After the Messenger of Allah (S), Abu Bakr seized Caliphate. He and his followers claimed that since he was unanimously elected by the Muslims, he was the righteous leader of the Ummah.
Yet, with little reflection upon the matter of Caliphate, one realizes that it is an extension, and continuation of the Prophethood without revelation. Thereupon, since Prophethood can only be assigned to someone through Divine specification, likewise Caliphate cannot be assigned to anyone by mankind; rather, it is a Divine code bestowed upon men by Divine specification.
Moreover, this consensus that Abu Bakr and his followers claim to have achieved is not valid; because the Ansar, Bani Hashim, Ammar, Salman, Miqdad, Abu Dharr and many other companions opposed the election of Abu Bakr to the Divine post, which was previously granted to ‘Ali (as). Nevertheless, Abu Bakr was able to seize power and eradicate ‘Ali's (as) and his followers attempts to regain his righteous post.
Several factors can be cited to have motivated some Muslims to choose Abu Bakr as their leader:
1. Resentment to see both Prophethood and Imamate posts occupied by Bani Hashim. This factor was revealed by Umar in a long conversation with Ibn Abbas: According to Umar:
(If Prophethood and Imamate posts were both occupied by Bani Hashim) then they would constantly brag about them!!
2. ‘Ali's (as) young age
3. The Arabs, especially the Quraishans envy of ‘Ali (as)
4. ‘Ali (as) would lead and judge people according to righteousness, and the right path, had he been chosen as the leader, as Umar stated.
It is inevitable after Abu Bakr seized power that ‘Ali (as) should pay allegiance to him, for it is the natural path of every coup to force the opposition to announce its support to the -new regime. But what can they do with ‘Ali (as) who refused to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr?
Can they threaten him? But he (‘Ali (as)) is the famous hero who was able to extinguish the Arab heroes, kill their brave men, and compete with their "wolves"!! Can they deceive him (as) into doing so?! But ‘Ali is that cautious man who is aware in such matters!! Nevertheless, allegiance must be taken from ‘Ali (as) at any rate. But behold! What would Lady Fatima’s (sa) stand be had ‘Ali (as) been forced to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr? In other Words, what can be done if Lady Fatima (sa) chooses to defend her husband?! Should they ignore all these obstacles?! Or what should they do?! This created an unsolvable problem for the coup leaders who spent long hours reflecting on the issue. Meanwhile, Imam ‘Ali (as) confined himself to his house to collect the Holy Qur’an, after realizing the fruitlessness of his efforts to regain his rights. He was virtually secluded from the outside world. This situation was disadvantageous to the coup leaders, for in ‘Ali's (as) refusal to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr gives a deep meaning and an excuse for others to object to Abu Bakr's seizure of power.
Yet, opinions met of the necessity to bring ‘Ali (as) by force to the Mosque, whatever the price may be. Especially in light of the fact, which they later came to realize, that he was more concerned about the Islamic interests than his own. Therefore, a commissioned force led by Umar's slave boy, Qunfud, was sent to ‘Ali's (as) house. When this force reached the house, Qunfud requested permission to enter so they may speak to him regarding the issue; but ‘Ali (as) refused them permission to enter; after which they returned to the Mosque, and said to Abu Bakr and Umar:
"We were refused permission to enter."
Umar said: "Go back and if you are denied permission again, then enter (the house) with force."
So the group once again asked for permission, but Fatima (sa) said: "You are prohibited from entering my house without permission."
Upon hearing this, the members of the force went back, save Qunfud. They informed Umar that they were not allowed to enter the house. This angered Umar who said:
"What do women have in this?!"
Events continued to occur, and two pictures are drawn in front to us:
Umar orders his slave boy to start Fatima’s (sa) house on fire! A man objects by saying:
"But Fatima is in it."
Yet Umar replied: "So what!!"
Second: (According to Jahiz and the author of Abaqat Al-Anwar):
The Prophet assigned ‘Ali (as) as his successor. All the companions had full knowledge of this assignment. Yet, Umar forges the fact for the sake of Abu Bakr, and strikes Fatima's womb, which caused her to miscarry Mohsin.
(Two pictures with no comments.)
At any rate, ‘Ali (as) was forced to the Mosque. When Fatima az-Zahra (sa) saw this, she followed him, and addressed Abu Bakr by saying:
"Do you wish to make me a widow?! By Allah if you do not let him go, I will uncover my head, rip my shirt, and go to my Father's tomb and cry to my Lord..."
So, she (Fatima az-Zahra (sa)) took Al-Hasan (as) and Al-Husayn's (as) hands, and proceeded towards her father's (as) tomb!
When Imam ‘Ali (as) saw the seriousness of the situation, he immediately interfered, and said to Salman:
"Prevent Muhammad's daughter (from reaching her father's grave) for surely I can see the outskirts of Medina being sunk into the earth."
Salman later said:
"I was near Lady Fatima (sa) when, by Allah, I saw the foundations of the Mosque's walls being elevated up to a point that had a man wanted to go from under them, he would have been able to do so. So I said:
`My Mistress, surely Allah, the Exalted, sent your father to be mercy, thus do not become the cause of His wrath. "'
These noble stands of Fatima az-Zahra (sa), forced Abu Bakr and Umar to release ‘Ali (as); Fatima az-Zahra (sa) returned home after setting the most honorable example of devotion to her husband.
Encounters in the Mosque:
As we have already mentioned, Abu Bakr sent Umar to Fatima’s (sa) house with orders to compel ‘Ali (as) and his friends to come and pledge allegiance to him. If they could not be persuaded by fair means, Umar was going to set the house on fire. When Fatima az-Zahra (sa) asked him what he meant, he told her that he would certainly burn the house down unless they would be content to do as the rest of the people had done.
Knowing Umar's temper, ‘Ali (as) and his friends chose to come out of the house. Imam ‘Ali (as), who was accompanied by Abbas and Zubair, reproached Umar's party saying:
"O you Muhajirs! You claim the succession to the Prophet of Allah preferring your priority in Islam and your kinship, to him before the Ansars. Now, I put forward the same arguments in preference to you. Am I not the first who believed in the Prophet before any of you embraced his faith? Am I not the nearest in relation to the Prophet than any of you?
Fear Allah, if you are true believers, and do not snatch away the Prophet's authority from his house to your own."
Standing behind the door, Fatima az-Zahra (sa) reproachfully addressed the raiding people thus:
"O people! You left behind the Prophet's dead body to us, and proceeded to wring out the Caliphate for yourselves, extinguishing our rights." She (sa) then burst into tears and cried:
"O Father! O Prophet of Allah! How soon after you troubles are pouring on us at the hands of the son of Khattab (Umar) and the son of Abu Quhafa (Abu Bakr). How soon they have ignored your words at Ghadir al-Khum, and your saying that ‘Ali (as) was to you as Haroun was to Musa. "
Hearing Fatima’s (sa) wailing, most of the people in Umar's party turned back .’Ali (as) was however, taken to Abubakr and was asked to swear allegiance to him.
Imam ‘Ali (as) said: "What if I do not do him homage?"
He (Abu Bakr) was answered: "By Allah, we shall kill you if you do not do as others have done"
Upon hearing this ‘Ali (as) said: "What! Will you kill a man who is a servant of the lord and a brother of the Prophet of the Lord?"
Hearing this Umar said; "We do not acknowledge you as a brother of the prophet of the Lord" and addressed Abu Bakr who was silent, requesting him to speak out ‘Ali's (as) fate, but (it was claimed) Abu Bakr said that so long as Fatima az-Zahra (sa) was alive, he would not compel her husband to do so. So, ‘Ali (as) departed and proceeded directly to the tomb of the Prophet (S) where he cried out:
"O my brother! Your people now treat me with contempt and are bent on killing me."