Theme Nine: ‘Ali’s Grief on Demise of Abu Bakr
1. Al Suyuti has cited a narration in this regard in Tarikh al Khulafa’ with reference to Ibn ‘Asakir. The narration reads as follows:
وأخرج ابن عساكر عن علي أنه دخل علي أبي بكر وهو مسجي…
‘Ali entered upon Abu Bakr and he was enshrouded with a sheet.
2. Jar Allah al Zamakhshari has cited the following narration in his book on the language of hadith named al Fa’iq:
لما مات أبوبكر قام علي بن أبي طالب علي باب البيت الذي هو مسجي فيه فقال كنت والله يعسوبا أولا حين نفر الناس وآخرا حين فيلوا … كنت كالجبل لاتحركه العواصف ولاتزيله القواصف.
When Abu Bakr passed away ‘Ali came and stood at the door of the house in which he lay enshrouded and said, “you were, by Allah, the chief in the initial stages of Islam (i.e. you had surpassed the people in embracing Islam) when the people were indifferent and you were equally the leader in the latter stages when they had become weak and cowardly. You were like a mountain which could not be shaken by storms or uprooted by thunders.”
3. A third narration of this nature is narrated by Usaid ibn Safwan. It is a fairly lengthy narration. However, I shall cite here an excerpt therefrom which is supported by other narrations as well. It reads as follows:
عن أسيد بن صفوان وكانت له صحبة بالنبي صلي الله عليه وسلم قال لما توفي أبوبكر رضي الله عنه ورجت المدينة بالبكاء ودهش الناس كيوم قبض النبي صلي الله عليه سلم جاء علي بن أبي طالب مسرعا باكيا مسترجعا وهو يقول اليوم انقطعت حلافة النبوة حتي وقف علي باب البيت الذي فيه أبوبكر ثم قال وحمك الله يا أبا بكر كنت أول القوم إسلاما و أخلصهم إيمانا وأكثرهم يقينا…
Usaid ibn Safwan (he was privileged with enjoying the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) reports, “When Abu Bakr passed away the whole of Madinah was reverberating because of the crying of its inhabitants and the people were just as perplexed as they were the day Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away. ‘Ali came hastily, weeping, repeating, “To Allah do we belong and unto Him shall we return,” and saying, “Today the true succession of nubuwwah has terminated.” Till he reached the door of the house wherein Abu Bakr was lying covered. He then said, “May Allah, shower his mercies upon you O Abu Bakr! You were the first to accept Islam, the most sincere in faith and the richest in conviction.”
Narrations in Which he Conceded the Merits of Abu Bakr
عن ابن ابي مليكه قال سمعت ابن عباس يقول لما وضع عمر بن خطاب علي سريره فتكفنه الناس يدعون له و انا فيهم فجاء علي بن ابي طالب فقال اني كنت لأظن ان يجعلك الله تعالي مع صاحبيك و ذالك اني كنت اكثر ان اسمع رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول ذهبت انا و ابو بكر و عمر و دخلت انا و ابو بكر و عمر و خرجت انا و ابو بكر و عمر واني كنت اظن ان يجعلك الله معهما.
Ibn ‘Abbas narrates that when ‘Umar ibn al Khattab was placed on his bed after the people had enshrouded him in the winding sheet and were supplicating in his favour, I was amongst them; ‘Ali appeared and remarked, “I very strongly believed that Allah would definitely unite you with your two companions. And that is because I would often hear Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘I went with Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, I entered with Abu Bakr and ‘Umar and I left with Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.’ Therefore, I would always assume that Allah will unite you with them.”
Note:- Although this narration makes mention of the presence of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu during the burial of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, it nonetheless, proves the merit of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well. It was keeping this in mind that I have cited the narration here and I will cite it again in the Faruqi section, if Allah wills. The very same applies to the coming narration cited by Abu Talib al ‘Ashari. It reads as follows:
عن سويد بن غفلة عن علي بن ابي طالب قال لما توفي ابو بكر و عمر قال علي ابن ابي طالب من لكم بمثلهما رزقني الله المضي علي سبيلهما فانه لا يبلغ مبلغهما الا باتباع آثارهما والحب لهما فمن احبني فليحبهما و من لم يحبني فقد ابغضهما وانا منه برء.
Suwaid ibn Ghaflah relates that ‘Ali had made the following remark after the demise of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, “where will you ever come across such individuals. May Allah inspire me to follow in their path for no one can reach their levels but by treading in their path and by loving them. Hence, whoever loves me should love them and that person who does not love me has indeed showed indifference towards them and I am free from him.”
- ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu came weeping to the funeral of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
- Thereafter, he began recollecting the various merits of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Among them he had said, “true succession of nubuwwah has terminated with the demise of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.” i.e. henceforth, every other khalifah will not be the direct successor of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam rather he will be the successor of the Khalifah who preceded him.
- He likewise attested to the early Islam of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu wherewith he had surpassed the rest of the people just as he had attested to his sincerity of faith. He had likewise conceded that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were the close associates of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in this world and will enjoy his blessed companionship in the hereafter.
- It is also clear from these narrations that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu saw no one parallel to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and desired to follow in his footsteps. He had also ordered the people to love Abu Bakr and set himself free from anyone who despised him.
- Lastly, it is evident from these narrations that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was present at the demise, the funeral procedures of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and, therefore, was without doubt present for the Janazah salah of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It would be absurd to say that he was present before and after the funeral, but disappeared at the time of the Janazah salah.
 Tarikh al Khulafa’ p.44.
 Al Fa’iq 1/247.
 Al Isti’ab 1/42; Usd al Ghabah 1/90-91; Riyad al Nadirah 1/239; Kanz al ‘Ummal 6/325.
 Bukhari 1/520; Mustadrak 3/68.
 Fada’il Abi Bakr al Siddiq p. 7.Back to top