7. Tijani’s objections to ‘Umar’s Caliphate

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7. Tijani’s objections to ‘Umar’s Caliphate

Tijani says:

 

The acclamation of Uthman was a historical comedy: Umar nominated six people for the caliphate and told them to choose one candidate, and said if four agreed and two disagreed, then the two should be killed, however, if the six were divided into two equal camps, then the camp which was supported by Abdul Rahman ibn Awf should be considered. But if after a certain time passed and no agreement had been reached, the whole six should be killed. The story is long and rather strange, but the important thing is that Abdul Rahman ibn Awf chose Ali on the condition that he should rule in accordance with the Book of Allah [the Qur’an] and the tradition of His Messenger and the tradition of the two Sheikhs: Abu Bakr and Umar. Ali refused these conditions but Uthman accepted them, so he became caliph. Ali came out from the conference of the acclamation and knew in advance the result, and talked about it in his famous speech known as al Shaqshaqiyya.[1]

 

Refuting Tijani’s objections to ‘Umar’s Caliphate

The narrations produced by Tijani could easily be collected in an anthology of fiction. The onus is upon Tijani to produce a reference for this fantasy-tale. It stands in stark contrast to the authentic version of what actually happened. It is mindboggling how Tijani dismisses reality and fact with ease, and dresses up known lies as though they represent reality. They deny what has been authentically reported, and affirm that which has absolutely no basis. It is to people like Tijani that Allah’s words apply:

 

وَقَالُوْا لَوْ كُنَّا نَسْمَعُ أَوْ نَعْقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِيْ أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيْرِ

And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.”[2]

 

The established truth on this issue is what al Bukhari narrates in his Sahih in a lengthy hadith from ‘Amr ibn Maymun. The following passage contains the relevant portion:

 

فقالوا أوص يا أمير المؤمنين استخلف قال ما أجد أحدا أحق بهذا الأمر من هؤلاء النفر أو الرهط الذين توفي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو عنهم راض فسمى عليا وعثمان والزبير وطلحة وسعدا وعبد الرحمن وقال يشهدكم عبد الله بن عمر وليس له من الأمر شيء كهيئة التعزية له فإن أصابت الإمرة سعدا فهو ذاك وإلا فليستعن به أيكم ما أمر فإني لم أعزله عن عجز ولا خيانة وقال أوصي الخليفة من بعدي بالمهاجرين الأولين أن يعرف لهم حقهم ويحفظ لهم حرمتهم وأوصيه بالأنصار خيرا الذين تبوءوا الدار والإيمان من قبلهم أن يقبل من محسنهم وأن يعفى عن مسيئهم وأوصيه بأهل الأمصار خيرا فإنهم ردء الإسلام وجباة المال وغيظ العدو وأن لا يؤخذ منهم إلا فضلهم عن رضاهم وأوصيه بالأعراب خيرا فإنهم أصل العرب ومادة الإسلام أن يؤخذ من حواشي أموالهم ويرد على فقرائهم وأوصيه بذمة الله وذمة رسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن يوفى لهم بعهدهم وأن يقاتل من ورائهم ولا يكلفوا إلا طاقتهم

 

They said, “Recommend (someone) O Amir al Mu’minin! Select someone as your successor!”

He said, “I do not find anyone more suitable for this matter than these six (individuals) with whom the Messenger was pleased before he departed from this world.” Then he named ‘Ali, ‘Uthman, Zubair, Talhah, Sa’d, and ‘Abd al Rahman.

He said, “‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar will oversee (the election process) but he has no say in the matter (it was as if he did that in order to console him). If the matter falls to Sa’d then that is that. If not, then whoever is made the khalifah should seek his assistance as I did not withdraw him from his position on account of any inability or disloyalty.”

He (‘Umar) continued, “I remind the khalifah after me about the first Muhajirin, he should acknowledge their right and preserve their honour. I exhort him to be good to the Ansar; those who were settled in Madinah and were settled in faith before them (before the Muhajirin came to them) he should accept the good amongst them and pardon the wrong amongst them. I encourage him to be good to the people of the (various) cities as they are the coat of Islam, and the collectors of wealth, and the irritation of the enemy. He should not take from them except their surplus and with their consent. I encourage him with goodness towards the Bedouin Arabs as they are the root of the Arabs and the core of Islam. He should take from the borders of their wealth and distribute it amongst their poor. I exhort him about the covenant of Allah and the covenant of his Messenger (with reference to the Ahl al Dhimmah) that he should fulfil their rights according to their covenant, and that he should fight behind them (if an enemy of theirs attacks them), and that they should not be burdened beyond their ability.”[3]

 

As is evidently clear, ‘Umar placed the matter in the hands of these six individuals with whom the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was pleased when he passed away. We can see from this narration that no command was given for anyone to be killed.

Assuming – momentarily – that there was a command for them to be killed, then in all probability its purpose would have been to prevent civil strife and deviation. Thus I ask: Would the command to have them killed have prevented civil strife or inflamed it? Would the execution of six of the best people of the Ummah have gone by without question? Would the Muslims have accepted that? In addition, if ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave the command for their execution, as Tijani claims, he would have commanded someone amongst the people to take responsibility for this duty; would Tijani kindly direct us to the individual tasked with that responsibility? All these questions indicate to the fictitious nature of Tijani’s narration.

Tijani asserts that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “Then choose the view of the three ‘Abd al Rahman ibn ‘Awf is amongst them.” This is also a fabrication against ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu as he handed the matter over to these six individuals to deal with among themselves. He did not instruct them to take the view of the group ‘Abd al Rahman was a part of. The truth is that they nominated ‘Abd al Rahman ibn ‘Awf as an arbitrator.

In the same hadith the following is expressed:

 

اجتمع هؤلاء الرهط فقال عبد الرحمن اجعلوا أمركم إلى ثلاثة منكم فقال الزبير قد جعلت أمري إلى علي فقال طلحة قد جعلت أمري إلى عثمان وقال سعد قد جعلت أمري إلى عبد الرحمن بن عوف فقال عبد الرحمن أيكما تبرأ من هذا الأمر فنجعله إليه والله عليه والإسلام لينظرن أفضلهم في نفسه فأسكت الشيخان فقال عبد الرحمن أفتجعلونه إلي والله علي أن لا آل عن أفضلكم قالا نعم فأخذ بيد أحدهما فقال لك قرابة من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم والقدم في الإسلام ما قد علمت فالله عليك لئن أمرتك لتعدلن ولئن أمرت عثمان لتسمعن ولتطيعن ثم خلا بالآخر فقال له مثل ذلك فلما أخذ الميثاق قال ارفع يدك يا عثمان فبايعه فبايع له علي وولج أهل الدار فبايعوه

When his burial was complete this group gathered together. ‘Abd al Rahman said, “Make the matter between three amongst you!”

Then Zubair said, “I pass my right to ‘Ali,” and Talhah said, “I pass my right to ‘Uthman,” and Sa’d said, “I pass my right to ‘Abd al Rahman.”

‘Abd al Rahman then said, “Which one of the two of you is willing to absolve himself from this matter so that we may place in front of him (the option of relinquishing his candidacy) considering (the other candidate), and Allah and Islam are watchful over him, the best from amongst them (to manage the responsibility of the Caliphate). The two Sheikhs (‘Uthman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma) remained silent.

Then ‘Abd al Rahman said, “Do you place the responsibility (of selecting the khalifah) in front of me and Allah is watchful over me I will not fall short of making every effort in selecting the best of you (for the position)?

They said, “Yes!” He then grabbed hold of the hand of one of them and said, “You are closely related to the Messenger, and you entered into Islam very early as you know, By Allah, it is a duty upon you that if I choose you (to be the khalifah) you be just and if I choose ‘Uthman you listen and obey!”

Then he went privately to the other and said something similar. When he had procured the agreement (from both of them) he said, “Raise your hand ‘Uthman,” and he gave him his pledge. Then ‘Ali gave his pledge and then the people of the house entered and gave their pledge.

 

What more can be said of Tijani’s blatant lies!

 

NEXT ⇒ Chapter 8 – Refuting Tijani’s Criticisms of the Third Khalifah, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan 


[1]Then I was guided, p. 145

[2] Surah al Mulk: 10

[3]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, hadith no. 3497