Abu Bakr prepared the caliphate after himself for Umar and he assumed it with utmost ease and facility without any sort of difficulty or hardship. He caught the rulership with a firm grip and administered the kingdom with an iron land. So much so that even the senior companions could not dare to say anything against him. Because as it is said his walking stick was more terrible than the sword of Hajjaj. Even Ibn Abbas, inspite of his status and lofty position, could not express his view about the legality of Mutah in the lifetime of Umar. The family members of Umar were his sons and none of them were capable to have their way with him. Here we shall discuss some policies of Umar during his reign:
Sources of Islamic history are unanimous that in his policies, Umar turned away from the practice of Abu Bakr and in distributing allowances among the Muslims he did not follow the principles of equity. Rather he preferred some over others. He had proposed the same policy to Abu Bakr but he had declined to accept it saying, “Almighty Allah has not preferred anyone over others. He rather says: Charities are for the poor and the destitute and He has not considered any people superior to others.”1
When caliphate was transferred to him he began to enforce the policy that he had proposed to Abu Bakr and he justified it saying, “Abu Bakr had an opinion regarding this matter and I have another opinion. And I shall not consider at par one who has fought against the Prophet and one who has fought on his side.”
He sanctioned 5000 units of currency for the Muhajireen and Ansar who participated in the battle of Badr. However those had accepted Islam like the fighters of Badr but who did not take part in the Badr battle were sanctioned 4000 units (Dirhams). For the widows of the Prophet he specified 12000 Dirhams each except for Safiya and Juwairah.
These two were sanctioned only 6000 dirhams each. They did not accept it. As for Abbas, the uncle of Allah’s Prophet, he gave 12000; for Usamah bin Zaid it was 4000 and for his son, Abdullah it was 3000. Abdullah expressed his displeasure at this and said, “Dear father, why did you sanction him 1000 more than me? His father had no superiority that my father does not have and he does not posses anything that I do not have’”
Umar told him, “Usamah’s father was more preferred to the Messenger of Allah (S) than your father and Usamah was dearer to the Prophet than you’”2
Umar gave preference to Arabs over non-Arabs and the free men over bondsmen.3
This policy created class differences in the Muslim society and people became divided into various classes, tribes and groups. Experts of genealogy became active in their field4 and this finally caused a rift among the Arabs and their clients and the latter became jealous and inimical to their patrons (Arabs). They began to seek evil means and it gave rise to communal feelings. While Islam had put an end to this very tendency and it considered the relation of faith stronger than family relations. It had commanded the rulers to practice non-partisanship among the people inspite of their family and class difference and emphasized that no bias must be exercised, as no sort of rift must be allowed in the social fabric of Muslim community.
This policy led many scholars and writers to be infuriated by Umar and they expressed their objections in their writings. Some of them are as follow:
1. Dr. Abdullah Salam: Dr Abdullah Salam says, “I don’t know how Umar initiated those steps and why he chose them? Because, they caused social and economical contradiction. It was a step that created rivalry and arrogance among the Muslims.”5
2. Dr. Muhammad Mustafa: Among those who have criticized this policy is Dr Muhammad Mustafa and he says, “Fixing of grants in this way had a dangerous effect in the economic life of Muslims because it gradually brought into existence some upper classes of people who received a good income without doing any work in return. He fixed allowances based on two criteria: Relationship to the Messenger of Allah (S) and precedence in Islam and for the relationship and precedence there were classes and some divisions. In this manner Umar fixed allowances without taking into consideration the amount work or struggle contributed by the people and in this manner Umar utilized the public wealth from the government’s side.”6
3. Alaili: Shaykh Alaili has made this a topic of criticism in the following words: “This economic system created a great chasm and divided the Arab society into classes, while in the eyes of Islamic Shariat they were all equal. But the Arab society became divided into aristocracy, gentry and the commoners.7
These were utterances of some scholars who have openly denounced the economic policies initiated by Umar. These policies had no trace of the economic principles laid down by Islam and it gave rise to the accumulation of wealth among some companions and they were able to accumulate huge wealth and it became a cause of transformation in Islamic life and the domination of the rich class over government policies and they began to bring into force various policies that were very beneficial to themselves. They opposed every reformative and equitable policy in the country and that group put up severe resistance against the government of His Eminence, Ali (a.s) with all their powers from the economic factors etc. and put them into practice in order to topple the government of His Eminence. Because his equitable policies were preventing them from taking advantage of the superiority and sources of wealth they had unjustly amassed.
Umar justified his scrapping of equitability by himself and the creation of class system that some of the companions on the basis of their seniority in Islam and their participation in military activities and holy war were superior to others. These justifications show that they have no validity. Because the Prophet had under no circumstances, never taken into consideration anything from the public wealth to the exception of a particular companion because of their seniority in Islam, or their exceptional efforts and hardship that they bore. Persons like Ammar Ibn Yasir, Bilal the Habashi and Abu Zar etc. And he did not take into consideration the unique contribution of his cousin, His Eminence, Ali, who was of the valiant fighters of Islam and who defended the faith at every stage and every time. Rather, His Eminence entrusted the reward of those warriors and their recompense to Allah in the Hereafter. That the Almighty Allah has taken this recompense and reward on His responsibility with this special quality.
The economic policy established through the Prophet specified absolute equality in grants and allowances so that the society remains integrated and united and all the types of class differences and mutual jealousies are destroyed.
When Umar witnessed the extreme accumulation of wealth with some of the companions he was extremely regretful and helpless and he said, “If I had followed the policy that I adopted in the end I would have taken the excessive wealth from the rich and restored it to the poor.”
These steps that he had in view, are not undeserving of consideration. Because if the excess wealth accumulated by the rich class was from the bestowals that they had received in excess, without any doubt it all belonged to public treasury and was necessary that he should have ordered them to be repaid to the state so that economic balance is created. And if the wealth comprised of business profits ñ which I don’t think it was so ñ it was necessary to collect taxes from them, rather than having them confiscated.
Anyway, the monies obtained in war booty, Jizyah tax and land tax belong to the public treasury, which is for the Muslims. And it was not permitted that some people be given preference over others and it was necessary that it should have been equally distributed among all as the Holy Prophet (S) had done.
Umar tried to impose his influence by force and harshness and all, whether his close friends and relations or others, were horrified of his nature. Such was the level of his ferocity that a pregnant lady approached him to ask about a particular matter. But she became so much terrorized in his presence that she had miscarriage.8
Umar was extremely rude and harsh especially to one who accorded some importance to himself. Narrators say, “One day Umar was distributing some funds among the people who were crowded around him. Then Saad bin Abi Waqqas arrived who is famous for his exploits in the conquest of Persia. Saad pushed the people aside and succeeded in reaching to Umar. When Umar saw him, that how he has brought himself to the fore, he began to thrash him with his stick, saying, “Do you not fear the power of Allah on the earth? I wanted to show you that the power of Allah is also not fearful of you.” And his event with Jebella also shows his rude and harsh nature.
Jebella accepted Islam along with his companions and the Muslims were greatly pleased due to this. Jebella arrived in the Hajj season and while he was circumambulating the Ka’ba a man from Fuzara stepped on his lower garment and stopped him. Jebella was furious and he slapped the man of Fuzara.
This information reached Umar who had Fuzari summoned and ordered Jebella to permit that man to either take revenge or compensation, or forgive Jebella. And in this matter he was very harsh to Jebella. Jebella apostatized and exited from the religion of Islam and fled to Harqil. Harqil tried to pacify him and also presented him with some gifts but Jebella lamented about his losses on leaving Islam in the following words that expressed his deep grief and sorrow:
“The nobles became Christian due to one slap. If I had been patient on it, no harm was there in it.
Obstinacy and arrogance dominated me and for that I exchanged blindness in lieu of eyesight.
If only my mother had not given birth to me. If only I had returned to what Umar had said to me.
And if only I had been a quadruped grazing in wildness or even a prisoner of the Rabia and Mudhir tribes.”
Umar wanted to put a chain of camel tethers around the neck of Jebella and he be taken around in this manner so that he is humiliated.
Ibn Abil Hadid has narrated for us the harshness of Umar to his family. He says, “Whenever he was infuriated at someone, his anger did not recede till he forced his hand between his teeth and bit them till it bled.9
Uthman also, when Muslims criticized him and rose up against him, reminded them about the harshness and severity of Umar so that they may leave him (Uthman). Uthman said, “Ibn Khattab trampled you below his feet and he hit you `with his hands and by his tongue he humiliated you while you were frightened with him and you remained satisfied with him’”10
After some years, Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) spoke about the policies of Umar and the hardships of the people during his reign, saying, “After that he (Abu Bakr) transferred the caliphate to a harsh condition, (to Umar, who was) rude in speech, unapproachable and full of mistakes and he put forth many excuses. And its owner was like the rider of a ferocious beast that if he pulls at the reins it would rent the mouth of the beast and if he lets him free it would have thrown him into hardships; and by Allah, people fell into mistakes, hardships, indecisiveness and controversies’”11
This policy was opposed to the practice of the Holy Prophet (S) and the policies of His Eminence, because His Eminence lived among the people with kindness and affection and he dealt with them with utmost mercy. He was for them a loving father and he used to encourage people not have any fear or reservations from him. So much so that a man came to His Eminence while he was in a fearful condition. His Eminence told him not to be afraid, saying, “Indeed I am a son of a Quraishite lady who ate dried meat.”
The behavior of His Eminence with his companions was just like that of the behavior of a brother to his brother and without that he should address them in a way that he was having some superiority or lofty status over them. And the Almighty Allah has described the high moral behavior of His Eminence in the following words: “And most surely you conform (yourself) to sublime morality.”12
Historians state that Umar restricted the movements of the companions of the Prophet and he did not allow them to leave Medina. They were not allowed to go beyond the town limits without a special permission of Umar. This step of Umar was against the Islamic spirit because in Islam there is general freedom to all the people. People in Islam are accorded the freedom of thought, expression, faith and work as Islam has given them personal rights of human beings and the government is duty-bound to support and respect these things and provide them with this freedom. The ruling powers do not have the right to oppose them or to restrict this freedom subject to the condition that man does not misuse this freedom to harm others or creates mischief in the earth.
Dr. Taha Husayn had defended Umar’s restrictions on the companions of the Prophet. He says, “However he was afraid of mischief. He feared mischief on their part. Hence he had them under surveillance at Medina, that they may not leave the town without his permission. And they were prohibited to go to areas not conquered yet because be feared that people there may become devoted to them and this may cause them to become vain and arrogant. He was fearful of the consequences of this devotion to his government’”13
This explanation is absolutely lacking in research and depth. Because if the companions who intended to travel from Medina to conquered places, if these companions were from the righteous and religious ones, they indeed would have proved to be source of guidance and goodness for people who were eager to accept Islam. From this aspect, they would certainly have spread the religious commands and Islamic manners among these people and they were trying to spread knowledge among them. If in case those companions were such that they had become devotees of material gains than they indeed deserved to be stopped from going out of Medina. But it would be only as a custom and not as a religious law. That too for the protection of the interests of the government and to keep people from becoming their devotees. However in this regard, no tradition exists that Umar restrained only some people and allowed others. Rather he imposed travel restrictions on one and all. And it was natural that this rule imposed by Umar was very much unpleasant for the companions of the Prophet and an obstacle was imposed between them and their freedom.
Treating the footsteps of Abu Bakr, Umar continued to keep away the Hashimites from government posts and he did not accord them any share. Rather he confirmed those who were appointed by Abu Bakr and kept them on their former positions. And it is surprising that he did not give any official position to well-known companions like Talha and Zubair and he was told, “You bestowed governorship to Yazid bin Abi Sufyan, Saeed bin Aas, this one and that from those who were of doubtful faith from the freed slaves and sons of the freed slaves, but you paid no attention to Ali, Abbas, Zubair and Talha?”
He replied, “As for Ali, he is above such things but these people from Quraish, (Talha and Zubair) I fear that if they spread in the cities they may create corruption therein.”
Ibn Abil Hadid commenting on this statement of Umar says, “One who is fearful of making them leaders, so that they may not be greedy for rulership and each of them may desire it for himself. How he is not fearful that from them he appointed six persons of the same level in the Shura committee and nominated them for caliphate? Could there be a greater cause for corruption’?”14
Umar maintained strict supervision on his governors and administrators and he did not appoint anyone for the post but that he first had their wealth and property valued and when he used to dismiss them, he again had their assets valued. And if he found any increase therein he used to have half of their wealth confiscated and deposited in the Public treasury.15
Umar appointed Abu Huraira Doosi as the governor of Bahrain. It was reported to him that Abu Huraira has misappropriated the wealth of Muslims. Thus he was summoned. When he arrived Umar scolded him and said, “You should know that I appointed you as the governor of Bahrain while you didn’t have slippers to wear. Now it has been reported to me that you have sold some horses for 1600 Dinars?”
Abu Huraira tried to explain the matter saying, “We had some horses who multiplied continuously’”
Umar did not accept any excuse and he chastised Abu Huraira a great deal saying, “I have already specified your income and allowances and this is the excess that you must refund.”
Abu Huraira refused and said, “It is not your right.”
Umar said, “Yes, by Allah, I would give you pain in your back.”
Umar became infuriated and stood up towards him and hit Abu Huraira with his walking stick till he began to bleed. Abu Huraira had no option but to return the money he had misappropriated. So he said at last, “I shall return it and present the account to God.”
Umar in that same weak logic of his replied to him, “It is in case that it be obtained through lawful means and you have paid it on your own. Have you brought them from the distant areas of Bahrain? People have brought them for you and not for Allah or the Muslims. Amima16 had brought you forth only for grazing donkeys.”17
After that he halved all the assets of Abu Huraira. Umar had also confiscated half of the assets of his following officials:
1. Samrah bin Jundab
2. Asim bin Qais
3. Mujasheh bin Masood
4. Juza bin Muawiyah
5. Hajjaj bin Ateek
6. Bashir bin Mohtafaz
7. Abu Maryam bin Mohrash
8. Nafe bin Harth
These were some officials and governors of Umar whose assts were divided into two and a part was appropriated to the Public treasury. Historians say, “It was Yazid Ibn Qais who had encouraged Umar to take this step. He recited the following couplets to encourage him:
‘Convey this message to the chief of the believers that he is the custodian of God in the matter of commands and prohibitions.
That he is the custodian of God among us. Our hearts would accept the one who is the custodian of the Lord of the heavens.
Do not leave the folks of villages and cities to think that the property of Allah be considered permitted for general welfare and development.
Thus send towards Hajjaj and have his account taken. And also send your agents to Jaza and Bashr.
And do not ignore the two Nafes. For both of them and Ibn Ghilab from the chiefs of Bani Nasr.
And Asim from among them is not empty handed and he was a mere slave of the Bani Badr sold in the market.
Also depute towards Noman and take his accounts and the son-in-law of Bani Khazwan, as I know him.
And inquire about the assets of Shabl and also Ibn Mohrish who is called ‘Sahib’ among his villagers.
Divide his assets, may our family be sacrificed on you. If you divide it into half, he would agree to it.
And do not invite me to witness it as I am going to disappear but I continue to witness the amazing times.
We shall return if they come. And we shall go to war if they go. Then how come they have so much wealth and we do no have much?
If the trader gets musk it shall run between the parting of hair.’
As a result of this Umar stood up and one after the other took up the cases of each of his appointees, seized their assets and confiscated half.18
And the meaning of these couplets is that these rulers have committed fraud and misappropriation of public wealth. But the seizure of half of their assets has no precedence in the Prophet’s practice. Rather their case should be handed over to the court of law. So that if their dishonesty is proved the legal penalty shall be applied to them. And the confiscation of half of their property they had embezzled is meaningless. In the same way to transfer them from one place to another and to consider them unreliable becomes necessary.
Anyway, inspite of Umar’s strictness continuous complaints reached him and some people complained about the governors to him, especially those who were responsible for collecting land tax. They sent their complaint in the form of these two couplets.
“We shall go wherever they go and we shall fight when they fight. Then how is it that they have so much and we have none?
If the trader gets musk it shall run between the parting of hair.”19
He saw new wealth and abundance of opulence in them than were to be seen among the common people and it was natural that this was obtained through embezzlement as in those days, there was no fool proof method of taking their accounts and keeping track of their financial dealings.
And here a very meaningful question remains. Umar dealt with all his governors strictly but why did he not apply the same strict measures for Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan? He rather, accorded him special honor and he did not subject him to any sort of accounting and inspection. One after other complaints continued to reach Umar that Muawiyah had resorted to embezzlement, did what he liked and committed excess. However Umar used to find excuses for Muawiyah and instead praised him saying, “You talk of Kisra and Caesar while there is Muawiyah among you?”20
And thanks be to Allah there is no Choesroes and Caesar in Islam. It is mentioned in tradition that, “Choesroes was destroyed. And Caesar shall be destroyed and there shall be no Caesar after him. And by the One in Whose hands is my life, you shall spend their treasures in the path of God.”
Umar used to defend Muawiyah beyond reasonable limits. And narrators says, “Some companions mentioned to him that Muawiyah was going against the Prophetic practice because he wore silk and brocade and used gold and silver utensils and he does not refrain himself from any un-Islamic deed. Umar objected to them and scolded them saying, “Leave it! Do not complain to me about a young man of Quraish. One who smiles while in anger and what he has is not obtained easily. And nothing could be taken from above his head but that he discards it himself’”21
Historians say that Umar went to greater lengths to elevate the position of Muawiyah and imbued him with a lofty soul. And the members of the Shura committee that Umar has instituted for selecting the caliph after him, were warned about Muawiyah that, “If you resort to jealousy among yourselves and if you begin to oppose each other and if there is mutual enmity among you, Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan would dominate you in this matter’”22
And when Muawiyah became sure that the caliph would not take any action against him and he would continue to defend him, he initiated such steps in Syria that a power hungry king takes in order to strengthen his rule and power.
Historians have no difference of opinion that the Holy Imam (‘a) was highly aggrieved due to the usurpation of his rights and the ignorance of his position. He was extremely shocked due to the misappropriation of his inheritance. Because the people tried to ignore his status and considered him an ordinary person not worldly of a special regard. They completely disregarded his relation to the Prophet and his status in the view of the Messenger of Allah (S). And His Eminence became aloof from them and he did not participate in any of their affairs related to the government and power. And they also did not make him participate in it. He became aloof from them and they also became aloof from him. So much so that he put his cheek on the earth as historians say: Muhammad bin Sulaiman in his reply to Ja’far Ibn Makki regarding what occurred between Ali and Uthman says:
“Both of the first two (Abu Bakr and Umar) separated Ali from his position and deposed him and destroyed his honor in the view of the people. Thus he became a forgotten thing.”23
Imam (‘a) in his conversation with Abdullah Ibn Umar mentioned that all the hardships that befell him were related to his father (Umar) and among them was giving precedence to Uthman over him.24
Anyway, he remained aloof and secluded from the people just as he had maintained aloofness during the tenure of Abu Bakr. Imam (‘a) confined himself to his residence, making sorrow his companion and the stars his confidants. He used keep his head on the pillow of grief and he used to spend his days in sadness, swallowing the draughts of anger and keeping his fury under control. He did not meet anyone except for his sincere companions, who were cognizant of his status and reality like Ammar bin Yasir, Abu Zar and Miqdad. In this condition he was occupied in the compilation of the Quran, inscribing it and pondering over its verses.
Historians are unanimous that Umar used to consult Ali (‘a) in some very important matters and questions that were posed to him. Umar used to refer these queries to Ali (‘a) and he did not refrain from solving these problems. So that he may narrate the commands of Allah as it is obligatory for the knowledgeable ones to spread the divine commands among the people’and Umar has described this merit of the Holy Imam (‘a) in his following statement: “If Ali hadn’t been there, Umar would have perished.”
It is an established matter that Umar was often confronted with legal matters that he could not solve. Hence he used to rush to Imam (‘a) and other companions. His words have become famous that: “Everyone is more informed than Umar, even the women.”
And it is said, “All the people are more knowledgeable than Umar, even the ladies confined in houses.”
And the research scholar, the respected Allamah Amini, has proved this matter in such a way that there is no exaggeration in it.25
Imam Husayn’s heart was filled with pain and sorrow because the position of his eminent father had been usurped. And this matter was one of the factors that contributed to his displeasure and grief. He was absolutely aware of the reality of the situation even though he was yet of a very young age.
Historian say, “One day Umar had climbed over the pulpit and was delivering a sermon that suddenly he saw Husayn(‘a) coming towards him on the pulpit and he was screaming, “Come down from the pulpit of my father. Come down and go to the pulpit of your father.”
Umar was shocked and he was astonished no end. He testified to what he had said,
“You are right! My father did not have a pulpit.”
Then he picked Imam Husayn (‘a) and seated him besides himself and began to investigate who had taught him to make such a statement. He asked, “Who has taught you this?”
Imam replied, “By Allah, no one has taught it to me.”26
A feeling full of pain but which was having complete understanding and broad perception come to his mind. His Eminence wept upon the pulpit of his grandfather. A pulpit which was the source of effulgence and knowledge and he saw that it was appropriate that after the Prophet, no one except his father, who was the standard bearer of knowledge and wisdom on the earth, should sit on that pulpit.
Historians say, “Umar gave a lot of attention to His Eminence, Imam Husayn (‘a) and had told him that if he had any need he should approach him. One day he came to Umar and found him in a secret meeting with Muawiyah and he saw his son, Abdullah. He sought his permission but Abdullah did not permit, so he returned from there with him. A day later Umar saw His Eminence and asked him, “O Husayn, what stopped you from coming to me?”
Imam replied, “I came when you were in a confidential meeting with Muawiyah, so I returned with Ibn Umar.”
Umar said, “You were superior to Ibn Umar because what you see over our head, it is the Almighty Allah and after Him, you all who have placed it on my head (the Crown of caliphate).”27
His politics demanded that he should accord more respect to Hasan and Husayn (‘a), the two grandsons of the Messenger of Allah (S). Hence he sanctioned for them a share in the war booty.
One day some colored woven clothes from Yemen were received by him and he distributed them but forgot to give any from them to Hasan and Husayn (‘a). Later he wrote to his agent in Yemen to send two garments for him and he sent them, and he dressed Hasan and Husayn in it.
Umar fixed their allowances equal to their father and that was the same as the fighters of Battle of Badr, that is 5000 Dirhams.28
Except for the incidents narrated by us above no other event or incident involving Imam Husayn (‘a) during the Caliphate of Umar have reached us. This was because of the seclusion and aloofness of His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) and his sons from matters related to government and they had given preference to remain aloof from the people and did not choose to participate in any of their matters. Because their hearts were full of deep sorrow and grief and the Holy Imam (‘a) has announced his grief on various occasions.
Historians say, “A difficult problem came to Umar and he was very keen to solve it. He presented it to his companions and said to them, “What do you say in this matter?”
They replied, “You are the point of reference and you are the position to remove the difficulties.”
This did not please him and he recited the following words of Almighty Allah: “O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and speak the right word.”29
After that he told them, “By Allah, you and I know where the point of reference and knowledge regarding the matter is.”
They said, “At seems that you are thinking about the son of Abu Talib.”
Umar said, “Except for him, where should I go? Has any free woman given birth to anyone like him?”
They said, “O Amirul Momineen (‘a) why do you not call him?”
Umar replied, “They have the status and greatness of the Hashemite clan and precedence in knowledge and proximity to the Messenger of Allah (S). They go to him and not that he comes to them (people). So get up so that we can go to him.”
Together they hastened to His Eminence and saw him leaning on his wall wearing a pair of trousers (Shalwar) and resting on his spade and reciting: “Does man think that he is to be left to wander without an aim?”30
He was reciting till the end of the Surah and tears were flowing on his cheeks. All those people also began to weep. After that he stopped weeping and Umar inquired from His Eminence about the difficult matter that had come to him and His Eminence replied to him.
After that Umar told him, “By Allah, the truth wanted you but the people did not want you.”
His Eminence said, “O Abu Hafs do not talk about this or that.” Then he recited the verse: “Surely the day of decision is (a day) appointed.”31
Umar was shocked and was absolutely bewildered. He placed one of his hands on the other and went away from there in a condition of embarrassment.32
Some historians say that there were unfriendly relations between the families of Imam Husayn (‘a) and Umar and its reason was that Asim bin Umar drank wine and His Eminence, Husayn (‘a) testified against him in the court of law during the reign of Uthman and the penalty was awarded to Asim and this became the cause of enmity between the two families.33
We shall not prolong the discussion on the caliphate of Umar and we shall refrain from exploring those maters that remain, especially the verdicts issued by Umar and some of them were his own interpretation in contravention of express instructions of Quran and traditions. Like the prohibition of Mutah (Fixed term marriage) etc. We shall not speak of any of these matters because we have resorted to brevity and we have mentioned those events above only because they were part of the actual occurrences of that time and they had in some way or the other affected the psyche of Imam Husayn (‘a) and the events related to social and intellectual life of the time when Imam Husayn (‘a) spent his life and it reflects the life of Imam Husayn (‘a).
Anyway, what is important on us is that we should describe the events connected with the murder of Umar and important incidents of that time. Because some narrators consider his killing as the consequence of the plots of Bani Umayyah that they had devised to become independent from Umar’s rulership, so that they (the Umayyads) may impose themselves on the Muslims.34
This matter is emphasized that Abu Lulu, Umar’s killer was the slave of Mughaira bin Shoba and Mughaira always had a close relationship with the Umayyads. In my view this is not a theory that could pass the test of research because Umar’s connection with the Umayyads was natural and stable and there was no sort of rivalry or hard feelings between them. And with respect to them Umar was more inclined to them. He had appointed their leaders as the rulers in Islamic lands and dominions like Yazid bin Abu Sufyan, Saeed Ibn Abil Aas and Muawiyah etc. Umar did not seize and divide into two any of their assets like he had done with his other governors. Rather he also paid attention to the problems of their women in such a way that the daughter of Utbah and mother of Muawiyah was granted 4000 units of currency from the Public Treasury so that she may invest it in business.35
On the basis of this Umar did not do anything that could be in opposition to their interests. Then how is it possible that they had devised a plan to murder Umar?
Anyway what is confirmed is that Abu Lulu had done it of his own and not at the behest of the Umayyads. In our view, he was a young man angered and aggrieved for the sake of his community and society. Because he saw on his land how it has spread and how the greatness of the community was destroyed and how their honor had been lost. And he saw Umar how he had been in the forefront of suppressing the rights and honor of the Persians. Umar detested the Persians so much that he used to keep them at a distance and he had even issued orders that they must not enter Medina before they reach the age of puberty.36 He had also issued a verdict that only Arabs shall be entitled to inheritance and Persians and non-Arabs cannot inherit from their predecessors.37
And also that he called them ‘Alulooj’ (Wild Donkeys).38 And also that he himself went to Umar to complain to him about the hardships he had to bear from Mughaira and the heavy land tax that Mughaira had imposed on him. But Umar scolded him and said, “I don’t think the land tax imposed on you is even slightly in excess’”
This matter caused animosity in his heart towards Umar and he carried a grudge against Umar. And also when Umar passed by him he had said to him, “I have heard that you say that you could construct a mill that can run on the wind?”
This ridicule made Abu Lulu very displeased and he replied at once, “I shall make such a mill of you that people would talk about it’”
And the next day he went on to kill Umar39 and he hit him three strikes and one of them was below his navel and it rent the skin of the lower portion. Then he went to the people of the mosque and he attacked anyone who came across him till he had injured eleven persons in addition to Umar. After that he killed himself.40
Umar was carried to his house while his wounds were bleeding. He asked the people around him, “Who has attacked me?”
They replied, “Mughaira’s slave.”
He said, “Did I not tell you not to allow any of these donkeys to come near me? But you did not obey me.”41
His family summoned the physician who promptly arrived and he asked his patient, “What is your favorite drink?”
“Nabidh, he replied.42
So they gave him Nabidh to drink but it came out through the wounds. People said, “There is dirt in the blood.” After that they gave him milk to drink but that also came out from his wound. Then the physician became hopeless about him and told him, “I don’t think you shall survive till late afternoon.”43 When he became certain that his end was near, he told his son Abdullah to calculate how much he owed. He arrived with the figure of 86000. Then he said, “If the property of the family of Umar is sufficient pay it from your property. If it is not sufficient ask the clan of Bani Adi and if that too is not enough take it from the Quraish, but beyond that do not ask anyone else.”44
If we ponder on this bequest we shall find some questions arising:
1. This huge amount that he had taken as a loan from the Public Treasury he had utilized it for only his family expenses. And if he had spent it in the matters of Muslim there would not have been any need to recover it from the Khattab family. And it is without any doubt not at all in accordance with the character of Umar that the historians have portrayed saying that he used to be very strict and austere regarding public funds and he did not use anything of it for his personal needs.
2. It is that he made a bequest to his son Abdullah that he should repay his debts from his own family funds and if that is not enough it should be supplemented by funds from the clan and this shows that he had also spent some of the public money on the Bani Adi clan. And if not, how could any recovery from the clan be justified? Because he had no right on other people’s wealth even if they be his relatives. In our opinion he had given them the money from pubic treasury and it is mentioned about him that he was very strict with his family and clan. So much so that he subjected them to poverty and hardship. This contradicts the above theory and that he used to deal with them with so much austerity and deprived them to such an extent that he considered his relatives at par with other Muslims.
3. And his bequest to his son Abdullah that he may then seek funds from the Quraish and pay off his debts shows a deep and firm attachment of Umar to the Quraishites. And on the basis of the statement of historians he was the sole representative of the Quraish clan in his activities and he used to fulfill their desires and aspirations.
These were some of the points derived from the bequest of Umar. Historians have not recorded whether Abdullah fulfilled the will of his father and repaid the outstanding amount of Umar to the Baitul Maal (Public Treasury).
In any case when Abdullah became assured that his father would surely die, he requested him to appoint someone on the position of caliphate and not to leave the affairs of the community aimless and he told his father, “O father appoint someone as the caliph over the community of Muhammad(‘s). Because if the herder of the camels or sheep leaves his flock without a caretaker you would say that he has abandoned his trusts. Then how can the Ummah of Muhammad remain? Therefore appoint someone as the caliph.”
Umar looked at him with a look of doubt and hesitation and replied, “If I appoint anyone as caliph over them, Abu Bakr had done the same and if I leave them, the Messenger of Allah (S) had left them free.”45
The demands of Abdullah were based on knowledge and logic because it is not reasonable for the leader to leave the political and social affairs of his followers just like that. And if he does so, the people shall be surrounded in difficulties and problems and a great calamity shall befall them. Umar has claimed that the Messenger of Allah (S) had not paid any attention to the temporal and spiritual leadership of his community and he did not appoint anyone as his successor. And probably the pain intensified for Umar and had made him forget that Prophet had appointed His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (‘a) as his successor on the Day of Ghadeer and ordered Muslims to pay allegiance to Ali (‘a) and that Umar was first of those who gave him the oath of allegiance and congratulated him saying, “Congratulations to you, O Ali! You have become my master and master of all believing men and women.”
In any case, Umar’s wounds had completely troubled him in such a way that he was saying, “If whatever I have on the earth was of gold I would have given all as penalty in lieu of release from divine chastisement before I meet Him.”46
And he told his son, Abdullah, “Put my cheek on the earth.” But he did not pay any heed to Umar. He thought that he had lost his mind. Then he repeated his orders and again Abdullah did not respond. Finally he said it the third time and shouted, “Put my cheek on the ground, may your mother die!”
Abdullah came forward and put the cheek of Umar on the ground ñ and he began to weep bitterly and continued to utter the words, “Woe be to Umar, woe be to Umar. If the Almighty does not forgive him.”47
Umar requested his son to take permission from Ayesha so that he may be buried alongside the Prophet and Abu Bakr and Ayesha accorded the permission.48 Shias have expressed the same objection they raised against the burial of Abu Bakr saying that: If what the Prophet had left, if on the basis of the tradition of Abu Bakr the family of the Prophet does not inherit anything and that all of it is handed over to the master of authority (caliph) here was no sense in taking permission of Ayesha. And if his heir inherit, as the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) believed in that case there was no share of it remains for Ayesha. Because on the basis of the laws described by Muslim jurists, the widow is not entitled to inherit any landed property. In that case, it becomes necessary that the permission of the Prophet’s heir had been sought, which was not done.
We have reached to those terrible circumstances and calamities that befell the Muslims and the event that created a great mischief in the Muslim world that subjected them to everlasting difficulties and hardships. And it is the same event of Shura (consultative committee) in which there was an open and blatant plot to deprive Imam Ali (‘a) from his share in rulership and the entrusting of the caliphate to Bani Umayyah so that the kindness of Quraish may be fully applied to them, which was full of animosity and hatred towards the Holy Imam (‘a)
And Allah knows that in this discussion we have intended nothing but to describe the condition of the period in which Imam (a.s) lived. An incident, which in our opinion was the source of all great mischiefs and that finally led to the tragedy of Karbala and other calamities also. Events that completely turned upside down and muddled the way of noble life in Islam.
In any case, when Umar despaired of his life and saw his imminent end, he began to think about the one who may take over the command after him from those leaders who had taken part in preparing the ground for Abu Bakr and he remembered them and saw that death has taken them away. At that moment he wailed and expressed regret saying, “If Abu Ubaidah had been alive I would have made him the caliph because he was the trustworthy member of the community. If Saalim, the slave of Abu Huzaifah were alive, I would have appointed him as the caliph as he loved God too much’”
Why Umar did not mention anyone of those were alive and who had participated in establishment of Islam? Like the chief of the purified progeny, Amirul Momineen (‘a) and the prominent companions of the prophet like Ammar bin Yasir, Abu Zar and others from Ansar so that he may have nominated them for the position!
He was searching among the list of the departed companions and wished that: If only Abu Ubaidah and Saalim were alive so that he may have entrusted the leadership to them. Inspite of the fact that none of the two had any sort of precedence in Holy war or service in the path of Islam’
Those people asked him to appoint someone to succeed him so that he may govern the affairs of the community, however he did not do so and said, “I do not like that I should take the responsibility of the future of the caliphate.”
However not much time passed but that he defeated his intention and named the six members of Shura committee and entrusted them with the leadership of the community. And in this way he imposed his choice on the Muslims and this way he made himself responsible for the good and bad future of caliphate.
Ibn Abil Hadid says, “What else could have been there before the acceptance of responsibility and what difference was there whether he named a particular person or devised a committee and imposed his specific instructions on the selection of the caliph?”49
Umar summoned the members of the Shura committee whom he had himself nominated and considered them honest. Umar had also claimed that the Prophet had also said about them that they were the people of Paradise. 50 But when they arrived in his presence he addressed them in a very sarcastic and critical manner. And for each of them he made a clear objection. He blamed each of them to be having a particular defect, which makes us question their nomination by Umar Historians have recorded his comments in various ways. Some of them are as follow:
1. When he glanced at them he said, “Each of you have come to me in a condition that you are giving movement to your devil and aspiring to become a caliph’as for you, O Talha, did you not say that ‘If the Prophet passes away, I would marry his widows?’ The Almighty Allah has not considered Muhammad better than us for marrying our cousins and the Almighty Allah has revealed for you: “‘and it does not behove you that you should give trouble to the Apostle of Allah, nor that you should marry his wives after him ever’”51
And as for you, O Zubair, by Allah, your heart never softened and you have always been cruel and sharp tongued.”
And as for you, O Uthman, by Allah a heap of dung is better than you.”
And as for you, O Abdur Rahman, you are a weak man, that you fear all the people.
And as for you, O Saad, you are having an angry disposition and you are a mischief-maker.
And as for you, O Ali, by Allah, if your faith is weighed against the weight of all the people of the earth your faith shall be heavier.”
Ali arose and departed from there. Umar then addressed the audience and said, “I recognize the status of a person that if you entrust him with your affairs he would bring you on an illuminated path.”
They asked, “Who is it?”
He replied, “It is the same one who is going from before you.”
They asked, “What has prevented you from this.”
He replied, “There is no option in this.”52
Umar had criticized each of them except Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) whom he considered great and confessed about his eligibility and suitability for caliphate; and that if he had taken the affairs of the community in his control he would have led them on the true path. However, Umar did not consider it worthwhile to appoint him.
2. Historians say: When Shura members came face to face they said: “O Amirul Momineen (‘a), say something about us so that we may use your opinion as points of debate and we be guided by your views.” So he said, “By Allah, Saad, nothing prevented me from appointing you as the caliph except your cruelty and hard heartedness although you are a brave warrior.”
And nothing prevents me from you, O Abdul Rahman except that you are the Firon of this community.
And nothing prevents me from you, O Zubair except that you are a believer in happiness and an infidel in anger.
And nothing prevents me about Talha except his arrogance and pride. And if he becomes the caliph be would put the ring of his seal on his wife’s finger.
And nothing prevents me from you, O Uthman, except your bigotry and your favoritism towards your clan.
And nothing prevents me from you, O Ali except your greed for it and in fact you are the most qualified of the people and if you get the post you shall act on manifest truth and the right path.”53
Umar associated the members of the Shura with undesirable qualities. He labeled Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf as the Firon of the community but surprisingly the next moment he gave him the choice of selection and made his opinion binding on all.
In the same way he alleged that Imam Ali (‘a) was greedy for the caliphate but the open biography of the Imam testifies against this. Because His Eminence neither loved power nor wished for rulership. He argued with the caliphs that he was more qualified and worthy for the post not because he wanted to obtain rule and power or to gain material wealth as some of them did in this way. He also did not fall prey to selfish desires and annihilate himself in that path or to seek material gains in order to gain superiority among the people.
Imam Ali (‘a) was not seeking any of these valueless things. Rather he wanted rulership for spreading justice and establishment of truth and the Shariah of God. This was the true desire of his life. And for the sake of these aim he was according value to it. He had expressed this matter in his following statements:
“O Allah, You know that what was from us, it was not a rivalry for coming to power and neither was it for obtaining any remaining wealth and property. It was so that I may be able to protect the signs of Your religion. And that Your forgotten limits of (commands and prohibitions) be established and Your oppressed servants may get security.”
His Eminence in conversation with Ibn Abbas about the level of his distaste for power and his considering valueless of rulership while His Eminence was stitching his sandals. Thus he glanced at Ibn Abbas and asked, “O Ibn Abbas, what is the value of this sandal?”
Ibn Abbas replied, “O Amirul Momineen (‘a) it is of no value.”
His Eminence said, “It is better than this your caliphate, but that I may establish the truth and remove falsehood.”
His Eminence was desirous of caliphate so that he may save its lofty position and for establishment of social justice, to spread knowledge in the society and to improve the general life of the populace.
3. In the third narration it is mentioned that Umar summoned the members of the Shura committee and when they arrived to him he said to them, “Are you all greedy of caliphate after me?”
They did not say anything in reply. He again repeated his question, Zubair glanced at him and asked, “What is it that could keep it away from us? You took it in your hand and acted upon it and we in Quraish are not lesser than you, either in precedence (in Islam) nor in proximity (in relation to the Prophet).
Umar was not able to reply to this. He said, “Shall I inform you about yourself?”
They said, “Say it. Because even if we ask you to release us, you would not.”
He described their aspirations and greeds and told them about their psychology. Thus he glanced at Zubair and said, “As for your O Zubair, you are quick tempered and angry man. If you are pleased, you are a believer and when you are angry you are an infidel. One day you are a human and the other you are a Satan. And if you obtain the caliphate you would spend a day in Mecca in arguing over a measure of barley. Thus if you come to power, I don’t know what would be the condition of people on the day you are a Satan and what would be on the day you are angry and the Allah Almighty Allah shall not endow you with caliphate while you are having those defects.”
On the basis of the analysis of his psychology Zubair was found to be having the following dangerous defects:
1. Short temper and narrow minded
2. Instability in behavior
3. Too much anger and lack of self control
4. Greed and miserliness to an extent that he could fight over a measure of barley. These are such undesirable qualities that anyone who is fraught with them isnabsolutely undeserving of any government post. How can he become the leader and caliph of the Muslim nation?
Then Umar turned to Talha and asked, “Shall I say it or remain quiet?”
Talha became angry with him and said, “You are not saying anything about the good qualities.”
Umar said, “Indeed I know you very well, from the day your finger was cut off in the Battle of Uhad. You were angry due to the pain you suffered and the Prophet departed from this world while he was displeased with you because of what you said on the occasion of the revelation of the verse of Hijab.”
If the Messenger of Allah (S) had been angry with Talha, how could Umar nominate him for caliphate and leadership of Muslims? This Caliphate is something about which he said, “The Messenger of Allah (S) passed away while he was pleased with the members of the Shura Committee.”
Jahiz has expressed his opinion on this matter saying, “If someone says to Umar: You said that the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away while he was pleased with these six persons, then how could you say to Talha that His Eminence was displeased with him due to what Talha had said? In that case it would be as if you have shot an arrow at him. But who could dare to ask even something lesser than this?”
Then Umar turned to Saad bin Abi Waqqas and said, “Indeed, you are the owner of a herd of horses, of horses with which you fight in the battles. And you are a hunter with bows and arrows. What does the tribe of Zuhra has to do with caliphate and community affairs?”
Saad was a warrior and except for martial affairs he did not have any capability in administrative and community matters. Then why did Umar nominate him as a candidate for caliphate? In the same way he has described the ineligibility of the tribe of Saad for Caliphate and Umar criticized it in this regard.
When he turned to Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf he said, “As for you, O Abdur Rahman, if half of the faith of the Muslims is compared to your faith, your faith would be proved better. However it is not suitable for this matter that it be entrusted to a person having a defect that you possess. And where is ‘Zohra’ (a type of weak person) and where is this matter?
And Abdur Rahman in the opinion of Umar was a man of faith and piety. But we don’t know where his faith was when he did not select the chief of the Purified Progeny, Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) as Caliph and entrusted the affairs of the Muslims to the hands of the Umayyads who plundered the wealth of God and who made the servants of God as their own slaves? And Abdur Rahman also, according to the admission of Umar, did not possess a strong personality and a firm determination; then why did Umar appoint him as a candidate for caliphate?
How could Umar make his decision binding on the affairs of the community?
After that Umar glanced at Amirul Momineen (‘a) and said, “By Allah if you become the caliph! If only you hadn’t a jestful nature! If you rule over them you shall take them towards truth and the right path.”
When was the Imam (‘a) resorting to jest? Rather the Imam (‘a) always lived a life of seriousness and had a farsighted disposition which became obvious in his words and deeds. Now how could it be possible for a person of a jestful nature to take the Muslims to the right path and truth? As Umar says: This position is not suitable for a person with a jestful disposition because it is a weakness and sloth in the personality.”
Umar has emphasized that if the Imam obtains control over the affairs of Muslims, he would deal with them with truth and lead them on the right path. Then why Umar made him a mere member of Shura committee and why did he not expressly appoint him as the caliph? Is it in the well-being of the community that opportunity be taken away from him and the affairs may not be entrusted to one who would act on his practice, which was based on pure justice and truth?
Then he turned to Uthman the senior member of the Umayyad clan. It was a clan that had always confronted Islam. Umar said to him, “Yes! The rulership shall indeed come to you! As if I can see the Quraish handing over caliphate to you on the basis of their friendship to you and you have imposed the Bani Umayyad and Bani Abu Muit on the necks of the people. And you have preferred them for showering gifts. Then a group of wolves of Arabs would rush to you and behead you in your bed. By Allah, if you do so and you would also do it ñ they would also do the same.” Then he put his hand on his forehead and said, “Thus if it happens in this way, remember what I have said’”54
If we ponder briefly on Umar’s statement to Uthman that he said, “As if I can see the Quraish handing over caliphate to you on the basis of their friendship to you’” we shall see that it was Umar who had given the caliphate to Uthman. Because the rules he framed for the Shura were definitely in favor of Uthman’s victory as Umar had made him a member of Shura and the majority of them were having good relationship with Uthman’s family. And they would never prevent Uthman’s selection neither would they prefer anyone else to him. And in fact it was Umar who has given the caliphate to Uthman. Also inspite of having perfect knowledge about Uthman’s nature and his favoritism towards his clan, how could Umar name him as a candidate of caliphate? While he was personally aware of the danger of Bani Umayyah for Islam and he has announced this matter in his conversation with Mughaira bin Shoba. He had said, “O Mughaira, do you see anything with your blind eyes?”
“No”, he replied.
Umar said, “By Allah, the Bani Umayyad shall blind the eyes of Islam like you have become blind. And after that they would blind both their eyes and would not know where they go and from where they come.”55
Thus at the time of his death, Umar should have secured the Muslim community from the danger of Bani Umayyads and he should not have allowed them any share in rulership of Muslims.
The above were some narrational reports regarding his statements addressed to members of the Shura Committee.
Probably I have not seen any other procedure as baseless as the procedure of the Shura committee. It was not having any kind of originality and balance. It was very far from the fact that it should be representative of all views of the community. Different groups should have been represented therein. Because in this Shura Umar had given the view of a particular group precedence over the opinion of the people. They were only representing their own views.
Umar summoned all of those whom he had nominated and said to them, “Bring with you someone from the senior man of Ansar but nothing from your affair shall be in their hands. And along with you present Hasan Ibn Ali and Abdullah Ibn Abbas, as they a two are such close ones that their presence I consider good for you and for them there would be no share in your affair.”56
Umar distanced the Ansar and he did not allow them any share in nomination and selection. Rather he made them responsible for supervision, which amounted to their deprivation, and it implied that they were not worth much. Because the matter was the matter of the members of Shura and others were of no consequence’And we don’t know what benefit existed by the presence of Hasan Ibn Ali and Abdullah Ibn Abbas while they did not have any say in the matter of selecting the caliph.
When he turned to Abu Talha Ansari and issued a command so that by it the matter of Shura is strengthened and he said to him, “O Abu Talha, Allah honored Islam through you. So select 50 persons from the Ansar and tell them to undertake this function’”
After that he turned to Miqdad bin Aswad and ordered him similarly that: “If five agree and one differs, behead the one. If four agree and two disagree, those two should be beheaded; ft there is a division of three and three, the choice of the group of Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf should prevail. If the other three do not agree to it they’”
Umar warned the companions of the Prophet and told them about the danger of Muawiyah and Amr bin Aas whenever they did not have a unified belief and they arose in conflicts regarding the kingdom. So he said to them, “O companions of Muhammad, become united, for if you don’t, Amr bin Aas and Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan would dominate you in the matter of caliphate.
The Imamite Shaykh, Shaykh Mufeed has remarked in the following way about this statement: “By this statement, Umar intended to instigate Muawiyah and Amr bin Aas to obtain the power of caliphate and he encouraged them in their greed because Muawiyah was his agent and governor in Syria and Amr bin Aas was his agent and governor in Egypt and Umar was afraid that if Uthman becomes weak the caliphate would turn to Ali, therefore he issued this statement so that people may convey it to those two who were in Syria and Egypt and in case the caliphate returns to Ali the two may seize power in the Muslim territories’”
Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) was shocked and he was extremely aggrieved and he knew that the Shura committee was designed as a plot to keep the caliphate away from him. His Eminence met his uncle Abbas and without any preface said:
“O Uncle, the caliphate has gone away from us.”
He said, “Who has informed you about this?”
His Eminence replied, “He has equated me with Uthman and said that I must respect the choice of the majority and then he said: Be with Abdur Rahman, Saad would also not oppose his cousin Abdur Rahman and Abdur Rahman is the son-in- law of Uthman so they shall not differ among themselves’”57
Imam’s prediction proved true, because Abdur Rahman for his personal reason and the expectation that afterwards the caliphate shall return to him, entrusted the caliphate to Uthman.
The Shura was an obvious plot to cause the defeat of the Holy Imam (‘a) that was devised to opposed that true successor of the Messenger of Allah (S) and the gate of the city of knowledge.
Imam Kashiful Ghita says, “The Shura in its reality and essence was a real plot and a faÁade which was capable to bring out the selection of Uthman as a caliph over Muslims and though it seemed to be for the well-being of the Muslims it brought for them a calamity that was to remain with them forever’”
This conspiracy saddened the Holy Imam (‘a) and the malice of Quraish increased his sorrow till after a number of years he spoke about it and said, “When he (Umar) died he appointed one who claimed that he was of them. Thus may Allah restore my rights from the Shura. How many calamities I was already facing that now I was subjected to this kind of difficulty’”
Yes, by Allah, O Amirul Momineen (‘a), who doubts that you were the best of the Muslims and the most superior among them in Jihad and the foremost of them in Islam. But what a terrible time! Woe be to that time when you were equated with such people, who deprived the Ummah from justice and rights.
Here a question remains to be answered, and that is why the Holy Imam (‘a) agreed to be a component of the Shura committee inspite of the fact that there were clear differences between the other Shura members and His Eminence?
His Eminence has himself replied to this question that it was to expose the contradiction in Umar’s arguments because Umar had said many a times that prophethood and caliphate can never come together in the same family. Then in such a case why did he nominate Ali (‘a) as a member of Shura committee for selection of a caliph?
The former and latter researchers have criticized the Shura and are unanimous of its artificial nature. And its undesirable consequences that caused untold misery for the Ummah and the mischief it created have already been discussed by us in our previous volume titled, Life of Imam Hasan (‘a). However it is pertinent to briefly mention them here because the topic of discussion demands it:
Firstly: This setup was very distant from the reality of the Shura and it lacked all the factors that could have made it successful. Therefore it should have had the following requisites:
A. It should have represented all the classes of the community.
B. The government should not have had any interference in the matter of selection directly or indirectly.
C. General freedom should have been given to those who were taking part in the selection.
However Umar’s Shura lacked all these qualities and none of them were present in that setup because it prevented the Ummah from selecting a candidate of their choice and no one was accorded the freedom to select a caliph of his choice. Rather the matter was entrusted to only six persons and their view was decreed to dominate the view of all the community. And it is a type of purification that some regimes do not care for the aspirations of their subjects and they force things upon them. And he also ordered the police that they must interfere in this matter and told them: If any member of the Shura opposes the selection of the remaining members, he shall be put to death.
In the same way he instructed them that they must limit the selection to a period of three days and the selection makers got very little time to choose, so that another group of people may not interfere in the matter and their aim may not be defeated.
Secondly: This Shura consisted of elements opposed to the Imam and those harboring malice against His Eminence. Because among them was Talha of the Tamim tribe, the clan of Abu Bakr and he competed with the Imam for the post of caliphate and he kept the Holy Imam (‘a) from the caliphate. And among the Shura was Abdur Rahman bin Auf the son-in-law of Uthman. He was the most inimical among the Muhajireen with regard to Imam Ali (‘a). According to the statements of history writers he was of those who had helped Abu Bakr in forcing Ali (‘a) to pay him the oath of allegiance. The Shura also included Saad bin Abi Waqqas who was full of enmity and jealousy towards the Imam due to his brotherhood with the Umayyads because his mother Hamna was the daughter of Sufyan bin Umayyah. And Imam Ali (‘a) had slain their senior warriors in the way of the propagation of Islam. And when Muslims paid allegiance to the Imam, Saad refrained from giving his oath of allegiance. Also, among the components of the Shura was Uthman bin Affan, the leader of the Umayyad clan. According to the admission of the historians, Umar selected such persons for the Shura who were absolutely inimical to the Imam and opposed to him so that the caliphate may not reach His Eminence.
Imam (‘a) has remarked about the factors that influenced the selection and said: However, I spread my wings when they spread their wings and when they began to fly I also took to the air. Thus one of them gave ear to his animosity and the other one inclined towards his son-in-law along with the other problems.”
Anyway, this Shura, according to what the researchers have concluded, was solely aimed at keeping the Imam from power and entrusting the caliphate to the Umayyads.
Alaili says, “The appointing of six persons in Shura prepared the ground for the Umayyads so that they may raise the castle of their power on the shoulders of the Muslims.”
Sayyid Mir Ali Hindi has also concluded thus and he says, “The greed of Umar against the interests of the Muslims made him select these six persons from the best people of Medina without following the policy of his predecessors and the Umayyads had a strong lobby in Medina. And that is the reason that his selection prepared the ground for the plot and conspiracy of the Umayyads to succeed. The same Umayyads who harbored animosity towards Islam. And after that they came to this selection so that through it they may find a way to fulfill their greed and build the castle of their greatness on the shoulders of the Muslims.”58
Thirdly: Umar kept the Ansar away intently from this Shura and he did not allow them any share in it while it were they who had given refuge to the Prophet and supported Islam in its times of difficulties and helplessness and the Messenger of Allah (S) had prayed in their favor. In the same way Umar did not reserve any position in the Shura for important personalities like Ammar, Abu Zar and other senior Muslims and most probably it was due to their inclination towards Imam Ali (‘a). This was so because they would not have chosen anyone other than Ali (‘a). And it was on the basis of this that Umar kept them away from the selection committee. Umar selected for the Shura, persons who were confirmed opponents of the Holy Imam (‘a).
Fourthly: Among the curious aspects of this Shura is that Umar has testified in favor of the Shura members that when the Prophet departed from the world he was well-pleased with these six persons or that he (S) has given them glad tidings of Paradise. But Umar on the other hand had given express instructions to the police that if they delay in selecting one from themselves, they must all be killed. On the basis of what we have stated and according to those who have criticized the Shura that delay in selection does not expel them from the pale of Islam and it does not tantamount to apostasy that they should be condemned to death. And this command was absolutely opposed to the laws of Islam, which do not permit the killing of any man except under some specified circumstances that the jurists have mentioned, and none of these circumstances were applicable therein.
Here another matter remains that is in no way lesser than the objection mentioned above. It is that Umar limited the Shura to six persons on the argument that the Messenger of Allah (S) was well pleased with them at the time of his passing away. Because this argument does not justify such a selection because the Allah’s Messenger was well pleased with many more companions when he passed away. Hence to prefer only these six persons to them is a case of undeserving preference, which, according to scholars of Usul (fundamentals), is an undesirable option.
Fifthly: Of the objections leveled against this Shura is that Umar gave precedence to the choice of the group of Abdur Rahman bin Auf and he considered it superior to the group having Imam Amirul Momineen Ali (‘a), as this partiality clearly shows Umar’s leanings towards the Umayyad powers clearly who were inimical and unjust with regard to the Holy Imam (‘a). And we were not able to find a single reason for the preference accorded to Ibn Auf and any kind of qualification for this post or that he may be having any kind of superiority. Was he and his brethren from the Muhajireen like Talha and Zubair and others were not who had made the property of Muslims and sources of their wealth special for themselves to an extent that they gathered incalculable wealth? They possessed so much wealth that they could not find enough ways to spend it. And on the basis of what the historians have stated, Ibn Auf had amassed so much gold that they had to use hammers to break it into pieces. Can such a person be given precedence over the Imam, while His Eminence was the owner of generosity and perfections? And in knowledge, piety and religiosity he had no equal and the Almighty Allah says in His Book: “Say: Are those who know and those who do not know alike?”59
Sixthly: This Shura created a feeling of rivalry and competition in such a way that each of them considered himself to be equal to and as important as others while such a scenario did not exist previously. Saad was subservient to the command of Abdur Rahman and Abdur Rahman was obedient to Uthman and from his sincere friends and supporters. But after the Shura process a strange rift developed between them. So much so that Abdur Rahman began to conspire against Uthman and he was inviting Ali that anyone may take up arms to fight Uthman and made a bequest to his people that after he died, Uthman must not recite his funeral prayer’and also Zubair was the follower of Imam (‘a) and in Saqifah he had stood on the side of the Imam and he bore many hardships and difficulties in this regard. And he had said in the reign of Umar, “By Allah, if Umar dies, I shall give the oath of allegiance to Ali.” However, the Shura process imbued him with such a feeling of superiority that he began to consider himself at par with the Imam and he parted ways with His Eminence. On the day of Jamal he took up the sword against Ali (‘a). In the same way the Shura created mutual animosity among its components because each of them considered himself as the most qualified one for caliphate and thought that he was better than others. This animosity and conflict that developed between them became the cause to harm the unity of Muslims and it rendered them disunited. Muawiyah has mentioned this mater to Abil Haseen whom Ziyad sent to meet Muawiyah and Muawiyah had asked him, “I have received information that you are clever and intelligent, so tell me what I want to know.”
“Ask whatever you like.”
“Tell me what destroyed the unity of Muslims and created discord among them?” “Uthman’s assassination.”
“You are wrong.”
“Ali’s action against you and his battle with you.” “You are wrong.”
“Uprising of Talha, Zubair and Ayesha and Ali’s war on them.” “You are wrong.”
“I don’t know anything else.”
“I tell you, nothing has destroyed the unity of the Muslims and divided their views except the Shura committee that Umar had constituted of six persons, because the Almighty Allah sent Muhammad with guidance and the true religion so that it may prevail over all the other religions even though polytheists may be averse. Thus he acted upon what the Almighty Allah had commanded him, then Allah took him to Himself. And he sent Abu Bakr to lead the prayers and he accepted him for his worldly affairs while the Messenger of Allah (S) had selected him for his religious affairs. Thus he acted upon the practice of the Messenger of Allah (S) and followed the same manners and behavior till the Almighty Allah raised him up. Abu Bakr appointed Umar in his place and he (Umar) also continued his (Abu Bakr’s) practice and manners and after that he formed a committee of six persons such that there was none of them who did not want the caliphate for himself and he was waiting that caliphate may come to his people and his self was inclined towards it. And if Umar, like Abu Bakr had appointed anyone specifically, there would not have been any controversy in this matter.”60
The first effect of the Shura was the exposition of the greed and political aspirations of some Shura members and they tried to form parties and groups among the Islamic community so that they may be able to occupy the seat of power and this matter prepared the ground for future conflict that befell the Muslims.
These were some problems created by the Shura that forced the Muslims to bear untold problems and tragedies because it created a favorable atmosphere for the former bondsmen and their children to gain power and control of rulership so that they may prepare a program about which Muslims had no idea and the most obvious aspect of this conspiracy was to obtain control over the sources of government income and to plunder the wealth and funds of the public and also to try to oppress the righteous people and unleash a cruel agenda against the Progeny of the Prophet.
When Umar departed from this world and was buried in his eternal abode, the police officers surrounded the members of the Shura committee and told them to organize a meeting to select a ruler for the Muslims from among themselves so that the will of Umar may be acted upon.
They held a meeting in the Public Treasury and according to a report it was in the house of Masroor bin Mukhrama and Imam Hasan (‘a) and Abdullah Ibn Abbas supervised the selection. Mughaira bin Shoba and Amr bin Aas hastened towards an audience hall but Saad scolded them and said, “Do you want to say that we were present and were among the Shura members?”61
This statement shows the rivalry and jealousy that existed in those people because they were worried that Mughaira and Ibn Aas may also attend the meet and say that they were also Shura members.
The Shura members argued with one another, each one canvassing his own candidature and trying to prove himself as one most eligible for the post and a great clamor and argument arose.
Imam Amirul Momineen Ali (‘a) faced them and warned them of the future mischief and destruction in case they were following their selfish interests and not giving any importance to the interests of the community. Then he said, “No one has recognized anyone except me for the invitation of truth and for doing good to relatives, so listen to what I say and ponder upon my statements so that it may not be that after today you see that swords are drawn for it and promises are broken for it so that some of you may become leaders of misguidance and some become followers of ignorant ones’”62
If they had paid heed to the Imam’s warnings they would have saved the community from future upheavals and calamities and had ensured peace and prosperity for it. However they followed selfish desires, rulership and power worship and the prophecy of the Holy Imam (‘a) proved true. Not much time passed when swords were drawn out, conflicts spread and mischiefs became predominant and some of them became leaders of misguidance and some became followers of ignorant ones.
Arguments and debates took place in that group and they did not reach a desirable decision and the meeting ended without achieving its aim, which the people were impatiently waiting for a decisive result. The meeting convened for a second time but again its purpose was defeated. Then Abu Talha Ansari addressed them with warnings, threats and promises, saying, “No, by the One in Whose hands is the life of Umar! I shall not give you more than the period of three days that is fixed for you’”
On the third day, which was their last opportunity, again the meeting was convened. A severe communal aspect became obvious when Talha surrendered his right to Uthman, which was absolutely against the interests of the community. And he took this step as a result of a deep animosity he harbored towards the Holy Imam (‘a) as His Eminence had taken a stand against Abu Bakr a cousin of Talha in the matter of caliphate. Zubair also came forward and surrendered his vote to the Imam because he was closely related to him. Saad also stood up and gave up his vote in favor of his cousin, Abdur Rahman bin Auf so that he may support him in his choice.
The choice of Abdur Rahman was binding on all and his position was very strong because Umar had assured him about it and given him the final say in the matter of caliphate. However he had a very weak personality and determination and was unfit to bear the responsibility of rulership. Therefore he decided to nominate someone else for the caliphate. He was inclined to Uthman because Abdur Rahman was his son-in-law. Meanwhile he had also obtained the advice of the Quraishites and they had told him to prevent Ali (‘a) and press for the selection of Uthman, as Uthman was the one who would enable the realization of their aspirations.
At last the terrible moment arrived that changed the course of history and Abdur Rahman bin Auf told his nephew to call Ali and Uthman to him. He asked, “Whom should I summon first?”
Abdur Rahman replied, “Whomsoever you like.”
Masoor went out to bring these two persons and Muhajireen and Ansars gathered in the Mosque. Then Abdur Rahman came forward and presented to them the matter of caliphate and said, “O people, people have gathered from different areas and localities to which they would return, so you tell them about your view.”
At that time, the pure one, son of the pure one, Ammar bin Yasir came forward and he gave his counsel, which was in the interests of the community against disunity and conflict. He said, “If you want that there should be no discord among the Muslims, you must give allegiance to Ali.”
Miqdad also came forward and supported the statement of Ammar and said,
“Ammar is right. If you give allegiance to Ali we shall accept and follow him.”
It was the time when the oppressive and malicious powers gained momentum against Islam and the statements of Ammar and Miqdad were denounced and the senior members of the Umayyad clan demanded the appointment of Uthman. Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarah screamed at Ibn Auf and said, “If you want that the Quraish do not rise in opposition, you must pay allegiance to Uthman.”
Abdullah bin Abi Rabia also spoke up and seconded his companion and said, “If you pay allegiance to Uthman we shall accept and follow him.”
The prominent companion, Ammar bin Yasir replied to Ibn Abi Sarah saying,
“Since when you were a well wisher of Muslims?”
Ammar was right, because Ibn Sarah was never a well wisher of Muslims and he never wished good of Islam. He was of the most inimical persons to the Messenger of Allah (S) and His Eminence, after the conquest of Mecca ordered that he should be killed even if he hung himself with the covering of the Holy Ka’ba.63 And if the proper method and procedure had been followed these dirty persons and others like them would not have been able to interfere in the affairs of Muslims, because Bani Umayyah and other tribes of Quraish always were at the end of the caravan and they were not accorded any importance. This was so because they had opposed the Messenger of Allah (S) and instigated other tribes against him and they had accepted Islam only due to the fear of the point of the sword. Then how were they allowed to present their views and that the rulership of the Muslims be given to them?
Debates and arguments increased between the Umayyads and Hashemites and Ammar bin Yasir came forward in order to invite people towards the well being of the Muslims. He said, “O people, the Almighty Allah has bestowed greatness to us through His Prophet and favored us with His religion. Then how long would you keep the caliphate away from the Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet?”
Ammar’s logic was full of the spirit of Islam and its guidance because the Almighty Allah bestowed the Quraish and other Arabs with honor through His religion and made them successful through His Prophet and His Eminence was the honor and respect of the Arabs and it was incumbent on them to reciprocate this favor by not keeping the caliphate away from the Prophet’s family as the Ahlul Bayt (‘a) were the protectors of knowledge and repositories of the revelation that had descended on His Eminence. It was an injustice to try to oppress and subjugate them.
Then a man of Bani Makhzum interrupted Ammar and said, “O son of Sumaiyyah, what business do you have regarding the selection of a chief of Quraish?”
What can be greater blindness than this from the light of Islam and its guidance that this Makhzumi is addressing Ammar in this way and calling him by his mother’s name who was such a respected lady in Islam and whose sacrifices are unsurpassed that Islam is proud of them. She, her husband, Yasir and son, Ammar were in the forefront in the establishment of faith in the initial stages and bore all sorts of hardships and calamities.
The matter of caliphate is related to all Muslims, that is why the son of Sumaiyyah and others who Almighty Allah had bestowed power and honor after they had been oppressed were now participating in it while the Quraishite devils had no right to interfere in the affairs of Muslims, if the proper procedure and logic had been followed.
Arguments arose between the powers of Islam and Quraish and Saad feared that the matter would go out of their hands. So he turned to his cousin, Abdur Rahman and said, “O Abdur Rahman, you should complete the job given to you before the people become involved in mischief.”
Abdur Rahman glanced at the Holy Imam (‘a) and asked, “Would you agree to follow the Book of Allah, the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (S) and the system of Abu Bakr and Umar if we give allegiance to you?”
Imam (‘a) glared at him and understood what he wanted; and with the logic of Islam and the manners of noble men, he replied, “Rather, I would follow the Book of Allah, the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (S) and my own judgment’”
The sources of law in Islam are these very things, the Book of Allah, the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (S) through whom the problems of the people are solved and through which the system of rulership works. While the actions of Abu Bakr and Umar had no connection with the sources of Islamic Law because the two of them had wide differences in their policy. Abu Bakr’s economic policy was nearer to equality than that of Umar where he removed equitable distribution of allowances and brought into effect a class system. He preferred some Muslims to others. He also prohibited the two Mutahs; that is the Mutah of the Hajj and the Mutah of women while these two Mutahs were lawful during the time of the Messenger of Allah (S) and Abu Bakr. And also, he imposed many of his personal views of Islamic laws and made them a code of law. Then on which manner shall the son of Abu Talib, who was brought up in the lap of prophethood, act?
Ibn Auf definitely and without any doubt knew that Imam would accept the rulership according to the divine law and manage the affairs of the Muslims on the basis of truth and justice and he would not have given any sort of preference to the Quraishite clan and he would have considered them equal to other people in giving of the rights. Hence the advantage that this group may gain against Islam and the problems that it had created for the Muslim community would have been destroyed.
If the Imam had agreed to the condition put forward by Ibn Auf it would not have been possible for him to follow any kind of policy for the establishment of justice on the earth. And even if the Imam had just apparently accepted the conditions, the Quraish would have laid hurdles in his way and would not have left for him any venue to establish social justice. In that case they would have been justified in rebelling against him since he would have failed to fulfill his promises.
Anyway, when Abdur Rahman despaired of any change in the attitude of the Holy Imam (‘a) he turned to Uthman and presented him with the same proposal. Uthman immediately gave a positive reply and he expressed his complete willingness to fulfill those conditions. And we think that there existed a confidential agreement among themselves that they had not revealed to anyone and under no circumstances would they have appointed the Imam to caliphate even if he had agreed to accept the conditions. He had only offered the allegiance in order to conceal their plan; that is why he resorted to this political maneuver.
Some western historians believe that Abdur Rahman had taken advantage of this opportunity and he did not allow a free selection.
Historians say that Abdur Rahman rushed to Uthman and keeping his hand on his hand said to him, “O Allah, I hereby transfer the responsibility that I had to Uthman’”
These steps fell like a thunderbolt on those of equitable disposition because they were trying to establish the rule of God among the people.
Imam addressed Ibn Auf and said, “By Allah, you did not do it but with the same hope which he (Umar) had from his friend (Abu Bakr). May Allah create enmity between you two.” (Ali meant that Abdur Rahman had made Uthman caliph hoping that Uthman would nominate him as his successor.)...64
The Imam exposed the actual aim of Abdur Rahman in selecting Uthman, that it was not in the interest of the community. Rather he had selfish interest in it because Ibn Auf hoped to occupy the seat of caliphate after Uthman. Hence it was due to his greed and political aspirations. Imam Ali (‘a) glanced at the Quraishites and said, “This is not the first day that you are becoming rulers upon us, I shall observe a goodly patience and I shall plead for divine help regarding what you say.”
The Imam’s logical statement stung Ibn Auf and therefore he replied in a threatening manner, “O Ali, do not compel us to attack you!”
The oppressed Imam could not but leave the venue of the gathering saying, “This would also reach its end.”
The worthy son of Islam, Ammar bin Yasir came forward and speaking to Ibn Auf said, “O Abdur Rahman, by Allah, you have abandoned him, while he is the only one who could have established truth and spread justice among them.”
Miqdad was of those who were absolutely devastated by these developments. He said, “By Allah, I have not seen anything like that which befell the members of this family after the passing away of their Prophet. Surprisingly the Quraish left a man such that none was seen or heard to be more just, wise and pious, if they had only supported him.”
Abdur Rahman interrupted his statement and warned him of mischief, “O Miqdad, be fearful of Allah as I fear mischief upon you.”
In this way came to an end the Shura procedure tragedy that initiated mischiefs for the Muslims and subjected them to a great evil. The Shura, which was based on that it did not respect any right of the family of the Prophet. Rather these people, in a blatant manner, tried to decrease their worth and considered them at par with the commoners and dealt with them with malice and animosity. It was in such a way that they had completely forgotten what the Messenger of Allah (S) had advised about them and they did not pay any heed to what he had said about them like his saying that the Progeny was equal to the great book of Allah or that it was like the Ark of Nuh, that whosoever boarded it was saved and whoever did not, was drowned and destroyed.
Imam Husayn (‘a) in the early stages of his life witnessed with his own eyes, the atmosphere and consequences that followed it from the spreading of political greed and terrible battles. An action that brought into existence groups and preparing grounds for establishment of power and obtaining rulership to get undue advantage from charity and war booty. The poet says:
“I see the mischiefs that have appeared.
And after Abu Laila the rulership is for the one who gains supremacy.”
This finally became the cause of coming into being of groups for obtaining rulership and achieving their selfish aims.
Al Jahishari says, “When Yazid bin Abdul Malik died and Hisham became the ruler, the news reached him when he was on the countryside with a group of his friends. He immediately performed a prostration of thankfulness and his friends also followed suit, except for a person named Saad. Hisham objected to this and asked, “Why did you not prostrate?”
He replied, “For what should I prostrate. For the fact that you were with us and after that you have flown to the sky?”
Hisham said, “We shall take you also along with us to flight (scale heights).”
He said, “In that case it is all right to prostrate.” And he prostrated with them.65
This incident and other incidents like it are recorded by historians, especially in the struggle for power or in that society, not for the sake of social reformation and progress in life of the people which is in accordance of the aim of Islam, but it was for the fulfillment of selfish motives and for gaining power over the people.
Well, those terrible events created a gap between those people and their religion and they unleashed a series of oppressive politics and actions against the Purified Progeny and subjected them to terrible calamities and all this finally culminated in the tragedy of Karbala whose sorrowful memory still remains in the world.
Here we conclude our discussion regarding the reigns of the first two caliphs.
- 1. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 8/111
- 2. Al-Kharaaj, Pg. 148-149
- 3. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 8/111
- 4. Al-Asbiyatul Qibliyah, Pg. 190
- 5. Al-Ghuluw wat Tafreeq Fil Hizaaratul Islamiyyah, Pg. 251
- 6. Ittehaajaatul Shaar Arabi, Pg. 108
- 7. Imam Husayn, Pg. 232
- 8. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/74
- 9. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/342
- 10. Hayatul Imam Hasan bin Ali (a.s.) 1/197
- 11. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/162
- 12. Surah Qalam 68:4
- 13. Al-Fitnatul Kubra 1/17
- 14. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 9/29-30
- 15. Al-Fitnatul Kubra 1/20
- 16. “Amimah” was the mother of Abu Huraira
- 17. Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 3/163
- 18. Al-Ghadeer 6/275-276
- 19. Futuh al-Buldan, Pg. 377
- 20. Tabari, Tarikh 55/330
- 21. Istiab (Printed on the margins of al-Isabah) 3/1418
- 22. Sharh Nahjul Balagha (First edition) 1/187
- 23. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 9/28 (Published by Daar Ahya al-Kutub al-Arabiyya)
- 24. Ibid, Pg. 54
- 25. Al-Ghadeer 6/83-333
- 26. al-Isabah 1/333
- 27. Ibid. Ibne Asakir, Biography of Imam Husayn, Pg. 200-201
- 28. Ibne Asakir, Biography of Imam Husayn, Pg. 202-203
- 29. Surah Ahzab 33:70
- 30. Surah Qiyamat 75:36
- 31. Surah Naba 78:17
- 32. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/79-80
- 33. Al-Munmaq Fi Akhbar-i-Quraish, Pg. 397
- 34. Among those who support this view is Ustad Alayli who has indicated this on Pg. 34 of his book, Samoo al-Maani fi Samoo az-Zaat, Pg. 34 (Second edition)
- 35. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/62
- 36. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/185
- 37. Al-Muwatta 2/520
- 38. Wild donkey. This word was used to designate non-Arab infidels.
- 39. Muruj az-Zahab 2/320
- 40. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/185
- 41. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/187
- 42. “Nabidh”= Wine (refer the dictionary, Munjid)
- 43. Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/26. Al-Istiab 3/1153-1154 (Printed on the margins of Al- Isabah
- 44. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/188
- 45. Muruj az-Zahab 2/321
- 46. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/192
- 47. Ibid, Pg. 193
- 48. Ibid, Pg. 190
- 49. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/260
- 50. Ibne Athir, Kamil 3/66
- 51. Surah Ahzab 33:53
- 52. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/159
- 53. Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/28-29
- 54. Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/185-186 (First edition)
- 55. Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/82
- 56. Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/28
- 57. Tabari, Tarikh, 4/229-230
- 58. Al-Imam al-Husayn, 1/267
- 59. Surah Zumar 39:9
- 60. Al-Iqdul Farid 5/33-34
- 61. Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/68
- 62. Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 25/31
- 63. Al-Istiab 3/918
- 64. The actual words of the Imam are: May Allah put the perfume of Munshim between you two. Mushim was a female perfume vendor in Mecca and when two warring tribes (Khuzaya and Jurham) wanted to have armed confrontations with each other they used to apply the perfume of Munshim and many were killed in this confrontation. Thus it became a proverb. This meaning is explained in the Sihah of Jauhari, 5/41. And the Almighty accepted the supplication of the Holy Imam (a.s.) and Uthman and Abdur Rahman bin Auf became deadly foes. So much so that Abdur Rahman bin Auf willed that if he died Uthman must not be allowed to recite his funeral prayer.
- 65. Al-Wuzra wal Kitab, Pg. 43