These, according to them, are the four caliphs who ascended the seat of caliphate following the demise of the Messenger of Allah. “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah” advocate these caliphs' superiority over all other people with the exception of the Prophet in the same chronological order of their caliphate. This is what we hear even these days.
We have, however, come to know from previous researches that Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib, peace be upon him, was not counted among them as one of the caliphs, much less a righteous one; rather, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal added his name at a much later time to the list. Prior to that, he used to be cursed from the pulpits in all Muslim lands and throughout the Umayyad empire.
In order to shed more light on this subject, and so that the reader may feel comfortable about the truth regarding this regretful fact, his attention is invited to the following:
We have already said that Abdullah ibn Umar is regarded by “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah” as one of the most prominent faqihs, and Malik makes him his major authority upon whom he depends in his book Al-Muwatta'. He is also relied upon by both al-Bukhari and Muslim in the Sahih written by each of them. All other transmitters of hadith, without any exception, rely on him.
This man was famous for his open hatred of the Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abu Talib. History tells us that he refused to swear the oath of allegiance to Ali, yet he rushed to swear his oath of allegiance to the cursed al-Hajjaj, the enemy of Allah and His Messenger.1
Abdullah ibn Umar revealed what he was hiding in his chest and disclosed his best kept secret when he said that he could not count even one single favor or merit or good quality of Ali that warranted placing him in the fourth place after Uthman ibn Affan.
We have already come to know that he favored only Abu Bakr and Umar; as for Ali, peace be upon him, he, in his assessment, was among the commoners, if not the very least important among them. Let me provide you with another fact which narrators of hadith and historians have recorded, and which openly expresses the hateful and antagonistic nature of Ibn Umar towards Ali and all Imams from the pure Progeny of the Prophet:
Abdullah ibn Umar has said the following while trying to explain the tradition of the Prophet in which he said, “The caliphs after me shall be twelve; all of them are from Quraysh”:
This nation shall have twelve caliphs who are: Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq, Umar al-Farooq, Uthman Thul Noorain, Mu`awiyah and his son as the kings of the holy lands (Mecca and Medina), al-Saffah, Salam, Mansour, Jabir, al-Mahdi, al-Ameen, Ameer al-Asab, who all are from Banu Ka`b ibn Luayy, and they are righteous and peerless.2
So read this statement, dear reader, again and wonder about such faqih who is so highly respected by “Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah” and notice how he distorts the facts and turns them upside down, making Mu`awiyah and his son Yazid as well as al-Saffah [a title meaning: the blood-shedder] the best of Allah's servants, further stating that they are peerless!
Surely grudge and ignorance have blinded his eye sight just as envy and animosity have blinded his mind3 to the extent that he cannot see any merit or favor for the Commander of the Faithful Ali over whom he prefers Mu`awiyah, the morally depraved man, and his atheist, criminal, and blood-thirsty son Yazid.
Abdullah ibn Umar is the son of his father. Whatever comes from its source surprises nobody, and every pot drips of its contents. His father used all possible means to exclude Ali, peace be upon him, from the caliphate, and to make him look insignificant in the eyes of the public.
And here we see his [Umar ibn al-Khattab's] spiteful and hateful son, despite Ali's ascension to the caliphate after Uthman's murder and after having received the oath of allegiance from the Muhajirun and Ansar, refusing to swear the oath of allegiance to Ali and trying his best to put his light out and stir people against him in order to cause his downfall. He, therefore, kept making statements and fooling people into thinking that Ali, peace be upon him, had no merits, and that he was like any other ordinary man.
Abdullah ibn Umar served the Umayyad dynasty and crowned both Mu`awiyah and his son Yazid with the crown of caliphate, telling lies and fabrications about the Prophet, recognizing the caliphate of al-Saffah and al-Mansour and all promiscuous rulers of Banu Umayyah, preferring them over the master of the Muslims and the wali of the believers according to the text of the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah. Yet he did not recognize Ali's caliphate even when it actually took place! How strange!
- 1. Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi is the one who is very well known for his promiscuity, apostasy, crimes, and total lack of respect for the faith. Al-Hakim has recorded on p. 556, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, and Ibn Asakir has also recorded on p. 69, Vol. 4, of his book, the fact that al-Hajjaj used to say, “Ibn Mas`ud claims that he recited a Qur'an revealed from Allah, and Allah is nothing more than a filth of the Arabs.” He also used to say, “Fear Allah as much as you want, for doing so is completely futile, and listen to and obey the commander of the faithful Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan for you will then be generously rewarded.” Also Ibn Aqeel records on p. 81 of his book Al-Nasaih al-Kafiya saying that al-Hajjaj delivered a speech once in Kufa and referred to those who were visiting the grave site of the Prophet at Medina thus: “May they perish! They go around sticks and decaying cadaver; why don't they go round the mansion of the commander of the faithful Abd al-Malik? Don't they know that someone's successor is better than his messenger?”
- 2. This is stated on p. 140 of al-Suyuti's book Tarikh al-Khualfa, p. 140. Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 6, p. 67, and also in the history books of Ibn Asakir and al-Dhahabi.
- 3. Read it and do not forget the statement of the Prophet which al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded and which says: “Loving Ali ibn Abu Talib is a sign of iman (conviction), and hating him is a sign of hypocrisy,” and the hypocrites during the time of the Prophet used to be identified by their hatred towards Ali .