Tuesday 24th of May 2022
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Brothers in God


The nucleus of the Islamic State started at the beginning of the Hijrah. The birth of this state was a unique prototype in the history of man. We do not know before Islam any state that was established on a brotherhood springing from the belief in the oneness of God and His universal justice which denies all clannish national and racial discrimination. As a matter of fact it is difficult to find in history a clear example other than the early Islamic State in which a government was established as a spontaneous outcome of people's sharing spiritual and worldly ideals.


However this general brotherhood may remain an abstract idea if no tangible example of it is realized. The Messenger wanted to give the Muslims a tangible example through small brotherhoods a special relation between two Muslims in which each one becomes to the other a brother in God and treats the other as he treats his brother who was born from his parents. The Holy Prophet issued and announced individual brotherhoods during the first year after the Hijrah but one was established ten years before the Hijrah. This was the one which he initiated between himself and Ali at the conference which took place at the Prophet's house in Mecca.


It is recorded in Al-Seerat Al-Halabeyah that the Prophet issued a brotherhood between Abu Bakr and Omar; between Abu Bakr and Kharijah Ibn Zeid; between Omar and Atban Ibn Malik; between Abu Ruwaim Al-Khath-ami and Bilal; between Oseid Ibn Hudheir and Zeid Ibn Haritha; between Abu Obeidah and Saad Ibn Maath; between Abdul-Rahman Ibn Ouf and Saad Ibn Al-Rabi.

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Then he held the hand of Ali Ibn Abu Talib saying: This is my brother. Thus the Messenger of God and Ali became brothers. ( 1)

Ibn Husham in his "Seerah" (Biography of the Prophet) reported the following: "The Prophet after the Hijrah said to the Muslims: Be brothers in God. Every two should be brothers.

Then he held Ali Ibn Abu Talib's hand and said: This is my brother. Thus the Messenger of God the leader of the Messengers the Imam of the righteous the one who has no equal among the servants of God (he) and Ali Ibn Abu Talib became brothers. Al-Hamzah Lion of God and of His Messenger and Zeid Ibn Haritha became brothers and Abu Bakr and Kharijah Ibn Zuhair became brothers. Omar Ibn Al-Khattab and Atban Ibn Malik became brothers. . . . ( 2)


This type of brotherhood may serve at least one of the two following purposes:

1. It substitutes the blood relationship with a spiritual relationship. When two persons are from two clans tribes or communities their brotherhood in principles and beliefs take the place of brotherhood by birth. This makes the two brothers in religion ready to co-operate in promotion of their religion. Both brothers become immune to hostility if some misunderstanding takes place between one of the two brothers and the relatives of the other .

The brotherhood between two persons from two tribes or clans makes each one of them a friend to the members of the clan or tribe of the other. Each one of the two brothers loves the other and each has relatives with whom he reciprocates love. These relatives through this brotherhood become indirectly tied to the spiritual brother of their relative. Thus the religious brotherhood becomes an extension of the blood relationship and the blood relationship becomes an extension of the religious brotherhood.

( 1 ) Ali Ibn Burhanudeen Al-Halabi Biography of the Prophet Part 2 p.97.

( 2 ) Ibn Husham Part 1 p.505.

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2. When it is by the Prophet's selection this kind of brotherhood is an evidence of a mutual spiritual resemblance between the two brothers. The Prophet knew about his companions more than they knew about themselves.

Two companions may not be aware of their spiritual resemblance as much as he is. Thus when he makes two of them brothers their brotherhood should enhance their cooperation and develop in proportion to their sincerity towards their religion.


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Looking at the brotherhood between the Messenger and Ali before and after the Hijrah we find that their brotherhood does not serve the first purpose namely: Creation of a close relationship between two persons from two clans tribes or communities. The Messenger and Ali were not from two cities or tribes or clans. They were first cousins.

The Messenger did not "brother" anyone before or after the Hijrah except Ali. From this we can infer that the purpose of the brotherhood between the Messenger and Ali was to announce their mutual spiritual resemblance.

The brotherhood between the Messenger and Ali is a well known fact in the history of Islam. It was reported through many channels. This brotherhood was meaningful and highly important in the eyes of the Messenger.

Al-Hakim in his Al-Mustadrak reported in two ways that the Messenger of God said to Ali: "You are my brother in this world and in the Hereafter."( 3 )


The Messenger came out while his face was glittering.

Abdul-Rahman Ibn Ouf asked him: What is the good news? The Messenger said: "A good tidings came to me from my Lord concerning my brother and cousin and my daughter. That God had married Ali to Fatimah." ( 4 )

( 3 ) Al-Hakim in his Al-Mustadrak Part 3 p. 14 Sharaful-Deen Al-Murajaat p. 130.

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Again he said to Ali:

"You are my brother my companion and my associate in Paradise." ( 5 )

He said to him on another occasion: "As to you Ali you are my brother and the father of my children. You are from me and to me." ( 6 ) At another time the Messenger told Ali: "You are my brother and my minister you pay my debt and fulfill my promise...." ( 7)

When Fatimah was moved to the house of her husband Ali the Messenger said to Om Aiman: "Call for me my brother." She said (jokingly): He is your brother and you marry him your daughter?" He said: "Yes Om Aiman. She called Ali for him and he came...." ( 8)

When the Messenger was on his deathbed he said: "Call for me my brother. They called Ali and he came.

He said: "Come close to me " and Ali did. The Prophet reclined on Ali and kept speaking to him until his holy soul departed his body. ( 9)

These hadiths are only a few out of many others about the brotherhood of Ali to the Messenger. They clearly indicate that the Messenger chose him as a brother because he was next to him in purity and character. Ali should have been an unexpected choice. He was thirty years younger than the Prophet. Obviously he chose him because lie was the only one who deserved this unique honor.

( 4 ) Ibn Hajar Assawa-iq Al-Muhriqah p. 403 (conveyed by Sharaful Deen Al-Murajaat p. 130.

( 5 ) Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi Kanzul-Ummal hadith No. 6105.

( 6 ) Al-Hakim in his Al-Mustadrak Part 3 p. 217.

( 7 ) Al-Tabarani in his Big Majmaa of hadith (conveyed by Al- Muttaqi Al-Hindi in his Muntakhab (Selected) of Kanzul- Ummal published on the margins of Imam Ahmad's Musnad Part 5 p. 32.

( 8 ) Al-Hakim in his Al-Mustadrak Part 3 p. 159.

( 9 ) Ibn Saad Al-Tabaqat Part 2 p. 263.


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The Prophet bestowed a unique honor upon Ali by choosing Ali to be his son-in-law. He married him to his daughter Fatima Al-Zahra (the Lady of light) for whom her father testified that she is the leader of the women of Paradise or the leader of the women of the believers. ( 10 ) He also said: "Fatima is a portion of me whoever exasperates her exasperates me." ( 11)

Ayeshah wife of the Prophet also said about Fatima: "I have never seen a more resemblant to the Prophet in manner of speaking than Fatima daughter of the Messenger of God. Whenever she came to him he used to welcome her stand for her kiss her take her hand and seat her in his place." ( 12)

Ayeshah said also about Fatima: "I never witnessed a person truer than Fatimah after her father." ( 13)

Outstanding companions wooed the hand of Fatima but the Prophet rejected them saying: "I am waiting for a Directive concerning her." (He meant that he was waiting for an order from God.) When Ali wooed her hand the Prophet welcomed him and Ali married her in the first year after the Hijrah. She was moved to him in the following year after the Battle of Badr.

This marriage was destined to be unique in its consequences. Of its fruits were the two gems of this nation: Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein about whom the Holy Prophet said: "An Angel came from Heaven to give me the good tidings:

That Fatima is the leader of the women of Para- 

( 10 ) Al-Bukhari reported it through his channel to Ayeshah in his Sahih in the section of the Beginning of the Creation in the chapter of the Evidences of the Prophethood Part 5 p. 25.

( 11 ) Al-Bukhari in his Sahih Chapter of Virtues of the Relatives of the Messenger and Virtues of Fatimah.

( 12 ) Al-Hakim in his Al-Mustadrak Part 3 p .154.

( 13 ) Al-Hakim Al-Mustadrak Part 3 p. 160.

( 14 ) Al-Termathi in his Sunan (of the 6 Authentics) Part 2 p. 306.

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dise and that Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein are the leaders of the youth of Paradise."( 14)


By their birth the most honorable family was formed.

For this family the Messenger ordered the Muslims to pray whenever they pray for him. This is the family whose members the Muslims are urged to follow.

The Divinely Commended Family

In all of what the Holy Prophet spoke about Ali and the members of his family he was speaking with a Divine authority and in reliance on the order of God and His revelation.

The Almighty revealed eighteen consecutive verses about the sacrifices of this family its love of God and the place of its members in Paradise .

Al-Wahidi in his book Al-Baseet; Imam Razi in his extensive commentary on the Holy Qur'an; Al-Zamakh-Shari in his Kashaf and Nizamul-Deen Al-Nisaboori in his commentary "Gara-Ibul Qur'an ( 15 ) and Al-Shiblenji in his book Noorul-Abssan ( 16 ) recorded that Ibn Abba said that: Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein became ill. Ali and Fatima vowed to God the fast of three days of thanks if their two sons would be cured. The two sons also followed them in their vows and so did their maid Fiddah. The two children were cured and the family fasted three consecutive days.

There was no food for the family in the three days except small amounts of barley bread. When the time of breaking the fast came (in the evening) a needy person came to their door seeking food. The family gave him all they had. On the following evening an orphan came asking for food and the family did what it had done the first night.

On the third evening a captive came asking for food. The family did what it had done the first two days. About this 

( 15 ) Nizamuddeen Al-Nisaboori in his Gharai-Ibul-Qur'an printed on the Margin of Al-Tabari's Commentaries on the Qur'an Part 29 pp. 112-113.

( 16 ) Sayed Al-Shiblenji Noorul-Absar pp. 112-114.

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event the Almighty revealed the chapter of "Time" or "Man" in which we find the following verses: "The righteous shall drink of a cup whereof the mix- ture is Kafur a spring wherefrom the servants of God drink making it gush for them abundantly. They fulfill the vow and fear a day where the evil is wide-spreading. And feed with food for the needy wretch the orphan and the captive for love of God. (saying): We feed you for the sake of God only: We look for no reward nor thanks from you: we fear from our Lord a day of frowning and of fate. Therefore God has ward- ed off from them the evil of that day and has made them find brightness and joy. And has awarded them for all that they endured a Paradise and a silk attire. . . ." ( 17)

It is worthy to note that no hadith ever mentioned that the members of this family said aloud to those whom they gave their food: "We feed you for the sake of God looking for no reward nor thanks from you." These words were in their hearts not on their tongues but God stated openly in His Book what they kept secretly in their hearts.


A Unique Testimony

The Holy Qur'an does not contain any testimony of this kind pertaining to any other Muslim family. This is because no other family offered what this family offered of sacrifices.

We know of no other family that was so unselfish that all its members gave to others for the love of God their necessary food for three consecutive days.

This family however was expected to surpass all other families in sacrifices. For Ali was the brother of the Messenger: his wife was the daughter of the Messenger; and their two children by the testimony of the verse of "Mubahalah " are called sons of the Messenger.

The members of this family were the ones whom the 

( 17 ) The Qur'an Chapter 76 verses 5-12.

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Messenger brought with him when the Almighty God commanded him to invite the Christian delegation of Najran for "Mubahalah" (prayer by two opposite parties ask- ing God to punish their wrong side). Presenting them on that occasion was a shining evidence that they were the highest among the Muslims in righteousness and presenting Ali particularly showed that the relation between the Messenger and Ali had passed the boundary of brotherhood and reached the degree of unity.

Ali's Place From the Prophet in the Qur'an

During the ninth year after the Hijrah a Christian delegation from Nijran Yemen came to Medina to inquire about Islam and debate with the Prophet about religion.

There was a dialogue between the Messenger and the delegation in which the Messenger stated the positive position of Islam towards the teachings of the Messiah. The delegation chose to stay on their negative position towards Islam. A revelation came to the Prophet commanding him to invite the delegation to a prayer to be offered by both sides asking the Almighty to bring down His punishment on the wrong side of the two parties. From the Holy Qur'an: "And whoso disputes with thee concerning him (Jesus) after the knowledge which has come unto thee say (unto them): Come! We will summon our sons and your sons and our women and your women and ourselves and yourselves. Then we will pray humbly (to our Lord) invoking the curse from God upon those who lie." ( 1 )

The Messenger in compliance with the revealed command invited the Christian delegation for the prayer. Al-Nisaboori in his commentary on the Holy Qur'an entitled: "Ghara-ib Bul-Qur'an and Aja-Ibul-Furqan " recorded the following:

"The Messenger told the Christian delegation:

( 1 ) Chapter 3 verse 62.

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God has commanded me to call upon you to share with me a prayer for punishment. They said "Abu Al-Qasim" (the Prophet's code name) we shall think of the matter then we will come to you." They had a conference headed by their counselor Al-Aquib. When they asked him his advice he said: "By God you have known that Mohammad is a Messenger of God. He told you the exact truth about your man the Messiah. By God whenever people challenge a prophet and share with him a prayer for punishment their grown-ups will not last and their small ones will not grow. It will be your annihilation if you accept his challenge. If you insist on keeping your religion make peace between you and the man and go back to your country.

"When the Christian delegation came back to the Messenger they found him on his way to the proposed prayer wearing a garment made of black hair carrying Al-Hussein on his arm and leading Al-Hassan by his hand with Fatima walking behind him and Ali walking behind her.

The Prophet said to the four members of his family: "When I pray say: 'Amen.'" Looking at the Prophet and his family the priest of the delegation said to his group: "Christians I see faces whose prayer will be answered even for removal of a mountain.

Accept not their challenge. If you do you will perish and the Christians will not live on this earth." The delegation heeded the warning of their priest and said to the Prophet: "Abu Al-Qasim." we have decided not to make prayer of "Mubahalah" with you. ( 2 )

Al-Tabari in his commentary on the Holy Qur'an reported many hadiths through various channels that the Messenger accompanied Ali Fatima Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein in the event of "Mubahalah" ( 3 )

Muslim in his Sahih recorded that Saad Ibn Abu Wa- 

( 2 ) You find it in Al-Nisaboori's Commentaries on the Qur'an printed on the margin of Al-Tabari's Commentaries Part 2 pp. 192-193.

( 3 ) Al-Tabari in his Commentaries on the Qur'an Part 2 pp. 192- 193.

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qass reported that after the revelation of the following verse: "And whoso disputes with thee concerning him (Jesus) after the knowledge which had come to thee say (unto them): Come! We will summon our sons and your sons and our women and your women and ourselves and yourselves. . . ." The Messenger of God invited Ali Fatima Hassan and Hussein then he said: "God these are the members of my family." ( 4 )

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The Almighty commanded His Messenger to say to the delegation of Najran: "Come! We will summon our sons and your sons our women and your women; and ourselves and yourselves. . . ." In compliance with this command the Prophet brought with him Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein because they were the sons of his daughter Fatima and for this they are his sons. He brought Fatima with him because she represents the women from the members of his House. But why did he bring with him Ali who was neither from the sons nor from the women? Ali has no place in the verse unless he is included in the word "ourselves." Bringing Ali with him indicates that the Messenger of God considered Ali an extension of his personality. By considering him so he elevated him above all the Muslims.

The Messenger said on many occasions: "Ali is from me and I am from him." Hubshi Ibn Janadah reported that he heard the Messenger of God saying:

"Ali is from me and I am from him and no one repre-

sents me but Ali." ( 5)

( 4 ) Muslim in his Sahih Part 15 p. 176.

( 5 ) Ibn Majah in his Sahih (hadith No. 143)

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A dialogue between the Imam Ali Al-Ridha and Al-Ma-Moon (a prominent Abbaside caliph) went as follows: Al-Ma-Moon: "What is the evidence on the caliphate of your grandfather (Ali)?".

The Imam Al-Ridha: The evidence is the word of God "and ourselves and yourselves." The Imam meant that by bringing the Imam with him in the event of "Mubahalah " the Messenger made him an extension of himself; and whoever is an extension of the personality of the Messenger would be the Imam of the Muslims.


Al-Ma-Moon: This would be true if there is not "our women and your women.".

Al-Ma-Moon meant that it is possible that there were among the Muslims other men who were like Ali in being an extension of the personality of the Holy Prophet but he did not want to bring all of them. He chose to bring one of them Ali as a representative of his equals. The evidence of this is the word "Our women " since this word includes all women who are related to the Holy Prophet by birth or marriage. But the Messenger brought only one of them Fatima who is related to him by birth as a representative of the women who are related to him.

The Imam Al-Ridah: This would be true if there were not the words: "And our sons and your sons." He meant that Fatima was brought as the unequaled woman rather than a representative of her equals in the family of the Prophet. Had other women been equal to Fatima the Holy Prophet would have brought them with her. For he brought Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein together because they were equal to each other and did not bring one of them as a representative of his sons. Therefore presenting Ali on this occasion is an evidence that Ali is the only one whom the Prophet considered to be an extension of his personality.

It is reported that Amr Ibn Al-Auss asked the Prophet: "Who is the most beloved to you from men?" The Messen ger said: Abu Bakr. Then he asked him: "Who is next?"

And the Messenger said: Omar. Ibn Al-Auss said: "Then where is the place of Ali?" The Prophet turned his face to 

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the people around him saying: "This man is asking about the self." ( 6 )

I have mentioned in the last chapter that the Messenger's declaration after the Hijrah was not a fulfillment of a promise he made to Ali before the Hijrah for he fulfilled his promise to Ali by "brothering" him on the day of the conference which took place at his house. Furthermore he did not promise Ali with such a declaration to be made in the future.

The Holy Prophet announced that to the Muslims voluntarily because Ali deserved the unique honor and because its announcement might prepare the Muslims psychologically for the leadership of Ali in the future. He wanted to show the nation the guiding Minaret which the nation would need after the Prophet.

As the Messenger announced to the Muslims the unique honor which he bestowed upon Ali by "brothering" him he was expected to announce publicly the other two high honors which he conferred on him: of being his executor and successor. For what the nation needed more than anything else was the good leadership to which it might resort after the Messenger. Such a leadership is what could secure the continuity of the Islamic Message in its purity.


It could also secure the nation against deviation from the right road in its long future.

The Messenger chose to announce this leadership during the tenth year after the Hijrah when he was performing his valedictory pilgrimage. He declared to the thousands of pilgrims that Ali had the right to administer the affairs of the Muslims as much as the Prophet had. This meant that the Prophet had declared that Ali was to be his successor.

It also implied executorship for whomever the Prophet appointed to administer the affairs of the Muslims would be his executor also.


The Moula of the Muslims

The tenth year after the Hijrah was full of important events. Two of those events were outstanding and pointed to the Messenger's belief in the nearness of his death and that he was about to be summoned by God and that he would respond .

The Messenger announced to the inhabitants of the Arabic Peninsula that he would perform the duty of pilgrimage. He urged them to accompany him during the days of his journey to learn from him the manner of its performance; and being concerned with the future of the Muslims he wanted to recommend to them what a Prophet recommends to his followers to do in the future for he thought that they would not see him in a future year.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims hastened to join the Holy Prophet. He went on leading them in their "Ihram " circumnavigating the Kaaba praying walking between Safa and Marwa; and at the sojourn at Arafat and at the time of their sacrifices.

They followed him and did what he ordered them to do. He addressed them while they were on Arafat and his Message was most impressive. He announced to them at the beginning of his sermon the nearness of his death when he said after he prayed to the Almighty: "O people listen to my words for I do not know if I will meet you after my present year at this place at any time. . . .".

Then he spoke to them about the sanctity of the human blood and Muslim's properties saying

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"O people certainly your lives and properties are as sacred to you as your present day and your present month until you meet your Lord. And you shall meet your Lord and He will ask you about your deeds and I have delivered the Message." ( 1 )

The Holy Messenger went on urging people to discharge their trusts and declaring that every usury is prohibited. Islam prohibits retaliation for blood that was shed during the pre-Islamic days. He also reaffirmed the right of women and re-emphasized Islamic brotherhood .

The main concern of the Messenger was the future of his nation. As he was fully aware of the crises which the nation would go through he was expected not to leave the nation without a minaret of guidance through which people could pass the future crises safely. The Prophet therefore declared to the Muslims what he considered to be a security against deviation from the right road if they chose to have that security .

Al-Termathi in his Sahih reported through his channel to Jabir Ibn Abdullah Al-Ansari that he said: "I have seen the Messenger of God in his pilgrimage on the day of Arafat while he was riding his female camel (Al-Qusswa) delivering a sermon and I heard him saying: O people I have left among you that which if you uphold you will never go astray: The Book of God and the members of my House." ( 2 )

By these words the Messenger announced to his nation that he left for it what would be a security against deviation from the right road if the nation would take what he left for it. That security is composed of two harmonious elements: One of them is the revelation of God which is recorded in the Holy Qur'an and the second is the members of the House of the Prophet who have the knowledge of the interpretation of the Holy Qur'an and the teaching of the Holy Prophet .


( 1 ) Ibn Husham Biography of the Prophet Part 2 p. 6.

( 2 ) Al-Termathi in his Sahih Part 5 p. 328 Al-Termathi said also that Abu Tharr Abu-Sa-eed (Al-Khidri) Zeid Ibn Arqam and Hutheifa lbn Oseid reported what agrees with this.

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It is worthy to note that masses of the Muslims do not know these reported words of the Holy Prophet yet these words were reported by about twenty companions. What the Muslim masses know is what Ibn Husham recorded in his Biography of the Prophet that the Prophet said in his sermon on Arafat: "I have left among you what if you fortify yourselves with you will never go astray: The Book of God a clear order and teaching of His Messenger." Furthermore these Muslims think that there is a contradiction between the first and the second hadiths .

It should be known that the reporters of what Ibn Husham recorded are not known. Their names are not recorded in the hadith; therefore it should not be considered authentic. It should be noted also that Al-Bukhari and Muslim did not record in their report of the sermon of the Prophet on the day of Arafat the word "Sunnat Nabyeh" (the teaching of His Prophet). The two sheikhs mentioned only the Book of God.( 3 )

Furthermore the Book of God is well known to the Muslims and it was recorded during the days of the Messenger. The "Sunnah" (teachings of the Prophet) on the other hand was not recorded during the days of the Prophet and what was written of the hadiths decades after him is not completely a place of agreement among the Muslims.

There are many contradictory hadiths contained in the books which we call Sahihs. It is recorded for example in some of the Sahihs that Abdul-Rahman Ibn Abu Omeirah reported that the Prophet prayed for Muaweyah saying: "God make him well-guided and make him lead people to the right road." It is also reported in a Sahih that the Messenger said to Ammar Ibn Yasir: "Ammar be cheerful the aggressor party will kill you.".

Yet the party that killed Ammar was the party of Muaweyah. When Muaweyah is the head of the aggressors 

( 3 ) Al-Bukhari Sahih Al-Bukhari Part 5 p. 224. Muslim in his Sahih Part 8 (Book of Pilgramage) p. 184 reported the hadith without mentioning the "Sunnah" (The Teaching of the Prophet)

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he would not be well-guided nor could people be led through him to the right road.

A hadith commending a man such as Muaweyah cannot be a security against deviation. It would be rather a cause of confusion. A man that waged against Ali the Imam of the truth and the brother of the Prophet a war in which tens of thousands of Muslims were killed cannot be a guide to the right road.

To make what Ibn Husham reported logically acceptable we have to understand from the word "Sunnah " the statement of the Prophet and his actions which are known to have come from him. These represent a security against deviation if we follow them. But that which is known of his statements and actions are very little because most of the hadiths were not reported by numerous reporters in every link of its chain of narration; they were rather reported by one or two or a few reporters. Many of these hadiths contradict each other. Therefore we cannot acquire certainty through those hadiths about what the Messenger said or did .

There is only one logical way through which we can be certain of Sunnah of the Prophet: The Prophet himself could inform us of a reliable source through which we know exactly what he said and did. The first hadith which was reported by more than twenty companions informs us of that reliable source namely: the members of the House of the Prophet who knew the interpretation of the Book of God and the instructions of the Messenger completely. By this the hadiths of Al-Termathy and Ibn Husham would be agreeing with each other and explaining one another .

Ali possessed the knowledge of the Qur'an and the words and the deeds of the Prophet and their interpretations. The Muslims could have avoided deviations if they were to follow his interpretation and assist him in communicating his knowledge to the nation.

However the other outstanding event which took place during the last year of the life of the Messenger has made this matter crystal clear. The event was fully expressive concerning the elements of security against deviation .

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That outstanding event was the Messenger's Declaration at Ghadeer Khum. While he was coming back from the valedictory pilgrimage to Medina he stopped at that place to tell the thousands of pilgrims who were accompanying him that Ali Ibn Abu Talib is the "Moula" (guardian) of every believer .

Al-Hakim through his channel to Abu-Tufail reported that Zeid Ibn Arqam said: "When the Messenger of God was coming from the Valedictory pilgrimage he stopped at Ghadeer Khum. He ordered the pilgrims to sweep what was under the trees at that place. Then he said: 'I am about to be summoned by God and I shall respond. I am leaving among you the two valuables. One of the two is bigger than the other: The Book of God and my Itrah (members of my house). Beware how you shall treat them after me for they shall not part with each other until they join me on the Day of Judgement." Then he said: "Certainly God is my "Moula" (Guardian) and I am Moula of every believer. Whoever I am his Moula this Ali is his Moula. God love whoever loves him and be hostile to whoever is hostile to him." ( 4 )

From this we understand that the Messenger wanted to declare to the Muslims at that stand three important matters which are related to each other:

1. He was expecting to depart from this world soon.

Therefore he spoke to them as if he had been summoned by his Lord .

2. As he was about to meet his Lord he viewed it mandatory to have for his followers a means of guidance which would illuminate for them the road after the Heavenly revelation ceased by his absence. Therefore he declared to them that he was leaving to them the Book of God and his "Itrah" (the members of his House); and that if they follow the Book and the "Itrah " they guarantee for themselves the continuation on the clear road in their near and remote future .

3.The members of the House of the Holy Prophet were 

( 4 ) Al-Hakim Al-Mustadrak Part 3 p. 109.

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to lead the nation only because they were unequaled in their knowledge of interpretation of the Book and the instructions of the Messenger and their adherence to both of them. The Messenger wanted to declare to the nation that the man who had all qualifications for that leadership from among his close relatives was Ali Ibn Abu Talib .

Therefore he put him in his own place and made him his own replacement. God is the Guardian of the Messenger and the Messenger is the guardian of the believers. He has the right to administer the affairs of the believers more than the believers have to administer their own affairs and Ali is the one who has a right equal to that of the Prophet in leading the Muslims and administering their affairs .

The Messenger was fully aware that people differ in memorizing what they hear and in understanding what they memorizing. Therefore he was expected to record in a special document what he verbally declared at Ghadeer Khum leaving no excuse for anyone to argue in the future about the contents of the Declaration. But he did not do that .

History does not inform us of any document dictated by the Messenger and sealed by his blessed seal declaring that he had chosen Ali or any other person for the leadership of the nation after him. What is the reason for the absence of such a document? We shall find the answer in the following pages.


Unfulfilled Will of the Prophet

The Prophet did not leave a written will though the Holy Qur'an commands every Muslim to make a will: "It is prescribed when death approaches any of you if he leaves any valuables that he makes a bequest to parents and closest kins in the legitimate way. This is a duty of every righteous; If anyone changes the bequest after hearing it the guilt shall be on those who make the change. For God hears and knows (all things)." ( 1 )

Although the verse speaks of the imperativeness of willing without specifying a method the Prophet commanded the Muslims to make their wills in writing. Muslim in his Sahih recorded the following: "Abu Salim reported that the Messenger said: 'A person who has something which he may will has no right to stay three nights without his written will.'" Abdullah Ibn Omar reported that the Prophet said: "A person that has something to will has no right to stay two nights without his written will." Muslim reported also that Abdullah Ibn Omar said: "Since I heard this from the Messenger of God. I never stayed one night without my written will." ( 2 )

( 1 ) The Holy Qur'an Chapter 2 verses 180-181.

( 2 ) These three hadiths are recorded by Muslim in his Sahih Part 11 (The Book of Will) pp. 74-75. The second of them is also recorded by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih Part 4 p. 3.

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The Prophet had the right to delay his will for days months and years because he exceptionally was on an appointment with his Lord. It is highly probable that he was Heavenly informed that he would not die until the religion of Islam was completed. However during the tenth year after the Hijrah at the completion of his Valedictory Pilgrimage the following verse was revealed: "Today I have completed your religion for you and perfected my favor upon you and chosen Islam as a religion for you." ( 3)

By this revelation the Prophet felt the nearness of his death and that it was about time to make his will.

Thus on his way back to Medina from his pilgrimage he stopped at Ghadeer Khum to make an important declaration in which he said: "I am only a mortal human. The Messenger of my Lord is about to come to me and I shall respond (to His invitation by departing from this world)." Then he declared that Ali like the Prophet has more right to the believers than the believers have to themselves and that Ali is the Guardian of every believer (See Chapter 14)

A Written Will Is Necessary In Important Matters Although a verbal will is valuable a written will is indispensable particularly in an important matter such as appointing a successor to lead a nation. A verbal statement can be forgotten increased decreased or inaccurately conveyed. But a written will sealed by the Prophet is difficult to change. The Prophet therefore was expected to make such a will but he did not.

It is said that he verbally told the Muslims to follow the Book of God and the precepts of His Prophet and this was a sufficient will. I disagree for the following reason:

A will by the Prophet is expected to give the Muslims 

( 3 ) The Holy Qur'an Chapter 5 verse 4.

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some fresh instructions dealing with the future of the nation after his death. Adherence to the teaching of the Holy Qur'an and the Prophet is not of this kind because its imperativeness is self-evident to the Muslims and because obedience to God and His Messenger is repeatedly recorded in the Holy Qur'an: "O you who believe obey God and obey the Messenger. . ." ( 4 ) "Take whatever the Messenger brought to you. And avoid whatever he prohibited for you. . ." ( 5 ) An unwritten statement by the Prophet cannot be as effective as a Divine word repeatedly recorded in the Book of God. Therefore such a statement dealing with such a self-evident subject cannot be the expected will of the Prophet .

The Prophet is expected more than anyone in the nation to comply with the command of God as stated in His Book and to do what he himself ordered his followers to do. If Ibn Omar or any other Muslim has to write a will because he has a little wealth to will and a small family to take care of the Prophet had the final Heavenly message to secure and a whole nation to protect and direct .

Expected Crises Required Written Will The faith of Islam was still a new plantation the roots of which were not yet deepened in the soil of the Arab Society and the dangers against the faith were numerous. We all know that a civil war took place after the death of the Prophet because of the apostasy of the majority of the inhabitants of Arabia .

The Prophet was fully aware of those dangers. Al- Hakim in his Sahih Al-Mustadrak reported that Abu Muwaihibah a companion of the Messenger said:

"The Messenger of God has told me: 'I have been ordered (by God) to pray for the people of Al-Baqee (a cemetery of Medina) for forgiveness.' 'Come with

( 4 ) Chapter 4 verse 59.

( 5 ) Chapter 59 verse 7.

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me.' I went with him. When he stood in the midst of the garves he said: "Peace be upon you people of cemeteries. Congratulations to you for what you are in .You do not know what God has saved you from. The faithtesting trials are coming as pieces of a dark night one follows another. . . ." ( 6)

Abu Bakr Left a Written Will We cannot conceive that the Prophet was less concerned with the future of the nation than his companion Abu Bakr who did not depart from this world before he appointed his successor (Omar). He did that in spite of the fact that the nation by the time of his death had passed the crisis of the civil war and reached an internal peace. He did that because he knew that leaving the Muslims without appointing a leader would be a negligence of their interest and a peril to their future.

A Dialogue Between Omar and His Son It is worthy to note the wisdom of Abdullah Ibn Omar in his dialogue with his father as the latter was dying: Abdullah: "You should appoint a successor." Omar: "Whom should I appoint?" Abdullah: "You try your best. You are not their Lord.

Suppose you temporarily recall the caretaker of a land of yours. Would you not like him to have a successor during his absence until he goes back to the land?" Omar: "Yes.".

Abdullah: "Suppose you recall the shepherd of your sheep. Would you not like him to have a successor until he goes back to the sheep?" ( 7 )

( 6 ) Al-Hakim in his Al-Mustadrak Part 3 pp. 5-6. Ibn Husham also reported this hadith in his Biography of the Prophet Part 2 p. 642. Ibn Saad also reported in his Al-Tabaqat Part 2 p. 204.

( 7 ) Ibn Saad Al-Tabaqat Part 3 p. 343. Muslim in his Sahih also reported what is similar to this Part 12 p. 206.

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Although Omar refused to appoint a successor he did the equivalent. He chose six companions of the Prophet. He gave them the right to choose a caliph from among themselves. He ordered them to follow their majority if there were a majority. He ordered them to follow the party of Abdul-Rahman Ibn Ouf when the six were equally divided.

Thus he did not leave the Muslim nation without a directive. He defined a method by which a caliph would be selected .

The Prophet Regularly Left Successors In His Absence And the most amazing thing in this matter is that the Prophet used to appoint a successor whenever he left Medina for a few days or weeks: When he left for Badr be appointed Abu Lubabah .

When he left for Doumat Al-Jendal he appointed Ibn Arfatah .

When he left for Banu Quraidhah he appointed Ibn Om Maktoom. He appointed him also when he left for Thee Qirad .

When he left for Banul-Mustalaq he appointed Abu Tharr .

When he left for Kheibar he appointed Numailah.

When he left for Omrat Al-Qadha he appointed Ibn Al-Adhbat.

When he left for Mecca he appointed Abu Raham.

When he left for Tabuk he appointed Ali.

When he left for the Valedictory Pilgrimage he appointed Abu Dujanah. ( 8 )

Thus he constantly appointed successors whenever he planned to leave Medina. Yet when he left his nation forever he did not leave a document of succession!!!.


The absence of a written will by the Prophet is aston-

( 8 ) Ibn Husham Biography of the Prophet.

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ishing indeed. There must have been an unusual cause that prevented the Prophet from writing a will! However when we review the records of the events of the final days of the Prophet we find that the Messenger wanted to write a will but he could not make it. Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that Ibn Abbas reported: "When the ailment of the Prophet became serious he said: 'Bring me a writing sheet I will write to you a directive after which you will not go astray.' Omar said: 'The Messenger is overwhelmed by his ailment (does not know what he is saying). We have the Book of God .

It is sufficient to us." They (those who were present) disputed with each other vehemently. He (the Messenger) said: 'Go away and no dispute should take place in my presence.' Ibn Abbas went out saying: 'The tragedy the whole tragedy is what barred the Messenger of God from writing his document."( 9 )

Muslim in his Sahih recorded that Sa-eed Ibn Jubeir reported that Ibn Abbas said: "The day of Thursday and what a day of Thursday." Then he wept until he moistened the ground with his tears. I said: 'Ibn Abbas what is the day of Thursday?' He said: "The Messenger became seriously ill and said: 'Bring me a writing sheet to write to you a directive so you will not go astray after me.' They disputed and disputes should not take place in the presence of the Prophet. And they said: "What happened to him? Did he hallucinate? Ask him." He said: 'Go away what I am in is better (than what you think of). I enjoin on you to do three things: Drive the pagans out of the Arabian Peninsula give the delegations (of various tribes who will visit Medina) as much as I used to give them.' Sa-eed said: "He (Ibn Abbas) kept silent on the third one or he said it and I forgot it."( 10 )

( 9 ) Al-Bukhari Sahih Al-Bukhari Part 1 p. 39.

( 10 ) Muslim in his Sahih Part 11 (at the end of the Book of Will) p. 89. Ibn Saad also recorded it in his Al-Tabaqat Part 2 p. 242 And so did Imam Ahmad in his Musnad Part 1 p. 222.

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Obeidullah Ibn Abdullah Ibn Utabahsaid that Ibn Abbas reported: "When the Messengerof God was about to die Omar Ibn Al-Khattab was among the men were present at his bedside. The Messenger said: 'Bring me a writing sheet. I will write to you a directive after which you will not go astray.' Omar said: 'The Messenger of God was overwhelmed by ailment. You have the Holy Qur'an. The Book of God is sufficient for us.' Those who were present disagreed with each other and disputed. Some of them said: 'Bring the Messenger what he needs. He will write to you a directive after which you will not go astray.' Some of them said what Omar said. When they shouted excessively and disputed in the presence of the Messenger he said: 'Go away.' Ibn Abbas used to say: 'The tragedy the whole tragedy was their argument and dispute which barred the Messenger of God from writing to them that directive."( 11 )

Ibn Saad in his Al-Tabaqat recorded that Jabir Ibn Abdullah Al-Ansari reported: "When the Messenger was in his sickness by which he died he called for a sheet to write on it to his nation a directive (after which) they will not go astray nor will they be misled. There was at the house arguments and excessive talk. Omar Ibn Al-Khattab spoke and the Prophet refused it." ( 12)

It is also recorded in Al-Tabaqat that Omar Ibn Al- Khattab reported:

"We were with the Prophet and there was a screen between us and the women. The Messenger of God said: 

( 11 ) Muslim in his Sahih Part 11 p. 95. Similar to this is recorded by Ibn saad in his Al-Tabaqat Part 2 p. 244. Imam Ohmad also rcorded it in his Musnad Part 1 p. 336.

( 12 ) Ibn Saad recorded it in his Al-Tabaqat Part 2 p. 242. Similar report by Jabir is recorded in the same Part 2 p. 244. In this report Jabir said: "They excessively talked at the presence of the Prophet until he refused it.".

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'Bring me seven skins filled with water (to pour them on his body in order to cool his fever) and bring me a sheet and an inkwell. I will Write to you a directive after which you will not go astray.' The women said: 'Bring the Messenger what he needs.' Omar said: "I said to them: Be silent. You are his female companions. If he becomes ill you squeeze your eyes; if he is cured you hug his neck.' The Messenger of God said: They are better than you.' " ( 13)

It is also recorded in Al-Tabaqat that Zeinab the wife of the Messenger said to them: "Do you not hear the Prophet trying to write a directive for you?" They argued and the Prophet said: "Go away." ( 14 )



1. Why did Omar oppose the Messenger and lead the opposition against writing his will?

2. What was the Prophet trying to write in his will?

3. Why did the Prophet not write his will in spite of Omar's opposition?

4. How can his directive become a security to the nation against straying? Some scholars say that Omar opposed the Prophet's will out of compassion. The Prophet was dying and he was extremely tired. Writing a directive at such a time increases his tiredness. Omar did not want the Prophet to over-burden himself at such a time .

It is evident that this explanation is erroneous. When was it permissible for a Muslim to prevent another Muslim commoner or great from writing his will while he is about to die? Writing a will is one of the religious duties which every Muslim is supposed to fulfill before he (she) dies .

You have already read that Abdullah Ibn Omar reported that the Messenger said: "A person that has some-

( 13 ) Ibn Saad Al-Tabaqat Part 2 pp. 243-244.

( 14 ) Ibn Saad Al-Tabaqat Part 2 p.244.

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thing to will has no right to stay two nights unless his will is written.".

The duty of every Muslim especially a prominent one such as Omar is to assist his Muslim brother in fulfilling his religious duty rather than to prevent him from achieving it. Omar and all those who were present at that hour had a manifold duty towards the attempted will of the Messenger .

The Messenger was not only a Muslim he is the Prophet of the Muslims and the founder of the faith. It was the duty of Omar to offer him all assistance to fulfill his duty .

It was also the duty of Omar to assist the Prophet in writing his will because the Messenger stated that his will represents a security to the nation against straying. The Messenger was always truthful. When his will represented such a security it would be the most imperative duty of Omar as an outstanding Muslim and sincere towards the nation to welcome what the Messenger wanted. With his great position in Islam Omar is expected to be the happiest one to obtain such a securing directive which was necessary for the future of the Muslims. What could be more important to the nation while the Messenger was about to leave it and the revelation of God was about to cease than to obtain a directive which would illuminate the road of the nation and secure its long future? Furthermore the duty of all companions who were present on that occasion was to obey the command of the Messenger. He ordered them to bring him a sheet to write his will. The order of the Messenger must be and should have been obeyed .

It is erroneous to say that Omar opposed his Prophet out of compassion and that he did not want him to increase his tiredness by dictating a directive. Indeed his opposition caused the Prophet a much bigger pain .

The Messenger was in his last days on this earth. When the Messenger was in the days of his strength and activity he used to command the Muslims and they used to rush to fulfill his desire even at the expense of their wealth and blood. Now in his final days in this world he asked them

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the cheapest thing (just a writing sheet and an inkwell) and his order was not obeyed .

The Prophet no doubt was greatly disturbed and deeply saddened by their attitude. Nothing would indicate his displeasure than his saying to them: "Go away " and his answer to Omar: "They (the women) are better than you." Had they brought the Messenger what he wanted they would have lightened his pain. Nothing at that time could be more pleasing to the Prophet than the fulfillment of his religious duty by securing his nation against straying .

Abu Bakr wrote his will in which he appointed Omar his successor. He did that while in his death agony fainting while dictating to Othman the contents of the will. Omar did not blame Othman for assisting the Caliph in his will .

And how cruel would it have been to prevent Abu Bakr at such a time from writing his will. . . . Omar himself was stabbed and fatally wounded. He did not prevent himself from willing to the Muslims what he wanted in spite of his severe pains loss of blood and fainting time after time. While in that saddening condition he ordered six companions of the Prophet to select from among themselves a caliph to follow the majority if there were a majority and to side with Abdul-Rahman Ibn Ouf when the six are equally divided. The Muslims obeyed his order and fulfilled his will in details though his will did not represent a security for the nation against straying. It rather led them to choose a good-hearted and weak-willed Caliph whose weakness led to his murder and his murder brought to Muslims incalculable tragedies .

It is very hard indeed to believe that Omar opposed the Prophet's proposed will out of concern for his health .

There is another possible explanation: It could be that Omar knew what would be the content of the proposed will as he admitted later on and thought that it would not be in the best interest of the nation. Thus we may find the answer when we attempt to answer the second question .


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It is not logical to think that the Messenger was trying at that difficult hour to write a book containing his teachings and the details of the Islamic laws. Nor was he trying to write to the Muslims the outlines of the Islamic teaching .


For the Messenger was well aware of his extremely short time on this earth .

Furthermore should the Messenger have written the outlines of the Islamic teachings at that moment he would not have secured the Muslims against straying. The outlines of the Islamic teachings are contained in the Book of God and in spite of this the Muslims are still in disagreement arguing about the details of those general outlines. And because of this many of them went astray .

The Messenger of God lived 23 years after the commencement of his Prophethood. He never wrote his teachings nor the outlines of the Islamic teachings nor did he order any Muslim to do that. Yet he was at the peak of his health and activity and the years were the years of teaching and delivery of revelation. For some wisdom he chose not to do that. It is inconceivable that he was attempting at that difficult and short time to do what he did not do during 23 years of his Prophethood .

Nor was the Prophet trying to command the Muslims to follow the Book of God and his own instructions. The Holy Qur'an as I have advanced does command the Muslims to obey God and His Messenger. Yet that does not secure the nation against straying. People are still in disagreement on the interpretation of the Holy Qur'an and the authenticity of hundreds of hadiths. Again how could the teachings of the Prophet secure the nation against that when they are not recorded by him and according to the opinion of great many Muslims he did not appoint any authority to inform the Muslims of the details of his teachings .

The purpose of the Prophet's attempted directive could not be the two items which Sa-eed Ibn Jubier remembered

from Ibn Abbas' words namely: Driving the pagans out of the Arabian Peninsula and giving the delegations amounts 


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similar to what he used to give. Both items do not secure the nation against straying. The purpose of the attempted directive could be the item about which Ibn Abbas kept silent or was forgotten by Sa-eed .

The Prophet Wanted to Name a Successor

It is logical to think that the Messenger wanted to appoint a leader whom he considered most knowledgeable in the Islamic teaching the sincerest to God and His religion and who would be an extension of the Prophet's personality .

That leader would be the highest authority for the nation and through his leadership the nation would walk on the clear road.

Evidently the intended leader was not Omar or Abu Bakr. Had he been one of them Omar would have been the happiest to see the Prophet's directive written. For we find Omar after the death of the Prophet trying to justify the leadership of Abu Bakr by his being the companion of the Prophet at the Cave during the Hijrah or by his leading the congregational prayer at the time of the ailment of the Prophet. Had the Prophet appointed Abu Bakr through his proposed directive Omar would not have needed such a justification. Nor would he have needed to argue with the natives of Medina for the merit of Abu Bakr .

The words of the Messenger on the day of Ghadeer Khum when he declared Ali to be the Moula (Guardian) of the Muslims were still fresh in Omar's memory. When the Messenger spoke while on his deathbed of a written directive after which the Muslims will not go astray Omar immediately remembered the Declaration of Chadeer Khum and many other statements. The words are almost the same words contained in his statements about his "Itrah" (members of his House) in general and Ali in particular. The Messenger of Cod said and Zeid Ibn Arqam reported:

"I have left for you that which if you hold fast you shall never go astray after me. The Book of God a rope extended between Heaven and earth and my "Itrah." Both the Book and the Itrah will not part with each 


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other until they join me on the Day of Judgement Beware how you treat them after me." ( 15 )

The Imam Ali reported that the Prophet declared on the day of Ghadeer Khum: "Whoever God and His Messenger are his "Moula " This (Ali) is his Moula. I have left for you what if you hold fast you will never go astray. The Book of God is His rope being held by His hand and your hands and the members of my House." ( 16)

Zeid Ibn Thabit reported that the Messenger of God said: "I am leaving in you two caliphs. The Book of God and my Itrah. Beware how you treat them after me. They will not part with each other until they join me on the Day of Judgement." ( 17)

Al-Termathi in his Sahih reported through his channel to Jabir Ibn Abdullah Al-Ansari that he said: "I have seen the Messenger of God in his pilgrimage on the day of Arafat while he was riding his female camel (Al-Qusswa) delivering a sermon and I heard him saying: 'O people I have left among you that which if you uphold you will never go astray: The Book of God and the members of my house.' "( 18 )

These statements and many other similar statements were still ringing in Omar's ears. When the Prophet spoke of a directive after which they will not go astray Omar by his intelligence immediately understood his intention: The Prophet is trying to record Ali's name in his directive. He immediately started his opposition .

( 15 ) Al-Termathi Part 5 p.328.

( 16 ) Recorded by Ibn Rahawaih Ibn Jareer Ibn Abu Assim and Al- Mahamili in his Amali (Kansul-Ummal Part 15 hadith 356)

( 17 ) Imam Ahmad in his Musnad Part 5 p. 181.

( 18 ) Al-Termathi in his Sunan Part 5 p.328. Al-Termathi said also that Abu Tharr Abu Sa-eed (Al-Khidri) Zeid Ibn Arqam and Hutheifa lbn Oseid reported what agrees with this.

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Why Was Omar Opposed to the Will Omar during the days of his reign gave the answer in a reported dialogue between him and Ibn Abbas: Omar: "How did you leave your cousin behind you?" Ibn Abbas: "I left him playing with youths of his age (thinking that Omar meant Abdullah Ibn Jaafar)." Omar: "I did not mean that. I meant your great man (Ali) member of the House of the Prophet." Ibn Abbas: "I left him drawing water from a well through a bucket for palm trees. . . while reciting the Holy Qur'an.".

Omar: "The sacrifice of camels shall be your atonement if you conceal it from me. Is he still holding in his heart something concerning the caliphate?" Ibn Abbas: "Yes.".

Omar: "Does he allege that the Messenger of God appointed him?" Ibn Abbas: "Yes and I add to this that I asked my father about his (Ali's) claim (of his appointment by the Messenger as his successor) and my father said Ali told the truth." Omar: "There were high words from the Messenger (about Ali) which do not constitute a clear evidence nor remove an excuse. For some time he was testing his strength to see if he would be able to appoint him. He wanted during his ailment to name him and I prevented him from it out of concern with (the future of) Islam. By the Lord of the Kaaba Quraish will not unite behind him and had he become a caliph the Arabs throughout the country would have revolted against him." ( 19)

Omar was concerned with the future of Islam. His sincerity is not questioned but why would Ali's leadership be disadvantageous to Islam if the Arabs revolted against him? The Arabs revolted against Abu Bakr. Thousands and thousands deserted the faith during his reign. Yet Omar did not 

( 19 ) Ibn Abu Al-Hadeed in his Commentaries on Nahjul-Balaghah Vol.3 p.278. And Ahmad Ibn Tahir in his History of Baghdad (Sharaful-Ddeen Al-Murajaat)

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think that he was wrong in supporting the leadership of Abu Bakr.

Again how did he know that the Arabs would revolt against Ali? Was it not probable that Ali would be the most acceptable to them because of his close relationship to the Prophet and his unequaled fame as a hero his righteousness and his knowledge in Islam? Then how did he expect all the Arabs to revolt against Ali? The Medinites were from the Arabs and they were the main portion of the Islamic force in that period and they were totally sympathetic with Ali. As a matter of fact they were about to shift to him even after the election of Abu Bakr.

Even when Ali belatedly came to power the Medinites were solidly behind him. The rest of the Arabs in all the Islamic provinces with the exception of Syria willingly gave him the pledge of fealty. It is true that a portion of the people of Basrah Iraq revolted against him and that the Syrians refused to pledge their fealty to him. But this happened only through incitements by leaders from Quraish.

The millions throughout the Muslim state accepted his leadership at a time when most of the Muslims had already forgotten his high distinctions. Had he been given the leadership at the time of the death of the Prophet and upon a written will by the Prophet the Arabs no doubt would have been more responsive to his leadership.


Omar said that Quraish will never unite behind Ali.

This might be true. However we should not forget that Quraish united against the Prophet and fought him for twenty-one years. Should the Prophethood of Mohammad have been cancelled because of Quraish's opposition? Knowing Quraish's dark past Omar should not have taken its opposition to a direction as a mark of unsoundness. He should have rather viewed it as evidence of the soundness of that direction.

Again who were the powerful leaders of Quraish at the time of the death of the Prophet? Abu Sufyan and the rest of the Pre-Islamic leaders were already conquered and lost their influence. The influential leaders at that time were 

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Ali Al-Abbas Abu Bakr Omar Abu Obeidah Othman Abdul-Rahman Ibn Ouf Talhah Al-Zubeir and the rest of righteous companions from Mecca. These leaders were expected to obey the Prophet's direction and to sway the rest of the Meccans to do so.

Furthermore history testifies that Abu Sufyan with all his grudges against Ali (who killed his two sons Hanthalah Al-Waleed and three of his close relatives in the Islamic defense) was willing to support Ali rather than Abu Bakr.

Whether Quraish was willing or unwilling to support Ali Omar should have remembered that the Prophet had much more knowledge about the Meccans and the rest of the Arabs than he had. The Prophet and not Omar was fought by them and he knew about them and all companions more than they knew about themselves. Omar should have also remembered that the Prophet was concerned with the future of Islam much more than he was.

With all his concern with the future of Islam and his awareness of the Arab psychology the Prophet wanted to record Ali's name in his will. The leadership of Ali must have been the answer to the Muslims' problems.



Of course we are confronted with the big question; Suppose that Omar was certain of the soundness of his opinion. How did he allow himself to oppose the Prophet in spite of what is known about him of being righteous and obedient to God and His Messenger? To answer this question we ought to know that the companions used to disagree with the Prophet occasionally in matters that belonged to worldly affairs. They used to allow themselves to do so because they believed that Islam granted them the right to disagree with him in such matters .

They wrongly believed also that the leadership of the Muslims was one of their worldly affairs. Omar himself disagreed with the Prophet more than once 

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The Disagreement With the Prophet At Al-Hudeibeyah It is a well-known fact in history that Omar disagreed with the Prophet about the terms on which the Prophet agreed concerning the truce between the Muslims and the pagans of Mecca on the day of Al-Hudeibeyah. It was one of the terms that any Muslim from Mecca who came to the Prophet without the permission of the Meccans had to be returned to the Meccans. But if a Muslim chose to leave the Muslims and rejoin the Meccan camp the Meccans do not have to return him to the Muslims. This appeared to Omar and many other companions to be unfair to the Muslims.

The Messenger however knew better. A person that leaves Islam to a pagan camp will not benefit the Muslims if he is returned to them by force and Islam does not need such a person .

Ibn Husham reported in his Biography of the Prophet the following: "When agreement was reached and nothing was left except writing the pact Omar jumped. . . then he came to the Prophet and said: 'Messenger of God are you not the Messenger of God?'" The Prophet: "Yes I am.".

Omar: "Are we not the Muslims?" The Prophet: "Yes you are.".

Omar: "Are they (the Meccans) not the pagans?" The Prophet: "Yes they are.".

Omar: "Why should we accept this humiliation to our religion?".

The Prophet: "I am a servant of God and His Messenger. I shall not disobey Him and He will not forsake me." (20 )

Omar used to say after that: "I am still paying charity fasting praying and freeing slaves as an atonement for what I did." .

Disagreed With the Prophet On Osamah There was another occasion in which prominent companions disagreed with the Prophet .

( 20 ) Ibn Husham Biography of the Prophet Part 2 pp. 216-217 Similar to this is recorded by Muslim in Sahih Muslim.

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Shortly before his death the Prophet appointed Osamah Ibn Zeid Ibn Harithah commander of the Muslim army which he ordered to leave for Jordan and Palestine. Abu Bakr Omar Abu Obeidah and the rest of the Prominent companions except Ali were in that army. Many of the companions criticized his appointment thinking that he was too young to lead them. When this was brought to the Prophet's attention he came to the Mosque while he was sick. He went to the pulpit and said in his address: "O people execute the expedition of Osamah. If you are criticizing his appointment you have criticized the appointment of his father before him. He is qualified for leadership and his father was qualified." ( 21 ) They dragged their feet until the Messenger of God came out again while he was seriously sick and holding his head. He said: "O people execute the mission of Osamah.

Execute the mission of Osamah." But the companions did not move. Osamah and the rest of the people stayed near Medina waiting for what God would do to His Messenger. ( 22)

After the death of the Prophet many of his companions attempted to dismiss Osamah though the Messenger appointed him and by his own blessed hand he delivered the banner to him. Omar came speaking for the companions from Medina requesting Abu Bakr to dismiss Osamah and replace him. Abu Bakr jumped and pulled Omar's beard saying: "May your mother be bereaved by your death and may I lose you son of Al-Khattab. The Messenger of God appointed him and you ask me to dismiss him!" ( 23 ) The companions from Quraish thought that if the 

( 21 ) Ibn Saad Al-Tabaqat Part 2 p. 249.

( 22 ) Ibid p. 249.

( 23 ) Al-Halabi in his Biography of the Prophet Part 3 p. 336 and Addahlani in his Biography of the Prophet and Ibn Jareer in his history book where he recorded the event of the year 12 after the Hijrah (Al-Murajaat by Sayed Sharaful-deen p. 225)

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Prophet names Ali in his will the leadership would stay in his House and would not be accessible to others from the rest of Quraish. Should Ali be the successor Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein sons of Ali and the leaders of the youth of Paradise by the testimony of the Prophet would be his successors. There would be no chance for Meccan or non-Meccan companions regardless of their high positions to reach the leadership of the Muslims.

The companions were human beings like the rest of the people. They had their ambitions and love of fame and they did not want to see the door of leadership slammed entirely in their faces. They wanted that door to stay open.

So it would be easy for them to reach the leadership. The rest of the clans of Mecca will support them rather than Ali.

Those clans of Mecca were ready to accept any non-Hashimite companion rather than Ali. They had the unholy grudge against him and they used to envy him for his brilliant record of endeavor for Islam his knowledge in religion his relationship to the Prophet and his heroism.

Should the first successor of the Prophet be a companion other than a "Hashimite" (member of the clan of the Prophet) the rest of the Meccan clans could attain the leadership because the non-Hashimite clans are equal. None of them is inferior or superior to others. Tyme (the clan of Abu Bakr) is not better than Oday (the clan of Omar) and Oday is not better than Omayad or Zuhrah or any other Meccan clan.

Ibn Al-Atheer recorded a dialogue between Omar and Ibn Abbas which indicates that Omar and the rest of the Qureshites were of this idea: Omar: "Ibn Abbas do you know what prevented your people (Quraish) from giving you (the Hashimites) the leadership after Mohammad?" Ibn Abbas: "If I do not know the Commander of the Believers (Omar) can inform me." Omar: "They disliked letting you have both the Prophethood and the caliphate lest you dominate your people.

Quraish (the Meccan community) had chosen for itself. It did the right thing and succeeded.".

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Ibn Abbas: If the Commander of the Believers permits me to speak and holds away his anger I will speak." Omar: "Speak.".

lbn Abbas: "You said that Quraish has chosen for itself and did the right thing and succeeded. Should Quraish have chosen for itself what God had chosen for it the right would have been on its side without being refused or envied. As to the statement that they disliked to let us have the Prophethood and the caliphate certainly God has described some people with such an attitude and said: 'That is because they disliked what God has revealed so he nullified their deeds.'".

Omar: "lbn Abbas by God I heard things about you which I did not like to believe lest I lose your respect." Ibn Abbas: "Commander of the Believers what are the things you heard about me? if they are true they should not make you lose my respect; if they are false a person like me should be able to clear himself of falsehood." Omar: "I heard that you say: 'They (the community of Mecca) diverted it (the caliphate) from us out of jealousy aggression and injustice.'".

Ibn Abbas: "Commander of the Believers as to the injustice it has become obvious to the ignorant and the wise; as to the jealousy Adam was envied and we are his envied children.".

Omar: "It is too far. Children of Hashim by God your hearts refuse to harbor but a permanent jealousy." Ibn Abbas: "Commander of the Believers be not hasty .


Do not describe this way the hearts of people whom God made spotless and purified them of jealousy and bad faith.

The heart of the Messenger of God is from the hearts of the children of Hashim." Omar: "Ibn Abbas be away from me." Ibn Abbas: "I will." (Ibn Abbas said): "When I was attempting to stand up he (Omar) felt embarrassed and said: 'Ibn Abbas stay where you are. By God I am observing your right and loving what pleases you.'" Ibn Abbas: "Commander of the Believers I am entitled to a right which is due from you and from every Muslim.

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Whoever observes it avails himself and whoever does not is the loser." ( 24)

Omar and other companions thought that since the Meccan clans do not support Ali out of jealousy and grudge it would be more advisable to have a leader other than him though the Messenger chose Ali .

Quraish is the community which fought Islam and the Prophethood for twenty-one years then embraced Islam reluctantly after a crushing defeat. The same community had become the decider of the future of the Muslim nation.

The Meccan community's support became a decisive factor that tipped the scale in favor of any contender for the Islamic leadership. This is astonishing. But this was the logic of the events .


This brings us to the third question: Why did the Messenger not write his directive in spite of Omar's opposition?

The answer is obvious: The purpose of the intended directive is to secure the nation against straying. This can be realized only if the writer of the directive were conscious alert knowing what he said and meaning what he said .

But the method of the opposition was clearly casting the doubt on the consciousness of the Messenger and the soundness of his mind at that hour. They said: "The Messenger is being overwhelmed by his ailment " or "What happened to him?" or "Did he hallucinate? Ask him.".

All these words portrayed the Messenger as unconscious of what he was saying or at least seeding the doubt in the

minds of others about the consciousness of the Prophet and

the soundness of his thinking. Other companions at that

meeting shared Omar's opposition. When soundness of the words of the Prophet are doubted the directive is rendered ineffective. If such a doubt could be expressed while he was alive it would be much easier to express after his death. By

( 24 ) Ibn Al-Atheer Al-Kamil Part 3 p. 31.

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this the intended directive had lost its significance and would not serve its purpose.

Sa-eed Ibn Jubier said that Ibn Abbas reported: "When the ailment of the Prophet grew he said: 'Bring me an ink-well and a sheet. I will write to you a directive after which you will never go astray.' Some of those who were present with him said 'The Prophet is hallucinating.' Then the Prophet was asked if he still wants to write a directive. He said: 'After what?' (What is its benefit after what has been said?) ( 25)

And finally we come to the fourth and final question of the subject:




No one has the right to claim that he knows what the Prophet knew about the method by which he can secure his nation against straying. However what appears clearly is the following:


Security Against Sectarianism

1. Had the Messenger named a person specifically in a written document while his consciousness and soundness of thinking were not doubted he would have avoided the nation a serious division. Had he named Ali or Abu Bakr or any other one in such a directive the Muslims would have surrendered to his leadership and the division of the Muslims into Sunni and Shi-i would not have taken place. This division was born out of the dispute about who was the legitimate successor of the Prophet: Is he Abu Bakr or Ali? Should the Messenger have named either of the two men or another one such a division could not have arisen.

The Prophet made many verbal statements about Ali but a written statement is much more effective. A verbal statement as we advanced can be denied added to curtailed or forgotten. A recorded statement is much more difficult to be tampered with .

( 25 ) Ibn Saad Al-Tabaqat Part 2 p. 242.

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Abu Bakr named Omar in writing. And all the followers of Abu Bakr followed his directive. A directive by the Prophet could have been much more effective and more adhered to by the Muslims than that of Abu Bakr.

Naming a successor by such a directive could have prevented the birth of "Kharijis" (seceders) doctrine which repudiates Ali and Othman and calls for a Muslim state without a government. The war of Siffeen which produced this doctrine could not have happened.

The civil war of Siffeen between the Imam Ali and Muaweyah and prior to that the war of Basrah Iraq between the Imam on one side and Ayeshah Talhah and Al-Zubeir on the other side were the result of the murder of Othman the Third Caliph. Should Ali have been named a caliph in a written directive Othman would have died before coming to power because Ali outlived him. Had Ali become the caliph upon a written directive from the Prophet Muaweyah could not have come to power nor could his transgressor son Yazeed have been able to massacre the children of the Messenger at Karbala. Nor could the war between the son of Al-Zubeir and the Omayads and many other tragedies and wars have happened.

All these events were the result of the absence of a Prophet's written directive. Had such a directive been in existence the history of Islam would have changed and we would be reading an Islamic history dissimilar to what we read today.

I would like to rush to say that I do not consider the Second Caliph (Omar) by his opposition to the proposed directive responsible for the division between the Muslims and all what followed. Omar was a human being unable to foresee the future of the Muslim nation .

All what Omar was thinking of is that the leadership of the Muslims after the death of the Messenger is one of the

worldly affairs which the Meccan companions have the right

to decide in it according to what their interest dictated to

them. He did not want the Prophet to write a final word in

this matter in order to keep the door open for the companions. Should the Messenger have written his directive his 

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word becomes final. The Holy Qur'an declares: "And it is not permissible to a believing man or a believing woman when God and His Messenger have decided an affair (for them) that they should (after that) claim any say in their affairs: And whoever is rebellious to God and His Messenger he verily goes astray in error manifest." ( 26 ) (It is worthy to note that when a Divine decision is stated verbally it would be as final as a written one. Otherwise all the Prophet's decisions and statements would not be binding because they were not written during his time.) The only one who was able to foresee the future and not through his own power but through the revelation was the Prophet himself. He had seen by the light of God the future of his nation and that if it would remain without a written directive the faith-testing trials will close on it as pieces of a dark night (and this is what his companion Abu Muwaihibah reported). Thus he wanted to spare the nation those foreseen trials which would destroy its unity.

And for this he said: "Bring me an inkwell and a sheet to write to you a directive after which you will not go astray." Security Against School Division 2. A written directive by the Prophet in which he names his successor would not only be a security to the nation against sectarian divisions but also against the multiplicity of the Islamic School of Law. The Prophet declared that the Qur'an and his "Itrah" (members of his House) are the security against straying and that the Holy Qur'an and the "Itrah" will not part with each other until the Day of Judgement.

Were Ali (the head of the members of the House of the Prophet) the highest Muslim authority after the Prophet he would have been that security. He was undisputedly the most knowledgeable in the Holy Qur'an and the teaching of 

( 26 ) chapter 33 verse 36.

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the Prophet. The first two Caliphs (Abu Bakr and Omar) with all their profound knowledge in Islam used to resort to him in what they did not know.

Omar repeatedly said: "Had not the counsel of Ali been available Omar would have perished (religiously)." And he said: "May God not keep me to a problem for which Abu Hassan (Ali) is not available." Ibn Saad reported that Ali said: "By God there isn't a revealed verse which I do not know about what and where and about whom it was revealed. My Lord has granted me a comprehending mind and a fluent and inquiring tongue." ( 27)

Ali was asked why was he among the companions of the Prophet the biggest reporter of his statements? He replied: "He used to inform me when I asked him and to initiate (his teaching) when I was silent." ( 28 ) Sa-eed Ibn Al-Musavab said: "No one other than Ali ever said: 'Ask me before you miss me.' " ( 29 ) Ali is the one about whom the Messenger of God said: "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate. Whoever wants to enter the city should come through the gate."( 30 )

Omm Salemah (wife of the Prophet) reported that she heard the Prophet saying: "Ali is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with Ali.


They will not part with each other until the Day of Judgement." ( 31)

Had Ali been the immediate successor of the Prophet through his written directive the instructions of the Prophet would have been known and the Muslims would have agreed upon them in the various branches of the islamic laws.

Thus the Prophet wanted to use Ali as the uniting force for all muslims in all generations and this could have prevented them from going astray.

( 27 ) Muttaqi Hindi in his Kanzul-Ummal Part 15 p. 113.

( 28 ) Ibid p. 113.

( 29 ) Ibid p. 113.

( 30 ) Al-Hakim Al-Mustadrak Part 3 p. 124.

( 31 ) Al-Hakim Al-Mustadrak Part 3 p. 127.


Abu Bakr Succeeds

Finally the inevitable came to pass. The Prophet Mohammad died and his death was the greatest loss mankind ever suffered. The Heavenly revelation to the people of the earth came to an end. He was the Final of the Prophets and no prophet will come after him .

The Muslims were so overwhelmed by the death of the Prophet that it was difficult for an outstanding companion to conceive it.

Omar Denied the Prophet's Death

Omar stood at the Mosque saying: "Some hypocrites allege that the Messenger of God died. The Messenger did not die. He only went to his Lord as Moses son of Imran went to his Lord. He left his people for forty nights then he returned to them after it was said that he died. By God the Messenger of God will return as Moses returned. He will sever the hands and legs of men alleging that he died." ( 1 )

Abu Bakr's Speech

Abu Bakr was more realistic and present-minded than Omar. He stood up and said:

"O people whoever was worshipping Mohammad should know that Mohammad has died. Whoever was worshipping God should know that God is living and never dies." Then he recited the following verses:

( 1 ) Ibn Husham in his Biography of the Prophet Part 2 p.655.

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"And Mohammad is but a Messenger. The Messengers before him passed away. Should you turn on your heels if he will die or be killed? And whoever turns on his heels will not harm God in the least. And God will reward the thankful." ( 2)

Hearing these words Omar realized that the Prophet was dead and fell to the ground.


Preoccupied With Holy Funeral

The crushing weight of the tragedy was felt by no one as it was felt by Ali and the rest of the members of the House of the Prophet. The death of the Prophet made them unconscious of other things in the world. The sadness of this bereaved family was indescribable. They wished to depart from this world when he departed .

The Prophet confided in his daughter Fatima Al-Zahra twice during his ailment. He once informed her of his death and she cried. Then he informed her that she will be the first member of his family to follow him and she laughed .

She was joyful to know that she would not be separated from him for long .

Her husband Ali spent twenty-three years with the Prophet offering his life for the protection of the Prophet against danger. Suddenly he beheld that that precious life had ended while he was unable to redeem it. The death of the Prophet was more painful to Ali than if he himself had met his own death .

Political Conference

The tragedy however did not prevent the rest of the companions Meccans and Medinites from political thinking and doing while the Prophet was not yet buried .

As previously mentioned the Messenger attempted but could not write a will in which he was expected to name a successor. He tried to name a man whose leadership represented a security to the nation against straying. A group 

( 2 ) Ibn Husham Biography of the Prophet Part 2 p.656.

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of companions led by Omar objected to recording such a document and the method of their objection rendered the Prophet's proposed document useless.

The Declaration of Ghadeer Khum and the rest of the statements of the Prophet on various occasions concerning Ali were ignored. The best that can be said about the attitude of the companions towards these statements is that they did not see in them compelling evidence for Ali's appointment. The Meccans and the Medinites started and ended their competition for leadership before the Prophet was buried .


Omar Spoke of the Conference

Omar during the last year of his reign spoke of what took place after the death of the Prophet. He informed his audience that when the Prophet died the Medinites led by Saad Ibn Abadah separated themselves from the Meccans and their prominent men conferred at Saqifat Banu-Saidah trying to select a caliph from among themselves. Ali Ibn Abu Talib Al-Zubeir Ibn Al-Awam and others with them shied away and the Meccans went with Abu Bakr .

Abu Bakr Omar and Abu Obediah Ibn Al-Jarrah went to the conference of the Medinites to thwart their attempt .

Abu Bakr said to the Medinites that the Arabs would not accept a leader from other than the clans of Quraish (people of Mecca) who were the most prominent among the Arabs and from the most honorable city. It is reported that Abu Bakr told them that the Holy Prophet one time declared that the Imams are from Quraish. ( 3 )

"I am satisfied he told them with the leadership of any of these two men (Omar and Abu Obediah). Give your allegiance to whomever you choose of the two." Some of the Medinites suggested having a leader from them and another from the Meccans. The argument was heated and Omar said to Abu Bakr: "Extend your hand." Abu Bakr did and Omar shook his

hand and pledged to him his allegiance. The attending 

( 3 ) Dr. Taha Hussein Al-Fitnatul-Kubra Part 1 p. 35.

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Meccans followed him and the conferring Medinites with the exception of Saad Ibn Abadah and his strong supporters accorded .

On the following day people gathered at the Mosque.

Omar stood up and told the audience: "God has enabled you to agree on your best the companion of the Prophet who accompanied him at the Cave (of Thour at the time of the Hijrah). Rise up and give your allegiance to him." And they did.( 4 )



The succession of Abu Bakr raises these questions:

1. Did Abu Bakr ever claim that the Messenger of God made him his successor?

2. If the Prophet did not appoint him did he desire to appoint him?

3. Was the election of Abu Bakr legal from the Islamic point of view?

4. Did the Messenger say: "The Imams are from Quraish?" and what did he mean by that?

History answers the first question in the negative for Abu Bakr never claimed that the Messenger made him his successor. Nor did any of the companions who worked diligently for the establishment of his caliphate ever claim that the Messenger made Abu Bakr his successor. The reader may remember that the argument of Abu Bakr which he introduced at the Medinite's conference did not contain any hint to any appointment by the Prophet. He only told the conferees that Arabs would not recognize any leadership that was not a Qureshite. For Quraish he said are the most respected people among the Arabs and they are from the most honorable city. Had the Prophet expressed his desire to make him his successor Abu Bakr would have made the Prophet's statement his sole argument without resorting to the distinction of Quraish. Omar also would have quoted such a statement to support his argument for Abu Bakr'election .

( 4 ) Ibn Husham in his Biography of the Prophet Part 2 pp. 659-660.

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The Sunni scholars unanimously agree that the Holy Prophet never appointed a successor. This means that they agree that he did not make Abu Bakr his successor .

However it is reported that a contemporary Medinite scholar from the Wahabis claimed that the Messenger of God appointed Abu Bakr as his successor. ( 5 )

He supported his claim by a hadith which reported that the Messenger said: "And God and the believers reject (any leadership) except that of Abu Bakr." He also claimed that this hadith is "Mutawatir" (reported through numerous channels which makes it certain)

This hadith is what Muslim in his Sahih recorded through his channel to Urwah who reported that Ayeshah said: "The Messenger said to me: Call for me your father Abu Bakr and your brother so that I can write a directive.

I fear that a wisher may wish and a sayer may say: I have more right (to the leadership than Abu Bakr) and God and the believers reject (any leadership) except that of Abu Bakr." ( 6)

Al-Bukhari recorded it in a similar way but it contained the word: "I almost attempted to call Abu Bakr and his son and write a directive. . . ." ( 7)

It is worthy to note that this hadith is not mutawatir as this Wahabi scholar claimed for it was not reported by numerous companions. As a matter of fact it was reported only by Ayeshah.

However introducing this hadith as evidence for the appointment of Abu Bakr as a successor is evidence of the lack of profound knowledge of the hadiths for this hadith is opposed by three authentic hadiths which are reported by Ayeshah herself:

Ayeshah Reported the Opposite

Muslim recorded through his channel to Masrooq that Ayeshah said: "The Messenger of God did not leave behind 


( 5 ) Sheikh Mohammad Jawad Mugneyah recorded this in his book Hathi Hiya Al- Wahabiyah (This Is the Wahabism)

( 6 ) Muslim Sahih Muslim Part 15 p. 155.

( 7 ) Al-Nawawi in his commentary on Sahih Muslim conveyed this.

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him a dinar or a dirham or a sheep or a camel nor did he will anything." ( 8)

Had the Prophet appointed Abu Bakr as his successor Ayeshah would not have said: "Nor did he (the Prophet) will anything." For if he had appointed Abu Bakr he would have willed a very important thing.

Muslim also recorded through his channel to Al-Aswad Ibn Yazeed that he reported that people mentioned in the presence of Ayeshah that Ali was the executor (of the Holy Prophet). She said: "When did he (the Prophet) make him his executor? I was supporting the back of the Messenger by my chest or she said by my lap. He called for a basin then he collapsed on my lap and I did not think that he died. When did he make him his executor?" ( 9 ) This hadith explains the previous hadith in which Ayeshah said: "Nor did he will anything." In both hadiths she was trying to disprove that the Messenger made Ali his executor. This by itself indicates that the idea of the executorship of Abu Bakr was not in circulation among people.

What was in circulation is that the Messenger made Ali his executor. Therefore she was trying actively to disprove it.

Had she known that the Messenger appointed Abu Bakr she would have said to those who mentioned Ali's executorship that her father rather than Ali was the executor.

Muslim also recorded through his channel to Abu Maleekah that he reported the following: "I heard Ayeshah and she was questioned: Had the Prophet wanted to appoint a successor whom would he have appointed? She said Abu Bakr. They said to her: Then whom would he have appointed after Abu Bakr? She said: Omar. Then she was asked: Whom would he have appointed after Omar? She said: Abu Obeidah Ibn Al-Jar- rah. Then she stopped there." ( 10)

Had the Messenger said: "and God and the believers reject (any leadership) except that of Abu Bakr she would 

( 8 ) Muslim Sahih Muslim Part 11 (Book of Will) p.89.

( 9 ) Ibid.

( 10 ) Ibid Part 11 p. 154.

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have rejected the hypothetical question concerning the Prophet's appointment of a successor. For the appointment would be a fact rather than a hypothesis and Abu Bakr would be the actual appointee. But Ayeshah treated the matter hypothetically because the Prophet made no such statement concerning Abu Bakr.


Obvious Prejudice

The prejudice of Ayeshah against Ali is clear in the last three hadiths. In Abu Maleekah's hadith she tried to tell us that Abu Obeidah was more beloved to the Prophet and was more deserving to be caliph than Ali. No one subscribes to this for the Muslims unanimously agree that Ali was higher and more beloved to the Messenger of God tban Abu Obeidah .

In Al-Aswad Ibn Yazeed's hadith the mother of believers tried to disprove the executorship of Ali through no proof. Granting that the Messenger died while he was reclining on her chest and that he did not make Ali his executor at that hour this does not disprove Ali's executorship .

The Holy Prophet spoke publicly at Ghadeer Khum in Ali's behalf saying to thousands of Pilgrims that Ali was the "Moula" (Guardian) of the believers and that he is like the Prophet in having more right to them than they have to themselves .

Furthermore Omm Salemah reported what contradicts

the claim of Ayeshah. Al-Hakim through a channel which

he and Al-Thahabi considered to be authentic reported that

Omm Salemah (wife of the Prophet) said: "By the One in Whose Name I swear Ali was the last one in contact with

the Messenger of God. We visited the Prophet before noon

and he was saying repeatedly: "Did Ali come?" Fatima

said: "It seems that you have sent him for a mission." She

(Omm Salemah) said: "Ali came and I thought that the

Prophet had something to tell him confidentially. We left

the room-and sat at the door and I was the nearest to the

door. The Messenger leaned upon Ali confiding in him and

speaking to him secretly. Then the Messenger of God died 


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on that day. Thus Ali was the last one who was with the Prophet." ( 11)

The Story of Maghafeer

Ayeshah used to allow herself to report some events which never took place if the report would serve the interest which she favored. The story of Maghafeer (a thick secretion which comes out of some particular trees) is well known in the Islamic history and mentioned in the Holy Qur'an in Chapter 66 of "Al-Tahreem." She and Hafssah (daughter of the Second Caliph) conspired that each one of them individually was to say to the Prophet: "I smell on you the odor of Al-Maghafeer " while both of them knew that this was untrue .

Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that Obeid Ibn Omeir reported that Ayeshah said: "The Messenger of God used to drink honey at the house of Zeinab daughter of Juhsh (another wife of the Prophet) and stay with her. Hafssah and I conspired to tell the Prophet when he comes to either one of us: "You have eaten Maghafeer. I smell the odor of Maghafeer." He said: "No but I was drinking honey at Zeinab's house and I will not do it again. And I swear that you shall not inform anyone about this." ( 12 ) Ayeshah betrayed the trust of the Prophet by revealing what he commanded her not to reveal. God informed him of that and this made the Prophet angry. The chapter of Al-Tahreem was revealed for this event. It contains the following:

"When the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his wives and she then divulged it to (another) and God made it known to him he (the Prophet) told (her) a portion of it and mentioned not another portion. When he told her thereof she said: Who told thee this? He said:

The One who knows and is well acquainted (with all things). If ye (both) were to turn in repentance to the Al- 

( 11 ) Al-Hakim Al-Mustadrak Part 3 p.139.

( 12 ) Al-Bukhari Sahih Al-Bukhari Part 6 Book of Commentary on the Holy Qur'an. It is in the comment on the chapter of Al- Tahreem p. 194.

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mighty your hearts would be indeed so inclined. But (if ye collaborate) with each other against him (the Prophet) truly God is his protector; and Gabriel and the righteous believers and furthemore the angels will assist him." ( 13 )

Al-Bukhari reported also through his channel to Obeid Ibn Hunein that he said: I heard Ibn Abbas saying: I stayed a whole year trying to ask Omar Ibn Al-Khattab about a Qur'anic verse and I could not ask out of apprehension until he set out for pilgrimage and I was with him .

While we were on the road coming back to Medina he deviated to some trees to relieve himself. Ibn Abbas said: I waited for him until he finished then I walked with him .

I said: Amir Al-Mumineen (Commander of Believers) who are the two of the wives of the Holy Prophet that collaborated against the Prophet? Omar said: They are Hafssah and Ayeshah. ( 14 )


Omar Considered the Election as "Faltah"

If any one asks for more evidence on the fact that the Holy Prophet did not make Abu Bakr his successor the following statement of Omar concerning the election of Abu Bakr is sufficient to clear the matter completely: Al-Bukhari in his Sahih ( 15 ) Ibn Husham in his Biography of the Prophet ( 16 ) and Imam Ahmad in his Musnad ( 17 ) reported that Omar said in a sermon he delivered during the last year of his caliphate: ". . .I am informed that a man from among you says: By God if Omar dies I will elect "Fulan" (an x person whose name Omar did not want to mention). No man should be deceived by saying to himself that the election of Abu Bakr was "Faltah " and it passed. Certainly the election of Abu Bakr was a "Faltah" (a hasty action without due deliberation). . . .".

This indicates that the Holy Prophet never expressed 

( 13 ) Holy Qur'an Chapter 66 pp. 1-4.

( 14 ) Sahih Al-Bukhari Part 6 p. 195.

( 15 ) Al-Bukhari in his Sahih Part 8 p. 210.

( 16 ) Ibn Husham in his Biography of the Prophet Part 2 p.658.

( 17 ) Imam Ahmad in his Musnad Part 1 p.55.

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his desire to make Abu Bakr his caliph. Had the Prophet expressed such a desire or said what was reported through Ayeshah the election of Abu Bakr would not have been a hasty action and without due deliberation. It would have been rather of the best planned action for it would have been planned by God and His Messenger.

Omar's Last Statement

However the Second Caliph made this completely clear after he was stabbed. Muslim in his Sahih ( 18 ) and Ibn Saad in Al-Tabaqat ( 19 ) and Ibn Husham in his Biography of the Prophet ( 20 ) reported that Abdullah Ibn Omar said that he advised his father to name a successor and Omar said: "If I do not name a successor the Messenger of God did not name a successor; and if I name a successor Abu Bakr named a successor.".

Al-Bukhari in his Sahih reported that Abdullah Ibn Omar said: "It was said to his father: Why do you not name a successor?" He said: "If I name a successor one better than myself Abu Bakr did name a successor. And if I do not name a successor one better than myself the Messenger of God did not name a successor." ( 21 )



The events of the last days of the life of the Holy Prophet clearly indicate that the succession of Abu Bakr was not on the mind of the Messenger. Nothing substantiates that like the expedition of Osamah. The Messenger of God made Osamah Ibn Zeid Ibn Harithah a commander in chief of an army and issued a directive in which he commanded him to overrun the borders of Al-Balqa and Al-Daroom in the land of Palestine. People prepared themselves and the early migrants from Mecca joined the army of Osamah.( 22 )

( 18 ) Muslim in his Sahih Part 12 p.206.

( 19 ) Ibn Saad in his Tahaqat Part 3 p.342.

( 20 ) Ibn Husham in his Biography of the Prophet Part 2 p.653.

( 21 ) Al-Bukhari in his Sahih Part 9 p. 100.

( 22 ) Ibn Husham Biography of the Prophet Part 2 p.642.

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From the well-known events of history in Osamah's expedition are the following:

1. Abu Bakr Omar and others from the early migrants were in Osamah's army. ( 23)

2. Ali Ibn Abu Talib was not in that army .

It seems that the Messenger did not want Ali to participate in more battles after the Islamic state was established in the Arab Peninsula as a result of the defensive battles in which Ali was the outstanding hero. He did not allow (or at least did not order) him to attend the Battle of Mutah where he sent a Muslim army under the leadership of Zeid Ibn Harithah (father of Osamah) to the borders of Syria where Zeid Jaafar Ibn Abu Talib and Abdullah Ibn Rawahah were killed. Nor did he allow Ali to join him in the campaign of Tabuk. He chose to keep him in Medina to succeed him in his absence .

The foundations of the Islamic state were already established and it became unnecessary to expose Ali's life to more dangers. Therefore he did not send him with the army of Osamah. Had Ali been in that expedition the expedition would have been under his leadership rather than the leadership of Osamah. The Prophet never put Ali under any leadership in any battle. He was the bearer of the banner of the Holy Prophet in all the battles which were led by the Prophet. ( 24 ) And he was the Commander in Chief of every expedition in which the Holy Prophet sent Ali .

The readers of the history of Islam knew that the Prophet gave Abu Bakr and Omar the command of the army at the Battle of Kheibar on two consecutive days. Ali was at that time suffering from inflammation of his eyes which prevented him from participating in the battle. When his eyes were miraculously cured on the third day Ali became 

( 23 ) This is recorded by Ibn Al-Atheer in Al-Kamil and by Ibn Saad Al-Tabaqat Part 2 p.190; and by Al-Dahlani and Al- Tabari in his history and Al-Halabi in his Biography of the Prophet (all this was conveyed by Sharaful-deen in Al-Mur- ajaat)

( 24 ) Ibn Saad in his Al-Tabaqat Part 3 p. 25 and Al-Hakim in his Al-Mustadrak Part 3 p.111.

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the Commander in Chief and the two sheikhs Abu Bakr and Omar and the rest of the companions were under his leadership .

Ibn Saad reported that the Messenger of God made Osama commander of the army. When Wednesday came the ailment of the Messenger began; he had fever and a headache. On Thursday morning he gave the banner to Osamah: Osamah carried the banner then delivered it to Buraidah Al-Aslami and camped at Al-Jurf. All distinguished companions from the Meccans and Medinites including Abu Bakr Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Abu Obeidah Ibn Al-Jar- rah and Saad Ibn Abu Waqass joined Osamah's army."( 25 )


3. The Messenger fell ill after he gave the banner to Osamah. The army was still near Medina and did not begin its journey yet. The Messenger was alarmed by the slowness of the army's motion and reluctance of the soldiers to leave Medina. Therefore he went to the Mosque twice while he was ill commanding them to begin their journey and to move quickly. He repeated his order three times in one sermon. (26)

He did all this while he was aware of the nearness of his death. His awareness of his death is reported in the following hadiths:

A. Ibn Husham recorded that Abu Muwaihibah reported that the Prophet accompanied him to Al-Baqee cemetery at night before the beginning of his illness. The Prophet stood in the graveyard and congratulated its dwellers for being spared future faith-testing crises. Abu Muwaihibah reported that the Messenger said to him:

"Abu Muwaihibah I have been given the keys of the

treasures of this world and the eternal life in it along with

Paradise (in the Hereafter). I was given the choice between

that and meeting my Lord and Paradise. Abu Muwaihibah

said: May my father and mother be your redemp tion.

Take the keys of the treasures of this world and the

eternal life in it along with Paradise. He said: "No Abu 


( 25 ) lbn Saad Al-Tabaqat Part 2 p. 249.

( 26 ) Ibn Saad Al-Tabaqat Part 2 p. 249.

( 173 )

Muwaihibah I have chosen to meet my Lord and Paradise." ( 27)

B. And when he sat on his pulpit delivering a sermon while he was sick he according to Ibn Husham concluded the sermon by saying: "Certainly God has given a choice to one of His servants (the Prophet was referring to himself) between this world along with the Hereafter and what the Lord has. The servant chose what the Lord has (he chose to meet his Lord). ( 28 ) Thus he was informing his audience that he was about to depart from this world .

C. Muslim recorded in his Sahih that the Holy Prophet said to his daughter Fatima while he was suffering from his ailment by which he died: "Gabriel used to review the Holy Qur'an with me once or twice a year and now he has reviewed it with me twice." Then he said to her: "I sense that my death is drawing nigh. Be obedient to God and patient I am a good ancestor of yours.... " ( 29 )

D. Al-Bukhari through his channel to Ayeshah recorded that she said: "The Prophet called upon Fatimah (peace be upon her) in his ailment in which he died and confided in her on a matter and she cried: Then he confided in her on another matter and she laughed. When we asked her about that she said: 'He informed me that he will die in his present ailment and I cried. Then he informed me that I shall be the first among the members of his House to follow him and I laughed." ( 30)


All these hadiths testify that he was fully aware of the nearness of his death.

Had the Messenger been desirous to appoint Abu Bakr as his successor while he knew the nearness of his death he would not have ordered him to leave Medina quickly.

Instead of urging Abu Bakr along with the others to leave Medina the Prophet should have prevented Abu Bakr from joining the expedition.

For the expedition of Osamah to reach the land of ale-

( 27 ) Ibn Husham Biography of the Prophet Part 2 p. 642.

( 28 ) Ibn Husham in his Biography of the Prophet Part 2 p. 649.

( 29 ) Muslim in his Sahih Part 17 p. 7.

( 30 ) Al-Bukhari in his Sahih Part 7 p. 12.

( 174 )

stine fight and return to Medina it would take two months or more. The Prophet on the other hand might have died a few days after the departure of the army and he himself was expecting to die soon. He did not appoint Abo Bakr before the departure of the army. He could not appoint him after his return with the army from Palestine because Abu Bakr would not be able to see the Prophet alive. He would not appoint him while he was absent from Medina for it would be inconceivable that the Messenger would allow the capital to be without a caliph after his death for two months or more while he knew the dangers which were threatening Medina and the Faith of Islam.

Furthermore Abu Bakr could have been killed while he was in the expedition. The death of a caliph at a battle during that serious period would lead to the worst consequences for the Muslims and Islam.

Had the Messenger been desirous to appoint Abu Bakr as a successor he would not have allowed him to be in that army. But the fact is that the delay of Abu Bakr and other companions in Medina was against the will of the Prophet which he made clearly known. He emphatically urged them to execute the mission of Osamah repeating that several times while he was on the pulpit and on his deathbed.

Thus Abu Bakr in spite of his high position and the love of the Prophet to him was not meant by the Prophet to be his successor.

* * *


The Muslims had the right to elect Abu Bakr if the

Messenger did not choose another person to succeed him .

And Abu Bakr had the right to accept the election. Such

an election constitutes a contract which exacts from both

sides its fulfillment according to the conditions on which

the election was based. When the conditions of the election

demand from the elected to follow the Book of God and the

teaching of the Prophet and that the elector should obey

his elect in what is considered to be an obedience to God 

( 175 )

and His Messenger the election would be sound and binding to both sides .

However such an election in spite of its legality had two negative sides:

1. The right to disagree with the majority. Since the succession of Abu Bakr came by a popular election rather than by the Prophet's selection a good Muslim could have refused to join his electors without sinning. Every Muslim is entitled to political freedom and no one has the right to force any one to do what he does not want or to impose on him a restriction that did not come from God. He should not be forced to elect a person whom he does not want to authorize .

It is equally true that the minority has no right to stand in the way of the majority and to prevent it from administering the affairs of the country as long as there is an explicit or implicit agreement that the majority rules the country. Even in the absence of such an agreement the majority has the right to run the country. This is because the minority has no right to administer the affairs of the majority and if the majority is to be obstructed the country would be ruined .

Since every individual has the right to disagree with the majority it would be an injustice on the part of the majority to force a minority to agree with it. For this we think it was an injustice to force Al-Zubeir Ibn Al-Awam to elect Abu Bakr though he was qualified for leadership. Abu Bakr was not appointed by God and His Messenger and Al- Zubeir's refusal to elect him did not constitute a violation of any Divine commandment. Abu Bakr and the majority of the companions entered into a pact and Al-Zubeir had the right not to be a part of that pact. Forcing him to enter into such a pact was an encroachment on his rights.

It was more than unfair to try to force Ali to join the electors after the Prophet declared him the "Moula" (Guardian) of every Muslim including Abu Bakr. The right of an individual or a minority to disagree with the majority is sacred and observed in all democratic elections .

When more than one nominee compete for a high office 


( 176 )

and one of the nominees wins the majority's votes the majority does not attempt to force the electors of the loser to join them in electing the winner. Even in a nation with one political party where the government asks people to cast their votes by saying yes or no; when the result becomes known the government never forces those who said "no" to say "yes." This is the attitude of Islam the religion of justice.

Forcing people to do what they do not have to do is an aggression and God does not love the aggressors.

When the Imam Ali was elected after the death of Othman Abdullah Ibn Omar Saad Ibn Abu Waqass Osamah Ibn Zeid and other companions refused to elect him. The Imam did not force them to join the majority nor did he consider them trangressors He only demanded from them not to hinder his administration.

The companions who lived at the time of Abu Bakr's election had the right to elect or refuse to elect him and they had the right to believe or disbelieve in his qualification. If so the Muslim generations who were born after that election had the same right. They would not be sinning by taking a positive or a negative attitude towards the caliphate of Abu Bakr.

From this it becomes evident that the mutual incrimination by the Muslims of today for their positive or negative attitude toward the caliphate of Abu Bakr is erroneous and represents an extremism.

2. The second negative aspect of this kind of legitimate leadership is that it does not make the word or the deed of the caliph a sacred law. Before his election he was like any other companion unimmuned of error; and he would remain so after the election. The election does not change his personality nor does it increase his knowledge. It does not elevate him in the eyes of God above other good believers nor does it make all his words or deeds right. At best he would be a righteous "mujtahid" (a scholar who is capable of forming an independent opinion about the Islamic law)

Other scholars have the right to disagree with him and the 

( 177 )

non-scholars from among the Muslims have the right to follow scholars other than him .

When another mujtahid believes that such a capilh is erroneous in word or deed he should not follow him. To demand from the Muslims to follow a wrong verdict is to demand from people what God did not demand and to add to the religion what is not from the religion.


The Prophet's Appointee

These two negative sides of an elective leadership would not exist in a leadership based on an appointment by the Prophet. If the Prophet chose a leader his decision would be binding on every Muslim and according to the Holy Qur'an no one would have the right to defy it:

"And it is not permitted for believing man or believing woman to make a choice after God and His Messenger have decided in an affair. And whoever disobeys God and His Messenger would be in manifest error."( 31 )

When the people pledge allegiance to the Prophet's appointee they would be in fact pledging the same to the Messenger. And whoever pledges to the Messenger would be pledging to God. The Holy Qur'an declares: "Certainly those who pledge allegiance to thee in fact they do that to God. The hand of God is above their hands. And whoever breaches a covenant he breaches against himself and whoever fulfills what he promises God God will grant him a great reward." ( 32 )

A caliph appointed by the Messenger possesses a holiness that issues from the holiness of the Messenger. His

contemporary Muslims have to follow his order and rules

and so do the generations after them. To a certain degree

he has jurisdictions that resemble those of the Prophet except that he is not a Prophet. He is not expected to add to nor substract from the Islamic rules. There shall be no 

( 31 ) Chapter 33 verse 36.

( 32 ) Chapter 48 verse 10.

( 178 )

Prophet after Mohammad and the rules of Mohammad are eternal and will continue until the Day of Judgment. A caliph appointed by the Prophet represents him and because of that he is supposed to be the most knowledgeable of the Holy Qur'an and the teaching of the Prophet. Whatever he declares legal is legal and whatever he declares illegal is forbidden. No Muslim has the right to disagree with him. He is the most knowledgeable and his obedience is as that of the Messenger.


* * *


Did the Prophet say that the Imams are from Quraish? And if he did say that did he mean that the caliphate is by election or by inheritance or by appointment from the Prophet?

Many hadiths on this subject are recorded in the Sahihs and other books of which are the following: Muslim recorded that Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of God said: "People are followers of Quraish.

Their Muslim follows their Muslim and their Kafir (unbeliever) follows their Kafir." ( 33 )

He recorded also that Jaber Ibn Abdullah reported that the Prophet said: "People are followers of Quraish in good and in evil."

Muslim also recorded that Abdullah reported that the Messenger said: "The Islamic authority (Caliphate) will stay in Quraish as long as two men exist in this world."

He reported also that Jaber Ibn Samorah reported that the Messenger of God said: "This religion will continue until the Day of Judgement comes or 12 caliphs from Quraish rule you."

( 33 ) This hadith and the following three hadiths are recorded by Muslim in his Sahih Part 12 Book of Al-Imarah pp. 200-202.

( 179 )

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Omar reported that the Messenger of God said: This Islamic authority will stay in Quraish as long as two persons from Quraish remain alive." ( 37 )

He recorded through his channel to Jaber Ibn Samorah that he said: "I heard the Prophet saying: 'There shall be twelve rulers.' Then he said a word I did not hear and my father said that the Prophet said: 'All of them are from Quraish.' " Al-Termathi recorded the same except that he said that the Prophet said: "There will be twelve rulers after me " and that the father of Jaber said: "The Messenger said: 'All of them are from Quraish.'" ( 38 ) Al-Hakim through his channel to Masrouq recorded that he said: "While we were sitting with Abdullah (Ibn Omar) a man asked him: 'Abu Abdul-Rahman did you and other companions ask the Messenger of God how many caliphs will rule this nation?' Abdullah replied: 'No one before you asked me about this since I came to Iraq.' Then he said: 'We asked the Messenger of God and he said: Twelve the same number as the representatives of the children of Israel with Moses." ( 39 )

Imam Ahmad reported that Abu Bakr said: (to Saad Ibn Abadah) "And you Saad knew that the Messenger of God said while you were sitting: 'Quarish are the people of this authority. The righteous of the people are followers of their righteous and the wicked of the people are followers of their wicked." ( 40)

It is clear that the first hadith does not speak about the caliphate. For Quraish at the time of the caliphate was not divided into Muslims and non-Muslims. All the Qureshites were confessing Islam at that time. It seems that the hadith came at a time when the majority of the Qureshites were pagans. The hadith speaks of the influence of Quraish over 

( 37 ) Al-Bukhari Sahih Al-Bukhari (in the book of Al-Ahkam) Part 9 p. 78.

( 38 ) Al-Termathi in his Sunan Part 2 p. 35. (Al-Fairuzbadi in his book Fadha-il Al-Khamsah Virtue of the Five) Part 2 p. 23.

( 39 ) Al-Hakim Al-Mustadrak Part 4 p. 501.

( 40 ) Imam Ahmad in his Al-Musnad Part 1 p. 5.

( 180 )

the Arab tribes. For they were opposed to Islam when Quraish was fighting it. When Quraish entered the new faith the rest of the Arabs rushed into the faith. The Prophet in this hadith was not trying to announce an Islamic law or issue an order to the Muslims. He was speaking of a matter of fact: That is the influence of Quraish and its effect on the rest of the Arab tribes .

The second hadith like the first one does not speak about the caliphate nor about who should be the caliph. It is an information of a situation that existed at the time of the hadith .

As to the last six hadiths they clearly speak of the caliphate. These hadiths vary in their contents without contradiction. Some of them state that the caliphate is in Quraish .

Some of them add that the caliphate shall continue in Quraish until the end of the world. And some of them add that the caliphs are 12 and some of them mention that the number of the caliphs is 12 but do not mention that they are from Quraish .

To understand these hadiths we have to put together the two hadiths of Abdullah Ibn Omar in one of which he reported that the caliphate shall continue in Quraish to the end of the world and in the other in which he reported that the number of caliphs is 12 like the representatives of the children of Israel. The two hadiths explain each other and agree with the hadith of Jaber Ibn Samorah which is the most specific among all these hadiths and capable of explaining the non-specific of them .

Thus these hadiths inform us that the non-Qureshites shall not be caliphs and that the caliphs are only twelve and that the caliphate will stay in Quraish as long as two people remain in this world .

These statements could be interpreted in one of the following ways:

Was the Prophet Predicting?

1. The Prophet was not trying to instruct the Muslims

and inform them of what they ought to do after him concerning the caliphate. He was rather speaking to them 


( 181 )

about the future forecasting that the caliphate shall stay in Quraish forever until the Day of Judgement. Thus he informs us that the caliphate will never be interrupted as long as the people are living on the face of this earth and that every caliph shall be a Qureshite and that the caliphs are to be twelve .

Of course this would not be true because the caliphate was interrupted and discontinued and because many of the caliphs such as the Osmanites were neither Qureshites nor Arabs .

In addition to this stating that the caliphs are twelve cannot be true whether it meant only the righteous caliphs or all of the caliphs including the non-righteous. For the number of righteous caliphs did not reach twelve and if we add to them the number of non-righteous their number is much higher than twelve .


Is the Qureshite Rule Hereditary?

2. The second way of interpreting the above hadiths is that the Prophet was trying to issue instructions and communicate to the Muslims a religious command so he told his nation that the caliphs after him have to be from Quraish and no one deserves to be a caliph except the Qureshites. This is because the Qureshites are related to the Messenger closely or remotely for they join the Holy Prophet through their great-grandfather "Fihr Ibn Malik." By this a Qureshite Muslim would be qualified to be a caliph and a non-Qureshite would not qualify .

If we adopt this interpretation we would be admitting that the Islamic authority is by inheritance and that the right of inheritance would not be exclusive to the close relatives of the Holy Prophet. It is rather broad enough to include all the Qureshite clans who are descendants of "Fihr Ibn Malik.".

To believe that the Qureshite Muslims are qualified for

the caliphate for being close or remote relatives of the 

Prophet is to subscribe to a theory of inheritance with

which the Islamic law of inheritance does not agree. If the

Islamic authority can be inherited through blood relation-



( 182 )

ship the close relatives bar the remote relative from inheritance according to the Islamic law .

Furthermore the restriction of the number of caliphs to twelve becomes unjustifiable for the righteous among the Qureshite caliphs did not reach the number of twelve and non-righteous among them were many more than twelve.


Are the Qureshites Superior?

3. The third interpretation of the hadiths is that the Prophet through these statements was announcing a religious law which makes the caliphate an exclusive right of the Qureshites. This is not because they are related to him but because God preferred them to the non-Qureshites .

If we take this interpretation we have to accept two contradictory concepts: (a) The caliphate is not to be by the choice of the Muslims. It is rather by appointment from God because He is the One Who decreed that the caliphs are to be Qureshites whether people accept or reject .

(b) The faith of Islam invites its followers to believe in a tribal superiority and a Qureshite aristocracy whose members regardless of the extent of their faith are preferred by God to others even if the others were more religious wiser and more knowledgeable.

We say these two ideas are contradictory because if the caliphate is by a Divine decree the Almighty is expected to choose for the leadership of the believers their wisest and most knowledgeable and righteous. It would be illogical to say that God prefers Abu Sufyan to Ammar Ibn Yasir because Abu Sufyan fought Islam and the Prophet for twenty-one years and Ammar fought with the Prophet for more than twenty-one years .

History remembers that the Holy Prophet stood on the day of conquest of Mecca and declared the following:

"O people of Quraish certainly God has done away

with the boastfulness of the pre-Islamic mentality and its

pride of ancestors. People are from Adam and Adam was 


( 183 )

from soil." Then he recited the following verse:'O mankind certainly We have created you from a male and female and made you people and tribes that you may recognize each other. The noblest among you in the eyes of God is the most righteous of you." Thus placing the Qureshites above others not for anything except being Qureshites is opposed to the Book of God and the teaching of the Holy Prophet in words and deeds 

Again the restriction of the number of the caliphs to twelve would be unjustifiable for the same reason we mentioned before .


Were the Men Chosen Only for their Righteousness?

4. The fourth way of interpreting the hadiths is to say the Holy Prophet was trying to inform the Muslims that God had chosen men from Quraish to become caliphs. He did not choose these men because they were related to the Holy Prophet nor because they were Qureshites. He chose them because they were the best among the Muslims. These men are the legitimate caliphs whether people elect them or reject them.

The six hadiths of the Qureshite caliphate clearly indicate that God did not leave to the Muslims a complete choice in selecting their caliphs. He rather decreed that their caliphs have to come from Quraish. It would be illogical to believe that He did that because the Qureshites are relatives of the Messenger or because the Qureshites are better than the rest of the Muslims. This would be an invitation to the belief in an aristocracy alien to the faith of Islam which calls for equality glorifies the righteous and despises the transgressor. The history of Islam attests that the majority of the Qureshites were the most hostile to the Messenger and his religion before they adopted Islam and less religious than others after they adopted Islam.

It would be only logical to say that the Qureshiteness of the caliphs is like the Qureshiteness of the Prophet himself.

God did not choose Mohammad because he was from Quraish or because he was a Hashimite or from. the children of Abdul-Muttalib or from Mecca. He chose him because he 


( 184 )

was the best among the people of the earth and it happened that the best of the people of the earth was a Qureshite from the children of Abdul-Muttalib. And so the caliphs about whom the Holy Prophet spoke were chosen by God because they were the best of the people of the earth and it happened that they were from Quraish. This logical interpretation agrees with the Shi-ite Islamic School. When God chooses a man to become Imam of the people he would be the Imam whether the muslims accept him or reject him just as when God chooses a Prophet he would be the Prophet even if people do not believe in his Prophethood.


Qureshites and Election Are Irreconcilable

It is irreconcilable to say that God has decreed that the caliphs are to be from Quraish and that He left to the Muslims the matter of the selection of the caliphs from among the Qureshites .

God has decreed that the caliphs are to be from the Quraish in order to lead the Muslims to what is best for them. If he left the selection of the caliph from Quraish to the choice of the Muslims He would leave the future of the caliphate to chance. Election by people does not secure the best leadership for people do not know what is hidden in the hearts of individuals. God is the only One who knows that .

Since God did not leave the caliphate entirely to the choice of the people and decreed that their caliphs are to be only from a particular group (the Qureshites) the entire choice must be His. He would not divide the choice between Himself and the Muslims leaving the selection of the tribe to Himself and the selection of the man from the tribe to the Muslims .

God is expected to choose the tribe for the sake of the

individual and not to choose the individual for the sake of

the tribe. God has chosen Hashim and Quraish because of

Mohammad and He did not choose Mohammad because

he was a Hashimite or Qureshite Choosing the man rather

than the clan is what secures the right leadership. Thus

when God and His Messenger informed us that the caliphs 


( 185 )

are from Quraish they were actually informing us that there are particular individuals who happened to be from Quraish and were chosen by God to be caliphs. They were chosen because of their high qualifications and not because of their being Qureshites.

Ali Views the Succession

There is a theory that claims that the civil war which took place during the reign of Abu Bakr could have been avoided if Ali had succeeded the Prophet. This interesting theory (which I neither confirm nor deny) is based upon the following reasons:

1. The declaration of the Prophet at Ghadeer Khum while returning from his valedictory pilgrimage made thousands of pilgrims believe that he had chosen Ali to succeed him.

What they understood from the declaration seemed to be consistent with their tradition which gives the authority to the closest relative of the leader. When they realized that the leadership had been handed to Abu Bakr after the death of the Prophet some of them opposed the new government and refused to pay to it the "Zakat"(the Islamic tax)

Others went further and deserted Islam thinking that the companions have disobeyed the declaration of the Prophet .

They thought that the companions were not serious in their adoption of Islam. And so the Arab tribes thought that they have the right to desert Islam and go back to paganism .

2. Had Ali been the ruler after the Prophet his military reputation could have deterred anyone from challenging his leadership. The stories of his heroism were on every Arab's lips. The beduins as well as the settlers of villages and cities had experienced and witnessed his military actions during the last ten years of the life of the Prophet. Why should they take a risk of confronting him in a losing war?


Whether this theory is right or wrong the civil war was 

( 187 )

decisive concerning Ali. It obliged him to stop his opposition to Abu Bakr and pledge his support lest the Muslim government be weakened in its struggle against the deserters of the faith. Ali was too pious to continue his opposition when dangers were threatening the foundation of Islam.

For several months the Imam Ali refused to join the electors of Abu Bakr and he was expected to continue to do so. The civil war however made it mandatory for him to reverse his position .

The view of the Imam can be presented as follows:

1. He believed that the leadership is his exclusive right .

He was the treasurer of the knowledge of the Prophet his choice and his closest relative. It is reported that when Abu Bakr demanded from Ali to join his electors Ali replied:

"I have the right of leadership. I will not follow you when you ought to follow me." When Abu Bakr asked him: "Was not my election by the will of the people?" he replied: "But you told the Qureshites and the Medinites that you are entitled to the leadership because you are related to Mohammad and they conceded to you. I have the same argument against you." Then he said: "We have more right in the Messenger of God alive and dead. We are the members of his House the place of his confidence the treasure of his knowledge and wisdom. No one from this nation can come close to the positions of the members of the House of Mohammad. And those who were indebted to their favor should not be equalized with them."( 1 ) He said also:

"I am the executor of the Prophet his minister and the trustee of his secrets and knowledge. . . I am the first one who believed in him the most effective defender of Islam among you in combatting the pagans the most knowledgeable in the Book of God and the teaching of the Prophet and most foreseer of the consequences of the events. For how long do you deny us the leadership? Give us justice and acknowledge our rights as the Medinites did for you." ( 2 )

( 1 ) Abdul Fattah Abdul Maksoud Al-Imam Ali Ibn Abu Talib Part 1 p. 179.

( 2 ) Al-Tabersi Al-Ihtijaj Part 1 p. 95.

( 188 )

Ali does not lack evidence on his executorship or ministerial posts. The Messenger conferred on him the post of executorship when he gathered his close relatives ten years before the Hijrah. At that conference the Prophet said to the members of his clan while his hand on Ali's neck: "This is my brother executor and successor in you. Listen to him and obey him." To his ministerial post the authentically reported statement of the Prophet attests: "Ali would you not be pleased to be to me like Aaron to Moses but there shall be no Prophet after me?".

Aaron was the minister of Moses according to the Holy Qur'an: "And grant me a minister from the members of my house Aaron my brother. Strengthen me by him and make him a sharer in my mission." ( 3 )

As to his trustworthiness on the secrets of the Messenger and his knowledge it suffices to remember that the Messenger said: "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate.

Whoever wishes to enter the city should come through the gate.".

He Believed That Abu Bakr's Election Was Unbinding .

2. The Imam viewed the election of Abu Bakr to be unbinding to his electors. Evidently he believed that the Messenger had chosen him to lead the nation and administer its affairs after him and that the choice of the Prophet is binding to the nation. Thus the nation does not have the right to choose another leader. Had not the Imam believed in this he would not have allowed himself to ask the Medinites to reverse their position after they elected Abu Bakr.

A sound election is a covenant to be fulfilled and Ali was too righteous to call upon people to break a legitimate covenant.

He and his wife Fatimah "Al-Zahra" (the Lady of Light) daughter of the Prophet visited the Medinite companions seeking their support and asking them to reverse their position towards Abu Bakr.

Muaweyah in one of his letters to the Imam said: 

( 3 ) Holy Qur'an Chapter 20 verses 28-31.

( 189 )

... "And I remember when you used to carry your wife at night on a donkey while your hands in the hands of your sons Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein after Abu Bakr was elected. You called upon every Badrian and early Muslim to support you and went with your wife to them offering to them your two sons and asking them their help against the companion of the Messenger of God...."( 4 )


He Did not Want to Reach His Goal by Force.

3. In spite of his belief that his right was usurped he did not try to regain it by force nor did he want to damage the unity of the Muslims The Imam realized that he does not have a strong support. The absolute majority of the Meccans were deadly against him. To them he was the man who was responsible for the death of many of their fathers brothers sons and relatives in his defensive campaign for Islam. The Medinites were closer to him than the Qureshites but they did not have the will to sacrifice for his leadership. They had already entered into a pact with Abu Bakr and they thought that this exacts from them their loyalty.

Ali had some support from some outstanding companions such as Salman the Persian Abu Tharr Al-Bursa Ibn Azib Ammar Ibn Yasir Al-Miqdad Ibn Al-Aswad and Al-Zubeir Ibn Al-Awam. But these companions did not have the following. Thus the Imam found that patience was the only open avenue for him.

He Reversed His Position for the Sake of Unity

He could have continued his opposition to Abu Bakr as

long as Abu Bakr lived. Saad Ibn Abadah continued his op position until Abu Bakr died. However the movement of

desertion of the faith by the Arab tribes was to him a

decisive factor that made him reverse his attitude. His op position to Abu Bakr was not motivated by a personal

ambition. It was rather motivated by his desire to set the 

( 4 ) Ibn Abu Al-Hadeed his Commentraries on Nahjul-Balagha Vol. 1 p. 131.

( 190 )

Muslims on the true path of the Prophet. When Islam was threatened by the movement of desertion Ali found it unwise to be concerned with the method of leading the Muslims when the very existence of Islam became endangered.

Al-Balathori recorded that when the Arabs deserted the faith of Islam Othman came to Ali saying: "Cousin no one will fight the enemy while you refuse to reconcile with Abu Bakr." ( 5 ) He convinced the Imam to go with him to Abu Bakr; when Abu Bakr saw the Imam they hugged each other and cried. The Muslims were pleased with that and determined to fight the deserters of the faith .

Al-Bukhari in his Sahih reported that the Imam said to Abu Bakr when they met: We recognize your position and what God has given you but you have taken over the leadership without our consultation. We believe that we have our share and right in the leadership because of our relationship to the Messenger of God. Abu Bakr cried they promised each other to meet at the Mosque at night.

Ali went to the Mosque and he told the people that he was not motivated in his opposition by a jealousy toward Abu Bakr nor by a denial of his position; but we believe he said that we have a right in this leadership and he took it without consulting us. Thus we felt uneasy." ( 6 )

The Imam spoke of what took place in that period in a message he sent to the people of Egypt when he sent to them Malik Al-Ashtar as a governor:

"... And I withheld my hand until I found the deserters of the faith of Islam calling for the destruction of the religion of Mohammad. (As this danger emerged I reversed my position) and decided to aid Islam and its followers lest I witness a total or partial destruction in Islam then the tragedy to me becomes greater than losing your leadership which is only transitory."( 7 )

( 5 ) Sayed Murtadha Al-Asakari conveyed this in his book: Abdullah Ibn Saha p. 73.

( 6 ) Al-Bukhari his Sahih Part 5 p. 108.

( 7 ) Nahjul-Balaghah Part 3 pp. 198-199.

Abu Bakr died and a life filled with important achievements came to an end.

1. He subdued the deserters of the faith and the withholders of the Zakat. He brought the Arab tribes back to Islam and made them soldiers of Islam after they became its adversaries.

2. Upon his order the verses and chapters of the revelations were gathered in the Book of Islam the Holy Qur'an .

3. He pushed the faith of Islam beyond the borders of the Arabic Peninsula. He died while the Muslim forces were facing the Persian armies in Iraq and the Roman armies in Syria .

As Abu Bakr's death was drawing nigh he chose to appoint a successor and this was his right. He decided not to leave to chance the leadership of the state .

Had the history been logical Ali would have succeeded Abu Bakr. He was by-passed after the death of the Prophet because the election was held hastily without planning and consultation. It is said that the emergency which was brought about by the conference of the Medinites at Saqifat Ranu Sa-idah and the absence of Ali who was preoccupied with the Holy Funeral made the companions overlook Ali and his qualifications .

If this were the fact Ali should not have been overlooked at this time. There was no emergency and the Caliph was able to appoint whomever he chose. Yet Ali was not chosen by the Caliph .

Quraish stood against him for many reasons and his 

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high distinctions along with his close relationship to the Prophet were the main reason.

The Meccan clans went into costly wars against the Messenger of God because they did not want the Hashimites to have the exclusive honor of having the Prophet from among them. Having this attitude they were not expected to let the Hashimites possess another exclusive honor by allowing Ali to succeed the Prophet.

The Qureshite influence grew rapidly during the reign of Abu Bakr. The rapid growth of the Qureshite influence was expected to increase the distance between Ali and the High Office.

One might say that Abu Bakr should not have followed the unfair attitude of Quraish toward Ali after he heard so many statements by the Prophet which indicated that Ali was his choice. But Abu Bakr seemingly did not believe that the statements of the Prophet concerning Ali made it mandatory for the Muslims to follow him. Had he believed that he would not have allowed himself to be the First Caliph. Being of this opinion he thought he had the option to choose Ali or any one from the outstanding companions.


He did not choose Ali because he was his main opponent .

He chose Omar Ibn Al-Khattab his strongest supporter the planner of his election and his right hand in all affairs .

The reader may remember that when Ali reconciled with Abu Bakr he complained of Abu Bakr's failure to consult him when he was elected and that he took from Ali what he was entitled to have. Abu Bakr listened to his complaint and wept. Abu Bakr's tears gave the impression that he would not repeat it. He was expected to consult Ali and the rest of the Hashimites along with companions who were inclined towards him. Nothing of this took place .


It is worth noting that Fatimah Al-Zahra daughter of

the Prophet was not on speaking terms with Abu Bakr

and she was urging the Medinites to shift from Abu Bakr

to Ali. She was angry with Abu Bakr because of the caliphate and because he nationalized "Fadak." (a group of orchards) which she had received from her father and was supposed to keep for herself as a gift or a legacy. But Abu 

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Bakr reported that the Messenger said: We the Prophets do not leave inheritance.

Fatimah denied that her father said that because this is opposed to the Holy Qur'an which declares that Suleiman (Solomon) received an inheritance from his father David. Both Solomon and his father were prophets .

Abu Bakr made efforts to normalize relations with her without reversing his position on Fadak but she refused to speak to him and when she died he was not informed of her death lest he attend her funeral.( 1 ) Abu Bakr was very concerned with Fatimah's anger because the Prophet said: "Fatimah is a portion of me .

Whoever displeases her displeases me." He also said: "Fatimah is the leader of the women of Paradise." (Both hadiths were reported by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih section of virtues of Fatimah)."

With all this the righteous Caliph would be expected to name Ali his successor for this would please the Prophet because it pleased Fatimah though belatedly.

Abu Bakr did not do that nor did he consult Ali or any of the Hashimites including Al-Abbas uncle of the Holy Prophet .

Indeed Abu Bakr did not consult any companion about whom he should choose to succeed him. He did not give them a choice between two or more candidates. He consulted a few companions about Omar and Omar only. The consultants were Abdul-Rahaman Ibn Ouf Othman Ibn Affan and Osseid Ibn Hudheir. These were Omar's admirers and all of them were positive towards him. Talhah Abu Bakr's cousin was not consulted and when he criticized Omar Abu Bakr exploded in anger .

Why shouldn't we call the events by their names? Abu Bakr was iiidebted to Omar in his election and establishing his leadership. He was his right hand during the time of his caliphate. Abu Bakr wanted to return to his good friend 

( 1 ) Al-Bukhari reported it in his Sahih Part 5 p. 178. Muslim also reported it in his Sahih Part 12 "Hukm of Al-Fei" (The wealth which is acquired from enemies of Islam) p.77.

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his favor. We say this not trying to minimize the sincerity of the First Caliph .

While he was dying Abu Bakr commanded Othman to write his will. When he reached the following words: "I have appointed as a successor " he fainted before mentioning the name of his appointee. When he woke up he asked Othman to read what he wrote and to the surprise of Abu Bakr Othman had added the name of Omar. Abu Bakr was very pleased with that .

Of course the new Caliph was more pleased with Othman. He remembered this favor for Othman. He rewarded him by a similar favor at the end of his reign

Omar Succeeds

Omar came to power as the Second Caliph 14 years after the Hijrah (635 AD). He proved to be the most effective among the caliphs in directing the policy of the Muslim World and its events.

The period of his leadership was full of spectacular accomplishments and conspicuous events. If the policy of a head of state has domestic and foreign aspects Omar's policy had all that plus past and future aspects for its influence went beyond the boundaries of his own reign with far-reaching consequences.

The success of his external policy was dazzling to the eyes of the historians Muslim and non-Muslim alike. He inherited from his predecessor Abu Bakr a World-War against the two great empires of his time: The Persian and the Roman empires.

The Muslim forces during his reign faced the Persian armies and were able to place Iraq and Persia including Al-Ahwaz and Azarbaijan under the dominion of Islam.

The Muslim forces on the North Western front were able to defeat the Romans and bring Syria and Egypt into the Islamic Jurisdiction.

Thus under his leadership Muslim armies were able

to disintegrate the two prominent empires of his time. The

spiritual conquest which accompanied the military conquest

was the greater of the two. His policy towards the non-Muslim inhabitants of the conquered lands was fair. He

levied taxation on the conquered land plus a personal

taxation on the adult males. None of the followers of other

religions were oppressed during his reign. He recognized

their natural rights and freedoms. History recorded his word

as directed to Amr Ibn Al-Aus who was his appointed 

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governor of Egypt whose son hit a Coptic Christian: "Amr when did you enslave people after they were born free?" His domestic policy was mostly successful. It may be summed up as follows: In relation to his family; in relation to Muslims in general; in relation to his colleagues of the companions of the Prophet; and in relation to the members of the House of the Prophet.

In relation to himself and his family his policy was ideal. Hundreds of millions of dirhams (a dirham of his time is equivalent to a dollar of our time) were pouring into the treasury of the Islamic State. Though he had unlimited authority he and his family lived in poverty. It is reported that he said: "I deal with the Muslims' treasury as I deal with a fund of an orphan. If I am in no need I will not touch it; and if I am in need I only satisfy my necessity." ( 1)

In relation to the Muslims in general his policy was characterized as just firm and helpful. He sufficiently provided for the soldiers their families and the inhabitants of Medina plus many others.

As to his relation to the companions he alloted to them according to the record of their participation in the defense of Islam. Trying to prevent the companions temptation of wealth or fearing the use of their brilliant record for advancing their influence he prevented the companions from residing in any city other than Medina. "I am standing at the mouth of Al-Harrah (the entrance of Medina) he said holding the Qureshites' throats and belts lest they fall into the fire."( 2 Thus he kept the ambitious companions of the Prophet under his watchful eyes.

In relation to the members of the House of the Prophet

his policy was mixed with admiration and caution. He did

not grant any governmental post to any of them. However

the tension between him and Ali which started after the

death of the Prophet and continued during the period of 

( 1 ) Ibn Saad Al-Tabaqat Part 3 p 276.

( 2 ) Abdul-Fattah Abdul-Maqsoud Al-Imam Ali Ibn Abu Talib Part 1 p. 223.

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Abu Bakr abated and gradually was replaced by a friendship which grew by the passage of time. Omar used to resort to Ali's counsel in important events seeking solutions of serious problems.

When he was informed that the Persian government had mobilized an extremely huge army to fight the Muslims he wanted to attend the battle in order to strengthen the morale of the Islamic army. When he consulted the Imam Ali and other companions the Imam told him: "The Islamic cause did not triumph or retreat by a great or small number. It is the religion of God Who made it prevalent and His host which He prepared and extended until it reached what it reached and appeared as it appeared.

We are promised by God and He will fulfill His promise and help His Host. The place of the leader is the place of the string in the beads. It collects them and makes them join each other. If the string breaks the beads will scatter and never rejoin each other completely. Though the Arabs today are few compared to others they are numerous through Islam and strong by their unity. Be like an axis of a mill let the mill go around and let the Arabs participate in the war without your presence. If you leave you will leave behind you dangers which will be of more concern to you than what you will face.

"If the Persians see you on the battlefield they will say: 'This is the source of the danger. If you destroy him you will triumph.' Their war will be more intensive and their hope in defeating the Muslims will grow higher.

"As to what you mentioned of the Persian march to fight the Muslims God the Almighty hates their march more than you do and He is more capable of changing what He dislikes. As to what you have mentioned of their great number we never fought by quantity. We fought only by the help of God and His assistance." ( 3)

Omar and Ali's Knowledge

Omar was deeply impressed with Ali's profound knowledge. It is reported that he said: "No one should give any 

( 3 ) Al-Sayed Al-Radhi Nahjul-Balaghah Part 2 pp. 29-30.

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verdict at the Mosque (of the Prophet) when Ali is present." When he made wrong decisions in Islamic rules Ali used to correct him. He repeatedly said: "Had Ali not been present Omar would have perished (spiritually) ." ( 4 ) He expressed his serious need to Ali's knowledge by saying: "May God not keep me to a problem when Abu Hassan (Ali) is not available.".

A lady was accused of adultery because she gave birth to a child six months after she married. Omar decided to stone her. Ali said to him: "Leader of the Believers if she appeals to the Book of God contesting your decision she will prevail against you." God says: "Pregnancy and nursing periods are thirty months." Again He says: "Mothers nurse their children two complete years for whoever wants a complete nursing." If we subtract twenty four months from thirty the balance would be six months. Omar reversed his position and let the lady go free.

Ali at one time was with Omar while others were present. When he left one of them criticized Ali and accused him of pride and conceit. Omar said: "A man like Ali is entitled to be proud. By God without his sword the pillar of Islam could not have been erected. He is the highest magistrate in the nation its earliest Muslim and its most honorable."( 5 ) When the critic asked what prevented him from giving him the leadership after the death of the Prophet Omar replied: "We did not like his young age and his love to his clan.".

However this does not mean that Omar used to consult

Ali in all affairs or follow all his opinions in religion. Omar

was extremely independent. Sometimes he appeared as if

he were in disagreement with the Prophet. The Messenger

made the duty of any pilgrim who did not accompany animals of sacrifice to perform a pilgrimage of "Tamattu" (in

which the pilgrim takes leave of restrictions which are im-

( 4 ) Abdul-Fattah Abdul-Maqsoud Al-Imam Ali Ibn Abu Talib Part 1 p. 226.

( 5 ) Ibn Abu Al-Hadeed his Commentaries on Nahjul-Balaghah Vol. 3 p. 179.

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posed at the start of the Pilgrimage). The Prophet commanded such a person to make the seven circuits around the Kaaba and the seven walks between Al-Safa and Al- Marwah; then it would be legal for him to approach his wife before he resumed his pilgrimage again before leaving for Arafat.


The Prophet also legalized the temporary marriage

Omar chose to prohibit both and to punish severely whoever married a woman for a limited period. Muslim in his Sahih reported that Abu Nudrah said the following: "Ibn Abbass (a cousin of the Prophet) used to legalize "Muta" (temporary marriage) and Ibn Al-Zubeir used to prohibit it. When I mentioned that to Jabir Ibn Adbullah (a prominent companion of the Prophet) he said: In my presence the following took place":

We practiced the temporary marriage during the days of the Prophet. . . . When Omar came to power he said: God used to legalize to His Messenger whatever He chose through whatever He chose. The Qur'an was revealed to regulate our life. You have to complete your pilgrimage and the Omrah (which precedes the pilgrimage) as God commanded you to do (without terminating the regular restrictions before going to Arafat). Desist from marrying women for a limited time. If a man married a woman for a limited time and is brought to me I shall stone him (to death)."( 6 )

This opinion of the Second Caliph concerning pilgrimage seems to be in a clear conflict with the Holy Qur'an: "And when you are in safety any pilgrim who at the "Omrah" (the devotional part that precedes going to Arafat) satisfies his carnal desires (after terminating the state of restriction) until the resumption of pilgrimage he should offer what is easily available of sacrificial animal. If he can not he should fast three days during the pilgrimage and seven when you have returned; that is ten in all. That is for the one whose family is not residing at the Inviolable place of worship." Chapter 2 verse 196.

( 6 ) Muslim in his Sahih Part 8 p. 169.

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The hadith however clearly indicates that temporary marriage was legal during the time of the Prophet and that he did not Prohibit it after legalizing it. Had the Messenger prohibited such a marriage the Second Caliph would have reminded the companions of that prohibition. His saying:

"Desist from marrying a woman for a limited time" tells us that the companions were still practicing the temporary marriage during his time. Otherwise he would not have commanded them to stop that practice. Had the Messenger prohibited such a practice after he legalized it the companions would not have continued to practice it and the Second Caliph would not have had to admonish them and threaten to stone those who practiced such a marriage.

As to the pilgrimage of "Tamattu " the Messenger in his valedictory pilgrimage said while he was in Mecca:

"Had I been at the beginning of my pilgrimage I would not have accompanied the sacrificial animals and I would have made it Omrah (separate from the pilgrimage by termination of the restrictions of the Ihram). Whoever did not accompany sacrificial animals should terminate his Ihram and make it Omrah." Suraqah lb Malik Ibn Jaasham stood up and said to the Messenger: Is it for our present year exclusively or forever? The Messenger put the fingers of his two hands between each other and said: "The Omrah entered into the pilgrimage (repeating that twice)

It is not for this year. It is forever." ( 7 ) Thus the extreme independence of the Second Caliph had made him prohibit the pilgrimage of Al-Tamattu and legalize killing the practicer of temporary marriage. Yet the Messenger commanded the Muslims to make the pilgrimage of Al-Tamattu and legalized temporary marriage.

A man so extremely independent in his opinion would not be expected to consult the Imam Ali in every problem or follow all his opinions. However he considered Ali to be the most knowledgeable among the companions and the highest authority on religion.

( 7 ) Muslim. Sahih Muslim Part 8 pp. 172-179.

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