Friday, 27 February 2009

Life of Husain 2


[Full Text]



Research and Analysis

By: Allamah Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi [IRAN 2007]


(page 161)

# The Great Disaster in Islam

Imam Husain in his childhood and infancy spent his life in the care of his grandfather, the Holy Prophet. He showered him with his kindness and affection and made him blessed with his love and regard and he benefited from all these. And he tried to show him the right path and the straight way till his senses achieved improvement and his qualities matured even though he was just a child.

This brief period that he spent with his grandfather was the most important period of Islamic History. Because it was during this period that the Messenger of Allah established and strengthened the pillars of his government and he built them on the foundation of knowledge and faith and he terrified the soldiers of polytheism and destroyed the foundation of apostasy. And Islam in a good way and powerful arms stood upon its own feet. And the brilliant successes of the Messenger of Allah and his companions took a shape step by step and people entered the religion in groups and the Islamic law spread in most of the areas of Arabian Peninsula.

In the frenzy of his manifest successes the Prophet realized that his life was at its end and his tenure in his world was about to conclude, because he had fulfilled the responsibility entrusted to him and established his great religion till his steps are instrumental in the guidance of humanity and disciplining of their behavior. On the basis of this it was appropriate that he should say farewell to life…And we shall discuss here some parts of the great tragedy that struck Muslims and we shall cast a glance at that dangerous accident that happened at that time, because those events are related to the topic of our discussion and they fix many causes and calamities that Imam Husain had to bear with Ahle Bayt and difficulties and problems that befell upon them. All these have a close connection with these events.

Sign of Passing away

Impending demise and separation from the life of the leader, the salvation giver and the teacher, His Eminence, the Messenger of Allah became apparent, because continuous signs were appearing to prove this matter, and they were as follows:

1. The Quran was revealed on the Messenger of Allah twice and this made The Holy Prophet realize that the end was definitely near.[1] That is why He began to talk about his passing away and spread the word about his separation from the Muslims. He told him daughter, the chief of the ladies of the world, Fatima that Jibraeel used to revise the Holy Quran with him once every year but this year he had done it twice. And this indicated that his end was near…”[2]

2. Secondly the following verse that was revealed:

[1] Al Khasais al-Kubra 2/368
[2] Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 5/223


“Surely you shall die and they (too) shall surely die. Then surely on the day of resurrection you will contend one with another before your Lord.”[1]

This verse was also an indication that the Messenger of Allah was to pass away very soon that made apparent his hidden thoughts and the Muslims heard that He used to say, “If only I had known when that time shall arrive.”

And the Surah Nasr was revealed on him and He stopped between the Takbir and recitation and to say, “Glory be to Allah and praise be to Him. I seek forgiveness of Allah and to Him I turn.”

Muslims became worried and shocked and they went to him fearful and asked His Eminence and he replied, “I have received the news of my death…”[2]

Muslims were worried, shocked and aggrieved and they began to find everything meaningless because this matter had suddenly struck them and they did not know what would befall them if the Prophet departed from the world.

Farewell Hajj

When the Messenger of Allah because aware of his definite end he decided to go for a visit to the sanctified House of Allah so that he may see the common Muslims. And a general congregation was arranged there, that he may specify a reliable way for the salvation of his followers so that it may keep them from misguidance and deviation.

The Messenger of Allah went for his last Hajj in the 10th year of Hijrah, which is known as the Farewell Hajj. And it was announced in the public that it would be their last opportunity to see the Prophet on that occasion at that place. He said, “I don’t know; perhaps after this year I may not be able to see your at this place.”

He used to move about in most of the groups of people and he used to dispense exhortation to them to truth and explain to them their success. “O people! I leave among you two heavy things. The Book of God and my progeny, my Ahle Bayt…”[3]

The first place of refuge for the security of the community and their protection from every deviation in faith is the same attachment with the Book of God and attachment to the Purified Progeny as these two are the foundations of salvation and success of the community in the world and the Hereafter.

When the Holy Prophet concluded the rituals of Hajj, he stood besides the Zamzam well and ordered Rabi bin Umayyah bin Khalaf, a young man to stand below the chest of his horse. Then he said, “O Rabi! Say: O people! The Messenger of Allah is telling you: Maybe you would never see me in this condition and yourself in this condition. Do you know what it is? And do you know what this day is?”

[1] Surah Zumar 39:30-31
[2] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 1/234
[3] Tirmidhi, Sahih 5/662


The people replied, “Why not? This is the sanctified town, the sanctified month and the sanctified day.” After that the people agreed to these matters. The Messenger of Allah said, “The Almighty Allah has made your blood and property prohibited just as is the sanctity of this town, this month and this day. Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes,” they replied.

His Eminence said, “O Allah! Be witness! And fear Allah! Do not consider the property of others as valueless and do not spread destruction in the lands. Thus whoever holds a trust with him or her, should restore it.”

Then His Eminence said, “People are equal in Islam and are like Adam and Hawwa. There is no precedence for the Arab over the non-Arab and the non-Arab over the Arab except the fear of God (piety). Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes,” they replied.

His Eminence said, “O Allah, be a witness! Then he said, “Do not bring to me your family and your lineage. Bring to me your deeds so that I can say it is such for the people and it is such for you. Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes,” they replied.

His Eminence said, “O Allah, be a witness! Every blood (murder) that was in the period of ignorance, we have put it below our feet (condoned it). And the first murder that we put below our feet is that of Adam bin Rabia bin Harith bin Abdul Muttalib.[1] Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes”, they replied.

His Eminence said, “O Allah be witness! And we have destroyed all usury that was in the period of ignorance. And the first usury that I have destroyed is that of Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib. Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes”, they replied.

His Eminence said, “O Allah, be witness! O people! In the same way to change the sacred mouths is an increase in disbeliefs that due to which are deviated those who have become infidels, in one year they consider them permitted and the next year they consider them prohibited. So that they may make equal to the number of months that Allah has made sacred.”

Then he said, “I implore you regarding kindness to women. They are weak in comparison to you and they have no power for their selves. Rather you have taken them as a divine trust. And by the Book of Allah they have become sexually lawful for you. And your right is upon you and their right is upon you. For their food and dress with kindness. And it is our right upon them that they restrict themselves to you (in sexual relations) and not admit anyone in your house except by your permission and your knowledge. Then if they commit any trespass of the above

[1] Adam bin Rabiaya in the tribe of Bani Hazeel


you may keep away from their beds and you may beat them with a beating that is not severe. Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes”, they replied.

His Eminence said, “O Allah, be witness! Then he said, “I implore you regarding those whom your right hand possesses. Provide food to them from that which you eat and give them to wear what you wear. If they commit a crime you must deal with them as you would deal with your own sins. Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes”, they replied.

His Eminence said, “O Allah, be witness! Then he said, “A Muslim is the brother of Muslim. He does not deceive him. He does not betray his trust. He does not backbite about him. He does not consider his blood and anything from his property lawful except by his permission. Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes”, they replied.

His Eminence said, “O Allah, be witness!”

Then Messenger of Allah proceeded with his sermon, which was rich with Islamic message and from the clear matters of Islamic law.

After that he concluded his sermon with the following words: “After me do not turn back to infidelity that you may be misguided. And some of you may not enslave others. I leave among you a thing that if you remain attached to it, you shall never go astray. It is the Book of Allah and my Progeny, my Ahle Bayt. Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes”, they replied.

His Eminence said, “O Allah, be witness!” then he turned towards them and desired from them that what was announced to them they should promise for it and consider it obligatory. And He said, “Know that! You are responsible. Then those of you who are present should inform those who are absent.”[1]

In this way was concluded an important sermon of the Messenger of Allah, which contained all the matter for the needs of the community in social and political fields. And he also appointed for them a leader from his Ahle Bayt who would perform the duty for fulfilling the aims of the community in the economic and social fields.

Gathering of Ghadeer Khumm

When the Messenger of Allah concluded his Hajj pilgrimage he moved towards Yathrib. When his caravan reached “Ghadeer Khumm” the trustworthy one of revelation descended to him and conveyed to him an important message from the heavens that compelled His Eminence to announce His Eminence Amirul Momineen Ali as his caliph and point of reference after him.

[1] Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/90-92


At that occasion the heavenly command had a severe tone having an urgency that it should be immediately acted upon and conveyed to the Muslims. Revelation descended on the Messenger of Allah with the following verse:

“O Apostle! deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people.”[1]

The Messenger of Allah was warned that if he did not convey the heavenly message, all the efforts that he had put in so far in the propagation of faith shall be rendered void. And all the difficulties that he bore in the path of religion shall became useless.

The Messenger of Allah, with a firm determination and strong intention began to fulfill this desire of Almighty Allah. He ignored the difficulties strewn in this path and in that scorching heat of summer he halted at that place and issued orders that all caravans should follow his steps. The atmosphere was so terribly hot that everyone was keeping the corner of their outer garments below their feet so that through it they may shield themselves from the hot earth.

The Messenger of Allah ordered that people should gather and pray in congregation with him. After the prayers concluded, he instructed the people to construct a pulpit with camel saddles for him. They did as bidden and the Prophet ascended the pulpit and the number of those present was 100,000 or more according to the statements of historians. They concentrated all their attention to listen to the sermon of the Messenger of Allah.

The Messenger of Allah spoke about the difficulties he had to face and calamites he had to bear in order to bring the people from the life of ignorance towards the respectable Islamic life. And he spoke upon some religious laws and made it obligatory for them to act upon them.

After that he told them, “You must take care how you deal with the two heavy things after me.”

A man from the audience called out loudly, “O The Messenger of Allah! What are the two heavy things?”

He said, “The greater heavy weight is the Book of God that its one end is in the hands of Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime and the other is in your hands. Then remain attached to it and you shall not go astray. And the smaller heavy weight is my Progeny. The Kind and the Informed One has informed me that the two shall not separate till they reach me at the edge of the Pool. And I have petitioned my Lord regarding this for the two of them. Thus do not try to precede them as you shall be destroyed and do not lag behind them as you shall be destroyed.”

After that he took the hand of his successor and the door of the city of his

[1] Surah Maidah 5:67. Wahidi in Asbaab an-Nuzool, Razi in his Tafsir and others. All clearly mention that this verse was revealed on the Day of Ghadeer.


knowledge in order to make his guardianship obligatory for the people. Till the white of his armpits were visible and the people looked at them. Then His Eminence raised his voice and said, “O People! Who is the one more superior to the believers than their own selves?”

All replied in unison, “The Almighty Allah and the Prophet know better.”

Then His Eminence said, “Allah is my master and I am the master of the believers and I am better than their own selves. Thus of whomsoever I had been the master this Ali is also his master.” He repeated this sentence three or four times.”

Then he said, “O Allah! Befriend whoever befriends him (Ali) and be the enemy of whoever antagonizes him; support whoever supports him and abandon whoever abandons him; and make the truth to turn in whichever direction he turns. Those who are present here must inform those who are absent about this…”

The valuable sermon of His Eminence, which conveyed this divine command thus came to an end. He appointed Amirul Momineen Ali as the caliph and made him the leader of the nation and entrusted him with the position of Imamate and the Muslims rushed to pay oath of allegiance for caliphate and they congratulated him for rulership of the Muslims. And the Messenger of Allah ordered the ‘mothers of the believers’ (his wives) to go to His Eminence and congratulate him and they did as bidden. [1]

Umar bin Khattab came forward and congratulated the Imam and shook his hands and told him, “Congratulation, O’ son of Abu Talib! Today you have become my master and master of all believing men and women.”[2]

“Hissan bin Thabit” stood up and sought the permission of the Messenger of Allah to recite his poetical composition on the occasion. The Messenger of Allah accorded him the permission and Hissan began to recite:

“On the day of Ghadeer, their Prophet called them at the Khumm that it was worth listening to the Prophet.

Then he said: Who is your Master and the Prophet? They said while they were aware:

Your Lord is our Master and you are our Prophet and in mastership none of us shall disobey you.

They he told him: O Ali! Get up, as I have accepted you as the Imam and leader after me.

Then of whomsoever I was the master, this (Ali) is also his master. So follow him with sincerity.

At that time he prayed: O Allah! Love those who love him and hate those who

[1] Al-Ghadeer 1/214-223, 225, 228, 276, 378
[2] Ahmad, Musnad 1/281


hate Ali.”[1]

On that memorable day in the history of Islam the following verse was revealed:

“This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion…”[2]

Religion became complete with the mastership of Amirul Momineen Ali and the divine bounty for the Muslims with the lofty commands of religion and their high status leader reached to completion, which would enable their aspirations to reach a respectable point in life. By this method the Messenger of Allah took the last step in order to save his community from mischief and deviation, because he did not leave the control of the nation to their own whims and desires. He appointed a leader and a guide for them so that he may mind the social and political affairs of the community.

This great oath of allegiance that the great Prophet of Islam organized for Amirul Momineen Ali is of the strongest proofs that specifies the Caliphate and Imamate in His Eminence. In the meeting that Imam Husain to oppose Muawiyah’s rule he argued with the same point and said, “So to say. You know that this Satan (that is Muawiyah) has done with us and our Shias. You saw and witnessed it and you have received news of it. And we also desire to question you about a matter. Thus if I say the truth you confirm it and if I am wrong you may deny it. Listen to what I have to say and write it down. After that you refer to those you trust in your towns and to all those whom you rely, you present to them all that you know about our rights. Because I fear that this right may be trampled, destroyed and subjugated while the Almighty Allah perfects His light even thought the disbelievers way be averse to it.”

At that time His Eminence did not leave out anything that had been revealed in Quran about them but that he spoke about it and explained to them and nothing from what the Messenger of Allah had said about his parents and himself his Ahle Bayt remained but that the Imam reiterated it at that time. To all of his statements the audience responded with: “Yes! By Allah! Truly we have heard it.” And the companions of companions used to say, “Yes! O Allah! It has been narrated to me which I testify and from the companions whom I have faith on.”

His Eminence, in order to prove his point asked, “I put you under oath of Allah! Do you know that the Messenger of Allah appointed him (Ali) and called him with his mastership and said: It is necessary for those who are present to inform all those who are not present?”

“Yes, by Allah!” they replied.[3]

[1] Al-Ghadeer 2/34
[2] Surah Maidah 5:3. According to Khatib Baghdadi in his History 8/290 and Suyuti in Durre Manthur 3/117 and others this verse was revealed on Day of Ghadeer.
[3] Al-Ghadeer 1/198-199


The Imam’s oath of allegiance on the Eid of Ghadeer is a part of Islamic Prophethood and a pillar of religion. So its aim is the protection of the Ummah from the waves of false beliefs and its security from deviation.

The Prophet’s Illness

After the Prophet returned to Medina, day by day his health began to decline because illness struck him and he had a very high fever as if flames of fire were shooting up from his body. A piece of cloth that covered the Messenger of Allah was so hot that when one of his wives or any other visitor handled it, they could sense the intensity of the fever.[1] A vessel filled with water was kept near the Prophet in which he used to dip his hands and wipe his face with the wet hands and he was saying, “As if I feel that it is the pain of what I had eaten in Khaiber. Or as if I see that my jugular vein is cut off and poison is being injected into it.”

Muslims were shocked and aggrieved by these circumstances and rushed to visit the Messenger of Allah in his quarters and a crowd assembled therein. His Eminence spoke to them in his final moments and reminded them to keep on the right path and truth and he made bequest to them and said, “It is near that I shall be taken away and I have told you before so that I may have some excuse for you except that I have left among you the Book of Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime, and my Progeny, my Ahle Bayt.”

After that he held the hands of his successor and Caliph, Imam Amirul Momineen Ali and said, “This Ali is with the Quran and the Quran is with Ali. The two shall not separate till they reach me at the pool.”[2]

In this way His Eminence arranged the important matter for his community after him so that through it they may be able to achieve all their aims and aspirations.

Seeking Forgiveness of those Buried in Baqi Cemetery

When illness struck the Prophet, he became certain of his departure and desired to visit the Muslim Cemetery to say farewell to them and pray for their forgiveness. Thus in the darkness of the right he summoned Abu Muhiba and when he arrived the Prophet asked him to accompany him to the Baqi Graveyard and told him, “I have been commended to seek forgiveness for the folks buried at Baqi and for this I desired that you accompany me there.”

The Holy Prophet set out till he reached the Baqi Cemetery. Then he saluted the dead and told them, “Peace be on you. O folks of the grave! Congratulations to that in which you are from that in which the people are involved. Mischiefs have surrounded them like the parts of the dark night as the last of them has become the first and the last is worse than the first…”

The Messenger of Allah understood from the unseen in what debasement his community shall be involved and how there shall be deviation in religion and

[1] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 5/226
[2] As Sawaiq al-Mohreqa 123-124


belief. How terrible mischiefs and calamities they would have to face and what sort of ignorance is taking them towards such a life.

At that point the Messenger of Allah turned to Abu Muhiba and said, O Abu Muhiba! I have been given the keys of the treasures of the world and (choice of) living in it forever and after that I have been given the Paradise and I have been given the choice between them and the audience of my Lord and Paradise.”

Abu Muhiba was astonished and he said, “May my Parents be sacrificed on you. Take up the keys of the treasures of the world and immortality in it and after that Paradise.”

His Eminence said: “No! By Allah! I have chosen the company of my Lord and Paradise.”

The Messenger of Allah sought forgiveness for the folks buried in the Baqi graveyard and then returned to his residence.[1] Then Ayesha came out before him while he was moaning due to headache and saying, “O my head!”

The Prophet said, “Rather, by Allah I say! O my head! What problem would you have if you were to die before me and I perform your funeral rituals, put shroud over you and recite your funeral prayer and bury you?”

This shocked Ayesha and she said, “By Allah! As if I see that in such circumstances you would return home and sleep with one of your wives.”

The Holy Prophet smiled[2] and met his wives while be himself felt in need of being nursed in his illness. After that he sought the permission of his wives so that he may stay put in Ayesha quarter in order to be nursed in his illness. They had no objection to it and His Eminence came out of his residence while a cloth was tied around his head and supported by Ali Ibn Abi Talib and his uncle Abbas he entered Ayesha’s quarters.

Usamah’s Expedition

The Holy Prophet learnt that a group of people were planning to keep the Caliphate way from Ahle Bayt and realized that the best way to prevent this eventuality was to send all companions to fight against the Romans so that the seat of his government becomes empty of them and the matter of Caliphate is easily and conveniently transferred to his successor, His Eminence Amirul Momineen. So he ordered the senior Emigrants and Helpers regarding this. On the basis of the statements of historians, Abu Bakr, Umar, Abu Ubaidah Jarrah and Bashir bin Saad[3] were included in this group. And he gave the command to Usamah bin Zaid who was just a young boy and this expedition was sent out around 26th Safar, 11 A.H.

[1] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 5/224. Ibne Hisham, Biography 4/642, Tabari, Tarikh, Pg. 188, and Shia sources have mentioned that when the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) felt unwell he took the hand of Ali and people followed behind him. Then he went towards Baqi and prayed for their families.
[2] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 5/224-225
[3] Kanzul Ummal Vol. 10/570. Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 4/66. Tarikh Khamis 2/154


The Prophet told Usamah, “Move towards the place where your father was killed and make your horse race towards that land as I have made you the commander for this army. Thus begin your assault in the morning on the folks of Umba[1] and attack them fiercely and faster than the news reaches there. Then if Almighty Allah grants you victory on them, stay there only for a brief period and take some advisors with you and send spies and scouts before you…”

On 29th Safar he himself inspected the troops that they have scattered because the senior companions had not joined the formation. The Holy Prophet became angry upon this and in spite of his severe illness he came out and encouraged them to move forward and himself tied a flag for Usamah and told him, “Fight in the name of Allah in the way of Allah and fight those who have disbelieved in Allah…”

Usamah came out with his flag tied up and he gave it to Buraidah and camped at al-Jarf.

A group of companions avoided joining the army and they ridiculed and made fun of it and the commander.

Umar said, “The Messenger of Allah has gone away and you have become our commander?” His statements reached the Holy Prophet while he had high temperature and a severe headache troubled him. Then His Eminence became angry and with a cloth tied on his head he expressed his displeasure over his disobedience by ascending the pulpit and saying, “O People! What is the matter? That some of you say regarding the giving of command to Usamah? Previously you had opposed me when I gave command to his father while by Allah, he was qualified for the commandership and his son after him is also deserving of it…”

After that he came down from the pulpit and entered his quarters[2] and requested his companions to join Usamah’s army and he told them, “Prepare the forces of Usamah.”

“Send the forces of Usamah.”

“Curse of God be on one who refrains from joining Usamah’s army.”

However, it was a pity that this strict command was not able to shake their conscience and the orders of the Prophet were not obeyed. Rather they refrained from joining the army and offered excuses to His Eminence while he did not accept any of their excuses. He only showed anger and displeasure at the absence of the obedience to his orders. We have described in detail this tragic event in the first volume of our book, “Life of Imam Hasan bin Ali and also discussed some of their aims.

[1] This place is situated in Syria between Asqalan and Ramlah near Mutah where Zaid Ibne Haritha and Ja’far Ibne Abi Talib were martyred.
[2] Halabi, Biography 3/227


The Prophet Allows Retaliation

The illness of the Holy Prophet intensified and His Eminence was in severe pain so he called Fadl Ibn Abbas and said, “O Fadl! Hold my hand.”

Fadl held his hand and assisted him to mount the pulpit. The Prophet told Fadl to summon people for congregation prayers; Fadl announced this matter and people gathered.

After that the Holy Prophet said, “O People! My going away from you is near. And you would not see me among yourself at this place and in my place and I see that except for this if there is nothing for me. Thus if there is anyone whose back I have hit, this is my back, here you may take revenge for it. And if I have taken anyone’s money, this is my money. He may come and take it. And if I have harmed the reputation of anyone, I say that he may come and take revenge for it and none should say that he or she is scared that the Holy Prophet may have malice for me, as to have malice for anyone does not befit me and neither is it from my manners and the best of you in my view is one who has some right upon me and he takes it from me and after that he forgives me so that when I meet my Creator I am not having anything upon my neck…”

By this command the Holy Prophet explained justice and truth that no reformer in the world had ever done before because to give retaliation oneself so that one may leave the world in a way when one is not having anyone’s right or consequences upon oneself.

So a person came forward and said, “O The Messenger of Allah! My three dirhams are with you.”

His Eminence said, “Though I am not falsifying you or asking you to swear for it, but tell me how you got three dirhams on me?”

The man said, “Don’t you recall that a beggar came begging to you and you told him to pay three dirhams from my pocket and I gave him?”

His Eminence ordered Fadl to return his money and after that the Messenger of Allah proceeded with this discourse and said. “O people, if anyone of you are having concealed wealth he or she may return it.”

So a man stood up towards His Eminence and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I am having three dirhams that I had concealed with me and I did not spend them on the way of Allah.”

His Eminence asked, “Why have you kept them concealed?”

“I needed them,” he replied.

The Messenger of Allah told Fadl to take the money and he took it and after that His Eminence continued his discourse and said, “O People, if anyone of you feels anything, he may stand up so that I may pray for him from the Almighty.”

A man stood up and told His Eminence, “O Messenger of Allah! I am a


hypocrite and a liar, can I be reformed?” Umar chastised him and said, “Woe be unto you, O man! The Almighty has concealed you, why are you revealing yourself?”

The Holy Prophet told him, “O son of Khattab! Keep quiet, as the humiliation of the world is better than humiliation of the Hereafter.” Then he prayed for man, “O Allah, grant him truth and faith and remove evils from him.”[1]

A man known by the name of Suwadeh bin Quays turned to the Holy Prophet at the end of the meeting and said, “O Messenger of Allah! You had hit my stomach with a whip and I would like to take revenge for it.”

The Holy Prophet commanded Bilal to get a whip so that Suwadeh may take his revenge.

Bilal was shocked, and he went to the lanes of Yathrib and yelled, “O people, allow retaliation to be taken from you in this world this is the Messenger of Allah who is himself allowing retaliation to be taken from him.”

Bilal went to the Prophet’s house and took a whip and returned to the Prophet. He told him to give it to Suwadeh so that he may take his revenge.

Suwadeh took the whip and came to the Holy Prophet while Muslims watched this terrible scene in horror, because the Holy Prophet was in terrible pain due to the severity of his illness. He was in terrible pain while he was himself allowing retaliation. Suwadeh stood up near the Holy Prophet and said, “Expose your belly for me.”

The Messenger of Allah exposed his belly and Suwadeh said in a soft and sorrowful tone, “O Messenger of Allah do you allow me to put my face to you belly?”

The Messenger of Allah gave him the permission and he took his face to the Prophet’s belly and kissed it while tears were flowing on his cheeks and he said, “Instead of revenge I seek refuge from the Prophet against the Fire of Hell.”

The Messenger of Allah told him, “O Suwadeh! Do you forgive me or you want to take your revenge?”

Suwadeh said, “O Messenger of Allah! Indeed I forgive.”

The Prophet raised his hands and said, “O Allah! Forgive Suwadeh like he has forgiven Your Prophet.”[2]

Muslims were astonished and they were lost in the waves of contemplation. They had become certain that death was imminent, because the life of their Prophet was at its end and except for some moments nothing else remained.

[1] Al Bidayah wan Nihayah 5/231
[2] Biharul Anwar Vol. 22/508-509


The Prophet gave his Personal wealth in Charity

Before his illness the Holy Prophet was having seven or six dinars and he was worried about it that he may pass away from the world while the money remained with him. So he instructed his family members to give it away in Sadaqah but since they were occupied with His Eminence they completely forgot about this matter. However, His Eminence was thoughtful about it and he asked them about it and they replied that the money was yet with them. So His Eminence told them to bring the money. When they brought the money to him he kept the dinars on his palm and said, “Muhammad, what do you think about your Lord that when you meet Him while these are with you?”

After that he gave those dinars in Sadaqah and no worldly belonging remained with him,[1] while during his life His Eminence had been deprived of worldly pleasures and on the basis of traditionists he died not even satiated with barley bread[2] and when he departed from the world, his coat of mail was pawned with a Jew in exchange of three measures of barely.[3] The pillow of the Prophet was of leather. It was filled with fiber[4] and he used to sit on a mat. So much so that its marks appeared on his body so the companions told him, “If you allow we can arrange a carpet for you.”

He told them, “What I have to do with the world. I am not in the world except like a man who stands under the shade of the tree and then goes away leaving it.”[5]

One day Fatima brought a piece of bread for the Prophet. He asked, “O Fatima! What piece of bread is it?” She replied, “It is a piece of bread and I could not resist bringing it for you.”

His Eminence said, “This is the first meal that is entering the stomach of your father after three days.”[6]

His Eminence used to remain hungry for days on end and there was nothing to eat at his home and his family did not have any food.[7] Ayesha has narrated about the abstinence of the Prophet, saying, “The Messenger of Allah was fasting and then be continued his hunger and then fasted and then again remained hungry and then fasted again. Then he said, “The world shall not be worthy for the Holy Prophet and the Progeny of Muhammad. O Ayesha! Allah, the glorified and the High was not satisfied with the Ulul Azm Prophets except that they be patient in unfavorable circumstances and favorable circumstances and He has made me responsible for the same things for which they were responsible. And He was not

[1] Ahmad, Musnad 6/104
[2] Bukhari 7/97, Sahih, Kitab At-ama
[3] Ahmad, Musnad 6/105
[4] Muslim. Sahih 3/1650, Kitab Libas wa Zeenat
[5] Tirmidhi 4/588, Sahih 6/60
[6] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 1/400
[7] Tirmidhi 4/588, Sahih 4/580


satisfied except that He made me responsible like He had made them responsible. Thus I was patient for Allah as they had been patient. I try and there is no power except from the Almighty Allah.”[1]

In the same way the Messenger of Allah remained oblivious to worldly pleasures and comforts till the Almighty Allah took him up to Himself.

Thursday Tragedy

The Messenger of Allah learnt of various political intrigues of senior companions that they had undertaken to subject the Holy Ahle Bayt to difficulties after the Prophet passes away. They were just waiting for the Prophet to leave the transient world so that they may put these plans into action. So His Eminence decided to protect his followers from deviation and help them against mischiefs and thus he said, “Bring for me the scapula and ink so that I may write for you a document so that you may never go astray after that.”[2]

Now, was there a greater bounty for the Muslims? It is a security from the chief of the Prophets, that he did not say anything of his own so that his followers are not led astray from their path and that they may support the truth and recognize the true path.

This security was for the balance of the community and for their strength and it was a guarantee of their peace and prosperity in their lives.

This covenant was from the Prophet so that the community is not mired in difficulties in political and economic domains.

Indeed, it was a great and unique opportunity in history for this community but that community did not get benefit from it because they knew the intention of the Messenger of Allah that His Eminence wanted to put in writing the appointment of the gate of the city of knowledge and the father of his grandsons and in this way their desires and plans shall be destroyed. Therefore one of them replied to the Prophet, “The Book of Allah is sufficient for us…”

If the one who said this had considered that the Prophet was requesting help in his illness or wanted cooperation in religious matters he would not have replied with such audacity. Because he understood that the aim of the Prophet was the appointment of Amirul Momineen to Caliphate.

Arguments arose between the people. Some wanted the commands of the Prophet to be obeyed and some of them opposed it. So that it should not be that their interest is destroyed. Women spoke up from behind the screens against this audacity towards the Prophet while He has in his last moments. They said, “Do you not hear what the Prophet is saying?”

Umar stood up and fearing that the matter may go out of his hands he told the

[1] Suyuti, Durre Manthur 4/454 under the exegesis of the verse 46:35
[2] This tradition is narrated by Tibrani in Awsat and also 6/11 Bukhari and Muslim 3/1259 and others.


ladies, “You are like the women of Yusuf. When he is sick you weep and when he is all right you mount upon his neck.”

The Prophet chastised him saying, “Leave them! They are better than you.”

At that time a horrible conflict began in the community and a group wanted the orders of the Prophet be obeyed and that they may become successful. One of them shot an arrow at the aim of the Prophet and wanted to destroy it and so he said, “The Prophet is talking nonsense…”[1]

Political greed of these people made them forget the position of the Prophet that the Almighty had purified His Eminence and had kept him safe from taking nonsense and other defects that are found in human beings. He had made him infallible.

Were they not aware of the words of Almighty that are intoned day and night and that announce the perfection of the Prophet and the balance of the personality of His Eminence? So much so that Almighty Allah says,

“Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed. The Lord of Mighty Power has taught him.”[2]

And the Almighty Allah says:

“Most surely it is the Word of an honored messenger, the processor of strength, having an honorable place with the Lord of the Dominion, One (to be) obeyed, and faithful in trust. And your companion is not gone mad.”[3]

That nation had understood the verse of the Book of Allah regarding their Prophet and none had any doubt in the infallibility and perfection of the personality of His Eminence. But political intrigue had pushed them towards this attitude which hurt the feelings of every Muslim. And whenever Ibn Abbas recalled this terrible tragedy he used to lament and tears fell on the checks like pearls and he used to say, “The Thursday! What a Thursday it was! The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Get me scapula and ink so that I may write a document for you so that you may never go astray.’ But they said, ‘The Messenger of Allah is talking nonsense…’”[4]

Indeed this was a great calamity in Islam that prevented Muslims from their success and establishment of truth and justice among them.

[1] All historians of Islam have recorded this tragic incident and Bukhari has mentioned it in many places in his Sahih in 4/68, 69, 6/8 but he has refrained from naming the person. In the same way it has come at the end of Gharib al-Hadith and in Sharh Nahjul Balagha, 2/296, Tadkiratul Khawaas Pg. 62 quoted from Sirrul A’lameen in clear language.
[2] Surah Najm 53:2-5
[3] Surah Takwir 81:19-22
[4] Ahmad, Musnad 1/355 etc.


The Great Grief of Her Eminence, Zahra

A great sorrow fell on the heart of the Prophet’s beloved daughter and the pain made her restless and grief overtook her when she learnt that her father has about to say farewell to the world. She came to His Eminence while he was trashing his legs in the throes of pain. She stood besides her father and glanced at his face and heard him say, “How sad I am!”

The pure heart of Zahra was filled with pain and sorrow and she immediately told His Eminence, “O Father! I am also aggrieved due to your sorrow.”

The Prophet looked at his beloved daughter to find her face a lifeless picture and she was in a shock that could not be described. In order to reassure her he said, “After this, your father shall not have any sorrow.”[1]

These words had a shocking effect on the heart because she understood that her father was saying farewell to her. The Prophet saw that Zahra was sad, shocked and worried. The color of her face had faded and she was caught in horrible waves of sorrow; so in order to comfort her he called her near and spoke to her privately and her eyes were filled with tears. At that time he told her a secret, and a smile appeared on her lips. Ayesha was astonished at this and she asked, “Today I have not seen a joy so close to sorrow.”

Ayesha asked Her Eminence, Zahra about the secret that the Prophet had told her but she turned her face away and declined to inform her about it. When some days had passed and Her Eminence spoke about it she said that the Prophet had informed her, “Jibraeel used to revise the Quran with me once a year and this year he did it twice. And I do not interpret it in any other way except that my end is near…”

This caused her to become aggrieved. And as far as the cause of her joy and happiness was concerned it was because the Prophet told her, “You are the first person from Ahle Bayt who shall meet me and I shall be the best of those who go…And I am the best of the former ones. Do you not like that you should remain the chief of the ladies of this community?”[2]

The reason for the silencing of the flame of her grief was that he informed her that she would be the first to join him from Ahle Bayt. After that the Prophet reduced the weight of her sorrow and told her, “O daughter! Do not weep when I have passed away. And say: Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.” And this statement carries a reward if recited at every death.

Her Eminence, in a painful and aggrieved tone told her father, “And even you? O The Messenger of Allah?”

The Messenger of Allah replied, “Yes! I too.”[3]

[1] Ibid
[2] Hayatul Imam Hasan 1/134
[3] Ansab al-Ashraaf 1/552


At that time the pain intensified for the Prophet and Zahra began to weep and said to her father: “By Allah! You are just as it is said.”

“The bright faced one! Whose face water is demanded from the clouds. He is the guardian of the orphans and the refuge of the widows.”

The Messenger of Allah opened his eyes and told her, “These are the words of your uncle, Abu Talib.” At that time His Eminence recited the following words of Almighty Allah:

“And Muhammad is no more than an apostle; the apostles have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least; and Allah will reward the grateful.”([1])([2])

Anas bin Malik has narrated that: Fatima came to the Prophet during his illness with Hasan and Husain and she threw herself at him and kept her chest upon his chest and wept severely. The Prophet restrained her from this and she returned to her house while there were tears in the eyes of the Prophet and he was saying. “O Allah, Protect my Ahle Bayt and I have kept them as a trust with every believer…”

He repeated these words thrice where he was very much aggrieved because he knew what calamities were to befall them.

The Prophet’s Heritage for his two grandsons

When the chief of the ladies realized that the meeting of her father with the Lord was near she hastened to her house and brought her two sons, Hasan and Husain while the two of them were weeping. She requested His Eminence to bequeath them something from his great virtues with which he had spread fragrance in the world. Then she said, “Dear father! These are your two sons. So bequeath something for them…”

The Prophet gifted them with some of his personal characteristics due to which he had attained superiority over all other Prophets and said, “For Hasan shall be my awe and nobility and for Husain is my valor and forgiveness.”[3]

[1] Ansab al-Ashraaf Vol. 1, Pg. 552-553
[2] Surah Aale Imran 3:144
[3] Ibne Shahre Aashob, Manaqib 3/396 Nazm Durarus Simtain, Pg. 212 say that Her Eminence, Fatima (s.a.) said, “O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)! Please bestow a thing to my sons, Hasan and Husain. Then she said, “To Hasan he gave awe and forbearance and to Husain he gave forgiveness and mercy.” And in another tradition, “I give awe and forbearance to the elder of them and love and satisfaction to the younger of them.” And it has come in Rabi al-Abraar, Pg. 315 that Fatima brought her two sons to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and said, “O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.), bestow something to them. He said, “May your father be sacrificed on you. Your father does does not have anything that he could give them.” Then he held Hasan and kissed him and made him sit on his right thigh and said, “My gifts to this son are my good manners and awe.” And he took Husain and seated him on his left thigh and said, “My gifts for him are valor and


Hasan and Husain stood up from their grandfather while they had obtained awe, nobility, valor and forgiveness from His Eminence in inheritance. Does it not show that could there be greater inheritance than these qualities, as it is having no connection with the material aspects of the world? Rather all perfections and qualities of prophethood were also included in him.

The Prophet’s Bequest regarding his Grandsons

The Prophet made a bequest to Ali regarding his grandsons and this was made three days before his demise when he said, “O father of my two beloved ones. I implore you from the world regarding my two beloved ones that very soon you shall lose two supports and Allah is your guardian after me…”

When the Messenger of Allah passed away, Ali said, “This was one of the two supports that the Messenger of Allah had mentioned.”

When Her Eminence, Zahra passed away Ali said, “This was the second of the two supports that the Messenger of Allah had mentioned.” [1]

The Prophet’s Sorrow for Husain

During the time when the Holy Prophet was in severe pain of his illness, His Eminence, Husain rushed to his grandfather and when the Holy Prophet saw him, he hugged and became oblivious of the pain of his illness and said, “What do I have against Yazid? O Allah, do not bless him, O Allah! Do not bless Yazid…”

After that he became unconscious for a long time and when he regained consciousness, he kissed Husain excessively while tears were flowing from his eyes and he said, “I shall be face to face with your killer in the presence of Allah.”[2]

The tragedy of Husain became certain for his grandfather in the last moments of his life and it increased his sorrow.

Towards Paradise

The Great soul, like whom the Almighty Allah had not created anyone either in the past or the future, finally reached the time when he was to separate from this life so that he may enter into the neighborhood of the Lord and be the recipient of His unlimited mercy and bounties. The Angel of death arrived and sought permission from the Holy Prophet to enter and Her Eminence, Lady Zahra informed him that the Prophet was busy with himself and he went away. He returned after some time and sought the permission to enter. The Messenger of Allah regained consciousness and asked his daughter, “Did you recognize him?”

“No, O Messenger of Allah!” replied Lady Fatima Zahra.

The Messenger of Allah said, “He is the same one who makes the graves inhabited and who destroys the houses and separates communities from each other.”

[1] Saduq, Amali, Pg. 119
[2] Shaykh Abbas Qummi, Nafasul Mahmoom, Pg. 29-30 quoted from Ibne Numa Hilli, Matheer al-Ahzaan, Pg. 22


Lady Zahra’s heart sank and she remembered the past and the calamity sealed her tongue. At that time she said, “Woe on me from the passing away of the Last of the Prophets! What a tragedy is the demise of the greatest pious one and the separation of the chief of the selected ones. Pity the discontinuation heavenly revelation. Today I have become deprived of your words...”

The heart of the Prophet broke and he became kind at his beloved daughter and said, “Do not weep as you are the first of my Ahle Bayt who would join me.”[1]

The Prophet gave permission for the Angel of Death to enter and when he came near the Holy Prophet he said, “O Messenger of Allah! The Almighty Allah has sent me to you and has commanded me to obey you in whatever you may command me. If you say that I may take your life, I will take it and if you ask me to leave it, I would leave it…”

The Holy Prophet was astonished and he asked, “O Angel of Death! Would you do thus?”

The Angel of Death replied to him, “I have been commanded that I should obey you on whatever you may command me.”

Then Jibraeel descended on the Holy Prophet and told him, “O Ahmad! The Almighty Allah is desirous of meeting you.”[2]

The Prophet chose to meet his Lord and allowed the Angel of Death to take up his great soul. And when the Ahle Bayt realized that the Prophet would separate from them in these moments, they hastened to him and the grandsons arrived and threw themselves upon the Prophet while they were weeping and the Prophet kissed them in excess. Then Amirul Momineen tried to take them away from the Holy Prophet but the Prophet prevented him saying, “Leave them alone so that they may benefit from me and I may benefit from them as after me a sorrow shall descend upon them…”

After that he turned towards those who had come to visit him and he told them, “I leave among you the Book of Allah and my Progeny, my Ahle Bayt. Then to destroy the Book of Allah is same as destroying my practice (Sunnah) and one who destroys my practice is same as he has destroyed my Progeny because the two shall not separate from each other till they arrive to me at the edge of the Pool…”[3]

He told his successor and the gate of the city of the knowledge, Amirul Momineen Ali, “Put my head in your lap as the divine command has arrived. When my soul leaves my body, you take it in your hand and rub it on your face. At that time, make me face the Prayer Direction (Qiblah) and obey my command and you be the first to recite my funeral prayer and do not leave me till you have entrusted me to the dust and seek help from the Almighty Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.”

[1] Durratun Naasiheen, Pg. 66
[2] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 2/259, Tibrani, Al-Mojam al-Kabir 3/139-140
[3] Khwarizmi, Maqtal al-Husain 1/114


Amirul Momineen took up the head of the Prophet and placed it in his lap and placed his hand under the chin of His Eminence and the Angel of Death began to capture the purified soul and the Prophet became restless in throes of death and severity of trepidation of final moments till his purified life departed and the Imam rubbed it on his face.[1]

The earth shook and the effulgence of justice and truth was extinguished and the one whose life was effulgence and mercy for all, finally departed from the world. And the humanity had never been struck with such a calamity because he was a leader who bestowed freedom; a teacher who taught had passed away. And the light that had illuminated the path for humanity and guided them to the right path was now extinguished.

Muslims fell into sorrow and grief, they had lost their composure; restlessness and worry surrounded them.

Muslim ladies rushed to the residence of the Messenger of Allah where wives of the Prophet had a sheet over their heads. The Prophet’s wives used to remove their head coverings and beat their chests. And they were beating their chests and the Ansar ladies were thrashing their own faces in the burning grief till their throats were injured due to their lamentation and moanings.[2]

Among the Ahle Bayt the Prophet’s beloved daughter, Lady Fatima was the one most devastated by the tragedy and she was the one most aggrieved. She was lamenting the passing away of her father in the following words: “O my dear father! O Messenger of Allah! O Messenger of mercy! Now there would no arrival of heavenly revelation and Jibraeel would be separated from us. O Allah! Join my soul with his soul and intercede for me so that I can see his face and do not deprive me on the Day of Judgment from his rewards and intercession.”[3]

She moved around that purified corpse and said, “O dear father! I shall mention the grief to Jibraeel… O dear father! The Garden of Paradise is his repose… O dear father! It was God who called him and he accepted the call…”[4]

Muslims arrived confused and shocked while they were drowned in sorrow and lamenting the tragedy and the earth shook below their feet and they were in such a turmoil that they had completely lost their composure and they were all in a state of restlessness.

[1] Al-Manaqib 237. Numerous traditions are recorded based on the fact that the head of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) rested in the lap of Imam Ali. Kanzul Ummal 4/55, Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 2/262-263 etc.
[2] Ansab al-Ashraaf Vol. 1, Pg. 574
[3] Tarikh al-Khamis 2/173
[4] Seer A’laamun Nubla 2/120 Ibne Majah, Sunan 1/522 and it is mentioned therein that Hammad bin Zaid said that I saw that when Thabit narrated this tradition he was weeping and his ribs were moving up and down.


Funeral Ceremony of the Holy Prophet

His Eminence performed the funeral rituals of the Prophet and no one shared this job with him. After that he gave the ritual funeral bath saying all the time, “May my parents be sacrificed on you! By your passing away it is discontinued that which is not discontinued by the passing away of anyone other than you, that is Prophethood, the news and the divine revelation. It was your specialty till finally others have come to give condolence for you and you became so mixed up with the people till all of them became equal to you. If you had not commanded patience and prohibited excessive lamentation the tears would have flowed till they are exhausted. But we shall observe your grief and mourn for you and fulfill our covenant…”[1]

Abbas, uncle of the Prophet and Usamah passed water to His Eminence from behind the curtain[2] and a fragrance spread from the body of the Messenger of Allah and the Imam said, “May my parents be sacrificed on you, O Messenger of Allah! Alive and dead of you both are fragrant.”[3] And the water with which the funeral bath was given was from a well called “Ghars” and His Eminence used to drink its water.[4] Thus after the funeral bath, His Eminence was shrouded and kept on a wooden plank.

Funeral Prayer of the Holy Prophet

The first one to recite the funeral prayer was the Almighty Allah from the height of the Arsh (throne). After that was Jibraeel, then Mikaeel and then Angels prayed in groups.[5]

After that Amirul Momineen Ali recited the funeral prayer of the Holy Prophet. At that time Muslims arrived to recite the funeral prayer of their Prophet. Imam Amirul Momineen told them, “None of you should recite his funeral prayer as an Imam because whether dead or alive, he is your Imam.

After that Muslims arrived in groups and recited prayer on the Prophet without an Imam while Amirul Momineen stood at the side of the bier and said, “Peace be on you, O Prophet and Mercy of Allah and His blessings? O Allah! We testify that he conveyed all that was revealed to him and he intended good for his followers and always remained concerned for their well-being. And he performed Jihad in

[1] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/255
[2] Wafa al-Wafa 1/319. Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 5/263. And in Kanzul Ummal 7/250 it is mentioned that Ali gave the ritual funeral bath to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and Fadl bin Abbas and Usamah passed the water to Ali. And it is mentioned in Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 5/260 that Aws bin Khuli, a Badr veteran called out, “O Ali, I implore you in the name of Allah to allow me.” Ali told him to enter and he was present when bath was being given to the Prophet but he did not take part in any of the rituals.
[3] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat, Part 2, Pg. 281
[4] Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 5/261
[5] Hilyatul Awliya 4/78


the way of Allah till the Almighty Allah bestowed honor to His religion and He completed His word. O Allah! Make us of those who follow that which was revealed on him and after that keep us steadfast and keep us with him.” And the people charted ‘Aameen’ in response.[1]

People passed by the Prophet’s purified corpse with their hearts broken and sunken eyes and they were absolutely devastated by the tragedy because the one who had guided them to truth was no more and who had established for them such kingdom that was based on the invitation for justice to the oppressed and to take the right from every usurper.

He was the one who had lighted the effulgence of guidance and bestowed light in every sphere of life in all parts of the world.

The Prophet’s Burial

After the Muslims had finished praying on that great bier and after they had said farewell to him for the last time, His Eminence Amirul Momineen laid him to rest in his final repose and stood at the edge of the grave in such a way that tears flowed from his eyes in torrents and he spoke in a soft voice, “Patience, except regarding you is beautiful and sorrow except regarding you is bad. Your calamity is great and before you and after you also it would remain a great…”[2]

Flags of justice were rolled up into each other and pillars of truth began to tremble and that divine bounty was raised up from the midst that had transformed the flow of life by an illuminated reality, and wails of the afflicted and oppressed have destroyed them that there is no more scope for deprivation and affliction, and man with all his aspirations that he can obtain, like good remembrance, peace and steadfastness.

Difficulties of the Purified Progeny

The Purified Progeny faced insurmountable difficulties after the passing away of the Prophet. There was a great danger from the Arab clans that they would take revenge from Islam and that they would attack them because revenge taking was a general tendency of the Arabs and non-Arabs of that period. And it was also a fact that they were filled with hatred and malice towards the family of the Prophet and they were just waiting for an opportunity and had their complete attention on the events. They had firm belief that it was Ali who had shed their blood and decapitated their sons. Thus they decided to take revenge from him and other members of his family.

The Prophet’s family spent sleepless nights after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah and sorrow, grief and memories had surrounded them.

Imam Sadiq has described the level of their sorrow in the following words, “When the Prophet passed away, the Ahle Bayt spent the night in such a way

[1] Kanzul Ummal 7/254
[2] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 3/224


that neither was there sky above them nor was there earth below their feet. Because they were the target of revenge from the near and the distant ones…”[1]

Imam Husain, in his early childhood, bore these difficulties and shared the problems that his family was facing. And also His Eminence, by the passing away of his grandfather was deprived of the kindness that His Eminence used to shower upon him in excess. In the same way he was hurt by the grief that had befallen his respected father and mother and a terrible grief fell upon him and surrounded his feelings and sentiments.

The Prophet departed to Paradise when the age of Imam Husain according to statement of a historian, was six years and seven months.[2] At the time all his personal qualities had become perfected in him and he recognized the reality of the situation and the dangerous plan the people had drawn to keep the Ahle Bayt away from Caliphate. While they had abandoned the corpse of their Prophet and rushed to obtain power and they began to fight for supremacy. Those events, the natural condition of the society and other qualities and their aspects made him recognize all this till His Eminence has described his view in the following words, “People are the slaves of the world and religion is like a chewed morsel for them. They kept it safe only to the extent that they may obtain its material benefits. Then whenever they are involved in difficulties, they become less religious.”

This natural tendency is dominant in all societies and it shall not be changed in all periods of History.

The passing away of the Prophet was accompanied by very dangerous and horrible events. One of them was the keeping away of the Purified Progeny from political affairs in the country and keeping them away from social life in a time when the community was in no way needless of the intellectual and mental wealth of Ahle Bayt because they had inherited it from the Messenger of Allah.

In the same way the loss suffered by the community was a direct result of separating Ahle Bayt from Caliphate because greed and political intrigue became common in most of the companions of the Prophet. Their only aim in spreading political strife and disunity among the people was to obtain power and gain benefit from the dominions.

In any case the passing away of the Messenger of Allah was a terrible tragedy that befell the Muslims and the Holy Prophet has described the intensity of the situation in the following words:

“And Muhammad is no more than an apostle; the apostles have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least…”[3]

[1] Biharul Anwar 59/194, Chapter on the passing away of the Prophet.
[2] Minhaj as-Sunnah, 5/45. And it is mentioned therein that when the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) passed away Husain was not even seven years old.
[3] Surah Aale Imran 3:144


This terrible reverting that Almighty Allah has mentioned occurred in the general life and the most horrible example of it was the carnage of the Purified Progeny on the plains of Kerbala and the raising up of the severed heads of the Prophet’s descendants on spear points and the taking of the honorable ladies of the Prophet’s household as prisoners and taking them around the whole country.

Rule of the Two Shaykhs (Abu Bakr and Umar)

An important step that the Holy Prophet had taken to make arrangements for keeping the system of Muslim society after him was the appointment of Imam Amirul Momineen Ali to the position of the spiritual and worldly leadership of the community. This would have ensured security and development of Muslim society and it was on the basis of his practical experience and divine knowledge. It was such a foolproof solution that no external factor could have affected its aim. The selection of Ali was on the basis of his superiority in every aspect, as is the unanimous opinion of all Muslims and no one other than him possessed these qualifications. We shall discuss the most important of these below:

1 – First of all was the juristic capability of the Holy Imam and his proficiency in legal maters. He was the greatest point of reference in this field in the world of Islam and the saying of Umar regarding this is famous that: “If Ali hadn’t been there, Umar would have perished.” And no other companion was equal to Ali in this matter. All are unanimous that after the Messenger of Allah, Ali was the most knowledgeable and informed person in religious affairs and faculties of the Shariah. And also that His Eminence was the most proficient in political and administrative capabilities. The direction of His Eminence to Malik Ashtar is the strongest proof in this regard. Because this document contains such valuable information and exhortation that it does not have any peer either in secular of Islamic texts. In this way it is a complete guide for rulers regarding their duties towards their subjects and their rights upon them, and the duties of the
ruler in order to achieve social and political justice for the people. The powers of the rulers and their responsibilities are fixed and those qualities that an agent of government must possess like competence, and perfect knowledge about the matters entrusted to him, and the necessity of his having good morals. He should possess faith and must follow religious practices. Other important matters are also present in this document and neither the rulers not the subjects can be needless of these teachings.

Numerous letters that His Eminence addressed to governors and other officials are full of political and diplomatic wisdom and they are the best proof that Ali was the most accomplished and prominent persons with regard to political administration in the Islamic and the secular world.

In other sciences like scholastic theology, philosophy, mathematics etc. also he was the most knowledgeable and he opened many doors of sciences such that they exceed thirty subjects, according to what the writers stated in his biographies. And in spite of the fact that he was bestowed with such intellectual capabilities how could it have been possible for the Messenger of Allah not to have appointed


him at the helm of caliphate – which is the pivot of leadership and security of the nation?

On the basis of great intellectual capabilities that the Imam possessed and the fact that he always endeavored for the well-being for the common people it was necessary that His Eminence the Holy Prophet should choose him for the leadership of the community and not that he should have selected anyone else for this position because the Almighty Allah says:

“Are those who know and those who do not know alike?”[1]

Nothing can be more absurd and funny than to prefer the inferior over the superior. This absurdity became the cause of deception in knowledge and ignorance of the merits and the decline of the Islamic nation and its downfall that are the prominent examples of this tendency.

2 – His Eminence Imam Amirul Momineen Ali was the most courageous and valiant of the people and his unique feats of bravery are on the tongues of all the world. And it was he alone who said, “Even if all the Arab unite to confront me, I shall not turn my back in flight.”

And this religion was established through the might of the sword of His Eminence and it was a result of his Jihad and efforts. He was the one who slew polytheists in important battles like Badr, Hunain and Ahzab and he demolished the foundations of infidelity. He killed many of them and no danger confronted Islam but that His Eminence rushed forward to remove it immediately. The Messenger of Allah always preferred him for commandership in all the battles and entrusted the command of all his soldiers to him. He did not participate in any battle but that Almighty Allah bestowed victory through him. It was him that defeated the Jews, uprooted the Gate of Khaiber, destroyed their might and extinguished the fire of their mischief.

And valor is one of the basic factors on which the leadership of the people depends. Because if the nation becomes the prey of attack and it begins to break up and their leader is weak-willed and cowardly, that nation would indeed fall into calamities and destruction and they would be continuously subjected to defeat and subjugation.

In spite of possessing this lofty quality with all its imports how could it have been possible for the Messenger of Allah not to select His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen Ali for Islamic caliphate? Because he was with regard to being incomparable in valor and other perfections that he had it was necessary that even if the appointment of the Holy Prophet had not been present, he was still the most qualified one for the leadership of the Islamic nation.

3 – The most important quality that is necessary in the person, who holds the post of leadership of the people, is self denial and self-sacrifice, the well-being of the

[1] Surah Zumar 39:9


people over every other thing and not restricting the war-booties and other public-monies for his own self. These matters were the most prominent due to which the Imam earned popularity during his time. History knows of no ruler who had overlooked personal needs for the sake of the people or who had never utilized public funds for his own self or for his family, like Amirul Momineen Ali. He suffered a great deal in this regard and tried utmost to take such a course of action that was based on justice and truth among the Muslims. The details shall be provided when we write about the reign of His Eminence.

4 – Justice is the most important and significant personal quality in the personality of the Imam. Because the self of His Eminence was overflowing with piety and restraint from divine obedience and he did not prefer anything to the obedience of the Almighty and he used to be severely opposed to that which was against religion and that which was unacceptable to divine law. It was the same His Eminence who remarked, “By Allah, if all the seven heavens and all that is below the skies is given to me so that I may disobey God and snatch a grain from an ant, I shall never do so.”

And the signs of justice present in His Eminence were unique and he refused the offer of caliphate when Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf put the condition that His Eminence would have to continue the practice of the first two caliphs. He did not agree to act upon their personal opinions. And if His Eminence had been inclined (power hungry) to material benefits and worldly gains he would have agreed to the conditions and then later acted as he found fit. But he did not even agree to do so because he could not promise something that he opposed in principle. He never accepted anything that possessed any kind of deviation and wrongfulness with regard to Islamic guidance.

Justice with all its meanings had inhabited the personality of His Eminence and it is of the natural elements that are necessary in anyone who holds a responsible position in the affairs of Muslim community.

These were some qualities that are found in an Imam. Then how is it possible that the Prophet could not have appointed him to the position of caliphate? If we agree with the actual successorship that Emigrants won the argument against the Helpers, Imam was the most eligible to the position of successorship of the Prophet because he was the cousin of the Prophet, his son-in-law and the father of his grandsons.

Sedillot says, “If they had accepted the real successorship which was from the beginning in favor of Ali, it would have saved Islam from the turmoil and bloodshed that was to plague it in the future. The husband of Fatima united in his person the hereditary right with that of election.”[1]

A careful look which is uninfluenced by elements of partiality and blind faith would decide that the Prophet cannot appoint anyone to caliphate and his successorship merely on the basis of his personal regard for that person. His

[1] Ruhul Islam, Pg. 292


appointment of Amirul Momineen Ali was based on divine appointment and not on his personal preference to Ali. It was because Ali possessed all the qualifications necessary for that office… And it is of the weakest reports and very much against logic that the Prophet ignored the matter of caliphate and did not issue any instructions regarding it. Rather he entrusted the matter to Muslims and allowed them to choose whomsoever they like! Because such a thing on the basis of what the Shia scholars say was sure to destroy the social framework of the Muslim community and subject the nation to untold turmoil and misery. This was also practically seen in the history of Islam when people disregarded the Prophet’s appointment for Imamate this caused untold calamities for the community and the storms of mischief engulfed them as did the selfishness and base desires. While political greed became strong in some Muslims leaders and in order to obtain rulership and
power they destroyed themselves and put a large number of people to death through armed conflicts in order to achieve their ambitions and selfish desires till finally it became common place to have ones children killed and to be bereaved and aggrieved.

Ustad Muhammad Sayyid Gilani says, “That community, in the matter of caliphate, became so much involved in such a conflict that is not as much seen in any other communities. They committed such acts that we tend to dissociate ourselves from them. And the result was that lives were destroyed, towns were devastated, villages became deserted, houses were torched to ashes, women were widowed, children orphaned and the majority of Muslim population was on the verge of destruction…”[1]

It is natural that the destruction that befell the Muslims its necessary consequence was that the caliphate deviated from its real center that the Almighty Allah had determined for them that it should be entrusted to Ahle Bayt who were equal to the Holy Quran.

In any case we shall try with utmost efforts to move towards the exposition of truth in this our discussion regarding the events that accompanied the reigns of Abu Bakr and Umar. We shall describe them in detail and with the perception of reason we shall show them in more prominence than other things. And we shall try our best to reach to the reality of the situations.

Saqifa gathering

I do not consider any other event except the gathering of Saqifah more dangerous for the Muslim community that the Helpers (Ansar) had organized to obtain rulership and political power. Because it was the foundation stone for the downfall of the community and the people as a result had to face untold calamities and destructions. It was this meeting from where spread self-conceit and intrigues dominated psyche of a majority of elders of the community.

Bulis Salamah says, “Such an event occurred in Saqifa under the roof of the Saqifa

[1] Athar Tashayyo Dar Adabiyaat-e-Arab, Pg. 15


that the hidden desires and hopes were aroused. The angers spread just as the branches of a thorny tree are full of prickly thorns intertwined.”

This political meet initiated a long chain of terrible events among whom was, according to the statement of researchers, was the tragedy of Kerbala.

Imam Kashiful Ghita says,

“By Allah, if Saqifah hadn’t been there, there would have been no Kerbala. Such that this is a branch of that same root.”

And we are compelled to ponder upon this meeting and discuss how Abu Bakr emerged victorious in it.

Motives of Saqifah Meet

Many motives were responsible for the Ansar (Helpers) hastening to organize their meet without any delay and not even waiting for the Prophet to be laid in his final abode. Some of them are as follows:

1 – They realized the political step that the Quraish had taken against the Imam and the plot they had devised against him. That is why they unanimously decided to keep away caliphate from His Eminence Ali and signs of disobedience became apparent in them. That is why they avoided joining the army of Usamah and they also prevented the writing of the document that the Prophet desired in order to ensure the security and well being of the community.

It is very likely that the Ansar had much before the passing away of the Messenger of Allah understood the animosity of the Muhajireen (Emigrants) towards the Imam. And they knew that they would not obey the Prophetic commands with regard to Ali and would not accept his authority because he had killed their ancestors in Holy war and routed their elders in the establishment of religious authority.

Uthman bin Affan had said to the Imam, “What can I do when the Quraish do not like you while you had killed their seventy warriors in the Battle of Badr, whose faces where like shining gold ear rings and their noses were rubbed on the ground before their lips.”[1]

Uthman has described the hatred of Quraish regarding those who were killed in the Battle of Badr. Those, whose faces shone due to their beauty and joy like gold trinkets while they were thrown headlong to the ground and subjected to humiliation. Without any doubt they were sure that the Imam could only be the one who has killed their men and the Quraish were going to seek revenge for the blood that the Imam had shed.

Canani has versified the encouragement to the Quraish to take revenge from the Imam for the blood he had shed of their ancestors”

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 9/22-23


“In every gathering you have humiliated those great personalities that has hurt the eyes.

Allah be good for you! Do you not remember when you were emancipated slaves of a great personality.

Shame on you! Do you not recall that which when a free man remembers he feels ashamed?

This is the son of Fatima[1] who has beheaded and destroyed you and in revenge of which he has not been beheaded.

Where are those stalwarts that faced difficulties and where is the honor of the land of Mecca.”[2]

Ibn Tawus has narrated from his father about Ali Ibn Husain that he said, “Why do the Quraish not like Ali?”

His Eminence replied, “Because he sent the first of them to Hell fire and the last of them he humiliated...”[3]

In any case, the Ansar realized that the Emigrant Quraish had devised an evil plot for the Imam and that they shall not accept his authority while it was announced on the Day of Ghadeer. Because they said, “Muhammad thinks that this matter was to be completed for his cousin. Far from it that it should be fulfilled.” And the Ansar became certain that if the Emigrants took the rein of Caliphate they (the Ansar) would have to bear terrible difficulties due to their regard to the Holy Imam. Therefore they organized a meet to select their own candidate for the post of caliphate.

2 – On the basis of the information received from the Prophet, the Ansar were certain that the Ahle Bayt would not be able to get the caliphate and that they shall be deprived after the passing way of the Messenger of Allah. The Imamite scholar, Shaykh Mufeed has narrated that during the last illness of the Prophet when only his uncle, Abbas, his son Fadl, Ali Ibn Abi Talib and some close family members were left alone in the company of the Prophet, Abbas told His Eminence, “If this matter after you is decided among us, let us know about it and if you know that we shall be defeated in it, inform us about it.”

His Eminence replied, “After me you shall be oppressed.”[4] And before that too His Eminence had announced this among the Muslims. On the basis of this, the Ansar themselves resorted to precaution and organized a meeting of their own so that they may obtain power and the Emigrants may not precede them in this matter.

3 – The Ansar were the strong pillars of the Islamic military. They had devastated the Meccan attackers and routed their elders and killed their stalwarts in large

[1] That is Fatima binte Asad the mother of Imam Ali.
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha
[3] Ibnul A’raabi, Mojam, 3/504
[4] Al-Irshad, Pg. 99


numbers. Hence they knew that if the Quraish were to gain power over them they would definitely subject them to the worst circumstances and extract the most terrible revenge from them.

This matter is clearly delineated in the statement of Habab bin Mundhir that: “But we dread that after you someone comes to caliphate whose sons, fathers and brothers we have killed.” This prophecy became a reality, because not much time had passed when the reign of the caliphs had barely ended that the kingdom reached into the hands of Umayyads, and they began to oppress the Ansar and subject them to poverty and needfulness. Muawiyah tried his utmost to extract revenge from them and when after him the power was transferred to Yazid, he continued the same attacks on them. Their wealth and property was destroyed and their blood was shed in the plunder of Medina. It was such a terrible incident that in history it has no equal.

These were some factors that caused the Ansar to organize a meeting of their own and they endeavored by it to conceal their secret plans.

Political statement of Saad

When the Aws and Khazraj tribes came together at Saqifah Bani Saadah, Saad bin Ubadah, the leader of Khazraj tribe made the opening statement of the meet and as he was indisposed he was unable to speak in a loud voice; his words were repeated by one of his aides. He said,

“O Ansar people! In the religion you have a precedence and you have excellence in Islam and none from Arabs have that excellence. Because the Holy Prophet remained in his people for more than 10 years and invited them to leave idol worship and come to worship One God. But except for few none helped him. Or that they may give strength to his religion and remove his afflictions and none brought faith on him till the time the Almighty Allah selected these merits for you and kept honor and reward for you only. And made you special for His bounties. And gave you faith in His Prophet and belief in Allah and to defend him. And to defend his companions and to accord honor to his religion and to fight his enemies. All these merits were given to you. And you were the ones toughest for his enemies till the time the Arab people willingly or unwillingly submitted to the command of Allah. And the people in far flung areas with degradation had begun to obey. Then the
Arabs brought faith by your swords alone. And Allah, the Glorified and the Mighty was pleased with you and when his eyes were lit by your presence, He took him up to Himself while he was pleased with you. Then in this matter (caliphate) you alone should take it upon yourself as you are more deserving of this than all others.”[1]

Saad’s speech contained the following significant points:

1 – He considered the contest of Ansar and their bravery, which was incomparable

[1] Al-Kamil 2/328, Tabari 3/218


in the path of Islam and the respect and honor they earned as a result. And how they had devastated the ranks of the foes till finally they became firm and their power was established. They had a greater share in the way of spread of Islam because they were the same who had helped and supported the Prophet during his difficult times. That is why they were more preferable to the Prophet and more deserving to the Prophet and more deserving of rulership than others. “One who has put in more efforts is more deserving of war booty.”

2 – The subjugation of the Quraishite clans who had not brought faith in the Prophet, and those who denied his prophethood and fought him, till he was finally compelled to emigrate to Medina. And that those who had brought faith in him were not capable to support and defend him. On the basis of this, a share in rulership and a portion in the share in controlling of Islamic government, that the Prophet has established, they did not deserve any share in the government that could not have been established without the help of Ansar and their struggle.

Criticism against Saad

Among the criticisms leveled against Saad is that he ignored the Purified Progeny, which was equal in importance to the Holy Quran and he did not make any mention about His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen Ali who was the Chief of that Progeny. He was the door of the City of Knowledge of the Prophet and was in relation to the Messenger of Allah like Prophet Harun was to Prophet Musa. Also Saad feigned ignorance about His Eminence and he made an invitation for himself and his people. The first arrow that was aimed at Ahle Bayt was from that day when Ansar and Muhajireen intentionally closed their eyes to the superiority of the Purified Progeny so that they obtain rulership for themselves and that they may benefit from the rewards of wealth and gifts of rulership, and that they may benefit from the seat of power.

In any case, Saad went to such an extent in feigning ignorance about the right of the Imam and deviated so much into mistake, while we do not pay any attention to this act of his. Through his act he made the community involved into mischief and calamities and a great trouble befell it. Because the caliphate that Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet had intended for the Purified Progeny went away from deserving who were such that they acted on Islam to the letter and observed its laws and commands.

Saad received the punishment of his deed and as soon as Abu Bakr obtained the seat of power he immediately went after Saad. Saad became helpless and at last he had to relocate to Syria from Medina and Khalid bin Walid went along with him from among his friends. In the dark of the night they sat in ambush for him and attacked and killed him. They composed some couplets gloating over their act of killing him:

“We killed Saad bin Ubadah, the chief of the Khazraj. And we shot two arrows and did not miss hitting his heart.”


It is really strange that the political power of that time managed to secure the services of Jinns and made them a medium of their deeds. Some people having less intelligence accepted this explanation without pondering over the political situation of that time.

Weakness of Ansar

The Ansar did not possess a firm determination and steadfastness and they were unaware of the political matters and inspite of their large numbers they were fraught with weakness and sloth. On the basis of what the historians say after the discourse of Saad there were arguments among themselves. They said: “If the Muhajireen of Quraish do not accept our claim and say that we Muhajireen are his foremost companions and first friends, why have you debated with us in this matter?” Some of them said: “In that case we shall say that let there be a leader from us and a leader from you and we shall not accept anything less than this.”

When Saad saw this surrender to defeat that has conquered the hearts of his people, he stood up and said, “This is the beginning of weakness.”[1]

Indeed, the beginning as well as the end was weak because the weak morale of theirs, the dispersal of their rows and their lack of steadfastness became apparent in the political field. When they had organized their own meet and kept it a top secret so that before the Muhajireen of Quraish could learn about the events that were to come, they may obtain political supremacy. But in this contest they had to face humiliation and they did not gain anything out of it and finally they lost the unique opportunity to gain power. When the Muhajireen arrived in the meet without prior information, differences and arguments erupted among the Ansar. The Muhajireen very soon got the control of the situation and got the reins of the government in their hands.

Jealousy and Enmity

Another factor that became the cause of the defeat of the Anwar was their internal jealousy and malice. Since antiquity there was a great hostility between the Aws and the Khazraj tribes; the two tribes comprised Ansar of Medina. The enmity was so severe that it often led to bloodshed. According to historians the last battle fought between these two tribes in Yathrib was six years before the Hijrah of the Prophet. When the Prophet arrived in Medina and witnessed such enmity between the Aws and Khazraj that even a slightest provocation led to violence, he tried his utmost to forge a bond of friendship among them. Though they agreed to a truce it was an uneasy one and when two people of rival tribes came face to face they betrayed their inner malice for each other. According to historians there were many occasions when this latent malice developed into arguments and fights. This same rivalry came out in the open on the day of Saqifah. Hazeer bin Usaid the
leader of the Aws, who had extreme dislike for Saad, when he saw that his people had selected him as their candidate for caliphate he told his people, “If the caliphate

[1] Ibne Athir, Kamil 2/328, Tabari 3/218


goes to Saad even once, his tribe would gain such a merit that you would not have any share in it. So get up and give oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr…”[1]

This shows the hidden enmity that the Aws had against the Khazraj that if Saad once achieves rulership on the basis of it the Khazraj would gain superiority over the Aws tribe. It was such a thing that was very distasteful for the leader of Aws. And that is why that he, along with his people paid allegiance to Abu Bakr. If it hadn’t been so the caliphate would not have gone to Abu Bakr.

In addition to this some Khazraj people also harbored malice towards Saad and considered the position of rulership too high for him. Because Bashir bin Saad Khazraji who was an important rival of Saad and who was with the Khazraj group, they also paid allegiance to Abu Bakr thus destroying the work of Saad.

In any case, these rivalries and malice became the cause of the caliphate going out of the hands of Ansar and landing it in the hands of Muhajireen.

Umar’s Planning

Umar was instrumental in performing a dangerous and significant maneuver in order to control the situation and he laid a hurdle in every matter that led to the appointment of the Prophet’s successor, because his partner in this mission, Abu Bakr, at the time of the passing away of the Prophet was not in Medina. He was staying at Sunh.[2] So Umar sent someone to bring him to Medina, but he feared that before Abu Bakr could return, someone else may arrive in the field. Therefore, he stood in the street in a horrified condition and began to roam the lanes and by lanes of Medina and he addressed every group of people, waving his sword and announcing loudly:

“Some hypocrites have claimed that the Messenger of Allah has passed away while by Allah, he is not dead. Rather he has gone to his Lord like Musa Ibn Imran had gone…By Allah, the Messenger of Allah would return and if anyone says that he is dead, I would cut off his limbs.”

Whosoever said that the Messenger of Allah has passed away was threatened by Umar’s sword and was chastised by him.[3]

People were frightened and they fell into doubt. They were surrounded by waves of perplexity and they could not decide whether to believe the claim of Umar, which was their favorite wish or to believe in what they had seen with their own eyes that the Prophet lay in his bed at home without making any movement.

Umar was agitated like thunder and lightning and he was so excited that his mouth was foaming. He continued to threaten anyone who dared to make any statement about the passing away of the Messenger of Allah. Not much time passed when

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 2/331
[2] Sunh is a locality situated a mile from Medina and it is also said that it is an elevated place at a distance of four miles.
[3] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/178


his friend and companion, Abu Bakr arrived from Sunh and along with him went to the Prophet’s quarters. Abu Bakr removed the cloth from the Prophet’s face and became certain of his demise. He came out to the people and refuted the claim of Umar. Then he addressed the groups of people who were compelled to keep quiet even though they were devastated by the passing away of the great one who had brought salvation to them:

“For whomsoever worshipped Muhammad, Muhammad is dead. And for whomsoever worshipped Allah, He is alive and He has not died. And he recited the words of Almighty as follows:

“And Muhammad is no more than an apostle; the apostles have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least; and Allah will reward the grateful.”[1]

Umar did not raise any objection and he also agreed and testified to it and said to the effect: “By Allah, it wasn’t but that when I heard the news of the passing away of the Prophet, my legs gave way and I fell down and my legs were not able to move.”[2]

Some Important Points

If we ponder deeply on these astonishing steps taken by the two Shaykhs we shall be able to note some important points that are worthy of attention and research and they are as follows:

1 – Umar became an absolute denier with all certainty in the death of the Prophet and he claimed that the Messenger of Allah has gone to his Lord like Musa Ibn Imran had gone. And that he would indeed return to the earth. He warned with dire consequences all those who dared to oppose his claim. Without any doubt this act of his definitely does not prove his faith in the Prophet’s being alive. Rather it shows his pursuit of an opportunity to reach his aim and it was in perfect accordance with his plan that he had hatched with his group that consisted of persons like Abu Bakr and Abu Ubaidah. The following points prove this matter:

A – Umar was himself among those who were waiting for the Prophet’s demise, and he had asked Usamah, “The Messenger Allah is dying, are you going to be my chief?” This was while the Messenger of Allah was alive and he became sure of the Prophet’s death when the Messenger of Allah spoke to the people about his imminent end, and informed them about the signs of his approaching death as we have explained in the foregone pages.

B – Also Umar had stood at the bedside of the Messenger of Allah during his illness and he had prevented the writing of the document that the Prophet intended to ensure that the people shall not go astray after him. Umar interjected and said:

[1] Surah Aale Imran 3:144
[2] Kamil 2/324


“Book of Allah is enough for us.” It is but natural that he made this statement while he had become certain of the Prophet’s imminent death.

C – The great Book of Allah has announced that every human being would have to taste death. The Almighty Allah says:

“Every soul must taste of death, then to Us you shall be brought back.”[1]

And the Almighty Allah has also said especially regarding His Messenger:

“Surely you shall die and they (too) shall surely die.”[2]

And Allah says:

“And Muhammad is no more than an apostle; the apostles have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels?”[3]

These verses are recited in the light of the day and the darkness of the night. Was Umar unaware of these verses while he used to hear them day and night and he used to frequent the company of the Prophet?

D – Finally the silencing of Umar and the cooling of his temper as soon as his friend arrived while he had already announced the return of the Prophet shows that he was acting according to a premeditated plan. He did not say a word against what Abu Bakr said about the fact of the Prophet’s passing away.

2 – The declaration of Umar that the Messenger of Allah would return and his warning that he would sever the limbs of anyone who said that the Prophet was dead was not having any weight. Because cutting off of limbs and impaling is for one who becomes an apostate or one who spreads mischief in the land. And the mere saying that the Messenger of Allah had died does not render one liable for such a penalty.

3 – Abu Bakr in his statement on the passing away of the Messenger of Allah said, “One who worshipped Muhammad, Muhammad is dead and whosoever worships Allah, Allah is alive and He shall not die.” And it is proved that there is absolutely no mention anywhere of anyone from the Muslims ever claiming to worship the Messenger of Allah or that he considered him in place of the Almighty. Rather all Muslims are unanimous that His Eminence is the servant of Allah and His Messenger and that the Almighty had selected him for His revelation and prophethood.

Ansar Surprised

When the Ansar were busy in their machination in Saqifah in order to achieve Caliphate, Awim bin Saada Awsi and Maan Ibn Adi who were confidants of the Ansar but they were among the friends of Abu Bakr and members of his group

[1] Surah Ankabut 29:57
[2] Surah Zumar 39:30
[3] Surah Aale Imran 3:144


since the time of the Holy Prophet, without any announcement they came out of the Saqifah meet, while their hearts were full of enmity and malice towards Saad. They came running to Abu Bakr and Umar and informed them about the Saqifah gathering. They became very much disconcerted at this and along with the Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah[1] and Salim, the slave of Abu Huzaifah they hastened towards Saqifah and some other people from the Muhajireen also followed them. They found the Ansar gathered at their meeting place.

The Ansar were shocked and the face of Saad paled and he feared that the Caliphate would go out of his hand, because he was aware of the weakness, disunity and mutual differences of the Ansar. They had organized this meet and kept it top secret from the Muhajireen but now their unexpected arrival was going to render all their planning ineffective and in spite of all their efforts to obtain allegiance they failed.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 3/62

# Abu Bakr’s Discourse

After the Muhajireen arrived in the meeting of Ansar, Umar wanted to begin the discourse but Abu Bakr restrained him because he was aware of his acerbic tongue and this would not have in any way solved the impasse in such a delicate situation. It was necessary to observe diplomacy and soft words in order to benefit from the situation. Thus Abu Bakr with a smiling face and sweet words began to address the gathering in a kind way:

“We Muhajireen are the first people to become Muslims and with regard to our origin and lineage we are the most respected of them, from the viewpoint of houses we are in the limits of moderation and from the aspect of faces more beautiful than them and with regard to the Messenger of Allah we are most proximate of them and you are our brothers in Islam and our partners in religion. You have helped and supported. May Allah give you a good reward. Thus we are the rulers and you are ministers. Arab people shall not follow anyone except this branch of Quraish. Thus do not be disheartened by what the Almighty has given superiority of your Muhajireen brothers over you. I have selected one of these two (that is Umar bin Khattab and Abu Ubaidah Jarrah) for you…”[1]

Research and Investigation

It is necessary to stop here for a few moments and ponder upon the above statements.

1 - Abu Bakr has not accorded any significance to the passing away of the Messenger of Allah. And this was a great tragedy for the Muslims and the most terrible incident, which had aggrieved the hearts of all Muslims. Therefore to suit the situation he should have first paid condolence at the passing away of the one who had brought salvation for them and he should have remembered his favors upon them. He should have reminded them of the good works he had done in their

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 3/62


religious and secular spheres. After that he should have invited them to participate in the final rites of the Holy Prophet so that he may be consigned to his eternal abode. After that he should have organized a general meeting in which all classes of Muslims could have attended and invited them to select a caliph according to their choice and that too with the condition that the Holy Prophet had not appointed any successor after him.

2 – The logic of this discourse is pursuit of power and seeking a political post. Apart from this he did not give any importance to anything. He tried to convince and advise the Ansar that for the benefit of the Muhajireen brothers they must let go of the claim for rulership and may not share the seat of power with them. And he gave them the good news that they would be their ministers. However as soon as the caliphate was established for them and they formed their government, they denied the Ansar their rights and did not entrust any official post to them and they were rather deprived of all government posts they formerly held.

3 – This speech did not once mention the Purified Progeny who were equal to the Holy Quran, who were like the Ark of Nuh, that whosoever boarded it was saved and whosoever avoided it was destroyed and drowned as the Holy Prophet had informed.

For this, the most preferable thing would have been to wait for sometime so that the funeral of the Holy Prophet was over and the opinion of Ahle Bayt of His Eminence had also been sought so that the caliphate could have obtained legality and it would not have been considered a mistake as Umar has described it saying:

“Indeed the allegiance of Abu Bakr was a mistake but Almighty Allah saved the Muslims from its mischief.”

Imam Sharafuddin says, “Even if it is assumed that there did not exist specific nomination for caliphate in favor of anyone from the family of the Prophet and even if it is assumed that they were not having any precedence over the other companions with regard to their origin and lineage, or morals and valor, or knowledge and good deeds, or faith and sincerity, was there any legal or rational hindrance that the allegiance should have been postponed till after the Prophet had been buried? Or that in order to maintain peace till the matter of caliphate was it not possible to appoint an administrator to keep the situation under control? Would such patience and restraint not been suitable for the household, which was in mourning? While they were the trust of the Prophet and they were the survivors of His Eminence among them and the Almighty Allah has said:

“Certainly an Apostle has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate, merciful.”[1]

[1] Surah Taubah 9:128


Was it not the right of the Prophet on his followers, the Prophet who had borne severe hardships for his people and who always caring for their well-being that his Progeny should not have been caused grief and that they should not have been deserted in the way they were deserted, while their wound was yet fresh and the Prophet had yet not been buried…?”[1]

4 – The argument that Abu Bakr offered to advocate the superiority of the Muhajireen against the Ansar was that they were much nearer to the Prophet in relationship and he was most close in relation to them. And this standard was more applicable to Ahle Bayt because they were closest in relation to the Prophet than any other people. How perfectly the statement of His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen describes the situation: “They argued by the tree but destroyed its fruit.”

And His Eminence addressed Abu Bakr in the following words: “If you have argued on the basis of relationship, there are others who are closer in relationship to the Prophet than you.

And if you have obtained dominance on them by consensus, some people were absent at the time of consultation.”

And Kumayt says,

“The truth is with you as the Quraish have become our leaders and each word from them is having two meanings.

And they said that we have inherited it from our parents while they have not inherited anything from their parents.”

They think that they have an unjustified right on the people while the right of the Hashemites is more incumbent.[2]

In a tradition the Holy Imam has described his proximity to the Messenger of Allah: “By Allah, I am the brother (of the Prophet), I am his cousin and inheritor of his knowledge. Then who could be more superior to me with regard to him?”

Those people fell into desires and selfish desires and in pursuit of political power they killed each other while the Prophet had obliged them to remain attached to his Progeny and not to precede them and to observe their rights in everything. But they completely disregarded all these things.

Allegiance of Abu Bakr

Abu Bakr succeeded in his above discourse and through it he was able to get the control of the situation in his hands because in that speech he praised the Ansar and extolled their struggle in the path of Islam and by this he cooled the flames of uprising that raged in their hearts. In the same way he made them hopeful of some

[1] An-Nass wal Ijtihad, Pg. 79-80
[2] Al-Hashimiyaat, Pg. 31-33


share in government by saying that they shall be ministers. As a result he was able to remove their animosity towards the Muhajireen in the matter of caliphate and also their personal ambitions to obtain political power. And he explained to them that he has preferred the Muhajireen because the Arabs would not accept anyone as their rulers except the Quraish. It seemed that this important Islamic matter solely belonged to the Arabs and the other people had no right in it.

This was the most important point to which Abu Bakr called the attention of Ansar and in this way presented himself as the most suitable candidate for rulership while at the same time be pretended to be uninterested in political greed. By this tactic he was able to gain power over the Ansar and also earn their regard…

After that Umar stood up to speak. He confirmed what his friend had said and he added: “It can never be that two persons could occupy one position. By Allah, Arabs would never agree to give you rulership while their Prophet was from a people other than you. However they shall not object if rulership is given to someone who is from the group from which the Prophet was, and that their ruler should also be from them. And for anyone who refrains from this we have a clear argument and a clear power. Who is it that can oppose us in obtaining the kingdom of Muhammad while we are his friends and partners? Except the one who prefers falsehood or is led to sinfulness and throws himself into destruction…!”

There is nothing new in this discourse except that it emphasizes what Abu Bakr had said before; that the Muhajireen were more deserving of the successorship of the Prophet and that they were his friends and partners.

Ustad Muhammad Gilani says, “He argued by the proximity of the Muhajireen to the Prophet in spite of the fact that Ali Ibn Abi Talib was more deserving of caliphate because this argument had already been used in case of the Prophet’s inheritance because Abbas was the closest in relation to the Prophet and most deserving among the people for caliphate, but he gave this right of his to Ali and from this it became established that the post of caliphate should be solely the right of Ali.”[1]

Habab stood up to speak and he refuted the statement of Umar saying, “O gathering of Ansar! Get hold of your right and do not listen to this man or his companion because they would deprive you of your share in this matter. Thus if they do not accept what you want, chase them out of this land and gain dominance over them as by Allah, you are more deserving than them in this matter, because it was through your sword that people entered the fold Islam of while previously they had no faith. I am the best refuge and more far-sighted than them, I am a lion among he cubs. By Allah, if you like I can strip them off like a barren tree. By Allah, if anyone refutes my statement I shall cut off his nose with the sword…”

This monologue, which was full of anger and warnings, was a challenge to the Muhajireen to an assured conflict from the people of Medina. At the same time it was a self-praise in their valor.

[1] Athar Tashayyo Dar Adabiyaat-e-Arab, Pg. 5


Umar replied to him and screamed, “In that case, Allah shall kill you.”

Habab said, “Rather, He shall kill you.”

Abu Bakr was terrified at the changing situation, so he turned towards the Ansar and nominated his two companions, Umar and Abu Ubaidah to caliphate. But Umar rushed towards him and said in a flattering manner, “Is it possible while you are alive? No one can push you behind from the position that the Messenger of Allah had accorded to you.”

Some research scholars say: “We don’t know when the Messenger of Allah gave him the position or indicated it in any way. Rather, like his other Muhajireen brothers he was also ordered to join the army of Usamah. If the Prophet had nominated him to the post of caliphate or made him a point of reference for the community and center of knowledge, he (the Prophet) would have kept him in Yathrib with himself and he would not have ordered him to the battlefield; and that too when he was in his final moments.”

Anyway, the members of his group, fearing that the situation may go out of control, acted swiftly as lightning and gave him the oath of allegiance. Then Umar, Bashir, Usaid bin Hazeer, Aweem bin Sa’ada, Maan bin Adi, Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah, Salim, the slave of Abu Huzaifah and Khalid bin Walid gave him the oath of allegiance. And this group made great efforts in order to force the people to pay allegiance, and in this matter, Umar Ibn Khattab was most active and he shouted and threatened the people to secure their allegiance and the stick that the wielded was most effective in this. He heard the Ansar say, “You have beaten Saad.”

Umar replied with fury and anger, “Hit him, Allah shall kill him because he is a mischief-maker.[1]

They almost killed Saad while he was ailing and was in great pain. They took him to his house while he was empty handed and all his hopes were destroyed and his dreams were over.

When the allegiance of Abu Bakr took place, supporters took him to the Prophet’s mosque as a bride is carried to the bridal chamber[2] while the Prophet lay on his death-bed and he was yet to be buried and out of their sight and His Eminence Imam Amirul Momineen was busy in the funeral arrangements of His Eminence.

When Ali learnt about the allegiance of Abu Bakr he recited the following couplet:

“The people became involved in what they preferred and stood up in rebellion while Zaid was surrounded by a great calamity.”[3]

The lightning speed with which the allegiance of Abu Bakr took place, it

[1] Al Iqdul Farid 5/12
[2] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/8
[3] Ibid, Pg. 8


completely disregarded the Purified Progeny and did not pay any attention towards them and from that day all types of calamities and taunts confronted them and the Ahle Bayt were subjected to various tortures and calamites, including the carnage of Kerbala and all these events were rooted in that meeting of Saqifah and nothing else.

Celebration of Quraish

When the seat of power came into the hands of Abu Bakr, the Quraish were overjoyed and they considered it a great victory for themselves because their hopes and aspirations had been fulfilled. Abu Abra Qarashi has described the happiness of the Quraish in his following couplets:

“Thanks be to the One deserving of Praise. The trouble was gone and allegiance given to the Siddiq. (Abu Bakr).

Then the legs of Saad wavered and he was hoping that the Capella star was within his reach.

Caliphate is in the Quraish and by the Lord of Muhammad you have no share in it.”[1]

These couplets speak ill of the Ansar and their deprivation from caliphate is celebrated in them…

Among those who expressed joy at the allegiance of Abu Bakr was Amr Aas who at that time was not present in Medina as he was on a journey. When he returned and was informed that allegiance had been given to Abu Bakr he remarked:

“When you go to Aws, tell them and when you meet the Khazraj, say to them:

You hoped to rule in Medina? But before it was cooked, the pot was taken off the fire.”[2]

Happiness and joy had engulfed all the tribes of Quraish and they began to support the rulership of Abu Bakr. When the news of the Prophet’s demise reached Mecca, they decided to announce their apostasy from the Islam but when they were further informed that Abu Bakr has become the caliph, they decided to remain in his obedience and expressed their happiness and pleasure at the turn of the events.

Role of Abu Sufyan

Abu Sufyan rose up against the rulership of Abu Bakr and he came to His Eminence, Amirul Momineen and encouraged him to rise up against Abu Bakr and assured him of his support in this regard saying, “I see dust in the atmosphere and nothing except bloodshed would settle the dust. O clan of Abde Manaf! What Abu Bakr has to do with you? Where are those two oppressed ones? I mean Ali and Abbas. Why should this caliphate be in the lowliest family of Quraish?”

Then he told to Ali, “Stretch your hand so that I may pay allegiance to you. By

[1] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/8. Al-Mawafiqaat, Pg. 579-580
[2] Ibid


Allah, if you wish I can fill the land with cavalry and infantry.” And after that he recited the following couplets of Multamis:

“None could remain established against whom destruction is intended. Except those two oppressed ones, the ass of the locality and the nail.

One of them shall be buried totally in the grave and the other one shall be injured and none shall weep on him.”

Abu Sufyan motivated a tribe to oppose the rulership of Abu Bakr; however the Imam was aware of his real intention and knew his original nature. Thus he did not give a positive reply and he refused the offer and told him in an angry tone, “By Allah, you and this statement? Except for mischief, you do not intend anything else. By Allah, for ages you wished bad for Islam and we are not in need of your advice…”[1]

Abu Sufyan continued to create mischief and instigated the Imam to rise up against Abu Bakr and he sang as follows:

“O Bani Hashim! Do not let them vie you, especially the family of Teem, bin Marrah or the clan of Adi.

The affair (caliphate) is for none except you and no one is superior to Abul Hasan Ali.

O Abul Hasan! Have courage as you are most deserving of the work that is awaited.”[2]

What is established is that the opposition of Abu Sufyan was not on the basis of faith in favor of the Imam. It was obvious that it was only a trick against Islam and he was waiting for an opportunity to harm the faith. The Holy Imam declined his offer and gave no importance to his false show of kindness, because Abu Sufyan had a very good connection with Abu Bakr. And Bukhari has narrated that Abu Sufyan passed by some people, among whom were Abu Bakr, Salman, Suhaib and Bilal. One of them said, “Did the swords of Allah not smite the neck of this enemy of God?”

Abu Bakr chastised them in harsh words, “Are you saying this about the Shaykh of Quraish and their Chief?”

Then Abu Bakr hastened to the Prophet and told him what the people had said: The Prophet replied to him, “O Abu Bakr, may be you have displeased them. If you displease them, you have displeased Allah.”[3]

This matter clearly shows their mutual relationship. While Abu Bakr, during his caliphate tried to win over the sympathy and friendship of Abu Sufyan. He appointed Abu Sufyan as the governor of an area between Hijaz and Najran.[4] In the

[1] Ibne Athir, Kamil 2/326
[2] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/7
[3] Bukhari, Sahih 2/362. Muslim, Sahih 4/1947. Ahmad, Musnad 5/64
[4] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/10-11


same way he appointed his son, Yazid as the governor of Syria. From that moment the fortunes of the Umayyads began to rise and they finally they gained power.

Defeat of Ansar

The star of the Ansar fell down on the earth, their aspirations were destroyed and humiliation came into their share. Hissan bin Thabit has described their despair in the following words:

“We helped and supported the Prophet and we did not fear accidents nor were we afraid of mishaps.

For his sake we gave away half of our wealth, in such a way as the extra meat of the camel is given.

Thus their recompense for our goodness was that in ignorance, they did not take us into consideration and this was not justice on us.”[1]

The Ansar, in most of the reign of the caliphs had to face many humiliations and it became clear that their greatest mistake was their failure to observe the rights of Amirul Momineen and it was that they had on their own thrown themselves to terrible deviations from this life.

Reaction of Ahle Bayt

Historians are unanimous that the reaction of Ahle Bayt towards the caliphate of Abu Bakr has been that of displeasure, because they did not have any doubt that they were more superior to all others for the caliphate and that they were the most suitable for the caliphate. This was so because they were closest in relation the Messenger of Allah. In addition this, they possessed incomparable qualifications, capabilities and ability to bear the responsibility of the leadership of the community. However, those people did not take them into consideration and they intentionally ignored their status with regard to the Holy Prophet. They behaved with them in an absolutely cruel manner. This matter became a cause for disunity among the community and it had to undergo all sorts of calamities throughout the stages of history.

The Imam’s Refusal to Pay Allegiance

Imam Amirul Momineen severely opposed paying allegiance to Abu Bakr and considered it a clear act of trespass against himself because His Eminence knew that his position with regard to the caliphate was like the pivot of the mill. Such a lofty position that flood is unable to reach it and the birds also cannot scale those heights, as he himself has described.

His Eminence did not expect that this community would dare to promote this and distance themselves from Ahle Bayt. It was that occasion when his uncle, Abbas hastened towards him and said, “O nephew, give me your hand, so that I may pay allegiance to you so that people may say that the uncle of the Messenger

[1] Ibid 2/10


of Allah has given allegiance to the cousin of the Messenger of Allah. In that case no two persons would differ regarding you.”[1]

Imam told him, “Who, other than us would lay claim to his matter (caliphate)?”

Dr. Taha Husayn has expressed the same view in this matter and he says, “Abbas pondered upon this matter and concluded that his nephew more eligible than himself for inheriting the Prophet, he had precedence in Islam and possessed excellent virtues in all events as the Prophet had designated him as his brother. So much so that Umme Aiman remarked in a humorous manner, “You call him your brother and marry your daughter to him?” It was from this aspect that the Prophet told him, “You are in relation to me like Harun to Musa except that there is no Prophet after me.”

And one day he told the Muslims, “Of whosoever I am the Master this Ali is also his Master.”[2]

From this aspect it was that after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah, Abbas came to his nephew and said, “Stretch your hand, that I may give oath of allegiance to you.”

Imam in an angry way refused to give allegiance to Abu Bakr and he openly announced his displeasure and shock at the trespassing of his rights and the injustices of those people in the matter of caliphate. While those people did not pay any heed. The Imam’s utterances that are recorded in Nahjul Balagha, that is the best of the Imam’s eloquence, contains indications towards this matter.

Forcing Imam Ali for allegiance

The people decided that the Imam should be forced to pay allegiance to Abu Bakr. Thus a group was appointed for this. They went to Ali’s house, surrounded it and took out Ali forcibly in a disrespectful manner and dragged him to Abu Bakr. Those people screamed that Ali pay allegiance to Abu Bakr. The Imam replied to them in a very rational manner without at all being fearful of their might and force, “I am more qualified for this than you that I take allegiance from you, and not that you are more deserving to get my allegiance. You have taken this affair (caliphate) from the Ansar and argued with them on the basis of your proximity to the Prophet while you have usurped it from us, Ahle Bayt. Did you not claim to the Ansar that you are more eligible than them in this matter?

Because Muhammad was from among you, and they surrendered the leadership to you and entrusted the command to you? Now I present the same argument that you had presented to the Ansar. We are the most superior whether in the lifetime of the Prophet or after his passing away. So deal justly with us if you have faith and if not then continue in oppression while you know that it is wrong…”

The Holy Imam by presenting these brilliant argument showed the matter in

[1] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/12
[2] Ali wa Farzandaanash, Pg. 19


clear light that His Eminence was more qualified than them in the matter of caliphate. He argued that he was the closest in relation to the Prophet than all others and it was the same point those people had used to gain victory over the Ansar while the fact was that the Imam was more deserving of it than others because he was the cousin of the Prophet and also his son-in-law.

Ibn Khattab, though had no reply to the statement of the Imam, stood up from his place and spoke up angrily, “You shall not be released till you pay the allegiance.”

Imam gave him a firm reply, “Milk the udders as you would receive its gains, and make his position strong and tomorrow it shall be returned to you.”

The Imam exposed the motive of Ibn Khattab because he had not expected such a harsh response from the Imam except for the fact that caliphate and rulership should reach him after Abu Bakr. At that time the Imam became furious and he screamed, “By Allah, O Umar, I shall not listen to you and I shall not give allegiance.”

Abu Bakr was frightened that the situation may worsen and he was horrified of the Imam’s anger. So he glanced at the Imam and said in the kindest manner, “If you do not pay allegiance, I would not force you.”

Abu Ubaidah also looked at the Holy Imam and tried to cool the flames of revolt and make peace with him and he said, “O cousin! You are young while they are elders of the community. You do not posses the same experience and understanding and I do not see Abu Bakr but that in this matter he is stronger than you and more than you he is having patience and ability to perform the duty of caliphate. So leave this matter for Abu Bakr, because if you remain alive, you shall one day be most qualified for this post from the aspects of superiority, faith, knowledge, understanding, precedence and your sonship-in-law…”

This deceptive and fraudulent manner further aggrieved the Holy Imam and he faced the Muhajireen and reminded them about the sacrifices and virtues of Ahle Bayt and he said, “For the sake of Allah! O Muhajireen! Let the power of Muhammad among the Arabs not be taken away from its abode and center and do not distance the Ahle Bayt from their rights among the people and their actual position…By Allah! O Muhajireen, we are the most deserving among the people because we are the Ahle Bayt and in this matter we are more qualified than you. Was the reciter of the Book of Allah, jurisprudent of the religion of God, scholar of the divine practice, caretakers of people’s affairs, remover of harms from them and equitable distributor among them was he not among us? By Allah he had been from us. Therefore do not follow the selfish desires as you would stray from the path of God and you shall become very distant from truth…”[1]

If they had replied positively to the call of the Holy Imam it would have been a guarantee for the well-being of the community and its protection from deviation

[1] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/18-19


and going stray in the spheres of faith and other fields. He would also have saved the nation from many evil consequences. But alas! Since a long time people went towards greed and fulfillment of selfish desires and sacrificed everything on this.

Anyway, the people did not pay any heed to the Imam’s logic and considered their material gains over everything else.

Dreadful Steps

The government of Abu Bakr decided that dreadful steps be taken against the Imam and all efforts must be concentrated to weaken and suppress him in every way. Because His Eminence was the symbol of opposition to the government and the absolute majority were inclined towards that the Imam may take the reins of government in his hands. Here we shall discuss some steps that the government of Abu Bakr initiated.

Economic Embargo

Economic embargo is the most effective and the most certain way to render ineffective the movement of opposition and to destroy it. Because wealth and riches, in all stages of history were active agents employed by those in power to suppress their opponents who intended to topple the government. This method is followed by all the ruling powers that they confiscate the wealth of their opponents or that they prohibited their rivals from spending anything from their wealth so that they may not employ these funds to topple the government or cause harm to it.

Abu Bakr also took steps in this regard and initiated economic restrictions against the Holy Imam so that he may not have any power to rise up against the government. Therefore he initiated the following steps:

A – Abrogation of Khums

Khums is the legal share of the family of the Messenger of Allah and the Holy Quran has specifically stated it to be in their favor:

“And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Apostle and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if you believe in Allah and in that which We revealed to Our servant, on the day of distinction, the day on which the two parties met; and Allah has power over all things.”[1]

Muslims are unanimous that the Prophet has specified a share of Khums for himself and his relatives and this practice continued till the Almighty Allah raised His Eminence to Himself. When Abu Bakr received power he abrogated the share of the Prophet as well as that of his relatives and he deprived the Bani Hashim from this making them equal to ordinary populace.[2]

The beloved daughter of the Prophet, that is Lady Fatima, sent a message to him to

[1] Surah Anfal 8:41
[2] Al-Kashaf, under the exegesis of the verse of Khums


deliver the remaining Khums of Khaiber to her but he refused to send her anything.[1] And the ghost of poverty hovered over the family of the Prophet and they were deprived of the most important source of funds that the Almighty had specified for them.

B – Confiscation of the Prophet’s Inheritance

Abu Bakr took over the control of all the property left by the Prophet, which could have become a source of income for Ahle Bayt. He did not leave anything but that he included it all in the pubic treasury and in this way every day he imposed a new restriction for Ahle Bayt and established an economic embargo against them so that they may remain incapable of taking any action against him.

Abu Bakr’s Argument and Justification

In order to justify his confiscation of the Prophet’s inheritance and deprivation of Lady Fatima from it, he presented as proof and support a saying of the Messenger of Allah: “We do not leave any inheritance and whatever we leave is charity.”[2] On the basis of this ‘tradition’ Abu Bakr deprived Lady Fatima from her inheritance. The tradition presented by Abu Bakr is fraught with numerous defects and weakness:

1 – If this tradition had been correct and authentic, the chief of the ladies, Her Eminence, Fatima would not have come out to anyone against them. Because how is it possible that being a part of Prophethood, Her Eminence should demand something in which she had no lawful share?

2 – How is it possible that the Prophet could deny his beloved daughter something that is from her lawful share? Because this matter would lead the community into destruction and subject them to mutual conflict.

3 – It is not possible that the Prophet had concealed this tradition from Imam Ali while the Imam was a trustee of all his secrets, the door to the city of his knowledge, the gate of the abode of wisdom, the most equitable of the people and the father of his two grandsons. And if at all this saying had been correct, the Imam would have been cognizant of it and the Prophet would not have concealed it from him.

4 – If this saying had been correct, the Bani Hashim who were the trustees of his secrets and the family of the Messenger, why did the Prophet did not convey this tradition to them?

5 – If this tradition had any authenticity it would not have remained concealed from the ‘mothers of the believers’ (Prophet’s wives) when they sent a message to Uthman bin Affan that he may requisition their share of the Prophet’s inheritance…”

[1] Bukhari, Sahih 5/177. Muslim, Sahih 3/1380
[2] Al-Balaghatun Nisa, Pg. 19. A’laamun Nisa 4/116. Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/46


The above are the objections that apply to this tradition and the conclusion derived from this exposes this saying to be the weakest and most inauthentic.

Lady Zahra’s Discourse to Abu Bakr

The world became straitened for the beloved of the Prophet and the steps that Abu Bakr had initiated to impose economic restrictions had made them terribly week economically. Narrators say that Her Eminence with a head covering and a sheet wrapped around her and with some of her female relatives and neighbors walked majestically like the stride of the Prophet till she arrived in the presence of Abu Bakr at a time when a lot of people from the Muhajireen, Ansar, and other people were also present there.

A curtain was put for her and Her Eminence sighed in grief and the people began to weep due to her sad wail and turmoil began among the gathering. She allowed the people respite that their wails may calm and their tears may stop flowing. At that time she commenced her address with praise and glorification of the Almighty and she continued her sermon like flowing water in such a way that no one had heard a more eloquent and meaningful discourse.

In her incomparable discourse, Her Eminence, Zahra spoke on the philosophy of Islam and discussed the causes of the laws and the wisdom of Islamic rules and regulations. She described the condition of the people before the dawn of Islam that to what extent they were mired in oppressing each other, how backward they were in knowledge and how ignorance dominated their minds. Especially in the Arabian Peninsula, where they were targets of humiliation and were on the verge of the pit of fire, that every drinker used to derive enjoyment from them and every greedy one was eyeing and everyone who moved used to take advantage from them and they were trampled under the feet of all those who walked. So much so that they were in such terrible poverty that sometimes they had to satiate their hunger with carrion and quench their thirst with waste water. They were getting more and more arrested in those terrible circumstances when through the medium of the Holy
Prophet, the Almighty Allah bestowed them salvation and freedom and led them on the path of progress and development and made him the leader of their community. How great was the superiority of His Eminence on the Arabs and all the people…

The Chief of the Ladies then alluded to the merits of her cousin, His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen and his manifest Jihad in defense of Islam against the enemies at a time when the Muhajireen of Quraish were spending a life of comfort and security and had no role in the propagation of Islam. Rather, as the Prophet has described that at the time of confrontation they used to run away from the battlefield and they used to flee in horror. While regarding the Ahle Bayt they used to wait for an opportunity or used to wish that some tragedy may befall them.

In her sermon, Her Eminence expressed intense regret and remorse at the changed circumstances and the deviation of Muslims and their falling into the lure of selfish


desires and pride and she prophesied how they would be the victims of terrible events and calamities due to their sins and deviations from that which the Almighty had prescribed for them, that they should remain attached to Ahle Bayt. And after she had spoken on these matters she indicated towards her inheritance towards her inheritance that she was supposed to have received from her father but she had been deprived from it. She said, “And the claim that you make that inheritance of my father is not for me; are you trying to impose the law of the period of Ignorance? While, which law is better than divine law for a people who believe?”

Don’t you know? Yes, indeed it is obvious to you that I am his daughter.

O Muslims! Will my inheritance be usurped? O son of Abu Quhafa! Where is it in the Book of Allah that you inherit your father and I do not inherit mine? Surely you have come up with an unprecedented thing. Do you intentionally abandon the Book of Allah and cast it behind your back? Do you not read where it says: And Sulaiman inherited Dawood’?

And when it narrates the story of Yahya bin Zakaria and says:

“And surely I fear my cousins after me, and my wife is barren, therefore grant me from Thyself an heir. Who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Yaqoob, and make him, my Lord, one in whom Thou art well pleased.”

And: “But kindred by blood have prior rights against each other in the Book of Allah.”

And: Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children’s (inheritance) to the male, a portion equal to that of two females. And, if he leaves any goods, that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage; this is due from the pious ones.’ You claim that I have no share! And that I do not inherit my father! What! Did Allah reveal a (Quranic) verse regarding you, from which He excluded my father? Or do you say: “These (Fatima and her father) are the people of two faiths, they do not inherit each other?!’ Are we not, me and my father, a people adhering to one faith? Or is it that you have more knowledge about the specifications and generalizations of the Quran than my father and my cousin (Imam Ali)? So, here you are! Take it! (Ready with) its nose rope and saddled! But if shall encounter you on the Day of Gathering; (thus) what a wonderful judge is Allah, a claimant is Muhammad, and a day is the Day of Rising. At the
time of the Hour shall the wrongdoers lose; and it shall not benefit you to regret (your actions) then! For every Message, there is a time limit; and soon shall ye know who will be inflicted with torture that will humiliate him, and who will be confronted by an everlasting punishment. (Fatima then turned towards the Ansars and said:) O you people of intellect! The strong supporters of the nation! And those who embraced Islam; what is this short-coming in defending my right? And what is this slumber (while you see) injustice (being done toward me)? Did not the Messenger of Allah, my father, used to say: A man is upheld (remembered) by his children’? O how


soon have you violated (his orders)?! How soon have you plotted against us? But you still are capable (of helping me in) my attempt, and powerful (to help me) in that which I request and (in) my pursuit (of it). Or do you say: “Muhammad has perished;”

Surely this is a great calamity; its damage is excessive its injury is great, its wound (is much too deep) to heal.

The earth became darkened with his departure; the stars eclipsed for his calamity; hopes were seized; mountains submitted; sanctity was violated, and holiness was encroached upon after his death. Therefore, this, by Allah, is the great affliction, and the grand calamity; there is not an affliction - which is the like of it; nor will there be a sudden misfortune (as surprising as this).

The Book of Allah – excellent in praising him – announced in the courtyards (of your houses) in the place where you spend your evenings and mornings; a call, a cry, a recitation, and (verses) in order. It had previously come upon His (Allah’s) Prophets and Messengers; (for it is) a decree final, and predestination fulfilled: “Muhammad is not but an Apostle: Many were the apostles that passed away before him. If he died or was slain, will ye then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.” O you people of reflection; will I be usurped the inheritance of my father while you hear and see me? (And while) You are sitting and gathered around me? You hear my call, and are included in the (news of the) affair? (But) You are numerous and well equipped! (You have) the means and the power, and the weapons and the
shields. Yet, the call reaches you but you do not answer; the cry comes to you but you do not come to help? (This) While you are characterized by struggle, known for goodness and welfare, the selected group (which was chosen), and the best ones chosen by the Messenger for us, Ahle Bayt. You fought the Arabs, bore with pain and exhaustion, struggled against the nations, and resisted their heroes. We were still, so were you in ordering you, and you in obeying us. So that Islam became triumphant, the accomplishment of the days came near, the fort of polytheism was subjected, the outburst of infidelity calmed down, and the system of religion was well-ordered. Thus, (why have you) become confused after clearness? Conceal matters after announcing them? Turned on your heels after daring? Associated (others with Allah) after believing? Will you not fight people who violated their oaths? Plotted to expel the Apostle and became aggressive by being the first (to
assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if you believe!

Nevertheless, I see that you are inclined to easy living; dismissed he who is more worthy of guardianship (Ali); You secluded yourselves with meekness and dismissed that which you accepted. Yet, if you show ingratitude, ye and all on earth together, yet, Allah free of all wants, worthy of all praise. Surely I have said all that with full knowledge that you intend to forsake me, and knowing the


betrayal that your hearts sensed. But it is the state of soul, the effusion of fury, the dissemination of (what is) the chest and the presentation of the proof. Hence, here it is! Bag it (leadership and) put it on the back of an ill she-camel, which has a thin hump with everlasting grace, marked with the wrath of Allah, and the blame of ever (which leads to) the Fire of (the wrath of Allah kindled (to a blaze), that which doth mount (right) to the hearts; for, Allah witnesses what you do, and soon will the unjust assailants know what vicissitudes their affairs will take!

And I am the daughter of a warner (the Prophet) to you against a severe punishment. So, act and so will we, and wait, and we shall wait.’[1]

The hearts began to burn and the eyes opened wide and the people began to feel suffocated, life went away then came back so that the air which had gone should come back and truth was about to be re-established. However, Abu Bakr was well-known for his quick tongue and with the power of diplomacy he was able to regain the control of the situation and he saved his government from a revolution. Because he expressed utmost honor and respect for the beloved daughter of the prophet as if he had more regard for her than his own daughter, Ayesha. And from the depths of his being he seemed to hold her in reverence. He also expressed a deep grief for the passing away of her dear father, the Prophet of God, while he had actually wished the Prophet had died before his death. He said that he had not initiated these steps on his own and neither had he obtained the seat of rulership of his own. It was actually the choice of the majority and consensus the people!!!

In this way he won over the hearts that had began to dislike him and he cooled the fine of revolution and he destroyed all the signs.

Arguments of Her Eminence, Zahra (s.a)

The arguments of Her Eminence, Zahra (s.a) regarding the inheritance of her father, were absolutely solid. Because the proofs she had put forth were in the form of unambiguous verses of the Holy Quran that none could refute. Her Eminence, firstly mentioned the instances of Prophets leaving inheritance to their heirs, in which her father was also included. In this regard she presented two verses about Prophet Dawood and Prophet Zakaria and proved clearly their leaving of inheritance.

Secondly: She mentioned the general verses related to inheritance and also the general verses about the making of wills and she emphasized that it was necessary to act on their generality and her father was also naturally included in them and exceptions to these is only applicable for those who are mentioned in a specific way. Then she explained to them the factors that lead to such exception. She said it was only applicable in case where the one who leaves the legacy and the inheritor belong to different faiths and said to them: Have you deprived me from the inheritance of my father because he and I belong to different faiths? But we belong to one and the same religious order.

[1] A’laamun Nisa 4/116. Al-Balaghatun Nisa, Pg. 12-19


Through this logic and clear-cut arguments, Her Eminence reached the highest stage in defending her rights.

Confiscation of Fadak

Here an important matter remains in the sphere of economics and that is the income of Fadak that used to take care of the expenses of the purified progeny and accorded them economic independence. However this was confiscated and its income was added to the Public Treasury so that it may not enable Ali (a.s) to rise up against the government.

There are many important arguments on this subject and we have spent much time in their investigation but we shall not further go deeper into the matter as it is beyond the scope of this book exclusively about the biography of Imam Husain (a.s). However since the foregone events had direct impact on the life of Imam Husain (a.s) we have describe them to some extent so that the readers may gain insight into the political situation of that period and the role he played in the Islamic Polity. Also that all those events belonged to a single chain due to which the Holy Imam (a.s) had to undergo severe difficulties and calamities.

Calamities of Her Eminence, Zahra (a.s)

The passing away of the Messenger of Allah was a terrible tragedy for Lady Fatima and she was so much devastated by the death of her father that dark clouds of grief surrounded her due to the absence of her father, who was more precious to her than her own life.

Her Eminence used to visit the Holy grave of her father and circumambulate it in an extremely shocked condition. She used to throw herself on the grave and take a handful of dust from it and rub it over her eyes and face and smell it and kiss it and derive some comfort from it. At that time she used to weep in excess and in a mournful recite the following lines of poetry:

“What surprise if one who smell the dust of Ahmad had refrained from smelling any fragrance all the life.

Such calamities have befallen me that if they had fallen on days they would have turned into nights.

Say to the one who is concealed beneath layer of dust if you can hear my plea and entreaty.

I was in the refuge of Muhammad in such a way that I never saw hardship or problems as he was my embellishment.

And today in front of the debased ones I am being oppressed and I cannot say anything due to the grief and to remove our oppressors.

Thus just as the pigeon weeps in grief at night on the branches, I weep during the day.

After I have made grief my companion and made it my habit to weep in your separation.”[1]

[1] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 1/242


These couplets accurately describe the true picture of grief and sorrow of Lady Zahra (s.a) because they speak of the emotions that beset her on the passing away of her father. A father who had so much love and regard for her and she also loved him more than anything else. And if her killing pains had fallen on days they would have removed their embellishments from them...

These sorrowful lines describe her status and position during the lifetime of her father. Her Eminence was the most loved and respected lady among the Muslims. However after the passing away of her father the people did not take into consideration her position and they united in disregarding her status. So much so that Her Eminence had to face injustice from those debased persons and taking care to protect her veiling (purdah) she announced the oppressions to which she was subjected and she defended herself because there was no one who could defend effectively or speak on her behalf.

Her Eminence took refuge in weeping and grief till she became one of the ‘Five most weeping ones’[1] as they were the ones who expressed their grief in this life. And the pain and sorrow of Her Eminence at the death of her father was so severe that when Anas bin Malik sought permission to give condolence to her on the great tragedy and he was of those who had participated in the Prophet’s burial. Her Eminence asked him, “Are you Anas bin Malik?” “Yes, O, daughter of the Messenger of Allah,” replied Anas. Her Eminence spoke with a heavy heart and asked him, “O Anas, how did you yield yourselves to strew dust on Allah’s Messenger?”[2]

Anas left his statement incomplete and he came out weeping and devastated in grief.

The Prophet’s beloved daughter insisted to her cousin, His Eminence Amirul Momineen to show her the dress of her father, the Messenger of Allah in which he was given the funeral bath.

His Eminence brought the dress to Fatima. She took the dress in her hands, smelt it and then kissed it because she found in it the fragrance of her father that she had been taken away from her and lay in the everlasting place of rest she put the garment on her eyes and her heart was splitting up in grief and it was as if she has lost consciousness...

The Prophet’s daughter continued to weep and lament in the light of the day and the darkness of the night and the remembrance of her farther remained fresh with her all her brief life after the Prophet’s passing away. Such was the intensity of her lamentation that many people were disturbed by it so much that they petitioned Amirul Momineen to ask Her Eminence, Zahra to limit her lamentations to a particular time.

[1] “The five who wept too much” Implying Adam, Yaqoob, Yusuf, Ali bin al-Husain and Fatima (s.a.). This meaning is given in Bihar: 12/164. 12/311. 82/86
[2] Ibne Majah, Sunan, 1/522, Asqalani, Al-Mawahibut Daniyah 4/563


Amirul Momineen Ali spoke to Her Eminence and she accepted it. During the day she used to go to the outskirts of Medina with her two sons. She sat under the shade of a tree and lamented on her father day and night. When the sun was about to set, Hasan and Husain used go with their father and bring her home while she used to be in agony. Those people went out and cut off that tree and Her Eminence had to sit under the sun to lament for her father. Therefore Amirul Momineen constructed a dwelling for her and named it “Baitul Ahzan” (the house of sorrows) so that the memory of her grief may endure for a long time. It is related from His Eminence, the Qaim of Aale Muhammad that he said regarding that house:

“Have you seen me? No, by His greatness that after the Baitul Ahzan was happiness ever seen in our house?”

The beloved daughter of the Messenger of Allah spent her days in that house of sorrows and lamented on her father addressing him in isolation and wept bitterly in her grief. When night fell, Ali used to go and along with her two sons brought her home.

The grief affected the dear daughter of the Messenger of Allah so deeply that she was afflicted with such a terrible illness that she became confined to her bed and did not have any strength to stand up on her feet. Thus some Muslim ladies went to visit her and said to Her Eminence, “O daughter of the Messenger of Allah, how do you feel today?”

Her Eminence looked at them in a forlorn manner and spoke in a soft voice full of sorrow, “I am sick of your world and pleased at your separation with sadness, I go for the meeting with the Lord and His Messenger. Neither was our right protected nor our position respected nor the will in our favor was accepted and neither our sanctity observed…”[1]

A fearful silence fell upon those women and a severe grief beset their features. Their eyes filled with tears and they went to their homes in a slow gait. They told their husbands what the Prophet’s daughter had mentioned. The effect of her words was more severe than the strokes of a sword because they realized their shortcomings regarding the memory of their Prophet (His daughter).

Some wives of the Messenger of Allah went to visit her and said, “O daughter of the Messenger of Allah! Let us help you take a bath.”

Her Eminence did not accept their offer, “Do you want to say the same thing that you say about my mother? I do not need anything from you.”

Towards Paradise

The remembrance of the Prophet brought such severe illness that the weak physique of Lady Fatima completely weakened in such a way that she did not have strength remaining in her to even get up from her bed. She was slowly withering

[1] Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/95


away like a flower deprived of moisture because death was approaching her fast while she was yet in her early youth. The time of her meeting with her father was near. The father who had separated from her and along with him were gone the affection and kindness he had showered her with.

It became obvious that she was soon to say farewell to the world. She summoned her cousin, Imam Amirul Momineen and stated her bequest to His Eminence which among other points had express instructions that her holy mortal remains should be consigned to the dust in the darkness of the night and that none of those who had oppressed her be allowed to attend the funeral because they were her enemies and enemies of her father as Her Eminence has stated. She also told His Eminence that after she had passed away he must marry Amamah because she would be able to take care of Hasan and Husain the most beloved ones to Lady Fatima. She told His Eminence to keep the place of her burial secret so that the symbol of her anger which was unexplainable may remain for all days for the future generations.

The Holy Imam assured that all her instructions shall be carried out and the grief and sorrow of Her Eminence was dispelled.

The Prophet’s beloved daughter told Asma binte Umais, “I do not like the way the funeral of ladies is carried out.” Because they used to cover the mortal remains of a female with only a cloth. Thus anyone who glanced at her could easily make out the shape of her body. Her Eminence did not like this and she said that an enclosed bier be constructed for her so that when she is being taken to her grave no one shall be able to discern the shape of her body. Hence Asma made a bier as per her instructions because she had seen a similar device in Abyssinia when she resided there.

When Her Eminence saw it she was pleased and she smiled. This was the first time she had smiled after the passing away of her father.[1]

On the last day of her life, Her Eminence was seen to be slightly comfortable and she expressed her happiness because she knew that it was the day she would be joined with her father.

Hence she gave bath to her two sons and prepared a meal for them that would suffice them that day and then she told them to go and visit the tomb of their grandfather. She glanced at them for the last time and her heart was filled with pain of grief and sorrow.

Hasan and Husain departed with a sort of uneasiness in their hearts. They had a terrible premonition which caused them sadness and grief. The beloved daughter of the Prophet then glanced at Asma binte Umais who was appointed to nurse her, and said, “O mother!”

“Yes, O beloved of the Messenger of Allah?” replied Asma.

[1] Hakim, Mustadrak 3/162


Fatima said, “Prepare bathing water for me.”

She arose and brought the water for Her Eminence and she took a bath. Again she told Asma to bring her new dress to her.

Asma brought her dress and again Lady Fatima told her, “Arrange my bed in the middle of the house.”

Asma became greatly worried and she began to tremble because she knew that the time of death of the Prophet’s daughter was near.

Asma provided her with whatever she had desired. Her Eminence rested on her bed and turning towards the Qiblah (Prayer direction) she softly called out to Asma, “O mother, when I am gone away, no one should remove my clothes as I have purified myself.”

Then she began to recite the verses of the Holy Quran till her soul departed to unite with her Maker and the lofty soul ascended to her Lord so that she may meet her father. Such a father that after whom she did not like to live.

That soul hastened towards Paradise and pleasure of the Almighty. Such a soul that none had seen anyone like her in the whole universe. Who had no equal in loftiness, purity, merit and greatness. By her death, the surviving child of the Holy Prophet departed from the world of existence.

Hasan and Husain returned but did not find their mother. They rushed to Asma and asked her about their mother but she was weeping. She told them, “O my masters, your mother has passed away, go and inform your father.”

This news fell upon them like a bolt of lightning. They rushed to their departed mother and Hasan threw himself upon her saying, “O my mother, speak to me before my soul leaves my body.”

And Husain threw himself on her while he was weeping and saying, “O my mother, I am your son, Husain. Speak to me before my heart bursts.”

Asma kissed them and comforted them and told them to immediately go their father and convey the news to him.

The two boys went out to the mosque of their grandfather, the Messenger of Allah and when they came near the mosque their wails raised up.

Muslims came forward to welcome them as they thought that the children were weeping in the memory of their grandfather. So they told them, “O sons of the Messenger of Allah, what has made you weep? May be seeing the tomb of your grandfather you have become eager for him.”

They replied, “No, it isn’t so. But our mother, Fatima, has passed away.”

Imam Amirul Momineen was devastated by the news and it shook his whole being. He said, “daughter of Muhammad, from whom shall we seek comfort? I used to derive comfort from your presence. Now after you who can comfort me?”

Immediately be hastened to his house while tears flowed from his eyes. When he


saw the mortal remains of the Prophet’s beloved daughter, the following couplets came on his lips,

“For every friendship there is separation. And what is other than that is less.

And it is that I have lost Fatima after the Prophet, it proves that no companionship is everlasting.”

People rushed towards the Imam’s house to pay condolence for the Prophet’s daughter because by the passing away of Her Eminence the last of the pillars of prophethood had gone. The demise of Lady Zahra reminded them of the love and kindness of the Prophet for them. Wails and lamentations rocked the town of Medina.

Imam told Salman Farsi to inform the people that the burial of the Prophet’s daughter has been postponed to that night. The people dispersed from there.

Ayesha came forward and entered the Imam’s house to see for the last time the Prophet’s daughter. But Asma stopped her saying, “She had told us not to allow anyone to her…”[1]

When a part of the night had passed Imam arose and gave the funeral bath to the purified body. Asma, Hasan and Husain were with him and his heart was drowned in a deep sorrow. And after he shrouded Her Eminence, he called his children who were not yet satiated by the love of their mother so that they may see her for the last time while earth was shaking with their lamentations…

After the farewell, the Imam knotted the shroud and when the last part of the night arrived he arose and performed the funeral prayer for Her Eminence. Then he told the persons of Bani Hashim and his close friends to carry the blessed body to the eternal placed of repose and except for his trusted confidants and family members, he did not inform anyone else. Then he placed Her Eminence in the grave and strew dust on her. Then he stood besides the grave and tears flowed from his eyes with such propensity that the earth was becoming wet with them. He uttered the following words describing his shock and grief:

“O Messenger of Allah, peace be upon you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you. O Messenger of Allah, my patience about your chosen daughter has been exhausted and my power of endurance has weakened, except that I have ground for consolation in having endured the great hardship and heart-rending event of your separation. I laid you down in your grave while your last breath had passed (when your head) was between my neck and chest. Verily we are Allah’s and verily unto Him shall we return. Now the trust has been returned and what had been given has been taken back. My grief knows no bounds, and my nights will remain sleepless till Allah chooses for me the house in which you are now residing. Certainly your daughter would apprise you of the joining together of your people for oppressing her. You ask her in detail and get all the news about the position. This happened when a

[1] Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 3/365


long time had not elapsed and your remembrance had not disappeared. My salutation be on you both, the salutation of a grief stricken not of a disgusted or a hateful person; for if I go away it is not because I am weary (of you) and if I stay it is not due to lack of belief in what Allah has promised the endurers.”[1]

These statements were filled with mortal grief and deep sorrow and they complained to the Prophet about the pains and afflictions that befell his beloved daughter. Imam requested the Messenger of Allah to inquire from his daughter directly about the tortures she had to bear in the short period she lived after his passing away.

In the same way His Eminence announced his personal grief at the passing away of the Prophet’s beloved daughter. Because it was such a terrible tragedy for him that the flames of grief were never to cool for him, till he meets the Lord.

The Holy Imam came away from the grave of Lady Fatima not due to his desire or something detestable. He did so in order to promote the Islamic teachings that emphasized patience on every tragedy.

The Imam returned home in remorse to find his children weeping severely in the sorrow of their mother and this scene renewed his own grief. His Eminence preferred to keep away from the people and not to participate in any of their activities because they had turned away from him. Hence he also decided to leave them on their own and they did not involve him in any of their affairs but when they used to become helpless in some matter and had no solution for their problem they were compelled to rush to His Eminence that they may gain something from his knowledge.

It is natural that for children the most terrible tragedy is the passing away of their mother because by this they see all the aspirations of their life destroyed.

Imam Husain witnessed great tragedies during his early childhood that had befell his mother. These afflictions had a deep impact on his psyche. These events made it clear to him what the people intended and what their aims were and that they were not inclined towards truth, rather they were in pursuit of greed and selfish desires.

Officials and Governors of Abu Bakr

The official machinery of Abu Bakr worked according to the advice of Umar Ibn Khattab because he had the trust of Abu Bakr in matters of external and internal programs of the regime. No decision was ever taken and no official was ever appointed without the consent of Umar.

He used to appoint only those at the position of governorship of various areas and provinces whom he considered loyal to the regime. And if he even slightly doubted the loyalty of any person he did not entrust him with even the most minor government post.

[1] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/182


Historian says, “Abu Bakr deposed Khalid bin Saeed bin Aas from the commandership of the army that had been dispatched for the conquest of Syria only because Umar had advised thus. Though Khalid otherwise had all the necessary qualification, his only drawback was his sympathies for Ali and his opposition to the selection of Abu Bakr at Saqifah.”[1]

Abu Bakr did not consider any person from the Bani Hashim for any sort of post and appointment and Umar in his conversation with Abbas has revealed the real cause of this deprivation. It was that he feared that in case he died and someone from the Hashemites became a ruler in part of the Islamic lands, an absolutely undesirable condition will develop in the matter of caliphate.[2]

In the same way he deprived the Ansar from government posts and it was due to their excessive leanings towards Ali. However, the majority of officials and governors of the regime belonged to the Bani Umayyah clan. Some of them were as follows:

1 – Abu Sufyan: He was appointed as the governor of the area consisting of the farthest limits of Hijaz up to the last limits of Najran.[3]

2 – Yazid bin Abi Sufyan: He was appointed as the governor of Syria.[4] Historians say: He escorted him till the outskirts of Medina.

3 – Itab bin Usaid: Abu Bakr appointed him as the governor of Mecca.[5]

4 – Uthman bin Abil Aas: He was designated as the governor of Taif[6] and from that day the star of the Umayyads began to ascend. And they regained their existence that they lost – when Islam was at its zenith.

Observers have expressed amazement at the policy of Abu Bakr to sideline the Hashemites from every sort of official position and instead to shower every kind of favor on members of the Umayyad clan who had opposed the Prophet and confronted His Eminence in every situation.

Alaili says: The Teem clan did not gain anything by the success of Abu Bakr. Only the Umayyad clan derived all the benefits and they shaped the government according to their ways and their politics they considered favoritism and partiality as a norm while they were distant from rulership, as Maqrizi has stated in his book, An-Niza Wat-Takhasum.[7]

Diplomatic capability and skills in the fields of administration and government was present in numerous people from the Muhajireen and Ansar among the companions

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/58-59
[2] Muruj az-Zahab (Printed on the margins of Ibne Athir) 5/135
[3] Balazari, Futuh al-Buldan, Pg. 103
[4] Ibne Athir, Kamil 2/403
[5] Al-Isabah 2/444
[6] Ibne Athir, Kamil 2/421
[7] Al-Imam al-Husain, Pg. 191


of the Prophet and it would have been best if they had been entrusted the government posts and the Umayyad clan had been kept away from official posts so that the Islamic society had remained safe their intrigues and mischiefs.

Economic Policies of Abu Bakr

Before we speak about the economic policies of Abu Bakr we would like to discuss in brief about the economic system devised by Islam which was aimed at the eradication of poverty, fighting deprivation and initiation of economic progress so that all the people are able to live a life of economic prosperity in such a way that they do not have to face any sort of economic hardship

The most important principal advocated by Islam was that the ruler must observe absolute precaution with regard to public funds. They were under no circumstance allowed to take anything from public property. And they were also not permitted to spend any of the public funds for strengthening their rule and their personal power.

The general aim of this principle was to establish equality among the Muslims and the ruler had no right to prefer some over others because such a thing would have given rise to class difference and it would have created divisions in the general economy and the society would have become fraught with numerous ills and calamities.

Historians say, “Abu Bakr in distribution of public funds among the Muslims, observed equity and in this field he did not deviate from the Prophet’s practice. However there are some instances that are opposed to this. Because first of all from the charity funds he controlled, he spent a considerable amount to purchase the loyalty of Abu Sufyan.[1] And he also distributed a part of public funds among the Muhajireen and Ansar and sent an amount through Zaid bin Thabit to a lady from Bani Adi. The lady was amazed at this and she asked, “What is this?”

They replied, “It is a share that Abu Bakr has distributed to women.”

She said, “Are you bribing me for religion? By Allah, I shall not accept anything from it. Return it to him.”[2]

These were some of the objections that the critics of the economic policies of Abu Bakr have stated.

Entrusting the Caliphate to Umar

Abu Bakr’s rule did not continue for a long time. Hardly two years had passed when illness beset him and he decided to transfer the caliphate to his confidant and supporter, Umar Ibn Khattab. However, this was severely opposed by many companions. Among them all, Talha addressed him saying, “What would you say to your Lord? When you are making a hard-hearted and ill-tempered man as a ruler over us? As everyone hates him and are fed up with him.”[3]

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 3/318
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/53
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/164


Abu Bakr became silent and Talha proceeded with his objection and said, “O Caliph of the Messenger of Allah, we did not bear that ill-tempered man in your life, while you used to restrain him. Then what shall be our condition when you die and he becomes the caliph?” [1]

Numerous Muhajireen and Ansar rushed to Abu Bakr and announced, “We see that you have appointed Umar a caliph upon us while you know about him and are aware of his ill deeds among us and that also in a period when you were among us. Then what would happen when you are no more among us? You are proceeding to meet Allah, the Blessed and the Sublime. What would you say in reply?”

Abu Bakr replied, “If the Almighty asks me, I would say that I have appointed as caliph over them one who was the best of them in my view…”[2]

According to some research scholars it would have been better if Abu Bakr had taken into consideration the feelings of the absolute majority of Muslims and he should only have followed the opinion of the majority. Or after consulting the experienced persons he should have formed a consultative committee so that it may select anyone as a caliph. But he surrendered to his personal feelings that were imbued with an unprecedented regard for Umar. And in order to gauge the view of the people he asked Mauqib Doosi, “What do the people say regarding the appointment of Umar as Caliph?”

He replied, “Some oppose it and some support it.”

Abu Bakr further inquired, “Those who oppose are more or those who support it?”

He replied, “Those who oppose it are in majority.”[3]

Thus Abu Bakr ignored the opposition of the majority to his appointment of Umar and he imposed him upon them against their wishes. He did not leave them free to choose a candidate for caliphate.

Anyway Umar always remained with Abu Bakr during the latter’s illness lest that someone may try to influence his decision.

Umar further strengthened the statement and view of Abu Bakr with regard to his appointing him as caliph, “O people, listen and obey the commands of the caliph of the Messenger of Allah.”[4]

Abu Bakr commanded Uthman bin Affan to draw up a document appointing Umar as caliph. Uthman wrote as he dictated. It was as follows:

“This is the will of Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Qahafa. It is his last will of his life when he is about to leave the world and it is his first will of the Hereafter when he is about to enter it. Know that! I have appointed Umar Ibn Khattab as the caliph upon you.

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/343 (Published by Daar Ahya al-Kutub al-Arabiyya
[2] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/25. Tabari 3/433
[3] Al-Aadaab ash-Shariyah wal Minhal Mariyah 1/42
[4] Tabari, Tarikh 3/429


Thus if you find him equitable it is what I expect and hope from him. If he does otherwise and changes it, I have only intended good and I am not aware of the unseen:

“…and they who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back.”[1][2]

Abu Bakr signed the document and gave it to Umar. Umar took it and rushed to the mosque in order to read it to the public. A person, who was amazed at his condition, asked, “O Abu Hafs! What is written in this document?”

Umar expressed ignorance about its content but he emphasize that it was for his personal benefit. He said, “I don’t know, however I am the first one who listened and obeyed…”

The man glanced at him while he was aware of the reality of the matter and said, “But by Allah, I know what it contains. In the beginning you made him the chief and he is giving you the rulership this year.”[3]

Umar rushed to the mosque and read the commandment to the people and in this way; the caliphate became established for him without any problem or opposition. Except that it greatly aggrieved Amirul Momineen and His Eminence, years after that, described his distress in the following words in the sermon of Shiqshiqya:

“So I adopted patience although there was pricking in the eye and suffocation (of mortification) in the throat. I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one went his way but handed over the Caliphate to Ibn al-Khattab after himself.”

(Then he quoted al-A’sha’s verse):

“My days are now passed on the camel’s back (in difficulty) while there were days (of ease) when I enjoyed the company of Jabir’s brother Ayyan.

It is strange that during his lifetime he wished to be released from the caliphate but he confirmed it for the other one after his death. No doubt these two shared its udders strictly among themselves…”[4]

The above words describe the level of the sorrow and pain of His Eminence regarding the trespassing of his rights and how they had destroyed it and once it was usurped by the Bani Teem and then by Bani Adi and they completely disregarded the struggle of His Eminence in support of Islam and they ignored his status with the Messenger of Allah.

Once, the illness of Abu Bakr took a serious turn and it herded him towards his imminent end where every man has to ultimately go. He confessed about his regret

[1] Surah Shoara 26:227
[2] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/24. Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 3/429. Tabari, Tarikh 3/429
[3] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/25
[4] Nahjul Balagha 1/26-27


and pain regarding his injustice towards the beloved daughter of the Prophet in the following words, “I wish I had not opened the house of Fatima even though it had been closed against us.”

He similarly wished that he had asked the Messenger of Allah regarding the inheritance of paternal aunt and niece…

When he became serious and his daughter, Ayesha came to him and found him in the throes of death she recited the following couplets:

“By your life, the wealth of man does not benefit one who is involved in the throes of death.”

Abu Bakr became angry and said to her. “Say: ‘And the stupor of death will come in truth; that is what you were trying to escape.’”([1])([2])

Not much time passed but that he reached his imminent end. His friend, Umar performed his last rites and gave him the funeral bath and recited the funeral prayer on him. Then he buried him in the quarters of the Prophet next to the Prophet’s grave.

The critics among the Shias say: If this house was from the heritage of the Prophet, because there is no tradition that states that the Prophet had bequeathed it to Ayesha the same rule should have been followed like they did in the case of the inheritance of the Purified Progeny in the matter of Prophet’s inheritance. On the basis of this Abu Bakr’s burial in that house was not lawful except with the permission of the Prophet’s Progeny. And the permission of Ayesha is of no avail because she does not have a share in the inheritance of land, she is only entitled to a share in the constructed house. [That is she can reside in it as long as she lives or she may take an equivalent amount and go away]. This is in accordance to what the jurists have stated about the inheritance of the wife. And when the Prophet’s house had been added to Public Property on the basis of what Abu Bakr had narrated from the Prophet that: We Prophets do not leave any
inheritance. Rather they leave the Book and wisdom as inheritance. And whatever they leave is charity for the common Muslims. In such a case it was necessary to take the permission of common Muslims for burying Abu Bakr in that house. While it is obvious that nothing of this sort was done.

In any case, the brief caliphate of Abu Bakr became the cause of numerous shocking trends and the most terrible of these was the sidelining of the Purified Progeny and considering them as ordinary people. They were removed from the sphere of respect and reverence that the Prophet had designated for them and they were subjected to all sorts of atrocities and hardships while the ruling caliphs considered themselves as representatives of the Prophet and thought that they were more qualified for this position than others. And that controversy of Abu Bakr with

[1] Surah Qaf 50:19
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 2/422


the Ahle Bayt which created differences and spread mischief and disunity among the Muslims became the cause of regimes that followed the reigns of the caliphs. They oppressed the Ahle Bayt and dealt with them with utmost mercilessness and cruelty. And perhaps the worst calamity that they had to bear was the tragedy of Kerbala in which no right of the Messenger of Allah was taken into consideration with regard to his Progeny and his sons.

# Umar’s Reign

Abu Bakr prepared the caliphate after himself for Umar and he assumed it with utmost ease and facility without any sort of difficulty or hardship. He caught the rulership with a firm grip and administered the kingdom with an iron land. So much so that even the senior companions could not dare to say anything against him. Because as it is said his walking stick was more terrible than the sword of Hajjaj. Even Ibn Abbas, inspite of his status and lofty position, could not express his view about the legality of Mutah in the lifetime of Umar. The family members of Umar were his sons and none of them were capable to have their way with him. Here we shall discuss some policies of Umar during his reign:

Economic Policy of Umar

Sources of Islamic history are unanimous that in his policies, Umar turned away from the practice of Abu Bakr and in distributing allowances among the Muslims he did not follow the principles of equity. Rather he preferred some over others. He had proposed the same policy to Abu Bakr but he had declined to accept it saying, “Almighty Allah has not preferred anyone over others. He rather says: Charities are for the poor and the destitute and He has not considered any people superior to others.”[1]

When caliphate was transferred to him he began to enforce the policy that he had proposed to Abu Bakr and he justified it saying, “Abu Bakr had an opinion regarding this matter and I have another opinion. And I shall not consider at par one who has fought against the Prophet and one who has fought on his side.”

He sanctioned 5000 units of currency for the Muhajireen and Ansar who participated in the battle of Badr. However those had accepted Islam like the fighters of Badr but who did not take part in the Badr battle were sanctioned 4000 units (Dirhams). For the widows of the Prophet he specified 12000 Dirhams each except for Safiya and Juwairah.

These two were sanctioned only 6000 dirhams each. They did not accept it. As for Abbas, the uncle of Allah’s Prophet, he gave 12000; for Usamah bin Zaid it was 4000 and for his son, Abdullah it was 3000. Abdullah expressed his displeasure at this and said, “Dear father, why did you sanction him 1000 more than me? His father had no superiority that my father does not have and he does not posses anything that I do not have…”

Umar told him, “Usamah’s father was more preferred to the Messenger of Allah than your father and Usamah was dearer to the Prophet than you…”[2]

Umar gave preference to Arabs over non-Arabs and the free men over bondsmen.[3]

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 8/111
[2] Al-Kharaaj, Pg. 148-149
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 8/111


This policy created class differences in the Muslim society and people became divided into various classes, tribes and groups. Experts of genealogy became active in their field[1] and this finally caused a rift among the Arabs and their clients and the latter became jealous and inimical to their patrons (Arabs). They began to seek evil means and it gave rise to communal feelings. While Islam had put an end to this very tendency and it considered the relation of faith stronger than family relations. It had commanded the rulers to practice non-partisanship among the people inspite of their family and class difference and emphasized that no bias must be exercised, as no sort of rift must be allowed in the social fabric of Muslim community.

Umar’s Critics

This policy led many scholars and writers to be infuriated by Umar and they expressed their objections in their writings. Some of them are as follow:

1 – Dr. Abdullah Salam: Dr Abdullah Salam says, “I don’t know how Umar initiated those steps and why he chose them? Because, they caused social and economical contradiction. It was a step that created rivalry and arrogance among the Muslims.”[2]

2 – Dr. Muhammad Mustafa: Among those who have criticized this policy is Dr Muhammad Mustafa and he says, “Fixing of grants in this way had a dangerous effect in the economic life of Muslims because it gradually brought into existence some upper classes of people who received a good income without doing any work in return. He fixed allowances based on two criteria: Relationship to the Messenger of Allah and precedence in Islam and for the relationship and precedence there were classes and some divisions. In this manner Umar fixed allowances without taking into consideration the amount work or struggle contributed by the people and in this manner Umar utilized the public wealth from the government’s side.”[3]

3 – Alaili: Shaykh Alaili has made this a topic of criticism in the following words: “This economic system created a great chasm and divided the Arab society into classes, while in the eyes of Islamic Shariat they were all equal. But the Arab society became divided into aristocracy, gentry and the commoners.[4]

These were utterances of some scholars who have openly denounced the economic policies initiated by Umar. These policies had no trace of the economic principles laid down by Islam and it gave rise to the accumulation of wealth among some companions and they were able to accumulate huge wealth and it became a cause of transformation in Islamic life and the domination of the rich class over government policies and they began to bring into force various policies that were very beneficial to themselves. They opposed every reformative and equitable

[1] Al-Asbiyatul Qibliyah, Pg. 190
[2] Al-Ghuluw wat Tafreeq Fil Hizaaratul Islamiyyah, Pg. 251
[3] Ittehaajaatul Shaar Arabi, Pg. 108
[4] Imam Husain, Pg. 232


policy in the country and that group put up severe resistance against the government of His Eminence, Ali (a.s) with all their powers from the economic factors etc. and put them into practice in order to topple the government of His Eminence. Because his equitable policies were preventing them from taking advantage of the superiority and sources of wealth they had unjustly amassed.

Umar’s Arguments

Umar justified his scrapping of equitability by himself and the creation of class system that some of the companions on the basis of their seniority in Islam and their participation in military activities and holy war were superior to others. These justifications show that they have no validity. Because the Prophet had under no circumstances, never taken into consideration anything from the public wealth to the exception of a particular companion because of their seniority in Islam, or their exceptional efforts and hardship that they bore. Persons like Ammar Ibn Yasir, Bilal the Habashi and Abu Zar etc. And he did not take into consideration the unique contribution of his cousin, His Eminence, Ali, who was of the valiant fighters of Islam and who defended the faith at every stage and every time. Rather, His Eminence entrusted the reward of those warriors and their recompense to Allah in the Hereafter. That the Almighty Allah has taken this recompense and
reward on His responsibility with this special quality.

The economic policy established through the Prophet specified absolute equality in grants and allowances so that the society remains integrated and united and all the types of class differences and mutual jealousies are destroyed.

Umar’s Regret

When Umar witnessed the extreme accumulation of wealth with some of the companions he was extremely regretful and helpless and he said, “If I had followed the policy that I adopted in the end I would have taken the excessive wealth from the rich and restored it to the poor.”

These steps that he had in view, are not undeserving of consideration. Because if the excess wealth accumulated by the rich class was from the bestowals that they had received in excess, without any doubt it all belonged to public treasury and was necessary that he should have ordered them to be repaid to the state so that economic balance is created. And if the wealth comprised of business profits – which I don’t think it was so – it was necessary to collect taxes from them, rather than having them confiscated.

Anyway, the monies obtained in war booty, Jizyah tax and land tax belong to the public treasury, which is for the Muslims. And it was not permitted that some people be given preference over others and it was necessary that it should have been equally distributed among all as the Holy Prophet had done.

Internal Policies of Umar

Umar tried to impose his influence by force and harshness and all, whether his close friends and relations or others, were horrified of his nature. Such was the


level of his ferocity that a pregnant lady approached him to ask about a particular matter. But she became so much terrorized in his presence that she had miscarriage.[1]

Umar was extremely rude and harsh especially to one who accorded some importance to himself. Narrators say, “One day Umar was distributing some funds among the people who were crowded around him. Then Saad bin Abi Waqqas arrived who is famous for his exploits in the conquest of Persia. Saad pushed the people aside and succeeded in reaching to Umar. When Umar saw him, that how he has brought himself to the fore, he began to thrash him with his stick, saying, “Do you not fear the power of Allah on the earth? I wanted to show you that the power of Allah is also not fearful of you.” And his event with Jebella also shows his rude and harsh nature.

Jebella accepted Islam along with his companions and the Muslims were greatly pleased due to this. Jebella arrived in the Hajj season and while he was circumambulating the Ka’ba a man from Fuzara stepped on his lower garment and stopped him. Jebella was furious and he slapped the man of Fuzara.

This information reached Umar who had Fuzari summoned and ordered Jebella to permit that man to either take revenge or compensation, or forgive Jebella. And in this matter he was very harsh to Jebella. Jebella apostatized and exited from the religion of Islam and fled to Harqil. Harqil tried to pacify him and also presented him with some gifts but Jebella lamented about his losses on leaving Islam in the following words that expressed his deep grief and sorrow:

“The nobles became Christian due to one slap. If I had been patient on it, no harm was there in it.

Obstinacy and arrogance dominated me and for that I exchanged blindness in lieu of eyesight.

If only my mother had not given birth to me. If only I had returned to what Umar had said to me.

And if only I had been a quadruped grazing in wildness or even a prisoner of the Rabia and Mudhir tribes.”

Umar wanted to put a chain of camel tethers around the neck of Jebella and he be taken around in this manner so that he is humiliated.

Ibn Abil Hadid has narrated for us the harshness of Umar to his family. He says, “Whenever he was infuriated at someone, his anger did not recede till he forced his hand between his teeth and bit them till it bled.[2]

Uthman also, when Muslims criticized him and rose up against him, reminded them about the harshness and severity of Umar so that they may leave him (Uthman). Uthman said, “Ibn Khattab trampled you below his feet and he hit you

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/74
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/342


with his hands and by his tongue he humiliated you while you were frightened with him and you remained satisfied with him…”[1]

After some years, Imam Amirul Momineen spoke about the policies of Umar and the hardships of the people during his reign, saying, “After that he (Abu Bakr) transferred the caliphate to a harsh condition, (to Umar, who was) rude in speech, unapproachable and full of mistakes and he put forth many excuses. And its owner was like the rider of a ferocious beast that if he pulls at the reins it would rent the mouth of the beast and if he lets him free it would have thrown him into hardships; and by Allah, people fell into mistakes, hardships, indecisiveness and controversies…”[2]

This policy was opposed to the practice of the Holy Prophet and the policies of His Eminence, because His Eminence lived among the people with kindness and affection and he dealt with them with utmost mercy. He was for them a loving father and he used to encourage people not have any fear or reservations from him. So much so that a man came to His Eminence while he was in a fearful condition. His Eminence told him not to be afraid, saying, “Indeed I am a son of a Quraishite lady who ate dried meat.”

The behavior of His Eminence with his companions was just like that of the behavior of a brother to his brother and without that he should address them in a way that he was having some superiority or lofty status over them. And the Almighty Allah has described the high moral behavior of His Eminence in the following words: “And most surely you conform (yourself) to sublime morality.”[3]

Freedom of Companions of the Prophet Restricted

Historians state that Umar restricted the movements of the companions of the Prophet and he did not allow them to leave Medina. They were not allowed to go beyond the town limits without a special permission of Umar. This step of Umar was against the Islamic spirit because in Islam there is general freedom to all the people. People in Islam are accorded the freedom of thought, expression, faith and work as Islam has given them personal rights of human beings and the government is duty-bound to support and respect these things and provide them with this freedom. The ruling powers do not have the right to oppose them or to restrict this freedom subject to the condition that man does not misuse this freedom to harm others or creates mischief in the earth.

Justification of Taha Husayn

Dr. Taha Husayn had defended Umar’s restrictions on the companions of the Prophet. He says, “However he was afraid of mischief. He feared mischief on their part. Hence he had them under surveillance at Medina, that they may not leave the town without his permission. And they were prohibited to go to areas not

[1] Hayatul Imam Hasan bin Ali 1/197
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/162
[3] Surah Qalam 68:4


conquered yet because be feared that people there may become devoted to them and this may cause them to become vain and arrogant. He was fearful of the consequences of this devotion to his government…”[1]

This explanation is absolutely lacking in research and depth. Because if the companions who intended to travel from Medina to conquered places, if these companions were from the righteous and religious ones, they indeed would have proved to be source of guidance and goodness for people who were eager to accept Islam. From this aspect, they would certainly have spread the religious commands and Islamic manners among these people and they were trying to spread knowledge among them. If in case those companions were such that they had become devotees of material gains than they indeed deserved to be stopped from going out of Medina. But it would be only as a custom and not as a religious law. That too for the protection of the interests of the government and to keep people from becoming their devotees. However in this regard, no tradition exists that Umar restrained only some people and allowed others. Rather he imposed travel restrictions on one and all.
And it was natural that this rule imposed by Umar was very much unpleasant for the companions of the Prophet and an obstacle was imposed between them and their freedom.

Officials and Governors appointed by Umar

Treating the footsteps of Abu Bakr, Umar continued to keep away the Hashimites from government posts and he did not accord them any share. Rather he confirmed those who were appointed by Abu Bakr and kept them on their former positions. And it is surprising that he did not give any official position to well-known companions like Talha and Zubair and he was told, “You bestowed governorship to Yazid bin Abi Sufyan, Saeed bin Aas, this one and that from those who were of doubtful faith from the freed slaves and sons of the freed slaves, but you paid no attention to Ali, Abbas, Zubair and Talha?”

He replied, “As for Ali, he is above such things but these people from Quraish, (Talha and Zubair) I fear that if they spread in the cities they may create corruption therein.”

Ibn Abil Hadid commenting on this statement of Umar says, “One who is fearful of making them leaders, so that they may not be greedy for rulership and each of them may desire it for himself. How he is not fearful that from them he appointed six persons of the same level in the Shura committee and nominated them for caliphate? Could there be a greater cause for corruption…?”[2]

Supervision of Governors

Umar maintained strict supervision on his governors and administrators and he did not appoint anyone for the post but that he first had their wealth and property valued and when he used to dismiss them, he again had their assets valued. And if

[1] Al-Fitnatul Kubra 1/17
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 9/29-30


he found any increase therein he used to have half of their wealth confiscated and deposited in the Public treasury.[1]

Umar appointed Abu Huraira Doosi as the governor of Bahrain. It was reported to him that Abu Huraira has misappropriated the wealth of Muslims. Thus he was summoned. When he arrived Umar scolded him and said, “You should know that I appointed you as the governor of Bahrain while you didn’t have slippers to wear. Now it has been reported to me that you have sold some horses for 1600 Dinars?”

Abu Huraira tried to explain the matter saying, “We had some horses who multiplied continuously…”

Umar did not accept any excuse and he chastised Abu Huraira a great deal saying, “I have already specified your income and allowances and this is the excess that you must refund.”

Abu Huraira refused and said, “It is not your right.”

Umar said, “Yes, by Allah, I would give you pain in your back.”

Umar became infuriated and stood up towards him and hit Abu Huraira with his walking stick till he began to bleed. Abu Huraira had no option but to return the money he had misappropriated. So he said at last, “I shall return it and present the account to God.”

Umar in that same weak logic of his replied to him, “It is in case that it be obtained through lawful means and you have paid it on your own. Have you brought them from the distant areas of Bahrain? People have brought them for you and not for Allah or the Muslims. Amima[2] had brought you forth only for grazing donkeys.”[3]

After that he halved all the assets of Abu Huraira. Umar had also confiscated half of the assets of his following officials:

1. Samrah bin Jundab

2. Asim bin Qais

3. Mujasheh bin Masood

4. Juza bin Muawiyah

5. Hajjaj bin Ateek

6. Bashir bin Mohtafaz

7. Abu Maryam bin Mohrash

8. Nafe bin Harth

These were some officials and governors of Umar whose assts were divided into two and a part was appropriated to the Public treasury. Historians say, “It was Yazid Ibn Qais who had encouraged Umar to take this step. He recited the

[1] Al-Fitnatul Kubra 1/20
[2] “Amimah” was the mother of Abu Huraira
[3] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 3/163


following couplets to encourage him:

‘Convey this message to the chief of the believers that he is the custodian of God in the matter of commands and prohibitions.

That he is the custodian of God among us. Our hearts would accept the one who is the custodian of the Lord of the heavens.

Do not leave the folks of villages and cities to think that the property of Allah be considered permitted for general welfare and development.

Thus send towards Hajjaj and have his account taken. And also send your agents to Jaza and Bashr.

And do not ignore the two Nafes. For both of them and Ibn Ghilab from the chiefs of Bani Nasr.

And Asim from among them is not empty handed and he was a mere slave of the Bani Badr sold in the market.

Also depute towards Noman and take his accounts and the son-in-law of Bani Khazwan, as I know him.

And inquire about the assets of Shabl and also Ibn Mohrish who is called ‘Sahib’ among his villagers.

Divide his assets, may our family be sacrificed on you. If you divide it into half, he would agree to it.

And do not invite me to witness it as I am going to disappear but I continue to witness the amazing times.

We shall return if they come. And we shall go to war if they go. Then how come they have so much wealth and we do no have much?

If the trader gets musk it shall run between the parting of hair.’

As a result of this Umar stood up and one after the other took up the cases of each of his appointees, seized their assets and confiscated half.[1]

And the meaning of these couplets is that these rulers have committed fraud and misappropriation of public wealth. But the seizure of half of their assets has no precedence in the Prophet’s practice. Rather their case should be handed over to the court of law. So that if their dishonesty is proved the legal penalty shall be applied to them. And the confiscation of half of their property they had embezzled is meaningless. In the same way to transfer them from one place to another and to consider them unreliable becomes necessary.

Anyway, inspite of Umar’s strictness continuous complaints reached him and some people complained about the governors to him, especially those who were responsible for collecting land tax. They sent their complaint in the form of these two couplets.

[1] Al-Ghadeer 6/275-276


“We shall go wherever they go and we shall fight when they fight. Then how is it that they have so much and we have none?

If the trader gets musk it shall run between the parting of hair.”[1]

He saw new wealth and abundance of opulence in them than were to be seen among the common people and it was natural that this was obtained through embezzlement as in those days, there was no fool proof method of taking their accounts and keeping track of their financial dealings.

And here a very meaningful question remains. Umar dealt with all his governors strictly but why did he not apply the same strict measures for Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan? He rather, accorded him special honor and he did not subject him to any sort of accounting and inspection. One after other complaints continued to reach Umar that Muawiyah had resorted to embezzlement, did what he liked and committed excess. However Umar used to find excuses for Muawiyah and instead praised him saying, “You talk of Kisra and Caesar while there is Muawiyah among you?”[2]

And thanks be to Allah there is no Choesroes and Caesar in Islam. It is mentioned in tradition that, “Choesroes was destroyed. And Caesar shall be destroyed and there shall be no Caesar after him. And by the One in Whose hands is my life, you shall spend their treasures in the path of God.”

Umar used to defend Muawiyah beyond reasonable limits. And narrators says, “Some companions mentioned to him that Muawiyah was going against the Prophetic practice because he wore silk and brocade and used gold and silver utensils and he does not refrain himself from any un-Islamic deed. Umar objected to them and scolded them saying, “Leave it! Do not complain to me about a young man of Quraish. One who smiles while in anger and what he has is not obtained easily. And nothing could be taken from above his head but that he discards it himself…”[3]

Historians say that Umar went to greater lengths to elevate the position of Muawiyah and imbued him with a lofty soul. And the members of the Shura committee that Umar has instituted for selecting the caliph after him, were warned about Muawiyah that, “If you resort to jealousy among yourselves and if you begin to oppose each other and if there is mutual enmity among you, Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan would dominate you in this matter…”[4]

And when Muawiyah became sure that the caliph would not take any action against him and he would continue to defend him, he initiated such steps in Syria that a power hungry king takes in order to strengthen his rule and power.

[1] Futuh al-Buldan, Pg. 377
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 55/330
[3] Istiab (Printed on the margins of al-Isabah) 3/1418
[4] Sharh Nahjul Balagha (First edition) 1/187


Seclusion of Imam Ali

Historians have no difference of opinion that the Holy Imam was highly aggrieved due to the usurpation of his rights and the ignorance of his position. He was extremely shocked due to the misappropriation of his inheritance. Because the people tried to ignore his status and considered him an ordinary person not worldly of a special regard. They completely disregarded his relation to the Prophet and his status in the view of the Messenger of Allah. And His Eminence became aloof from them and he did not participate in any of their affairs related to the government and power. And they also did not make him participate in it. He became aloof from them and they also became aloof from him. So much so that he put his cheek on the earth as historians say: Muhammad bin Sulaiman in his reply to Ja’far Ibn Makki regarding what occurred between Ali and Uthman says:

“Both of the first two (Abu Bakr and Umar) separated Ali from his position and deposed him and destroyed his honor in the view of the people. Thus he became a forgotten thing.”[1]

Imam in his conversation with Abdullah Ibn Umar mentioned that all the hardships that befell him were related to his father (Umar) and among them was giving precedence to Uthman over him.[2]

Anyway, he remained aloof and secluded from the people just as he had maintained aloofness during the tenure of Abu Bakr. Imam confined himself to his residence, making sorrow his companion and the stars his confidants. He used keep his head on the pillow of grief and he used to spend his days in sadness, swallowing the draughts of anger and keeping his fury under control. He did not meet anyone except for his sincere companions, who were cognizant of his status and reality like Ammar bin Yasir, Abu Zar and Miqdad. In this condition he was occupied in the compilation of the Quran, inscribing it and pondering over its verses.

Historians are unanimous that Umar used to consult Ali in some very important matters and questions that were posed to him. Umar used to refer these queries to Ali and he did not refrain from solving these problems. So that he may narrate the commands of Allah as it is obligatory for the knowledgeable ones to spread the divine commands among the people…and Umar has described this merit of the Holy Imam in his following statement: “If Ali hadn’t been there, Umar would have perished.”

It is an established matter that Umar was often confronted with legal matters that he could not solve. Hence he used to rush to Imam and other companions. His words have become famous that: “Everyone is more informed than Umar, even the women.”

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 9/28 (Published by Daar Ahya al-Kutub al-Arabiyya)
[2] Ibid, Pg. 54


And it is said, “All the people are more knowledgeable than Umar, even the ladies confined in houses.”

And the research scholar, the respected Allamah Amini, has proved this matter in such a way that there is no exaggeration in it.[1]

Umar and His Eminence, Husain

Imam Husain’s heart was filled with pain and sorrow because the position of his eminent father had been usurped. And this matter was one of the factors that contributed to his displeasure and grief. He was absolutely aware of the reality of the situation even though he was yet of a very young age.

Historian say, “One day Umar had climbed over the pulpit and was delivering a sermon that suddenly he saw Husain coming towards him on the pulpit and he was screaming, “Come down from the pulpit of my father. Come down and go to the pulpit of your father.”

Umar was shocked and he was astonished no end. He testified to what he had said, “You are right! My father did not have a pulpit.”

Then he picked Imam Husain and seated him besides himself and began to investigate who had taught him to make such a statement. He asked, “Who has taught you this?”

Imam replied, “By Allah, no one has taught it to me.”[2]

A feeling full of pain but which was having complete understanding and broad perception come to his mind. His Eminence wept upon the pulpit of his grandfather. A pulpit which was the source of effulgence and knowledge and he saw that it was appropriate that after the Prophet, no one except his father, who was the standard bearer of knowledge and wisdom on the earth, should sit on that pulpit.

Historians say, “Umar gave a lot of attention to His Eminence, Imam Husain and had told him that if he had any need he should approach him. One day he came to Umar and found him in a secret meeting with Muawiyah and he saw his son, Abdullah. He sought his permission but Abdullah did not permit, so he returned from there with him. A day later Umar saw His Eminence and asked him, “O Husain, what stopped you from coming to me?”

Imam replied, “I came when you were in a confidential meeting with Muawiyah, so I returned with Ibn Umar.”

Umar said, “You were superior to Ibn Umar because what you see over our head, it is the Almighty Allah and after Him, you all who have placed it on my head (the Crown of caliphate).”[3]

[1] Al-Ghadeer 6/83-333
[2] al-Isabah 1/333
[3] Ibid. Ibne Asakir, Biography of Imam Husain, Pg. 200-201


His politics demanded that he should accord more respect to Hasan and Husain, the two grandsons of the Messenger of Allah. Hence he sanctioned for them a share in the war booty.

One day some colored woven clothes from Yemen were received by him and he distributed them but forgot to give any from them to Hasan and Husain. Later he wrote to his agent in Yemen to send two garments for him and he sent them, and he dressed Hasan and Husain in it.

Umar fixed their allowances equal to their father and that was the same as the fighters of Battle of Badr, that is 5000 Dirhams.[1]

Except for the incidents narrated by us above no other event or incident involving Imam Husain during the Caliphate of Umar have reached us. This was because of the seclusion and aloofness of His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen and his sons from matters related to government and they had given preference to remain aloof from the people and did not choose to participate in any of their matters. Because their hearts were full of deep sorrow and grief and the Holy Imam has announced his grief on various occasions.

Historians say, “A difficult problem came to Umar and he was very keen to solve it. He presented it to his companions and said to them, “What do you say in this matter?”

They replied, “You are the point of reference and you are the position to remove the difficulties.”

This did not please him and he recited the following words of Almighty Allah: “O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and speak the right word.”[2]

After that he told them, “By Allah, you and I know where the point of reference and knowledge regarding the matter is.”

They said, “At seems that you are thinking about the son of Abu Talib.”

Umar said, “Except for him, where should I go? Has any free woman given birth to anyone like him?”

They said, “O Amirul Momineen why do you not call him?”

Umar replied, “They have the status and greatness of the Hashemite clan and precedence in knowledge and proximity to the Messenger of Allah. They go to him and not that he comes to them (people). So get up so that we can go to him.”

Together they hastened to His Eminence and saw him leaning on his wall wearing a pair of trousers (Shalwar) and resting on his spade and reciting: “Does man think that he is to be left to wander without an aim?”[3]

He was reciting till the end of the Surah and tears were flowing on his cheeks. All

[1] Ibne Asakir, Biography of Imam Husain, Pg. 202-203
[2] Surah Ahzab 33:70
[3] Surah Qiyamat 75:36


those people also began to weep. After that he stopped weeping and Umar inquired from His Eminence about the difficult matter that had come to him and His Eminence replied to him.

After that Umar told him, “By Allah, the truth wanted you but the people did not want you.”

His Eminence said, “O Abu Hafs do not talk about this or that.” Then he recited the verse: “Surely the day of decision is (a day) appointed.”[1]

Umar was shocked and was absolutely bewildered. He placed one of his hands on the other and went away from there in a condition of embarrassment.[2]

His Eminence Husain and the Family of Umar

Some historians say that there were unfriendly relations between the families of Imam Husain and Umar and its reason was that Asim bin Umar drank wine and His Eminence, Husain testified against him in the court of law during the reign of Uthman and the penalty was awarded to Asim and this became the cause of enmity between the two families.[3]

Assassination of Umar

We shall not prolong the discussion on the caliphate of Umar and we shall refrain from exploring those maters that remain, especially the verdicts issued by Umar and some of them were his own interpretation in contravention of express instructions of Quran and traditions. Like the prohibition of Mutah (Fixed term marriage) etc. We shall not speak of any of these matters because we have resorted to brevity and we have mentioned those events above only because they were part of the actual occurrences of that time and they had in some way or the other affected the psyche of Imam Husain and the events related to social and intellectual life of the time when Imam Husain spent his life and it reflects the life of Imam Husain.

Anyway, what is important on us is that we should describe the events connected with the murder of Umar and important incidents of that time. Because some narrators consider his killing as the consequence of the plots of Bani Umayyah that they had devised to become independent from Umar’s rulership, so that they (the Umayyads) may impose themselves on the Muslims.[4]

This matter is emphasized that Abu Lulu, Umar’s killer was the slave of Mughaira bin Shoba and Mughaira always had a close relationship with the Umayyads. In my view this is not a theory that could pass the test of research because Umar’s connection with the Umayyads was natural and stable and there was no sort of

[1] Surah Naba 78:17
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/79-80
[3] Al-Munmaq Fi Akhbar-i-Quraish, Pg. 397
[4] Among those who support this view is Ustad Alayli who has indicated this on Pg. 34 of his book, Samoo al-Maani fi Samoo az-Zaat, Pg. 34 (Second edition)


rivalry or hard feelings between them. And with respect to them Umar was more inclined to them. He had appointed their leaders as the rulers in Islamic lands and dominions like Yazid bin Abu Sufyan, Saeed Ibn Abil Aas and Muawiyah etc. Umar did not seize and divide into two any of their assets like he had done with his other governors. Rather he also paid attention to the problems of their women in such a way that the daughter of Utbah and mother of Muawiyah was granted 4000 units of currency from the Public Treasury so that she may invest it in business.[1]

On the basis of this Umar did not do anything that could be in opposition to their interests. Then how is it possible that they had devised a plan to murder Umar?

Anyway what is confirmed is that Abu Lulu had done it of his own and not at the behest of the Umayyads. In our view, he was a young man angered and aggrieved for the sake of his community and society. Because he saw on his land how it has spread and how the greatness of the community was destroyed and how their honor had been lost. And he saw Umar how he had been in the forefront of suppressing the rights and honor of the Persians. Umar detested the Persians so much that he used to keep them at a distance and he had even issued orders that they must not enter Medina before they reach the age of puberty.[2] He had also issued a verdict that only Arabs shall be entitled to inheritance and Persians and non-Arabs cannot inherit from their predecessors.[3]

And also that he called them ‘Alulooj’ (Wild Donkeys).[4] And also that he himself went to Umar to complain to him about the hardships he had to bear from Mughaira and the heavy land tax that Mughaira had imposed on him. But Umar scolded him and said, “I don’t think the land tax imposed on you is even slightly in excess…”

This matter caused animosity in his heart towards Umar and he carried a grudge against Umar. And also when Umar passed by him he had said to him, “I have heard that you say that you could construct a mill that can run on the wind?”

This ridicule made Abu Lulu very displeased and he replied at once, “I shall make such a mill of you that people would talk about it…”

And the next day he went on to kill Umar[5] and he hit him three strikes and one of them was below his navel and it rent the skin of the lower portion. Then he went to the people of the mosque and he attacked anyone who came across him till he had injured eleven persons in addition to Umar. After that he killed himself.[6]

Umar was carried to his house while his wounds were bleeding. He asked the people around him, “Who has attacked me?”

[1] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/62
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/185
[3] Al-Muwatta 2/520
[4] Wild donkey. This word was used to designate non-Arab infidels.
[5] Muruj az-Zahab 2/320
[6] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/185


They replied, “Mughaira’s slave.”

He said, “Did I not tell you not to allow any of these donkeys to come near me? But you did not obey me.”[1]

His family summoned the physician who promptly arrived and he asked his patient, “What is your favorite drink?”

“Nabidh, he replied.[2]

So they gave him Nabidh to drink but it came out through the wounds. People said, “There is dirt in the blood.” After that they gave him milk to drink but that also came out from his wound. Then the physician became hopeless about him and told him, “I don’t think you shall survive till late afternoon.”[3] When he became certain that his end was near, he told his son Abdullah to calculate how much he owed. He arrived with the figure of 86000. Then he said, “If the property of the family of Umar is sufficient pay it from your property. If it is not sufficient ask the clan of Bani Adi and if that too is not enough take it from the Quraish, but beyond that do not ask anyone else.”[4]

If we ponder on this bequest we shall find some questions arising:

1. This huge amount that he had taken as a loan from the Public Treasury he had utilized it for only his family expenses. And if he had spent it in the matters of Muslim there would not have been any need to recover it from the Khattab family. And it is without any doubt not at all in accordance with the character of Umar that the historians have portrayed saying that he used to be very strict and austere regarding public funds and he did not use anything of it for his personal needs.

2. It is that he made a bequest to his son Abdullah that he should repay his debts from his own family funds and if that is not enough it should be supplemented by funds from the clan and this shows that he had also spent some of the public money on the Bani Adi clan. And if not, how could any recovery from the clan be justified? Because he had no right on other people’s wealth even if they be his relatives. In our opinion he had given them the money from pubic treasury and it is mentioned about him that he was very strict with his family and clan. So much so that he subjected them to poverty and hardship. This contradicts the above theory and that he used to deal with them with so much austerity and deprived them to such an extent that he considered his relatives at par with other Muslims.

3. And his bequest to his son Abdullah that he may then seek funds from the Quraish and pay off his debts shows a deep and firm attachment of Umar to the Quraishites. And on the basis of the statement of historians he was the sole representative of the Quraish clan in his activities and he used to fulfill their

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/187
[2] “Nabidh”= Wine (refer the dictionary, Munjid)
[3] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/26. Al-Istiab 3/1153-1154 (Printed on the margins of Al-Isabah
[4] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/188


desires and aspirations.

These were some of the points derived from the bequest of Umar. Historians have not recorded whether Abdullah fulfilled the will of his father and repaid the outstanding amount of Umar to the Baitul Maal (Public Treasury).

In any case when Abdullah became assured that his father would surely die, he requested him to appoint someone on the position of caliphate and not to leave the affairs of the community aimless and he told his father, “O father appoint someone as the caliph over the community of Muhammad. Because if the herder of the camels or sheep leaves his flock without a caretaker you would say that he has abandoned his trusts. Then how can the Ummah of Muhammad remain? Therefore appoint someone as the caliph.”

Umar looked at him with a look of doubt and hesitation and replied, “If I appoint anyone as caliph over them, Abu Bakr had done the same and if I leave them, the Messenger of Allah had left them free.”[1]

The demands of Abdullah were based on knowledge and logic because it is not reasonable for the leader to leave the political and social affairs of his followers just like that. And if he does so, the people shall be surrounded in difficulties and problems and a great calamity shall befall them. Umar has claimed that the Messenger of Allah had not paid any attention to the temporal and spiritual leadership of his community and he did not appoint anyone as his successor. And probably the pain intensified for Umar and had made him forget that Prophet had appointed His Eminence, Amirul Momineen as his successor on the Day of Ghadeer and ordered Muslims to pay allegiance to Ali and that Umar was first of those who gave him the oath of allegiance and congratulated him saying, “Congratulations to you, O Ali! You have become my master and master of all believing men and women.”

In any case, Umar’s wounds had completely troubled him in such a way that he was saying, “If whatever I have on the earth was of gold I would have given all as penalty in lieu of release from divine chastisement before I meet Him.”[2]

And he told his son, Abdullah, “Put my cheek on the earth.” But he did not pay any heed to Umar. He thought that he had lost his mind. Then he repeated his orders and again Abdullah did not respond. Finally he said it the third time and shouted, “Put my cheek on the ground, may your mother die!”

Abdullah came forward and put the cheek of Umar on the ground – and he began to weep bitterly and continued to utter the words, “Woe be to Umar, woe be to Umar. If the Almighty does not forgive him.”[3]

Umar requested his son to take permission from Ayesha so that he may be buried

[1] Muruj az-Zahab 2/321
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/192
[3] Ibid, Pg. 193


alongside the Prophet and Abu Bakr and Ayesha accorded the permission.[1] Shias have expressed the same objection they raised against the burial of Abu Bakr saying that: If what the Prophet had left, if on the basis of the tradition of Abu Bakr the family of the Prophet does not inherit anything and that all of it is handed over to the master of authority (caliph) here was no sense in taking permission of Ayesha. And if his heir inherit, as the Ahle Bayt believed in that case there was no share of it remains for Ayesha. Because on the basis of the laws described by Muslim jurists, the widow is not entitled to inherit any landed property. In that case, it becomes necessary that the permission of the Prophet’s heir had been sought, which was not done.


We have reached to those terrible circumstances and calamities that befell the Muslims and the event that created a great mischief in the Muslim world that subjected them to everlasting difficulties and hardships. And it is the same event of Shura (consultative committee) in which there was an open and blatant plot to deprive Imam Ali from his share in rulership and the entrusting of the caliphate to Bani Umayyah so that the kindness of Quraish may be fully applied to them, which was full of animosity and hatred towards the Holy Imam

And Allah knows that in this discussion we have intended nothing but to describe the condition of the period in which Imam (a.s) lived. An incident, which in our opinion was the source of all great mischiefs and that finally led to the tragedy of Kerbala and other calamities also. Events that completely turned upside down and muddled the way of noble life in Islam.

In any case, when Umar despaired of his life and saw his imminent end, he began to think about the one who may take over the command after him from those leaders who had taken part in preparing the ground for Abu Bakr and he remembered them and saw that death has taken them away. At that moment he wailed and expressed regret saying, “If Abu Ubaidah had been alive I would have made him the caliph because he was the trustworthy member of the community. If Saalim, the slave of Abu Huzaifah were alive, I would have appointed him as the caliph as he loved God too much…”

Why Umar did not mention anyone of those were alive and who had participated in establishment of Islam? Like the chief of the purified progeny, Amirul Momineen and the prominent companions of the prophet like Ammar bin Yasir, Abu Zar and others from Ansar so that he may have nominated them for the position!

He was searching among the list of the departed companions and wished that: If only Abu Ubaidah and Saalim were alive so that he may have entrusted the leadership to them. Inspite of the fact that none of the two had any sort of precedence in Holy war or service in the path of Islam…

[1] Ibid, Pg. 190


Those people asked him to appoint someone to succeed him so that he may govern the affairs of the community, however he did not do so and said, “I do not like that I should take the responsibility of the future of the caliphate.”

However not much time passed but that he defeated his intention and named the six members of Shura committee and entrusted them with the leadership of the community. And in this way he imposed his choice on the Muslims and this way he made himself responsible for the good and bad future of caliphate.

Ibn Abil Hadid says, “What else could have been there before the acceptance of responsibility and what difference was there whether he named a particular person or devised a committee and imposed his specific instructions on the selection of the caliph?”[1]

Umar with the Members of Shura Committee

Umar summoned the members of the Shura committee whom he had himself nominated and considered them honest. Umar had also claimed that the Prophet had also said about them that they were the people of Paradise.[2] But when they arrived in his presence he addressed them in a very sarcastic and critical manner. And for each of them he made a clear objection. He blamed each of them to be having a particular defect, which makes us question their nomination by Umar Historians have recorded his comments in various ways. Some of them are as follow:

1. When he glanced at them he said, “Each of you have come to me in a condition that you are giving movement to your devil and aspiring to become a caliph…as for you, O Talha, did you not say that ‘If the Prophet passes away, I would marry his widows?’ The Almighty Allah has not considered Muhammad better than us for marrying our cousins and the Almighty Allah has revealed for you: “…and it does not behove you that you should give trouble to the Apostle of Allah, nor that you should marry his wives after him ever…”[3]

And as for you, O Zubair, by Allah, your heart never softened and you have always been cruel and sharp tongued.”

And as for you, O Uthman, by Allah a heap of dung is better than you.”

And as for you, O Abdur Rahman, you are a weak man, that you fear all the people.

And as for you, O Saad, you are having an angry disposition and you are a mischief-maker.

And as for you, O Ali, by Allah, if your faith is weighed against the weight of all the people of the earth your faith shall be heavier.”

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/260
[2] Ibne Athir, Kamil 3/66
[3] Surah Ahzab 33:53


Ali arose and departed from there. Umar then addressed the audience and said, “I recognize the status of a person that if you entrust him with your affairs he would bring you on an illuminated path.”

They asked, “Who is it?”

He replied, “It is the same one who is going from before you.”

They asked, “What has prevented you from this.”

He replied, “There is no option in this.”[1]

Umar had criticized each of them except Imam Amirul Momineen whom he considered great and confessed about his eligibility and suitability for caliphate; and that if he had taken the affairs of the community in his control he would have led them on the true path. However, Umar did not consider it worthwhile to appoint him.

2. Historians say: When Shura members came face to face they said: “O Amirul Momineen, say something about us so that we may use your opinion as points of debate and we be guided by your views.” So he said, “By Allah, Saad, nothing prevented me from appointing you as the caliph except your cruelty and hard heartedness although you are a brave warrior.”

And nothing prevents me from you, O Abdul Rahman except that you are the Firon of this community.

And nothing prevents me from you, O Zubair except that you are a believer in happiness and an infidel in anger.

And nothing prevents me about Talha except his arrogance and pride. And if he becomes the caliph be would put the ring of his seal on his wife’s finger.

And nothing prevents me from you, O Uthman, except your bigotry and your favoritism towards your clan.

And nothing prevents me from you, O Ali except your greed for it and in fact you are the most qualified of the people and if you get the post you shall act on manifest truth and the right path.”[2]

Umar associated the members of the Shura with undesirable qualities. He labeled Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf as the Firon of the community but surprisingly the next moment he gave him the choice of selection and made his opinion binding on all.

In the same way he alleged that Imam Ali was greedy for the caliphate but the open biography of the Imam testifies against this. Because His Eminence neither loved power nor wished for rulership. He argued with the caliphs that he was more qualified and worthy for the post not because he wanted to obtain rule and power or to gain material wealth as some of them did in this way. He also did not fall prey to selfish desires and annihilate himself in that path or to seek material gains

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/159
[2] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/28-29


in order to gain superiority among the people.

Imam Ali was not seeking any of these valueless things. Rather he wanted rulership for spreading justice and establishment of truth and the Shariah of God. This was the true desire of his life. And for the sake of these aim he was according value to it. He had expressed this matter in his following statements:

“O Allah, You know that what was from us, it was not a rivalry for coming to power and neither was it for obtaining any remaining wealth and property. It was so that I may be able to protect the signs of Your religion. And that Your forgotten limits of (commands and prohibitions) be established and Your oppressed servants may get security.”

His Eminence in conversation with Ibn Abbas about the level of his distaste for power and his considering valueless of rulership while His Eminence was stitching his sandals. Thus he glanced at Ibn Abbas and asked, “O Ibn Abbas, what is the value of this sandal?”

Ibn Abbas replied, “O Amirul Momineen it is of no value.”

His Eminence said, “It is better than this your caliphate, but that I may establish the truth and remove falsehood.”

His Eminence was desirous of caliphate so that he may save its lofty position and for establishment of social justice, to spread knowledge in the society and to improve the general life of the populace.

3. In the third narration it is mentioned that Umar summoned the members of the Shura committee and when they arrived to him he said to them, “Are you all greedy of caliphate after me?”

They did not say anything in reply. He again repeated his question, Zubair glanced at him and asked, “What is it that could keep it away from us? You took it in your hand and acted upon it and we in Quraish are not lesser than you, either in precedence (in Islam) nor in proximity (in relation to the Prophet).

Umar was not able to reply to this. He said, “Shall I inform you about yourself?”

They said, “Say it. Because even if we ask you to release us, you would not.”

He described their aspirations and greeds and told them about their psychology. Thus he glanced at Zubair and said, “As for your O Zubair, you are quick tempered and angry man. If you are pleased, you are a believer and when you are angry you are an infidel. One day you are a human and the other you are a Satan. And if you obtain the caliphate you would spend a day in Mecca in arguing over a measure of barley. Thus if you come to power, I don’t know what would be the condition of people on the day you are a Satan and what would be on the day you are angry and the Allah Almighty Allah shall not endow you with caliphate while you are having those defects.”

On the basis of the analysis of his psychology Zubair was found to be having the following dangerous defects:


1. Short temper and narrow minded

2. Instability in behavior

3. Too much anger and lack of self control

4. Greed and miserliness to an extent that he could fight over a measure of barley.

These are such undesirable qualities that anyone who is fraught with them is absolutely undeserving of any government post. How can he become the leader and caliph of the Muslim nation?

Then Umar turned to Talha and asked, “Shall I say it or remain quiet?”

Talha became angry with him and said, “You are not saying anything about the good qualities.”

Umar said, “Indeed I know you very well, from the day your finger was cut off in the Battle of Uhad. You were angry due to the pain you suffered and the Prophet departed from this world while he was displeased with you because of what you said on the occasion of the revelation of the verse of Hijab.”

If the Messenger of Allah had been angry with Talha, how could Umar nominate him for caliphate and leadership of Muslims? This Caliphate is something about which he said, “The Messenger of Allah passed away while he was pleased with the members of the Shura Committee.”

Jahiz has expressed his opinion on this matter saying, “If someone says to Umar: You said that the Messenger of Allah passed away while he was pleased with these six persons, then how could you say to Talha that His Eminence was displeased with him due to what Talha had said? In that case it would be as if you have shot an arrow at him. But who could dare to ask even something lesser than this?”

Then Umar turned to Saad bin Abi Waqqas and said, “Indeed, you are the owner of a herd of horses, of horses with which you fight in the battles. And you are a hunter with bows and arrows. What does the tribe of Zuhra has to do with caliphate and community affairs?”

Saad was a warrior and except for martial affairs he did not have any capability in administrative and community matters. Then why did Umar nominate him as a candidate for caliphate? In the same way he has described the ineligibility of the tribe of Saad for Caliphate and Umar criticized it in this regard.

When he turned to Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf he said, “As for you, O Abdur Rahman, if half of the faith of the Muslims is compared to your faith, your faith would be proved better. However it is not suitable for this matter that it be entrusted to a person having a defect that you possess. And where is ‘Zohra’ (a type of weak person) and where is this matter?

And Abdur Rahman in the opinion of Umar was a man of faith and piety. But we don’t know where his faith was when he did not select the chief of the Purified


Progeny, Imam Amirul Momineen as Caliph and entrusted the affairs of the Muslims to the hands of the Umayyads who plundered the wealth of God and who made the servants of God as their own slaves? And Abdur Rahman also, according to the admission of Umar, did not possess a strong personality and a firm determination; then why did Umar appoint him as a candidate for caliphate?

How could Umar make his decision binding on the affairs of the community?

After that Umar glanced at Amirul Momineen and said, “By Allah if you become the caliph! If only you hadn’t a jestful nature! If you rule over them you shall take them towards truth and the right path.”

When was the Imam resorting to jest? Rather the Imam always lived a life of seriousness and had a farsighted disposition which became obvious in his words and deeds. Now how could it be possible for a person of a jestful nature to take the Muslims to the right path and truth? As Umar says: This position is not suitable for a person with a jestful disposition because it is a weakness and sloth in the personality.”

Umar has emphasized that if the Imam obtains control over the affairs of Muslims, he would deal with them with truth and lead them on the right path. Then why Umar made him a mere member of Shura committee and why did he not expressly appoint him as the caliph? Is it in the well-being of the community that opportunity be taken away from him and the affairs may not be entrusted to one who would act on his practice, which was based on pure justice and truth?

Then he turned to Uthman the senior member of the Umayyad clan. It was a clan that had always confronted Islam. Umar said to him, “Yes! The rulership shall indeed come to you! As if I can see the Quraish handing over caliphate to you on the basis of their friendship to you and you have imposed the Bani Umayyad and Bani Abu Muit on the necks of the people. And you have preferred them for showering gifts. Then a group of wolves of Arabs would rush to you and behead you in your bed. By Allah, if you do so and you would also do it – they would also do the same.” Then he put his hand on his forehead and said, “Thus if it happens in this way, remember what I have said…”[1]

If we ponder briefly on Umar’s statement to Uthman that he said, “As if I can see the Quraish handing over caliphate to you on the basis of their friendship to you…” we shall see that it was Umar who had given the caliphate to Uthman. Because the rules he framed for the Shura were definitely in favor of Uthman’s victory as Umar had made him a member of Shura and the majority of them were having good relationship with Uthman’s family. And they would never prevent Uthman’s selection neither would they prefer anyone else to him. And in fact it was Umar who has given the caliphate to Uthman. Also inspite of having perfect knowledge about Uthman’s nature and his favoritism towards his clan, how could Umar name him as a candidate of caliphate? While he was personally aware of the

[1] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/185-186 (First edition)


danger of Bani Umayyah for Islam and he has announced this matter in his conversation with Mughaira bin Shoba. He had said, “O Mughaira, do you see anything with your blind eyes?”

“No”, he replied.

Umar said, “By Allah, the Bani Umayyad shall blind the eyes of Islam like you have become blind. And after that they would blind both their eyes and would not know where they go and from where they come.”[1]

Thus at the time of his death, Umar should have secured the Muslim community from the danger of Bani Umayyads and he should not have allowed them any share in rulership of Muslims.

The above were some narrational reports regarding his statements addressed to members of the Shura Committee.

Procedure of Shura Committee

Probably I have not seen any other procedure as baseless as the procedure of the Shura committee. It was not having any kind of originality and balance. It was very far from the fact that it should be representative of all views of the community. Different groups should have been represented therein. Because in this Shura Umar had given the view of a particular group precedence over the opinion of the people. They were only representing their own views.

Umar summoned all of those whom he had nominated and said to them, “Bring with you someone from the senior man of Ansar but nothing from your affair shall be in their hands. And along with you present Hasan Ibn Ali and Abdullah Ibn Abbas, as they a two are such close ones that their presence I consider good for you and for them there would be no share in your affair.”[2]

Umar distanced the Ansar and he did not allow them any share in nomination and selection. Rather he made them responsible for supervision, which amounted to their deprivation, and it implied that they were not worth much. Because the matter was the matter of the members of Shura and others were of no consequence…And we don’t know what benefit existed by the presence of Hasan Ibn Ali and Abdullah Ibn Abbas while they did not have any say in the matter of selecting the caliph.

When he turned to Abu Talha Ansari and issued a command so that by it the matter of Shura is strengthened and he said to him, “O Abu Talha, Allah honored Islam through you. So select 50 persons from the Ansar and tell them to undertake this function…”

After that he turned to Miqdad bin Aswad and ordered him similarly that: “If five agree and one differs, behead the one. If four agree and two disagree, those two should be beheaded; ft there is a division of three and three, the choice of the group of Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf should prevail. If the other three do not agree to it they…”

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 12/82
[2] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/28


Warning to the Companions

Umar warned the companions of the Prophet and told them about the danger of Muawiyah and Amr bin Aas whenever they did not have a unified belief and they arose in conflicts regarding the kingdom. So he said to them, “O companions of Muhammad, become united, for if you don’t, Amr bin Aas and Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan would dominate you in the matter of caliphate.

The Imamite Shaykh, Shaykh Mufeed has remarked in the following way about this statement: “By this statement, Umar intended to instigate Muawiyah and Amr bin Aas to obtain the power of caliphate and he encouraged them in their greed because Muawiyah was his agent and governor in Syria and Amr bin Aas was his agent and governor in Egypt and Umar was afraid that if Uthman becomes weak the caliphate would turn to Ali, therefore he issued this statement so that people may convey it to those two who were in Syria and Egypt and in case the caliphate returns to Ali the two may seize power in the Muslim territories…”

The Imam’s Reaction

Imam Amirul Momineen was shocked and he was extremely aggrieved and he knew that the Shura committee was designed as a plot to keep the caliphate away from him. His Eminence met his uncle Abbas and without any preface said:

“O Uncle, the caliphate has gone away from us.”

He said, “Who has informed you about this?”

His Eminence replied, “He has equated me with Uthman and said that I must respect the choice of the majority and then he said: Be with Abdur Rahman, Saad would also not oppose his cousin Abdur Rahman and Abdur Rahman is the son-in-law of Uthman so they shall not differ among themselves…”[1]

Imam’s prediction proved true, because Abdur Rahman for his personal reason and the expectation that afterwards the caliphate shall return to him, entrusted the caliphate to Uthman.

The Shura was an obvious plot to cause the defeat of the Holy Imam that was devised to opposed that true successor of the Messenger of Allah and the gate of the city of knowledge.

Imam Kashiful Ghita says, “The Shura in its reality and essence was a real plot and a fa├žade which was capable to bring out the selection of Uthman as a caliph over Muslims and though it seemed to be for the well-being of the Muslims it brought for them a calamity that was to remain with them forever…”

This conspiracy saddened the Holy Imam and the malice of Quraish increased his sorrow till after a number of years he spoke about it and said, “When he (Umar) died he appointed one who claimed that he was of them. Thus may Allah restore my rights from the Shura. How many calamities I was already facing that now I was subjected to this kind of difficulty…”

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, 4/229-230


Yes, by Allah, O Amirul Momineen, who doubts that you were the best of the Muslims and the most superior among them in Jihad and the foremost of them in Islam. But what a terrible time! Woe be to that time when you were equated with such people, who deprived the Ummah from justice and rights.

The Imam’s Acceptance

Here a question remains to be answered, and that is why the Holy Imam agreed to be a component of the Shura committee inspite of the fact that there were clear differences between the other Shura members and His Eminence?

His Eminence has himself replied to this question that it was to expose the contradiction in Umar’s arguments because Umar had said many a times that prophethood and caliphate can never come together in the same family. Then in such a case why did he nominate Ali as a member of Shura committee for selection of a caliph?

Problems of Shura

The former and latter researchers have criticized the Shura and are unanimous of its artificial nature. And its undesirable consequences that caused untold misery for the Ummah and the mischief it created have already been discussed by us in our previous volume titled, Life of Imam Hasan. However it is pertinent to briefly mention them here because the topic of discussion demands it:

Firstly: This setup was very distant from the reality of the Shura and it lacked all the factors that could have made it successful. Therefore it should have had the following requisites:

A – It should have represented all the classes of the community.

B – The government should not have had any interference in the matter of selection directly or indirectly.

C – General freedom should have been given to those who were taking part in the selection.

However Umar’s Shura lacked all these qualities and none of them were present in that setup because it prevented the Ummah from selecting a candidate of their choice and no one was accorded the freedom to select a caliph of his choice. Rather the matter was entrusted to only six persons and their view was decreed to dominate the view of all the community. And it is a type of purification that some regimes do not care for the aspirations of their subjects and they force things upon them. And he also ordered the police that they must interfere in this matter and told them: If any member of the Shura opposes the selection of the remaining members, he shall be put to death.

In the same way he instructed them that they must limit the selection to a period of three days and the selection makers got very little time to choose, so that another group of people may not interfere in the matter and their aim may not be defeated.

Secondly: This Shura consisted of elements opposed to the Imam and those


harboring malice against His Eminence. Because among them was Talha of the Tamim tribe, the clan of Abu Bakr and he competed with the Imam for the post of caliphate and he kept the Holy Imam from the caliphate. And among the Shura was Abdur Rahman bin Auf the son-in-law of Uthman. He was the most inimical among the Muhajireen with regard to Imam Ali. According to the statements of history writers he was of those who had helped Abu Bakr in forcing Ali to pay him the oath of allegiance. The Shura also included Saad bin Abi Waqqas who was full of enmity and jealousy towards the Imam due to his brotherhood with the Umayyads because his mother Hamna was the daughter of Sufyan bin Umayyah. And Imam Ali had slain their senior warriors in the way of the propagation of Islam. And when Muslims paid allegiance to the Imam, Saad refrained from giving his oath of allegiance. Also, among the components of the Shura was Uthman bin Affan, the leader of the Umayyad clan.
According to the admission of the historians, Umar selected such persons for the Shura who were absolutely inimical to the Imam and opposed to him so that the caliphate may not reach His Eminence.

Imam has remarked about the factors that influenced the selection and said: However, I spread my wings when they spread their wings and when they began to fly I also took to the air. Thus one of them gave ear to his animosity and the other one inclined towards his son-in-law along with the other problems.”

Anyway, this Shura, according to what the researchers have concluded, was solely aimed at keeping the Imam from power and entrusting the caliphate to the Umayyads.

Alaili says, “The appointing of six persons in Shura prepared the ground for the Umayyads so that they may raise the castle of their power on the shoulders of the Muslims.”

Sayyid Mir Ali Hindi has also concluded thus and he says, “The greed of Umar against the interests of the Muslims made him select these six persons from the best people of Medina without following the policy of his predecessors and the Umayyads had a strong lobby in Medina. And that is the reason that his selection prepared the ground for the plot and conspiracy of the Umayyads to succeed. The same Umayyads who harbored animosity towards Islam. And after that they came to this selection so that through it they may find a way to fulfill their greed and build the castle of their greatness on the shoulders of the Muslims.”[1]

Thirdly: Umar kept the Ansar away intently from this Shura and he did not allow them any share in it while it were they who had given refuge to the Prophet and supported Islam in its times of difficulties and helplessness and the Messenger of Allah had prayed in their favor.

In the same way Umar did not reserve any position in the Shura for important personalities like Ammar, Abu Zar and other senior Muslims and most probably it was due to their inclination towards Imam Ali. This was so because they

[1] Al-Imam al-Husain, 1/267


would not have chosen anyone other than Ali. And it was on the basis of this that Umar kept them away from the selection committee. Umar selected for the Shura, persons who were confirmed opponents of the Holy Imam.

Fourthly: Among the curious aspects of this Shura is that Umar has testified in favor of the Shura members that when the Prophet departed from the world he was well-pleased with these six persons or that he has given them glad tidings of Paradise. But Umar on the other hand had given express instructions to the police that if they delay in selecting one from themselves, they must all be killed. On the basis of what we have stated and according to those who have criticized the Shura that delay in selection does not expel them from the pale of Islam and it does not tantamount to apostasy that they should be condemned to death. And this command was absolutely opposed to the laws of Islam, which do not permit the killing of any man except under some specified circumstances that the jurists have mentioned, and none of these circumstances were applicable therein.

Here another matter remains that is in no way lesser than the objection mentioned above. It is that Umar limited the Shura to six persons on the argument that the Messenger of Allah was well pleased with them at the time of his passing away. Because this argument does not justify such a selection because the Allah’s Messenger was well pleased with many more companions when he passed away. Hence to prefer only these six persons to them is a case of undeserving preference, which, according to scholars of Usul (fundamentals), is an undesirable option.

Fifthly: Of the objections leveled against this Shura is that Umar gave precedence to the choice of the group of Abdur Rahman bin Auf and he considered it superior to the group having Imam Amirul Momineen Ali, as this partiality clearly shows Umar’s leanings towards the Umayyad powers clearly who were inimical and unjust with regard to the Holy Imam. And we were not able to find a single reason for the preference accorded to Ibn Auf and any kind of qualification for this post or that he may be having any kind of superiority. Was he and his brethren from the Muhajireen like Talha and Zubair and others were not who had made the property of Muslims and sources of their wealth special for themselves to an extent that they gathered incalculable wealth? They possessed so much wealth that they could not find enough ways to spend it. And on the basis of what the historians have stated, Ibn Auf had amassed so much gold that they had to use hammers to break it
into pieces. Can such a person be given precedence over the Imam, while His Eminence was the owner of generosity and perfections? And in knowledge, piety and religiosity he had no equal and the Almighty Allah says in His Book: “Say: Are those who know and those who do not know alike?”[1]

Sixthly: This Shura created a feeling of rivalry and competition in such a way that each of them considered himself to be equal to and as important as others while such a scenario did not exist previously. Saad was subservient to the command of

[1] Surah Zumar 39:9


Abdur Rahman and Abdur Rahman was obedient to Uthman and from his sincere friends and supporters. But after the Shura process a strange rift developed between them. So much so that Abdur Rahman began to conspire against Uthman and he was inviting Ali that anyone may take up arms to fight Uthman and made a bequest to his people that after he died, Uthman must not recite his funeral prayer…and also Zubair was the follower of Imam and in Saqifah he had stood on the side of the Imam and he bore many hardships and difficulties in this regard. And he had said in the reign of Umar, “By Allah, if Umar dies, I shall give the oath of allegiance to Ali.” However, the Shura process imbued him with such a feeling of superiority that he began to consider himself at par with the Imam and he parted ways with His Eminence. On the day of Jamal he took up the sword against Ali. In the same way the Shura created mutual animosity among its components because each of
them considered himself as the most qualified one for caliphate and thought that he was better than others. This animosity and conflict that developed between them became the cause to harm the unity of Muslims and it rendered them disunited. Muawiyah has mentioned this mater to Abil Haseen whom Ziyad sent to meet Muawiyah and Muawiyah had asked him, “I have received information that you are clever and intelligent, so tell me what I want to know.”

“Ask whatever you like.”

“Tell me what destroyed the unity of Muslims and created discord among them?”

“Uthman’s assassination.”

“You are wrong.”

“Ali’s action against you and his battle with you.”

“You are wrong.”

“Uprising of Talha, Zubair and Ayesha and Ali’s war on them.”

“You are wrong.”

“I don’t know anything else.”

“I tell you, nothing has destroyed the unity of the Muslims and divided their views except the Shura committee that Umar had constituted of six persons, because the Almighty Allah sent Muhammad with guidance and the true religion so that it may prevail over all the other religions even though polytheists may be averse. Thus he acted upon what the Almighty Allah had commanded him, then Allah took him to Himself. And he sent Abu Bakr to lead the prayers and he accepted him for his worldly affairs while the Messenger of Allah had selected him for his religious affairs. Thus he acted upon the practice of the Messenger of Allah and followed the same manners and behavior till the Almighty Allah raised him up. Abu Bakr appointed Umar in his place and he (Umar) also continued his (Abu Bakr’s) practice and manners and after that he formed a committee of six persons such that there was none of them who did not want the caliphate for himself and he was


waiting that caliphate may come to his people and his self was inclined towards it. And if Umar, like Abu Bakr had appointed anyone specifically, there would not have been any controversy in this matter.”[1]

The first effect of the Shura was the exposition of the greed and political aspirations of some Shura members and they tried to form parties and groups among the Islamic community so that they may be able to occupy the seat of power and this matter prepared the ground for future conflict that befell the Muslims.

These were some problems created by the Shura that forced the Muslims to bear untold problems and tragedies because it created a favorable atmosphere for the former bondsmen and their children to gain power and control of rulership so that they may prepare a program about which Muslims had no idea and the most obvious aspect of this conspiracy was to obtain control over the sources of government income and to plunder the wealth and funds of the public and also to try to oppress the righteous people and unleash a cruel agenda against the Progeny of the Prophet.

Mode of Selection

When Umar departed from this world and was buried in his eternal abode, the police officers surrounded the members of the Shura committee and told them to organize a meeting to select a ruler for the Muslims from among themselves so that the will of Umar may be acted upon.

They held a meeting in the Public Treasury and according to a report it was in the house of Masroor bin Mukhrama and Imam Hasan and Abdullah Ibn Abbas supervised the selection. Mughaira bin Shoba and Amr bin Aas hastened towards an audience hall but Saad scolded them and said, “Do you want to say that we were present and were among the Shura members?”[2]

This statement shows the rivalry and jealousy that existed in those people because they were worried that Mughaira and Ibn Aas may also attend the meet and say that they were also Shura members.

The Shura members argued with one another, each one canvassing his own candidature and trying to prove himself as one most eligible for the post and a great clamor and argument arose.

Imam Amirul Momineen Ali faced them and warned them of the future mischief and destruction in case they were following their selfish interests and not giving any importance to the interests of the community. Then he said, “No one has recognized anyone except me for the invitation of truth and for doing good to relatives, so listen to what I say and ponder upon my statements so that it may not be that after today you see that swords are drawn for it and promises are broken for it so that some of you may become leaders of misguidance and some become followers of ignorant ones…”[3]

[1] Al-Iqdul Farid 5/33-34
[2] Ibne Athir, Tarikh 3/68
[3] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 25/31


If they had paid heed to the Imam’s warnings they would have saved the community from future upheavals and calamities and had ensured peace and prosperity for it. However they followed selfish desires, rulership and power worship and the prophecy of the Holy Imam proved true. Not much time passed when swords were drawn out, conflicts spread and mischiefs became predominant and some of them became leaders of misguidance and some became followers of ignorant ones.

Arguments and debates took place in that group and they did not reach a desirable decision and the meeting ended without achieving its aim, which the people were impatiently waiting for a decisive result. The meeting convened for a second time but again its purpose was defeated. Then Abu Talha Ansari addressed them with warnings, threats and promises, saying, “No, by the One in Whose hands is the life of Umar! I shall not give you more than the period of three days that is fixed for you…”

On the third day, which was their last opportunity, again the meeting was convened. A severe communal aspect became obvious when Talha surrendered his right to Uthman, which was absolutely against the interests of the community. And he took this step as a result of a deep animosity he harbored towards the Holy Imam as His Eminence had taken a stand against Abu Bakr a cousin of Talha in the matter of caliphate. Zubair also came forward and surrendered his vote to the Imam because he was closely related to him. Saad also stood up and gave up his vote in favor of his cousin, Abdur Rahman bin Auf so that he may support him in his choice.

The choice of Abdur Rahman was binding on all and his position was very strong because Umar had assured him about it and given him the final say in the matter of caliphate. However he had a very weak personality and determination and was unfit to bear the responsibility of rulership. Therefore he decided to nominate someone else for the caliphate. He was inclined to Uthman because Abdur Rahman was his son-in-law. Meanwhile he had also obtained the advice of the Quraishites and they had told him to prevent Ali and press for the selection of Uthman, as Uthman was the one who would enable the realization of their aspirations.

At last the terrible moment arrived that changed the course of history and Abdur Rahman bin Auf told his nephew to call Ali and Uthman to him.

He asked, “Whom should I summon first?”

Abdur Rahman replied, “Whomsoever you like.”

Masoor went out to bring these two persons and Muhajireen and Ansars gathered in the Mosque. Then Abdur Rahman came forward and presented to them the matter of caliphate and said, “O people, people have gathered from different areas and localities to which they would return, so you tell them about your view.”

At that time, the pure one, son of the pure one, Ammar bin Yasir came forward and he gave his counsel, which was in the interests of the community against disunity


and conflict. He said, “If you want that there should be no discord among the Muslims, you must give allegiance to Ali.”

Miqdad also came forward and supported the statement of Ammar and said, “Ammar is right. If you give allegiance to Ali we shall accept and follow him.”

It was the time when the oppressive and malicious powers gained momentum against Islam and the statements of Ammar and Miqdad were denounced and the senior members of the Umayyad clan demanded the appointment of Uthman. Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarah screamed at Ibn Auf and said, “If you want that the Quraish do not rise in opposition, you must pay allegiance to Uthman.”

Abdullah bin Abi Rabia also spoke up and seconded his companion and said, “If you pay allegiance to Uthman we shall accept and follow him.”

The prominent companion, Ammar bin Yasir replied to Ibn Abi Sarah saying, “Since when you were a well wisher of Muslims?”

Ammar was right, because Ibn Sarah was never a well wisher of Muslims and he never wished good of Islam. He was of the most inimical persons to the Messenger of Allah and His Eminence, after the conquest of Mecca ordered that he should be killed even if he hung himself with the covering of the Holy Ka’ba.[1] And if the proper method and procedure had been followed these dirty persons and others like them would not have been able to interfere in the affairs of Muslims, because Bani Umayyah and other tribes of Quraish always were at the end of the caravan and they were not accorded any importance. This was so because they had opposed the Messenger of Allah and instigated other tribes against him and they had accepted Islam only due to the fear of the point of the sword. Then how were they allowed to present their views and that the rulership of the Muslims be given to them?

Debates and arguments increased between the Umayyads and Hashemites and Ammar bin Yasir came forward in order to invite people towards the well being of the Muslims. He said, “O people, the Almighty Allah has bestowed greatness to us through His Prophet and favored us with His religion. Then how long would you keep the caliphate away from the Ahle Bayt of the Prophet?”

Ammar’s logic was full of the spirit of Islam and its guidance because the Almighty Allah bestowed the Quraish and other Arabs with honor through His religion and made them successful through His Prophet and His Eminence was the honor and respect of the Arabs and it was incumbent on them to reciprocate this favor by not keeping the caliphate away from the Prophet’s family as the Ahle Bayt were the protectors of knowledge and repositories of the revelation that had descended on His Eminence. It was an injustice to try to oppress and subjugate them.

[1] Al-Istiab 3/918


Then a man of Bani Makhzum interrupted Ammar and said, “O son of Sumaiyyah, what business do you have regarding the selection of a chief of Quraish?”

What can be greater blindness than this from the light of Islam and its guidance that this Makhzumi is addressing Ammar in this way and calling him by his mother’s name who was such a respected lady in Islam and whose sacrifices are unsurpassed that Islam is proud of them. She, her husband, Yasir and son, Ammar were in the forefront in the establishment of faith in the initial stages and bore all sorts of hardships and calamities.

The matter of caliphate is related to all Muslims, that is why the son of Sumaiyyah and others who Almighty Allah had bestowed power and honor after they had been oppressed were now participating in it while the Quraishite devils had no right to interfere in the affairs of Muslims, if the proper procedure and logic had been followed.

Arguments arose between the powers of Islam and Quraish and Saad feared that the matter would go out of their hands. So he turned to his cousin, Abdur Rahman and said, “O Abdur Rahman, you should complete the job given to you before the people become involved in mischief.”

Abdur Rahman glanced at the Holy Imam and asked, “Would you agree to follow the Book of Allah, the traditions of the Messenger of Allah and the system of Abu Bakr and Umar if we give allegiance to you?”

Imam glared at him and understood what he wanted; and with the logic of Islam and the manners of noble men, he replied, “Rather, I would follow the Book of Allah, the traditions of the Messenger of Allah and my own judgment…”

The sources of law in Islam are these very things, the Book of Allah, the traditions of the Messenger of Allah through whom the problems of the people are solved and through which the system of rulership works. While the actions of Abu Bakr and Umar had no connection with the sources of Islamic Law because the two of them had wide differences in their policy. Abu Bakr’s economic policy was nearer to equality than that of Umar where he removed equitable distribution of allowances and brought into effect a class system. He preferred some Muslims to others. He also prohibited the two Mutahs; that is the Mutah of the Hajj and the Mutah of women while these two Mutahs were lawful during the time of the Messenger of Allah and Abu Bakr. And also, he imposed many of his personal views of Islamic laws and made them a code of law. Then on which manner shall the son of Abu Talib, who was brought up in the lap of prophethood, act?

Ibn Auf definitely and without any doubt knew that Imam would accept the rulership according to the divine law and manage the affairs of the Muslims on the basis of truth and justice and he would not have given any sort of preference to the Quraishite clan and he would have considered them equal to other people in giving of the rights. Hence the advantage that this group may gain against Islam and the problems that it had created for the Muslim community would have been destroyed.


If the Imam had agreed to the condition put forward by Ibn Auf it would not have been possible for him to follow any kind of policy for the establishment of justice on the earth. And even if the Imam had just apparently accepted the conditions, the Quraish would have laid hurdles in his way and would not have left for him any venue to establish social justice. In that case they would have been justified in rebelling against him since he would have failed to fulfill his promises.

Anyway, when Abdur Rahman despaired of any change in the attitude of the Holy Imam he turned to Uthman and presented him with the same proposal. Uthman immediately gave a positive reply and he expressed his complete willingness to fulfill those conditions. And we think that there existed a confidential agreement among themselves that they had not revealed to anyone and under no circumstances would they have appointed the Imam to caliphate even if he had agreed to accept the conditions. He had only offered the allegiance in order to conceal their plan; that is why he resorted to this political maneuver.

Some western historians believe that Abdur Rahman had taken advantage of this opportunity and he did not allow a free selection.

Historians say that Abdur Rahman rushed to Uthman and keeping his hand on his hand said to him, “O Allah, I hereby transfer the responsibility that I had to Uthman…”

These steps fell like a thunderbolt on those of equitable disposition because they were trying to establish the rule of God among the people.

Imam addressed Ibn Auf and said, “By Allah, you did not do it but with the same hope which he (Umar) had from his friend (Abu Bakr). May Allah create enmity between you two.” (Ali meant that Abdur Rahman had made Uthman caliph hoping that Uthman would nominate him as his successor.)...[1]

The Imam exposed the actual aim of Abdur Rahman in selecting Uthman, that it was not in the interest of the community. Rather he had selfish interest in it because Ibn Auf hoped to occupy the seat of caliphate after Uthman. Hence it was due to his greed and political aspirations. Imam Ali glanced at the Quraishites and said, “This is not the first day that you are becoming rulers upon us, I shall observe a goodly patience and I shall plead for divine help regarding what you say.”

The Imam’s logical statement stung Ibn Auf and therefore he replied in a threatening manner, “O Ali, do not compel us to attack you!”

[1] The actual words of the Imam are: May Allah put the perfume of Munshim between you two. Mushim was a female perfume vendor in Mecca and when two warring tribes (Khuzaya and Jurham) wanted to have armed confrontations with each other they used to apply the perfume of Munshim and many were killed in this confrontation. Thus it became a proverb. This meaning is explained in the Sihah of Jauhari, 5/41. And the Almighty accepted the supplication of the Holy Imam and Uthman and Abdur Rahman bin Auf became deadly foes. So much so that Abdur Rahman bin Auf willed that if he died Uthman must not be allowed to recite his funeral prayer.


The oppressed Imam could not but leave the venue of the gathering saying, “This would also reach its end.”

The worthy son of Islam, Ammar bin Yasir came forward and speaking to Ibn Auf said, “O Abdur Rahman, by Allah, you have abandoned him, while he is the only one who could have established truth and spread justice among them.”

Miqdad was of those who were absolutely devastated by these developments. He said, “By Allah, I have not seen anything like that which befell the members of this family after the passing away of their Prophet. Surprisingly the Quraish left a man such that none was seen or heard to be more just, wise and pious, if they had only supported him.”

Abdur Rahman interrupted his statement and warned him of mischief, “O Miqdad, be fearful of Allah as I fear mischief upon you.”

In this way came to an end the Shura procedure tragedy that initiated mischiefs for the Muslims and subjected them to a great evil. The Shura, which was based on that it did not respect any right of the family of the Prophet. Rather these people, in a blatant manner, tried to decrease their worth and considered them at par with the commoners and dealt with them with malice and animosity. It was in such a way that they had completely forgotten what the Messenger of Allah had advised about them and they did not pay any heed to what he had said about them like his saying that the Progeny was equal to the great book of Allah or that it was like the Ark of Nuh, that whosoever boarded it was saved and whoever did not, was drowned and destroyed.

Imam Husain in the early stages of his life witnessed with his own eyes, the atmosphere and consequences that followed it from the spreading of political greed and terrible battles. An action that brought into existence groups and preparing grounds for establishment of power and obtaining rulership to get undue advantage from charity and war booty. The poet says:

“I see the mischiefs that have appeared.

And after Abu Laila the rulership is for the one who gains supremacy.”

This finally became the cause of coming into being of groups for obtaining rulership and achieving their selfish aims.

Al Jahishari says, “When Yazid bin Abdul Malik died and Hisham became the ruler, the news reached him when he was on the countryside with a group of his friends. He immediately performed a prostration of thankfulness and his friends also followed suit, except for a person named Saad. Hisham objected to this and asked, “Why did you not prostrate?”

He replied, “For what should I prostrate. For the fact that you were with us and after that you have flown to the sky?”

Hisham said, “We shall take you also along with us to flight (scale heights).”


He said, “In that case it is all right to prostrate.” And he prostrated with them.[1]

This incident and other incidents like it are recorded by historians, especially in the struggle for power or in that society, not for the sake of social reformation and progress in life of the people which is in accordance of the aim of Islam, but it was for the fulfillment of selfish motives and for gaining power over the people.

Well, those terrible events created a gap between those people and their religion and they unleashed a series of oppressive politics and actions against the Purified Progeny and subjected them to terrible calamities and all this finally culminated in the tragedy of Kerbala whose sorrowful memory still remains in the world.

Here we conclude our discussion regarding the reigns of the first two caliphs.

[1] Al-Wuzra wal Kitab, Pg. 43

# Uthman’s Reign

Muslims went to welcome Uthman in shock and anxiety and in an absolutely distressed condition. The goodly people were agitated and they feared for their religion and they considered the victory of Umayyads in the kingdom as the victory of powers opposed to Islam.

Dozy believes that the success of the Umayyads was the success of a group, which harbored enmity towards Islam.[1]

Whatever the Muslims had feared and dreaded became true because within a short time, Uthman’s regime tried to make the Quraishites wealthy and that they may plan with their leaders and chiefs. And gave them many preferences and put them in control of the sources of the income of Muslims and land tax, and placed the finances of the kingdom at their disposal. They appointed to all the high posts in government, persons from Bani Umayyah and the clan of Abi Muit and others from those who did not accord any value for the Almighty. So much so that confusion became supreme and corruption spread in all areas of the land.

Anyhow, when Ibn Auf hoisted Uthman as a caliph on the Muslims, Bani Umayyah and other tribes of Quraish converged on him and declared their complete support for the regime and they raised slogans in support of Uthman and with slogan raising they brought him to the mosque of the Messenger of Allah so that he may announce the policies of his regime and make known his position regarding the external and internal matters. He climbed the pulpit and sat on the step where the Holy Prophet used to sit, though Abu Bakr and Umar never sat on that level. Abu Bakr used to sit one step lower than the Prophet’s and Umar used to sit yet another step lower. People remarked about this action of Uthman and some of them said, “Today mischief has taken birth.”[2]

People listened with all their attention to the first political speech of Uthman, but when he saw the crowd he became nervous and did not know what to say. Taking control of himself he forced out a speech, which was nothing but a confused talk, not having any kind of novelty or point of enlightenment. Then he said, “So to say: The first ride is very difficult. We were not an orator. Allah knows that between whom and Adam is only a difference of one ancestor. Indeed it is a lesson.”[3]

After that he came down from the pulpit with a pale face and confused condition. People looked at each other and started joking about him. And it is necessary for us that we discuss in detail about the personal qualities of Uthman and understand his political stances. It is also necessary that we undertake a brief study of the events of his reign that had definite effect on Islam and subjected the world of Islam to untold hardships and evils. We have no option but to state those facts because

[1] Ittehaajaatul Shaar Arabi, Pg. 26
[2] Ibne Athir, 7/148. Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/140
[3] Al-Maufiqyaat, Pg. 202


those events also affected the life of Imam Husain and they cast light from various angles on the tragedy of Kerbala, which was itself a definite result of those events, which in turn was the consequence of distortion in the values of Islamic beliefs. And after this tragedy of Kerbala, it became obvious for us that it was the result of those events that carried its important effects that had played a very important role in changing the principles of Islam.

Aspects of Uthman’s Personality

The most important and well known aspects of Uthman’s personality are as follows:

1 – He was a man of weak will and he lacked determination and he did not have any sort of stability of determination through which he could have put his intentions into practice. Also he did not possess any strength to face and control undesirable situations in a time when the Umayyads had gained control over the reins of affairs and were in power in all the parts of the Islamic lands. And Uthman was not capable to take any definite step against them or do anything to restrain them from fulfilling their aims. On the basis of what historians have said he was in relation to them like a dead body in the hands of a funeral bath-giver. Marwan Ibn Hakam was the administrator of his affairs. He gave to whomsoever he liked and deprived anyone he wanted. He spent public wealth according to his whims and desires without paying any attention to Islamic laws. Uthman did not have any control or choice in the events faced by the regime because he had absolute trust
in Marwan and had entrusted him with all the matters connected to rulership.

Ibn Abil Hadid quoting from his Shaykhs says, “In fact, it was Marwan who was the caliph and Uthman was only having the title of the caliph.”

Strength of determination has the perfect effect on the making of a personality of man and his stability and it imparts to him personal strength so that he may face the crises that he may come across in life. And it is impossible that a man bereft of this quality to be able to achieve any aim for the people or his nation. Islam has absolutely disallowed persons of weak determination from being appointed as community leaders. And such a person has been denied the right to rulership because he would do nothing but expose the community to hardships and calamities and make powerful people arrogant and they would be encouraged to disobey his commands and the community shall fall prey to dangers and problems.

Some historians have described Uthman to be a softhearted, weak, soft spoken and a pliable man. However all these traits were for his own people. As for those who opposed his regime he was extremely hard-hearted and he exerted great pressure on them and tried much to subject them to oppression. He dealt with them in a merciless and cruel manner. For example he exiled Abu Zar from Medina to Rabadha, which was a place devoid of any kind of facilities for living, till finally Abu Zar departed from the world as a homeless alien.


Uthman also subjected Ammar Yasir, the prominent companion to a terrible torture and he issued orders that Ammar be given a severe beating that resulted in causing him hernia and police officers left him unconscious on the road. In the same way Uthman ordered his policemen to beat up the reciter of Quran, Abdullah Ibn Masood. They gave Abdullah Ibn Masood a severe lashing and broke many of his bones and threw him out. He was denied his share from the public treasury. In this way Uthman dealt with his opponents who dared to raise any voice of dissent.

Yes, he was very kind and generous to his clansmen from the Bani Umayyah and family of Abi Muit. He accorded them the tax collected from various provinces and imposed their authority on the people. He appointed them to all the important posts in his government.

2 – The second prominent quality of Uthman was his favoritism and partiality towards his tribe and clan. He was so much concerned with their welfare that he accorded all sorts of facilities to them and it is said that if he had the keys to Paradise he would have given them also to Bani Umayyah. He granted them preference in public allowances and incomes. He entrusted them a great wealth and bestowed them millions from the public treasury and made them rulers in the Islamic provinces and lands. He received continuous complaints about them that they have forsaken the truth, oppressed people and spread corruption in the land. But he did not pay any attention and did not undertake any investigation in this regard. He used to reject the complaints reported to him and he turned the accusations upon the plaintiffs. We shall discuss these things in detail later.

3 – The third aspect of Uthman’s personality was that he was inclined to a life of luxury and enjoyment. He did not have any sort of inclination towards piety and religiosity, like the Messenger of Allah was having. Thus he obtained for himself a life of opulence and riches and made for himself splendid palaces and he spent on himself whatever he desired from the Public Treasury. Finally he had amassed a great quantity of wealth without at all bearing any sort of hardship. Imam Amirul Momineen Ali has described him in the following way: “Like a satiated camel and bulging belly, he had no worry except hoarding wealth and misappropriating wealth from the Public Treasury.” And it was one of the causes of objections against Uthman. We shall discuss this in detail in the topic of the economic policy of Uthman.

These were some qualities of Uthman due to which he failed in the sphere of politics and became a target of objections and criticism.

Administrative System of Uthman

The administrative systems that were in force during the reign of Uthman made the Quraish wealthy and planning with the chiefs and leaders and followed a soft policy against the people of power and influence. It ignored their acts against the law. For example, Ubaidullah Ibn Umar committed intentional murder and he wrongfully murdered Hurzman, Jafifa and Abu Lulu’s daughter. However, Uthman


closed his investigative file and issued a special order regarding him in order to appease Umar’s family. This step became a cause of much criticism and Imam Amirul Momineen Ali went to Uthman to voice his objection and petitioned him to punish Ibn Umar. Miqdad also demanded similarly but Uthman paid no attention to this. Ziyad Ibn Labid, whenever he met Ubaidullah he used to say:

“There is no escape for you and Uthman’s refuge is not your security. By Allah, you have shed innocent blood and the murder of Hurzman is a serious matter.”

You killed him for no reason merely on the report of a reporter. Do you blame Hurzman for the murder of Umar?

The foolishness dominated him and he said, ‘Yes, I blame him for it as he had issued orders for it.’

While the weapon of that man was in his house and he was roaming about here and there and every fact is established through a proof.”

Ubaidullah complained to Uthman and he summoned Ziyad and told him to abstain from this but he did not obey. Ziyad criticized Uthman also and said,

“O Aba Amr, Ubaidullah is responsible for Hurzman’s murder.

Thus if you forgive his crime the causes of the crime are inter related.

In that case you would have wrongly forgiven him and you had no right to do so.”[1]

Uthman became angry with Ziyad and told him to restrain from such statements. He also warned him of dire consequences and Ziyad stopped himself.

Then he sent Ubaidullah from Medina to Kufa and allotted a piece of land and that area became known by his name and it was called, “Kufiyat Ibn Umar” (Ibn Umar’s part). These steps brought objections on Uthman from the righteous and religious people because they saw that the caliph has committed a clearly unlawful act in order to appease the Khattab family.

Anyhow, the administrative policies of Uthman’s reign were under the absolute control of the selfish desires of the Umayyads. It did not follow either the Quran or the practice of the Holy Prophet. Because the Umayyads used to unjustifiably interfere in the areas of the Ummah too much and they used to spread oppression in different provinces as Kurd Ali believes, that these official errors of Uthman were the most important of the causes that led to his murder.[2]

Officials and Governors of Uthman

Uthman tried to impose the family members and clansmen on the community and therefore he appointed them as officers and governors in the Islamic provinces.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 4/239-240
[2] Al-Idaratul Islamiyyah, Pg. 57


Maqrizi says, “Uthman made Bani Umayyah the pivot of his kingdom.”[1]

Umayyads possessed no sort of administrative capability or qualification for discharging the responsibilities of rulership. And it was only this, which subjected the Islamic lands to hardships and corruption and injustice spread all around.

Historians say, “He encouraged his agents to misappropriate wealth from Public Treasury. For example Abu Musa allowed his officials to trade in the commodities of the people of Iraq.”[2]

Sayyid Amir Ali believes that Muslims had to bear untold hardships due to injustices of the rulers and embezzlement of public wealth.[3]

Here we present some specific instances of Uthman’s appointees:

1 – Saeed Ibn Aas

Uthman appointed Saeed Ibn Aas as the governor of Kufa after dismissing Walid bin Uqbah on charges of imbibing wine. Thus this great province was put in charge of Saeed Ibn Aas. The Kufians welcomed their new ruler with disgust and without of any sort of joy. This was so because Saeed was a brat, brought up in the lap of luxury and opulence and he had no reservations against committing any kind of unlawful deed.

Historians say: Once in the month of Ramadan he asked the people, “Which one of you has seen the new moon?” A senior companion of the Holy Prophet, Hashim bin Utbah Mirqal stood up and said, “I have seen it.” But Saeed did not accord any importance to him and he addressed Hashim in a very crude and impolite manner, saying, “Have you seen it with this blind eye?”

Hashim was hurt by this and he protested, “You are taunting me for being blind in one eye, while it has gone in the path of Allah?” Actually he had lost one eye in the Battle of Yarmuk.

Hashim ended his fasts the next day in accordance with the saying of the Messenger of Allah that: “Keep fast on sighting the new moon and end them on sighting the new moon.” The people also followed the example of Hashim and ended their fasts and this information reached Saeed. He summoned Hashim at once and had him beaten severely and then had his house burnt to ashes. This matter caused much hurt to the people and they voiced their objection because Saeed had wrongly punished a standard-bearer of Islam.[4]

Saeed exceeded all limits in oppression and cruelty because it is quoted from him that he said: “This province (Kufa) is a rebel against the Quraish.” This statement of his caused much displeasure and anger among the people. The leader of the noble ones, Malik Ashtar rebutted him, saying, “Do you consider our swords, that

[1] An-Nazaa’a Wat Tukhaasum, Pg. 18
[2] Tabari, Tarikh 4/262
[3] Mukhtasar Tarikhul Arab, Pg. 43
[4] Hayatul Imam Hasan 1/263


Allah has made a channel of our livelihood to be rebels against your people and yourself? By Allah, if anyone desires he shall be defeated and suppressed in such a way that he would be humiliated and disgraced.”

The deviated regime that was imposed by the sword has blamed the righteous members of the community to be rebels against the Quraish, while it was Quraish, which had confronted Islam and made war against it.

The Qaris and jurisprudents of the province supported their leader Malik and seconded his statements. They all voiced their objections against the oppressive policies of the governor. The police chief of Saeed became angry and he scolded them in a severe manner. They pounced upon him and delivered a terrible beating in such a way that he lost his consciousness. Then he got up and left the gathering. The people chastised him and criticized the policies of Uthman. They also mentioned the defects of Quraish and the evils of Bani Umayyah to the public.

Saeed, at once, wrote a letter to Uthman and informed him about the situation. Uthman wrote in reply that he must extern those people to Syria. And at the same time he wrote to Muawiyah that they must be taught a lesson.

These freedom fighters had not committed any crime or created mischief or oppression that they should be punished for their acts. They had only criticized their ruler because he had spoken against the truth and he had deviated from the Straight Path. While Islam has allowed full freedom of speech against the rulers and governors, whenever they may stray from the path and oppress the people. This freedom is the right of every citizen and the government is commanded to respect this right and that people are accorded this freedom.

Anyhow, the administration forced the people towards Syria and there Muawiyah had them arrested and lodged in a church. They were given a counselor and he began to debate with them. He advised and encouraged them to become obedient and cooperative with the ruler. However they did not accept his counsel and they objected to him against the statement of Saeed that the province of Kufa was a garden of Quraish. With this they announced that the Quraish tribes did not have any sort of preference that they should reserve the fruits of the land for themselves.

When Muawiyah failed to convince them he excused himself from Uthman from keeping them in Syria. It may not be that those people cause harm to Muawiyah’s rule.

Uthman excused him and ordered him to send them back to Kufa. When they returned to Kufa they began to again speak against the evils of Umayyads.

Saeed again reported the circumstances to Uthman and Uthman wrote back saying that they must be exiled from there and taken to Homs and Algeria. Thus they were exiled from their land and sent to Homs and the governor of that area Abdur Rahman bin Khalid spoke to them in the most terrible manner. He imposed them to the worst possible hardships and tortured them as much as he could. On the basis of what narrators say, when Abdur Rahman rode his horse he used to command


them to run alongside so that he may succeed in humiliating them in the worst manner.

When they saw this cruelty of his, they agreed to become obedient to their ruler and he wrote to Uthman about it. Uthman replied that they should be returned to Kufa.

When they were sent out of Homs, they changed their route to Medina in order to meet Uthman in person. After reaching there they met Uthman and reported to him the tortures and oppressions of Saeed. But not much time had passed when they saw Saeed there who had come to Uthman for some official work. Saeed saw that group complaining about him to Uthman and requesting him to depose Saeed. However Uthman did not accept their petitions and ordered them to obey the command of their ruler. He also ordered Saeed to go back and continue his job.

This group departed for their country before Saeed and reached there before him. After reaching there they made a vow that as long as they had their swords with them they would not allow Saeed to enter their town. After that they came out with a group of Muslim people under the leadership of Malik Ashtar and reached a place called al-Juraa and camped there in order to prevent Saeed from entering Kufa.

When Saeed reached there they pounced upon him and spoke with him in a severe tone and told him not to enter their city. Saeed ran towards Uthman and complained to him. Uthman had no option but to dismiss Saeed. So he dismissed him from the post and appointed in his stead another governor much against his own inclination.[1]

Anyway Uthman subjected to great harassment and torture those who had opposed Saeed, while these people were reciters of Quran and jurisprudents in the country. He exiled them from their homeland for the sake of an uncouth and wayward brat only because he was a relative of Uthman’s. This matter became the cause of objections against Uthman not only in Kufa but also in all the Islamic territories where he had appointed his clansmen.

2 – Abdullah bin Aamir

Abdullah bin Aamir bin Kareez was the son of Uthman’s wet nurse. Uthman appointed him as governor of Basra after Abu Musa Ashari was dismissed from that post. At that time Abdullah was only about 24 or 25 years old when the governorship of that important province was entrusted to him.[2] Although it would have been better if a senior and trustworthy companion had been given the charge of that area so that people may have benefited from his guidance, advice and piety and they would have received the advantage of his righteousness and uprightness. However, Uthman did not pay attention to this aspect and he sent Abdullah there with the sole justification that he was the son of Uthman’s wet-nurse. According to

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 4/332. Abil Fida, Tarikh 1/168. Al-Ansaab 5/43-49
[2] Al-Istiab (Printed on the margins of al-Isabah) 3/932-933


reports of narrators Abdullah lived a life of luxury and wasteful expenditure. So much so that Ashari remembers him to be a man of no reservations.[1] He was the first one to wear fur clothes. He put on a dark colored cloak and people said to him: O chief, you are wearing bear fur. So he changed his clothes and put on a red cloak.[2]

Aamir bin Abdullah Tamimi criticized his policies and actions and he also denounced the behavior and character of Uthman. Tabari has narrated that some Muslims gathered and a meeting was arranged to discuss the actions of Umayyads. They decided to send a person to Uthman directly so that he may speak to him and make him aware of his deeds. They selected Aamir bin Abdullah to meet Uthman. When Aamir met Uthman he said:

“A group of Muslims had come together to study your actions and they saw that you committed very serious blunders. Hence, fear Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime; turn back to Him and refrain from such an act…”

Uthman considered him lowly and turned his face away from him and told those were around him, “Keep an eye on this man. People claim that he is a reciter of Quran while he comes and asks me about something that has no head or tail. By Allah, he does not know where Almighty Allah is.”

Now who was the one who had asked about something that had no head or tail? He did not speak to Uthman except with regard to the fear of God and for justice among the people and he accorded preference to the benefits of Muslims and following the practice of the Messenger of Allah. However this matter was very despicable for Uthman and he considered his statement to be an ignorant question.

Aamir looked at Uthman and asked mockingly, “Do I not know where God is?”

“Yes,” replied Uthman.

Aamir said, “I know that the Almighty Allah is in ambush.”

Uthman became infuriated and he summoned his advisors and officers and told them about the objections his opponents had leveled against him and also informed them about the statement of Aamir. Then he requested them to offer their suggestions. So the son of his wet-nurse, Abdullah bin Aamir gave a proposal and said, “O Amirul Momineen, my opinion is that you order him to go for the Jihad so that they become involved in it and make him busy in fighting battles. Thus they would not be after you all the time. And that in which they shall be involved except in their wounds and injuries…”

Others expressed their own ideas, however Uthman accepted the suggestion of Abdullah that was necessary to deal with the opponents with severity and strictness. He also sent away his officials with instructions to deal with the opponents with absolute severity. He also ordered them to arrest the people

[1] Al-Kamil 3/99-100
[2] Al-Istiab 2/933. Usud al-Ghaba 3/192


through military action and decided to deprive them of their allowance so that they are reduced to poverty and thus they may be forced to obey him.[1]

When Abdullah bin Aamir returned to Basra he decided to take revenge from Aamir bin Abdullah, so he summoned his supporters and ordered them to give a false testimony about him. He leveled false accusations and allegations against him that he opposes the Muslims in matters that are permitted by God. And that he does not eat meat, and does not believe in matrimony and does not attend the Friday prayers.[2] He wrote down their testimony regarding this and sent it to Uthman. Uthman ordered that he be expelled to Syria. Hence he was put upon a packsaddle so that he has a painful journey.

When he reached Syria, Muawiyah lodged him at al-Khizra (the green palace) and sent a slave maid to him so that she may keep him under surveillance and report his activities and matters.

That slave maid kept him under surveillance and she observed that he rises up in the night in prayers and he comes out at dawn and after darkness he goes back. He did not eat anything provided by Muawiyah. He only dipped pieces of bread in water and ate them so that something unlawful may not enter his stomach. The slave maid reported the situation to Muawiyah and he wrote a letter regarding him to Uthman and Uthman ordered him to present some gift to Aamir.[3]

Muslim people blamed Uthman with regard to this righteous man who had advised for the fear of God and for justice among the people.

Abdullah bin Aamir in the same way remained the governor of Basra and he behaved with them in a style quite unfamiliar to Muslims. He did not omit any kind of sin, injustice and crime. When Uthman was murdered he plundered the public treasury and fled to Mecca. There he joined hands with Talha, Zubair and Ayesha and helped them financially so that they may gather forces to confront Imam Amirul Momineen Ali. It was also Aamir who suggested them to march towards Basra and he dissuaded them from going towards Syria.[4]

3 – Walid bin Uqbah

After Saad bin Abi Waqqas Zuhri was dismissed from the governorship of Kufa, Uthman appointed Walid bin Uqbah as the governor of Kufa. Historians are unanimous that he was a transgressor from Bani Umayyah and he was the most corrupt and most deviated one from Islam among them. The Holy Prophet had informed that Walid shall be an inmate of Hell.[5] Walid’s father, Uqbah was one of the staunchest enemies of the Messenger of Allah. He used to bring entrails and

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 4/333-334. Ibne Khaldun, Tarikh 4/1036
[2] Al-Fitnatul Kubra 1/116
[3] Al-Isabah 3/85
[4] Usud al-Ghaba 3/192
[5] Muruj az-Zahab 2/334


lodge them at the Prophet’s door.[1] And he was also the one who spat on the blessed face of the Prophet. The Prophet had warned him that whenever he is found beyond the mountains of Mecca he would order him to be put to death. When the battle of Badr was near he refused to leave Mecca but his friends insisted that he accompany them. Uqbah told them about the Prophet’s warning but they deceived him and told him, “You are having a red-haired camel that none can catch. Hence if there is need to flee you may mount it and flee from there.” Thus he accepted their suggestion and went forward to participate in the battle against the Messenger of Allah. When the Almighty Allah routed the polytheists, Uqbah’s camel threw him on the sandy ground and the Muslims were easily able to arrest him. His Eminence commanded Ali to strike of his neck and Ali stood up and sent the horrible fellow to Hell.[2] Therefore the whole being of Walid was full of hatred
towards the Prophet because His Eminence had put his father, Uqbah to death. Walid became a Muslim with those infidels of Quraish under the threat of the sword that had slain his father.

The Holy Quran has called Walid by the appellation of ‘transgressor’. Historians and commentators of Quran have stated that the following two verses were revealed about him:

First: The Almighty Allah says: “O you who believe! If an evil-doer comes to you with a report, look carefully into it, lest you harm a people in ignorance, then be sorry for what you have done.”[3]

The reason for the revelation of this verse was that the Holy Prophet sent Walid to Bani Mustaliq to collect Zakat funds. He returned to His Eminence and said that they have not given anything to him. His Eminence went to those people and the falsehood of Walid was exposed. The above verse was revealed to announce Walid’s transgression.

Second: The Almighty has also said in the Quran: “Is he then who is a believer like him who is a transgressor? They are not equal.”[4]

The circumstances of revelation of this verse are that once a dispute occurred between Walid and Imam Amirul Momineen Ali and Walid said to His Eminence, “Shut up! You are a child and I am senior in age. By God, I am having a tongue broader than you. I am having spears sharper than you and internal greatness more than you. And I am having more men than you in my tribe!!!”

His Eminence Ali told him, “You shut up, because you are a transgressor.” Then the Almighty Allah revealed this verse about the two of them, Hissan bin Thabit has versified this incident in the following couplets:

[1] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 1/201
[2] Al-Ghadeer 8/273
[3] Surah Hujurat 49:6. Ibne Abde Barr in Istiab 4/1553 says: Among the scholars of Quranic exegesis there is no difference of opinion that this verse was about Walid.
[4] Surah Sajdah 32:18


“The Almighty Allah and the mighty Book has revealed about the dispute between Ali and Walid.

Thus it labeled Walid as ‘transgressor’ and the status of Ali is of faith.

Whoever is a believer and who recognizes God, can never be same as one who is a transgressor and sinner.

Thus Ali received honor by Allah and Walid was badly humiliated.

Walid shall soon be disgraced and sent to Hell and the reward of Ali is, without any doubt, Paradise.” [1]

When Uthman endowed him with the governorship of Kufa, he was openly imbibing alcohol. One day he came out of his palace in a state of intoxication reciting the following couplets that exposed his evil:

“I am not far from wine and the minstrel. Neither am I far from a dry place or goodness.

But I fill my mouth with wine and walk in a sober way among the people.”[2]

Narrators say: He used to listen to music and songs and he spent his nights in company of singers and merry-makers till the morning. He preferred to remain awake with a Christian friend of his from Taghlib tribe named Abu Zubayd Tai. And he had given him a place to live in the mosque, which he later gifted it to him. Tai used to walk through the Mosque to meet Walid at night and enjoy wine there and after that he used to return in an intoxicated condition walking through the mosque again.[3]

Historians say that Walid drank wine and in a state of intoxication led people in morning prayers and instead of two recited four units (Rakats). While bowing and prostrating he recited: You drink and give me to drink. After that he vomited the Mihrab (Niche) of the Mosque and concluded the prayers. Then he turned to those behind him and asked, “You want me to make you recite more?”

Ibn Masood told him, “May Allah not increase your goodness and neither that goodness that He has sent you to us.” At that moment Ibn Masood picked up one shoe of his and thrashed Walid’s face with it. People began to pelt him with stones and he retreated to his palace while people were throwing stones at him. Walid was absolutely intoxicated and quite oblivious of all this.[4] Regarding these defects and disgrace of Walid, Hatiya Jarwal bin Aws Absa has composed the following poem:

“On the day Hatiya meets the Lord he would testify that Walid is the foremost in deceit and misappropriation.

[1] Tadkiratul Khawaas, Pg. 202
[2] Muruj az-Zahab 2/335
[3] Al-Aghani 5/135, Muruj az-Zahab 1/323, Al-Iqdul Farid 6/348
[4] Sirah Halabiyyah 2/314, Al-Aghani 5/125, Al-Istiab 4/1553


When his prayers concluded he screamed, “Shall I recite more?” And he was drunk and senseless.

He wanted to increase their good deeds. And if they had asked he would have recited more than ten.

O Abu Wahab, they did not accept. And if they had accepted they would have found the Shaf and Watr[1] joined together.

Your bridle was tightened when you moved, otherwise you would have continued to go on like this.”[2]

Hatiya has also written the following couplets about him:

“He openly spoke in prayer and added some things in it.

He kept his mouth away from the practice of the devout of avoiding wine. When they were about to disperse he called out aloud:

Shall I recite more for you, so that you may praise me? And there is nothing good in it for me or you.”[3]

A group of righteous and good people hastened from Kufa to Medina and complained to Uthman about Walid. They were carrying the seal ring of Walid that they had taken from him when he was senseless in intoxication.

When they met Uthman they swore and testified about what they had seen that Walid was a drunkard. Uthman chastised them and asked, “How do you know that he drank wine?”

They replied, “The same wine that we used to imbibe in the period of ignorance.”

In order to emphasize their veracity they gave to Uthman the seal ring they had seized from Walid when he was intoxicated senseless.

Uthman became angry and he arose and he pushed them by their chests and addressed them in the worst and the most acerbic tone.

They came out depressed and worried and went towards His Eminence, Amirul Momineen Ali and informed him about the matter. The Holy Imam went to Uthman and said, “You have chased away the witnesses and rendered the penal code invalid?”

Uthman’s temper cooled down and he became fearful of the consequences of his actions. He glanced at the Holy Imam and asked softly, “What do you suggest?”

His Eminence replied, “My opinion is that you summon your friend. Then if they testify against him in his presence and he does not have any argument, you must award him the penalty…”

[1] Ninth, tenth and eleventh units of the Midnight Prayer
[2] Al-Aghani 5/125
[3] Ibid


Uthman had no option but to accept Imam’s advice. So he wrote a letter to Walid and summoned him there. When Uthman’s letter reached Walid he set out for Medina. When he arrived to Uthman, he summoned the witnesses and they testified against Walid. Walid could not offer any justification and in this way he became liable for penalty but no one stood up to mete out the punishment due to the fear of Uthman. So Imam Amirul Momineen Ali arose and went towards him. Walid abused the Holy Imam and said, “O harmful and unjust man!”

Aqil stood up against Walid and replied to his abuses. Walid tried to catch hold of the Imam but the Imam pulled him and threw him on the ground. Then he lashed him with a whip.

Uthman became angry and he screamed at the Imam, “You have no right to do this to him.”

Imam replied to him in accordance with the logic of Shariah, saying, “Yes, it should be worse if he is a transgressor and if he prevents the right of Allah from being taken from him.”[1]

This incident proves how careless Uthman was in enforcing the law of the Shariah and how he had no concern about its establishment.

The respected teacher, Alaili, opines regarding this event as follows:

“This story is a new thing except for gift that is from affection which they do with us and the picture of concealing a religious thing as it was obligatory on the caliph that he should be the first one who should become angry at it. Apart from this his position shall be worth criticism and for the people shall be a ground for struggle and criticism against him. Especially his regime which came after the regime of Umar which was well-known for its severity and strictness. So much so that even if someone was related to him he used to be strict on him or her also.

On the basis of this such exaggeration is not only affection, favoritism and nepotism so that people may come together to help him. Anyway, Walid left a bad effect on Kufa for the future generations because he gave impetus to all sorts of immoral activities.”[2]

Anyway, Walid left some effects in Kufa that were undesirable because his unbridled behavior was considered a model for others as some companions and companions of companions were also present in it. They transformed the city of Kufa to be a town of drunkards and people of vice because Walid had encouraged the people towards luxuries, wine, music and dance. Many areas of Kufa were opened for music and dance and the number of people of vice increased in the town. Among the singers was one Abdullah Ibn Hilal who became famous by the title of “Friend of Iblis (Satan)”. [3] And Hunain Khairi was a Christian poet.[4]

[1] Muruj az-Zahab 335/336
[2] Imam Husain, Pg. 33
[3] Al-Aghani 2/351
[4] Al-Aghani 2/341


4 – Abdullah Ibn Saad

Uthman appointed his foster brother, Abdullah bin Saad bin Abi Sarah as the governor of Egypt and gave the income and taxes of the province in his charge.[1] He was from the most dangerous polytheists and the most inimical towards the Holy Prophet. No one had mocked the Prophet more than him and he used to ridicule His Eminence saying, “I can take him wherever I like.” The Messenger of Allah has decreed that he should be killed even if he were found hanging with the curtain of the Holy Ka’ba.

After the conquest of Mecca he fled and took refuge with Uthman and Uthman offered him protection. When the people of Mecca calmed down Uthman brought him to the Prophet. His Eminence remained quiet for a long time and after that he accorded him security and forgave him.

When Uthman went away from there the Prophet told his companions, “I did not remain quiet but to enable one of you to get up and kill him.”

A man from the Ansar asked His Eminence, “O Messenger of Allah! Why did you not signal to me?” He replied, “It is not advisable for the Prophet to glance in a deceitful way.”[2]

When Abdullah got the governorship of Egypt he began to deal with the Egyptians with anger and oppression. He imposed more duties and responsibilities than they could bear and he began to practice arrogance and selfish behavior. The people became fed up with him. A group of righteous people hastened to Uthman and complained about Abdullah.

Uthman wrote a letter to Abdullah and denounced his policies and behavior in that province. However Abdullah did not give much importance to this letter and he continued to behave in the same oppressive and arrogant manner. He also got killed the person who had carried the complaint to Uthman. This gave more impetus to anger and discontent of the people. An organization of senior people among the Egyptians was formed and its members, according to narrators, numbered seven hundred.

They all rushed to Uthman and they reached the Mosque. They reported to the companions about the behavior of Ibn Abi Sarah. Thus Talha went to Uthman and spoke to him in an acerbic tone. Ayesha also sent a message to him that he must dispense justice to that delegation. Imam Amirul Momineen Ali also told him, “This delegation wants a person in the place of another person (they want Uthman to replace the governor), that regarding him they demand retaliation of murder. So you must depose him and judge among them. Then if they are entitled to a right you must accord it to them…”

Uthman accepted it unwillingly and he said, “You select a person whom I can

[1] Al-Wulaat wal Quzaat, Pg. 11
[2] Qurtubi, Tafsir 7/40, Abi Dawood, Sunan 4/128


appoint as your governor.”

People suggested the name of Muhammad bin Abi Bakr and Uthman wrote a letter of appointment for him as the governor of Egypt and he sent it with some people of the Muhajir and Ansar so that they may judge between him and Ibn Abi Sarah.[1]

They departed from Medina but when they reached the area known as Homs, they saw a messenger coming from Medina. When they investigated, they found that he was, Warish, Uthman’s slave. So they subjected him to interrogation and found that he was carrying a letter of Uthman for Ibn Abi Sarah. In the letter, Uthman has ordered Ibn Abi Sarah to suppress and punish the members of this delegation. When they studied the letter and pondered over it, they realized that it was a trick of Marwan. They returned to Medina with the intention that they would either depose Uthman or put him to death.

5 – Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan

Uthman did not appoint Muawiyah as the governor of Syria. It was Umar who had appointed him. Uthman only confirmed the post of Muawiyah in Syria. However, he gave him additional powers and influence. In the words of Taha Husayn he cleared the way for him to reach to caliphate. “There is no doubt that Uthman prepared the ground of Muawiyah so that one day he may transfer the caliphate to the family of Abu Sufyan and make it established in the clan of Bani Umayyah. For it was Uthman who increased the sphere of Muawiyah’s influence. He added Palestine and Homs to his dominions and created for him a vast area in Syria. He was given the command of military forces all around and his army became more powerful than the Muslim army. And also, like Umar, he allowed him to remain in the seat of governorship for a long time. Uthman gave him more powers than he had during the reign of Umar. When the mischief increased Muawiyah thought that his kingdom was greater
than any other kingdom and that he was the most powerful ruler with regard to military power and domination on the people.”[2]

On the basis of this, Uthman himself was the one who increased the influence of Muawiyah and spread the limits of his dominions so he became the most powerful, influential and strongest ruler having under his control the most important, stable and prosperous province in the Islamic lands.

The above was the account of some of the governors under the reign of Uthman. They were all from Bani Umayyah and the clan of Abi Muit. And they were given the post of governorship only because of favoritism and partiality for them and to strengthen the influence of the Umayyads and to bring under their control the destinies of the Muslims. Sayyid Amir Ali has commented as follows regarding the governors of Uthman: “These were the men whom the caliph favored! They fastened to the provinces like famished leeches, heaping up wealth by means of pitiless extortion.”[3]

[1] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/26
[2] Al-Fitnatul Kubra 1/120
[3] Ruhul Islam, Pg. 90


Economic Policies of Uthman

The economic policy of Uthman was the continuation of the policy of Umar.[1] There was nothing new in it except what Umar had founded that it was the very creation of class systems and preference of some over others in matters of allowances. This policy had deviated from that which Islam had promulgated in the necessity of observing moderation, public welfare, economic independence, fight against poverty and securing needs of the weaker sections and needy people. Because the rulers do not have any right to appropriate for themselves anything from public wealth, or that they may use it for strengthening their rulership or personal influence, and Islam has been very severe and strict in this regard. The Messenger of Allah has said, “On the Day of Judgment the fire of Hell shall be for those who wrongfully misappropriate public wealth.”[2]

Imam Amirul Momineen Ali has written in letter to his governor in Mecca, Qatham bin Abbas that he must endeavor to establish truth and justice in the land. This letter has explained the economic policy of Islam. The letter is as follows:

“Beware of the Public Treasury. Spend its money on the poor people of your province. Find them out (if they do not come to you) and meet their necessities. If any surplus amount is left over after such expenditure then send the amount to the centre so that it may meet the requirements of the poor throughout the State.”[3]

The method of Islam, especially with regard to the government funds was that the governor was duty bound to spend on the welfare of the people in different localities and also spend it on the needy people so that no deprived or needy person remains in the Islamic lands. However Uthman did not accord any importance to this point. Rather he distributed public wealth among the nobles, the rich, the Bani Umayyah and family of Abi Muit. Such that huge wealth amassed with them and they remained busy in spending it…

Yes, the huge wealth that was collected at the central treasury was given away to the Umayyads and they used to claim that it is their property and not the property of the country, because they had bestowed all the superiorities to themselves. A sketch of wealth that Uthman had bestowed to them and others is presented below:

Uthman’s Bestowals to the Umayyads

Uthman restricted the wealth for the Umayyads and presented them with great bestowals as follows:

1 – Harith bin Hakam: Uthman gifted the following things to his son-in-law who was married to his daughter, Ayesha:

A – 300000 dirhams[4]

[1] Tarikh Iraq Dar Zer-e-Sulte Umayyan, Pg. 22
[2] Bukhari, Sahih 4/104
[3] Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/128
[4] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/52


B – Camels that reached Medina by way of Zakat were given to him.

C – He gifted him a market in Medina known by the name of Nahruz while the Holy Prophet had given it as a charity for all Muslims.[1]

2 – Abu Sufyan: Uthman allotted 200000 from the public treasury to Abu Sufyan, the leader of the hypocrites.[2]

3 – Saeed bin Aas: Uthman paid 100000 dirhams to Saeed bin Aas.[3]

4 – Abdullah bin Khalid: Abdullah bin Khalid bin Usaid married Uthman’s daughter and Uthman ordered that 600000 dirhams be given to him. And he wrote to his governor in Egypt that the money be paid out of the Public Treasury.[4]

5 – Walid bin Uqbah: Walid bin Uqbah was Uthman’s half-brother related through his mother. He had bestowed a large sum from the Public Treasury through Abdullah Ibn Masood who was the treasurer. Later Abdullah asked him to repay the loan but he did not return the sum. Instead he wrote a letter to Uthman complaining about Abdullah. Uthman wrote a letter to Abdullah, which mentioned as follows: Know that you are our treasurer; so do not say anything that has been given to Walid.

Ibn Masood became angry; He threw down the keys and said, “I was under the impression that I am the treasurer of Muslims. So if I were to be your treasurer, I have no need of it.” After that he tendered his resignation and settled down in Kufa.[5]

On the basis of this we can say that the Public Treasury in the parlance of Uthmani policy was the property of the Umayyads and not related to the Muslims. We leave the judgment regarding this matter to the readers themselves.

6 – Hakam bin Abil Aas: This filthy horrible creature was the worst foe of the Messenger of Allah, hence His Eminence had exiled him from the country and said, “He should not live at the place I reside.” During the period of Abu Bakr and Umar he remained externed from Medina along with his sons in the same way. As soon as Uthman became the caliph he issued amnesty to Hakam and he returned to Medina in such a way that he brought only a goat with him and he was wearing a worn-out dress. Thus when he arrived to Uthman, Uthman presented him with a fur cloak and a rich and costly dress.[6] He also gave him 100000 in currency[7] and appointed him as the collector of Zakat from the Qaza-a tribe, which amounted to

[1] Ibid 5/28
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/67
[3] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 5/28
[4] Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/145
[5] Al-Ansaab 5/31
[6] Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/141
[7] Al-Ma’arif, Pg. 194


300000. This amount was also gifted to Hakam.[1]

Uthman’s generosity towards Hakam made all the Islamic groups critical of Uthman and they all objected to these policies of the caliph.

7 – Marwan bin Hakam: Marwan bin Hakam was the vizier and the special advisor of Uthman and all the important matter connected with the regime were in his charge. He also got a huge quantity of wealth in his control. The following items were bestowed by Uthman:

A – One-fifth of the booty of Africa, which amounted to 500000 dinars was allotted to Marwan. The people went against Uthman due to this matter.

Abdur Rahman bin Hanbal, the revolutionary poet has composed satirical verses about him as follows:

“By Allah Almighty, indeed I swear that I have not been left free without a purpose.

However you created mischiefs for us so that you may become experienced as you did become experienced.

Because the two trustworthy ones have described the illuminated path for guidance.

They did not secretly take away a single dirham and neither did they keep a single dirham for selfish needs.

You have recalled that accursed fellow and made him your confidant, very much against the existing practice.

And you gave the Khums money of Allah’s servants (Muslims) to Marwan so that he may oppress them and you have resorted to nepotism.[2]

B- Uthman provided him with a thousand and fifty Awqiya [One awqiya equals seven mithqals approximately] of precious metal. But it is not known whether it was gold or silver. However the fact is that this allotment created a great furor in the community and Uthman was much denounced for this misplaced generosity.[3]

C – He gave him 100000 from the Public Treasury. It infuriated the treasurer Zaid bin Arqam so much that he returned the keys to Uthman and began to weep. So Uthman scolded him and said, “Are you weeping because I have done a good deed to my relatives (Sile Raham)?”

He replied, “Rather we are weeping because the money you would have spent in charity during the time of the Holy Prophet, the same money you have taken away. Even if you had given only a hundred dirhams to Marwan, it would have been too much.

[1] Al-Ansaab 5/28
[2] Abul Fida, Tarikh 1/169
[3] Halabi, Sirah 2/78 (Daar Ahya Thuraathil Arabi)


Uthman screamed at him, “Give up the keys, we’ll appoint someone else in your place.”[1]

D – Uthman bestowed the property of Fadak to Marwan.[2]

E – He also allotted him the Khums money of Egypt.[3]

These were some examples of the misplaced generosity of Uthman towards the Umayyads, which brought vehement denouncements of the Muslim community. The senior members of public and those who were righteous and noble personalities became infuriated at Uthman. This was so because that family had always been inimical towards the Almighty Allah and His Messenger and they had always fought against Islam. Hence it was absolutely against truth and justice that the wealth of Muslims and their incomes be reserved especially for the Umayyads, while it was a time when poverty was widespread in all the regions of the Muslim community.

Uthman’s Generosity to Nobles

Uthman endowed huge wealth to all those nobles and aristocratic personages whose power he feared. The following are some of the major bestowals of Uthman to the influential people:

1 – Talha: Uthman presented 200000 dinars to Talha[4] while he already owed 50000 to him. So Talha asked, “Take back what I owe you.” However Uthman wrote off the amount and said, “O Abu Muhammad, it is to honor you for your valor.”[5]

2 – Zubair: The caliph issued 600000 units of currency to Zubair, such that he was astounded at the time of receiving them and inquired about this wonderful matter so that he may put to use what he had received. He told him that it was to enable him to build mansions in provinces and cities.[6] Thus Zubair built eleven houses in Medina, two in Basra, one in Kufa and one in Egypt![7]

3 – Zaid bin Thabit: The third caliph presented a huge amount of wealth to Zaid bin Thabit. Such was the spread of his wealth that when he died he left behind such a huge quantity of gold and silver that it had to be broken up into pieces by sledge hammers. And this was in addition to the landed property that he left and its value was around 100000.[8]

Uthman also bestowed other properties to those who supported his regime like Hissan bin Thabit and others, about whom the historians have written in detail and

[1] Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/67
[2] Abul Fida, Tarikh 1/168, Al-Ma’arif, Pg. 195
[3] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 3/64
[4] Ansaab al-Ashraaf 6/108 (Printed Daarul Fikr 1417)
[5] Tabari, Tarikh, Pg. 4/405
[6] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat
[7] Bukhari, Sahih 4/106
[8] Muruj az-Zahab 2/333


these properties remind us of the millionaires of our time.

The wealth of some companions increased so much that some of them feared that the Almighty Allah would reduce their rewards in the Hereafter. Khabab bin Arat says: “I was with the Messenger of Allah and I did not have any wealth but now I have in box in a corner of my house containing 4000 Wafi,[1] and I fear that Almighty Allah be repaying our good deeds in this world itself. (So nothing would remain for us in the Hereafter). Faan Flutton believes that this economic policy led the people to a life of luxury and created every sort of mischief and corruption.[2]

Allotment of Land to Feudal Lords

Uthman allotted tracts of land in Kufa to various persons while he knew that those lands were the property of Muslims because they were obtained through military expeditions.

He gave it to feudal person whether the land was in Kufa or beyond its limits. The lands were reserved for building houses and mansions and named “Maskinal Wujuh”. He gave the following landed properties to a group of companions as follows:

Talha was granted the property, which became famous as Dar-at-Talhain. It was situated in al-Kanasa locality. The caliph gifted a huge landed property to Ubaidullah Ibn Umar and it took the name of Kufiyat Ibn Umar. He also made land endowments to Usamah bin Zaid, Saad, his nephew, Hashim bin Utbah, Abu Musa Ashari, Huzaifah Abasi, Abdullah bin Masood, Salman Bahili, Musayyab Fizari, Amr bin Hareeth Makhzumi, Jubair bin Motam Thaqafi, Utbah bin Umar Khazraji, Abu Jubair Ansari, Adi bin Hatim Tai, Jurair Bajali, Ashath Kindi, Walid bin Utbah, Ammar bin Utbah, Furat bin Hayyan Ajali, Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari and Umme Hani binte Abu Talib.

In the same way Uthman gave in ownership to some people some very profitable landed properties that were well known in history.

1 – Talha bin Abdullah was given the property called Nashasataj.

2 – Adi bin Hatim was granted the land of Al-Radd Jaa

3 – Wail bin Hujr Hazrami was allotted Radhiya Zaadar

4 – Habab bin Arat was gifted Sa-abna

5 – To Khalid bin Arafta he gave land in Hamam Ayyim

6 – Ashath Kindi got the landed property of Zeez Nabar

7 – Jurair bin Abdullah Bajali was bestowed al-Jarfain, a piece of land on the banks of Euphrates

8 – Abdullah Ibn Masood got a piece of property in Nahreen

[1] Each Waafi is one Dirham and four Daaniq (Al-Qamus, root ‘Dauq’)
[2] As-Siyadatul Arabiyya, Pg. 22


9 – Abdullah bin Malik Zuhri received the grant of the village called Hurmuz.

10 – Ammar bin Yasir was handed over the land called Asbeena

11 – Uthman also gave some land to Zubair Ibn Awwam

12 – He issued the ownership of a piece of land to Usamah bin Zaid but he sold it later on.[1]

These were some of the lands, which Uthman had allotted to the feudal lords while some affluent people had already purchased those lands and therefore the Iraqis were trying to get them back. While a group of noble class people were interested to purchase fertile lands of Iraq. Talha, Marwan bin Hakam, Ashath bin Qais[2] and some persons of Iraqi tribes purchased the lands till feudalism spread and huge feudal estates came into being. Slaves, prisoners and nobles gathered around landed properties and amassing of wealth, increase in relatives became apparent for some selected few. Sinoon and Faal Hauzen believe that allotments of these agricultural lands were made before the reign of Uthman.

In any case this great feudalism created the class system and it gave rise to a class struggle among the people of the community.

Appropriating Public Wealth for Personal Needs

Uthman exhausted the public treasuries and whatever he wanted he used to take it for himself and his family. Historians say: There were such precious jewels present in the public treasuries that it was not possible to compute their value. Uthman took them and with them got jewellery made for his daughters and wives.[3] He himself had gone so much ahead in extravagant expenditure that Muslims had not seen anyone like him. Because he got a house of brick and mortar made for himself in Medina and its door was made of teak and juniper wood. He also kept the funds, orchards and water springs under his control.[4]

He got his teeth covered with gold and wore royal garments and he employed huge amounts from the Public Treasury for planting fields and making houses for himself.[5] When he was killed he had left 30 million dirhams and 150000 dinars with his treasurer. He also left behind 1000 camels and incomes of Bradis, Khaiber and Wadi al-Qura, which came to be 200000 dinars. He left all this when he died.[6]

The economic policies followed by Uthman created a class system and it caused untold losses to the Muslims.

[1] Al-Hayat al-Ijtimaiya wal Iqtisadiya Fil Kufa, Pg. 145-146 quoted from Futuh al-Buldan, Pg. 272
[2] Khatat al-Kufa, Pg. 21, Al-Hizaaratul Islamiyyah 1/123
[3] Al-Ansaab 5/36
[4] Muruj az-Zahab 2/332
[5] Halabi, Sirah 2/78 (Daar Ahya Thuraathil Arabi)
[6] Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 3/76-77


Muhammad Kurd Ali says, “This economic policy divided the people into two major classes. Firstly: A class which had a lot of wealth and they had nothing to do except indulge in vain pleasures and luxuries and secondly was the labor class who ploughed the land or worked as artisans. These people had to bear hardships and difficulties for their masters so that they may get some leftovers from their banquets. Absence of balance in economic life and loss of stability in political and social life were the two faces of reality of those times. The Umayyad regime followed this policy during their period of rule employed wealth in political matters. They used it as a weapon against their opponents and an instrument of pleasing their friends and supporters.”[1]

With this brief statement we conclude our discussion about the economic and monetary policy of Uthman which lad deviated from the Islamic policy of observing austerity with regard to public wealth and the necessity of spending it on public welfare and the poor and the deprived sections in all areas of the Muslim dominions.

Opposing Groups

Muslims objected against Uthman most vehemently and the righteous and good people among them took severe steps to oppose him as he had been unduly partial to Bani Umayyah and the family of Abu Muit and had imposed them over the Muslims. Uthman had also given in their charge the taxes of various provinces and government posts were all given to people of these families inspite of the fact that they continued their oppressions and injustices. Uthman did not take any step with regard to this. People criticized and complained to Uthman but he replied to them with abuses and insults.

The opposing group was divided into two types of people, right and left. Because Talha and Zubair and those attached to them were such that their opposition to Uthman was not based on a demand for social reform even though they pretended such a stance before simple-minded people and the general public. Rather their aim was to reach the seat of power and obtain the key positions in different areas in order to secure their incomes.

As for the other groups of opponents it consisted of senior personages of Islam and supporters of religion like Ammar bin Yasir, Abu Zar, Abdullah Ibn Masood and others like them who had fulfilled their covenants to their Lord and had given a good test in the path of religion. They realized that Uthman’s regime has destroyed the Prophetic practice and enlivened innovation. And they saw that truthful persons are belied and in illegal way posts are given to people. In such a way that they themselves were asking Uthman to change his practice and follow the guidance and deal with truth among the Muslims. However he paid scant regard to them and if he had accepted their views many mischiefs and calamities would have been removed from the community.

[1] Al-Idaratul Islamiyyah, Pg. 82


Crushing the Opponents

Uthman resorted to absolute severity in crushing his political opponents and critics. He directed his fury upon them and reached to extremes in an endeavor to punish and hurt them. Some of those personages who fell prey to Uthman’s fury were as follows:

1 – Ammar bin Yasir

The status of Ammar in Islam is known to all because he was the companion and friend of His Eminence, the Prophet. He bore terrible tortures and most severe hardships in the path of Islam. The Quraish subjected Ammar and his parents to a severe torture. His parents were martyred in the path of religion and the Holy Quran has announced their excellences in the following verse:

“What! he who is obedient during hours of the night, prostrating himself and standing, takes care of the hereafter…”[1]

And the Almighty Allah has said regarding Ammar:

“Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people…”[2]

The Holy Prophet accorded great respect and honor to Ammar and he was the recipient of respect and kindness from His Eminence. His Eminence heard that a person has spoken ill to Ammar, therefore His Eminence became very much disturbed by it and he said, “What does he have to do with Ammar? He invites them to Paradise while they call him to Hell fire. Indeed, Ammar is the skin between my eyes and nose (very respected). Whenever someone reaches this status, you must refrain from (disrespect to) him.”[3]

When the Holy Prophet left this world for the everlasting abode, Ammar became the most prominent companion of Imam Amirul Momineen Ali; he attached himself to Ali and became his servant. Ammar was of those who refused to give oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr because except for Imam Amirul Momineen Ali he did not consider anyone eligible for the successorship of the Prophet.

When Umar imposed Uthman as the caliph on Muslims, Ammar was in the forefront of opposing and criticizing Uthman. The causes of Ammar’s stand were as follows:

1 – When Uthman took for himself a special container having such precious jewels that it was not possible to find their value, Imam Amirul Momineen Ali objected to it, and Ammar endorsed the stand of His Eminence. So Uthman

[1] Surah Zumar 39:9 Qurtubi in his Tafsir 1/239 and Ibne Saad in his Tabaqat 3/250 have stated that this verse was revealed about Ammar.
[2] Surah Anam 3:122. Suyuti in his Tafsir 3/352 and Ibne Kathir in his Tafsir 2/178 have stated that this verse was revealed about Ammar.
[3] Ibne Hisham, Sirah 2/114


addressed Ammar saying, “O son of Mutaka,[1] are you trying to insult me?” At that time he ordered his officers to arrest Ammar. They arrested him and took him to Uthman’s house and beat him up badly till he lost consciousness. After that they took him to the house of the mother of believers, Umme Salma. Due to the severity of the beating he did not regain consciousness till the time of noon and late afternoon prayers had lapsed. When he regained consciousness, he arose, performed the ritual ablution and performed the evening prayers and said, “Thanks be to God, this is not the first time that I am tortured for the sake of Almighty.”

Ayesha also became infuriated. She took out a strand of Prophet’s hair, one of his clothes and also a slipper and she said, “How soon have you abandoned the practice of your Prophet while his hair, clothes and footwear are still intact.” Uthman became so angry that he did not know what to say and how to have his mistakes excused.[2]

2 – Senior companions of the Prophet wrote a memorandum for Uthman in which they told him that he had deviated from the prophetic practice. They advised him to refrain from such tactics. Ammar took the document and came to Uthman. He read a part of the letter and then glanced at Ammar and asked him, “Have you come to me on their behalf?”

Ammar replied, “I am more concerned than them about you.”

Uthman said, “You lie, O son of Sumaiyyah!”

Ammar said, “By Allah, I am the son of Sumaiyyah and the son of Yasir.”

Uthman ordered his servants to tie up the limbs of Ammar and pull them apart. Uthman himself kicked Ammar so hard in the groin that he developed hernia, became weak and lost consciousness.[3]

3 – When Uthman persecuted and suppressed the great companion of the Messenger of Allah, Abu Zar and exiled him to Rabadha where he passed away as a stranger in foreign land and the news of his passing away reached Medina, Muslims were shocked and aggrieved for Abu Zar. While Uthman mockingly remarked, May Allah have mercy on him.”

Ammar denounced this action of Uthman and said, “May Allah have mercy on all of us.”

Uthman became infuriated and he addressed Ammar in the worst possible manner and the most severe way saying, “O one whose father’s mouth foamed. Do you think I regret sending him to exile?”

Such a behavior hardly befits a commoner, what to say about Uthman, who claims that angels were ashamed of him?

[1] A woman suffering from incontinence
[2] Al-Ansaab 5/48-49
[3] Al-Ansaab 5/49. Al-Iqdul Farid 6/57 and 4/307 (Daar Kutub al-Arbi – Beirut 1403)


Uthman instructed his servants to take away Ammar and torture and beat him up and exile him to Rabadha also. When they were ready to depart for Rabadha the Bani Makhzum tribesmen came to Imam Amirul Momineen Ali and petitioned him to speak to Uthman and told him, “Fear Allah! You exiled a righteous person from the Muslims and he passed in that exile and now you want to exile him (Ammar) similarly?”

Uthman arose and shouted at the Holy Imam, “You are more deserving to be exiled.”

His Eminence said, “If you want to do it, go ahead.”

The Emigrants gathered around him and complained and criticized him. He accepted their plea and gave amnesty to Ammar.[1]

Uthman did not respect the status and position of Ammar that he had near the Holy Prophet and his seniority in Islam. He committed excess upon him and tried much to torture and hurt him because Ammar enjoined justice and invited towards truth.

2 – Abu Zar

Abu Zar was the companion and friend of His Eminence. He was of the senior-most companions of His Eminence who were at the forefront in Islam. He was the most pious of the people and he cared very little for the world and its benefits. The Messenger of Allah considered him trustworthy at a time when he did not trust any of his companions.[2] The Prophet used to entrust him with all his secrets at a time when he did not disclose his secrets to anyone. He was one of the three persons whom the Almighty Allah loved and He also commanded His Messenger to love them. And he is of those three persons,[3] for whom Paradise was eager.[4]

When turmoil appeared during the time of Uthman, and the Bani Umayyah reserved the profits of the kingdom and the products of lands for themselves, Abu Zar in his capacity of being a Muslims believer chose the religion and criticized the policies of Uthman. He called Uthman so that there be a limit to corruption and spreading of disunity among the people. Uthman refused to follow his advice, but he did not give up. He continued his criticism in the same way. Regarding those who Uthman had given huge grants, he used to stand up and recite the verse:

“…and (as for) those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah’s way, announce to them a painful chastisement.”[5]

This statement angered Marwan Hakam because a huge wealth that Uthman had

[1] Al-Ansaab 5/54-55, Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/173
[2] Kanzul Ummal 13/311 Hadith no. 36886, Majma az-Zawaid 9/330
[3] Three persons who were eager for Paradise: His Eminence, Imam Ali, Abu Zar and Ammar.
[4] Majma az-Zawaid 9/330
[5] Surah Taubah 9:34


bestowed on him had amassed with him. He became highly annoyed with Abu Zar and complained about him to Uthman. Uthman summoned Abu Zar and deterred him from such behavior but Abu Zar did not agree to change his attitude. He said, “Does Uthman prohibit me from reciting the Book of God? By Allah, I cannot offend Allah for the sake of Uthman. The displeasure of Uthman is better for me than the displeasure of Allah.”

Uthman was infuriated and he was fed up with Abu Zar but he controlled his anger and waited for a chance to destroy his foe.

Abu Zar’s Imprisonment in Syria

The great companion of the Prophet continued to attack Uthman and from this course of action he had the pleasure of God in view and he desired the life of the Hereafter. He neither feared death nor was charmed by the life of this world. While Uthman harbored malice against him and finally deported him to Syria.

Historians say: Uthman asked the audience in his assembly, “Is it allowed for one to borrow some money from the Public Treasury and when it is possible to return it?”

Kaab al-Ahbar, a confidant of Uthman spoke up and gave a verdict to support the legality of that action.

Abu Zar found this matter unbearable because since Kaab had the nature of a Jew and his acceptance of Islam was doubtful, how could he interfere in religious matters? So he screamed at him, “O son of two Jews! Do you teach us our religion?”

Uthman became angry and took the side of Kaab and cried at Abu Zar, “How much has your pain increased and how painful you have become for my friends. Go to your place in Syria!”

Thus Uthman issued orders that Abu Zar be banished to Syria. But when Abu Zar reached Syria and witnessed the evils and innovations of Muawiyah that he had a free hand in using the wealth from Public Treasury that was collected from the labors of people, he denounced Muawiyah. He also exposed the evil deeds of Uthman among the Muslims people. He also objected against Muawiyah when he said, “The wealth, is the wealth of God.” And he told him, “The wealth is the wealth of Muslims.” Abu Zar also protested against the construction of Muawiyah’s palace, al-Khizra and said, “O Muawiyah, if this palace is being financed from the Public Treasury it is a breach of trust and if it is made with your money, it is extravagance…”

Abu Zar invited the people towards an awakening and warned them against the politics of the Umayyads. He told the Syrian people, “By Allah, such innovations have gained currency these days as are not to be found in the Holy Quran or the traditions of the Prophet. By Allah, I see that the truth is being effaced and untruth is becoming stronger. Truthful people are being falsified and sinners are being given preference over the virtuous.”[1]

[1] Al-Ansaab 5/52-53


People believed the statements of Abu Zar and testified as truth what he said. In this way he continued to enlighten the society and he called out for restoring the rights of the deprived. He encouraged the poor class to demand their rights from the ruling class.

The devil Muawiyah became fearful that a revolution might occur against him. Therefore he issued orders that nobody should be allowed to be in the company of Abu Zar or sit with him. He told Abu Zar, “O enemy of Allah, you incite people against us and do what you do? If I were to kill a companion of Muhammad without the permission of Amirul Momineen (Uthman), I would have killed you.”

Abu Zar became very much infuriated and he replied, “I am not the enemy of Allah and neither an enemy of His Messenger. Rather you and your father are the enemies of Allah and His Messenger. You have accepted Islam outwardly and remain disbelievers inwardly…”

Abu Zar continued his social activities and followed the course of causing a social awakening. He encouraged the people to rise up in revolt. Thus Muawiyah became angry and wrote a letter to Uthman and warned him of the danger of Abu Zar. He requested Uthman to recall Abu Zar to Medina. Uthman replied to him saying that he may send Abu Zar back to Medina making him ride on the bare back of a mischievous camel with a cruel driver so that he has as painful a journey as possible.

Muawiyah sent him with some servants who neither knew about the status of Abu Zar nor accorded him any respect. They did not permit him even the least relief. In this manner they were taking Abu Zar to Medina such that the skin of his thighs ruptured and he nearly died due to this terrible journey.

When he reached Medina he came to Uthman in a decrepit and emaciated condition. However as soon as Uthman saw him he started reviling him without having any regard for his status. He said, “It is you who have committed improper acts.”

Abu Zar said, “I did nothing except that I gave you a piece of advice and you took it ill and sent me away from you. Then I advised Muawiyah. He also did not like it and he turned me out.”

Uthman said, “You are a liar. You are nursing sedition in your mind. You want to provoke Syria against me.”

Abu Zar advised him saying, “O Uthman, only follow Abu Bakr and Umar and nobody would say anything against you.”

Uthman stood up and screamed at him, “What does it matter if I follow them or not? May your mother die.”

Abu Zar said, “By Allah, you cannot accuse me of anything except that I direct people to do good and prevent them from doing unlawful acts.”

At this Uthman was filled with rage and he said, “O courtiers! Advise me as to


what I should do with this old liar? Should I punish him with flogging, send him to the prison, get him killed or exile him? He has created dissensions in the Muslim society.

Having heard this, Ali, who was present there became angry and said, “O Uthman, I heard the Messenger of Allah say: There is no speaker, under the sky and upon the earth more truthful than Abu Zar.”

Abu Zar did not pay any heed to Uthman and he continued his mission and went on voicing his opposition to the wrongs prevalent in the regime. He said, “You collect children to recruit them as soldiers and you adopt favoritism for your relatives and you make the children of emancipated slaves proximate towards you.

In the same way he informed the people about what the Messenger of Allah had said regarding the defects and evils of the Umayyads and their danger to Islam. He said that the Holy Prophet had said, “When the number of Bani Umayyah males rises to thirty, they will consider the cities of Allah as their booty and slaves of Allah as their own slaves and maids, and they will destroy the religion of Allah.”[1]

Uthman proclaimed that no one should be in the company of Abu Zar and he prohibited all to even converse with him because he enjoined good and forbade evil and he did not support Uthman’s policies.

Abu Zar Imprisoned in Rabadha

Abu Zar continued his crusade and continued to flay the Umayyad policies and the Umayyads oppression and hardships did not weaken his resolve.

Uthman who was absolutely fed up with him, decided that Abu Zar be exiled from the Islamic lands and kept imprisoned in an uninhabited area. Thus he sent his officials and when Abu Zar came he at once addressed Uthman, “Woe be to you, Uthman. Have you not seen the Messenger of Allah? Have you not seen Abu Bakr and Umar? Was their behavior also like this that you are behaving with me like oppressors?”

Uthman interrupted him and shouted, “Get away from us and leave our cities and go away!”

“Are you banishing me from the sanctuary of the Messenger of Allah?”

“Yes, and it is so because you have become disgraced.”

“Shall I leave for Mecca?”


“To Basra?”


“Where should I go?”

“To Rabadha, till you die over there.”

[1] Hayatul Imam Hasan 1/280-282


After that Uthman ordered Marwan that he should be immediately taken out to Rabadha and added that he should be taken out in a humiliating manner. Muslims were prohibited to go after him or bid farewell to him. However righteous people did not accept it but that they should oppose Uthman’s orders. They trampled on Uthman’s proclamations. Thus His Eminence, Amirul Momineen Ali, Hasan and Husain, Aqil and Abdullah Ibn Ja’far came forward to bid Abu Zar farewell.

Marwan went to Imam Hasan and told him sternly, “Beware Hasan! Don’t you know that Uthman has ordered not to speak to this man? If you didn’t know it, know it now…”

Imam Amirul Momineen Ali stood up towards Marwan and slapped the ears of his mount and cried, “Get away, may Allah send you away to the fire of Hell.”

Marwan ran to Uthman and informed him that his command had been disobeyed and excess had been committed on him.

Statements of His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen Ali

Imam Amirul Momineen Ali stood besides Abu Zar with tearful eyes and he bid farewell to him in words that described his personality, “O Abu Zar, you became angry for the sake of the Almighty. So repose hope in the One for whom you became angry. Those people dread for their life from you and feared from them for your religion. Thus you leave free in their hands that for which they feared you or that for which you feared them. Leave it! As how needy they are for that which you prevented them from and how needless you are from that which they prevented you from. And it shall be known tomorrow who has won and who shall be more vied? That if the heavens and the earth are closed for a servant and he had been pious, the Almighty Allah makes a way out for him. Nothing can give you consolation except the truth. The truth will be your companion in loneliness and you can get alarmed only by falsehood. Because if you had accepted their world they would have loved
you, and if you had tore with your teeth a thing from them they would have given security to you…”

These statements throw light on the revolution of Abu Zar, which stood for the sake of truth and for lofty principles that Islam had brought and those people feared him in that regard. It was so because they had usurped the wealth of the community and they played with the economy and their future. They became afraid of him. The Holy Imam appreciated this spirit in Abu Zar and requested him to go away with his religion so that he may remain safe from the mischiefs and evils of those people because he shall be successful and happy on the day of meeting the Lord in the Hereafter. While they shall be in loss as the Hell fire shall scorch their faces and they shall remain in it forever.

Words of Imam Hasan

Imam Hasan came forward to his uncle, Abu Zar and shook hands with him and extolled his revolutionary spirit. Then he spoke the following encouraging words that express the deep sorrow of His Eminence.


“Uncle! If it had not been preferable for one saying farewell to be silent and those who follow have to go back the statement would have been brief even though the pain may be prolonged. We are aware of the treatment meted out to you. So separate the world from yourself along with its remembrances and ignore its hardships with the hope in what is to come. Have patience at this calamity till you reach my grandfather while he is pleased with you.”

Statements of Imam Husain

Imam Husain came forward to Abu Zar while he was fully affected with grief and sorrow. Then he addressed him with these illuminated words,

“O my Uncle, you need not worry as Allah has power over everything to change what you see as Allah is in a new glory everyday. These people have kept their world from you and you kept your religion away from them. And how needless were you of that which they denied you and how needful were they of that which you denied them. Thus beseech the Almighty for patience and seek His refuge from impatience and greed, as patience is from religion and nobility and greed does not hasten sustenance and impatience does not delay death…”

How remarkable were these words that exposed the stand of the Umayyads towards Abu Zar and their enmity towards him. Because they feared him for the sake of their worldly life and they were in dread of his lofty grades. The Imam advised him patience under all circumstances, as it does not delay death. Imam Husain was decorated with these lofty morals on the day of the tragedy of Kerbala. Neither he bowed to the Umayyads nor was he impatient in facing the great horrors and terrible calamities.

Ammar’s Discourse

Ammar then stepped forward with his eyes brimming with tears and bid farewell to his friend and companion, Abu Zar, “May Allah not sympathize with him who has put you to great trouble and may He not give rest to him, who has made you restless. O Abu Zar, by Allah, if you had welcomed the world of the world-seekers, they would not have turned you out, and if you had approved of their conduct, they would have befriended you. When you stood firm to your faith, the seekers of the world grew weary of you. Don’t be worried as Allah is with you. These are the unfortunate worldly-minded people who sustain the greatest loss…”

After hearing these speeches Abu Zar burst into tears and he glanced for the last time on them and bid farewell to Ahle Bayt, who had been sincere to him and he had been sincere to them. Then he spoke to them words that showed his deepest emotions:

“May Allah have mercy on you, O the blessed members of the Prophet’s family. When I saw you, I remembered the Holy Prophet and blessings surrounded me. O my revered ones! You alone were the means of solace to me in Medina. Whenever I saw you I got the satisfaction of my heart and peace of mind. O my elders! Just as I was a burden to Uthman in Hijaz, I was a burden to Muawiyah in


Syria. He did not like to send me to Basra or Egypt, because he has his foster brother, Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarah as the governor of Misreen[1] and the son of his maternal aunt, Abdullah Ibn Aamir as the governor of Basra. He has now sent me to a place, which is a desert where I do not have any supporter other than Allah. By Allah, I know Allah alone is my helper and for Him alone I will nor care for any wilderness…”

At that time Abu Zar’s mount began to move and headed towards Rabadha so that he may be taken away from the sanctuary of Allah (Mecca) and the sanctuary of His Messenger (Medina). His heart was filled with sorrow and grief and the separation from Ahle Bayt hurt him as they were the mementoes of the Holy Prophet in his community.

Abu Zar went to Rabadha till finally he starved to death, while the wealth of the nation was in Uthman’s control and he was giving it all to Bani Umayyah and the family of Abu Muit but he prohibited it to Abu Zar, who was, in his guidance and manners, like His Eminence, Isa the Christ, the son of Maryam.

When Amirul Momineen Ali returned after bidding farewell to Abu Zar a group of people hastened to welcome him. They informed him that Uthman was enraged at His Eminence because he had opposed the orders of Uthman regarding speaking to Abu Zar and bidding him farewell.

His Eminence replied to them, “The horse’s rage is on the rein.”[2]

Uthman went to the Imam and cried, “Why did you oppose my commands?”

“Yes, Marwan came to me to prevent us but I drove him away but I did not disobey your command.”

“Did you not know that I had forbidden the people from bidding farewell to Abu Zar?”

“Is it incumbent for us to obey your orders even if they conflict with the obedience of Allah and the truth?”

“Pay up the penalty to Marwan.”

“For what?”

“For slapping the ears of his mount.”

“My horse is over there. If he wants he can slap its ears like I did to his mount. But, by Allah, if he abuses me I shall abuse you in the same way. Not that it would have any falsehood in it except that it would be truth.”

Uthman: “Why should he not abuse you if have abused him? By Allah, you are not superior than him in my view.”

The Holy Imam was shocked at Uthman who was so much obsessed by

[1] ‘Misreen’ is a word to denote Basrah and Misr
[2] An Arabic saying


favoritism to his clan that he compares Ali who was in relation to the Prophet as Harun was to Musa with a lizard son of a lizard whom the Prophet had cursed while he was yet in the loins of his father.

Imam stood up and said to Uthman, “Do you say this to me? And compare me to Marwan? I am, by Allah, superior to you and my father was better than your father and my mother was better than yours. These are the calamities that I am bearing…”

Uthman fell silent and failed to give any response and Imam went away from there in sorrow and pain.

3 – Abdullah Ibn Masood

Uthman suppressed Abdullah Ibn Masood, a prominent companion of the Holy Prophet in the worst manner and harassed him as much as he could. Its reason was the same that we have described in the topic of Walid bin Uqbah’s governorship in Kufa. It was so because when Walid refused to repay the amount he had taken from the Public Treasury, Abdullah protested against him. Walid lodged the complaint regarding Abdullah Ibn Masood with Uthman and Uthman denounced Abdullah Ibn Masood for it. In response Abdullah resigned from his post as treasurer and went to Medina. When he reached Medina, Uthman was atop the pulpit delivering a sermon. When his eyes fell on Abdullah Ibn Masood he addressed the Muslims, “A terrible beast is coming towards you. Wherever he goes to eat he vomits there.” (That is he is thankless to his benefactors).

Ibn Masood rebutted him and said, “I am not such! Rather I am the companion of the Messenger in the battle of Badr and the Allegiance of Rizwan.”

Uthman’s statement created a wave of rage and displeasure among the people and Ayesha expressed her anger and said, “O Uthman, do you say such things about the companion of the Messenger of Allah?”

Uthman ordered his officials to expel that great companion from the Masjid and they drove him out of there in a very humiliating manner. A slave of Uthman, Abdullah bin Zame or Yahmoom picked up Abdullah Ibn Masood while Abdullah’s legs thrashed besides his neck. Then he threw him down with force and one of his teeth broke.

Imam Amirul Momineen Ali stoop up and addressed Uthman, “O Uthman, are you doing this to a companion of the Prophet at the complain of Walid bin Uqbah?”

Uthman replied, “I have not done this on the complain of Walid bin Uqbah. I had sent Zaid bin Sult Kindi to Kufa and Ibn Masood told him that it lawful to shed Uthman’s blood.”

Imam said, “You believed Zaid, who is absolutely untrustworthy?”[1]

[1] Al-Ansaab 5/36


After that the Holy Imam brought Abdullah Ibn Masood to his house and took care of him till he was completely cured of his ailments and wounds. Uthman on the other hand broke off all connections with him and released him. He also proclaimed that Abdullah Ibn Masood should not leave Medina. He also stopped his allowance from Public Treasury.

Ibn Masood fell ill and was on his deathbed when Uthman came to visit him and asked, “What do you complain against?”

“Against my sins.”

“What do you want?”

“Mercy of my Lord.”

“Shall I send a doctor to you?”

“The doctor had made me ill.”

“Shall I get you your allowance?”

“You denied it to me when I needed it and when I have become needless of it you are giving it to me?”

“It would be for your children.”

“Their sustenance is from Almighty Allah.”

“O Abu Abdur Rahman, seek forgiveness for me.”

“I shall beseech Allah to secure my rightful share from you.”[1]

Uthman went away dejected without being able to gain the forgiveness of Abdullah Ibn Masood. When Ibn Masood’s condition became serious he made a bequest that Uthman should not recite his funeral prayer and his friend Ammar Ibn Yasir recited his funeral prayer. The most prominent companions performed the funeral rites and Uthman was not informed about it. When Uthman learnt about it he became enraged and he asked angrily, “Have you taken precedence to me?”

Ammar replied, “He had made a bequest that you shouldn’t recite his prayers.”

Ibn Zubair, a poet, says:

“I see that you sing a dirge at my death while when I was alive you gave me not a morsel to eat.”[2]

Here we conclude our discussion about the opposition of the people and their dissent against him due to his nepotism and his excess in giving away all the wealth of the community to his clansmen while there existed poverty and starvation in all the areas of the kingdom.

Voices of dissent became louder and people intensified their agitation against Uthman. It was so because he had distorted the practice of the Prophet and

[1] Hayatul Imam Hasan 1/275-276
[2] Ibne Kathir, Tarikh 7/163


imposed Bani Umayyah and the family of Abi Muit on the necks of the Muslims. He had exclusively given away all the government posts to them. He had also bestowed them all the profits accrued from the lands.


The revolution was to the extreme limit result of social solidarity and a condition developed to seek reform as Alaili says,[1] “Revolution to a great extent is a result of social awakening and a condition that is demanding reformation because dissent became widespread and anger became common. People talked about the oppression of Uthman, his injustices and suppression of righteous men. These discussions took place in all meetings and gatherings. The prominent and influential people gathered and wrote letters to all the cities seeking their help and asked them to send some soldiers who may overthrow that regime. The text of their letter is as follows:

“From the first Muhajireen and the remaining ones of Shura to any of the companions who are in Egypt. So to say: Come towards us and obtain the Caliphate of the Messenger of Allah before it is snatched away from the hands of its owners. Because the Book of Allah has been altered and the practice of His Messenger is changed and the laws of the two caliphs have been replaced. Thus, by Allah, whosoever reads this letter from the remaining companions of the Messenger of Allah and those who follow them in righteousness, they should come and obtain the rights and restore them to us. So, please come to us if you believe in God and the Day of Judgment so that the truth is illuminated in the same way as they bid farewell to their Prophet, they should have said farewell to the caliphs. Rise up as they have taken away our rights, taken control of our finances and created a gap between our affairs and us. The caliphate after our Prophet was the caliphate of
Prophethood and Mercy and today it has become rulership, which is like a thing caught between the teeth, that whoever gets control over it he devours it.”[2]

This message describes the terrible deeds committed by Uthman’s regime and they were as follows:

1 – Altering the Book of Allah, scrapping of laws and distancing from its principles.

2 – Changing the practice of the Holy Prophet and neglecting its economic and social provisions.

3 – Replacing the laws of the previous two caliphs.

4 – To confine the national wealth to ones personal control and disposal and to bestow it to ones relatives and confidants.

5 – Deviation of the Islamic caliphate from public welfare towards a regime that

[1] Al-Imam al-Husain
[2] Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/37-38


did not care for the good of the community.

The righteous and good people of different provinces decided to send some committees to Medina in order to study the situation of the caliph and to be informed of his condition.

Another Message to Frontier Military Officials

Another aspect of opposition was a second message to companions posted at the frontiers so that they may come to Medina and take over the government. The text of that letter was as follows:

“Indeed, you have come out to perform Jihad in the way of Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime, and you want to establish the religion of Muhammad while your caliph has destroyed the religion of Muhammad. So come forward to save it…”[1]

This letter enflamed the hearts and filled the people with rage against Uthman. They became ready to rise up against the caliph.

Delegations from Different provinces

All through the kingdom, people responded positively to the call of the companions and they sent their delegations to Medina to study the situation. Those delegations were as follows:

A – Egyptian Delegation

Egypt sent a delegation consisting of more than 400 persons and they were under the command of Muhammad bin Abi Bakr and Abdur Rahman bin Adis Balawi.

B – Kufian Delegation

Kufa sent another delegation under the leadership of Malik Ashtar, Zaid bin Sauhan Abadi, Ziyad bin Nazr Harithi and Abdullah Asim Aamiri. And they were all under the supreme command of Amr bin Ahtham.

C – Basran Delegation

Basra sent 100 persons under the command of Hakim bin Jabla and after that 50 persons more which consisted among others, senior personages like Zarih bin Ibaad Abadi, Bushr bin Sharih Qaisi and Ibnul Mahrash.

Companions welcomed the delegations and accorded them respect and honor and they informed them about the deeds of Uthman. They encouraged and implored them to dethrone the caliph and punish him.

Memorandum of Egyptians to Uthman

The Egyptian delegation decided to hand over a memorandum to Uthman and ask him to repent for his policies and to change his behavior to the right path. The text of the memorandum was as follows:

“So to say: Allah certainly does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition. Then for the sake of God, for the sake of God. And

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, 4/367, Kamil 3/168


again for the sake of God, for the sake of God, you are on the path of the world. So you keep the Hereafter also in view and do not neglect your share in the hereafter, as the world shall not be better for you. You should know that we are for Allah. We become angry for the sake of Allah and become pleased also for His sake. We shall not lift our swords from our shoulders till you do not repent openly or that your deviation becomes known to all. And this statement of ours is for you and our dispute is also with you and our excuse regarding you is with the Almighty…”[1]

Uthman was worried and confused and read the letter carefully while the revolutionaries had surrounded him. Then Mughaira rushed to him and sought his permission to address the people and Uthman accorded permission. However when he came to the people, they shouted at him, “O cripple, go back!”

Then again they screamed at him, “O transgressor! Go back!”

The third time they cried at him, “O sinner! Go back!”

Mughaira returned to Uthman humiliated and degraded while he had failed his diplomacy. Uthman then summoned Amr bin Aas and asked him to speak to those people. He also came to them and saluted them. However they did not reply to his salutations, because they knew he was a sinner and a terrible transgressor. They told him, “O enemy of God! Go back!”

“O son of such a woman! Go Back! As you are neither trustworthy in our view nor shall you remain secure.”

He returned unsuccessfully in his mission while they did not hear what he had to say. They only considered him a despicable and degraded creature.

Uthman Sought Imam’s Help

Uthman knew that except from Imam Amirul Momineen Ali he would not get a refuge. So he sought his refuge and implored the Imam to call away those people to the Book of Allah and practice of His Messenger. Imam took oaths from him that he shall fulfill his promises and only after that did he accept his request. Then he went towards the revolutionaries while he had the guarantee for all of their demands. When they saw him, they said, “Go back!”

Imam: The Book of Allah shall be given to you and your complaints shall be accepted for all that has enraged you.”

They said, “Do you guarantee all this?”

“Yes,” replied the Imam.

“We accept”

At that time senior persons and leaders of that delegation came with the Imam and met Uthman and they complained to him regarding his shortcomings against the Muslims. They denounced him and told him to change his policies and behavior and to behave rightly among the Muslims. He accepted and they told him to put

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, 4/369, Al-Ansaab 5/44-45


that in writing and Uthman accepted and wrote the following document for them:

“This is a document from the servant of God, Uthman, the chief of the believers. To all those of the Muslims and believers who have objected against him that it is necessary for him to act according to the Book of Allah and on the practice of His Messenger among them. The deprived would be given what they are deprived of, those who are insecure shall be given security, and those who are exiled shall be brought back into the country. No hardships shall be imposed on the people for mobilization of armies. Allowances of the people shall be paid from the state treasury. And Ali Ibn Abi Talib shall stand as a surety for believers and Muslims and the responsibility of fulfillment of their promises is upon Uthman.”

This document was witnessed by Zubair bin Awwam, Talha bin Ubaidullah, Saad bin Malik bin Abi Waqqas, Abdullah bin Umar, Zaid bin Thabit, Sahal bin Hunaif, Abu Ayyub and Khalid bin Zaid. It was written in the month of Zilqada in the year 35 A.H.

Those people took the document and went back to their people. Imam Amirul Momineen Ali told Uthman to come out to the people and tell them that he would fulfill their demands and he did as advised. And he gave them oath and promise in the name of God that he would act among them according to the Book of Allah and the practice of the Messenger of Allah. Also that he would give them their rightful share in public wealth and that he would not restrict it to his relatives. The Egyptians returned to their country.

Uthman Breaks the Pledge

Uthman violated the pledge that he had given to the Egyptian delegation and he did not fulfill the promises he had made to the Muslims. Historians say that it was at the behest of Marwan who was his chief advisor and Prime Minister. Marwan arrived and criticized Uthman for what he had done and he told him,

“Speak up and announce to the people that the Egyptians have gone back and the agreement signed with them is invalid because your statements are publicized in different cities before the people may come to you and you are not able to send them back…”

Uthman refused to follow his advice because he was asking him to violate the pledge and issue a false statement. However, Marwan was speaking to him in such a way and warning him of such terrible consequences that he began to dread the future. Also Uthman was a man who lacked determination and a strong will. He was just a puppet in the hands of Marwan. Hence he finally accepted the proposal of Marwan. He ascended the pulpit and addressed the people as follows:

“So to say: Some matters regarding their leaders had reached them from some of these people. And when they became assured that what had reached them was invalid, they returned to their homes…”

Muslims stood up to denounce him and Amr bin Aas shouted, “O Uthman, fear Allah as you have put your hand into a dangerous and fatal affair and along with


you we are also involved in it. So repent to Allah and we shall also seek divine pardon with you.”

Uthman screamed at them, “O sons of such women! Are you present here? By Allah, from the time I have removed you from your post your cloak has become infested with mites.”

Shouts of protests arose from all the sides of the gathering and they all spoke up in one voice: “O Uthman, fear Allah, O Uthman, fear Allah.”

Uthman’s limbs began to ache and his strength sapped and he was so much confused that he could not say anything in reply. He had no option but to express his regret for what he had done again. He then came down from the pulpit while he was absolutely devastated and crushed and he went towards his residence.[1]

Uthman Seeks Muawiyah’s Help

When the revolutionaries learnt that Uthman was not giving up his policies and he continued his manners without any change or modification, they besieged him and demanded that he should resign from his post. However he did not agree and decided to seek help from Muawiyah to send a battalion to save him from the revolutionaries. So he wrote the following letter to Muawiyah: “So to say: The people of Medina have become infidels and left off the obedience and broken the oath of allegiance. On the basis of this dispatch some Syrian troops for us in any way possible…”[2]

Masoor bin Mukhrama took the letter to Muawiyah. When Muawiyah read the letter, Masoor told him, “O Muawiyah! Uthman shall be killed. So think upon what he has written…”

Muawiyah expressed his real view clearly and mentioned the reality to Masoor saying, “O Masoor! I openly say that Uthman in the beginning used to act on that which is liked by Allah and His Messenger. However after that he changed and Allah also changed his situation. Now is it possible for me to change some thing that Allah has transformed?”[3]

Muawiyah did not give a positive reply to Uthman’s request and on the basis of what the historians have said: He was in anticipation of Uthman’s murder so that his murder may become a means for him to get rulership and power. So much so that he completely ignored Uthman’s kindness and favoritism towards his clansmen.

Dr. Muhammad Tahir Darush says: If anyone is to be blamed for the assassination of Uthman, it is Muawiyah and he cannot be released from its responsibility because Muawiyah was the most responsible and important wealthy man of Uthman’s regime. Uthman approached him for advice while he was the most

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, 4/356 and 360, Al-Ansaab 5/74
[2] Ibne Athir, Kamil 3/170, Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/152
[3] Al-Futuh 2/218


cunning of all, yet he neither arose for his help nor sent any forces for his assistance. On the contrary he just waited for the long life of Uthman to some to an end. And days passed in this. He sealed his fate and allowed it to take its own course. Thus if it is allowed for one to think that Ali or Talha or anyone else was responsible for Uthman’s murder it is all the more suitable that Muawiyah was the one responsible for Uthman’s assassination. If anyone other than Uthman is to be criticized, it is Muawiyah who deserves criticism.

Anyway, when Muawiyah delayed replying to Uthman’s entreaty he wrote a letter to Yazid bin Kurz, the agent in Syria and encouraged him to come and save him from the revolutionaries. When Uthman’s letter reached him, as a response they hastened under the command of Yazid Qasri however Muawiyah ordered them to camp at Zi-Khashab and not to go beyond that. He also made the soldiers camp at that place till finally Uthman was assassinated.

Uthman had also written various letters to people of different towns and cities and also to those who had come for performing the Hajj in Mecca. He pleaded them to offer their help and assistance but none of them accepted his pleas because the deeds that Uthman had committed were to known to all.

Uthman Besieged

The revolutionaries besieged Uthman, while the Egyptian delegation returned to him as soon as they realized the dangerous plot that had been devised against them. They besieged Uthman and raised slogans demanding his abdication. They urged him to resign from the post of caliphate while Marwan Ibn Hakam had fanned the flames of revolt in their hearts. Because he was telling them from the rooftop of his house: “What do you want? It seems you have come to plunder so that these may be obliterated. You want to take away our kingdom from us. Go away from us…”

The patience of revolutionaries reached its limits and they decided to kill him and cut him up into pieces and destroy him.

Marwan’s statements were reported to Imam Amirul Momineen Ali and he hastened to Uthman and told him, “You have not become pleased with Marwan and he has not become satisfied with you but he deviated you from your religion and your reason. Like a camel of a caravan, which goes wherever, it is pulled. By Allah, Marwan is not concerned either with your religion or your life. By Allah, he shall take you and not bring you back and after this I am not going to complain to you again. You have yourself destroyed your respect and made yourself involved in this.”

Imam left him and went away. Then Naila, Uthman’s wife, said to the Umayyads, “By Allah, you shall kill him and orphan his children.”

Then she turned to Uthman and advised him to reject Marwan’s proposal and not to obey him. She said, “If you listen to Marwan he shall have you killed.”

In the due course revolutionaries surrounded Uthman. They cut off the water and food supply and besieged him while he remained firm on his policies and refused


to change them. People became more and more enraged towards the caliph who had for the sake of Marwan’s obedience surrendered to the demands of Bani Umayyah and thus became guilty of oppression.

Day of the House[1]

The fire of revolt opened up the tongues and its flames rose high because the revolutionaries had surrounded Uthman’s house and Marwan came out to them. Urwah bin Shayyim Leethi pounced on him and slashed his back with a sword and he fell face down. And Ubaid bin Rufa Zarqi went to him and wanted to behead him with a knife but his wet-nurse Fatima Thaqafiya chided him saying, “If you wanted to kill him, you have already killed him. What would you do with his flesh that you are cutting off his head?” Ubaid became ashamed of this and he released him. People moved towards Uthman and they found him on the terrace while there was no one with him because all were infuriated and displeased with him. They stoned him and shouted, “We are not stoning you. It is God Who is stoning you.”

Uthman replied to them, “If God had stoned me I would not have committed these mistakes.”

Some Umayyads gathered around him and tried to defend him. A furious fight took place between the two parties while Khalid bin Uqbah bin Abi Muit fled from there and Abdur Rahman bin Saihan composed the following verses regarding him:

“They criticize me for the Day of the house, that I was not with them, while Khalid dressed in armor fled from the scene.”

Among the friends of Uthman killed were Ziyad bin Naeem Fahri, Mughaira bin Akhnas, Niyar bin Abdullah Aslami and others.

Attack on Uthman

After the Bani Umayyah people and clansmen of Abi Muit fled from around Uthman the revolutionaries surrounded him and a group of Muslims attacked him in the forefront of whom was Muhammad bin Abu Bakr. He caught the beard of Uthman and said, “O Nathal! May Allah disgrace you publicly.”

“I am not Nathal! I am the servant of God and the chief of the believers.”

“Muawiyah and so and so and such and such and such and such, what avail have they been to you?”

“O son of my brother! Release my beard, because your father never caught hold of what you are holding.”

“What I have got for you is worse than taking hold of your beard.”

After that he wounded Uthman’s forehead with the point of the sword he was holding in his hand. And Kanana bin Bushr raised the point of the sword he was holding and drove it below Uthman’s ears in such a way that it entered his throat. At that time he hit him with the sword. Amr bin Hamaq Khuzai came to him and

[1] That is the Day of the House. The day when the House of Uthman was stormed.


sat on his chest while he was breathing his last. Then he hit him nine times. Umair bin Zaabi broke two of his teeth and tried to behead him when two his wives Naila and the daughter of Shabibah bin Rabia threw themselves upon him. Then Ibn Adees ordered them to leave him for them.[1]

They left Uthman a lifeless body on the floor and the revolutionaries did not permit the burial of Uthman. And Safadi has said: They threw Uthman’s corpse on the dunghill for three days[2]so that he may be humiliated and disgraced further. Then some of Uthman’s relatives requested Imam Amirul Momineen Ali to speak to the revolutionaries and mediate about his burial. Imam spoke to them and they accorded their permission for his burial.[3]

Joulid Tasheer has said regarding Uthman’s burial: They left his corpse without funeral bath and threw him on a doorpost in such a way that his head was severely smashed. The carriers of his bier picked him up hurriedly and in the darkness of the night took him quickly while stones were raining upon him and curses were following him and they buried him at Hash Kaukab[4] and the Ansar did not permit them to bury Uthman in the Muslim cemetery.[5] As for his two slaves who were killed along with him, they pulled them and threw them on the hills and dogs consumed their corpses.[6]

Well, the revolt against Uthman was a social revolution, which was such an important reformation that history had never seen such an upheaval. Its aim was to end the domination of tyrant rulers, to stop them from injustice in matters of people and to turn Islamic life to its natural path.

Effects of Uthman’s Regime

Uthman’s regime was followed by numerous evil consequences that surrounded the Muslim people severely, because the fire of mischiefs from end to end of the provinces had raged into flames and it caused untold hardships and calamities for the Muslims. We shall discuss some of the important and most terrible incidents that were direct consequences of his regime on the Islamic world. They were as follows:

1 – Uthman’s regime paid no regard for established laws and it intentionally became a cause for the weakening of the power of law, because the members of the Bani Umayyah family disregarded every rule and regulation in their pursuit of acquiring wealth and in their actions and Uthman’s reaction to this behavior of theirs was one of indifference and nonchalance and he did not take any firm steps against them. He even defended, supported and justified their acts and mistakes.

[1] Al-Ghadeer 9/206
[2] Tamaam al-Mutoon, Pg. 79
[3] Hayatul Imam Hasan 1/303
[4] ‘Hash Kaukab’ was a garden of Jews where they buried their dead
[5] Al-Aqeeda wash Shariyah Fil Islam, Pg. 45
[6] Halabi, Sirah


We have already discussed some instances of this type in the foregone pages. The direct result of this was the spread of chaos and anarchy in behavior, corruption of morals and disobedience to established laws.

2 – Uthman’s regime, during its tenure, did not consider itself means for social welfare or general well being of the people. It was solely aimed at amassing wealth, exploitation and domination over the people; this matter became a cause for many groups of people looking upon the government as an excuse for collecting booty and luxuries. And this matter caused many groups and people came towards it for rulership and power, and for this they gave up their lives. For example, Talha, Zubair, Muawiyah, Amr Aas and others. No humanistic or social aim was in their rebellion against the government of Imam Amirul Momineen Ali. Rather in their greed for rulership and caliphate they were blind to everything else. And their revolt was the weakness of their spirit of faith and spreading of discord for their personal benefit. All this created a gap between Islamic society and Quranic authority.

3 – Uthman’s regime created an affluent class that spread seeking ease and selfishness; and in the path of seeking sensuality and profligacy they did not pay heed to anything else and among them were the Quraishite families who were drowned in wealth and who remained busy in spending their money while different social classes were impoverished, deprived and in a pitiful condition. And this compelled the great reformer, Abu Zar, the companion of the Messenger of Allah to take a stand against the hoarding of wealth by Quraish who had amassed wealth in unlawful ways and he was demanding them to return it to the Central Treasury so that it may help in economic development and social welfare as prescribed by Islam.

4 – Uthman’s regime revived tribal bias and favoritism that Islam had confronted and weakened because Uthman endeavored for the strengthening of his family and spreading of power and their biased support even though it be against the law. He furnished them with all the means of power in such a way that they assumed the appearance of Arabian families and the bias of the period of ignorance in pride and arrogance in paternity and pride over lineage and descent and other problems became general which we shall present in this book.

5 – Profit seekers appeared to obtain rulership on the basis of sword and strength without having any regard for the well being of the community.

Julius Falhauzen says: It was from the time when the sword was supreme in the matter of rulership of theocratic kingdoms and the door of mischief had opened and it was never closed completely. And at that time safety of unity was in the presence of Imam’s person as the leader of the group. But mostly apparently and by force and compulsion it was not possible and the fact is that the community has disintegrated and it took the form of groups and clans where each one was trying to impose their political power on others. And in support of their leaders they took up sword against the Imam who was also the ruler at that time…”[1]

[1] Tarikh ad-Daulatul Arabiyyah, Pg. 50-51


Political greed spread and profit seekers were restless for power and this caused the spread mischief and chaos in all the provinces.

6 – Taking the issue of the revenge of Uthman’s blood all such greedy elements jumped up to create mischief and rebellion against the law. This was just a pretext and not only from the Umayyads but from all groups who were vying for rulership like Talha, Zubair, Ayesha and others from those who were instrumental in the uprising against Uthman. Now they began to harp on revenge for Uthman’s blood. In this path they spilled rivers of pure blood for their cheap greed and they sacrificed their relatives and sorrow spread in all lands of Islam.

These were some of the consequences of Uthman’s reign which without any doubt had a profound effect in the changing of event and which incited the society towards political greed and aspirations, proliferation of pursuit for opulence and struggle for power. That they took up a powerful confrontation and the religious government changed into despotism and it did not have any regard for Islamic matters and the fulfillment of its aims. And also they created a distance between the Muslims and Ahle Bayt who were such that the Prophet had emphatically appointed them for Imamate and advised the Muslim community to obey them. And that sanctity of Ahle Bayt was openly destroyed and the tyrant rulers that came to power, they even cut them into pieces and began to suppress and trample them and paid no heed to their relationship to the Prophet, which was more deserving of consideration.

Here one matter remains and it is that Imam Husain during the period of Uthman was in the bloom of youth and historians say that His Eminence accompanied the forces that had gone for the conquest of Tabristan in 30 A.H. under the command of Saeed bin Aas. This battalion performed well and the Almighty Allah gave it victory and success and it returned in triumph.[1] However another indication regarding Imam Husain’s participation in that campaign has not reached us. And probably it is due to the fact that the family of the Prophet was on the side of opposition of Uthman’s regime and they effectively criticized his policies and Uthman directed his wrath on the companions of Amirul Momineen Ali like Abu Zar, Ammar and Ibn Masood and he tried to harass them and Imam Husain witnessed these horrible events and more pains were added to his pain and the reality of the society and exposed the favoritism in the best way.

Some historians have claimed that Imam Hasan and Husain defended Uthman when the revolutionaries had besieged him, but we have proved in an objective way the incorrectness of this report in our book, Life of Imam Hasan. Here comes to an end the chapter on Uthman’s regime.

[1] Tabari, Tarikh, 4/269, Al-Abr 2/135. But the writer of Futuhaat-e-Islami has not mentioned Imam Husain to be with this batlion

[ PART 3 continues below…]


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