Caliphate

A caliphate (Arabic: خِلافة‎ khilāfah) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; Arabic: خَليفة‎ khalīfah, pronunciation ), a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire ummah (community).

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 3 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. Naming children according to sectarian lines was not a factor in the early ages of Islam and therefore, it is not an indication of holding a certain person with the same name in high esteem. For example, certain companions of the Imams (as) were named Yazid and Mu'awiya, but this in no way indicated that they condoned the actions of the Caliphs with the same names, or held them in high esteem.

May you always be successful. 

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 5 months ago

Taqiyyah has conditions and it aims to save the believers, but when mam Husain (AS) faced a complete different situation when the whole religion was in danger and here was no way at all to save Islam but to give his life to save Islam. There was no question of Taqiyyah in such dangerous situation. Neither Imam Ali (AS) nor any other Imam faced such situation, and if any Infallible faces such situation, they will definitely do exactly what Imam Husain (AS) did in sacrificing their lives to save Islam.

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 5 months ago

Imam Ali (AS) is the Imam of all Muslims by order of Allah (SWT) declared by the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) in hundreds of occasions including Ghadeer Khum in which the Proohet ordered all Muslims who were present to give allegiance to Ali (AS) as the leader of all who believed in the Prophet ( SAWA). The political plot of Saqeefa did deprive Imam Ali (AS) from his right in the government, but did not change the fact the he is the real Imam of Muslims. Being the real Imam, Imam Ali (AS) never dealt with the three Khalifs as real successors of the Prophet (SAWA) but just worldly rulers. He never gave them his Zakat nor prayed behind any of them. ( Al-Thahabi; Seyar A'lam Al-Nubalaa' , Vol 9, Page 284) stated: Ali did not attend with the three Khalifs any Jum'ah Prayer nor Jama'ah prayers.

Wassalam.

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Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been... Answer updated 9 months ago

There does not appear to be much in-depth history on the circumstances of these narrations and who transmitted them. By the time that they were narrated in Bukhari and Muslim the concept of 'Imam' did exist explicitly and was known in wider circles. It certainly would not have been in the interests of Bukhari to cite a narration that mentioned the word 'Imam' and 'Bani Hashim', since that would have clearly overturned the forced legitimacy of Abu Bakr and 'Umar's caliphates. In particular 'Umar held that that the successorship belonged to 'the people' (meaning Quraysh). The Uthmaniyya, being of Quraysh, therefore held that the caliphate belonged to them. One can surmise that perhaps there may have been narrations in circulation predicting twelve Imams, but that the wording had been 'adjusted' to mask the true implication, if not to 'redirect' the meaning of the narration to suit political purposes. It really needs an expert like Suleiman Ali Mourad (who has analysed the 'transferral of authorship' between the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and various figures in the Sufi tradition, i.e. the attribution to Sufi figures of sayings of the Ahl al-Bayt) to do a proper textual, historical analysis of these narrations.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 10 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. The relationship Imam Ali (as) had with the first three Caliphs was cordial, but that doesn’t mean that he condoned their usurping the Caliphate. Rather, the Imam (as) was careful not to sow the seeds of discord in the Muslim Community and after the people had decided not to follow the advice of the Prophet (saw), he worked for Islam within the parameters of the situation he faced. The Shia disapprove of the actions of first three Caliphs as they went against what they consider the express guidance of the Prophet (saw).

May you always be successful.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 11 months ago

In Sunni books as well as Shia books, it is narrated that The Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) has clearly said:  My successors will be twelve , all of them from Bani Hashim.

This is one of Sunni very important books which narrated this Hadeeth:

Yanabee' Al-Mawaddah by Al-Qundoozi Al-Hanafi, Vol 3, Page 445.

The narration of Quraysh is the ne which has been publicized by those who dont want to mention Ahlul Bayt (AS).

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 12 months ago

Many prominent Sunni scholars e.g. Al Qondoozi Al-Hanafi admit that the twelve successors of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) are the twelve Imams from Ahlul Bayt (AS) from Imam Ali (AS), then his son Imam Hasan (AS) , then Imam Husain (AS) till Imam Al-Mahdi (AS).

But many other Sunni scholars wrote about the twelve successors in different ways. Ibn Taymiyyah after admitting that the twelve successors of the Prophet Muhammad are mentioned in Torah and Bible, claimed that Yazeed, son of Mo'awiyah is one of the twelve successors.

Ibn Arabi Al- Makki who is a well known Sunni Sufi scholar claimed that Al-Mutawakkil Al-Abbasi is one of them.

You find in Sunni books different claims about the twelve successors upto the extend that Ibn Al-Jawzi who was a prominent Sunni scholar said when he mentioned the Hadeeth of twelve successors:  I can not understand the meaning of it.

This mess among the Sunni scholars adds that the real twelve successors after of the Prophet are none but the 12 Imams from Ahlul Bayt (AS) about whom the Prophet himself mentioned with their names in many authentic Hadeeths including Hadeeth from Jaabir bn Abdillah Al-Ansaari who was told the names of the twelve successors by he Prophet himself.

Wassalam

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The term al-khilafa al-rashida (the rightly guided caliphate) was coined around or soon after the time of the civil wars that took place between Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib and his opponents.

It was designed to contrast the period of the first 3 caliphs, who were promoted as rightly guided, against the rule of 'Ali who was being denigrated by this comparison.

This will probably come as a surprise to our Sunni friends who clearly believe that ‘Ali is very much a part of the rashidun caliphs.

Yes it’s true today, but it wasn’t the case when this term was coined and the fictitious hadith was invented, amongst so many others, in order to give power to this anti-’Ali propaganda.

Here’s that work of fiction referred to in the question:

“Adhere to my sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly-guided successors after me. Hold on to it and cling on to it stubbornly.”

This narration is recorded by Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

A study of the various chains of narration shows multiple weak and unreliable characters. But notice these ones in particular and see if you can find a pattern.

  • Khalid b. Ma’dan b. Abi Karib al-Kitabi - Belonged to Hims, a Syrian town under the rule of Mu’awiya that was notorious for its people's enmity towards ‘Ali, and he was the chief of police of Yazid b. Mu’awiyah!
  • Thawr b. Yazid - Belonged to Hims as mentioned by al-Dhahabi (Mizan al-I’tidal, vol. 1, p. 374). As mentioned by Ibn Hajar ‘al-’Asqalani (Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 2, p. 34) he hated ‘Ali who had killed his father in a battle. ‘Abd Allah b. Mubarak refrained from narrating from him and considered him a heretic (fasid al­-madhhab).
  • Hajar b. Hajar al-Kila'i - Belonged to Hims and was considered of unknown standing as mentioned by Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, vol. 3, p. 118.

So this fake hadith was put in circulation to undermine the legitimacy of ‘Ali. Later, after the fall of the Umayyads and the rise of the ‘Abbasid’s, Sunni theology and creed started to take shape. And the chapter of the hatred of ‘Ali was officially closed.

‘Ali was now considered the fourth of these rashidun caliphs.

Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answer updated 1 year ago

This hadith has been reported in the Jami' al-Tirmidhi, Sunan Abi Dawud, Sunan Ibn Majah, Musnad Ibn Hanbal and Mustadrak al-Hakim. There are eight chains of transmission of this hadith, all going back to the sahabi 'Irbad Ibn Sariah, none of them is authentic even according to Sunni standard. The hadith therefore cannot be technically relied upon. As far as its content, following the sunna of the Prophet and his successors after him has been established via other widely-reported and more established narrations.

With prayers for your success.