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['Aalim Network QR] Status of the First Three Caliphs

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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\

Salamun `Alaykum

The following question was kindly answered by Mulla Bashir Rahim.

Fee Amaanillah,

Akil Karim

---------- Forwarded message ----------


Yesterday on 'Aashura night, I had the opportunity of delivering a short
lecture to the youths in the tent at the Ja'fari Islamic Center. My topic
focused on Jihad and Shahadat in Islam as exemplified by the martyrdom of
Imam Husayn (a.s) as well as the philosophy and significance behind the
tragedy of Kerbala. I made an efficacous endeavour to show that the true
philosophy and significance of the tragedy of Kerbala can only be
realized if the event is viewed not as an isolated incident, but from a
historical, ideological and social context. I tried to show that Imam
Husayn (a.s) was the inheritor of the Islamic movement from Imam Ali
(a.s) and Imam Hassan (a.s). His struggle was against the corrupt
Ummayyed leaders of the neo-jahiliyyah movement whose coming to power had
been facilitated by the third Caliph Uthman Radhi-Allahu 'Anhu. At the
conclusion of my speech, three members of the audience confronted me and
spoke in a pejorative language demanding why I had said Radhi-Allahu
eAnhu after the name of the third caliph. I therefore have the following
questions to ask you: 

a) Were the first three caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman considered as
   Muslims by Imam Ali (a.s)? 

b) Did Imam Ali (a.s) provide religious guidance to the three caliphs and
   offer food and water to Uthman during the forty day siege on his house? 

c) Is the status of the first three caliphs analogous to that of Muawiya
   and Yezid? 

I am aware of the insidious and indecent acts committed by the caliphs
especially Uthman who was not only a nepotist but also misused baytul
maal and banned the narration of the Prophet's traditions. He also
tortured and exiled some of the well known true companions of the Prophet
which include Abu Dhar and Ammar Yasir. If they (Caliphs) are considered
as Muslims then they will not stay in hell forever but will be returned
to heaven after they have been punished for their misdeeds. 


I thank you for referring this question to the 'Aalim's Network. The
issues raised are important and need to be addressed in the light of
historical facts. 

First of all, the expression "radhiallahu 'anhu" is a du'aa and should be
used only for those who, in the opinion of the speaker, merit it.
Indiscriminate use of the expression belittles the one who invokes it as
much as it devalues the du'aa itself in the minds of the listeners. 

Now let us examine the position of the first three khulafah. No one, and
I repeat no one, has the right to treat any of them as non-Muslims. (I
may add that the position of Yezid is different, but that is not within
the scope of this discussion.) In this connection I would respectfully
invite your attention to my recent posting on Islam and Imaan. For ease
of reference I give below excerpts from it: 


"Allah (SWT) says in Chapter 49 (al-Hujurat) verses 14 &15:

    The wandering Arabs say: We believe (have imaan). Tell them (O
Muhammad) "You do not believe. You should rather say:'We submit' for
imaan (faith) has not entered your into your hearts. Yet, if you obey
Allah and His Messenger He will not withhold from you any of the rewards
of your deeds. Allah is indeed Forgiving and Merciful." 

    The (true) believers (mu'minoon) are only those who believe in Allah
and His messenger AND AFTERWARDS DOUBT NOT, but strive with their wealth
and their lives for the cause of Allah. These are the sincere (sadiqoon). 

The above ayaah immediately conjure up a graphic of Islam of two
concentric circles. The inner circle, a small one, of those elite who
accept all that Allah and His messenger have said and abide by them. The
centre is the Holy Prophet, 'Ali and the other Aimmahs as was pointed out
by the Holy Prophet. Within the inner circle we find such figures as Abu
Dhar, Salman Farsi, Ammaar, the Shuhadaas and the like, including some
great mujtahideen. 

Even those who thought they were very close to the Holy Prophet were
often assailed by doubts, at Hudaibiyya, at Ghadir-e-Khum, when the Holy
Prophet lay ill and after his death. History has chronicled these events
and demonstrated that their station can only be in between the two


Doubts of an individual, which I was discussing in that posting, must
surely be of minor consequence compared to a concerted action in direct
disobedience of the Holy Prophet (SAWA). The event of Saqeefa was just
such a gross act of disobedience of the clear direction given by the Holy
Prophet. Had the result been only to keep Hadhrat Ali (A.S.) from
succession and had the affairs of the Muslims been conducted in
accordance with the shariah, and had the ummah always been given the
right to elect a leader from amongst those within the inner circle of
imaan, Saqeefa might have been written off (though not forgiven) as a
temporary aberration motivated by tribal considerations. But we see that
within a week of the wafaat of the Holy Prophet, records of his ahadeeth
are destroyed, injustices perpetrated, shariah ignored, laws changed, and
all this to set the course of Islam away from its pristine spirituality
and, perhaps, towards imperialism. 

It was Saqeefa that made it possible for the son and the grandson of such
committed and sworn enemies of Islam, Abu Sufyan and Hinda, to become
khulafah and as such put on the mantle of Ameerul Mu'mineen. 

Of course Hadhrat Ali helped the first three khalifahs. This way he was
able to preserve certain tenets of Islam. In fact there is a body of
evidence in the books of Ahlul Sunnah that Umar was often heard to say
that but for Ali he would have perished. 

Of-course Hadhrat Ali tried to protect Uthman from assassination the
first time round. This was a humanitarian act on his part and is a
testimony of his Islamic spirit. In spite of that both Ayesha and Muawiya
accused him of having engineered Uthman's assassination. 

To provide water to the thirsty and food to the hungry was Allah's Islam
adhered to by Ali. To kill children of thirst and hunger was the Islam of
those who had been put in power by the three khalifahs who also aided and
abetted them in their nefarious designs to destroy the spirit of Islam. 

I would strongly recommend that you read Peshawar Nights translated into
English by Hamid Quinlan and Charles Ali Campbell. (May Allah bless them
both.) Sultan'l Wai'zin Shirazi in his discourse on Uthman (pp.144-6)
quotes from Sunni books to say that Uthman acted against the sunnah of
the Holy Prophet and that he gave the Bani Umayya full authority over the
peoples' lives and property. He, who on migration to Madina, was a poor
man died one of the wealthiest in his kingdom.  He had built a majestic
mansion for his use. Khums and the contents of Bait-ul-maal were bestowed
upon his relatives and even Abu Sufyan profited from his generosity to
the extent of 200,000 dirhams. On the day he was murdered his personal
cash fortune was 150,000 dinars and 20 million dirhams. The Khalifah of
islam had managed to accumulate so much personal wealth while so many
muslims did not even have enough for a dry loaf of bread to satiate their
hunger at the end of the day. 

As a result of the free hand he gave to his Umayyad Governors, Muslims
were persecuted, exploited and put to death for any sign of dissidence. 

Muslim unity can demand any sacrifice save the compromise of Truth and
acceptance of falsehood. 

With regard to your statement that those who accept Islam will have their
punishments remitted after spending a duration in hell we must always
remember that the Holy Qur'aan makes it a duty of every Muslim to obey
His Messenger. In XXXIII:6 He declares that the Holy Prophet has a
greater right over the believers than the believers have over themselves.
In An-Nisa (Chapter IV:115) Allah says "Whosoever opposes the messenger
after the guidance has been made clear to him, and follows other than the
believer's way, We.........expose him to hell. Again in XXXIII:36 Allah
says: "When Allah and His messenger have decided upon an affair, it is
not for any believing man or woman to claim any say (in that) affair, and
whosoever is rebellious to Allah and His Messenger, he is in manifest
error." In ayah 57 of the same Surah it is said: "Truly those who annoy
(hurt, malign) Allah and His messenger, Allah has cursed them in this
world and the hereafter, and He has prepared for them a chastisement
disgraceful." We should never allow ourselves to forget that the Saqeefa
and the course subsequently taken for the so called nomination, election
or seizure of power by force were all in direct disobedience of the
decision of Allah and His messenger conveyed to the ummah at
Ghadeer-e-Khum. This disobedience resulted in Islam being divided in so
many sects. We the Shi'ahs adhere to that decision in the matter of our
faith. Faith must always be manifested by conduct. We have to endeavour
to adhere to the precepts of Islam. That is all our annual commemoration
of the martyrdom of Imaam Hussain is about. Every time we recite
Ziyarat-e-Waritha we make the following commitment: 

    "And I make Allah, His angels, His prophets, and His messengers,
witnesses to the fact that I believe in Imam Hussain and in my return to
Allah.  I also believe in the laws of Allah and in the consequences of
human actions.  I have subordinated the desires of my heart to his (Imaam
Hussain's) heart and I sincerely submit to him and (promise to follow his

Should any member require further references or additional material
please do not hesitate to seek assistance from the 'Aalim Network. 

With salaams and du'aas from a humble servant of Ahlul Bayt and their
followers,and with request to be remembered in your prayers,

Bashir Rahim

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