`Ali Would also Issue Formal Legal Opinions and Would Pronounce Jurisprudential Rulings

`Ali was a Close Advisor to Abu Bakr
May 31, 2016
`Ali’s Performance of Salah Behind Abu Bakr
June 1, 2016

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Chapter Three


A few themes have been discussed in this part. These themes clearly indicate that ‘Ali and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were on good terms with one another. The reference material for these themes is scattered in both Sunni and Shia sources. I, with my little efforts, have endeavoured to put together a few excerpts from both. I hope that the readers will analyse them with impartiality and embrace them open heartedly.


The themes that I will be covering in this part are the following:

  1. Among other learned Sahabah, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu would also issue formal legal opinions and would pronounce jurisprudential rulings during the reign of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  2. Similarly, he was a close advisor to Abu Bakr in warfare; he would assist in overseeing the different expeditions that were sent out, just as he was an active member in civil defence.
  3. He, likewise, gladly accepted bonuses, booty and gifts that came his way from Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  4. Lastly, he was passionately instrumental in executing the Hudud (penal law of Islam) during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

‘Ali Would also Issue Formal Legal Opinions and Would Pronounce Jurisprudential Rulings


During the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was deemed a competent authority in jurisprudential rulings. The narration of Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d is very clear in this regard:


عن عبد الرحمن بن القاسم عن أبيه ان ابا بكر الصديق كان إذا نزل به أمر يريد فيه مشاورة أهل الرأي و أهل الفقه دعا رجالا من المهاجرين و الأنصار. دعا عمر و عثمان و عليا و عبد الرحمن بن عوف و معاذ بن جبل و أبي بن كعب و زيد بن ثابت و كل هؤلاء يفتي في خلافة أبي بكر و انما تصير فتوي الناس الي هؤلاءفمضي أبو بكر علي ذالك ثم ولي عمر فكان يدعو هؤلاء النفر.

Whenever a matter of concern would befall Abu Bakr (regarding which he would usually consult the people of objective reasoning and thorough knowledge), he would summon a few of the Muhajirin and the Ansar, namely, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Muaz ibn Jabal, Ubay ibn Ka’b and Zaid ibn Thabit. These were the people who presided over the post of issuing legal rulings during his time. Abu Bakr dealt in this manner. After him ‘Umar was elected as the ruler. He would likewise, summon these same people.[1]


Many Shia historians have also regarded ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be a jurist and mufti (one who issues legal rulings) during the era of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hence, they write:


وكان من يؤخذ عنه الفقه في ايام أبي بكر علي بن أبي طالب و عمر بن الخطاب و معاذ بن جبل وأبي بن كعب و زيد بن ثابت و عبد الله بن مسعود.

From amongst those who were references for authoritative knowledge during the reign of Abu Bakr were: ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, Muaz ibn Jabal, Ubay Ibn Ka’b, Zaid ibn Thabit and ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud. [2]


Summary of the Narrations

  1. It was the norm of the khalifas to always consult with the learned class of the Sahabah in matters of the caliphate.
  2. The khalifah would treat the Muhajirin and the Ansar with honour and reverence.
  3. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was part of the elite group of the Sahabah who would be summoned for advice.
  4. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was an advisor, strategist and Mufti under the reigns of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

All this is clear cut evidence of the mutual love and bond that they enjoyed.


NEXT⇒ ‘Ali was a Close Advisor to Abu Bakr

[1]Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d 2/109: chapter regarding the scholars amongst the Sahabah.

[2]  Ahmed ibn Abi Yaqub, Tarikh Yaqubi, 2/138.

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