It seems necessary to take into consideration events that took place in early days of Islam with their details and fundamentals of Shia belief and teachings of Shia school for analysis. Otherwise events will be interpreted according to desire by overlooking some occurrences or avoiding a part of them, deleting the beginning and end or ignoring principles of Shia belief, or by linking separate events to each other and a reason will be found for it.
This is the method and way of deviation not only in historical events but also in some researches of belief.
Such a trend in the event means to set aside fundamentals of belief and to take up similarities of history. By this way one’s view or opinion in Islamic history, traditions and on Islamic texts can be inserted or applied. Even opinion of other researchers can be shown in a wrong light.
They separate an event from the whole history. This is one of the wrong thoughts being propagated for creating Islamic unity. They make Shia belief remote from event. This they do to prove that there did not exist any difference between Ali and Caliphs.
No tyranny took place anywhere, neither a right was snatched away from Ali.
It seems that the great obstacles in way of inserting this matter are events in history which started from Saqifah Bani Saada.
In any case every reader has a little study and some information about history of early Islam. So he knows the events immediately after passing away of Prophet. No matter this information could be on basis of Sunni sources. He cannot believe so simply that there was no difference between Ali and Caliphs. It could be possible that narration might have taken a different trend. The word difference might have been used in a sense of friendly not inimical difference, or the enmity of one side might be denied which followed the Saqifah and resulted in martyrdom of Mohsin and then martyrdom of Zahra herself. In the end relations might be shown as friendly.
Such they have written:
“Difference in a society – like that of Islamic – after passing away of Prophet could be of two dimensions. One: a brotherly difference; the other: an inimical one…
My conclusion is whatever happened in the early days of Islam among Muslims particularly after passing away of Prophet between Ali and companions of Prophet was certainly a friendly difference.”!1
Those who infuse such doubts have forgotten that one of parties to these differences, named friendly, was an infallible Imam. God vested him with mandate to repudiate differences in the Islamic Ummah.
One of the reasons of Shia for continuity of Imamate after prophethood is existence of differences among Muslims and necessity of their removal by an infallible source. God appointed the Prophet to remove differences between Muslims. In the same way, God appointed infallible Imam as only source to repudiate differences. God bestowed on him a faculty that safeguards him from mistakes or ignorance. He is the only source after the Prophet. Differences are nullified by referring to him. His word and practice are final authorities and distinguisher of right from wrong and virtue from vice. To deny his ruling is not acceptable and an absolute wrong.
Therefore to put in a word in the trend or attitude the Imam adopts is an open treachery from command of God. Treachery against God’s orders and standing face to face in open disobedience to authority of God, that is the infallible Imam, is in itself a source of difference. There is no justification, whatsoever, even though the difference be a friendly one.
Even if we ignore this mistake of belief there still remains an important point to be heeded. Supposing the difference was a friendly one, the first question that arises is what was the reason for this difference?
History gives us answer to this question: The difference starts from Saqifah where the God-given right of Ali, which the Prophet had already made known to masses in Ghadeer, was usurped. Then atrocities were openly unleashed on him (Ali) and his wife Zahra. Ali himself had said: “…in these circumstances I am not alone on whom tyranny is being done.”2
Here one should ask whether tyranny and atrocity could have a brotherly or friendly nature and characteristic? Can we say such a difference was a family issue or a brotherly one? Zahra, the only daughter of the Prophet has had been complaining too often. Were her complaints brotherly? Did she complain of friendly atrocities? Can a tyranny be friendly? If it was friendly, why Zahra kept complaining to God about the tyranny?3
Another point is:
If Amirul Momineen Ali (‘a) after these oppressions, tyrannies and usurpation of Caliphate from the aspect of protecting Islam and responsibilities the Holy Prophet (S) had given him from Allah, does this reflect that Ali was happy or indifferent in his heart about tyrannies and atrocities done to him and his wife, Zahra? Does this mean that Ali treated the tyrannies committed to him as brotherly and friendly? Ali was under a mandate from the Prophet to tolerate tyranny for the sake of preserving Islam4 although his Caliphate was taken away from him. He refrained from taking back his right by an armed uprising because his motive and aim was greater and nobler. He had to remain honest to Prophet’s recommendations to him.
Can Ali be sympathetic and have normal behavior and ordinary conduct against a tyrant, usurper and murderer? He himself has referred to this.5
If he remained silent to avoid war and bloodshed to protect Quran from being destroyed totally and likewise the family of the Prophet; does this mean that it was a brotherly difference?
On many occasions Ali interfered in the dealings of Caliphs. This shows his sympathy towards Islamic Ummah and its interests. It was his intention to protect religion from being destroyed. Such is the conduct of men of God against biggest enemies of faith, or God or themselves. Men of God have always behaved as such. They show endurance and tolerance in most pressing conditions. They have always invited to good and a straight way. However, this cannot mean that they were looking eye to eye with the tyrants. It does not reflect that they did not have differences or that they were friendly with them.
This particularity also displays their (the enemies’) conduct towards the Imam. It has been said:
“Our elders and leaders, Ali, Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman were not enemies with each other though they had differences with each other – very serious differences. But they were not one another’s enemy.”!6
The calamity that happened after Saqifah; what was it, if not sign of enmity?
Certainly, they will say:
“Differences between companions of Prophet were internal but friendly.”!7
It is pitiable that designers of this outlook have forgotten important principles of belief and authenticity of word and deed of Infallible. Instead of going after origin of this difference, which is to turn away from God’s authority, they should have paid attention to the fact that it is all to give shape to their design. It is an effort to justify differences.
Shia logic is that an infallible Imam is a pivot of truth. Whoever is not in its circle or in its rotation has strayed and lost in darkness of vice and wrong.
The Quran says:
“So what is after the truth but going astray?”8
Well, has not the Prophet said this about Ali?
“Ali is with truth and the truth with Ali.”9
Still can we consider the difference a justified one? Can we classify it?
The base on which the difference rests is wrong. Disobedience and going treacherous in orders and instructions give rise to differences. Whether differences are friendly or do not make any difference.
To be at a difference with an infallible Imam is itself going astray. It is by root wrong and a sin though it may be named friendly.
The base of differences is tyranny, atrocity and usurping God-bestowed right of Ahlul Bayt of Prophet. To deny their authority to lift the differences is to deny God’s decree. These differences are on the ruins of religion. Calling them friendly cannot change the reality.
Whatever the trend and attitude, contact and conduct of a party to differences was towards safeguarding God’s religion, Quran and family of the Prophet. However vast the differences it cannot be a proof for existence of friendship or facing of the Imam in friendly terms against those who had usurped his right of Caliphate. It cannot be a proof for non-existence of implacabilities and rancor on the other side of dispute.
In fact, if they had not turned their backs upon the pivot of truth no difference would have come into being.
Because Amirul Momineen Ali (‘a) had divine mandate for his responsibility and a mission from God, he adopted a special attitude in his relations with Caliphs. He avoided armed uprising. On no occasion did he give up his right to demand what was taken away from him. He kept his demand alive.10
Caliphs also had to cover their scandal and ignorance of Islam and administration; so occasionally they were in consultation with Ali.11 In itself, it is a proof of their ignorance and not knowing the job. They had occupied the Prophet’s position they did not deserve.
There was no sign to show either side was on good terms with the other. Although there was no open dispute or a row between them, yet the terms took most awkward trend.
In the early days of usurpation of Caliphate there occurred a harsh entanglement and ended by attack on Zahra’s house.
In spite of all this we still see them claiming:
“As soon as Ali paid allegiance to Caliph he became intimate with him.”!12
“Ali paid allegiance to Caliphs. Since he had a high spirit, he did not take anybody’s rancor to heart. But he behaved sincerely with them.”!13
“Although Ali was aware that he was more suitable and deserving to be Caliph, yet he behaved gently with Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. He extended help to them without any hesitation.”!14
“There is no crime more serious than that even though there was peace between the Imam and Caliphs people fell into differences among themselves.”!15
Such comments and statements, injecting ideas that the Imam and Caliphs were on good terms entail wrong consequences. For instance:
The rule of Abu Bakr and Umar has come out of the circle of usurpation. The logic of people of Saqifah has taken legitimacy.
More pitiable is that they frame various arguments to prove that Ali had confirmed legitimacy of their government while it was his right. How can this be possible?
Furthermore, they say:
“Acceptance and acknowledgement of Ali shows from his own (Ali’s) outlook that their government was a legal and legitimate one.”!16
Regretfully, such types of statements and comments go a long way to justify Caliphs’ government. The deviations, perversions, crimes and innovations in religion are thus either forgotten or hidden in an umbrella of such false claims. Their atrocities and enmity with infallible Ahlul Bayt of Prophet are ignored. It is claimed:
“Seeking distance from enemies of Ahlul Bayt of Prophet (i.e. Baraat) is applied on only three Caliphs.”!17
“Rude historical portrayal of the three Caliphs must be looked at anew.”!18
Ali did not campaign. It is true. But it does not mean he was a friend of them. He had a greater aim. He avoided people going back to their recent position; that is idol worship, to the days prior to Islam.19 He wanted to protect the land of revelation from foreign enemies. He had to save the life of the Prophet’s family from hypocrites.
This attitude is attributed to silence and silence construed as acceptance and co-operation with Caliphs.20 Likewise, they try to establish friendship between Imam and Caliphs. The long rankling enmity of Caliphs with Ahlul Bayt (‘a) is over-ridden. Consequently, it will entail legitimacy to Caliphs’ government.
Such a movement goes beyond necessary limits for protecting political unity and laying a lid over dispute and differences.
“Ali did not give up his right because he kept complaining and demanding his right from those who had usurped it. He frankly and openly made his right known to all. He did not see this as a hindrance or setback to Islamic unity. There are several speeches in Nahjul Balagha to establish this fact.21 In spite of all this, he did not withdraw himself from the rows of Muslims before the strangers. Ali kept the same attitude in practice too. Besides, personally he did not accept any post in government of any Caliph. He did not accept any. He neither accepted any military post nor a civil one neither in any district nor province or responsibility of pilgrims. When he did not accept any post, it does not denote his acceptance of their government or his overlooking of their tyranny in depriving him of his right.22 He himself did not accept any office but he did not prevent his family members, friends or companions to accept any post. To accept a job in administration could be co-operation with them. But it was by no means sanction to their right to rule.”23
Therefore it is better to expound here the historical bitter and painful truth.24 We should not distort facts or show partiality. Else the coming generation will take for granted these things as a matter of belief not on the basis of happenings.
“We should not consider Caliphs restricted from Caliphate particularly when the Imam had been on good terms with them. He was co-operative and even intimate to them. Further the Imam was their guide openly and secretly.”!25
Such a reflection of events; does it not make stronger pillars of rulership which had come into being through intrigue and treachery at Saqifah? And this very
Saqifah is an open disobedience to Quranic text and God’s ruling. The political game of Saqifah was a deviation among Muslims and formation of a government in contradiction to the government of God. A false justification of peace and friendship between the Imam and Caliphs cannot give legitimacy to their tyrannical treachery.
The false peace and friendship on the part of the Imam who was a true one and God’s Caliph over the earth in favor of Abu Bakr’s false Caliphate will give it legitimacy.
“If this statement be true that in the lifetime of Prophet of God two different political movements existed among Muhajireen. There were those who were trying to obtain Caliphate. It should be confessed that from those days the Imam and Shaykhain (Abu Bakr and Umar) should have not been on good terms. In the information about conduct, nothing exists to prove this. Likewise, there does not exist anything to show friendship between them. The enmity of Ayesha with Ali existed from the very days of the Prophet. She herself has admitted this fact. This shows the differences between the progeny of Abu Bakr and the progeny of Ali. When Fatima died, all the Prophet’s widows took part in mourning ceremonies. But Ayesha did not participate under excuse of sickness. Anyway, something was narrated to Ali. It was that Ayesha had expressed her happiness. Immediately after Abu Bakr’s Caliphate, she started proving the legitimacy of Caliphate and created troubles for Ali and his relatives.
Zahra’s house was attacked. She was angry with the two (Abu Bakr and Umar). Zahra in her will banned them from attending her burial. This deepened the differences. Since then Imam isolated himself in his house and got busy with affairs of his private life. The government had expected him in view of his paying allegiance,26 to not claim his right. They even expected him to take up his sword in way of strengthening their rulership and to fight with their adversaries. But Imam rejected this request from them. So it was quite normal that they belittle him against such an attitude of his.27 This policy pushed the Imam into further isolation.”28
“Relations of the Imam with Abu Bakr were too cold as though there were no good memories at all. But in his relations with Umar, there are many memories most of them are Imam’s assistance to him in judicial matters. Besides, his help in answering the questions is another factor. Umar used to apparently behave gently with the Imam. 29He tried not to be obviously harsh towards him. Likewise, Imam too maintained same reciprocation. But Uthman was not like this. He did not tolerate Imam’s opinions…”30
“To oppose the government was very difficult for the Imam. In the early days the Imam tried to avoid facing the government by isolating himself. Saad bin Ubadah was rather a good experience.31 He did not pay allegiance to Abu Bakr. All of a sudden news reached that Jinns had murdered him.”32
“Of course whenever an opportunity arose he did claim his right. In the early days of Abu Bakr’s Caliphate, he did not pay allegiance for a few months. It was still initial stage of Abu Bakr’s Caliphate that Ali used to take his wife and sons and go from door to door of the Ansaar to remind them about Prophet’s words and demand the right snatched from him by intrigue.
His insistence was to the extent that he was accused of greed for Caliphate.”33
“Regarding evaluation of Imam about the three Caliphs this much can be said: In each of the periods, Imam was not free to express his evaluation about the two Caliphs. But during the period of Uthman, whenever an occasion or an opportunity arose he expressed his conclusions and opinions.
The reason was that his soldiers in Kufa were such that except for a few all had accepted two Caliphs (Abu Bakr and Umar). So the Imam could not speak his mind in their presence or in their gathering. Once he availed an opportunity, he started exposing his agonies caused by them. Then all of a sudden he turned the trend of his speech and did not continue the subject.”34
“Inspite of his alertness and care he did not accept the condition of Abdur Rahman bin Auf in the days of Shura committee. The condition was that the Imam should follow Abu Bakr and Umar’s practice in his Caliphate. Imam refused and said he will act according to his own Ijtihaad.
This refusal clearly shows Imam’s attitude to the two Caliphs. This shows that their conduct in most cases was against Prophet’s conduct and God’s pleasure.
Imam’s speeches and proceeds during his government reflect his displeasure about dealings of the past two Caliphs.”35
“Each side of the Imam’s isolated life in that society is an indicator that he himself and Caliphs were aware of this fact that they cannot behave or deal with each other as to show his approval to them and to their Caliphate.”36
“There is not a least doubt that the Imam had no part in the run of affairs during three Caliphates. He only gave his opinion where judicial cases were concerned. And still more limited he gave opinion only in political concern. Therefore he had no serious or sincere presence in political scene of past three Caliphs. In short, Ali had no membership or chair in the framework of government of three Caliphs. So it can be said that he had leadership of the opposition party from a distance.”37
The point in explanation of Ali’s activities of belief and knowledge should be paid attention to is:
The real identity of Imam’s activities lies in his endeavors towards wiping out dust of deviation and wreckage from original face of Islamic teachings and propaganda of Islamic fundamentals. There is no doubt how he tried to renew the real entity of faith. This becomes clearer when anti-Islamic movements of Caliphs are sketched in detail.
If we magnify the limited activities of Imam, it will result rather in giving a misleading picture to the people. Whatever he did must be kept against whatever Caliphs did. Then only can be understood Imam’s services to Islam. Caliphs damaged Islam and its teachings. Imam Ali (‘a) mended the damage. The scope is wider. It embraces military, economical, cultural, social and political spheres. The work of Ali cannot be conceived without a comparison with the work of previous three Caliphs. We add here what is said:
“Since the revolution which Islam brought was a revolution of faith and culture, it did not depend on aimed campaign. After demise of Prophet, Imam (Ali) occupied himself in this said activity, which was of utmost importance and priority. This he did to provide a thorough and consummate answer to objections and attacks (in sphere of belief) of the scholars of newly conquered countries. Further, to be able to cater to the queries of lawyers and jurisprudents. Far beyond this, to provide a stock of teachings that could be embraced without hesitation in countries that had accepted Islam as their faith. So in the fronts of law, belief, principles, Islamic cultural issues, jurisprudence and other issues he was well equipped with the needed sources.”38
“After Prophet’s passing away Imam Ali (‘a) throughout the span of three Caliphs because of his God-bestowed sagacity, intelligence and ministry he had been a pivot of Islamic revolution. He engaged himself in giving guidance to people and Caliphs at the same time.39
He [Imam Ali (‘a)] fulfilled the task of highest degree of honest consultant of Caliphs in all grounds, political and military. He had physical presence in the arena. As far as he could he held the people and Caliphs from going astray, becoming disobedient to divine rulings, deviating from standards established by Prophet, going corrupted, treacherous and sinful by advising and enjoining good and restraining from evil.”40
We have specified all aspects and dimensions of this discussion regarding extremist unity-seekers in second volume of this book. We suffice with this much in this volume. We invite your attention to the analysis of Ustad Ja’far Murtadha Amili in his bookAnalysis of the political life of Imam Hasan Mujtaba (2nd Edition, Pgs. 88-125):
He commences his analysis under the heading: ‘A Surprising Role’ and writes:
“Events took place which are known and recorded in history. Ali was sidelined from Islamic Caliphate and isolated in his house.
Politics of the system that ruled and those who came to power treated Imamate with two aims.
1 – They started injecting spirit of disappointment and hopelessness into adversaries; even to Ali himself. They regarded Ali as most powerful and stronger of all besides seeing him as a strong rival and competitor.
They started erasing out all signs of aspirations and intentions to reach to Caliphate….”
Ustad Ja’far Murtadha in continuation of his analysis derives the following results through documents and proofs, which he produces in this respect:
“Government authorities were trying that Ali might forget the issue of Caliphate and Imamate and lose heart in reaching it.”
Then the Ustad writes in his analysis about the second aim of Caliphs:
2 – They prepared ground to confirm and establish Caliphate in favor of those whom they held in their view and choice. They tried to create such conditions and circumstances, which could keep out Ali and any member of Ahlul Bayt (‘a) of the Prophet from getting Caliphate.
The Ustad dwells on political calculations of Caliphs towards attaining these aims. He produces historical documents. He counts ten attitudes in this respect and deals each of them individually.
Some supporters of Islamic unity have produced a feeble analysis. They claim thereupon that no political difference existed between Ali and Caliphs. However, in this respect they face a difficulty. This difficulty is the strong and harsh criticism of Caliphs from Ali.41 The criticism is so strong that it rescinds all possibilities of naming it peace or good terms or friendship.
Therefore unity-seekers attribute this attitude and criticism of Ali to his higher morals and decorum in comparison to ability of Caliphs in administration of government. By this analysis and their own, they have gone so far as to forget the holy text in this respect. All these endeavors at whatever cost, are to give credit to the plot of Saqifah. They think that the only shortcoming of Saqifah was absence of Ali.42 To propagate this conjecture they do not refrain from laying hands on whatever comes handy to them. Here is one:
“Is it right to say that there existed interest and opinion in the mind of Ali which concerned him? But the fact is that he saw himself stronger to Caliphate because he held himself and members of his family stronger than others in running affairs of government.”!43
In fact, such an outlook acknowledges independence of one from the other between Imamate and rulership. The outlook confirms each a separate entity from the other.
Then on the basis of this separation, he dwells on the error of Saqifah to select an Islamic ruler with the required qualities. In the end he sees Ali as the deserving person for the post. Then from here Ali is ignored and forgotten.
Therefore criticism of Ali becomes too light. It takes up a level of complaint to the effect that one says: How this one was selected when there was a more deserving one?
So in this regard it is said:
“If words or opinions were exchanged in this regard it was baseless and outside the fundamentals of these two positions. In my opinion, it is better not to call them difference. It was only a complaint as to why the Caliph was selected without taking his opinion or consulting him.”!44
Ustad Ja’far Subhani writes in this regard:
“Sunni scholars and researchers have written explanations of Nahjul Balagha. They have scrutinized the statements of Imam Ali (‘a) about Caliphate one after another. They have derived this conclusion from the whole data: The aim of Imam from his statements is to show his eligibility, ability, quality and qualification for Caliphate without any gap from the Prophet. With regard to relationship: the Imam enjoyed very close ties with Prophet. With regard to learning and knowledge, the Imam was superior to all. With regard to principles of justice, information and principles of policies and politics: the Imam had no peer. Likewise, in matters of running a country also he was above all companions of Prophet. For this reason, he was the befitting candidate for Caliphate. Because elders of the Ummah had decided to choose good instead of best. So they selected other than him; an inferior. Therefore Imam pointed out the tyranny that took place in this respect. He had a right to say that he was more suitable and befitting for the job.
The right which the Imam refers to goes thus: Since the day the Prophet passed away my right was taken away from me. And I was deprived of my own right. This is not a religious right that should have been given to him by head of religion. But it is meant to be a natural right, which binds each one to not give priority to an inferior when there is a superior. In other words, in the presence of a better choice it must not go to an inferior. The affairs or a task should rest on shoulders of one who is more able and befitting one. Whenever if the opposite happens, that is inspite of presence of one with more qualifications, abilities and knowledge he is ignored and another one with less abilities and more ignorance is chosen, it will be a natural right of his to complain about the tyranny done to him…”45
This matter is regarded as a research but it is not more than a thought. We cannot translate all words of the Imam into his personal ability. And such a personal decorum of Imam cannot be a pivot of harsh attacks on Caliphs. Whenever the problem of leadership in Islam should be solved by means of referendum, consultation or negotiation, one who surpasses in all qualities the others and yet is ignored and not elected he cannot regard himself as a rightful one or the post is his right. To withdraw to him is a tyranny. He cannot attack bitterly those who have taken his place. But such is not the case. We do not see such a tone in Imam’s speeches. He considers himself the true rightful one to belong to the post. He regards it a tyranny in him if he were to withdraw from the arena.
He considers Quraish tyrants to him and trespassers and transgressors on his rights, can such harsh words be justified because of his self-decorum? It is never correct to represent the criticism of Caliphate of Caliphs as his personal demeanor. These words of the Imam go a great deal to prove that Caliphate was his established right. The Imam regarded deviation in behavior towards him as deviation in truth. Such a firmness in his belief towards Caliphate cannot be but by the text of Quran or a divine decree. Else, there is no other reason, which could make one sure and certain to such an extent.
Such interpretations cannot be translated into a priority. Those who interpret statements of Imam in this way are judging in advance. Their belief rests in elected Caliphate, which is a setback to them to evaluate words of Imam.”46
Taking into consideration such harsh criticism of Imam to Caliphs, which was right of Imam and rightful to him – a right vested to him directly from God, can we accept that:
“The Imam had not abused Caliphs in a fashion common among masses, but on the contrary, he had on many occasions even praised them.”47
Such vague and hallow claims cannot be encouraging factors to eradicate the principle of Baraat and put into practice praising Caliphs?
“It will certainly be so because it crawls and creeps on a belief that by doing so we are following Ali’s practice.”!48
Is it reasonable that the conduct of Imam which must be a model, will praise, that too on several occasions, those who enacted Saqifah to deprive him of God-bestowed right of Caliphate? Besides, they attacked Zahra’s house. Beyond this they set fire to its door. As a result, his wife miscarried and she herself later died – a death of martyrdom.
- 1. Muhammad Jawad Hujjat Kermani: Jam-e-Jam Daily, Issue No. 10, Bahman 1379.
- 2. Sayyid Razi: Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 74.
- 3. Refer: Muhammad Jawad Hujjati Kermani: Jam-e-Jam Daily, Issue No. 12, Bahman 1379.
- 4. That is protection of Quran and Ahlul Bayt (‘a) and absence of apostasy and return of the Ummah to the conditions of idol-worship and ignorance.
- 5. “Be enemy to a tyrant and helper to a victim” Ali’s will to his sons, Hasan and Husayn, Nahjul Balagha, Muhammad Abduh, Letter No. 47.
- 6. Muhammad Jawad Hujjati Kermani: Jam-e-Jam Daily, Issue No. 12, Bahman 1379.
- 7. Ibid. Interview published in Nida-e-Islam Magazine, Issue 4, Winter 79, Pg. 61.
- 8. Surah Yunus 10:32.
- 9. To know the sources of this tradition refer to Ahqaaqul Haqq, Vol. 5, Pg. 28, 43, 623, 638 and Vol. 16, Pgs. 384-397.
- 10. Ali did not refrain throughout the periods of Caliphs from stating that the caliphate was this right. Ustad Murtadha Mutahhari: Seeri Dar Seerah Aimmah-e-Athaar (A Glance at the Life of Purified Imams), Pg. 22.
- 11. In cases of consultations if attention were paid it is seen on many occasions Caliphs and even companions have given their opinion. The Imam too has given his opinion. On the occasions when Caliphs were interrogated by non-Muslims in religious and scientific matters, Caliphs did not refer to the Imam. Even in some cases, it has been seen that Caliphs did not accept Imam’s view or opinion. Sometime the Caliph used to ignore the presence of Imam. The Caliph, whether right or wrong, had issued his judgment without referring to Imam.
In order to be acquainted with the limited number of cases wherein the caliph consulted the Imam, refer to the list in the Second Volume of this book.
The important point, which must not be ignored, is:
Claim A: The Second Caliph gave priority to opinion of Ali over opinions of all companions. He had gone so far as to give orders to the effect that no one had a right to give his judgment or opinion as long as Ali was in the mosque. Sometimes in the consulting committee, Umar treated Ali’s opinion as final. On many occasions, he had acknowledged that Ali was superior to all in knowledge. (Abdul Kareem Biazar Shirazi, Keyhan Farhangi, No 184, Bahman 8, Pg. 16)
Claim B: Umar has too often and too repeatedly said: “This judgment of Ali is better than all our judgments.”
When he reached to the Caliphate, he took refuge in God from the situation when he is entangled in a difficult issue and Ali too is not present. Before him Abu Bakr and after him Uthman also sought his help in their difficulties. (Portrait of the Imam of the Pious, Vol. 2, Pg. 7).
The root goes back to the acknowledgement of Caliphs. They have tried to cover their usurping the government which was a God-bestowed right of Ali.
Umar during his Caliphate told Ibn Abbas: “Ali was more suitable and befitting to the post of ruler than me and Abu Bakr. Ibn Abbas said then why he was sidelined? Umar immediately replied: “We do not take decisions without consulting Ali.”
(Ali Muhammad Mir Khalili: Imam Ali and the Rulers, Pg. 167)
Caliphs’ attitude towards attaining consultation of companions can be regarded as their diplomacy to make them feel they also have a share in affairs of government. Besides, it minimized their objections to a certain extent.
This method seemed necessary throughout the long period. The causes of Uthman’s assassination can be found in this very ground because he had abolished to take advice, which was in contrast to his two predecessors. One of the complaints of those who had surrounded his house was that he did not take their advice. Those who surrounded his house complained addressing Uthman. There are points worth noting:
“During your caliphate you have thrashed the companions of Prophet for guiding the people and inviting you back to the right path and be just in your doings. So now it is your turn to pay the cost of your wrong doings.”
(Allamah Al-Askari: Role of Ayesha in Islamic History, Vol. 1, Pg. 251)
Caliphs were always anxious to give legitimacy to their rule. They tried to gain the attention of Ali in whatever way it was possible. They tried to show to the people that Ali was pleased with them. Therefore they were very much serious in their endeavors.
- 12. Abdul Kareem Bi-Aazaar Shirazi: Mashal-e-Ittehaad (Torch of Unity), Pg. 22.
- 13. Ibid. Hambastigi-e-Mazaahib-e-Islami (Unity of Islamic Sects), (Preface to the 3rd Edition), Pg. 11.
- 14. Ibid. Hambastigi-e-Mazaahib-e-Islami (Unity of Islamic Sects), (Preface to the 3rd Edition) Pg. 207.
- 15. Ibid. Hambastigi-e-Mazaahib-e-Islami (Unity of Islamic Sects), (Preface to the 3rd Edition) Pg. 217.
- 16. Mustafa Husayni Tabatabai: Raahi Bi Soo-e-Wahdat-e-Islami (Way to Islamic Unity), Pg. 176.
- 17. Muhammad Jawad Hujjati Kermani: Aftaab-e-Yazd Daily, Issue No. 9, Tir 1381.
- 18. Ibid. Aftaab-e-Yazd Daily, Issue No. 9, Tir 1381.
- 19. Silence for the sake of unity does not mean approval to usurpation of his divine right of Caliphate and an effort of protecting this usurped rulership!
- 20. Many such statements are present in the Section One of the book, Strategy of Unity (Section of the biographies of Imams)!
- 21. This rests on the same wrong analysis that for the sake of national unity he maintained friendly relations with Saqifah’s caliphate. Ali overlooked his and his wife’s right for the sake of unity of Muslims. He endured all sorts of tyranny. He gave priority to Muslim unity over himself and his wife and his sons. (Sayyid Jawad Mustafawi: Article: ‘Unity in Nahjul Balagha’ in The Book of Unity, Pg. 131).
The behavior of Ali was regarded a distinction to national unity. For this reason whatever action he took with regards to his rights he was careful that unity which was a principle to him should not be harmed. Whenever he thought that his principle was getting hurt he used to ignore his own right. (Muhammad Waizzaada Khorasani: Interview in ‘Haft Aasmaan’ (Seven Skies) Magazine, Nos.9-10 spring, Summer 80, Pg. 11)
- 22. In this duration Ali was outside the political as well as military arena. During Abu Bakr’s Caliphate he did not accept any responsibility. He did the same in the time of Umar. He did not accept the post of the commander at the time of Iran invasion. At the time of journey of Umar to Palestine, Umar took all companions of Prophet along with him. Ali took the responsibility of administration of Medina. This was the only exceptional case. It is remarkable here that Umar was strongly against Bani Hashim going out of Medina. He feared their influence in districts outside Medina or their military action which he had anticipated.
(Jalal Darikhsha: Mawaaze Siyasi Hazrat Ali Dar Qibal Mukhalifeen (Political stands of Ali against opponents), Pg. 54.
- 23. Ustad Murtadha Mutahhari: Imamat-o-Rahbari (Imamate and Leadership), Pg. 20-21.
- 24. When the curtain is lifted from Saqifah the events come to light. The assault on Fatima’s house, usurping the caliphate and confiscation of Fadak in all these bad and criminal intentions of Caliphs are obvious. It bars the way for dividing God-bestowed positions and makes clear that Members of Prophet’s House took no step of friendship towards them.
- 25. Muhammad Salih Haeri Mazandarani: Article in Hambastigi-e-Mazaahib-e-Islami (Unity of Islamic Sects), translation Abdul Kareem Bi-Aazaar Shirazi: Pg. 222.
- 26. By the martyrdom of Zahra, Ali lost a supporter. Thus Ali became obliged to yield to Abu Bakr’s Caliphate. This he had to do to protect Islam and to avoid the hypocrites and pagans from availing an excuse. For instance, a few persons had claimed prophethood outside Medina. For example, Musailaima who claimed prophethood in the days of Prophet himself. When the Prophet died his family members and his tribe surrounded him in a display of physical support to him. He too had prepared rhetoric verses. His claim was: one prophet for his tribe and one for Quraish. He had prepared forty thousand warriors to attack Medina and to reduce it to dust. Had he reached Medina the first ones he would have killed was Ali and his sons, Hasan and Husayn.
Then he would have destroyed the grave of Prophet and erased all remaining signs from the face of the earth. Next to him there was a woman from the tribe of Bani Tameem named Sajjah. She had succeeded in gathering a gang around her. She too claimed that she was a prophetess. A number of people had returned to their initial status of idol worship. The following claimed to be kings: Noman Bin Munzir Saavi Tameem. He had his coronation in Bahrain. Another one was Laqeet Bin Malik from Bani Najiah tribe. In Omman he was called ‘Zultaaj’ (crowned).
In such circumstances Uthman approached Ali and said: “O, Cousin! You are witnessing this situation. If you do not yield, Islam is facing danger.” So, Ali yielded for the sake of safeguarding Islam. Ali himself says: “I had given up. But I saw people had turned their backs at Islam. And the faith which the Prophet had brought was fast vanishing from the people as they were inviting among themselves to this end. Hence I feared if I do not help and support Muslims and Islam a great defeat will happen to Islam. In that case the havoc will too greater for me than to lose the government of a few days over you.”
It was after Ali’s Bayyat that Abu Bakr was able to send troops outside Medina. However for the sake of centralizing Islam Bayyat of Ali was quite necessary. So it is an established fact that had not Ali given Bayyat Islam would have never survived. So we are rather under an obligation to Ali because of his Bayyat Islam existed and we are Muslims accordingly.
(Allamah Al-Askari: Role of Imams in revival of faith, Vol. 14, Pg. 35-36) For more details of the above case refer to Section One of 4th Volume of this book.
- 27. Umar respected Ibn Abbas more and gave priority to belittle Ali. This was a policy so that Ibn Abbas narrate traditions. Allamah Al-Askari: Saqifah, Pg. 73.
- 28. Rasool Ja’faryan: Hayat-e-Fikri O Siyasi-e-Imamaan-e-Shia (Intellectual and Political Life of Shia Imams), Pg. 53.
- 29. In matters of utmost importance when Umar was not able to take a decision he used to consult Ali.
- 30. Rasool Ja’faryan: Hayat-e-Fikri O Siyasi-e-Imamaan-e-Shia (Intellectual and Political Life of Shia Imams), Pg. 57.
- 31. Refer: Allamah Al-Askari: Abdullah Ibn Saba Wa Deegar Afsaane (Abdullah Bin Saba and other legends), Vol. 1, Pgs. 143-147.
- 32. Rasool Ja’faryan: Hayat-e-Fikri O Siyasi-e-Imamaan-e-Shia (Intellectual and Political Life of Shia Imams), Pg. 57.
- 33. Ibid. Pg. 58.
- 34. Ibid. Pg. 59.
- 35. Ibid. Pg. 59.
- 36. Ibid. Pg. 60.
- 37. Ibid. Pg. 61.
- 38. Abdul Kareem Bi-Aazaar Shirazi: Kayhan Farhangi, Issue No. 184, Bahman 80, Pg. 15.
- 39. Ibid. Seemai Imam-e-Muttaqeen, (Portrait of the Imam of the Pious), Vol. 7, Pg. 18.
- 40. Muhammad Jawad Hujjati Kermani: Ittelaat Daily, Issue No. 26, Khordad 1379.
- 41. For more information about these matters refer to book Sahaba Az Deedgaah-e-Nahjul Balagha (Companions in the view of Nahjul Balagha) By Dawood Ilhaami.
- 42. After the death of the Prophet (S) Saqifah was arranged without consulting Ali and Abu Bakr was made the caliph. (Abdul Kareem Bi-Aazaar Shirazi: Mashal-e-Ittehaad (Torch of Unity), Pg. 20.
- 43. Ibid. Mashal-e-Ittehaad (Torch of Unity), Pg. 22.
- 44. Muhammad Salih Haeri Mazandarani: Article quoted in Hambastigi-e-Mazaahib-e-Islami (Unity of Islamic Sects), Translation: Abdul Kareem Bi-Aazaar Shirazi: Pg. 220.
- 45. Ustad Ja’far Subhani: Peshwayi az Nazar-e-Islam (Leadership in the view of Islam), Pgs. 264-265.
- 46. Ibid. Pgs. 265-268.
- 47. Muhammad Jawad Hujjati Kermani: Ittelaat Daily, Issue No. 29, Khordad 1379.
- 48. Ibid. Ittelaat Daily, Issue No. 29, Khordad 1379.