The first group is the group Imam Ali (as) and his followers and the second
group is the group of
Abu Bakr and his followers.
A second group which is the group of Abu Baker, since the era of the Prophet (saw) was trying to do all sorts of
conspiracy and wanted Ahlel Bait not to reach the office of leading the ummah. They
showed aggression and hostility toward Ahlel Bait. The second group after managed
to resist and prevented the Prophet (saw) not to write his Will, they too
achieved and succeed even to take power and Islamic government into their hand
after the death of the Prophet (saw). Unfortunately the second group with their conspiracy they
managed to take the government, power and leadership through revolutionary which
they planned and kept Ahlel Bait in cornered and separated and done every
possible ways for them not to reach to the office.
MEETING AT SAQIFA
Similarly, they hurried to Saqifa and
participated in the elimination of 'Ali b. Abu Talib from the Caliphate, and
left the body of Allah's Apostle (s.a.w) a covered corpse, may my father and
mother be sacrificed for him. They did not concern themselves with bathing, or
enshrouding, or preparing him for burial, or burying him; busying himself,
instead, with the position of the Caliphate and leadership for which he
extended his neck. Where then was the close companionship, the alleged
friendship and good character? I am astonished at the attitude of these
companions towards their Prophet, who devoted his life to their guidance,
nourishment and advise, these companions to whom the Qur'an advised; "What
befalls you concerns him, he is watching you, he is kind and merciful to the
believers". Still, [we see them] leaving him [as] a stiffening corpse, and
hurrying instead to Saqifa to appoint one among themselves as Caliph!
we live in the twentieth century which we claim is the most wretched one,
wherein morals have vanished and values have evaporated; yet, in spite of
all this, if a neighbour amongst the Muslims dies, they rush to him and busy
themselves until they bury him in his grave, in accordance with the saying
of the Prophet (S.A.W.): "Honoring the dead means burying him".
During the lifetime of the Prophet (s.a.w),
the Mosque of Prophet was the center of all Islamic activities. It was there
that the decision of war and peace were made, delegations were received,
sermons were delivered and cases were decided. It is not surprising that
when the news of the demise of the Prophet (s.a.w) spread, the Muslims
assembled in that very Mosque.
On the other hand, Saqifah of Bani Sa'idah was
located three miles OUTSIDE Medina and was a secret location for the evil
activities of some Arab tribes. (see Ghiyath al-Lughah, p228).
Why then Sa'd Ibn Ubadah and his fans as well
as Abu Bakr and Umar, left the Mosque secretly and without informing other
prominent companions and went three miles outside Medina to discuss the
issue of Caliphate? Why didn't they discuss the issue as important as this
among the Muslims inside the mosque? Wasn't that they wanted to
usurp the Caliphate without the knowledge of people? Why did Abu Bakr and
Umar with Abu Ubaydah slip out the mosque secretly? Was it because Ali and
Bani Hashim were present in the mosque and in the house of Prophet, and they
did not want them to know the plot?
Also, we should keep in mind that it was the
custom of the Arabs that once a person was declared, even by a small group,
to be the chief of the tribe, others hesitated to oppose him, and willy
nilly followed suit. Due to their dislike of Imam Ali (a.s) (which I
discussed earlier), they did not respect his right, nor did they even
informed him of this meeting. They SIMPLY neglected the last sermon of
Prophet in Ghadir Khum where the Messenger of God declared him as his
successor just two and a half months months before the incedent of Saqifah.
We do not agree and reject THE SECRET MEETING OF SAQIFA which happened without
the awareness and knowledge of the Muslim Ummah. Only few people met there, made
their own decisions and selected their own man among themselves. Worst in this
meeting the discussion was about the tribalism NOT ISLAM. There are several
questions have risen in this meeting which require A TRUE MUSLIM TO ANSWER THEM.
1) When the second caliph came to be informed about the meeting in Saqifa why he
came in secret in the mosque and informed only two people Abu Baker and Abu
2) Among all the Muslims in the mosque he only selected Abu Baker and Abu Ubaida.
Other important Companions of the Holy Prophets (s.a.w) did not have the right
to attend that meeting?
3) How can he left out Ali at the time the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) said "Ali mal
Haq wal Haq
4) How can he left out Salman at the time the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) said "Salman
5) How can he left out Khuzaima Ibne Thabit (Dhush-Shahadatain) at the time the
Holy Prophet (s.a.w) said that his witness is equal to two people? Was he not
important and necessary at the serious moment?
6) How can he left out Ammar Yasir at the time the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) said
that he would be killed by rebellious, meaning Firqa Baghiya?
7) How can he left out Abu Dhar at the time the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) said
“Heaven has not shaded, nor has the earth carried a person more straight forward
than Abu Dhar. He walks on earth with the immaterialistic attitude of Jesus, the
son of Mary."
8) How soon Omar and his friends forgot the saying of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w)
for three men, Ali, Ammar and Salman."
9) Other Muslims particular those who were at the Mosque, did not have the
Feeling of Safety and Love for Islam, only those few people felt the danger?
10) The event of Ghadir Khum just passed only few days before Saqifa took place
which they Abu Bakr, Omar and Abu Ubaida were present and heard what the Holy
Prophet (s.a.w) said. They not only heard what the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) said,
but they were the first people to congratulate Ali (a.s). Was it possible that
they quickly forgot this Important event and Hadith of Holy Prophet (s.a.w) of
Ghadir Khum and rushed to Saqifa?
11) If Abu Bakr, Omar and Abu Ubaida did not have ANY DESIRE for Caliphate, what
made them to leave the Dead Body of the Last Holy Prophet (s.a.w) and Beloved of
Allah aside without attending his Funeral?
12) We know that after the death of Omar, there was three days gaps and then a
Caliph was selected. Why could they not delay the selection of Caliphate to take
place after the burial of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w)?
13) The same Abu Ubaida bin Jarrah was a grave digger for the Muslim of Makkah.
How he managed to leave such a golden opportunity to dig the grave of the Holy
Prophet (s.a.w) and ran for the selection of Caliphate?
14) Which one was it important for Abu Ubaida the golden opportunity to dig the
grave of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) or the worldly power of Caliphate?
15) Since when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) in his life ever attended Saqifa and
sent any delegation there?
16) Were not the same Saqifa which was infamous and the secret meeting place of
the criminals to discuss their bad movement?
17) Was the Mosque not preferable and the right place for the selection of the
Khilafa than Saqifa?
18) The Mosque did not have enough space for the Muslim gathering so they should
go to Saqifa?
19) The decision of war, peace, people coming to the Holy Prophet (saw),
lecture and the solving of Muslim problems during the time of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w)
was taking place in Saqifa or in the Mosque?
20) Why during debate in Saqifa, there were not mentioned any Quranic verses or
the Holy Prophet (saw) traditions?
21) The Holy Prophet (saw) tried his best to remove the problem of tribe and
treated all Muslims equal, if this was the selection of the Muslim Khalifa why
the subject of tribelism was brought forward in this meeting?
22) Was it not conspiracy that Omar prepared a speech instead Abu Baker read
exactly what Omar wanted?
Volume 8, Book 82, Number 817:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
When the speaker had finished, I intended to speak as I had prepared a
speech which I liked and which I wanted to deliver in the presence of Abu Bakr,
and I used to avoid provoking him. So, when I wanted to speak, Abu Bakr said,
'Wait a while.' I disliked to make him angry. So Abu Bakr himself gave a speech,
and he was wiser and more patient than I. BY ALLAH, HE NEVER MISSED A SENTENCE
THAT I LIKED IN MY OWN PREPARED SPEECH, BUT HE SAID THE LIKE OF IT OR BETTER
THAN IT SPONTANEOUSLY.
23) Where were those traditions in praise of Abu Baker and Umar from the
Prophet (saw)? Here in Saqifa was the right place and right time to bring
forward in order to give it strength for the selection of a Khalifa. Why Abu
Baker or Umar never brought forward any traditions regarding them if they were
truly existed in their favour and Prophet (saw) said regarding them?
What was the end of this man made Caliphate? It was sunk in Black Sea by human
ALLEGIANCE BY ALI AND BANI HASHIM AFTER SIX MONTHS
You say that Ali , the Bani Hashim, and the
Prophet's companions took the oaths of allegiance to Abu Bakr. You have read
the words "paid allegiance," but you have not understood to whom and how
they paid allegiance. All your learned traditionists and great historians
have written that Ali and the Bani Hashim paid allegiance (outwardly), but
that was done after six months, and then only under extreme duress.
Ali and the Bani Hashim did not take the oath
of allegiance immediately. Your historians have written that Ali offered his
allegiance after the demise of Hazrat Fatima. Bukhari in his Sahih, Volume
III, Chapter of Ghazawa Khaibar, page 37, and Muslim Bin Hujjaj, in his
Sahih, Volume V, page 154, report that Ali offered his allegiance after
Fatima's death. Some of your ulema believe that Fatima died 75 days after
the Prophet's death. Ibn Qutayba also holds the same view, but most of your
historians claim that she died six months after the Prophet died. It
follows, therefore, that Ali's allegiance came some time after 3 to 6 months
of the Prophet's death. Mas'udi in his Muruju's-sahab, Volume I, page 414,
says "None of the Bani Hashim swore their allegiance to Abu Bakr until the
death of Bibi Fatima. Ibrahim Bin Sa'd Saqafi narrates from Zuhri that Ali
did not pay allegiance until six months after the Prophet's death, and the
people did not have the courage to pressure him except after the death of
Bibi Fatima. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in Sharhe Nahju'l-Balagha relates the same
fact. In any case, your own ulema insist that Ali's allegiance was not
immediate but came only after some time had passed and then only when
circumstances forced him to do so. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid, in his Sharhe
Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume II, page 18, narrates from Zuhri, from A'yesha, who
said: "Ali did not offer allegiance to Abu Bakr for six months, and no one
of the Bani Hashim offered allegiance until Ali did." Ahmad Bin A'sam-e-Kufi
Shafi'i in Futuh, and Abu Nasr Hamidi, in Jam'a Bainu's-Sahihain report from
Nafiy, quoting from Zuhri, who said: "Ali did not swear allegiance until six
months after the Prophet's death."
FROM HIS HOME AND HIS HOUSE SET ON FIRE. TWELVE ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF THE
FACT THAT ALI WAS TAKEN TO THE MOSQUE AT THE POINT OF A SWORD
The truth is that on the order of Abu Bakr,
Umar and others went to Ali's house, threatened him with a sword, dragged
him to the mosque and forced him to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr. These
facts have been recorded by your own ulema. If you wish, I will relate them.
We do not say anything on our own authority. We say only what you say.
(1) Abu Ja'far Baladhuri Ahmad Bin Yahya Bin
Jabir Baghdadi, one of your reliable traditionists and historians, writes in
his History that when Abu Bakr called Ali to swear allegiance, Ali refused.
Abu Bakr sent Umar who went with a torch to set fire to Ali's house. Fatima
came to the door and said: "O son of Khattab! Have you come to set my house
on fire?" He said: "Yes, this is more effective than anything your father
(2) Izzu'd-Din Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali, and
Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari, narrate that Umar went to the door of Ali's house
with Usayd Bin Khuza'i, Salama Bin Aslam and a group of men. Umar then
called out, "Come out! Or else I'll set your house on fire!"
(3) Ibn Khaziba reports in his Kitab-e-Gharrar
from Zaid Bin Aslam, who said: "I was one of those who went with Umar with
torches to Fatima's door. When Ali and his men refused to offer allegiance,
Umar said to Fatima, "Let whoever is inside come out. Otherwise, I will set
the house on fire along with whoever is inside." Ali, Hasan, Husain, Fatima,
and a party of the Prophet's companions, and the Bani Hashim were inside.
Fatima said: "Would you set my house on fire along with me and my sons?" He
said: "Yes, by Allah, if they do not come out and pay allegiance to the
caliph of the Prophet."
(4) Ibn Abd Rabbih, one of your famous ulema,
writes in his Iqdu'l-Farid, Part III, page 63, that Ali and Abbas were
sitting in Fatima's house. Abu Bakr told Umar: "Go and bring these people.
If they refuse to come, fight them." So Umar came to Fatima's house with
torches. Fatima came to the door of the house and said: "Have you come to
burn our house?" He said: "Yes..." and so on.
(5) Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali in his Shahre
Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume I, page 134, quoting from Jauhari's Kitab-e-Saqifa,
writes in detail about the affair of the Saqifa-e-Bani Sa'ad. "The Bani
Hashim and Ali were assembled in Ali's house. Zubair was also with them
since he considered himself one of the Bani Hashim. Ali used to say, 'Zubair
was always with us until his sons were grown up. They turned him against
us.' Umar went to Fatima's house with a group of men. Usayd and Salma were
also with him. Umar asked them to come out and swear allegiance. They
refused. Zubair drew his sword and came out. Umar said: 'Get hold of this
dog.' Salma Bin Aslam snatched the sword and threw it against the wall. Then
they dragged Ali to Abu Bakr. Other Bani Hashim also followed him and were
waiting to see what Ali would do. Ali was saying that he was the servant of
Allah and the brother of the Holy Prophet. Nobody listened to him. They took
him to Abu Bakr, who asked him to take the oath of allegiance to him. Ali
said: "I am the most deserving person for this position, and I will not pay
allegiance to you. It is incumbent on you to pay allegiance to me. You took
this right from the Ansar based on your relationship with the Prophet. I
also, on the same ground, protest against you. So be just. If you fear
Allah, accept my right, as the Ansar did yours. Otherwise, you should
acknowledge that you are intentionally oppressing me.' Umar said: 'We will
not leave you until you swear allegiance.' Ali said: 'You have
conspired well together. Today you support him, so that tomorrow he may
return the caliphate to you. I swear by Allah that I will not comply with
your request and will not take the oath of allegiance (to Abu Bakr). He
should pay allegiance to me.' Then he turned his face toward the people and
said: 'O Muhajirs! Fear Allah. Do not take away the right of authority of
Muhammad's family. That right has been ordained by Allah. Do not remove the
rightful person from his place. By Allah, we Ahle Bait have greater
authority in this matter than you have. There is a man among you who has the
knowledge of the Book of Allah (The Qur'an), the Sunna of the Prophet , and
the laws of our Religion. I swear by Allah that we possess all these things.
So do not follow yourselves lest you should stray from the truth.'" Ali
returned home without offering allegiance and secluded himself in his house
until Fatima died. Thereafter, he was forced to offer allegiance.
(6) Abu Muhammad Abdullah Bin Muslim Bin
Qutayba Bin Umar Al-Bahili Dinawari, who was one of your ulema and an
official Qazi of the city of Dinawar, writes in his famous
Ta'rikhu'l-Khulafate Raghibin wa Daulate Bani Umayya, known as Al-Imama
wa's-Siyasa, Volume I, page 13: "When Abu Bakr learned that a group hostile
to him had assembled in Ali's house, he sent Umar to them. When Umar shouted
to Ali to come out and to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr, they all refused to
come out. Umar collected wood and said 'I swear by Allah, Who has my life in
His control, either you will come out, or I will set the house with all
those in it on fire.' People said: 'O Abu Hafsa! Fatima is also present in
the house.' He said: 'Let her be there. I will set fire to the house.' So
all of them came out and offered allegiance, except Ali, who said: 'I have
taken a vow that until I have compiled the Qur'an, I will neither go out of
the house nor will I put on full dress.' Umar did not accept this, but the
plaintive lamentation of Fatima and the snubbing by others, forced him to go
back to Abu Bakr. Umar urged him to force Ali to swear
allegiance. Abu Bakr sent Qanfaz several times to summon Ali, but he was
always disappointed. At last Umar, with a group of people went to the door
of Fatima's house. When Fatima heard their voices, she cried out 'O my
father, Prophet of Allah! What tortures we are subjected to by the son
of Khattab and the son of Abi Quhafa!' When the people heard Fatima's
lamentation, some went back with their hearts broken, but Umar remained
there with some others until finally they dragged Ali from the house. They
took Ali to Abu Bakr, and told him to swear allegiance to him. Ali said: 'If
I do not swear allegiance what will you do to me?' They said: 'We swear by
Allah that we will break your neck.' Ali said: 'Will you kill the servant of
Allah and the brother of His Prophet?' Umar said: 'You are not the brother
of the Prophet of Allah.' While all this was going
on, Abu Bakr kept silent. Umar then asked Abu Bakr whether he (Umar) was not
following Abu Bakr's orders in this matter. Abu Bakr said that so long as
Fatima was alive he would not force Ali to swear allegiance to him. Ali then
managed to reach the grave of the Prophet, where, wailing and crying, he
told the Prophet what Aaron had told his brother, Moses, as recorded in the
Holy Qur'an: 'Son of my mother! Surely the people reckoned me weak and had
well nigh slain me.' (7:150) After narrating this affair in detail, Abu
Muhammad Abdullah Bin Qutayba says that Ali did not swear allegiance and
returned home. Later Abu Bakr and Umar went to Fatima's house to placate her
and to seek her pardon. She said: "Allah be my witness that you two have
offended me. In every prayer I curse you and will continue cursing you until I see my father and complain
(7) Ahmad Bin Abdu'l-Aziz is one of your ulema.
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid writes about him in the following words: "He was a man of
learning, a traditionist, a great literary figure." He writes in his
Kitab-e-Saqifa and Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali also quotes from him in his
Sharhe Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume I, page 9, on the authority of Abi'l-Aswad,
who said: "A group of the companions and prominent Muhajirin expressed their
indignation at Abu Bakr's caliphate and asked why they were not consulted.
Also Ali and Zubair expressed their anger, refused to swear allegiance, and
retired to Fatima's house. Fatima cried aloud and made solemn entreaties,
but to no effect. They took away Ali's and Zubair's swords and hurled them
against the wall, breaking them. Then they dragged them to the mosque to
force them to swear allegiance."
(8) Jauhari reports from Salma Bin
Abdu'r-Rahman that when Abu Bakr heard that Ali, Zubair, and a party of the
Bani Hashim were assembled in Fatima's house, he sent Umar for them. Umar
went to the door of Fatima's house and shouted, "Come out, otherwise, I
swear I will set your house on fire!"
(9) Jauhari, according to Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in
his Sharhe Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume II, page 19, narrates on the authority of
Sha'bi: "When Abu Bakr heard about the gathering of the Bani Hashim in Ali's
house, he said to Umar: 'Both you and Khalid go and bring Ali and Zubair to
me so that they can take the oath of allegiance.' So Umar
entered Fatima's house and Khalid stayed outside. Umar said to Zubair 'What
is this sword?' He replied, 'I have acquired it for allegiance to Ali.'
Umar snatched the sword and hurled it at the
stone inside the house and broke it. Then he brought him out to Khalid. He
came back into the house, where there were many people, including Miqdad,
and all the Bani Hashim. Addressing Ali, he said: 'Get up! I'm taking you to
Abu Bakr. You must pay allegiance to him.'
Ali refused. Umar dragged him to Khalid.
Khalid and Umar forced him along the road which was packed to capacity with
men who witnessed this scene. When Fatima saw Umar's behavior, she, along
with many women of the Bani Hashim (who had come to console her), came out.
They were lamenting and wailing with high-pitched cries.
Fatima went to the mosque where she said to Abu Bakr: 'How soon have you
sacked the Ahle Bait of the Prophet of Allah. I swear by Allah, I will not
talk with Umar until I see Allah.' Fatima showed her extreme disapproval of
Abu Bakr and did not speak to him for the rest of her life." (See Sahih
Bukhari, Part V and VII).
(10) Abu Walid Muhibu'd-Din Muhammad Bin
Muhammad Bin Ash-Shahna Al-Hanafi (died 815 A.H.), one of your leading ulema
writes in his Rauzatu'l-Manazir Fi Khabaru'l-Awa'il wa'l-Awakhir, in
connection with the Saqifa affair: "Umar came to Ali's house prepared to set
it on fire with all its inmates. Umar said: 'Enter into what the community
(11) Tabari, in his Ta'rikh Volume II, page
443, reports from Ziyad Bin Kalbi that "Talha, Zubair, and some of the
Muhajirin were at Ali's house. Umar Bin Khattab went there and demanded that
they come out. If they did not, he said, he would set the house on fire."
(12) Ibn Shahna, in Hashiyya-e-Kamil of Ibn
Athir, Volume XI, page 112, writes in connection with the Saqifa that: "Some
of the Prophet's companions, and the Bani Hashim, Zubair, Atba Bin Abi Lahab,
Khalid Bin Sa'id Bin As, Miqdad Bin Aswad Kindi, Salman Farsi, Abu Dharr
Ghifari, Ammar Bin Yasir, Bara'a Bin Azib, and Ubai Bin Ka'b refused to
swear allegiance to Abu Bakr. They assembled in Ali's house. Umar Bin
Khattab went there intending to burn down the house. Fatima protested to
him. Umar said: 'Enter where all others have entered.'"
These are but a sample of the many historical
facts recorded by your own historians. This affair was so commonly known
that the poets of old mentioned it. One of your poets, Hafiz Ibrahim of
Egypt, says in a poem in praise of Umar: "No other person but Abu Hafsa
(father of Umar) could have the courage of addressing the chief of the Adnan
Clan (Ali) and his comrades, saying: 'If you fail to pay allegiance, I will
set your house on fire and will not leave any inmate of the house alive,
even Fatima herself.'"
BAKR ABUSED ALI AND FATIMA
Finally, if one who abuses the sahaba is an
infidel, why did Caliph Abu Bakr, in the presence of sahaba and a gathering
of Muslims, abuse the most exalted sahabi, Ali Bin Abi Talib? You praise the
merits of Abu Bakr although you should condemn him.
We do not report anything until we have made
complete inquiries. Perhaps you should consult Sharhe Nahju'l-Balagha,
Volume IV, page 80, where it is recorded that Abu Bakr, taunting Ali from
the pulpit of the mosque, said: "He (Ali) is a fox, the evidence of which is
its tail. He creates disturbances, minimizes the importance of big
disturbances, and incites people to make an uproar. He seeks help from the
weak and accepts assistance from women. He is like Ummi't-Tahal (an
adulteress in the days of ignorance, as explained by Ibn Abi'l-Hadid) with
whom the men of his family were fond of committing adultery."
SURPRISE AT ABU BAKR'S ABUSING ALI AND FATIMA
We aren't the only ones who are shocked at
such behavior. Even your own fair ulema are amazed to learn it. Ibn
Abi'l-Hadid writes in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l- Balagha, Vol.IV, p. 80, that the
utterances of the Caliph filled him with astonishment. He asked his teacher
Abu Yahya Naqib Ja'far Bin Yahya Bin Abi Zaidu'l-Basari to whom the caliph's
words referred. He said that the statements were not indirect. The reference
was explicit. Ibn Hadid said: "If they had been explicit, I would not have
put the question." Upon this he laughed and said: "These things were said
against Ali." Ibn Hadid repeated the words in astonishment: "Were all those
words said against Ali?" His teacher said: "Yes, O son! This is what
Resorting to abusive language is the tactic of
one who has no convincing reply. All this was done to Ali about whom, as
reported by all your leading ulema in their reliable books, the Holy Prophet
said: "Ali is with the truth and the truth is with Ali."
DIALOGUE WITH IBN ABBAS
We have quoted it verbatim from Al-Tarikh al-Kamil
by Ibn al-Athir who includes it at the conclusion of `Umer's
biography among the events of the year 23 A.H., page 24, Vol. 3, and it is
also quoted by the Mu`tazilite scholar in `Umer's biography, too, page 107,
Vol. 3, of Sharh Nahjul Balaghah; …The dialogue between Ibn `Abbas and `Umer
in which the latter, in a lengthy conversation between both men, asked: "O
Ibn `Abbas! Do you know what stopped your folks [from demanding the
caliphate] after Muhammad (pbuh)?" Ibn `Abbas narrates saying: "I hated
to answer `Umer's question, so I said to him: `If I do not know, the
commander of the faithful [i.e. `Umer] nows.'" `Umer said: "[Some people
simply] hated that both prophethood and caliphate be confined to your House;
so, they were happy about their scheme. Quraysh sought it for thmselves, and
were able to obtain it." I said: "O commander of the faithful! Do you permit
me to say something and promise to control your anger?" He answered in the
affirmative; therefore, Ibn `Abbas said:
"As regarding your statement, O commander of
the faithful, that Quraysh sought it for themselves and were successful
in obtaining it, I say that had Quraysh sought what Allah had chosen for
them, their choice would have been unobjectionable and unblamed. As
regarding your statement that they hated to see both prophethood and
caliphate in our House, I say that Allah, the Exalted and the Sublime, has
described some people to be malicious, saying, `... that is so because they
hated what Allah has revealed, so He rendered their deeds vain.'" `Umer then
said: "Impossible, O Ibn `Abbas, for I heard things about you which I hate
to believe else your status in my eyes should be
reduced." I asked: `What are they, O commander of the faithful? If they are
true, they should not lower my status in your esteem, and if they are not, I
am capable of defending myself against false charges.' `Umer then said: `It
has come to my knowledge that you say that they have deprived you of it
[caliphate] out of envy, oppression and injustice.' I said: `As regarding
your statement, O commander of the faithful, that it was oppression, then
that has become quite obvious to those who are ignorant as well as to those
who are clement. As regarding your statement about envy, then Adam was
envied, and we are his descendants who also are envious.' `Umer then said:
`Impossible, impossible; your hearts, O descendants of Hashim, have become
filled with envy that can never dissipate.' I therefore said: `Wait, O
commander of the faithful, do not attribute this to the hearts of those whom
Allah has purified with a perfect purification.'"
The second dialogue between both men can be
found in Imam Abul-Fadl Ahmed ibn Abu Tahir in his book Tarikh Baghdad,
indicating his reliable source to be Ibn `Abbas. It is also quoted by the
Mu`tazilite scholar who discusses `Umer in his Sharh Nahjul Balaghah, page
97, Vol. 3 He argued with him in another incident, asking: "How did you
leave your cousin?" Ibn `Abbas said he thought `Umer meant `Abdullah ibn
Ja`fer; so, he answered: "I left him in the company of his friends." He
said: "I did not mean him; I meant the greatest among you, Ahl al-Bayt." Ibn
`Abbas said: "I left him exiled, irrigating while reciting the Qur'an." `Umer
said: "O `Abdullah! I implore you not to be shy but tell me if he is still
concerned about the issue of caliphate." He answered in the affirmative.
Then `Umer asked: "Does he claim that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has
selected him for it?" Ibn `Abbas answered: "Yes, indeed; moreover, I even
asked my father if there was any statement made by the Messenger of Allah
regarding selecting him for the caliphate, and my father informed me that
that was the truth." `Umer then said: "The Messenger of Allah held him in
very high esteem through his speeches and actions in a way that left no
argument nor excuse for anyone, and he kept testing the nation regarding him
for some time; nay, even when he was sick [prior to his demise], he wished
to nominate him for it, but it was I who stopped him."
In a third dialogue between both men, is
quoted by authors of books of biographies in their discussions of `Umer, and
we have quoted it here from Sharh Nahjul Balaghah by the Mu`tazilite
scholar; so, refer to page 105 of its third volume. `Umer said: "O Ibn `Abbas!
I can see how wronged your friend [`Ali (as)] is." Ibn `Abbas said: "O
commander of the faithful, then affect justice on his behalf." Ibn `Abbas
said: "But `Umer pulled his hand from mine and went away whispering to
himself for a good while. Then he stopped; so, I rejoined him, and he said
to me: `O Ibn `Abbas! I do not think that his people denied him [the
caliphate] for any reason other than his being too young for it.' I said to
him: `By Allah, neither Allah nor His Messenger regarded him as too young
when they both ordered him to take Sürat Bara'a (Qur'an, Chapter 9) from him
[from Abu Bakr].' Having heard this, he turned away from me and started
walking fast; so, I left him alone."
The dignitaries among the descendants of
Hashim often argued likewise. Once al-Hasan ibn `Ali (as) came to Abu Bakr
who had seated himself on the pulpit of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and
told him to get down from a place his father was more worthy of. Al-Husayn
(as) is reported to have said similarly to `Umer who was also seated on
the same pulpit.[*]
[*] Ibn Hajar has quoted both cases in his
fifth maqsad of the verse enjoining kindness to the Prophet's kin, and it is
verse 14, of the ones dealt with in Chapter 11 of his book Al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqa;
so, refer to page 160 of this reference. Al-Dar Qutni has quoted the case of
al-Hasan with Abu Bakr, and Ibn Sa`d has quoted the case of al-Husayn with `Umer
in his biography of the latter in his Tabaqat.