Accusation regarding Abu Bakr and `Umar not being present at the Janazah of Rasulullah

The rancour which the Shia harbour for the noble Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum needs no introduction and it is quite commonplace to find them levelling unfounded tenuous accusations against the esteemed companions and students of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam on account of their bigotry. One such accusation has been levelled against Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna `Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma, that they did not participate in the funeral of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. This article explains the true nature of events — in light of authentic narration — and exposes the feeble conjecture of the Shi`ah.

 
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The accusation of not being present for the bathing, shrouding and burial

The critics of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum level the accusation against the senior Sahabah (more so upon Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma), that they did not participate in the ghusl, shrouding and burial of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They were deprived of this virtue on account of their giving preference to matter of Caliphate; proceeding instead to Saqifah Bani Sa’idah and where they remained disputing matters. On the other hand, the ghusl, shrouding and burial of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was carried out by Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It is narrated:

عن عروة ان أبا بكر وعمر لم يشهدا دفن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وكانا في الأنصار ودفن قبل ان يرجعا

‘Urwah narrates that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar did not witness the burial of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they were amongst the Ansar and he was buried before they returned.

 

In order to further this objection, those who object have composed the following poem which they recite:

While the Sahabah were taking care of the world.

Mustafa was lying alone without a shroud.

 

Answer

This allegation however is entirely contrary to historic fact, as we shall discuss in the following pages. It is based on a narration that is not from the Sihah al Sittah, but rather from a book which did not undertake to narrate only that which is authentic. In books of this category, all varieties of narrations are gathered and all forms of subject matter compiled (with the onus resting upon the reader to authenticate the material before substantiating therefrom).

Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz rahimahu Llah has mentioned this in Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah:

 

Those books which the Shia quote in their criticisms and objections upon the Ahlus Sunnah; firstly, they are rare and their compilers did not undertake to compile only what is authentic therein. In fact, they gathered all sorts of narrations, authentic and unauthentic, intending to review it later…[1]

 

Moreover, Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz rahimahu Llah has clarified this matter in ‘Ujalah Nafi’ah that according to the Muhaddithin, these books fall into the third category; and the narration quoted above is from the books of this same category. Every type of narration has been compiled therein and there were no criteria of authenticity employed in its compilation.

Furthermore, it needs to be clarified that this narration presented by the ‘critics’ has been taken from Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah which has a Munqati’ (disjointed) isnad and the text is Shadh (uncommon).

We shall firstly discuss the manner in which this narration is munqati’, followed thereafter with an explanation regarding the uncommon nature of this narration, which will prove that this narration contradicts historic fact and is not worthy of acceptance.

 

Reason for disjointedness

The narration is transmitted by ‘Urwah ibn Zubair al Tabi’i and ‘Urwah ibn Zubair was not yet born at the time of the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In fact, the biographers have written that ‘Urwah ibn Zubair was born towards the end of the Caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, or the beginning of the Caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Refer to:

Tadhkirat al Huffaz vol. 1 p. 62

Tahdhib al Tahdhib vol. 7 p. 183, 184

Therefore, it is certain that the narrator was not present when the incident took place. We have also learnt that someone else mentioned this to ‘Urwah later on. It is thus evident that this narration is Munqati’.

 

Reason for being Shadh

The reason for the above narration being Shadh is that in comparison to this narration, there are other well-known narrations of this incident that have a continuous chain and they are Sahih and accepted according to the scholars of hadith. In these well-known narrations, it is clearly stated that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu were present at the time of the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Subsequently, a few well-known narrations are presented below from the books of hadith, wherein the subject matter is clear.

 

Other narrations

Imam al Tirmidhi rahimahu Llah transmits the following narration from Salim ibn ‘Ubayd al Ashja’i, stating first:

عن سالم بن عبيد (الاشجعي) وكانت له صحبة

From Salim ibn ‘Ubayd al Ashja’I and he was a Sahabi.

 

فقال (الصديق) لي انطلق فانطلقت معه فجاء هو والناس قد دخلوا على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال (الصديق) يا ايها الناس افرجوا لي فافرجوا له فجاء حتى اكب عليه ومسه فقال انك ميت وانهم ميتون ثم قالوا يا صاحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم اقبض رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم؟ قال نعم فعلموا ان قد صدق ،

قالوا يا صاحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم انصلي على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ؟ قال نعم وقالوا وكيف؟ قال يدخل قوم فيكبرون ويدعون ويصلون ثم يخرجون ثم يدخل قوم فيكبرون ويصلون ثم يخرخون حتى يدخل الناس ،

قالوا يا صاحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ايدفن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم . قال نعم ،

قالوا أين؟ قال في المكان الذي قبض الله فيه روحه فان الله لم يقبض روحه إلا في مكان طيب فعلموا أنه صدق ثم أمرهم ان يغسله بنوابيه .

 

The famous Muhaddith Nur al Din al Haythami, reports the incident from Ibn Majah and Tabarani in the following words:

وعن سالم عن عبيد وكان من أصحاب الصفة …فقال (الصديق رضي الله عنه) اوسعوا فاوسعوا له فاكب عليه ومسه قال (الصديق رضي الله عنه) انك ميت وانهم ميتون

قالوا يا صاحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مات رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم؟ قال نعم ، فعلموا انه كما قال ، قالوا يا صاحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أنصلي على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، قال يدخل قوم فيكبرون ويدعون ويصلون ثم ينصرفون ويجى آخرون حتى يفرغوا ، قالوا يا صاحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أيدفن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم؟ قال نعم ، قالوا وأين يدفن؟ قال حيث قبض فان الله تبارك وتعالى لم يقبضه إلا في بقعة طيبة فعلموا أنه كما قال ، ثم قام فقال عندكم صاحبكم فامرهم يغسلونه …الخ

The translation of both these narrations is:

 

While explaining the conditions and incidents of the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Salim ibn ‘Ubayd radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who was from among the companions of the Suffah, (the narrator of both these narrations) said: “I informed Abu Bakr of the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so he (Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu) said to me: ‘Come with me.’ So I went with him and he reached the people, who had entered upon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He then said: ‘O people! Make room for me,’ so they made room for him. Abu Bakr turned to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he leaned and kissed Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the forehead. He then recited: ‘Verily you will (also) perish and they too will perish.’

Those present asked: ‘Has Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away?’ He said: ‘Yes, he has passed away.’ They knew that he had spoken the truth, (whereas they were in confusion before this).”

The people then asked: ‘O companion of the Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, should we perform Salat al Janazah upon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?’ He said, ‘Yes!’ They then asked: ‘How will the Salat al Janazah be performed?’ He explained that a group will come; they will recite takbir, supplicate, recite durud and then leave. Another group will then enter; they will recite takbir, supplicate, recite durud and then leave. In this way, everyone will perform the Salat al Janazah upon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.’

The people present then said: ‘O companion of Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam be buried?’ He replied: ‘Yes!’ They asked: ‘Where will he be buried?’ He replied: ‘The place where Allah takes the soul of His nabi, for verily Allah does not take their souls except at the purest of places.’ They knew that he was speaking the truth. He then ordered the paternal family of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to perform the ghusl (Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being amongst them).”[2]

 

The narration of Sayyidah ‘A’ishah

Just as the above narration is reported from Salim ibn ‘Ubayd radiya Llahu ‘anhu, similarly a narration is reported from Sayyidah ‘A’ishah radiya Llahu ‘anha:

عن عائشة قالت لما قبض رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم اختلفوا في دفنه فقال أبو بكر سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ما قبض الله نبيا إلا في الموضع الذي يحب أن يدفن فيه ادفنوه في موضع فراشه

When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away, there was a difference of opinion regarding his burial. Abu Bakr said: “I heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: ‘Allah does not take the soul of a nabi, except in the place where He desires he be buried. Bury him at the spot of his bed.’”[3]

 

Subsequently, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was buried at this spot.

 

The hadith narrated by Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas

The narrations of Salim ibn ‘Ubayd and Sayyidah ‘A’ishah radiya Llahu ‘anha have passed. After this, the narration of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu is presented, from Ibn Majah:

عن ابن عباس قال لما ارادوا ان يحفروا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعثوا الى ابي عبيدة بن الجراح …لقد اختلف المسلمون في المكان الذي يحفر له فقال قائلون يدفن في مسجده قال قائلون يدفن مع اصحابه فقال أبو بكر إني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما قبض نبي إلا دفن حيث يقبض …الخ

It is narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas: “When they intended to bury Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they sent for Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al Jarrah… the Muslims differed with regards to the place where he should be buried. Some said that he should be buried in the Masjid. Some said that he should be buried with his Sahabah. Abu Bakr said: “I heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: ‘A nabi is not taken, except that he is buried where his soul is taken.’”[4]

 

The Salat al Janazah

Aside from the above mentioned narrations, the narration from Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the form of the Salat al Janazah has been transmitted by Abu Ya’la al Musili in the following words:

ثم ادخل الناس على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصلون عليه ارسالا ، ادخلالرجال حتى إذا فرغ منهم ادخل النساء حتى إذا فرغ من النساء ادخل الصبيان ، ولم يؤم الناس على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم احد،فدفن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من أوسط الليل ليلة الأربعاء

The people then came in groups to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and performed the Salat al Janazah. The men entered and performed the Salat al Janazah. When they completed, the women entered and performed the Salat al Janazah. When they completed, the children entered and performed the Salat al Janazah. No person led the Salat al Janazah that was performed over Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he was buried at midnight on Wednesday.[5]

 

Supporting narrations

Imam Malik

In the previous pages we mentioned the narrations from the Muhaddithin regarding the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. We find it appropriate to mention the supporting narration of Imam Malik rahimahu Llah as well, where a number of matters have been clarified. Moreover, the presence of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu on this occasion is clearly proven. Imam Malik rahimahu Llah says:

 

ان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم توفي يوم الإثنين ودفن يوم الثلثاء وصلى عليه افذانا ، لا يؤمهم احد فقال ناس يدفن عند المنبر وقال آخرون يدفن بالبقيع فجاء ابو بكر صديق فقال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول ما دفن نبي قط الا في مكانه الذي توفي فيه فحفر له فيه ، فلما كان عند غسله ارادوا نزع قميصه ، سمعوا صوتا يقول لا تنزعوا القميص فلم ينزع القميص وغسل وهو عليه صلى الله عليه وسلم

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away on Monday and he was buried on Tuesday. They performed the Salat al Janazah individually and no one led the Salat al Janazah that was performed. Some people said that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam should be buried near the pulpit. Others said that he should be buried in Baqi’. Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said: “I heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying that the nabi should be buried in the place where he passes away.” So the grave was dug there for him. At the time of the ghusl, they intended to remove his upper garment. They heard a voice saying: “Do not remove the upper garment.” So they did not remove the upper garment and they gave the ghusl while it was on him.[6]

 

The scholars of history and biography

The readers have studied the narrations of the Muhaddithin regarding this issue, as well as their explanations. Now, the narrations of the scholars of sirah, history and the biographers will be mentioned so that the readers can be at ease regarding this issue. Remember this much, that the following references are provided for the sake of support in proving the above mentioned issues.

 

Ibn Hisham and Ibn Jarir Tabari

Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul Malik ibn Hisham al Mu’afiri (d. 213-218 A.H) writes in his famous Sirah Ibn Hisham on the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

وقد كان المسلمون اختلفوا في دفنه وقال قائل ندفنه في مسجده (عند المنبر) وقال قائل ندفنه مع أصحابه (بالبقيع) وقال أبو بكر اني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول ما قبض نبي الا دفن حيث يقبض ، فرفع فراش رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم الذي توفي عليه فحفر له تحته ثم دخل الناس على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصلون عليه ارسالا دخل الرجال حتى اذا فرغوا دخل النساء حتى إذا فرغ النساء ادخل الصبيان ولم يؤم الناس على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم احد

The Muslims had a difference of opinion regarding the burial of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Some said that he should be buried in Masjid al Nabawi, whereas others said that he should be buried with his companions in Jannat al Baqi’. Abu Bakr said: “I heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying that a nabi should be buried at the spot where he passes away.” The bed of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam upon which he passed away was lifted and the grave was dug beneath it. The people then entered upon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and performed the Salat al Janazah in groups. The men entered, and when they completed the women entered, after them the children entered and no one led the Salat al Janazah over Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[7]

 

Ibn Sa’d, al Baladhuri and others

The narrations of Ibn Sa’d, al Baladhuri and others regarding this are presented in the text below:

 

لما كفن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ووضع على سريره دخل ابو بكر وعمر فقالا السلام عليك ايها النبي ورحمة الله وبركاته ومعهما نفر من المهاجرين قدر ما يسع البيت فسلموا كما سلم ابو بكر وعمر وصفوا صفوفا لا يؤمهم عليه احد فقال ابو بكر وعمر وهما في الصف الأول حيال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم اللهم انا نشهد ان قد بلغ ما انزل عليه ونصح لامته وجاهد في سبيل الله حتى اعز الله دينه ، فيقول الناس آمين آمين ثم يخرجون ويدخل آخرون حتى صلوا عليه الرجال ثم النساء ثم الصبيان فلما فرغوا من الصلوة تكلموا في موضع قبره …الخ

When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was shrouded and placed on the bed, then Abu Bakr and ‘Umar entered the room and said: “Peace be upon you O Nabi and the mercy and blessings of Allah.” There was a group of the Muhajirin with them that filled the room. They greeted in the same way as Abu Bakr and ‘Umar greeted. They formed rows and no one led them. Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were in the first row, they said: “O Allah, we testify that whatever was revealed upon the Rasul, he conveyed it and he was a well-wisher for his nation and he strove in the path of Allah Ta’ala until Allah Ta’ala granted respect to His religion.”

The people were saying: “Amin, Amin.” Then they left and others entered. The men performed the Salat al Janazah first, then the women, and finally the children. When they completed the salah, they spoke about the place of the grave.[8]

 

The other scholars of sirah and history have mentioned that the Salat al Janazah was performed in the same manner. Quoting all their texts will unnecessarily lengthen this treatise, therefore only the references were mentioned.

 

Summary of the narrations

In summary, according to the scholars of hadith, it is been proven from well-known and accepted narrations, as well as through the supporting narrations of the scholars of sirah and the biographers; that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was present on the occasion of the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. On this occasion, he had given guidance regarding a number of laws of the shari’ah. For example:

  • He verified the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
  • He explained that the close relatives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are most deserving of performing the ghusl.
  • He mentioned the method and way of the Salat al Janazah.
  • He decided upon the place of burial of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the light of the hadith.
 

In all the above matters, whatever guidance Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave, all of it was carried out.

 

Further collaboration

We feel it beneficial to present further collaboration from the books of hadith. However, to avoid making the discussion lengthy, we present just one supporting narration from al Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah. Ibn Abi Shaybah rahimahu Llah transmits it with his chain:

انهم شكو في قبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أين يدفنونه؟ فقال أبو بكر سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : النبي لا يحول عن مكانه يدفن حيث بموت فحفروا له موضع فراشه

They mentioned their complaint about the grave of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “Where should they bury him?” Abu Bakr said: “I heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘A nabi is not moved from his place, he is buried where he passes away.’” So, the place where his bed laid was dug.[9]

 

Worthy of note

The objectionable narration which the critics have searched for and presented is also mentioned by the same author (ibn Abi Shaybah rahimahu Llah) and it is found in this very same work. We too mentioned the narration of Ibn Abi Shaybah, and that too from the same work as well.

However, the subject matter of both narrations are contradictory. This is because this narration (as quoted by us above) has clarified that on the occasion of the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was present and the place of burial was specified and decided in accordance to the explanation that he provided, which was subsequently acted upon.

Thus, the objection raised against Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he was not present for the ghusl, shrouding and Salat al Janazah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is a fabrication and does not hold any weight. The narration that the objector presented has no basis when compared to the well-known and accepted narrations, and the latter will be termed as Shadh.[10]

 

An important principle

According to the scholars of hadith, there is a principle that needs to apply on an occasion like this:

الثقة إذا شذ لا يقبل ما شذ فيه

When a reliable narrator states something contradictory, whatever is contradictory is not accepted from him.

 

If there is a reliable narrator, and he reports a rare narration — as compared to the well-known narrations — then it will not be accepted. Thus, in light of this principle, the Shadh narration is not worthy of acceptance because it is in contradiction of other sahih and well-known narrations, which cannot be contested.

 

Another principle

Another principle is also worthy of attention at this juncture. The narrations of the Sahabah who were present on the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, such as Salim ibn ‘Ubayd al Ashja’i, Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah ‘A’ishah, and Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum, make it known that Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were present — just as the other Sahabah — at the time of the ghusl, shrouding and burial of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In fact, these acts were carried out in accordance with the counsel of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as we have read previously. The narration of criticism is narrated from a Tabi’i. It is thus the statement of ‘Urwah (that Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were not present for the burial of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Therefore, there is a contradiction between the statements of those involved in the incident and the statement of the Tabi’i.

In such instances, the scholars explain the principle to be applied:

وقول الصحابي رضي الله عنه مقدم على قول التابعي

The statement of a Sahabi is given preference over the statement of a Tabi’i.[11]

 

The conclusion is that in the incident dealing with the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the participating Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum hold the position of eye-witnesses, whereas a Tabi’i during these days holds the position of an absent person and he only narrates what he heard of the incident.

Therefore, in this case, in accordance to the above principle, the explanation given by the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who were present will be accepted and preference will be given to it and the statement of the Tabi’i will be left out and not accepted.

Then, it is also worthy to turn our attention to this point; that as far as our knowledge is concerned, there is no supporting narration for the statement of ‘Urwah. It is sufficient to grade a narration of this nature as not worthy of acceptance when a supporting narration is not found.

 

An overview of the discussion

The famous scholar, Abu al Muzaffar al Isfara’ini (d. 471 A.H) mentions the details of the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in his famous work al Tabsir fi al Din p. 25-26. Isfara’ini says that on the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the temporary difference of opinion among the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum regarding the place of burial and khalifah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, all of these matters were solved through the blessings of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Subsequently, he states this in the following texts:

1. On this occasion, there was a difference of opinion among those present, regarding the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

وارتفع هذا الخلاف ببركات ابي بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه

This difference of opinion was resolved through the blessings of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Moreover, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu verified the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the confusion came to an end.

 

2. When there was a difference of opinion regarding the place of burial:

فزال هذا الخلاف ببركة الصديق رضي الله عنه

This difference of opinion was removed through the blessings of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu (he stipulated the place of burial).

 

3. Similarly, after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, there was a difference of opinion between the Muhajirin and the Ansar regarding the Caliphate and:

واتفقوا على قوله (الصديق) فزال هذا الخلاف أيضا ببركة الصديق

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum agreed upon the statement of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, (He quoted the hadith: ‘Leaders are from the Quraysh,’) so this difference of opinion was removed through the blessings of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well.

 

In summary, whatever differences of opinion arose, they were solved through the guidance of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and through his blessings, these matters were brought to a closure. May Allah be pleased with him.

 

Worthy of note

It is very important to note that Caliphate (and imamah) has a great status in Islam and the perpetuity of din relies on it. Din is that specific entity for which Allah Ta’ala especially sent His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is not some general work.

If Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and others went to Saqifah Bani Sa’idah, in order to fulfil the duty of Caliphate, then it was for the work of Islam.

Together with this, it is also a reality that after the matter of Caliphate was decided, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu participated in the shrouding and burial etc. as explained previously. Therefore, there is no scope for raising objections at this point.

 

Counter argument

The response to the criticism given has been presented from our books, in light of the well-known and authentic narrations, and for that all praise is due to Allah Ta’ala. The law of debate is that a person can respond to criticism and objections using that which is accepted according to him. Therefore, in accordance to this law, we have completed the answer.

In order to further strengthen this matter, we mention the response from the books of the Shia in order to silence them. Their books state that Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were present at the burial of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, along with the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and none of the Sahabah that were present were deprived of this virtue. All of them participated.

This is found in great detail in the books of the Shia. However, it is sufficient to mention three references from their books in order to silence them.

From the references given below, it will be proven that Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma played an active role in the janazah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were present as well.

 

1. Sulaym ibn Qays al Hilali says:

ثم ادخل عشرة من المهاجرين وعشرة من الأنصار فكانوا يدخلون ويدعون ويخرجون حتى لم يبق احد شهد من المهاجرين والأنصار الا صلى عليه

… Then ten of the Muhajirin and ten of the Ansar entered, they went inside, supplicated, and then left. They continued in this manner until none of the Muhajirin and Ansar remained, except that they performed salah over him.[12]

 

2. Imam Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah says:

عن أبي جعفر (محمد باقر) قال لما قبض النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم صلت عليه الملائكة والمهاجرون والأنصار فوجا فوجا

When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away, the angels, Muhajirin and Ansar performed salah over him in groups.[13]

 

3. Imam Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah said:

 

The form of the Janazah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was that ten people entered the room and they performed the Salat al Janazah without an Imam. This continued on Monday, Monday evening, and throughout Tuesday, until the evening. All the adults, men and women, including the children, from within Madinah and the outskirts of Madinah, all performed the Salat al Janazah over Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in this way.[14]

 

The summary of the above is that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would allow ten of the Muhajirin and ten of the Ansar to enter the room and perform the Salat al Janazah, and they would come out. This continued until there were none of the Muhajirin and Ansar who did not perform the Salat al Janazah over Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

In conclusion, the reliable narrations reported by the Shia from their Imams and their Mujtahidin, make it abundantly clear that on this occasion all the Muhajirin, Ansar and the entire Madinah participated in the Salat al Janazah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and no one was deprived of this virtue. At the forefront were Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. It is certain that they participated in the Salat al Janazah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam because in these references, there is no mention of any exclusion. Despite these realities, if a person remains on his objection, then it is obstinacy and stubbornness, for which there is no cure.

 

Final word

It is appropriate to inform the readers that we have mentioned the reply to this objection in our work Sirah Sayyidina ‘Ali, in the chapter discussing the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, it has been mentioned in great detail here so that the readers can be put at ease and so that their knowledge may increase.

 

[1]Tuḥfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah p. 41

[2]Shama’il al Tirmidhi p. 600, al Sunan al Kubra (Bayhaqi) vol. 3 p. 395, vol. 4 p. 30, vol. 8 p. 145, Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 5 p. 182 from Ibn Majah and Tabarani

[3]Tirmidhi vol. 1 p. 121

[4]Ibn Majah p. 118

[5]Musnad Abi Ya’la al Musili vol. 1 p. 45, 46

[6]Muwatta’ Imam Malik p. 212

[7]Sirah ibn Hisham vol. 2 p. 663, Tarikh ibn Jarir Tabari vol. 3 p. 205

[8]Tabaqat ibn Sa’d vol. 2 p. 69, Kitab Ansab al Ashraf vol. 1 p. 574, al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 5 p. 265, Sirah Ḥalabiyyah vol. 3 p. 394

[9]Al Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah vol. 4 p. 553

[10]  A narration which contradicts more reliable narrations.

[11]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 5 p. 236

[12]Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays al Hilali p. 70

[13]Usul al Kafi p. 286

[14]Ḥayat al Qulub vol. 2 p. 866