Shattering the Mirage: A Response to ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din’s al Muraja’at: Letter 51 and 52

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Letter 51

 

Muharram 14, 1330

 

I. Rebutting the Arguments through similar ones

Their debaters may refute your claim by citing texts which enumerate the virtues of the three righteous caliphs, and by citing other texts praising the posterity from the Muhajirin (Meccan Immigrants) and the Ansar (Medenite Supporters); so, what would you say to that?

 

Sincerely

S

 

Letter 52

 

Muharram 15, 1330

 

I. Rejecting the Rebuttal’s premise

 

We believe in the virtues of all posterity since the time of the Muhajirin and the Ansar, may Allah be pleased with them and they with Him, and these are beyond count or reckoning. Certain verses of the Book (Qur’an), in addition to a few Sunni sahih books, must suffice you for a testimony in this regard. We have scrutinized these, too. We have not found them at all, and Allah knows best, to be in contradiction to the texts that praise ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam, or even in any way eligible to disqualify him [from caliphate].

Yes, our opponents may stand alone in narrating the ahadith which are not authentic according to our sources. Their use of such ahadith to disprove our views is rejected and is not expected from any unbiased arbitrator. We by no means can take them into serious consideration. Do you not see how we do not argue by quoting the texts narrated only by our own sources?

On the contrary, we base our arguments on their own narrations regarding events such as the Ghadir incident or the like. But we have scrutinized the texts pertaining to these virtues recorded by their sources, and we could not find any clues in them opposing such caliphate, nor do they contain anything suggesting it; therefore, they have not been relied upon by anyone to prove the legitimacy of the caliphate of the three righteous caliphs,

 

Wassalam.

 

Sincerely,

Sh

 
 
 

Discussions

 

Forgeries reveal themselves

Despite the appearance of resistance, the question posed with the pen of Sheikh Salim al Bishri is flawed inherently. How could the virtues of the Muhajirin and Ansar be a possible reason for questioning the candidacy of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu for Caliphate? This question is premised on a worldview that sees ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu a significant other to the rest of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. It is further flawed by the fact that the Ansar are excluded from Caliphate on account of them not being from Quraysh. This is also the case for some of the Muhajirin.

Yes, the virtues of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which are shared between him and the other Companions cannot be taken as unique characteristics that put him in pole position. However, that does not appear to be the objection raised in the letter ascribed to Sheikh al Bishri.

 

Forty Ahadith on the virues of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu

 

1. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that he heard the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying:

 

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول بينا أنا نائم رأيتني على قليب عليها دلو فنزعت منها ما شاء الله ثم أخذها ابن أبي قحافة فنزع بها ذنوبا أو ذنوبين وفي نزعه ضعف والله يغفر له ضعفه ثم استحالت غربا فأخذها ابن الخطاب فلم أر عبقريا من الناس ينزع نزع عمر حتى ضرب الناس بعطن

While I was sleeping, I saw myself standing at a well over which there was a bucket. I drew out as many buckets of water as Allah wished from it. Then Ibn Abi Quhafah took the bucket from me and drew out one or two full buckets, but there was weakness in his pull – Allah will forgive that. Then the bucket turned into a very large one and ‘Umar ibn al Khattab took it. I have never seen any noble draw water with such strength as ‘Umar did: to the extent that the people [drank to their satisfaction and] watered their camels to their fill; whereupon the camels sat beside the water.”[1]

 

The weakness in the drawing of water mentioned in this narration either refers to the short period of his Caliphate, or the fact that much of it was dedicated to bringing people back into Islam during the Wars against Apostasy, hence the conquests had only just begun. In the time of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu the Muslims conquered vast territories in a short span of time.

The forgiveness mentioned is not a consequence of Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu actions, but what he deserved from his Lord. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was also instructed to seek forgiveness from his Lord in Surah al Nasr, one of the last Surahs to be revealed. Taking this into consideration the forgiveness mentioned in the Hadith also could be interpreted to mean that Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu passing will not be very long after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam departure from this world.

A similar narration is reported from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma[2] and Abu al Tufayl radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[3]

 

2. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once came out of his home after the sun had risen and said to us:

 

عن ابن عمر قال خرج علينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في ذات غداة بعد طلوع الشمس فقال رأيت قبيل الفجر كأني أعطيت المقاليد والموازين فأما المقاليد فهذه المفاتيح وأما الموازين فهذه التى تزنون بها فوضعت في كفة ووضعت أمتي في كفة فوزنت بهم فرجحت ثم جىء بأبي بكر فوزن بهم فوزن ثم جىء بعمر فوزن فوزن ثم جىء بعثمان فوزن بهم ثم رفعت.

Before Fajr I had seen (in a dream) as if I had been given keys and scales; the keys are used for opening and the scales for weighing. I was placed on one pan (of the scale) and the rest of my Ummah were placed on the other pan, and I outweighed them. Then Abu Bakr was brought and weighed against then and he outweighed them. ‘Umar was then brought and weigh against them and he outweighed them. The same happened with ‘Uthman before it was lifted.[4]

 

The mention of keys can be understood as a symbol of the imminent conquests that would occur at the hands of the Muslims. This Prophetic vision also demonstrates the superiority of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam over the entire Ummah, and the superiority of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu over the rest of the Ummah. With the absence of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Umar outweighed the entire Ummah, indicating his superiority over them, and then ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is consistent with what appears later.

 

3. Abu Bakrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said one morning:

 

عن أبي بكرة أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ذات يوم من رأى منكم رؤيا فقال رجل أنا رأيت كان ميزانا نزل من السماء فوزنت أنت وأبو بكر فرجحت أنت بأبي بكر ووزن عمر وأبو بكر فرجح أبو بكر ووزن عمر وعثمان فرجح عمر ثم رفع الميزان فرأينا الكراهية في وجه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

“Whom amongst you had seen a dream?”

A man said, “I have. I saw as though a scale descended from the sky. You and Abu Bakr were weighed and you were heavier; Abu Bakr and Umar were weighed and Abu Bakr was heavier; ‘Umar and ‘Uthman were weighed and ‘Umar was heavier. The scale was then taken up.”

We noticed signs of concern on the face of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[5]

 

Abu Dawood relates the same narration with a slightly different chain going to Abu Bakrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This version has the addition, “It will be a Caliphate on the pattern of Prophethood, then Allah will grant kingdom to whomever He wishes.”[6]

Al Hakim’s version of this Hadith is by way of Safinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the freed slave of Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha. It is worded similar to the Hadith of Abu Bakrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu above, but it, too, has an additional statement of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

The Caliphate will remain in my Ummah for thirty years, then it will become a monarchy after that.

Safinah said, “Count. Abu Bakr’s Caliphate was 2 years, ‘Umar’s was 10 years, ‘Uthman’s was 12 years, and ‘Ali’s was 6 years.”[7]

 

This narration differs from the narration of Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma in terms of the comparison. The narration of Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu compares them against the entire Ummah, whereas the narration of Abu Bakrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu establishes specifically the hierarchy of superiority among the Khulafa; Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu being the highest in rank, followed by ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, followed by ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

4. Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

عن جابر بن عبد الله أنه كان يحدث أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال أري الليلة رجل صالح أن أبا بكر نيط برسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ونيط عمر بأبي بكر ونيط عثمان بعمر قال جابر فلما قمنا من عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قلنا أما الرجل الصالح فرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأما تنوط بعضهم ببعض فهم ولاة هذا الأمر الذي بعث الله به صلى الله عليه وسلم

Last night a righteous man had a vision in which Abu Bakr appeared to be joined to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and ‘Umar was joined to Abu Bakr, and ‘Uthman was joined to ‘Umar.

Jabir said, “When we got up and left the gathering of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam we said, ‘The righteous man is the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and that their being joined together is a symbol that they would eventually be the custodians over this matter with which Allah has sent His Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.’”[8]

 

5. Samurah ibn Jundub radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that a man reported that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

عن سمرة بن جندب رضي الله عنه أن رجلا قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم   رأيت كأن دلوا دلي من السماء فجاء أبو بكر فأخذ بعراقيها فشرب شربا ضعيفا ثم جاء عمر فأخذ بعراقيها فشرب حتى تضلع ثم جاء عثمان فأخذ بعراقيها فانتشطت وانتضح عليه منها شيء

I saw (in a dream) that a bucket was suspended from the sky. Abu Bakr came, caught hold of both ends of its wooden handle, and drank a little of it. Next came ‘Umar who caught hold of both ends of its wooden handle and drank of it to his fill. Next came ‘Uthman who caught hold of both ends of its handle, but it began to shake and some (water) from it was spilled on him. [9]

 

6. Ibn ‘Abbas or Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relate that a man came to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and told him:

 

إن ابن عباس كان يحدث أن رجلا أتى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال إني رأيت الليلة في المنام ظلة تنطف السمن والعسل فأرى الناس يتكففون منها فالمستكثر والمستقل وإذا سبب واصل من الأرض إلى السماء فأراك أخذت به فعلوت ثم أخذ به رجل آخر فعلا به ثم أخذ به رجل آخر فعلا به ثم أخذ به رجل آخر فانقطع ثم وصل.فقال أبو بكر يا رسول الله بأبي أنت والله لتدعني فأعبرها فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم اعبرها قال أما الظلة فالإسلام وأما الذي ينطف من العسل والسمن فالقرآن حلاوته تنطف فالمستكثر من القرآن والمستقل وأما السبب الواصل من السماء إلى الأرض فالحق الذي أنت عليه تأخذ به فيعليك الله ثم يأخذ به رجل من بعدك فيعلو به ثم يأخذ به رجل آخر فيعلو به ثم يأخذه رجل آخر فينقطع به ثم يوصل له فيعلو به فأخبرني يا رسول الله بأبي أنت أصبت أم أخطأت قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أصبت بعضا وأخطأت بعضا قال فوالله يا رسول الله لتحدثني بالذي أخطأت قال لا تقسم

I saw a huge cloud in a dream and butter and honey were dripping from it. Then I saw people collecting it in their hands, some gathering much and some gathering a little. Suddenly, there was a rope extending from the earth to the sky, and I saw that you (the Prophet) held it and went up, and then another man held it and went up and (after that) another (third) held it and went up, and then after another (fourth) man held it, but it broke and then got connected again.

Abu Bakr said, “O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, may my father be sacrificed for you! Allow me to interpret this dream.”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him, “Interpret it.”

Abu Bakr said, “The cloud with shade symbolizes Islam, and the butter and honey dripping from it, symbolizes the Qur’an, its sweetness dripping. Then there are people who take from the Qur’an in abundance and those who take less. The rope which is extended from the sky to the earth is the Truth which you (the Prophet) are upon. You follow it and Allah will raise you high with it, and then another man will follow it and will rise up with it and another person will follow it and then another man will follow it but it will break and then it will be connected for him and he will rise up with it. O Messenger of Allah, may my father be sacrificed for you! Am I right or wrong?”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “You (interpreted) some of it correctly and in some your erred.”

Abu Bakr said, “O Prophet of Allah! By Allah, you must tell me in what I was wrong.”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Do not take an oath.”[10]

 

7. Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

عن حذيفة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم اقتدوا باللذين من بعدي أبي بكر وعمر.

Follow the two after me Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.[11]

 

This narration is emphatic and unequivocal in proving that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu were the most worthy of being followed after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It also demonstrates that they would perform the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam duties as leader after he has departed from this world.

 

8. Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates:

 

عن أنس بن مالك قال بعثني بنو المصطلق إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقالوا سل لنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى من ندفع صدقاتنا بعدك قال فأتيته فسألته فقال إلى أبي بكر فأتيتهم فأخبرتهم فقالوا ارجع إليه فسله فإن حدث بأبي بكر حدث فإلى من فأتيته فسألته فقال إلى عمر فأتيتهم فأخبرتهم فقالوا ارجع إليه فسله فإن حدث بعمر حدث فإلى من فأتيته فسألته فقال إلى عثمان فأتيتهم فأخبرتهم فقالوا ارجع إليه فسله فإن حدث بعثمان حدث فإلى من فأتيته فسألته فقال إن حدث بعثمان حدث فتبا لكم الدهر تبا

Banu al Mustaliq sent me to the Messenger of Allah telling me to ask him whom they should hand over their Sadaqat to[12]after his passing. So I went to him and asked and he responded, “To Abu Bakr.” In turn I returned and informed him of what the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said.

Then they asked me to return to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ask him, “Whom shall we pay our Sadaqat to, if something befalls Abu Bakr?” I went to him and asked him and he replied, “To ‘Umar.” I returned and informed him of what the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said.

Then they asked me to return to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ask him, “Whom shall we pay our Sadaqat to, if something befalls ‘Umar?” I went to him and asked him and he replied, “To ‘Uthman.” I returned and informed him of what the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said.

Then they asked me to return to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ask him, “Whom shall we pay our Sadaqat to, if something befalls ‘Uthman?” I went to him and asked him and he replied, “May time cause you to perish if anything were to happen to ‘Uthman!”[13]

 

This narration proves that they would be custodians of the Prophetic legacy after his salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passing. While the narration does not assign the role of Caliphate explicitly, it does imply that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was divinely informed of the future Khulafa’ to which he did not object. On the contrary, he gave strong hints endorsing their appointments.

 

9. Jubayr ibn Mut’im radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

عن جبير بن مطعم قال أتت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم امرأة فكلمته في شيء فأمرها أن ترجع إليه قالت يا رسول الله أرأيت إن جئت ولم أجدك كأنها تريد الموت قال إن لم تجديني فأتي أبا بكر.

A woman came to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he instructed her to return to him later.

She said, “What should I do if I return and I do not find you?” It was as if she was implying death.

He replied, “If you do not find me then go to Abu Bakr.” [14]

 

Why would the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam inform her to go to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu if he was not a worthy candidate for Caliphate?

 

10. ‘Irbad ibn Sariyah relates a sermon which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam delivered during his final days:

 

عن العرباض بن سارية أنه يقول وعظنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم موعظة ذرفت منها العيون ووجلت منها القلوب فقلنا يا رسول الله إن هذه لموعظة مودع فما تعهد إلينا قال قد تركتكم على البيضاء ليلها كنهارها لا يزيغ عنها بعدي إلا هالك فمن يعش منكم فسيرى اختلافا كثيرا فعليكم بما عرفتم من سنتي وسنة الخلفاء الراشدين المهديين عضوا عليها بالنواجذ وعليكم بالطاعة وإن عبدا حبشيا فإنما المؤمن كالجمل الأنف حيثما قيد انقاد”

One day, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood up among us and delivered a deeply moving speech that melted our hearts and caused our eyes to flow. It was said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, it is as though you have delivered a speech of farewell, so enjoin something upon us.”

He said, “I urge you to fear Allah, and to listen and obey, even if (your leader) is an Abyssinian slave. After I am gone, you will see great conflict. I urge you to adhere to my Sunnah and the path of the Rightly-Guided Khulafa’, and cling to it with your molars. And beware of newly-invented matters, for every innovation is a deviation.”[15]

 

This narration enforces obedience to the leader, even an Abyssinian slave. Under what circumstances would an Abyssinian slave have authority over the Muslims? Surely, not by the divine appointment of twelve specific individuals. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also makes a distinction between the Caliphate Rashidah from the abstract post of Khalifah. The Khulafa’ Rashidun are worthy of emulation. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam already informed us to emulate Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma which is an indicator of the fact that they are from the Khulafa’ Rashidun without any doubt.

 

11. Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam delivered a sermon. In it he said:

 

عن أبي سعيد الخدري قال خطب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال إن الله خير عبدا بين الدنيا وبين ما عنده فاختار ما عند الله فبكى أبو بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه فقلت في نفسي ما يبكي هذا الشيخ إن يكن الله خير عبدا بين الدنيا وبين ما عنده فاختار ما عند الله فكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم هو العبد وكان أبو بكر أعلمنا قال يا أبا بكر لا تبك إن أمن الناس علي في صحبته وماله أبو بكر ولو كنت متخذا خليلا من أمتي لاتخذت أبا بكر ولكن أخوة الإسلام ومودته لا يبقين في المسجد باب إلا سد إلا باب أبي بكر

Allah gave a choice to one of (His) slaves either to choose this world or what is with Him in the Hereafter. He chose the latter.

Abu Bakr began to weep. I said to myself, “What is this old man weeping for, if Allah gave a choice to one (of His) slaves either to choose this world or what is with Him in the Hereafter and he chose the latter?” (However) that slave was Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; he was referring himself. Abu Bakr was more knowledgeable than us.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O Abu Bakr! Do not cry.”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then added, “The person who has favoured me the most with his wealth and companionship is Abu Bakr. If I were to take a Khalil (close friend) other than Allah, I would certainly have taken Abu Bakr. Nevertheless we share the Islamic bond of brotherhood and friendship. No door leading into the Masjid is to be left open besides the door of Abu Bakr.”[16]

 

This narration establishes the longstanding friendship between Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In it, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam acknowledges the favours Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu has done for him and states that none can match the financial and physical contributions of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He concludes by instructing that all doors leading to the Masjid be closed, except the door of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is giving a hint to the Ummah about his preferred candidate for Caliphate.

 

12. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما لأحد عندنا يد إلا وقد كافيناه ما خلا أبا بكر فإن له عندنا يدا يكافئه الله بها يوم القيامة وما نفعني مال أحد قط ما نفعني مال أبي بكر ولو كنت متخذا خليلا لاتخذت أبا بكر خليلا ألا وإن صاحبكم خليل الله ‏

No one has done a favour for us except that we have repaid him in full, with the exception of Abu Bakr. Verily his favour upon us is such that Allah will repay him on the Day of Judgement. The wealth of none of you has benefited me as much as the wealth of Abu Bakr. Were I to take a close companion it would have been Abu Bakr; however my Khalil is Allah.[17]

 

In this narration the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praises Abu Bakr excessively inferring that only Allah can repay the favours of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu adequately. This proves Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu longstanding commitment and dedication to the cause of Islam from its earliest days.

 

13. Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma relates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لو كنت متخذا من أمتي خليلا لاتخذت أبا بكر ولكن أخي وصاحبي

If I were to take a Khalil, I would have taken Abu Bakr, but he is my brother and my companion.[18]

 

In this narration the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam refers to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his brother. ‘Abdul Hussain had earlier attempted to connect the kinship between the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu with a narration on brotherhood; thereby proving that this was a unique feature for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. We know that in a literal sense, that relationship does not exist and by necessity the narration has to be interpretted. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is also refered to as the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam brother. The difference is that the narrations that mention brotherhood with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu specifically are questionable in terms of their reliability, whereas this is an authentic narration. Either way, Ahlus Sunnah do not object to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being referred to as the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam brother.

 

14. Abu al Darda radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates an incident that he witnessed when he was sitting with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam one day:

 

عن أبي الدرداء رضي الله عنه قال كنت جالسا عند النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إذ أقبل أبو بكر آخذا بطرف ثوبه حتى أبدى عن ركبته فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أما صاحبكم فقد غامر فسلم وقال إني كان بيني وبين ابن الخطاب شيء فأسرعت إليه ثم ندمت فسألته أن يغفر لي فأبى علي فأقبلت إليك فقال يغفر الله لك يا أبا بكر ثلاثا ثم إن عمر ندم فأتى منزل أبي بكر فسأل أثم أبو بكر فقالوا لا فأتى إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فسلم فجعل وجه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يتمعر حتى أشفق أبو بكر فجثا على ركبتيه فقال يا رسول الله والله أنا كنت أظلم مرتين فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إن الله بعثني إليكم فقلتم كذبت وقال أبو بكر صدق وواساني بنفسه وماله فهل أنتم تاركوا لي صاحبي مرتين فما أوذي بعدها

I was sitting with the Prophet when Abu Bakr headed towards us holding onto the edge of his cloak to the extent that he exposed his knees. The Prophet said, “It appears as if your companion is upset.”

Abu Bakr greeted and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Something happened between me and Ibn al Khattab (‘Umar). I hastened (after the incident) towards him and regretted (my action) and asked him to forgive me but he refused so I came to you.”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “May Allah forgive you, O Abu Bakr,” repeating it thrice.

Then ‘Umar regretted his action and went to the house of Abu Bakr and asked, “Is Abu Bakr home?” and they replied that he was not. He then went to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and when the Prophet saw him, his face turned red to the point that Abu Bakr regretted (taking the matter to the Prophet).

Abu Bakr sat up and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I was the one in the wrong,” repeating it twice.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said, “Allah sent me to you and you all said, ‘you are lying,’ and Abu Bakr said, ‘you speak the truth,’ he provided me with both physical and financial assistance. Will you not leave my companion for my sake?” repeating it twice. He (Abu Bakr) was never inconvenienced again after that.[19]

 

This narration proves the superiority of Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu rank over ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It also demonstrates the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam empathy for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is afforded the accolade of having supporting the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when there was no one else; highlighting his early acceptance of Islam. The mode of expression used by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam signifies the important role of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the early days as there was no one who was mature in age, and who had influence, who supported the cause of Islam. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a young boy at this time. May Allah be pleased with them all.

 

15. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

عن ابن عمر أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال اللهم أعز الإسلام بأحب هذين الرجلين إليك بأبي جهل أو بعمر بن الخطاب قال وكان أحبهما إليه عمر

O Allah! Honour Islam through the most beloved of these two men to you: Through Abu Jahl or through ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab. He also said, “The most beloved to Him – from the two – was ‘Umar.”[20]

 

‘Umar’s Islam radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a consequence of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam supplication. It also indicates that Allah brought honour to Islam through ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu in addition to Him loving ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Would Allah bring honour to Islam with ‘Umar, only for him to bring dishonour by misappropriating the Caliphate? Unless one believes that Allah is indecisive, this narration is a form of Divine approval for ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

16. ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu recalled the difficulty experienced by the Muslims and Makkah. They were subject to persecution and abuse, and they could not pray openly in front of the Ka’ The situation changed completely after ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted Islam; which attests the fruition of the Prophetic request; that Allah brings honour to Islam through ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu says:

قال عبد الله ما زلنا أعزة منذ أسلم عمر‏

We continued to be resilient since ‘Umar embraced Islam.[21]

 

Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma relates that when the Quraysh heard of ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Islam they said, “They are even with us now (in strength).”[22] Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu recalls that the Muslims could not pray in public before ‘Umar accepted Islam. After he accepted Islam none of the Quraysh dared to interfere with anyone praying out of fear of ‘Umar’s retaliation.[23] These are all accounts which confirm the honour that was achieved through ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu acceptance of Islam.

 

17. Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates:

 

عن شقيق قال سمعت حذيفة يقول بينا نحن جلوس عند عمر إذ قال أيكم يحفظ قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في الفتنة قال فتنة الرجل في أهله وماله وولده وجاره تكفرها الصلاة والصدقة والأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر قال ليس عن هذا أسألك ولكن التي تموج كموج البحر قال ليس عليك منها بأس يا أمير المؤمنين إن بينك وبينها بابا مغلقا قال عمر أيكسر الباب أم يفتح قال بل يكسر قال عمر إذا لا يغلق أبدا قلت أجل. قلنا لحذيفة أكان عمر يعلم الباب قال نعم كما يعلم أن دون غد ليلة وذلك أني حدثته حديثا ليس بالأغاليط. فهبنا أن نسأله من الباب فأمرنا مسروقا فسأله فقال من الباب قال عمر

Once, while we were sitting with ‘Umar, he said, “Who among you remembers the statement of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about the tribulation?”

Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “The of a man is in his family, his property, his children and his neighbours. These are expiated by his prayers, charity, and enjoining good and forbidding evil.”

‘Umar said, “It is not about those that I ask, but about those afflictions which will move like the waves of the sea.”

Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “Don’t worry about it, O Amir al Mu’minin, for there is a closed door between you and these [tribulations].”

‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu then asked, “Will that door be broken or opened?”

I responded, “No. it will be broken.”

‘Umar said, “In that case it will never be closed.”

I said, “Yes.” – the Narrator says – We asked Hudhayfah, “Did ‘Umar know what that door meant?”

He replied, “Yes! Just as he knew that there will be night will precede the morning. That is because I narrated it to him, free from errors.”

We dared not ask Hudhayfah as to whom the door symbolized so we ordered Masruq to ask him what does the door stand for?

He replied, “‘Umar.”[24]

 

This narration proves that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a barrier and fortress against a colossal tragedy that would afflict the Ummah. The conspiracies and clandestine movements began after the demise of ‘Umar, which resulted in the first Fitnah which raised its head at the end of ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Caliphate.

 

18. Thumamah ibn Hazan radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates what he observed at the home of ‘Uthman when the rebels lay siege to it:

 

عن ثمامة بن حزن القشيري قال شهدت الدار حين أشرف عليهم عثمان فقال ائتوني بصاحبيكم اللذين ألباكم علي.قال فجيء بهما فكأنهما جملان أو كأنهما حماران قال فأشرف عليهم عثمان فقال أنشدكم بالله والإسلام هل تعلمون أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قدم المدينة وليس بها ماء يستعذب غير بئر رومة فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من يشتري بئر رومة فيجعل دلوه مع دلاء المسلمين بخير له منها في الجنة فاشتريتها من صلب مالي فأنتم اليوم تمنعوني أن أشرب منها حتى أشرب من ماء البحر.قالوا اللهم نعم.فقال أنشدكم بالله والإسلام هل تعلمون أن المسجد ضاق بأهله فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من يشتري بقعة آل فلان فيزيدها في المسجد بخير له منها في الجنة فاشتريتها من صلب مالي فأنتم اليوم تمنعوني أن أصلي فيها ركعتين قالوا اللهم نعم.قال أنشدكم بالله وبالإسلام هل تعلمون أني جهزت جيش العسرة من مالي قالوا اللهم نعم.ثم قال أنشدكم بالله والإسلام هل تعلمون أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان على ثبير مكة ومعه أبو بكر وعمر وأنا فتحرك الجبل حتى تساقطت حجارته بالحضيض قال فركضه برجله وقال اسكن ثبير فإنما عليك نبي وصديق وشهيدان قالوا اللهم نعم.قال الله أكبر شهدوا لي ورب الكعبة أني شهيد ثلاثا

‘Uthman emerged from his home saying, “Bring me your two companions who have turned you against me.”

So they were brought as if they were two camels, or as if they were two donkeys.

‘Uthman emerged from above and said, “I adjure you by Allah and by Islam, are you aware that when the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to Al Madinah, and it had no sweet water (suitable for drinking) except the well of Rumah, he said, ‘Who will purchase the well of Rumah and dip his bucket in it alongside the buckets of the Muslims [i.e. his share in it will be like the rest of the Muslims], in return for a better one in Paradise?’ and I purchased it with my capital? Yet today you are preventing me from drinking from it, so that I have to drink salty water?”

They said, “By Allah, yes.”

He said, “I adjure you by Allah and by Islam, are you aware that I equipped the army of Al ‘Usrah (at the expedition of Tabuk) from my own wealth?”

They said, “By Allah, yes.”

He said, “I adjure you by Allah and by Islam, are you aware that when the Masjid became too small for the people and the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘Who will buy the land belonging to the family of so and so and add it to the Masjid, in return for a better piece of land in Paradise?’ I bought it with my capital and added it to the Masjid? Yet now you are preventing me from praying two Rak’ahs therein.”

They said, “By Allah, yes.”

He said, “I adjure you by Allah and by Islam, are you aware that when the Messenger of Allah was on (the mountain of) Thabir—in Makkah—and with him were Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and myself, the mountain shook, and the Messenger of Allah stamped it with his foot and said, ‘Be still, Thabir! Upon you are none other than a Prophet, a Siddiq and two martyrs!’”

They said, “By Allah, yes.”

He said, “Allahu Akbar! They have testified for me, by the Lord of the Ka’bah [i.e. that I am a martyr]!” He repeated this thrice.[25]

 

While this narration primarily speaks of the merits of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, it also confirms other significant facts. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered so he was a martyr. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was also murdered and also attained martyrdom. The difference was that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered by a disbeliever, whereas ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered by the Muslims. This confirms the status of al Siddiq for Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Similar narrations testifying to the status of al Siddiq, and martyrdom of ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma are related by way of Anas,[26] Abu Hurairah,[27] and Sa’id ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[28] In some of the other narrations other Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are included; ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

19. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma relates:

 

عن ابن عباس قال حدثني عمر بن الخطاب قال لما كان يوم بدر نظر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى المشركين وهم ألف وأصحابه ثلاثمائة وتسعة عشر رجلا فاستقبل نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم القبلة ثم مد يديه فجعل يهتف بربه اللهم أنجز لي ما وعدتني اللهم آت ما وعدتني اللهم إن تهلك هذه العصابة من أهل الإسلام لا تعبد في الأرض فمازال يهتف بربه مادا يديه مستقبل القبلة حتى سقط رداؤه عن منكبيه فأتاه أبو بكر فأخذ رداءه فألقاه على منكبيه ثم التزمه من ورائه وقال يا نبي الله كذاك مناشدتك ربك فإنه سينجز لك ما وعدك فأنزل الله عز وجل ‏إذ تستغيثون ربكم فاستجاب لكم أني ممدكم بألف من الملائكة مردفين‏ فأمده الله بالملائكة قال أبو زميل فحدثني ابن عباس قال بينما رجل من المسلمين يومئذ يشتد في أثر رجل من المشركين أمامه إذ سمع ضربة بالسوط فوقه وصوت الفارس يقول أقدم حيزوم ‏فنظر إلى المشرك أمامه فخر مستلقيا فنظر إليه فإذا هو قد خطم أنفه وشق وجهه كضربة السوط فاخضر ذلك أجمع فجاء الأنصاري فحدث بذلك رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال صدقت ذلك من مدد السماء الثالثة فقتلوا يومئذ سبعين وأسروا سبعين ‏قال أبو زميل قال ابن عباس فلما أسروا الأسارى قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لأبي بكر وعمر ما ترون في هؤلاء الأسارى ‏فقال أبو بكر يا نبي الله هم بنو العم والعشيرة أرى أن تأخذ منهم فدية فتكون لنا قوة على الكفار فعسى الله أن يهديهم للإسلام فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما ترى يا ابن الخطاب قلت لا والله يا رسول الله ما أرى الذي رأى أبو بكر ولكني أرى أن تمكنا فنضرب أعناقهم فتمكن عليا من عقيل فيضرب عنقه وتمكني من فلان نسيبا لعمر فأضرب عنقه فإن هؤلاء أئمة الكفر وصناديدها فهوي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما قال أبو بكر ولم يهو ما قلت فلما كان من الغد جئت فإذا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأبو بكر قاعدين يبكيان قلت يا رسول الله أخبرني من أى شىء تبكي أنت وصاحبك فإن وجدت بكاء بكيت وإن لم أجد بكاء تباكيت لبكائكما فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏أبكي للذي عرض على أصحابك من أخذهم الفداء لقد عرض على عذابهم أدنى من هذه الشجرة ‏شجرة قريبة من نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏وأنزل الله عز وجل ما كان لنبي أن يكون له أسرى حتى يثخن في الأرض‏‏ إلى قوله فكلوا مما غنمتم حلالا طيبا‏ فأحل الله الغنيمة لهم

On the day on which the Battle of Badr was fought, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam looked in the direction of the disbelievers, and they were one thousand while his own Companions were only three hundred and nineteen in number. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam turned (his face) towards the Qiblah. Then he stretched his hands and began supplicating to his Lord,

“O Allah, fulfil for me what You have promised to me. O Allah, that which You have promised to me. O Allah, if this small band of Muslims is destroyed, You will not be worshipped on this earth.”

He continued beseeching his Lord, stretching his hands, facing the Qibla, until eventually his shawl slipped off from his shoulders. So, Abu Bakr came to him, picked it up and put it back on his shoulders. Then he embraced him from behind and said, “O Prophet of Allah, this prayer of yours to your Lord will suffice, and He will fulfill for you what He has promised you.”

Immediately thereafter Allah revealed (the verse):

When you appealed to your Lord for help, He responded to your call (saying): I will reinforce you with one thousand angels coming in succession. [Surah al Anfal: 9]

So Allah sent Angels as reinforcements for him.

On that day, a Muslim was pursuing a disbeliever when he heard the crack of a whip from above, and the voice of the rider saying, “Forward, Hayzum!” He looked towards the disbeliever who had (now) fallen down on his back. When he looked at him he observed that there was a scar on his nose and his face was lacerated as if it had been lashed with a whip, and had turned green with its poison. An Ansari came to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and related this (event) to him. He said, “You are correct. This was the help from the third heaven.”

On that day (i.e. the day of the Battle of Badr) the Muslims killed seventy enemy combatants and captured seventy. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, “What is your opinion about these captives?”

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “They are our relatives and blood. I think you should release them after getting from them a ransom. This will be a source of strength to us against the infidels. It is quite possible that Allah may guide them to Islam.”

Then the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “What is your opinion, Ibn Khattab?”

He said, “O Messenger of Allah, I do not hold the same opinion as Abu Bakr. I suggest that you should hand them over to us so that we may cut off their heads. Hand over ‘Aqil to ‘Ali that he may cut off his head, and hand over such and such relative to me that I may cut off his head. They are leaders of the disbelievers and veterans among them.”

‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu continued, “The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam preferred the opinion of Abu Bakr and did not approve what I said. The next day when I came to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, I found that both he and Abu Bakr were in tears. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, why are you and your companion crying? Tell me the reason. I will also cry, or I will at least try to cry in empathy.’

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘I weep for what has happened to your companions for taking ransom (from the prisoners). I was shown the torture to which they were subjected. It was brought to me as close as this tree.’”

(He pointed to a tree close to him.) Then Allah revealed the verse:

It is not proper for a prophet that he should take prisoners until the force of the disbelievers has been crushed…[29]

to the end of the verse

So consume [now] what you have taken of war booty [as being] lAuful and good, and fear Allah . Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.[30]

So, Allah made war booty lAuful for them.[31]

 

It is evident from this narration that both Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were part of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam inner circle and he turned to them for counsel on matters that affected the Muslims. Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu correlation to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam preceeded the revelation of the first verse in the narration. ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu opinion on how to deal with the prisoners of war was preferred by Allah, and the next series of verses came. Even though ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu suggestion was aligned to what was later revealed, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam relied on Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu counsel. This clearly demonstrates the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam confidence in their capacity to lead the Ummah, and it further demonstrates the extent to which they intuitively identified the objectives of the Shari’ah.

 

20. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam attested to the purity of Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu heart, and confirmed that it was free of pride. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma relates that Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

عن عبد الله بن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من جر ثوبه خيلاء لم ينظر الله إليه يوم القيامة فقال أبو بكر إن أحد شقي ثوبي يسترخي إلا أن أتعاهد ذلك منه فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إنك لست تصنع ذلك خيلاء

“Allah will not look on the Day of Judgment at the person who drags his robe out of pride.”

Abu Bakr asked (out of concern), “One side of my robe (accidentally) slips down unless I constantly pay special attention to it.”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam exempted him saying, “You do not do that out of pride.”[32]

 

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam testified to matters of the heart; matters which no human is privy to except those inspired by revelation. Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu spiritual excellence is divinely attested to.

 

21. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates:

 

عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من أصبح منكم اليوم صائما قال أبو بكر أنا قال فمن تبع منكم اليوم جنازة قال أبو بكر أنا قال فمن أطعم منكم اليوم مسكينا قال أبو بكر أنا قال فمن عاد منكم اليوم مريضا قال أبو بكر أنا فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما اجتمعن في امرئ إلا دخل الجنة

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once asked, “Who among you is fasting today?”

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “I am.”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then asked, “Who among you followed a Janazah today?”

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “I did.”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, “Who among you fed a poor person today?”

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “I have.”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam went on to ask, “Who among you visited a sick person today?”

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “I did.”

Upon this the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Anyone in whom (these good deeds) are combined will certainly enter paradise.”[33]

 

This narration confirms the excellent traits which were combined in the character of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In each of these qualities he demonstrates empathy and concern for those around him. He is a person who needed not be prompted to see to the needs of his community. Such compassion, care, and dedication are necessary traits in a leader; moreso the successor of the Final Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

22. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that he heard the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying:

 

عن أبي هريرة قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول من أنفق زوجين من شيء من الأشياء في سبيل الله دعي من أبواب يعني الجنة يا عبد الله هذا خير فمن كان من أهل الصلاة دعي من باب الصلاة ومن كان من أهل الجهاد دعي من باب الجهاد ومن كان من أهل الصدقة دعي من باب الصدقة ومن كان من أهل الصيام دعي من باب الصيام وباب الريان فقال أبو بكر ما على هذا الذي يدعى من تلك الأبواب من ضرورة وقال هل يدعى منها كلها أحد يا رسول الله قال نعم وأرجو أن تكون منهم يا أبا بكر

Whoever spends a pair of something in the Path of Allah will be summoned from the doors of Paradise, “O slave of Allah! This (door) is better (for you).” Whoever was regular with Salah will be summoned from the door of the Salah (in Paradise). Whoever was regular with Jihad will be summoned from the door of Jihad. Whoever was regular with Sadaqah will be summoned from the door of Sadaqah. Whoever observed fast regularly will be summoned from the door of fasting, the gate of Rayyan.

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “Whoever is summoned from any of these doors will have no further need, but will anyone be summoned from all these doors, O Messenger of Allah?”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “Yes! and I expect that you will be among those, O Abu Bakr!”[34]

 

This narration is further confirmation of Abu Bakr’s elevated spiritual rank. It is also a testification from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to the acceptance of Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu wide-spectrum of righteous deeds, and that he is guaranteed a lofty position in Jannat.

 

23. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

عن ابن عمر أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال إن الله جعل الحق على لسان عمر وقلبه. وقال ابن عمر ما نزل بالناس أمر قط فقالوا فيه وقال فيه عمر أو قال ابن الخطاب فيه شك خارجة إلا نزل فيه القرآن على نحو ما قال عمر وفي الباب عن الفضل بن العباس وأبي ذر وأبي هريرة

“Indeed Allah has put the truth upon the tongue and in the heart of ‘Umar.”

Ibn ‘Umar said, “No matter occurred among the people, except that they said something about it, and ‘Umar held a position on it,” – or he said “Ibn al Khattab” Kharijah (one of the narrators) was not entirely certain which expression was used – “except that the Qur’an was revealed in line with what ‘Umar had said.”[35]

 

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is testifying to integrity of heart and speech of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He is informing the entire Ummah that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu has been inspired by Allah with an intuitive recognition of the nature of the Shari’ah. These are necessary traits for a Rightly Guided Khalifah who is to be a role model for generations to come; and at whose hands the consolidation of Din will be accomplished.

 

24. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال إنه قد كان فيما مضى قبلكم من الأمم محدثون وإنه إن كان في أمتي هذه منهم فإنه عمر بن الخطاب

In the nations that preceded you there were people who were Muhaddathun (i.e. divinely inspired, though they were not prophets), and if there are any such person amongst my followers, it is ‘Umar ibn al Khattab.[36]

 

This narration elaborates on the previous one. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the inspired genius of this Ummah, and the distinguished Mujtahid. This accolade is conferred upon him by none other than Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

25. Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates:

 

عن محمد بن سعد بن أبي وقاص عن أبيه قال استأذن عمر بن الخطاب على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وعنده نسوة من قريش يكلمنه ويستكثرنه عالية أصواتهن على صوته فلما استأذن عمر بن الخطاب قمن فبادرن الحجاب فأذن له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فدخل عمر ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يضحك فقال عمر أضحك الله سنك يا رسول الله فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عجبت من هؤلاء اللاتي كن عندي فلما سمعن صوتك ابتدرن الحجاب فقال عمر فأنت أحق أن يهبن يا رسول الله ثم قال عمر يا عدوات أنفسهن أتهبنني ولا تهبن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقلن نعم أنت أفظ وأغلظ من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إيها يا ابن الخطاب والذي نفسي بيده ما لقيك الشيطان سالكا فجا قط إلا سلك فجا غير فجك

‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu sought permission from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in whose gathering there were some women from Quraysh who were talking to him and asking him for more financial support, raising their voices above the voice of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the process.

When ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu sought permission to enter, they hastened to put on their veils. When the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam granted permission ‘Umar entered and found that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was smiling, so ‘Umar said, “O Messenger of Allah! May Allah always keep you smiling.”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “I am surprized at these women who were with me. As soon as they heard your voice, they hastened to veil themselves.”

‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “O Messenger of Allah, you have more right to be feared by them than I.”

Then ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu addressed the women saying, “O enemies of your own selves! You fear me more than you do Allah’s Messenger?”

They said, “Yes, for you are harsh and more fierce in comparison to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said, “O son of al Khattab! By Him in Whose Hands my life is! Never does Shaitan find you going on a path except that he takes another path; other than yours.”[37]

 

26. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma relates that he heard the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying:

 

عن ابن عمر قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال بينا أنا نائم أتيت بقدح لبن فشربت حتى إني لأرى الري يخرج من أطرافي ثم أعطيت فضلي عمر بن الخطاب قالوا فما أولته يا رسول الله قال العلم

While I was sleeping, I saw that a bowl full of milk was brought to me and I drank my fill until I felt its wetness in my limbs. Then I gave the remaining milk to ‘Umar ibn al Khattab.

When asked about how he interpreted it he said that he interpreted it to mean knowledge (of Din).[38]

 

27. Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

 

عن أنس بن مالك قال قال عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه وافقت ربي في ثلاث فقلت يا رسول الله لو اتخذنا من مقام إبراهيم مصلى فنزلت واتخذوا من مقام إبراهيم مصلى [البقرة ١٢٥] وآية الحجاب قلت يا رسول الله لو أمرت نساءك أن يحتجبن فإنه يكلمهن البر والفاجر فنزلت آية الحجاب واجتمع نساء النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في الغيرة عليه فقلت لهن عسى ربه إن طلقكن أن يبدله أزواجا خيرا منكن فنزلت هذه الآية “

I concurred with my Lord on three matters:

I said, “O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; I wish we took the Maqam Ibrahim as a place for some of our prayers. So came the Divine Revelation:

And take the Maqam Ibrahim as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers)…[39]

Also, the (verse of) the veiling of the women, I said, “O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; I wish you ordered your wives to cover themselves from strange men because good and bad ones talk to them.” So the verse of the veiling of the women was revealed.

Once, the wives of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made a united front against the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and I said to them, “It is possible if he (the Prophet) divorced you, that his Lord would replace him with wives better than you.” So this verse (worded as he had said) was revealed, i.e. [Surah al Tahrim: 5].[40]

 

28. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

 

عن ابن عمر قال قال عمر وافقت ربي في ثلاث في مقام إبراهيم وفي الحجاب وفي أسارى بدر

I concurred with my Lord (in my Ijtihad) on three occasions. In matter of Maqam Ibrahim, in the matter of Hijab and in the matter of the prisoners of Badr.[41]

 

These are manifestions of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam description of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu being divinely inspired.

 

29. Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that the heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying:

 

عن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول بينا أنا نائم رأيت الناس عرضوا علي وعليهم قمص فمنها ما يبلغ الثدي ومنها ما يبلغ دون ذلك وعرض علي عمر وعليه قميص اجتره قالوا فما أولته يا رسول الله قال الدين

While I was sleeping, the people were presented to me (in a dream), wearing shirts. Some of which were barely covered their (chests), and others were a bit longer. ‘Umar was presented before me and his shirt was so long that he was dragging it.

They asked, “How have you interpreted it, O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”

He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Din.”[42]

 

30. Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he said about Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma :

 

عن أنس قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لأبي بكر وعمر هذان سيدا كهول أهل الجنة من الأولين والآخرين إلا النبيين والمرسلين

These two are the masters of the elder people among the all the inhabitants of Paradise, from the first to the last, except for the Prophets and Messengers.[43]

 

A similar narration is related by way of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The only difference in his version is that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed him not to tell them about this as long as they remain alive.[44]

 

31. Abu ‘Uthman al Nahdi relates:

 

عن أبي عثمان أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعث عمرو بن العاص على جيش ذات السلاسل قال فأتيته فقلت أي الناس أحب إليك قال عائشة قلت من الرجال قال أبوها قلت ثم من قال عمر فعد رجالا فسكت مخافة أن يجعلني في آخرهم

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the commander of the army on the expedition of Dhat al Salasil. (On his return) ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “I came to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asking him, ‘Whom is the most beloved of all people to you?’

He replied, ‘Aisha.’

I said, ‘(I meant) from amongst the men?’

He replied, ‘Her father (Abu Bakr)’.

I said, ‘Whom (do you love the most) after him?’

He replied, ‘‘Umar’. Then he listed the names of many men, and I remained silent after that [i.e. stopped asking him] for fear that he might regard me as the last of them.”[45]

 

The Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam good mannerism, and manner of dealing with people always made them feel so special that they assumed they must have been the most beloved to him. This was also the case ‘Amr ibn al As radiya Llahu ‘anhu; only in his case he was put in charge of an army comprising of the senior companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Under these circumstances he anticipated that he must have been one of the most beloved to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He was not surprised to hear the name Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhu, nor Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, nor ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, but he expected to feature on the top. We learn that these were the most beloved to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by his own statement, and by the fact that it was common knowedge among the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

 

32. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma relates:

 

عن ابن عمر رضى الله عنهما قال كنا في زمن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا نعدل بأبي بكر أحدا ثم عمر ثم عثمان ثم نترك أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا نفاضل بينهم‏

We used to say during the time of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: We do not compare anyone with Abu Bakr. ‘Umar came next and then ‘Uthman. We then would leave (rest of) the companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without considering any as superior to another.[46]

 

One might ask about the lack of mention of the status of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this narration, even though his position is immediately after ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu according to Ahlus Sunnah. This was not on account of Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma overlooking his status. Rather, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was considered young compared to the three mentioned in this narration. He was the first child to accept Islam whereas Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first man to accept Islam. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was considered the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam peer in terms of his age, whereas ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was more like a son to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. As a matter of fact, this is consistent with what ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu thought, as we shall see in the next narration.

 

33. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (known as ibn al Hanafiyyah) asked his father, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

قلت لأبي أى الناس خير بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال أبو بكر‏.‏ قلت ثم من قال ثم عمر‏.‏ وخشيت أن يقول عثمان قلت ثم أنت قال ما أنا إلا رجل من المسلمين

“Who is the best of all people after the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”

“Abu Bakr,” came the reply.

“Who then?” asked ibn al Hanafiyyah.

“‘Umar,” replied ‘Ali.

Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah says, ‘I feared he would say ‘Uthman next if I asked him, so I said, “Then you.”’

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “I am but an ordinary man from the Muslims.”[47]

 

The fact that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu considered Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu superior to himself is well recorded. Besides Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah, many of the companions of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu relate it from him including: Abu Juhayfah,[48] ‘Abdullah ibn Salamah,[49] ‘Abd Khayr,[50] and one of those on ‘Abdul Hussain’s list of 100, ‘Alqamah ibn Qais.[51]

 

34. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates the manner in which ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu lamented the passing of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

وضع عمر على سريره فتكنفه الناس يدعون ويصلون قبل أن يرفع وأنا فيهم فلم يرعني إلا رجل آخذ منكبي فإذا علي فترحم على عمر وقال ما خلفت أحدا أحب إلى أن ألقى الله بمثل عمله منك وايم الله إن كنت لأظن أن يجعلك الله مع صاحبيك وحسبت أني كنت كثيرا أسمع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول ذهبت أنا وأبو بكر وعمر ودخلت أنا وأبو بكر وعمر وخرجت أنا وأبو بكر وعمر

‘Umar was placed on his bed. Then the people surrounded him supplicating and praying before he was raised and I was amongst them. Then a man alarmed me holding onto my shoulder and then I noticed it was ‘Ali. He prayed for Allah’s mercy upon ‘Umar and said, “I have not left behind anyone who I wished more to meet Allah with his deeds than you! By Allah! I think Allah will place you with you your two Sahabah, I remember I often used to hear the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “Myself, Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar went… Myself, Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar entered… Myself, Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar left…”[52]

 

35. ‘Abdullah ibn Shaqiq enquired of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

عن عبد الله بن شقيق قال قلت لعائشة أى أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان أحب إلى رسول الله قالت أبو بكر‏ قلت ثم من قالت عمر ‏قلت ثم من قالت ثم أبو عبيدة بن الجراح قلت ثم من قال فسكتت

“Which of the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were the most beloved to him?”

She said, “Abu Bakr.”

I said, “Then who?”

She said, “Then ‘Umar.”

I said, “Then who?”

She said, “Then Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah.”

I said, “Then who?”

He said, “Then she was silent.”[53]

 

36. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha relates:

 

عن عائشة أم المؤمنين رضي الله عنها أنها قالت إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال في مرضه مروا أبا بكر يصلي بالناس قالت عائشة قلت إن أبا بكر إذا قام في مقامك لم يسمع الناس من البكاء فمر عمر فليصل للناس فقالت عائشة فقلت لحفصة قولي له إن أبا بكر إذا قام في مقامك لم يسمع الناس من البكاء فمر عمر فليصل للناس ففعلت حفصة فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مه إنكن لأنتن صواحب يوسف مروا أبا بكر فليصل للناس

During the final illness of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam he said, “Instruct Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer.”

I said to him, “If Abu Bakr stands in your place, the people would not hear him because of his crying. Why not instruct ‘Umar to lead the prayer?”

Aisha added, “I said to Hafsah, ‘Tell him: If Abu Bakr should lead the people in the prayer in your place, the people would not be able to hear him due to his crying; so please, order ‘Umar to lead the prayer.’

Hafsah did so but the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘Enough! You are indeed [like] the Companions of Yusuf. Instruct Abu Bakr to lead the people in the prayer.’”[54]

 

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would not tolerate that anyone but Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu leads the Muslims in Salah. Why did he single out Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to represent him during his absence in minor Imamah if he were not the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam preferred candidate to succeed him in the major Imamah?

 

37. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates:

 

قال لي رسول الله يوم بدر و لأبي بكر مع أحدكما جبريل و مع الأخر ميكائيل. و إسرافيل ملك عظيم يشهد القتال أو يكون في القتال

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to me and Abu Bakr on the Day of Badr, “Jibril was with one of you and Mika’il was with the other. And Israfil is a huge angel; he witnessed or partook in the battle.”[55]

 

38. Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

عن أم سلمة أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال إن في السماء ملكين أحدهما يأمر بالشدة والآخر يأمر باللين وكل مصيب جبريل وميكائيل ونبيان أحدهما يأمر باللين والآخر يأمر بالشدة وكل مصيب وذكر إبراهيم ونوحا ولي صاحبان أحدهما يأمر باللين والآخر بالشدة وكل مصيب وذكر أبا بكر وعمر

Verily in the heavens are two Angels; one of them commands with firmness and the other with gentleness; each of them is correct: Jibril ‘alayh al Salam and Mika’il ‘alayh al Salam. (Similarly on earth) There were two Prophets; one of them dealt with firmness and the other with gentleness; both are correct. He mentioned Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam and Nuh ‘alayh al Salam. I also have two such companions; one who conducts himself with gentleness and the other with firmness; and both are correct. He mentioned Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.[56]

 

39. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates:

 

عن أبي هريرة قال كنا قعودا حول رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم معنا أبو بكر وعمر في نفر فقام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من بين أظهرنا فأبطأ علينا وخشينا أن يقتطع دوننا وفزعنا فقمنا فكنت أول من فزع فخرجت أبتغي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى أتيت حائطا للأنصار لبني النجار فدرت به هل أجد له بابا فلم أجد فإذا ربيع يدخل في جوف حائط من بئر خارجة والربيع الجدول فاحتفزت فدخلت على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال أبو هريرة فقلت نعم يا رسول الله قال ما شأنك قلت كنت بين أظهرنا فقمت فأبطأت علينا فخشينا أن تقتطع دوننا ففزعنا فكنت أول من فزع فأتيت هذا الحائط فاحتفزت كما يحتفز الثعلب وهؤلاء الناس ورائي فقال يا أبا هريرة وأعطاني نعليه قال اذهب بنعلي هاتين فمن لقيت من وراء هذا الحائط يشهد أن لا إله إلا الله مستيقنا بها قلبه فبشره بالجنة فكان أول من لقيت عمر فقال ما هاتان النعلان يا أبا هريرة فقلت هاتان نعلا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعثني بهما من لقيت يشهد أن لا إله إلا الله مستيقنا بها قلبه بشرته بالجنة فضرب عمر بيده بين ثديي فخررت لاستي فقال ارجع يا أبا هريرة فرجعت إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأجهشت بكاء وركبني عمر فإذا هو على أثري فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما لك يا أبا هريرة قلت لقيت عمر فأخبرته بالذي بعثتني به فضرب بين ثديي ضربة خررت لاستي قال ارجع فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يا عمر ما حملك على ما فعلت قال يا رسول الله بأبي أنت وأمي أبعثت أبا هريرة بنعليك من لقي يشهد أن لا إله إلا الله مستيقنا بها قلبه بشره بالجنة قال نعم قال فلا تفعل فإني أخشى أن يتكل الناس عليها فخلهم يعملون قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فخلهم

We were sitting around the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were also present. In the meanwhile the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam got up and left us, He delayed in coming back to us, which caused anxiety that he might be attacked by some enemy when we were not with him; so being alarmed we got up. I was the first to be alarmed. I, therefore, went out to look for the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and came to an enclosed garden belonging to the Ansar, Banu al Najjar to be precise.

I searched the perimeter looking for a gate but failed to find one. After seeing a small streamlet flowing into the garden from a well outside, I drew myself together, like a fox, and slinked into (the place) where the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was.

He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Abu Hurairah?”

I replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.”

He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “What is the matter (that brings you here)?”

I replied, “You were amongst us but got up and went away and delayed for so long, that we feared that you might be attacked by some enemy while we were absent; so we became alarmed. I was the first to be alarmed. So when I came to this garden, I drew myself together as a fox does, and these people are close behind me.”

He addressed me as Abu Hurairah and gave me his sandals and said, “Take these sandals of mine, and when you meet anyone outside this garden who testifies that there is none worthy of worship but Allah, being assured of it in his heart, give him the glad tidings of Paradise.”

The first one I met was ‘Umar.

He asked, “What are these sandals, O Abu Hurairah?”

I replied, “These are the sandals of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with which he has sent me to convey to anyone I meet who testifies that there is no god but Allah, being assured of it in his heart, with the glad tidings of Paradise.”

Thereupon ‘Umar struck me on the chest and I fell on my back. He said, “Go back, Abu Hurairah.”

So, I returned to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about to break into tears. ‘Umar followed me closely and there he was behind me.

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “What is the matter, O Abu Hurairah?”

I said, “I happened to meet ‘Umar and conveyed to him the message with which you sent me. He struck me on my chest which made me fall down on my back, and he ordered me to return.”

Upon this the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “What prompted you to do this, O ‘Umar?”

He said, “O Messenger of Allah, may my mother and father be sacrificed to you. Did you send Abu Hurairah with your sandals to convey to anyone he met and who testified that there is no god but Allah, and being assured of it in his heart, with the glad tidings of Paradise?”

He said, “Yes.”

‘Umar said, “Please do it not, for I am afraid that people will rely on that only (and becomes lax with righteous deeds); let them continue doing (good) deeds.”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (agreed to this suggestion) saying, “Let them (continue).”[57]

 

This narration demonstrates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam accepted the counsel of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It also bears testimony that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is trustworthy; how else would the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam agree to his counsel. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first recipient of the promise of Paradise.

In this Hadith, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was obviously summoned to receive Wahi. He was informed that all who testify to the Oneness of Allah, with firm conviction and soundness of heart, would enter Jannat. He initially wanted all the Muslims to hear this glad news, but ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu feared that this would cause them to become complacent. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not forbid Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu from relating this narration even though he accepted the suggestion of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Before, his death Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu conveyed this Hadith, since he was one of very few who were privy to this glad tiding from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

While it may argued that this is only found in Sunni books, hence prone to prejudice. We cite a narration appearing in the Shia tradition, by one of the ‘infallible’ Imams.

 

40. ‘Ali ibn Abi al Fath al Arbili relates his book Kashf al Ghummah fi Marifat al A’immah from ‘Ali ibn Hussain:

 

A group of people came to him from Iraq and made some disparaging remarks about Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman. When they completed what they had to say, he said to them, “Are you from the group (described by the verse):

 

لِلْفُقَرَاء الْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ الَّذِيْنَ أُخْرِجُوْا مِنْ دِيارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلاً مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَاناً وَّيَنصُرُوْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُوْلَهُ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُوْنَ

For the first emigrants who were expelled from their homes and their properties, seeking bounty from Allah and [His] approval and supporting Allah and His Messenger of Allah. Those are the truthful?’”[58]

 

They answered, “No.”

He asked, “Are you then from the group (described by the verse):

 

وَالَّذِيْنَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالْإِيمَانَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّونَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَا يَجِدُونَ فِيْ صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّا أُوْتُوْا وَيُؤْثِرُوْنَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ وَمَنْ يُّوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ

Those who were settled in the Home [i.e. Madinah] and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what they [i.e., the Muhajirin] were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation?[59]

 

They answered, “No.”

‘Ali ibn Hussain then said, “As for you, you have distanced yourselves from being either one of these two groups and I testify that you are not amongst those whom Allah says about them:

 

وَالَّذِيْنَ جَاءُوْا مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُوْلُوْنَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُوْنَا بِالْإِيْمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِيْ قُلُوْبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ

And those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts (any) resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.[60]

 

Be gone from me, Allah will do with you what He wills.[61]

 

Not only does this narration prove the high rank of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum; it also highlights the value of the consensus of the Muhajirin and Ansar. If the statements of the Imams are equivalent to the Qur’an as ‘Abdul Hussain alleges, anyone who has accepted his views until this point ought to accept the Caliphate of the three who preceded ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and accept the weight of the agreement of the Muhajirin and Ansar radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

These are forty sound narrations which, collectively, indicate the worthiness of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma for succession after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise. As a matter of fact, they demonstrate the reasons why Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma rank above ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in virtue; despite his lofty status radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Caliphate vs Imamah

While ‘Abdul Hussain is no longer with us to review these narrations, we urge any objective person—who is persuaded by the value of argument rather than emotional and sentimental attachment—to review those narrations and consider their implications.

That being said, the standard view of Ahlus Sunnah is that the appointment of a Khalifah is the prerogative of the Ummah. This is in stark contrast to the Shia doctrine of Imamah that considers the roles of leadership assigned to specific individuals by Divine instruction. A person who rejects the leadership of any of the four rightly-guided Khulafa’ will be considered an innovator since this person has overturned the standing consensus of the entire Ummah; whereas anyone who does not uphold the doctrine of Imamah is considered an apostate and disbeliever according to the Twelver Shia.

‘Abdul Hussain’s coy gesture of acknowledging the virtues of the early ones among the Muhajirin and Ansar is part of the character he is playing in al Murajaat. If he could dig up forty narrations about ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, most of which are unreliable, he could surely have found the forty we cited about Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. He removes this mask in his book, Abu Hurairah, and bares his venomous fangs and reveals his true nature.

 

Abu Bakr and ‘Umar in authentic Shia literature

While ‘Abdul Hussain might find reason to conceal his contempt towards Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, the scholars upon whom the Twelver Shia rely upon religiously have no worries in expressing their real disposition towards these great personalities.

Ni’mat Allah al Jaza’iri states about the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions in general:

Most of the Companions were Munafiqs [hypocrites]. They concealed their hypocrisy during the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lifetime. However, after his departure from this world their hypocrisy became apparent. They were open an brazen in rejecting the Wasiyyah [bequest].[62]

 

In the Tafsir of al ‘Ayyashi he cites a narration ascribed to Abu ‘Abdullah [Jafar al Sadiq] wherein he interprets the verse of the Qur’an:

Do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan.[63]

The footsteps of Shaitan is the authority of so-and-so, i.e. Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.[64]

 

Abu Basir relates that he asked Abu ‘Abdullah [Jafar al Sadiq] about the verse:

Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.[65]

He replied: the Amanah [Trust] refers to Wilayah, and Insan refers to Abu al Shurur, the Munafiq.

Al Majlisii points out that Abu al Shurur refers to Abu Bakr.[66]

 

This narration is confirmed acceptable by Muhammad Asif Muhsini, a contemporary, high-ranking Shia scholar.[67]

Al Majlisi devotes an entire chapter towards proving the apostacy of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman in his book, Bihar al Anwar.[68]

The content in this regard is abundant, but we have demonstrated the point without having to polute our work further with those unspeakable narrations.

 

Reluctance on relying on Sunni narrations

While it might appear prudent to show reluctance at relying on the sources of the opposition it is accepteble to hold the opposition to account for what is considered reliable to them in their own literature; and to acknowledge the preponderant nature of their explanation to these narrations. After all, it is their own legacy.

That being established, there is not a single case where ‘Abdul Hussain could raise a valid objection on the basis of a sound hadith. The overwhelming majority of the narrations that he has cited throughout his correspondence have either been unreliable or complete forgeries. On the rare instances where he cited an authentic narration we find those narrations do not support his allegation in any way whatsoever.

This might create the impression that the is an impasse. However, there is a method to validate a certain narrative of events objectively, and that is to subject the collective tradition according to the criteria of the experts and masters, to the arbitration of the Qur’an and the role of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as the Final Messenger.

One would expect the Final Messenger to be a success and that he would manage to effect such change that humanity would not need further instruction. The Shia narrative of history portrays the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mission a failure since all, save three, were saved from apostasy after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise. Furthermore, he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, could not effect change to those around him as he was surrounded by hypocrites!

On the other hand, the Sunni narrative of history, during the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lifetime and after his demise is uninterrupted and consistent. It portrays the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as an ultimate success, and one who left the Ummah upon guidance. Furthermore, his predictions of fututre events and visions of what was to come was consistent with what has been related from his companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum; and recorded in the authentic sunni legacy.

The glowing manner in which the Qur’an describes those around the Messenger, Allah’s pleasure with those who participated in the Pledge of Ridwan, and the fact that the early Muhajirin and Ansar were role models is consistent with the narrative provided by the Ahlus Sunnah.

As a matter of fact, even the behaviour of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu appears erratic based on the Shia narrative; if compared to the periods of the Khulafa’ who preceded him and his fighting the armies at Jamal, Siffin, and Nahrawan.

 

NEXT⇒ Letter 53 and 54


[1] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith no: 3664; Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, Hadith no: 2392

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith no: 3676; Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, Hadith no: 2393

[3] Musnad Abi Ya’la vol. 2 pg. 198, Hadith no: 904

[4] Musnad Ahmed vol. 2 pg. 76 (old edition), al Haythami states in Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 9 pg. 58, “It is narrated by Ahmed and al Tabarani, and their narrators are reliable.”

[5] Abu Dawood, Kitab al Sunnah, Hadith no: 4634; AL Tirmidhi, Abwab al Ru’ya, Hadith no: 2287

[6] Abu Dawood, Kitab al Sunnah, Hadith no: 4635

[7] Al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 71

[8] Abu Dawood, Kitab al Sunnah, Hadith no. 4636

[9] Musnad Ahmed vol. 33 pg. 384, Hadith 20242

[10] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Ta’bir, Hadith no: 7046; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Ru’ya, Hadith no: 2269

[11] Al Tirmidhi, Abwab al Manaqib, Hadith no: 3662

[12] It is common to refer to Zakat as Sadaqah

[13] Al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 77; al Dhahabi graded it Sahih

[14]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith no: 3459; Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, Hadith no: 2386

[15] Abu Dawood, Kitab al Sunnah, Hadith no: 3607, Al Tirmidhi, Abwab al ‘Ilm, Hadith no: 2676; ibn Majah, al Muqaddimah, Hadith no: 42

[16] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Salat, Hadith no: 466; Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, Hadith no: 2382

[17] Al Tirmidhi, Abwab al Manaqib, Hadith no.3661

[18] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith no: 3656

[19]  Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith no: 4361

[20] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 9 pg. 506 Hadith no: 5696; Al Tirmidhi, Abwab al Manaqib, Hadith no: 3681

[21] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith no: 3684

[22] Fada’il al Sahabah vol. 1 pg. 248

[23] Tabaqat ibn Sa’d vol. 3 pg. 270

[24] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Fitan, Hadith no: 7097; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Fitan, Hadith no: 144

[25] al Tirmidhi, Abwab al Manaqib, Hadith no: 3703; al Nasa’i, Kitab al Ahbas, Hadith no: 3608

[26] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith no: 3675, 3686, 3699; Abu Dawood, Kitab al Sunnah, Hadith no: 4651; al Tirmidhi, Abwab al Manaqib, Hadith no: 3697

[27] Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, Hadith no: 2417; al Tirmidhi, Abwab al Manaqib, Hadith no: 3696

[28] Abu Dawood, Kitab al Sunnah, Hadith no: 4648; ibn Majah, al Muqaddimah, Hadith no: 134

[29] Surah al Anfal: 67

[30] Surah al Anfal: 69

[31] Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Jihad wal Siyar, Hadith no: 1763

[32] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith no: 3665

[33] Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Zakat, Hadith no: 1028

[34] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith no: 3666; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Zakat, Hadith no: 1027

[35] al Tirmidhi, Abwab al Manaqib, Hadith no: 3682

[36] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Ahadith al Anbiya, Hadith no: 3469; Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fada’il al Sahabah, Hadith no: 2398

[37] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam , Hadith no:3683; Sahih Muslim, Fada’il al Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, Hadith no: 2396

[38] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Ta’bir, Hadith no: 7007 ; Sahih Muslim, Fada’il al Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, Hadith no: 2391

[39] Surah al Baqarah: 125

[40] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Salah, Hadith no: 402

[41] Sahih Muslim, Fada’il al Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, Hadith no: 2399

[42] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam , Hadith no:3691; Sahih Muslim, Fada’il al Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, Hadith no: 2390

[43] Al Tirmidhi, Abwab al Manaqib, Hadith no: 3665

[44] Ibn Majah, al Muqaddimah, Hadith no: 95

[45] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Maghazi, Hadith no: 4358; Sahih Muslim, Fada’il al Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, Hadith no:2384

[46] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam , Hadith no:3697

[47] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, hadith no: 3671

[48] Musnad Ahmed, Vol. 2 pg. 200, Hadith no: 833

[49] Ibn Majah, al Muqaddimah, Hadith no: 106

[50] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 2 pg. 238, Hadith 908

[51] Musnad Ahmed vol. 2 pg. 311, Hadith no: 1051

[52]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, hadith no: 3482.

[53] Al Tirmidhi, Kitab al Manaqib, hadith no: 4018

[54] Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Salah, Hadith no: 679; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Salah, Hadith no: 418

[55]Musnad Abi Ya’la, vol. 1, p. 340, the editor said: “Its chain is authentic.”

[56] Al Mujam al Kabir vol. 23 pg. 315; al Haythami said aboth this narration in Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 9 pg. 54, “The narrators in this chain are all reliable.”

[57] Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Iman, Hadith no: 31

[58] Surah al Hashr: 8

[59] Surah al Hashr: 9

[60] Surah al Hashr: 10

[61]Kashf al Ghummah, vol. 2, p. 291, under the heading Fada’il al Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin

[62] Al Anwar al Nu’maniyyah vol. 1 pg. 81

[63] Surah al Baqarah: 168

[64] Tafsir al ‘Ayyashi vol. 1 pg. 121

[65] Surah al Ahzab: 72

[66] Bihar al Anwar vol. 23 pg. 279

[67] Mashra’at al Bihar vol. 1. pg. 428

[68] Bihar al Anwar vol. 20 pg. 167