After the Messenger of Allah, 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
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 Dhar and many other companions opposed the election
of Abu Bakr to the Divine post, which was previously granted to Ali (A).
Nevertheless, Abu Bakr was able to seize power and eradicate Ali's (A)
and his followers attempts to regain his righteous post.
Why was Abu Bakr Elected?
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 young age
3. The Arabs, especially the Quraishans envy of Ali (A)
4. Ali (A) 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 (A) 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 who refused to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr?
Can they threaten him? But he 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 (A) into doing so?! But Ali is
that cautious man who is aware in such matters!!
Nevertheless, allegiance must be taken from Ali at
But behold! What would Lady Fatima's stand be had
Ali (A) been forced to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr? In other Words, what
can be done if Lady Fatima (A) chooses to defend her husband?!
Should they ignore all these obstacles?! Or what should
This created an unsolvable problem for the coup leaders
who spent long hours reflecting on the issue. Meanwhile, Imam Ali (A) confined
himself to his house to collect the Holy Quran, 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 refusal to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr lies 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 (A)
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 house. When this force
reached the house, Qunfud requested permission to enter so they may speak
to him regarding the issue; but Ali (A) 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 (A) said: "You are prohibited from entering my house without
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 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
The Prophet assigned Ali (A) 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 (A) was forced to the Mosque. When Fatima Zahra (A) 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 (A) took Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain's hands and
proceeded towards her father's (S) tomb!
When Imam Ali (A) 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 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, forced Abu Bakr and
Umar to release Ali (A); Fatima (A) 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 house with orders to compel Ali 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 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 and his friends chose to come out of the house. Imam Ali, 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 (A) 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
She (A) 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 was to you as Haroun was to
Hearing Fatima's wailing, most of the people in Umar's
party turned back .Ali was however, taken to Abubakr and was asked to swear
allegiance to him.
Imam Ali (A) said: "What if I do not do him homage?"
He was answered: "By Allah, we shall kill you if
you do not do as others have done"
Upon hearing this Ali said: "What! Will you kill
a man who is a servant of the lord and a brother of the Prophet of the
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 fate, but (it was claimed) Abu Bakr said that so long as Fatima was alive, he would not compel her husband to do so. So Ali (A) departed and proceeded directly to the tomb of the Prophet where he cried out:
"O my brother! Your people now treat me with contempt
and are bent on killing me."