THE CONSPIRACY AT
the Prophet (S.A.W) was being buried by Ali (A.S.) his family members his
clan and some of the immigrants and Ansars, men like Abu Bakr, Umar and Abu
Obaida with their friends were arguing with some 350 Ansars at Saqifa Bani
Saeda, a place not far from the Prophet (S.A.W)ís house as to who should
succeed Mohammad (S.A.W). Saqifa Bani Saeda was a shedded place in Madina
which belonged to the tribe of Bani Saeda, where generally notorious people
assembled to hatch conspiracies or plan dacoities. [Gaisul Logaat page 408].
The Prophet (S.A.W) in his stay of ten years in Madina never visited this
place nor did he ever send his representatives or companions for the purpose
the members of Bani Khazraj and Bani Aws, the two branches of Bani Azd clan
and the oldest residents of Madina had stopped fighting among themselves,
which was their history they were always eager to oblige the Prophet (S.A.W)
and his men from Mecca so that at the time of any conflict among themselves
they may not be overpowered by the other clan. The immigrants who were till
late living on the mercy of these tribes had now emerged as the third and
most dominating force. They always boasted of their close relationship with
the Prophet (S.A.W), of their being from the tribe of Quraish which was
considered to be noblest clan of Arabia. They fully exploited this
relationship and always talked with an air of superiority and authority.
people of Madina who at one time did not hesitate to kill a person in the
cause of Islam be he a close relative of these immigrants or any infidel of
any part of Arabia were now afraid to do so. Their sole protectors the
Prophet (S.A.W) was no more. They had also seen how some of the immigrants
whose relatives were killed by the sword had now suddenly become all the
more powerful. They could now
revenge of their dear one, and there was nobody to help them. The mistrust
among both the tribes was always there and the feat that the immigrants
whose mind and attitude was known to them may exploit this situation and
rule them made them more panicky. They now wanted to unite and fight these
forces. They wanted to protect themselves and their children. With this fear
in mind the Ansars on hearing the news of the demise of the Prophet (S.A.W)
gathered here to decide their future course of action. There was tension,
commotion and arguments. Some wanted Ali (A.S.) as their Caliph some wanted
to choose somebody from the Ansars themselves. As they feared that they
might be made the target of intrigues, conspiracies and politics of the
Addressing the gathering of the Ansars Sad Bin Obada one of their leaders
said, "O helpers the honour and respect you possess today no other tribe
enjoys. The Prophet taught Islam to his people for twelve years, but only a
few obeyed and they too were so weak and humble that they could not protect
him. They neither followed the tenets of Islam in the true sense, nor were
brave enough to keep his enemies away from him. Till Allah showed us the
path of righteousness and gave us honour for protecting his Prophet and his
followers. He gave you courage to strengthen Islam and fight its enemies. It
was your sword which helped the Prophet to crush the infidels. Allah then
recalled His Prophet, who went much satisfied with you. Therefore secure the
leadership for yourselves as you are the most deserving of all." The
gathering agreed to his suggestion and proposed his name for the leadership.
at this point when Umar entered Saqifa with Abu Bakr and Abu Obaida. Umar
wanted to interrupt Saad Bin Obada but Abu Bakr stopped him and himself
"Allah bestowed upon Mohammad His guidance and His
religion and in turn Mohammad invited the people to accept them. We the
immigrants were the first in whose heart the Almighty filled the respect for
him, and we bowed our heads before him. Those who followed us came next to
us. Therefore we stood more closer to the Prophet than others. Then we also
belonged to the respected lot (Quraish). You helpers (people of Madina) too
gave us shelter and helped our religion spread, but your position before the
Prophet (in comparison to ours) was that of a Vazir. The Holy Quran has
called you our brothers and partners and truly you have shared our
sufferings and gains equally. By Allah you are more dear to us than others.
You have always been contented with what Allah gave you. You carried His
orders when he asked you to look after the immigrants whom He sent to you.
Therefore donít be jealous of us, help us as you have helped us before.
Today it is your duty to see
the Muslims are not divided among themselves. Donít feel bad at the honour
Allah bestowed upon your immigrant brothers. I therefore call upon you to
pay allegiance to Obaida or Umar whom I have
chosen for the leadership."Obaida and Umar
immediately rose and declined the honour saying
"You (Abu Bakr) deserve more than us."
Abu Bakrís remarks the Ansars said, "By Allah we
are not jealous of what Allah has bestowed upon you and we also ensure you
that of all the human beings on this earth we love you the most. What we
fear is that tomorrow a person who is neither from you nor from us grabs the
leadership then what will be our position? Therefore it would be better if
we have one leader from you and one from us, and let all the Muslims pay
allegiance to both. We may also decide here that when the leader of the
Ansars dies, the Ansars may choose another leader from them and similarly
when the leader of the immigrant dies they too will choose their own leader
from amongst them. And this system can go for ever."
not arguing with this said, "Allah made Mohammad
His Prophet so that his men (Quraish), may pray to Him alone, though there
were so many other gods from whom they (the people) expected prosperity and
good things forgetting that they were all hand made gods and carved from
stones or wood. Because the Arabs did not want to leave the religions of
their ancestors. But Allah chose some people who were though very few, but
sacrificed everything they had in His name. They suffered all hardships,
faced oppositions but did not deter from the path of His obedience. These
people were the firsts to pray with him (the Prophet ), they should truly be
called his near ones and deserve to be his heir. Anyone who challenges this
right is a tyrant. Similarly your status among the followers of Islam cannot
be degraded. Allah created you to help His religion and His Prophet and
towards you He asked his Prophet to migrate. Therefore position wise we are
first and you stand second. We are the rulers and you are our vazirs.
Whatever we shall do or decide will be with your consultations."
Sensing the intentions of Abu Bakr, Habab Bin Manzar said to the people,
"O Ansars do not pay allegiance to these immigrants. They are under your
obligations and control. They are not strong enough to go against you. You
are honourable, respectable, rich and more in number. You are also the
fighting arms of Islam. With your help Islam could stand on its feet. Act as
your people want you to act today, do not betray them and do not defeat your
cause. It was you who gave refuge to the Prophet when he migrated to your
city. By Allah they did not dared to pray openly till they stepped on your
soil. Even their Friday prayers were offered in our mosque. Our swords
forced the infidels of Mecca to surrender before the Prophet. Therefore you
are superior to the immigrants and have more right to get the Caliphate.
This is not the time for us to be divided or get dispersed. This is the time
to insist for our rights, and if they do not agree to accept an Ansar as the
Caliph of all the Muslims then let us have one
Caliph from the Ansars and one from the immigrants."
to accept the suggestion of Habab bin Manzar, Umar said,
"Two swords are not kept in one sheath. The Quraish will never accept an
Ansar as their Caliph, because the Prophet was not from them. The heir of
the Prophet must be from the same clan as that of the Prophet (S.A.W) only.
And as the Prophet was from the Quraish therefore it is our right to be the
heir of this government and his assets. This right of ours is
unchallengeable. We are the Prophet near and dear ones and whoever
challenges this right is a sinner and will be damned."
bin Manzar rose in anger and pointing at Umar said to his men,
"Do not listen to this man or his companions otherwise you will lose your
right to govern. If they do not accept your rights throw them out of your
city and choose your own Caliph. You can do that because you have earned
this position through your sword. If you agree with me, by Allah, I can
drive these people to their old positions and whoever comes in my way will
be dealt with this sword."
Obaida bin Jarrah whom Abu Bakr and Umar had brought with them stood up and
"O Ansars, do not spoil your good name which you have earned
by being the first to help the immigrants and
first to give them shelter." But nobody listened
to him. When Bashir bin Saad saw that the Ansars are bent upon making Hubab
bin Manzar the Caliph whom he hated most inspite of his being from the same
clan and also his cousin, stood up and said, "O
Ansars we have earned our names in the wars we fought for the Prophet and we
have also earned the respect of being true Muslims, then why should we be so
selfish today? Why donít we put an end to this matter? We are already
enjoying the high status Allah has bestowed upon us as the `Helpers of
Islamí then let the heir of the Prophet be from Quraish as the Prophet
himself was from them. In my opinion it is not proper for us to dispute
their rights of being his heir. I therefore request you to fear Allah and do
not defraud the immigrants of their right."
advantage of the difference thus created by Bashir among the Ansars Abu Bakr
rose and said,
"I advise you to choose one of these two (pointing
towards Umar and Abu Obaida) as your Caliph."
immediately stood up and apologized, "How can I be
a candidate in presence of a man of your caliber and status. You have
embraced Islam much before me, you are also rich and have the honour of
being the Prophetís companion in the cave. Who can dare to challenge you.
Raise your hand and I will pay allegiance to you."
Accordingly Abu Bakr stretched his hand before
Umar, but before Umar could grasp it, Bashir bin Saad jumped on it and
holding Abu Bakrís hand pledged allegiance to him. Hubab bin Manzar shouted
at Bashir and said,
"You are sacked from our clan. What forced you to
do that? It is your jealousy with me that has forced you to do that."
"No it is not so. The Quraish deserve this honour."
members of Bani Aws saw that Bashir who was from the clan of Khazraj and one
of its leaders have stolen the initiative and has sworn allegiance to Abu
Bakr, even before the immigrants could do so and have thus gained favour
they too rushed forward and started pledging their allegiance to Abu Bakr
lest they may have to face the wrath of the immigrants. They were so excited
by this situation that one of them remarked,
"If Saad bin Obada becomes the caliph then his
tribe will gain respect and we shall be treated as inferiors. Therefore let
us (Aws) all pledge our allegiance to Abu Bakr."
bin Manzar pulled his sword but was overpowered by his opponents and his
sword was taken from him. The scuffle continued and Hubab was heard
shouting, "O Ansars, what are you doing? I can see
your children begging on the doorsteps of the immigrants and they do not get
even water." Abu Bakr asked Hubab if he was afraid
of him. Hubab said, "No, but I am afraid of your successors." Abu
"At that moment you do what you deem fit. I will not come in
your way Hubab." But alas neither you nor I will
be alive to see the disaster these people will spell.
of losing the sympathy of the immigrants grew so much among the Ansars that
they madly rushed towards Abu Bakr to pledge their allegiance and in that
melee, Saad bin Obada was almost
trampled. When his people protested Umar cried, "Kill him! May Allah kill
him." Saying this Umar jumped on Saadís head and sitting on it and
pressing it he said, "I will crush you in such a
way that your body will break into pieces."
Saad catching Umar by his beard shouted back, "By
Allah if you take even one hair of my body, I will break all your teeth and
you will go home toothless." Abu Bakr separated
the two and advised Umar to cool down lest his mission fails. Saad then told
Umar, "By Allah if I would not have been sick
today, and if I could only stand on my own you would have heard such echoes
of my voice from the lanes and by lanes that you and your people would have
vanished into the holes of this earth. If my health would have been better
today I would have sent you to such people who would have made you their
subjects and slaves and you would never have been Caliph."
asked his men to carry him home. Thus he went away without pledging
allegiance to Abu Bakr. Similarly many others who were neither in favour of
Abu Bakr nor Hubab bin Manzar went away saying we will pledge our allegiance
to only Ali (A.S.) and none else. Umar pledging his allegiance to Abu Bakr
said, "Think that my strength has also been added
to your strength."
who was not happy with the attitude of Saad bin Obada. He sent for him to
come back and pledge his allegiance, but Saad refused and told the
messengers, "Tell him I will hit him with all the
arrows I have and I will paint my lance with his blood. I, my relatives and
the people of my clan will fight with him, and by Allah if all the men and
even the Jinns come to pledge their allegiance to him I will not
On hearing this Umar asked Abu Bakr not to let go
Saad but force him to pay allegiance to him. But Basheer intervened and
advised them not to precipitate the matter saying, "Leave
Because if he has refused once he will never do it now even if you kill him,
and he will not be killed till all his relatives are killed, and you will
not be able to kill his relatives till you do not kill all the members of
Khazraj clan, and that will only be possible when you first finish the clan
of Bani Aws. Therefore, be content with what you have achieved. By sparing
him you lose nothing." Abu Bakr accepted Bashirís
advice and did not touch Saad.
never forgave them for this. He neither pledged his allegiance to them not
was he ever seen with them, nor prayed in their company, nor went to Hajj
ABU BAKR BECOMES
being forcefully elected as the caliph, Abu Bakr delivered his first sermon
in the mosque, with the following sentences :-
"O people! Know that there is a devil who
constantly haunts me. Then if I do good, follow me. But if I commit evil,
keep away from me" [Al-Imamah was Siyaasah of Ibn
Qutaybah, 3rd century]. This confession of Abu Bakr has confused the
traditionalists of every era who have tried their
justify them but have miserably failed to do so. Particularly when you
compare them with Ali (A.S.)ís historical claim,
"Ask me before I go away from you."
the death of Abu Bakr, when Umar became the Caliph, Saad migrated to Syria
but was way laid and killed by some unknown persons.
speeches and counter speeches, the slogans and counter slogans between the
Ansars and imigrant rose to such a pitch and created such a drama that none
could realise the consequences of their behaviour at Saqifa Bani Saeda. With
the result many of the Ansars who had voted for Abu Bakr later withdrew
their allegiances from him. But it was too late. The chair of the Caliphate
was already grabbed and there was nobody who could take it back from them.
The Ansars felt cheated and often taunted the immigrants for their
manipulations at Saqifa. The group of Abu Bakr from which three Caliphs, Abu
Bakr, Umar and Usman came were so scared of the Ansars that none of them
gave any governmental jobs to the Ansars in their regimes.
narrating his feelings about the whole Saqifa affair to Ibne Abbas said,
"Do not call it accidental and snatching an opportunity though it was all.
Allah saved his nation from this misadventure. Now if anyone repeats this
act you should kill him". [Tabari, Vol. 3, Page
speaking about the happenings at Saqifa said, "By
Allah the son of Abu Qahafa (Abu Bakr) dressed himself with it (Caliphate)
knowing for certain that my position in relation to it (caliphate) was the
as the position of an axe with the handmill. The flood water flows down from
me, and the bird cannot fly upto me. I put a curtain against the Caliphate
and kept myself detached from it. Then I began to think whether I should
assault or endure calmly the blinding darkness of tribulations wherein the
grownups are feebled and the young grow old, and the true believer acts
under strain till he meets Allah (on his death). I found that endurance
thereon was wiser so I adopted patience, although there was a thorn pricking
in the eye and suffocation (mortification) in the throat. I watched the
plundering of my inheritance till the first one (Abu Bakr) went his way, but
handed over the Caliphate to Ibnul Khattab (Umar) after himself."
Muslim has also recorded a tradition that Umar did not like Ali (A.S.) and
his uncle Abbas calling Abu Bakr a liar, a sinner, a fraud and a cheat. He
always complained to them for using these derogatory terms [Sahih Muslim,
Vol.1, page 71].
finishing the task at Saqifa, Abu Bakr, Umar, Abu Obaida and Bashir Bin Saad
came to the mosque where the members of Bani Hashim had assembled near Ali (A.S.).
The members of Bani Umayya
another group sat near Usman, and the members of Bani Zaheera with Abdur
Rahman Bin Awf. The Prophet (S.A.W) was already laid to rest by Ali (A.S.),
his relatives and friends. The atmosphere in the mosque was of gloom and
sadness. Neither Abu Bakr nor any of his companions enquired about the
Prophet (S.A.W)ís burial or uttered a word of condolence to Ali (A.S.) or
anybody from his family or friend. Umar straight away asked every person
present in the mosque to pledge their allegiance to Abu Bakr. Usman and the
members of his clan immediately went to Abu Bakr who had gone and sat on the
pulpit, pledged their allegiance to him. Seeing them Abdur Rahman Bin Aof
and his men too went to Abu Bakr and pledged their allegiance to him.
(A.S.) and his men saw this atmosphere in the mosque of the Prophet (S.A.W)
soon after his death they walked away from the mosque and went to the house
of Ali (A.S.). Those who left the mosque with Ali (A.S.) were Salman Farsi,
Abu Zar Ghaffari, Miqdad, Khuzaima Bin Saabit, Abu Ayub Ansari, Jabir Bin
Abdulla Ansari, Talha, Zubair Bin Awan and Abu Sayeed Bin Khudri. All
trusted friends of the Prophet (S.A.W) and distinguished characters of
Humiliated by the walking away of Ali (A.S.) and his relatives and
companions Umar asked Abu Bakr to summon Ali (A.S.) and ask him to pay his
allegiance. Abu Bakr sent his slave Qinfuz to bring Ali (A.S.). Qinfuz came
to Ali (A.S.) and said, "The successor to the Prophet of Allah has called
you." Ali (A.S.) replied, "You people have so soon started heaping
allegations against the Prophet ." Qinfuz returned and
Bakr what Ali (A.S.) had said. Abu Bakr began to cry. Umar who also did not
like Ali's (A.S.) answer asked Abu Bakr not to give time to Ali (A.S.) but
force him to pay allegiance. Abu Bakr again sent
to Ali (A.S.) to say that the leader of the faithful is calling him to
pledge his allegiance. When Qinfuz repeated the words of Abu Bakr Ali (A.S.)
replied, "Praise be to Allah, your master has
claimed a title to which he is not entitled."
came back and conveyed what Ali (A.S.) had said. Abu Bakr again began to
cry. This reply of Ali (A.S.) infuriated Umar so much that he took some
people with him and came to Ali (A.S.)ís house and
banging the door. Hearing the noise Fatema (S.A.) came to the door and asked
Umar as to why he was misbehaving. Addressing him she said,"I
do not remember any other nation who has done worse than what you are doing.
You left the body of the Prophet (S.A.W) without burial and went away to
decide the issue of Caliphate."
[Allama Ibn Qutaiba].
putting fire to the door kicked it so hard that Fatema (S.A.) was crushed
between the wall and the door. Fatema (S.A.)ís ribs and hands were broken
and the baby she carrying was still born. Fatema (S.A.) began to wail,
"O my revered father, O Messenger of Allah see
what miseries have been hurled upon us after you by Abu Kuhafa
(Abu Bakr) and Ibnul Khattab (Umar)."
companions of Umar heard the wailing of Fatema (S.A.) many of them left the
place weeping. and only a few remained with Umar. These companions of the
Prophet (S.A.W) who were inside the
with Ali (A.S.) to avoid further confrontation came out. Zubair Bin Awan the
son in law of Abu Bakr who was also inside with Ali (A.S.) pulled out his
sword but Umarís men pounced upon him on Umarís orders and Salman Bin Asham
overpowering him snatched his sword dashed him to the wall. Umar then
dragging him and other companions of the Prophet (S.A.W) brought them to the
mosque where Abu Bakr was still waiting for them. Abu Bakr asked them as to
why are they refusing to pay allegiance to him. The he reminded them his
services in the cause of Islam. But none replied. Umar them forced them all
pay allegiance to Abu Bakr [Al-Melal Wan Nehal by Shahrastani].
completing this task again came to Ali (A.S.)ís house and dragging Ali
(A.S.) who was attending to his injured wife and suffocating children
brought him to Abu Bakr to force him pay allegiance. Abu Bakr too asked Ali
(A.S.) to pay allegiance, but Ali (A.S.) refused and said,
"I am more deserving than you, you
pay allegiance to me because you have taken the Caliphate from Ansars on the
plea that Mohammad (S.A.W) was from your tribe, that you were more closer to
him than the Ansars. Then are we the members of his family not nearer to him
than you? The Ansars have conceded and have accepted your arguments, now I
am putting the same arguments before you. If you are a true Muslim then do
justice to me or be called a tyrant."
said, "We will not leave you till you pledge your allegiance to Abu
Bakr." Ali (A.S.) replied,
know why you are so anxious. Milk the cow today as much as you can so that
tomorrow you may get the same for you. And make this post so strong for Abu
Bakr that tomorrow he will pass it to you. I am not going to pledge
allegiance to Abu Bakr."
"If you do not
pledge allegiance by Allah we will kill you."
Ali (A.S.) asked,
"Will you kill
the person who is a slave of Allah and brother of the Messenger of
"We accept you
as the slave of Allah but we do not accept you as the brother of the
Prophet." As Abu Bakr was silent all this
time, Umar angrily said,
"Why donít you speak? Why donít you
order him to pledge his allegiance to you?"
"So long as Fatema (S.A.) is alive, I will not force Ali
(A.S.) to pay his allegiance."
Then he told Ali (A.S.),
"If that is your wish I will not press."
Obaida Bin Jarrah who was also anxious to see that Ali (A.S.) pledges
allegiance intervened and said to Ali (A.S.),
"Brother you are younger to them in age (Ali (A.S.) was thirty three and
the others were
sixty). Your experience in these affairs is less
than theirs. They know more of politics than what you know. I find Abu Bakr
more competent than you. Therefore it is your duty to pledge allegiance to
him. And if you live after them then this post is for you, because you are
respectable, strong, full of knowledge and understanding, a senior Muslim
and also the son in law of the Prophet." Replying
to Obaida Ali (A.S.) said, "O you immigrants do not
remove the leadership of the estate and the government from the Prophetís
house and take it to your house, and do not deprive his family of the honour
they possess. By Allah O immigrants we are more deserving for this post than
you because we are his family. We have the best knowledge of Quran, the
traditions and the tenets of Islam. We are more informed about the religion
than you. If there is anybody who can solve the difficulties of the people
it is we. We will give them better justice. Do not follow your desires
otherwise you will be misled."
Bin Saad the man from Ansars, who had jumped at Saqifa to pledge allegiance
to Abu Bakr because of his enmity with his cousin Saad Bin Obada said,
"Ali had you addressed us (the Ansars)
pledged our allegiance to Abu Bakr we would not have opposed you."
Ali (A.S.) then left the mosque and came to the grave of the Prophet
wailing, "O brother see how our people have
rendered me weak to the utmost and were about to kill me."
History has recorded Umarís visit to the house of Abu Obaida to offer him
the chair of the caliphate. Abu Obaida turning down the offer said,
"I have never heard you talking so foolishly before"
[Tarikhul Khulafa, page 48].
Bakr returned home his father Abu Qohafa asked him as to who got the
Caliphate. Abu Bakr said that he was chosen. Abu Qohafa surprisingly asked,
"How come that the descendants of Abde Munaf
(Bani Hashim and Bani Umayya)
and Bani Mogheera did not object." Abu Bakr said Bani Hashim did not
oppose him. Abu Qohafa asked, "On what grounds did they choose you"?
Abu Bakr replied,
"Because I was the oldest among the immigrants."
Abu Qohafa retorted,
"Then why not me? I am older than you. Why did you not
suggest my name." Abu Bakr did not answer.
three days Abu Bakr did not come out of his house. He kept the doors closed
and whenever he came out he asked the people to withdraw their pledge as he
finds himself inefficient (for the job). When Umar heard this he came to
meet him. Abu Bakr cursed him for putting this burden on him [Kanzul Ummal,
vol. 4, page 135].
significant to note here that the tribes of Bani Taem (Abu Bakrís tribe) and
Banu Adi tribe (the tribe of Umar) were not on friendly terms with the tribe
of Bani Hashim even before the advent of Islam
[Sawaequl Mohreqah, page 31].
time of Prophet (S.A.W)ís death Abu Sufian was not in Madina. When he was
returning home he met a traveller coming from Madina who informed him of the
Prophet (S.A.W)ís death. Abu Sufian asked,
is the ruler in place of Mohammad?" "Abu Bakr"
replied the traveller.
"What about Ali and Abbas, how did they reconcile
this? Were they considered so weak as to be ignored?"
asked Abu Sufian.
"They remained silent"
said the traveller. Abu Sufian remarked,
"By Allah if I remain alive I will get their honour back to them. I can see
the dust of trouble and mischief rising. This dust can only be removed by
entering Madina Abu Sufian roamed the lanes and bylanes expressing his anger
and surprise at Abu Bakr becoming the ruler of the Muslim world. Addressing
the tribes of Bani Hashim and Bani Umayya he asked,
"O tribes of Hashim and Umayya, how can Abu Bakr
rule over you. The Caliphate has gone to the most wretched and lowest tribe
of Arabia. It has to be with the Hashmis and towards them it has to go. Only
deserves this honour. Therefore, rise O Hashmis and take back your right which
fraudulently been snatched from you."
creating an atmosphere against Abu Bakr, Abu Sufian came to the house of
Abbas Ibne Abdul Mutallib uncle of the Prophet (S.A.W) and said,
"See how these people have grabbed the Caliphate from
Hashim and have confined it to the clan of Bani Tayem. And this man
(Abu Bakr) will pass it to a haughty man Umar of
Bani Adi, after himself. Let us go to Ali
and persuade him to come out of his
seclusion and take up arms to regain his right. When we both will pledge our
allegiance to him others will follow us. As you are the uncle of the Prophet
(S.A.W) and my words carry weight with the Quraish. Then whoever dares to
oppose us will be killed."
found Abbas convinced, he brought him to Ali (A.S.) and said,
O Ali! What a fall for this seat of Caliphate. How can the Caliphate go to
the lowest tribe like Banu Tayem"
[Tabari vol. 3, page 202].
your hand and I will pledge my allegiance to you, and if any one dares to
oppose me I will fill the streets of Madina with the calvaries and
infantries of Mecca." Abbas too persuaded Ali
(A.S.) to declare his
Caliphate and said,
"Stretch your hand and I will pledge my allegiance to you so that the people
may know that the Prophetís uncle has accepted Ali as the Caliph, and nobody
will dare to oppose then."
Ali (A.S.) replied, "Who
else can have this right but me. I do not accept Caliphate under cover. If I
accept it I will accept it openly."
Ali (A.S.)ís answer silenced Abbas. Then Ali
(A.S.) turned to Abu Sufian and said,
"I do not need your help or sympathy. You have always tried
to harm Islam. By Allah your only purpose of coming to me is to create
dissensions among the Muslims." Then addressing
the Muslims who had gathered by then, Ali (A.S.) said,
"O people steer clear through the waves of mischief in boats of deliverance.
Turn away from the path of dissensions and remove the crown of pride.
Prosperous is he who
with wings (when he has power) or he remains peaceful and allows others to
enjoy peace. It (the aspirations of Caliphate) is like turbid water or like
a morsel that suffocates the person who swallows it. One who plucks fruits
before its ripening is like one who cultivates in anothers field. If I speak
out they will call me power greedy, but if I keep quiet they will say that I
am afraid of death. It is a pity that after all the ups and downs (I have
experienced in my life) I have to hear this. By Allah the son of Abu Talib
(himself) is more familiar with death than an infant with the breast of his
mother. I have some knowledge if I disclose you will tremble like ropes
trembling in deep well."
these words of Ali (A.S.) did not change the mind of Abu Sufian because he
had not come to Ali (A.S.) with honest intentions. His intention was to
create trouble so as to get a share in the power. When he failed to take Ali
(A.S.) with him, he went back to the streets and bazaars of Madina again
accusing Abu Bakr for usurping the rights of Ali (A.S.). When Umar saw that
the utterings of Abu Sufian in the streets and bazaars of Madina may
encourage the people to revolt against them he advised Abu Bakr to silence
him some how. Abu Bakr immediately summoned Abu Sufian and offered him the
right to collect
Saqa.(a source of good
income) But Abu Sufian refused because that was not enough for him. Abu Bakr
then offered him the governorship of Syria which he readily accepted but on
the condition that his son Yazeed will act as the governor instead of him.
This change made no difference to Abu Bakr and he not only accepted it but
also gave Yazeed a grand send off. Abu Bakr himself accompanied the caravan
of Yazeed on foot for two miles. When Yazeed asked him to return Abu Bakr
refused. Yazeed then
requested Abu Bakr to at least sit with him on the mount, he did not oblige
nor he allowed Yazeed to descend from his mount and walk with him saying,
"Neither I will sit down on the mount nor you will walk with me."
[Eqdul Fareed, Vol. 10, Page 37]
THE REGIME OF ABU
we proceed further let us find out who Abu Bakr was, what was his clan, who
were his family members, what was their contribution in the propagation of
Islam. What relationship he and his family had with the Prophet (S.A.W), and
what was his attitude with Ali (A.S.), his family members and the clan of
belonged to the clan of Bani Tayem. Abu Bakrís grand father Sakhar bin Umrao
also did not command much respect among the Meccans. It is said that when
Herb bin Ummayya had to hire two
to kill a wealthy Jew businessmen of Mecca and a neighbour of Abdul
Muttalib, Herb was one of them and the other was Amir bin Abde Munaf. They
killed him and looted his wealth and hid in a village
Sakh, 3 miles from Madina. (Later after migration Abu Bakr married a girl
from this village, and also stayed in this village after migration). Abdul
Muttalib not only chased them and caught them but also saw to it that Herb
bin Ummayya compensated for the murder.
Bakrís fatherís name was Usman and was called Abu Qahafa. He accepted Islam
only after the fall of Mecca. Till then he remained an infidel and always
used bad language and abused the Prophet (S.A.W). [Tabari, Riazun Nazarah,
Page 122] He earned his bread by catching birds and pigeons and selling
them. Abu Bakr neither stayed with him nor supported him. [Allama Ibnul
Hadid Motazeli, Vol. 3, Page 274] When Abu Qahafa became blind due to old
age and couldnít earn his living, a philanthropist named Abdullah bin Jaadan
employed him to drive away flies when Abdullah sat to take food. Abu Qahafa
happy with the attitude of his son towards him. Thus, after the death of Abu
Bakr when he was offered his share of the estate left by Abu Bakr he refused
to take. Abu Bakr married four times. Twice
the advent of Islam and twice after he embraced Islam. The first wifeís name
was Qateela and the second was Zoundi. From Qateela he had Abdullah and Asma
mother of Abullah bin Zubair. From Umme
he had Aisha and Abdur Rahman. From his third wife Asma bint Anees he had
Mohammad. The fourth wife was Habiba binte Kharja, from her he had Umme
Kulsoom. [Tabari, Vol. 4, Page 50] Qateela and Zomeen embraced Islam only
after migration to Madina, till then they were infidels. The eldest son
Abdullah died an infidel in the year 11 Hijri. The second son Abdur Rahman
embraced Islam after the treaty of Hudaibia. Before that he stayed back in
Mecca for 13 years, he was an arch enemy of the Prophet (S.A.W). He came
with Abu Sufianís army in the wars of Badr and Ohad. He boasted that there
is no one among the Muslims who is equal to him. He also came to fight Ali
(A.S.) in the battle of Jamal. He died in the year 53 Hijri.
Bakrís third son Mohammad was born during 10th Hijri at the time of the last
Hajj performed by the Prophet (S.A.W). He was only three years old when Abu
Bakr died. Mohammad was called Abul Qasim. He was a devout Muslim and was
counted as one of the most pious persons. He fought on behalf of Ali (A.S.)
in the wars of Jamal and Siffin against his own sister Aisha and Moaviyah.
During the year 37 Hijri, Ali (A.S.) appointed him as governor of Egypt.
Moaviyah bin Khudaij an officer of Moavia bin Abu Sufian fought Mohammad and
arrested him, and putting him in the skin of a donkey and getting it
stitched he burnt Mohammad alive. Only the burnt head was outside the skin
and visible. This was in the year 38 Hijri.
this news reached Madina, Umme Habiba one of the wives of the Prophet
(S.A.W) sent a roasted goat to Aisha with a massage that see Moavia has
roasted your brother this way. But Aisha was not sorry for her brother.
Usmanís wife was so happy with this news that she rushed to Moavia bin
Khudai, the killer of Mohammad and kissed his feet for thanksgiving.
[Tarikhe Khamees, Vol. 2, Page 266].
three daughters were Aisha, Umme Kulsoom and Asma. Asma was married to
Zubair from whom she got Abdullah. Aisha was married to the Prophet (S.A.W)
and she had no issues. Aisha also fought against Ali (A.S.) in the war of
Jamal. She also did not allow the body of Hasan (A.S.), the grandson of the
Prophet (S.A.W) to be buried near the grave of the Prophet (S.A.W). [Rozatul
Manazir, Vol. 11, Page 133] The third daughter was Umme Kulsoom. Aisha got
her married to Umar during his regime.
the year 56 Hijri Moavia came to Madina and got dug a pit which was covered
with grass and weak sticks. He then put a chair on it and invited Aisha to
sit on it. As Aisha sat the chair fell in the ditch, Moavia immediately got
it filled with stone and lime then quietly went away to Mecca. [Hadiqai
Hakim Nesai & Habibusseer] Abu Bakrís niece Joada, daughter of Umme Farwa
(Abu Bakrís sister) gave poison to Imam Hasan (A.S.) and Abu Bakrís nephew
Mohammad was one of the killers of Imam Husain (A.S.) at
[Tabari, Vol. 6, Page 210] Talha bin Obaidullah was Abu Bakrís cousin. Abu
Bakr was a cloth seller by profession. He used to carry cloth mostly bed
sheets on his shoulders and went hawking, or
was known for using filthy language. [Tareekhul Khulafa, Page 37] Though he
was one of the earliest converts yet history has very little record of his
contribution towards the spread of Islam. It is also very strange that
though his association with the Prophet (S.A.W) was for more than twenty
years yet we find only ten traditions narrated by him in the history books.
While his daughter, Aisha was one of the ten wives of the Prophet (S.A.W)
and as such got very little time to be with the Prophet (S.A.W) knew more
than five thousand traditions and all are recorded in the history books as
narrated by her. Similarly Abu Huraira one of the companions of the Prophet
(S.A.W) who was very young and had embraced Islam only three years before
the Prophet (S.A.W)ís death also knew five thousand traditions. Aisha swore
that her father did not ever compose any verse either during the days of his
infidelity nor after embracing Islam. [Tareekhul Khulafa, Page 22] History
has also not recorded any where that Abu Bakr killed any infidel either in
war or otherwise, nor spent any money in the cause of Islam, nor did any
preaching except once when he tried to give a sermon at Mecca. The infidels
hammered him so much that his nose was completely smashed. From then on he
was so afraid of the infidels of Mecca that he never attempted to do any
preaching. On the contrary during the 6th year before the Hijrat he fled
Mecca and was proceeding towards Yemen when an infidel friend of his
recognized him and brought him back assuring
his protection. Similarly when the infidels of Mecca ostracized the Prophet
(S.A.W) and his entire clan of Bani Hashim and they were compelled to go and
stay at a mountain pass and eat even tree
for their survival Abu Bakr made no attempt either to see the Prophet
(S.A.W) or arrange for their food or made any attempt to bring them back to
news of Abu Bakrís Caliphate spread the Muslims all over the Muslim world
resented and revolted against him. They refused to accept him as the heir of
the Prophet (S.A.W) and in retaliation stopped paying zakat to him. Even the
governors and officers of many provinces revolted and refused to act on his
behalf. Khalid bin Saeed and many such companions of the Prophet (S.A.W) who
were governors appointed by the Prophet (S.A.W) resigned from their posts.
Abu Bakr asked them as to why they do not want to continue since they are
the most efficient governors and the Prophet (S.A.W) had appointed them for
the job. He even ordered them to go back to their posts but they declined
"We are the descendents of Abi Asseha and do not want to be
the tax collector of any body else." Fearing
danger to their lives they even migrated to Syria but they were all killed.
[Izalatul Khefa, Vol. 2, Page 37]
others argued that the Prophet (S.A.W) had not nominated and therefore he
cannot be his heir. Then they would also have not minded if in his place any
body else from the Prophet (S.A.W)ís family
become the Caliph. They openly accused him of depriving the real heirs of
the Prophet (S.A.W) and grabbing the Caliphate for himself. The refusal to
pay tax angered Abu Bakr. The movement had
in such a big way that according to Masoodi,
"Within ten days of the Prophet (S.A.W)ís death the entire Arab community
became non believers." [Moroojuz Zahab, Vol. 5,
Page 101] Umar and Abu Obaida,
Mooli sensing trouble and revolt advised Abu Bakr not to take any drastic
step and in support of their advice they cited the example of the Prophet
(S.A.W) who neither forced nor harassed the non
of zakat. They even warned him that the history of Hazarmoot may not be
repeated but Abu Bakr listened to none and criticising Umar said, "You
were harsh before embracing Islam now what has made you a coward. I will
take everything from them what they have been paying to the Prophet. Even if
it is as small a thing as the rope with which a goat is tied."
He wrote open letters to all his opponents informing them that he is sending
Khalid bin Waleed with an
with the instructions to spare those who are prepared to obey him and to
fight those who refuse to obey his orders. I have ordered him to kill all
such men mercilessly and burn their bodies and
the ladies and children slaves.
Bakrís men began to harass the Muslims to recover zakat they protested and
"Why are you killing us. We are Muslims, and believe in one
Allah and that Mohammad (S.A.W) was His Prophet. We
our regular prayers facing Kaaba and perform all the rites the Prophet had
ordered us. We are only not paying zakat to Abu Bakr because we do not
accept him as the heir of the Prophet which is not unIslamic."
But Abu Bakrís men did not listen to them and they
not only killed them or arrested them and made them prisoners but
confiscated all their property and wealth and took their ladies as
slavegirls. When Umar became the Caliph he set free all such prisoners and
slaves and returned their property and wealth.
[Tareekhe Khamees, Vol. 2, Page 224] History has recorded some verses
composed by the nongivers of taxes to Abu Bakr,
"As long as the Prophet lived we obeyed him but
who is this Abu Bakr to claim this right. What does he want that after his
death the state should go to his children. By God this is a great calamity
which will destroy us." [Tabari, Vol. 3, Page 213;
Abu Bakr Siddique, Page 193].
the famous Moazzin of the Prophet (S.A.W) was so disgusted with the
happening in Madina that he stopped giving Azan and left the city. Among the
many non tax payers to Abu Bakr was one Maalik bin
a close friend of the Prophet (S.A.W). He was not only handsome and
possessing a very good personality, but was also a brave soldier and a poet.
He commanded great respect among his clan of Bani Haifa. They loved and
respected him like a king. When Maalik came to the Prophet (S.A.W) to
embrace Islam, his personality impressed the Prophet (S.A.W) so much that
not only did he give Maalik the honour of his friendship but also authorized
him to collect zakat from his tribe Bani Haifa on his behalf. So that Maalik
may continue to enjoy the respect, status and honour of his men as he
enjoyed before. [Tabaqate ibne Saad, Vol. 5, Page 80]
Maalik learnt about the Prophet (S.A.W)ís death and Abu Bakr becoming his
caliph he stopped taking zakat from his people and ordered them to preserve
the money till the matter of caliphate is
As he himself did not accept Abu Bakr as the caliph of the Prophet (S.A.W).
When Abu Bakr learnt about Maalikís non acceptance of his caliphate he
ordered Khalid bin Waleed to go and fight with him just as he had fought
with other non tax payers. As Khalid had an eye on Maalikís wife, who was
very beautiful, he immediately went to Maalikís village with an army and
confronted him. Maalik like other non tax payer Muslims argued that he was
the follower of Islam and believes in Allah and His Prophet (S.A.W). He
offers Namaz and performs all other rites Allah has ordered except that he
does not pay zakat to Abu Bakr because he does not consider him to be the
Caliph of the Prophet (S.A.W). The non acceptance of Abu Bakr as the caliph
of the Prophet (S.A.W) does not make him a sinner or a non Muslim. Why
should he be punished for that. Abdullah ibn Umar and Abu Qatada who were
present during the argument advised Khalid not to ill-treat Maalik or be
harsh with him. But Khalid did not listen to them and ordered Zarar bin
Azvar to kill Maalik.
protested and gave another alternative to Khalid, that he should be taken to
Abu Bakr where he can discuss the matter with Abu Bakr. But Khalid did not
agree to this and ordered Zarar to behead Maalik. As Zarar approached
Maalik, Maalik turned to his wife who was standing behind him and said,
"It is because of you that Khalid is murdering me."
Zarar then beheaded Maalik in the presence of Abdullah bin Umar, Abu Qatada
and some Ansars and Maalikís wife. Khalid then ordered the head of Maalik to
be burnt and a pot of food to be put on it for being cooked. As Malikís hair
were very beautiful Khalid ordered that the fire must be put to the hair
first. Abdullah ibn Umar, Abu Qatada and the Ansar protested but to no
avail. Khalid then took hold of Maalikís wife and raped her, and took her as
his mistress. Khalid then got all the men of Bani Haifa killed and their
ladies were taken as prisoners and slaves. They were
brought to Madina and lodged in the Prophet (S.A.W)ís mosque. It was from
these slaves that Ali (A.S.) took the hand of Khoola and made her his wife.
Mohammad bin Hanafia was the third son of Ali (A.S.) from her.
news of the murder of Maalik and his tribe, and the rape of his wife by
Khalid spread the Muslims became very angry and upset. But Abu Bakr was very
happy over the tragedy, and he declared,
woman can produce such a brave person as Khalidís mother."
[Tabari, Vol. 4, Page 11] Umar who was very angry at the attitude of Abu
Bakr shouted, "Stone Khalid to death, he has raped
Maalikís wife." Abu Bakr replied, "No, I cannot
do that. Khalid must have erred in performing his duty." Umar:
"Sack him atleast." Abu
"I cannot put this sword back in the sheath which Allah has
pulled out on my
opponents." [Tarikhe ibne Khallekaan, Vol. 5, Page
172. Tarikhe Tabari, Vol. 3, Page 241] While Abu Bakr was busy beheading and
burning the bodies of those Muslims who refused topay taxes to
(A.S.) was busy with:-
fulfilling the wishes of the Prophet (S.A.W)
declared that the Prophet (S.A.W) had willed him to pay his debts and to
fulfill the promises the Prophet (S.A.W) had made to the people. He also
took the responsibility of returning the valuables
had kept with the Prophet (S.A.W) for safe custody. He deputed men to go
round the cities and announce that whosoever had given loan to the Prophet
(S.A.W) or had kept his valuables with him for safe custody or any person to
whom the Prophet (S.A.W) had made any promise should come to him. Ali (A.S.)
will fulfill it whoever come with a claim to Ali (A.S.) was immediately
satisfied. He was not asked to bring any proof or witness. Every year during
Hajj the same announcement was made on behalf of Ali (A.S.) before the huge
multitude of pilgrims. And his practice was continued even after his death,
first by his son Hasan (A.S.) and after his death Ali (A.S.)ís second son
Hussain of announcing at the Hajj till be was martyred.
When Abu Bakr saw that he canít succeed by using force and
the situation was fast getting out of control he changed his attitude
towards the revolutionaries. He realised that the government which he formed
at Saqifa in haste and under duress was not a true representative government
and would not last long. He began to pay large sums and gifted properties to
shut peopleís mouth and buy them. Whoever claimed for anything was paid from
the government treasury without any inquiry, whoever demanded was
immediately given for no reasons the looted jewelry from the wars was
distributed freely to buy the people. [Fathul Buldan Belaazari, Page 6) To
drive the Muslims away from the Prophet (S.A.W)ís household he began to
twist the religion in his favour and gave different perception by using
guesswork to convince the new believers. The companions of Prophet (S.A.W)
whom he found to be against Ali (A.S.) were given more importance than the
family members of the Prophet (S.A.W) and their friends like Abu Zare
Ghaffari, Salmane Farsi, Ammare Yasir, Miqdad and others. Thus a line was
divided between the two groups. The group that supported Ali (A.S.) was
degraded in the eyes of the people. When these acts were not found to be
sufficient he diverted the attention of the Muslims by declaring war against
the weaker governments of Rome and Persia and encouraging them to loot and
plunder their wealth and property so that they may not look at their
activities and criticise their misrule.
Therefore, the expedition of Osama bin Zaid was immediately ordered. Every
Muslim was ordered to leave Madina soon under the command of Osama. When
Umar and his friends advised Abu Bakr to change the leadership of Osama, Abu
Bakr holding the beard of Umar said, "Your mother may weep on you, Allah
may destroy you, you want me to do what the Prophet had himself done. The
appointment of Osama was made by the Prophet and now you want me to change
it." [Tabari, Vol. 3, Page 212]
expedition of Osama left Madina with each and every Muslim except the
companions of the Prophet (S.A.W) on the advice of Umar lest they may not
incite the other Muslims residing outside Madina against them. When Zohair
(a companion of the Prophet (S.A.W)) asked the permission to participate in
the expedition of Osama. Umar replied, "I will not allow any of the
companions of the Prophet to move out of Madina." [Ibne Abil Hadid, Vol.
4, Pg. 457] Even Aisha and other wives of the Prophet were not allowed to go
for Hajj for the same reason. [Tabaqate Ibne Saad, Pg 205]