Imam Ali and the Caliphs Their Relationship and Interaction

‘Abd al-Karim Bi-Azar Shirazi
Translated by D. D. Sodagar


Unknown to many Muslims, both Shia and Sunni, Imam ‘Ali had congenial relations and productive interactions with the three caliphs that preceded him. In practice his magnanimity knew no bounds and he acted as their faithful advisor and would pray behind them. Though in principle the Imam and his successors enunciated their right to the leadership of the ummah, they never acted upon it to the detriment of Muslim unity. This article proves to be a source of inspiration for present-day Muslims who are beset by the scourge of sectarianism; it is especially pertinent for those who look up to the Imam as an exemplar to be emulated in words and deeds.

Keywords: Imam ‘Ali, caliphs, Muslim unity, sectarianism, ummah, companions of the Prophet, Shia-Sunni unity, Shia-Sunni cooperation.


‘Allamah Majlisi narrates the following authenticated hadith from the Master of the Faithful regarding how Muslims should speak of the Prophet’s companions:

Let me advise you regarding the companions of the Prophet of God (may His peace and blessings be upon him and his household). Avoid speaking ill of them, for verily they are the companions of your Prophet, companions who altered not the religion and respected not those who altered the religion. Yes, the Prophet (may God’s peace and blessings be upon him and his household) thus advised me regarding them.1

In another instance, Imam ‘Ali thus describes the companions of the Prophet: “Verily I witnessed the companions of Muhammad (may God’s peace and blessings be upon him and his household), and I have not seen anyone like them.”2

In their turn, the eminent companions would refer to Imam ‘Ali as “the fellow of the Reminder”3 (ahl al-dhikr). For solving their problems and questions they would go to him. Thus in Masjid al-Nabi after each prayer, those seeking knowledge would circle around Imam ‘Ali to benefit from his illimitable knowledge. Jurists of Sham and ‘Iraq followed his verdict. Where the caliphs were unable to solve a problem, they would seek Imam ‘Ali’s assistance. Where their judgments differed from Imam ‘Ali’s, the Caliphs would usually defer to him.4 In his al-Mughni, Qudamah al-Muqaddasi narrates the following statement from ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas: “Where we encountered ‘Ali’s opinion, we would not take that of anyone else.”5

Imam ‘Ali’s Relation with the First Caliph

When Abu Bakr was selected as the first caliph, a group rushed to Imam ‘Ali’s house with the intention to pledge allegiance to him as opposed to Abu Bakr. To their disappointment, however, Imam ‘Ali thus rejected their pleas:

O people! Break through the waves of turbulence on the arks of salvation, and avoid flaunting your gentility, and repudiate the crowns of pomp. Indeed felicitous is he who rises while he has an aid or he who submits and thereafter enjoys relief. This [the matter of caliphate] is an unpalatable drink, a morsel that chokes him who tries to swallow it. He who plucks a fruit before it is ripe is as a farmer who works on unprolific land.6

Imam ‘Ali was possessed of authority and imamate by divine ordainment, but some, unfortunately, viewed him as merely a political contender. The Imam, however, eventually made it clear that he despised worldly positions. On one occasion Imam ‘Ali said, “this, your world, is more abhorrent to me than the doe’s phlegm.”7

Imam ‘Ali was displeased with the people of his time as they failed to comprehend his true status. As Ayatullah Mulla Salih Mazandarani rightfully explains, the reason why Imam ‘Ali so often took to reasoning regarding the caliphate and imamate was to underscore the spiritual status of which the Ahlulbayt were possessed. He was anxious to clarify the misunderstanding that some entertained regarding the imamate of the Ahlulbayt, taking it for a political and worldly office.8

The Master of the Faithful had no choice but to suffer patiently and wait. In a famous sermon (widely referred to as the Shaqshaqiyyah Sermon), he thus describes this period: “I realized that to wait patiently was more prudent, so I suffered as one who suffers a thorn in his eye and a bone caught in his throat.”9 With his patience, he succeeded in uniting all Muslims and spreading peace. As a result, Muslims, instead of engaging in civil war (which would have been inevitable had Imam ‘Ali insisted on claiming his right), embarked on exporting Islam to other parts of the world.

In a short period of time, Muslims acquired such strength that they were able to challenge the superpowers of the time, Rome and Persia, conquering Egypt, Iraq, and Palestine. This success was, without doubt, a result of Imam ‘Ali’s divine authority (though in appearance political caliphate seemed to be in charge). Without his divinely inspired strategy of maintaining peace, it would have been impossible for Muslims to make such progress.

Imam ‘Ali’s Magnanimity with Respect to the First Caliph

In a letter he wrote on the occasion of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr’s martyrdom, Imam ‘Ali thus explained the situation following the Prophet’s death: “When Abu Bakr seized control of matters [of governance], [on some issues] he was lenient, [on others] severe; he was moderate and judicious. Thus I associated with him as an advisor, and I obeyed him with diligence where he obeyed God. I never wished that he should die and I remain alive so that the matter in which we disputed10 would return to me.”11 This letter demonstrates Imam ‘Ali’s lofty spiritual status. After narrating this letter in his book, Skaykh Ja’far Kashif al-Ghita’ writes, “This is the noblest position one can take [in such a situation].”12

Imam ‘Ali’s Military Counsel to the First Caliph

Abu Bakr consulted with ‘Ali on a regular basis. When considering whether to wage war with Rome, Abu Bakr discussed the issue with several of the companions; some agreed and others disagreed. Then he sought Imam ‘Ali’s counsel. Imam ‘Ali said, “If you embark on this work, you will succeed.” Abu Bakr happily responded, “You bode well,” and thereafter made a speech ordering people to prepare for war with Rome.13

The First Caliph’s Consultation with Imam ‘Ali on Matters of Religious Law

In his Tarikh, al-Ya’qubi counts Imam ‘Ali among the authorities who resolved religious questions during the caliphate of Abu Bakr.14 The following account is one instance where Abu Bakr referred a question of religious law to Imam ‘Ali.

In a letter to Abu bakr, Khalid ibn Walid, one of the generals of the army of Islam, asked concerning “a certain man living on the fringes of the Arab world who marries as women marry15.” Abu Bakr assembled a number of the companions, among whom was also ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, to decide on how to punish this man. ‘Ali said, “This iniquity was committed not by previous nations excepting only one.16 That nation was afflicted with what you already know.17 I assume that you should burn him with fire.” Thus Abu Bakr wrote to Khalid that the man should be burnt.18

During the caliphate of Abu Bakr, Imam ‘Ali taught Qur’an and participated in congregational prayers. So much so that in the Masjid a special spot was designated as his. He would sit at that spot and teach the Qur’an, its interpretation, and wisdom. As the true inheritor of divine wisdom, he would often exhort people to ask him questions.

Imam ‘Ali’s Relation with the Second Caliph

Two villagers had a dispute. They went to ‘Umar to judge between them, but ‘Umar referred them to ‘Ali. One of the disputants remarked, “Are you saying that he19 should judge?” Infuriated, ‘Umar replied, “Woe to you! Do you know who he is? He is my master and the master of every believer. Whosoever accepts not ‘Ali as his master is not a believer.”20

And again in another dispute when one of the disputants expressed displeasure with Imam ‘Ali’s judgment, ‘Umar angrily cried, “Woe to you! He is the master of every faithful man and woman.”21

On another occasion, when ‘Umar was criticized for showing great respect for ‘Ali, he responded, “He is my master.”22

Al-Shaykh al-Tusi and al-Saduq both narrate accounts of ‘Umar’s dissatisfaction with anyone who would in any way speak ill of Imam ‘Ali. In one such instance, someone denigrated ‘Ali in the presence of ‘Umar. Pointing at the grave of the Prophet, ‘Umar said, “Do you know who is buried here? Do you not know that his name is Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and his23 is ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib? Woe to you! You should not speak of ‘Ali but good, for if you slight him, you have hurt whom is buried here.”24

In his Muhadharat al-Udaba, the eminent Sunni scholar, al-Raghib al-Isfihani, narrates the following account. One day while walking with Ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Umar recited a Qur’anic verse, in which there was an allusion to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, and continued, “By God, ‘Ali is more fit to rule than I and Abu Bakr.” Ibn ‘Abbas said, “O Master of the Faithful, why do you say this when you and your friend have subverted him?” ‘Umar replied, “By God, we did not embark on this out of enmity. Rather, we were afraid that due to his youth, the Arabs and the Quraysh may refrain from submitting to his rule.” Ibn ‘Abbas said, “The Prophet of God never doubted him for his youth; why did you doubt him?” ‘Umar responded, “This is not true. By God, we do not make a decision without him or perform an action but with his permission.”25

The Second Caliph’s Consultation with Imam ‘Ali on Administrative Matters

Here is an excerpt from a lengthy hadith from the Master of the Faithful narrated by al-Shaykh al-Saduq: “Verily he who succeeded his friend26 would consult with me on matters of governance and would thereafter execute them in accordance with my directions; he would request my opinion on the difficult matters of administration and would deal with them according to my opinion.”27

Sunni historians and scholars, such as Dr. Hasan Ibrahim Hasan, are agreed that the first two caliphs would consult with Imam ‘Ali on important administrative matters, as they acknowledged his superior intelligence, insight, and piety.28

Dr. Muhammad Abd al-Rahim Muhammad (Al-Madkhal ila Fiqh al-Imam ‘Ali) assigns an entire chapter to describing Imam ‘Ali’s outstanding knowledge and jurisprudence. He writes, “Historians and scholars are unanimous that ‘Ali was of the luminaries in Islamic law during the Period of the Companions. As such, experts in classifying the scholars of each age class him as one of the most distinguished jurists among the companions.”29

The Noble Prophet (may God’s peace and blessings be upon him and his household) sent Imam ‘Ali to Yemen to judge and teach; the Prophet said, “The most just judge in my community is ‘Ali.”30 Thus, when ‘Umar would convene a council of the companions of the Prophet, he would address ‘Ali and say, “Speak, as you are the most knowledgeable and the most meritorious of them all.”31

Ahmad ibn Hanbal narrates that the Prophet once asked Fatimah, his daughter, “Are you not happy that I have wed you to the first Muslim among my community, the most knowledgeable, and the most patient?”32

The caliphs, the companions, and the jurists of Sham and ‘Iraq would seek advice from Imam ‘Ali on difficult problems that they could not resolve on their own. When Imam ‘Ali disagreed with their judgments, they generally deferred to him.33

The Second Caliph’s Consultation with Imam ‘Ali on Economical Matters

After conquering Iran, ‘Umar convened a council comprising ten of the eminent companions and including Imam ‘Ali to decide on the fate of the conquered land. Some of the companions proposed that the land be divided among the army of Islam. Imam ‘Ali, however, objected to this proposal. Instead, he advised that the wealth of Iran remain in the treasury of the Islamic state for the benefit of all Muslims, including future generations. ‘Umar accepted Imam ‘Ali’s advice, thereby establishing the tribute tax.34

In the year 15 A.H., a time when successive victories brought the wealth of Persia’s Sassanid dynasty to the treasury of the Islamic state, ‘Umar consulted with ‘Ali on how to spend the immense wealth. ‘Ali said, “Once every year, distribute the riches among all people and leave none remaining in the treasury.”35 For implementing Imam ‘Ali’s counsel, ‘Umar inquired from a Persian officer regarding the Sassanid Empire’s budgetary system. Based on the Persian model, he arranged the treasury of the Islamic state so that all revenues and expenditures were recorded and that every Muslim was allotted a portion of the wealth.36

In the year 16 A.H., ‘Umar was deciding on establishing a distinctive Islamic calendar. Initially, he was regarding the year of the Prophet’s birth as the starting point, but then he considered the beginning of the Prophet’s ministry. Imam ‘Ali, however, suggested that the calendar begin with the Hijrah (the migration of Meccan Muslims to Medina); ‘Umar consented.37

Regarding the jewelry stored in the Ka’bah, some suggested to ‘Umar that they should be used in reinforcing the army of Islam, for, as they assumed, that was a more urgent purpose. ‘Umar was convinced, but he also asked Imam ‘Ali for his opinion. Imam ‘Ali answered,

When the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet, God defined four types of wealth: first, personal property, which the Prophet respected by determining that it should be passed on to the deceased’s heir in accordance with laws of inheritance; second, booty, which was apportioned to those whom deserved it; third, khums,38 which was established according to God’s command; fourth, alms, which God established for their particular use. The jewelry in the Ka’bah were there at that time as well, but God left them as they were, and that was not out of inattention. You, too, leave them as God and the Prophet left them.

And ‘Umar acquiesced.39

On his trip to Palestine, ‘Umar asked the most respected companions of the Prophet to accompany him so as to aid him on administrative matters following the conquest. He, however, appointed Imam ‘Ali to govern while he was gone.40

Imam ‘Ali’s Counsel to the Second Caliph on Matters of War

In the war with the Persian Empire, ‘Umar intended to accompany the army of Islam. He consulted Imam ‘Ali, who thus answered him:

The status of the ruler is like the string, which brings the beads together and makes them cohere. If the string brakes, the beads disperse and disappear, such that they can never again be restored. Arabs today, though few in number, are significant due to Islam and strong through unity. Thus, you should remain still as the column and make the Arabs encircle you as the millstone [rotates round its column]: by them ignite the flames of war. Should you leave this land, Arabs, from the corners and fringes of the Arab world, will annul [their pledges of allegiance to you], so that the dangers behind you would be of greater concern to you than that which would lie ahead of you. Indeed, if the Persians behold you tomorrow, they will say, “He is the root of the Arabs: Cut him down so that you may be relieved.” Thus [your presence there] would only intensify their eagerness to [destroy] you.41

Thereafter ‘Umar said, “Indeed, this is the right decision, and I wish to follow it.”42

Imam ‘Ali’s Relation with the Third Caliph

The Third Caliph came to power by the decision of the council arranged by the Second Caliph. Despite knowing that the council had conspired against him, Imam ‘Ali continued his peaceful ways so as to maintain Islamic solidarity. In a speech he made when pledging allegiance to ‘Uthman, ‘Ali said, “You well knew that I was the most qualified for receiving the caliphate. But by God I swear that so long as the welfare of the Muslims is secure and it is only me whom is being oppressed, I will remain silent. I do this in the hope of reaping [spiritual] benefits and so that I may shun the worldly pleasures, which you are so fond of.”43

One of the most momentous projects executed during the caliphate of ‘Uthman was the compilation of the Qur’an and the establishment of a single standard Qur’anic text. A number of the companions, such as Ibn Mas’ud, opposed this endeavour. Imam ‘Ali, however, oversaw the project and gave his final approval to it. In his response to the opponents of the project, and in defence of ‘Uthman, he said, “Do not make mention of ‘Uthman other than in a good way, because I swear to God that the work that ‘Uthman did with regards to the manuscripts of the Qur’an was in our presence.” The Imam then added, “Had I been the ruler, I would have dealt with the scriptures as ‘Uthman did.”44 Owing to Imam ‘Ali’s firm support, Sunnis and Shias alike accepted ‘Uthman’s compilation.

There are other instances of Imam ‘Ali’s courteous relation with the Third Caliph. As Muslims grew dissatisfied with ‘Uthman’s rule, they voiced their grievances to Imam ‘Ali. To moderate the situation, Imam ‘Ali advised ‘Uthman with these words:

The people have lined up behind me and have requested that I be their spokesman to you. But by God I know not what to tell you? There is nothing that you are ignorant of. You know that which we know. We have not outdone you in anything of which we may inform you and have not gained exclusive access to any matter of which we may apprise you. You have seen that which we have seen and have heard that which we have heard; you accompanied the Prophet as we did. Ibn Ibi Quhafah45 and Ibn al-Khattab46 [both ruled better than you, though] they were no more predisposed to righteousness than you. And you are closer in kinship to the Prophet than they were: you are the Prophet’s son-in-law, whereas they were not. By God! By God! I warn you concerning yourself. By God, there is no blindness in you from which you need be cured or ignorance in you concerning which you need be instructed. Verily, the ways are clear and the signposts of religion erect. So then beware that the most meritorious servant of God before Him is a just ruler, whom has been guided and who guides, who upholds an orthodox tradition and destroys an unorthodox innovation.47

In the final days of ‘Uthman’s caliphate, outraged crowds besieged his residence. Instead of utilizing this opportunity to his own advantage, Imam ‘Ali, in the interests of the Muslim community, strove to pacify the conflict. Thus, he gave orders to Hasan and Husayn, his sons, to stand guard and protect ‘Uthman. Imam ‘Ali later expressed, “By God, I defended him to the extent that I feared I may be a transgressor48.”49

Praying with the Caliphs

Al-Shaykh al-Hurr al-’Amili narrates the following two hadiths regarding the Ahlulbayt’s praying with Sunni rulers: “Verily the Prophet intermarried with them50 and ‘Ali prayed behind them;”51 “Hasan and Husayn would pray behind Marwan.”52

‘Allamah al-Sayyid ‘Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din provides the following explanation on this topic:

[Imam ‘Ali] performed his prayer behind [the Caliphs] sincerely for God. Thus we submit to him and seek proximity to God by praying in congregation behind Sunni imams. This is approved by the school of the Ahlulbayt: worshippers are rewarded for praying in congregation behind Sunni imams just as they are rewarded for praying behind Shia imams. Those aware of our school know that in relation to Shia imams, we consider ‘idalah (righteousness) a condition and as such regard praying behind a Shia imam who is fasiq (unrighteous) or unknown impermissible. We, however, allow praying behind any Sunni imam.53


Thus Imam ‘Ali and his virtuous successors retained differences within reasonable limits so that the unity of the Muslim community would be preserved unharmed, as disunity would have been advantageous only to the enemies of Islam. It was in reference to this service of the Ahlulbayt that Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet and Imam ‘Ali’s wife, said, “Our imamate is a security against dissension.”54

As time passed, however, the interests of tyrants required that they foment conflict and provoke Muslims against one another so as to hinder progress. And today, though caliphate is not a political reality any longer, imperialist powers, assailing the Muslim world from every corner, try to rekindle the historical differences by inciting ignorant figures on both sides. And Muslims instead of standing up against imperialist powers, who are the real enemy, have preoccupied themselves with factional quarrel. Let me end with this poem:

O Muslims, what wonderful days we enjoyed.

Truly we possessed delightful authority and prestige.

As the rose and the nightingale, we were one another’s confidant

In the orchard of loyalty, whose lush vegetation and fruit we cherished.

All the way to the Great Wall of China did we display the banner of Islam

As we had a firm and iron resolution.

Thus was our state so long as we were honest to one another

And lie and deception we abhorred.

The hand of hypocrisy found its way into our midst

And so the winds of disintegration consumed whatever authority and prestige we had.

وَإِذَا جَاءَكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ

When those who have faith in Our signs come to you, say, “Peace to You”.55

  • 1. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Hayah al-Qulub, vol. 2, p. 621.
  • 2. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermons: 97.
  • 3. Or “the fellow of remembrance” or “the fellow of knowledge.” This is an allusion to surah Nahl, verse 43, where God exhorts people to seek knowledge from ahl al-dhikr. [Tr.]
  • 4. See Muhammad Abd al-Rahim Muhammad, al-Madkhal ila Fiqh al-Imam ‘Ali (Cairo: Dar al-Hadith).
  • 5. See Muhammad Ridas Qal‘ih Ji, Mawsu‘ah Fiqh ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (Damascus: Dar al-Fikr).
  • 6. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermons: 5.
  • 7. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermons: 3. “Doe’s phlegm” is an idiomatic reference to something considered worthless and abhorrent. [Tr.]
  • 8. Risalat al-Islam periodical, “Imamat wa khilafat” by Ayatullah Mulla Salih Mazandarani.
  • 9. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermons: 3.
  • 10. That is, the leadership of the Islamic community. [Tr.]
  • 11. Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Thaqafi al-Kufi, Al-Gharat, vol. 1. p. 307.
  • 12. Mustadrak Nahj al-Balagha, fn. 120.
  • 13. Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi (Beirut: Dar Sadir), vol. 2, pp. 132-33.
  • 14. Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi (Beirut: Dar Sadir), vol. 2, p. 138.
  • 15. That is, he commits sodomy. [Tr.]
  • 16. That is, the people of Sodom. [Tr.]
  • 17. They were turned to ashes. [Tr.]
  • 18. See Kanz al-‘Ummal (Beirut: Mu’assesah al-Risalah, 1989), vol. 5, no. 13643; al-Mughni, vol. 8, p. 188; Kashf al-Ni‘mah, vol. 2, p. 134; Mawsu‘ah Fiqh al-Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (Damascus: Dar al-Fikr), pp. 546-47.
  • 19. That is, ‘Ali. [Tr.]
  • 20. ‘Abd al-Husayn Ahmad al-Amini al-Najafi, Al-Ghadir fi al-Kitab wa al-Sunnah wa al-Adab (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, 1977), vol. 1., p. 382.
  • 21. Ibid.
  • 22. Ibid., p. 383.
  • 23. That is, Imam ‘Ali. [Tr.]
  • 24. See al-Shaykh al-Tusi, Al-Amali (Qum: Dar al-Thiqafah, 1414 A.H.), p. 431; al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Al- Amali (Qum: Mu’assesah al-Bi’thah, 1417 A.H.), pp. 472-73; Ibn Shahr Ashub, Manaqib Al Abi Talib (India), vol. 2, p. 154.
  • 25. See al-Raghib al-Isfihani, Muhadharat al-Udaba (1961), vol. 4, p. 478 and Muhammad Jawad Mughniyah, Ma‘a Batalah al-Karbala (1412 A.H.), p. 57.
  • 26. That is, ‘Umar.
  • 27. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Al-Khisal (Qum: Manshurat Jama’ah al-Mudarissin, 1403 A.H.), p. 374. Al-Shaykh al-Ansari and al-Imam al-Khumayni cite this hadith in, respectively, al-Makasib (Qum: Mu’asseseh al-Hadi, 1417 A.H.), vol. 2, p. 244, and al-Bay‘ (Tehran: Mu’asseseh Tanzim wa Nashr Athar Imam Khumeini, 1421), v0l. 3, p. 96.
  • 28. See Hasan Ibrahim Hasan, Tarikh Siasi Islam (Intisharat Jawidan).
  • 29. For more on this, see Tabaqat al-Shirazi, pp. 41-43.
  • 30. See Nur al-Absar, p. 79; Masabih al-Nabawi, vol. 2:277.
  • 31. Tabaqat al-Shirazi, p. 42.
  • 32. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 5, p. 26.
  • 33. Ibn al-Qayyim, A‘lam al-Muwaffaqin, vol. 8, pp. 12-15.
  • 34. See al-Shaykh al-Tusi, Al-Khilaf, vol. 2, p. 334; al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, pp. 173-74; al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 1, pp. 2417-18; al-Mawirdi, Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah, p. 196; Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Kharaj, p. 36.
  • 35. al-Mawirdi, Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah, p. 199.
  • 36. See al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 1. pp. 411 and 2595; al-Baladhuri, Futuh al-Buldan, p. 453; Ibn Tataqi, Al-Tarikh al-Fakhri, pp. 112 and 114; Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Thaqafi, Al-Gharat, p. 48.
  • 37. Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 29; Ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 11; al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 253.
  • 38. An annual tax, equal to one-fifth of one’s surplus wealth. [Tr.]
  • 39. Al-Amini, Al-Ghadir.
  • 40. Sayyid Husein Ja’fari, Tashayyu’ dar Masir Tarikh (Tehran: Daftar Nashr, 1351 A.H. (solar)), p. 58.
  • 41. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermons: 146.
  • 42. Al-Shaykh al-Mufid, Al-Irshad, vol. 1, pp. 198-201.
  • 43. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermons: 74.
  • 44. See al-Suyuti, Al-Itqan, vol. 1, pp. 103-4; al-Zarkishi, Al-Burhan, vol. 1, p. 240; al-Tabari, Jami‘ al-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 21.
  • 45. The First Caliph.
  • 46. The Second Caliph.
  • 47. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermons: 164.
  • 48. That is, transgressing God’s Will. [Tr.]
  • 49. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermons: 240.
  • 50. That is, with ‘Umar and Abu Bakr.
  • 51. Wasa’il al-Shi‘ah, vol. 5, p. 383.
  • 52. Ibid.
  • 53. Ajwabah Masa’il Jar Allah (Qum: Majma’ Jahani Ahl Bayt, 1416 A.H.), p. 66.
  • 54. Man la yahdharuhu al-faqih, vol. 3, p. 568.
  • 55. Qur’an 6:54