There are a few sections which this chapter has been spilt into. In the previous four chapters the relationship between Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Ali and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were presented in a set pattern; in this part I shall present the bond and connection that existed between their families: the family of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the family of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
By deeply pondering over the aspects that will be presented in this chapter the truth will emerge for a person who holds a sound disposition. It will become evident that not only did Abu Bakr and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma foster healthy relations with each other, but their children, grandchildren, and posterity maintained sound bonds with one another. And naturally, by way of default, the end result of all this would be the baselessness of all those narrations and incidents that sketch a nasty picture of the relationship between Abu Bakr and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. This is simply because every person is better aware of his family and its history than strangers; when it comes to family one does not seek information from outsiders. A similar meaning to this is expressed in an Arabic proverb: The owner of the house is better aware of its contents. Therefore, hypothetically speaking, if there were any disputes that had transpired between Abu Bakr and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, due to which they had developed a certain sort of apprehension for one another, oppressed one another and usurped the rights of one another then their progenies would never have dealt amiably with one another, or commended and revered one another. Indeed a very pivotal point to reflect over. I hope that by studying the information that is to be presented the readers will reach the correct conclusion.
The chapter has been divided into the following subsections:
1. The understated incident which occurred during the rule of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu appears in the books of hadith:
عن عقبة بن الحارث قال رأيت أبابكر حمل الحسن وهو يقول بأبي شبيه بالنبي صلي الله عليه وسلم ليس شبيه بعلي وعلي يضحك.
‘Uqbah ibn Harith narrates that he saw Abu Bakr carrying Hassan and saying, “By my father, he is more like (his grandfather) Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that (his father) ‘Ali.”
This incident is cited with a little more detail in Kanz al ‘Ummal and many other books of hadith. The detailed version reads as follows:
عن عقبة بن الحارث قال خرجت مع أبي بكر من صلوة العصر بعد وفاة رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم بليال وعلي يمشي إلي جنبه فمر بحسن بن علي يلعب مع غلمان فاحتمله علي رقبته وهو يقول بأبي شبيه بالنبي لا شبيه بعلي وعلي يضحك. قال ابن كثير هذا في حكم المرفوع لأنه في قوة قوله أن رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم كان يشبه الحسن.
‘Uqbah ibn Harith narrates that a few nights after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam I exited the Masjid with Abu Bakr. ‘Ali was walking aside him. Abu Bakr happened to pass by Hassan ibn ‘Ali who was playing with group of children. He, thus, carried him on his shoulders and said, “By my father! He resembles Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam more than he resembles his father ‘Ali.” ‘Ali was laughing at these remarks of his.
The Shia have also made mention of this narration in their books. Hence, the following appears in Tarikh al Yaqubi authored by Ahmed ibn Abi Yaqub al Shia:
إن أبا بكر قال له وقد لقيه في بعض طرق المدينة بأبي شبيه بالنبي غير شبيه بعلي.
Abu Bakr met said to him, and he met him in one of the streets of Madinah, “By my father! He resembles Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam more than he resembles his father ‘Ali.”
It is evident from this incident that Abu Bakr and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma would acknowledge each other’s merits with veneration and would perform salah together in the Masjid. Due to this incident transpiring just days after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it implies that all the narrations wherein the intense disputes and differences of Abu Bakr and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma are highlighted—which the Shia propagate with great passion—are all unfounded.
2. When Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was in his final moments his desire was to be buried next to his grandfather, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He therefore sent his brother Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha to seek permission on his behalf. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha when asked granted permission gladly. This incident is narrated in many of our sources and that of the Shia as well:
وقد كانت أباحت له عائشة رضي الله تعالي عنها ان يدفن مع رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم في بيتها و كان سألها ذالك في مرضه. وفي رواية فلما مات الحسن أتي الحسين عائشة فطلب ذالك اليها فقالت نعم وكرامة.
And Aisha had granted permission that he be buried with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in her house. In another version: When Hassan passed away Hussain came to Aisha and sought her permission. She replied, “Yes with pleasure.”
Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu had passed away in 50/52 A.H. as stated in the famous and widespread books of history. Some historians at this juncture have penned many weak and reprehensible narrations which openly tarnish the noble personality of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. Nonetheless, the above cited narration is coherent with reality and based on it the sort of relationship that existed among them is obvious.
‘Abdullah ibn Hassan was one of the grandsons of Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When asked regarding Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma he gave the following answer:
نا الحسين الجعفي نا خالد الأحمر قال سئلت عبد الله بن الحسن عن أبي بكر وعمر فقال صلي الله عليهما ولا صلي الله علي من لايصلي عليهما.
Khalid al Ahmar narrates that he asked ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan regarding Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. He responded by saying, “May Allah have mercy on them and may he deprive from his mercy any person who does not invoke the mercy of Allah for them.”
Likewise, the exact same question was posed to Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan in his time. He gave the following answer:
نا عبيد الطنافسي نا حبيب الأسدي عن محمد بن عبد الله بن الحسن أنه أتاه قوم من أهل الكوفة فسئلوه عن أبي بكر وعمر فالتفت إلي وقال أنظر إلي أهل بلادك يسئلوني عن أبي بكر وعمر إنهما عندي أفضل من علي.
Habib al Asadi narrates that a delegation of people came to Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan and inquired of him regarding Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. He gazed towards me and said, “Look at these people of your city they have come to ask me about Abu Bakr and ‘Umar! They are, according to me, better than ‘Ali.”
 Al Bukhari 1/530.
 Tarikh al Yaqubi 2/117.
 Al Isti’ab 1/374-376; Maqatil al Talibiyin of Abu al Faraj al Isfahani al Shia, p. 30 (old print)/ p. 51 (new print)
 Fada’il Abi Bakr al Siddiq p. 8.
 Fada’il Abi Bakr al Siddiq p. 9.