read

The Saqifah Conspiracy And The Reign Of Abu-Bakr

The first political, yet conspiratorial, conference that was held in Islam was the Saqifah conspiratorial Conference, which was held immediately after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S) and before his holy body was buried. The dispute of the conferees came to a head, since all of them tried his best to take over power but none of them said a single word of demanding to observe the interest of the Muslim nation or to guarantee its rights after it had been exposed to the astounding misfortune of losing the Holy Prophet (S), their actual savior.

No single historical document has conveyed a decisive situation of any of these conferees, even if such situation would have been demanding that the election of the next ruler should be postponed until the situations of the nation would return in good order and only then would the publics elect a leader.

A swift look into history demonstrates obviously the huge struggle for leadership of the Muslim nation between the Muhajirun under the leadership of Abu-Bakr, and the Ansar under the leadership of Sa’d ibn ‘Abadah.

Under that Saqifah (i.e. shed), Abu-Bakr’s voice was heard shouting and addressing the Ansar with the following words: ‘We are the leaders and you are the vicegerents.’ As understood by some critical analysts, these words came to raise hopes of next leadership in the Ansar or to express a bribe offered to them by Abu-Bakr.

However, the most unanimous point with regard to the members of this conspiratorial meeting was that none of them paid the least attention to the custody of Muslims and none looked deeply in their social affairs and in what should be the best for them in their present and future.

In other words, all such issues were thrown in the wastebasket. In conclusion, the members of that conference dedicated all their concerns to their personal interests, leaving the public interests and the safety of the Muslim nation behind their backs.

Owing to the diplomacy, tactfulness, and coarseness of his patron and the builder of his government; namely, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, Abu-Bakr won the struggle and could seize power. However, homage was not paid to him as the next leader of the Muslim nation by many great personalities at top of whom was the chief of the Holy Prophet’s Household and the divinely designated leader and commander of the faithful believers; namely, Imam Ali ibn Abi- Talibb (‘a), as well as many other dignitaries like the great companion of the Holy Prophet ‘Ammar ibn Yasir the notable person, Abu-Dharr Al-Ghifari the loyal companion, Salman Al-Farisi whom the Holy Prophet (S) attached to himself, and many other important personalities.

By means of violence and austerity, ‘Umar coerced the publics to pay homage to Abu-Bakr as the successor to the Holy Prophet (S).

Impartially and away from any sectarial inclination or proclivity, I can say that the Saqifah Conference has undeniably kindled inextinguishable seditions among Muslims and cast them in grave cataclysms.

All the terror-stricken events that have been suffered by Muslims were direct outcomes of the Saqifah Conference. One of these shocking events was the tragedy of Karbala' in which the Holy Prophet’s privilege with regard to his sons and descendants was extremely violated when the swords of the Umayyad tyrants and their fans cut off the heads of the Holy Prophet’s descendants and threw their bodies headless on the desert of Karbala'.

They then made the veiled women of the Holy Prophet’s Household suffer various kinds of humiliation and disgrace that were too bitter to be described.

Referring to this horrible event, Shaykh Kashif Al-Ghita', a Shi’ite master scholar, composed a poetic line, saying:

By Allah I swear this: the tragedy of Karbala' would not have taken place had it not been for their Saqifah. The like of such branches were only the outcome of that origin.

Likewise, Paul Salamah, a famous Lebanese poet, has composed the following couple of verses:

Under that Saqifah, many events followed in succession, bringing into surface many tendencies and hidden feelings. Since that day, many inclinations have dispersed just like the branches of fresh boxthorn that are thorny and barbed.

If truth be told, the Saqifah Conference was the exordium of all the devastating catastrophes that have been suffered by Muslims since the dawn of their history and hitherto.

It seems disloyal to the nation, history, and science to keep some of such great events that are connected to our intellectual and doctrinal lives concealed from people or to enfold their affairs and causes without exposing them to study and analysis. In fact, concealment of such events is eradication of facts, seducing the nation into ignorance, elimination of the reason-based judgments, and exclusion of the scientific methodologies in forming a free opinion about the events.

The Saqifah Conference has been one of the most sensitive events in the history of Muslims; it is therefore indispensable to study it honestly and truthfully on the light of intellectuality and science, away from sectarial inclinations. Certainly, to study and ponder over this event, along with its details, will beget fruitful outcomes to the Muslim nation one of which should be reunification and concord.

It is also illogic to agree with those who claim the necessity of canceling out, ignoring, and avoiding investigating any aspect of this event, because, as is justified by those who adopt such a claim, it causes damage to the dignity of some Sahabah (companions of the Holy Prophet) and injures their standings and holiness. Assuredly, such claim is irrelevant, because any scientifically based research is too fair to intend offense of any person, because it is required to demonstrate the facts that are concealed from people.

What really causes damage, disunity, and offense is deception and concealment of the truth by casting curtains on whatever is expected to benefit people and correct their doctrines and beliefs.

Thus, to demonstrate the facts of history as exactly as they are and clear of telling lies or showing malice neither sows disunity nor beaks off any tie.

Motives Of Holding The Saqifah Conspiratorial Meeting

Many motives made the Ansar hasten to organize their meeting without any delay and not even waiting for the Holy Prophet’s body to be laid in the final abode. Some of them are as follows:

1. They realized the political step that the people of Quraysh had taken against Imam Ali (‘a) and the plot they had devised. That is why they unanimously decided to keep away caliphate (i.e. succession to the Holy Prophet and leadership of the Muslim community) from the Imam (‘a), and signs of disobedience became apparent in them. That is why they avoided joining the army of Usamah and they prevented the writing of the document that the Holy Prophet (S) desired in order to ensure the security and well being of the community.

It is very likely that the Ansar, before the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S), had understood the animosity of the Muhajirun towards Imam Ali (‘a). They knew that they would not obey the Prophetic commands with regard to Imam Ali (‘a) and would not accept his authority because he had killed their ancestors in the holy wars and routed their elders in the establishment of the authority of Islam.

‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan once said to Imam Ali (‘a), ‘What can I do when the people of Quraysh do not like you, since you had killed their seventy warriors in the Battle of Badr, whose faces where like shining gold earrings and their noses were rubbed on the ground before their lips?’1

‘Uthman thus described the hatred of the people of Quraysh towards Imam Ali (‘a) regarding those whom were killed in the Battle of Badr; those whose faces shone due to their beauty and joy like gold trinkets while they were thrown head long to the ground and subjected to humiliation. Without any doubt, they were sure that Imam Ali (‘a) could only be the one who had killed their men and the people of Quraysh were going to seek revenge for the blood that the Imam (‘a) had shed.

Al-Kinani, a poet from the clans of Quraysh, composed some poetic verses encouraging the people of Quraysh to take revenge from Imam Ali (‘a) for the blood he had shed of their ancestors:

In every gathering, you have humiliated those great personalities that have hurt the eyes.
How good you were! Do you not remember when you were emancipated slaves of a great personality?
Shame on you! Do you not recall that which when a free man remembers, he feels ashamed?
This is the son of Fatimah 2 who has beheaded and destroyed you and in revenge of which he has not been beheaded.
Where are those stalwarts that faced difficulties and where is the honor of the land of Makkah?3

Ibn tawus has narrated on the authority of his father who once asked Imam Ali ibn Al-Husayn Zayn Al-’Abidin (‘a), ‘Why do the people of Quraysh dislike Ali so much?’

Imam Zayn Al-’Abidin (‘a) answered, ‘This is because he sent the first of them to Hellfire and the last of them he humiliated...’4

In any case, the Ansar realized that the Muhajirun had devised an evil plot against Imam Ali (‘a) and that they should not accept his authority although it was openly and imperatively announced on the Day of Ghadir Khumm by the Holy Prophet (S).They said, ‘Muhammad thought that this matter was to be completed for his cousin. Far from it that it should be fulfilled.’

The Ansar became certain that if the Muhajirun took the rein of Caliphate, the Ansar would have to bear terrible difficulties due to their regard for Imam Ali (‘a). Therefore, they organized a meeting to select their own candidate for the post of caliphate.

2. On the basis of the information received from the Hoy Prophet (S), the Ansar were certain that the Holy Prophet’s Household would not be able to get the caliphate and that they should be deprived after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S).

Shaykh Al-Mufid, a Shi’ite scholar, narrated that during the last ailment of the Holy Prophet (S) when only his uncle Al-’Abbas, his cousin Al-Fasl, Ali ibn Abi Talib, and some close family members were left alone in the company of the Holy Prophet (S), Al-’Abbas said to him, ‘If this matter after you is decided among us, let us know about it; and if you know that we shall be defeated in it, inform us about it.’

The Holy Prophet (S) replied, ‘After me, you shall be oppressed.5

Before that too, the Holy Prophet (S) had announced this fact among the Muslims. Thus, the Ansar themselves resorted to precaution and organized a meeting of their own so that they might obtain power and the Muhajirun might not precede them in this matter.

3. The Ansar were the strong pillars of the Islamic military. They had devastated the attacks of the people of Quraysh, routed their elders, and killed their stalwarts in large numbers. Hence, they knew that if the people of Quraysh were to gain power over them, they would definitely subject them to the worst circumstances and extract the most terrible revenge from them.

This matter is clearly delineated in the statement of Al-Habbab ibn Al-Mundhir who said, ‘We fear that after you, someone comes to power whose sons, fathers, and brothers we have killed.’ This prophecy became a reality, because not much time had passed when the reign of the caliphs had barely ended that the kingdom reached into the hands of the Umayyad dynasty who began to oppress the Ansar and subject them to poverty and needfulness.

Mu’awiyah tried his utmost to extract revenge from them and when after him the power was transferred to Yazid, he continued the same attacks on them. Their wealth and property were destroyed and their blood was shed in the plunder of Al-Madinah. It was such a terrible incident that it has no equal in history.

4. The Holy Prophet (S) had concluded that the Ansar would suffer very much after him. He therefore said to them, ‘After me, you shall suffer very much. So, be patient until you meet me on the Divine Pond.’

These were some factors that caused the Ansar to organize a meeting of their own and they endeavored by it to conceal their secret plans.

Political Statement Of Sa’d

When the Aws and Khazraj, the two major tribes of the Ansar, came together to the Banu-Sa’idah Shed (i.e. Saqifah), Sa’d ibn ‘Abadah, the chief of the Khazraj tribe, made the opening statement of the meeting and, as he was indisposed, he was unable to speak in a loud voice.

His words were repeated by one of his aides. Sa’d delivered a speech in which he enumerated the virtues of the Ansar and tried to prove that they deserve the position of succession to the Holy Prophet (S) than anyone else. He said,

‘O groups of the Ansar! In this religion, you have precedence and you have excellence in Islam. No other Arabs have such excellence. The Holy Prophet (S) lived amongst his people for more than ten years, inviting them to abandon the faith of idolatry and to worship Almighty Allah alone.

However, except for a few of them, none helped him. They could neither give strength to his religion, nor remove his afflictions, nor defend him. When Almighty Allah decided to grant you merit, He drove honor and reward to you only. He exclusively endued you with His bounties and gave you faith in His Prophet, belief in Him, and defense of His Messenger.

He also conferred upon you the merit of defending his companions, according honor to his religion, and fighting his enemies. All these merits were given to you specially. You thus were the ones toughest for his enemies until all Arabs willingly or unwillingly submitted to the command of Allah and the people in far-flung areas with degradation had begun to obey.

Then, the Arabs embraced this religion and submitted to the Messenger by your swords’ In this matter of leadership, you alone should take it upon yourself as you are more deserving of it than all others.’6

Sa’d’s speech entails that he considered the struggle of the Ansar and their bravery in defense of Islam and the Holy Prophet (S) to have been an honor for them to hold the position of leadership. Actually, the Ansar had a greater share in the way of the spread of Islam. That is why they were more preferable to the Holy Prophet (S) and more deserving to the next leadership.

Criticism Against Sa’d

Among the criticisms leveled against Sa’d is that he ignored the Holy Household (‘a) and did not make any reference of Imam Ali (‘a). He also feigned ignorance about the Imam and made an invitation for himself and his people.

The first arrow that was aimed at the Ahl Al-Bayt (i.e the Holy Prophet’s Household) was on that day when the Ansar and the Muhajirun intentionally closed their eyes to the superiority of the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) so that they would hold the position of leadership for themselves and that they might benefit from the rewards of wealth and gifts of that position.

In any case, Sa’d went to such an extent in feigning ignorance about the right of Imam Ali (‘a) and deviated so much into mistake, while we do not pay any attention to this act of his. Through his act, he made the community sink into mischief and calamities and a great trouble befell it, because this position had been earlier decided for Imam Ali (‘a) openly by Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet (S).

Sa’d received the punishment of his deed; as soon as Abu-Bakr came to power, he immediately chased Sa’d who thus became helpless and at last he had to relocate to Syria from Al-Madinah. Then, Khalid ibn Al-Walid went along with him from among his friends.

In the dark of the night, they sat in ambush for him, attacked, and killed him. They composed some couplets gloating over their act of killing him. They claimed that the jinn killed Sa’d!

It is so strange that the political power of that time managed to secure the services of the jinn and made them a medium of their deeds. Some people, having little intelligence, accepted this explanation without pondering over the political situation of that time.

Weakness Of The Ansar

The Ansar did not possess a firm determination and steadfastness; they were unaware of the political matters. In spite of their large numbers, they were fraught with weakness and sloth. On the basis of what historicists say after the discourse of Sa’d, there were arguments among themselves. Some of them predicted that the Muhajirun would provide this argument:

‘We are the Emigrants (i.e. Muhajirun); the foremost companions of the Prophet, his clan, and his devotees. Why do you, the Ansar, then not accept our claim, and instead you contest with us on the issue of the next leadership?’ Others said, ‘In that case, we shall say that let there be a leader from us and a leader from you and we shall not accept anything less than this.’

Having noticed such weakness and collapse among his people, Sa’d angrily said, ‘This is the beginning of weakness.’7

Indeed, the beginning as well as the end was weak because of their weak morale, dispersal of their rows, and their lack of steadfastness that became apparent in the political field. When they had organized their own meeting and kept it a top secret so that they, before the people of Quraysh, could learn about the events that were to come, they might have obtained political supremacy.

However, in this contest, they had to face humiliation. They did not gain anything out of it and finally they lost their one and only opportunity to gain power. When the Muhajirun arrived in the meeting without prior information, differences and arguments erupted among the Ansar. The Muhajirun very soon had control of the situation and the reins of government in their hands.

Jealousy And Enmity

Another factor that contributed to the defeat of the Ansar was their internal jealousy and malice. Since antiquity, there was a great hostility between the Aws and the Khazraj tribes-the two major tribes that comprised the Ansar among the inhabitants of Al-Madinah. The enmity was so severe that it often led to bloodshed.

According to historians, the last battle fought between these two tribes in Yathrib was six years before the Immigration of the Holy Prophet (S) and his companions. When the Holy Prophet (S) arrived in Al- Madinah and witnessed such enmity between the Aws and Khazraj that even a slightest provocation led to violence, he tried his utmost to forge a bond of friendship among them.

Though they agreed to a truce, it was still fragile; and when two people of rival tribes came face to face, they betrayed their inner malice for each other. According to historians too, there were many occasions when this latent malice developed into arguments and fights. This same rivalry came out in the open on the day of Saqifah.

When Khusayr ibn Usayd, the leader of the Aws who had extreme dislike for Sa’d, saw that his people had selected him as their candidate for caliphate, he said to them, ‘If caliphate goes to Sa’d even once, his tribe will gain such a merit that you will not have any share in it. So, get up and pay homage to Abu-Bakr as the next leader’’ 8

This shows the hidden enmity that the Aws had against the Khazraj. It was such a thing that was very distasteful for the chief of the Aws. That is why he, along with his people, paid allegiance to Abu-Bakr. If it had not been so, caliphate would not have gone to Abu-Bakr.

In addition, some people of the Khazraj tribe also harbored malice towards Sa’d and considered the position of the next leadership too high for him. Bashir ibn Sa’d, one of the members of the Khazraj tribe, was an important rival of Sa’d; he paid allegiance to Abu-Bakr, thus destroying the work of Sa’d.

In any case, these rivalries and malice were among the reasons for Abu-Bakr having gained the position of caliphate, but not any member of the Ansar.

‘Umar’s Planning

‘Umar was instrumental in performing a dangerous and significant maneuver in order to control the situation; he laid a hurdle in every matter that led to the appointment of a successor to the Holy Prophet (S), because his partner in this mission; namely, Abu-Bakr, at the time of the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S) was not in Al-Madinah; rather, he was in a region called Al-Sunh, one mile away from Al-Madinah.

So, ‘Umar sent a man to bring Abu-Bakr to Al-Madinah, but he feared that before Abu-Bakr could return, someone else might arrive in the field. Therefore, he stood in the street in a horrified condition and began to roam the lanes, waving his sword and announcing loudly,

‘Some hypocrites have claimed that the Messenger of Allah has passed away! By Allah, the Prophet is not dead; rather, he has gone to his Lord, just like (Prophet) Moses the son of ‘Imran’ By Allah, the Messenger of Allah will soon return. Whoever claims that he is dead, I will cut off his limbs.’

Whosoever said that the Messenger of Allah has passed away was threatened by ‘Umar’s sword and was chastised by him.9

People were frightened and they fell into doubt. They were surrounded by waves of perplexity and they could not decide whether to believe the claim of ‘Umar, which was their favorite wish, or to believe what they had seen with their own eyes that the Holy Prophet (S) lay in his bed at home without making any movement.

‘Umar was agitated like thunder and lightning and he was so excited that his mouth was foaming. He continued to threaten any one who dared to make any statement about the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S). Not much time passed when his friend and companion, Abu-Bakr, arrived from Al-Sunh and along with him went to the Prophet’s quarters.

Abu-Bakr removed the cloth from the Prophet’s face and became certain of his demise. He came out to the people and refuted the claim of ‘Umar. Then, he addressed the groups of people who were compelled to keep quiet even though they were devastated by the passing away of the great one who had brought salvation to them:

‘Whoever worshipped Muhammad, Muhammad is now dead. Whoever worshipped Allah, then Allah is ever-living and He never dies.’

Abu-Bakr then recited these words of Almighty:

And Muhammad is no more than an apostle; the apostles have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least; and Allah will reward the grateful. (3:144)

‘Umar did not raise any objection and he agreed and testified to it; he said to the effect: ‘By Allah, it was not but that when I heard the news of the passing away of the Prophet, my legs gave way and I fell down and my legs were not able to move.’10

Some Important Points

If we ponder deeply over these astonishing steps taken by Abu-Bakr and ‘Umar, we shall be able to note some important points that are worthy of attention and research and they are as follows:

1. ‘Umar became an absolute denier with all certainty of the death of the Holy Prophet (S). He claimed that the Prophet went to his Lord just like Prophet Moses and that he would indeed return to the earth. He warned with dire consequences all those who dared to oppose his claim.

Without any doubt, this act definitely does not prove his faith in the Prophet’s being alive; rather, it shows his pursuit of an opportunity to reach his aim and it was in perfect accordance with his plan that he had hatched with his group that consisted of persons like Abu-Bakr and Abu-’Ubaydah.

The following points prove this matter:

A) ‘Umar was among those who waited for the Prophet’s demise, and he had asked Usamah, ‘The Messenger Allah is dying; are you going to be my chief?’ He said these words while the Messenger of Allah (S) was still alive and he became sure of the Prophet’s death when the Prophet spoke to the people about his imminent end and informed them about the signs of his approaching death as we have explained in the foregone pages.

B) ‘Umar had stood at the side of the Messenger of Allah (S) during his final ailment and he had prevented the writing of the document that the Holy Prophet (S) intended to ensure that people should not go astray after him. ‘Umar interjected and said, ‘The Book of Allah is sufficient for us!’ It is but natural that he made this statement while he had become certain of the Prophet’s imminent death.

C) The Book of Allah has announced that every human being would have to taste death. Almighty Allah thus says:

‘Every soul must taste of death. Then, to Us you shall be brought back. (29:57)’

The Almighty Allah has also said especially regarding His Messenger:

‘Surely, you shall die and they (too) shall surely die. (39:30)’

‘And Muhammad is no more than an apostle; the apostles have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? (3:144)’

These Quranic texts are recited in the light of the day and the darkness of the night repeatedly. Was ‘Umar unaware of these verses while he used to hear them day and night and he used to frequent the company of the Holy Prophet (S)?

D) Finally, ‘Umar’s silence and cooling of his temper as soon as his friend arrived while he had already announced the return of the Holy Prophet (S) shows that he was acting according to a premeditated plan. He did not say a word against what Abu-Bakr said about the fact of the Holy Prophet’s passing away.

2. The declaration of ‘Umar that the Holy Prophet (S) would return and his warning that he would sever the limbs of any one who said that the Prophet had died-these two points had no weight at all, because cutting off the limbs and impaling are applied to one who abandons his faith or one who spreads mischief in the land. To say that the Messenger of Allah (S) had died does not render one liable for such a penalty.

3. Abu-Bakr, in his statement on the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S), said, ‘Whoever worshipped Muhammad, Muhammad is now dead; but whoever worships Allah, then Allah is ever-living and He never dies.’ This proves that there is no mention anywhere of any Muslim ever claiming to worship the Holy Prophet (S) or considering him in place of Almighty Allah. Rather, all Muslims are unanimous that the Holy Prophet (S) is the servant of Allah and His messenger and that the Almighty had selected him to convey His revelations and to act as His prophet.

The Ansar Surprised

While the Ansar were busy in their machination in Saqifah in order to win the position of leadership, ‘Uwaym ibn Sa’idah Al-Awsi and Ma’an ibn ‘Adi, who were confidants of the Ansar but friends of Abu-Bakr and members of his group since the time of the Holy Prophet (S), without any announcement they came out of the Saqifah meeting while their hearts were full of enmity and malice towards Sa’d.

They came running to Abu-Bakr and ‘Umar and informed them about the Saqifah gathering. Abu-Bakr and ‘Umar became very much disconcerted at this. Along with the Abu-’Ubaydah ibn Al-Jarrah and Salim the manumitted slave of Abu-Hudhayfah, they hastened towards the Saqifah and some other people from the Muhajirun followed them. They found the Ansar gathering at their meeting place.

The Ansar were shocked and the face of Sa’d paled; he feared that leadership would go out of his hand, because he had already been aware of the weakness, disunity, and mutual differences of the Ansar. They had organized this meeting and kept it top secret from the Muhajirun, but now their unexpected arrival was going to render all their planning ineffective and in spite of all of their efforts to obtain allegiance, they failed.

Abu-Bakr’s Discourse

After the arrival of the Muhajirun in the meeting of the Ansar, ‘Umar wanted to begin the discourse, but Abu-Bakr restrained him, because he was aware of his acerbic tongue and this would not have in any way solved the impasse in such a delicate situation. It was necessary to observe diplomacy and soft words in order to benefit from the situation. Thus, Abu-Bakr with a smiling face and sweet words began to address the gathering in a kind way:

‘We, the Muhajirun, are the first people to become Muslims and with regard to our origin and lineage we are the most respected of them. From the viewpoint of clans, we are in the limits of moderation and from the aspect of faces more beautiful than they are. With regard to the Messenger of Allah (S), we are most proximate of him and you are our brothers in Islam and our partners in religion. You have helped and supported.

May Allah give you a good reward for this! Thus, we are the rulers and you are ministers. The Arab people shall not follow anyone except this branch of Quraysh. Do not be disheartened by what the Almighty has given superiority of your brothers, the Muhajirun, over you. I have selected one of these two to be the next leader: i.e. ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab and Abu-Ubaydah ibn Al-Jarrah ‘’11

Research And Investigation

It is necessary to stop here for a few moments and ponder over the above statement of Abu-Bakr:

1. Abu-Bakr has not accorded any significance to the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S). This was a great tragedy for the Muslims and the most terrible incident, which had aggrieved the hearts of all Muslims. Therefore, to suit the situation, he should have first paid condolence at the passing away of the one who had brought salvation for them and he should have remembered his favors to them.

He should have reminded them of the good works he had done in their religious and secular spheres. After that, he should have invited them to participate in the funeral rites of the Holy Prophet (S) so that he might be consigned to his eternal abode. After that, he should have organized a general meeting, which all classes of Muslims could have attended and invited them to select a caliph according to their choice, if we condescendingly accept that the Holy Prophet (S) had not already appointed any successor after him.

2. The logic of this discourse is pursuit of power and seeking of a political post. Apart from this, he did not give any importance to anything. He tried to convince and advise the Ansar that for the benefit of the Muhajirun they must let go of the claim for leadership and may not share the seat of power with them.

However, he gave them the good news that they would be their ministers. As soon as power was established for them and they formed their government, they denied the Ansar their rights and did not entrust any official post to them. Moreover, the Ansar were deprived of all governmental posts they formerly held.

3. This speech did not once mention the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a), the equivalents of the Holy Quran, the like of Noah’s Ark in this community that whosoever boarded it was saved and whosoever avoided it was destroyed and drowned, as the Holy Prophet (S) had informed.

For this, the most preferable thing would have been to wait for sometime so that the funeral processions of the Holy Prophet (S) would be over and the opinion of the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) had also been sought, so that caliphate could have obtained legality and it would not have been considered a mistake as ‘Umar then described it, saying, ‘Indeed, the allegiance to Abu-Bakr was a mistake, but Almighty Allah saved the Muslims from its mischief.’

Sayyid Abd Al-Husayn Sharaf Al-Din, commenting on the negligence of the Holy Prophet’s Household, says,

Even if it is assumed that there did not exist specific nomination for the next leadership in favor of anyone from the family of the Holy Prophet and even if it is assumed that they did not have any precedence over the other companions with regard to their origin and lineage, or morals and valor, or knowledge and good deeds, or faith and sincerity; was there any legal or rational hindrance that the allegiance should have been postponed until the Holy Prophet (S) would be buried?

Or was it not possible that in order to maintain peace, the matter of the next leadership was to be postponed temporarily? Would such amount of restraint not have been suitable for the Holy Prophet’s family members who were in mourning, while these members were the trust of and the closest people to the Holy Prophet (S)?

Almighty Allah has said:

‘Certainly, an Apostle has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate, merciful. (9:128)’

The least duty of the community towards the Holy Prophet (S) who had borne severe hardships for his people and always cared for their well being should have been that his Progeny would not be caused grief and would not be deserted in the way they were deserted, while their wound was yet fresh and the Prophet (S)had not been buried yet.12

4. The argument that Abu-Bakr offered to advocate the superiority of the Muhajirun against the Ansar was that the Muhajirun were much nearer to the Holy Prophet (S) in relationship than the Ansar were. Naturally, this claim was more applicable to the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a), because they were the closest in relation to the Holy Prophet (S), since they were his family members. Focusing on this point, Imam Ali (‘a) is reported to have said,

They argued by the tree but destroyed its fruit.

Imam Ali (‘a) is also reported to have said these two poetic verses to Abu- Bakr,

If you have argued on the basis of family relationship, there are others who are closer in relation to the Prophet than you are.

And if you have obtained dominance on them by consensus, the people whom are the worthiest of being consulted were absent at the time of consultation.

On another occasion, Imam Ali (‘a) declared,

By Allah, I am verily the Holy Prophet’s brother, heir, cousin, and inheritor of his knowledge. Who may then have a greater claim than mine?

At any rate, these people intentionally or unintentionally neglected the Holy Prophet’s Household. As a result, they were the origin of all problems faced by the Muslim community since that day and up to the day when Almighty Allah shall inherit the earth.

5. In his statement, Abu-Bakr nominated ‘Umar and Abu-’Ubaydah ibn Al- Jarrah to the position of the next leadership. If truth be told, this was a brilliant point, because he divested himself of any political desire, invaded the inner selves of the Ansar, and had power over their emotions and feelings.

Tactfully, ‘Umar answered him, ‘This shall never take place as long as you are alive. No one shall be competent enough to drag you from the place in which the Messenger of Allah had put you!’

Commenting on this statement of ‘Umar, a historicist says, ‘We do not know when the Holy Prophet (S) placed Abu-Bakr in such a position or at least referred to this. In fact, Abu-Bakr was just like the other Muhajirun no more than a soldier under the commandership of Usamah ibn Zayd. Had the Holy Prophet (S) nominated Abu-Bakr to this position, he would have at least ordered him to stay in Al-Madinah and would not have ordered him to join that battle.’

Abu-Bakr Wins Power

Abu-Bakr succeeded in his discourse through which he was able to get control over the situation. In that speech, he praised the Ansar and extolled their struggle for the religion. He thus could cool the flames of uprising that raged in their hearts. In the same way, he made them hopeful of some share in the coming government by saying that they should be ministers.

As a result, he was able to remove their animosity towards the Muhajirun in the matter of the next leadership and their personal ambitions to obtain political power. He explained to them that he had preferred the Muhajirun because the Arabs would not accept anyone as their ruler except one belonging to the tribe of Quraysh; the Holy Prophet’s tribe.

This ironically means that the position of ruling the Muslim community belonged to the Arabs only and the other people had no right in it!

This was the most important point to which Abu-Bakr called the attentions of the Ansar and in this way presented himself as the most suitable candidate for the next leadership. At the same time, he pretended to be uninterested in any political desire. By this tactic, he was able to gain power over the Ansar and he also earned their regard. When some people from the Ansar condemned swearing allegiance to Abu-Bakr, ‘Umar violently stood up to speak,

‘It can never be that two persons occupy one position. By Allah, the Arabs will never agree to give you leadership while their Prophet was from a people other than you. However, they shall not object if this position is held by one from the group to which the Prophet belonged.

For any one who refrains from this, we have a clear argument against and a clear power over him. Who can oppose us in obtaining the kingdom of Muhammad while we are his friends and partners? None does but one who prefers falsehood or one who is led to sinfulness and who throws himself into destruction!

There is nothing new in this discourse except that it emphasizes what Abu- Bakr had said before; namely; the Muhajirun were more deserving of the succession to the Holy Prophet (S) than anyone else and that they were his friends and partners.

Commenting on these situations, Muhammad Al-Gilani, a professor, says:

As an argument against the Ansar, ‘Umar used the proximity of the Muhajirun to the Holy Prophet (S) in spite of the fact that Ali ibn Abi Talib was more deserving of the next leadership according to this argument, because it had already been used in case of the Prophet’s inheritance.

Besides, Al-’Abbas ibn Abd Al-Muttalib was the closest in relation to the Prophet (S) and thus the most deserving among the people to hold this position. However, he gave this right to Ali and from this it became established that the post of leadership should be solely the right of Ali.13

‘Umar had not finished his words when Al-Habbab ibn Al-Mundhir stood up to speak, saying, ‘O groups of the Ansar, keep hold of your right and do not listen to this man or his companion, because they will deprive you of your share in this matter. Thus, if they do not accept what you want, chase them out of this land and gain dominance over them.

By Allah, you are more deserving than they are in this matter, because it was through your swords that people embraced Islam while previously they had no faith. I am the best refuge and more far-sighted than they are. I am a lion among the cubs. By Allah, if you wish, I can strip them off like a barren tree. By Allah, if anyone refutes my statement, I shall cut off his nose with the sword’’

This statement, which was full of anger and warnings, was a challenge to the Muhajirun to an assured conflict from the people of Al-Madinah. At the same time, it was a self-praise in their valor.

‘Umar replied to him and screamed, ‘In that case, Allah shall kill you.’

Al-Habbab said, ‘Rather, He shall kill you.’

Abu-Bakr anticipated any development in the situation; therefore, he turned his face towards the Ansar and could calm down the situation. Immediately, the members of his group, fearing that the situation might go out of control, acted as swiftly as lightning and paid homage to Abu-Bakr.

The first to swear such allegiance were ‘Umar, Bashir, Usayd ibn Khudayr, ‘Uwaym ibn Sa’idah, Ma’an ibn ‘Adi, Abu-’Ubaydah ibn Al-Jarrah, Salim the manumitted slave of Abu-Hudhayfah, and Khalid ibn Al-Walid.

This group made great efforts in order to force the other people to pay allegiance. In this matter, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab was most active; he shouted and threatened the people to secure their allegiance. If one refrained, ‘Umar would strike him with his stick on the head. He could hear the Ansar saying, ‘You have beaten Sa’d.’

‘Umar replied with fury and anger, ‘Hit him! May Allah kill him, because he is a mischief-maker.’14

They almost killed Sa’d while he was ailing. They took him to his house while he was empty-handed and all his hopes were destroyed and dreams over.

When allegiance to Abu-Bakr was sworn, his supporters took him to the Prophet’s Mosque as a bride carried to the bridal chamber 15 while the Holy Prophet’s body was laid on his deathbed and was yet to be buried. Meanwhile, Imam Ali (‘a) was busy in the funeral arrangements of burying the Holy Prophet’s dead body.

When Imam Ali (‘a) learnt about the allegiance to Abu-Bakr, he said this poetic verse to express his situation,

The people became involved in what they preferred and stood up in rebellion while Zayd was surrounded by a great calamity.16

Thus, Abu-Bakr was paid homage and appointed as the ruler of the Muslim community, while the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a) were completely disregarded. None paid any attention to them. Since that day, all types of calamities and taunts confronted them; they were subjected to various tortures and calamites, including the carnage of Karbala' and all these events were rooted in that meeting of Saqifah and no elsewhere.

The Ansar were withdrawn from the political field; they lost all their prestige and power. Since that day, nothing more than disgrace and humiliation attacked them. They had to encounter various sorts of ordeals and calamities at the hands of many rulers and kings. In fact, that was the punishment for their having abandoned the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a).

In short, the Ansar were the first to open the door of persecution and assault against the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a).

Celebration Of The People Of Quraysh

When Abu-Bakr held the position of leadership, the tribes of Quraysh could not hide their delight; they were overjoyed, since they considered it a great victory for themselves, because their hopes and aspirations became true.

Expressing this joy, Abu-’Abrah, a poet from Quraysh, composed these couplets:

Thanks to the One deserving Praise. The trouble was gone and allegiance given to the Siddiq (Abu-Bakr).

Then, the legs of Sa’d wavered after he had hoped that the furthest star would be within his reach.

Caliphate is for Quraysh and by the Lord of Muhammad, you (the Ansar) have no share in it.17

These couplets talk about the delight of the people of Quraysh for winning caliphate, speak ill of the Ansar, and discuss their deprivation of this position.

Among those who expressed joy at Abu-Bakr’s coming to power was ‘Amr ibn Al-’As. At that time, he was not present in Al-Madinah, since he was on a journey. When he returned and knew about Abu-Bakr’s holding the position of leadership, he remarked:

When you go to the Aws, tell them, and when you meet the Khazraj, say to them:

You hoped to rule in Al-Madinah. But before it was cooked, the pot was taken off the fire.18

Happiness and joy engulfed all the tribes of Quraysh and they began to support the rulership of Abu-Bakr. When the news of the Prophet’s demise reached Makkah, they decided to announce their apostasy from Islam, but when they were further informed that Abu-Bakr became the ruler, they decided to remain in his obedience and expressed their happiness and pleasure at the turn of the events, since they got rid of both the Ansar and the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a).

Imam Ali And The People Of Quraysh

On more than one occasion, Imam Ali (‘a) invoked Almighty Allah’s wrath and curse upon the people of Quraysh for their negative situations and animosity toward him.

On one occasion, Imam Ali (‘a) prayed to Almighty Allah, saying,

O Allah, I beseech You to take revenge on the people of Quraysh and those who are assisting them, for they have cut as under my kinship, overturned my cup, and joined together to contest a right to which I was entitled more than anyone else. They said to me, ‘If you get your right, that will be just; but if you are denied the right that too will be just.

Endure it with sadness or kill yourself in grief.’ I looked around but found no one to shield me, protect me, or help me except the members of my family. I refrained from flinging them into death and therefore closed my eyes despite the dust, kept swallowing saliva despite the suffocation of grief, and endured pangs of anger although it was more bitter than colocynth and more grievous than the bite of knives.19

On another occasion, Imam Ali (‘a) said,

O Allah, I beseech You to be the enemy of the people of Quraysh along with me, because they had harbored various sorts of evil and betrayal against Your Messenger (S), but then failed to achieve any of them because it was You Who deterred them from achieving their evil plans.

Now, it has been my turn and my role to suffer their evil schemes. O Allah, please safeguard Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn and do not allow the sinful people of Quraysh to inflict any sort of damage on them as long as I am alive. When you decide to take me to You, then You are the watcher over them. You are witness over all things.20

The Role Of Abu-Sufyan

First of all, Abu-Sufyan rose up against the power of Abu-Bakr; he therefore came to Imam Ali (‘a) and encouraged him to rise up against Abu-Bakr and take back his usurped right of holding this position, assuring that he would support him in this regard. He thus said, ‘I see dust in the atmosphere and nothing except bloodshed will settle the dust.

O clan of Abd-Manaf, what Abu-Bakr has to do with your affair? Where are those two oppressed ones; namely, Ali and Al-’Abbas? Why should this matter be held by the lowliest clan of Quraysh?’

He then said to Imam Ali (‘a), ‘Stretch your hand so that I may pay homage to you. By Allah, if you wish, I can fill the land with cavalry and infantry.’ He then cited these couplets of Al-Mutalammis, an Arab poet, as example:

None could remain established against whom destruction is intended except those two oppressed ones, the ass of the locality and the nail.

One of them shall be buried totally in the grave and the other shall be injured; and none shall weep for him.

He then added,

Thus, after dignity and strength, Quraysh has become submissive to the Taym21 without even striking of swords.22

By this situation, Abu-Sufyan was neither sincere nor loyal to Imam Ali (‘a), because he was the most vehement enemy of Islam and Muslims. However, the Imam (‘a) was aware of his real intention. Thus, he did not give a positive reply and he refused the offer. He thus said to Abu-Sufyan in an angry tone,

By Allah, you intend nothing but mischief. By Allah, for ages you have wished ill for Islam and we are not in need for your advice’’23

Abu-Sufyan continued to create mischief and instigate Imam Ali (‘a) to rise up against Abu-Bakr. He thus sang as follows:

O Descendants of Hashim, do not let them vie you, especially the family of Taym ibn Murrah or the clan of ‘Adi.24

The affair (of leadership) is for none except you, none deserves it save you, and no one is superior to Abu’l-Hasan Ali.

O Abu’l-Hasan, have courage as you are most deserving of the work that is awaited.25

Confirmedly, the opposition of Abu-Sufyan to Abu-Bakr’s authority was not based on faith in favor of Imam Ali (‘a); rather, it was only a trick against Islam, since this man always waited for any opportunity to harm this religion. Imam Ali (‘a) declined his offer and gave no importance to his false show of kindness, because Abu-Sufyan had already had a very good connection with Abu-Bakr.

Al-Bukhari narrates that Abu-Sufyan, once, passed by some Muslims among whom were Abu-Bakr, Salman, Suhayb, and Bilal. One of them said, ‘Did the swords of Allah not smite the neck of this enemy of Allah?’

Abu-Bakr chastised them in harsh words, saying, ‘Are you saying this about the chief and master of Quraysh?’

Then, Abu-Bakr hastened to the Holy Prophet (S) and told him what people had said about Abu-Sufyan. Answering him, the Prophet (S) said, ‘O Abu- Bakr, maybe, you have displeased them. Even if you have not displeased them, then you have certainly displeased Allah.’26

This matter clearly shows the close mutual relationship between Abu-Bakr and Abu-Sufyan. Besides, during his reign, Abu-Bakr tried to win the sympathy and friendship of Abu-Sufyan. He appointed him as the governor of an area between Al-Hijaz and Najran.27

In the same way, he appointed his son Yazid as the governor of Syria, while he did not appoint any other Muslim personality as the governor of this sensitive region. From that moment, the fortunes of the Umayyad household began to rise and they could finally gain power.

Similarly, ‘Umar had a very close relationship with Abu-Sufyan. In his own house, ‘Umar dedicated a very well-decorated room to Abu-Sufyan and did not allow anyone else to enter it. When he was asked about the reason, ‘Umar said, ‘This is the chief of Quraysh.’28

Imam Ali’s Attitude To The Pledge Of Allegiance To Abu-Bakr

Historicists and narrators have unanimously agreed that the reaction of Imam Ali (‘a) to Abu-Bakr’s holding the position of the next leadership of the Muslim community was characterized by at least displeasure and disapproval. The Imam (‘a) did not have any doubt that he was more superior to all others for holding this position and that he was the most suitable for succession to the Holy Prophet (S).

First, Imam Ali (‘a) was the closest in relation to the Holy Prophet (S). He possessed incomparable qualifications, capabilities, and ability to hold the responsibility of leadership. However, he did not think that these people would seize this position and take him out of it.

Taking the initiative, Al-’Abbas, Imam Ali’s uncle, said to him, ‘Son of my brother, extend your hand so that I will pay homage to you. If I do so, the people will say that the Holy Prophet’s uncle has paid homage to the Holy Prophet’s cousin; therefore, none will disagree to your leadership.’

Replying his uncle, Imam Ali (‘a) said, ‘Who else can demand this position?’29

Commenting on this incident, Dr. Taha Husayn says,

When Al-’Abbas scrutinized the matter, he discovered that his nephew was more rightful to hold this position of leadership than he was, because the nephew was the foster son of the Holy Prophet (S), the most precedent in favor of Islam, and the unbeatable star of all situations. The Holy Prophet (S) used to call him as his brother.

One day, Ummu-Ayman jokingly said to the Holy Prophet (S), ‘Do you call him (i.e. Ali) your brother and you have given him your daughter in marriage?’ Besides, the Holy Prophet (S) said to him, ‘Your position to me is exactly like the position of Prophet Aaron to Prophet Moses except that no prophet shall come after me.’

On another occasion, the Holy Prophet (S) said to the Muslims, ‘’Ali is now the master of whomever has regarded me as his master.’ For all these reasons, Al- ‘Abbas, immediately after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S), came to his nephew and said, ‘Extend your hand so that I will pay homage to you’ etc.’ 30

At any rate, Imam Ali (‘a) strictly opposed paying allegiance to Abu-Bakr and considered it a clear act of trespass against himself, because he knew for sure that the position of succession to the Holy Prophet (S) was his position alone, and with regard to caliphate, his position was ‘like the pivot of the mill; such a lofty position that flood is unable to reach it and the birds also cannot scale those heights,’ as he himself described.

Imam Ali (‘a) did not expect that this community would dare to distance themselves from the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a). He, in an angry way, refused to pay homage to Abu-Bakr and openly announced his displeasure and shock at the trespassing of his rights and the injustices of those people in the matter of the next leadership, while those people did not pay any heed. This fact can obviously be noticed in Imam Ali’s words and speeches recorded in Nahj Al-Balaghah.

Forcing Imam Ali To Pay Homage To Abu-Bakr

The ruling authorities decided to force Imam Ali (‘a) to pay allegiance to Abu-Bakr; they appointed some people to execute this matter. Headed by ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab who was shouting, threatening, and having in his hand a firebrand to set the house of the Divine Revelation on fire, some constables and mercenaries went to Imam Ali’s house, surrounded it, took out the Imam (‘a) forcibly in a disrespectful manner, and dragged him to Abu-Bakr.

The Holy Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) the daughter of and most beloved to the Holy Prophet (S) came out and cried at ‘Umar, ‘What have you come with, son of Al-Khattab?’ Violently, ‘Umar answered, ‘What I have come with is more forceful than what your father had come with!’31

Finally, Imam Ali (‘a) was led out of his house violently and brought before Abu-Bakr. The party of Abu-Bakr shouted at him, ‘Pay homage to Abu- Bakr.’ The Imam (‘a) replied them in a very rational manner without being fearful of their might and force,

I am more qualified for this position than you are. I never pay homage to you; rather, you must pay homage to me. You have confiscated this affair (i.e. succession to the Holy Prophet) from the Ansar and argued against them on the basis of your proximity to the Prophet (S), while you have usurped it from us, the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a).

Did you not claim to the Ansar that you were more eligible than they were in this matter, because Muhammad (S) belonged to you in relative ties? They therefore surrendered the leadership to you and entrusted the command to you. Now, I present the same argument against you. We are the closest to the Prophet (S) in his lifetime and after his death. So, act justly towards us if you have faith; otherwise, you may continue in oppression while you know that it is wrong’’

By providing these brilliant arguments, Imam Ali (‘a) presented the same claim (namely, the closeness to the Holy Prophet) that the Muhajirun had used in their argumentation against the Ansar and could overcome them. In fact, the most qualified in the matter of the next leadership according to this claim was Imam Ali (‘a). He argued that he was the closest in relation to the Holy Prophet (S), because he was his cousin, son-in-law, and father of his two grandsons.

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, although he had no reply to the statement of the Imam (‘a), stood up from his place and spoke up angrily, ‘You shall not be released until you pay allegiance.’

‘What if I refuse?’ said Imam Ali (‘a).

‘Then, we will behead you!’ answered ‘Umar.

Imam Ali (‘a) looked around him and could not find any supporter to resort to; he therefore said in a sad tone, ‘If you do, you will kill a servant of Allah and a brother of His Messenger.’

Losing all his nerves, ‘Umar said, ‘Yes, you are a servant of Allah. But no, you are not the brother of His Messenger.’

Forgetting that Imam Ali (‘a) was always the brother of the Holy Prophet (S) and the door to his city of knowledge, ‘Umar turned to Abu-Bakr urging him to impose punishment on the Imam (‘a). He thus said, ‘Will you not make a decision against him?’

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘I cannot force him to do anything as long as Fatimah is to his side.’

The Imam (‘a) then gave ‘Umar a firm reply; he said, ‘Milk the udders and you will receive its gains; and make his position strong, for tomorrow shall it be returned to you.’

Thus, Imam Ali (‘a) exposed the motive of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab who had not expected such a harsh response from the Imam (‘a) who referred to the fact that leadership should reach him after Abu-Bakr. At that time, the Imam (‘a) became furious and he screamed, ‘By Allah, O ‘Umar, I shall not listen to you and I shall not pay homage.’

Abu-Bakr feared lest the situation would worsen; so, he glanced at the Imam (‘a) and said in the kindest manner, ‘If you do not pay homage, I will not force you to do.’

Abu-’Ubaydah, one of the most notorious supporters of Abu-Bakr, looked at the Imam (‘a) and, trying to cool the flames of revolt and to make peace with him, said, ‘O cousin! You are still young while they are elders of the community. You do not posses the same experience and understanding they have.

I do not see Abu-Bakr but that, in this matter, he is stronger than you are. He has patience and ability to run the affairs of leadership. So, leave this matter for Abu-Bakr, because if you are alive, you shall one day be most qualified for this post from the aspects of superiority, faith, knowledge, understanding, precedence, and kinship’’

This deceptive and fraudulent manner aggrieved Imam Ali (‘a) more. He thus spoke to and preached the Muhajirun saying,

For the sake of Allah, O Muhajirun! Let the power of Muhammad (S) among the Arabs not be taken away from its abode and center. Do not distance the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) from their rights among the people and their actual position’ By Allah, O Muhajirun! We are the worthiest of all people of this position, because we are the Prophet’s Household, and in this matter, we are more qualified than you are.

We, the Ahl Al-Bayt, were always the best reciters of the Book of Allah, the most versed in the laws of the religion of Allah, the most knowledgeable of the traditions of Allah’s Messenger, the most conversant with the affairs of the subjects, their best defenders against all harmful things, and the distributors among them with equity.

By Allah, this matter is exclusively ours. So, do not follow the selfish desires, lest you will stray off from the path of Allah and you shall then increasingly deviate from the truth.32

The previous words of Imam Ali (‘a) preview the qualifications of leadership that the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) other than anyone else enjoyed, such as familiarity with the laws of the religion, knowledgeability of the Holy Prophet’s traditions, and assuming the affairs of the subjects fairly and competently, as well as other qualifications that must be enjoyed by one who assumes the position of leading the Muslim community. In fact, these qualifications were enjoyed by the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) alone.

If the people had replied positively to the call of the Imam (‘a), it would have been a guarantee for their wellbeing and protection from deviation and going astray in the field of faith and other fields. The Imam (‘a) would also have saved the nation from many evil consequences. Alas! Since a long time people went towards greed and fulfillment of selfish desires and sacrificed everything for this.

Anyway, the people did not pay any heed to the Imam’s logic; they considered their material gains superior over everything else.

Strict Protestations

The family members of the Holy Prophet (S) and other prominent personalities of Islam refused to pay homage to Abu-Bakr, demonstrating overwhelming points of protest all of which confirmed that the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a) were the worthiest of succeeding him. Let us now present some of these protestations:

Imam Ali’s Protestations

Trying to gain Imam Ali’s satisfaction and to give legal touches to his leadership that he had usurped from their true people, Abu-Bakr said to Imam Ali (‘a), ‘Abu’l-Hasan! By Allah, I had nothing to do in this matter and I did not have any desire for holding this position, since I never cared for the matter, never had enough self-confidence to know what is required by the community, never had sufficient financial power, never depended upon my lowly clan, and never wanted to hold this position in order to prevent others from reaching it.

Now, why are you hiding in yourself what I do not deserve from you, showing hatred to me, and looking at me with the eye of animosity?’

The Imam (‘a) answered,

If so, what has made you accept this position when you did not have desire for it, nor did you care for it, nor did you have enough self-confidence to assume it?

Abu-Bakr said, ‘What has made me accept it is a tradition that I have heard from Allah’s Messenger who said, ‘Verily, Allah does not accept that my nation concur in deviation.’ Hence, when I noticed the concurrence of them, I followed the Prophet’s saying and feared lest their concurrence would be in violation of true guidance.

Therefore, I gave them my consent. If I had known that one person only did not agree, I would certainly have refrained from holding this position.’

The second question of the Imam (‘a) was the following:

As regarding the Holy Prophet’s words that you have just mentioned, now, am I one of this community or not?

‘Yes, you are,’ answered Abu-Bakr.

The Imam (‘a) added,

What about the group who refrained from paying homage to you, such as Salman, ‘Ammar, Abu-Dharr, Al-Miqdad, and the Ansar? How can you provide as evidence the saying of the Prophet (S) when the like of these persons did not pay homage to you? In fact, there is no objection to these persons at all and they have never shown any negligence with regard to their companionship of the Prophet (S)?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘Only after the concluding of the matter (of caliphate) did I know about the refusal of these people. I then feared lest people would abandon the faith if I would retreat. Hence, my response to their request was, in my conception, less harmful to the religion; lest, people would kill each other and then return to atheism. I also knew that you would not be less careful for keeping the faith of these people than I would be.’

The Imam (‘a) then said to Abu-Bakr,

Can you answer me what qualifications should be enjoyed so that one will be worth holding this position?

Abu-Bakr began to enumerate such qualifications like sincerity, loyalty, strictness, good behavior, establishment of justice, acting upon the Holy Book and the Prophetic traditions, eloquence, abstinence from worldly pleasures, and regaining the dues from their usurpers, no matter who they are.

Imam Ali (‘a), adding to these qualifications, said,

What about precedence in the service of the religion and kinship with the Holy Prophet? I adjure you by Allah, O Abu-Bakr! Do you find yourself enjoying these qualifications?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘In fact, it is you who enjoy these qualification, O Abu’l-Hasan.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I the first male to respond to the call of the Holy Prophet (S) to this religion?

‘It was you,’ Abu-Bakr answered. Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I who conveyed the contents of Surah Bara'ah to the pilgrims and the great gathering of the community?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I who sacrificed his life for Allah’s Messenger (S) on the day of the cave?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’ Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I the loyalty to whom was joined to the loyalty to Allah and His Messenger in the (Quranic) verse that was revealed to express my giving my ring as alms?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it your or my wife and sons whom Allah’s Messenger (S) took with him to imprecate Allah’s curse on the polytheist party?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I who was granted succession to the Holy Prophet (S) and whose position to the Holy Prophet (S) was exactly like the position of Prophet Aaron to Prophet Moses?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you and your family or I and my family about whom the (Quranic) Verse of Purification from filth was revealed?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you and your family.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I, my wife, and my children for whom the Holy Prophet (S) said this prayer on the day when we were gathered by him under the cloak: ‘O Allah, these are my family members. O Allah, please make them return to You, but not to Hellfire?’33

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you, your wife, and your children.’
Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,
I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I about whom this (Quranic) verse was revealed:

‘They fulfill vows and fear a day the evil of which shall be spreading far and wide (76:7)?’

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I to whom the sun was returned to the time of his prayer and thus he performed that prayer in its time; and the sun set again afterward?34

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I the hero about whom a call from the heavens shouted: ‘There is no sword but Dhu’l-Faqar and there is no hero but Ali?’

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I whom was endued by the Holy Prophet (S) with his standard on the day of the conquest of Khaybar; therefore, Almighty Allah granted him victory on that day?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I who relieved the Messenger of Allah (S) and the Muslims when he killed ‘Amr ibn Abd-Wudd?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I whom Allah purified against illegitimate birth since Adam up to his direct father; hence, Allah’s Messenger (S) said, ‘You (Ali) and I were born from legal, but never illegitimate, marriages since Adam up to Abd Al-Muttalib?’35

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I whom the Holy Prophet (S) chose and gave his daughter Fatimah in marriage, saying, ‘It is Allah Who has given her in marriage to you (Ali) in the heavens?’

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; is it you or I the father of Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, the two grandsons and basils of the Messenger of Allah (S) who said about them, ‘These two are the chiefs of the youths of Paradise, and their father is even more preferred than they are?’

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It is you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; is it your or my brother who is decorated with two wings by which he flies with the angels in Paradise?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It is your brother.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I who guaranteed the debts of Allah’s Messenger (S) and declared openly in the season of the Hajj pilgrimage the fulfillment of his promises?36

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I whom was invited by Allah’s Messenger (S) to join him in eating the roasted bird when he prayed Almighty Allah, saying, ‘O Allah, please bring to me the dearest of Your creatures to You and to me to eat with me this bird.’ So, none came except me?37

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I to whom the Messenger of Allah (S) gave the good tidings that he would fight the breakers of their pledges, the wrongdoers, and the apostates for the sake of the accurate interpretation of the Quran?38

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I to whose full acquaintance with judicature and fair judgment the Messenger of Allah (S) referred by saying, ‘’Ali is the most knowledgeable of judicature amongst you all?’39

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I whom the Messenger of Allah (S) ordered to be greeted as the leader of the believers during his lifetime?40

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I who witnessed the last words of Allah’s Messenger (S), undertook the ritual ablution of his body, and buried him?41

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I the closest to the Messenger of Allah (S)?42

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked, I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I whom Allah endued with a dinar 43 when he was in urgent need for it, Gabriel sold him what he had needed, and Muhammad (S) was his guest when he served his sons with food? 44

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I whom the Messenger of Allah (S) carried on his shoulder to throw and break the idol that was put on the roof of the Ka’bah that if I, on that day, wanted to catch the horizon of the heavens, I could?

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I to whom the Messenger of Allah (S) said, ‘You are the bearer of my standard in this world and the other world?’ 45

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I whom the Messenger of Allah (S) ordered to open the door of his house in his mosque when he ordered all the other doors to be closed, including all his relatives and companions, and permitted you to do whatever Allah has permitted in the mosque? 46
Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I who alone gave in charity before consultation with Allah’s Messenger (S) and thus could consult with him, when Almighty Allah blamed some people saying,

‘Do you fear that you will not be able to give in charity before your consultation? So, when you do not do it and Allah has turned to you mercifully, then keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and obey Allah and His Messenger; and Allah is Aware of what you do (58:13)?’ 47

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah; was it you or I about whom the Messenger of Allah (S) said to Fatimah , ‘I have given you in marriage to the foremost of all people in believing and the best of all Muslims’ etc?’

Abu-Bakr answered, ‘It was you.’

Imam Ali (‘a) further asked,

I adjure you by Allah, O Abu-Bakr; was it you or I whom was greeted by the angels of seven skies on that day at Spring Badr? 48

These overwhelming arguments silenced Abu-Bakr and locked in his face all ways out. So, he had to respond to Imam Ali (‘a) and he was determined to correct his mistake, but ‘Umar deterred him.49

Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra'‘S Protestation

In her protestation against Abu-Bakr and his group, Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) provided overwhelming points of protestation, proving Imam Ali’s priority to hold the position of the next leadership. She also denounced the people for eliminating Imam Ali (‘a) from this position, threatening that they would certainly encounter bad consequences, as a result of this situation of them. She thus said,

Woe unto them! Whereto did they move it from the position of the mission, the bases of Prophethood and the place of descent of Gabriel the Honest Spirit? Verily, he (i.e. Imam Ali) is aware of life and religion’s affairs. That was the great loss. What did they deny from Abu’l-Hasan (Ali)? Yes, by God! They denied the strikes of his sword, his carelessness about death, his deadly assaults, and his anger for the sake of Allah.

By Allah, if they turned away from the rein, which the Prophet had handed over to him (i.e. to Imam Ali), he would catch it tenderly and he would move without harm or worry. He would lead them to a fresh flowing fount and would return them with satiety while he himself would not profit of anything but a little just to break his acute thirst and hunger.

If they did so, they would be granted blessings from the Heaven and the earth and they would be rewarded by Allah according to their deeds. Come on to see! As long as you live, time shall show you wonders! I wish I knew on what proof they have relied, to what refuge they resorted and to what tie they clung, and on whose progeny have they encroached and spoke against!

Evil indeed is the patron, and evil indeed is the associate, and evil indeed is this change for the unjust! By Allah, they exchanged the good with the bad and the daring with impotent. Disgrace be for a people, who think they do well. Surely they themselves are the mischief makers, but they do not perceive. Woe to them!

‘Is he then who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge?(10:35)’

By Allah, it was impregnated; so, wait until it bears then milk pure blood and fatal venom to the full of the bucket! Then they will perish who say false things and the successors will know what bad the earlier ones have established. Then, be at ease and wait slowly for the sedition.

Rejoice at a sharp sword, an assault of a tyrant enemy, general commotion, and despotism, which will make your victuals so insignificant and your gathering separate. Alas, what a pity! How will you be while it has been obscured to your sights? Shall we then force you to accept it when you are averse to it? 50

Lights On Lady Fatimah’s Speech

In her speech, Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) condemned the paying of homage to Abu-Bakr, declaring such homage as alienation from the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a). Referring to the reasons for which these people turned away from giving Imam Ali (‘a) his right to hold the position of leadership after the Holy Prophet (S), Lady Fatimah (‘a) pointed out some peculiar characteristics of Imam Ali (‘a), as follows

1. The Imam’s sword harvested the heads of the chiefs of Quraysh and thus created in their hearts malice and hatred towards him.

2. The Imam (‘a) never flattered anybody at the expense of the truth. He never cared for any blame or criticism as long as he followed the truth.

3. The Imam (‘a) dedicated his entire life to pleasing Almighty Allah; he therefore did not take into consideration any point other than the pleasure of Almighty Allah, even if the other party was a close relative.

Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) then exposed some features of Imam Ali’s government if only he had held his natural position of leading the Muslim community. Some of these features are as follows:

A) Imam Ali (‘a) would govern their affairs with thorough justice and would rule according to the laws of Almighty Allah.

B) He would lead them to a luxurious life, security, and peace.

C) He would act sincerely towards them and guide them to the best of all affairs.

D) He would refuse to benefit from any worldly pleasure and to take for himself the least amount of their financial dues.

In fact, when power came to Imam Ali (‘a), he lived as simply as possible; he had no more than one garment and ate no more than one simple meal. He lived the life of the most miserable citizens. In this respect, he is reported to have said,

Shall I be content with being called Amir Al-Mu'minin (The Leader of the Believers), although I do not share with the people the hardships of the world? Or shall I be an example for them in the distresses of life? I have not been created to keep myself busy in eating good foods like the tied animal whose only worry is his fodder or like a loose animal whose activity is to swallow. It fills its belly with its feed and forgets the purpose behind it. Shall I be left uncontrolled to pasture freely, or draw the rope of misguidance or roam aimlessly in the paths of bewilderment? 51

E) The fortunes and blessings of Almighty Allah would have covered the entire globe and people would have found no hunger and no destitution if Imam Ali (‘a) had been allowed to hold his natural position of succeeding the Holy Prophet (S) in leading the Muslim community. Unfortunately, the Muslims deprived themselves of all these fortunes and brought upon themselves persecution and discrepancy.

Finally, Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) predicted that the Muslim community would suffer very much and encounter various sorts of ordeals and hardships as a result of their eliminating Imam Ali (‘a) from leadership. She thus foretold that seditious matters would blacken the atmospheres of the Muslim community thus disuniting them, the ruling authorities would act towards them tyrannically, and the wrongdoers would manage them dictatorially.

In fact, all these predictions came true, especially after Mu’awiyah came to power. He tortured and exhausted the Muslims, gave a free hand to such criminals like Samarah ibn Jundub, Al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah, Ziyad ibn Abih, and Busr ibn Arta'ah to persecute the people.

In the reign of Mu’awiyah, fear spread, people were sentenced to various sorts of punishment, many eyes were gouged out, many bodies were crucified on the trunks of date-palm trees, and many hearts were pulled out.

More terribly, when Yazid came to power, horrible crimes were committed; he massacred the Holy Prophet’s family, attacked Al-Madinah and violated its people’s sanctities, and demolished and destroyed by fire the Holy Ka’bah.

All these and more were the result of eliminating Imam Ali (‘a) from the position of leadership.

Imam Al-Hasan’s Protestation

When Abu-Bakr usurped the position of leadership, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was only seven years old. He went to the mosque of his grandfather and found Abu-Bakr on the minbar. He thus said to him,

Come down from the minbar of my father and go to your father’s minbar.

Astounded by Imam Al-Hasan’s words, Abu-Bakr had to answer with a soft word, saying, ‘You are right! By Allah, it is your father’s minbar, but not my father’s.’52

Salman Al-Muhammadi’s Protestation

Salman Al-Farisi (the Persian) was one of the most prominent companions of the Holy Prophet (S). He had full knowledge with Islam, its laws, and its principles. The Holy Prophet (S) cared for him very much that he attached him to his family members, saying,

Salman is one of us-the Ahl Al-Bayt.

He (S) also instructed,

Do not say: Salman Al-Farisi (i.e. of Persia); rather, you should say: Salman Al-Muhammadi (i.e. of Muhammad).

When Salman saw how leadership was dissociated from the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a), he condemned Abu-Bakr, saying,

O Abu-Bakr, to whom will you refer your issue when something you ignore befalls you? To whom will you resort when you are asked a question whose answer is not known by you?

What is your excuse as you have advanced yourself to the one who is more knowledgeable than you are, closer to the Messenger of Allah (S) than you are, more familiar with the Book of Allah and the Prophet’s traditions than you are, and whom was put first by the Holy Prophet (S) during his lifetime and whom the Prophet (S) instructed you all to follow at the hour of his death?

However, you abandoned the Prophet’s instruction, pretended to have forgotten his will, breached your promise, broke the covenant, and released yourselves from the bond under which the Prophet (S) put you when you refused to join Usamah’s expedition? 53

‘Ammar Ibn Yasir’s Protestation

One of the contributors to the construction of the edifice of Islam and one of those whom were harshly persecuted for the sake of Allah, ‘Ammar ibn Yasir enjoyed a highly considerable standing with the Holy Prophet (S).

When Abu-Bakr gained caliphate, ‘Ammar hurried to condemn him and the people of Quraysh as well, saying,

O groups of Quraysh! O groups of Muslims! If you do not know so far, then be it known to you that the Household of your Prophet (S) is the closest to him, the most rightful to receive his inheritance, the most proficient to run the affairs of the religion, the best protectors of the faithful believers, the best guardians of this nation, and the most sincere to this community.

So, order your acquaintance (i.e. Abu-Bakr) to give back the right to its people before your rope shivers, your situation grows weaker, disunity emerges amongst you, sedition invades you forcibly, discrepancy appears amongst you, and your enemy seizes the best opportunity to do violence to you.

You have already known that the Banu-Hashim are nearer to this affair than you are and Ali is the closest of you all to your Prophet (S). Unlike all of you, Ali is your leader by the binding command of Allah and His Messenger. He is manifestly different from you all as proven by many cases, especially when the Prophet (S) closed your doors (to the mosque) and kept Ali’s door open, when he gave him in marriage his daughter Fatimah as a sign of Ali’s superiority to all of you.

Besides, the Prophet (S) said about Ali, “I am the city of wisdom, and Ali is its door”. So, whoever wants wisdom must come to it from its door.’ Verily, all of you are obliged to resort to him whenever you face a problem with regard to your religious affairs, while he can dispense with you all in this regard, because he enjoys such unprecedented peculiarities that even the best of you lack.

Why do you now depart from him? Why do you usurp his right? Why do you prefer this world to the other world? Evil is this change for the unjust people. Give him what Allah has decided to be for him exclusively. Do not turn back from him retreatingly. Do not turn you back upon your heels; so, you will turn back losers.54

Abu-Dharr’s Protestation

Abu-Dharr is the voice of justice and truth in Islam. He comprehended the teachings and laws of the religion that are purposed for spreading social justice on the earth.

Expressing his anger with those who eliminated Imam Ali (‘a) from caliphate, Abu-Dharr addressed these words to the groups of the people of Quraysh and the Ansar:

O group of the Muhajirun and the Ansar, you and the good ones amongst you all know well that the Holy Prophet (S) had said, ‘The rule over the affairs belongs to Ali after me. After him, it belongs to Al-Hasan and Al- Husayn. After them, it belongs to the members of my Household from the progeny of Al-Husayn.’

However, you have ignored Your Prophet’s words and tried to forget what he had ordered you to follow. You have thus followed the worldly pleasures and forsaken the blessings of the other world whose construction will never be destroyed, bliss will never vanish, people will never be sad, and inhabitants will never die.

You have become just like the deviated nations who changed the orders of their prophets after them. Soon will you be bitterly punished for your deeds. Allah never oppresses His servants.’55

Al-Miqdad’s Protestation

Al-Miqdad was one of the prominent personalities in Islam and one of the most sincere companions of Imam Ali (‘a). Reproaching Abu-Bakr, he said,

O Abu-Bakr, retreat from your wrongdoing, repent to your Lord, and give back the leadership to its real owner who has more priority to hold this position than you do. You have already known about the allegiance to him that the Holy Prophet (S) had bound you with, ordered you to be a soldier under the standard of Usamah ibn Zayd, and confirmed the illegality of you and your supporters to hold this position when he attached you to the head of hypocrisy and the essence of enmity and rebellion; namely, ‘Amr ibn Al-’As about whom Almighty Allah revealed to His Prophet this verse:

‘Surely, your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity.’(108:3)

So, fear Allah and hurry to resign this position before it is too late. This is in fact safer for you in your lifetime and after your death. Do not incline to the worldly pleasures and do not be deceived by the people of Quraysh and other people. Very soon shall your worldly pleasures knock you down and you will be returned to your Lord Who will then punish you for what you have done.

You know for sure that Ali ibn Abi Talib is the successor to the Holy Prophet (S); therefore, give him what Allah has decided for him. If you do, this will cover up your defects and lighten your overloads. By Allah, I am but an advisor for you if you only accept my advice. All affairs shall be eventually returned to Allah.56

‘Utbah Ibn Abi-Lahab’s Protestation

In a form of poetic verses, ‘Utbah ibn Abi-Lahab reproached Abu-Bakr for usurping caliphate, saying,

I never expected that this affair (of caliphate) would be turned away From the descendant of Hashim in general and from Abu’l-Hasan in particular.

Has he not been the first to believe, the first to serve Islam, and the most knowledgeable in the Quran and the Prophetic traditions?

He is also the last to witness the Prophet and the one whom was assisted by Gabriel in washing and enshrouding the Prophet.

He enjoys such virtuous traits that none of you has their likes and no one among these people ever had his righteous features. 57

Abu-Ayyub Al-Ansari’s Protestation

One of the most brilliant companions of Imam Ali (‘a), Abu-Ayyub participated in all of Imam Ali’s expeditions and battles. He believed in the Imam’s superiority over all others to hold the position of leadership after the Holy Prophet (S). 58

Admonishing Abu-Bakr for usurping Imam Ali’s right, Abu-Ayyub said,

O servants of Allah, fear Allah as regards the household of your Prophet and give them back their right that Allah has decided for them. You, as well as all our brothers, have heard the Holy Prophet (S) on many occasions and in many situations repeating these words: ‘Your leaders after me are the members of my household.’

Referring to none but Ali, the Prophet (S) also said, ‘This (Ali) is the leader of the pious ones and the slayer of the atheists. Really disappointed is he who disappoints him and really victorious is he who supports him.’ So, repent to Allah from your wrongdoing to him, for Allah accepts repentance and He is All-merciful.

Do not turn back against him, refusing him. 59

Ubayy Ibn Ka’b’s Protestation

Ubayy ibn Ka’b, one of the Ansar, is the chief of the reciters of the Holy Quran and one of those who swore allegiance to the Holy Prophet (S). He participated in all of the Holy Prophet’s expeditions. ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab used to call Ubayy as the chief of Muslims.

Condemning Abu-Bakr for usurping caliphate from Imam Ali (‘a), Ubayy said,

O Abu-Bakr, do not deny the right that Allah has decided for one other than you and do not be the first to disobey Allah’s Messenger with regard to his successor and most elite person, as you are challenging his command. Give back the right to its people so that you will be safe.

Do not go too far in your error, lest you will be sorry. Hurry to return to the truth so that your sin will be eased. Do not have exclusive control over this matter, which Allah has not decided for you; lest, you will encounter the bad consequence of your deed. Very soon, you will depart from what you are now enjoying and come to meet your Lord Who shall interrogate you about what you have done. Verily, your Lord does not oppress His servants.60

Al-Nu’man Ibn ‘Ajlan’s Protestation

The spokesman and poet of the Ansar, Al-Nu’man ibn ‘Ajlan composed some poetic verses, criticizing Abu-Bakr for holding the position of caliphate, which is the right of Ali ibn Abi Talib(‘a). He thus said,

You deemed it illegal to appoint Sa’d as the caliph! Is it then legal to appoint Abu-Bakr for this position?
Do you think that Abu-Bakr is worthy enough to be the leader; while it is well known that Ali is the worthiest?
Verily, it is catastrophic not to give this office to Ali, who deserves it more than everyone else, whether you know this or not. 61

‘Uthman Ibn Hunayf’s Protestation

Addressing Abu-Bakr, ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf said,

We have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, ‘My Household are the stars of the earth. So, do not advance yourselves against them. They are verily the leaders after me.’ Immediately, a man stood up and asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, who are those representing your household?’ The Holy Prophet (S) answered, ‘They are Ali and his immaculate sons.62

Sahl Ibn Hunayf’s Protestation

Declaring his support to Imam Ali (‘a) and addressing the people of Quraysh, Sahl ibn Hunayf, one of the most virtuous Companions, said,

O people of Quraysh, bear witness that I saw the Messenger of Allah (S) in this very place (i.e. the Prophet’s Mosque) taking Ali ibn Abi Talib from the hand and saying, ‘O people, this (Ali) is your leader after me and my successor in my lifetime and after my death. He settles my debts and fulfills my promises. He will be the first to shake hands with me on my Divine Pond. So, joy is for him who follows and supports Ali, but woe is him who lags behind and disappoints him.’63

Khuzaymah Ibn Thabit’s Protestation

Khuzaymah ibn Thabit was one of the most brilliant, most trustful, and closest Companions to the Holy Prophet (S). His testimony was equal to two testimonies, because of his ultimate truthfulness. Declaring his support of Imam Ali (‘a), he said,

O people, do you not know that the Messenger of Allah (S) admitted my testimony without need for anyone else’s testimony? I thus testify that I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, ‘The members of my Household distinguish between the right and the wrong. They are the leaders that must be followed.’ I have testified to what I had already known. A mission of a messenger is no more than conveying the message plainly.64

Abu’l-Haytham Ibn Al-Tayhan’s Protestation

Professing that Imam Ali (‘a) deserved the position of caliphate more than anyone else did, Abu’l-Haytham said,

I bear witness that our Prophet (S), on the day at Ghadir Khumm, declared Ali as the next leader. The Ansar on that occasion said, ‘He has declared him as his successor.’ Others said, ‘He has declared Ali as the master of whomever has considered the Prophet (S) as his master.’

When different opinions were said about that incident, we sent one of us to the Holy Prophet (S) to ask him about that. The Holy Prophet (S) said, ‘Tell people that Ali is the master of the faithful believers after me and the most sincere with regard to leading my community.’

I have thus testified to what I personally had witnessed. So, let him who pleases believe, and let him who pleases disbelieve. Verily, the Day of Discrimination is a day pre-appointed.65

In brief, the events that took place under that shed (i.e. Saqifah of Banu- Sa’idah) were the first seed in sowing discrepancy among Muslims and inconsistency of their word. These events were the source of the major sedition in which all Muslims have been engaged all over history.

Unfortunate steps

The government of Abu-Bakr decided that dreadful steps should be taken against the Imam (‘a) and all efforts be concentrated to weaken and suppress him in every way, because Imam Ali (‘a) was the head of opposition to the government and the absolute majority were inclined towards that the Imam might take the reins of government in his hands. Here we shall discuss some steps that the government of Abu-Bakr initiated.

Attacking Imam Ali’s House

When Imam Ali (‘a) refused openly to pay homage to Abu-Bakr and provided overwhelming points of protestation all of which proved that he was more entitled to this position than anyone else, because Imam Ali (‘a), at least, was the Holy Prophet’s brother, son-in-law, and father of his grandsons, as well as the one whose struggle for Islam cannot be compared to anyone else’s struggle, the major companions of the Holy Prophet (S) joined him in this respect.

Imam Ali (‘a) and these companions held a meeting in his house. When Abu-Bakr was informed about this, he felt extremely upset. He thus decided to raid on Imam Ali’s house and use all means of violence. So, he ordered ‘Umar to raid on the Imam’s house suddenly and take him out by force to pay homage in the mosque.

Carrying out this order, ‘Umar, carrying a firebrand in the hand, led his policemen and soldiers who carried firewood with them and hurried to the Imam’s house. They would not hesitate to set the house of the Divine Revelation on fire and to burn those people from whom Allah removed filth.

With furious manner and loud voice, ‘Umar shouted, ‘I swear by him who holds ‘Umar’s soul in his hand; if you refuse to come out, I will set this house on fire with all those who are therein.’

A group of people reproached him and warned him against Allah’s punishment, saying, ‘Fatimah is in this house!’

These people intended to remind ‘Umar of the Holy Prophet’s words to his daughter Fatimah, ‘Verily, Allah is pleased when you are pleased, and is angry when you are angered.’

However, ‘Umar paid no attention as he answered, ‘Even so! Even so!’

The Holy Lady Fatimah (‘a) went out and said to them, ‘As much as I know, there is no people worse than you are in such a situation. You have left the dead body of Allah’s Messenger between our hands and gone to decide your own affair! You neither asked for our opinion nor gave back our right to us.’

These words affected the menTalibties of these people, but ‘Umar went back hurriedly to Abu-Bakr and urged him to take more violent procedures, saying, ‘Will you not take homage from this one who refuses to pay homage to you?’

Responding to ‘Umar’s suggestion, Abu-Bakr sent Qunfudh, an evil and coarse slave, with a group of policemen to break into Imam Ali’s house. They then took out the Imam (‘a) tied with his sword’s rope. Following him, Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) went out, crying on her father, seeking his aid, and saying, ‘O my father! O Allah’s Messenger! See what we are suffering from the son of Al-Khattab and the son of Abu-Quhafah!’

Astounded, people gathered near the house of Imam Ali (‘a) and others began to weep for the scene. Nevertheless, ‘Umar and his gang were not touched by Lady Al-Zahra'‘s cries; rather, they led the Imam (‘a) towards Abu-Bakr who said to him, ‘Pay homage! Pay homage!’

‘If I do not do it, what will you do?’ answered Imam Ali (‘a).

Misled by their personal instincts, some present people shouted, ‘If you do it not, we will behead you. We swear it by Allah!’

However, the ruling authorities had to release Imam Ali (‘a) who, without delay, hurried towards the burial place of his brother the Messenger of Allah (S), complaining about the ordeals and hardships he was facing, and repeating this holy verse while weeping,

‘Son of my mother! Surely, the people reckoned me weak and had well-nigh slain me.’

The issue of Fadak

Historicists and narrators have reported that when the Muslim armies conquered the fortresses of Khaybar, Almighty Allah cast horror and panic in the hearts of the people of Fadak who hurried to the Holy Prophet (S) and obeyed all of his orders. So, the Holy Prophet (S) concluded with them a truce according to which he would take half of their lands. Hence, these lands were pure possession of the Holy Prophet (S) personally, because Muslims did not occupy these lands militarily.

Fadak was thus a personal property of the Holy Prophet (S). When this verse:

‘And give to the near of kin his due, (17:26)’

was revealed, he transferred its ownership to Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra’ (‘a) through a document. The land was in the possession and use of Lady Fatimah (‘a) until the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S). When Abu-Bakr assumed power, he evicted her from the possession of the land and the garden thereon. This procedure of confiscation was intended to deprive Imam Ali (‘a) of any financial power due to which he might demand with his right, which was usurped by Abu-Bakr.

She went into appeal against this action and provided Imam Ali (‘a) and Ummu-Ayman as her witnesses. They both gave evidence that Lady Fatimah (‘a) was right in her claim that the Holy Prophet (S), in his lifetime, had endued her with the property of Fadak as gift in her favor. Abu-Bakr rejected the claim saying, ‘O daughter of the Prophet! The evidence is not complete unless there are two male witnesses or one man and two female witnesses!’

Lady Fatimah (‘a), seeing that the evidence of Imam Ali (‘a) and Ummu- Ayman was deemed incomplete and the gift of the garden of Fadak was rendered invalid, claimed it as an inheritance from her father the Holy Prophet (S). The contention was that if Abu-Bakr did not consider it as donation, he should concede it to her as an inheritance from her father.

Abu-Bakr said that the properties of the Holy Prophet (S) are not to be transferred to his offspring as inheritance because he (S) had said, ‘We, the group of prophets, do not leave any inheritance; our assets are alms.’

Lady Fatimah (‘a) rejoined, ‘Is it written in the Book of Allah that you receive your father’s inheritance and I do not? Has the Prophet (S) not said that the right of a person is that his offspring are protected?’66

Lady Fatimah (‘a) was so upset with the verdict of Abu-Bakr that she stopped talking to him and was cross with him the rest of her lifetime. This attitude was not a momentary thing. The person, Fatimah (‘a), whose truthfulness and veracity the Prophet (S) established and proved on the day of Mubahalah (the mutual imprecation of God’s curse on the lying party) was suspected of making a false claim by Abu-Bakr.

Al-Bukhari writes, ‘Fatimah (‘a), after her father’s demise, claimed from Abu- Bakr that the property that the Prophet (S) acquired from the infidels without battling, and had left behind as inheritance, was her right and thus should be given to her. Abu-Bakr said, ‘Allah’s Messenger (S) has observed that the prophets do not give any inheritance. Whatever they leave behind is charity’. Fatimah (‘a) was very angry at this and severed all contact with Abu-Bakr until her demise.’67

If we presume that neither a donation was made of Fadak nor it was an inheritance, what was the problem in Abu-Bakr giving away the land to Fatimah (‘a) considering her nearness to the Prophet (S). It is considered a right and the duty of a ruler that he can give anything to anyone at his discretion!

Therefore, Abu-Bakr gave to Al-Zubayr ibn Al-’Awwam a property in the valley of Al-Jurf and ‘Umar too transferred to him a property in the valley of ‘Aqiq. ‘Uthman gave away Fadak to Marwan during his reign. Why did not Abu-Bakr give the garden of Fadak to Fatimah (‘a) in the same manner? Fatimah (‘a) was certainly angry with Abu-Bakr and the gravity of this anger can be judged from what the Prophet (S) himself had said,

O Fatimah! Allah is angry when you are angry and happy when you are happy.

It surprises one as to what rule was followed when the claim of Fatimah (‘a) was turned down. The Prophet (S) had given her the possession of the land, and he made the document of donation. If the possession was not there, Abu- Bakr could have said that since she was not in possession of the land, the donation was incomplete. Since possession is the proof of ownership, the burden of proof was on Abu-Bakr to establish that the donation was wrong.

There was no need for him to ask her to produce witnesses. Could anyone have doubted that Fatimah (‘a) would tell falsehoods just to keep possession of Fadak and make a claim over something that did not belong to her? Her truthfulness is an established fact and the certificate is issued by no less a person than ‘A’ishah, ‘I have not found anyone other than Fatimah’s father more truthful than Fatimah.’68

When Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra’ (‘a) presented the witnesses, Abu-Bakr said that the evidence was incomplete. The contention was wrong because the Prophet (S) in his time had decided cases on the basis of the evidence of even a single witness. If Abu-Bakr had wanted, he could have decided in favor of Fatimah (‘a) by taking an oath from Imam Ali (‘a) that the Prophet (S) had given the land of Fadak as gift to her.

In the books of traditions, there are several cases where even the need for a witness was not considered for arriving at a decision considering the personal status of the claimant. In some cases, they accepted the evidence of one witness only. When the sons of Suhayb went to the court of Marwan claiming that the Prophet (S) had given two houses and a room to Suhayb, they were asked to produce their witness.

They said, ‘’Abdullah ibn ‘Umar will bear witness for us.’ Thus, Abdullah ibn ‘Umar was called to the court and he witnessed that the Prophet (S) had given to Suhayb two houses and a room. Marwan gave a verdict in their favor on the basis of the evidence of Abdullah.’69

At that time, neither Abdullah ibn ‘Umar’s evidence was deemed incomplete nor was there any delay in accepting it. Was Imam Ali (‘a) not even of the status of Abdullah ibn ‘Umar that his evidence was not accepted. On Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, there was a remark that he had owed allegiance to the evil Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah.

Those who bore witness in the matter of Fadak were known for their nobility and strength of character. Therefore, Al- Ma’mun, the ‘Abbasid ruler, once asked the scholars their opinion about those who bore witness about the gift of the land of Fadak. All of them said that they were truthful and straightforward. When the scholars unanimously agreed about their truthfulness, Al-Ma’mun gave Fadak to the progeny of Fatimah (‘a) and gave them a certificate to the effect.70

There was no justification of even rejecting the claim of Lady Fatimah (‘a) to the inheritance left by her father the Prophet (S). The tradition that Abu-Bakr quoted in support of his claim is quite contrary to the command of the Holy Quran that says,

And to every one We have appointed heirs of what parents and near relatives leave. (4:33)

When this holy Quranic verse is there, there is no justification in terming the Prophet’s inheritance as alms and depriving his daughter of the ownership of the land. If it had been alms, then the Prophet (S) would have immediately distributed it amongst the poor and needy as soon as it came in his possession.

Of course, the Holy Prophet (S) used to distribute the produce of the land to the poor and needy. But this does not mean that he had forfeited the ownership of the property. Instead of seeking shelter behind the tradition of ‘we, the Prophets, do not leave inheritances,’ Abu-Bakr might have said that Fadak was not the personal property of the Prophet (S) and the question of its going as an inheritance to his daughter did not arise.

However, when Abu- Bakr accepted it as the property of the Prophet (S), but he then denied that the prophets might leave any inheritance. This is quite unreasonable. The right of inheritance given by the Quran cannot be voided by a tradition which, according to Abu-Bakr, he himself was the sole narrator! Abu-Bakr was silent about the other material inheritance left by the Holy Prophet (S).

If the tradition narrated by Abu-Bakr pertained only to the property in the form of land, then he should have evicted the consorts from the houses they inherited from the Holy Prophet (S)! Eviction was a far-fetched idea; their ownership of the assets was approved by the Caliph. On the basis of this right to ownership that when permission was sought from ‘A’ishah for the interment of Imam Al- Hasan (‘a) near the Holy Prophet (S), she asserted the right of ownership of the room and refused permission! She used these words while denying permission: ‘This house is my house and I do not permit him to be buried in this house!’

In the Holy Quran when reference is made to the houses concerning the consorts of the Holy Prophet (S), reference is made to the houses of the Holy Prophet (S) as well. If the reference is pertaining to the ownership of the houses, then two persons cannot be the owners of the same premises.

Therefore, in one case, that of the spouses, it is the right to live in the house and in the other instance, it the right of ownership of the house that was vested in the Holy Prophet (S). If the right to ownership of the houses by the consorts is accepted, we have to know how they acquired the ownership?

Did the Holy Prophet (S) make a gift in their favor? If they became owners through donation, then why did not Abu-Bakr evict them and ask for the examination of the witnesses to the process of gift? If such a procedure was not followed, then Abu-Bakr had concocted the tradition about the prophets being prohibited from leaving any inheritance for their families!

If it is a fact that the prophets cannot pass on any inheritance to their next of kin, then why did not the Holy Prophet (S) communicate this commandment to the most concerned person; namely, his daughter and his wives. He did not talk about it in the open as well. The only person he told about it was Abu- Bakr! It is very surprising that the Holy Prophet (S) has left behind detailed instructions about the inheritance of properties for his community, but he mentioned about his personal inheritance only to Abu-Bakr!

After the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S), his widows wanted to claim their shares of the inheritance. They preferred their claim through ‘Uthman. Therefore, ‘A’ishah said: When the Holy Prophet (S) passed away, the wives wanted to send ‘Uthman to Abu-Bakr and seek their shares of the Prophet’s inheritance. ‘A’ishah then said, ‘Has not the Prophet (S) said that they (the prophets) do not give any inheritance; whatever they leave behind is a charity?’

If the wives had known about this tradition, they would never have tried to seek their shares. If ‘Uthman had known about it, he could have sounded the ladies about their position. However, ‘A’ishah tells to the other wives of the Holy Prophet (S) about this order. Perhaps, she had heard this from her father.

She once said, ‘People differed about the inheritance left by the Prophet (S). I found no single person who knew anything about it. However, Abu-Bakr said, ‘I have heard the Prophet (S) saying: We, the prophets, do not make anyone our inheritor. Whatever we leave behind is alms.’’

If, instead of denying the right of inheritance to all the prophets, it was thought of for only the last Prophet (S), it might have been acceptable to people. However, when all prophets are included in the order, one starts feeling uneasy whether all the heirs of the prophets, from Adam to Jesus, were deprived of their fathers’ heritage or not?

Despite all the epochs going by, only Abu-Bakr was fortunate enough to have learned that the prophets have no inheritors! Contrary to this claim, the Holy Quran has talked in clear terms about the inheritance of the prophets. Therefore, about the inheritance left by Prophet David, it says,

‘Solomon was the inheritor of David.’

People have tried to interpret this holy Quranic verse in a way that the inheritance received by Prophet Solomon was not material inheritance, but it was the inheritance of knowledge and wisdom. They must know that at the time of the passing away of his father, Prophet Solomon had possessed all the knowledge and wisdom and the inheritance mentioned in the Holy Quran is the material assets of his father, Prophet David. Ibn Qutaybah writes, ‘When Prophet David died, Prophet Solomon inherited his realm.’

Muhammad ibn Sa’ib Al-Kalabi says, ‘Those good and pedigree horses that were produced before Prophet Solomon were the one thousand steeds that Prophet Solomon had inherited from his father.’

Similarly, through Zachariah, it is related in the Holy Quran:

And surely I fear my cousins after me, and my wife is barren, therefore grant me from Thyself an heir Who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Jacob, and make him, my Lord, one in whom Thou art well pleased. (19:5-6)

Even if interpreting this holy Quranic verse to mean inheritance of knowledge and wisdom is not correct, then knowledge, wisdom, and prophethood are not hereditary. If that meaning is taken, then the fear expressed by Prophet Zachariah loses its meaning. Did he have fear that the people would steal his knowledge and occupy it forcibly?

Or was he scared that, despite not having the capability of prophethood, he was made a prophet? It is evident that such fear was not existed and there was not any reason for its being there. Yet, the fear could have been there that his not having any children, people could have usurped his property and belongings.

Prophet Zachariah did not want that his possessions went to his tribesmen, because they were greedy and avaricious people and they would use the assets for wrong purposes. Therefore, he prayed for such an inheritor who would be liked by Allah and who should use his assets for good purposes.

After these clear proofs, taking shelter behind the tradition and saying that the prophets do not have inheritors is tantamount to going against facts. Against the evidence from the Holy Quran giving credence to a tradition where the narrator is only one person certainly creates doubts about its veracity. The authenticity of this tradition was denied in clear terms by the daughter of the Holy Prophet (S) and by his Successor (‘a).

If Lady Fatimah (‘a) had accepted this tradition as the saying of the Holy Prophet (S), there would have been no reason for her to become angry with Abu-Bakr. To the contrary, she would have sympathized with him saying that he was helpless with regard to her claim. If Imam Ali (‘a) had accepted this tradition, instead of taking sides with Fatimah (‘a), he would have asked her to forget her claim.

In fact, the events prove that even Abu-Bakr did not have doubts about the authenticity of the tradition nor the caliphs after him gave any cognizance to it. Therefore, in the beginning, Abu-Bakr acknowledged Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra'‘s right to inheritance and even he had written down the document and given to her, but with the intervention of ‘Umar, he had to retract his decision.

Al-Halabi writes, ‘Abu-Bakr wrote the document about Fadak and gave it to Fatimah (‘a). At that moment, ‘Umar came and asked what it was. Abu-Bakr said that he had written down the document about Fatimah’s inheritance that came to her from her father. ‘Umar then asked what he was going to spend on the Muslims while the Arabs were raring to battle with them. Saying this, ‘Umar tore away that document.’

If Abu-Bakr had been certain about the authenticity of the tradition, and was confident that the Holy Prophet (S) was not entitled to an inheritor, he would not have prepared the document in the first instance. When ‘Umar intervened, he did not cancel the deed because Fatimah (‘a) had no right over the property but for other reasons.

If ‘Umar had been confident about the tradition, he would not have needed to mentioned about the monetary needs of the State and could have only insisted on the disqualification of the Holy Prophet’s daughter from the inheritance. Although ‘Umar intervened at that time and tore away the document, his agreement with the tradition narrated by Abu- Bakr was not indicated.

It is recorded in the Sunni reference books of traditions to the extent that, in his own time, accepting the right of Fatimah (‘a) to the inheritance, he had entrusted Fadak to Imam Ali (‘a) and to Al- ‘Abbas ibn Abd Al-Muttalib. Therefore, Yaqut Al-Hamawi writes, ‘A dispute arose between Ali (‘a) and Al-’Abbas ibn Abd Al-Muttalib about Fadak.

Ali (‘a) said that the Holy Prophet (S) had given Fadak to Fatimah (‘a) in his lifetime. Al-’Abbas denied this and said that the Holy Prophet (S) died intestate leaving Fadak as his property and that he was its inheritor. This dispute reached ‘Umar. He said that they understood their matters themselves and he had entrusted it (the Fadak) to them!’

According to this narration, the point of dispute between Ali (‘a) and Al- ‘Abbas was that whether Fadak was a gifted property or an intestate property of the Holy Prophet (S). Al-’Abbas claimed that since it was a legacy, he had a right over it as a close relative of the Holy Prophet (S). Now, a decision was to be made whether the land was gift, legacy, or a property of the Prophet (S) that, according to one opinion, was to remain in public domain.

If ‘Umar thought that it was gift property, he would have handed it over to Ali (‘a). If he thought that it was alms, then it would remain as a public property. He allowed it to remain in the joint hands of Ali (‘a) and Al-’Abbas. This proves that he neither considered the land as gift nor alms and since he felt that it was an inherited property, he entrusted it to both the persons as they had an interest in it as the inheritors of the deceased.

This proves that if ‘Umar had given any credence to the tradition of ‘we the Prophets do not leave legacies,’ he would not have given this decision. In this matter, people invent an excuse. They say that ‘Umar did not transfer the estate to Ali and Al-’Abbas. He had just entrusted it to them as the official representatives! If such was the case, he could have clearly told the persons about his intention while entrusting the property to them.

It is certainly proved from this tradition that ‘Umar did accept the right to inheritance and as far as the actual handing over of Fadak was concerned, the coming events do not support it, but it remained as a no-man’s-land for long. The men in power allowed its use to whomever they favored in their time!

Therefore, when ‘Uthman’s reign came, he gifted it to his son-in-law Marwan in AH 34. The historian Abu’l-Fida’ writes, ‘’Uthman gave Fadak as a gift to Marwan although it was alms of the Prophet (S), and Fatimah (‘a) had claimed it as an inheritance.’

When Mu’awiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan came to power, he took Fadak in his control and left a third of it in the use of Marwan, gave a third to ‘Umar ibn ‘Uthman, and the remaining portion to his own son Abd Al-’Aziz. When ‘Umar ibn Abd Al-’Aziz had it as an inheritance, he handed it over to the progeny of Lady Fatimah (‘a). Yaqut Al-Hamawi writes, ‘When ‘Umar ibn Abd Al-’Aziz assumed caliphate, he wrote to the administrator of Al-Madinah ordering that Fadak be returned to the progeny of Fatimah.’

It is evident from this action of ‘Umar ibn Abd Al-’Aziz that he did not give any credence to the tradition of ‘we the prophets do not leave legacies,’ and termed the decisions of the past caliphs as absolutely wrong. It is a highly commendable act that he recognized the truth and returned the usurped right of Fatimah (‘a) to her children. However, after him, the same old things happened.

Yazid ibn Abd Al-Malik, on succeeding ‘Umar, took back Fadak from the descendants of Lady Fatimah and gave it to the descendants of Marwan. Until the collapse of the Umayyad Dynasty, it remained with the descendants of Marwan. When Abu’l-’Abbas Al-Saffah acquired power, he gave Fadak to Abdullah ibn Al-Hasan ibn Al-Hasan ibn Ali. After Al-Saffah, Al-Mansur, the ‘Abbasid ruler, took the land away from the progeny of Al- Hasan (‘a).

Al-Mahdi the son of Al-Mansur once again gave the land to the descendants of Fatimah. When Musa ibn Al-Mahdi assumed power, he took away the land as a state property. Until the time of Al-Ma’mun, it remained a state property. On sitting on the throne in AH 210, Al-Ma’mun ordered the administrator of Al-Madinah, Qutham ibn Ja’far, saying, ‘The Prophet (S) had gifted Fadak to his daughter Fatimah (‘a).’

It is such a clear and established fact that there is no difference of opinion between the Prophet’s Household about it. Fadak requires from Al-Ma’mun that because of his true dedication to the Holy Prophet (S), it is most appropriate that Fadak be given back to them who are its true inheritors. This way the rights ordained by Allah will be discharged and the orders of the Holy Prophet (S) complied with.

Therefore, he orders that this decision be recorded in all offices and the functionaries informed accordingly. At the time of the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S), it was the practice that during the Hajj pilgrimage season, it used to be announced that whoever was given any alms or anything was given as a gift, should come and prefer a claim for it. The claims used to be accepted and the promises fulfilled.

Then, Fatimah (‘a) was the most deserving of getting the thing that the Holy Prophet (S) had apportioned for her. Her word and claim should have been accepted. Al- Ma’mun has given written orders to his freed slave, Mubarak Al-Tabari that he should return the estate of Fadak to the progeny of Fatimah (‘a) along with the slaves and the grains stored therein.

Therefore, according to the decree of Al-Ma’mun, Fadak was handed over to the descendants of Lady Fatimah (‘a). When Al-Mutawakkil assumed power, he again withdrew the estate from them.

With the prevaricating stand of different rulers over the ownership of Fadak, it is evident that the tradition narrated by Abu-Bakr was not given credence by many of them. A ruler like ‘Umar ibn Abd Al-’Aziz realized the weak points of the tradition narrated by Abu-Bakr and thought that depriving Fatimah (‘a) of her inheritance was an act of gross injustice. He did justice, but injustice continued to be inflicted on the descendants of Lady Fatimah (‘a) for centuries to come!

A Jurisprudential Viewpoint

Jurisprudents argue that Abu-Bakr’s procedure is in violation of the principles of Muslim jurisprudence, because of the following points:

1. An owner of a real estate is not required to provide a proof; rather, he/she is required to take an oath.

2. Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) is the best woman of the Muslim community and the chief of the women of the world, as the Holy Prophet (S) expressed.

She is therefore the most truthful of all people, as ‘A'ishah expressed.71 These points are sufficient to give credence to her in any claim she makes.

3. Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a), however, established proofs on her claim. Imam Ali (‘a) and the virtuous lady Ummu-Ayman testified to the authenticity of her claim. Nevertheless, Abu-Bakr claimed that her claim was insufficient.

According to jurisprudential rules, any claim that is appertained to a financial case can be admitted when one testifier is provided and an oath is taken.

Abu-Bakr refused the testimony of Imam Ali (‘a), although the Holy Prophet (S) had declared, ‘’Ali is with the truth and the truth is with Ali; and they will never separate from one another until they meet me on the Divne Pond.’

Finally, Abu-Bakr suspected the testimony of Ummu-Ayman.

It is worth mentioning that Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, once, asked his mentor Ali ibn Al-Faruq, ‘Was Fatimah truthful when she demanded with Fadak?’

‘Yes, she was,’ answered the mentor.

Ibn Abi’l-Hadid asked, ‘Then, why did Abu-Bakr refuse to give her Fadak while she was truthful?’

The mentor answered, ‘If Abu-Bakr gave her Fadak, she would return the next day and demand with the right of her husband in the position held by Abu-Bakr. If she did, Abu-Bakr would not have any answer, because he had already recognized her as truthful in whatever she claimed, without need for testimonies, oaths, and the like!’

Economic Embargo

Economic embargo is the most effective and the most certain way to render ineffective the movement of the opposition and to destroy it, because wealth and riches, in all stages of history, were active agents employed by those in power to suppress their opponents who intended to topple the government.

This method is followed by all the ruling powers that they confiscate the wealth of their opponents or that they prohibited their rivals from spending anything from their wealth so that they may not employ these funds to topple the government or cause harm to it.

Abu-Bakr also took steps in this regard and initiated economic restrictions against Imam Ali (‘a) so that he might not have any power to rise up against the government. Therefore, he initiated the following steps:

Abrogation Of The Khums Tax

According to the Holy Quran, a share of the Khums (i.e. one-fifth) tax is given to the family of the Messenger of Allah (S) exclusively. Thus, the Holy Quran reads:

And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Apostle and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if you believe in Allah and in that which We revealed to Our servant, on the day of distinction, the day on which the two parties met; and Allah has power over all things. (8:41)’

All historicists and narrators have unanimously agreed that the Holy Prophet (S) specified a share of the Khums tax for himself and his relatives and this practice continued up to the last hour of his lifetime. When Abu-Bakr came to power, he abrogated the share of the Holy Prophet (S) as well as that of his relatives and deprived Banu-Hashim of this, making them equal to ordinary populace.72

Lady Fatimah (‘a) the daughter of the Holy Prophet (S) sent a message to Abu- Bakr to give her the rest of the Khums levies of Khaybar, but he refused to pay her anything.73 Thus, poverty hovered over the family of the Holy Prophet (S) and they were deprived of the most important source of funds that Almighty Allah had specified for them.

Confiscation Of The Prophet’s Inheritance

Abu-Bakr took over control of the entire property left by the Holy Prophet (S) that could have become a source of income for the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a). He thus added it to the public treasury and blocked in the face of the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) any source of living they would enjoy, thus imposing a new restriction upon the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) and establishing an economic embargo against them so that they would remain incapable of taking any action against him.

Abu-Bakr’s False Argument

In order to justify his confiscation of the Holy Prophet’s inheritance and deprivation of Lady Fatimah (‘a) of it, Abu-Bakr claimed that he had heard the Holy Prophet (S) saying, ‘We, the prophets, do not leave any inheritance and whatever we leave is charity.’

Based on this saying, Abu-Bakr deprived Lady Fatimah (‘a) of her inheritance. However, this saying is fraught with numerous defects and points of weakness:

1. If this tradition had been correct and authentic, Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) must have had acquaintance with it; hence, she would not have come out to demand with what is not hers, because it is impossible for her, in her capacity as the most truthful woman of the world and her familiarity with what her father (S) had said, to demand something in which she had no lawful share.

2. It is impossible for the Holy Prophet (S) to keep secret from his beloved daughter a law that is related to her religious duties. The concealment of such laws inevitably leads the Muslim community to be involved in unlawful matters and to be subjected to mutual conflict. It is well known that the Holy Prophet (S) educated his daughter to be a referential authority in the religious laws and fed her with the spirit of piety and faith.

3. It is not possible at all that the Holy Prophet (S) had concealed this tradition from Imam Ali (‘a), who had full acquaintance with all of the secrets of the Holy Prophet (S) and who was the door to the city of his knowledge, the gate to the abode of his wisdom, the most equitable of the people, and the most conversant of the laws of the religion. If the Holy Prophet (S) was not to leave inheritance, Imam Ali (‘a) would be the first to know this matter and the Holy Prophet (S) would not conceal it from him.

4. If this tradition had been authentic, the family of the Holy Prophet (S) would have known about it, because they were the closest to him.

5. If this tradition had had any authenticity, it would not have remained concealed from the Holy Prophet’s wives at least. In fact, when ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan came to power, the widows of the Holy Prophet (S) demanded him to give them their shares from the Holy Prophet’s inheritance.

6. Some scholars have understood this tradition to mean: ‘We, the prophets, do not give our inheritances as alms,’ or ‘The alms that are left behind us, the Prophets, are not subject to the inheritance.’ In both cases, the tradition has nothing to do with preventing the prophets’ heirs from receiving their shares from their legacies.

The above mentioned points are the objections that apply to this tradition and the conclusion derived from this exposes that this saying is the weakest and the most inauthentic.

Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra's Speech

The world became straitened for the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet (S) and the steps that Abu-Bakr had initiated to impose economic restrictions had made the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) financially incapable. As a result, Lady Fatimah (‘a) decided to provide her points of evidence before Abu-Bakr in order to urge the Muslims to overthrow him.

According to narrators, Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) became very angry; she therefore put on her veil, wrapped her garment around her body, and, accompanied by some of her female relatives and neighbors, she walked majestically just like the stride of the Holy Prophet (S) until she arrived in the presence of Abu-Bakr at a time when a number of people from the Muhajirun, the Ansar, and others were also present there.

A curtain was put between her and the attendants. She first sighed in grief, pain, and weeping. The people thus began to weep due to her sad wailing, and turmoil began to be aroused in that gathering, because the attendants saw in her the character of her great father who had no other child except her and because they all felt that they had been negligent with regard to her right and her husband’s.

She allowed the people respite that their wails would calm down and their tears would stop flowing. At that time, she commenced her address with statements of praise and glorification of the Almighty and continued her sermon like flowing water in such a way that no one had heard a more eloquent and meaningful discourse:

Praise be to Allah for that which He bestowed upon us; thanks be to Him for all that which He inspired; and commended in His Name for that which He provided: Form prevalent favors which He created, and abundant benefactions which He offered and perfect grants which He presented; (such benefactions) that their number is much too plentiful to compute; bounties too vast to measure; their limit was too distant to realize.

He recommended to them (i.e. His creatures) to gain more (of His benefaction) by being grateful for their continuity. He ordained Himself praise worthy by giving generously to His creatures. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah Who is One without partner, a statement which sincere devotion is made to be its interpretation; hearts guarantee its continuation, and illuminated in the minds is its sensibility. He cannot be perceived with vision, neither be described with tongues, nor can imagination surround His state.

He originated things but not from anything that existed before them, and created them without examples to follow. Rather, He created them with His might and dispersed them according to His will; not for a need did He create them; nor for a benefit (for Him) did He shape them, But to establish His wisdom, Bring attention to His obedience, manifest His might, lead His creatures to humbly venerate Him, and to exalt His decrees. He then made the reward for His obedience, and punishment for his disobedience, so as to protect His creatures from His Wrath and amass them into His Paradise.

I too bear witness that my father Muhammad is His slave and messenger whom He chose prior to sending him, named him before sending him when creatures were still concealed in that which was transcendental, guarded from that which was appalling, and associated with the termination and nonexistence. For Allah the Exalted knew that which was to follow, comprehended that which will come to pass, and realized the place of every event.

Allah has sent him (i.e. Muhammad) as perfection for His commands, a resolution to accomplish His rule, and an implementation of the decrees of His Mercy. So, he found the nations to vary in their faiths, obsessed by their fires, worshipping their idols, and denying Allah despite their knowledge of Him.

Therefore, Allah illuminated their darkness with my father Muhammad, uncovered obscurity from their hearts, and cleared the clouds from their insights. He revealed guidance among the people; so, he delivered them from being led astray, led them away from misguidance, guided them to the proper religion, and called them to the straight path.

Allah then chose to recall him back in mercy, love and preference. So, Muhammad is in comfort from the burden of this world; he is surrounded with devoted angels, the satisfaction of the Merciful Lord, and the nearness of the powerful King.

May the blessings of Allah be upon my father: His Prophet, trusted one, chosen one from among His creatures, and His sincere friend, and may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) then addressed the crowd, saying,

Surely, you are Allah’s slaves and at His command. You are the bearers of His religion and revelation. You are Allah's trusted ones with yourselves and His messengers to the nations. Amongst you does He have righteous authority; a covenant He brought unto you, and an heir He left to guard you; that is the eloquent book of Allah, the truthful Quran, the brilliant light, and the shining beam.

Its insights are indisputable, its secrets are revealed, its indications are manifest, and its followers are blessed by it. The Quran leads its adherents to goodwill, and hearing it leads to salvation. With it are the bright divine authorities achieved, His manifest determination acquired, His prohibited decrees avoided, His manifest evidence recognized, His satisfying proofs made apparent, His permissions granted, and His laws written.

So, Allah made belief to be purification for you from polytheism. He caused prayer to be exaltation for you from conceit, alms to be purification for the soul and a cause of growth in subsistence, fasting to be implantation of devotion, pilgrimage to be construction of religion, justice to be harmony of the hearts, obeying us (the Ahl Al-Bayt) to be management of the nation, loyalty to us to be safeguard from disunity, jihad (struggle) to be strengthening of Islam, patience to be helping course for deserving (divine) reward, enjoining the right to be public welfare, piety to the parents to be safeguard from wrath, maintaining close relations with one's kin to be cause for a longer life and multiplying the number of descendants, reTalibation to be for sparing bloodshed, fulfillment of vows to be subjecting oneself to mercy, completion of weights and measures to be a cause for preventing the neglect of others' rights, forbiddance of drinking wines to be exaltation from atrocity, avoiding slander to be a veil from curse, and abandoning theft to be a reason for deserving chastity.

Allah has also prohibited polytheism so that one can devote himself to His Lordship. Therefore, fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam. Obey Allah in that which He has commanded you to do and that which He has forbidden, for surely those truly fear among His servants who have knowledge.

Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) then added,

O people, be it known to you that I am Fatimah and my father is Muhammad. I say that repeatedly and initiate it continually. I say not what I say mistakenly, nor do I do what I do aimlessly.

‘Now has come to you an apostle from amongst yourselves; it grieves him that you should perish, ardently anxious is he over you, and to the believers he is most kind and merciful.’ Thus, if you identify and recognize him, you shall realize that he is my father and not the father of any of your women and the brother of my cousin (Ali) rather than any of your men.

What an excellent identity he was! May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his descendants. Thus, he propagated the Message, by coming out openly with the warning, and while inclined away from the path of the polytheists, (whom he) struck their strength and seized their throats, while he invited (all) to the way of his Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching.

He destroyed idols and defeated heroes until their group fled and turned their backs. So, night revealed its dawn, righteousness uncovered its genuineness, the voice of the religious authority spoke out loud, the evil discords were silenced, the crown of hypocrisy was diminished, and the tightening of infidelity and desertion were untied. Thus, you spoke the statement of devotion amongst a band of starved ones.

And you were on the edge of a hole of fire; (you were) the drink of the thirsty one, the opportunity of the desiring one, the firebrand of him who passes in haste, and the step for feet; and you used to drink from the water gathered on roads and eat jerked meat. You were despised outcasts always in fear of abduction from those around you.

Yet, Allah rescued you through my father Muhammad after much ado and after he was confronted by mighty men, the Arab beasts, and the demons of the people of the Book Who, whenever they ignited the fire of war, Allah extinguished it; and whenever the thorn of the devil appeared, or a mouth of the polytheists opened wide in defiance, he would strike its discords with his brother Ali who comes not back until he treads its wing with the sole of his feet, and extinguishes its flames with his sword.

Ali is diligent in Allah's affair, near to the Messenger of Allah, a master among Allah's worshippers, setting to work briskly, sincere in his advice, earnest and exerting himself (in service to Islam); while you were calm and feeling safe in your comfortable lives, waiting for us to meet disasters, and awaiting the spread of news. You fell back during every battle and took to your heels at times of fighting.

Yet, when Allah chose His Prophet from the dwell of His prophets and the abode of His sincere servants, the thorns of hypocrisy appeared on you while the garment of faith has not worn out yet, the misguided ignorant people spoke out, the sluggish ignorant came to the front and brayed, the camel of the vain wiggled his tail in your courtyards.

And when the Devil stuck his head from its place of hiding and called upon you, he found you responsive to his invitation and observing his deceits. He then aroused you and found you quick to answer him, and invited you to wrath, therefore; you branded other than your camels and proceeded to other than your drinking places.

Then while the era of the Prophet was still near, the gash was still wide, the scar had not yet healed, and the Messenger was not yet buried. A quick undertaking as you claimed, aimed at preventing discord (trial). Surely, they have fallen into trial already! And indeed Hell surrounds the unbelievers. How preposterous! What an idea! What a falsehood!

For Allah's Book is still amongst you, its affairs are apparent, its rules are manifest, its signs are dazzling, its restrictions are visible, and its commands are evident. Yet, indeed you have cast it behind your backs! What! Do you detest it? Or according to something else you wish to rule? Evil would be the exchange for the wrongdoers!

And if anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), it never will it be accepted from him; and in the hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost. Surely, you have not waited until its stampede seized and it became obedient. You then started arousing its flames, instigating its coal, complying with the call of the misled devil, quenching the light of the manifest religion, and extinguished the light of the sincere Prophet.

You concealed sips on froth and proceeded towards his (the Prophet) kin and children in swamps and forests (meaning you plot against them in deceitful ways), but we are patient with you as if we are being notched with knives and stung by spearheads in our abdomens, Yet, now you claim that there is not inheritance for us! What!

‘Do they then seek after a judgment of (the Days of) ignorance? But how, for a people whose faith is assured, can give better judgment than Allah?’ Do you not know that I am his daughter? Yes, indeed it is as obvious to you as sunlight in midday.

O Muslims! Will my inheritance be usurped? O son of Abu- Quhafah! Where is it in the Book of Allah that you inherit your father and I do not inherit mine? Surely, you have come up with an unprecedented thing. Do you intentionally abandon the Book of Allah and cast it behind your back? Do you not read where it says: ‘And Solomon inherited David’?

And when it narrates the story of Zachariah, the Quran says:

‘So, give me an heir as from thyself; one that will inherit me, and inherit the posterity of Jacob. And: ‘But kindred by hood have prior rights against each other in the Book of Allah.’

And: ‘Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance) to the male, a portion equal to that of two females.’ And: ‘If he leaves any goods, that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage; this is due from the pious ones.’

You claim that I have no share and that I do not inherit my father! What! Did Allah reveal a (Quranic) verse regarding you, from which He excluded my father? Or do you say: ‘These (i.e. Fatimah and her father) are the people of two different faiths; they do not inherit each other?!’ Are we, my father and I, not adhering to one faith? Or is it that you have more knowledge about the specifications and generalizations of the Quran than my father and my cousin (Ali)?

So, here you are! Take it! (Ready with) its nose rope and saddled! But if shall encounter you on the Day of Gathering; (thus) what a wonderful judge is Allah, a claimant is Muhammad, and a day is the Day of Rising. At the time of the Hour shall the wrongdoers lose and it shall not benefit you to regret (your actions) then! For every Message, there is a time limit and soon shall you know who will be inflicted with torture that will humiliate him and who will be confronted by an everlasting punishment.

Lady Fatimah (‘a) then turned towards the Ansar and said:

O you people of intellect, the strong supporters of the nation, and those who embraced Islam! What is this shortcoming in defending my right? What is this slumber (while you see) injustice (being done toward me)? Did not the Messenger of Allah, my father, used to say: ‘A man is upheld (remembered) by his children?’ How quick you have violated (his orders)!

How soon you have plotted against us! But you still are capable (of helping me in) my attempt, and powerful (to help me) in that which I request and (in) my pursuit (of it). Or do you say: ‘Muhammad has perished!’

Surely, this is a great calamity. Its damage is excessive, its injury is great, and its wound (is much too deep) to heal.

The earth became darkened with his departure, the stars eclipsed for the calamity of losing him, hopes were seized, mountains submitted, sanctity was violated, and holiness was encroached upon after his death. Therefore, this, by Allah, is the great affliction and the grand calamity; there is not an affliction which is the like of it nor will there be a sudden misfortune (as surprising as this).

The Book of Allah -excellent be praising Him- announced in the courtyards (of your houses) in the place where you spend your evenings and mornings; a call, a cry, a recitation, and (verses) in order. It has previously come upon His (Allah's) Prophets and Messengers; (for it is) a decree final and predestination fulfilled: ‘Muhammad is not but an apostle: many were the apostles that passed away before him. If he died or he was slain, will you then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.’

O sons of Qilah (i.e. the tribes of Al-Aws and Al-Khazjar who form the Ansar)! will I be usurped the inheritance of my father while you hear and see me and while you are sitting and gathered around me? You hear my call and you are included in the (news of the) affair! You are numerous and well equipped! (You have) the means and the power, and the weapons and the shields.

Yet, the call reaches you but you do not answer; the cry comes to you but you do not come to help, while you are characterized by struggle, known for goodness and welfare, you are the selected group (which was chosen), and the best ones chosen by the Messenger for us, the Ahl Al-Bayt. You fought the Arabs, bore with pain and exhaustion, struggled against the nations, and resisted their heroes.

We were still, so were you in ordering you, and you in obeying us until Islam became triumphant, the accomplishment of the days came near, the fort of polytheism was subjected, the outburst of war was subjected, the outburst of infidelity calmed down, and the system of religion was well-ordered.

Thus, (why have you) become confused after clearness, concealed matters after announcing them, turned on your heels after daring, and associated (others with Allah) after believing? Will you not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Apostle and became aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do you fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom you should more justly fear, if you believe!

Nevertheless, I see that you are inclined to easy living, dismissed he who is more worthy of guardianship (i.e. Ali), and secluded yourselves with meekness and dismissed that which you accepted. Yet, if you show ingratitude; you and all on earth together, yet, Allah is free of all wants, worthy of all praise. Surely, I have said all that I have said with full knowledge that you intent to forsake me, and knowing the betrayal that your hearts sensed.

But it is the state of soul, the effusion of fury, the dissemination of (what is in) the chest and the presentation of the proof. Hence, here it is! Bag it (leadership and) put it on the back of an ill she- camel, which has a thin hump with everlasting grace, marked with the wrath of Allah, and the blame of ever (which leads to) the Fire of (the wrath of Allah kindled (to a blaze), that which does mount (right) to the hearts, for Allah witnesses what you do and soon will the unjust assailants know what vicissitudes their affairs will take! And I am the daughter of a warner (i.e. the Prophet) to you against a severe punishment. So, act and so will we, and wait, and we shall wait.74

In her incomparable discourse, Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) spoke on the philosophy of Islam and discussed the causes of the laws and the wisdom of Islamic rules and regulations. She described the condition of the people before the dawn of Islam that to what extent they were mired in oppressing each other, how backward they were in knowledge and how ignorance dominated their minds, especially in the Arabian Peninsula, where they were targets of humiliation and were on the verge of the pit of fire, that every drinker used to derive enjoyment from them and every greedy one was eyeing and everyone who moved used to take advantage from them and they were trampled under the feet of all those who walked so much so that they were in such terrible poverty that sometimes they had to satiate their hunger with carrion and quench their thirst with waste water.

They were getting more and more arrested in those terrible circumstances when, through the medium of the Holy Prophet (S), Almighty Allah bestowed upon them with salvation and freedom, led them to the path of progress and development, and made him the leader of their community. How great the superiority and favors of the Holy Prophet (S) was on the Arabs and on all people!

Lady Fatimah (‘a) then alluded to the merits of her cousin Imam Ali (‘a) and his manifest struggle and efforts in defense of Islam against the enemies at a time when the Muslims of Quraysh (i.e. the Muhajirun) spent a life of comfort and security and had no role in the propagation of Islam.

Rather, as the Holy Prophet (S) has described, at the time of confrontation, they used to run away from the battlefield and they used to flee in horror, while regarding the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a), they used to wait for an opportunity or used to wish that some tragedy would befall them.

In her sermon, Lady Fatimah (‘a) expressed intense regret at the changed circumstances and the deviation of Muslims and their falling into the lure of selfish desires and pride. She prophesied that they would be the victims of terrible events and calamities due to their sins and deviations from that which the Almighty had prescribed for them to be always attached to the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a). After she had spoken on these matters, she referred to her inheritance that she was supposed to have received from her father but she had been deprived from it.

Hearts began to burn, eyes opened wide, and people began to feel suffocated as life went away then came back so that the air which had gone should come back and truth was about to be re-established. However, Abu-Bakr was well known for his quick tongue and with the power of diplomacy.

He was able to regain control of the situation and he saved his government from a revolution. He expressed utmost honor and respect for the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet (S) as if he had more regard for her than his own daughter ‘A'ishah. From the depths of his being, he seemed to hold her in reverence.

He also expressed a deep grief for the passing away of her dear father while he had actually wished thar the Prophet (S) had died before that time. He said that he had not initiated these steps on his own and he had obtained the seat of rulership of his own. It was actually the choice of the majority and consensus of the people!

In this way, he won over the hearts that had started to dislike him, cooled the fine of revolution, and destroyed all the signs.

It appears from recorded historical events that Lady Fatimah (‘a) was successful at the beginning in persuading Abu-Bakr to hand back Fadak to her.

Listen to a part of a speech he (according to some historians) delivered after hearing Lady Fatimah’s speech. He said:

‘O daughter of the Messenger of Allah! Surely, the Prophet is your father, not anyone else’s, the brother of your husband, not any other man’s; he surely preferred him over all his friends and (Ali) supported him in every important matter, no one loves you save the lucky and no one hates you save the wretched. You are the blessed progeny of Allah’s Messenger, the chosen ones, our guides to goodness, and our path to Paradise.

You -the best of all women and the daughter of the best of all prophets- are truthful in all of your words, excelling in reason. You shall not be driven back from your right... But I surely heard your father saying, ‘We, the group of prophets, do not inherit, nor are we inherited.’

Yet, this is my situation and property, it is yours (if you wish); it shall not be concealed from you, nor will it be stored away from you. You are the choicest of your father’s nation and the blessed tree of your descendants. Your property shall not be usurped against your will nor can your name be defamed. Your judgment shall be executed in all that which I possess. Thus, do you think that I violate your father’s will?’

Lady Fatimah (‘a) then refuted Abu-Bakr’s claim that the Holy Prophet (S) had stated that prophets cannot be inherited. She (‘a) said:

Glory be to Allah! How strange this is! Surely, Allah’s Messenger did not abandon Allah’s Book nor did he violate His commands. Rather, he followed its decrees and adhered to its chapters. So, do you unite with treachery justifying your acts with fabrications? Indeed, this -after his departure- is similar to the disasters that were plotted against him during his lifetime. But, behold! This is Allah’s Book, a just judge and a decisive speaker, saying, ‘‘One that will (truly) inherit me and inherit the posterity of Jacob.’

The Quran also says, ‘And Solomon inherited David.’
Thus, He (Glory be to Him) clearly made share of all heirs, decreed from the amounts of inheritance, allowed for males and females, and eradicated all doubts and ambiguities (pertaining to this issue which existed with the) bygones. Nay! But your minds have made up a tale (that may pass) with you, but (for me) patience is most fitting against that which you assert; it is Allah (alone) whose help can be sought.

However, at later times, Abu-Bakr regretted extremely his exceeding all bounds in usurpation of Lady Fatimah’s rights, attacking her house, and depriving her of her inheritance. Hence, he is reported to have said, ‘I wish I had not attacked Fatimah’s house, even if war was ambushing me there.’75

Unsuccessful Attempt To Gain Lady Fatimah’s Satisfaction

Abu-Bakr and his friend ‘Umar tried to appease Lady Fatimah (‘a) as an attempt to give their government a sort of legality and to use her satisfaction with them as a means to gain the Muslims’ satisfaction. They went to her house and asked permission to visit her, but she refused to receive them. Then, for another time, they tried to obtain her permission to visit her, but she again refused.

They therefore went to Imam Ali (‘a) and asked him to intercede for them with her. When Imam Ali (‘a) did, Lady Fatimah (‘a) responded to his request and allowed Abu-Bakr and ‘Umar to visit her. When they came to her house, they greeted her, but she refused to respond. They then advanced a few steps forward and sat before her. She again turned her face away from them. They then insistently begged her to listen to their words.

So, she permitted them to speak. Hence, Abu-Bakr took the initiative and said, ‘O most beloved to the Messenger of Allah! Verily, the relatives of Allah’s Messenger are dearer to me than my own relatives, and you personally are dearer to me than my daughter ‘A'ishah.

On the day when your father departed life, I wished I would soon die and would not live after him. I know who you are and I recognize your virtue and honor. After all that, do you think that I may deprive you of your due and your inheritance from Allah’s Messenger? However, I heard Allah’s Messenger saying, ‘We do not leave inheritances. Whatever we leave must be considered alms.’’

Because Lady Fatimah (‘a) had already proved the falsity of this tradition in her previous sermon, she saw it repetitive to repeat what she had said earlier.

She then turned to Abu-Bakr and addressed her words to ‘Umar and him, saying,

I adjure you by Allah, did you not hear the Messenger of Allah saying, ‘The pleasure of Fatimah is part of my pleasure and the displeasure of Fatimah is part of my displeasure. Whoever loves Fatimah my daughter has loved me, whoever pleases Fatimah has pleased me, and whoever displeases Fatimah has displeased me’?’

Giving credence to her words, they both answered that they had heard the Holy Prophet (S) saying so.

She then raised her hands towards the heavens and said with sadness and wounded heart,

I call Allah and His angels to bear witness for me that you both have displeased me and you both have never pleased me. Moreover, when I will meet the Messenger of Allah, I will definitely complain to him against you.

Lady Fatimah (‘a) then addressed Abu-Bakr, saying,

By Allah, I will invoke Allah’s displeasure upon you in every prayer I will do.76

How heavy these words were! Indeed, they were heavier than the strikes of swords. The ground shook under the feet of these two men and rotated like a quern that they left her tottering for the horrible situation in which they put themselves. They left Lady Fatimah’s house with a great disappointment, since they understood how much the wrath that they had burdened themselves with was.

The least thing Abu-Bakr should do at these moments was to weep and feel deeply sad, because he had missed the pleasure of Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) whose pleasure would please Almighty Allah and whose displeasure would displease Him, just as her father had declared.77

Lights On Imam Ali’s Attitude

The attitude of Imam Ali (‘a) to the government of Abu-Bakr was negative. He isolated people totally and did not participate in this government at all; rather, he devoted himself to writing down the religious laws and the exegesis of the Holy Quran. He thus turned away from the ruling authorities and they turned away from him, except in cases that a legal question would bother them and they could not find any answer. Only then would they resort to him to find the answer.

Many people wonder why Imam Ali (‘a) did not oppose Abu-Bakr and open a front against him, thus taking back his right forcibly rather than rejecting this procedure and secluding himself from all political affairs.

Imam Ali (‘a), answering such questions, provided some reasons that made him stop demanding with his right of holding the position of leadership. Some of these reasons are as follows:

1. Imam Ali (‘a) did not have enough military power that might make the change and give him victory over his opponents. On many occasions, Imam Ali (‘a) referred to this point. For instance, in his famous sermon called Al- Shaqshaqiyyah, the Imam (‘a) says,

Then I began to think whether I should assault or endure calmly the blinding darkness of tribulations wherein the grown up are made feeble and the young grow old and the true believer acts under strain until he meets Allah (on his death). I found that endurance thereon was wiser. So I adopted patience although there was pricking in the eye and suffocation (of mortification) in the throat. I watched the plundering of my inheritance.78

On another occasion, Imam Ali (‘a), explaining the reason for not revolting against Abu-Bakr, said,

I looked and found that there is no supporter for me except family, so I refrained from thrusting them unto death. I kept my eyes closed despite motes in them. I drank despite choking of throat. I exercised patience despite trouble in breathing and despite having to take sour colocynth as food.79

The overwhelming majority paid homage to Abu-Bakr under the pressure of ‘Umar. Intending to put them under argument, Imam Ali (‘a) led Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) to the houses of the Muhajirun and the Ansar, asking them for help and for rebelling against the ruling regime. However, they said to her, ‘O daughter of Allah’s Messenger! We have already paid homage to this man.’ Refuting this claim, Lady Fatimah (‘a) answered,

Will you then let the inheritance of Allah’s Messenger leave his house to join other houses?

Making an unjustifiable apology, they said, ‘O daughter of Allah’s Messenger, if only your husband offered this to us before Abu-Bakr had done, we would never have accepted anyone save him.’

Here, Imam Ali (‘a) answered them reproachfully,

Was it possible for me to leave the body of Allah’s Messenger unburied in his house and go out to quarrel these people about his authority?

Confirming the words of her husband, Lady Fatimah (‘a) said,

Abu’l-Hasan did nothing but what he ought to do. They did what Allah shall certainly punish them for it.80

2. Imam Ali (‘a) always cared for and worked towards maintaining unity among Muslims. He therefore had to keep peace with these men who usurped leadership from him. Declaring this fact openly, the Imam (‘a) said when people were determined to pay homage to ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan,

You have certainly known that I am the most rightful of all others for the Caliphate. By Allah, so long as the affairs of Muslims remain intact and there is no oppression in it save on myself I shall keep quiet seeking reward for it (from Allah) and keeping aloof from its attractions and allurements for which you aspire.81

Grievances Of Lady Fatimah

One of the most catastrophic tragedies that inflicted Imam Ali (‘a) was that he had to see the harsh pains befall Lady Fatimah (‘a) incessantly. The passing away of the Holy Prophet (S) was a terrible tragedy for Lady Fatimah (‘a) who was so much devastated by this tragedy that dark clouds of grief surrounded her due to the absence of her father who was more precious to her than her own life.

She used to visit her father’s grave and circumambulate it in an extremely shocking condition. She used to throw herself on the grave, take a handful of dust from it, rub it over her eyes and face, smell it, kiss it, and derive some comfort from it. At that time, she used to weep in excess, repeating these poetic verses:

What surprises if one who smells the dust of Ahmad will refrain from smelling any fragrance all the life?
Such calamities have befallen me that if they had fallen on days they would have turned into nights.
Say to the one who is concealed beneath layers of dust: If you can hear my plea and entreaty.
I was in the refuge of Muhammad in such a way that I never saw hardships or problems, as he was my embellishment.
And today in front of the debased ones I am being oppressed and I cannot say anything due to the grief and I cannot remove our oppressors.
Thus just as the pigeon weeps in grief at night on the branches, I weep during the day.
After I have made grief my companion and made it my habit to weep in your separation.82

These poetic verses describe accurately the true picture of grief and sorrow of Lady Fatimah (‘a) because they speak of the emotions that beset her on the passing away of her father-a father who had so much love and regard for her and she also loved him more than anything else.

The sorrowful lines also describe her status and position during the lifetime of her father. She was the most beloved and respected lady among Muslims. However, after the passing away of her father, the people did not take into consideration her position and they helped each other to disregard her status so much so that she had to face injustice from those debased persons and take care to protect her veiling.

She announced the oppressions to which she was subjected and she defended herself because there was no one who could defend effectively or speak on her behalf.

She took refuge in weeping and grief until she became one of the five most inclined to weeping persons all over history. Her pain and sorrow at the death of her father was so severe that when Anas ibn Malik, once, sought permission to give condolence to her on the great tragedy and he was of those who had participated in the Holy Prophet’s burial ceremony, she asked him, ‘Are you Anas ibn Malik?’

‘Yes, I am, O daughter of the Messenger of Allah,’ replied Anas.

She spoke with a heavy heart and asked him, ‘O Anas, how did you yield yourselves to strew dust on Allah’s Messenger?’83

Anas interrupted his statement, came out weeping, and devastated in grief.

One day, Lady Fatimah (‘a) insisted on Imam Ali (‘a) to show her the dress of her father in which he was given the funeral bath. Responding to her demand, Imam Ali (‘a) brought the dress to her. Once her eyes fell on that dress, she took it in her hands, smelt it, and then kissed it, because she found in it the fragrance of her father who had been taken away from her and laid in the everlasting place of rest. As she put the dress on her eyes, her heart split up in grief and it was as if she had lost consciousness.

The Prophet’s daughter continued to weep and lament in the light of the day and the darkness of the night and the remembrance of her farther remained fresh with her all her brief life after her father’s passing away. Such was the intensity of her lamentation that many people were disturbed by it so much that they petitioned Imam Ali (‘a) to ask her to limit her lamentations to a particular time.

Imam Ali (‘a) spoke to her and she accepted it. During the day, she used to go to the outskirts of Al-Madinah with her two sons. She sat under the shade of a tree and lamented her father day and night. When the sun would be about to set, Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn used to go with their father and bring her home, while she used to be in agony.

Those people went out and cut off that tree and she had to sit under sunlight to lament her father. Therefore, Imam Ali (‘a) constructed a dwelling for her and named it the house of sorrows (bayt Al- ahzan), so that the memory of her grief would endure for a longer time. About this house, Imam Al-Mahdi (‘a) is reported to have said,

Do you think that I may take a house of happiness after that house of sorrow? No, I will not. I swear it by her greatness.

The beloved daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S) spent her days in that house of sorrows and lamented her father, addressing him in isolation, and wept bitterly in her grief. When night fell, Imam Ali (‘a) would go and along with his two sons to bring her home.

The grief affected Lady Fatimah (‘a) so deeply that she was afflicted with such a terrible illness that she became confined to her bed and she did not have any strength to stand up on her feet. Thus, some Muslim women went to visit her. They said, ‘O daughter of Allah’s Messenger, how do you feel today?’

She looked at them in a forlorn manner and spoke in a soft voice full of sorrow, ‘I am sick of your world and pleased at your separation with sadness. I go for meeting with the Lord and His Messenger. Neither was our right protected, nor our position respected, nor the will in our favor accepted, nor our sanctity observed.’ 84

A fearful silence fell upon those women and a severe grief beset their features. Their eyes were filled with tears and they went to their homes in a slow gait. They told their husbands what the Prophet’s daughter had mentioned. The effect of her words was more severe than the strikes of a sword, because they realized their shortcomings regarding the memory of their Prophet (S).

Some widows of the Holy Prophet (S) went to visit her. They said, ‘O daughter of Allah’s Messenger! Let us help you take a bath.’

She did not accept their offer, saying, ‘Do you want to say the same thing that you had said about my mother? I do not need anything from you.’

Towards Paradise

The commemoration of the Holy Prophet (S) brought such severe illness to his daughter Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) that her physique completely weakened in such a way that she did not have strength remaining in her to even get up from her bed. She was slowly withering away like a flower deprived of moisture, because death was approaching her quickly while she was yet in her early youth.

Too nigh was the time of her meeting with her father who had separated from her and along with him were gone the affection and kindness he had showered her.

It became obvious that she was soon to bid farewell to this world. She summoned her cousin Imam Ali (‘a) and stated her bequest to him, which, among other points, expressed instructions that her holy mortal remains should be consigned to the dust in the darkness of the night and that none of those who had oppressed her be allowed to attend the funeral, because they were her enemies and the enemies of her father, as she expressed.

She willed that her grave would be concealed so that it would remain a symbol of her displeasure all over history.

She also told Imam Ali (‘a) that after she would pass away, he should marry Umamah so that this woman would take care of Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn (‘a). She finally willed that her dead body would be put in a coffin that would cover the entire body, because people at that time used to put the dead bodies on a bed that showed the body.

So, she did not want for anyone to see her dead body. Asma' bint ‘Umays made an enclosed bier for Lady Fatimah (‘a) so that when she would be taken to her grave, no one should be able to discern the shape of her body. Asma' had seen a similar device in Abyssinia when she resided there.

When Lady Fatimah (‘a) saw it, she was pleased and she smiled. This was the first time she smiled after the passing away of her father. 85

Imam Ali (‘a), having assured that all her instructions should be carried out, left her while grief and sorrow covered him totally.

On the last day of her lifetime, Lady Fatimah (‘a) was seen to be slightly comfortable and she expressed her happiness, because she knew that it was the day when she would be joined with her father.

Hence, she gave bath to her two sons and prepared a meal for them that would suffice them that day. She then told them to go and visit the tomb of their grandfather. She glanced at them for the last time and her heart was filled with pain of grief and sorrow.

Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn departed with a sort of uneasiness in their hearts. They had a terrible premonition which caused them sadness and grief. Lady Fatimah (‘a) then glanced at Asma' bint ‘Umays, who was appointed to nurse her, and said, ‘O mother!’

‘Yes, O beloved daughter of Allah’s Messenger (S)?’ replied Asma’. Lady Fatimah (‘a) said, ‘Prepare bathing water for me.’

Asma' arose and brought water, and Lady Fatimah (‘a) took a bath. Again, she asked Asma’ to bring her new dress.

Asma' brought her dress and again Lady Fatimah (‘a) asked, ‘Arrange my bed in the middle of the house.’

Asma' became greatly worried and she began to tremble, because she knew that the time of death of the Prophet’s daughter was near.

Asma' provided her with whatever she had desired. Lady Fatimah (‘a) rested on her bed and, turning her face towards the kiblah direction, she softly called out to Asma', ‘O mother, very soon, I will depart life. No one should remove my clothes as I have purified myself.’

Then she began to recite Quranic verses until her soul departed her body to ascend to the Lord so that she would meet her father, surrounded by the angels and received by the prophets. Verily, the sky of this world has never shaded a person like the daughter of the Holy Prophet (S) in sacredness and level of faith. By her death, the last direct descendant of the Holy Prophet (S) departed from this world.

Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn returned home, but could not find their mother. They rushed to Asma' and asked her about their mother. With heavy tears, Asma' said, ‘O my masters, your mother has passed away! Go and inform your father.’

This news fell upon them like a bolt of lightning. They rushed to their departed mother and Al-Hasan threw himself upon her, saying, ‘O my mother! Speak to me before my soul leaves my body.’

Al-Husayn threw himself on her, weeping and saying, ‘O my mother! I am your son Al-Husayn. Speak to me before my heart bursts.’

Asma' kissed, comforted, and told them to go to their father immediately and convey the news to him.

The two boys went out to the mosque of their grandfather the Messenger of Allah (S) and when they came near the mosque, their wails raised up.

Muslims came forward to welcome them as they thought that the children were weeping in the memory of their grandfather. So, they asked them, ‘O sons of Allah’s Messenger (S), what has made you weep? Perhaps, upon seeing the tomb of your grandfather, you have become eager for him.’

They replied, ‘No, it is not so. Our mother Fatimah has passed away.’

Imam Ali (‘a) was devastated by the news and it shook his whole being. He said, ‘O daughter of Muhammad! From whom shall we seek comfort? I used to derive comfort from your presence. Now, after you, who can comfort me?’

Immediately, he hastened to his house while his tears flowed from his eyes heavily. When he saw the mortal remains of the Prophet’s beloved daughter, the following couplets came on his lips,

For every friendship, there is separation.

Verily, it is that I have lost Fatimah after the Prophet, it proves that no companionship is everlasting.

Cries prevailed in Al-Madinah and people rushed towards Imam Ali’s house to pay condolence for the passing away of the Prophet’s daughter, because by the passing away of her, the last pillar of Prophethood had gone. The passing away of Lady Fatimah (‘a) reminded people of the love and kindness of the Holy Prophet (S) for her.

Besides, they hurried to the Imam’s house in order to win the opportunity of participation in the funeral ceremonies of Lady Fatimah (‘a), especially after they had not considered their Prophet’s will to them with regard to his household.

Imam Ali (‘a) asked Salman to inform the people that the burial of the Prophet’s daughter had been postponed until night falls. Hence, people left.

‘A’ishah, the Prophet’s widow, came forward and entered the Imam’s house to see for the last time the Prophet’s daughter. However, Asma' stopped her saying, ‘She had told us not to allow anyone to her’’ 86

When a part of the night passed, Imam Ali (‘a) arose and gave the funeral bathing to the purified body. Asma', Al-Hasan, Al-Husayn, and Lady Zaynab were with him and his heart was drowned in a deep sorrow. After he shrouded the dead body of Lady Fatimah (‘a), he called his children, who were not yet satiated with the love of their mother, so that they might see her for the last time while earth was shaking with their lamentations’

After the farewell, Imam Ali (‘a) knotted the shroud and when the last part of the night arrived, he arose and performed the ritual Funeral Prayer for Lady Fatimah’s dead body.

Then, he asked some persons from Banu-Hashim his relatives and some close companions to carry the blessed body to the eternal place of repose. Except for his trusted confidants and family members, none else was informed about this. Then, he placed the body in the grave and poured dust upon it. He stood beside the grave and tears flowed from his eyes with such propensity that the ground became wet with them. He uttered the following words describing his shock and grief:

O Prophet of Allah, peace be upon you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you. O Prophet of Allah, my patience about your chosen (daughter) has been exhausted, and my power of endurance has weakened, except that I have ground for consolation in having endured the great hardship and heart-rending event of your separation. I laid you down in your grave when your last breath had passed (when your head was) between my neck and chest.

Verily, we belong to Allah; and to Him shall we return.

Now, the trust has been returned and what had been given has been taken back. As to my grief, it knows no bounds, and as to my nights. They will remain sleepless until Allah chooses for me the house in which you are now residing.

Certainly, your daughter would apprise you of the joining together of your people for oppressing her. You ask her in detail and get all the news about the position. This has happened when a long time had not elapsed and your remembrance had not disappeared. My salutation be on you both, the salutation of a grief stricken not a disgusted or hateful person; for if I go away it is not because I am weary (of you), and if I stay it is not due to lack of belief in what Allah has promised the steadfast.87

These statements are full of grief and deep sorrow and they complain to the Holy Prophet (S) about the pains and afflictions that befell his beloved daughter. Imam Ali (‘a) requested the Messenger of Allah (S) to inquire from his daughter directly about the tortures she had to bear in the short period she lived after his passing away.

In the same way, Imam Ali (‘a) announced his personal grief at the passing away of the Prophet’s beloved daughter, because it was such a terrible tragedy for him that the flames of grief were never to cool for him until he meets the Lord.

The Holy Imam (‘a) came away from the grave of Lady Fatimah (‘a) not due to his desire to leave her or something detestable. He did so in order to promote the Islamic teachings that emphasized patience at every tragedy.

The Imam (‘a) returned home in remorse, looking at his children weeping severely in the sorrow of their mother and this scene renewed his own grief. He preferred to keep away from the people and not to participate in any of their activities, because they had turned away from him.

Hence, he decided to leave them on their own and they did not involve him in any of their affairs. However, when they would be too helpless to solve the big problems they had to encounter, they were compelled to rush to Imam Ali (‘a) to benefit from his knowledge.

Officials and governors of Abu-Bakr

The official machinery of Abu-Bakr worked according to the advice of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, because he had the trust of Abu-Bakr in matters of external and internal programs of the regime. No decision was ever taken and no official was ever appointed without the consent of ‘Umar.

At the position of governorship of various areas and provinces, he appointed only those whom he considered loyal to the regime. If he even slightly doubted the loyalty of any person, he did not entrust him with even the most minor government post.

In brief, the offices of Abu-Bakr’s government were not occupied by any person who showed even slight loyalty to or love for Imam Ali (‘a).

Historians mentioned that Abu-Bakr deposed Khalid ibn Sa’id ibn Al-’As from the commandership of the army that had been dispatched for the conquest of Syria only because this man showed loyalty to Imam Ali (‘a)- a fact to which ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab had paid attention and thus advised Abu-Bakr to depose Khalid although he had all the necessary qualifications to lead an army.

However, Khalid stood in line with Imam Ali (‘a) and opposed Abu- Bakr’s having been selected as the successor to the Holy Prophet (S) in that inauspicious Saqifah. 88

In addition, Abu-Bakr did not consider any person from the Banu-Hashim clan for any sort of post, and ‘Umar, in his conversation with Al-’Abbas, revealed the real cause of this deprivation: it was that he feared that in case he died and one belonging to the Banu-Hashim became a ruler in part of the Islamic lands, an absolutely undesirable condition would develop in the matter of caliphate. 89

In the same way, he deprived the Ansar of holding any governmental posts, due to their excessive leanings towards Imam Ali (‘a). However, the majority of officials and deputy governors of the regime of Abu-Bakr belonged to the Banu-Umayyah clan. Some of them were as follows:

1. Abu-Sufyan: He was appointed as the governor of the area consisting of the farthest borders of Al-Hijaz up to the last borders of Najran. 90

2. Yazid ibn Abi-Sufyan: He was appointed as the deputy governor of Syria. 91 Historians say that Abu-Bakr saw Yazid off to the outskirts of Al-Madinah. After his death, the governorship of Syria was given to Mu’awiyah, Yazid’s brother.

3. ‘Attab ibn Usayd: Abu-Bakr appointed him as the governor of Makkah. 92

4. ‘Uthman ibn Abi’l-’As: He was designated as the governor of Al-Ta’if. 93

Since that day, the star of the Umayyad household began to ascend and they occupied a high status in the Islamic state.

Observers have expressed amazement at the policy of Abu-Bakr to remove the Banu-Hashim individuals from any official position and, instead, shower all kinds of favor on the members of the Banu-Umayyah who had opposed the Holy Prophet (S) and confronted Imam Ali (‘a) in every situation.

Shaykh Abdullah Al-’Ala'ili, an Egyptian scholar, says: The actual winners in the government of Abu-Bakr were the Umayyad folks rather than the people of Taym, Abu-Bakr’s own clan. In other words, only the Umayyad clan derived all the benefits of this government; they shaped the government according to their ways and politics and they considered favoritism and partiality as a norm while they were distant from ruling, as Al-Maqrizi has stated in his book entitled Al-Niza’ wa’l-Takhasum. 94

Diplomatic capability and skills in the fields of administration and government were available in numerous people from the Muhajirun and the Ansar among the companions of the Holy Prophet (S) and it would have been best for Abu-Bakr if they had been entrusted with government posts while the Umayyad clan should have been kept away from official posts so that the Muslim community would have remained safe from their intrigues and mischief.

Economic policies of Abu-Bakr

Before we speak about the economic policies of Abu-Bakr, we would like to discuss in brief the economic system devised by Islam, which was aimed at eradicating poverty, enmity, deprivation, and initiating a economic progress so that all people are able to live a life of economic prosperity in such a way that they do not have to face any sort of financial crises.

The most important principle advocated by Islam was that the ruler must observe absolute precaution with regard to public funds. They were under no circumstance allowed to take anything from the public property and they were not permitted to spend any of the public funds for strengthening their rule and their personal power.

The general aim of this principle was to establish equality among Muslims and the ruler had no right to prefer some people to others, because such a thing would have given rise to class difference and it would have created divisions in the general economy; and the society would have become fraught with numerous illnesses and calamities.

Historians say that Abu-Bakr, in distribution of public funds among the Muslims, observed equity and in this field he did not deviate from the Prophet’s practice. However, some instances are opposed to this fact, because, first of all, from the charity funds he controlled, he spent a considerable amount to purchase the loyalty of Abu-Sufyan. 95

He also distributed a part of the public funds among the Muhajirun and the Ansar, and sent an amount through Zayd ibn Thabit to a lady from the Banu-’Adi clan.

This lady was amazed at this; so, she asked, ‘What is this?’
They replied, ‘It is a share that Abu-Bakr has dedicated to women.’

She said, ‘Are you bribing me for religion? By Allah, I shall not accept anything from it. Return it to him.’96

These were some other objections that critics of the economic policies of Abu-Bakr have stated.

  • 1. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 9:22-23.
  • 2. i.e. Imam Ali ibn Abi Talibwhose mother is Fatimah bint Asad.
  • 3. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah.
  • 4. Ibn Al-A’rabi, Mu’jam Al-Shuyukh 4:16.
  • 5. Shaykh Al-Mufid, Kitab Al-Irshad.
  • 6. Ibn Al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:222; Tarikh At-Tabari 3:307.
  • 7. Ibn Al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:222.
  • 8. Ibn Al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:224.
  • 9. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 1:178.
  • 10. Ibn Al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:29.
  • 11. Tarikh At-Tabari 3:62.
  • 12. Abd Al-kusayn Sharaf Al-Din, Al-Na•• wa’l-Ijtihad, pp. 7.
  • 13. Muhammad Al-Gilani, Athar Al-Tashayyu’ fi’l-Shi’r Al-’Arabi (The Impact of Shi’ism on Arabic Poetry), pp. 5.
  • 14. Ibn Abd-Rabbih Al-Andalusi, Al-’Iqd Al-Farid 5:12.
  • 15. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 2:8.
  • 16. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 2:5.
  • 17. Al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar, Al-Muwaffaqiyyat, pp. 80; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al- Balaghah 6:8.
  • 18. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 6:8.
  • 19. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 217.
  • 20. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 20:298.
  • 21. Taym is one of the lowliest clans of Quraysh to which Abu-Bakr belonged.
  • 22. Abu’l-Faraj Al-Isfahani, Al-Aghani 6:356.
  • 23. Ibn Al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:220.
  • 24. ‘Adi is the other lowly clan of Quraysh to which ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab belonged.
  • 25. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 6:7.
  • 26. Sahih Al-Bukhari 2:362.
  • 27. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 6:10-1.
  • 28. Al-Dhahabi, Siyar A’lam Al-Nubala' 3:341.
  • 29. Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Imamah wa’l-Siyasah 1:4.
  • 30. Dr. Taha Husayn, Aliyyun wa-Banuh (Ali and his Sons), pp. 19.
  • 31. Al-Buladhari, Ansab Al-Ashraf 2:10.
    Historicists and narrators have unanimously reported that ‘Umar threatened to set Imam Ali’s house on fire if he would refuse to pay allegiance to Abu-Bakr. Celebrating this incident, Hafis Ibrahim, a modern Egyptian poet, composed these poetic verses:
    Once, Ali received a word from ‘Umar; how noble the addressee was, and how great the addresser was:
    ‘I will set your house on fire and I will not leave any single item unburned therein, if you do not pay homage; even though the daughter of the Chosen Prophet is there.’ Other than Abu-Hafs (‘Umar), who else could say such a word in the face of the hero and protector of the descendants of ‘Adnan (i.e. the Arabs)?

    This incident has also been mentioned in many reference books, some of which are as follows: Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Imamah wa’l-Siyasah 1:12; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al- Balaghah 1:34; Tarikh At-Tabari 3:202; Tarikh Abi’l-Fida' 1:156; Tarikh Al-Ya’qubi 2:105; Abu-’Ubayd, Al-Amwal, pp. 131; Al-Mas’udi, Muruj Al-Dhahab 1:414; Abd Al-Fattah Abd Al-Maqsud, Al-Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib1:213; ‘Umar Risa Kahhalah, A’lam Al-Nisa' 3:205.

  • 32. Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Imamah wa’l-Siyasah 1:11.
  • 33. The details of this tradition, which is known as Hadith Kisa', are as follows: Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) reported the following:
    One day, my father the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his Household, visited me, ‘Peace be upon you, O Fatimah!’ he said.
    ‘Peace be upon you, too.’ I answered.
    ‘I feel some fatigue in my body,’ he said to me, and I answered, ‘I pray Allah to protect you, O father, against fatigue.’
    ‘Fatimah,’ he ordered, ‘bring me the Yemeni cloak and cover me with it.’

    I brought him the Yemeni cloak and covered him with it. I then kept on looking at his face, which glittered like a moon at the night of its fullness and perfection. No more than a while passed when my son Al-Hasan came in, ‘Peace be upon you, mother!’ he greeted.
    ‘Peace be upon you, too, O delight of my eye and fruit of my heart!’ I replied.
    ‘O mother,’ he said, ‘I can smell a pleasing scent as if it is the scent of my grandfather the
    Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his Household.’
    ‘Yes, it is,’ I answered, ‘Your grandfather is now under the cloak.’
    Al-Hasan moved towards the cloak and said, ‘Peace be upon you, O grandfather, Allah’s
    Messenger. Will you allow me to be with you under this cloak?
    My father replied, .Peace be upon you too, my son and director of my Pond. I allow you...
    Al-Hasan then went under the cloak with his grandfather.

    No more than another while passed before my son Al-Husayn came in, ‘Peace be upon you, mother!’ he greeted.
    ‘Peace be upon you too, O my son, delight of my eye, and fruit of my heart,’ I replied.
    ‘O Mother,’ he said, ‘I can smell a pleasing scent as if it is the scent of my grandfather the
    Messenger of Allah.’
    ‘Yes,’ I answered, ‘Your grandfather and your bother are under the cloak.’
    Al-Husayn then approached towards the cloak and said, ‘Peace be upon you, O grandfather! Peace be upon you, O he whom Allah has chosen! Will you allow me to be with both of you under the cloak?’

    My father replied, ‘Peace be upon you too, O my son and intercessor of my people. I allow you.’
    Al-Husayn then went with them under the cloak.
    At the same time, Abu’l-Hasan Ali ibn Abi Talib came in, ‘Peace be upon you, daughter of Allah’s Messenger,’ he greeted.
    ‘Peace be upon you too, O Abu’l-Hasan and Leader of the Believers,’ I replied.
    He then said, ‘Fatimah, I can smell a pleasing scent, as if it is the scent of my brother and cousin the Messenger of Allah.’

    ‘Yes,’ I answered, ‘He is there with your two sons under the cloak.’
    Ali moved towards the cloak and said, ‘Peace be upon you, O Allah’s Messenger! Will you allow me to be with you under the cloak?’
    My father replied, ‘Peace be upon you too, O brother, successor, vicegerent, and bearer of my Pennon. I allow you.’
    Ali thus went with them under the cloak.
    I then came towards the cloak and said, ‘Peace be upon you father, O Allah’s Messenger. Will you allow me to be with you under the cloak?’
    My father replied, ‘Peace be upon you too, my daughter and part of my flesh. I allow you.’
    I thus went with them under the cloak.

    When all of us sat under the cloak, my father the Messenger of Allah took hold of the two edges of the cloak with one hand, pointed to the sky with his right hand, and prayed, ‘O Allah! These are my true household, my unique people, and my kin. Their flesh is my flesh, their blood is my blood, whatever causes them pain causes me pain too, and whatever saddens them saddens me too. I am at war against whoever wages war against them, at peace with whoever is at peace with them, the enemy of whoever shows enmity towards them, and I love whoever loves them. They are part of me and I am part of them. Therefore (please) shower on me and them Your blessings, benedictions, mercy, forgiveness, and pleasure; and remove from them filth, and purify them with thorough purifying.’

    Meanwhile, Allah the Almighty and All-majestic said, ‘O My angels and inhabitants of My heavens! Verily, I have not created any well-established sky, extended land, glowing moon, shining sun, revolving planet, flowing ocean, or moving on ark except for the love of these five (individuals) who are now under the cloak.’
    Gabriel the Honest Archangel asked, ‘O my Lord! Who are those under the cloak?’
    The Almighty and All-majestic Lord answered, ‘They are the household of Prophethood and the core of the Message. They are namely Fatimah, her father, her husband, and her two sons.’
    ‘O my Lord,’ Gabriel asked, ‘Will You allow me to descend to the earth to be the sixth of them?’

    Allah the Almighty and All-majestic said, ‘Yes, I allow you.’
    Gabriel the Honest Archangel descended, ‘Peace be upon you, O Allah’s Messenger!’ he greeted, ‘The Most High and All-high (Lord) conveys to you His greeting, expresses His
    special benedictions and honoring to you, and says, ‘By My Almightiness and My Majesty I take this oath: I have not created any well-established sky, extended land, glowing moon, shining sun, revolving planet, flowing ocean, or moving on ark except for your sake and for your love.’ He has then allowed me to join you (under this cloak). Will you, O Allah’s Messenger, allow me?’

    Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Peace be upon you, O trustee of Allah’s Revelations. Yes, I allow you.’
    So, Gabriel joined us under the cloak. He thus said to my father, ‘Allah has revealed to you saying, ‘Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying.’’
    Ali then said to my father, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Please tell me; what is the value of this gathering of us under this cloak in the sight of Allah?’

    The Prophet, peace be upon him and his Household, said, ‘I swear this by Him Who has sent me with the truth as Prophet and chosen me, as holding communion, to convey the Message; whenever the tale of this gathering of us is mentioned in an assembly of the people of the earth in which a group of our adherents and adorers are present, the (divine) mercy shall certainly be poured down on them and the angels shall certainly surround them, asking forgiveness for them until they depart.’
    Ali, peace be upon him, commented, ‘Then, by Allah I swear it; we have won. So have our adherents. I swear it by the Lord of the Ka’bah.’

    ‘O Ali!’ my father Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him and his Household, added, ‘I swear this by Him Who has sent me with the truth as Prophet and chosen me, as holding communion, to convey the Message; whenever the tale of this gathering of us is mentioned in an assembly of the people of the earth in which a group of our adherents and adorers are present and among them there is a distressed one, Almighty Allah shall certainly release him from distress, or there is among them an aggrieved one, Almighty Allah shall certainly relieve him from grief, or there is among them one who needs a request to be granted, Almighty Allah shall certainly grant him his request.’

    Ali, peace be upon him, said, ‘Then, we have won and attained pleasure. I swear it by Allah. So have our adherents; they have won and attained pleasure in this world and in the Hereafter. I swear it by the Lord of the Ka’bah.’
    This incident has been also reported in other abbreviated forms in the majority of reference books of Prophetic traditions.

  • 34. The incident of the sun’s recourse for Imam Ali (‘a) has been mentioned by reference books of Sunni and Shi’ite scholars alike, such as Ibn Shahr'ashub, Manaqib Ali Abi Talib 1:485 (as quoted from Abu-Bakr Al-Warraq in his book man-rawa-radda’l-shams); Al-kafis Al-Suyuti, Al-La'ali' Al-Ma•nu’ah 2:175, Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 6:80; Lisan Al-Mizan 5:76; Al-tahhawi, Mushkil Al-Athar 2:11; Al-Mannawi, Fays Al-Qadir 5:440.

    Asma' bint ‘Umays narrates: One day, the Prophet (S) slept keeping his head on the lap of Ali (‘a). The sun had set and Ali (‘a) could not perform his afternoon prayer. When the Prophet (S) woke up, he said, ‘O Allah! Ali had always implicitly obeyed You and Your Prophet. Please order the sun to return.’

    Asma' says: By God, the sun that had set rose again spreading its rays over every hill and dale. Ali (‘a) got up, performed the ritual ablution and completed his afternoon prayer after completion of which the sun set once again.’

  • 35. This Prophetic tradition has been mentioned in many reference books of Hadith. See, for
    instance: Al-Qanaduzi, Yanabi’ Al-Mawaddah, pp. 16; Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, Kanz Al-’Ummal 6:100.
  • 36. Explaining this holy verse: ‘And warn your closest relatives,’ Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in Musnad Ahmad, and Al-Tha’labi, in his book of Tafsir, have mentioned that the Holy Prophet (S) gathered his closest relatives and asked, ‘Who will guarantee the payment of my debts and fulfill my promises; and he shall be with me in Paradise and my representative among my family members?’ Imam Ali (‘a), but none else, said, ‘I will, O Allah’s Messenger.’
  • 37. The famous tradition of the roasted bird has been mentioned in almost all of the reference
    books of traditions in various forms, one of which is as follows:
    Anas ibn Malik narrates: When Ummu-Ayman presented a tastily cooked dish of a bird to the Holy Prophet (S), he prayed God, saying, ‘O God, please send one who is dearest to You so that I may share this tasty dish with him.’ Just then, Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) entered and the Prophet (S) said, ‘Come join me [and share this feast].’ See also Ibn Al-Athir, Usd Al-Ghabah fi Ma’rifat Al-Sahabah 4:30; Al-Hakim Al-Nayshaburi,Al-Mustadrak ‘Ala Al-Sahihayn 3:130.
  • 38. One day, the Holy Prophet (S) was at Ummu-Salamah’s chamber when Imam Ali (‘a) visited him. The Holy Prophet (S) thus said to Ummu-Salamah, ‘This is the killer of the breakers of the pledge, the wrongdoers, and the apostates after me.’ See: Muhibb Al-Din Al-
    tabari, Al-Riyad Al-Nasirah fi Fada’il Al-’Asharah, pp. 320.
  • 39. Many reports have it that the Holy Prophet (S), addressing his companions, said, ‘The most knowledgeable of all of you in judicature is Ali ibn Abi Talib.’ See: Ibn Abd Al- Barr, Al-Istiab 2:461.
  • 40. In his book entitled Al-Risalah Al-Muwaddahah, Al-Musaffar ibn Ja’far ibn Al-Husayn,one of the mentors of Ibn Jarir At-Tabari in the field of transmitting the Prophetic traditions, says,

    Muhammad ibn Hammam has reported to us on the authority of Ali ibn Al-’Abbas and Muhammad ibn Al-Husayn ibn Hafs on the authority of Isma’il ibn Ishaq on the authority of Yahya ibn Salim on the authority of Sabbah ibn Yahya on the authority of Al-’Ala' ibn Al- Musayyab on the authority of Abu-Dawud on the authority of Buraydah Al-Aslami who said: In the presence of Allah’s Messenger (S), we used to greet Ali ibn Abi Talib as follows: Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you, O Leader of the Believers. He would then answer back our greetings.

    ‘Amr ibn Husayb reports: One day, my brother Buraydah was in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (‘a) when Abu-Bakr entered and greeted him. The Holy Prophet (S) ordered Abu-Bakr, ‘Go and greet the Leader of the Believers.’ ‘O Allah’s Messenger, who is the leader of the believers?’ Asked Abu-Bakr. The Holy Prophet (S) answered, ‘He is Ali ibn Abi Talib.’ ‘Is this a command of Allah and His Prophet?’ Abu-Bakr further asked. ‘Yes, it is,’ answered the Holy Prophet (S). Then, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab entered and greeted the Holy Prophet (S), who ordered him of the same. ‘Umar, too, asked the same questions of Abu-Bakr, and the Holy Prophet (S) gave the same answers.

  • 41. For details, see these reference books: Al-Hakim Al-Nayshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘Ala Al- Sahihayn 3: 111; Muhibb Al-Din At-Tabari, Al-Riyad Al-Nadirah fi Fada’il Al-’Asharah 2:237 & Dhakha’ir Al-’Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi’l-Qurba, pp. 72.
  • 42. For his being the Holy Prophet’s brother, cousin, son-in-law, and his two grandson’s father, Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) is the closest to the Holy Prophet (S), since none else had such standings.
  • 43. A golden monetary unit of that time.
  • 44. One day, Lady Fatimah Al-Zahra' (‘a) asked her husband Imam Ali (‘a) to borrow an amount of food that would allay their hunger. When he went out, Imam Ali (‘a) could not find anybody to offer this question to him. However, he could pick up one dinar. After he had announced for that dinar, he could not find its owner. At home, Lady Fatimah (‘a) asked him to borrow that dinar and when its owner would show up, they would give back a dinar to him instead. So, the Imam (‘a) took the dinar and went to the market place where he found a man selling food. With that dinar, Imam Ali (‘a) got food, but the owner of the food refused to take its value.
    On the second day, Imam Ali (‘a) went out to the market place to buy some food. Just like the last day, the owner of the food refused to take its value from Imam Ali (‘a). The same thing reoccurred on the third day. Finding this strange, Imam Ali (‘a) hurried to the Holy Prophet (S) and told him the whole story. Here, the Holy Prophet (S) informed him that the seller of the food was none but Archangel Gabriel. Reference: Al-Khawarizmi, Al-Manaqib, pp. 224.
  • 45. See the details of this Prophetic tradition in Fara'id Al-Simtayn by Al-Hamawini Vol. 2, Section 8.
  • 46. Known as Sadd Al-Abwab, the issue of closing all the doors that took to the Holy Prophet’s Mosque except the door of Ali’s house is as follows:
    The Holy Prophet (S), until after six months after his arrival in Al-Madinah, stayed at the home of Abu-Ayyub Al-Ansari. During this period, there was neither any specific place for congregational prayers nor a permanent place of residence for him. He felt it necessary to construct the mosque along with a house for the family. There was a vacant piece of land near the house of Abu-Ayyub Al-Ansari where some animals used to be penned. The Prophet (S) liked this land for building the mosque. The land belonged to the people of Banu’l-Najjar from which family Abd Al-MutTalibb’s mother came. The Prophet (S) wanted to buy away the land but the owners refused to accept any money for it and said that instead of material value they would prefer to get reward from Almighty Allah.

    The Prophet (S) did not like to take the land without cost because it belonged to two orphans whose names were Sahl and Suhayl and were under the guardianship of Asad ibn Zurarah. The Prophet (S) bought the land through Asad, had it leveled, and started the construction of the mosque on it, which was ready in the shape of a four walled enclosure in a few days. Then, putting on wooden pillars and thatch, one part of the enclosure was covered to provide shade from the sun. On one side of the mosque, rooms were built for the ladies, which were increased later on, as the need arose. In the middle of these rooms, the house of Ali (‘a) was constructed.

    The Muhajirun, coming from Makkah too, started building their quarters on the other periphery of the mosque. They had doors opening towards the mosque and they used to enter the precincts through these doors. The Holy Prophet (S) thought that this arrangement was not proper for the sanctity of the mosque; he therefore ordered that the doors opening into the mosque be sealed and the houses to have doors at the back. He wanted them to enter the mosque only through the main door. He permitted only the door of Imam Ali’s house to open towards the mosque. Al-Tirmidhi writes: ‘The Prophet (S) ordered that except the door of Ali’s house, all other doors to be sealed.’ [Sahih Al-Tirmidhi 2:214]

    Some persons did not like this arrangement. Certain brows frowned, some mouths opened, and the gossip mill started working. The Prophet (S) heard about the feelings of the companions. He therefore gathered them and said:
    ‘I have neither sealed your doors nor allowed Ali’s door to remain open. It is Allah Who has ordered the sealing of your doors and leaving Ali’s door open.’ [Al-Nassa'i, Khasa'is Amir Al-Mu'minin, pp. 37]

    Certain relatives of the Holy Prophet (S) too wished that the doors of their houses would be kept opened towards the mosque; therefore, they complained about showing partiality towards Ali (‘a), he had allowed him this privilege and refused them the facility. However, the Holy Prophet (S) said:
    ‘I neither sent you out nor did I allow Ali to stay. It is Allah Who has kept you out and Ali to stay in.’ [Al-Hakim Al-Nayshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘Ala Al-Sahihayn 3:117]

    ‘Umar too considered this a singular privilege for Ali (‘a) and used to say:
    ‘’Ali ibn Abi Talib enjoyed three such special privileges that if I had had even one, it would have meant to me more than owning red-haired camels.’ When asked what these privileges were, he said: ‘The first was that he was married to Fatimah the daughter of Muhammad (S); secondly, he had the honor of residing inside the mosque with the Prophet (S) and thus the matters that were legitimate for the Prophet (S) became legitimate for him, and; thirdly, he was given the Standard on the Day of Khaybar!’ [Al-Hakim Al-Nayshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘Ala Al-Sahihayn 3:125]

  • 47. Mujahid narrates that Imam Ali (‘a) said, ‘None except me practiced in the past nor shall anyone ever act upon this verse:

    ‘O you who believe, when you consult the Messenger, then offer something in charity before your consultation. That is better for you and purer. (58:12)’

    The verse was originally mandatory but was later repealed. [Fada’il Al-Khamsah fi Al-Sihah Al-Sittah 1:293]
    Mujahid narrates: People were forbidden from conferring with the Holy Prophet (S) in private without first paying a donation. Ali ibn Abi Talib was the only person to pay one dinar conferring with the Holy Prophet (S) in private.

  • 48. See the details in these reference books: Muhibb Al-Din At-Tabari, Dhakha’ir Al-’Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi’l-Qurba, pp. 68-9; Sibt Ibn Al-Jawzi, Tadhkirat Al-Khawass, pp. 228.
  • 49. At-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj 1:157-84.
  • 50. Ibn Tayfur, Balaghat Al-Nisa', pp. 23; ‘Umar Rida Kahhalah, A’lam Al-Nisa' 3:219-20.
  • 51. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Letter No. 45.
  • 52. Muhibb Al-Din At-Tabari, Al-Riyad Al-Nasirah fi Fada’il Al-’Asharah 1:139; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 2:17; Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal Al-Husayn 1:93; Ibn Shahr'ashub, Manaqib Ali Abi Talib2:172. Ibn kajar Al-’Asqalani, in Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz Al-Sahabah 2:15, states: ‘This protestation was made by Imam Al-Husayn.’
    Ibn Hajar, in Al-Sawa’iq Al-Muhriqah, pp. 105, says: ‘In the book of Al-Sibyan that is printed in the margin of Nur Al-Absar, pp. 125, it is mentioned that Al-Hasan said these words to Abu-Bakr, and Al-Husayn said similar words to ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab.’
  • 53. At-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj 1:42.
  • 54. At-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj 1:43.
  • 55. Shaykh Al-Saduq, Al-Khisal, pp. 774.
  • 56. At-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj 1:43.
  • 57. Tarikh Abi’l-Fida' 1:159.
  • 58. ‘Abbas Al-Qummi, Al-Kuna wa’l-Alqab 1:13.
  • 59. ‘Abbas Al-Qummi, Al-Kuna wa’l-Alqab 1:13.
  • 60. Baqir Sharif Al-Qarashi, Hadhihi Hiya Al-Shi’ah, pp. 96.
  • 61. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 19:174.
  • 62. At-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj 1:103.
  • 63. Baqir Sharif Al-Qarashi, Hayat Al-Imam Al-Hasan 1:197.
  • 64. At-Tabrisi, Al-Ihtijaj 1:102.
  • 65. Baqir Sharif Al-Qarashi, Hayat Al-Imam Al-Hasan 1:167.
  • 66. Tarikh Al-Ya’qubi 2:106.
  • 67. Sahih Al-Bukhari 2:132.
  • 68. Ibn Abd Al-Barr, Al-Istiab 4:366.
  • 69. Sahih Al-Bukhari 1:357.
  • 70. Tarikh Al-Ya’qubi 3:196.
  • 71. Abu-Na’im, Hilyat Al-Awliya' 2:41; Al-Hakim Al-Nayshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘Ala Al- Sahihayn 3:160.
  • 72. Al-Zamakhshari, Tafsir Al-Kashshaf 2:583.
  • 73. Sahih Al-Bukhari 3:36; Sahih Muslim 2:72.
  • 74. Ibn tayfur, Balaghat Al-Nisa', pp. 12-9; ‘Umar Risa Kahhalah, A’lam Al-Nisa' 3:208.
  • 75. Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, Kanz Al-’Ummal 3:135; Tarikh At-Tabari 3:52.
  • 76. Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Imamah wa’l-Siyasah 1:14; ‘Umar Risa Kahhalah, A’lam Al-Nisa’ 3:1214; Abd Al-Fattah Abd Al-Maqsud, Al-Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib 1:217.
  • 77. Al-Hakim Al-Nayshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘Ala Al-Sahihayn 3:153; Ibn Al-Athir, Usd Al-
    Ghabah fi Ma’rifat Al-Sahabah 5:522; Ibn kajar, Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib 12:241; Al-Dhahabi, Mizan Al-I’tidal 2:72; Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, Kanz Al-Ummah 6:219; Ahmad ibn Abdullah At-Tabari, Dhakha’ir Al-’Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi’l-Qurba, pp. 39; Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal a-Talibbiyyin 1:52.
  • 78. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 3.
  • 79. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 26.
  • 80. Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Imamah wa’l-Siyasah 1:12.
  • 81. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 73.
  • 82. Ibn Shahr'ashub, Manaqib Ali Abi Talib 2:131.
  • 83. Sunan Ibn Majah, pp. 18; Al-Qastalani, Al-Mawahib Al-Ludaniyyah 2:281.
  • 84. Tarikh Al-Ya’qubi 2:95.
  • 85. Al-Hakim Al-Nayshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘Ala Al-Sahihayn 3:162.
  • 86. Ibn Shahr'ashub, Manaqib Ali Abi Talib 3:365.
  • 87. Nahj Al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 201.
  • 88. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 1:352.
  • 89. Al-Mas’udi, Muruj Al-Dhahab 5:135.
  • 90. Al-Buladhari, Futuh Al-Buldan, pp. 103.
  • 91. Ibn Al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:289.
  • 92. Ibn Hajar Al-’Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz Al-Sahabah 2:444.
  • 93. Ibn Al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:421.
  • 94. .Abdull¡h al-.Al¡’il¢, al-Im¡m al-°usayn, pp. 191.
  • 95. Tarikh At-Tabari 3:3
  • 96. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah 2:53.