This was the last battle fought between the Muslim army and the infidel Quraish. After the conquest of Mecca, most Arab tribes had accepted the domination of the Holy Prophet (S), except the tribe of Saqifah and Hawazin, who confronted the Muslims at Hunayn in large numbers. The Muslim army was also very large. Because the enemies attacked by deceit, all of a sudden, the Emigrants and Helpers, both left the Holy Prophet (S) and fled from the battle.
Only four people remained on the battlefield according to historical accounts. They were Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Abbas, Abu Sufyan bin Harith bin Abdul Muttalib and Abdullah Ibn Masood. The names of these four are also mentioned in other narrations, which shows that there were nine people who remained steadfast in this battle. In order to stop the people from fleeing the battlefield, the Prophet called them by titles of ‘People of Samara’ or ‘People of Tree’. Hearing this, around 100 people from the Helpers returned and rejoined fighting.
The reason for addressing the people who fled, by these titles is that most of them were among those who had pledged allegiance to the Holy Prophet (S) at the tree of Rizwan. The allegiance of Rizwan was performed when the Messenger of Allah (S) had proceeded to Mecca with the intention of performing Hajj, but he had to accede to the treaty with the Meccans.
The allegiance was that the people will support and help the Prophet in all circumstances and will not desert him, come what may. They will never turn back from Jihad and shall always be busy in the service of the Prophet. Since the allegiance of Rizwan occurred under a tree, it is also known as the allegiance given under the tree. That is why the Holy Prophet (S) called them by the title of the ‘People of Tree’ so that they shall be ashamed. It seems that the tree under which allegiance was given was the tree of Samara.
Thus, when some absconders returned, the fighting restarted. A person by name of Abu Huroor came out from the ranks of infidels singing a war song and challenged the Muslims. No one from the Muslim army offered to confront him. They were awestruck by his courage and strength. But the Zulfiqar of one who was unconquered, swiftly sent him to the place where previously Amr bin Abde Wudd, Marhab and Harith had been sent. The infidels suffered a clear defeat and seventy of them were killed. Forty of them were alone sent to hellfire by the sword of Ali (a.s.). The rest were killed by Bani Hashim and the Helpers (Ansar).
The killing of a single infidel by a non-Bani Hashim Emigrant is not proved from any of the books of history. It is indeed a pity that even in this battle, the three Caliphs were unable to exhibit any remarkable feat. Their absconding from the battlefield was nothing unusual. The account of their flight is mentioned in the tradition of Sahih Bukhari related from Abu Qatadah: Qatadah says that the Muslims fled and he also fled.
Qatadah says: “I saw Umar among the absconders and asked him the condition of the people?” Umar replied: “It is as Allah willed.” After this, people went to the Messenger of Allah (S). People of justice, please let us know if any man of perfect faith could flee from the battlefield? Then how can they be given preference over Ali (a.s.) who was always steadfast in every battle and in spite of being injured seriously, he continued to serve the Holy Prophet (S) and the religion of Allah? All this proves that he possessed a perfect faith. The repeated absconding of the three Caliphs cannot qualify them to be successors of the Messenger of Allah (S) after his passing away.
The Messenger of Allah (S) was very brave and valiant person and he did not recede an inch in any of the battles, because flight from the battlefield is a dirty thing. The successor of such a brave prophet should be someone as valiant as Ali (a.s.) and not less.
What was it that qualified Abu Bakr to be appointed the successor of the Prophet? It is an absolutely surprising thing. None of the three Caliphs had the right of vicegerency of the Messenger of Allah (S). These gentlemen never did anything to save Islam from its enemies. They were ever thoughtful of saving their own skins. The fact is that if Ali (a.s.) had not been there, Islam would have disappeared a long time ago. Thus, what is the matter that after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S), Ali (a.s.) is made to obey and submit, and a person like Abu Bakr who had no connection with any sort of bravery, should be made the ruler, even though he had no right to be the successor of the Messenger of Allah (S)?
Please note that in this battle, even the Helpers fled against their normal practice. Those who participated in the battle were the same who were put to shame by the Holy Prophet (S). The absconding of non-Bani Hashim was a regular feature, what is surprising however is the presence of Abu Sufyan in the battlefield.
The Banu Umayyah who had recently converted to Islam were present in the battlefield. But they were not fighting. They stood aside and watched the fighting and laughed at the difficulties suffered by the Muslims. In this battle, the chief of Bani Umayyah, Abu Sufyan was present. But they did not help the Messenger of Allah (S) even in a small measure. He continued to watch the spectacle, laughing in merriment. These were the new Muslims and it was their first test of having accepted slam. The fact was that this person had become a Muslim under duress since the conquest of Mecca. He had accepted Islam only when he had realized that Islam had become powerful and there was no other way.
If this person had been a true Muslim, he would not have remained a spectator, laughing at the combat. He would have accompanied the holy warriors and helped the religion of Allah if he had been a sincere believer. His behavior shows that inwardly he desired the defeat of Muslims. If the situation had turned against the Muslims and they had been routed, he would surely have rushed to the tribes of Saqifah and Hawazin to congratulate them for their victory.
Indeed, to refer to Bani Umayyah as Muslims is a one-sided affair. The fact is that Abu Sufyan and his men were hypocrites. They had apparently become Muslims because they were subjugated. This tribe seems despicable from all aspects. If this tribe had not been there, the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq had not occurred. The religion of Islam had spread in peace and the lives of so many innocent people had not perished. Abu Sufyan and his people had left no stone unturned to harm Islam. If the Almighty had not appointed Ali (a.s.) as the defender of Islam, there would have been no way to protect this faith.
Apart from this, the Bani Umayyah were notorious for their moral decadence and famous for their evil deeds. It is but natural for every righteous person to despise this tribe. Thus, it was not without cause that the Holy Prophet (S) had hated this tribe. Ali (a.s.) was aware of the Prophet’s dislike of this tribe, and since he obeyed and followed the Messenger of Allah (S) to perfection, after the passing away of the Prophet, he never let the Bani Umayyah near him.
Thus, after the Holy Prophet (S) passed away and the matter of Caliphate was decided, Abu Sufyan came to Ali (a.s.) with a special intention and said: “O Ali (a.s.)! You remained silent and the affair of Caliphate is decided? If you want, I can fill the land of Medina with soldiers of Mecca and overturn the Caliphate.”
Ali (a.s.) said: “You used to create mischief during the days of Ignorance and now even after becoming a Muslim, you have not given up your habit.”
Getting this reply Abu Sufyan went on his way, and in whichever direction he saw gains he went that way. The readers should note how this reply of Ali (a.s.) informs us of his foresight and hidden wisdom, because it is well known that Abu Sufyan was the chief of Bani Umayyah. This tribe had continuously faced failures during the lifetime of the Prophet and it had also suffered much discomfiture by the sword of Ali (a.s.), himself, as apparent from the accounts of the battles of Badr, Uhud, and Khandaq etc.
In such a condition, neither this tribe could be loyal to the Holy Prophet (S) or to the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (S). If this tribe had any love for the Holy Prophet (S) would they have remained mere spectators, laughing at the scene in the Battle of Hunayn?
Thus, Abu Sufyan’s offer to Ali (a.s.) to overthrow the Caliphate was not based on good intentions. Ali (a.s.) understood that this person wanted personal gain and benefit his tribe through Ali (a.s.). He had no sincere intention to benefit Islam or Bani Hashim. Thus, Ali (a.s.) replied to him the way he did. This reply of Ali (a.s.) shows that Abu Sufyan was a transgressor and a mischief monger.
Hence, neither Ali (a.s.) could accept his advice nor take his help. So what else could he have replied?
Also, Ali (a.s.) knew well that the Messenger of Allah (S) despised Bani Umayyah. Thus, how could he openly cultivate relationship with them? If Ali (a.s.) had gained proximity and cooperation of Abu Sufyan, it would have been against the practice and policy of the Holy Prophet (S). The policy of the Prophet was indeed the best policy, that the evil-doing tribe of Bani Umayyah should always remain subjugated. This tribe was subjugated after much struggle and after a long time.
In addition to the above, if Ali (a.s.) had accepted the offer of Abu Sufyan, he would have been under an obligation to repay this in form of some position in the Islamic government. In such circumstances, Abu Sufyan and his tribe would have gained more strength. Thus, by remaining aloof from Abu Sufyan, Ali (a.s.) saved himself from the two accusations mentioned in the previous paragraphs and also avoided the blame that he would have got from the consequences of the rulership of Bani Umayyah and the tribe which had weakened during the tenure of the Messenger of Allah (S) would have received a new lease of life. After Abu Sufyan got a rebuttal from Ali (a.s.), he busied himself in intrigue and finally obtained the governorship of Syria for his family. He also obtained the right to 25% of the booty from the conquests that Muslims made in the surrounding area of Syria.
After getting Syria, Abu Sufyan said that since he had become old and did not like to leave Mecca, his elder son, Yazeed bin Abu Sufyan should be appointed as the governor of Syria. This was effected. As soon as Bani Umayyah gained this rulership, their tribesmen who were lying in a degraded position, set out for Syria. And in a brief time, they regained their lost wealth and position and rather, exceeded it. The whole area of Syria came under the rulership of Bani Umayyah. Bani Umayyah and none else occupied every low and high governmental post of Syria while the Bani Hashim were not to be seen anywhere.
This was impossible, because even at the Islamic capital not a single Bani Hashim had even the lowest post in government. Thus, whatever reverses Bani Umayyah had suffered during the lifetime of the Prophet were soon reimbursed by the courtesy of Abu Bakr and Umar. Yazeed Ibn Abu Sufyan ruled Syria for four years till his death. After him, his younger brother, Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan was appointed as his successor. He was an example of his tribe and was more clever and superior to his brother in every way.
It seems to be out of context to describe the affluence and progress of Bani Umayyah during the reign of Muawiyah. He continued to rule Syria for a long time and became so powerful that when Ali (a.s.) became the Caliph and deposed him from governorship, he refused to be deposed and took to confront the Caliph of that time. Rather, the Caliph of that time was so busy with battles that he hardly had time for other activities demanded by his office.
The tenure of Imam Ali’s Caliphate was four years and some months, after which Imam Hasan (a.s.) became the Caliph. Imam Hasan (a.s.) had to abdicate within six months. After this, instead of Medina, Damascus became the seat of Caliphate. Though Bani Hashim had weakened greatly after the passing away of the Prophet, the loss of this Caliphate relegated them to the position of worldly degradation and Bani Umayyah became most powerful. How astounding that the tribe, which was despised by the Holy Prophet (S) and one which the Messenger of Allah (S) had after great efforts weakened and subjugated during his lifetime, should gain strength immediately after his death. And gradually it should have gained the rulership of Syria and finally the dominance of all the Islamic lands.
But as for the Bani Hashim, the clan of the Prophet, the tribe that every Muslim was obliged to respect, was subjugated and degraded. Thus, after becoming the Caliph, Muawiyah was always busy in strengthening his position and he also arranged so that Caliphate should remain in his family. To this end he made the nomination of his successor just as Abu Bakr had nominated Umar. And in order to achieve the oath of allegiance of his wanton son, he left no stone unturned.
The Bani Hashim had become weak, but its two chiefs, that is Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn (a.s.) were still alive, from whose side Muawiyah was not content. After sometime, he became content regarding Imam Hasan (a.s.). That is, he had him poisoned by intrigue. This incident also occurred in the reign of Muawiyah.
The historian, Abul Fida writes in Tarikhul Mukhtasar fi Ahwaalul Bashar that regarding the poisoning of Imam Hasan (a.s.), it is said that it was Muawiyah, who had him poisoned and it is also said that the heir of Muawiyah, Yazeed had done it. Anyway, whichever is correct, the poisoning of Imam Hasan (a.s.) removed one chief of Bani Hashim from the way of Muawiyah.
The writer of Tarikh Khamis says that when Muawiyah received the news of poisoning of Imam Hasan (a.s.), he rejoiced. Upon this, his wife, Faqhta said: “O Muawiyah! You rejoice at the death of the Prophet’s son?” Muawiyah said: “I am not happy because of the death of the Prophet’s son, but for the contentment that my heart has achieved.”
Doubtlessly, the martyrdom of Imam Hasan (a.s.) had imparted great comfort to Muawiyah, but still one of the chiefs of Bani Hashim, Imam Husayn (a.s.) remained; and because he was also brave and valiant like his father, Muawiyah was fearful of him. But the murder of this Imam (a.s.) could not be carried out during Muawiyah’s lifetime. Therefore, it was effected during the reign of his son. Thus, the main cause for the killings of Bani Hashim was the fresh lease of life that Bani Umayyah had received.
If it had not been so, the family of the Prophet and Bani Hashim would not have suffered such calamities. Indeed, Ali (a.s.) had a great foresight that he paid no heed to the offer of Abu Sufyan. Otherwise, the tribulations of the Prophet’s family and Bani Hashim would have been attributed to Ali (a.s.).
It is clear that if Ali (a.s.) had accepted the help of Abu Sufyan, he would have been obliged to repay it in a substantial way. It would have become necessary to give Abu Sufyan some official position and this would have led to the empowerment of Bani Umayyah. In that case also, they would have carried out all the activities that they subsequently did. While there would have been no harm to the family of the Prophet and the Bani Hashim if Abu Sufyan and Bani Umayyah had loved them truly. But the true colors of their love for Holy Prophet (S) and the Bani Hashim had already been revealed in the Battle of Hunayn.
The fact is that Abu Sufyan and his tribesmen had been inimical to the Holy Prophet (S) since ages. The Prophet has not accepted any truck with Abu Sufyan because of his insincerity. Abu Sufyan had a personal benefit in it, which Ali (a.s.) had correctly surmised. That is why Ali (a.s.) repulsed him with an acerbic reply. This compelled Abu Sufyan to go to Abu Bakr and Umar, and he was finally successful in his machinations. The fact is that Abu Sufyan was a man of determination. He had thought that if Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s support was obtained, it would have given him much respect among the Muslims.
But Ali (a.s.) did not allow any such thing and thus continued on the practice of Holy Prophet (S). Ali (a.s.) thus remained safe from blame, which were the consequences of the fresh empowerment of Bani Umayyah, for which Abu Bakr and Umar are naturally held accountable. In the end, the writer wishes to state that the senior companions of the Holy Prophet (S) had performed such deeds that become clear subsequently. One is that the Holy Prophet (S) was a brave and steadfast Prophet, as an Ulul Azm Prophet (who brings a new Shariat) should be. He participated in all the battles and exhibited the quality of an expert military general. He never receded his steps from a battle and he never showed any cowardice. He faced many tight corners, but his steadfastness helped him in such circumstances. He proved that a true prophet (a.s.) is pure of cowardice and docility. Bravery is the best quality of Prophethood and Imamate. The Prophet and Imam must never be a coward.
Secondly, to strengthen the roots of Islam, the Almighty Allah had created Ali (a.s.). That is why his courage was incomparable. Thus, all the feats that he performed in the battles and military campaigns show that he was the recipient of divine help and an undefeated warring lion of Allah, the performer of astounding feats etc. Such achievements he had that one stroke his was more than all the good deeds of all Allah’s creatures together.
Doubtlessly, except for him no one has the right to be the Caliph of the Prophet. A Caliph must be like the Prophet, brave and helpful to the religion of Allah.
The fact is that Abu Bakr and Umar or rather, the three Caliphs had no connection with bravery. The two of them used to run away from the battles, just like the common people fled for the fear of their lives.
Flight from the battlefield was their common habit. Both of them, rather, all three of them showed such cowardice on the battlefield that every modest person would prefer not to look at their acts. It is really astounding how those gentlemen could become so brave that finally they became Caliphs.
The fact is that during the lifetime of the Prophet, none of them had a single achievement to their credit in helping or defending Islam. Every time they were busy in saving their own skins. No feat of theirs was shown in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq or Hunayn. But after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S) they occupied with shamelessness, the position of the Prophet’s vicegerency, which was rightfully deserved by Ali (a.s.) due to the services he had rendered with the power of his arms. Their occupying the Caliphate and usurpation of Ali’s right is one matter.
In addition to this, Abu Bakr and Umar became instrumental in promoting and empowering a tribe that was detested by the Messenger of Allah (S) and weakened by him to a great extent on the basis of some hidden wisdom. That tribe had not a bit of right to gain any benefit from a successor of the Prophet, because it was deadly inimical to the Messenger of Allah (S) and the religion of Allah. And it had greatly harmed the Holy Prophet (S) and the divine faith.
But Abu Bakr and Umar helped this tribe, due to which it became powerful and consequently wreaked untold havoc upon the family of the Prophet. The depriving of Ali (a.s.) from Caliphate was a one-sided affair. More than this, was their empowerment of Bani Umayyah. This caused Islam to go into the hands of those who knew nothing of faith except their selfish motives.
(54) The sun returned for Ali (a.s.) just as it had stopped on the command of Yusha (a.s.). The stopping of the sun due to the prayer of Yusha (a.s.) is recorded in Taurat. In this way, the coming back of the sun is proved by correct traditions. In the book of Tahawi, Mushkilate Hadith, there is a tradition of Asma binte Umais and also in the book Muntaqa to this effect. Shah Waliullah has also included it in Izalatul Khifa.
The writer of Tarikh Khamis has also included it in his history. The denier of this tradition is only Ibn Jauzi. He was a great opponent of Ali (a.s.), so his denial cannot be regarded authentic. It is obvious that if the returning of the Sun had not been in connection with Ali (a.s.), this person would not have considered it unauthentic. But the denial of the enemies does not in any way harm the status of Ali (a.s.).
Anyway, the incident of the return of the sun is that one day, revelation was descending on the Holy Prophet (S) and his respected head was in the lap of Ali (a.s.). It was in that position for such a long time that the Sun set and the Asr (afternoon) prayer of Ali (a.s.) lapsed. When the revelation was complete, the Messenger of Allah (S) asked: “O Ali! Did you perform the Asr prayer?” He replied that he had performed it only by gestures. Thus, the Holy Prophet (S) said: “O Allah! Ali was in Your obedience and the obedience of Your Messenger. Thus, You send back the sun for him.”
Asma binte Umais who is the narrator of this tradition and one who had been guaranteed Paradise by the Holy Prophet (S) says: “We had indeed witnessed the setting of the sun and then saw it rising again, and its light was seen spreading on the earth and the mountains.”
O dear readers, this narration shows a great merit of Ali (a.s.). First of all, at the time of revelation, the head of the Prophet was in the lap of Ali (a.s.).
Secondly, when the Holy Prophet (S) prayed for the Sun’s return he said: “O Allah! Ali (a.s.) was in Your obedience and the obedience of Your Prophet (S).” Thirdly, the prayer of Ali (a.s.) was considered so important that the sun was made to rise again for it to be performed. Here, we remind the readers that the above tradition indicates such a great significance of Prayers.
Those who being Muslims do not give importance to Prayers, will realize what a great significance Prayer has. If it had not been so, the Holy Prophet (S) would not have prayed for the return of the sun. There are many Muslims who live among Muslims and inherit property like them, but they consider Prayer a despicable thing. They should read the above tradition. Not being steadfast in Prayer is one thing but considering it unimportant is another. Such a person can hardly be called a Muslim. He is an apostate and atheist. This is for those who call themselves Muslims and befool the people by their claim.
There is a sect, which calls itself Muslim but denies miracles. According to them, splitting of the moon, returning of the Sun and the curing of the leper are all impossible acts. They think that a supernatural occurrence is impossible. The fact is that these people are narrow-minded. They have considered only such things possible as are in the scope of their understanding. Here, the writer shall only discuss their response with regard to the miracle of the Sun’s return.
People who deny the miracles of the Prophets (S) have always said that miracle is nothing, because it is an unnatural occurrence. Thus, the affair, which is unnatural, is impossible. Apparently, this unnatural occurrence seems to be unacceptable, but this type of statement shows lack of determination. This can be considered true only if the miracles of the Prophets (a.s.) could be thought to be beyond the intellectual capacity of the Prophets (S).
Apparently, the deniers have considered them as such. Although, all the miracles recorded in books are having an aspect of possibility. None of them seem intellectually impossible. Not a single miracle has been related about the Messenger of Allah (S) about which one could find an excuse of its impossibility by reason. Rather, all the miracles are against our daily experiences of life. But they are not impossible theoretically.
For example, none of the Prophets have made a part greater than its whole. Now if the deniers deny these miracles, it is due to their lack of understanding. Now we shall explain why the miracle of the Sun’s return was not illogical. Let any denier of miracle tell us if this miracle is scientifically or logically impossible. Except that they seem incompatibility with daily occurrence. That is just as much as the denier has experience, he will consider only as much possibility of a miracle. But if the miracles had been identical to daily occurrence, why they had been called miracles?
Readers should note that the deniers have denied the miracle of the Sun’s return, because everyday we see the Sun setting in the west but we do not see it coming back. Because it is against nature that such a miracle was shown by the Prophet. It seems the deniers had not distinguished between impossible and irrational occurrences, otherwise, they would not have expressed such improper views. We should know that occurrences like rising of the Sun from the west is not an irrational thing. It is possible for the Sun to return from the west, to stop midway etc. Such occurrences are not beyond reason. Such things seem impossible to us, because we don’t know of their reality. If we tell someone, who has no knowledge of astronomy, that four thousand years ago, the North Star was not actually the North Star, and that the North Star of today was the star named Thauban, that person will not consider our statement correct on the basis of his personal experience.
In the same way, we can present hundreds of such strange facts about the Universe after which the return of the Sun or its stopping will not seem a great occurrence. Allah knows, since when this world exists but the occurrences of the last 400 years are not any lesser astounding. All these revolutions have an aspect of possibility. Only those consider them impossible, who have no rational thinking.
Thus, the deniers of the miracle of the sun are not correct in their views and do not deserve any attention. We should deduce the other miracles of the Prophet from this basis. And we should know that all the miracles performed by the Prophets (a.s.) were not beyond possibility. That is why they cannot be said to be against nature. Although, in the circle of the experience of deniers it does not seem possible, but this itself is in conformity to the requirements of a miracle. Because if there had been scope of such ordinary possibility, a miracle would not have been a miracle.
(55) Ali (a.s.) had received the titles of Yadullah (hands of Allah) and Asadullah (Lion of Allah). The reason is that on the night of Ascension (Meraj), the Holy Prophet (S), at one stage saw a lion. The Messenger of Allah (S) put his ring in the mouth of that lion. Then at the spot of Qaba Qausain (Two bows) when a hand appeared, it was wearing that same ring. When the next morning, after the night of Ascension, the Holy Prophet (S) saw Ali (a.s.), he saw that he was wearing the same ring. From that day he was given the titles of ‘the Lion of Allah’ and ‘the Hands of Allah’. Those who are narrow-minded may ignore this fact, but it is the true background of those titles of Ali (a.s.).
(56) The Messenger of Allah (S) presented Ali (a.s.), as per the commands of Allah, the saintly dress of Ascension. The reason behind this was that he had the same quality of concealing defects. In recompense of this quality, he was given the dress of Ascension. Why should Allah had not given him that? Ali (a.s.) had always concealed the defects of the sinners.
(57) On the night of Ascension, the Holy Prophet (S) saw the following written on the heaven: There is no god except Allah. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (S). Ali is the helper of Muhammad.
(58) Ali (a.s.) was the author of the saying: “Ask me!” Mulla Jami writes in Shawahid that Ali (a.s.) said in a sermon: “Whatever anyone desires to inquire may ask me. Except the news of the Arsh (throne). The knowledge that I have gained is from the saliva that the Messenger of Allah (S) made me suck.”
(59) Ali (a.s.) said: “I am the slave of Allah, the brother and legatee of the Messenger of Allah (S).” And also said: “I am the husband of the chief of ladies, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S). I am the chief of the legatees of Prophets and the seal of the legatees of the Prophet. I am such, that except me, if anyone claims these virtues, the Almighty will punish him.”
(60) Ali (a.s.) caused a spring to flow from a place near a monastery. Upon this, the monk asked him if he was a prophet or an angel. Ali (a.s.) replied that he was the successor of the Prophet of the Last Age. Upon this, the monk accepted Islam and recited the formula: “I witness that there is no god except Allah. And I witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (S). And I witness that you are the legatee of the Messenger of Allah (S).”
The above is also recorded in the Shawahid of Mulla Jami.
(61) That Ali (a.s.) was the legatee of the Messenger of Allah (S) is also proved from the couplets of Imam Shafei: “Love of Ali is an armor. Distributor of Hell and Paradise. Truly he is the legatee of Mustafa. The Imam of men and Jinns.”
(62) Ali (a.s.) was the one who showed the correct path and restrained from misguidance. Hakim in Mustadrak has recorded a tradition related from Zaid bin Arqam that the Holy Prophet (S) said: “One who wishes to live like me and die like me and to stay in the Garden that Allah has promised me, should love and obey Ali (a.s.) who shall show you the correct path and never allow you to go astray.”
(63) One who befriends Ali (a.s.) shall go to Paradise and one who denies him shall go to Hell. In Hakim’s Mustadrak there is a tradition related by Ammar in which he reports that the Holy Prophet (S) said: “O Ali! Tuba (Congratulations) for those who love you and testify for you and Wayl (fie) is for one who angers you and falsifies you.”
(64) It was revealed to the Holy Prophet (S) that Ali (a.s.) is chief of the believers, Imam of the pious ones and the leader of those who flee from ignorance? Abdullah Ibn Abbas relates from his father that the Holy Prophet (S) said: “Three things were revealed upon me regarding Ali (a.s.). (The same points, mentioned above).”
(65) Looking at the face of Ali (a.s.) is worship. Hakim records in Mustadrak from Abdullah Ibn Masood that the Holy Prophet (S) said: “Casting a glance at the face of Ali (a.s.) is an act of worship.”
(66) On Judgment Day, Ali (a.s.) will be the bearer of the heavenly standard, Liwaul Hamd. Its brilliance will be visible on his head as a crown.1
(67) Abusing Ali (a.s.) is abusing the Holy Prophet (S). In the book of Mishkatul Masabih, in the Chapter of the Merits of Ali (a.s.), there is a tradition narrated by Umme Salma that the Holy Prophet (S) said: “One who abused Ali (a.s.) is as if he has abused me.”
It is not unexpected for people who are not very familiar with traditions to be terrified on reading this tradition. He would think that Ali (a.s.) was really a close confidant of the Holy Prophet (S) and deserving of respect. He was also a close relative of the Prophet so why should anyone abuse him. But the fact is that Ali (a.s.) was the target of abuses for a long time. The Holy Prophet (S) being the Prophet had known that a time would come when people will abuse Ali (a.s.). That is why he had made such a statement.
Obviously, who had the courage to abuse Ali (a.s.) during the lifetime of the Prophet? But after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S), the abusing and imprecation occurred. The one who initiated the cursing of Ali (a.s.) was Muawiyah. Not only did he curse Ali (a.s.), he also instigated his followers to perform this ‘good deed’. Thus, the custom gained popularity during the reign of Muawiyah because he was considered the rightful Caliph of his time, as is the belief of Ahlul Sunnat.
It is not an unknown thing that Muawiyah emphasized so much on the cursing of Ali (a.s.) that when Imam Hasan (a.s.) made a treaty with him, he included the condition that cursing of Ali (a.s.) will be stopped by Bani Umayyah, but Muawiyah did not honor it. At last, Imam Hasan (a.s.) had to propose that imprecation of Ali (a.s.) shall not be done in his presence. Anyway, whatever may be the view of Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan, the followers of today should note that the Holy Prophet (S) considered the cursing of Ali (a.s.) to be equal to cursing the Prophet himself as mentioned in the above tradition.
(68) When Ali (a.s.) returned after breaking the idols of Saqifah and Hawazin, the Holy Prophet (S) expressed his happiness and conferred with Ali (a.s.) in seclusion for a long time. The conference was so prolonged that Umar remarked that the Messenger of Allah (S) had that day conversed with his cousin for a very long time. The Holy Prophet (S) replied that he himself had nothing to say to Ali (a.s.), but there were many divine secrets that had to be conveyed to Ali (a.s.).2
The curiosity of Umar was not baseless. In spite of being with Ali (a.s.) day and night, he was not aware of his high status. In any case, this secluded conference clearly shows that His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) was the custodian of the secrets of Allah and the Messenger of Allah (S); and except for him none of the companions had this honor.
(69) Ali (a.s.) was always the recipient of the beneficences of the Prophet. But in the incident mentioned below, the Holy Prophet (S) made such a statement about him that it implies that he had appointed Ali (a.s.) as his successor or it showed his desire that Ali (a.s.) should be his legatee. People of justice have not but to confess to this fact, the followers of Caliphate may say whatever they like.
The First Incident: Before migration to Medina (Hijrat), the Holy Prophet (S) invited his clan for a feast. After dinner, he told them that he has been sent for all the people, but especially for them. And they had well seen his behavior with them. Now it was incumbent on them to help him like a brother, but no one volunteered to do so, except Ali (a.s.) who, in spite of his young age stood up. The Holy Prophet (S) told him to move aside. The Messenger of Allah (S) repeated this thrice and every time only Ali al-Murtadha’ (a.s.) arose. Finally, the Holy Prophet (S) thumped Ali’s shoulders and said:
“I have appointed my cousin as my successor.” The above tradition is recorded in Khasais of Nasai and Shah Waliullah has written it in his book Izalatul Khifa with explanation and commentary.
Also, Abul Fida, the historian, has also recorded it in his book Tarikhul Mukhtasar fi Ahwaalul Bashar. This historian writes that the Holy Prophet (S) addressed his clan and asked: “Who is it that could be my brother, my legatee and my successor?” No one responded, except Ali (a.s.), who happily offered himself to become his brother, helper and Caliph. Upon this, the Prophet told Ali (a.s.): “You are my brother, my legatee and my Caliph.”
Please note that the above proves the falsity of the alleged tradition: “We, the prophets don’t leave inheritance.” And the fact is that it is unacceptable as it is against nature. The next notable point is that the time when this occurred, the age of Ali (a.s.) was eleven years only. Since that time, Ali (a.s.) showed absolute loyalty and helpfulness to the Holy Prophet (S). He always strove to please the Prophet and he did not even prefer his life over the safety of the Messenger of Allah (S).
At the time of migration, he slept fearlessly on the bed of the Messenger of Allah (S) and in every battle he exhibited such valor as was not found in anyone else. The fact is that he fulfilled the promise of his childhood steadfastly throughout his life. After the demise of the Holy Prophet (S) also, he did not accept the cooperation of Bani Umayyah. The fact is that all his life, he had fulfilled to the maximum, the saying of the Prophet when he had called him the ‘legatee and brother’.
The Second Incident: On the day of migration, the Holy Prophet (S) had appointed him on his behalf to restore the trusts placed with him by Meccans, and especially made Ali (a.s.) sleep on his bed and had him covered with his covering. His selection for this position seems to be a significant matter. It was such a serious responsibility that it could be fulfilled by only the one who had the position of legatee and brother of the Messenger of Allah (S).
Evidently, this is the matter that indicates the appointment of Ali (a.s.) to be the legatee of the Holy Prophet (S). In such crucial circumstances, only such a person can take the place of the Holy Prophet (S) as one whom Allah has appointed to be the brother, legatee and the Caliph of the Messenger of Allah (S). Obviously, such a feat cannot be accomplished without divine help. Thus, Ali (a.s.) was created to perform this astounding feat. And it was so, because he has been appointed by divine instructions, the brother, legatee and the Caliph of the Messenger of Allah (S). This also shows that since he had been appointed as such by Allah, there was no need for him to be appointed a Caliph by the people. The Almighty Himself has praised this feat of Ali (a.s.)3
“And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah and Allah is Affectionate to the servants.”
The Third Incident: In the year when the allegiance of Rizwan occurred, some people of Quraish came to the Holy Prophet (S) to ask for the return of some slaves. The Holy Prophet (S) told them: “O people of Quraish! The Almighty will appoint on you a person whose faith He has already tested. That person will make you follow the religion strictly and kill some of you.” When the companions asked the Messenger of Allah (S) about the person he said. “It is the one repairing my sandals.”
At that time, Ali (a.s.) was stitching the sandals of the Messenger of Allah (S). The statement of the Prophet that he would make them follow the religion and kill some of them indicates that the Caliph of the Prophet is having authority in the religion as well as the secular affairs of the community. This implies that Ali (a.s.) was the true Caliph appointed by the Messenger of Allah (S). People who misconstrue meanings may interpret this statement of the Messenger of Allah (S) in any way they like.
The Fourth Incident: The Holy Prophet (S), at the time of announcing the verses of Surah Baraat under divine instructions, considering Ali (a.s.) as having position like himself, sent him on this mission and he delivered the commands of Surah Baraat to the people of Mecca. The following tradition is mentioned in the books of Elamul Wara and Habibus Sayr: “But Jibraeel descended with the command that no one will fulfill this duty except you, yourself or someone who is like you. And the fact is that Ali is from me and I am from Ali. He is my brother, my legatee, my successor and my Caliph. After me, he will fulfill my rights in my family, my people and will promote my religion. And none shall fulfill my rights except Ali (a.s.).”
Shah Waliullah has also mentioned this incident in Izalatul Khifa. This clearly proves that Ali (a.s.) was the Caliph of the Prophet and the executor of religious and secular affairs. What could be clearer than these words of the Messenger of Allah (S)? The Prophet designated Ali (a.s.) in his lifetime as his brother, his legatee and his successor and also said that Ali (a.s.) will manage his religion after him.
But after the demise of the Prophet, the nation did not allow Ali (a.s.) to be the Caliph. Umar denied that he was the brother of the Prophet. Abu Bakr attributed a saying to the Holy Prophet (S), which implied that the Messenger of Allah (S) had no inheritor. What an allegiance they had given to the Prophet! They disregarded all the sayings of the Messenger of Allah (S)!
The Fifth Incident: One day, the Holy Prophet (S) stated that Ali (a.s.) was the chief of the Arabs, thus ‘A’ysha narrates in Mustadrak and Shah Waliullah has recorded it in Izalatul Khifa. ‘A’ysha says that the Holy Prophet (S) said: “Call for me the chief of the Arabs. ‘A’ysha asked him if he himself was not the chief of the Arabs? He replied that he was the chief of the Children of Adam (human beings) and Ali (a.s.) is the chief of the Arabs.”
Despite being the chief of the Arabs, the people did not allow his chieftaincy to remain established. They created the turmoil of Saqifah and did not allow him to become the apparent chief of the community. What a loyal nation it was of the Messenger of Allah (S) that it could not even act upon this command of the Holy Prophet (S)!
The Sixth Incident: The Holy Prophet (S) had stated that Ali (a.s.) is the chief of the believers, Imam of the pious and the leader of the nobles? The Holy Prophet (S) used to speak very highly of Ali (a.s.), but when did the Ummah cut off his neck, and not denied that Ali (a.s.) was the brother of the Prophet. It is obvious that any believer cannot address the chief of the believers in such a rude manner.
The Seventh Incident: The Holy Prophet (S) told Ali (a.s.) that after the Messenger of Allah (S), he was the chief of every believing man and woman. But after the demise of the Messenger of Allah (S) Umar, Abu Bakr, Muawiyah, ‘A’ysha, Talha and Zubair did not accept him to be the chief of the believers. Anyway, this tradition is recorded in Izalatul Khifa from Abdullah Ibn Abbas. It is as follows: “O Ali! You are the Guardian (Wali) of all believers after me.” Obviously, the meaning of Wali is chief and Imam. It cannot be friend or helper etc. because the words ‘after me’ cannot imply anything else. Even then, the opponents of Ali (a.s.) do not refrain from deriving inappropriate meanings. Indeed, bigotry blinds the people.
The Eighth Incident: In a great crowd, as commanded by revelation, the Holy Prophet (S) declared that all the doors opening into the Prophet’s mosque must be closed except that of Ali (a.s.). This was put into effect and this caused many people to be jealous. This incident is mentioned in the book of Jazbul Quloob. And the tradition is seen in Sahih Bukhari.
In the same way, the Prophet told Ali (a.s.): “Except for you and me, this mosque is not allowed for anyone in the state of ritual impurity.” Then the Messenger of Allah (S) gave the example of Moosa (a.s.) that he was ordered by Allah to construct a mosque where none but he and Haroon could live. Both these virtues are such that except for Ali (a.s.), it could not be obtained by anyone else from the non-Ahlul Bayt people.
The second virtue was that Ali (a.s.), like the Holy Prophet (S), even in the state of ritual impurity could enter the mosque. This proves the infallibility of Ali (a.s.) because without infallibility, a person cannot be absolutely pure. Thus, just as the Messenger of Allah (S) was infallible, in the same way, Ali (a.s.) was also infallible. In this condition, no one but Ali (a.s.) can be the successor of the Holy Prophet (S). The successor of an infallible should be infallible too. This merit also proves that immediate successorship of the Prophet belonged to Ali (a.s.).
The Ninth Incident: The Holy Prophet (S) appointed Ali (a.s.) as his representative and successor by tying a turban to the head of Ali (a.s.) and after that he made him sit on a camel and sent him to the infidels. And also said that even if one person accepts Islam at the hands of Ali (a.s.), it would be better than the entire world and whatever is in it. Side by side the Holy Prophet (S) also prayed: “O Allah! Make his tongue firm and guide his heart.” The Messenger of Allah (S) also said: “Ali is the most judicious among you!”4
Tying of turban is a sign of appointing as a successor. Till today, only the turban is tied on the head of one who is appointed as the successor. The tying of turban to Ali’s head and making him sit on a camel to depart by the Holy Prophet (S) shows that he alone deserved the position of the Prophet’s successorship. The truth is also that except for him, no one was qualified for it.
The Holy Prophet (S) knew that by tying the turban on Ali’s head and sending him to the enemies of Islam would not be useless, because Ali (a.s.) will remain steadfast in facing the enemies. He will definitely not flee from combat. People who value justice should see if the Prophet has treated anyone of the three Caliphs in this way. When it had already been proved by past experience that none of them had such ability.
The Tenth Incident: When Khalid bin Walid instigated some people to complain to the Holy Prophet (S) regarding the distribution of Yemen booty by Ali (a.s.), the Messenger of Allah (S) became infuriated.
The writer of Madarijun Nubuwwah says that the Holy Prophet (S) said: “Do not think bad of Ali (a.s.), because he is from me and I am from him and he is your guardian. Of whomsoever I am the master, this Ali is his master too.” The words of Wali (Guardian) and Maula (Master) clearly imply the rule that no one from the Muslims can ignore his commands. The Holy Prophet (S) implied that of whosoever he was the ruler, in the same way was Ali (a.s.). Thus, whatever is his decision regarding the war booty, ‘the same would have been my decision. You have no right to complain against it.’
The obvious meaning of Maula is as mentioned above, but the opponents of Ali (a.s.) have contrived new connotations to this words, which shows nothing but the expression of their actual feelings.
Here, it seems appropriate to mention a few things about Khalid Ibn Walid also only because it is possible that he may not be mentioned in this book again. Khalid Ibn Walid was a well-known chief of the Bani Makhzum tribe. The first time Islam encountered him was during the Battle of Uhud. He had come with Abu Sufyan to confront the army of Islam and was a brave soldier. He began his activities against the army of Allah.
The Holy Prophet (S) had posted fifty archers at the mountain pass but they left their position and indulged in collecting the booty. Khalid saw the loophole and he descended from the heights and attacked the Muslims. Due to Khalid’s attack, the Muslims were defeated after having the upper hand. This also resulted in the martyrdom of Hamza, who was killed by a javelin thrown by Wahshi, the slave of Hind. After that, Khalid accepted Islam after a period of time.
At the time of the conquest of Mecca, the Holy Prophet (S) sent Khalid to confront the Bani Jazima. They accepted Islam and surrendered their weapons. In spite of their acceptance of Islam, Khalid treated them with cruelty and killed a number of their men. When the Holy Prophet (S) heard of this, he began to tremble by the fear of Allah and began to plead: “O my Lord! I dissociate with this misdeed of Khalid. And I seek Your refuge.” After this, the Messenger of Allah (S) immediately sent Ali (a.s.) with a lot of money and gold so that he could remove Khalid from there and reconcile the people whose kin were slain by Khalid and that they could be paid blood money.
Thus, Khalid was always inimical to Ali (a.s.) because the latter differed with him in many decisions. This had finally led Khalid to instigate people to complain against Ali (a.s.). The result was as mentioned above. Khalid remained famous as a ferocious warrior even after the passing away of the Prophet. Those who consider him equal to or braver than Ali (a.s.) should know that the bravery of Khalid was of a ferocious, wild kind. While the valor of Ali (a.s.) was never devoid of mercy and kindness. None is equal to Ali (a.s.) from the aspect of valor and forbearance. Khalid was so hot tempered that even a hot tempered person like Umar used to be dissatisfied with him. We don’t know how Khalid was conferred the title of ‘Sword of Allah’. It was definitely not gained during the lifetime of the Prophet.
The Messenger of Allah (S) was absolutely not pleased with him. It seems that during the conquests of Syria etc., the Muslims came to refer to him with this title. It is well-known that the title of ‘Sword of Allah’ is the exclusive appellation of Ali (a.s.), as the writer has shown in the foregone discussions. Apparently, it seems that Ahlul Sunnat have forcibly applied this title to Khalid. In this time also, there are people who call themselves descendants of Khalid. They are proud to say that they are the progeny of the ‘Sword of Allah’.
The Eleventh Incident: When the Holy Prophet (S) was going to Tabuk, he appointed Ali (a.s.) as his representative in Medina. This appointment was a matter of great pride for Ali (a.s.) but the hypocrites spread the calumny that the Prophet was angry with him; that is why he had left him in Medina and gone to Tabuk. So Ali (a.s.) asked the Holy Prophet (S) why he was leaving him as a Caliph on women and children while he had not been shortcoming in the five previous battles. Upon this, the Messenger of Allah (S) gave the example of Haroon and Moosa (a.s.). He said:
“You are to me as Haroon was to Moosa.”
It should be clear that the example is based on an incident when Moosa had left for the Miqat (place of meeting the Lord), he had appointed Haroon as his Caliph. The tradition regarding this incident is given below. Shaykh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlavi has also quoted it from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim: “You are to me as Haroon was to Moosa, except that there is no Prophet after me.”
Doubtlessly, this tradition tells us a lot of the high position of Ali (a.s.), but the opponents of Ali (a.s.) claim that there is nothing special in this tradition, because the Prophet had appointed him the Caliph on his family and not on all people of Medina. First of all, the saying of the mischievous people is itself invalid, because when the Prophet quoted the example of Haroon and Moosa, the Caliphate of Ali (a.s.) over whole of Medina was proved. Secondly, when he was made the Caliph on the family of the Prophet, then what was the position of the common people of Medina? That any excuse could be sought for him being their Caliph.
It seems that these people do not consider the family and progeny of the Messenger of Allah (S) to be superior to the common people of Medina. That is why they are presenting such lame excuses from their side. Glory be to Allah, what a respect of the Prophet’s family! These people definitely degrade the Messenger’s kinsfolk by considering them at par with common people. The fact is that selfishness is a bad habit.
Sayyid Ali Hamadani writes in Mawaddatul Qurba that the Holy Prophet (S) had repeated the following tradition on ten different occasions: “You are having the same position to me as Haroon was having with Moosa (a.s.).” This does not only prove that he was a Caliph for the Prophet’s family when the Holy Prophet (S) had gone to Tabuk. Rather, it implies that he was the Caliph of the Messenger of Allah (S). This tradition is a great proof of the rightfulness of his Caliphate.
The writer of Ittilaaf says that most scholars have accepted this tradition except Amadi, who was expelled from Syria due to his contorted beliefs as mentioned by Zahabi in Mizanul Etedal in detail. The best tradition to prove the appointment of Ali (a.s.) as the Caliph is the Relation (Manzilah) tradition. Shah Abdul Aziz has written in Tohfa: “We, Ahlul Sunnat accept this tradition as correct. This tradition proves the Imamate of Ali (a.s.) in his own time.” After this, the Shah says: “Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) enemies (Nasibi) have denied this tradition.” We, Shias also agree to the view of Shah. But the limitation of “in his own time” is not correct.
Rather, it should be said that this tradition proves the immediate Caliphate of Ali (a.s.), while such a kind of tradition is not found for any of the three Caliphs. It is also stated by Nawawi, the commentator of Sahih Muslim and Ibn Hajar in Fathul Bari and Maqrizi etc. How beautifully the Shah has limited it to “his own time”! It is as if the Holy Prophet (S) has missed the phrase. No, the Holy Prophet (S) did not lay any condition to the acceptance of the Caliphate of Ali (a.s.). He did not say that after Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman have been Caliphs, after this Ali (a.s.) must be taken as Caliph.
It is apparent that the Shah has applied this condition only to justify his Sunni faith. The Holy Prophet (S) never implied it. What a great selfishness that the Shah is blinded by the look of three Caliphs. He says that Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) enemies oppose this tradition and he himself has opposed it after a few lines. It is not a mature behavior; but selfishness blinds one in discriminating between right and wrong. At least the respected Shah who had the power to discern truth from falsehood should not have followed the bigots.
The Twelfth Incident: In 10 A.H., the Holy Prophet (S) announced that he was going for Hajj pilgrimage and whoever wanted to perform Hajj should come to Medina and accompany him. Upon hearing this news, 120000 people of the Arab tribes gathered in Medina.5 And the Holy Prophet (S) departed to Medina with the great crowd.6 Ali (a.s.) was in Yemen at that time. He also reached Mecca and joined the Holy Prophet (S). The Holy Prophet (S) fulfilled the rituals of Hajj and also delivered a brilliant and an eloquent sermon.7
He also said in the sermon that his death was near and the call of the Almighty may come anytime and he would have to respond. Thus, he was leaving among them two things: One of them being greater than the other and they shall not separate from each other till they join him at the cistern of Kauthar. If the people follow them and remain attached to them, they shall never go stray, and the two weighty things are the Quran and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)
Tirmidhi has related the following tradition from Jabir as follows: On the day of Arafat, the Holy Prophet (S) said: “Indeed, I leave among you those that if you hold to them firmly you shall not go astray. They are the Book of Allah and my progeny.” The Messenger of Allah (S) was astride his she-camel, Qassa. This tradition is also related from Saad bin Abi Waqqas. In Tohfa, Shah Abdul Aziz has mentioned it as follows: “I leave among you two weighty things; if you hold to the two of them you will not go astray after me. One of them is greater than the other. The book of Allah and my progeny.”
Shah Waliullah has also quoted the same in Izalatul Khifa an Khilafatul Khulafa and this tradition is authentic and Mutawatir (related by a large number of narrators). No one has any objection to it. Anyway, when the Holy Prophet (S) completed the Hajj rituals, he headed back to Medina. On the way, he reached a spot named Ghadeer Khumm on the 18th of Zilhajj at the time for noon prayers. Jibraeel, the trustworthy, descended with the following command from the Almighty:
“O Apostle! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered this message, and Allah will protect you from the people, Surely, Allah will not guide the unbelieving people.”8
On receiving this divine command, the Messenger of Allah (S) halted at that place and gathered all the people again. We should know that this Ghadeer Khumm was the place from where different roads diverged in different directions. When the people reached this spot with the Messenger of Allah (S) they began to go on their respective ways. The Holy Prophet (S) sent messengers to call back the people who had gone ahead and waited for those who were following behind.
When the people gathered, the Messenger of Allah (S) led the Noon Prayer and then got on a platform constructed of four camel saddles. Then he asked: “Don’t you know that I am better for the believers than they are for themselves?” All the people replied that they indeed agreed to this.
The writer of Madarijun Nubuwwah explains the meaning of the Prophet’s words as follows: “That I do not command any of the believers to perform any such act which is against their well-being and success of the world and the Hereafter. While the selves of the believers sometimes are prone to mischief and corruption.” However, the brief and clear meaning of this statement is that: “Am I not better and higher than the believers?” There can be no doubt that all the audience replied in one voice that it was true. Anyway, after this the Holy Prophet (S) said:
“I am leaving among you two important things and one of them is greater than the other. They are Quran and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). You must be careful with regard to them that how you behave with them and how you fulfill their rights. These two shall not separate from each other after me, till they meet me at the cistern of Kauthar.”
After this, the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Allah is my Master and I am the master of all believers.” Then he held the hand of Ali (a.s.) and said: “O Allah! Of whomsoever, I am the master, this Ali is his master too. O Allah! Befriend one who befriends Ali (a.s.) and be inimical to one who is inimical to Ali (a.s.). Help one who helps Ali and degrade one who disrespects Ali (a.s.) and desert one who deserts Ali (a.s.), and turn the truth to whichever direction Ali (a.s.) turns.”
After this, he commanded Ali (a.s.) to sit in a tent and accept congratulations of believers for mastership of believers. Thus, the respected wives of the Prophet went to his tent to congratulate him.9 Abu Bakr and Umar also congratulated him with fervor and said: “You have become the master of all the believing men and believing women.” Umar even said: “Congratulations! O Abal Hasan, today you have become my master and the master of all believing men and women.” All this is true, but what a pity that Abu Bakr and Umar did not recall their congratulatory statements in Saqifah. It is unlikely that they had forgotten these statements.
Rather, the fact is that they had made those statements as matter of policy without any sincere feelings. If it had been otherwise, Abu Bakr would not have disregarded Ali (a.s.) within a few days and himself became the master of believers. Apart from the congratulations, poets composed panegyrics and couplets in praise of Ali (a.s.). Thus, the most famous of these panegyrics is one composed by Hassaan bin Thabit. Below we present the translation of a few couplets of this panegyric:
“On the day of Ghadeer the Messenger of Allah (S) called the people and gathered them.
It was a voice that all those with hearing capability could hear.
The Holy Prophet (S) asked the people who their chief and master was? Everyone replied and at that moment did not show blindness.
That Allah is the master of you and us, and you are our ruler and today no one can disobey you.
The Messenger of Allah (S) made Ali (a.s.) stand up and said: Indeed, I have appointed you Imam and guide after me.
Thus, all the people should remain his true helpers like slaves.
After stating this the Messenger of Allah (S) prayed and said: O Allah love those who love Ali (a.s.) and be inimical to one who is inimical to Ali (a.s.).”
Poor Hassaan did no know that the opponents of Ali (a.s.) will distort the meaning of Maula. And after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S) how they would make ineffective all the proceedings of Ghadeer Khumm. The couplets of Hassaan also indicate that the Messenger of Allah (S) had appointed Ali (a.s.) as the ruler of his people and designated him as his successor. It was definitely not that the Messenger of Allah (S) had appointed Ali (a.s.) only as helper and beloved. It is surprising that those who derive such absurd meanings do not feel ashamed.
There is no power and strength except by Allah.
Modesty is a part of faith. Why did they act so shamelessly? Thus, after the sermon of Ghadeer, the following verse was revealed:
“This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion.”10
Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, one of the four Imams of Ahlul Sunnat says that after this verse, the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Praise be to Allah for the perfection of religion and the completion of favor and His pleasure by my Messengership and the guardianship (Wilayat) of Ali (a.s.) after me.” We should know that the tradition of Ghadeer is narrated by a large number of companions, their followers and other traditionists.
Two hundred and fifty Shafei scholars have also recorded the tradition of Ghadeer Khumm. In addition to them, Allamah Maghribi has composed a beautiful panegyric (Qasida) in praise of Ali (a.s.) with reference to Ghadeer Khumm. The incident of Ghadeer seems to be very significant in the history of Islam and if you study its parts, you will realize an important point.
It seems that the Messenger of Allah (S) had desired to make some arrangement in his own lifetime and he definitely did not imply an insignificant matter. That Ali (a.s.) is the helper and the friend of believers, as Ibn Hajar and other scholars construe it to mean. If the Holy Prophet (S) did not mean to say that Ali (a.s.) is appointed the executor of all religious and seculars, why did the Almighty command the Messenger of Allah (S) to make such an announcement? Why should Allah say:
“O Apostle! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message; and Allah will protect you from the people...”
Here the phrase: “Allah will protect you from the people...” is also worth noting. It seems that the Messenger of Allah (S) was not feeing safe from mischief mongers and hypocrites and he was expecting trouble from them. That is why Allah promised him safety. Why, also, did the Holy Prophet (S) stop the people and made a pulpit of saddles and ask: “Whether I am not superior for you than yourself?” When they replied in affirmative, he stated the attachment of the book of Allah and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Then he said that Allah was his master and he was the master of all believers. Then he caught the hand of Ali (a.s.) and said:
“Of whomsoever I am the Master, this Ali is his master too...”
If the intention of Allah and His Messenger was merely to inform about the friendship and helpfulness of Ali (a.s.), then indeed no ruler and leader in the world has performed such a fiasco. Not only this, afterwards, people came to congratulate Ali (a.s.). Abu Bakr and Umar congratulated him too.
In the words of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, the Holy Prophet (S) said: “By my prophethood and by the guardianship (Wilayat) of Ali (a.s.) after me.” We should know that only one who lacks faith is prone to quote the words of Allah and the Messenger of Allah (S) without any significance.
Please note that the above incident clearly indicates the immediate successorship of Ali (a.s.). Though the incident of Tabuk was also clear, the event of Ghadeer is much more clear. The opponents of Ali (a.s.) and the bigots may view it in any way they like, but the followers of Ali (a.s.) consider this, a clear proof of the Imamate of Ali (a.s.). From all the discussions presented by the writer in the foregone pages, it is proved that there was no one equal to Ali (a.s.) from the Ummah of the Messenger of Allah (S).
Rather, there was no one even from the past nations.
All the points mentioned so far are sufficient to prove that in the view of Allah and the Messenger of Allah (S), Ali (a.s.) was the best and most superior of all the believers. Though Ali (a.s.) possessed uncountable merits, his bravery and piety was such that there was none his equal. His bravery was such that through it, Islam was established. His steadfastness in the battles and military campaigns was such that more steadfastness is impossible. To compare him with the three Caliphs, from the aspect of valor, is meaningless.
Secondly, his worship was such that in the words of the Messenger of Allah (S), the worship of all the past, present and future people cannot compete with it. In this way, to compare Ali (a.s.) with the three Caliphs or any righteous person is useless. These two qualities are sufficient to prove the superiority of Ali (a.s.), so there is no need for me to compare Ali (a.s.) to the three Caliphs from the aspect of other qualities.
These two qualities alone prove the immediate successorship of Ali (a.s.). Anyone lacking in these two qualities cannot be superior to Ali (a.s.). And while Ali (a.s.) is there, someone else could not be appointed as Caliph. Keeping in mind all the qualities of Ali (a.s.); especially these two virtues, no equitable person will accept anyone other than him as the successor of the Prophet. Bigotry and falsehood is another matter!
Readers should note that we have presented here the details about Ali (a.s.) because there is significant connection between the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) at Karbala’ with the non-appointment of Ali (a.s.) to the seat of Caliphate. That is, if he had been accepted as the Caliph, immediately after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S), Abu Sufyan and Bani Umayyah had not become strong. They would have remained in the lowly state, the Messenger of Allah (S) had left them.
The fact is that the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) is a result of the usurpation of the right of Ali (a.s.). Not only did it cause the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.), it was responsible for the martyrdom of Ali, Fatima and Hasan (a.s.) and all the calamities that befell the family of the Messenger of Allah (S). It won’t be long when the opponents of the Prophet’s family (a.s.) suffer the consequences of their deeds.
- 1. Ref. Maarijun Nubuwwah
- 2. Ref. Maarijun Nubuwwah, Part 4, Pg. 269-270, and also Sahih Tirmidhi
- 3. Ref. the 207th verse of Surah Baqarah
- 4. Refer Shaykh Abdul Haqq Dehlavi’s Maarijun Nubuwwah, Vol. 2, Pg. 229, 230
- 5. Ref. Maarijun Nubuwwah
- 6. Tafseer Tabari, Vol. 2, Pg. 58.
- 7. Tauzihud Dalail of Shahabuddin Ahmad and also Marakatul Arasha, of Salamatullah
- 8. Surah Maidah 5:67
- 9. Tazkeratul Khawas of Sibte Ibn Jawzi; Seerate Rasool of Ibn Ishaq, Maarijun
Nubuwwah; Rauzatul Safa and Habibus Sayr
- 10. Surah Maidah 5:3