Chapter Three – The Second Fitnah – Module One: The Fourth Rightly Guided Khalifah (His Nomination, his Policies of Ruling, and the Plots against him) – Section One: The nomination of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu

The Iranian Constitution
May 12, 2020
Second Two: His Policies of Ruling
July 28, 2020

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Chapter Three – The Second Fitnah

 

It comprises of three modules:

Module One: The Fourth Rightly Guided Khalifah (His Nomination, his Policies of Ruling, and the Plots against him)

 

And this module comprises of three sections:

Section One: The nomination of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Section Two: His policies of ruling

Section Three: The influence of the Saba’iyyah in the second fitnah

 

Section One: The Nomination of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu

 

In those trying moments, which the Islamic empire underwent after the martyrdom of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the Muslims desperately needed a Khalifah who would fill the political vacuum; hence the nomination happen to fall upon ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. However, the narrations in this regard are numerous and are very different to one another.

Al Tabari alluding toward this difference says:

اختلف السلف من أهل السير في ذلك

The early scholars of history have differed in this regard.[1]

 

As for the narrations that suggest that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were the ones who pushed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu forward and sought him for the Caliphate, whereafter the Muhajirin and the Ansar and the rest of the people pledged their allegiance to him, they are as follows:

The first narration is from Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah:

 

كنت مع أبي حين قتل عثمان رضي الله عنه فقام فدخل منزله، فأتاه أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقالوا: إن هذا الرجل قد قتل، ولا بد للناس من إمام، ولا نجد اليوم أحدا أحق بهذا الأمر منك، ولا أقدم سابقة، ولأ أقرب من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: لا تفعلوا، فإني أكون وزيرا خير من أن أكون أميرا، فقالوا، لا والله! ما نحن بفاعلين حتى نبايعك، قال، ففي المسجد، فإن بيعتي لا تكون خفيا، ولا تكون إلا عن رضا المسلمين، قال سلام بن أبي الجعد، فقال عبد اللله ابن عباس رضي الله عنه فلقد كرهت أن يأتي المسجد مخافة أن يشغب عليه، وأبى هو إلا المسجد، فلما دخل المهاجرون والأنصار فبايعوه، ثم بايعه الناس

I was with my father when ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred. He stood up and entered his house. Subsequently the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to him and said, “This man has been murdered and the people require a leader. We do not find anyone who is more rightful of this matter than you today, nor anyone with an earlier contribution to Islam than yours and nor anyone closer to Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam than you were.”

He replied, “Do not do this, for it is better for me to be a minister than to be a ruler.”

They replied, “Never, by Allah! We will not accept anything other than pledging our allegiance to you.”

He acceded and said, “In the Masjid then, for I don’t want my nomination to be discreet and it should not happen but with the willingness of the Muslims.”

Sallam ibn Abi al Ja’d said that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “I disliked that he come to the masjid due to the fear that they would cause a commotion but he refused to go anywhere but the masjid. Hence, when he entered, the Muhajirin and the Ansar pledged their allegiance to him and the people followed thereafter.”[2]

 

The second narration is from Abu Bashir al ‘Abdi:[3]

 

كنت بالمدينة حين قتل عثمان رضي الله عنه وجتمع المهاجرون والأنصار، فيهم طلحة والزبير، فأتوا عليا رضي الله فقالوا: يا أبا الحسن هلم نبايعك، فقال: لا حاجة لي في أمركم، أنا معكم فيمن اخترتم، فقد رضيت به، فاختاروا والله، فقالوا، ما نختار غيرك، قال-أي الراوي- فاختلفوا إليه بعد ما قتل عثمان رضي الله عنه مرارا، ثم أتوه في آخر ذلك، فقالوا له، إنه لا يصلح الناس إلا بأمرة، وقد طال الأمر، فقال لهم: إنكم اختلفتم إلي وأتيتم، وإني قائل لكم قولا إن قبلتموه قبلت أمركم وإلا فلا حاجة لي فيه، قالوا، ما قلت من شيء قبلناه إن شاء الله، فجاء فصعد المنبر، فاجتمع الناس إليه، فقال: إني كنت كارها لأمركم، فأبيتم إلا أن أكون عليكم، ألا وإنه ليس لي أمر دونكم، إلا أن مفاتيح مالكم معي، ألا وإنه ليس لي أن آخذ منه درهما دونكم، رضيتم؟ قالوا نعم، قال: اللهم اشهد عليهم، ثم بايعهم على ذلك، قال أبو بشير: وأنا يومئذ قائم أسمع ما يقول

I was in Madinah when ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred. The Muhajirin and the Ansar gathered, amongst them were Talhah and Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and they came to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and they said, “O Abu al Hassan, come, let us pledge our allegiance to you.”

He replied, “I have no need for your matter, I will support you in whoever you choose and I will be happy. So nominate, by Allah.”

They replied, “We will not nominate anyone beside you.”

The narrator says: They went back and forth to him a few times. Thereafter they came to him and said, “The people cannot be handled but with leadership, and the matter has now prolonged.”

He said to them, “You came to me several times. I am going to tell you something, if you accept I will accept your proposal, otherwise I do not have any need to accept.”

They said, “Whatever you say we will accept, by the will of Allah.”

He thus came and ascended the pulpit and the people gathered around him.

He addressed them saying, “I despised your matter, but you refused except that I be nominated over you. Behold, I have no authority without your support. Behold, the keys to your wealth is with me, but also know that I will not take a Dirham without your consent. Are you happy?”

They said, “Yes.”

He thereafter said, “O Allah you be my witness upon them.”

He then accepted their allegiance.

Abu Bashir says, “I was standing at that time by the pulpit of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam listening to what he had to say.”[4]

 

The third narration is from Abu al Malih[5]:

 

لما قتل عثمان رضي الله عنه خرج علي رضي الله إلي السوق، وذلك يوم السبت لثماني عشرة ليلة خلت من ذي الحجة، فتابعه الناس وبهشوا في وجهه، فدخل حائط بني عمرو بن مبذول، وقال لأبي عمرة بن عمرو بن محصن، أغلق الباب، فجاء الناس فقرعوا الباب، فدخلوا فيهم طلحة والزبير رضي الله عنهما فقالا: يا علي ابسط يدك، فبايعه طلحة والزبير

When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu headed toward the market place. This was on Saturday the eighteenth of Dhi al Hijjah. The people followed him and found solace in him. He entered the orchard of Banu ‘Amr ibn Mabdhul and told Abu ‘Amrah ibn ‘Amr ibn Muhsan to shut the door. The people came, knocked and entered, amongst them were Talhah and Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. They said, “O ‘Ali spread your hand,” and Talhah and Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma pledged their allegiance to him.”[6]

 

The fourth narration is from al Sha’bi:

 

لما قتل عثمان رضي الله عنه أتى الناس عليا وهو في سوق المدينة وقالوا له: ابسط يدك نبايعك قال: لا تعجلوا، فإن عمر كان رجلا مباركا، وقد أوصى بها شورى، فأمهلوا حتى يجتمع الناس ويتشاورون، فارتد الناس عن علي رضي الله عنه، ثم قال بعضهم: إن رجع الناس إلى أمصارهم بقتل عثمان ولم يقم بعده قائم بهذا الأمر لم نأمن الناس وفساد الأمة، فعادوا إلى علي رضي الله عنه، فأخذ الأشتر بيده، فقبضها علي فقال: أبعد ثلاثة؟ أما والله لو تركتها ليقصرن عليها عنيتك حينا، فبايعته العامة، وأهل الكوفة يقولون: إن أول من بايعه الأشتر

When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered the people approached ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu whilst he was in the market of Madinah and said to him, “Spread your hand so that we may pledge our allegiance.”

He replied, “Do not haste, for ‘Umar was a blessed person and he had appointed a council, so give the matter some time so that the people can gather and consult.”

The people returned and thereafter some said, “If the people will return to their cities with the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and no one takes charge of the matter of the Muslims after him we have no guarantee that the people will not dispute and the Ummah will not be in mayhem.”

Hence, they returned to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Ashtar took his hand but ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu retracted it. He said, “After three days, by Allah should you leave it, all your efforts for some time thereafter would have to be in obedience.” The general people then also gave their allegiance and the people of Kufah would claim that the first person to pledge his allegiance was Ashtar.[7]

 

The fifth narration is from Saif ibn ‘Umar from his scholars:

 

لما كان يوم الخميس على رأس خمسة أيام من مقتل عثمان رضي الله عنه جمعوا أهل المدينة-أي جمعهم الخوارج- فوجدوا سعدا والزبير خارجين، ووجدوا طلحة في حائط له، ووجدوا بني أمية قد هربوا إلا من لم يطق الهرب، وهرب الوليد وسعيد إلى مكة في أول من خرج، وتبعهم مروان، وتتابع على ذلك من تتابع، فلما اجتمع لهم أهل المدينة قال لهم أهل مصر، أنتم أهل الشورى، وأنتم تعقدون الإمامة، وأمركم عابر على الأمة، فانظروا رجلا تصبونه، ونحن لكم تبع، فقال الجمهور: علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه ونحن به راضون.

On Thursday, the fifth day after the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they, i.e. the Khawarij, gathered the people of Madinah. They found that Zubair and Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhuma had left. They found Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his orchard. And they also learnt that the Banu Umayyah had fled with the exception of those who could not, and that Walid and Sa’id had made their way to Makkah and were followed by Marwan. Thereafter they were followed by whoever followed. When the people of Madinah gathered, the people of Egypt said to them, “You are the people of the council, and it is you that will enact the leadership, and it is your matter that will prevail upon the Ummah, so see a person who you would like to appoint and we will follow.” Majority of the people thus said, “‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. We are happy with him.”[8]

 

The sixth narration is from ‘Awf[9]:

 

أما أنا فأشهد إني سمعت محمد بن سيرين يقول: إن عليا جاء فقال لطلحة، ابسط يدك يا طلحة لأبايعك، فقال طلحة: أنت أحق وأنت أمير المؤمنين، فابسط يدك، فبسط علي يده فبايعه

As for me I testify that I heard Muhammad ibn Sirin saying, “‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu came to Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and said, “Spread your hand, “O Talhah so that I may pledged allegiance to you.”

He replied, “You are more deserving and you are the Amir al Mu’minin, so spread you hand.”

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave his hand and Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu pledged allegiance to him.[10]

 

The seventh narration is from the transmission of Nasr ibn Muzahim al ‘Attar[11] in which it is stated that a person, ‘Abd Khayr ibn Zaid,[12] stood up and asked Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

يا أبا موسى هل كان هذان الرجلان-يعني طلحة والزبير-ممن بايع عليا؟ قال نعم

O Abu Musa, were these two men, i.e. Talhah and Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, amongst those who pledged their allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu? He replied, “Yes.”[13]

 

What is worth noting in all the above cited narrations is that they are all in harmony with the more correct stance regarding what had actually transpired; they are further supported by the Sunnah of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in which there appears subtle hints toward the Caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu; they are also supported by the reports of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and by what the historians, scholars of hadith, jurists, and the people of knowledge have asserted regarding the legitimacy of the Caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, its validity, and the pledging of the Muhajirin and the Ansar radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

Ahmed, Abu Dawood, and al Tirmidhi narrate from Safinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: الخلافة ثلاثون عاما ثم يكون بعد ذلك الملك. قال سفينة: أمسك، خلافة أبي بكر سنتين، وخلافة عمر عشر سنين، وخلافة عثمان اثنتي عشرة سنة، وخلافة علي رضي الله عنه ست سنين

I heard Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “Caliphate after me will be for thirty years and thereafter will be kingdom.” Safinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu says, “Count. The Caliphate of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was two years, the Caliphate of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was ten years, the Caliphate of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was twelve years, and the Caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was six years.”[14]

 

And Ahmed and Hakim narrate from Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن منكم من يقاتل على تأويل القرآن كما قاتلت على تنزيله. فاستشرف لها القوم- وفيهم أبو بكر وعمر. قال أبوبكر: أنا هو؟ قال: لا، قال عمر: أنا هو؟ قال: لا، ولكن خاصف النعل- يعني عليا

Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Amongst you there is a person who will fight upon the interpretation of the Qur’an just as I fought upon its revelation.” Hence the people began aspiring and amongst them were Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “I am that person.” He said, “No.” Thereafter, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “I am that person.” He said, “No, but he will be the mender of the shoe,” referring to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[15]

 

Likewise, in the Sahih narrations regarding the Khawarij Muslim narrates the following:

 

تمرق مارقة عند فرقة من المسلمين يقتلها أولى الطئفتين بالحق

A group will break away from the majority at a time of disunity amongst the Muslims, the closer of the two groups to the truth will fight it.[16]

 

And in another version:

قوما يخرجون على فرقة مختلفة يقتلهم أقرب الطئفتين من الحق

A people who will revolt at a time of bickering, the closer of the two groups to the truth will kill them.[17]

 

And in the narration of Sahih al Bukhari Abu Sa’id radiya Llahu ‘anhu is reported to have said after relating the hadith:

 

أشهد سمعت من النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وأشهد أن عليا قتلهم وأنا معهم، جيء بالرجل-أي منهم- على النعت الذي نعته النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم

I testify that I heard that from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and I testify that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu fought them and I was with him. A person from amongst them was brought and his features were exactly as described by Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[18]

 

Hence it is established by way of Shar’i evidence according to the Ahlus Sunnah that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a legitimate ruler and that it was obligatory to fight whoever rebelled against him till he returned to the truth and became willing to negotiate.

However, some researchers at times conflate the legitimate nomination of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which no Muslim could deny or violate, and the battles of the fitnah which were purely based upon each camps specific Ijtihad (analyses of the situation and how to best deal with it) and what it deemed most relevant. Not to delve into this at all is actually the better and the safer option.

Ahmed and al Bazzar narrate from Abu Rafi’[19] that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

إنه سيكون بينك وبين عائشة أمر، قال: أنا أشقاهم يا رسول الله؟ قال: لا، ولكن إذا كان ذلك فارددها إلى مأمنها

“There will be a contention between you and Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.”

He said, “Then I am the most wretched of people, O Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”

He said, “No, but when that happens return her to her place of amnesty.”[20]

 

Al Hakim has narrated from Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

ذكر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم خروج بعض أمهات المؤمنين، فضحكت عائشة رضي الله عنها، فقال: انظري يا حميراء أن لا تكوني أنت، ثم التفت إلى علي فقال: إن وليت من أمرها شيئا فارفق بها

Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made mention of the emerging of one of the Mothers of the Believers and Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha laughed.

He said, “Make sure, O Humaira’ that you are not the one.”

He then turned to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and said, “If you happen to preside over her matter than be lenient with her.”[21]

 

And Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said regarding ‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

ويح عمار تقتله الفئة الباغية

Woe be to ‘Ammar, the rebellious group will kill him.[22]

 

It is a known fact that ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was in the army of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and that he was killed in the battle of Siffin. Hence with his death on the side of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu it became clear that he was closer to the truth in his wars against those who revolted against him, and that he was the Shar’i ruler.

Ahmed narrates from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

قيل يا رسول الله من يؤمر بعدك؟ قال: إن تؤمروا أبا بكر تجدوه أمينا زاهدا في الدنيا راغبا في الآخرة، وإن تؤمروا عمر نجدوه قويا أمينا لا يخاف في الله لومة لائم، وإن تؤمروا عليا ولا أراكم فاعلين تجدوه هاديا مهديا يأخذ بكم الطريق المستيقيم

Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked, “O Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who will be appointed after you?”

He said, “If you appoint Abu Bakr, you will find him to be trustworthy, disinclined from this world and inclined toward the afterlife, and if you appoint ‘Umar, you will find him to be strong, trustworthy, and one that will not fear the criticism of the criticisers regarding the Din of Allah, and if you appoint ‘Ali, which I do not think you will, you will find him to be a guide, and rightly guided, and he will make you tread the straight path.”[23]

 

Likewise ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu is reported to have said when he was stabbed:

 

إن ولوها الأجلح-يعني عليا- سلك بهم الطريق المستقيم

If they appoint the one with receding hair lines, referring to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he will tread with them the straight path.[24]

 

And in another narration he said:

                                               لله درهم إن ولوها الأصلع كيف يحملهم على الحق

For Allah is their good, if they appoint the bald person they will see how he will make them follow the truth.[25]

 

And Ahmed narrates from Harithah ibn Mudarrib:

حججت مع عثمان فكان الحادي يحدو أن الأمير بعده علي

I performed Hajj with ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the person who would sing chants for the animals would say that the ruler after him will be ‘Ali.[26]

 

And al Bazzar has recorded with his chain of transmission from Zaid ibn Wahb:

 

كنا عند حذيفة، فقال: كيف أنتم وقد خرج أهل دينكم يضرب بعضهم وجوه بعض بالسيف؟ قالوا: فماذا تأمرنا؟ قال: انظروا إلى الفرقة التي تدعوا إلى أمر علي فالزموها فإنها على الحق

We were by Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He asked, “What will be your situation when the people of your Din will emerge against one another, striking the faces of one another with swords?”

They inquired, “What do you order us to do?”

He said, “Look for the group that calls toward the matter of ‘Ali and join it, for it will be on the truth.”[27]

 

Fadalah ibn Fadalah al Ansari narrates:[28]

 

خرجت مع أبي ألى ينبع عائدا لعلي بن أبي طالب، فقال له: يا أبا الحسن ما يقيمك بهذا البلد، إن أصابك أجلك لم يلك إلا أعراب جهينة، فلو احتملت إلى المدينة فأصابك أجلك وليك أصحابك فصلوا عليك، فقال: يا أبا فضالة! إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم  عهد إلي أن لا أموت حتى أؤمر ثم تخضب هذه-يعني لحيته-من هذه- ناصيته

I went out with my father to Yanbu’ to visit ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. My father said to him, “O Abu al Hassan, what makes you stay in this city, if your death has to strike whilst you are hear, the only people to see to you will be the Bedouins of Juhaynah. So why don’t you travel to Madinah, for if your death has to strike whilst you are there your companions will see to your burial and read your funeral prayer?”

He said, “O Abu Fudalah, Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had informed me that I will not die till I am appointed as the ruler and thereafter this, referring to his beard, is tainted with this, referring to his forehead.”[29]

 

As for the other sources which establish the nomination of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as Khalifah and are harmonious with the narrations cited by al Tabari regarding his nomination by the Muhajirin and the Ansar, they are the following:

Ibn Sa’d says in his al Tabaqat:

 

بويع علي رضي الله عنه يوم الجمعة لثماني عشرة ليلة مضت من ذي الحجة سنة خمس وثلاثين، بايعه بالخلافة طلحة، والزبير، وسعد بن أبي وقاص، وسعيد بن زيد بن عمرو بن نفيل، وعمار بن ياسر، وأسامة بن زيد، وسهل بن حنيف، وأبو أيوب الأنصاري، ومحمد بن مسلمة، وزيد بن ثابت، وجميع من كان بالمدينة من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was elected as the Khalifah on Friday the eighteenth of Dhi al Hijjah in 35 A.H. Talhah, al Zubair, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Sa’id ibn Zaid ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufayl, ‘Ammar ibn Yasir, Usamah ibn Zaid, Sahl ibn Hunayf, Abu Ayub al Ansari, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who were present in Madinah pledged their allegiance to him.[30]

 

The narration of Khalifah ibn Khayyat also establishes the nomination of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu although with brevity:

 

سنة ست وثلاثين بويع فيها علي بن أبي طالب بن عبد المطلب، وأمه فاطمة بنت أسد بن هاشم ابن عبد مناف بن قصي بن كلاب

In the year 36 A.H. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu ibn Abi Talib was elected as the Khalifah, and his mother was Fatimah bint Asad ibn Hashim ibn ‘Abd Manaf ibn Qusay ibn Kilab.[31]

 

Ahmed has narrated with a Sahih chain of transmission from Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah:

 

كنت مع علي وعثمان محصور فأتاه رجل فقال: إن أمير المؤمنين مقتول، ثم جاء آخر فقال: إن أمير المؤمنين مقتول الساعة، قال: فقام علي، فأخذت بوسطه تخوفا عليه فقال: خل لا أم لك، قال: فأتى علي الدار وقد قتل الرجل، فأتى داره فدخلها وأخلها وأغلق عليه الباب، فأتاه الناس فضربوا عليه الباب فدخلوا عليه، فقالوا: إن هذا الرجل قد قتل ولا بد للناس من خليفة، ولا نعلم أحدا أحق بها منك، فقال لهم علي: لا تريدوني، فإني لكم وزير خير مني لكم أمير، فقالوا: لا والله، ما نعلم أحدا أحق بها منك، قال فإن أبيتم علي، فإن بيعتي لا تكون سرا، ولكن أخرج إلى المسجد، فمن شاء إن يبايعني بايعني، قال: فخرج إلى المسجد فبايعه الناس.

I was with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu when ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was besieged. A person came to him and said, “Amir al Mu’minin has been killed.” Thereafter another person came and said, “Amir al Mu’minin has been killed just now.”

Hence he stood up and I held him by his waist, fearing upon him. He said, “Leave me, may you lose your mother.” He came to the house of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and found that he had really been murdered. Thereafter he came to his house, entered, and closed the door upon himself. The people came and knocked on the door and eventually entered.

They said, “This man has been murdered and the people need a ruler and we do not know of anyone more deserving of this matter than you.”

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to them, “Don’t want me, for I prefer being a minister for you than a ruler.”

They said, “No by Allah, we do not know of anyone more deserving of this matter than you.”

He replied, “If you insist, then my appointment will not be in secrecy, but I will go the masjid, whoever wants can pledge his allegiance there.”

Hence he went to the masjid and the people pledge their allegiance to him.[32]

 

Ahmed also narrates with an authentic transmission from ‘Awf the following:

 

كنت عند الحسن-أي البصري- وكان في المدينة عند مقتل عثمان رضي الله عنه، فذكروا أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. فقال ابن جوشن الغطفاني: يا أبا سعيد، إنما زرى بأبي موسى اتباعه عليا، قال-الراوي- فغضب الحسن حتى تبين الغضب في وجهه قال: فمن يتبع؟ قتل أمير المؤمنين عثمان مظلوما فعمد الناس إلى خيرهم فبابعوه، فمن يتبع؟ حتى رددها مرارا.

I was by al Hassan al Basri, and he was present in Madinah during the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They happened to discuss the Sahabah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Ibn Jawshan al Ghatafani[33] said, “O Abu Sa’id, the only thing that has degraded Abu Musa radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the fact that he followed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.”

The narrator says that al Hassan became enraged and the anger was clearly discernible in his face. He said, “So who should he have followed? Amir al Mu’minin ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was killed unjustly, and so the people approached the best amongst them and pledged their allegiance to him. So who should he have followed?”

He repeated that a few times.[34]

 

And Abu Hanifah al Dinawari[35] states in al Akhbar al Tiwal that when ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered, for three days the people remained without an Imam in Salah and hence al Ghafiqi[36] would lead them in Salah. Thereafter the people pledged their allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

أيها الناس أبايعتموني على ما بويع عليه من كان قبلي، وإنما الخيار قبل أن تقع البيعة، فإذا وقعت فلا خيار، إنما على الإمام الاستقامة وعلى الرعية التسليم، إن هذه البيعة عامة من ردها رغب عن دين الإسلام، وإنها لم تكن فلتة

O people have you pledged your allegiance to me on the same terms upon which you had pledged allegiance to those before me. The option is only available before the appointment happens, once its done then there remains no option for anyone. Thereafter it is the duty of the Imam to see that he remains upright and it is the duty of the masses to obey and follow. This pledging is such that whoever rejected it eventually turned away from the religion of Islam, and in the past it was not something which would just suddenly happen.[37]

 

Thereafter al Dinawari states that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah al Bajali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in order to invite him to submit, saying that those who pledged allegiance to him were the very same people who pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum. The following is the letter of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to him:

 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، من عبد الله علي أمير المؤمنين إلى معاوية ابن أبي سفيان، أما بعد: فقد لزمك ومن قبلك من المسلمين بيعتي وأنا بالمدينة وأنتم بالشام؛ لأنه بايعني الذين بايعوا أبابكر وعمر وعثمان رضي الله عنهم، فليس للشاهد أن يختار ولا للغائب أن يرد، وإنما الأمر في ذلك للمهاجرين والأنصار، فأذا اجتمعوا على رجل منهم فسموه إماما كان ذلك رضا لله

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful. From the servant of Allah ‘Ali, Amir al Mu’minin, to Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan. Pledging allegiance to me has become binding upon you and those who are by you whereas I am in Madinah and you are in Sham. This is because the people who pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum have pledged allegiance to me. Hence there remains no choice for the present and no option of rejecting for the absent. For the matter in this regard is based upon the discretion of the Muhajirin and the Ansar, if they concur upon a man and choose him as the ruler, that is a sign of the pleasure of Allah.[38]

 

And we find the following in the Tarikh of al Yaqubi:[39]

 

واستخلف علي بن أبي طالب…. بايعه طلحة، والزبير، والمهاجرون والأنصار، وكان أول من بايعه وصفق على يده طلحة بن عبيد الله رضي الله عنه… وقال الأشتر فقال: أبايعك يا أمير المؤمنين على أن علينا بيعة المهاجرين، ثم قام أبو الهيثم بن التيهان وعقبة بن عمرو رضي الله عنهما فقالا: نبايعك على أن علينا بيعة الأنصار وسائر قريش.

‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was appointed as the Khalifah… Talhah, al Zubair and the Muhajirin and the Ansar radiya Llahu ‘anhum pledged allegiance to him. The first person who pledge and gave his hand in the hand of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. And al Ashtar said, “I pledge allegiance to you, O Amir al Mu’minin, deeming the pledge of the Muhajirin being binding upon us.”

Thereafter Abu al Haytham ibn al Tayyihan and ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhuma stoop up and said, “We pledged to you deeming the pledge the of the Ansar and all of the Quraysh being binding upon us.”[40]

 

And al Baladhuri narrates from Mu’tamir ibn Sulaiman:

 

قلت لأبي: إن الناس يقولون إن بيعة علي لم تتم، قال: يا بني، بايعه أهل الحرمين، وإنما البيعة لأهل الحرمين

I said to my father, “People say that the pledge to ‘Ali was not complete.”

He said, “O son, the people of the two Harams pledged their allegiance to him. It is the pledging of the people of the two Harams which is taken into consideration.”[41]

 

And Ibn A’tham al Kufi[42] also cites the reports of the appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The crux of it is that the people came to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu after the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and sought him to take charge of the Caliphate, but he refused and suggested to the people that they appoint Talhah or al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. They said to him, “Come with us to Talhah and al Zubair,” and thus he went with them. When they reached the house of Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to him, “O Abu Muhammad, the people have thronged around me to pledge, as for myself I have no need for it, so you spread your hand so that I may pledge allegiance to you.” Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “O Abu al Hassan, you are more deserving and more preferable for this matter than me due to your virtue, your kinship with Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and your early contributions.” The same had occurred with al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hence ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu retreated to the masjid and the people gathered and pledged their allegiance to him.[43]

And al Mas’udi states that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed the day ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred, i.e. he was privately appointed at that time. Thereafter, four days later his general and public appointment took place.[44]

And Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi[45] states that when ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered the people came rushing to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hence the people gathered upon him to appoint him, but he said:

ليس ذلك إليكم، إنما ذلك لأهل بدر ليبايعوا، فقال: أين طلحة والزبير وسعد بن أبي وقاص؟

This is not your prerogative, it is for the people of Badr to appoint. Where is Talhah, al Zubair and Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas?”

Hence they came and they pledged allegiance and they were followed by the Muhajirin and the Ansar. This was on Friday the thirteenth of Dhi al Hijjah in 35 A.H.[46]

 

From all of the above, it is clear that as much as ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu wanted his appointment to be with the consent and the consensus of the Muslims, he also wanted it to be with the approval of the forerunners of Islam and the Ahl al Hall wa al ‘Aqd (people who would untie and tie, i.e. be consulted in making big decisions). Hence Ibn Hibban states in his al Thiqat:

 

إن الناس حين هرعوا إلى علي رضي الله عنه بعد مقتل عثمان رضي الله عنه لمبايعته، قال: ليس ذلك إليكم، وإنما هو لأهل بدر، فمن رضي من أهل بدر فهو الخليفة، فلم يبق أحد من اولئك إلا أتى إليه، فطلب أن تكون على ملاء من الناس، فخرج إلى المسجد فبايعوه.

After the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu the people rushed to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in order to pledge allegiance to him.

He said, “This is not your domain, but it is the domain of the veterans of Badr. Whoever the veterans of Badr choose he will be the Khalifah.”

Hence none of them remained but that he came to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He requested that his appointment be done publically and proceeded to the Masjid where they pledged their allegiance to him.[47]

 

Al Baqillani[48] has also debated the issue of the appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his al Tamhid. He says:

 

فإن قال قائل: ما الدليل على إثبات إمامة علي، وأنه أهل لما قام به، وأسند إليه، ومستحق لإمامة الأمة؟ قيل له: الدليل على ذلك كمال خلال الفضل فيه واجتماعها له؛ لأنه من السابقين الأولين، وممن كثر بلاؤه وجهاده في سبيل الله، وعظم غناؤه في الإسلام… وما روي فيه من الفضائل المشهورة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وسرد جملة وافرة منها ثم قال: هذا مع ما ظهر من إعظام كافة الصحابة له وإطباقهم على علمه وفضله، وثاقب فهمه ورأيه وفقه نفسه… وقد بسطنا ذلك ضربا من البسط في كتاب مناقب الأئمة، وببعض هذه الخصال ودون هذه الفضائل يصلح للخلافة ويستحق الإمامة، فبان بما ذكرناه أنه حقيق بما نظر فيه وتولاه

If someone has to ask: what is the evidence to establish the Imamah of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the fact that he was worthy of the mission that he assumed and that he was deserving of leading the Ummah? In response it will be said to him, “The evidence to establish that is perfection of virtuous traits and them being found in him collectively, for he was from the forerunners of Islam; he was from amongst those whose contributions and sacrifices for the cause of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala were a lot and whose role in serving Islam was great; likewise all the wide-spread merits that have been reported regarding him also establish this.” (Thereafter he cites a few of them and then says) “Together with this is the fact that all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum revered him and unanimously conceded his knowledge and virtue. Possessing only some of these traits and just a few of these merits would definitely make him eligible for Caliphate and deserving of leadership. Hence it is clear from what we have mentioned that he was worthy of what he presided over and took charge of.”[49]

 

And Ibn ‘Abdul Barr narrates in al Isti’ab with his chain of transmission from Marwan ibn ‘Abdul Malik:

 

 

سمعت هارون بن إسحاق يقول: من قال أبو بكر وعمر وعثمان وعلي وعرف لعلي سابقته وفضله فهو صاحب سنة، ومن قال أبو بكر وعمر وعلي وعثمان وعرف لعثمان سابقته وفضله فهو صاحب سنة، فذكرت له هؤلاء الذين يقولون أبوبكر وعمر وعثمان ويسكتون، فتكلم فيهم بكلام غليظ

I heard Harun ibn Ishaq[50] saying, “Whoever says Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman and ‘Ali and concedes the early contributions of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his merits he is an adherent of the Sunnah. And whoever say Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Ali and ‘Uthman and concedes the early contributions and merits of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu he is also an adherent of the Sunnah.”

I thus asked him about those who say Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman and thereafter remain silent and he made a very heavy statement of condemnation regarding them.[51]

 

Thereafter Ibn ‘Abdul Barr says:

 

وروى عباس الدوري عن يحيى بن معين أنه قال: خير هذه الأمة بعد نبيها: أبو بكر وعمر وعثمان ثم علي-يعني في الفضل والخلافة- هذا مذهبنا وقول الأئمة

And ‘Abbas al Duri[52] has narrated from Ibn Ma’in that he said, “The best of this Ummah after its Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman and then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhum, i.e. in terms of merit and in terms of assuming the Caliphate,[53] this is our stance and the stance of the senior scholars.”[54]

 

He says in another place:

وبايع له أهل اليمن بالخلافة يوم قتل عثمان

The people of Yemen pledged allegiance to him the day ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred.[55]

 

And Ibn al ‘Arabi whilst commenting upon the appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu states:

 

فلما قضى الله من أمره ما قضى، ومضى من قدره ما مضى، علم أن الحق لا يترك الناس سدى، وأن الحق بعد مفتقرون إلى خليفة مفروض عليهم النظر فيه، ولم يكن بعد الثلاثة كالرابع قدرا وعلما وتقى ودينا، فانعقدت له البيعة. ولو لا الإسراع بعقد البيعة لعلي لجرى على من بها من الأوباش ما يرقع خرقه، ولكن عزم عامة المهاجرين والأنصار، ورأى ذلك فرضا عليه فانقاد له

When Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala decreed what he decreed and when his ordainment came to pass he knew that the truth will not leave the people wondering around without any purpose and that the truth still requires a Khalifah whose election was compulsory upon them. And there was no one better after the three than the fourth in terms of stature, knowledge, piety, and adherence to the Din. Hence he was appointed and the pledge was given to him. If in appointing ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu hastening had not occurred such harms would befall the Ummah at the hands of the riffraff that would not be reparable, but the majority of the Muhajirin and the Ansar emphasised and he saw that to be his obligation and thus acceded.[56]

 

And Ibn ‘Asakir has narrated from Qais ibn ‘Ubbad:

 

سمعت عليا يوم الجمل يقول: اللهم إني أبرأ إليك من دم عثمان، ولقد طاش عقلي يوم قتل عثمان، وأنكرت نفسي وجاؤوني للبيعة فقلت: والله إني لأستحيي من الله أن أبايع قوما قتلوا رجلا قال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ألا أستحيي ممن تستحيي منه الملائكة. وإني لأستحيي من الله أن أبايع وعثمان قتيل الأرض لم يدفن بعد، فانصرفوا. فلما دفن رجع الناس يسألوني البيعة فقلت: اللهم إني مشفق لما أقدم عليه، ثم جاء فبايعت، فلما قالوا: يا أمير المؤمنين، فكأن صدع قلبي وانسكبت بعبرة.

I heard ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying on the day of Jamal, “O Allah I plea my innocence to you from the blood of ‘Uthman. My mind became fickle the day ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was killed and I despised myself. They came to me to pledge and I said, ‘By Allah I feel ashamed from Allah of accepting the allegiance of a people who killed a man regarding who Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘Should I not feel shy from a person from who the angels feel shy.’ I feel shy from Allah that I be appointed as the ruler when ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu is still on the ground after being killed and not buried yet. Hence they left. Once he was buried the people returned to ask me to and so I said, ‘O Allah I fear that which I am embarking on.’ Then I accepted their allegiance, and when they said, ‘O Amir al Mu’minin,’ my heart split asunder and I started to cry.”[57]

 

And Ibn ‘Asakir also narrates from al Hassan al Basri that he said:

 

لما قدم علي الصرة في أثر طلحة والزبير قام عبد الله بن الكواء وقيس بن عباد فقالا: يا أمير المؤمنين أخبرنا عن مسيرك هذا، أوصية أوصاك بها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أم عهد عهد إليك، أم رأي رأيته حين تفرقت الأمة، واختلفت كلمتها؟ فقال: ما أكون أول كاذب عليه، والله ما مات رسول الله موت فجأة ولا قتل قتلا، ولقد مكث في مرضه أياما وليالي يأتيه المؤذن بالصلاة فيأمر أبابكر فيصلي بالناس وهو يرى مكاني، ولقد أرادت امرأة من نسائه أن تصرفه عن أبي بكر، فأبى فغضب وقال: أنتن صواحب يوسف مروا أبا بكر يصلي بالناس. فلما قبض الله نبيه نظرنا في أمورنا فاخترنا لدنيانا من رضيه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لديننا، فكانت الصلاة أصل الإسلام وقوام الدين، وهو أمين الدين، فبيايعنا أبا بكر، فكان لذلك أهلا لم يختلف عليه منا اثنان، ولم يشهد بعضنا على بعض، وتقطع منه البراءة، فأديت إلى أبي بكر حقه، وعرفت له طاعته وغزوت معه جنوده، وكنت آخذ إذا أعطاني، وأغزو إذا أغزاني، وأضرب بين يديه الحدود بسوطي. فلما قبض رضي الله عنه ولاها لعمر، فأخذها بسنة صاحبه وما يعرف من أمره، فبايعنا عمر، لم يختلف عليه منا اثنان، ولم يشهد بعضنا على بعض، ولم نقطع منه البراءة، فأديت إلى عمر حقه، وعرفت طاعته، وغزوت معه في جيوشه، وكنت آخذ إذا أعطاني، وأغزو إذا أغزاني، وأضرب بين يديه الحدود بسوطي، فلما قبض تذكرت في نفسي قرابتي وسابقتي وفضلي وأنا أظن أن لا يعدلوا بي، فأخذ عبد الرحمن مواثيقنا على أن نسمع ونطيع لمن ولى إليه أمرنا، ثم أخذ بيد عثمان فضرب بيده على يده، فنظرت في أمري، فإذا طاعتي قد سبقت بيعتي، وإذا ميثاقي قد أخذ لغيري، فبايعنا عثمان، فأديت إليه حقه، وعرفت له طاعته، وغزوت معه في جيوشه، وكنت آخذ إذا أعطاني، وأغزو إذا أغزاني، وأضرب بين يديه الحدود بسوطي. فلما أصيب نظرت في أمري… فبايعني أهل الحرمين وأهل هذين المصرين-يعني الكوفة والبصرة- وفي رواية: ثم إن عثمان قتل فجاؤوني فبايعوني طائعين غير مكرهين.

When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu marched to Basrah behind Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and their comrades, ‘Abdullah ibn al Kawwa’[58] and Qais ibn ‘Ubbad stood up and said, “O Amir al Mu’minin, tell us about your march, is it due to a bequest that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had made to you, or due to a pledge which he took from you, or is it due to an opinion which you saw as most appropriate during the disunity of the Ummah and its bickering?”

He said, “I will not be the first person to lie against him. By Allah, Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not pass away suddenly nor was he killed abruptly. He actually stayed ill for a few days and nights in which the Mu’adhdhin would come to him and inform him of the salah, whereafter he would tell Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to lead the people therein, despite knowing of my presence. A wife from his wives had tried to avert him from Abu Bakr, but he refused and became enraged and said, “You are like the women of the time of Yusuf, order Abu Bakr to lead the people in salah.” When Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala eventually took the soul of the Nabi, we looked into our matter and thereafter chose for our worldly affairs the person whom Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had chosen for our Din; for salah is indeed the pillar of Islam and the support of Din, and he was the one who was trustworthy in the Din. Hence we pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He was deserving of that. No two people differed regarding him, we did not testify against each other, and we did not disassociate from him. I fulfilled the right of Abu Bakr, conceded the obligation of obedience to him, and fought with him in his battles. I would accept when he gave me, would fight when he demanded that from me, and would execute the capital punishment in his presence with my whip. When his soul was taken, he appointed ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He treaded the path of his companion and acted according to what he knew of his affairs. Hence we pledged allegiance to ‘Umar. No two people differed regarding him, we did not testify against each other, and we did not disassociate from him. I fulfilled the right of ‘Umar, conceded the obligation of obedience to him, and fought with him in his battles. I would accept when he gave me, would fight when he demanded that from me, and would execute the capital punishment in his presence with my whip. When his soul was taken, I thought of my kinship (with Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and my early contributions and my merits and thus assumed that they will never turn away from me. ‘Abdur Rahman radiya Llahu ‘anhu took our word that we will listen to and obey the one to whom he will hand our affairs. He thereafter took the hand of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and gave his hand in his hand. I pondered over my matter and realised that my obligation of compliance has trumped my desire for appointment and that the pledge I had made was taken for someone else. Hence we pledged allegiance to ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. I fulfilled the right of ‘Uthman, conceded the obligation of obedience to him, and fought with him in his battles. I would accept when he gave me, would fight when he demanded that from me, and would execute the capital punishment in his presence with my whip. Thereafter, when he was murdered I thought of my matter… The people of the two Harams (sanctuaries) and the people of these two cities (Kufah and Basrah) pledged their allegiance to me.[59]

Another narration states: Then ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered and hence they came to me happily without being coerced.”[60]

 

And Ibn ‘Asakir has recorded in his Tarikh via the transmission of al Duri:

 

سمعت أحمد بن حنبل يقول في الخلافة: أبوبكر وعمر وعثمان وعلي

I heard Ahmed ibn Hanbal saying regarding the Caliphate, “Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali.”[61]

 

And he has narrated from Muhammad ibn Mansur al Tusi[62] the following:

 

قيل لأحمد بن حنبل: إن قوما قالوا: أبو بكر وعمر وعثمان ثم يسكتون، فقال: هذا كلام سوء

It was said to Ahmed ibn Hanbal that a certain people say Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman and thereafter remain silent. He replied, “This is evil speech.”[63]

 

And in the narration of al Daraqutni he is reported to have said:

لا يعجبني من وقف في علي بن أبي طالب في الخلافة

I do not like a person who suspends judgement regarding the Caliphate of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[64]

 

And Ibn ‘Asakir narrates from Muhammad ibn Mutahhar that he said:

 

سألت أبا عبد الله أحمد بن حنبل منذ أربعين سنة عن التفصيل، فقال: أبو بكر وعمر وعثمان، ومن قال علي، لم أعنفه، ثم ذكر حديث سفينة في الخلافة فقال أحمد: علي عندنا من الراشدين المهديين، حماد بن سلمة-أي راوي حديث سفينة ثقة، وما نزداد كل يوم إلا بصيرة

I asked Ahmed ibn Hanbal forty years ago regarding the detail and he said, “Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman, and whoever says ‘Ali I will not reproach him.”

Thereafter mention was made of the hadith of Safinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the Caliphate and Ahmed said, “‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in our view was from the Rightly Guided, and Hammad ibn Salamah (the narrator of the hadith of Safinah) is reliable. And we do not increase everyday but in foresight.”[65]

 

And al Maymuni makes mention of his statement:

 

سمعت أحمد بن حنبل وقيل له: إلا ما تذهب في الخلافة؟ أبو بكر وعمر وعثمان وعلي. قال-الراوي-: فقيل له: كأنك تذهب إلى حديث سفينة، قال: أذهب إلى حديث سفينة وإلى شيء آخر، رأيت في زمن أبي بكر وعمر وعثمان لم يتسم أمير المؤمنين، ولم يقم الجمعة الحدود، ثم رأيته بعد قتل عثمان قد فعل ذلك، فقلت: إنه قد وجب له في ذلك الوقت ما لم يكن قبل ذلك

I heard Ahmed ibn Hanbal saying when he was asked regarding his view on the Caliphate, “Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhum.”

The narrators says that he was then asked, “Probably you are inclined toward the hadith of Safinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu?”

He said, “Yes I take the hadith of Safinah and something else as well: I saw that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, in the time of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum, did not assume the title Amir al Mu’minin and did not establish the Jumu’ah salah and the capital punishments. I saw him doing all of that thereafter and thus I said, “At that time that which was not established for him previously became established.”[66]

 

And he also cited the following narration of Ibrahim ibn ‘Ali al Tabari:

 

صرت إلى أحمد بن حنبل رحمه الله فسألته عن خلافة علي رضي الله عنه هل ثبتت؟ فقال: ما سؤالك عن هذا؟ فقلت: إن الناس يزعمون أنك لا تثبت خلافته، فاستنكر ذلك وقال: أنا أقول! وسالت عيناه، ثم قال: يا هذا! قبض رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم و قد صلى خلفه ثلاثون ألف رجل فجاؤوا بجماعتهم فقدموا أبا بكر رضي الله عنه، فأقول أخطأ القوم وأصبت! ثم فشا الإسلام الإسلام بعد فجاؤوا إلى عمر فقدموه، فأقول، أخطأ هؤلاء القوم وأصبت! ثم فتحت الفتوح، وفشا الإسلام، فصار المسلمون أضعاف هذه العدة مضاعفة، فقدموا عثمان رضي الله عنه فأقول: أخطأ القوم وأصبت! ثم زاد الإسلام وفشا ثم قدموا علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه، فأقول: أخطأ القوم وأصبت

I went to Ahmed ibn Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on him, and asked him regarding the Caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu whether it was established and so he said, “Why do you ask about this?”

I replied, “The people are claiming that you do not acknowledge his Caliphate.”

He disliked that and retorted, “Will I say something like that?” and his eyes started flowing with tears. Thereafter he said, “O person! Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away when thirty thousand people were performing Salah behind him. They all unanimously came and pushed Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu forward, so should I say that they were wrong and I am right? Thereafter Islam spread and thus they came to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and pushed him forward, so should I say that the people were wrong and I am right? Thereafter conquest took place and Islam spread and the Muslims became manifold of what they previously were and thus they pushed ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu forward, so should I say that the people were wrong and I am right? Thereafter Islam increased and spread and they pushed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu forward, so should I say that the people were wrong and I am right?”[67]

 

Likewise Ibn ‘Asakir has narrated from al Mada’ini:

 

لما دخل علي بن أبي طالب الكوفة دخل عليه رجل من العرب فقال: والله يا أمير المؤمنين لقد زنت الخلافة وما زانتك، ورفعتها وما رفعتك، وهي كانت أحوج إليك منك إليها

When ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu entered Kufah an Arab person came to him and said, “By Allah, O Amir al Mu’minin you have adorned the Caliphate and it has not adorned you; and you have elevated it and it has not elevated you; and more than you were in need of it, it was in need of you.”[68]

 

And he narrates the following from Ibrahim ibn Rabah:[69]

 

يستحق علي الخلافة بخمسة اشياء: بالقرب من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، والسبق إلى الإسلام، والزهد في الدنيا، والفقه في الدين، والنكاية في العدو

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu deserved the Caliphate due to five reasons: due to his kinship with Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his early acceptance of Islam, his asceticism, his deep understanding of Din, and his ability to torment the enemy.[70]

 

And Ibn Athir narrates from Ismail al Khutabi:[71]

 

لما قتل عثمان جاء كلهم يهرعون إلى علي، أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم وغيرهم، كلهم يقول: أمير المؤمنين علي، حتى دخلوا على داره فقالوا: نبايعك فمد يدك، فأنت أحق بها، فقال: ليس ذلك إليكم، إنما ذلك إلى أهل بدر، فمن رضي به أهل بدر فهو خليفة، فلم يبق أحد إلا أتى عليا فقالوا: ما نرى أحدا أحق بها منك، فمد يدك نبايعك، فقال: أين طلحة والزبير؟ فكان أول من بايعه طلحة بلسانه وسعد بن أبي وقاص بيده. فلما رأى علي ذلك خرج إلى المسجد وصعد المنبر، فبايعه طلحة، وتابعه الزبير وأصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم

When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred they all came running to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and others, all of them saying, “O Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali,” till they eventually entered his house and said, “We want to pledge to you so extend your hand, for you are most deserving of it.”

He said, “This is not your prerogative, this is the prerogative of the veterans of Badr. Hence whoever the veterans of Badr will choose he will be the Khalifah.”

Hence no one remained from among them but that he came to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and said, “We do not see anyone more deserving of it than you, so stretch your hand so that we may pledge.”

He asked, “Where is Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma?”

The first to pledge allegiance to him was Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu with his tongue and Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu with his hand. When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu saw that he went to the Masjid and ascended the pulpit whereafter Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu pledged allegiance to him. Thereafter al Zubair and the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum followed along.[72]

 

And Ibn Taymiyyah said the following regarding the appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

لكن المنصوص عن أحمد تبديع من توقف في خلافة علي وقال: هو أضل من حمار أهله، وأمر بهجرانه ونهى عن مناكحته، ولم يتردد أحمد ولا أحد من أئمة السنة في القول أنه ليس غير علي أولى بالحق منه، ولا شكوا في ذلك

But what is emphatically narrated from Ahmed is: considering the one who suspends judgement regarding the Caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be an innovator. He would actually say that such a person is more astray than the donkey of his household and would order that he be ostracised and would prohibit against establishing marital ties with such a person. Ahmed or any of the other Imams of the Sunnah have never doubted in asserting that no one beside ‘Ali was more deserving than he was.[73]

 

He also says in another place:

 

هو متفق عليه بين الفقهاء وعلماء السنة وأهل المعرفة والتصوف، وهو مذهب العامة… وإنما يخالفهم في ذلك بعض أهل الأهواء من أهل الكلام ونحوهم كالرافضة الطاعنين في خلافة الثلاثة، أو الخوارج الطاعنين في خلافة الصهرين عثمان وعلي، أو بعض الناصبة النافين لخلافة علي، أو بعض الجهال المتسننة الواقفين في خلافته

This is agreed upon between the jurists, the scholars of Sunnah, and the people of recognition (of Allah) and piety, and this is the stance of the general people as well. only a few devious groups oppose them from the people of theology and their likes: like the Rafidah who criticise the Caliphate of the three, the Khawarij who criticise the Caliphate of the two son-in-laws of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ‘Uthman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, some of the Nawasib who deny the Caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and some ignorant people who feign the persona of Ahlus Sunnah who suspend judgement regarding his Caliphate.[74]

 

And al Dhahabi says:

لما قتل عثمان سعى الناس إلى علي وقالوا: لا بد للناس من إمام، فحضر طلحة والزبير وسعد بن أبي وقاص والأعيان، وكان أول من بايعة طلحة ثم سائر الناس

When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered the people rushed to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and said, “It is necessary for the people to have a leader.” Hence Talhah, al Zubair, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhum and the other prominent people came, and the first to pledge allegiance to him was Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and then the rest of the people.[75]

 

As for the narrations which are contrary to this, which are cited by al Tabari, some of them state that Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma pledged unwillingly. Hence It is narrated from al Zuhri that:

 

بايع الناس علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه، فأرسل إلى الزبير وطلحة فدعاهما إلى البيعة، فتلكأ طلحة، فقام مالك الأشتر وسل يسفه وقال: والله لتبايعن أو لأضربن به بين عينيك، فقال طلحة: وأين المهرب منه! فبايعه وبايعه الزبير والناس، وسأل طلحة والزبير أن يؤمرهما على الكوفة والبصرة فقال: تكونان عندي فأتجمل بكما، فأني وحش لفراقكما. قال الزهري: وقد بلغنا أنه قال لهما: إن أحببتما أن تبايعا لي وإن أحببتما بايعتكما فقالا: بل نبايعك. وقالا بعد ذلك: إنما صنعنا ذلك خشية على أنفسنا، وقد عرفنا أنه لم يكن لبايعنا، فظهرا إلى مكة بعد قتل عثمان بأربعة أشهر

The people pledged to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He thus sent a message to al Zubair and Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma inviting them to pledge as well.

Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu hesitated and thus Malik al Ashtar stood up, unsheathed his sword and said, “By Allah, You surely will pledge or I will strike this sword between your eyes.”

So Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “Where can one flee?”

Thus he pledged and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the people also pledged. Thereafter, Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma requested that they be appointed as the governors of Kufah and Basrah, so ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “You will stay by me so that I may gain solace from your presence, I feel uncomfortable parting with you.”

Al Zuhri says, “It has also reached us that he said to the two of them, “If you want you can pledge to me, and if you want I can pledge to you.” They said, “Rather we will pledge to you.” And thereafter they said, “We only did that due to fearing upon ourselves, because we knew that he was not going to pledge to us.” Hence they set out for Makkah four months after the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[76]

 

He also narrated from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Jundub[77] from his father:

 

لما قتل عثمان اجتمع الناس على علي، فذهب الأشتر فجاء بطلحة، فقال له: دعني أنظر ما يصنع الناس، فلم يدعه وجاء يتله تلا، وصعد المنبر فبايع

When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered the people gathered by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Al Ashtar went to Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he said, “Let me see what the people are doing.” He did not leave him and brought him pushing him (forcing him to walk). Hence he ascended the pulpit and pledged.[78]

 

And it is narrated through the transmission of al Harith al Walibi:[79]

 

جاء حكيم بن جبلة بالزبير حتى بايع: فكان الزبير يقول: جاءني لص من لصوص عبد القيس فبايعت واللج على عنقي

Hukaym ibn Jabalah[80] came with al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu till he pledged. Hence al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu would say, “A thief from the thieves of ‘Abdul Qais came to me, and thus I pledged whilst the sword was on my throat.[81]

 

Ostensibly, it seems as though these narrations are not correct, for apart from the aforementioned narrations which state that Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma pledged wilfully and happily,[82] we find other narrations of the scholars of hadith which support this stance (i.e. the stance that they pledged freely). Hence Ibn Shaybah has cited a few narrations in his Musannaf regarding the wilful pledge of Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu without any coercion or pressure.

Tariq ibn Shihab[83] narrates:

 

لما قتل عثمان قلت: ما يقيمني بالعراق وإنما الجماعة عند المهاجرين والأنصار، قال: فخرجت، فأخبرت أن الناس بايعوا عليا، قال: فانتهيت إلى الربذة وإذا علي بها ، فوضع له رحل فقعد عليه، فكان كقيام الرجل، فحمد الله وأثنى عليه ثم قال: إن طلحة والزبير بايعا طائعين غير مكرهين

When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred I said, “What is holding me back in Iraq, the group that I should be accompanying is the group of the Muhajirin and the Ansar.” He said, “I thus set out and was informed that the people have pledged to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.” He said, “I reached Rabadhah and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was there. The saddle of a camel was placed for him, he sat upon it and he seemed in height like a standing person. He said after glorifying Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, “Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma pledged freely without being coerced.”[84]

 

And Zaid ibn Wahb narrates:

قال علي لطلحة والزبير، ألم تبايعاني؟ قالا: نطلب دم عثمان

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, “Did you not pledge to me already?”

They replied, “We are seeking retaliation for the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.”[85]

 

This is an acknowledgement from them of their pledge. But they differed with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the establishing of the capital punishment upon the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu; they were proponents of immediate execution whereas ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a proponent of patience till the conditions stabilise.

And it is narrated from al Ahnaf ibn Qais[86] that he came to Madinah and found ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu besieged. He met Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and said to them:

 

ما تأمراني به وترضيانه لي، فإني لا أرى هذا الرجل إلا مقتولا؟ فقالا: علي، ثم قال: أتأمراني به وترضيانه لي؟ قالا: نعم. ثم انطلق حتى إذا أتى مكة جاء الخبر بقتل عثمان، فلقي أم المؤمنين عائشة رضي الله عنها، وكانت وقتذاك بمكة، فقال لها: من تأمريني أن أبايع؟ قالت: عليا، قال: تأمرينني به وترضينه لي؟ قالت: نعم. ثم قال الأحنف: فمررت على علي بالمدينة فبايعته، ثم رجعت إلى أهل البصرة ولا أرى الأمر إلا قد استقام

“What do you order me to do and what do you choose for me, for I do not see this man but as one who will be murdered.”

They replied, “‘Ali.”

He asked, “Do you order me to hold onto him and do you choose him for me?”

They replied, “Yes.”

He, Ahnaf, then continued to Makkah and upon reaching there received the news of the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He thus met the Mother of the Believers, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, who was in Makkah at that time. He asked her, “To who do you order me to pledge allegiance?”

She said, “‘Ali.”

He asked, “Do you order me to pledge to him and do you choose him for me?”

She said, “Yes.”

Thereafter Ahnaf says, “I passed by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Madinah and pledged my allegiance to him, and I returned home and did not think of the matter but as stabilised.”[87]

 

And Ibn Hibban has cited in his al Thiqat that the first person to pledge was Talhah and thereafter al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[88] And Ibn al ‘Arabi states:

 

فإن قال طلحة: بايعته واللج على قفي، قلنا اخترع هذا الحديث من أراد أن يجعل في القفا لعة فقي كما يجعل في الهوى هوي، وتلك لغة هذيل لا قريش، فكانت كذبة لم تدبر

If Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “I pledged whilst the sword was on my neck (Qafi).” We will say that this hadith has been invented by someone who wants to make the word “Qafa” into “Qafi” just as the word “Hawa” is made into “Hawi”; and this is the language of Hudhayl, not the language of Quraysh. So this narration turns about to be a lie which was not given enough thought.[89]

 

And al Muhibb al Tabari has cited the following statement of Muhammad ibn Ishaq in al Riyad al Nadirah:

 

إن عثمان لما قتل بويع علي بن أبي طالب بيعة عامة في مسجد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، وبايع له بالمدينة طلحة والزبير

When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered pledges of the general public were given to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the masjid of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma also pledged to him in Madinah.[90]

 

And Ibn Hazm, commenting upon the pledge of Talhah, al Zubair, and Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhum states:

 

فإذا مات عثمان رضي الله عنه وهو الإمام، ففرض إقامة إمام يأتم به الناس لئلا يبقوا بلا إمام، فإذا بادر علي رضي الله عنه فبايعه واحد من المسلمين فصاعدا فهو إمام قائم، ففرض طاعته لا سيما ولم يتقدم بيعته بيعة، ولم ينازعه الإمامة أحد ما، فهذا أوضح واجب في وجوب إمامته وصحة بيعته لزوم إمرته للمؤمنين، فهو الإمام بحقه وما ظهر منه قط إلى أن مات شيء يوجب نقض بيعته، وما ظهر منه قط إلا العدل والجد والبر والتقوى… وأما أم المؤمنين والزبير وطلحة رضي الله عنهم ومن كان معهم فما أبطلوا قط إمامة علي، ولا طعنوا فيها، ولا ذكروا فيه جرحة تحطه عن الإمامة، ولا أحدثوا إمامة أخرى، ولا جددوا بيعة لغيره، هذا ما لا يقدر أن يدعيه أحد بوجه من الوجوه، بل يقطع كل علم على أن كل ذلك لم يكن

If ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu who was the ruler died, it was then compulsory to appoint a ruler who they could follow so that they do no remain without a leader. If ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu advanced in this regard and even one person of the Muslims or more pledged allegiance to him, his rulership would become legitimately established. Hence it would be necessary to obey him, especially when considering that no other pledge or appointment surpassed his and that no one disputed with him regarding it. This is the clearest evidence of his rulership being binding and his appointment being valid upon the believers. He was the rightful ruler and he did not do anything till the time of his death which would engender the violation of his appointment. He only displayed justice, earnestness, nobility and piety. As for Umm al Mu’minin, al Zubair, Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and those who were with them, they had never deemed the rulership of ‘Ali invalid, nor did they criticise it, nor not did they impugn him with anything which would drop him from deserving rulership, nor did they initiate another rulership, and nor did they renew their pledge to anyone else beside him. No one has the ability to claim any of the above in any way possible, in fact a person can say with certainty that none of that had transpired.[91]

 

Moving on, al Tabari has also cited various narrations regarding some of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, like Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Ibn ‘Umar, Usamah ibn Zaid, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, and other, staying behind from pledging.

Hence he narrates through the transmission of Ibn Shabbah from Abu al Malih:

 

وخرج علي إلى المسجد فصعد المنبر وعليه إزار وطاق وعمامة خز، ونعلاه في يده متكئا على قوس، فبايعه الناس، وجاؤوا بسعد فقال علي: بايع، قال: لا أبايع حتى يبايع الناس، والله ما عليك مني بأس، قال: خلوا سبيله، وجاؤوا بابن عمر، فقال: بايع، قال: لا أبايع حتى يبايع الناس، قال: ائتني بحميل، قال: لا أرى حميلا، قال الأشتر: خل عني أضرب عنقه، قال: دعوه أنا حميله

He came to the masjid and ascended the pulpit. He was wearing a loin cloth, a Taq (a specific type of clothing), a turban and a silken turban; his shoes were in his hands and he was leaning on a bow. They pledged to him and thereafter came with Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to him, “Pledge.”

He said, “I will not pledge until the people pledge. By Allah there will not be for you any problem from my side.”

He thus said, “Clear his way.”

Then they came with Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and he said to him, “Pledge.”

He replied, “I will not pledge until the people pledge.”

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to him, “Give me a guarantor.”

He replied, “I don’t see a guarantor as necessary.”

Al Ashtar thus said, “Give me permission to slay him.”

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu responded, “I am his guarantor.”[92]

 

And in the narration of al Waqidi the following appears:

 

وبايع الناس عليا بالمدينة، وتربص سبعة نفر فلم يبايعوه منهم: سعد بن أبي وقاص، ومنهم ابن عمر، وصهيب، وزيد بن ثابت، ومحمد بن مسلمة، وسلمة بن وقش، وأسامة بن زيد، ولم يتخلف أحد من الأنصار إلا بايع فيما نعلم

The people pledged allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Madinah. But seven individuals delayed and did not pledge. They were: Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Ibn ‘Umar, Suhayb, Zaid ibn Thabit, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, Salamah ibn Waqsh, and Usamah ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhum. None of the Ansar had delayed in pledging according to what we know.[93]

 

And in the narration of Ibn Shabbah from Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah he is reported to have said:

 

كنت أمسي مع أبي حين قتل عثمان رضي الله عنه حتى دخل بيته، فأتاه أناس من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم  فقالوا: إن هذا الرجل قد قتل، ولا بد من إمام للناس، قال: أو تكون شورى؟ قالوا: أنت لنا رضا، قال: فالمسجد إذا يكون عن رضا من الناس، فخرج إلي المسجد فبايعه من بايعه، وبايعت الأنصار عليا إلا نفيرا يسيرا

I was in the evening with my father when ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was murdered. He entered his house and the Sahabah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to him and said, “This man has been murdered, and the people necessarily require an Imam.”

He said, “And it can be based on a council.”

They said, “You are our choice.”

He replied, “If that is the case then let us head to the Masjid so that the election happens with the happiness of the people.”

He thus set out for the Masjid and whoever pledged to him pledged to him, and the Ansar pledged to him as well, with the exception of just a few people.[94]

 

What is obvious from these narrations is that the hesitation was only in the beginning, but when the matter became clear and the people unanimously pledged to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu these people went on to pledge as well. The greatest proof of this is the following statement of al Waqidi:

 

ولم يتخلف أحد من الأنصار إلا بايع فيما نعلم

No one from amongst the Ansar stayed behind from pledging according to what we know.[95]

 

And Ibn Kathir states:

فلما كان يوم الجمعة وصعد علي المنبر، بايعه من لم يبايعه بالأمس

When Friday came and he ascended the pulpit. Those who never pledge to him yesterday pledged to him then.[96]

 

Furthermore, the fact that those who had stayed behind from pledging initially came to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, i.e. Sa’d ibn Waqqas, Ibn ‘Umar, Usamah and Ibn Maslamah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and sought to be excused from fighting with him against the people of Sham or in any other battle which was to take place between him and the Muslims in Iraq is also a clear proof of the fact that they were abiding by their pledge which mandated that they obey him. Had the matter been otherwise they would have not went to him seeking to be excused, for in that case there would be no pledge that would be binding upon them.

What further emphasises the fact that they had pledged is the following statement of al Ashtar which he made after these individuals had sought to be excused:

 

يا أمير المؤمنين إنا وإن لم نكن من المهاجرين والانصار، فإنا من التابعين لهم بإحسان، وإن القوم وإن كان أولى بما سبقونا إليه فليسوا بأولى مما شركناهم فيه، وهذه بيعة عامة الخارج فيها طاعن مستعتب،فحض هؤلاء الذين يريدون التخلف عنك باللسان، فإن أبوا فأدبهم بالحبس، فأجابه علي: بل دعهم ورأيهم الذي هم عليه

“O Amir al Mu’minin. Although we are not from the Muhajirin and the Ansar, but we are from those who have followed them with goodness. And although these people enjoy preference over us in matters in which they surpassed us, but they do not enjoy any preference in matters which we have witnessed with them. This is a general pledge and the one who leaves it is a critic who should seek forgiveness. So induce these people who want to stay behind with your tongue and if they refuse than discipline them by detaining them.”

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied to him saying, “Rather leave them upon the opinion that they hold.”[97]

 

Al Ashtar’s statement clearly suggests that these individuals, due to them staying behind from joining ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his campaign against the people of Iraq, will be deemed as though they are protesting against the pledge itself. The response of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu makes this even clearer; because had the pledge not been binding upon them he would have excused them saying that they have not pledged and thus it would not be necessary for them to participate, rather than saying, “Instead leave them upon the opinion that they hold.”

And it appears in another narration:

 

ولما رأى علي من أهل المدينة ما رأى (أي عدم الرغبة في الخروج معه إلى العراق والشام خوفا من قتال أهل القبلة) لم يرض طاعتهم (أي تأكيد البيعة) حتى يكون معها نصرته.

And when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu saw in the people of Madinah what he saw (i.e. their unwillingness to join him in his campaign to Iraq and Sham due to the fear of fighting the people of the Qiblah) he was not merely satisfied with their obedience unless they coupled it with helping him and supporting him.

 

And al Baqillani presents a justification for the stance of those Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who were hesitant to support ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu stating that that was not due to them discarding his Caliphate, but rather it was because of their fear of civil strife between the people of the Qiblah; in this regard they drew evidence from the hadith of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which exhorted us to stay away from the fights of Fitnah. Hereunder is what he has said:

 

فإن قال قائل: فإذا كانت إمامة علي رضي الله عنه من الصحة والثبوت بحيث وصفتهم فما تقولون في تأخر سعد بن أبي وقاص، وسعيد بن زيد، وعبد الله بن عمر، ومحمد بن مسلمة، وأسامة بن زيد، وسلمة بن وقش، وغير هؤلاء ممن يكثر عددهم وقعودهم عن نصرته والدخول في طاعته، قيل له: ليس في جميع القاعدين ممن أسميناه أو ضربنا عن ذكره من طعن في إمامته واعتقد فسادها، وإنما قعدوا عن نصرته على حرب المسلمين لتخوفهم من ذلك وتجنب الإثم فيه، وظنهم موافقة العصيان في طاعته في هذا الفعل، فلذلك احتجوا عليه في القعود ورووا له فيه الأخبار، وقال منهم قائل: لا أقاتل حتى تأتيني بسيف له لسان يعرف المؤمن من الكافر، ويقول: هذا مؤمن وهذا كافر فاقتله، ولم يقل لعلي: إنك لست بإمام واجب الطاعة، وقال له محمد بن مسلمة بعد مراجعته ومعارضته: إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عهد إلي إذا وقعت فتنة بين المسلمين أن أكسر سيفي وأتخذ مكانه سيفا من خشب… وكذلك قال أسامة بن زيد: قد علمت يا علي أنك لو دخلت بطن أسد لدخلت معك فيه، ولكن لا مواساة في النار، ولم يقل: إنك لست بإمام، وإنما خاف من قتل المسلمين، وليس هذا من القدح في الإمامة بسبيل.

If someone has to say: If the rule of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was really as legitimate and valid as you have mentioned, then what do you say about the non-compliance of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Sa’id ibn Zaid, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, Usamah ibn Zaid, Salamah ibn Waqsh radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and all the others who refrained from supporting him and abiding by his instructions?

It will be said to him: There is not a single individual from amongst those who remained behind, from those whom we mentioned and those that we did not, who questioned the legitimacy of his rule and believed it to be invalid. They only refused to stand by his side in his battles against the Muslims due to them fearing that and wanting to be free of any sin, and also because they assumed that obeying him in this regard was actually disobeying Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala; which is why they cited narrations of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to him in order to support their position. One of them said, “I will not fight with you till you bring me a sword that has a tongue and which can distinguish a believer from a disbeliever and which will say, “This is a believer and this is a disbeliever so kill him.” He did not say to ‘Ali, “You are not the ruler compliance with whose orders is necessary.” Muhammad ibn Maslamah said to him, “Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emphasised upon me that when strife ensues between the Muslims that I should break my sword and should take in place of it a sword of wood.” Likewise Usamah ibn Zaid said to him, “You know well, O ‘Ali that if you were to enter into the belly of a lion I would enter therein with you, but I cannot sympathize with you when it comes to the fire.” He did not say, “You are not the Imam.” He merely feared the killing of the Muslims, and that has nothing to do with criticising his rule.[98]

 

And Abu al Ma’ali al Juwayni[99] said:

ولا اكتراث بقول من قال: لا إجماع على إمامة علي، فإن الإمامة لم تجحد له، وإنما هاجت الفتنة لأمور أخرى

There is no consideration for the opinion of the one who says that there was no consensus upon the rule of ‘Ali. This is because his rule was not contested, and the Fitnah erupted due to other reasons.[100]

 

And al Qadi Ibn al ‘Arabi after citing the statement of a people who averred that a group of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum stayed behind from supporting him, amongst who were Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, Ibn ‘Umar, Usamah ibn Zaid, and their likes, refutes their statement saying:

 

قلنا أما بيعته فلم يتخلف عنها، وأما نصرته فتخلف عنها قوم منهم من ذكرتم، لإنها كانت مسألة اجتهادية، فاجتهد كل واحد وأعمل نظره وأصاب قدره

We say that as for pledging to him, no one stayed behind from doing so. And as for supporting him, yes, a group of them did stay behind, amongst them were whom you have mentioned. This is because this was an Ijthadi issue (an issue in which various opinions were bound to emerge based on each person’s analyses of the situation) in which each one of them applied his effort and reason and was correct to a limited extent.[101]

 

The crux of the matter is that, even if some narrations in the Tarikh of al Tabari exclude some of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum from pledging to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu from amongst the Muhajirin and the Ansar,[102] they in no compromise the legitimacy of the rule of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is due to the fact that most of the narrations which were cited from various sources of hadith, history, theology, Arabic literature, and the books of biographies all concur that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and the common people pledged to him. Hence the very few narrations which contradict this and state that they stayed behind or that some of them were coerced are simply not worth consideration.

Likewise, even though Muawiyah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu denial to pledge to him is established, that in no way compromises the consensus of the elite Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhu whose opinions were the primary factor in deciding and administering matters. Just as the refusal of Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the leader of the Khazraj, to pledge to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not compromise the consensus of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum upon the Caliphate of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Not forgetting that Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu also conceded that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was most deserving of the Caliphate and that he surpassed him in merit. His refusal was based on his demand that he wanted ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to surrender the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to him so that he could seek retribution from them.[103]

Even if we have to, hypothetically, consider that some of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum did not pledge, something which the incontrovertible narrations render farfetched, Caliphate according to the Ahlus Sunnah is established by the pledging of the people of Hall and ‘Aqd (people who untie and tie knots lit. i.e. prominent people whose opinion holds weight in deciding and administering matters of the community), the people of sound reason and meticulous planning; it is not a requirement that all of them pledge, or not even a specific number of people for that matter; instead even if some of them pledged their pledging is good enough to enact a legitimate rule.

Hence, some scholars go on to aver that the minimum amount of people required to enact the rule of a ruler is five people who all unanimously agree to do so, or who acquiesce while one of them actively enacts on their behalf. They draw evidence from the enactment of the Caliphate of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhum which came about due the consensus of five of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who were then followed by the rest, viz. ‘Umar, Abu ‘Ubaidah, Usaid ibn Hudair, Bashir ibn Sa’d, and Salim the freed slave of Abu Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Likewise they also draw evidence from the precedent of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu who formed a council of six people in which eventually one of them made a conclusive decision with the approval of the others. Some scholars of Kufah even aver that it can be enacted with the appointment of only three individuals. Hence, one of them can preside over the matter of the Muslims with the approval of the other two who will serve as witnesses, like in the case of Nikah which is valid with one guardian and two witnesses.[104]

Furthermore, the rule of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was already enacted with the appointment of those who were present at that time. When appointing him, they did not wait for the news of his appointment to reach everyone who stayed around Madinah like the Bani Aslam, Ghifar and Juhaynah tribes, nor did they wait for the news to reach Makkah, Ta’if and al Bahrayn so that all the people could elect whoever they were pleased with from the Muhajirin and the Ansar. And when the news of his appointment eventually reached them no one objected.

And al Mawardi has concluded that Imamah or pledging to enact the Imamah is a Fard Kifayah (communal obligation, if some members fulfil it the others are absolved) just like Jihad, and seeking of knowledge, for if the eligible people take care of it, its obligation falls away from all the people.[105]

And in my opinion, the opposition which stood in the way of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was due to the political condition at that time. It was not an opposition which was based on challenging his rule, rather it was based more on demanding retribution for the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is owing to the following reasons:

Firstly, Talhah, al Zubair, Aisha, and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhum did not challenge ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his Caliphate or criticise the legitimacy of his rule. They merely set out seeking retribution for the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu wanting the capital punishment of Qisas to be executed as soon as possible upon his murderers. The proof of this is the following narration which al Tabari has cited from Ahnaf ibn Qais with a sound transmission:[106]

 

خرجنا حجاجا فقدمنا المدينة، فبينا نحن في منازلنا نضع رحالنا إذ أتانا أت فقال: إن الناس قد فزعوا وقد اجتمعوا في المسجد، فانطلقنا إلى المسجد، فذكر الحديث في مناشدة عثمان الصحابة، وإقرارهم بمناقبه-قال الأحنف بن قيس: فلقيت طلحة والزبير فقلت: لا أرى هذا الرجل إلا مقتولا، فمن تأمراني أن أبايع؟ فقالا: عليا، فقلت: أتأمراني بذلك وترضيانه لي؟ فقالا: نعم، فخرجت حتى قدمت مكة، فأنا كذلك إذ قيل: قتل عثمان بن عفان، وبها عائشة أم المؤمنين فأتيتها فقلت لها: أنشدك الله، من تأمريني أن أبايع؟ قالت: عليا، فقلت: اتأمريني بذلك وترضينه لي؟ قالت: نعم، فخرجت، فقدمت على علي بالمدينة فبايعت ثم رجعت إلى أهل البصرة، ولا أرى إلا الأمر قد استقام، فبينا نحن كذلك إذ أتاني أت فقال: هذه عائشة أم المؤمنين وطلحة والزبير قد نزلوا الخربية، فقلت: فما جاء بهم؟ قال: أرسلوا إليك يستنصرون على دم عثمان قتل مظلوما

We left for Hajj and came to Madinah. Whilst we were still in our halting places removing our saddles from the animals a person came to us and said, “People are perturbed and have gathered in the Masjid.” Hence we went to the masjid. He then goes on to mention the hadith regarding ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu imploring the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and them conceding his merits.

Ahnaf thereafter says, “I met Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and asked them: “I do not see this man but as one who will be murdered, so what do you order me to do and what do you choose for me.”

They replied, “‘Ali.”

He asked, “Do you order me to hold onto him and do you choose him for me?”

They replied, “Yes.”

I then continued to Makkah and upon reaching there received the news of the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. I thus met the mother of the believers Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhu who was in Makkah at that time.

I asked her, “To who do you order me to pledge allegiance?”

She said, “‘Ali.”

He asked, “Do you order me to pledge to him and do you choose him for me?”

She said, “Yes.”

I thus passed by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Madinah and pledged my allegiance to him, and I returned home and did not think of the matter but as stable. Whilst we were still of that perception suddenly a person came to me and said, “Here are Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha Umm al Mu’minin, Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, they have halted and settled in Kharibah.”[107]

I asked, “What has brought them?”

He replied, “They have sent a message to you seeking help in the case of the murder of ‘Uthman who was unjustly killed…”[108]

 

Likewise, when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu demanded from Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to pledge he responded saying:

 

فإن كنت صادقا فأمكنا من قتلة عثمان نقتلهم به، ونحن أسرع الناس إليك

If you are speaking the truth then hand over the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to us so that we may kill them and thereafter we will be the quickest of people to join you.[109]

 

Secondly, the people of Madinah enjoyed complete freedom which was not interrupted by any form of force or pressure during the period of the election and the pledging to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The most glaring evidence of this is the conversation which took place between ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the people after the murder of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, when they induced him to accept their pledges; he placed a condition that his election will happen in the masjid and that it will not be done discreetly and that it will only be done with the happiness of the Muslims.[110]

As for the narrations which suggest that Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma pledged due to being coerced, they do not rest on any acceptable evidence, due to the narrations regarding them pledging freely and willingly being authentic.

 

Thirdly, the early contributions of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, his merits, his meticulousness in holding to the laws of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and his emphasis in his sermons upon implementing the Shar’i imperatives and prohibitions would never allow someone to challenge and undermine the legitimacy of his rule over the Muslims.

It is probably safe to say that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the most probable candidate for the Caliphate after the murder of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. For ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had made him part of the council that he had formed of six people. Thereafter four of them, ‘Abdur Rahman, Sa’d, Talhah and al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhum, had relinquished their right for him and for ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hence only he and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu remained. This was sort of a consensus that if ‘Uthman was not present ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was most deserving and hence also suggestive of the fact that after ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu he would be most rightful. Subsequent to that, he was elected by the people of Dar al Hijrah (the abode of Hijrah, Madinah Munawwarah) and thus surely became the Rightful Khalifah.

Having said that, there was none from the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who was more deserving of the Caliphate than him. For he was from the forerunners of Islam, from the Muhajirin, he was the cousin of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his son in law, among the many virtues which necessitated his rightfulness to be the Khalifah of the Muslims.

Together with being an early contributor to the Din, his merits, and his kinship with Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he was also a man of great capabilities and talents. His courageousness, willingness to always present himself, his intelligence, his judicial prowess, and his solemnness and earnestness for which he had become famous, his steadfastness upon the truth, and his foresight in analysing matters (to the extent that even ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu would accept his views when things were unclear and confusing) all had rendered him the undisputed candidate for become the ruler of the Muslims at that sensitive time in their lives.

 

NEXT⇒ Second Two: His Policies of Ruling


[1] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/427.

[2] Ibid. 4/427.

[3] I did not come across his biography.

[4] Ibid. 4/428.

[5] Abu al Malih ibn Usamah al Hudhali. He narrated from ‘Aʾishah, Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar, Jabir, Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhum and others. And Salim ibn Abi al Ja’d, Abu Qilabah al Jarmi, Qatadah and others have narrated from him. Al ‘Ijli said, “A reliable Tabi’i from Basrah.” And al Dhahabi said, “Reliable.” And Ibn Hajar said, “Reliable, from the third generation.” He passed away in 112 A.H/730 A.C. See: Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/726; al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 512; al Dhahabi: al Kashif, 3/336; Ibn Hajar: al Taqrib, 2/476.

[6] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/428.

[7] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/433.

[8] Ibid. 4/433-434.

[9] ‘Awf ibn Abi Jamilah al ‘Abdi al Hajari, Abu Sahl al Basri, famously known as al ‘Arabi. ‘Abdullah said narrating from his father Ahmed ibn Hanbal, “Reliable and good in hadith.” And Abu Hatim said, “Truthful and satisfactory.” He has been deemed reliable by Ibn Ma’in, al Nasaʾi and Ibn Sa’d. He passed away in 147 A.H/764 A.C. See: Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/460; Khalifah: al Tabaqat, p. 219; al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Saghir, 2/85; Ibn Hibban: Mashahir ‘Ulamaʾ al Amsar, p. 151; al Dhahabi: al Mizan, 3/305.

[10] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/434.

[11] Nasr ibn Muzahim al ‘Attar al Kufi, Abu al Fadl. A historian of the calibre of Abu Mikhnaf. He was well versed in history and reports and was a staunch Rafidi. He wrote the books Siffin, Jamal, Maqtal Hujr ibn ‘Adi, and Maqtal Hussain ibn ‘Ali. He passed away in 212 A.H/827 A.C. See: al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, 13/283; Ibn al Nadim: al Fihrist, p. 106; Yaqut: Mujam al Udabaʾ, 19/225; al Dhahabi: al Mizan, 4/254.

[12] ‘Abd Khayr ibn Yazid al Hamdani, Abu ‘Umarah al Kufi. A Tabi’i who had witnessed both the pre-Islamic and Islamic era. He narrated from Abu Bakr, ‘Ali, Zaid ibn Arqam, ‘Aʾishah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and others. Muslim has considered him to be from the first generation of the Tabi’in of Kufah. And Ibn Hibban has made mention of him in his al Thiqat. See: al Darimi: al Tarikh, p. 150; al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 286; Ibn Hibban: al Thiqat, 5/144; al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, 11/126.

[13] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/486.

[14] Ahmed: Musnad, 5/220: Sunan Abi Dawood: Chapter on the Sunnah, 4/211; Sunan al Tirmidhi: Chapter on Fitan, 5/241. The hadith has been deemed authentic by Albani in al Silsilah al Sahihah, p. 459, and in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi, 2/879 (hadith no. 3882).

[15] Mustadrak Hakim, 3/123 (he has deemed it Sahih according to the requirements of Bukhari and Muslim and al Dhahabi has agreed with him; Musnad Ahmed, 3/33, 82; Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq (manuscript), 12/357.

[16] Sahih Muslim: chapter of Zakat: 7/168.

[17] Ibid. 7/168.

[18] Sahih al Bukhari: chapter on making the renegades repent: 8/53.

[19] Abu Rafi’ al Qibti, the freed slave of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. His name was Ibrahim, and some say: Aslam, and others say: Thabit. He belonged to ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu initially, but he gifted him to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who freed him when he gave him the glad tidings of ‘Abbas accepting Islam. He participated in the battle of Uhud and the battles thereafter. It is said that he passed away in the Caliphate of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. See: al Dhahabi: al Kashif, 3/294; Ibn Hajar: Tahdhib al Tahdhib, 2/92.

[20] Musnad Ahmed, 6/393; and according to the layout of al Sa’ati: 32:137; and Ibn Hajar has attributed it to Musnad al Bazzar in Fath al Bari, 13/55.

[21] Mustadrak Hakim: chapter on knowing the Sahabah, 3/119.

[22] Sahih al Bukhari: chapter of Salah, 1/115.

[23] Musnad Ahmed, 4/299; al Mujam al Awsat, 4/299; Musnad Bazzar, 2/299; Majma’ al Zawaʾid, 5/176, he said, “The narrators of Musnad Bazzar are reliable. And Ahmed Shakir deemed the narration of Musnad Ahmed authentic (see: Musnad Ahmed, with the annotations of Ahmed Shakir, 2/157). Also the annotator of the Majma’ al Bahrayn has deemed the narrators of Mujam al Tabarani al Awsat as reliable.

[24]Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 3/342.

[25] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq (manuscript), 12/344.

[26] Ahmed: Fadaʾil al Sahabah, 1/493. The annotator has deemed its transmission Sahih.

[27] Ibn Hajar: Fath al Bari, 13/88.

[28] Fadalah ibn Abi Fadalah al Ansari al Kufi. A Tabi’i. Ibn Hibban has deemed him reliable and Ibn Abi Hatim and al Bukhari remained silent about him. See: al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 4/1/125; Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 7/77; Ibn Hajar: Ta’jil al Manfa’ah, p. 219.

[29] Ahmed: Fadaʾil al Sahabah, 2/694, the annotator has deemed its transmission Hasan; al Muhibb al Tabari: al Riyad al Nadirah, 3/228,229.

[30] Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 2/31.

[31] Khalifah: al Tarikh, p. 199.

[32] Ahmed: Fadaʾil al Sahabah, 2/573, the annotator has deemed its transmission Sahih.

[33] ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Jawshan al Ghatafani al Basri. Abu Zur’ah, Ibn Sa’d and al ‘Ijli have deemed him reliable, and Ibn Hibban has made mention of him in his al Thiqat. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 7/228; al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 290; Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 5/220; Ibn Hibban: al Thiqat, 5/84; al Dhahabi: al Kashif, 2/142.

[34] Ahmed: Fadaʾil al Sahabah, 2/576-577, the annotator has deemed its transmission Sahih.

[35] Ahmed ibn Dawood al Dinawari, Abu Hanifah. A scholar who has expert in history, geography, engineering and botany. Some of his books are: al Akhbar al Tiwal, al Nabat, al Jabr wa al Muqabalah, and al Fasahah, al Buldan, and Islah al Mantiq. He passed away in 282 A.H/895 A.C. See: Yaqut: Mujam al Udabaʾ, 26-132; al Qifti: Inbah al Ruwat, 1/41; al Qurashi: al Kharaj, 1/67.

[36] Al Ghafiqi ibn Harb al ‘Akki. A son of one of the prominent tribes of Yemen which settled in Egypt. He was part of those whom the Sabaʾiyyah had managed to influence in Egypt and was the leader of the Egyptians who had set out to besiege ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Madinah. When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was prevented from coming to the Masjid al Ghafiqi would lead the people in salah. He was also one of those who invaded the house of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and killed him whilst he was reading the Qurʾan. After the demise of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, for five days al Ghafiqi was the ruler of Madinah. See: al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/349-354-391-432.

[37] Al Dinawari: al Akhbar al Tiwal, p. 140.

[38] Al Akhbar al Tiwal, p. 156.

[39] Ahmed ibn Ishaq ibn Jafar ibn Wahb ibn Wadih al Yaqubi al Baghdadi. A traveller and a historian. He travelled to India and Armenia and also visited the Morocco and a number of Muslim lands. Some of his books are: al Tarikh, which he gifted to al Mu’tamid the Abbasid Ruler, Akhbar al Umam al Sabiqah, and Mushakalah al Nas li Zamanihim. He passed away in 292 A.H/905 A.C. See: Yaqut: Mujam al Buldan, 5/153; al Baghdadi: Idah al Maknun, 1/219; al ‘Amili: 10/230-336.

[40] Al Yaqubi: al Tarikh, 1/178.

[41] Al Baladhuri: Ansab al Ashraf, 2/208.

[42] Ahmed ibn A’tham al Kufi, Abu Muhammad. A famous Shia historian. He has been deemed weak according to the scholars of hadith. He wrote a book regarding the various conquests which took place till the era of al Rashid. He died on in 314 A.H/926 A.C. See: Yaqut: Mujam al Buldan, 2/220; Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, 1/138.

[43] Ibn A’tham: al Futuh, 2/243-244.

[44] Al Mas’udi: Muruj al Dhahab, p. 358.

[45] Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi ibn Habib ibn Hudair, Abu ‘Umar al Qurtubi, the master of literature and history. He was a poet but later became more involved literary reports and their compilation. He earned acclaim for his famous books al ‘Iqd al Farid. He has written few poems regarding admonishment and disinclination from this world. He died in 328 A.H/940 A.C. See: Ibn al Faradi: Tarikh ‘Ulamaʾ al Andalus, p. 38; Ibn ‘Amirah al Dabbi: Bughyah al Multamis, p. 148; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, 1/110.

[46] Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi: al ‘Iqd al Farid, 4/410.

[47] Ibn Hibban: al Thiqat, 2/276-278.

[48] Muhammad ibn al Tayyib ibn Jafar, Abu Bakr al Baqillani al Baghdadi. A judge and a theologian. He had an outstanding ability of deriving rulings and was very witty. ‘Adud al Dawlah al Buwayhi had sent him as an ambassador to the Christian scholars who he met in front of their king. Some of his books are: al Tamhid fi al Radd ‘ala al Mulhidah, wa al Mu’attilah, wa al Khawarij wa al Mu’tazilah, Kashf Asrar al Batiniyyah, and Manaqib al Aʾimmah. He passed away in 403 A.H/1013 A.C. See: al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, 5/379; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, 4/209; Ibn Farhun: al Dibaj al Mudhahhab, 2/228.

[49] Al Baqillani: al Tamhid, p. 227-229.

[50] Harun ibn Ishaq ibn Muhammad ibn Malik al Hamdani al Kufi al Hafiz Abu al Qasim. Abu Hatim said, Truthful.” And al Nasaʾi deemed him reliable. And Ibn Khuzaimah said, “He was from the outstanding servants of Allah.” He passed away in 285 A.H/871 A.C. See: Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 9/87; al Dhahabi: al Kashif, 3/188; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ, 12/126; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 11/2.

[51] Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, 3/50.

[52] ‘Abbas ibn Muhammad ibn Hatim ibn Waqid al Duri, Abu al Fadl al Baghdadi. Ibn Abi Hatim said, “Truthful.” And al Nasaʾi and Ibn Hibban have deemed him reliable. Al Khalili said, “His uprightness is unanimously accepted.” See: Ibn Abi Hatim: al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 6/216; al Ajurri: al Suʾalat, p. 261; al Khatib al Baghdadi: Tarikh Baghdad, 1/144; al Sam’ani: al Ansab, 5/400; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 5/129.

[53] This wording appears in Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, p. 517.

[54] Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, 3/50

[55] Ibid. 3/231.

[56] Ibn al ‘Arabi: al ‘Awasim, p. 142.

[57] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq (manuscript), 12/349.

[58] One of the leaders of the Khawarij during the Caliphate of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. See: al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/318; al Dhahabi: al Mizan, 2/474.

[59] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq (manuscript), 12/352; Ibn Hajar: al Matalib al ‘Aliyah, 4/294-296, he commented saying, “Ishaq has narrated it with a Sahih chain of transmission and Abu Dawood and al Nasaʾi have narrated it briefly.

[60] Ibid. 12/350.

[61] Tarikh Dimashq (printed section), p. 517.

[62] Muhammad ibn Mansur ibn Dawood ibn Ibrahim al Tusi al Baghdadi. Ahmed ibn Hanbal has made good mention of him and al Nasaʾi and Ibn Hibban have deemed him reliable. He passed away in 254 A.H/868 A.C. See: Ibn Abi Hatim, al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, 8/94; al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, 3/247; Ibn Abi Ya’la: Tabaqat al Hanabilah, 1/318; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 9/472.

[63] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, p. 517.

[64] Al Daraqutni: Fadaʾil al Sahabah, p. 19.

[65] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, p. 516.

[66] Ibid. (manuscript), 12/354.

[67] Ibid. 12/354.

[68] Ibid. 12/354.

[69] I did not come across a biography of his in the references I have at my disposal.

[70] Ibid. 12/349.

[71] Ismail ibn ‘Ali ibn Ismail al Khutabi al Baghdadi, Abu Muhammad. The orator, expert of Arabic literature, scholar of hadith and historian. Abu Hafs ibn Shahin, al Daraqutni, and Ibn Mandah have narrated from him, amongst others. Al Khatib has said regarding him, “He was virtuous and knowledgeable regarding the history the people and their leaders. He compiled a major history based on chronological order. Al Daraqutni has deemed him reliable. He passed away in 350 A.H/961 A.H. See: al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, 6/304; Ibn Abi Ya’la: Tabaqat al Hanabilah, 2/118; Yaqut: Mujam al Udabaʾ, 7/190; al Dhahabi: al ‘Ibar, 2/286; Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ, 15/522.

[72] Ibn al Athir: Usd al Ghabah, 4/31.

[73] Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’ al Fatawa, 4/438.

[74] Ibid. 35/19.

[75] Al Dhahabi: Duwal al Islam, 1/178.

[76] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/429.

[77] Did not come across his biography in the references I have at my disposal.

[78] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/435.

[79] I did not come across his biography in the references I have at my disposal.

[80] Hukaym ibn Jabalah al ‘Abdi al Amir. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed him over Sindh for some time. He thereafter settled in Basrah and was one of those who rebelled against ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Ibn ‘Abdul Barr has said regarding him, “He lived during the time of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but I am not aware of a single narration which establishes his companionship of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He was killed on the day of Jamal in 36 A.H/656 A.C. See: al Mas’udi: Muruj al Dhahab, 3/87; Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, 1/324; Ibn Hajar: al Isabah, 1/395.

[81] Ibid. 4/435.

[82] See p. 62-65.

[83] Tariq ibn Shihab al Bajali, Abu ‘Abdullah al Kufi. He narrated from the four Khalifas, Bilal, Hudhayfah, Miqdad radiya Llahu ‘anhum, amongst others. Al ‘Ijli said, “Reliable.” Ishaq ibn Mansur said from Ibn Ma’in, “Reliable.” And Khalifah said, “He passed away in 82 A.H/701 A.C. See: al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 233; Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/275; Khalifah: al Tabaqat, p. 117; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 5/3.

[84] Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah, 15/274; Mustadrak Hakim, 3/115.

[85] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah 15/287.

[86] Ahnaf ibn Qais ibn Muawiyah al Tamimi al Sa’di, Abu Bahr al Basri. A Tabi’i who witnessed both the era of ignorance and Islam but was not blessed with the company of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He has narrated from a group of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Al Hassan al Basri says, “I have not seen a notable of a people better than Ahnaf.” He has many merits and his forbearance was proverbial. Ibn Sa’d has mentioned him in the first generation of Tabi’in and has said that he was reliable and trustworthy. And al Hakim has mentioned that it is he who had conquered Marw al Rawdh in Khorasan. He passed away in 67 A.H/686 A.C. See: Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat, 7/93; al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 57; Ibn Ma’in: al Tarikh, 2/20; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 1/191.

[87] Ibid. 15/271.

[88] Ibn Hibban: al Thiqat, 2/268.

[89] Ibn al ‘Arabi: al ‘Awasim, p. 144.

[90] Al Muhibb al Tabari: al Riyad al Nadirah, 3/230.

[91] Ibn Hazm: al Milal wa al Nihal, 4/153.

[92] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/428.

[93] Ibid. 4/431.

[94] Ibid. 4/429.

[95] Ibid. 4/431.

[96] Ibn Kathir: al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/227.

[97] Al Dinawari: al Akhbar al Tiwal, p. 142.

[98] Al Baqillani: al Tamhid, p. 233,234.

[99] ‘Abdul Malik ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Yusuf ibn Muhammad al Juwayni, attributed to Juwayn which is a village near Nisabur, al Ash’ari, Ab al Ma’ali. Ibn Khallikan said, “The most knowledgeable of the later scholars of the Shafi’iyyah. He stayed in Makkah for four years and was thus accorded the title Imam al Haramayn. Thereafter he stayed for some time in Madinah presiding over Fatwa and teaching. Thereafter he returned to Nisabur where the minister Nizam al Mulk built the Madrasah Nizamiyyah for him. Even the scholars would participate in his lessons. He has written: al Shamil fi Usul al Din, a book in Ash’ari theology, al Burhan fi Usul al Fiqh, and al ‘Aqidah al Nizamiyyah fi al Arkan al Islamiyyah. He passed away in 478 A.H/ 1085 A.C. See: Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, 1/373; al Subki: Tabaqat al Shafi’iyyah, 3/249; al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubalaʾ, 18/468.

[100] Al Haythami: al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah, p. 184.

[101] Ibn al ‘Arabi: al ‘Awasim, p. 144.

[102] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/428, 429, 431-435.

[103] Ibn Muzahim: Waq’ah Siffin, p. 97; al Dinawari: al Akhbar al Tiwal, p. 162.

[104] Al Mawardi: al Ahkam al Sultaniyyah, p. 4.

[105] Al Mawardi: al Ahkam al Sultaniyyah, p. 4.

[106] The transmission is as follows: Yaqub ibn Ibrahim al Dawraqi (reliable, al Tahdhib, 11/381) who narrates from ‘Abdullah ibn Idris (reliable and a jurist, al Taqrib, 1/401, from Hussain ibn ‘Abdur Rahman (reliable, al Tahdhib, 2/381), from ‘Amr ibn Jaʾwan (reliable, al Kashif, 2/281), from al Ahnaf ibn Qais (reliable, Tarikh al Thiqat, p. 57).

[107] A place in Basrah. See: al Yaqut: Mujam al Buldan, 2/363.

[108] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/497-498.

[109] Al Dinawari: al Akhbar al Tiwal, p. 163.

[110] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/427.

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