The Majority of the Muslims and the Ahādīth Relevant to Imāmate
We have already explained the evidences proving that mastership is the right of Ahl al-Bayt (`a) in general, that the Twelve Imāms (`a) from among them were to be the caliphs over the nation, starting with Imām Ali (`a), following the departure of the Chosen One, Muhammad , to the Most High Companion. One decisive question remains to be answered in order to remove a great deal of the ambiguity that coincided with the tale of the dispute between Ahl al-Sunnah and the Shī`ahs throughout the Islamic history. The question is: “If the previous texts truly prove the Imāmate of Ahl al-Bayt (`a), why and how did the caliphate become the lot of others? Were not the sahābah following the Prophet in everything in which he ordered them?”
In order to answer this question, we have to bring about some important historical events at the dawn of Islam which had the major impact in altering the direction of the Islamic history, letting the reader pass his own judgment thereafter. Among the weighty events were the following:
1. Some sahābah of the Messenger of Allāh prohibited him from writing his will.
2. Some sahābah lagged behind and did not join Usamah`s military campaign, casting doubts about his leadership.
3. events of the saqīfa and the swearing of allegiance to Abū Bakr
4. caliphate of `Umar
5. caliphate of `Uthmān
6. Battle of the Camel and the march of the Mother of the Faithful (`a)
7. Battle of Siffīn and the rebellion of Mu`āwiyah
8. Martyrdom of Imām Ali (`a)
9. reconciliation treaty and the martyrdom of Imām al-Hasan (`a)
10. Karbalā` Revolution and the Martyrdom of Imām al-Husayn (`a)
We will discuss each of these events in some details as follows:
I Some sahābah of the Messenger of Allāh prohibited him from writing his will.
In his Sahīh, al-Bukhāri records six narratives about this incident which took place four days only before the demise of the Prophet . Ibn `Abbās, may Allāh be pleased with him, is quoted as having said, “Thursday! What a Thursday it was! The pain of the Messenger of Allāh intensified, so he said, `Bring me something so I may write for you a document that will never let you stray thereafter.` They disputed with each other, and nobody should dispute near a prophet. They said, `What is the matter with him?! Has he hallucinated? Inquire of him.` They went to him, whereupon he said, `Leave me alone, for the pain in which I am is better than what you are attributing to me.`”
In another narrative, Ibn `Abbās is quoted as having said, “When death approached the Messenger of Allāh , and there were men in the house, the Prophet said, `Let me write for you a document after which you shall never stray.` Some of them said, `The Messenger of Allāh has been overcome by pain, and you have with you the Qur`ān. Suffices us the Book of Allāh.` The people of the house differed with each other and disputed. Some of them said, `Come close to him so he may write you a document after which you shall never stray,` while others repeated what `Umar had said. When their fuss and dissension intensified, the Messenger of Allāh said, `Get away!`” Ubaydullāh said, “Ibn `Abbās used to say, `The real calamity, the whole calamity, is what stopped the Messenger of Allāh from writing that document for them because of their dissension and arguing.`”
According to a third narrative, Ibn `Abbās said, “When death approached the Messenger of Allāh , and there were men in the house including `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, the Prophet said, `Let me write you something after (the writing of) which you shall never stray.` `Umar said, `The Prophet has been overcome by pain, and you have with you the Qur`ān. Suffices us the Book of Allāh .` The people at the house disputed with each other and disagreed. Some of them were saying, `Get close [to the Prophet ] so the Prophet may write you a book after which you shall never stray,` while others repeated what `Umar had said. When their fuss and dispute near the Prophet intensified, the Messenger of Allāh said, `Get away!` Ubaydullāh said, `Ibn `Abbās used to say that the calamity, the whole calamity, is what stopped the Messenger of Allāh from writing them such a document because of their dispute and fuss.`”
In Muslim`s Sahīh, their response was: “... they said that the Messenger of Allāh was hallucinating.”
In another narrative, the following is stated: “... `Umar made a statement indicating that the pain had overcome the Messenger of Allāh then said, `We have with us the Qur`ān. Suffices us the Book of Allah.” As you can see, the word “hallucinating” was replaced in this latest narrative with a more polite reference to pain.
Discerning the above-quoted narratives, we become certain that the first person who ascribed hallucination to the Messenger of Allāh was `Umar ibn al-Khattāb and who was supported by some sahābah who were present there, causing the Messenger of Allāh to be angry and to dismiss them with “Get away from me!”
The truth is that this incident gives the impression which permits no doubt that the dignity of the Gracious Messenger of Allāh was harmed. This brought me a great shock when I came to know about it and, I believe, the vast majority of Sunnis are ignorant of it despite the horrors of its implications. Many individuals to whom I related this incident did not believe it because of the weight of the shock. One of them even solemnly swore that if there was any possibility at all that such an incident is, indeed, recorded in Bukhāri`s Sahīh, he will never trust any other narrative in such Sahīh. Some of them believed this incident but, having come to know that caliph `Umar was the first to charge the Messenger of Allāh with hallucination, became extremely angry and refused to believe it. They even went as far as not trusting al-Bukhāri nor any of the books of hadīth which narrate incidents such as this that tarnish the image of the “righteous ancestors,” according to his view.
The secret behind the amazement in this incident is that all the sahābah who were then present should have given priority, without any delay, to what the Messenger of Allāh had ordered them to do so that he could write for them his last will, the will that carried the destiny of including what would bring the Muslims after his demise security against straying, if they upheld and obeyed, as is clear from this narrative.
Who, from among the Sunnis, could expect that the last meeting between the Prophet and the senior sahābah would end up in his dismissal of them after they had bidden him farewell in such a pain-inflicting word which could have only one single implication? This implication is mentioned by al-Nawawi in his Sharh [commentary] of Muslim`s Sahīh. This implication is stated there as nothing other than “hallucination”; we seek refuge with Allāh.
According to Imām Sharaf ad-Dīn, “If you contemplate on the statement of the Prophet wherein he says, `Bring me something so I may write for you a document after [the writing of] which you shall never stray` and his statement in the Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things wherein he says, `I have left among you that which, if you uphold it, you shall never stray: the Book of Allāh and my `itra, my Ahl al-Bayt (`a)`, you will learn that the objective of both ahādīth is one and the same. During his sickness, the Messenger of Allāh wanted to write for them the details of what the Hadīth of the Two Weighty Things obligates, but he changed his mind about writing it following their statement with which they surprised him and which forced him to change his mind lest some people should succeed in opening a gate to cast doubt about the Prophethood. This is so because no effect for such writing remained except dissension and disagreement after him whether he “hallucinated” in what he wrote or not; we seek refuge with Allāh, since they disputed in this regard in his own presence as the previous traditions demonstrate. They contented themselves with what they have of the Qur`ān, justifying their turning away from carrying out what the Prophet had told them to do as he was in a condition of sickness. It is as though they had forgotten what the Almighty had said about His Glorious Prophet : “... Nor does he say (anything) of (his own) desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him: He was taught by One mighty in power” (Qur`ān, 53:3-5) as well as in the following verse: “What Allāh has bestowed on His Prophet (and taken away) from the people of the towns belongs to Allāh, to His Prophet, and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarers, so that it may not be taken in turn by the rich among you. So take what the Prophet assigns to you, and abstain from what he withholds from you” (Qur`ān, 59:7) as well as in this verse: “Truly this is the word of a most honorable messenger, endowed with power, with rank before the Lord of the throne, with authority there, (and) faithful of his trust. And (O people
your Companion is not possessed” (Qur`ān, 81:22).
Ibn `Abbās described the latter situation very well when he said, “The calamity, the whole calamity, is what stopped the Messenger of Allāh from writing that document for them because of their disputing and fussing.”
Despite all of this, and according to what Ibn `Abbās had narrated and what al-Bukhāri had included in his Sahīh, the Messenger of Allāh did not die before making this statement: “... Leave me alone, for the pain in which I am is better than what you are attributing to me.” Then he enjoined them, by way of a will, to uphold three things: to get the polytheist people out of the Arabian Peninsula, to treat the envoy as handsomely as he [the Prophet ] used to do, and he abstained from mentioning the third one, or he said he forgot it!”
It is certain that the Messenger of Allāh had articulated these recommendations in the presence of his family and some of his relatives, including Abdullāh ibn `Abbās, his cousin, in one of the four days which followed the day of the calamity, the Thursday Calamity. But what is odd is that the third item on the will, based on the integrity of al-Bukhāri, is not mentioned by Ibn `Abbās because he was too reluctant to do so. At any rate, the Shī`ah, according to the narratives of Ahl al-Bayt (`a), have stated that the “forgotten” issue or the one shrouded with silence is the appointment of Ali (`a) as the caliph.
II Some Sahābah Lagged Behind Usāmah`s Military Expedition and Cast Doubts about His Leadership
All Muslims know that the Messenger of Allāh tied the knot for the military expedition under the command of Usāmah son of Zayd to invade the Romans. Usāmah was then seventeen. This was the last military expedition during the life-time of the Prophet . None from among the prominent Muhājirūn and Ansār, such as Abū Bakr, `Umar, Abū `Ubaydah, Sa`d and their likes, was excluded from being enlisted by the Prophet. This fact is unanimously accepted by writers of biographies and of history books; it is taken for granted. The Prophet ordered Usāmah to march, but they dragged their feet, and some of them cast doubts about his leadership, so much so that the Messenger of Allāh ascended the pulpit, as al-Bukhāri records according to his reliance on Ibn `Umar, to address them. The latter says, “The Messenger of Allāh placed Usāmah as commander of the people. They cast doubts about such an appointment, so he said, `If you cast doubts about his appointment, you did, indeed, cast doubt about the appointment of his father before him. By Allāh! He [his father] was worthy of being in charge, and he was among the people whom I loved the most, and this one [his son] is the one I love the most after him.` Then he urged them once more to march and to hurry,” but they again dragged their feet. The Messenger of Allāh passed away before they marched out.
From this incident, we deduct the following:
1. Some sahābah followed their own ijtihād despite the presence of a statement made by the Prophet , objecting to his appointment of Usāmah over them on account of his young age although the Messenger of Allāh had tied his flag with his own hand. If we understand all of this, it will be difficult for us to understand how and why they followed their own ijtihād with regard to bigger issues such as the caliphate of Ali (`a) and his being the Imām as you will see later.
2. The appointment by the Prophet of Usāmah as their military leader although he was only seventeen was a practical lesson for the sahābah in the issue of accepting the leadership of someone who is younger than them especially since signs of his extreme anger became evident when they cast doubts about his choice of the young man as their military field commander.
3. When the Messenger of Allāh tied the knot for Usāmah, he knew that he was about to depart to the most Exalted Companion, and undoubtedly he was contemplating on the dispute over the caliphate that would follow; therefore, his extreme wisdom dictated that senior Muhājirūn and Ansār should be placed in that detachment which he ordered to march out only a few days before his demise so that there would be no time to dispute over the leadership issue, let alone using ijtihād in its regard.
Ali (`a) kept the Prophet company during the entire period of his sickness. After the demise of the Prophet , Ali (`a) remained busy giving him his burial bath while the Muhājirūn and the Ansār went to the shed of Banī Sā`idah to dispute with one another about the issue of leadership after having dragged their feet and refused to march out in the military campaign of Usāmah in which they had already been enlisted apparently out of their own ijtihād and “worry” about what would happen in their absence after the death of the Prophet ! Thus, it is difficult to accept or to absorb the issue of the refusal of some sahābah to accept Ali ibn Abū Tālib (`a) as their Imām; otherwise, how can one interpret the refusal of the same folks of Usāmah as their leader and their casting doubts about it although it, too, was issued as an order by the Messenger of Allāh ? Since both incidents of the “Thursday Calamity” and the casting of doubt about the leadership of Usāmah took place during the life-time of the Prophet , bearing in mind all the horrors of their implications, what would one expect to happen after his own demise ?!
III The Saqīfa Events and Abū Bakr`s Inauguration
While Ali (`a) and those in his company from among the relatives of the Messenger of Allāh were busy making preparations for the burial of the Prophet after his departure from this life, `Umar ibn al-Khattāb announced his rejection of the notion that the Prophet had already died and threatened to kill anyone who said otherwise. He did not believe that he had died till Abū Bakr returned from a place outside Medīna called al-Sankh. As mentioned by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh, relying on `Ā`isha , the latter said, “The Messenger of Allāh died when Abū Bakr was at al-Sankh.” Ismā`īl says, “She means the highland.” `Umar kept saying, “By Allāh! The Messenger of Allāh did not die!” `Ā`isha went on to say, “`Umar also said, `By Allāh! Never did I like anything except that, and Allāh shall send him back, and he will cut off men`s hands and legs.” Abū Bakr came, uncovered the face of the Messenger of Allāh and kissed him. Then he said, “By my father and mother, you are good alive and dead! By Allāh Who holds my soul in His hand, Allāh shall never permit you to taste death twice,” then he left as he said, “O one who keeps swearing [meaning `Umar]! Do calm down!”
As for the Ansār, they met at their shed, that is, “the Saqīfa of Banī Sā`idah,” and nominated Sa`d ibn `Abādah to succeed the Messenger of Allāh as the man in charge. When senior Muhājirūn (i.e. Abū Bakr, `Umar and Abū `Ubaydah) came to know about it, they immediately went there and announced that they themselves were more worthy of it. An argument arose between the Muhājirūn and the Ansār wherein a dispute erupted. Sa`d ibn `Abādah, leader of the Ansār, stood up and said, “We are the supporters of Islam and its regiment while you, folks of the Muhājirūn, are his kinsfolk. A drummer from among your people has beaten her drum, hence they want to reduce us from our own roots and to hold us back from the matter.”
Abū Bakr stood up and delivered a speech in which he referred to the merits of al-Muhājirūn, deriving his argument from their descent from Quraysh in order to prove their being more worthy of the caliphate as al-Bukhāri mentions in his Sahīh. “... so Abū Bakr al-Siddiq, `Umar ibn al-Khattāb and Abū `Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrāh went to them. `Umar started to talk, but Abū Bakr silenced him.” Abū Bakr said, “... No; but we are the princes while you are the viziers. But we are the princes and you are the viziers. And they are the best among the Arabs in status and in lineage..., and I have recommended for you one of these two men.” So they swore the oath of allegiance to `Umar ibn al-Khattāb or to Abū `Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrāh. One of the prominent Ansārs, namely al-Habāb ibn al-Mundhir, responded to him by saying, `No by Allāh, we shall not do that! One of us shall be an amīr and one of you [too] shall be an amīr”
In another narrative, the Ansār responded thus: “A speaker from among the Ansār said, `We are its cultivated stump and anticipated cluster. An amīr should be [chosen] from among us, and an amīr should be chosen from among you [too], O people of Quraysh!` Voices of dissent rose and there was a lot of fuss, so much so that dissension was feared.” When the crisis reached such an extent, `Umar ibn al-Khattāb`s role came. Said he, “Far away it is for two to share one and the same horn! By Allāh! The Arabs shall never accept you as their amirs while their Prophet is not from among you. We have in this the argument against whoever dissents.” Al-Habab ibn al-Mundhir, one of the Ansār dignitaries, responded to him by saying, “O folks of the Ansār! Unite your views; do not listen to this man`s statement or to that of his fellows, for you are more worthy of this matter.” But the Ansār, meanwhile, disagreed among themselves. Aseed ibn Hadheer, leader of the Aws tribe, who opposed Sa`d ibn `Abādah, leader of the Khazraj tribe, went and announced to the Muhājirūn his own support for them, promising them to swear the oath of allegiance to them.
It was then that `Umar stood up and said to Abū Bakr, “Stretch your hand so I may swear fealty to you.” `Umar swore the oath of allegiance to him and so did some Muhājirūn and Ansār. As al-Bukhāri, who relies on `Ā`isha, narrates, `Umar took the oath of allegiance for Abū Bakr through threats and intimidations. He quotes `Ā`isha as having said, “Their address was rendered by Allāh as beneficial: `Umar scared people. There was hypocrisy among them, so Allāh responded thus to it.” At the time, with regard to Sa`d ibn `Abādah`s refusal to swear fealty, and he was an old man, al-Bukhāri states in his Sahīh saying that `Umar then said, “Rather, Allāh did kill him!”
This much suffices to let the curtain fall down on the Saqīfa stage act of events which concluded with Abū Bakr being inaugurated after a publicly witnessed struggle between the Muhājirūn and the Ansār over the caliphate. This struggle was tinted by a jāhili attitude as clearly appears from discerning the nature of the arguments between both parties and the arguments which each party used against the other. Caliph `Umar ibn al-Khattāb admitted near the end of his life that swearing the oath of allegiance to Abū Bakr was “a slip, but Allāh protected us from its evil,” according to his own view.
Everyone knows that Imām Ali (`a) and all his supporters from among Banū Hāshim and other sahābah, such as al-Zubair, Talhah, `Ammār, Salmān, Miqdād, Abū Dharr, Khuzaymah (the man with the two testimonies), Khālid ibn Sa`eed, Ubayy ibn Ka`b, Abū Ayyūb al-Ansāri and others, were not present at all during such a swearing, nor did they enter the Saqīfa that day at all because they were all entirely preoccupied with the great calamity: the demise of the Prophet and their performance of the obligation to prepare his corpse for burial and to lay his pure body to rest. The fellows of the Saqīfa sealed that deal with Abū Bakr; therefore, Ali (`a) and his followers had no choice except to express their dissent and to refuse to swear fealty as appears from the following narrative by `Umar ibn al-Khattāb: “... We were fully aware of the event when Allāh caused His Prophet to die, but the Ansār disagreed with us, and they assembled in their entirety at the Saqīfa of Banī Sā`idah. Among those who dissented were: Ali and al-Zubair and those with them.”
Imām Ali ibn Abū Tālib (`a) saw no result for protesting against them except dissension. He preferred to lose his own right rather than see such a dissension during such circumstances because of the serious perils that surrounded Islam from all directions. There was a danger against Islam from the hypocrites of Medīna and those around them from among the bedouins who felt emboldened after the departure of the Chosen One . Add to this the danger of Musaylamah the Liar, Tulayhah the mischief-maker and Sajāh, the woman of trickery, in addition to the Kaisers and Caesars and others who were lying in ambush against the Muslims. There were other dangers threatening the very existence of Islam. It was only natural that Imām Ali ibn Abū Tālib (`a) should sacrifice his right but not obliterating the argument of his being already nominated [by the Messenger of Allāh ] for it. He wanted to keep his right for the caliphate and the ability to argue against those who followed their own way of thinking. He wanted to do all of this in order not to cause the dissension the opportunity for which the enemies of Islam wished to take advantage of. He, therefore, sat at home and did not go to participate in the inauguration. And so did those with him. This lasted for six whole months.
Al-Bukhāri narrates another incident. It, too, proves that had Ali (`a) had the sufficient force to extract his right by force at that time without dissension taking place, he would have done just that. `Ā`isha is quoted as having said, “She [Fātima (`a)] survived the Prophet for only six months. When she died, her husband Ali (`a) buried her at night. Abū Bakr neither called the adhān nor performed the funeral prayers for her. Ali (`a) enjoyed prestige among the people during the life-time of Fātima (`a). When she died, people turned their faces away from him, so he sought to reconcile with Abū Bakr and swear fealty to him. During those months, he was never willing to do so. He sent a message to Abū Bakr saying, `You may come to visit us, provided nobody accompanies you,` out of his concern that `Umar might be present. `Umar said, `No, by Allāh! You should not enter their house alone.` Abū Bakr said, `Why not?! What do you think they might do to me?! By Allāh! I shall go to visit them.`” Imām Sharaf ad-Dīn [Sadr ad-Dīn al-Mūsawi] has interpreted this conduct of Imām Ali (`a) by saying, “Had Ali (`a) hastened to swear fealty to them at the time, he would not have driven his argument home, nor would have the argument of his followers, but he combined, in his action, both safeguarding the creed and keeping his own right for the caliphate. The circumstances then did not permit resistance by the sword, nor debating one argument against another.” This fact appears quite clearly when Abū Sufyān tried more than once to persuade him to uphold his right to the caliphate. He said to Imām Ali (`a), “If you wish, I shall fill the land with cavalry and with infantry to confront them, and I shall block their exit therefrom.” But Imām Ali (`a) refused such type of “assistance” every time because he knew what Abū Sufyān had in mind: igniting the fire of dissension and waging a war after which Islam would never stand on its feet.
Wrath of Fātima (`a)
Fātima (`a) passed away while being angry with Abū Bakr because he had deprived her of the inheritance left for her by her father, the Prophet . Relying on the authority of `Ā`isha, al-Bukhāri quotes the latter as saying, “... Fātima (`a) daughter of the Messenger of Allāh was to receive the inheritance left for her from the fay` [property gained as a peace offering from a hostile party] which Allāh had bestowed upon His Messenger . Abū Bakr said to her, `The Messenger of Allāh had said, `We [prophets] leave no inheritance; what we leave behind is charity;` therefore, Fātima (`a) daughter of the Messenger of Allāh became angry. She dissociated herself from Abū Bakr till she died. She lived for only six months after the death of the Messenger of Allāh .” `Ā`isha adds saying, “And Fātima (`a) demanded that Abū Bakr give her the share to which she was entitled of the inheritance of the Messenger of Allāh from Khaybar, namely Fadak, and the Medīna charity, but Abū Bakr refused saying, `I shall not leave out anything which the Messenger of Allāh used to do.`” Her anger with Abū Bakr was so great that it prompted her to go as far as leaving a will with Ali (`a) that Abū Bakr should not perform the funeral prayers for her after her demise, nor to even walk behind her coffin. Imām Ali (`a) buried her pure body secretly at night as al-Bukhāri states in his Sahīh, relying on `Ā`isha who said, “... Abū Bakr refused that anything should be paid to Fātima (`a). Fātima (`a), therefore, was extremely angry with him, so much so that she dissociated herself from him and never spoke to him till she died. She lived after the demise of the Prophet for six months. When she died, her husband buried her at night. Abū Bakr never called the adhān [to announce her death], nor did he perform the funeral prayers for her.”
The land of Fadak which Fātima (`a) demanded is a village in Hijāz which used to be inhabited by some Jews. When the Messenger of Allāh commenced the conquest of Khayber, Allāh cast fear in the hearts of those Jews; therefore, they reconciled with the Messenger of Allāh in exchange for Fadak. Thus, Fadak became the property of the Messenger of Allāh because neither cavalry nor infantry was ever involved in its conquest. Then he gave it to his daughter Fātima (`a) in addition to what the Messenger of Allāh had owned out of the levy of the khums from Khayber and his own charities. All of these used to be the personal property of the Messenger of Allāh; nobody else had any right in it besides him.
Fātima (`a), then, according to Abū Bakr`s view, was demanding to get what was not hers. She, according to this view, had to be doing either one of two things without any third possibility:
FIRST: She was ignorant and did not know the rulings applicable to the inheritance of the Messenger of Allāh (while Abū Bakr knew), or
SECOND: She was a liar who coveted to take what did not belong to her.
The fact is that both are impossible to attribute to al-Zahra (`a) for whose anger Allāh used to become angry, the Head of the Believing Women and of the people of Paradise that she was, the lady who was purified by Allāh Almighty from any sin or impurity as has already been stated above. According to what is recorded by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh, the Messenger of Allāh said, “O Fātima! Are you not pleased with being the Head of the believing women or the Head of the women of this nation?!” “Fātima (`a) is part of me; whoever makes her angry makes me angry” “Fātima (`a) is the Head of the women of Paradise.” Even if we submit that Fātima (`a) was like any other woman and did not have all such distinctions, as the narratives above indicate, her being the daughter of the teacher of humanity and the wife of the Commander of the Faithful Ali (`a) for whom they testified that he was the most judicious of all, the most knowledgeable, it negates from her any possibility of being ignorant. This is so because had Fātima (`a) been demanding what did not belong to her, and that the Messenger of Allāh was not to leave any inheritance, according to the view of Abū Bakr, either her father or her husband (`a) was supposed to inform her, especially since her anger with Abū Bakr lasted for six months. This was the entire period which Fātima (`a) lived after the departure of the Chosen One from this world.
But far it is for Fātima (`a) to be as such. We seek refuge with Allāh against thinking like that of her. When she came to know that Abū Bakr deprived her of her right of ownership of Fadak and the property which Allāh had bestowed upon His Prophet in Medīna, in addition to the khums of Khayber, she (`a) went to meet him, and he was among a crowd of the Muhājirūn and the Ansār. She delivered a speech which caused the people to burst in tears, a speech from which we would like to quote the following:
... while you claim that we have neither inheritance nor any share; do you wish to implement the judgment of the days of jāhiliyya? Whose judgment is better than that of Allāh for people who have conviction? O folks of Islam! Does the Book of Allāh say that you can get your inheritance from your father while I have no inheritance at all? You will truly then bring about falsehood.
Then she recited the verse saying, “Muhammad is no more than a Prophet: Many prophets passed away before him. If he died or were killed, would you then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, he would not harm Allāh in the least, but Allāh (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude” (Qur`ān, 3:144). Then she went on to say, “O people of Qayla! Should I thus complain about the injustice of being deprived of inheritance from my father while you see and hear me?” up to the end of that speech. Moreover, the meaning of the statement “We [prophets] leave no inheritance” which the Messenger of Allāh
made does not convey the inapplicability of the laws of inheritance to prophets according to the ijtihād of Abū Bakr. The Holy Qur`ān states the following: “And Solomon was David`s heir” (Qur`ān, 27:16). Zakariyya [Zacharias] pleaded to the Almighty to grant him someone who would be his heir, so Allāh granted him Yahya [John the Baptist]: “... `(one who) will (truly) inherit me, and represent the posterity of Jacob, and make him, O Lord, one with whom You are well pleased!` (His prayer was answered:) `O Zakariyya! We give you glad tidings of a son: His name shall be Yahya (John): We have never conferred distinction on any by that name before`” (Qur`ān, 19:6-7). Hence, the meaning of “... inherit me” in the previous verse does not convey the sense of inheriting his [Zakariyya`s] status as a prophet, for prophethood is not hereditary. Thus, the meaning of “We [prophets] leave no inheritance” in the statement of the Prophet means that prophets do not hoard gold and silver so it may be their legacy after them as do kings and those who seek the life of this world.
With Abū Bakr thus depriving Fātima (`a) of inheriting the Prophet gave the opportunity to some people to claim that this was the real reason why Ali (`a) was reluctant to swear fealty to Abū Bakr, not because he (`a) saw himself as the legitimate claimant to the post of caliph. Had the matter been as such, how do you explain the reluctance of a large number of the sahābah to swear fealty to Abū Bakr while granting their support to Ali (`a)? And how do you explain this statement of `Ā`isha: “Ali (`a) sent a message to Abū Bakr saying, `You may come to visit us, provided nobody accompanies you,` out of his concern that `Umar might be present”? `Umar ibn al-Khattāb had nothing to do with the issue of contention regarding the inheritance of the Prophet , whereas he played a decisive role in ending the dispute at the Saqīfa in Abū Bakr`s favor. Moreover, the issue of the inheritance is not considered a stumbling block or a justification under any condition for the refusal of Ali (`a) and Fātima (`a) to swear fealty to Abū Bakr or even for their reluctance to do so.
Did Fātima (`a) Die the Death of Jāhiliyya?
Relying on the authority of [Abdullāh] ibn Abbās, al-Bukhāri has quoted the latter saying that the Messenger of Allāh said, “One who detests something which his amīr does must be patient, for anyone who deviates the distance of a span from authority dies the death of the days of ignorance [jāhiliyya].” And in his Sahīh, Muslim cites the Messenger of Allāh saying, “One who dies without the responsibility of a fealty dies the days of jāhiliyya.” And in Ahmad`s Musnad, the Messenger of Allāh is quoted as having said, “Whoever dies without an Imām dies the death of jahiliyya.” These three traditions prove decisively that anyone who dies without swearing fealty to an amīr or an Imām dies the death of jāhiliyya. There is no doubt that what is meant here is the Imām obedience to whom is obligatory according to the divine Sharī`ah and nobody else.
Fātima al-Zahrā` (`a) passed away without swearing fealty to Abū Bakr. Furthermore, she died while being angry with him, leaving a will that he should not perform the funeral prayers for her nor even walk behind her coffin according to what al-Bukhāri states in his Sahīh, citing `Ā`isha relating about how Abū Bakr had deprived Fātima (`a) of her inheritance from the Messenger of Allāh : “Fātima (`a), therefore, was extremely angry with him, so much so that she dissociated herself from him and never spoke to him till she died. She lived after the demise of the Prophet for six months. When she died, her husband buried her at night. Abū Bakr never called the adhān [to announce her death], nor did he perform the funeral prayers for her.”
How, then, can anyone say that al-Zahrā` (`a) did not follow the Prophetic instructions in the previous traditions? Rather, she demonstrated her patience about what she saw and hated of caliph Abū Bakr`s action. She did not obey him. She objected to his caliphate. She was angry with him. And she left a will that he should not perform the funeral prayers for her, nor should he even walk in her funeral procession, something which pointed to the fact that not only did she distance herself from the authority of Abū Bakr for one span but rather many miles! How can one say, therefore, that Fātima al-Zahrā` (`a) died the death of jāhiliyya? But Fātima (`a), according to the consensus of all Islamic sects, was the Head of believing women, the Head of the women of Paradise, as al-Bukhāri confirmed in his Sahīh, citing the Prophet saying, “O Fātima! Are you not pleased with being the Head of the believing women or the Head of the women of this nation?!” Moreover, the Messenger of Allāh used to be angry whenever she was angry. This undoubtedly means that Allāh Almighty would become angry whenever she was angry according to this tradition: “The Prophet said, `Fātima is part of me. Whoever angers her angers me (too)`.” The Imām (or amīr) obedience to whom is obligatory, and one who does not swear the oath of allegiance to him dies the death of jāhiliyya, is surely neither Abū Bakr, nor Mu`āwiyah the blood-shedder, nor their likes.
Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 511, in the book about military campaigns in a chapter about the sickness and death of the Prophet .
Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 512, in the book of campaigns, in a chapter about the sickness and death of the Messenger of Allāh .
Ibid., Vol. 7, p. 389, in the book of the sick in a chapter about a sick person saying, “Get away from me!”
Muslim, Sahīh, in the book of wills in a chapter about not leaving a will when one has nothing to leave behind, Vol. 4, p. 175.
Abū Bakr al-Jawāhiri, Al-Saqīfa.
Excerpted from Al-Muraja`āt of Sharaf ad-Dīn Sadr ad-Dīn al-Mūsawi.
Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 511, in the book of campaigns in a chapter about the sickness and the demise of the Prophet .
Khālid Muhammad Khālid, Men Around the Prophet , p. 548, 8th ed. Al-Tabari, Tārīkh. Ibn al-Athīr. Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqāt.
Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 387, in the book of military campaigns in a chapter about the campaign of Zayd son of Hārithah.
Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 13, in the book about the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about “... If you find no prophet, Abū Bakr...”
Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 541, in a book about the fighters from among the people of apostasy in a chapter about stoning the woman who got pregnant through adultery.
Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 14, in a book about the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about “... If you find no prophet, then Abū Bakr...”
Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 14, in a volume about the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about “... If you find no prophet, then Abū Bakr...”
Ibid., p. 8, p. 542, in a volume about the fighters from the people of apostasy in a chapter about stoning a women who got pregnant through adultery.
Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 14, in a volume dealing with the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about “... If you find no prophet, then Abū Bakr...”
Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 542 in the book about the fighters from among the people of apostasy in a chapter about stoning a woman who became pregnant through adultery.
Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 15, in a book about the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about “... If you find no prophet, then Abū Bakr...”
Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 542; Vol. 5, p. 14.
Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 540 in a volume about the fightrs from the people of apostasy in a chapter about stoning a woman who became pregnant through adultery.
Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 540 in the book of fighters from among the people of apostasy in a chapter about stoning a woman who became pregnant through adultery.
Excerpted and edited from Al-Murāja`āt by Sharaf ad-Dīn Sadr ad-Dīn. (This important reference, Al-Murāja`āt, was translated directly from the Arabic into English by Yasin T. al-Jibouri for Imām Husayn Foundation and was published by the said Foundation in Beirut, Lebanon and by Ansariyan Publications in Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran).
Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 382, in the book of military campaigns in a chapter about the invasion of Khayber.
Excerpted and edited from Al-Murāja`āt by Sharaf ad-Dīn Sadr ad-Dīn.
Khālid Muhammad Khālid, Khulafā` al-Rasool, p. 418, 8th edition.
Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 4, p. 208, in the book of khums in a chapter about obligations.
Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 382, in the book about military campaigns in a chapter about the invasion of Khayber.
Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 202, in the book about seeking permission to enter in a chapter about one who addressed the people.
Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 75, in the book about the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about the merits of Fātima, Allāh be pleased with her.
Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 74.
Ibn al-Athīr, Manāl al-Tālib fi Sharh Tiwāl al-Gharā`ib, p. 501 (printed at Al-Madani press).
Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 9, p. 145, in the book of dissensions in a chapter titled “After me, you shall witness things which you shall abhor.”
Muslim, Sahīh, in the book of imāra in a chapter about the necessity of supporting what the majority of Muslims support, Vol. 4, p. 517 (published by Dār al-Sha`b press].
Ahmad, Musnad, Vol. 3, p. 446.
Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 382, in the book of military campaigns in a chapter about the invasion of Khayber.
Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 74, in a volume about the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about the virtues of Fātima, Allāh be pleased with her.
Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 75, in a volume about the virtues of the sahābah in a chapter about the virtues of Fātima, Allāh be pleased with her.
Truth About Shi'ah Ithna 'Ashari Faith
By: Asad Wahid al-Qasim
Translated from the Arabic by Yasin al-Jibouri