2. Saqifah

Saif and Saqifah

The story of preliminary discussion and arguments at Saqifah surrounding the succession of Abu Bakr as Caliph, (successor of the Prophet) is one of the attractive stories told by Saif which needs careful investigation. Saif says,

1) Es abah (vol.2, p.230). "They tell that Qa‘qa‘ Bin ‘Omar said, ‘When the Prophet of God was going to die, I was present. A man came into the Mosque at mid-day prayer time, and told some people that the Helpers (Ansar) were going to elect Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah unanimously, as Caliph, and ignore the covenant of the Prophet of God. The Mohajirs were very concerned about this."

2) Tabari (vol.3, p.201). Events of the year eleven. "The narrator asked ‘Amr Bin Horaith, ‘Were you present when the Prophet of God died?' The answer was yes. The second question was, ‘On which day was Abu Bakr elected?' and the answer, ‘On the very day that the Prophet died, because the people did not want to be unorganized even for half a day.' Then he asked, ‘Was there any opposition?' ‘No, only from heretics or those who were almost heretics.' ‘Did any member of the Immigrant party oppose him?' was next asked, and the answer was, ‘No, they all gave their allegiance to Abu Bakr freely, one after the other.'

3) Tabari, regarding the Helpers support for Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah, and their rejection of Abu Bakr, says, "Dahhak Bin Khalifah said that Hobab Bin Mondher stood with sword in hand saying, ‘(I am but a crutch to be leaned upon). I am the wood upon which the camels scratch themselves at the place where they do sleep; I am that big tree under which they do seek shade and shelter. I fear harm from no wind. I am the father of the lion cubs in their den.'

"‘Omar jumped quickly forward and knocked the sword from the hand of Hobab. ‘Omar picked up the sword and attacked Sa‘d Bin Hobab, and other people who were against Sa‘d, gave their support to Abu Bakr, helping him to win the election.

"The support of the Helpers (Ansar) in favor of Sa‘d was a mistake like that in Jaheliyyah (the age of ignorance before Islam). Fortunately Abu Bakr firmly opposed Sa‘d and swayed people's support in his own favor. When the people attacked Sa‘d, someone cried that he was killed.

‘Omar said, ‘May God kill him, he is a hypocrite.' Then ‘Omar took the sword and broke it against a rock."

4) (Tabari, after the above story). Mobashsher said that Jaber related thus — "Sa‘d said to Abu Bakr, ‘O you Immigrants you were jealous of my position as the head of the state, and as for you Abu Bakr, you forced me to comply with you, with the help of your own tribe.' The Immigrant replied, ‘If we forced you to leave the mass you had the right to oppose us, but we are forcing you to keep within the mass. Now if you oppose the general body of the Muslims you will be beheaded.'

5) Tabari. "‘Ali was in his house when the news reached him that the people had given their allegiance to Abu Bakr. Still in his night shirt, he rushed out, going at once to Abu Bakr, and shook hands with him. Later on, his clothes were brought to him and he dressed."

6) Tabari, "Abu Bakr delivered two long speeches on the day following the death of the Prophet of God. He spoke mostly of the uncertainty of the world, of the destruction of mankind, and the day of the hereafter. He strongly stressed the devil which was within him saying, ‘There is a spirit of evil invested in me. Avoid me when this evil power overcomes me, in case I usurp not only your possession, but your souls.' "

7) Tabari, Mobashshir Bin Fodail related that Jobair (the bodyguard of the Prophet) said that his father said, "Khalid Bin Sa‘eed Bin ‘As came to Medina from Yemen, a month after the Prophet of Islam died. He was wearing a coat of silk when he met ‘Omar and ‘Ali. ‘Omar shouted, ‘Tear Khalid's coat to pieces for he is wearing silk in peace time.' Khalid turned and spoke to ‘Ali saying,

‘O Abul Hasan, O’ children of ‘Abd Manaf — you gave up the succession to the Prophet, so you have been vanquished. O children of ‘Abd Manaf only you deserve to be the Prophet's successor.' ‘Omar said, ‘O Khalid — may God cut out your tongue; Liars will forever use your words against Islam, and this will eventually be against themselves.' ‘Omar later reported to Abu Bakr this meeting with Khalid. A long time afterwards ‘Omar prevented Abu Bakr from making Khalid the Commander of an army fighting against the heretics.

‘Omar told Abu Bakr that Khalid was despicable, who had told a lie which had caused to gossip forever — and so his help should not be sought. Abu Bakr sent Khalid to Syria as the assistant to the Army Commander at Tima; for Abu Bakr had only half listened to ‘Omar."

An investigation into the truth of the stories concerning Saqifah recorded by Saif

1) The integrity and the character of the narrators.

2) The content of Saif's stories.

a) Saif has recorded his first story from Qa‘qa‘ Bin ‘Amr al-Tamimi. But Qa‘qa‘ is but a fictitious character invented by Saif, and it is only in Saif's book that he appears.

There is no trace of Qa‘qa‘ anywhere else except in the books whose authors quote from Saif. After Saif, unfortunately, other historians and writers have named places, battlefields, poems and social activities concerning Qa‘qa‘, and have named him as one of the companions of the Prophet (see fictional companions). Saif recorded his fourth story from Mobashshir, whose name cannot be found anywhere, except in the stories of Saif.

Sakhr is another fictitious character invented by Saif, and he appeared in the last of Saif's stories. Saif introduced him as the bodyguard of the Prophet, and yet his name does not appear in any "Who's who."

b) The content of Saif's stories. Saif was an expert at presenting fiction as truth and at distorting true stories to suit his purpose. One instance is when he says, "The day that the Prophet of God died, a man came into the Mosque and said,

‘People are going to elect Sa‘d as the successor of the Prophet and break the conversant of the Prophet.' On reading this, one gets the impression that the Prophet had appointed a successor before he died, and that Ansar (The Helpers Party) were betraying the Prophet." Saif also says that Osama had sent

‘Omar to Abu Bakr after he heard the news of the Prophet's death. By saying this he wants to convey that Abu Bakr was already appointed as Caliph before the Prophet died.

The story teller

The crucial meeting at Saqifah, which led to the appointment of Abu Bakr as Caliph, was the corner stone of authority for the Caliphs and Mo'awiah. Saif the story teller, twisted the results of this meeting to suit his own views. We will study the events of that meeting, written by some learned Sunni historians before examining Saif's record of it.

Saqifah and other historians apart from Saif — Saqifah and Abu Bakr

Preparations for the meeting at Saqifah began before the death of the Prophet. On his deathbed, the Prophet attempted to clear the Islamic state Capital of the Party leaders, and keep ‘Ali alone in Medina. He repeatedly commanded the leaders to leave Medina and join the troops going to the Syria Battlefield.

They disregarded the Prophet's orders and deliberately delayed' the armies departure until the Prophet died. During this period of delay, a very strange event took place which changed the course of history.

Did the Prophet express his wishes in writing?

The last moments of the Prophet were approaching. Medina was in a state of panic. Everyone felt that the leader of man, was leaving the world forever. The Prophet had a plan for this moment in time; it was in his mind to clear Medina of Party Leaders, but they refused to go.

They also had a plan, and were watching events closely. They prevented the Prophet from leaving a document with the Muslims for the guidance of man.

According to Tabaqat by Bin Sa‘d vol.2, pp.243-244, ‘Omar Khattab himself says, "We were at the side of the Prophet and the ladies were sitting behind the curtain, then the Prophet of God said, ‘Wash me with seven skin-fills of water, and bring me ink and paper in order that I may write a note for you to prevent you from ever going astray.'

The women said, ‘Fetch the Prophet of God that which he needs."' Maghrizi says_ that this was said by Zainab daughter of Jahash, the wife of the Prophet, and the women who were with her. ‘Omar said, " I told the women to be quiet, that they were the women who closed their eyes and pretended t a cry when the Prophet was sick, but who put pressure on his throat when he was well." At that moment the Prophet of God said to the men, "Women are better than you."

In Tabaqat, vol.2, p.242, Ibn Sa‘d has recorded that Jaber said, "The Prophet, at his deathbed, asked for paper and pen in order that he may write a note for his people, giving them instructions what to do, in order that they would not go or be led astray. But the people gathered there made such a fuss that the Prophet gave up his idea."

In Mosnad Hanbal, vol.1, p.293, (commentary by Ahmed Shaker, Hadith 2676) Ibn ‘Abbas said, when the Prophet's death was near he said, "Fetch me a sheep's shoulder blade, and I will write you a note. Then after my death, no two persons will disagree one with the other." Those present made a lot of noise and a lady asked, "Do you not see that the Prophet is going to make a will?"

Ibn ‘Abbas in another place has said; the Prophet during his final illness, said, "Fetch me paper and ink to write you a note, so that you will not go astray after my death." ‘Omar Khattab said that there were still cities, such as so and so, to be captured, and that the Prophet would not die until he had taken them. In case he died they would wait for his return as the Israelites waited for Moses. Zainab, the wife of the Prophet at this moment said, "Can you not see that the Prophet is going to make a will?"

Then there was a great noise and unrest and the Prophet said, "Get out; all of you," then at once he passed away.

From the events we have mentioned, and those about which we are going to write, it becomes clear that despite the weakness of the Prophet before his death, he did ask for the ink and paper, but those present caused so much confusion that the Prophet gave up his request. Our explanation which follows shows that because of deliberate and irrelevant arguments, the Prophet had no alternative but to give up his idea.

In the book Sahih Bukhari, Ibn ‘Abbas said, "Oh Thursday, what a day," and so sad was he that his tears ran on the pebbles beneath. "When the illness of the Prophet of God worsened," the Prophet said, "Fetch me paper and ink that I may write a note, to save you from going astray when I am gone."

Then there were more arguments and discussions amongst those present, although there should be no argument in the presence of a Prophet. Some said that the Prophet was speaking deliriously. Then the Prophet said,

"Leave me alone, I would like solitude at the moment."

In another place Ibn ‘Abbas has introduced the man who uttered that sentence. He tells us in the book of Sahih Bukhari that the Prophet on his deathbed said, "Do not waste time. Let me write something to save you from going astray." ‘Omar who was among the gathering said, "Sickness has clouded the mind of the man, the Qur'an the Book of God, is with us, and it is sufficient." Then there started an uproar and arguments. The Prophet was annoyed and said, "Get out, you should not argue and contradict one another in my presence."

In the book Musnad Hanbal and Tabaqat it is told as follows:- "They talked so much nonsense that it made the Prophet unhappy." Later Ibn ‘Abbas used to say, " I t was an instant of great misfortune that when they talked nonsense they prevented the Prophet from writing the message."

In all the above narrations, no one but ‘Omar has been named as the one who prevented the Prophet from writing the note. ‘Omar was who told the women, "You are mistresses."

‘Omar it was who seriously rebuked the wives of the Prophet, speaking to them in a very impolite manner. ‘Omar made this rude remark to the women. when they said "Fetch paper and ink, the Prophet wishes to write." ‘Omar was the person who said, "If the Prophet dies who will conquer the Roman cities?" ‘Omar was the person, who after finding the majority in favor of granting the Prophet's request and bringing him paper and ink, said, "The sickness has overcome the man. He talks deliriously. The Holy Qur’an the Book of God is with us — it is sufficient." ‘Omar it was who said that the Prophet talked deliriously.

With such talks he achieved his goals because even if some say, why didn't the Prophet insisted on nominating someone in writing? We should note however that even a written document would have had no much value, because with ‘Omar's accusation they would have said that writing was done when he was delirious and not knowing what he is doing. This has also been cited by Ibn ‘Abbas.

According to a narration from Ibn ‘Abbas, a man approached the Prophet and asked him if he still needed the paper and the ink. The Prophet replied, "After this then what?" Meaning that after someone had said he was talking deliriously it would be assumed that anything he wrote would be invalid, because it was written during delirium.

It can be seen that ‘Omar worked his mischievous plan very cunningly by making that statement; and that he prevented the Prophet from writing a note to save Muslims from going astray after his death.

After the above explanation perhaps ‘Omar should have been asked the following question, "You dared to accuse the Prophet of speaking deliriously — why then did you not object to the will of Abu Bakr which he dictated during delirium?"

In Tabari vol.4, p.52, Abu Bakr on his deathbed, received ‘Othman alone. He told him to write, "In the name of the Most Merciful, this is my will. A recommendation to Muslims from me — Abu Bakr Bin Abi Qahafa." Just at this moment he fell unconscious so ‘Othman continued the will, in the same vain, as follows, " I have decided to make ‘Omar my successor my Caliph. I have done my best for you."

At this point Abu Bakr recovered and said, "Read back to me that which is written." ‘Othman did so, and Abu Bakr then said, "God is Great. You were afraid that I died without recovering my senses, the Muslims would have been without a Caliph, and would have gone astray." ‘Othman agreed, and Abu Bakr said, "May God reward you well for the help you have given to Muslims and Islam."

‘Omar should have been asked, "What is your reaction to the will of Abu Bakr?" ‘Omar was at his home, surrounded by his friends, dressed up and awaiting the arrival of Abu- bakr's slave bringing the will, the contents of which then would be made official. ‘Omar received the letter, and thus addressed the audience, "Listen O people; obey that which the Caliph of God has said. The Caliph says that he has done his best for you.

" This same ‘Omar, who prevented the Prophet from writing a note during his last sickness and said, "This man is speaking deliriously — The Book of God is sufficient for us," now agreed with Abu Bakr's letter, which was written on his deathbed during delirium. Ibn ‘Abbas was indeed right to weep, so that the pebbles on the ground were wet with tears.

The Prophet's Death

At mid-day on Monday, the Prophet of God passed away in his room at Medina. ‘Omar was there, and Abu Bakr, was at his residence, Sanh, which was one mile away from Medina. ‘Omar and Moghairah were given permission to enter the room where the Prophet was lying. ‘Omar drew back the cloth covering the face of the Prophet saying,

"The Prophet is in a deep coma." Moghairah said to ‘Omar as they were leaving the room, "But you knew that the Prophet of God was dead." ‘Omar said to him, "You are lying, the Prophet is not dead. You are a trouble maker. The Prophet of God will never die until he destroys all hypocrites." ‘Omar threatened those who said that the Prophet was dead, with their own death. He announced —

"Some hypocrites think that the Prophet of God has passed away, he has not. He has gone to God just as Moses did for forty days. People thought that Moses had died but he came back — and so will the Prophet of God return, and he will cut the hands and feet of those who thought he was dead."

‘Omar said, " I will behead whosoever says that the Prophet is dead — the Prophet of God has ascended into the Heaven." Ibn Maktum ‘Amr Bin Qais then recited a passage of the Qur'an which says, "Muhammad is a Prophet like those who died before him. Will you return to your former ways because he is dead?

Whoever turns back does not harm God, but God will reward the faithful." ‘Abbas the uncle of the Prophet said, "The Prophet of God is definitely dead, I saw his face and it looked like the faces of Abdul Muttalib's dead sons."

Then he asked the people, "Did the Prophet of God say anything to you at all concerning his death? If so, please let us know." The people answered that they knew nothing. Then he asked ‘Omar, "Do you know anything?" But ‘Omar knew nothing also.

‘Abbas then addressed the people saying, "Bear witness, that no one knows anything that the Prophet has said concerning his death. I swear to God, who is the only God and no one is like Him, that the Prophet of God has passed away." ‘Omar was still angry — roaring and making threats, but ‘Abbas continued saying,

"The Prophet of God, like any other human being is subject to death and to disease; and he has died. Bury him without delay. Does God kill us once, and kill his Prophet twice? If what you say be true, God can raise him from the grave. The Prophet of God has shown to man the right path to prosperity and salvation in his life time."

‘Omar continued to shout, and was now foaming at the mouth in his anger. Salim Bin ‘Obaid then went to Abu Bakr and told him what was happening. He came to Medina and saw ‘Omar standing there threatening the people, saying, "The Prophet of God is alive.

He is not dead. He will come out of his room and cut off the hands of those who spread lies about him — he will behead them — he will hang them." When ‘Omar saw Abu Bakr he calmed down; Abu Bakr praised God saying, "For those who worship God, God is alive, but for those who worship Muhammad, Muhammad is dead."

He then recited from Qur'an, "Muhammad was a prophet. Before him many prophets passed away." ‘Omar asked if that was a passage from the Qur'an and Abu Bakr confirmed that it was. But the speech of Moghaira, the reciting from the Qur'an by ‘Amr Bin Qais, and ‘Abbas's, the uncle reasoning, failed to convince ‘Omar that the Prophet was dead, but he did listen quietly to Abu Bakr.

Let us hear the story from ‘Omar himself. " I swear by God, when I heard Abu Bakr reciting the verse my knees gave way so that I fell on the floor, unable to rise, and I realized that the Prophet of God was dead." Was ‘Omar that day, so much upset by losing the Prophet of God, that he lost control of himself; and is it true that he became mad on that day as some historians have written? We do not believe these ideas, as we know the reasons behind his distortion of the truth.

Ibn Abil Hadid says, "When ‘Omar learned of the death of the Prophet, he became anxious in case there was any argument concerning the successor to the Prophet. He was afraid that the Ansar Party or some others would gain power, so he created doubts and displayed a reluctance to accept the death of the Prophet, as a safeguard to the Faith until the arrival of Abu Bakr."

Ibn Abil Hadid is correct, because ‘Omar was afraid that if ‘Ali won the election, there were only three candidates for the succession, and ‘Omar gave his support to the third one — that is, Abu Bakr. The three candidates were:-

1 ) ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who was supported by the following:-

a) Banu Hashim, the family of the Prophet.

b) Abu Sufyan, the chief of the opposition before his conversion to Islam.

c) Khalid Bin Sa‘eed Amawi, Bara Ibn Azib Ansari, Salman, Abu Dharr, Meqdad and other eminent companions of the Prophet of God.

2) Sa'd Bin ‘Obaidah Ansari who was the candidate of Khazraj Tribe (Helpers Party).

3) Abu Bakr whose supporters were ‘Omar, Moghaira Bin Sho‘ba, and Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf. ‘Ali and Abu Bakr stood the best chance to win the election, as the second candidate was from the Ansar's Party and had no support from the immigrants. If ‘Ali had been present at the election

after the Prophet's funeral, he would have gained more votes than Abu Bakr, because the immigrants, the Ansars and all of the ‘Abd Manaf tribe were on his side. So that all that ‘Omar (Abu Hafs) did, before and after the death of the Prophet, was caused by his fear that ‘Ali would be brought to power.

The truth is this: If the death of the Prophet had so much upset ‘Omar, he would have stayed and helped with the funeral preparations, instead of saying that the Prophet was not dead, and running off to Saqifah to elect the successor to the Prophet.

Ibn Hesham says, "When ‘Omar and Abu Bakr (the two Sheikhs) learned of the death of the Prophet, ‘Omar told Abu Bakr, "Let us go and see what the Ansars are doing?" The body of the Prophet was lying in his room and according to Tabari, ‘Omar and Abu Bakr left ‘Ali at the bedside of the Prophet, preparing him for the burial, and went off to Saqifah. On the way there they met Abu ‘Obaidah Jarrah and he went with them to Saqifah.

The Ansars were at Saqifah and they were joined by the immigrants. No one, but his family, helped in the preparation for the burial of the Prophet.

Abu Dhowaib Hodhali says, " I arrived at Medina to find people were crying and weeping as though at the beginning of the pilgrimage. I asked the reason, they told me that the Prophet had died. I hurried off to the mosque but found no one there.

The door of the Prophet's room was closed, and I was told that he was in his room with his family around him. I asked where had all the people gone, and was told that they had gone to Saqifah to join the Ansars. The only people who stayed at the Prophet's house to prepare him for burial were, his uncle ‘Abbas, ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Fadhl Bin ‘Abbas, Qathm Bin ‘Abbas, Osama Bin Hareth and his slave Saleh. ‘Ali wearing only a shirt', lifted the Prophet on to his chest.

‘Abbas, Fadhl and Qathm helped ‘Ali to turn the Prophet over. Osama and Saleh poured out the water, and ‘Ali washed the Prophet. Aus Bin Khawali Ansari stood by, looking on."

The candidates before the burial of the Prophet

Canvassing for a successor to the Prophet began before his burial. ‘Ali was one of the candidates. Ibn Sa‘d has written in Tabaqat that ‘Abbas said to ‘Ali, " I will shake hands with you publicly, as a sign of allegiance, and to encourage others to do the same."

Mas‘oudi says that ‘Abbas said to ‘Ali, "Let me shake the hand of allegiance — O son of my brother, in order that there will be no dispute about you being the successor of the Prophet." Dhahabi and others say that ‘Abbas said, "Let me shake the hand of allegiance with you, so that people say that the uncle and his family have shaken the hand of the nephew; and once the election is over it cannot be dissolved."

Jowhari says that ‘Abbas blamed ‘Ali later, saying to him, "When the Prophet died, Abu Sufyan and I came to you, wanting you to let the chief of the clan and myself shake hands with you. The tribe of Bani Hashim would have done likewise.

Once the ‘Abd Manaf and Bani Hashim tribes were on your side, your succession would have been firmly established. But you told us to postpone this matter until after the funeral of the Prophet."

Tabari says that ‘Abbas told ‘Ali not to waste time, but ‘Ali refused to listen to him. ‘Ali was not short of supporters, but to him the funeral of the Prophet was of greater importance at that time than the need to seize power. He was most reluctant to take part in any pre-election activities for a successor to the Prophet whilst the Prophet lay dead and unattended. ‘Ali's reluctance to grab power caused ‘Abbas to blame him for his delay. But in fact the proposal and accusation were irrelevant because:-

a) The Prophet had already appointed ‘Ali as his successor as some Muslims believe; and if Muslims wanted to accept that which the Prophet had said, they would not say he had spoken in delirium.

b) If Muslim affairs had been left in their own hands by the Prophet, the interference of ‘Abbas would rob Muslims of their right to elect anyone as leader.

Second candidate for the succession to the Prophet

The second candidate was Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah who, in spite of his illness, was brought to Saqifah. He was given a vote of confidence by the Ansars. He began his speech by praising God, and reminding the people how good and helpful the Ansars were to Islam and to the Prophet, also that they held the respect of the Prophet — that he had confidence in them right up to the day of his death.

Then he said to the Ansars, "You must see to this matter of the succession." He won the unanimous vote of the Ansars Party, but some people wondered what the solution would be if they were opposed by the immigrant party, because they came from Mecca with the Prophet, and were his relatives. Some replied that one leader would be elected by the Ansars, and one by the immigrants, those two leaders would work jointly. Sa‘d condemned this saying, it would be a failure.

The Successful Candidate

On hearing that the people had gathered together at Saqifah, Abu Bakr and ‘Omar went there. They were joined on the way by some of their friends namely, — Osaid Bin Hodhair, Owaim Bin Saedeh, ‘Asem Bin ‘Adi who was from the al-‘Ajlan tribe from the Ansars, Moghaira Bin Sho‘bah and Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf. (When Abu Bakr and ‘Omar came to power, these men who joined them on the journey, were well favored.)

Abu Bakr like Osaid Ibn Hozair more than other Ansars and ‘Omar used to call him his brother. Abu Bakr showed his affection to him after he died.

When ‘Owaim died, ‘Omar sat on his grave and said, "No one on earth can say that he is better than the man resting in this grave." Abu ‘Obaidah was nominated as the chief of army sent to fight with the Roman Empire. When ‘Omar wanted to nominate a successor for himself, he regretted that Abu ‘Obaidah is not alive, to name him the next Caliph to the Muslims.

As for Moghaira Ibn Sho‘bah, ‘Omar waved the punishment of adultery about him and he was always among the chiefs when ‘Omar was a Caliph. ‘Omar also helped Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf a lot, and choose him as the key man in choosing the third Caliph.

These men were the ones who left the body of the Prophet and did not participate in his funeral, instead they rushed to Saqifah to choose the first Caliph, and clashed with Ansars in ruling the Muslims.

After subduing ‘Omar at Saqifah, Abu Bakr praised God and said, "Islam was pioneered by the immigrants, and they were the first people on earth to worship God and believe in the Prophet. They were the friends and relatives of the Prophet, so they deserve to succeed him. None but an unjust person would argue with them." Then Abu Bakr praised the Ansars, saying, "No one but the first immigrants are closer to us than you. They will be the leaders and you will be the Ministers."

Hobab Bin Monzar said, " O Ansars, be firm and united in order that others will serve you, and no one will dare to contradict you. Otherwise these people (the immigrants) will act in accordance with Abu Bakr's plan which you have just heard, we choose a ruler for ourselves and let them, choose one for themselves.

‘Omar said, "By God, two rulers cannot rule at the same time, in one place. The Arabs will not submit to you (the Ansars) because the Prophet was an immigrant — of this we have clear proof. Only those who have forsaken Islam will argue about the succession to the authority of Muhammad." Hobab Bin Monzar again stood up and addressed, the gathering saying; “ O Ansars do not listen to these men,

‘Omar and his friends. They will usurp your rights and rob you of freedom of choice. If they disagree with you send them home, and form the Government you wish to have. By God, you deserve to be the ruler more than anyone else. These people (the immigrants) are same people who disbelieved the Prophet before; and if it was not for the fear they have for your swords, they would never have submitted to Islam.

Then he continued to express his support for the Ansars should they need it — as the log of wood against which the camels scratch themselves, or as a huge tree under which people take refuge during a storm. Then he said: "We will make war if necessary, and impose our will on those who oppose us." ‘Omar said: "May God kill you," knocking him down on to the ground, kicking him, and ramming earth into his mouth.

Abu ‘Obaidah then said: " O Ansars Party, you were the first helpers of Islam, do not be the first betrayers."

Then Bashir Bin Sa‘d of the tribe of Khazraj and of the Ansar Party spoke in favor of the Immigrants Party in op- position to Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah. These two leaders of the Ansar Party had been rivals before they embraced Islam. Bashir Bin Sa‘d said: “ O people of the Ansars Party, we the Ansars fought pagans, and helped Islam, not for worldly honor but only to please God.

We should not seek superiority. Muhammad was from Quraish, the immigrants, and one of his relations deserves to be his successor more than any of us. I swear by God, that I will not argue with them. I hope you will not either."

Abu Bakr then said: "‘Omar and Abu ‘Obaidah are at your disposal, acknowledge either one of them as your leader." But ‘Omar and Abu ‘Obaidah replied that as long as Abu Bakr was there, they would not agree to this selection.

Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf said: “ O Ansars, it is agreed that you are superior, but there is none among you like unto Abu Bakr, ‘Omar and ‘Ali.

Mundher Bin Arqam said: "We do not deny the superiority of those you have mentioned, especially one whom no one would deny." He was speaking of ‘Ali. At this moment Ansars and some other people shouted, "We want no one but ‘Ali."

According to Tabari and Ibn Athir, when the Ansars realized that Abu Bakr was about to win the election with the help of ‘Omar's support they said that ‘Ali was the only one they wanted.

Zobair Bin Bakkar said that after the Ansars lost the election they joined together and chanted, "We want ‘Ali . "

It is recorded that later ‘Omar said: "There was so much noise and confusion that I was afraid there would be a rift, so I shook the hand of Abu Bakr as Caliph." It is also recorded that afterwards ‘Omar also said, " I was afraid that if the people dispersed without choosing a successor, then later they might choose a person which whom we would disagree thus causing a rift, or that they may give that person their support unwillingly."

‘Omar and Abu ‘Obaidah walked towards Abu Bakr, but Bashir Bin Sa‘d of the Khazraj Tribe, moved more quickly, shaking the hand of Abu Bakr first, thus recognizing him as the successor of the Prophet.

Hobab Bin Monzar shouted at Bashir saying: “ O Bashir Bin Sa‘d, O misfortunate one, even your parents were displeased with you. You have ignored the family bond, you could not bear to see your cousin (Sa‘d) become Ruler." Bashir said, "No, you are wrong, I did not want to disagree with the choice of the people. God has given them that right."

The Oas Tribe saw that the Khazraj tribe were solidly in favor of their chief — their candidate Sa‘d. Therefore, they decided to support Abu Bakr, thinking that if Sa‘d was elected, the Oas Tribe would have no voice in future matters. When Sa‘d's cousin, Bashir, openly gave his support to Abu Bakr in disregard of his tribesmen's decision, then the Oas Tribe were further encouraged to support Abu Bakr and Osaid Bin Hozair, one of the chiefs of the Oas Tribe, quickly shook Abu Bakr's hand.

When the people saw that the Khazraj Tribe had many opponents, they stood up and gave their support to Abu Bakr, and according to Ya‘qoubi, they shook his hand. It was during this time that Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah was almost crushed under the feet of the people as they jumped over the rug on which he as sitting. Sa‘d guards were yelling — "Keep clear, give Sa‘d some room to breathe." It was then that ‘Omar shouted, "Kill Sa‘d — may God kill him." Then approached Sa‘d saying, " I want to crush you under my feet."

At this, Qais Bin Sa‘d said to ‘Omar, "If you harm but one hair of Sa‘d's head it will cost you all your teeth."

Abu Bakr shouted, "‘Omar, be quiet. In these delicate circumstances we need calmness above all." ‘Omar moved away from Sa‘d, but Sa‘d shouted out after him, "If I was able to rise, I would create such an uproar in Medina, that you and your friends would hide in fear.

Then I would send you back to the people as their servant, and not as their ruler." Then turning to his people he said, "Take me from this place." This they did.

Jouhari has recorded that on that day, ‘Omar who was suitably dressed for the occasion, ran in front of Abu Bakr and shouted, "Pay attention, people have shaken the hand of Abu Bakr in allegiance — you too, must do likewise."

Abu Bakr was then taken to the Mosque by the people, so that others could shake his hand. At this time ‘Ali and ‘Abbas were still busy washing the body of the Prophet, when they heard the call “Allaho Akbar” coming from the Mosque. ‘Ali asked what was happening, ‘Abbas said it was strange, but he had expected it.


Bara' Bin Azeb went to the house of Bani Hashim's family shouting, “ O Bani Hashim many people have shaken the hand of Abu Bakr in allegiance." The family of Bath Hashim said to one another, "Previously Muslims did not act like this without first consulting us, the close relatives of Muhammad." ‘Abbas replied, "By God of Ka‘ba, all is over."

According to Bar Bin Azeb, as Ya‘qoubi has recorded, ‘Abbas then said to the Bani Hashim family, "You have lost your power forever. I advised you to take precautions, but you ignored my warnings."

Tabari has records that the tribe of Aslam came to Medina, crowding the alley ways, shaking the hand of Abu Bakr in allegiance. Later ‘Omar used to say, "By God, after I had seen the tribe of Aslam giving their support to Abu Bakr, I was convinced that we had won."

Sheikh Mufid, in his book al-Jamal says that it was only by chance that the tribe of Aslam was that day in Medina, as they had come to buy provisions. They were told that they must support the successor of the Prophet of God before they would be sold the provisions, so they did. Abu Bakr's supporters took them to the Mosque where Abu Bakr sat in the pulpit until the evening, shaking the hand of anyone who came forward.

The Public Allegiance

The day following the events of Saqifah, Abu Bakr sat on the pulpit steps of the Mosque. ‘Omar stood up, praised God and then said, "The words I said yesterday were not from the Qur'an — nor were they the words of the Prophet. I thought that the Prophet would see to everything that concerned the people, and that he would be the last person to die.

He has left the Qur'an in your midst, and if you follow its instructions, it will guide you as it guided the Prophet. Now your guidance is in the hands of the best man amongst you — a Companion of the Prophet, who was with him in the cave. Stand up and shake his hand." Bokhari says that some agreed with the succession of Abu Bakr at Saqifah, but that the greatest public show of allegiance took place at the Mosque.

It is said by Anas Bin Malik, that Abu Bakr had to be persuaded by ‘Omar, to go and sit on the steps of the pulpit where people went to shake his hand. After praising God Abu Bakr said, “ O people, your allegiance is now pledged to me. I am not the best amongst you, but if I am right then follow me. If I am wrong then guide me. If I obey God and His Prophet, then obey me. If I do not obey God, and His Prophet, do not obey me. Now stand up for the Prayer. May God forgive you."

After the Allegiance

On the Monday that the Prophet of God — peace be upon him and his progeny — passed away, instead of attending the funeral, the people took part in three events lasting until the afternoon of the next day — Tuesday.

1) Demonstrations.

2) Initial show of allegiance at Saqifah.

3) Final declaration of public allegiance at the Mosque which ended in ‘Omar's speech and by Abu Bakr leading the prayer for the multitude.

After the third series of events was over on the Tuesday, people then visited the house of the Prophet to perform the prayer for the dead. One by one, and group by group.

The Burial of the Prophet

The companions of the Prophet left him in the hands of his family. One version states that ‘Abbas, ‘Ali, Fadhl and Saleh, the slave of the Prophet, and they prepared his body for burial and they buried him. Another report that ‘Ali, Fadhl, Qosam, the two sons of ‘Abbas and Shoqran the slave of the Prophet, were in charge of the Prophet's burial.

After the event when the public gave their allegiance, Jouhari in his book Saqifa, says that Abu Bakr asked ‘Omar, Abu ‘Obaidah and Mughairah to give their opinion regarding this event. They unanimously advised him to obtain the consent of ‘Abbas, by allocating a reward to him. Then after ‘Abbas had given his consent, ‘Ali could do nothing to oppose them.

The four men went to ‘Abbas at night, and Abu Bakr, after praising God said, "God sent His revelation, through Muhammad to guide us, and Muhammad fulfilled his mission until God took him to Himself and gave him his reward. Muhammad left the people to choose their own way, and the people have chosen me as their leader. I have no fear. My success is allowed by God, I trust in Him, and will return to Him.

Now the news comes that certain people have taken advantage of your position, and criticize me in spite of the support of the public. We have come to ask you to join us as the others have done, or to ask the opposition to stop their activities. In return, we will reward you. People know your position, and that of your friend, but they have put you aside. O Bani Hashim be calm, the Prophet of God was as much ours as he was yours." ‘Omar added, "Our coming to you does not mean we need you. We just want you to join the others for your own sake, or else you will be faced with unpleasant consequences, so think it over."

‘Abbas then, after praising God, said, "God chose Muhammad as a Prophet, and helper to his friends, companions and faithful followers. God favored Muslims by sending the Prophet Muhammad. Now God has taken him to Himself, and left Muslims to manage their own affairs, to choose the right leader to prevent them from going astray.

Now, Abu Bakr, if you have occupied this seat because of your relationship to the Prophet, we are closer to him than you, and if you have taken this seat by the authority of his followers, we are also his followers whom you never consulted. If you have taken it as a duty on behalf of the Muslims we have never given this right to you. You are contradicting yourself by saying people have chosen you, and at the same time saying that people do not give consent to your succession.

On the one hand you say that you are the Prophet's successor. On the other hand you say that people have elected you. If what you are giving me that which belongs to the faithful, you have no right to use it; and if it is ours by right we want it in full — not in parts. We are the branch of the Prophet's tree, you are but those who shelter in the foliage. So be calm." Abu Bakr and his friends left ‘Abbas without gaining their objectives.

Refuge in the house of Fatimah

‘Omar says, "After the death of the Prophet we learned that some people had gathered at Fatimah's house to oppose us." These were ‘Ali, Zubair, ‘Abbas, ‘Ammar Bin Yasir, Otbah Bin Abi Lahab, Salman Farsi, Abu Dharr, Migdad Bin Aswad, Bara’ Bin ‘Azeb, Obai Bin Ka‘b, Sa‘d Bin Waqqas and Talha Bin ‘Obaidullah.

Others from the Muhajir and Ansar parties were named. As Muslims were reluctant to name the differences, they only wrote that some people had gathered together at Fatimah's house in opposition. By chance a few sentences about the opposition are recorded in the history book of Baladhori. Baladhori says that Abu Bakr, after being opposed by ‘Ali, ordered ‘Omar to bring ‘Ali to him.

‘Omar met ‘Ali discussed the matter with him. ‘Ali said, to ‘Omar, "You are milking the cow of succession, half being for Abu Bakr, and the other half for yourself. So he is making you his successor." He also said that Abu Bakr on his death-bed made this statement. "There are only three things which I regret — I wish I had not searched Fatimah's house, though they were preparing to fight us…."

Ya‘qoubi records in vol.2, p.115 of his book that Abu Bakr said, " I wish I had not searched Fatimah's house, and had not sent men to harass her; though if her house was being used as a shelter that would have caused a war."

The historians named the following as those who went to the house of Fatima to disperse people who sheltered there.

1) ‘Omar Bin Khattab

2) Khalid Bin Walid

3) Abdur Rahman Bin ‘Auf

4) Thabet Bin Shammas

5) Ziad Bin Labid

6) Muhammad Bin Maslamah

7) Salamah Bin Salem Bin Waqash

8) Salamah Bin Aslam

9) Osaid Bin Hodair

10) Zaid Bin Thabet

‘Ali, Zubair and some Muhajirs who opposed Abu Bakr's succession, gathered in Fatimah's house, with some arms. A report reached Abu Bakr that the opposition were gathered to give their allegiance to ‘Ali, so he sent ‘Omar with some men to disperse them by force or otherwise. ‘Omar took some burning torches with him to Fatimah's house, and on seeing the flames Fatima asked ‘Omar if he intended to burn down her house, ‘Omar said, "Yes if you do not follow other Muslims and give your allegiance to Abu Bakr."

It is written in the book of al-Imamah wa al-siyasah that ‘Omar ordered the people out of the house, but they disregarded him. ‘Omar asked for wood and told those inside the house, " If you do not come out, I will burn the house. I swear by God who has my soul in his hands." Someone told ‘Omar that Fatima was in the house and he said, " It is of no consequence to me who is in the house."

In the book of Ansabul Ashraf, vol.l, p.586, it is written that Abu Bakr asked ‘Ali to support him, but ‘Ali refused, then ‘Omar went towards ‘Ali's house with a burning torch. At the door he met Fatima who said to him, "Do you intend to burn the door of my house?" ‘Omar said, "Yes, because this strengthens the faith brought to us by your father."

Jouhari in his book says, "‘Omar and a few Muslims went to the house of Fatima to burn it down and also burn those who were in opposition.

Ibn Shahna says, "To burn the house and inhabitants." It is written in Kanz al-Ommal, vol.3, p.140 that ‘Omar said to Fatima, " I know that the Prophet of God loved no one more than you, but this will not stop, me carrying out my decision, if these people stay in your house, I will burn down the door in front of you.

When Abdullah Bin Zubair was fighting for power, Bani Hashim's escaped from him in a mountain pass. Abdullah gave an order for wood to be brought to burn them.

‘Orwah, brother of Abdullah, made an excuse for his brother's inhumane deed saying, "My brother threatened them, as they had been threatened on a previous occasion when they would not give their allegiance." He meant when the Bani Hashim's denied Abu Bakr's authority.

Hafiz Ibrahim (an Egyptian poet) has composed the following poem concerning the story:-

‘Omar the great said to honorable ‘Ali,

I will burn your house down eventually,

If you do not recognize Abu Bakr's succession

To the throne of the Prophet and his mission, With Fatima inside. ‘Omar was the only one

Who could say so to ‘Ali, the hero of ‘Adnan. (Abu Bakr on his deathbed refuted the raid,

on Fatimah's house he had ordered to be made.)

Ya‘qoubi says: "They came in group and attacked the house of ‘Ali ..... and he (‘Omar) broke his (‘Ali's) sword, then (the group) entered the house."

Tabari says, "‘Omar Bin Khattab came to ‘Ali's house whilst Talha and Zubair and some Muhajirs were inside. Zubair came out and attacked ‘Omar, but he slipped and the sword fell from his hand. ‘Omar's followers caught him and also caught ‘Ali whilst he was saying, " I am the servant of God and the brother of the Prophet." They brought him to Abu Bakr and told him to shake Abu Bakr's hand. ‘Ali said, " I am more deserving of the position than him. You should shake the hand of allegiance with me. Your argument with the Ansars concerning your relationship with the Prophet, I can use the same argument as I am closer to the Prophet than you. The Ansars accepted your reasoning, you must also accept mine, or else you are transgressors."

‘Omar said, "We will not leave you until you agree with us." ‘Ali replied, "Milk this cow and halve it with Abu Bakr. Do his work for him today, and tomorrow he will make you his successor. I swear by God that I will not listen to you ‘Omar, and I will not shake the hand of Abu Bakr."

Abu Bakr said to ‘Ali, " I will not force you to agree with me." Abu ‘Obaidah said to ‘Ali, "You are young now, O Abul Hassan, these are the elders and they know how to manage the successorship; follow them now, and if you are spared you will succeed them, because of your advantages and because you are closer to the Prophet; and the pioneer of Islam for which you have fought holy wars."

‘Ali answered, “ O the Muhajir's party, fear God, do not rob Muhammad and his family of their authority. Do not shift the focal point of Islam to your house, from its original proper place. By God, as long as there are men learned in the Qur'an, Islamic jurisprudence, and the traditions of the Prophet, among us — the Prophet's family, we are more deserving to succeed the Prophet. By God, our family have what you want. Do not follow your desires, or else you will go further astray."

Bashir Bin Sa‘d said, " O ‘Ali, had the Ansars heard what you said just now, no one would argue with you, but all is over, we have shaken hand of Abu Bakr." Without shaking Abu Bakr's hand ‘Ali returned home.

Ibn Abil Hadid recorded from Jouhari that when Fatima saw how badly ‘Ali and Zubair were treated, she came to the door and said, “ O Abu Bakr, how soon you have deceived the family of the Prophet of God. I will never talk to ‘Omar again as long as I live."

Another report says that Fatima whilst crying, came out and sent the people away. Ya‘qoubi says that Fatima came out and said, "Get away from my house, or else by God, I will uncover my head, and will lament to God with unruffled hair." So the people dispersed from her house -. even those who had sheltered there.

Nezam also says, "On this day ‘Omar hit Fatima on the stomach that caused her drop her child, while shouting burn the house (when others had left and only ‘Ali and his sons Hassan and Hossein were inside).

Mas‘oudi said that after the allegiance of Monday and Tuesday, ‘Ali came to Abu Bakr and said to him, "You have ruined our position, you did not consider us." Abu Bakr replied, "That is true, but I feared there would be rioting and disturbance."

Ya‘qoubi also says that some people came to ‘Ali to shake the hand of allegiance, but ‘Ali told them to come the next day, with shaved head, but only three of them returned.

After the events of the allegiance, ‘Ali used to go with Fatima, mounted on a donkey, canvassing for votes. But the people told Fatima, “ O daughter of the Prophet of God, had your cousin asked us for our support, we would not have chosen anyone else but him; but we have already shaken hands with Abu Bakr.

‘Ali's answer was this, "Shame, did you expect me to leave the body of the Prophet, and concern myself with fighting for power?" Fatima used to say that ‘Ali had done what he should have done, and they did things which God would question them about. Mo'awiah in his letter to ‘Ali, mentioned the above story saying, " It seems that it was only yesterday that you mounted your wife on the donkey, whom you should have kept inside your home, holding the hands of your sons, Hassan and Hossein, knocking on the doors of the houses of those persons who were present at the Battle of Badr, and asking them not to support Abu Bakr, the friend of the Prophet, but to give you their support.

However, only four or five persons agreed. I swear by my own soul, that if you had been in the right they would have supported you. You claimed that which was not yours. You said things unheard of before. I may have a bad memory, but never will I forget the words you said to Abu Sufyan, "Had I forty men I would go and obtain my rights from these people by force."

In the Battle of Siffin, ‘Amr Bin ‘As reminded Mo'awiah that ‘Ali had said, "If I had forty men. " etc. ‘Amr Bin ‘As meant that ‘Ali said this on the day they raided Fatimah's house.

The end of the Events at the Allegiance

Osdulghabah, vol.3, p.222 writes: "The opposition agreed to accept Abu Bakr six months after the public demonstration of allegiance to him." Yaqubi vol.2, p.105, "‘Ali shook hands with Abu Bakr six months after the public show of allegiance." Estiah vol.2, p.244 and Tanbih al- Ashraf, p.250. "‘Ali did not shake hands with Abu Bakr until after Fatima died." In al-Imamah Wal Siyasah it is recorded that ‘Ali gave his allegiance to Abu Bakr after Fatima died, which was seventy-five days after the death of the Prophet. According to Zubair, Fatima, after the argument she had had with Abu Bakr about the heritage of the Prophet, never spoke to him again.

‘Ali buried Fatima at dark without Abu Bakr's knowledge. As long as Fatima was alive people respected ‘Ali, and after she died they deserted him. Fatima lived only six months after the Prophet died. Zohari also says that ‘Ali did not shake Abu Bakr's hand until six months after the public show of allegiance and Banu Hashim's followed suit.

In Taysier al-Wosool, vol.2, p.46, Zohari says, "By God, ‘Ali did not agree with Abu Bakr until six months had passed and the Banu Hashim's followed suit. When ‘Ali saw that people were deserting him he allied himself with Abu Bakr."

Belazori in Ansabul Ashraf, vol.1, p.587, says, "When the Arabs rejected Islam and changed to heresy, ‘Othman went to ‘Ali and persuaded him to support Abu Bakr, to en-courage the Muslims to fight the heretics under Abu Bakr. ‘Ali shook the hand of allegiance with Abu Bakr, and the unrest between Muslims was settled. Then the Muslim troops were prepared to fight the heretics."

After the death of Fatima, and loss of interest in people, Muslims were divided, Abu Bakr's position was firm, so ‘Ali was reconciled with him. However, ‘Ali never forgot these events, even when he held the office of successor to the Prophet.

In his sermon called Shaq-Shaqiah he says, "I had to be patient by virtue of common sense, I patiently waited though it was as hard as having thorn in my eyes, and a bone stuck in my throat. I saw my right of inheritance to the Prophet being wrongly taken away from me, when the days of the first one (Abu Bakr) expired, anal the light of his life extinguished.

He passed the prize of succession of the Prophet to the hands of Bin Khattab. Oh what a difference between riding on a camel, (to face difficulties alone) and sitting in an armchair by Hayan, leading a happy and care free life in the palace of his brother Jabir. It is surprising that Abu Bakr was asking people to withdraw their allegiance from him as successor to the Prophet, but before his death Abu Bakr firmly fixed ‘Omar to be successor. Those two plunderers divided the succession between them-selves, as dividing two milk filled breasts of a camel."

Comments made by various people about the Allegiance

A — Fadl Bin ‘Abbas

According to Ya‘qoubi, when the Bani Hashim family learned the news about the appointment of Abu Bakr as the successor of the Prophet, Fadhl Bin ‘Abbas said to Quraish Tribe, "You will never succeed the Prophet by deceit, we deserve the position not you, we are the rightful ones, specially our friend ‘Ali." Then ‘Otba Bin Abi Lahab read the following poem:-

I never thought people would let Banu Hashim's down

Nor would they leave Abul Hasan on his own, He was the first man to follow Muhammad,

And the last to leave his body — very sad.

To help and console ‘Ali, the angels descended

From Heaven to the Holy Prophet's deathbed.

‘Otba then received a message from ‘Ali asking him to stop, because it was ‘Ali's wish that all Muslims should be of the same persuasion.

B — Abdullah Bin Abbas

Had recorded this conversation with ‘Omar:-

‘Omar, "Do you know, Bin ‘Abbas, why the people did not support your family, the relatives of Muhammad, to make them his successors?"

Abdullah, " If I do not know, then the Prince of the Faithful will inform me."

‘Omar, "Bani Hashim's wished the Prophet, and all his successors to be from their family, but we, the Quraish, successfully elected his successor."

Abdullah, "May I be allowed to say something?"

‘Omar, "If you must, Bin ‘Abbas."

Abdullah, "It would have been better for the Quraish if they had been satisfied with that which had been given to them by God; then there would have been no envy. You said that this was not so, that the Quraish did not like that which God had bestowed upon them. People such as this are spoken of in the Qur'an, ‘Because they disliked God's revelations, orders, their works came to nothing.' "

‘Omar, " I did not want to believe that which I heard about you, because it would make me lose my respect of you forever."

Abdullah, " I f everything I have said is true I should not fear disrespect, and if what I have said is wrong, then a person like me should correct himself."

‘Omar, " I have heard that you had said we seized power by oppressing the people whom we were jealous of?"

Abdullah, "Everyone knows how you used oppression, and also about your jealousy, Satan envied Adam and we are the children of Adam who was subject of jealousy."

C — Salman Farsi

Jowhari has recorded that Salman, Zubair and Ansars wanted to shake the hand of allegiance with ‘Ali, and when Abu Bakr became Caliph, Salman said, "You obtained a little gold but you missed the mother lode. You chose the old man and forgot the Prophet's family. Had you let them succeed the Prophet you would have benefited more, and there would have been no disagreement between Muslims."

D — Umm Mestah

"Disagreement between ‘Ali and Abu Bakr has irritated Muslims." Umm Mestah daughter of ‘Othathah, went to the grave of the Prophet and read the following poem:

Disagreement between Muslims started Dear Prophet, soon after you departed, Without you, we lost our spirit again Like flowers and grass without the rain.

E — Abu Dhar

He was not in Medina when the Prophet died, but when he heard Abu Bakr had succeeded the Prophet he said, "You have received a small reward for your efforts. Had you given your support to the Prophet's relatives' claim to hold the position, you would have benefited greatly, and there would have been no disagreement between Muslims."

F — Miqdad

Ya‘qoubi has recorded in his book a story from a narrator who saw a man in the mosque of Medina, in great distress as he had been robbed of his great wealth. The man was saying, " I t is very strange that the position has been taken out of the hands of the right 'people."

G — A Lady From Bani Najjar

After Abu Bakr took the throne of the Khilafat, he sent some money to each of the women of the Muhajirs and the Ansars, Zaid Bin Thabet carried the share of a lady of Bani Najjar to her, but she refused to accept it saying, "Abu Bakr wants to buy our religion with bribery."

H — Abu Sufyan

He was Sakhr son of Harb, son of Umayyah, son of ‘Abd Shams, son of ‘Abd Manaf. He fought the Prophet up to the time when the Prophet captured Mecca and granted him pardon. At the time of the death of the Prophet he was not in Medina. On his way back there, Abu Sufyan learned of the Prophet's death and of Abu Bakr becoming of successor.

He asked, "What was the reaction of ‘Abbas and ‘Ali, the two oppressed?" He was informed that they remained inactive at their homes. Abu Sufyan swore saying, " If I am spared I will help them to fill their rightful place. I see a cloud of dust in the air which needs blood to clear it . " When he entered Medina he started to read the following poem:-

O Bani Hashim, don't give anybody the opportunity To be envious, specially the Teem and the ‘Adi 1. The Islamic Sovereignty was started by you, Let Abul Hasan (‘Ali) reign, if you wish to continue.

According to Tabari, Abu Sufyan said, "There is some dust in the air, by God, a rain of blood only will clear it. O children of ‘Abd Manaf, why was Abu Bakr allowed to become the successor of the Prophet? Where are ‘Ali and ‘Abbas who were oppressed?" Then he wanted to shake the hand of allegiance with ‘Ali, but ‘Ali refused. Abu Sufyan then read the following poem.

A donkey — not a freeman, bears humility, There are only two symbols of inferiority — The tent peg under the heavy hammer, and The nomad's camel under the burden.

Abu Sufyan slogan — " O children of ‘Abd Manaf"

This would have changed the course of Islamic history if ‘Ali had been unruly, and had been persuaded by Abu Sufyan to riot against the Caliph. It is surprising to find out that Abu Sufyan, the absolute enemy of Islam, who fought the Prophet until he found it was impossible for him to continue fighting, offered his help to ‘Ali. Did he really mean to help? Or to stir up trouble?

More surprising is ‘Ali's refusal to accept help from Abu Sufyan and ‘Abbas, the chiefs of two powerful tribes, when he was seeking aid from every possible quarter. After investigating the aims of Abu Sufyan and ‘Ali we are left with no doubts as to the nature of their schemes.

The Prophet and Abu Sufyan's forefathers were cousins who had had family disputes. The fighting between these two families ended with the Prophet's family winning the position as head of the Tribe. Abu Sufyan was the rival of the Prophet for the position as headman, and his attitude towards the Prophet as a religious leader was that of complete indifference. For this reason, when the Prophet captured Mecca,

Abu Sufyan said to ‘Abbas, "Your nephew has established a vast Kingdom." ‘Abbas said, "This is an apostleship — not a Kingship." Abu Sufyan accepted this statement without comment. Although Abu Sufyan was defeated by his relatives, he did not want strangers to have power, and leave his tribe empty handed.

The Prophet tried to prevent family ties from interfering with the cause of justice but he was not very successful. We see, when we study the events which took place between families in the Prophet's life time, that the story of how ‘Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet, protected Abu Sufyan, is a good example of the strength of family ties.

Ibn Hesham recorded that the night before the capture of Mecca, the camps of the Muslims surrounded the city.

‘Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet, mounted on the Prophet's mule, was wandering about hoping to see some of the enemy. He wanted to inform them of the coming attack by the Muslims, to give any enemy a chance to seek pardon. He met Abu Sufyan who was spying on the Muslims, ‘Abbas said to him, "Thank God I saw you Abu Sufyan. Jump on the mule, and I will take you to the Prophet, so that you may seek asylum, or else tomorrow if you are captured, you may be beheaded."

‘Abbas mounted the mule with Abu Sufyan behind him. They passed many groups of Muslims who had lit many fires to frighten the enemy, and in order to watch for any possible danger. The Muslims said, "Look; the Prophet's uncle on his mule."

‘Omar, by chance, saw Abu Sufyan and shouted, "The enemy of God. Thank God you are in our hands and you have no one's promise to protect you." ‘Omar then ran to the Prophet to get permission to kill Abu Sufyan. But ‘Abbas, on the mule, overtook ‘Omar and reached the Prophet first.

‘Omar then came up and said, “ O Prophet of God, we have Abu Sufyan with us, without any guarantee of safety. Grant me permission to behead him." But ‘Abbas said, " I have given him sanctuary." ‘Omar insisted, but ‘Abbas said, "Be calm ‘Omar, had Abu Sufyan been from your ‘Adi tribe, you would not insist on killing him. But as he is from the ‘Abd Manafs you say harsh words."

This story proves that family ties were strong at that time. It also shows that the motive of ‘Abbas sprang from his love for his tribe. The cause of Abu Sufyan's demonstration against Abu Bakr was also the result of tribal importance.

The supremacy of the ‘Abd Manaf clan, from which the Banu Hashim's (Muhammad's family) and the Bani Umayyah (Abu Sufyan's family) came, was known to everybody. So when the father of Abu Bakr learned that his son had become Caliph he said, "Did Banu Hashim and Bani Umayyah agree?" When he was answered in the affirmative he said, "That which God wants, no one can prevent."

Abu Sufyan's sympathy towards Muhammad's family, after his death, was due to the feelings of tribal unity. For Abu Sufyan fought the Prophet every time he had the opportunity. His saying, " I f I am spared I will help ‘Ali and ‘Abbas to regain their position," had no motive except tribal sentiment; as is the custom of Arabs — to help near relatives against distant strangers.

Abu Sufyan, ‘Abbas and ‘Ali had the same tribal origin, the Qussai tribe which was very large and influential. This was why Abu Sufyan said, "Who has the Qusai as his support will win." Abu Bakr and ‘Omar were from minor tribes which could never challenge the Qussai. (Qussai, the Quraish tribe origin was the main root of ‘Abd Manaf's tribe, the tribe of Banu Hashim and Abu Sufyan.)

It was the custom of those days for a tribe to be biased in favor of one of its own members. ‘Ali, .supported by Abu Sufyan and ‘Abbas, would have undoubtedly beaten Abu Bakr. But ‘Ali, the hero, the son of Abi Talib, refused the help of his influential tribe, because this custom was against the teachings of Islam. So he was beaten by Abu Bakr. In fact, after the death of the Prophet, all events were influenced by the prejudice of other tribes towards his tribe or family.

The Ansars proposed that Sa‘d should be the successor to the Prophet merely in opposition to the Mohajirs. They knew some of the Mohajirs were great believers in Islam and therefore more deserving of recognition. The Aus tribe supported Abu Bakr to oppose Sa‘d, the candidate of the Khazraj tribe. ‘Omar's speech in Saqifah is veritable evidence of tribal bias.

Abu Sufyan's support of ‘Ali was also due to tribal prejudice. Only ‘Ali, who was brought up in the lap of the Prophet since childhood, wanted to upheld Islam, hence wanted the support of those Muslims who were not moved by tribal prejudice, and who had no family bond, people like Abu Dharr, Miqdad and Salman, whose only motive was their belief in the faith of Islam.

The conclusion of the above stories, relating to Abu Sufyan's support of ‘Ali, is that, although Abu Sufyan's motive was not religious, but because he strongly believed in the supremacy of his tribe of which ‘Ali was member — for this reason alone he supported ‘Ali against Abu Bakr.

Abu Sufyan was true to ‘Ali in opposition to Abu Bakr because of family prejudice, but as frequently happens incorrect facts were recorded, and Abu Sufyan and all others who opposed Abu Bakr, were accused of heresy and were called trouble makers.

The previous events concerning Abu Sufyan make the following story easier to believe. It is recorded that Abu Sufyan asked ‘Ali, "Why did you allow Abu Bakr to succeed the Prophet? If you wish I will fill all Medina's streets with horse and foot soldiers." The story continues as ‘Ali replies, "Abu Sufyan, you have been long enough the enemy of Islam. You cannot cause any more harm now. I must admit that Abu Bakr deserve the position."

The story does not seem to be authentic because the narrator did not live at the time of the event. Also some of these false stories are narrated by Awanah, who was known to be unreliable. The text does not run true because if ‘Ali had said, " I admit Abu Bakr deserves the position," then Abu Sufyan could have asked him, "Why do you not shake the hand of allegiance with him?"

What ‘Ali had surely said was, " If I had forty believers of the right temper I would fight him."

‘Ali in his letter to Mo'awiah writes, "Your father (Abu Sufyan) appreciated my right more than you do. Had you known me as your father did, you would have been wiser."

The government was afraid of Abu Sufyan, ‘Omar said to Abu Bakr, "Give him some money to keep him quiet; The Prophet used to be nice to him and keep him quiet." Abu Sufyan, disappointed with ‘Ali, accepted the allowance. Tabari records that Abu Sufyan did not stop agitating until his son Yazid was nominated as the Commander of the army, which was dispatched to Syria.

I — Mo‘awia

Mo'awiah writes to Muhammad, the son of Abu Bakr, "You father knew and we know that ‘Ali deserved to be the successor of the Prophet. We respected ‘Ali very dearly. When the Prophet of God, peace be upon him, fulfilled his mission and his soul went to God, your father (Abu Bakr) and his right hand ‘Omar, were the two persons who trespassed ‘Ali's right.

They planned together and asked ‘Ali to co-operate with them. ‘Ali refused and they plotted against him until ‘Ali submitted.

They never allowed ‘Ali to share their secret until God took their souls away. Now we are on the path that your father paved. If he was on the right path, we will follow him. If he was on the wrong path, blame your father — not us for opposing him and not releasing the Caliphate to him. Peace be upon those who repent."

J — Khalid bin Sa‘eed

Khalid, son of Sa‘eed, son of Aas, was one of the first men to embrace Islam. Ibn Qotaibah in Ma‘arif page 128 writes, "Khalid became Muslim before Abu Bakr did." Khalid immigrated to Ethiopia and when Islam grew in strength he returned from there. He and his two brothers, ‘Amr and Aban, became, by the order of the Prophet, Tax Collector who collected from Madhaj Tribe. Then they were transferred to San‘a’ in Yemen.

When the Prophet passed away they returned to Medina, Abu Bakr had asked them why they had abandoned their posts, and they replied, "We were appointed by the Prophet to this position, and we will not work for anyone else now that he is dead." They made other excuses, and would not shake the hand of Abu Bakr in allegiance, until two months had passed. Khalid said to the Bani Hashim's, "You are the honorable, fruitful tree and I will follow you."

He went to ‘Ali and ‘Othman one day and said to them, "You, the descendents of ‘Abd Manaf, have not taken your position seriously until others have taken over." He admired ‘Ali, and asked to shake his hand, but it was too late because Abu Bakr was already Caliph. So Khalid submitted to him as had the Bani Hashim's, Abu Bakr did not mind Khalid's mildly rebellious behavior, but ‘Omar took it seriously.

Later Abu Bakr appointed Khalid the Commandant of a quarter of the army dispatched to the Syrian front. ‘Omar argued with Abu Bakr and insisted that he remove Khalid from his position. Abu Bakr then dismissed Khalid and appointed Yazid son of Abu Sufyan in his place. Khalid did not mind if he was either soldier or commandant, and he fought as a soldier on the Syrian front until he was martyred in the 13th year of Hijri, two nights before the end of the month of Jamadi, the first.

K — Sa‘d bin ‘Obadah

Sa‘d Bin ‘Obadah was the chief of the Khazraj tribe. He was present at ‘Aqabah (as one of the representatives who came from Medina to express their willingness to support the Prophet if he wished to immigrate from Mecca to Medina).

Sa‘d participated in all the battles the Prophet fought, except possibly the Battle of Badr. On the day of the conquest of Mecca, he exhibited belligerent tendencies saying, "This is the day for fighting, the day when women shall be taken into captivity." So the Prophet gave the standard flag to Sa‘d's son, Qais, and reduced Sa‘d's position to that of an ordinary pilgrim.

Sa‘d, defeated in his efforts to succeed the Prophet, was left alone during the swearing of allegiance, but a few days after Abu Bakr became Caliph, Sa‘d was asked to shake his hand, as a part of his tribe had done, but Sa‘d refused and said, "By God, as long as I have arrows in my quiver to shoot you, a spear to dye in your blood, and a sword, and strength in my arm, I will fight you with the support of those in my tribe who are still obedient to me. I will not shake the hand of allegiance with you, even if men and jin declare war against me in your favor, until I die and take my case to the divine court."

‘Omar urged Abu Bakr to force Sa‘d to submit, but Bashir Bin Sa‘d said he knew that Sa‘d was stubborn and would not agree. Also he still had influence among his men and he could not be assassinated until many people of his tribe, and his relatives were also killed. Sa‘d therefore was left alone ,at Bashir's suggestion. (Bashir the first person to shake hands with Abu Bakr was the rival of Sa‘d.)

Sa‘d never attended the congregational service conducted by the official men, and performed Haj separately from the parties led by the government. In this manner he passed his days until Abu Bakr passed away.

When ‘Omar succeeded Abu Bakr he met Sa‘d and unpleasant remarks were exchanged. Sa‘d said, "Abu Bakr was more gracious than you, I do not like your company." ‘Omar said, " I f one does not like to be near one person, he will keep away."

Then Sa‘d left Medina for Damascus. ‘Omar sent some- one to obtain Sa‘d agreement or to get rid of him if he did not agree.

The envoy met Sa‘d in an orchard and invited him to agree with ‘Omar. Sa‘d refused and the man threatened him without result. Then he killed him.

Mas‘oudi recorded that Sa‘d did not shake the hand of allegiance, and immigrated to Syria where he was killed. Ibn ‘Abd Rabbeh recorded that Sa‘d was killed by an unknown assailant, and that the jin wailed for him as is told in the following verse:-

"We killed Sa‘d, head of the Khazraj tribe, today, Our two shots at his heart did not go astray."

In Tabari it is. recorded that Sa‘d was answering the call of nature when someone attacked and killed him. When his body was found later, his skin had turned green.

In Osdolghabah it is recorded that Sa‘d did not submit to Abu Bakr, nor to ‘Omar. He emigrated to Syria where he was killed. Then a voice came from a pit and informed the people of Sa‘d's murder. His body was found near his house at Hooran in Damascus, and it had turned green.

Abdulfattah, in his book al-Imam ‘Ali Bin Abi Talib has recorded that simple people say that Sa‘d was killed by jin, but in fact Khalid Bin Walid and one of his colleagues murdered Sa‘d, and threw him in a pit. The voice saying that Sa‘d had been killed was that of Khalid's friend — not the jins.

Belazori recorded that ‘Omar ordered Khalid and Muhammad Bin Muslimah to murder Sa‘d and they did so.

One of the members of the Ansars Party has composed the following verse concerning Sa‘d's death:-

Sa‘d had been killed by jin they say, How crafty; that's most unusual, way,

Sa‘d did not commit the smallest sin in the land, But neither did he shake Abu Bakr's hand.

The historians did not like to record the cause of the death of Sa‘d. Some have totally neglected this event, and others have accused jins. If those who did say jins murdered Sa‘d had said, "The faithful jins did not like Sa‘d to oppose Abu Bakr, so they killed him." Then the story would have been more easily believed.

L — ‘Omar

We have mentioned his activities in favor of Abu Bakr during the swearing of allegiance. ‘Omar said, "Some foresee my death, and guess my successor. Let me clarify this to you; the allegiance with Abu Bakr was a mistake, but God saved us from its outcome."

The evaluation of Saif's recording

We have written previously of the events of allegiance to Saif and others. We now make comparison between their recordings. Saif has recorded that:-

a) No one refused to swear allegiance with Abu Bakr except heretics or near heretics; and that all the immigrant party shook hands with Abu Bakr willingly.

b) ‘Ali ran out of his house in his night shirt to save time, after he had heard that people had shaken the hand of allegiance with Abu Bakr, and that he shook hands with him too. They brought him his clothes later, and he dressed.

c) Qa‘qa‘ said, " I was in the Mosque for midday prayer, when a man brought the news of the death of the Prophet; and of the gathering of the Ansar party at Saqifa, to make Sa‘d his successor against the order of the Prophet. This news caused the Muhajir party a great deal of anxiety."

d) Hobab Bin Monzir was about to attack Abu Bakr with his sword, but ‘Omar knocked the sword from his hand. Then the Ansars rushed to shake Abu Bakr's hand, jumping over the head of Sa‘d, who was unwell, and sitting in their way. This mistake by the Ansars was the same as the mistakes which took place during the time of ignorance, but Abu Bakr firmly prevented the same result.

e) Sa‘d said to Abu Bakr, "You and my tribe, forced me to submit to you." They had told him, "Had we forced you to leave the community you might have had some excuse. But we made you join in with everyone else. If you go against the public, or cause a rift, we will behead you."

f) Two long speeches were delivered by Abu Bakr.

g) Khalid Sa‘eed Amawi wore a silk coat in peace time, and ‘Omar ordered him to tear it. For this reason Khalid said to ‘Ali, “ O the descendants of Abdi Manaf, have you lost your case?" ‘Ali told Khalid, "Do you consider it a game?" Then ‘Omar said to Khalid, "May God put a gag in your mouth. You have said something which would be seized upon by liars (to make false stories)."

When we compare the way Saif has recorded an event, with that which the others have recorded, we see that Saif has very cleverly manipulated events to suit his own ends. For instance:-

A) He says that ‘Ali and Sa‘d shook the hand of allegiance with Abu Bakr on the very first day he succeeded the Prophet. Yet other historians have told us about the postponement of the agreement of ‘Ali and Sa‘d with Abu Bakr. Despite that with Saif says,

‘Ali openly asked for the position, and the Muhajirs and the Bani Hashim's, in agreement with ‘Ali, refused allegiance with Abu Bakr. All of these people wanted to shake the hand of allegiance with ‘Ali, and as long as the daughter of the Prophet was alive, they (lid not agree with Abu Bakr. If that which Saif says is true, and ‘Ali went to Abu Bakr that first day, then who was engaged in the funeral preparations of the Prophet?

B) Sa‘d did not agree with Abu Bakr. He resided in Damascus and jins killed him with two shots, because he did not shake Abu Bakr's hand.

C) By saying that the Ansars wanted to break the covenant of the Prophet, and make allegiance with Sa‘d, Saif wants to say that the Prophet appointed Abu Bakr.

D) Saif wanted to confirm the appointment of Abu Bakr by the Prophet, when he said, "Osama sent ‘Omar to the Caliph Abu Bakr when he learnt of the Prophet's death." Saif is implying that Abu Bakr was appointed by the Prophet.

E) Saif invented some words by Qa‘qa‘ as follows: "People one after the other willingly shook Abu Bakr's hand." Yet Qa‘qa‘ never lived. He existed only in Saif's stories.

F) To prove that some of the Ansars oppose Abu Bakr, he says that Hobab — a member of the Ansars party, attacked with his sword. In fact it was Zubair, the Prophet's second cousin, who was one of the Muhajirs (Immigrants Party — The party of ‘Ali) who attacked with his sword.

G) ‘Omar remarked that the election of Abu Bakr's was a mistake. Saif also called the Ansar's opposition a mistake to cover up ‘Omar and to confirm the remark made by ‘Omar, was against Ansars.

H) Saif says that two long inaugural sermons were made by Abu Bakr after the public show of allegiance. The style and the context of those two speeches show that they are counterfeit; and the true inaugural sermon of Abu Bakr is quite different.

The style of the counterfeit sermons is not the same as that of the speeches of the three Caliphs immediately after the Prophet. Also they are not as well written as other works by Saif — it seems that Saif was not skilled at composing religious speeches.

Again, long speeches were not usual in Muhammad's and Abu Bakr's time. These long speeches began in ‘Omar's Caliphate, and reached a climax during ‘Ali's era. The first speech of any ruler is usually short — outlining the new program.

I) The expression used by Abu Bakr that the devil resided in him, is rather amusing and degrading. Saif wanted to express the idea that after the Prophet, the people no longer wanted to be concerned with piety and holiness. These words from the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, were similar to his prayer after Osama's army caused Islam to fall into disrepute.

J) The peculiar thing about Abu Bakr's alleged sermon is that they introduced into the Islamic religion a facetious spirit, so that the people would gather, from the speech of the Muslim's leader, that Islam was not a true religion, or even worse that there was no divinity. The reason for this misrepresentation of Islam, by Saif, is because it is recorded that Saif was an atheist (non-believer in God).

K) Saif says about Khalid Bin Sa‘d Amawi that Khalid wore a silk garment, and ‘Omar ordered that the garment to be torn. As a result of this, Khalid's feelings towards Abu Bakr and ‘Omar were revengeful. Khalid said to ‘Ali, "Your tribe (Abdi Manaf) was beaten by Abu Bakr's tribe (Tim)." ‘Ali answered, "The position of the successor to the Prophet, has nothing to do with the tribal influence.

It is a divine position." Khalid again said to ‘Ali, "Your tribe is more deserving of this position." Then ‘Omar said to Khalid, "May God silence you, you have said something that will cause liars to invent stories." Here again Saif wishes to say that only Khalid believed that Tribal influence was the motive of the people to support the candidates, otherwise the Muhajirs and the Ansars were too innocent to attempt to mix party politics with religion.

Hence ‘Ali and ‘Omar both defied Khalid. Saif here again tries to prove that there was no opposition to Abu Bakr being Caliph.

L) Saif tells us that there was no difference between ‘Ali and ‘Omar, and in case any difference was observed later, people would think the cause was Khalid. ‘Omar therefore said to Khalid, "Later the liars will make stories of that which you have said." This is an important and note worthy point.

M) Finally we must not forget that Saif has narrated the above story from Sakhr who was a bodyguard of the Prophet; but the Prophet did not have a bodyguard of that name.

N) Saif's strongest attack on the opposition is in his saying, "No one opposed Abu Bakr except he who was heretic, or intended to neglect Islam." Saif's allegations provided grounds to make the reader believe that Muslim unanimously admitted Abu Bakr as Caliph, except those who turned away from Islam.

Here we will introduce those who opposed Abu Bakr and supported ‘Ali whole heartedly; no one could possibly suspect any one of them of being involved in Saif's accusations of ‘Heresy.’

1. Zubair Bin ‘Awam, cousin of the Prophet.

2. ‘Abbas, uncle of the Prophet.

3. Sa‘d Waqqas, the conqueror of Iraq.

4. Talha Bin ‘Obaidullah.

5. Miqdad Bin Aswad.

The followings gathered in Fatimah's house in op- position to Abu Bakr.

6. Abu Dharr Ghafari.

7. Salman.

8. ‘Ammar Yaser.

9. Bara’ Bin ‘Azeb Ansari.

10. Obbay Bin Ka‘b Ansari.

11. Fadhl Bin ‘Abbas, the cousin of the Prophet.

12. Abu Sofyan Harb Amawi.

13. Khalid Bin Sa‘eed Amawi.

14. Aban Bin Sa‘eed Amawi.

In addition to the above fourteen, none of the Bani Hashim's shook the hand of allegiance with Abu Bakr until the daughter of the Prophet passed away. Their opposition was only because of their support for ‘Ali. Apart from these people, Sa‘d Bin ‘Obaidah opposed Abu Bakr, since he himself was a candidate.

Could anyone believe that any of the above turned away from the faith of Islam? Or that they became heretics? These were the opposition in Medina. We now refer to those who were outside Medina. Some of them were killed because they opposed the government such as Malik Bin Nowayrah, whom Saif named as a heretic. The fight against them was called by Saif the Holy War against heretics.


Saif has so skillfully manipulated Islamic history in his fictitious stories, so that historians, orientalists, and even the Muslims world have accepted the imaginary heroes of Saif's book as true Sahabis (companions of the Prophet) and Islamic personalities. We believe the time has come to disclose, by research and discussion, the truth, about the history of Islam; and introduce the Holy Prophet of Islam and his honorable family, to the world in their true colors, rather than to defend Saif's stories under the name of Islam.

  • 1. The tribes of Abubakr and ‘Omar.