According to Sayyidina ‘Ali, Sayyidina ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhuma behaviour, actions, and the administrative matters of his khilafah were correct. His methodology was also spot-on. This theme is found in the narrations of reliable books of fiqh and history. We wish to present a few glimpses of such narrations to the readers.
The senior ‘Ulama’ of the ummah have mentioned that the administrative issues of Sayyidina ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu khilafah ran according to the pattern set by Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The biographies of both these personalities are similar. Yahya ibn Adam al Qurashi (d. 203 A.H.) writes in Kitab al Kharaj:
قال حدثنا يحيى قال ثنا شريك عن زبيد كان علي يشبه بعمر يعني في السيرة
Yahya narrated to us saying―Sharik narrated to us from―Zubaid:
‘Ali resembled ‘Umar in sirah. (The administrative matters of his khilafah concurred with those of Sayyidina ‘Umar.)
It is also reported that when Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu arrived in Kufah, he announced that he will not make any alterations to the system Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu implemented. Accordingly, al Sha’bi reports from Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
ثنا أبو معاوية عن حجاج عمن أخبره عن الشعبي قال قال علي حين قدم الكوفة ما كنت لأحل عقدة شدها عمر
Abu Muawiyah narrated to us — from Hajjaj — from one who informed him — from al Sha’bi who reports that Sayyidina ‘Ali announced when he arrived in Kufah:
I will not open any knot tied by ‘Umar. (I will not change anything ‘Umar passed.)
We learnt from the above, that the management of these two noblemen were same. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not move an inch away from the Faruqi government system. This attests and strengthens the agreement of their thought and action.
Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu termed Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu Rashid al Amr in his resoluteness in matters of the state and governmental issues. Imam al Bukhari mentioned it in al Tarikh al Kabir and Yahya ibn Adam did in Kitab al Kharaj. The text is:
عن عبد خير سمع عليا يقول إن عمر كان موفقا رشيدا في الأمور والله لا أغير شيئا صنعه عمر
‘Abd Khair heard ‘Ali affirming:
Certainly, ‘Umar was inspired and rightly guided in matters (of the state). By Allah, I will not alter anything ‘Umar instated.
Once, a delegation of Christians from Najran came to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. During their conversation with him, he confirmed that Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was guided to correct and accurate judgement.
عن الأعمش عن سالم بن أبي الجعد قال كان أهل نجران بلغوا أربعين ألفا و كان عمر يخافهم أن يميلوا على المسلمين فتحاسدوا بينهم فأتوا عمر قالوا إنا قد تحاسدنا بيننا فأجلنا و كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قد كتب لهم كتابا أن لا يجلوا فاغتنمها عمر فأجلاهم فندموا فأتوه فقالوا أقلنا فأبى أن يقيلهم فلما ولي علي أتوه فقالوا إنا نسئلك بخط يمينك و شفاعتك عند نبيك ألا أقلتنا فأبى و قال ويحكم إن عمر كان رشيد الأمر فلا أغير شيئا صنعه عمر قال سالم فكانوا يرون أن عليا لو كان طاعنا على عمر في شيء من أمره طعن في أهل نجران
Al A’mash relates — from Salim ibn Abi al Ja’d who reports:
The people of Najran reached forty thousand in number. ‘Umar feared that they will attack the Muslims. They began harbouring jealousy for one another so they approached ‘Umar and submitted, “Jealousy has spread among us so move us away.”
Meanwhile, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had written a document for them that they will not be exiled. ‘Umar took advantage of the suggestion and moved them (to Najran in Iraq from Najran of Yemen). Later, they regretted so they came to him saying, “Annul the deal.”
But he refused to cancel it. When ‘Ali assumed authority, they approached him and submitted, “We beseech you through the letter you wrote with your right hand and your intercession by your Nabi to cancel this deal for us.”
But he also refused and said, “Woe to you! Undoubtedly, ‘Umar was correct in judgement. Therefore, I will not change anything ‘Umar established.”
Salim explains, “They thought that if ‘Ali would criticise ‘Umar for anything, he would criticise him regarding the people of Najran. (But instead of criticising him, he approved and praised him).”
This incident took place in Jumada al Ukhra 37 A.H. during his khilafah.
Abu Hanifah Ahmed ibn Dawood Dinawari― a Shi’i―(d. 282 A.H.) author of al Akhbar al Tiwal, records an incident of Sayyidina ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu arrival in Kufah:
قالوا و كان مقدمه الكوفة يوم الإثنين لإثنتي عشرة ليلة خلت من رجب سنة 36 و قيل له يا أمير المؤمنين أتنزل القصر قال لا حاجة لي في نزوله لأن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه كان يبغضه و لكني نازل الرحبة ثم أقبل حتى دخل المسجد الأعظم فصلى ركعتين ثم نزل الرحبة
They explain: He arrived in Kufah on Monday, the 12th of Rajab 36 A.H. He was asked, “O Amir al Mu’minin, will you reside at the Royal Palace?”
He said, “I have no need to since ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu despised it. Instead, I will reside at the public square.”
He then moved forward and entered the Grand Masjid and prayed two rak’at. Thereafter, he stopped at the public square.
The gist of the above is that Sayyidina ‘Ali considered Sayyidina ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhuma methodology, government, administration, and system correct and worthy of emulation. This brilliantly highlights the level of their brotherhood and unity which is apparent for every person in every era.
The opposition object by saying that after Sayyidina ‘Umar’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu martyrdom during the discussion regarding the khilafah, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu refused to act according to the sirah of Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar when Sayyidina ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhum advised him of the same. We learn from here that their sirah was not reliable, nor was their government worthy of emulation.
There is a very lengthy narration reported in Tarikh al Umam wa l-Muluk in this regard which gives rise to these accusations. For research purposes, the isnad of this narration was examined. Some of the narrators in the chain are the likes of Abu Mikhnaf, etc., who are liars and deceivers―although feigning piety―while others like Salim ibn Junadah, Sulaiman ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Abi Thabit, etc., were found to be majhul (unknown), in both their personalities and attributes. They could not be traced in reliable books of rijal even after a concerted effort.
Let the unbiased and fair-minded judge for themselves. How can it ever be permissible to accept these narrations which contain concocted accusations from such men? Acceptance of concocted allegations is synonymous to creating harmony between truth and falsehood, and fact and fiction.
و ما يذكره كثير من المؤرخين كابن جرير الطبري و غيره عن رجال لا يعرفون أن عليا قال لعبد الرحمن بن عوف خدعتني إلخ… إلى غير ذلك من الأخبار المخالفة لما ثبت في الصحاح فهي مردودة على قائليها و ناقليها و المظنون بالصحابة خلاف ما يتوهم كثير من الرافضة و أغبياء القصاص الذين لا تميز عندهم بين صحيح الأخبار و ضعيفها و مستقيمها و سقيمها و مبادها و قويمها والله الموفق للصواب
What many historians have mentioned like Ibn Jarir al Tabari and others from men who are unknown that ‘Ali said to ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf, “You deceived me,” … etc., as well as other reports which contradict that which is established in the authentic hadith compilations are all rejected and thrown back at their narrators and reporters. What is believed about the Sahabah is contrary to what majority of the Rawafid and foolish story-tellers suppose, who have no expertise in differentiating authentic narrations from weak ones, the flawless from the flawed, and the destroyed from the established. And Allah guides towards the truth.
دعا عليا فقال عليك عهد الله و ميثاقه لتعملن بكتاب الله و سنة رسوله و سيرة الخليفتين من بعده قال أرجو أن أفعل و أعمل بمبلغ علمي و طاقتي
‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf summoned ‘Ali and said, “I give you the oath of Allah’s covenant and pact that you will certainly act upon the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger, and the sirah of the two Khalifas’ after him.”
‘Ali submitted, “I aspire to act to the best of my knowledge and capability.”
عن عبد خير قال قام علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه على المنبر فذكر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال قبض رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و استخلف أبو بكر فعمل بعمله و سار بسيرته حتى قبضه الله على ذلك ثم استخلف عمر فعمل بعملهما و سار بسيرتهما حتى قبضه الله على ذلك
‘Abd Khair transmits:
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib stood on the pulpit. He spoke about Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and then declared: “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed on and Abu Bakr was appointed khalifah. He practiced in accordance to Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam practice and emulated his sirah until Allah took him away in this condition. Thereafter, ‘Umar was appointed khalifah. He practiced in accordance to their practice and followed their sirah until Allah took him away in this condition.”
It is evident that when Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu regards their sirah and methodology to be in accordance to the sirah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then how could he reject emulating them?
This objection is utterly baseless and its proof is unfounded. Finally, I submit that if further satisfaction is sought to remove this objection from Shia references, then kindly refer to the Siddiqi section of the book, chapter four, theme one where references from Shia books are listed. We have not repeated them here for brevity.
 Sirah: behaviour, conduct, actions, activities, manners, deeds, biography.
 Yahya ibn Adam: Kitab al Kharaj, pg. 24, Egypt print.
 Ibid; Abu ‘Ubaid Qasim ibn Salam (d. 224 A.H.): Kitab al Amwal, pg. 232, Hadith: 848, Egypt print; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 12 pg. 33, Kitab al Fada’il, Karachi Print.
 Al Tarikh al Kabir, vol. 4 pg. 145, Dakkan print; Kitab al Kharaj, pg. 23, Egypt print.
 Abu Yusuf (d. 182 A.H.): Kitab al Kharaj, pg. 74, Egypt print; Kitab al Amwal, pg. 98, Hadith: 273, Egypt print; Ahmed ibn Yahya ibn Jabir al Baghdadi (d. 279 A.H.): Futuh al Buldan, pg. 73 – 74, chapter on the treaty of Najran, Egypt print; al Baihaqi: al Sunan al Kubra, vol. 1 pg. 120, book on the etiquette of the judge, chapter on the judges who make ijtihad and their ijtihad changes; Kanz al ‘Ummal, vol. 2 pg. 303, book on Jihad from the sections of booty, section on the rulings of the produce of Jews; al Kamil, vol. 2 pg. 201, chapter regarding mention of the delegation of Najran with the successor and leader, Egypt print; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, vol. 12 pg. 32, book on battles, book on virtues, Karachi print.
 The incident of the Christians of Najran is mentioned with different wording in the above books. We only quoted the wording from Kanz al ‘Ummal.
 Al Akhbar al Tiwal, pg. 152, under the incident of Jamal, new print.
 Tarikh al Umam wa al Muluk, vol. 5 pg. 38 – 40, chapter on the incident of shura, end of the year 23 A.H.
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 147, the year 24 A.H.
 Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 37, the year 23 A.H., the conditions at the demise of al Faruq al A’zam and the incident of the shura, Egypt print.
 Musnad Ahmed, vol. 1 pg. 128, musnadat of ‘Ali, Egypt print; Majma’ al Zawa’id, book on the khilafah, chapter on the four Khalifas’, vol. 5 pg. 176.Back to top