The Arson

When Abu Bakr learnt that the people opposing allegiance were with Ali (a.s.), he sent Umar to them. Thus, Umar called them while they were in the house of Ali (a.s.), but they refused to come out, so Umar got firewood piled at Ali’s door and said: “By the One in Whose hands is the life of Umar, we shall definitely bring them out, or we shall burn all of them to death.” Someone said: “O Hafasa’s father, Fatima (s.a.) is also in the house.” Upon this, Umar said: “Let her be!”

All the people came out and paid allegiance, except Ali (a.s.) who did not come out. Umar thought that Ali (a.s.) had vowed that he will not leave his house till he has collected the Quran, and he would not even put his mantle on his shoulders till he had collected the Quran. After this, Fatima came near the door and said:

“You left the bier of the Messenger of Allah (S) and became busy in your activities and now you have come to trouble us? You have no regard for our rights!”

After this, Umar came to Abu Bakr and said: “Will you not take allegiance from that opponent (Ali)?” Abu Bakr sent his slave, Qunfuz to summon Ali (a.s.) and Qunfuz went to Ali (a.s.) who asked him the purpose of his visit; Qunfuz said:

“The Caliph of the Messenger of Allah (S) has summoned you.” His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) said: “How you people attribute falsehood to the Messenger of Allah (S)?” The slave returned to Abu Bakr who continued to weep for a long time. Umar again asked him if he wouldn’t take allegiance from the opponent of allegiance.

Abu Bakr told his slave to go once more and say that the chief of the believers (Amirul Mo-mineen) has called him. So Qunfuz went and told as he was bidden. Ali (a.s.) became visibly angry and said: “Glory be to Allah, what claim is it, that he (Abu Bakr) has no right to it?” The slave returned to Abu Bakr who again began to weep.

Then Umar got up and a group of people went with him. They reached the door of Fatima (s.a.) and knocked. When Lady Fatima (s.a.) heard them, she began to wail and scream aloud: “O Father! O Messenger of Allah (S) help your daughter! See what we are made to suffer after you at the hands of Ibn Khattab (Umar) and Ibn Abi Qahafa (Abu Bakr).”

When the people heard the mournful voice of Fatima (s.a.), they turned away while their hearts were painful and shattered. But Umar remained there and with the help of some people brought Ali (a.s.) out of the house and took him to Abu Bakr. The incident of arson so far is related to the house of Fatima (s.a.) and the writer cannot comment further. But does this incident at the house Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) not insult the respectable household? The next insulting behavior towards the Purified Household (a.s.) came about when Ali (a.s.) was brought before Abu Bakr.