Theme Ten: The Conduct of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar was in Total Conformity With the Conduct of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
The following narrations reported on the authority of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu elucidate the theme highlighted:
عن عبد خير قال قام علي علي المنبر فذكر رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم فقال قبض رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم واستخلف ابو بكر رضي الله عنه فعمل بعمله وسار بسيرته حتي قبضه الله عز وجل علي ذالك ثم استخلف عمر علي ذالك فعمل بعملهما و سار بسيرتهما حتي حتي قبض الله عز وجل علي ذالك.
‘Abd Khayr mentions that ‘Ali ascended the pulpit, made mention of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, “After the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Abu Bakr was elected as the ruler of the Muslims. He upheld his legacy and impersonated him in his conduct. Thereafter, Abu Bakr passed on and ‘Umar was elected as the leader of the Muslims. He likewise, upheld the legacy of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr, and conformed to their conduct.”
It was after this that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu remarked:
عن مغيره عن الشعبي قال قال علي بن ابي طالب رضي الله عنه اني لأستحي من ربي ان اخالف ابا بكر.
I feel shy to oppose (a verdict taken by) Abu Bakr.
The reason for this is obvious: every action and decision of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was in compliance with the Sunnah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, therefore, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu found it difficult to oppose him in any of his stances.
For the benefit of the scholars, just as Abu Talib al ‘Ashari has cited this narration in his book Fada’il Abi Bakr al Siddiq so have Shia scholars made mention of it in their works under the discussion of Fadak (the narration had previously been cited in this book under the discussion of Fadak).
Hence, a famed Shia Mujtahid al Sayed al Murtada ‘Alam al Huda has cited the following narration in his book, al Shafi, on the authority of Muhammad ibn ‘Imran al Marzubani al Khurasani al Shia:
فلما وصل الامر الي علي بن ابي طالب عليه السلام كلم في رد فدك فقال اني لأستحي من الله ان ارد شيْا منع منه ابو بكر و امضاه عمر.
When ‘Ali took charge of affairs he was accosted regarding the issue of Fadak. His reply was, “verily I am ashamed to revoke that which Abu Bakr had prevented and whose decision was further sanctioned by ‘Umar.”
It is established from this narration that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had no reservations against the system of governance of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Therefore, he had not made the least bit change in their stance; rather he approbated their stance which is indeed a sign of their mutual unity and affinity.
A few more narrations derived from Shia sources that establish that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had approbated the governance of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma are presented ahead.
ثم المسلمون من بعده استخلفو اميرين منهم صالحين فعملا بالكتاب و السنة و احسنا السيرة ولم يعدوا السنة ثم توفيا رحمهما الله تعالي.
‘Ali said, “Thereafter, the Muslims after him had appointed two virtuous people from amongst them as leaders who carried out the injunctions of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, lived ascetic lives and had not transgressed the teachings of the Sunnah. They have now passed on. May Allah have mercy upon them.”
This was a snippet from one of the letters of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which he wrote to his devout companion Qais ibn Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah when he appointed him as the governor of Egypt.
اما بعد فان الله بعث النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم فانقذ به من الضلالة و نعش به من الهلكة و جمع به بعد الفرقة ثم قبضه الله اليه وقد ادي ما عليه ثم استخلف الناس ابا بكر ثم استخلف ابو بكر عمر و احسنا السيرة ووعدلا في الأمة.
After praising Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and sending salutations upon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘Ali said, “Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala sent Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and through his medium saved the people from misguidance, delivered them from destruction and united them after they had been fragmented. Subsequent to that, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala made him taste death when he had carried out his task. The people had thus elected Abu Bakr as their ruler and subsequent to him ‘Umar. They had both led exemplary lives and dealt justly with the ummah.”
That was as excerpt from one of the speeches of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which he had delivered when Habib ibn Maslamah al Fihri and Shurahbil ibn al Simt, the two envoys of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, came to speak to him regarding the assassination of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Crux of These Narrations
- According to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma had outstandingly sublime conduct.
- They were just in their rule and were not oppressors or usurpers.
- They strictly complied with the injunctions of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
- They had never opposed the Sunnah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
The opinion of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding them is strikingly evident from these narrations. However, only the intelligent are able to understand the reality.
 Al Fath al Rabbani ma’ Bulugh al Amani 22/184; Musnad Ahmed 1/128; Fada’il Abi Bakr al Siddiq p. 5; Majma’ al Zawa’id 5/176.
 Fada’il Abi Bakr al Siddiq p. 4; Kanz al ‘Ummal 6/314.
 Kitab al Shafi p. 231; Sharh Nahj al Balaghah (Ibn Abi al Hadid) 4/130.
 Sharh Nahj al Balaghah (Ibn Abi al Hadid), 1/295; Nasikh al Tawarikh 2/286.
 Nasikh al Tawarikh 3/241.Back to top