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SAYYIDUNA ALI ON SAYYIDUNA ABU BAKR AND SAYYIDUNA UMAR (RADI ALLAHU ANHUM AJMA'IN)

The Muslim Revivalist (Mujaddid) of the 14th Century, A'LA HADRAT IMAAM AHMED RAZA AL-QADERI (alaihir rahmah) in his book, "GHAYATUT TAHQEEQ FI IMAAMATUL 'ALI AS SIDDEEQ," quotes from "SAWA IQUL MUHARRIQAH" that:

 

"Imaam Abul Qaasim Ismaeel Muhammad Bin Al Fazl Balkhi in his Kitaab, 'AS SUNNAH' stated that Imaam ibn Hajjar Makki reported that Alqamah (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was once informed that some people declared that he (Sayyiduna Ali) is higher in status than Hazraat Shaykhain (Abu Bakr and Umar) - radi Allahu anhuma.

 

"Upon hearing this, he (Sayyiduna Ali) stood on the mimbar and declared after praises to Allah and His Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), 'O People! News had reached me that some people are saying that I have a higher status than Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) and Umar (radi Allahu anhu). Had I clarified the ruling earlier on this matter, then the subscribers to such a view would have certainly been punished by me." 'As from today, whosoever is heard to make such utterances is a slanderer (MUFTARI), and he shall be liable for the punishment of a slanderer, which is 80 lashes.'

 

"Thereafter, he (Sayyiduna Ali) said, 'Without any doubt, after Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the most excellent in the Ummah is Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu), followed by Umar, and after him Allah knows best whose status appears next.'"

 

"Alqamah states that Sayyiduna Hassan Mujtaba (radi Allahu anhu) was present in that gathering and remarked, 'By Allah! If he (Sayyiduna Ali) was to make mention of the third name (after Umar Farooq), he would have mentioned the name of Uthman (radi Allahu anhu).' "

 

WHAT THE GREAT SAINTS AND SCHOLARS HAVE SAID IN REFUTATION OF THE BELIEFS OF THE SHIAS

 

One of the greatest guides of the Sufiya-e-Alawiyyah, GHOUS-E-AZAM, SAYYID ABDUL QAADIR JILANI (alaihir rahmah), writes in his book, "GHUNYAT-UT-TAALIBIN", that:

 

Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique (radi Allahu anhu) became the Khalifa with the unanimity of the Muhajirs and Ansars, as follows:-

 

When Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) passed away, the Ansar-i-Kiram said, "Let one Amir be from you and one Amir be from us."

 

Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) stood up and said, "O Ansar! Have you forgotten how Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) called Abu Bakr, 'the Imam of my Sahaba'?"

 

They said, "We know, O Umar."

 

Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) went on, "Is anyone among you higher than Abu Bakr?"The Ansar replied: "We trust ourselves to Allah's protection from considering ourselves higher than Abu Bakr."

 

Then, Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) asked, "Who among you would tolerate to remove Abu Bakr from the ranking office where Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) appointed him?"

 

The Ansar said, "None of us will tolerate it. We trust ourselves with Allah's protection from removing Abu Bakr."

 

With the co-operation of the Muhajirs, they appointed Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) as the Khalifa. Sayyiduna Ali and Sayyiduna Zubair (radi Allahu anhuma) came later. Both accepted the Khalifa. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) stood up three times and said each time, "Is there anyone among you who has given up choosing me as the Khalifa?" Sayyiduna Ali who was sitting in the front stood up and said, "None of us gives up. Nor shall we ever think of giving up. Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has put you ahead of us. Who on earth can remove you?"Thus, we have heard through strong and sound witnesses that the person who wanted Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique (radi Allahu anhu) to become the Khalifa and uttered the most influential words, was Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu). For example, after the Camel Event, Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Kawa (radi Allahu anhu) came to Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) and said, "Did Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) tell you anything about the Caliphate?" Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) replied, "First we mind our duty concerning the Deen. The archstone of the Deen is Salaah. And we like and choose for the world what Allah Ta'ala and His Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) have chosen from among us. We have therefore chosen Abu Bakr as the Khalifa."

 

As Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was sick during the final days of his life, he appointed Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique (radi Allahu anhu) as the Imaam in his place so that he would conduct the Salaah. Each time Sayyiduna Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) called the Adhan, Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) used to say, "Tell Abu Bakr to be the Imaam for the people." He used to say this repeatedly. This was taken to imply that after his demise Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) would be most suitable for Caliphate, and that each of Umar, Uthman and Ali (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in) was the most suitable for the Caliphate among the people of his time.

 

ON THE ELECTION OF SAYYIDUNA ABU BAKR SIDDIQUE (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) AS THE FIRST CALIPH OF ISLAM

 

IMAM-I-RABBANI, SHAIKH AHMAD SIRHINDI MUJADDID ALF THANI (alaihir rahmah), in his famous book, "RADD -E-RAWAAFID", says:

 

Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) willingly acknowledged Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique's (radi Allahu anhu) Caliphate. The Shias, who knew this fact said, "He admitted it unwillingly," without saying anything more than.

 

However, after Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) physically left this world, the Sahaba (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in) embarked on a job of appointing the Khalifa before the interment (burial). They considered it Wajib or necessary. Since the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) had commanded that the guilty should be punished as prescribed by the Shariat; that they (the Muslims) should be ready for war; in addition to other things which the government should do, it was Wajib to elect the representative who would execute these Wajibs.

 

Therefore, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) stood up and said, "If you worship Sayyiduna Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), know that he passed away. If you worship Allahu Ta'ala know that Allah never dies, His life is Endless.""You have to choose someone to carry out His Commandments. Think, find, and choose!" Everybody agreed with him.

 

Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) immediately stood up and said, "We want you, Abu Bakr!"All those present there said, "We have elected you."

 

Then, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) mounted the mimbar and looked around, "I cannot see Zubair. Call him."

 

When Sayyiduna Zubair (radi Allahu anhu) came, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) said to him, "The Muslims have elected me as the Khalifa. Will you disagree with their unanimity?""O You, the Messenger's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) Khalifa! I do not disagree," and held out his hand and did Musaafaha (shook hands in a manner prescribed by Islam) with him in attendance.

 

Sayyiduna Ali and Sayyiduna Zubair (radi Allahu anhuma) apologised to the Khalifa for being late for the election, and said, "We did not come because we were not notified in advance. We are sorry about it. We see that who is worthy of the Caliphate amongst us is Sayyiduna Abu Bakr. For he was Rasulullah's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) companion in the cave. He is the most honoured and the best of us. Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) chose him as the Imaam from amongst us. We performed Namaaz behind Him."

 

If Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) had not been worthy of the Caliphate, Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) would NOT have admitted him and would have said, "It is my right." As a matter of fact, he refused Sayyiduna Muawiyyah (radi Allahu anhu) being the Khalifa. Although Sayyiduna Muawiyyah's (radi Allahu anhu) army was very strong, he strove hard so that he himself would be the Khalifa. As a result of this, many lives were lost. Since he asked for his right at such a difficult situation, it would have been much easier to ask for it from Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) if he had considered it his right. He would have asked to be chosen, and that would have been done immediately.

 

After choosing Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) as the Khalifa and paying homage to him, Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) sat in front of the mimbar. In their next conversation he gave effective answers to the Khalifa's questions and supported him.

 

THE ELECTION OF SAYYIDUNA ABU BAKR SIDDIQUE (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) BASED ON IJTIHAD

 

MAWLANA UTHMAN BIN NASSIR EFFENDI (alaihir rahmah), in his book, "TAZKIYYA-I-AHLE-BAYT," writes:

 

When the Ashaab-i-Kiraam (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in) were confronted with something that they did not know how to do, (they would look the matter up in the SUNNAT-I-SANIYYA), and if they did not find a solution in the Sunnat-i-Saniyya, either, they would (decide how to) do it through a method called RE'Y (finding) and QIYAS (comparison), that is, by comparing it with other matters they knew how to do. This paved the way to IJTIHAD. If the Ijtihads of the Ashaab-i-Kiraam or other MUJTAHIDS agree on a matter, they will be no doubt left pertaining to the matter. This consensus of Ijtihads was called IJMA-I-UMMAT. Making Ijtihad requires having profound knowledge. Scholars who possess this deep knowledge (and are therefore capable of making Ijtihad) are called Mujtahid. If the Ijtihads made by Mujtahids do not agree with one another, it becomes Wajib for each Mujtahid to act upon his own Ijtihad.

 

The Caliphate election was a matter of Ijtihad, too. There were Hadith Shareefs denoting that Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, Sayyiduna Umar, Sayyiduna Uthman and Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in) would become Khalifa. But, the time for any of them was not stated clearly. Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi was sallam) did not say, "APPOINT SO AND SO KHALIFA AFTER ME." He left this job over to the Ashaab-i-Kiraam to decide on. The Ijtihads made by the Ashaab-i-Kiraam pertaining to Caliphate election did not agree with one another. There were three different Ijtihads:

 

The first Ijtihad was the Ansar's re'y (finding): They said that the person "who had served Islam most must be Khalifa. The Arabs became Muslims in the shade of our swords. Therefore, one of us must be Khalifa."

 

The second Ijtihad was the re'y (finding) of most of the Ashaab-i-Kiraam (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in): They said that the Khalifa "must be powerful enough to enforce the regulations among the Ummat. The most honourable and the most powerful tribe among the Arabs is the Quraish. The Khalifa will have to be one from among the Quraish."

 

The third Ijtihad was the re'y (finding) of the Hashimis: They said that "one of Rasulullah's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) relations must be Khalifa."

 

THE CORRECT ONE OF THESE THREE IJTIHADS WAS THE SECOND ONE

 

Yes, the Ansar were of great help to Islam. And, the relations of Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), on the other hand, were very honourable. Yet, Caliphate was not a chair for rest granted as a reward for past services. Nor was it an inheritable property to be handed over to relations. The second Ijtihad entailed that Caliphate was to be given to the Quraish tribe not because Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was from this tribe, but because the Quraish was a tribe renowned throughout Arabia for its honour, power, influence and dignity. For Caliphate was an office to provide unity, loyalty and social order among Muslims. And doing this, in its turn, would necessitate being authoritative. The Khalifa's duty is to prevent mischief and instigation, to secure peace and freedom, to administer Jihad, and to maintain order so that Muslims carry on their affairs and businesses easily and smoothly. Doing all these things requires power.

 

What the Ashaab-i-Kiraam (alaihim-ur-ridwaan) took into consideration in the Caliphate election was to unite the Muslim tribes so as to establish a powerful state. Giving the office of Caliphate to the Hashimis, who were only one out of ten Quraish tribes, would hardly provide this unity. The higher the number of people establishing a government, the more powerful the government. For this reason, it would be necessary to one of the notables of the Quraish. And the person to be elected would have to be a superior one, not only in tribal identification and genealogy, but also from the Islamic point of view. The highest Quraish tribe at that time was the Banu Umayya. And the most outstanding personage in that tribe was Abu Sufyaan bin Harb. Yet, the harms he had inflicted on the Muslims during the Uhud War had not yet been totally forgotten. He had already become a true and staunch Muslim. But the other Muslims could not fully trust him, yet. Consequently, no one could be placed before Rasulullah's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) faithful companion in the cave, who had become a Muslim earliest and caused others to become Muslims, too, and who had been appointed (by Rasullulah) as the Imaam (to conduct public prayers). It was certain that everyone would vote for him. In addition, since the normal procedure was for all Sahaba to come together and elect the Khalifa, the Ansar's attempt for an election among themselves could cause a commotion. Thus, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu Ta'ala anhu) forestalled this danger and saved Muslims from a grave tumult.

 

THE REASONS FOR SAYYIDUNA ALI'S (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) ABSENCE FROM THE ELECTION

MAWLANA UTHMAN BIN NASSIR EFFENDI (alaihir rahmah), in his book, "TAZKIYYA-I-AHLE-BAYT," further explains:

 

During these events Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was at his wife, Sayyiduna Fathima's (radi Allahu anha) home. Sayyiduna Zubair, who was Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique's son-in-law, Sayyiduna Miqdad, Sayyiduna Salman, Sayyiduna Abu Dharr and Sayyiduna Ammar bin Yasser (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in) were there, too. Their Ijtihad concurred with that of the third group. So Sayyiduna Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) came to Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) and held out his hand in homage to him. But, the latter had heard that Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) had become Khalifa; he, therefore, refused the offer. Abu Sufyaan (radi Allahu anhu) said, "Hold out your hand and I shall pay homage to you. I shall fill everywhere with cavalrymen and infantrymen if you want me to." Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) refused the notion, saying, "O Abu Sufyaan! Do you want to cause faction among the Islamic nation?"

 

As it is seen, both Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique and Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhuma) were sensitive about a probable instigation or controversy among the Muslims. At first, Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was somewhat sorry because he had not been called to the election held under Sakifa's brushwood shelter. As it is explained in the book "Musamarat", by Muhyiddin-i-Arabi, and in the book "Daw us-sabah", by Hamid bin Ali Imadi [1175 A.D.1757], Abu Ubayda (radi Allahu anhu) came to the house where Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was. He told him about all the statements that he had heard from Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhuma). [These statements, very long and effective, are quoted in "Qisas-ul-Ambiya"]. Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) listened. The statements were so impressive that he felt as if he had been penetrated to the marrow. He said, "Abu Ubaida! My sitting in the nook in a house is not intended to become Khalifa or to protest against the Emr-i-maruf or to castigate a Muslim. Separation from the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has shocked me out of my senses." The following morning he went to the Masjid-i-Shareef. Walking past all the others, he went near Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu), paid homage and sat down. The Khalifa said to him, "You are blessed and honoured to us. When you are angry, you fear Allah. And when you are happy, you thank Him. How lucky for the person who will not demand any more than a position bestowed on him by Allah. I did not want to be Khalifa. I had to accept it lest there should arise a fitna (instigation, mischief). There is no resting for me in this duty. A heavy burden has been imposed on me. I do not have the strength to carry it. May Allah give me strength! Allahu Ta'ala has taken this burden off from your back. We need you. We are aware of your superior qualities."

 

Sayyiduna Ali and Sayyiduna Zubair (radi Allahu anhuma) said that Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) was more suitable than anyone else for the Caliphate. They said they had been sorry for not having been informed about the election beforehand, and they apologised for this. The Khalifa accepted their apology. Then, Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) asked for permission and stood up. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) very kindly saw him off. As Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) left, he said, "My being so late to come here was not intended to oppose (Abu Bakr as) the Khalifa. And my coming here now is not out of fear." All the Hashimis followed Sayyiduna Ali's (radi Allahu anhu) example and paid homage. Thus, a unanimity was realised.

 

Both Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhma) managed very vigilant and wise performances throughout the Caliphate election. Sayyiduna Ali's (radi Allahu anhu) not being called to the meeting under Sayyiduna Sakifa's (radi Allahu anhu) brushwood shelter was a fortunate event. Had he been there that day, the discussions between the Ansar and the Muhajirs would have been doubled with the joining of the Hashimis, which in turn would have made things more complicated. Differences of Ijtihads pertaining to the Caliphate election are not for us to discuss or comment on. They are the best Muslims. Each and every one of them is a star guiding to salvation. It is from them that the meaning of the Quran al-Kareem was acquired. It is through them that hundreds of thousands of Hadith Shareefs were heard. And it is via them that the commandments and prohibitions of Allahu Ta'ala were learned.

 

It would not be worthy of us to attempt to use the teachings we obtained from them as criteria for assessing their behaviours.

 

Yes, erring is a human attribute. Mujtahids will err, too. Yet a Mujtahid will be rewarded with Thawaab anyway; ten times for not erring, and one reward if he errs.

 

Each and every one of the Ashaab-i-Kiraam is a pillar of Islam. Differences among them were based on Ijtihad. They knew one another's values even when they criticised one another. If Sayyiduna Zubair (radi Allahu anhu) had preferred his personal considerations to his religious conceptions, he would not have disagreed with Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu), his father-in-law. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) was the most eager supporter of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) in the Caliphate election. On the other hand, he, again, was the person who cherished and praised Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) the most. One day, Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) asked Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) a question. The latter answered the question. Upon this he said, "I entrust myself in Allah's protection from confronting a difficult question in Sayyiduna Ali's (radi Allahu anhu) absence." Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) used to say, "After Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the most useful people in this Ummat are Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu Ta'ala alaihim ajma'in)."

 

A month later Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) mounted the mimbar and said, "I want to resign from the office of Caliphate. If you expect to see me following precisely the same way taken by the Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), this is impossible. For the devil could not approach him. In addition, he would be revealed the Wahy from Heaven." Could the hearts of such noble persons harbour the ambitions for rank and positions? Could any tongue speak ill of them?

 

Actually, Sayyiduna Fathima-tuz-Zohra (radi Allahu anha) was so deeply distressed with the bereavement of her father's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) death that she could not go out. Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) also mostly stayed at home to keep her company in her bereavement; therefore, he could not frequently visit the Khalifa's Sohbat. However, after Sayyiduna Fathima's (radi Allahu anha) passing away, he paid homage again. He would often enter the Khalifa's presence, help him and make suggestions.

 

As will be concluded from the above mentioned information which we have derived from "Qisas-ul-Ambiya", the Shi'ite allegation that Sayyiduna Ali and six other Sahabis did not pay homage to Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in) is ungrounded. To stand against the unanimity of the Ashaab-i-Kiraam by not accepting Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (as the Khalifa) and to make immoderate statements in this subject would only have been incompatible with Islam. It would also mean to disobey Rasullulah's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) command to his Sahaba: "Be in unity and avoid controversies." To say that Sayyiduna Ali and six other Sahabis and Fathima-tuz-Zohra, the highest of women, (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in) did not carry out this command and disobeyed Islam would mean, let alone loving them, to controvert and belittle those great religious leaders. The controversy imputed to them is so grave that it has inflicted a fatal wound in Islam and caused millions of Muslims to deviate from the right way till the end of the world. The harms done to Islam and the bloodbaths of millions of Muslims perpetrated by those who dissented from the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah by reading the lies and slanders fabricated by the Hurufis (a Sect), are the causes of Islam's status quo. The harms which groups named Ahmadi and Qadiyani inflicted on Muslims are in the open. Could a wise and reasonable person with the light of Islam and a love of Imaan in his heart say that Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was the cause of this great malice?

 

SAYYIDUNA ALI (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) WILLINGLY ACCEPTED SAYYIDUNA ABU BAKR SIDDIQUE (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) AS THE CALIPH

 

The Shias say that as Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) was busy with the preparations for the funeral of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the three Khalifas convened most of the Sahaba and made Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) the Khalifa. Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) heard about this, but he thought that it would be futile to fight because he had a few men and he did not want the good people to die. The Shias say that that in some instances Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) did not fight with the Kuffar, and that even Almighty Allah did not punish His enemies, so for Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) not fighting with Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique (radi Allahu anhu) was correct. This is what the Shias believe.

 

It is our Sunni Belief that: By Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) not fighting Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) and obeying him, shows that Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) was the rightly-guided Khalifa. This fact cannot be refuted or denied by making a comparison of it to Rasullulah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallaam) not fighting against the disbelievers or the Quraish or Almighty Allah delaying the killing of His enemies such as Pharaoh, Sheddad and Nimrod. Almighty Allah and Rasullulah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) always reproved these enemies. They stated that these enemies were always evil and base. How can those people be examples for this case? Where is the similarity? The Shias, seeing that it would be futile to deny the fact that there are numerous evidence and reports stating that Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) accepted Sayyiduna Abu Bakr's (radi Allahu anhu) caliphate, changed their course and say that Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) accepted it unwillingly in order to act toward the situation. They cannot find a better way to prove that Sayyiduna Abu Bakr's (radi Allahu anhu) caliphate was unjust. They cannot find another way to resolve the dilemma they have driven themselves into. We shall once again prove from most reliable sources that it would be impossible to degrade Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) to the contemptible state of having committed a wrong deed in order to act toward the situation because of the overpowering conditions.

 

When Sayyiduna Rasullulah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) passed away, the Ashaab-i-Kiraam (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in) set about the election of the Khalifa before beginning the procedures of funeral. They considered it their primary duty to find the leader or president for the believers. When the people heard that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) passed away, they became so sad that they were at a loss as to what to do. Somebody was needed to bandage this very serious wound of the people and to diminish the severe pain. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu), in a serene manner, gathered the Ashaab-i-Kiraam (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in) and said aloud: "O thou, the blessed companions of the Prophet! If anyone here is worshipping Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi waslalm), let him know that he is dead. And whoever is worshipping Allahu Ta'ala should know that He is always Alive. He will never die!" The rest of his speech was equally effective.

 

When he heard that the Ansar had come together in order to elect the Khalifa from among themselves, he went to their meeting place taking Sayyiduna Abu Ubayda (radi Allahu anhu) and Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) along. He said to them, "I have heard that you have been having elections to perform and execute the Commandments of Allah Ta'ala. Think and search! The Khalifa is to be from the Quraish (tribe)." Then pointing to Sayyiduna Abu Ubayda and Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhuma), he added, "Elect one of these people." Upon this, Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) said, "You are the Khalifa, O Abu Bakr," holding out his hand to him. All the Ansar umanimously agreed to this caliphate.

 

The following day he went to the mosque and mounted the mimbar. He looked at the Jamaat (Muslims) and saw that Sayyiduna Zubair bin Awwam (radi Allahu anhu) was not among them. He sent for him. When Sayyiduna Zubair (radi Allahu anhu) came he asked him, "Do you have anything against the unanimity of the Muslims?" Sayyiduna Zubair (radi Allahu anhu) said, "O the Khalifa of the Messenger! I have nothing against it," and he held out his hand in submission. The Khalifa looked around once again. When he did not see Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu), he sent for him. When Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) came, he asked him, "Do you want to be opposed to the unanimity of the Muslims?" Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) too held out his hand in submission and said, "O the Khalifa of the Messenger! I am not opposed." Sayyiduna Zubair and Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhuma) apologised for being late to accept the Khalifa. They said, "We were sorry because we had not been informed of the caliphate election. We know very well that no one among us would be more rightful to the office of caliphate than Abu Bakr is. For he has been honoured with being (the Prophet's) companion in the cave. We are very well aware of his honour and his superiority. Rasullulah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) chose him among us to be the Imam to conduct the Namaaz."

 

The great Imam, IMAM MUHAMMAD SHAFI'I (alaihir rahmah) [150-204 (C.E.819)] states:

 

"When Rasullulah (sallal laahui alaihi wasallam) passed away, the Ashaab-i-Kiraam considered and searched, and finally decided that no one on earth could be superior to Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu). They unanimously made him the Khalifa. The Ashaab-i-Kiraam (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in) unanimously wanted to make one of the following (three) people the Khalifa: Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, Sayyiduna Ali and Sayyiduna Abbas (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in). Sayyiduna Ali and Sayyiduna Abbas (radi Allahu anhuma) said nothing against the caliphate of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu). They both accepted the caliphate of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu). Thus, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) was unanimously elected as the Khalifa.

 

"If Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) had not been the rightful Khalifa, Sayyiduna Ali and Sayyiduna Abbas (radi Allahu anhuma) would have opposed it and demanded their rights. As a matter of fact, (later) Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) did not accept the caliphate of Sayyiduna Mu'awiyya (radi Allahu anhu) because he did not consider it rightful. Although Sayyiduna Mu'awiyya's (radi Allahu anhu) army was greater than his, he insisted on his due. Many people lost their lives. On the other hand, it would have been much easier for him to oppose Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu), and he would have been elected as the Khalifa. For that time was closer to the time of Rasullulah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and people were more inclined to find out (and do) what was right.

 

"Furthermore, Sayyiduna Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) offered Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) to be the Khalifa, yet he refused it. If he considered himself to be more rightful, he would have accepted it. Indeed, Sayyiduna Zubair (radi Allahu anhu) and all the sons of Hashim, with all their great fame and bravery, and many other Sahabis were with Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu). This I'jma (unanimity) would suffice to prove the fact that Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) was the rightful Khalifa. The fact that there is not a single commandment or even an implication to contradict this, emphasizes the state of rightfulness. In fact, according to the majority of the scholars, the I'jma-i-ummat, that is the unanimity of the Ashaab, is more dependable than a commandment which is not mash-hur (narrated by all scholars unanimously). For something on which there was I'jma (unanimity of the Ashaab) is certainly true. A commandment which is not mash-hur, on the other hand, is supposed to be true.

 

"We would like to add at this point that if there are implications or even commandments advising that Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) should be the (first) Khalifa, the profoundly learned Ulema of Tafsir and Hadith should have reported them. It is true that there are no such commandments according to the majority of the profound scholars of the Ahle Sunna. This same statement shows that others do not have the right, either. Hence, it becomes obvious that Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) became the Khalifa rightfully by the unanimous vote (of the Sahaba) and Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) cannot be said to have acted toward the situation, unwilling as he was. If the Sahaba-i-Kiraam had been the kind of people who would not have accepted the truth, then (the probability of Sayyiduna Ali's) having acted toward the situation might be considered. How could Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) ever be reproached with having abdicated a right in order to handle people honoured with the Hadith Shareef, 'The best of times is my time.'"

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