy and true he who tells nothing but what
cements their way.
Confusion of History:
Islamic history is hit by a calamity; infuscate it by ambiguity and doubt for those who are the just seekers. The writers and the intriguers embellished it with falsehood in the early centuries of Hijra, particularly the first one. As they turned their faces from the facts, so they turned it upside down.
The contradiction and the confusion existing in many historical occurrences in addition to the religious commandments besides the variance in the proprieties of them take away conviction from every tradition. There is no proof
more befitting to that. I do not presume any reader of history could be there who might have not confronted this unpleasant fact. All of that, wholly and totally, is
wrong or negligence in narration? No, it can not be such either.
Well, let us take lesson from an event of a mammoth magnitude, which should be of a normal consensus — like the day of the Prophet’s death. You
know as to how the difference occurred in fixing the day of the month, but in fixin8 the month itself. This is a thing witnessed by all the Muslims and shook them with all its vehemence. There is no possibility about his battles and his circumstances. Whoever narrated his sayings and his traditions concerning the
affairs, which the Muslims have differed in, the clash occurred thereat or the reproach resulted thereon and one charged the other with atheism.
Three things might serve the reasons:
1) A craving to support the inclinations and the belief; hence, the temptation
towards lie. Perhaps this cheated him that the opinion believed is true and allowed him to write as long as the subject being a fact or its like in his belief.
2) A craving towards superiority and a show: For a narrator in the early ages
there was a great position among laity. It was a matter of pride and preference to narrate and a distinction for him who had a conversation what the others lacked in. Hence, he seduced the feeble minds and the worshippers of dignity. So, they crafted the HADITH (tradition) by every means — even by composing and by a fraud.
3) The dissipation of every dear and cheap made by Ommyads and their junta to the narrators of tradition to write in support of their chair, chancellery and
cravings-particularly what diminishes the dignity of the Prophet’s household members and enhances upon the status of their enemies and adversaries. Hence, prevailed in those days the pandemonium in profusion and widened the
transgression till it stabbed Islam in an open attack; to this day of ours not yet cured.
Planning of Writing:
Therefore, I became much doubtful and circumspective of all that the historians have narrated. Perplexed I stand at every tradition that concerns the
So, how about me; and I have permeated into the search of the first incident in Islam-occurred in it the difference after the Prophet’s death and divided at it
the Muslims into two groups. That incident SAQIFA!
How about me! I have stood between the self in me, demanding me the satisfaction in its belief, and between the history with such definition surrounded by doubts and suspicions. On the incident have written both the
parties. A party shines while the other sinks.
But I want to get rid of my belief and rebel against my own person. So, I
stand free on a promontory of equity and reflection rubbing the dust of bigotry from my eyes to see that one fact — the only one in every thing. Do I see myself
capable of a cure? This is what I suspect in myself. The binding upon me is to
not trust the self. So, what the way is then? What should I do in curing the other end: an obscure history?
It is a slip to the foot; and so forth and so on! Let me retrace my steps back. But the desire and the determination in the self grew sound since the
protensity not in propinquity, to discover for myself or for others — in the event
of possibility — that obfuscated puzzle. And who is able to defend that?
But I find in my search consolation and enjoyment gratifying enough for me to touch some of the facts through comprehension and leave them for the people as a recorded output; this is a further enjoyment in store for me.
As I endeavored — if the endeavor keeps me alive to sincerity — to circumscribe the secrets of the incident, its philosophy and its consequences; I desired it not to be a history, dreary and dry, its tales brefet of animation. So,
this is what pushes me to pace in the search and encourages me to present it to the people. Had there been any other difficulty, I would have confronted; since its heavy load I endear.
After thinking and trying for a long stound of time I was guided to a thing ultimately. Consequently I hope to be at distance from the influence of affections and toying with the minds; but to propinquate with the truth and the
fact. And it was my resort to the books, which mostly I differ with on religious aspect. But I made them a source for me in my research. There would occur a reaction, this is my presumption, from both the sides: my belief and these
sources; and there from would come out what could be called an average in opinion. This could be the Truth to which I am guided by such a way as this — if there be a yield to me.
I took it upon me to record in this book the epitome of my studies and my
interrogations on historical aspects after having had plunged deep in several sources — the ancient ones referred to before. If I mention a tradition or a tale — the historical one — the sources would abound if to be named. So, I shall avoid mentioning the source to avoid the bustle for the reader fearing his spleen without any good. But where there are only one or two sources for some traditions, I shall be obliged to mention the name in the course of commentary so as to enlighten the minds of the readers who have no idea.
All my endeavor is to present to my readers a succinct picture of thoughts that I am guided to, which I hope to be pure from the influence of affections and
propensities. It is the Truth; all Truth; or close to Truth. Indeed, success is from
God and from Him the direction.
In the year eleventh of Hijra the vicissitude played its first performance;
turned a page among the pages of the glorious history of Islam that were worded by the Divine light — all of them faith, truth, ‘JIHAD’, sacrifice, pride, power, honor, glory, justice, mercy, brotherhood and humanity.
Such a page glaring with good and superiority was turned aside by the vicissitude as soon as that hallowed light was extinguished from the earth. And the page with a blurred script received the Muslims from its BOOK.
“If he died or were slain, will you then turn back on your heels?” (Chap. 3-Verse 139)
Indeed, who believes Quran a Divine Revelation, and he who brought it does
not speak incited by lust, would carry no doubt that in that great historical event or that celestial thunderbolt in the death of the Savior of humanity there was a boundary separating the two periods-each completely differing from the other; that one, drawing the person and the precious near to God; and this one, turning against Him backward.
Then, we now face a thing already happened; The Prophet has died!
Perhaps the Muslims turned back on their heels. All of them? Now I know not. — But…, curse on this but, anyway –the event was evident of this upset.
I beg your attention, my reader! Please think openly and find out for me an even of import took place immediately after the Prophet’s death and overtook all the Muslims its drizzle. Do you find other than the event of SAQIFA? Do you know that the Shia purport this very event in their interpretation of the holy
If we delve into SAQIFA, we are searching into the greatest happening that befell in Islam, the first one after the Prophet’s passing away; and this verse has
a bearing thereon. Therefore, I told in the introduction that a group came out of that while others sank down. The centipede of the event gave raise to beliefs and propensities in phases several and various tiresome for a seeker of Truth.
Before I enter into the dispute of SAQIFA I do not see wrong if I claim that the interpretation of this Quranic verse covers the events of “RADDA”1 during the caliphate of Abu Baker. But, I can not coast certainty for this assumption because the verse clearly indicates the change that happens after the Prophet’s death immediately besides the plural form in which it addresses to all Muslims. AHL AL-RADDA (the people of rejection) was very few. They did not constitute even a minority. In whatever a way we suppose; yet, they were still in most maximum the least minimum.
Above all, we find them — the cardinal ones whom we call the people of
1- “RADDA” means reject on. In history the events are recorded under the name RADDA. Those who rejected Abu Baker’s caliphate are Known by The people of Rejection” (AHL ALRADDA) and all of them were massacred by Khalid Bin Waleed. (TRANSLATOR)
rejection’ — those who had claimed prophet hood and those who were their followers. Muailama and his followers, Taliha and his associates; all of them were in the days of the Prophet. Their affair flourished after the Prophet’s death. The only exemption goes to Sajah al-Tamima. She did not enjoy any importance and later she united with Musailama. As for Al-Aswad al-Anasi, he was killed in the Prophet’s days. His sympathizers adopted his way later on. As for Alqama Bin Alaye, he became a pagan in the very days of the Prophet. Om Rafal Bint Malik and her associates too had a similar fate.
This being the case, it does not sound wise to say: “These were the people who reverted back after the Prophet’s death.” It is far from justice to conclude in
that way. No one will agree who is blessed with a salubrious thought and a free opinion.
As for Malik Bin Nowaira; he compromised Sajah as Ka’ab al-Qarzi had done with the Prophet — to maintain peace and renounce war. But the compromise had no bearing on ‘RADDA’. It was in the interests of Muslims
that there should be no assault by Sajah on those lands remote from the
Muslims’ centre. This was a desired thing much aspired for.
If at all that compromise was a fault; it was repented by him and his people as did Wakee and Sama’a who too had compromised with Sajah. And the Muslims
who were fighting accepted their repentance.
Abu Baker atoned for the murder of Malik by paying blood money when
Khalid murdered him and slept with the wife of the murdered in the same night of the murder. Then, the reversion, the gist of the verse, how could be interpreted?
Malik, if at all could be counted among ‘The people of rejection’ (AHL AL-
RADDA), can not be considered at fault. But, it is upon them to defend the deed and extenuate the act of his murderer because the murderer was that day the hero of Muslims and their leader. Let Malik be a pagan deserved the murder; it is not our concern to blame Malik what he deserved and what he was deprived of as long as the prestige of Khalid is protected and he guarded from censure!
Omar Bin Khattab wanted to punish Khalid for murdering Malik and debauchery with the wife of the murdered. But Abu Baker refrained from doing
so. The excuse he put forward was this: “Khalid endeavored but erred.” The error of the endeavorers should be respected? This is from the early pages of a
long record of Abu Baker. He openly violated the law of Islam.
Mutam’mam, brother of Malik, upbraided Abu Baker in these lines: “You called him to God;
Then killed him for what?
Had he called you by any odd? Have never used a cheating rod.”
Abu Baker only lied in reply: “I did not call him nor did I kill him.”
The history extenuates Malik. But some of the writers of this time insist upon his pagan hood because of their insistence to defend Khalid.
Well, who are the ‘People of Rejection’ other than those? Those who refused the ‘ZAKAT!’
Who are they? Their names? Names of their tribes? I wish one had pointed them to me. I delved in history. The history gathers, groups, gleans, and sifts; but no name comes out other than the already mentioned ones.
There is a well-known saying of Abu Baker: “If I am restricted by tying my knees; yet, I shall fight them for it.”2 He uttered these words to a delegation of Taliha (who had claimed the prophet hood) to announce their compromise which was that they eschew the ZAKAT but perform the prayers. Accordingly it could be supposed that there might have had been other several unknown groups too who did not undergo the yoke of ZAKAT while they did perform the prayers. It is just disobedience; and not pagan hood or disowning God. Had it been so they would have not prayed either? When they prayed; they have
worshipped God. So how can they be termed as pagans? There is no proof to indicate their disowning the ZAKAT as obligation. As such they can not be said to have rejected the essentialities of religion and, therefore, can not be classified as pagans. The thing that is known about them (if ever they existed other than those who had claimed prophet hood) was their unwillingness to pay the ZAKAT.
But all this can not obtenebrate the claim that they rejected to yield to the authority of Abu Baker which had sprung without consultation of the Muslims, a popular base, as said by Omar Bin Khattab himself.3 His authority and his leadership were not acknowledged. So, why to pay the ZAKAT and to whom? Perhaps they demanded the caliphate should go to him whom the Prophet had desired. But, the history ignored their demand.
These possibilities neither lose their credibility nor could they be obliterated by history. The Shias have stored in them their claim. What is the proof for us to believe them? As the history has neglected their names and their tribes let us better ignore the very existence of them.
However, if a writer could establish the reversion at the first happening in
Islam, the position of the subsequent happenings does not concern him. The first incident is sufficient enough to him to cater the analysis.
First of all I see myself as desperate as my reader to see what the Prophet did to solve die difference when he would be no more; whether a will Suggesting
his successor, or a ground to be resorted to, or the matter left to itself and along with they too. This dispute has a strong hold on the subject of our discussion depending on the analysis of many incidents. So, in these four premises shall run our pen?
One: The Prophet’s stand towards the caliphate
Two: The Prophet’s intention to avoid the difference
Three: Yielding to SAQIFA
2- The pronoun ‘it’ refers to ZAKAT. (TRANSLATOR)
3- Yielding to the authority of Abu Baker was a tawdry. God shielded its evil/ mischief. (TRANSLATOR)
Four: Ali’s stand
THE PROPHET’S STAND TOWARDS THE CALIPHATE
1-whether the Prophet was knowing about the affair of the caliphate?
Do you see yourself inclined to believe that the Prophet had no knowledge of the affairs that were to betide after his death; the differences and the incidents
for the sake of caliphate? Do you reckon him negligent about what should have been done in this respect?
If you are so prone, then I have nothing to address you. My dear reader, you
better put aside the book and do not bear with me till the end of discussion. I assume my reader a Muslim who believes in the Prophet and in his mission besides his acquaintance with the proprieties of a prophet, which serves a repudiation of such a maggot.
He who embraces Islam with a tilt of belief should have had been proved to him that the Messenger had revealed more than once the events that would
overtake the nation after us death. He said repeatedly: “My nation will be divided into seventy three factions; a faction is safe while the rest in the fire.”
Moreover he did not make any exemption among his companions. What he
said is this; they shall enter the fire for heir disowning and turning back on their heels, or come to him at the pool and shall shiver for what they did after his earth. In some narration’s he is quoted to have said: “They remained pagans upon their own hind disowning the faith ever since I departed them.”4
He had disclosed that the traditions that proceeded they allowed inch by inch so arduously as to enter the hole of mastigure.
As for caliphate he pointed out that it would turn after thirty years into a
property attractive enough to be held under gritted teeth; and the twelve Imams, all of them from Quraish, shall survive in that atmosphere. Finally, he hinted: “He who does not know the Imam of his time shall die a death of ignorance (i.e. in a state prior to Islam).”
Anyway, his conversations and his conduct establish clearly his knowledge of the difference that his nation will fall in. Hence, the caliphate or the IMAMAT
was his first concern.
2- Did the Prophet contrive a solution to the difference?
So, the Prophet was cognizant that the time will turn a page upon his nation fraught with divisions, differences, travails and tests; and then the suzerainty
shall be their need.
We have to suppose that he suggested a satisfactory solution, which ought to end the dispute and be the criterion so as to serve a weapon in the hands of
Muslims and a yoke upon the hypocrites and insurgents. Such a supposition is congruous with the belief that he was one delegated by God with His Message to the World and that the Message was not meant to his time alone; and,
4- SAHEEH MUSLIM vol.8 page 107.
therefore, he can not leave the nation to wander.
To save only a faction and keep the reason of safety or the path to be paced a secret from the others is a thing far from the justice of a leader; and, hence, too
incogent to even conjecture.
If at all we suppose that neither a saying of the Prophet nor the history has indicated a way to rely on; but we cannot suppose him to have had been
negligent to such an egregious extent to leave the nation, without care or a responsibility into a chaos of no stint — to surmise, to scuffle, to contradict to conflict and ultimately to kill each other shedding in thousands the Muslim
blood. Lo, all this at a time when he being at pre — Knowledge?!
If at all we swim against the current of reason, we shall not coast any shore because Islam did not come to give a push to mankind so as to sink further into
its pandemonium; but mercy it was that down poured over the world to fecundate the barrens. That bloodshed’s of humanity, without reservation and without restriction never experienced by history nor witnessed in the age of
pagan hood, can not be the outcome of a sanction.
The blame, indeed, lies with the history for hiding the facts or obfuscating them intentionally or otherwise. For the benefit of supposition, if we do not
acknowledge Mohammed Messenger of God who uttered and acted only upon revelation; we have to vouchsafe this much that he was a politician and there was none greater than him. An issue of such an importance concerning the
nation but rather the whole world throughout the verdure of time can not remain out of the measure of clairvoyance of such a man. Hence, it was upon him to resolve in its raw if not repel before it could ripe.
We do not have in our conspicuity any wise to leave them upon the mercy of
orexis, though for a short protensity, while he is able to set right the things for them and this after having entertained the responsibility of their affairs, and even beyond, those of a nation. Yes, unless he should be deprived of every decency or of deportment with depravation. But the Prophet as a mercy for the world; a manifestation of manners and the pinnacle that posed a prohibition to the past prophets from proceeding further. He was one, through his tongue, God said after the last pilgrimage: “Today I have completed for you your religion.”
Whenever he left Madina he appointed a deputy. When he left this world, he neglected to do so, neglecting the nation in quandary; this is a thing which can
not cotton on him.
3- Left to the choice of the Nation:
Let us view the issue from this angle that the Prophet left the matter to the choice of the people or to the choice of those who were efficient in resolving the
disputes particularly in determining the issue of caliphate.
Viewing such does not gratify the curiosity nor does it cater satisfaction. Apparently it is not the solution. To appoint a president through a franchise is
the most advanced method which already proceeded in Islam; and, therefore, one of its privileges; some might argue thus. Hence, let us discuss the pros and
cons of this subject. Justice, heed and open mindedness is my hope from the reader so that the distensions of passions should not influence and it should not pain if the privilege affixed to Islam proved to be not worth praising.
It is a chaos — in its very sense — tantamount to push the people from a precipice into an abyss of differences that has no stint, no bottom; if a nation is
left throughout the cycle of time to choose its own president. This is the chaos we ran from in the preceding pages.
The reason; people are different and divided. Two among them do not concur in thought or taste or passion or practice or adhibition or action — even if they
were twins. An incidental or adventitious similarity that of near or that of remote could be the only element of analogy as it is the case with their bodies and features although in a similitude, yet different. But the fact is that the people
vary from one another in every thing — structure, character, spirit, and habit. There is not one single thing that could unite the two- even the fingerprints. It is generally said that to every individual there is a category of his own in his mind.
It is, therefore, impossible to unite the people of a town on a rule or on a work; no saying goes to a big nation such as that of Islam regardless of the continuity of time, particularly if the thing happened to be the government — a
general leadership wherein there is every possibility for every element to play its role such as personal interests, affections and inclinations. From this we can deduce that the public opinion does not exist at all in reality. Any nation in the
world can never attain it.
One when demands to create a general public opinion or unanimity among a nation at a choice of a thing; indeed, he has erred in his own opinion. Such an endeavor it is impossible to prevent from bloody disputes and drastic
disturbances if the required thing be of importance unless the ruler separates his antagonists by iron rod as it is the case currently with the civilized nations in the elections. Hence, judgment of the majority is the only good solution to the
dispute and naturally the puissance to crush the disturbances. Judgment by majority, in fact, is a subterfuge from forming a true public opinion and a confession of its impossibility. On the other hand, we should not wink at the
fact that there is no way out other than majority in the settlement of various tortuous factors that have bearing especially the ruling power. And, this has taken to itself a power to silence all and a tradition to satisfy all. This too should
not be ignored that it is the medium to reach at the average of opinion. But the true agreement on the things in their details shall ever stand a mighty alps which the ‘majority’ too can not conquer. As the man failed throughout the corridor of centuries in attaining a true unity of thought, the rule of majority finally dawned
upon him as the best substitute towards securing peace among the nations of course, this does not mean to the majority makes no mistakes.
When there is a dedition to desire; and thoughts that conjecture low and high;
and groups that list as per the weight of their lusts; the ‘majority’ is the only resort to relax in, and not a security to obtain the correct opinion. Although
election has become a most cultivated legislation presently to appoint a president, it does not convey us beyond of the fact that a tradition entertained by the people of present age has been honored; and nothing more. This thing Islam never proceeded. Any claim that the Prophet left the choice to the nation to settle the issue of caliphate does not womb in itself a claim that the Prophet legislated the law of majority; because of no evidence nor there a proof in any of the past books. Majority! As said earlier, is not safe from mistakes and, therefore, can not be attributed to the Prophet who did not speak but on revelation nor did he desires but reality.
It is facinorous to say that the Prophet left the choice to his nation as it is tantamount to say that he, the Prophet, deliberately launched the nation into a gulf of everlasting dispute that claims lives, lacerates morals and harries the harmony besides weakening Islam.
However and whatever we try to coast this legislation by taking the nation granted for those skilled and efficient ones able to resolve the disputes and
differences, we confront a prominent setback because the disputes and difference radicate from these very skilled and efficient ones. They do not differ with the rest of the people in the difference of their sentiments, irritations,
resentments, contradictions and conflicts. As great they, so greater these divisions in them. They could scarcely be expected to remain at such a distance where the personal interests or inclinations could not obumbrate so as to pollute
them; and they so humble as to not raise their heads to dart a greedy look at the office of such an excellence and then dwarf themselves into the ambush awaiting the opportunity to hunt as famished wolves at their prey. If at all there be no intention but proclivity is the mineral if every person that prevails upon its
possessor towards every wrong posing it as right? As such it is never to be felt that there had been a deviation from a right path. This likelihood can not be dismissed that self-ego would bring home to him that his leadership is the best
for the nation. Direction from the self-love is another proof to contend him with his own opinion, which to him is the most correct.
Abu Baker appointed his successor and rather hasted too. This he did against
the very legislation which was too recent and by means of which he had attained the caliphate; and which had stood a base for his being the caliph. He himself had witnessed the circumstance that surrounded the dedition to his authority at SAQIFA. So, he knew better than others how risky the game was. What it is to pass through the hole of a needle, if others could not know; he knew well and also he knew that the occupation of people in their calamity of losing the Prophet had kept them from knowing what was taking place at SAQIFA and that such a situation would not repeat itself again. So, he did against his own established criterion. Therefore, we can easily infer that Abu Baker himself had not banked any belief in the salubrity of this legislation and was afraid of its repercussions. Hence, he appointed Omar his successor instead of leaving him adrift in a franchise. His successor, Omar, too paced in the same track of his
predecessor. He appointed a committee of six persons. These six could not fix an opinion. Passions, sentiments and inclinations kept them away from one another although sitting all together. One leaned because of the enmity the other was sharing in; the other favored his son-in-law as Imam Ali later described. To bring them, a group of six persons, to one opinion became impossible. But this impossibility did not render Omar to not act the impossible. He gave them a deadline of three days to agree among themselves; the side which Abdul Rehman Bin Owf happened to be in was to be considered a majority incase if their opinion ran at parity due to the number in which they were. Still if they failed to agree within three days, they had to die by the sword already in the hands of those who were vested with the office of execution in advance. Why this threat; and why such a binding? Then what happened to that rule established by them — reverting to the choice of the people? Of course, he wanted to avoid a greater division, which is a natural consequence of such a thing — the choice. So, he had to send a rope down into the pit dug by him.
It is very interesting to note when the turn of Omar Bin Khattab came to bear the brunt of appointing a successor to him he aspired to have availed one of these three, Abu Obaida Bin Al-Jarrala, Salem Moula Abi Hazifa and Ma’az Bin Jabal — and all these three had died long back. He did this in order to do that which was his intention — first, to strengthen his plan; second, to produce his choice from behind the excuse.
It is not a matter to wonder that Abu Baker and Omar had already been aware of the corruption which is a natural consequence of this legislation that leaves the affair open to the choice of the people and the dispute and the scuffle that would spring there from. But the wonder is to attribute this legislation to the Prophet whose deeds depended upon revelation from God. Above all to claim having had understood the Prophet and Islam is yet far astonishing.
The caliph, Othman, had he availed an ear to hear him he would have whispered his choice. But that day obedience to him had vanished as he was
under a besiege, desperate, disappointed, without a power to retain neither his life nor a puissance to retard the approaching assassination. Otherwise, he was
not the one to depart without determining who to arrive at place.
A concatenation of such incidents enhance upon our belief that the choice of people is so parched a desert that to dig into its sands is a maggot and to bury
therein such a huge social problem a megrim. Of course, it did work only once. It was in real sense a peoples’ choice which brought Ali Bin Abi Taleb to caliphate. But with regards to Abu Baker; “Yielding to his authority was a mischief (or a tawdry). God protected its evil”; this is what Omar had said while
he himself had laid down the foundation. Again it is Omar who declared: “Whosoever invites to such a thing there is no yielding to him or to that on
whose behalf it would be.”5
5- KANZUL OMMAL vol.3 No. 2326.
As for Imam Ali; when the consensus surrendered the caliphate to him, and it is the legislative procedure in the view of the experts, still we find him deserted by those who settled the disputes and they were the highest in that phalanx of companions. All this when every thing was yet new and nothing had gone old. Then, the wars, those of ‘JAMAL’ and ‘SIFFEEN’; on what canon they were raged? Wreck, ruin, bloodshed; they left nothing else. The progress of Islam paralyzed and the religious sanctuary were pulled down.
Then we do not see any caliph coming to power through this legislation but by appointment by the predecessor or by the threat of sword. Indeed, swords
played a great role ruthless and fueful; navigated the boat of Islam in a bloody ocean, made every greedy a wicked miser to whom appeared the caliphate too worthy to rage the ward and the wars made legislation that of the choice of
people and the choice opened the way to Talha and Zubair to ignite the battle of JAMAL as it paved way to Mawiya for his crimes and to Ibn Zubair to lift a hand against caliphate though it was short as it opened the avenue for Abassides
to revolt against Ommiyds and so on and so forth and as much as history could say and what it says there are ramifications further and farther.
All these incidents and evidences are enough a cataclysm to uproot one’s
belief, whether in redundance or in rudiment, in the salubrity of the legislation of the choice of people or those efficient enough to settle the disputes. Such a contagion is attributed to have come down from the Prophet! What a contagious this conjecture itself is!
Ayesha says to Omar in trepidation through his son, Abdulla; “Don’t leave the nation of Mohammed without a shepherd. Appoint one upon them and don’t let them as an animal infant. I am afraid of mischief to them. “Lo, what a pity!
Such a possibility struck Ayesha’s mind but never entered into the prospicience of a man like the Prophet.
It is far from comprehension as to why nobody asked Mohammed to appoint
one or give the minimum indication of the method of succession when he would be no more amidst them so that the most dreaded mischief could be eschewed as Ayesha indicated to Omar? They used to ask the Prophet every trifle and titanic, but did not ask this thing; why…?
The sane is this; he was asked, and he answered! The history quailed and neglected but got immured in the annals of the history of Shia.
4- No text on the canon of choice:
Ignoring our own words preceded pertaining to the corruption of the canon of choice we would like to inquire them into the practice or a proof that could establish its having had originated from the Prophet as it is their claim. Not a
day he said nor did he enjoin to choose one as their Imam or leader when he would be no more among them. There exists no such statement of his either clear or clandestine. Had there been any it could have never concealed in such a
rife of motives under such a pressure since the beginning of Islam wherein a rich crop of opinions cultivated to be harvested later in an opportune season.
But among the gleaners in the field there is none to have traced a furrow that the Prophet might have tilled. Did it remain hidden from all of us and the narrators too?
Well, to revert to God the Almighty; He says in His Book:
“…And your Lord creates what He desires and Chooses — at which to them there is choice.”
Then, this Quranic verse clearly denies; and, therefore, the Prophet could never say or act otherwise. To depend upon the choice of people is antipode to this verse; “…To them there is no choice.”
If we circumduct and say that the Prophet was aware of the issue, but he remained silent leaving the matter to the choice of people after giving a definition of one of his companions and that his silence shows his consent. This
seems to be cogent if we could convince ourselves to believe his silence after having had given the definition of his successor. But the cogency loses ground in the absence of definition. We shall see into it in our discussion in (7) and (8)
as to what the Shias and the Sunnis say pertaining to definition on Abu Baker or
Ali Bin Abi Taleb.
A little thought will convince us that to adopt a way, occult and obscure, not plain to the understanding, in such a matter of importance that rifted the nation
into such a wide division for such a man of wisdom besides his being a prophet was far from being congenial. There appears no reason to support his silence in
spite of his knowledge of the events that were to betide.
If he had not defined any, it would have been better had he made known that the matter was left to their own choice. Then he should have confined it to those who settle the dispute and again with further definition as to whether they
should be from the Madinians or from the capital. Finally he should have selected one or two from them (as the Sunni scholars hold); then he should have made plain the characteristics of an Imam so that the people know whom they
should choose. It seems that all these things we have to seek in his silence, and his silence is the proof; whoever doubts it, fully or partly, deserves Divine’s dudgeon, and will be no more a Muslim but a Kafir?!?!
I can not believe in such a thing unless I lose the grip of reason.
5- Difference in my nation is a mercy:
In my preceding discussion the strokes of my pen might have created a raucous din shouting religious slogans while I connived the plan I had charted
to myself; this is what I fear. Hasty steps might raise dust; I shall slow down my paces to ensure that.
It has been narrated that the Prophet said: “Difference in my nation is a mercy.” The word6 is not interpreted condign to the Islamic moral. What a pity
6- The word ‘EKHTELAF’ is narrated by Shia and Sunni sources. It is also interpreted by the Prophet’s household members. A narration goes in ELALAL-SHARAYE like this: Imam Jafer Bin Mohammed al-Sadiq qas asked: “People narrate that the Prophet had said; ‘Difference of my nation is a mercy.” The Imam replied: “They have told the truth.” Then a remark was made to the Imam: “If their difference could be a mercy, their
to have invented such a lie upon one who strive for the unity and campaigned with the word of brotherhood against the adhibition of pre-Islamic era; lifted the Arabs from a deep pit of division and difference.
The greatest phenomenon of Islam, rather its greatest achievement, is its invitation to an absolute unity in its widest sense that annihilates the rifts
between individuals, groups and nations under the banner “Indeed, the faithful are brothers.”
We do not discern any proof more perspicuous than the very practice towards attaining the unity among the believers to an extent to make them like a
structure cemented and compact in which every brick is a base to another and each column a support to a ceiling and each ceiling a floor to another. And such an edifice is displayed in the avenues of religious practices such as Friday
prayers, mass prayers, ‘Haj’ (pilgrimage); and every thing deleterious, no matter however trifle, is prohibited such as back biting, carping, caviling, calumniating, winking and so forth. Such being the fact, how can a claim be laid
that he invited the difference or endeavored towards it? This is a facinorous accusation. I seek forgiveness from God for writing it although for the sake of argument.
6- Consensus on the canon of choice:
Our Sunni brothers with the exception of a few interpret the attributed silence as we pointed out in our preceding pages. They even proceed further to prove
the sufficiency of a consensus on the basis of dedition to Abu Baker at SAQIFA. A gathering to them is authority on the basis of a narration that quotes the Prophet to have said: “My nation does not group at mistake.” And “My nation does not group at deviation from the right course.”
But, the Shias; they do not consider such concourse authentic or valid unless it is also attended by an infallible Imam. Dedition to Abu Baker was not concomitant with the consent of Imam that is Ali Bin Abi Taleb. As such the
concourse to them is not authentic. They still go as far as to say that the concourse never took place in all its conditions to validate the dedition to Abu Baker because of the disagreement of Ali upon whom rests the right and turns
with him as he turns besides the disagreement of his people of Quraish and Sa’ad Bin Ebada and his son and a group of major companions like Salman, Abizar, Miqdad, Ammar, Zubair, Khalid Bin Sayeed, Huzaifa al-Yamani,
Buraida and others. None of them yielded to his authority and when yielded afterwards, he did so compelled and obliged in order to preserve Islam that was
unity should be a chastisement.” Imam Jafer al Sadiq gave this explanation: “It is not as you and others have reckoned. God means there would not remain a man in a group without understanding if some of them frequented to the Prophet and then returned to their country. It will be a mercy.” In MA’ANI AL-AKHBAR too it is mentioned: “The purpose is the frequency of visit to the Prophet and their towns. It is not to purport a different in the religion it is one.”
NOTE: I add: EKHTELAF is interpreted as difference, which of course it does mean; but it also means a frequent visit. No one has bothered to penetrate into the word to probe onto the real dimension of the sense. Such is the richness of Arabic language that one words wombs quite a different meaning other than what at its surface could be understood. (TRANSLATOR)
yet in an imbroglio state like an egg and to protect the unity among the Muslims. Since they did not yield; better to deny them their status in society that they were not the men who settle the disputes; it is void of sense and reason. Another argument that Shias put forward is that gathering of the men of word or the settlement does not stand a canon so as to have trust or belief in it because it was never repeated which shows no pre-appointment. Ali Bin Abi Taleb was the only exception because of the text from the Prophet and because of the characteristic of the office of ‘IMAMAT’ in which people have no choice beyond God.
The two sides differ thus. Perplexed I stand in between. To find a way out; indeed, is the need. Hence, I grub in the incident of SAQIFA at its every corner. Perhaps I might come across what could release me from the perplexity and convince me with a final judgment cogent enough to one of these two factions. What I find, I shall display in my coming discourse although I do not prognosticate the outcome.
As I see the matters interwoven I can not arrive at a decisive result merely digging into the affairs of SAQIFA or giving the text that gives definition of IMAM succeeding the Prophet. So I shall narrate the both sides’ controversies and concurrence, their arguments and acknowledgements on the issue. Hence, I deposit my findings into the care and caution of my readers:
Reason shall not doubt in the light of preceding discussion that the Prophet did not give any remotest indication towards establishing a legislation of the
choice of people to have their leader nor did he utter a loud word or whisper a silent one into any human ear however intimate to him nor did he wink at or wheedle one to take the officer of IMAMAT when all of them would miss him.
Anyway, the legislation such as this to select a leader by the choice of people is not legislated by him. So, what is the value of such legislation? If at all a concourse did take place and a choice was made; so what? How can it be a
binding upon the people when it has not emanated from religion nor dictated by God through His Messenger? On the other hand, we have seen its evil con- sequences and corruptful outcome in our previous discourse. The Prophet would
never goad the nation to such a thing in spite of its being deleterious to them. As such, the blame rests upon the concourse itself for having done such a thing. On what authority it is done? It remains open to interrogation. It can not be
dismissed as incontrovertible only because they have, however, done it.
The more we search more we get entangled. Why at all they gathered at SAQIFA without consulting or referring to the people who were present in Madina? If it is to be supposed that the meeting itself constitutes authority; then
why such a meeting never convened ever since that very first one at SAQIFA — at least to prove the legality or the credibility of the first? So, it invalidates itself
— obviously and openly. Furthermore, and, therefore, Omar said to Sa’ad Bin
Ebada when he made himself a candidate: “Kill him; may God kill him; he is a mischief monger.” Why he should be killed? He did no more than to aspire the
caliphate, as did the other. If he was to be killed; then why not the other? He was a ‘mischief monger’ because he wanted to become a caliph. The other who too wanted the same; how it is that he was not a mischief monger? Supposingly, if it is proved that the meeting at SAQIFA was in line with the Prophet’s indication or his direction; then Sa’ad Bin Ebada committed no crime to be wiped out from the face of the earth.
As for the text that is quoted: “The Imams are from Quraish this was not known on that day to the Emigrants (MUHAJAREEN) or they did not want to know it. Therefore, they did not put it forward as a proof. The argument that
Abu Baker put forward was the relation with the Prophet, which the Arabs did not know except this part of the Quraish.”
7- The Text on Abu Baker:
So far we have not arrived at any proof to prevail on us to believe that the Prophet left the office of IMAMAT to the choice of people or to those who were the men to settle the disputes. We have to still search for a man whom the Prophet should have appointed to succeed him. If so; then who he was?
Is it correct; he was Abu Baker? There is much narration available to a seeker if he could conceive the claimed one. The most authentic ones are those, which
he himself had stated especially before his death that there were three things to be inquired which were never asked. One of them the issue of caliphate as to for whom it was so that to avoid the conflict. Then the statement of Omar Bin
Khattab, while nearing the death that more seceded the prophet. Then, the state- ment of Ayesha. She is the defender and zealot of her father; did a great deal to confirm his caliphate. She had denied the succession when she was asked as to who could he have had been, had the Prophet appointed to succeed him.7 Will discredit all. The argument that the very concourse grouped there was the legality that gives sanction to the dedition to Abu Baker does not hold water.
Abu Baker stepped forward to Omar and Aba Obaida at SAQIFA and said: “I am satisfied with one of these two men for you.” Well, if there was a text strictly defining him to succeed the Prophet; then why he chose another? Why he refrained from the text? Why he acted as though he himself was out of question?
In the speech of Omar that day these words uttered by him make clear the situation: “Arabs do not know this affair except Quraish — who are the best
among Arabs in their status and lineage.”
Had there been an indication in favor of Omar, the Arabs would have not
7- It is strange that Ibn Hazm lays an excuse; (This thing was not known to Omar as great many other things of the Prophet were not known to him. such as the Prophet wanted to putdown into writing the issue of succession. But, we do not see anything to decide that it was so. The narrator is Ayesha.) If this was hidden from Ayesha and Omar then it should have been more so for the others. All these texts are narrated on the credit of Ayesha and no one else.
NOTE: Although not in the book, I would like to add: Ayesha claimed that the Prophet had written a letter and deposited it with her telling her that he had written therein about the succession and that she could disclose it at its opportune time. Omar asked her whether was there any such thing. She said; yes. Then she was asked to produce the letter. She said: “I had kept it under the pillow; but it is consumed by worm.” (TRANSLATOR)
known the affair but him. It is not a station of shame to invite towards one’s self. The thing that dawn is the craft in inventing texts. Whoever invented them, they did so in the fatigue of argument about the legality of the caliphate on the basis of meeting, which too did not meet the consent of those whom can not be ignored because of their position. Here the bigotry pushed them to resort to falsehood or invention — the obstacle in the way of truth hindering from reaching the target. Narration’s that spring from bigotry snatch away the trust from others and rob the confidence particularly when the issue be that of a belief.
As for his praying under a commission from the Prophet, if that be true; but he did pray among the Muslims-it is true. Let us probe therein:
First: There is no indication in it for him to be the caliph.
Second: Leading the prayers is not so important that the person should be an IMAM, or else, he can not. Particularly in Sunni religion (including all the branches) it is free from several restrictions. Muslims, one among them, used to lead the prayers for the others. They were used to such a cycle. It was hearsay in those days among the people that the Prophet encouraged the practice. It is narrated that Abu Baker led the prayers without the Prophet’s permission.8 Then he sought the good offices of Bani Omar Bin Ouf for reconciliation.
The narration that indicates the Prophet’s appointment of him to lead the prayers and that he performed this office for some days does not appear correct because of the fact that Abu Baker was then in the Asama’s army. The Prophet had strongly warned against any delinquency; and had stressed upon executing the mission. So, how could Abu Baker manage to be at two places — in Asama’s army and at the same time in Madina to lead the prayers?
The thing that is established is this: He led the prayers, once only on Monday at noon — the day of the Prophets death. Before Abu Baker could finish the prayers the Prophet came out of the house despite his sickness and the pain in his legs which he was pulling on the ground. He came to the mosque, pushed aside Abu Baker, and prayed. That the Prophet ordered Abu Baker to lead the prayers has come down from Ayesha alone. There is no other source to attest this. She contacted the Prophet in this respect and he told her angrily: “You are like the companions of Yousuf.” She proceeds in her narration and says about
the Prophet’s going out for the very same prayers.9 His going out in that condition for the prayers was on the day of his death-Monday.
Had the Prophet sent him to lead the prayers as an indication to his being the future caliph; then why he came out in that painful condition and performed the prayers by sitting down because of his inability to remain stood?
Let us see its ramifications: “The Prophet prayed; Abu Baker followed the prayers of the Prophet; and the people followed the prayers of Abu Baker.”
8- Refer to SAHEEH AL-BUKHARI 1:8
9- Refer to SAHEEH AL-BUKHARI 1:78 & 84 (in two narration); also in SAHEEH MUSLIM in chap. ISTIKHLAF AL-IMAM from book AL-SLAAT.
Then who is the leader of the prayers, i.e. the IMAM? It is confusion; the Prophet was there; Abu Baker was there; people followed two of them? One of them? It could be this as far as we can understand and if that be correct. The Prophet was in a sitting position. So, the people were not seeing him as well as not hearing him because he was sick and his voice weak. The people made out his bowing and his prostration through the prayers of Abu Baker who remained a little apart parallel with the Prophet when the Prophet pushed him aside.
The narrations are confusing and conflicting in this respect and all of them being from one source – that of Ayesha, mother of faithful. The gist of
difference runs in these six factors:
1) (Omar for the prayers) some narration gives us to understand that the
Prophet said: “Go to Omar” after Ayesha’s contacting him about her father. Omar abstained and preferred to Abu Baker.
Some say that the Prophet first ordered Omar; then Omar told Balal to inform the Prophet that Abu Baker was awaiting at the door. Then, the Prophet ordered
Some say that it was Omar who performed the prayers first. Upon hearing his voice the Prophet is quoted to have said: “God and the believers forbid that.”
Some say that the Prophet enjoined Abu Baker to repeat the prayers which bad already been performed by Omar.
Some say that Omar performed the prayers and Abu Baker was then absent.
Some say that the Prophet ordered Abu Baker and Abu Baker asked Omar to lead the prayers, but Omar abstained.
2) The Prophet ordered Omar to order Abu Baker. Some quote Ayesha, some
Bilal and some Abdullah Bin Zam’a as the source of this narration.
3) As for the person who contacted the Prophet about Abu Baker; some say that Ayesha alone contacted the Prophet three times or more. Some say that Ayesha contacted the Prophet and Hafasa did so once or twice. When the Prophet got angry upon her, she told Ayesha; “No good from you has reached me.”
4) As for the time of the prayers: Some point to the evening prayers; some to the night prayers and some to the morning prayers.
5) As for going out of the Prophet: According to some, he went out and led the prayers; according to others, he brought his head out of the curtain, and saw
the people behind Abu Baker, then let the curtain hang as it was before. But he did not perform the prayers.
6) As for the prayers of the Prophet after his coming out:
Some narrate that he followed the leadership of Abi Baker after slapping at his back and keeping him from giving the place. According to some, Abu Baker
gave up the ministry of the prayers and followed the Prophet. According to some, Abu Baker followed the Prophet and the people followed Abu Baker.
According to some, the Prophet proceeded from where Abu Baker had stopped.
7) As for the sitting position of the Prophet by the side of Abu Baker: some
say he sat at his right while according to some it was at his left.
8) As for the duration of the period: Some go as far as to cover the whole period of the Prophet’s illness. Some say he performed only seventeen prayers.
According to some, he prayed for three days; some say six days; and some indicated only one prayer.
9) As for the time of the Prophet’s coming out: According to some he came out for the same prayers for which he had ordered Abu Baker. Some say that he came out for the noon prayers after few days when Abu Baker had already prayed. Some indicate that it was for the morning prayers.
These differences in the very theme of the episode rob the trust to believe its particularities. How they conflict and how they contradict each other as though wrestling! From this labyrinth one can come out with only one thing in hand
and that is the prayers of Abu Baker heading the people prior to the coming out of the Prophet.
We can only say by way of sympathy that it was perhaps a trick played on
Abu Baker. A sham command of the Prophet was conveyed to him, as it appears in one of the narration, Abdullah Bin Zam’a deceived Omar Bin Khattab who in his turn conveyed the Prophet’s order to Abu Baker to perform the prayers.
As to the reality of the episode, it can be presumed to have had been this: When the Prophet saw himself unable to leave the house, ordered the people to perform their prayers themselves without waiting for him. This caused the
bloom of the opportunity and the opportunity set the promise of a future excellence at bloom. Some one had to pick it up. So he did. When the Prophet heard of it, he had to come out pulling his legs on ground as the pain had failed them to pace; and performed the prayers in that emergency by sitting. He did so
to show the people how wrong was the deliberation that had committed such a hoyden hood.
His impeachment to Ayesha at her contacting him about her father as he said:
“You are like the companions of Joseph” further supports the above presumption. Otherwise, there was no reason for such a harsh impeachment. If she did not deserve praise, she did not deserve the pain either. But, it shows the magnitude of the wrong.
This opens an avenue of doubt. Perhaps it could have been her own mischief. It could be she who concocted this, which failed in all that. It is natural for a
daughter to desire dignity for her father. Ayesha could not be an exception. But she later seemed to have realized that the people did not like to see her father in the place of the Prophet performing what the Prophet used to do.
When the Prophet sent after Ali to make his will to him, Ayesha hurried in
calling her father as Hafasa too did the same. When the Prophet saw them gathered, he dismissed them telling them: “If there be a need to me I shall send after you.”10 Such a tone expresses his disgust and anger. Now to conclude: In
10- AL-TABARI (3:195)
spite of such a long search we did not come across any indication or reference to the benefit of Abu Baker so as to be the caliph.
8- Text Pertaining to Ali Bin Abi Taleb:
Is it correct what the Shias say about the text defining Ali? Of the preceding disappointment this question is a natural outcome. I wish my readers to be
impartial about what the Shia say about this man, Ali. There is no need of the ado in reverting to their books. Who knows? They being zealots of Ali might say what would goad one towards him as did the narrators in favor of Abu Baker. So, vigilance is the best to remain at.
Whatever the Sunni authors have written about Ali; we should be at guard. It is not that they are adversaries to him. No, never. Many of the narrators have had been at guard with those who relate Ali’s praise or his superiority.
Wherever there be a list towards Ali the relevant author is expropriated and the narration itself censured under the pretext of the oddity it contains. There are those who entertain rancor towards Ali like Abi Huraira, Mughaira Bin Shuba
and Omran Bin Hattan. Their narration could be trustworthy to those who share their rancor.
Besides, we find the swords of Bani Ommiyds drawn over the heads of the
narrators in order to check them in their writings to not attribute a good quality to Ali against whom a long rankling antagonism was established and to scold him over the pulpits and on the pathways was made a tradition. On the other hand, we find them lavishing gift and presents upon those who could say or write bad of him or take distance from him.
Therefore, you will find me, dear reader, halting at every narration in order to satisfy myself of its credibility. It suffices me to dwell upon what could come
out of the traditions aided by its correctness and supported by a general acknowledgement. Several books of Sunni sources have recorded the superiority of Ah and the text that defines him as the caliph. But, still lam far
from trusting them. I only take into accounts what is indisputable due to its having had obtained currency and continuity among the traditionalists as an acknowledged fact.
True it is that Ali enjoyed a great position serving his cousin, the Prophet. His nearness to the Prophet even incited jealousy among Muslims. Ayesha has stated: “I didn’t see a man dearer to the Prophet than Ali nor did I see a woman
dearer to him than Ali’s wife.”
The Prophet used to praise his son-in-law, Ali. This was his practice at every occasion since Ali’s birth, which preceded the prophet hood by ten years till the Prophet, died in his embrace. We shall quote here a few traditions – the most
authentic and the most repeated ones, which establish his competency to the caliphate:
1) “And admonish the nearest ones of your tribe”; when this verse descended,
the Prophet gathered forty men of his family. This was at the initial stage of his prophet hood. The Prophet invited them to Islam and guaranteed brotherhood,
inheritance, ministry, succession and caliphate to one who helps him (the Prophet). All abstained except Ali. The Prophet pulled him forwards and said: “This is my brother, my successor and my caliph among you (Or after me as per various narrations); listen to him and obey him.” Then, the gathering got up laughing among themselves sarcastically. They taunted Abi Taleb upon having been enjoined by the Prophet to listen and obey the boy, meaning his son Ali.11
2) In the battle of KHANDAQ, when Ali went to give the answer to the challenge of Omar Bin Abdawad; the Prophet said: The whole faith has emerged to a whole polytheism.” This was in the year 5 Hijra.
3) In the battle of KHAIBER the Prophet took pride in him against those, who had retreated with the banner, and said: “I shall give the banner tomorrow to a man who endears God and His Prophet and is endeared by God and His
Prophet.” He gains and never loses ground in a battle. “All remained in anticipation. But the Prophet gave the banner to Ali. This was in the year 7
4) He chose Ali for himself and entangled him in brotherhood with himself. This he did prior to emigration to Madina when he imposed brotherhood among the Muhajareen to Madina when he imposed brotherhood among the Muhajareen and again after five months among the Ansaar (the helpers). He addressed him thus: “You are to me in the status in which Harun was with Moses with the only exception that there is no prophet after me.” These words the Prophet reiterated on several occasions; one of which was when the roadside doors of the mosque were closed down except the door of Ali.12 During the
battles of TABUK in the year of 9 Hijra the Prophet ordered Ali to stay at Madina in his absence. He told Ali: “I should not go unless leave you; you are my successor.”13 (Ibn Abbas Zaida is the narrator).
5) The Prophet has said to Ali: “You will not be endeared but by a faithful (believer) and will not be hated but by a hyprorite.” This became a standard, a criterion -on which hyprorites were used to be recognized.
6) The Prophet said: “There is one among you who will fight for the sake of correct interpretation of Quran as I fought for the sake of safe keeping its
Revelation. “Then, he (the Prophet negated Abu Baker and Omar to be that man and said: “But he is mender of footwear.” Ali was that time mending the footwear of the Prophet in the room of Fatima.
7) One day a bird was cooked for the Prophet. Before eating the bird the Prophet said: “O God, let come one among the dearest ones to you to eat the bird with me.” Ali came and shared with the Prophet.
11- It is very odd that Prof. Mohammed Hussein Haikal has mentioned this incident in his book ‘Life of
Muhammed’ in its first print but omitted it in subsequent prints without giving any reason or note.
12- The mosque had doors Opening into the road. People used to frequent to the mosque from the road
which ultimately caused a sort of encroachment upon the sanctity of mosque. Therefore, the Prophet ordered the closure of the doors except in the business hours. But the Prophet made exception for All and kept a door always open for him. This obtained the name DOOR OF ALI. (TRANSLATOR)
13- AL-HAKEEM in “AL-MUSTADRAK”, and AL-ZEHABI in his “summary” have dwelt on it.
8) The Prophet said: “I am the town of knowledge and Ali its door.”
9) The Prophet said: “The most Just among you is Ali.”
10) The Prophet said: “Ali is with Truth and the Truth with Ali; never to be separated till both meet me at the fountain.”14
11) The Prophet confirmed to Ali more than once that he would succeed him
(the Prophet) and inherit him (the Prophet). Besides, he also specified that the succession and inheritance was that of the prophet hood. Once he said: “There is a successor and inheritor to every prophet; and mine is Ali.”15
Ali once asked the Prophet: “What would it be that I shall inherit from you?”
The Prophet replied: “What the prophets inherited before; Book of their Lord and the Tradition of their prophet.”16
12) The Prophet said (in the year 8 Hijra): “Ali is from me and I from Ali. No one will pay on my behalf except me and Ali.17
13) The Prophet said: “I am from Ali and Ali is from me; and he is guardian of every believer after me.”
14) The Prophet said to Ali: “You are guardian of every believer after me.”
15) All the doors of the mosque were closed down except that of Ali. Omar said: “Three things were given to Ali. Had I been given one of them it would
have been to me the ‘red of the cattle’; his wife, Fatima — daughter of the Prophet; his residence, the mosque with the Prophet — hails to him what it is to the Prophet; and the banner given to him on the day of KHAIBER.” Omar’s son
narrates that the Prophet, upon being asked about keeping the door of Ali open, said: “I am a servant under orders. I did what I was ordered to. I only follow whatever that is revealed to me.”
16) Prior to emigration when the Prophet brought together in brotherhood
every two among the emigrants (MUHAJAREEN) he chose Ali for himself and said to him: “You are my brother and my inheritor’ You are to me in the same position in which Harun stood to Moses but the only exception is that there will be no prophet after me.” Accordingly he did the same when he brought together in brotherhood the ANSAAR (helpers) and the MUHAJAREEN. He chose Ali in the ties of brotherhood for himself. This was after five months since the migration. He used to call him brother on many occasions.
17) In the year 10 Hijra, after returning from the farewell pilgrimage
(HAJAL-WIDA), that is his last pilgrimage, on the way the prophet ordered the caravan to halt for prayers; prayed in that meridional heat, then stood among the
pilgrims who were more than one hundred thousand people and addressed them.
14- Fountain of Kothar: In the Day of Judgement the faithful ones could reach the fountain where their thirst is quenched. (TRANSLATOR)
15- Refer to MIZAN AL-ETEDAAL about the narration, Muhammed Bin Hameed al-Razi, is said that he was not trustworthy. On the other hand he is viewed trustworthy by Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Abul Oassim al- Baghawi, Al-Tabari, Ibn Moyeen and others. Besides, this narration is also stated by Syoti in “LA’ALI” and by
16- Refer KANZUL AMMAAL 5:41
17- To pay on Other’s behalf is not obligatory except to him who inherits. (TRANSLATOR)
First, he informed them about his death; then he reminded the two heavy things to them: Book of God and his own progeny and that neither one parts the other nor that as long as they are adhered nobody would ever go astray. Then he took Ali’s hand and said:
“O, You the people! Am I not the preferred one among you? Am I said: “Yes, the Prophet of God.” The Prophet reiterated his question and they their answer.
Then he proceeded thus: “To he whom I was his lord, so is Ali his lord.” his lord; so is Ali his guardian. “O, God, adhere to those who adhere to him, and be adverse to those who are adverse to him, help those who help him, and vilify
those who vilify him, and steer the Truth with him however steers he.” Omar came to Ali and said: “Congratulations, O Son of Abi Taleb! You became lord of every faithful one — he and she.’’18 Or in some narration: “You became my lord and lord of every faithful he and she.”19
These traditions are extracted from the books of AL-SAHEEH. We suffice on this little, as this book can not consume the much, which we have to forego. Now with regards to the Quranic verses: Ibn Abbas says “In the Book of God exists three hundred verses pertaining to Ali.” Through the Sunni authorities only one hundred verses are distinguished and classified in this aspect. We choose only three out of the bulk:
1) “Indeed, your guardian is God, and His Messenger, and those who believe, who establish the prayer and give alms while they bow down (in worship).”
The occasion of coming down of this verse is that Ali, while bowing down in prayers, had given in charity his ring to a beggar. In this verse God confirms his guardianship over the people as that of God and His Prophet.
2) “This is what God desires-to avoid upon you the sin, members of the
House, and purify you a (perfect) purification.” (33:33)
The occasion for this verse is that the Prophet had grouped Ali, Fatima and their two sons, Hasan and Hussain, and blanketed himself along with them
under a covering. This verse caters the condition needed for one to be the Imam that is the necessity of being infallible and impeccable.
3) “If any one disputed therein after the knowledge has come to you, say:
‘Come, let us gather our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves; then pray and invoke curse of God upon the liars.”
The dispute with the Christians of Najran is the occasion.20 In the verse Ali is classified as the self of the Prophet.
18- MASNAD AHMAD 1281:4), TAFSEER AL-THALABl, SAWAIO AL-MOHRIQA’ SHIB’HA 11 on behalf of Abi Baker and Omar-both.
19- TAFSEER AL-RAZI, in the interpretation of the verse: “O, the messenger, convey what came down to you.”
20- To resolve the dispute such was agreed as it is stated in the verse. But when the christians saw the
Prophet with his daughter (Fetimah), Ali, Hasan & Hussain; they yielded to compromise upon the advice of their elders who dreaded the chastisement of God it that little group was let to curse. (TRANSLATOR)
The very saying itself that the Prophet left the appointment of caliph undecided; it becomes necessary that one of his companions should have been classified or identified. And, yet, Abubaker was not the ‘he’. Then, who that
There never exists anyone except Ali whom either the traditions such as those mentioned or the Verses of Quran which are in such a texture that one supports
the other and stands as an interpretation to another. For instance, the inheritance of prophet hood and the inheritor of the Prophet, the Prophet’s successor, the Prophet’s brother, the Prophet’s own self, gaurdian of the Faithful ones after the
Prophet, the preferred one among them, his position as that of Harun with Moses (excluding the prophethood), the Prophet’s caliph after the Prophet, steers the Truth with him as he steers-the both will never separate, he, the most
just one in the nation, he, the door of the town of the Prophet’s knowledge, he, the purified one from the sin; all these qualities are attributed only to an infallible Imam or the Prophet’s caliph chosen by God and His apostle for the
nation. How could it be coherent with reason to be the preferred one among the believers and be their guardian after the Prophet and yet to be goaded under the yoke like every common man and obedience should be the demand and to obey
a duty upon him??? Bilemy!!
Desire on one side to preserve the prestige of the companions (of the Prophet)
and dread on the other to pervert the text of the Prophet went hand in hand to push the researchers to interpret each of these words with either reservation or
conservation. To them we would like to say that to go contrary to the text of the Prophet’s words is a thing neither odd nor strange when the intentions of those companions become known or remain no more a secret.
On the other side, these very researchers are very miser in giving interpretations to some of the traditions such as that of GHADEER or that of the verse “Indeed, your Protector is God…” or that of “…Lord of every faithful after
me.” They have taken the word of MOWLA as ‘helper’ or a ‘friend’.
To dwell the word (MOWLA) as a helper or a friend particularly in the case of GHADEER is neither cogent nor coherent with the very occasion. The
linguists have interpreted the word MOWLA as one who possesses the right of use besides the meaning of helper or a friend. The words speak not openly when they are put into comparison. The Prophet stood in that glowing heat and
addressed a gathering of more than one hundred thousand people only to tell that Ali is the helper of the faithful ones or a friend to them? It is far from reason. Indeed, there should have had been a matter of great magnitude which the Prophet had to convey and had to make alert the attention of the people.
This he did. First he foretold them of his approaching death; then he mentioned the two things of much weight; then he took the hand of Ali and raised it to the length that the whiteness of the skin under his shoulders became visible to all.
In such a posture it was that he asked, “Am I not superior than you among you?”
Then, what this bedlam? And what this conspiracy? Were those words of the Prophet just balderdash? A matter of eternal importance was conveyed and it was brought home to understand that Ali is the lord to those whom the Prophet was.
Indeed, the words besides conveying their sense do obviously say this too that
Ali is his example and his like –superior among the believers as he himself is, as the word MASTER represents; same it is as the word MOWLA does in Arabic that is the possessor or one who holds the use of a thing or the affair.
There is nothing to be argued here. The meaning of the word MOWLA
envelops the sense of possession. Those who are stubborn have given an interpretation to this word, which is far from common sense.
To avoid the dispute let us dwell upon this tradition “This brother of mine is
my successor and my caliph amidst you (or behind me); so listen to him and obey him.” This tradition is an acknowledged and irrefragable one. Its text clearly establishes the right for Ali to succeed the Prophet.
Abu Baker has this text for his successor: “I have ordered Omar Bin Khattab upon you.”21 This text is benefit of openness and can not be fit with that of the Prophet. An order befits the army and anything else. The word of caliph was more frequent in the utterance either that of the Prophet or that of the Muslims and that too in the sense, which is the kernel of this word. To support our findings we quote here a statement of the Prophet: “This thing remains valid till the twelve caliphs, all of them from Quraish, succeed one another among them.” So, the sense of the word ‘caliph’ can not be doubted here as it is the case with
the word Quraish. Then why should not the word ‘my caliph’ be taken into the same sense when it is used in relation to Ali? Did the (the Prophet) ever use this word in another sense?
The only difference between the text of the Prophet’s word and that of Abu
Baker’s is that what Abu Baker said was imposed upon the people regardless of its interpretation and doubt while the Prophet’s word remained without practice
or obedience within the folds of the book and the bosoms of the people. Moreover, mistake for scholars is not pleasant. We are long acquainted with
them for not confining themselves to the text of the Prophet’s statements. And such instances are innumerous. To refer to some we suffice to mention: Their hesitation to go in the military expedition under Asama’s leadership which
incensed the Prophet. They still refrained from going till the Prophet died. Objection of Omar at the peace treaty of HUDAIBA. Disobedience of Omar to the orders of the Prophet when he asked for a pen and paper to write down for the guidance of the people so that they may not go astray.
Now there are only two ways ahead of us; to entertain these traditions regardless of their accuracy or discrepancy to the case or to say that those companions interpreted them for some errand or the other. Indeed, the second
21- To be honest with the Arabic text I have translated such. (TRANSLATOR)
way is the nearest to debate under reason and logic because we have seen those companions going contrary to the words of the Prophet in his very lifetime while there stood no ground whatsoever for any interpretation Those who hold a good will towards them could believe that they (the companions) never intended to disobey the Prophet as they were only thoughtful of the common interests because they were used to be consulted by the Prophet in line with God’s orders, “And consult them in the matter.” Therefore, it never occurred to them that they were interfering in the public matters while the Prophet was binding them into orders.
We are far from entertaining argument to debate the excuse of the Companions of the Prophet. However, we do desire to point out to those who go blind to the facts as they just gaze the Companions. Let them know that we do not find any word more expounding than the word ‘my successor’ and the word
‘my guardian’ uttered by the Prophet and at once followed by his order ‘to listen to him’ and ‘to obey to him’.
Tradition No. 11 attests: “To every apostle there is a guardian and inheritor. To me he is Ali Bin Abi Taleb.” In this tradition the openness speaks for itself. Guardianship of prophet hood is not a thing common. Inheritance to the
prophet hood too is the same; it is not that of property or pelf. Ali is his cousin besides his son-in-law. He does not inherit, as does the Prophet’s daughter (his wife). Inheritor of prophet hood does not mean a prophet himself. His station is
such as that of the Prophet where obedience becomes obligatory to all to be performed, as a duty not presented as a favor. The Prophet exempted him from the rest. He inherits knowledge of the Prophet while others can not.
Each of the traditions if not testifying Ali’s being an Imam or a caliph does in
the least possible establishes a ground where any likelihood of an interpretation is obviated. If still we see ourselves under a ruling of doubt, we can well ask for a word or two that could in some way or other point to one of his Companions. If we do not find any, it would again be our right to investigate into the whole business that vested the dispute to the choice of people. There too if reason does not satisfy us, we have to return back from this impasse empty handed.
A doubt still prevails on the researchers. A setback for them on their way to proceed ahead and a poke repeatedly put into the wheel. This is what they say: The traditions specify and determine the caliphate of Ali, as the Shias say, then why Ali did not demand there upon his right. Why Ali did not protest the Companions or the Muslims gathered at Saqifa?
This is the doubt — a better avenue than the denial of the text. Indeed, the researchers have answered this query. To shorten the length I would dwell on
When the affair ended in the favor of Abu Baker and he was declared as the caliph; Ali had to face two alternatives without a third. One: To yield to the
thing happened and forego any public campaign; this for the sake of the very entity or survival of Islam. Two: To fight till evening his right. Let us see what
says he himself: “I started looking either to take with my amputated hand or to bear a dark pit.” When he made the choice and he knew what it was; he says: “Hence, I saw the patience on both the things more wise as there was no ground to launch an open compaign for the caliphate. So, I turned from it my face away, and shook my shirt from it.” Had he demanded, he had to endeavor too with whatever power available to him. In what time Islam was then? We shall dwell in the coming chapter. As for the companions, they had their men. Although at Saqifa Ansaar declared: “We do not yield but to Ali”. These words, as the winds blew, gone with the winds too and the history either ignored or forgot. We could only remind to our readers in our coming discussions in this book.
THE PROPHET’S PLAN TO AVOID THE IFFERENCE:
1) ASAMA DELEGATION:
The Prophet became sick and the sickness told upon his life. He knew that the nation was at the verge of a precipice. His presence had kept them safe. The
moment he dies: a movement they dash; a slip would send them headlong down into the sea where the waves raise and fall in a typhoon of treachery hailing from a man soon of mischief. The Arabs will confound their own good; teeth will be grinded to bite the members of his House and his people. The leaping
opportunities will lull those who embrace them to launch revenges. On the other hand, the hypocrites will seek ambush in the midst of Muslims telling them what their hearts do not hold. All this harassing episodes came to his sight in
much as the incident of rolling goglets at the tortile passage was also quite recent to him.22 Moreover and above all, Aswad al-Anasi and Musailama had set foot in the arena of prophet hood; and enmity with the real Prophet had lent lustre to a simulacrum. All this was much enough to occupy the mind that was now mindful of the talons of death.
The Prophet’s condition got worsening and the mischief extending as the negritude of a night. The clouds shall soon deplete their contents on the town.23
Yet, at the threshold of death that great mind charts out the best. He sends his army, thick, to a land remote. The command of the army he vests to a youth of
teenage by name Asama Bin Zaid. All the magnates of MUHAJAREEN and ANSAAR (emigrants and helpers) including Abubaker,24 Omar Bin Khattab, Abdul Rehman Ibn Ouf, Abu Obaida, Sa’ad Bin Abi Waqqas, Aseed Bin Hazeer and Basheer-Ibn Sa’ad were enjoined to join the army under the command of that young Asama to fight in the land of BALKHA with the people of Obny who had defeated the Muslim army on a previous occasion and killed Zaid, the commander, father of Asama.
The Prophet pushed the army to move and cursed the delinquents. But those who spurned the suzerainty of a teenager as the yoke of his command fell heavy upon their old necks procrastinated. Their procrastination provoked the anger of
22- This bear of reference to story, which I brief here: The Prophet came from Madina and camped near Mecca. His intention was to perform HAJ OMRA. When the pagans heard this, they sent word to him to return back to Madina and come on the next season under a treaty or covenant. This served a prelude for the treaty of HUDAIBA, which was concluded next year. So, the Prophet with his associates returned back to Madina on the same night. On their hilly way at a sharp turn a group awaited at the top of the hillock. As the camel endeavored the turn at such a difficult passage, the men in ambush above sent down several goglets filled with stones, which caused a horrible sound as they rolled down. But the Prophet controlled the camel from getting wild at such an hour of night. (TRANSLATOR)
23- SAHEEH MUSLIM (8:168 chap. NUZOOL AL-FITAN)
24- Many of the historians have stated the entry of Abu Baker in the expedition.Among them are these historians: Ibn Sa’ad in ‘Tabaqaat’ (16:4) & (136:4);Ibn Asaker in ‘Tahzzeb’ (391:2), (215:3); writer of ‘Kanzul Ommal’ (312:5); writer of ‘Al-Qamees’ history (174:2); Muhammad Husaain Haikal, among the contemporaries in his ‘Life of Mohammadd’ (467) and several others. There does not exist any indication that could suggest his departure from the Asama’s army. Some have referred ‘Magnates of Muhajareen” (i.e. Ujoohak –Muhajareen) without mentioning any name. Some stubborn historians have flatly rejected the entery of Abubakr in Asma’s army without any proof or ground.
the Prophet. Therefore he told them: “You are crossing his command as you did the command of his father before while God was in concord with the command and now his son is a perfect match to command.”
This incident raises astonishment in the thoughts; if rumination is solicited the result relaxes the curiosity:
First: A great army of Islam that day and in that delicate Situation emanating from the illness of the Prophet, and more delicate the mission — to go to the war of the ardent enemies of Islam away from the Islamic capital under the command of a youth whose age did not go beyond twenty springs — neither
experience supported him nor military knowledge aided him; nor such a duty ever called his performance before; as to move either to return back with the pride of victory or remain in that outlandish fields slain and killed.
Second: yet, this boy is commissioned; and the shaikhs of Muslims — the chiefs of tribes, the Companions of the Prophet and those who were commanders before are ordered to report their duty to this young man.25
Third: The Muslims delayed to join while the Prophet hasted. They still delayed and upon them heaped the curses of the Prophet. They prolonged the delay up to fourteen days. The young commander remained camped at JURE
away from Madina by three and quarter miles awaiting his army to join him.
Neither shame withheld them nor did the fear of God. They went in their disobedience to the Prophet. They knew they were giving anger to the Prophet
and receiving from him his curses; yet, they remained insurgents to him. Curse from a Divine man like the Prophet of God told nothing on their belief because now that man was nearing his death. Why at all they revolted?
Fourth: Their rejection to undergo the command of a youth did not make
them to fear the anger of the Prophet. If they were true Muslims, had they believed in the Prophet; they had no right to deny obedience to him as long as the belief says that his action and his utterance is based on God’s revelation to him; and this belief takes away the choice from them.
Fifth: The Prophet knew his end has approached and thereby approached the darkness of the night. But, he was sending army away from the capital and by
that sweeping Madina from the presence of the chiefs of Muhajareen and
Ansaar and the men who had a say in the disputes.
All this shows that he held a point of a greater importance in his conspectuity. To search into the viewpoint of the Prophet we can make out the following
conclusions which the Prophet should have had desired as long as he held the secrets of God known to him by revelation.
25- I deem it necessary to add a brief explanation here: The enlisting into army in those days was like this. The commander, whoever he is, after being commissioned by the Prophet used to go Outside the town and plant the banner in the ground. Then the people or the fighters used to join him under hit banner. In other words it was the first camp where from the army used to move. In those days there were not reserved forces. The forces were gathered among the people themselves who usually had military experience and mostly well equipped in this craft. A word from the Prophet was enough and the forces were gathered. But this expedition stands unique for the disobedience of cardinal figures with the Prophet’s orders. (TRANSLATOR)
First: The measure is the efficiency in governing the things –, and not the fame nor the age. This he wanted to bring home to Muslims. Therefore, he told emphatically about the efficiency of Asama.
If we consider that Ali Bin Abi Taleb was nearing to take over the responsibility of the affairs of the Muslims, and let us suppose there was not
text to have had specified him; yet, the case of Asama serves a pilot or a prelude to acquaint the people with the criterion of capability regardless of age for the leadership. That day age of Ali had not gone beyond thirty. We do not see any other interpretation to the riddle of Asama’s expedition.
Second: He wanted to make the ground clear for Ali by dispatching all those who had grinded their teeth for the caliphate. He seemed to be sure of the setback in the way as it is evident by his remark: “My household members shall
be the victims after my death.” Hence, we see he enjoined to go in Asama’s army every that one who had lengthened his neck to hart a look of greed at the fast approaching vacancy. Exemption of Ali from this army supports us in our
inference. Likewise all those who were the party (Shia) of Ali were exempted.
Besides, we reach the same conclusion if we were to interpret the reason of those who delayed in reporting their presence to the Commander, Asama; and
their spreading the rumor of the Prophet’s death. What is evident is their own guilt — which kept them from disclosing their real errand. They just took refuge in an excuse that the commander was an inexperienced youth. Beyond this we
detect another guilt. They did purport that they understood better than the Prophet whose wisdom was catered on Divine Revelation. There is no excuse but a fact — established by themselves — that they openly disobeyed the Prophet and to him they remained stubborn.
The Prophet realized that his statements which he gave concerning the one to succeed him were not enough to put into practice as they refrained from joining the army under Asama’s command; or, the greed would have returned them
back had they proceeded.
Third: The argument that a youth of teenage is not fit for the responsibility of a battle, then how could it fit even a greater responsibility of governing the
affairs of all the Muslims; is only a lame endeavor to obfuscate the fact for the people.
The gist that can be deduced from this planned expedition of Asama is to
clear the way for Ali in accordance with the circumstances surrounding them because the Prophet did know as per the signs he had noticed that they would concoct a plot. So, he exerted his efforts to send them away while exempted Ali and his associates from the obligation. They disobeyed him. He was nearing his death. The situation for the Muslims was serious. He cursed them. And a curse of the Prophet is a curse, today and tomorrow too, as it was yesterday. As the time is cycling, its echo is heard.
As long as the time exists, this too exists that being a young or being an old is not the canon; it is the obligation charted by the Prophet and laid down on the
obedience; some turned stubborn-but they only purchased the Prophet’s curse and the obligation was not obliterated. Obedience to it runs as the time does.
Insufficient years in the age of the commander were sufficient enough to cause the uneasiness among them; is in itself a good excuse, but it coasts neither conviction nor cogency as much as it serves to hang a curtain over a
subterraneous trait which the Prophet had already discovered. If the reason was this, then why did they implement the Asama’s expedition under the same command of a teenager as soon as the issue of caliphate was settled in the favor of Abu Baker? Omar himself addressed this very teenager as ‘AMEER’ (chief)
throughout his life because of his superiority in that expedition which was a success too.
Another strange excuse that we hear is not less astonishing. It was not a
disobedience that they delayed. It was sympathy for the prophet because of his oiling condition. Had they obeyed the prophet it would have had been a greater and a befitting sympathy to a dying man rather than to disappoint him and make him angry which was so painful to him that he cursed.
A good in its exuberance and abundance would have hailed had they been good enough to obey their Prophet. The course of history would have changed.
“If the people of the towns had but believed and feared (God), We should indeed have opened out to them blessings from the sky and earth; but they lied, and we punished them for what they were attaining.” (7:94) The events that
followed, the difference that flooded sweeping the unity of Muslims, the blood that flowed in the erine and ferly wars, the power that became feeble, and the fatal blows on the religious sanctity; all this is because of that — the open disobedience to the Prophet!
What a great havoc and a great calamity the Prophet tried to protect the nation from; but to a dying man there is no command, and to whom no command — no obedience too.
B– A Paper and a Pen:
The Prophet witnessed their disobedience. To go to the pulpit, his sickness failed him. This was the first time in his life at Madina that his orders were
denied to his face. He saw his own inability to execute his orders, which he was so insistent upon. Therefore, he should resort to some other means to implement the need. He was not yet dead and disobedience had made its phase. So, how
could they be expected to obey afterwards? To write down was the best alternative; and he resorted to. That would be a fixed text nothing to be doubted nor forgotten. They will not be misguided, as there will be no deviation from the right path because there exists writing. This he wanted to do.
It was Thursday. His condition got worse. In the house men were present among them Omar Bin Khattab. “Provide me so that to write a treatise for you. You will never go astray later on.” The Prophet told the men.
What a great opportunity! An eternal security from getting astray! How advantageous an offer it was; not only to those who were present but to the
posterity. A bounty it was. Curiosity suggests that they should have hasted to give him a paper and a pen so as to make eternal what he wishes to write. But, alas, it was not so!
Oman Bin Khattab impeded the compliance. He said:” the pain has overpowered the Prophet of God.” According to some narration he said: “This
man is talking nonsense. You have Quran. The Book of God is enough to us.” A debate took place among the men. Some sided the suggestion of Omar that the man was talking nonsense….
So, now what the Prophet should do? Sickness him; and in his presence such
an opinion about him was expressed to his very face. But the belief says this: “He never speaks of his own unless it is a Revelation.” Then, what blame this is upon the Prophet that he was talking which carried no sense?
God forbid from such a conjecture. The division of opinion took its root and the root took deeper and deeper to this day of ours. He did not see any other alternative but to hint at their own error. He said: “Go away. You should not
quarrel in the presence of the Prophet.” This he said so as to register his displeasure upon their behavior — an evidence of their disobedience, throughout the ages.
In fact, it is a calamity — one among the greatest, because of the rejection to guidance. Ibn Abbas, the ink of the nation, used to say: “It is a calamity that he (Omar) hindered him from writing the treatise he wanted to write.”
Let one ruminate what was the point in Omar’s objection? Had he written what harm it could have done to Omar? The Prophet wanted to leave a written instruction for the nation’s guidance. So, he rejects that guidance not only to himself but for the whole nation. Another question arises. Did Omar really
believe that the Prophet of God was talking without a meaning or a sense? To carry such a belief one should be ignorant of the Prophet’s status as well as Quran too. If we proceed a little further and come to Abu Baker, this very same
Omar did not say that he (Abu baker) was talking nonsense when he wanted to make the will about the caliphate although occasionally he was going into coma while dictating the will which later Othman completed by inserting Omar’s
name fearing his death before the completion of letter. The status of Abu Baker is not that of the Prophet. But he, although in coma, spoke the sense? What a tyranny to Mohammed?
It is quite obvious that Omar did know what the Prophet wanted to commit to the paper. It was the appointment of Ali to succeed him because on previous occasion, at GHADEER, the Prophet had declared: “Two heavy things, Book of God and his progeny” and had classified “Both will not separate from each other till they come to him at the fountain”26, and had added “You will never go astray if you adhere to them both.” So, when the Prophet said while asking for
26- It refers to the Fountain of kothar, which on the Day of Judgement is under the utilization of the Prophet to quench whomsoever he chooses. (TRANSLATOR)
pen and paper “After that you will never go astray”27, it served a good hint for Omar to know the Prophet’s mind. Omar said: “Book of God is enough for us” which purports that among the two, one is enough — no need for the other. Why he chose one and rejected the other at a time the Prophet was talking nonsense (according to his own declaration). When Omar understood the message and was mindful what to accept and what to reject; then the Prophet had not uttered any nonsense. It was far from politeness to accuse the Prophet of such a thing and that too to his face.
Indeed, it is neither easy nor simple; it is a matter of courage, and courage against whom? Against the Prophet of God the Almighty!!! There was only one
to show it, to do it, departing from every canon upon which relations, those of human or those of social are based and formed. And that one was only Omar
Bin Khattab. He stymied the letter from being written. He ceased the opportunity at an opportune time and went a great deal to install Abu Baker as caliph of the Prophet who spoke ‘nonsense.’ We shall see that this man (Omar)
denies the death of the Prophet. His stand at the SAQIFA and his struggle for Abu Baker, all that we shall see would show his intentions. Had not there been Omar, no ground would have been gained for Abu Baker.28 Sword of Zubair he broke; a blow at the chest of MIQDAD he hit; Sa’ad Bin Ebada he kicked and it was to him he said: “Kill him, he is mischievous”; the nose of AL-HABAB BIN ALMUNDHIR he broke; whoever took refuge in the house of Fatimah, daughter of the Prophet, he threatened; and finally he came out of SAQIFA with a cane of palm tree29 in his hand roaming about calling the people to yield to the sovereignty of Abubaker. So, what else and what more he could have done? He did all what all could have not done.
No one can deny the disinclination of Omar Bin Khattab towards Ali Bin Abi Taleb and Omar’s being watchful against Ali with regards succeeding the Prophet. Likewise his party that was composed of Abu Baker, Abi Obaida, Salem Moula Hazifa, Ma’az Bin Jabal and their associates. Same to Ali who clearly indicated his disagreement with them in all stations and situations. He did not yield to Abubaker as long as Fatima was alive. After her death he lost his backbone and remained with no alternative but to accept. Throughout the period which stretched from Abu Baker and ended by the end of Othman, he never took any part in any of the battles while he was the pivot like one that is to a hand mill. Ali had told this to Omar that he (Omar) supported Abubaker only because to rotate the succession to himself. He once told Omar: “Milk it for you while keeping tied the other half to him today in order that he could
return it to you tomorrow.”30 So it happened. Abubaker nominated Omar to succeed him.
27- MUSTADRIK AL-HAKEM (3:105)
28- SHARH IBN ALHADEED (1:58)
29- KANZULOMMAL (vol.3 No.6,23,226)
30- AS’SIYSA WAL IMAMAT (chp. IMAMAT OF ABUBAKER) and SHARH AL-NAHAJ (2:5)
The meanders of their minds finally became manifested in open expression. How they disdained Ali could be judged from a conversation between Omar and Ibn Abbas which we insert here as it is narrated by Ibn Abbas:31
Omar to Ibn Abbas: “Do you know what kept your people from you after
Ibn Abbas: “If I don’t know, you would inform me.”
Omar: “They hated to see the prophet hood and the caliphate combined at you. So they (Quraish) took to boast upon you by choosing the caliphate. They succeeded and hit the target.”
Ibn Abbas: “If you permit me and don’t get angry I’ll speak.” Omar: “Answer!” “Speak”
Ibn Abbas: “As for your saying-Quraish succeeded and hit the target, had
they chosen for themselves as God had chosen for them, it would have had been good to them that could not be rejected nor felt jealousy upon. As for your saying that they hated to see the prophethood and caliphate combined with us, God has described the people who hate: “That they hated what God sent down; and He spoiled their deeds.”
Omar: “Oh, by God, words about you had been reaching me, but I hated to make you run away because of your position which I don’t want to lower
Ibn Abbas: “What’s that? If that was true, why should my position come down? If it was a lie, it discloses the self.”
Omar: “I am informed that you say: ‘We have taken it by tyranny and jealousy.”
Ibn Abbas: “As for tyranny, it is evident even to an ignorant and to him who
has endured it. As for jealousy, Satan felt it towards Adam and we are the children of him who was the butt of jealousy.”
Omar: “Ali, your hearts, O son of Hashim, are full with neither jealousy
neither enmity goes nor the veil.”
Ibn Abbas: “Wait; don’t say so. Our hearts are those which God has purified and removed error there from-either that of jealousy or that of deceit. The
Prophet’s heart was from Bani Hashim.” Omar: “Go away.”
We narrated the conversation in detail because it discloses to us.
1- The effusion of malice rankled on both the sides and the sparks that ignite the flames.
2- The deliberation on their part to hinder the thing from the household members of the Prophet based on the sentiments of rancor and their fear that the
caliphate in addition to the prophet hood if stored in the Prophet’s house it would be the factor for their ostentation and arrogance. According to Ibn Abbas such a fear was due to their jealousy and this was the tyranny.
31- AL-TABAR! (5:31) IBN AL-ATHEER (3:31) SHARH ALNAHAJ (2:18)
3- The ‘Imamate’ is God’s choice, which He appropriated in the members of His Prophet’s House. It can not have bearing upon the pleasure or displeasure of Quraish.
4- Their tyranny in depriving the Prophet’ Household members of their right, this is a fact all know.
In the answers of Iban Abbas we see these two things are stressed upon in spite of his reservation to eschew Omar’s wrath from which ultimately he could not remain safe. The answer of Omar “Go away”, at which ends the conversation, shows the inability on the part of Omar to answer.
History can not deny nor could conceal the motive that pushed Omar to say that the Prophet was talking nonsense and to declare that only the Book of God would suffice the people. All this was to keep the thing from Ali.
Indeed, there are lame excuses. Some put forward such as that the very issue itself was not an obligatory one; and, therefore, it did not tantamount to disobedience. Of course, such an excuse is good enough for rejection alone
because there is nothing more obligatory than the guidance of people. The prophet said: “After that you shall never go astray.” Opinion was not solicited. Omar gave his opinion and imposed it, which made the Prophet angry to the
extent that he ordered them to go away. Still, it was not disobedience; then what else it was? “Pain has overcome him,” “Nonsense”; these words could hardly be said to an ordinary man particularly in his illness. To behave far from politeness
towards the Prophet could never have become possible unless disobedience to him should have had been a deliberate determination. The words of Omar are quite clear: “The Book of God is enough to us” which mean acceptance of one and rejection of the other. To poke nose into the orders of the Prophet so as to
adjust our own pleasure can not be classified in any word other than that of disobedience.
Anyway, the circumstances that surround the whole episode, the expedition
of Asama and the insurgency to proceed in that expedition, the Prophet’s orders to give him a pen and paper so that “to not go astray”, and the insistence of Omar upon the Book of God alone; we can deduce from all these that the Prophet wanted to classify or specify or make it known who was to succeed him and that ‘who’ was Ali son of Abi Taleb. But the Prophet was not obeyed. The caliphate became the spot of difference among the Muslims and misguidance as well. Had the Prophet been obeyed and had he written; then there was no room for doubt or for difference except to depart from Islam it.
Here one possibility seems quite likely to have had occurred in the Prophet’s mind and which should have had kept him from giving an indication by spoken
words and that is his fear of an open insurgency out of their stubbornness and turning against Islam altogether. So, he avoided a greater calamity. Therefore, we see Ali too remained silent as his motive too was the same. These words of
Ali in his speech of ‘SHQ SHAQIA’ give us a clue: “I got up to discern between the two things, to capture with a broken hand or to remain quiet in a
pit’s darkness; Ii found the patience more prudent than the two…” His stand with the caliphate shall in the fourth chapter.
YIELDING AT SAQIFA32
1) REASONS FOR THE MEETING AT SAQIFA
When help was hidden in rarity, they had lavished it and had made available the aid. For Islam they had made cheap their every dear lives and belongings.
They had embraced Islam and with it the starvation of Muslims. They were really the ANSAAR (the helpers) –‘Lap of Islam and limbs of the Nation’ as the Prophet had termed and his daughter, Zahra, had referred to them in her speech of immortal renown. A distinction such as this which was only theirs and
to them alone, hailed upon them with pride and pride pushed them to greed as soon as they saw the guardianship of Muslims vacant before them. Now the time, in their calculations, had come to take the reward of what they had
sacrificed in the way of Islam. The help and the hospitality they had extended in the past had set them at priority among the Arabs as it had set them at deservation for becoming the rulers.
On the other side of the coin their position was: They had shed blood of Quraish and other Arabs. Their help to Islam in the past could not fool the minds at present. They were the low stratums in society, walking behind
donkeys and the donkeys the only source of their livelihood as they carried water to the houses. Such the Quraish looked down to them from their highest station. Such an oppressed class should be stopped from rising to prosperity and
through prosperity to pomp. Besides, they had killed the heroes of Quraish, captivated their men and illaqueated the others till they fell at their swords. Therefore, as they were proud of their past so they were afraid of that very past. If the Quraish took the government, the ANSAAR would be called on to square
the account. No defense would be given to them nor a power is left to them. The Prophet’s words, once uttered, now rang into their ears its echo: “you will confront havoc after my death. You should be patient till you meet me on the
Day of judgment.” This further distressed them.
Their fears, their distress, their confusion, in short the whole face of the coin, is quite evident in their meeting at Saqifa as one of them, Al-Hubab Bin Al-
Mundhir, addressed them saying: “… But we fear what would reach us as a result of your having had killed their sons, their fathers and their brothers…” His presumption came true. When Bani Ommyiads came to power the revenge did
take place in the conflict of AL-HARRA. The shameful events of that conflict set the forehead of honor and humanity to sweat and shun Islam and its people.
The third thing, which can not be totally ignored, is: If Ali was a right man for his rightful caliphate; this ANSAAR did share the malice with the Arabs and
their hatred towards him. After the death of the Prophet, the caliphate was more befitting to him than any one else among the Muslims. The Arabs and particularly the Quraish created the setbacks such as disobeying to go into the
32- I have described SAQIFA in my preface. (TRANSLATOR)
Asama’s army and not allowing the Prophet to write down what he wanted to write. It seems that some shrewd ones among ANSAAR smelled that something was being cooked and the smell spurred their appetite for the first morsel which did not appear to them a great sin as long as the strangers were fanning the fire under the pot in a kitchen other than that of the owners of the pot. Furthermore, they did not believe that those who had stolen the pot could be able to retain long to eat their own cooking without being amenable to their action. However, failure was the fate of their attempt and, hence, disappointment the outcome. As they lost, so they wished the other side too should not again. Therefore, they or some among them said: “We do not yield but to Ali.” But it was a day after the fair.
These are the grounds or such stand the reasons which cater any common folk with conviction that it was a race of propensities and inclinations; whether
knowingly or without knowing, deliberately or otherwise, were running at tilt under a constant whip of sentiments with blind eyes to see the light of truth —
but only to terminate at personal goals. The science of psychology too is at our side in this respect. ANSAAR met in a haste and hurry, in camera, at their SAQIFA — without inviting MUHAJAREEN (emigrants) or consulting the
other Muslims. We could not understand as to why and what for? If the motive was other than the ‘stolen pot’; then what was it?
The occupation of Ali in that calamity that had resulted by the death of the
Prophet served an opportunity for ANSAAR to obtain the authority for their master, Al-Khazraj, or any one else from themselves; and they hurried in their efforts with that abnormal haste in accordance with the leisure that the opportunity had set at their disposal.
2) PSYCHOLOGY OF ANSAAR
In the preceding pages we tried to lay hand on that which reflects the ill will
of ANSAAR. But, we, however, presume that their attempt should have had been out of their conjecture which, although, can not be viewed as an excuse from the religious aspect. Hence, we hope that they did it because of no alternative to them. We dwell on this hope, as we do not want to give up a great many number of companions.
The very action itself, whether in a good faith or otherwise, is far from bringing us to a satisfactory conclusion. If at all we go as remote as we can in
considering the fact, we have to return back weary and worn out because of the impasse wherein we witness them in a hocus-pocus having a meeting of their own with pre-determination to have a caliph from themselves. If we are asked;
we can only say that it was a betrayal to Islam because of nothing else that we witnessed. If we were to elaborate we would add that it was a transgression upon the Muslims’ rights without ground and that too at a time when Islam was
hit by a calamity and while Muslims themselves were in a state of quandary knowing not what it would that they would have to confront from their
adversaries and Islam’s antagonists.
Indeed, we are not in a judiciary council nor shall we sit upon the bench to pass a sentence for them or against them. There might be some that view their
action sound and salubrious. We shall not restrain them. We are concerned with the reasons that pushed them to dwell upon that deed of theirs; and what their
psychology was-is the core to peep if not be probed.
Their service to Islam is a distinction, which can not be denied to them. And this distinction drove them to conjecture a deservation for the government or the caliphate of the Muslims. We hear it from their own candidate, Sa’ad Bin
Ebzda, in his speech as we hear their dread of the revenge of the bloodshed by their hands if the vacancy filled by their adversaries. They were quite sure that the vacancy should not be filled by one whom it belongs to. Their demand to
return to Ali came only when to them there was no return. In these reasons there is a gleam of light if we follow the beam we shall arrive at their psychology.
The silent factor that comes to sight is their defense rather than their offence.
Defense tantamount the sensibility to weakness and humiliation. This sensibility itself is a serious illness of an inner being and, hence, a setback for those who attempt victory in life. Doubt in determination, weakness in a will, confusion in conclusion and so forth are the after effects of this sickness; and all were at their full display in them when the SAQIFA had fully displayed them.
Division among themselves, retreat before enemy, and above all, lowering their demand to the level of sharing the office while a contester was yet to
challenge them. I mean before the arrival of MUHAJAREEN because one of them had spoken among them: “Then we shall tell them, if they challenge us, a chief from us and a chief from you; and we shall never accept otherwise.”
Sa’ad’s opinion to this was: “This is the first weakness.” In fact, it was the first and the last as well. Then their lowering continued even after the arrival of Muhajareen as their word kept its utterance while Sa’ad kept remarking to them
that it was the first weakness.
This shows the shallowness in their persons and the leniency in their purpose, quite incoherent to be offensive while congenial to a defensive attitude. They
did not demand the government to grip over the destiny of nation. They demanded it to hold the damage from reaching them. Therefore, if defense could be secured by sharing the office, it was enough to them and they wanted
no more as they needed nothing else.
To tell the truth, we should not deny what is due to them –lowliness and vileness, immaturity in opinion, incapability of planning, feebleness lurking in their determinations and the dread which the deliberation of Quraish had
constituted for them besides its power that had polluted their conception. Shortcomings such as these were already in their calculations; and, therefore, Al-Hubab Bin Al-Mundhir wanted to conceal them in his speech thus: “O you,
the group of ANSAAR! Hold upon you. People are lurking either around you or beneath your shadows. Let not any dwell upon your differences nor determine
deterring your decision. You are the men of honor and wealth…” Such he spurred their courage, shunned them from conflict among themselves, and concluded at, “…If they did not agree; then a chief from us and a chief from them.” How weak he was that he could not flutter the wings long enough to keep him at the altitudes of glory. The moment he reaches the height, he falls down over the ground of humbleness and says: “If they did not agree.” Well, if they did not agree to share the office either, then what? Nothing; but to give ground — inch by inch, spot by spot till themselves are out. So it was and such it happened. Omar Bin Khattab told him: “We do not find any among Muhajareen more courageous at heart, more open at tongue and braver in action than Al- Hubab besides Sa’ad Bin Ebada. Such was the case with their spokesman, their orator with agile tongue, their man of strong personality and one with opinion.”
Al-Hubab seems to have had been aware of the gleed yet alive beneath the ashes of differences and feared the spark.
So he said: “Don’t differ; your opinion will be spoiled and errand
eradicated.” Let us see what was on the crawl in hiding.
3) ANSAAR — Two Parties
If it is said that Ansaar wanted dedition to Sa’ad, it purports that they were Khazraj only and not Aous.33 But Aous gathered at Saqifa with Kazraj; this is the surface of the water. The thing that had brought them together was the sense of fear that had gripped both the groups against those whose fathers and sons were slain at their hands and now anticipation of revenge had alarmed them if they were to be the losers; But, on the other hand they (Aous) wombed rancor caustic and corrosive towards Khazraj because of the blood not yet dried at their swords, deep wounds not yet healed and the pain yet to be assuaged. The well
known day of BOAAS was the last stage of their engagement in the battles between them which was prior to emigration by six years. According to narration, one of the tribes came to Mecca, after the day of BOAAS, to seek help from Quraish against the opposite group. They came into contact with the Prophet and the contact consequented guidance to them and they accepted Islam.
On the day of the battle of BOAAS Abu Aseed Bin Hadeer was the chief of
Aous. This Hadheer spoiled the thing for Sa’ad by submitting to the authority of
Abu Baker. Aous too followed him. The chief of Khazraj was Omar Bin Noman
— grandson of the commander of Muslims In the battle of UHOD.34
Islam did not do much to them- neither their rancor relaxed nor ceased their conflict. When the flames of war did not leap long to irritate either side, they
were like two famished wolves each are attacking for its own satiety. “Our priority they cannot take away”; the competition of Khazraj used to announce
33- Therefore the historians while narrating the dedition to Aous, say that he defeated Khazraj in contrast to their gathering.
34- Refer to Aqd al-Fareed (2:250)
whenever a word of Aous was heard. Khazraj would not sit idle unless do the same or say much more. Likewise, Aous too; if the winds brought to their ears any thing from the side of Khazraj.35
There was one from Khazraj by name Abdullah Bin Abi-Salool and he was a famous hypocrite. The Prophet spoke among the people thus: “O you the Muslims! Who will apologize me for the man whose hurt, I am told, has reached my people?” Sa’ad Bin Ma’az, the chief of Aous got up and said: “O the Prophet of God! By God, I apologize to you on his behalf. Had he been from Aous we certainly would have pruned his neck; or had he been from Khazraj we shall carry out your orders about him.” It is very interesting to see Sa’ad here ignoring the person and taking the advantage of the occasion against Khazraj. This indicates how hatred rankled between these two sides. Then, the chief of Khazraj, Sa’ad Bin Obada got up and addressed to Ibn Ma’az: “By God, you lie. You will not kill him nor are you able to kill him although he is from your party, but you do not want him to be killed.” Then Aseed Bin Hadheer, cousin of Sa’ad Bin Ma’az, addressed to Bin Obada: “By God, you lie. We shall certainly kill him. You are a hypocrite and argue about hypocrites.” Upon this both the sides, Aous and Khazraj, scuffled and reached the point of killing one another while the Prophet was on the pulpit. He came down and departed
This we narrated to show the intensity of the competition between these two parties, Aous and Khazraj. Sa’ad Bin Obada, the chief of Khazraj, took the
initiative on the day of Saqifa to lean towards Aous under the appellation of Ansaar (helpers) in order to create a front against the two rivals, Muhajareen and Quraish. So, addressing his enemy he said to Ansaar: “O. the group of
Ansaar! You have a background as well as a priority in religion which lacks every other tribe of Arabs.” He meant Muhajareen. He proceeded in his speech beating this very sensitive string that it enchanted all as they all said: “We shall
not deviate from your orders whether you succeed in your opinion or sustain a hurt in your word. We vest you with our affair. You are cogent to us and good to the faithful.”
Then in the exchange of words it was decided: “We shall tell them that we would have a chief from us and you have one from you” in case if Quraish were to win the day. Upon such a division of opinion Sa’ad announced: “It is the first
sign of weakness.” They did not pay much heed to Sa’ad and went on in their procrastination till they were overrun by Muhajareen. Muhajareen would have gained the events had they hurried to such a meeting. Opportunity was extensive enough to establish the authority and to get it recognized and acknow-
ledged which in itself would have been a blow to Muhajareen. But the long existing differences between their two groups kept them from gaining a stand among themselves and kept them at margin rather than doing away with the
35- Al-Tabari (3:7) Ibn Al-Athir (2:66)
36- Refer BUKHARI (2:66 & 3:24)
contents. So, the time passed which is fatal in matters such as these.
As a matter of fact, Aous were not happy to yield to Sa’ad. Their stubbornness in their arrogance with Khazraj in every thing — little or large,
trifle or trash, was the reason of their own suffering of the loss although they did their best to conceal the difference. They shunned to be called: “Aous and
Khazraj” because of the division that the word demonstrated and which did not fit the spirit of Islam. So, both the sides dwelled as long as they could at ceremony. Therefore, as soon as they found room to jump, they crushed the interests of Sa’ad and all that Khazraj had endeavored to group. Furthermore,
they detected that the difference dawned on the hemisphere of Khazraj in the speech of Basheer Bin Sa’ad al-Khazraj and his festination in dedition to Abubaker. Another happy element to them was the voices came out from
throats not theirs but those of Muhajareen and which spoke against Sa’ad. At this juncture their innate difference with Khazraj made itself manifested as their leader, Aseed Bin Hadheer, told them: “Had you once set Sa’ad free upon you,
he would have dominated you forever retaining superiority for his side and leaving you nothing to share. So, better surrender to Abubaker’s authority. Hence, Asa’d acknowledged power to Abu Baker and Aous too did the same.
Here one might ask as to whether did they get any share in their resignation to Abu Baker? They got only gratification for spoiling the game to their competitor under the pretext that the competition of kinship was of stronger
influence — meaning Abubaker who was from Quraish as the Prophet was.
On the other hand, Abu Baker can not be defrauded of his due in bringing Aous closer to Muhajareen. He stood in the middle and maintained such a balance as though he knew which side his bread is buttered. As he went an inch
ahead, he retreated an inch behind. The competition between Aous and Khazraj was fully utilized by him as a balance rod necessary in walking over a rope. He said: “This is a thing if Khazraj laid hand upon, Aous too will extend their
hands towards it; and likewise if this thing is availed by Aous, Khazraj would not sit idle. There had been bloodshed between them which is still fresh in memories and the wounds yet to be healed. If any among you shouted, he
purports to reside between the jaws of a lion either to be chewed by a Muhajir or wounded by an Ansaar.37 Such he played and so he gained.
The blood that was shed in the past now gushed out in the memories; the
graves in the cemetery of oblivion were dug and the long buried coffins of rancor and malice were brought out to lament afresh; every deposit that could provoke pain anew was pulled out from the folds of hatred, presented in the tray of revenge and each offered to the other. Entertained such in a hospitality of hostility not only that of the opposite side but that of Muhajareen each hit the other either by tongue or by treason as described by Ibn Dab Esa Bin Zaid.
The meeting was held by Khazraj; the claim was laid by Khazraj; but the
37- AL-BYAN WA TIBYAN (3:181)
whole sport of Saqifa was spoiled as it turned a soil for Aous as well as Khazraj to harvest the enmity — the fruit of the tillage of themselves, their fathers and their ancestors.
We better leave these Ansaar at Saqifa in their brawl and go to Muhajareen and other Muslims at the Prophet’s house to see what they were doing there.
4) WHETHFR MOHAMMED. THE APOSTLE HAS DIED?
It was the last day in his life when he had come out and led the prayers and the last of him that the people had seen of him — a dear appearance, a divinely
The sun of this earth was setting in the horizon of truth. Now the Prophet was bed ridden and his household members around him and their fate around them
while the people outside and the door closed.
It too was a day. But what a day for the people of Madina and the Muslims. They lost. What a bounty it was. They lost mercy. They lost humanity. Their
glory, their greatness, the vein of their life; they lost by losing him. The path of God candescent with truth was he that they had lost. The great prophet-their generous father; now they had no more. It was a great day in grief because of
the great loss. It became a common saying on any occasion of their grief: “It is a day as the day of the death of the Prophet.”
What could be expected of Muslims; some time hearing the wailing from
behind the door, then rushing to the mosque either to gather there or get scattered into the ways and by lanes — looking at the ground with heads down cast; not an eye to be seen without a tear nor a heart without a pain, a breathe frequented into and from their bodies suppressed under a load of sigh.
They were waiting.
And nothing was there to belie the approaching havoc had they known that hour that the course of their lives was changed; they would have rather relaxed.
But the uncertainty about the future and their new religion which was still swinging in the cradle of the peninsula had incensed their minds. Hypocrites were in ambush armed with their determination. A chasm to be filled and who
to lead the nation. Their hands each went into the other as they lay upon their heads.
These thoughts and these fears, without doubt, had gripped the heads among
those crowds waiting in perplexity at the door of the house of God’s prophet where Gabriel hailed with revelation, anxious to know what the next. They, in that confusion, were no better than a herd left scattered in a night of winter And in such a quandary amidst such crowds appeared a man of iron, the Companion of the Prophet, Omar Bin Khatab, rejecting in total the death of the Prophet and stood to challenge all who dared to believe in the Prophet’s death. He shouted denying and threatened whoever hesitated to deny; and, thus shattered their thoughts and scattered their senses. He announced to the crowds: “The Prophet of God has not died nor shall die unless his religion overturns all religions. He
will certainly return and will amputate hands and legs of people who utter balderdash of his death. If one says the Prophet has died, I shall kill him by my sword.” Could one, in the quietude of his thoughts, be able to convince himself of the gist of such a theory presented by Omar at the vigor of threat? We are far from understanding as to why the Prophet will amputate hands and legs of those who prattle about his death. On what crime one deserves to be killed by the sword of Omar? How and from where it was known that the Prophet will not die unless his religion overruns all the religions? And, the return; what is this? Return after death or returns after absence like that of Moses? In some narration Omar Bin Khattab is reported to have given a similitude of the return of Moses. But there was no absence at all. The Prophet was in his bed in his house among his household members.
But my opinion gives me some other suggestion, which appears convincing and cogent. Had I been in the folds of those crowds and in a situation as that, I too would have been swept like all the others in the current of those words to the farthest extent? The speaker is Omar Bin Khattab. His words are revolting against the gloom and the gloom is undesirable to the people. There is a strong determination to reject the tragedy. This is what the mood of the people was — rather the tendency of hour in that particular motion of time. The people hung to this gleam of hope that the Prophet was alive and that his religion was to overtake all the religions. In his words there was a promise to the people that of the Prophet’s return and at the same time a warning that of amputation of their hands and legs if they dwell upon his death; besides an open threat from himself that of death to those if they were to utter the Prophet’s death.
Dread and hope when go hand in hand with the firm paces of determination, exercise a great influence on the thoughts of crowds. They calm their nerves and
comfort their anxiety. Particularly death is a single episode wherein doubt has much to play and hesitation scarcely less to make friends believe the loss of one
who to them so dear. Since it is an ultimate alternative and no other way out, one resigns to acknowledge the suffering; else it is not easy.
Sudden news that collects crowds exempts them from ordinary rules and
conditions. A gathering that comes into a concourse with disturbed minds and confused thoughts, struck by a heavy blow of loss, neither knows what to be expected next nor could anticipate where they stand; is always governed by a spirit and that spirit overrules individual inclinations because it has to yield to the influence and become dirigible to its directions. Reason has no province before the words and the mood of concourse is so maudlin that any unrespectable change could become possible because of the power generated by the effusion of sentiments in words. A blind imitation is the reciprocation common to all — other a binding on all. Therefore, whatever idea presented to them is accepted as consideration being out of ken. The idea, however absurd or wrong, holds water in accordance with the personality of speaker and the strength of determination on display.
Hence, the Muslims that day became convinced with Omar’s opinion. We do not wonder at their satisfaction as much as we do at the very opinion itself. Although history does not narrate openly about their conviction with Omar’s statement but it equally does not mention anybody’s objection to him for such an egregious statement. Indeed, Abubaker who came late contradicted him. Anyway, the least that Omar achieved that day was that he created doubt among the crowds about the Prophet’s death. It can clearly be imagined that the crowds hit by such a grief should have had certainly surrounded him with all their multitude as they saw in his words a glimpse of hope about a news which they were hesitant to accept. A man who gives hope in disappointment will be of course the cynosure of eyes. As the astonishment gathered the crowds around him he went on with his thundering and lightening till his mouth ejected foam.
Let us scrutinize the words Omar said. The word ‘balderdash’ has a great effect in repudiating the thoughts and making the people to feel ashamed for having had entertained such a thought about the Prophet which shows enmity rather than friendship with him and Islam.
When Abu Baker arrived at the scene from AL-SANAH38 he had to go inside the Prophet’s house and reveal the shroud from the Prophet’s face so as to
ascertain his death. This indicates the extent of the effect of Omar’s word among the people. Then, Abubaker came out of the Prophet’s house and belied to the people what Omar had told them. On the other hand, he was swearing too
that the Prophet had not died. Abu Baker asked him to sit down. He did not sit. Thrice he was ordered and thrice he ignored. Then Abubaker told him: “O You who swears! Be calm. “Then Abubaker addressed the people. Omar still continued; and the people left him alone.”
Abubaker announced: “Whoever was worshipping Mohammed has died. Whoever worships God; God is alive and does not die…” Then he recited this verse from Quran:
“If he died or were slain, will you then turn back on your heels?” (Chap. 3 verse 139)
When the people heard Abubaker they felt relieved as though released from a
strain. All of them recited the verse and there remained none who did not recite. Omar threw himself over the ground, as he appeared to acknowledge the death of the Prophet and became certain to him that the verse was from Quran.
Well done; O you, son of Khattab! It is not surprising as long as we know him. He stood a stand swearing, threading, to deny an open fact. We do not know whether Islam did not disclose to him the reality of Mohammed? Why did he classify the words, whoever uttered about the Prophet’s death, as
But he tried to convince the people that the Prophet was absent as the apostle
38- It is at a distance of one mile from the mosque (as per Ayesha’s indication) which corresponds with that we read in MOJEMUL BULDAN, Sanah is one of the high grounds or altitudes of Madina at a distance of three or four miles (as per ALMOJEM’S indication).
Moses was and that he would return and cut the hands and legs. Let us ask him what absence was that?
After those threats and determined declarations how quickly he believed and easily surrendered to the news announced by Abu Baker who neither attested him nor belied him. Did not he say that the Prophet would not die unless
overcome his religion all the religions; then what proof did he find in that Quranic verse that convinced him to the extent of rolling down over the earth? The verse does not indicate that he was dead.
What astonished more is his apology the next day as he says: “What I said
yesterday was my own opinion. I did not see that in the Book of God nor was that a trust vested in me by the Prophet of God. But it was my desire for a longer life to the Prophet so that to hold us and be himself the last one among us to die.”39 This feeble hope and that forcible hazard of killing at hearing the nonsense talk about the Prophet’s death neither concur nor correspond. And this serene and sober apology for that strident challenge creates a question mark if not a bewilderment.
A GREAT SECRET SURROUNDS HIM:
It seems to me that the matter was not as simple as it appears. Omar was far beyond that. He was not a simpleton to believe that the Prophet would not die while he had already died. He was the same man who had told without least
hesitation: “The Book of God is enough to us” and “The pain has overcome him.” The word “ENOUGH” what sense it conveys? The Prophet wanted to write before his death. If Omar’s belief was that he would not die then it makes no sense in his saying ‘The Book of God is enough’ or what harm it could have
done to him had he allowed the Prophet to write down what he wanted to write.
Can we take his words granted for the grief that he incensed him? His apology the next day was not in that respect. When he acknowledged the death
of the Prophet he did not show any sign of grief or shock. We wish he had shown some. From the beginning till the end he was what he was.
Some of the people put forward the excuse of the grief, which, according to
them, was too much for him to bear. But neither the groups appear to have not known him nor have they probed into his motive. He who believes that the Prophet has gone into absence and swears and shouts; for such a man when the thing is ascertained which he spurns to believe, the shock should be greater to the extent of madness.
The whole episode abounds with incidents that suffice for one to ponder that he did not choose to beat around the bush as he well knew what was behind the
mounds and availed what the others failed to see.
39- These statements/texts we have gathered from KANZUL OMMAL (129:3 & 53:4) and from the ALTABARI & IBN AL-ATHEER & AL-BUKHARI histories (152:4), and ALSEERATUL DAHLANIA (347:2) and the words = my desire…Prophet = from AL-AHEEH and ALSEERAT. The sense/ meaning is the same though the words differ.
It could be believed that Omar was afraid that the people would do what undesirable to him because all had held their necks high to see who would succeed the Prophet in that hour fraught with anxiety, zeal and perplexity while Abu Baker too was absent in ALSANAH. Whether they be together or apart from each other — each was supplement to the other. On this matter they should have reached an agreement or understanding before hand. So, at that particular juncture Omar’s office was to divert the attention of the people from the object of their concentration. In order to keep them from dedition to any one before the return of his friend he injected them to believe in the absence of the Prophet. Thoughts among people projected at Ali. Every one in Muhajareen and the prominent ones of Ansaar never doubted that Ali was the right person to
succeed the Prophet.40
They were concerned of the young age of Ali41 in addition to their malice (especially from Arabs and Quraish). So, they took distance from him. In the way of Islam the blood that
Was shed, was at his hands: and their great many heroes were killed by his sword. Besides this clandestine rancor, Quraish did not like to see the pride and prominence, which the prophet-hood had already provided Bani Hashim to be
enhanced by another factor of caliphate among them. In the conversation of Omar with Ibn Abbas, narrated in the second chapter, such a trend of mentality exposes itself for every one’s under-standing. Indeed. Truth is bitter and seldom
delicious to the tastes, but ought to be chewed. Although the path is straight and lit by the brilliance of truth; but it should be prevaricated in the province of envy.
Leader of the opposition appears to us Omar, as it was he who hindered the
letter from coming into being. Therefore, one should not be astonished to see him in this stand which was only with the purpose to occupy the attention of the people in order to impede them from Hastings to yield or acknowledge the authority or sovereignty of Ah and gain time till Abubaker’s return.
Curiosity might well ask here as to whether Omar knew how to come out of this predicament which he had plunged in. It could be said that he took a risk at
an adventure to the extent of detaining the people from taking their own decision while for the rest of the game he depended upon Abu Baker to settle in coherence with the situation. The cogency of evidence serves a strong testimony
to this above analysis. Omar, who had been displaying so far such a strong stubbornness, got convinced in no time with the words of Abubaker. Secondly, Abubaker did not belie him. As soon as Abubaker came, Omar understood that the page was turned and the Scene changed. Abubaker addressed the crowds
and the crowds gave him audience. And, now it was to Omar to crawl quietly out so as not to be detected and game spoiled. Nothing was left to him except to throw him upon the ground in a sham convulsion as though he knew about the
40- SHARH AL-NAHAJ BY IBN AL-HADEED (2:8)
41- AL-IMAMAT WAL SYIASAT
death of the Prophet for the first time without any previous anticipation. Then after a short while he accompanied Abubaker to finalize the job with such a zest as if he was released from a long confinement. Now he was not that man who had uttered all that nonsense a while ago. Confusion, fear and anxiety which some had attributed to his madness now had vanished from him. He was man sanguine and sane went to Saqifa with Abubaker no sooner than he learned the secret meeting of Ansaar there. Another part he had to play there.
5) REACHES THE NEWS OF ANSAA’S MEETING
History is mute: does not say anything about Abubaker and Omar as to what they did immediately after the denial of the Prophet’s death or where were these two before their going to Saqifa, whether did they both enter the Prophet’s
houses the door was closed, or did they stand at the door, or Abubaker only entered in? Each of these inquiries wombs a discussion. For the benefit of doubt let us agree that all these things probably might have taken place. But reason
suggests that both of them should have not left the Prophet’s house at such a juncture of time. If anything were to happen it was there to happen. The center, the pivot, the base (Ali Bin Abi Taleb) was occupied in giving the last bath and
other preliminaries of the burial of the Prophet. No one ever imagined that Ansaar would concoct such a thing against the Prophet’s household members and the Muhajareen endeavor for the office excluding them. They took the
initiative on the basis of that in which preference to them could not be denied.
Most probably they, Abubaker and Omar, did not stay long at the Prophet’s house since they arrived there because two persons from Aous by the names of Ma’an Bin Eddy42 and Awaim Bin Sayeda came in a rush to the house. An old enmity lasted between these two men of Aous and S’ad al-Khazraji the candidate for caliphate. Maan took the hand of Omar but Omar did not like to listen to him as he was occupied. As the words “something should be done” from an enthusiastic mouth of Ma’an rang into the anxious ears of Omar, attention was lent so as to gain the interest upon the rest — the disclosure of the
secret meeting of Ansaar. The thing perplexed Omar. The second man too did the same to Abubaker. He too got thrilled. Then they both, each dragging the other, headed to the meeting of Ansaar and tailed them Abu Obaida Bin al Jarrah. So, the three marched towards Ansaar.43
As for Ali, as for those who were in the house, and as for those who were out
— Bani Hashim, and the Muhajareen and the other Muslims — none of them knew what was going on or to be more accurate, what was being cooked, or what Abubaker and Omar were bent upon.
We can not understand the nature of this whole affair but to see it a mischief that enwrapped into its fold all the Muslims and the most afflicted one by it was
42- AQD ALFAREED (63:3) and 2nd Vol. SHARH AL-NAHAJ. Besides these two we do not trace any other informer’s name.
43- AL-TABARI (3:208)
Ali and then was Bani Hashim. It was rather better for Abubaker and Omar to bring home to Ansaar the nature of their doing. They (the both) could have extinguished the fire. In what way the matter concerned Abubaker and Omar and not to other Muslims? Then, Abu Obaida; what business he had that other Muslims did not have? Why, these three hasted to the meeting and why not all the Muslims?
It is not so simple to cover all these secrets and the particularities. This subject still remains virgin. To wheedle or to coax the researchers has always been a fear, Reluctance of this virgin and the hesitation on the part of
researchers can furnish us this much to guess that they kept it a secret in order to settle the boodle among themselves before the ownership is claimed by Ali or it is handed over to him by the people. Hence, they had to rush to the meeting, to
gain ground quietly, and then to discard the Ansaar. Such a plot of Omar paves us the way to understand the secret agreement between him and Abubaker and again between these two and Abu Obaida but between them and Salem Moula
Abi Hazifa. Therefore, we see him, Omar Bin Khattab, feel sorry for these — Abi Obaida and Salem — having had been snatched by death and thereby snatching the choice from him to make one of them to succeed him although
Salem was not from Quraish.
If they did not regard Ali what we have pointed out, at least he was the most proper one to be informed about the meeting or some one from his group of
Bani Hashim. In any case, Ali was not a man of that standard to be totally discarded or his position overrun or not to be consulted in a matter of magnitude. Surpassingly if there exists no text specifying him as the Prophet’s successor but there does exist the brotherhood between him and the Prophet as
twice made by the Prophet giving him the position of Harun and keeping that of Moses for himself. Besides, Ali was the dearest one to the Prophet. He was the lord of all those whom the Prophet was. He was the guardian of every faithful
next to the Prophet. He was his chancellor. The truth rests with him and moves as he does. All these are the recorded facts and too recent to be ignored or forgotten. In view of these facts the position of Ali attains a priority and a
preference that the consultation is the least a deservation could demand.
If he was busy with the funeral of the Prophet, what harm was there had he been kept informed-at least they could say that they did not act upon their own.
If their action was in the interests of Islam, then what ground was there to be afraid of Ali because Ali’s courage, faith and greed for Islam is a thing well proved and known. In spite of all this, the thing was kept a secret from him. He only knew when the others knew. A clamor ‘God is great’ raised from the
mosque and heard by all. And that was when they had finished the job at Saqifa and had come to the mosque to make public the installation of Abubaker as caliph.
This analysis of mine does not womb any claim of my having known the secrets that surround the mystery. I have mentioned only what I see at the
surface; and this does not repudiate the possibility of there being one who could be able to satiate the subject with full details giving us more to know or know more of our own ignorance.
6) THE EFFECTS OF MUHAJAREEN’S ARRIVAL AT THE ANSAAR’S MEETING
Let us follow Abubaker, Omar and Abu Obaida to Saqifa. Ansar have
gathered there debating over the situation. Sa’ad Bin Ebada, covered under a sheet, obviously in a pain, sitting amidst them, speaking to them presiding their
gathering and contesting for the caliphate. Indeed, Ansaar are much in hue and cry in a hold of pride and grip of egoism ready to leap over or jump at the vacancy. Their anxiety in their secret gathering is to lay hand at the pulse of the
moment. They do not see before them any that could surpass them.
It was in this situation that a few faces of Muhajareen appeared all of a sudden. Then cone fell from their hands before they could spin the thread of
plot. The fear of losing the game overpowered them. And they worsened into blunder governed by a sense of shame. We already knew their trait and its salient factor — the weakness. So, collectively all these rendered in bringing
about a change into the whole proceeding and the change turned the tide against them. Now they had to change themselves to countenance the change. Those who were not happy to see Sa’ad becoming a ruler now got the opportunity to
spoil the chance for him. Likewise, those in his favor were now to defend him. This was the first chance in their mood and the first in weakening their meeting.
The men of Muhajareen entered the gathering. “Who is this man under the covering?” “What his business is here?” This was the first thing questioned by
them. Omar was about to speak. He had collected the idea and gathered the words in his mind on his way as to what to say and how to say. He was not sure of seriousness on the part of Abubaker. But later he appreciated that Abubaker
acted quite seriously. Situation was delicate; hence, delicacy the necessity. Affections were at the brink of revolt, sentiments in plenitude to burst. To handle them was a matter difficult and needed a talent capable to mould and get
molded and hit the target at the expense of nobody’s injury. Therefore, Abubaker prevented Omar from speaking. And he spoke himself.
As he spoke people were about to crush Sa’ad by their huggermugger. Some
one shouted: “You killed Sa’ad.” Omar in his angry tone said: “Kill Sa’ad. God may kill him because he is a mischief monger.” Abubaker heeded to the call of Omar and said: “Be patient, Omar! Here leniency is the best.”
In fact, Omar was not a man to have not understood the situation. But it was
all a made up thing. So, a dedition to Abubaker was accomplished. Ansaar agreed. Sa’ad failed.
7) INFLUENCE OF ABUBAKER’S SPEECH
It is an irrefragable fact that those who have led nations or groups and
uplifted their status are the most prominent ones in the science of sociology although they might not be aware. ‘They are taught by intuition the knowledge while the experience sharpens it to the grade of accuracy and the practice deposits it in funds of self confidence to apply where the need arises. Abubaker and Omar, these two, were among those who knew the nature of crowds and how to influence them.
The distinctions purported in the crowds by the sociologists were already in plenitude more than those in the gathering at the mosque after the death of the Prophet referred to before. Sa’ad Bin Ebada took refuge in his being heard
either through his son or one of his cousins. So, a voice, not his, rose in that gathering grouped there only to see who should succeed the Prophet so as to be at the head of the nation, the great, the strong and yet in its infancy. The
clandestine sense of deservation and the zeal to jump at the opportunity had made them enthusiasts to lend audience to whatever the utterance could say.
In a meeting composed of such a mood, it could well be imagined as to how
the sentiments would raise their head and reason hide its, leaving the audience to be governed by the change — unexpected or the ups and downs — unanticipated, and flow into the current of words only to coast at blind imitation. It is also likely to find in such meetings what could be termed violence as some would demonstrate their prowess while some would fear of nothingness; childish behavior as well as reasonable one will not be astonishing. Where reason is suspended, sentiments will be lulled, and hypnotism will take them into the chambers of slumber.
Easily one understands the way Abubaker and his accessory, Omar, adopted in influencing the gathering if we conceive the sentiments of the groups and the
conditions to which they had surrendered and which had brought them there at Saqifa. Likewise, it becomes obvious as to how the change took over Ansaar. Thus, the reins exchanged hands – from Ansaar to Abubaker and Omar. They
both respected the strength of Ansaar and kept themselves alive to the moment that no one suspected them except Abu Obaida Bin al-Jarrah and Salim Moula Abi Hazifa. Now let us probe into the policies, which we mentioned earlier.
In the preceding pages we have seen how Abubaker crept into Ansaar and excited the passions of Aous against Khazraj and prepared them to take the jump over Sa’ad. He gined their sympathy whether they knew it or not. They
knew well that the day was for them (Ansaar) and in the presidency of Khazraj lies their power. But sentiments had dominated them; and in a deluge of sentiments even the fortifications of reason were swept away.
Now let us ponder over the speech that he addressed to them in his first
meeting and about which Omar says: “Whatever I had conjectured on my way, he produced it or even better.”
He first praised them and mentioned all the good of Muhajareen and their
priority in Islam and that they were the first ones to worship God, to believe in
Him and in His Prophet and that they were the friends of the Prophet and,
therefore, deserved to succeed him and become his caliph. He proceeded to give in wholesome what the Ansaar deserved the acknowledgement of their services which no one could compete unless one should be a tyrant. But, the Arabs do not yield except to Quraish. Therefore, what they deserved could not go beyond a ministry while the authority goes to other than them. Thus, he continued:
“…You, the people of Ansaar No one denies your superiority in religion nor your glorious record in Islam. God is pleased to have you as the helpers to His religion and to His apostle who migrated towards you and among you are his distinguished wives and his companions. We do not have any among us of the standard and at the status of the first Muhajareen. So, we are the chiefs and you the ministers.44”
In this statement there is something astonishing: putting out the fire of the ebullient sentiments against the Muhajareen and at the same time appeasing the hunger of the pride of Muhajareen upon their superiority, their succor and their sacrifices; and bringing the others close to them (Muhajareen) to acknowledge their deservation. To cool and calm down the nerves of an agitated group, the best is to go adrift in the very current of their gushing spirit. So, he gave to them what they had desired. This he did simply by acknowledging their services and submitting to their pride.
As a matter of fact, he told the truth as they did or as they deserved. Their distinction is an irregragable one. But, they made a mistake in their claim for the
suzerainty. Here we see Abubaker mending their mistake. He is cautious enough to avoid injuring their sentiments or to reduce a shred from their status or bring them down from their station. Therefore, he has refrained in his statement from using the word mistake.
He bewitches them by saying: “We do not have any among us of the standard and at the status of the first Muhajareen. We are the chiefs and you the ministers.” There is a clandestine caution to them of their mistake and at the
same time the pain is avoided which could result by the mordant method of ex- pression. As he praised them he fenced them within ministry.
If further pondered into the word, the more astonishing is this: Abubaker has
tried to prefer upon them the first Muhajareen so as to establish their right for the caliphate. He could have easily created competition among the old enemies between the Muhajareen themselves. But he has paced a sinuous way to attain the goal by giving preference to Ansaar (helpers) upon the people as a whole. By the word “The First Muhajareen” he means that there exists no one to compete the Ansaar or to occupy their position. Muhajareen, he mentioned them as exception and their station incontrovertible.
Those greedy souls were satisfied because they heard what pleased them. They went back as they came as though they got what they were after. Such is the psychology of the mobs. They do not consider the result because they do not
44- TABARI (3:209)
ponder. Mobs commonly agree the ideas on the whole or reject on the whole. They always are short of patience to analyze the ideas or distinguish them.
Besides, the promise of ministry to them was a further consolation securing them their greeds and their goals as the chiefs would not discard their ministers. The dread of revenge and domination that had trembled them was now
vanished. There is a thick curtain of forgetfulness that hangs in the course of time and hides ones craving. Anyway, words have their ephemeral influence and for him who says cost only a few promises and the embellishment of speech.
There are two words in that speech, which carry considerable depth of sense if we could only conceive:
The first word “The first ones.” By this word he repelled the enmity which
the Ansaar entertained with Muhajareen generally. Muhajareen and Ansaar were two parties in open conflict ever since the Prophet’s days. Once the Prophet said:
“It is the conflict of the people of ignorance.” The whole episode takes its root as this: An Ansari said: “O, to the Ansaar!” A Muhajir said: “O, to the Muhajareen!” Upon this both the groups gathered, each with weapons and a fight was about to take place.45 Here Abubaker specifies Muhajareen as ‘the first ones’ and avoids the adversary feelings of Ansaar towards Muhajareen in general because they respect the first ones for their embracing Islam prior to them. By so doing he made himself closer to them.
The second word: “Among us”, by this word he has raised himself to the compaign of Ansaar and elevated above the two, Muhajareen and Ansaar, as a referee; prefers one to the other and chooses what to their interest. Such a tactic goes a great deal in putting out the fire of sentimental bigotry besides paving a way to impose his personality upon them attaining the highest status that of a referee, an adviser, a leader. Generally it is in the trait of mobs to see the embellishment of the speech while to seek the proof therein is beyond the ken of their patience. An elegant picture, although in words, exercises a great influence upon their psychology.
Such a speech is a voice of a grinding mill without yielding any flour but pleases the ears. The pronoun ‘us’ is in the tongue of Abubaker. He speaks therein to the people other than Muhajareen and he one of them. Who vests him the authority to represent the Muhajareen and to speak on their
behalf? But he took the judgement (and with him the other one) and declared that Muhajareen are better than Ansaar and no one besides them equal the position of Ansaar.
Such a way of bewitching the mobs when we know, we would not wonder at its result that was the errand of Abu Baker. He desired the mobs to look upon him by their hearts not by their reason. Thus, he handled them, as his hands felt
45- ALBUKHARI 2:165,3:126
8) THE DISPUTE OF MUHAJAREEN AND ANSAAR
Let us see the extent of the influence of the speech of Abubaker upon the gathering and the result that it yielded.
Other than al-Hubab Bin al-Mundhir no one reacted. Words of Al-Mundhir already preceded in our discussion No = 2. Where in we does not see him coming forth with any thing new. He was the first to be vilified before Muhajareen. The strength evident in the beginning was evaded in the end of his
speech. So, to save face he entered through the door of ultimatum and said: “From you a chief and from them a chief.” But a vanquished bigot was in an obvious appearance in him. So, he dwelled in these words: “Guard the affair for
yourselves.” A negative reaction was his lot.
Here comes the turn of Omar Bin Khattab; and he said:
“What a pity, one horn can not be set upon two. By God, Arabs will not be pleased to give chieftainship to you while their prophet is not from you. The
Arabs will not object to surrender their affairs to those amongst who had sprung the prophethood. We agree to this and we shall see who among the Arabs would
resist the open authority and the evident suzarainty. Who it would be to compete us in the authority of Mohammed and his chieftainship. We are his friends and his folk. Would it not be a proof upon wrong or a propinquity towards sin or a
plunge into perdition?”
Such spoke Omar. Although not too agitating, yet it does not amount to the speech of Abubaker. Here Omar appears as a prosecutor on behalf of the chieftainship. It seems as if Abubaker paved the way for Omar to be a general
prosecutor on behalf of Muhajareen when he himself performed the office of a referee between the two sides competing and conflicting each other. Omar does not refer to the theme of text about Quraish or upon any particular among them.
What he says is only the satisfaction of Arabs and their insurgency and the p0- sition of Muhajareen as Mohammed’s friends and folk. Therefore, Ali referred to this whole episode at a later stage in these words: “They took the tree and lost
Then got up al-Hubab and said: “O, the people of Ansaar, Guard yourselves your business. Do not listen to his words or those of his friends. They will
snatch your share of this business from you. If they refrained from giving what you are demanding, then expel them from this land and occupy the business of them. By God, you deserve for this business more than they do. It was because of your swords they embraced this religion who had no religion. We are that trunk at which it is eased and we are its magnificent branch.46 I am a lion in its dengue. By God, if you like we could repeat the beginning and return to the
46- This is a term in Arabic literature, which I think necessary to explain. In the stables Arabs used to set a huge trunk of a tree so that animals could scratch against it to comfort the itch of their bodies. Since it used to be a trunk it also had big and strong branches. (TRANSLATOR)
start. By God, no one rejects what I say. If does, I will break his nose by the sword.”
In such a speech ill will in addition to a blind bigotry is quite evident. Omar told him: “Then, may God kill you.” This enfolds a religious aspect because he did not attribute to the people the act of killing but to God. Such words do carry
hatred to the claims in the vogue that of the days of ignorance.” Al-Hubab retorted: “But you alone to be killed.”
Such abuses are the shelters, which provide refuge at the time when reason feebles and anguish raises. We see al-Hubab throughout the incident in an
uncertainty as that of a loose saddle. A putrid stench of selfishness comes out of his mouth. He was not aware to conceal his voice in the sounds of animals.47 He threw himself in the field with a rider’s heart fully proud with tilt and talent; and the foams effused, from his mouth and his sword, those of the claims of the bygone ignorance which had become rotten in the days of Islam. The society of that day which had undergone a religious varnish disobeyed him. Religious sense occupies the first place in influencing the people and in their reactions particularly if the people happened to be in the grip of Islamic teachings. This
sense does not allow happening what could hinder a man attaining his prosperity even if it be in the folds of sacrificing every dear and near.
Al-Hubab spoiled the whole business. So he should defend Sa’ad and his people and their victory. But he lost ground without knowing himself. Instead of
guiding the gathering for the errand that had brought them together, he goaded them to the guidance of other without being aware himself. The other knew how to yoke them under his influence. The first casualty was the upraising of his cousin, Basheer Bin Sa’ad al-Khazraji, who recalcitrated and said:
“O, the people of Ansaar! By God, we are superiors in the holy war against the pagans and have proceeded all in this religion. But we did not aim except the pleasure of God and the obedience to our Prophet besides the drudgery to
ourselves. Therefore, it is not befitting for us to impose ourselves upon the people for that score nor seek the width of the world since God has already favored us. Mohammed is from Quraish and his people rightfully and first to
him. Is it not so? I swear on God that He may not see me competing with them in this business. No, never Fear God and do not compete them.”
Looks, the religious sense that surrounds the speech of this man. This shows
the extent of the influence of Abubaker’s and his friend’s words, which was exercised upon him. Then he was the first one in dedition to yield to the authority of Abubaker. I do not believe this would stand to prove the gentleness of Sa’ad. Al-hubab shouted to him as he extended the hand in submission to Abubaker: “O, Basheer Bin Sa’ad, you have prated balderdash. What you did was not the need. You raised the bid of chieftainship upon your cousin.” Basheer replied: “No, by God, I scorn to compete the people whom God has
47- This might sound odd. But I had to interpret the text in Arabic. (TRANSLATOR)
given the right.”
But I believe he was more or less true. The whole episode shows, as already explained, the influence of Abubaker’s speech upon the gathering and the
guidance towards his call. Then the behaviour of Hubab made the people distant from his group. This influence appeared in Basheer Bin Sa’ad. This represents
the sense that governed his people that hour.
9) MUHAJAREEN GAIN THE POSITION
As the matter of fact the people were forced and grided for dedition to one
among the Muhajareen in spite of the competition that existed between the two parties as proceeded in our narration and pointed out by Abubaker in his speech dealt in our discussion No.3. He said: “Ansari chews it while Muhajari wounds it and both are sitting in the mouth of a lion.” The competition between Aous and Khazraj besides their jealousy towards Sa’ad were also elements which aided them in their decision. A competition that is immediate plays an effective role than a competition that is remote. As such, Abubaker did not dalay in jumping over the consequence of the argument when he heard Bashee’s speech. Now he was fully aware of the change in the crowds and knew they were under his dominance. Here he presented one of the two who had accompanied him, Omar Bin Khattab and Abi Obaida Bin al-Jarrah, saying: “I am satisfied for you with one of these two men. Whomever of these two you like, submit to his authority.”
Here too he adopted the same tactic, which he practiced in his speech the subject of our discussion No.7. He has made himself aloof and posed himself as one who wants their good and chooses what good to their interests. So, and
thus, he presents his choice to their decision.
But, as we said; the mobs are always without their own opinion and feeble their choice as flaccid their initiative. So, they wait upon one to point out to
them. They depend upon him who bewitches them. They yield who surprises them with the strength of decision and the power of swift solution. Had one of those two stood they would have submitted to his chieftainship. If Abubaker
had appointed by name one among those two the crowds would have not delayed in yielding to him. But he left the choice open to them to choose one of the two, which naturally caused a suspension in opinion or a hesitation in
selection. On the other hand, the two nominees too hesitated. This indicates a pre-prepared interlude to divert the very choice so as to rest at Abubaker himself. There should have had been such an understanding between the three, Abubaker, Omar Bin Khattab, and Abi Obaida Bin al-Jarrali. Accordingly we
see Omar, at the time of his death, desired if Abi Obaida Bin al-Jarrah was alive he would have committed to him.
Anyway, those two played a role of recalcitrants. Omar said: “No, never, by
God, we don’t take the responsibility as long as you exist. Extend your hand we shall surrender there upon our submission to you.” He uttered these words and
left no room for any hesitation to arise. What he said, he did. He went forward in a firm determination befitting to the situation, bowed to Abubaker and Abubaker too extended his hand. But, in the meantime Basheer Bin Sa’ad preceded Omar, and thus the act of submission was accomplished. By so doing Basheer demonstrated his sincerity towards Muhajareen and attained a superiority over Omar in the act of yielding to Abubaker’s authority. But, in fact, these are the reactions of mobs incited or excited as a result of the influence exercised upon them.
This is one of the prominent evidences that testimonies what we said about the bewitched souls of the crowds at Saqifa by the affects practiced by
Abubaker that particular hour with his particular ability and competency. It is not denied that sometimes some words or sentences govern such a power upon
the ears, which can not be weakened by mind nor could be influenced by reason. When an orator blows words or sentences into winds before the crowds, it is so enchanting them that they become motionless while the grandeur of the
language pulls their faces upward in astonishment and presses their hearts either to melt or beat beyond normal so that the due respect could be acknowledged that has encompassed them as though divinely one or as if a blow of zepher
fondling them with its own magic. Therefore, thunderbolts of anguish are suscitated in them and sometimes a tranquility that follows a hurricane overpowers them and sometimes the welded is shattered into pieces. Such are
the mobs under a spell of an orator’s speech upon whom he exercises the power of languages; guides them, goads them to a goal which not theirs.
It appears that Omar too conceived the pulse of the situation as to how the
Muhajareen gained the ground. Now remained to him to yield in submission, which he did to Abubaker — without hesitation, without fear and without
consultation. In itself there is something strange that such a thing of import and magnitude to be done away with such an alacrity and agility! A man proceeds
and yields to other’s authority and thereby accomplishes the whole business. It is clear that who listed to whom while he was one of those three or four from a party opposing to a group in their own middle amidst their power and strength
trying to snatch the highest authority over the greatest nation. He neither consults them nor does he need their support.48 He proceeds with the business as though it is a concern between him and Abubaker — a settled and fixed transaction. This is an adventure, dangerous — and more dangerous its repercussions. He would have not delved into it had he not sensed the inclination of the crowds towards any provided he be from Muhajareen.
Opposition never appeared but an enthusiasm. Al-Aous scurried and the first among them was Asee Bin Hazeer. To them followed the Ansaar. Sa’ad abstained and those whom bigotry had gripped such as his son Qais and Hubab. As a fire run3 into a dry grass or an electric current into the wires such the fever
48- Omar has said: “He who surrenders to the authority of a chief without consulting the Muslims or without their consent, it is null and void-both should be killed.” KANZUL OMMAL PART III NARRATION No.2323.
ran in the mob-to acknowledge the supremacy of Abubaker and yield to his authority. If the opportunity missed obloquy would remain to their lot; this was the trend of their thought which governed their minds. Hence, all rushed and a rush rushed all. They advanced from all sides with a craze to kiss Abubaker’s hand to acknowledge his authority. Such a rash the rush was that it almost all superceded Sa’ad Bin Ebada, the most obeyed lord of Khazraj who was an hour before a candidate to the succession of the Prophet. Now he was taken upon hands to his house with a crushed personality and a wounded dignity.
Such behave the mobs. Subitaneous decision, hasty action and a hurried reaction, temerity of Opinion, a strident comportance that knows no patience
nor does it coast tolerance, these are salient characteristics. A regard to neither general conduct nor a conduct of general regard is the corollary of the excited
mobs. Above all, they are not cogitabund of their doing because soon they are to forget.
Al-Hubab seeing the people in such a rush towards surrendering to the
authority of Abubaker, took out his sword. Omar hit over his hand; fell down the sword and Omar took the sword and kept hitting at the skirt of Hubab’s shirt till the ceremony came to an end. Hubab endured the sight and could do nothing to stop the men from doing what their craze had excited them to do.
10) THE RESULT:
Acknowledgement to Abubaker’s authority was not a matter of choice as it could be concluded by the procedure of how the things ran throughout.49 BY GOD, it was a mischief; as Omar put it later.
Celerity of action did not give time to think or a margin to the opponent to
launch the reason of his opposition. It was a surprise into a surprise. The animosity of AOUS with Abubaker acted in such alacrity that its reaction assisted in bringing about a hasty conclusion. Mobs took to their characteristic and a mood ruled them and the choice deserted them.
If a researcher could not believe in the choice of the mobs of SAQIFA and treat the whole procedure far from truth; he has done no error. The words of
Omar support this: “Whoever invites to such a type of yield to one’s authority; it is null and void.”
Yes, no one defended Ali. There is nothing odd in it. The people were not
aware. The flow had fuddled their understanding and they were carried away by the current. They did not desire the meeting to yield in Ali’s favor. Ali’s name served them to compaign opposition. Ansaar, some of them or all of them, did proclaim that they would not yield except to Ali. This was rather late. The mobs were in a spur of the moment — dazed and infuscate, not knowing the religious obligation nor aware of their own choice. The very gathering had taken place in
49- We do agree with the essay of Prof. Mohammed Fareed Abi Hadeed “A VIEW ON THE SYSTEM OF YIELDING TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE CALlPHS” published in Egyptian magazine ALRISALAT eddition 10.
greed of power and at the same time in a fear of power. Such a mingled avidity and trepidity overpowered them leaving no time to think what in cumbersome upon them to do. Such is human nature to react with what immediate upon them. This further proves the weakness of their faith. Two general things were concluded in that SAQIFA:
1) Ansaar have no right in the affair.
2) They will be ministers to those who will hold the government.
The first condition, Abubaker himself doubted as to what the answer would be if the Prophet asked him? The second, it was just a tawdry — never acted
upon neither in the day of Abubaker nor in days of his successors. This post was never given to any except in the era of Abbasies.
The confusion enveloped the SAQIFA events and the haste that produced the
events all indicate to the exact and the correct sense of this Quranic verse; “If died or slain the prophet you turn to your back…” The very gathering was a retreat to hind. If we set aside the text or the indication by the Prophet as to who to succeed him, the gathering at SAQIFA does not appear to us based on any Islamic pedestal. It was only a show. The result of SAQIFA was nothing but mere show off. I would like to recommend the reader to revert to the hind once more to calculate the results which the SAQIFA brought about.
The very affair of SAQIFA supports the belief that the succession was the right of Ali. Had the SAQIFA been a legal or a legitimate gathering, Ali too
should have been present there. His absence discloses the ulterior motives, which were to discard him. Ali was to the Prophet as Haroon was to Moses. Why not he was consulted? Why he was not even informed? Why all this secrecy and hurry? The gathering from the beginning to the end was trick. Ali
and none of Bani Hashim knew what was in cooking there at SAQIFA; and yet, it was — as they claim — in the interests of Islam! Then, Ali was not a Muslim?
ALI WITH THE CALIPHS
It remains an irreffragable fact that Ali did not know about the meeting of
Ansaar at their veranda (SAQIFA). Abubaker, Omar among the Muhajareen went stealthy to the meeting concluded was also a secret to Ali. He only knew when the gathering ended and came to the mosque and the first one in the lead was Omar holding a cane of date waving it to either sides calling the people to acknowledge the authority of Abubaker and a clamor of ALLAHO AKBAR (God is greater) had filled the air. He was occupied with the burial of the Prophet’s body. He did not come out into open that day.
At the very first sight it appears that they, those who knew the secret, were in the station of animosity with Ali’ Therefore, they did not inform him. Abubaker was in the Prophet’s house when Omar intimated him the news. They both kept quiet and did not tell Ali. They told only Abu Ubaida and Abu Ubaida also did not tell Ali. The news circulated among these three. What harm was there had Omar informed Ali too? If Omar overlooked to do so, why Abubaker too did the same? Both ignored; why the third? He followed Omar and Abubaker to the gathering but did not occur to him to inform Ali. The meeting was that of Muslims and the first gathering immediately after the death of the Prophet. Such a meeting at such a serious juncture did require the presence of Ali because of his status among the Muslims and his position with the Prophet. Had he been present there he would have handled the situation what could have been quite a different one. The strange thing is that he was not even consulted. We do not see any reason in that gathering of Muslims under the banner of Islam and eschewing Ali, the confederate of the Prophet and the first among Muslims except a conspiracy against Ali himself and a plot to serve their own interests not that of Islam. The outcome of the gathering at SAQIFA proves this obvious fact. The course was correct as chosen by them. They kept no trucks with him till every thing was finished and accomplished. By way of showing goodwill they should have invited him or consulted him. He would have accepted or rejected.
They settled the matter among themselves and invited the people collectively and separately to acknowledge the succession of Abubaker to the Prophet. They
knew it was a compaign fraught with dread and risk with those who supported
Mi. Therefore, they laid hand upon the opportunity, golden to them, the occupation of Ali and his associates and Bani Hashim in the preparations of
burying the Prophet’s body. Tabari in his history says: “Nicely it came and yielded, invigorated the side of Abubaker and the mobs acknowledged him.” There is a clear indication that there were two parties. The other one was Ali
because Ansaar already surrendered to Abubaker at SAQIFA. Sa’ad Bin Ebada and his son were not of much importance as they were ignored. So, it was Ah against whom all this clamor of SAQIFA was conspired and concluded. When
Ali came to know he described the whole affair in this brief: “They gained the tree and lost the fruit.”
2) ALI’S OPINION OF SAQIFA:
In the first chapter we have dealt as to why Imam Ali did not demand his right for caliphate. He did not keep his opinion to himself. He made his opinion known to all so that the history could judge. It was a robbery of his right and
him a victim. He met the incident with astonishment and anguish. His SHAKH SHAKHIA speech in NAHJUL BALAGHA gives vent to his wounded feelings. He did not yield to Abubaker’s authority as long as Fatimah was alive. This is the minimum to show his disagreement or his compaign in rejecting the wrong.
It is a great injustice to say that the Imam lagged behind in acknowledging the authority of Abubaker. The justice is that the mobs lagged behind in realizing his right. He should acknowledge to one who had robbed him of his
right? If at all none knew, he knew well whose right it was; and in spite of his knowledge he should acknowledge what? How far the injustice has gone and how much he is expected to endure?
A day later he came out. A general dedition was accomplished and over. He declared his opinion. In MORAWAJ AL-ZAHAB Ali’s words to Abubaker are recorded thus: “You spoiled our right to us. You did not consult nor did you
reserve to us our right.” Ali was a man fair, frank, and open. He had nothing to hide nor anything hidden he did. Therefore, they were at caution dreading his wrath. Abubaker admits in his answer to Ali: “Yes, but I feared the mischief.”
What mischief? The very doing itself was a mischief.
History has not recorded for us Ali’s reply to Abubaker. Whether the answer of Abubaker sufficed him or made him angry or persuaded him to argue further; we do not know. But Ali himself says in one of his speeches: “When I surprised
him by the question in the public he was dumbfounded, knew not what to answer me.”
Ali did compagin against the SAQIFA calamity and did not leave the matter
to recede into oblivion. Although the circumstance cornered him leaving no alternative but to yield which he did unwillingly and without his inclination. To quote his own words from his speech: “I endured while a thorn in my eye and a bone in my throat and I see my inheritance being robbed.”
His wife, Fatimah, died. People ignored him. Hectic days had surrounded him. He was forced under coersion to acknowledge Abuhaker’s authority. A
constant tyranny kept haunting him. He had no supporter or help. Somnolence had gripped the nation which had obtenebrated his days. He was not left free to dwell upon his will. Tyranny had reduced him to a victim and a victim finally yielded. He has said in NAHJUL BALAGHA this: “By God, my right is taken
away from me. Tyranny is sanctioned against me since the Prophet died till to this day.” He used to purport by ‘till to this day’ the times of his caliphate.
Such was the stand of Ali. We find him quite open in his speech of SHAKH
SHAKHIA. But, the history tries to hide his frankness. In any case, history does not deny that right is with Ah and Ali with right. Ali’s personality does not
allow any blame to be attributed to him. Of course, it has had been an endeavor of history to interpret the wrongs of SAQIFA as otherwise and to supply various representations to it. But history has failed in its flounder and stood the chagrin because of the displeasure of the robbed one which keeps the file of robbery ever open to debate and dispute. The case is closed only at the return of the stolen goods because the owner has never registered his forgiveness.
The books of BUKHARI and MUSLIM besides other books point out to this fact that people cared him as long as Fatima was alive. As he died people too left Ali alone. It was upon this that he recognized Abubaker. Fatima lived only
six months after the death of her father the Prophet.
Once more we see his opinion about the consequences of SAQIFA in his reply to Mawiya. Mawiya accused him of rebelling against the caliphs and
execrating them. Ali writes in answer: “I take refuge in God because I am not a rebellion.
As for execrating to them, it is not a public concern and I see no reason for an excuse to be brought forward.”50
50- Refer to SHERH AL-NAHAJ (409:3)
A STRICT STAND
The Imam was very much serious to compaign to regain his right. At the very
face a reader can judge this from the Imam’s behavior with them and from his sayings. For instance, in his speech of SHAKH SHAKHIA he says: “I swear upon Him who opens a grain and creates people51, had not there stood the obligation for me and had not there been those present before me and the existence of a helper, I would have thrown the reins upon its neck52 and squenched the last of it by the cup of its first. God has forbidden the men of knowledge to concur with the gluttony of a tyrant and with the hunger victim.”
How meaningful the words! He purports to say that his piety persuades him to leave off his right the last time too as he left at the first. But the difference is great between these two circumstances. In the first one lie did not demand to fight because he lacked the help. But this time he had to fight and to squench the circumstance by the cup of the first one, which he turned his face from and endured the thorn.
Ali used to say: “Had I found forty men of determination I would have raised against them.” Mawiya took these words and taunted Ali. Once he wrote to Ali: “Whatever I forget I wouldn’t your word to Abi Sifyan that you would have raised against the tyrants had you found forty men of determination.” Ali did not deny this in his answer to Mawiya.
In the history of YAKHOBI it is recorded that the companions of Ali demanded him to rise against the tyrants and that they would support him. Ali
asked them to come to him the next day with their heads shaved. The next day came to him only three.
When he lacked forty supporters what could he do? Let us hear what he has
to tell himself (from the speech of SHAKH SHAKHIA): “I raised my head to see either to reach with an amputated hand or to endure the dark pit wherein a grownup becomes senile and an infant becomes old and toils a faithful till he meets his Lord.” Then a little further he proceeds to tell: “I saw there is no helper to me except my own household members and I preserved them from death.”
There was no third to him; either to risk his household members or to accept the things as they were. In the first case he had to preserve them in order to preserve Islam. If his household members were killed then the earth would be deprived of God’s authority and Quran would be deserted without its parallel. Guidance would have been missed. The Prophet had said: “You will not go
51- It is a swearing purporting God. To be honest with the text I have translated the phrase as it is.(TRANSLATOR)
52- When a rider reaches a station and makes a brief halt, he ties the horse to a tree or a pole or anything else in order to keep the animal far the rest of his journey. But when he is no more in need of the animal he leaves
the reins upon its neck-a sign to the horse to go. The Imam has used this elegant simili referring to the caliphate. He purports that he has no business with caliphate. But at the same time, the obligation upon him and the people
who finally gathered around him with an importunity to persuade him to accept the caliphate made him &
concede. Those words are spoken after he agreed to become their caliph. (TRANSLATOR)
astray as long as you adhere to these two.” He had also said: “These two will not separate from each other till they return to me at the fountain on the Day of Judgment. So, he had to choose the second, to endure what the tyrants afflicted upon him.”
In the protection of Islam which one is the best; the Imam knows better as it is his duty and incumberant upon him. He chose to yield as others did. In his
words: “I saw the patience better.” He shook his shirt from any dust of incongruous conclusion. The very survival of Islam stood above all to him.
While we look at the other side of the coin we see Ali has gained public
sympathy. Had he campaigned without the needed help he would certainly have lost the whole issue. Today no one would have even remembered him. History would have mentioned him as a rebellion — one that rebelled against religion and was, therefore, killed by the sword of Islam. His wise judgment and a salubrious decision kept him alive and the ball ultimately halted at his feet. As he is alive so the conspiracy against him too remains disclosed and known to all.
To quote his words addressed to his uncle Abbas and Abu Sifyan: “It will not fall down which flies with wings. He who surrenders is at ease. To pluck a fruit
not in its season is to spoil it — like a peasant without his field.”
The interest of Islam was the prime factor of consideration with him. Nothing attracted him except the public prosperity and Islam’s safety. To put it in his
own words, “One who eats bites upon the morsel?” Footwear that would not cost more than a shilling is a matter of importance to Ah if it happened to be the outcome of injustice. He advises to Abu Sifyan and Abbas: “Squelch the waves of mischief by a boat of safety, and do pace the path of argument and crown
yourselves with distinction and honor.”
Abbas and Abusifyan treated the matter with a parochial view, which did not go beyond a tribe. Therefore, surrendering to a fellow man of Teem — a small
district in Quraish did not appear to them a matter of any complexity. But, Ali made them to comprehend the prestige and the honor — an issue far beyond the myopic tribal one. Ali in his letter to Mawiya says: “Lowliness is not for a
Muslim. If one is armed with Faith he can not remain a victim.”
According to Abil Hadeed(3:1)Omar told Abubaker that he did not take the funds from Abu Sifyan and asked him to keep it for himself (i.e. Abusifyan).
This he had to do to avoid his mischief. Abusifyan had recently returned having had collected ZAKAT (charity tax) from the surrounding districts.
Ali was aware of this fact that Islam had not yet spread its roots into the soil of the hearts. Every neck had lengthened itself to overlook where a chance
resides and to overpower the circumstance for personal fulgor and eclat. He feared not upon his life but for the life which was yet infancy to Islam. He saw in the officing every evil and mischief had he to contest for his right. He did
what was the best — not to him but to the newly introduced religion. According to him; “I never doubted the right ever since I saw it.” He saw the right and he
was a boy often years. Hence, he was well qualified to protect the right and the cost whatever dear to him was cheap. “One who is sure of water will not become thirsty.”
Once Abusifyan told Ali: “By God, if you want I will fill the grounds with men and horses.” Ali replied to him “By God, you purport a mischief out of
this. You had rebelled against Islam and we do not need your sympathy.” This shows the straightforwardness of Ali. He rejects the help in order to avoid the bad for Islam.
4. HIS BEHAVIOUR WITH THE CALIPHS
As we told he persuaded the path of patience. He remained to respond where the need called him and the interests of religion obliged him.
Some historians, among the ancients and among the recent ones, have interpreted his stand as a total surrender to the existing authority and with an absolute willingness and desires. The facts are ignored. In a review let us see the
facts. He did not recognize Abubaker as long as Fatima was alive. Ibn Atheer, Bukhari and Muslim — all have estimated the period of his abstenance six months. This period he stayed at home, never attended a meeting, nor
entertained a delegation, nor obeyed, nor ordered, nor took part in a battle. In the nights he used to knock the doors of Ansaar and the men of age. He did this and with him his wife, Fatimah, and his two sons, Hassan and Hussain, were.
He reminded them what the Prophet has told and said. He did this so that there should not be left any excuse on anyone’s part that they did not know or that no one remarked the point to them. He kept open what was already an open fact to all. He as an Imam deemed upon him the obligation to mention to them the
mistake they did and remark them the need to turn to right. He says: “O, God, you know it is not a contest for power nor a search for gain. It is to show the good in your religion and in Your domain.”
Abubaker taunted him in one of his speeches: “They depend upon the weak and seek succor from women like Om Tahal, the dear to her family. If I want I would say you will be ruined. I am silent. I leave it aside.” In this there is a
taunt to Ali and a threat too. What he wanted to say; nobody knows. If he said, havoc and a ruin would have hailed on Ali, How and why? No one ever knew. I do not think even today any one could be there to presume what actually the
purport was. Abubaker was not a man to not disclose a thing had he known it and that too pertaining to Ali. There was nothing. So, he disclosed nothing. It was just to create doubt and doubt does not rest; it roams about. But Ali’s personality was so open and so known to all that every attempt fails to harm the
reputation. A threat in itself is the outcome of weakness.
As long as Fatima was alive he boycotted them and remained at home. Fatima herself was a great support to him. Her stand had a great influence upon
people. Her immortal speech still rings into our ears the facts that surround her and her husband Ali. After her death he recognized Abubaker. As the situation
demanded, he extended his compliance. By this he safeguarded Islam. He says in his letter to Egyptians… “I feared. So I help Islam. Else, the calamity was even greater.” His help was in his silence. His advice and his admonishment to the people was his obligation which he discharged as the situation demanded. He remained aloof for twenty years. It is a great sacrifice. All this shows than an obligation upon him demanded the sacrifice from him. For Islam he stood and for Islam he underwent every bitter.
One might say that the caliphs did not invite Ali to participate with them in the battles or in the government as it was the case with all the Hashimies. The
caliphs were afraid of Bani Hashim people. They remained a constant dread to the caliphs. They were not given any post in the government because they feared they might act that not to their interest. A conversation between Omar
and Ibn Abbas is recorded in MUROWAJ AL-ZAHAB (427:1):
Omar: “There is something in me which I don’t see in you.” He further says: “I am afraid, Ali would come and you in your post. I saw the Prophet left you
and utilized the services of others.” Ibn Abbas: “We did not see that.”
Omar: “I am afraid of your station in the society.
This conversation occurred when Omar wanted to give Ibn Abbas a post in Humz (Syria). Ibn Abbas did not accept. This shows that Bani Hashim were a dread to the Caliphs. Ali was accordingly no exception to them.
Othman asked Omar to send Ali to conquer Persia. Omar communicated the idea to Ali. After a long argument Ali rejected the mission. This shows the limited co-operation that too because of the common interests of Islamic society that had come into being. His co-operation only at needed situations was so
prolific that on several occasions Omar had declared: “If there was not Ali, Omar had died.”
Major RESOURCES AND REFERENCES
1- SAHEEH AL-BUKHARI Egypt. Prtd. 1320 Hijra
2- SAHEEH MUSLIM Egypt. Prtd. 1390 Hijra (In the page 52 we have reverted to the Prt. of 1313 Hijra.)
3- MASNAD AHMAD Egypt. Prtd. 1313 Hijra
4- AL-AQD AL-FAREED Egypt. Prtd. 1353 Hijra
5- MOSTADRAK AL-HAAKEM (meaning;the document of AL-HAAKEM)
6- AL-JAM BAIN AL-SAHEEHAIN
(Meaning; Circumlouction between The two books SAHEEH means book;
the writings of the scholar Bukhari and the scholar MUSLIM are known by this name)
7- KANZUL AMMAAL (meaning; Treasure of deeds)
8- History by JABARI
9- History by Ibn al-Atheer
10- History by M-KHAMIR
11- History by AL-YAKHOOBI
12- Politics and Imamat by Ibn al-Qatoba
13- History of the Caliphs by Siyoti
14- History by Ibn Khaldoon
15- MOROWAT AL-ZAHAB (meaning; the standard gold)
16- AL-AIRAT AL-HALBIYA (meaning; The Halbiya Conduct
17- SAIRAT IBN HUSHAM (meaning; Conduct of Ibn Husham)
18- SAIRAT DAHLAN (DAHLAN’S CONDUCT)
19- TABAQAAT IBN SA’AD
20- AL-ASABA (meaning; the injury)
21- AL-ISTIYAAB (meaning; The Comprehension)
22- AL-JAHZEED by Ibn Asaker (The Civilization)
23- ASAD ALGHABEH (meaning; Lion of the Forest)
24- MIZAN AL-ETEDAAL (meaning; Balance of the moderation)
25- NAHAJ AL-BALAGHEH (meaning; Tone of the eloquence
26- Commentary of NAHAJ AL-BALAGHEH BY ABI ALHADEED
27- MINHAAJ AL-SUN NAT BY Ibn Tamima
28- AL-AWAIQ ALMOHRAKHA LAHU[The burning thunder lightenings ]
29- Articles of the Islamic Scholars by Abil Hasan al-Ash’ari
30- Al-Milal wal Nahal by Shaliristani [meaning; the nations and the process]
31- The chapter by Ibn Hazarn in AL-MILA WAL Nahal
32- AL-Biyan Wal Tabiyan by Jahiz (meaning; the commentary and the explanation)
33- MOJAM AL-BOLDAN
34- The Tongue of Arabs
35- The Life of Mohammed by Dr. Mohammed Hussain Haikal