Mutual Love Among the Khulafa’

Examples From the Khulafa’ of Love and Veneration for the Ahl al-Bayt
October 23, 2015
`Ali’s Respect for Umm al-Mu’minin, Sayyidah `A’ishah
October 23, 2015

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Mutual Love Among the Khulafa’

As is the wont of bosom friends, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu — as the leader of Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam family — readily accepted gifts from the other khulafa’ radiya Llahu ‘anhum, including Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu who once gifted him with Sahba’[1], a concubine who was captured during the battle of ‘Ayn al Tamr. The khulafa’ radiya Llahu ‘anhum were the epitome of mutual love and harmony and they shared an unbreakable bond of brotherhood, as illustrated by the many examples in history.

Ibn ‘Asakir narrates (with his chain of transmission) that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu entered upon the shrouded corpse of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and said:

There is no one who has left this world to meet Allah more beloved to me than this shrouded corpse (referring to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu).[2]


Imam al Tabarani (with his chain of transmission) narrates that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu once said:

By Him who controls my life, never once did we (the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum) vie with one another in acts of good except that Abu Bakr beat us.[3]


‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was somewhat also indebted to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, since he assisted ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and even acted as a mediator for him in his marriage with Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. He was also of those present — upon the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam request — at his wedding.


Sheikh al Ta’ifah, Abu Jafar al Tusi — a famous Shia scholar — describes this event as follows, on the authority of al Dahhak ibn Mazahim:


I heard ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying: “Abu Bakr and ‘Umar came to me (one day) and said, ‘Only if you could go to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and mention Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to him (i.e. for the sake of marriage).’ So I went to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. When he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saw me he immediately smiled and said, ‘O ‘Ali! Why have you come, how can I help you?’ I began mentioning to him salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam some of my (exclusive) merits, such as: my familial bonds with him salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the fact that I was of the first to accept Islam, the assistance I provided (for the sake of Islam) and my fighting in the cause of Allah Ta’ala. He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam responded to me by saying, ‘O ‘Ali! Everything you said is true; in fact, you are even more valued and cherished than all those things that you have just mentioned.’ I said to him, ‘Please accept my proposal for Fatimah.’”[4]


Not only did Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu mediate the marriage between ‘Ali and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, he also encouraged him and even assisted him with whatever was required for him to get married. Abu Jafar al Tusi narrates the following:


Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sold his armour and with the money earned after selling it he brought it to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took hold of the money with both of his hands. Thereafter, he gave it to Abu Bakr and said to him, “Purchase some clothes and household furniture for Fatimah with this money.” Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent ‘Ammar ibn Yasir and some other Sahabah with him. They went to the market and whatever they wanted to buy they would first show it to Abu Bakr. If he approved, only then would they go ahead and purchase the item. When they finished, Abu Bakr carried a few things back (to show Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the other Sahabah carried the rest.[5]


Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and a group of others were also present at the nikah, as indicated in the following incident narrated by al Khawarizmi, Mulla Baqir al Majlisi and al Arbili:


After Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and Sa’d ibn Muaz sent ‘Ali to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (to propose for his daughter), they waited patiently in the masjid for his return. They anticipated a positive response from Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. To their delight, ‘Ali returned (after Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) accepted his proposal) and said: “I jubilantly left the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam presence and soon thereafter I met up (on the way back) with Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. They asked me: “What happened?” I replied: “Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam accepted my proposal!” Upon hearing the news, the two of them became overjoyed and returned back to the masjid with me. With his blessed face glimmering out of happiness, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam arrived. He called Bilal (who was nearby), to which Bilal responded: “Labbayk (at your service), O Nabi of Allah!” Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him: “Gather the Muhajirin and Ansar.” After everyone was gathered, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ascended the mimbar (pulpit). After praising Allah Ta’ala, he announced: “O people! Jibril came to me and informed me that Allah Ta’ala gathered His angels at al Bayt al Ma’mur (the Ka’bah of the Heavens) and made them witness that He married His slave, Fatimah, the daughter of the Nabi, to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. Allah Ta’ala then commanded me to marry her off here (i.e. in this world) in front of you (as witnesses).”[6]


‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not forget everything the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum did for him. He even named his children after (some of) them, including: Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman.[7] In fact, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not the only ‘imam’ to have named his children after the four rightly-guided khulafa’; In fact, the other ‘A’imah’, including Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, also named their children after Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[8]


‘Ali and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma also had a very close relationship with each other. As mentioned earlier, ‘Umar would, at times, consult ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu with regards to certain judicial matters. Imam al Bukhari narrates in his Sahih from Abu Mulaykah, who heard Ibn ‘Abbas saying:


‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had been placed on his bed and the people gathered around him supplicating and praying for him before he was removed (for burial). I was among them. I was startled when a man took hold of my shoulders; it was ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. He asked Allah Ta’ala to show him mercy and said: “You have not left behind anyone I would prefer to encounter with the like of your actions. By Allah, I used to think that Allah would put you with your two companions. I thought this because oftentimes I heard Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say, ‘Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and I entered, and Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and I left…’”[9]


‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu even married his daughter, Umm Kulthum, to ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Imam Ahmed narrates in his Musnad, as well as al Hakim (with an authentic chain — as agreed upon by al Dhahabi) on the authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma who once heard ‘Umar ibn al Khattab saying to the people, after having married the daughter of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

Will you not congratulate me? For I heard Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying:

ينقطع يوم القيامة كل سبب ونسب إلاّ سببي ونسبي

On the Day of Judgement, all worldly avenues and family ties will be cut-off except for those avenues by which I was imitated, and anyone that holds family ties with me.


‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu also played a major role in assisting ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu with his marriage to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. He even provided him with all necessary spending. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu himself mentioned one day:


When I approached Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to propose to Fatimah, he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to me: “Sell your armour and whatever you get from it, give it to me so I can purchase for you and Fatimah whatever is required.” I took my armour to the marketplace and ended up selling it for four hundred dirhams to ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When the two of us exchanged the goods (i.e. the armour for the dirhams) ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to me: “O Abu al Hassan! Please accept this (armour) as a gift (even though I just purchased it from you).” I left to meet Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with both the four hundred dirhams and my original armour. After I presented it (both the dirhams and the armour) to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and explained what ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu did, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam supplicated for him.[10]


Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also made him a witness — among others — to ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu marriage to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. The Shia narrate from Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told him:


انطلق فادع لي أبا بكر وعمر وعثمان … وبعددهم من الأنصار

Go and call Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum and a group from the Ansar.


Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu said: “I went and called them. After they arrived, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said (to those present):


إني أشهدكم أني قد زوجت فاطمة من علي على أربعمائة مثقال من فضة

I make everyone (here) a witness that I have married off Fatimah to ‘Ali for the weight of four hundred mithqals[11] of silver.[12]


Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah is also on record for explaining the distinct position ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu held; his trustworthiness, sincerity, and loyalty (in serving) Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He even acknowledges that ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu had certain distinct privileges or honours that no one else had; specifically, the fact that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam represented ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu on his behalf in the famous story of Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam settlement (with the kuffar) at Hudaybiyyah.


Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah says:


So Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent for him (i.e. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu) and said: “Go to the believers among your people and give them glad tidings about what Allah Ta’ala has promised me on the Conquest of Makkah.” When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu left he met Aban ibn Sa’id and this caused him to delay slightly. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu armed himself and found them involved in a scuffle. Suhayl ibn ‘Amr was seated next to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was near the barracks of the mushrikin. The Muslims pledged their allegiance to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam placed one of his (own) hands on top the other to indicate ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu pledge as well. The Muslims rejoiced: “Congratulations to ‘Uthman! He made tawaf around the Ka’bah, completed sa’i of Safa and Marwah and (successfully) completed his ‘umrah. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “He could not have done so.” When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu (eventually) arrived, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked him: “Did you make tawaf’?” ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu answered: “How could I make tawaf and Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has yet to do so?” ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu then went on and mentioned the entire story (to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).[13]


NEXT⇒ Examples From the Khulafa’ of Love and Veneration for the Ahlul Bayt

[1]  Sahba’, also known as Umm Habib bint Rabi’ah, was one of the concubines that were captured from Taghlib. She was captured during Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu khilafah, under the administration of Khalid ibn al Walid radiya Llahu ‘anhu. She had two children (from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu) — as mentioned in the books of the Shia: ‘Umar and Ruqayyah. See Sharh Nahj al Balaghah 2/718.

[2]  Imam al Suyuti: Tarikh al Khulafa’

[3]Tarikh al Khulafa’, al Suyuti references this narration to al Tabarani in his Mujam al Awsat and al Hindi in Kanz al ‘Ummal.

[4]  Abu Jafar al Tusi. Al Amali 1/38

[5]  Op. cit. 1/39

[6]  Al Khawarizmi. Al Manaqib, p. 251, 252; al Arbili. Kashf al Ghummah, 1:358; al Majlisi. Bihar al Anwar, 10:38.

[7]  Al Tabarsi. I’lam al Wara, p. 203; al Arbili. Kashf al Ghummah fi Ma’rifat al A’immah, 2:90, 217.

[8]  Al Tabarsi. I’lam al Wara, p. 213.

* This tradition of members from the Ahlul Bayt naming their children after the four rightly-guided khalifahs has continued up until today.

[9]  Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh. Ghayat al Tabjil wa Tark al Qat’ bi al Tafdil, p. 273, 274.

[10]  Al Khawarizmi: Al Manaqib p. 252, 253

Al Arbili: Kashf al Ghummah 1/359

Al Majlisi: Bihar al Anwar 10/39, 40

[11]  Four hundred mithqals of silver is equal to approximately 1457 grams of silver. [translator’s note]

[12]Al Manaqib p. 252, Kashf al Ghummah 1/358, Bihar al Anwar 10/38

[13]  Muhammad ibn Yaqub al Kulayni: Rowdat al Kafi 8/325, 326

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