Chapter Three the History of the Revolution

There were after you conflicting news and misfortunes,

If you were here, no misfortune would happen.

Some men showed us what there was hidden in their hearts

When you left and the grave kept you away from us.

Sharh Nahjul
Balagha 16:212


Many misfortunes were poured on me

If they were poured on days, they would turn into nights

I had been merry under the shade of Muhammad

He was my happiness, with whom I did not fear any wrong

But today I submit to the villain

And try to defend myself against my oppressors with my garment.

Fatima (s)

The method of studying history

If impartiality in one’s emotions, scrutiny in judgment and freedom in thinking were conditions for the productive intellectual life and for the tactful skill in every intellectual study in whatever field and on whatever subject it was, they would be the most important basic conditions for a compact historical structure for our forefathers’ cases, in which the lines of their lives, which became as ownership of history, would be expressed clearly

There were after you conflicting news and misfortunes,

If you were here, no misfortune would happen.

Some men showed us what there was hidden in their hearts

When you left and the grave kept you away from us.

Sharh Nahjul
Balagha 16:212


Many misfortunes were poured on me

If they were poured on days, they would turn into nights

I had been merry under the shade of Muhammad

He was my happiness, with whom I did not fear any wrong

But today I submit to the villain

And try to defend myself against my oppressors with my garment.

Fatima (s)

and the components of their personalities would be declared as they themselves knew or people knew about them then.

History would be widen for general ponders on every subject of that past time, which would be defined according to the historical and social aspect and according to the real value in the account of the public life or according to the private life the researcher involved in to be the theme of his research like the religious, moral and political life or any other side of the human society provided that those ponders would be derived from the real world of people not from an imaginary world created by one’s emotions and thoughts or by blind adherence and imitation or by winged imagination flying with the insipidities and absurdities to the top and basing on them results as one liked and without putting restrictions that the researcher could not free himself from in order to think and ponder according to the honest scientific methods.

But if we came to history not to record the reality whether good or bad it was, not to bind our study to the pure scientific research methods and not to collect all the possibilities and suppositions that could be prospected to leave away what might deserve leaving and to keep what might deserve noticing and appreciating but to obey our emotions and inheritances to record the history of our forefathers, then it would never be a history of those persons, who lived on the earth one day and were like the other human beings affected by different feelings and emotions and the good and bad tendencies quivered inside them. In fact it would not be a history but a biography of persons lived in our minds and our souls flew with them to the high horizons of imagination.

If you want to be free in your thinking and to be a historian of the world of the human beings and not a novelist deriving from your mind what you write, put your emotions aside or if you like fill yourself with them for they are yours with no disputer and exclude your thinking from them when dealing with research. Your mind is no longer your own property when you take the responsibility of dealing with history. Promise yourself to be honest in order that your research satisfies the scientific conditions according to the right bases of thinking and conclusion.[1]

The reasons that restrict the historians’ freedom in what they criticize are many. The historians, or more accurate, most of the historians were accustomed to be limited to certain sides of life that they historized. They were accustomed to form the history in a way to be attractive when the researchers detailed their impressions about the subject concerned. But in many times it came to be pale having nothing to do with the meanings of the people’s lives, activities, movements and labors. Later you will see some examples on the subject at hand with regard to the critical time we are studying in these chapters. I mean the time after the death of the Prophet (s) where the essential matter in the Islamic history was decided unchangeably, that was the kind of the government, which had to undertake the Muslims’ affairs.

Appraising the history of the first Islamic age

All of us wish that the Islamic history of the  

[1] You can clearly notice the aspects of the scientific method that Imam as-Sadr defines whether in his reading or writing history and the steps he defines here are required for the historical research. Refer to The Historical Research Method by Dr. Hassan Othman.

bright first age to be completely pure and innocent from what intermixed with the human life of evil and slips of fancies. It was the age of high idealities. It was issued by the greatest of the issuers of the human ages in the history of this planet at all. The divine faith rose to the highest point where the divine thought did never rise in the world of philosophy and knowledge. The Prophet Muhammad had reflected his soul into the soul of that age. The age was affected by the Prophet’s soul and his great divine morals. In fact the choice of the Muhammadans melted into his soul and they did not have any direction except towards the Great Creator, from Whom the lights of the existence shone, and for Him they would go back, as the existence melted in front of their great teacher’s eyes at the moment when the divine mission descended on him. He did not see or hear anything save the divine voice emitting from every side, every direction and every site of the universe announcing to adorn him with the greatest badge.

It was the age, in which the material differences were cancelled at all. The ruler and the ruled were equal in front of the law and its execution.[1] It was the age that made the moral value and the dignity in fearing Allah,[2] which was the spiritual purification, to safeguard the conscience and to raise the soul to the horizons of the high ideality. It was the age that forbade respecting the rich just because they were rich and forbade insulting the poor just because they were poor. It did not differentiate between people except according to the productive power: (...for it  

[1] Refer to the famous case of Imam Ali relating to the judgements as in Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.16 p.269.
[2] With reference to the Quranic verse: (surely the most honourable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty) 49:13.

 is (the benefit of) what it has earned and on it (the evil of) what it has wrought. 2:286) It was the age that encouraged hurrying up to jihad for the sake of the benefit of mankind, which did mean to cancel the personal happiness in this world and to make it away from the account of one’s deeds.[1]

The age that had all those prides was worthier of sanctification, veneration, admiration and appreciation. But what made me exceed in this matter that I did not want to? I had not to waste the time beside the important subject that I tried to discuss in details but it was the enthusiasm to that age that pushed me to that. No doubt it was the best of the ages in spirituality and straightness. I understand this well and agree on it zealously.[2]But I do not understand why it was forbidden to get through scientific study or historical test of any subject of those days or why it was banned for us to research on the case of Fadak on the basis of that one of the opponents was wrong in his situation according to the criteria of the Sharia or to notice that the story of the caliphate and the thought of Saqeefa was not improvised nor it was the product of its day if we noticed the events then and the  

[1] With reference to the readiness for sacrificing every thing for the sake of Islam, fighting injustice and helping the weak as Allah said: (Say: If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your mates and your kinsfolk and property which you have acquired, and the slackness of trade which you fear and dwellings which you like, are dearer to you than Allah and His Apostle and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings about His command) 9:24.
[2] Notice the accurate evaluation of the Islamic aspects in the first Islamic age and the age of the four caliphs and the extent of high appreciation for the virtues of that age. Nevertheless Imam as-Sadr did not want to be under the effect of dazzlement and admiration of that age and to ignore the paradoxes happened in that age, which were in need to be studied, researched, inquired and analyzed to get the possible true facts.

nature of the surrounding circumstances.

The most possible justification is that many people think, when justifying the virtues of that age, that the men of that age especially Abu Bakr, Omar and their likes, who were the guides of the public life at that time, could not be criticized or charged to be judged because they were the builders of that age, who established the golden lines of its life. So their history was the history of the age and excluding them from their virtues means excluding the very age from its ideality, which every Muslim believes in.

I want to leave here a word on this subject that has a matter fitting to a long research and a glimpse of an important study that I may discuss in a book at another opportunity. But for now I just ask about the reality of this thought!

It is true that Islam at the time of the two caliphs (Abu Bakr and Omar) did dominate, the conquests were continuous and the life was full of goodness and flourishing with the comprehensive spiritual revival besides the bright world of the Quran. But should we conclude that the only reason of that was because Abu Bakr and Omar were the rulers?[1]

The full answer to this question takes us far from our subject but we know that the Muslims in the day of the two caliphs were at the peak of their enthusiasm for their religion and were zealous to defend their belief. History recorded for us that: (One day Omar ascended the minbar and asked the people: “If we lead you from what you believe in to what you deny, what will you do?” A man answered  

[1] Putting forth such a supposition is considered to be logical and it fits the scientific method in order to give an accurate interpretation for that historical stage.

him: “We will ask you to repent. If you repent, we will accept you”. Omar said: “If I do not do so?” The man said: “We will cut your head off”. Omar said: “Praise be to Allah that made in the umma people, who, if we deviate, will reform our deviation.”[1]

We know also that the opposite party-I mean Imam Ali’s companions-was lying in wait for the caliphate and if any slip or deviation happened to distort the face of the rule at that time, it would be enough for them to turn it upside down as they did with Othman when he bought a palace, when he appointed his relatives as walis and when he deviated from the Sunna of the Prophet[2] although the people at the time of Othman were nearer to mildness and tameness and were feeble in their religion[3] unlike the people in the days of the first two caliphs.

Hence we understand that the rulers were in a strict situation that did not let them change some of the bases of the policy and its sensitive points if they wanted to because they were under the watch of the general Islamic consideration, which was very sincere to the principles and being the supervisor of the rule and the rulers. As for the rulers-if they did something objectionable-would face a great opposition from the party that still believed that the Islamic rule must be impressed with the pure Muhammadan impression and that the only one, who could keep this holy impression, was Ali, the Prophet’s heir and the guardian of the believers after the Prophet.[4]  

[1] This case is famous in the biography of Omar bin al-Khattab.
[2] At-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.651.
[3] The complete collection of Taha Hussayn's works vol.4 p.268.
[4] At-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.3 p.218-219, Tafseer al-Khazin vol.3

As for the Islamic conquests, they had the priority among the events of those days but that would not score a glory in the historical account of the government of the two caliphs (Abu Bakr and Omar) whereas every affair of the war was prepared by a collective action of the umma that expressed the entire personality of the umma and not the ruler, who had not been exposed to even one spark of the flame of the war and that the decision was not his own. He did that by an order, which he had no share of. The caliph at that time, whether during the conquest of Sham[1]or Iraq and Egypt, did not show by the word of the war the power of his government or the ability of himself to be ready for that word, but he announced of the strength of the Prophet’s word, which was a strict promise about conquering the countries of Kasra[2] and Caesar[3] therefore the hearts of the Muslims shook zealously and hopefully, more correctly they shook faithfully and believingly.

History mentioned that many of those, who retired from the practical life after the Prophet’s death, did not break their retirement and came back to the fields of action except when mentioning this prophetic tradition. It was, besides the faith deep-rooted in the hearts, the power that prepared for the war all its circumstances, men and accessibilities. Another thing that prepared the means of victory in the battles of jihad, which had nothing to do with the government of Shura (the government of the caliphs), was the good fame of  

p.371, al-Khassa’iss by an-Nassa’ei p.86-87 and al-Mustadrak vol.3 p.126.**
[1]** Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.
[2] King of Persia.
[3] At-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.92

Islam that the Prophet had spread throughout the world and in every corner of the earth. The Muslims did not go to conquer a country unless they would find another army of propagation advocating for their mission and principles.[1]

In the matter of the conquests there was another thing that was the only thing concerning the duty of the rulers alone away from the rest of the Muslims, who prepared all the affairs. It was to spread the Islamic spirit after the conquest, to concentrate the Quranic idealities in the conquered countries and to root the moral and religious feelings in the people’s conscience, which came after the shahada. And I do not know whether we can record for the two caliphs some thing of that or to doubt entirely about it as many researchers did and as it was clarified by the history of the conquered countries during the Islamic life. All circumstances helped the two caliphs in forming the productive military life that succeeded during their reigns and in issuing the special political life they adopted.

I do not know what their situations would be if they exchanged their circumstances with Imam Ali. That’s to say Abu Bakr and Omar were to be in Imam Ali’s situation at that circumstances, which encouraged building a new policy, a new system of rule and a life full of luxury and ease. Would they opposite those circumstances as Imam Ali did? He had given the highest example of sincerity to the doctrine and the highest example of honesty to the rule.

I do not mean to say that the two caliphs were obliged unwillingly to have prudent conduct in the rule and to be fair in politics and life, but I mean  

[1] Futoohul Buldan p.44 and Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.16 p.210.

that the circumstances surrounding them imposed that on them willingly or unwillingly.

I do not want to deprive them of their effects in history. How can I do that and that they themselves, who wrote, on the day of Saqeefa, the lines of all the Islamic history? But I mean that their effects were weak in building the history of their days especially and of that flourishing life that was effortful and virtuous.

With al-Aqqad in his study

As I write this, before me is the book Fatima and the Fatimites by Abbas Mahmood al-Aqqad, which I came to eagerly to see what he had written about the dispute between the caliph (Abu Bakr) and Fatima az-Zahra’ (s) and I was sure that the days of worshiping the companions’ deeds blindly[1] and considering them right at all had gone for ever and that the days of prohibiting the others to go deeply in studying the human intellectual matters concerning religion, beliefs, history or anything else had gone with what had gone of the history of Islam after passing centuries.

Perhaps the first caliph was the first, who announced this creed when he shouted at someone asking him about the human freewill and fate and he threatened him.[2] But had not Allah relieved us of this creed, which distorted the soul of Islam? I was to expect an attractive research about the dispute in full details that al-Aqqad would present us with but it was the opposite. His word about the subject was  

[1] That is to say imitating and following a blind method in studying and appreciating the persons or the historical events without scientific research or evidence have no longer any value or respect in the view of science especially we live in an age submitting every thing to the scientific examining and researching.
[2] Ad-Darimi’s Sunan p.53-54.

short and too short that I would permit myself to quote it and show it to you without wasting your time. He said: “The speech about the case of Fadak is one of those that will not end to an agreed on result but the truth is that Fatima was loftier than to ask for something not hers and Abu Bakr was loftier than to dispossess her of her right, which she had evidences proving it. One of the silliest sayings is that it was said that Abu Bakr deprived her of Fadak lest Ali spent from its yields to instigate people to his side when asking for the caliphate. Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali became caliphs and no one heard that someone had paid homage in return for money. It was mentioned neither in propaganda nor in true news. We did not find an acquittance concerning the rule at the reign of Abu Bakr clearer in evidence than his judgment in the case of Fadak. He gained contentment by the contentment of Fatima and the companions became content by her contentment. He did not get anything from Fadak for himself as some claimed but it was the critical point or the most critical point of the rule in this case between these truthful and believable opponents. May Allah be pleased with them all.”[1]

We notice before all that al-Aqqad liked to consider the research on the case of Fadak as a kind of dispute that had no base and would not get to a decisive result. Then he apologized for not keeping on studying the case. I think that in criticizing the book, you will find the answer to his opinion. We notice too that after he decided that the talk about the case of Fadak would not lead to an agreed on result, he found it had two facts that did not allow  

[1] Refer to Fatima and the Fatimites by Abbas Mahmood al-Aqqad.

disputing or arguing:

The first: that Fatima was loftier than to be accused of lying.

The second: that Abu Bakr was loftier than to dispossess Fatima of her right, which was proved by evidence. If there was no argument on the correct situation of the caliph and its agreement with the law, so what was the argument that had no base for?! And why did not the case of Fadak end to an agreed on result?!

I understand that the author has the freedom to record his opinion about any subject as he likes and as his thinking leads him after he clarifies to the reader the evidences of his opinion and after putting all the possibilities of that subject in his account to get to a clear result, but I do not understand when the author says that the case is subject to be researched and then he does not give but an opinion lacking evidences and needing much explanation, researching and pondering. If Fatima was loftier than any accusation so what did she need an evidence for? Did the Islamic legislations prevent the judge to give his judgment according to his knowledge?[1] If it was so, did that mean it was possible according to the religion to dispossess the owner of his property? These are some questions and there are others about this case needing scientific answers and a research according to the method of conclusion in Islam.

I want to be free, so I ask the professor al-Aqqad to permit me commenting on his speech. Discharging the caliph and Fatima at the same time was impossible. If the matter of their dispute was  

[1] Al-Bayhaqi’s Sunan vol.10 p.142 and Tangheeh al-Adilla fee Bayan Hukm al-Hakim sayyid Muhammad Reza al-Hussayni al-A’raji.

exclusive to the asking of Fatima for Fadak and the refusing of the caliph to give it to her because of the lack of the legal evidences, according to which he would judge, and the end of the claim at this point, we might say that Fatima had claimed that Fadak was hers and the caliph refused her claim because she had no legal evidence then she gave up because she knew that she did not deserve Fadak according to the judicial laws and the Sharia. But we know well that the dispute between Fatima and the caliph took different shapes until it reached an extent that Fatima accused the caliph frankly and swore to cut off relations with him.[1]

Then we are between two things; the first that we are to acknowledge that Fatima asked insistingly for what she did not deserve according to the Islamic judicial laws and the system of the Sharia even if what she asked for was her own indeed. The second that we are to blame the caliph that he dispossessed her of her right that he had to give it to her and to judge that it was hers. Exalting Fatima above asking for something, which was against the laws of the Sharia and raising the caliph above preventing her her right, which the Sharia confirmed its ownership for her, were two things that could never meet together unless the contraries would agree with each other.

Let us leave this to another discussion. The professor considered the decision of the caliph concerning the case of Fadak as the clearest evidence of purifying the caliph and his firmness in the way of truth and that he did not transgress the limits of the Sharia because if he had given Fadak to  

[1] Al-Bukhari’s Sahih vol.3 p.1374, Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.16 p.281 and A’lamun Nissa’ vol.4 p.123-124.

Fatima, he would content her and would content the companions (because of her content). Let us suppose with him that it was the Islamic laws, which imposed on him to decide that Fadak was as charity, but what prevented him to cede his share to Fatima and the shares of the companions, who would be content if Fatima was content as the professor declared? Was that prohibited according to the religious laws? Or he was inspired not to do that? What did prevent him to give Fadak to Fatima after she had promised him definitely to spend its yields for the sake of the commonweal?

As for what the author considered as silly justification for the decision of the caliph, we will know in this chapter if it was really silly.

If we knew that people’s opinions were not inspired by the Heaven to be sanctified above doubts and arguments and that studying the affairs of the first companions was not blasphemy, atheism or doubting in the signs of the prophethood as they used to say, we might ask that what led Fatima to begin her dispute about Fadak in that violent way that did not acknowledge or did not want to acknowledge any dignity for the dominant authority or a glory for the ruling power that would preserve the rulers from the rising flame and scattering sparks. That dispute would show to history the naked truth of the rule without any covering. In fact the beginning of the dispute and its later stages were a warning of a sweeping revolution or a revolution indeed when it was completed in its final form having all what this meaning had of preparations and results without feebleness or hesitation.

What was the aim of the ruling authority or in fact the caliph himself to stand against Fatima? Did

not it come to his mind that his plan would open for him a door in history adding to his precedents the dispute against the Prophet’s family? Was he content with that sincerely so that he withstood to keep on his bad situation? Or did he submit to the law and keep to all of it as they said and that he did not want to trespass the limits of Allah by much or little? His odd situation against Fatima (s) had a connection with his situation in the Saqeefa. I mean by that the same purpose or the meeting of the two purposes in one point.[1] In fact he wanted to stand on one wide circle as wide as the state of the Prophet (s) with smiling hopes and waves of dreams, for which the caliph laughed too much and strove too much.

The incentives of the revolution

We perceive clearly, when we notice the historical circumstances, which surrounded the Fatimite movement, that the Hashemite[2] house, which was distressed by the loss of its great chief, had all the incentives of a revolution against the contemporary situations to change them and to establish them anew. Fatima had all the possibilities for the revolution and the attainments for the opposition, which the oppositionists decided to be a  

[1] Ibn Abul Hadeed mentioned in Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.16 p.284 that: “I asked Ali bin al-Fariqi, the teacher of the western school in Baghdad: Was Fatima true? He said: Yes. I said: Then why did he not give her Fadak whereas she was true? He smiled and said some pleasant words: If he gave her Fadak today just for her claim, she would come to him tomorrow claiming the caliphate for her husband and would move him from his place and he could not apologize or agree about anything because he would confirm that she was true in whatever she claimed without a need for evidences or witnesses”. Ibn Abul Hadeed said: This is true.
[2] Concerning Hashim, the Prophet’s grandfather.

peaceful dispute[1] whatever it would cost.

We feel if we study the historical reality of the case of Fadak and its dispute, that it was affected by the revolution and we feel clearly that the dispute in its reality and motives was a revolution against the policy of the state, which Fatima found that it was different from the rule she was familiar with (during the time of her father). It was not just a dispute about something of the financial affairs or the economic system, which the government of Shura followed; even it sometimes seemed to be so.

If we want to catch the threads of the Fatimite revolution from the beginnings, we have to look with a deep comprehensive look at two close events in the Islamic history; one was the echo and the natural reflection of the other. They both extended in their first roots and threads together so that they might meet at a shared point.

One of them was the Fatimite revolution against the first caliph, which was about to shake his political entity and to throw his caliphate into the waste-basket of history.

The other was an opposite situation, in which Aa’ishah,[2] the caliph’s daughter stood against Ali the husband of Fatima, who rebelled against  

[1] Imam Ali had great insistence on the peacefulness of the opposition and not to exceed the limits of protesting and refuting the others’ excuses although it led him to be pulled from his house to pay homage unwillingly and that the pure house was liable to the threat of setting fire to it. It was noticeable that when Abu Sufyan came to Imam Ali and said to him: “If you want, I will attack them with my knights and men”. Imam Ali chided him and refused his suggestion. Refer to Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.6 p.47-49 and p.17-18 and at-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.233 and 237.
[2] With reference to the battle of (the camel) against Imam Ali, whose leaders were az-Zubayr, Talha and Aa’isha in thirty-six AH that happened in Basra. Refer to at-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.3 p.476.

Aa’isha’s father.

The fate made those two rebellious women fail with a difference between them relating to the share of contentment of each of them with her revolution and the internal comfort with the right or wrong situation of each of them and the chance of victory according to the account of the truth, which had no crookedness. It was certain that Fatima failed after she had made the caliph cry and say: “Depose me[1] and break my homage” but Aa’isha failed and wished if she had not gone to the war[2] and to break the obedience.

These two revolutions were close in subject and persons so why did they not end to close reasons and similar motives?

We know well that the secret, behind the change occurred to Aa’isha when she was told that Ali became the caliph, belonged to the first days of the life of Ali and Aa’isha when the competition for the Prophet’s heart was between his wife and his daughter.

This competition could expand in its effects to create different feelings of rage and dissension between the two competing ones and to reach the friends and the assistants around each of them. It expanded indeed on one side and happened what happened between Aa’isha and Ali and hence it had to expand on the other side to include those, against whom Aa’isha tried her best in the Prophet’s house.

Yes, the reversal of Aa’isha was inspired from  

[1] A’lamun Nissa’ vol.4 p.124, at-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.3 p.353 where Abu Bakr said: “I do not regret from the life except three things I had done that I wished if I had not …I wished that I had not exposed Fatima’s house to anything”. Refer to Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.6 p.41.
[2] Ibnul Atheer’s Tareekh vol.3 p.111 and Tathkiratul Huffaz by Sibt bin aj-Jawzi p.80-81.

the memories of those days when Imam Ali counseled the Prophet to divorce her in the famous story of Ifk (lie).[1]

Ali’s counsel showed his discontentment with her and her competition with his wife. The dispute between the Prophet’s wife and his daughter (Fatima) expanded to include Ali and other than Ali of those, who took care of the results and the stages of that competition.

The incentives of the first caliph’s situation

We know that the circumstances inspired the caliph with a certain feeling towards Fatima and her husband. Let us not forget that he asked the Prophet for the hand of Fatima but the Prophet refused and when Ali proposed to her, the Prophet responded to his proposal.[2] That refusal and this response gave the caliph a feeling of disappointment and at the same time a feeling of envy towards Ali and that Fatima was the cause of that competition between him and Ali that ended with his opponent’s winning.

Let us notice too that Abu Bakr was the one, whom the Prophet (s) had sent to inform the unbelievers of Mecca the sura of Bara’a then he sent Ali after him telling him to turn back and to be deprived of this honor[3] for nothing but because the divine inspiration wanted to put in front of him again his competitor of Fatima, who won her instead of him.[4]

[1] Refer to the details of the event in al-Bukhari’s Sahih vol.3 p.24, at-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.113.
[2] As-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa by ibn Hajar p.249.
[3] Ahmad’s Musnad vol.1 p.3, as-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa p.32, al-Khassa’iss of an-Nassa’iy p.90-91.
[4] It was mentioned in as-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa p.143 that Anass had said: “While I was sitting with the Prophet (s) the angel visited him. When he left, the Prophet (s) said: “My God ordered me to marry Fatima to Ali..”.

No doubt that the caliph watched his daughter (Aa’isha) during her competition with Fatima for the priority near the Prophet (s) and was affected by her emotions as it was natural for fathers with their children.

He might think at a time that Fatima prompted her father to go to lead the prayer in the mosque when Aa’isha paved the way for her father, whom she worked for from inside the Prophet’s house, to lead the prayer when the Prophet was ill.[1]

We cannot expect history to explain every thing clearly but it was reasonable to assume that a man meeting circumstances like the circumstances surrounded the caliph from Ali and Fatima, would behave just like what he did in his famous historical situation and that a woman facing what Fatima faced of competitions during the days of her father even a quarrel between Aa’isha and Fatima’s father, would not be silent when the opponents tried to deprive her of her legal right.

The political dimensions of the case of Fadak

This was the Fatimite revolution in its sentimental aspect, which was composed of many aspects. The clearest and most dominant one was the political aspect.

When I say that, I do not mean by politics the widespread notion among the public nowadays, which concentrates on crookedness and fabrication but I mean the real straight notion. He, who scrutinizes the steps of the dispute and its successive forms, does not understand it as a case of asking for a piece of land, but he perceives a mission further than that calling for an ambitious  

[1] Ibn Hisham’s Seera vol.3/4 p.653.

aim that prompts to revolt in order to regain a stolen throne, a lost crown and a great glory and to revive the inverted umma.[1]

Hence Fadak was a symbolic meaning representing a great notion and not that seized piece of land in Hijaz. This symbolic meaning of Fadak transferred it from an ordinary dispute shrunken in a limited circle to a big revolution with a wide horizon.

Try to study whatever you like of the true historical documents about the case, will you find it a dispute about a property or a disagreement about a piece of land with its yields however much they were?

Certainly not! But it was the revolution against the bases of the rule and the outcry, by which Fatima wanted to pluck out the cornerstone, on which history was built after the day of the Saqeefa.

It suffices to read the speech that Fatima made in the mosque before the caliph and the crowd of the Muhajireen and the Ansar. Most of it was about praising Ali and his eternal situations for Islam. She recorded the right of the Prophet’s family that she  

[1] With reference to the Quranic verse: (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 on your heels? And whoever turns back on his heels! So, he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least and Allah will reward the grateful) 3:144.
Refer to the tradition talking about the apostasy of people (after the Prophet’s death). The Prophet (s) said: “I precede you to the pond (on the Day of Resurrection). Some men, whom I know, will be brought but they will be prevented from me. I say: They are my companions. It is said: You do not know what they did after you. Then I say: Away with him! Away with him, he, who distorted (the Sunna), after me…” Refer to al-Bukhari’s Sahih vol.8 p.86, al-Kashshaf by az-Zamakhshari vol.4 p.811 and at-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.245.

considered as the means between Allah and His people and as Allah’s choice, His sign of holiness, His argument among people and the heirs of the prophets for the caliphate and the rule. She warned the people of their bad fate because of their unsuccessful choice, their deviation, selecting an eligible one for the rule, the sedition[1] they fell into and the motives that led them to leave the Quran and to oppose its commandment concerning the caliphate and the imamate.

The matter was not a matter of inheritance or donation except to the account relating to the policy of the state. It was not a claim about a property or a house but it was, according to Fatima’s opinion, (a matter of belief and unbelief, faith and hypocrisy and a matter of dictate and Shura).[2]

We also notice this political style in her talk with the women of the Muhajireen and the Ansar. She said: “Whereto did they move it from the position of the mission, the bases of the prophethood and the place of descent of Gabriel, who is aware of life and religion’s affairs? That was the great loss. What did they deny from Abul Hassan (Ali)? Yes, they denied the beating of his sword, his forcefulness, his strict punishing and his venturing for the sake of Allah. By Allah, if they  

[1] Refer to the case of the Saqeefa in at-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.235and the following pages. It was mentioned that: “The homage of Abu Bakr was a slip…”
[2] This was according to the Fatimite’s thought about the case. She said in her speech: “ claimed that you fear a sedition to happen..then she recited this verse: (Surely into trial have they already tumbled down, and most surely hell encompasses the unbelievers). 9:49. Refer to the full discussion of (The Dictate and the Sura) by the martyred Imam as-Sadr in his book (The origin of the Shiism and the Shia) edited by Dr. Abdul Jabbar Sharara. 

turned away from the rein, which the Prophet had handed over to him (to Imam Ali), he would catch it tenderly and he would move without harm or worry. He would lead them to a fresh flowing fount and would return them with satiety while he himself would not profit of anything but a little just to break his acute thirst and hunger. If they did so, they would be granted blessings from the Heaven and the earth**[1]** and they would be rewarded by Allah according to their deeds. Come on and listen! Whatever you live, you will see wonders, whose astonishment would last as long as you live! To what refuge they resorted and to what tie they clung! Evil certainly is the guardian and evil certainly is the associate and evil certainly is this change for the unjust! By Allah, they replaced the good with the bad and the just with the unjust. Disgrace be for people, who think they do well. Surely they themselves are the mischief makers, but they do not perceive. Woe to them! (Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge? Quran 10:35)”

History did not mention that the Prophet’s wives disputed with Abu Bakr about their inheritance. Were they more indifferent to the vanities of life and closer to the Prophet’s aspects than his daughter Fatima? Were they busy with the great misfortune (the Prophet’s death) and his daughter was not?! Or that the political circumstances separated them and made Fatima the  

[1] Her speech means: (If they let Imam Ali be the caliph, as the Prophet had ordered, he would rule with justice and fairness. He would never burden them with more than their abilities. He would make them live in luxury and ease while he himself would live in asceticism).

oppositionist away from the Prophet’s wives, who were not disturbed by the situations of the rule.

It might be certain that Fatima found that her husband’s followers and his best companions, who did never have any doubt about her truthfulness, would add their witnesses to Ali’s and so the evidence would be clear to the caliph. Did not that show us that the high aim of Fatima, which was known well by the all, was not to prove the donation or the inheritance but to do away with the results of the Saqeefa?[1] That would not be by giving the evidence about the case of Fadak, but to give the evidence to all of the people that they had deviated from the right way.[2] This was exactly what Fatima wanted to do by her struggling plan.

Let us hear the caliph’s speech after Fatima finished her speech and left the mosque. He ascended the minbar and said:

“O people, what is this attention to every saying! Were these wishes available at the time of the Prophet (s)? Let every one say whatever he  

[1] Refer to Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.16 p.236. It seemed that the caliph realized that, so he prevented it. It seemed clear by the argument between the second caliph (Omar) and Ibn Abbas. It was mentioned by at-Tabari in his Tareekh vol.2 p.578 that Omar said: “O ibn Abbas, do you know why they prevented your people-the Hashimites-(from the caliphate) after Muhammad (s)? Ibn Abbas said: I hated to answer him and said with myself if I did not know, amirul mu’mineen would tell me. Omar said: They hated that both the prophethood and the caliphate would be for you-the Hashimites-so they boasted against you. Quraysh chose for itself and succeeded. I said: Would you allow me to talk? He said: O Ibn Abbas, talk! I said: As for your saying that (Quraysh chose and it succeeded)…if Quraysh chose as Allah had chosen, it would be the right choice no doubt…and as for your saying (they hated that the prophethood and the caliphate both being for you) Allah had described some people by hating when He said: (That is because they hated what Allah revealed, so He rendered their deeds null) 47:9.
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.16 p.236.

heard and tell of whatever he saw. He[1] is not but a fox, whose witness is his tail. He keeps to every sedition. It is he, who says: “Bring it back as it was before (sedition and commotion)!” (They) ask for the help of the weak and of women. He is like Umm Tihal,[2] whose family was delighted with her prostitution. If I wanted to say, I would say and if I said, I would reveal but I am silent as long as I am not provoked”.

Then he turned to the Ansar and said:

“O people of Ansar, I have heard the saying of your foolish people. You were the best of those, who kept to the Prophet’s obligations. He came to you and you sheltered and helped him. I do not want to punish or scold whoever does not deserve that (from us)”.[3]

This speech uncovers for us some aspects of the caliph’s personality and sheds a light on Fatima’s dispute with him. What important for us now is that what this speech shows about the dispute and the caliph’s impression about it. He perceived well that the protest of Fatima was not about the inheritance or the donation but it was a political war, as we would call nowadays, and complaining about the wrongdoing to her great husband, whom the caliph and his companions wanted to keep away from his natural position in the world of Islam. So he did not talk except about Ali. He described him as a fox, the cause of every sedition, (umm Tihal) and that Fatima was his tail that followed him. He did not mention anything about the inheritance.

Let us notice the tradition mentioned in the Sihah (Sunni books of Hadith) that Ali and his uncle  

[1] He means Imam Ali!
[2] A name of a famous prostitute in the pre-Islamic age.
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.16 p.214-215.

al-Abbas disputed about Fadak during the reign of Omar. Ali said that the Prophet (s) had donated it to Fatima. Al-Abbas denied that and said that it was the Prophet’s ownership and that he (al-Abbas) was the heir. They went to Omar to judge between them. Omar refused to judge between them and said: “You are more aware of your affairs and as for me, I have given it to you”.[1]

We understand from this tradition-if it was true-that the decision of the caliph was a temporary political decision and that his situation was one of the necessities of the rule at that critical time, otherwise why did Omar ignored the tradition of Abu Bakr and put it aside to give Fadak to al-Abbas and Ali? His situation with them showed that he considered Fadak as a part of the Prophet’s inheritance and nothing else, because if it was but so, Ali and al-Abbas would not dispute about it whether it was a donation from the Prophet (s) to Fatima or a part of his inheritance that his heirs deserved.

What was the importance of this dispute if the caliph (Omar) thought that Fadak was the Muslims’ wealth and that he entrusted them (Ali and al-Abbas) with it to take care of it? Could not he end the dispute between them and tell them that he did not think it was a part of the inheritance or it belonged to Fatima and that he entrusted them with  

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.16 p.221. Refer to the traditions confirming that Ali was the guardian, the heir and the caliph after the Prophet (s). Refer for example to The history of Damascus by ibn Assakir vol.3 p.5 to see the saying of the Prophet: “Every prophet had a guardian and an heir. Ali is my guardian and heir”. Refer to the famous tradition of ad-Dar mentioned in at-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.3 p.218, al-Khazin’s Tafseer vol.3 p.371 about the interpretation of the verse: (And warn your nearest relations) and Ahmad’s Musnad vol.2 p.352.

it just to take care of it instead of him? He did not decide to give Fadak to Ali alone that he was not certain if the Prophet had donated it to Fatima or not. So there was no way to justify his giving it to Ali and al-Abbas except by considering it as inheritance.

Hence the case had two possibilities;

The first: that Omar accused Abu Bakr of fabricating the tradition of denying the inheritance.[1]

The second: that he interpreted the tradition and understood that it did not object to bequeathing but he did not mention his interpretation and did not discuss it with Abu Bakr when the latter told of it. Whether this or that was true, the political side was clear in this case, otherwise why did Omar accuse the first caliph of fabricating the tradition if it did not concern the policy of the government at that time? And why did he (Omar), who did not hesitate in declaring his objection to the Prophet and the first caliph in many cases, hide his interpretation?

It was clear that Fatima claimed for her inheritance after the ruling party seized it because it was not common for people to ask the caliph’s permission in order to receive their inheritances or to give inheritances to the possessors. So Fatima did not have to consult with the caliph and was not in need of his opinion where he was unjust[2] and that he leapt on the throne as she thought. Hence her asking for her inheritance must be the echo of the  

[1] With reference to the tradition narrated by Abu Bakr alone when he said that the Prophet had said: “We, the prophets, do not bequeath. What we leave is to be as charity”. Refer to as-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa p.34 and Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.16 p.223.
[2] Refer to the dialogue between the second caliph and Ali and al-Abbas bin Abd al-Muttalib as mentioned in Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.16 p.222.

nationalization-as we say nowadays-of the inheritance as a pretext to seize it.

I say: if we knew that Fatima did not ask for her rights before they were extracted from her, we would find that the circumstance of her claim encouraged, to a far extent, the oppositionists to seize the opportunity of the case of the inheritance to resist the ruling party in a peaceful manner required for the commonweal at that time and to accuse it of plundering, altering the bases of the Sharia and dealing with the law carelessly.

The case of Fadak in the objective circumstances

If we wanted to understand the forms and the reasons of the dispute in the light of the circumstances surrounding it, we had to explain those circumstances even in short to give a clear image about that reverse age as much as concerning our aim.

I do not mean by the reversal when I describe the reign of the first caliph except its real meaning applying to the changeability of the ruling authority that had to acquire the public form, to take its power from the electing groups and to incline to the first form, which took its power and authority from the Heaven

That moment, when Basheer bin Sa’d[1] patted the hand of the caliph (Abu Bakr), was a point of change in the history of Islam that put an end to the best of the reigns and announced another reign, which we let history to give judgment about.

The death of the leader; the Prophet

It was the day that had the last hour of the history of prophethood, which cut the holiest  

[1] At-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.243.

connection between the Heaven and the earth and cut the most blessed welfare and amenity and the best educating for humankind when the master of the human beings breathed his last and his soul flew towards the Exalted Companion and was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer. People hurried to the honored house of prophethood, which used to shine with its bright lights, to farewell the blissful Muhammadan age and to escort the prophethood that was the key of the glory of the umma and the secret of its greatness. They gathered around him being pelted with different ideas and memories about the splendor of prophethood and the loftiness of the great Prophet. They thought that those ten years, in which they enjoyed the care of the best of prophets and the kindest of fathers, was as a nice dream they enjoyed a moment of the time and the humanity flourished with in a period of their life and here they woke to face the worst of what a waking sleeper would face.

While people were in this prevailing distress and the terrible silence, no one uttering a word, satisfying themselves in bewailing this great departed soul with tears, regrets, reverence and memories, they were surprised by a voice rattling in the space to cut the silence that overcame the meeting grief-stricken people. It was announcing that the Prophet did not die and he would not die until he made his religion prevail over all religions and that he would come back to cut the hands and the legs of some men, who spread false rumors about his death: “If I hear a man saying that the Prophet has died, I will strike him with my sword.”[1]  

[1] At-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.232-233 and al-Milal wen-Nihal by ash-Shahristani vol.1 p.29.

The eyes turned towards the source of the voice to identify the speaker. They found it was Omar bin al-Khattab standing among the people rattling his idea firmly that did not accept any argument. People refreshed again and the speech of Omar began to pass from mouth to mouth and some people gathered around him.

Perhaps many of them denied his saying and found it strange. Some of them tried to argue with him about his saying but he remained clinging to his saying. People increased gathering around him astonished until Abu Bakr, who was at his home when the Prophet died, came. He said: “If you worshiped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead. And if you worshiped Allah, Allah is alive and never dies. Allah said: (Surely you shall die and they (too) shall surely die) and He said: (if then he dies or is killed will you turn back on your heels?)” When Omar heard that, he gave in and believed that the Prophet had died. He said: “It is as if I hear this verse for the first time now”.[1]

We did not see in this story-as many researchers had seen-that the caliph (Abu Bakr) was the hero of that wonderful circumstance and that he deserved the caliphate because of his situation against Omar’s opinion. The matter was not so important and that history did not mention even one man supported Omar in his opinion. It was but a personal opinion that had no effect or danger to be put down.

To be sincere to the research, I have to clarify that the expression of the caliph (Abu Bakr) about the situation (the Prophet’s death) was pale to a degree that it did not have any of the burning feelings of the Muslims in that day. In fact he did  

[1] At-Tabari’s Tarekh vol.2 p.232-233.

not add anything when expressing the disaster than to say: “Whoever worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead”. That difficult situation required Abu Bakr, if he wanted to present himself as a leader in that moment, to show a suitable affection about the great departed leader corresponding with the agitated sentiments of people with grief and regret on that day.

And who worshipped Muhammad that he said: “Whoever worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead”? Was there in Omar’s speech something showing that he worshipped the Prophet? Was there a wave of apostasy and blasphemy among those faithful people, who could not help their tears and patience because of the deep-rooted faith, to make him declare for them that religion was not limited to the life of the Prophet (s) because he was not a worshipped god?

So the speech of Abu Bakr had no any relation to the condition of people nor to Omar’s idea nor to the sentiments and affairs of the Muslims on that day. In fact he was preceded in that by those, who tried to argue with Omar as you will see later.

The case of Saqeefa and Imam Ali’s situation

At the same time there was another meeting held by the Ansar at the Saqeefa of Beni Sa’ida led by Sa’d bin Obada, the chief of al-Khazraj.[1] He invited them to choose him as the caliph and they agreed.[2]They discussed the matter among them and supposed: “If the Muhajireen refused and said that they were the Prophet’s tribe and people, we would say: An emir from us and an emir from you.” Sa’d said: “This is the first sign of weakness.”  

[1] One of the two great tribes of Medina.
[2] At-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.233.

When Omar knew of this meeting, he came to the Prophet’s house and sent for Abu Bakr to come out. Abu Bakr said that he was busy. Then Omar sent him a message that something had happened and he had to attend. He came out. They, with Abu Obayda, went to the Saqeefa. Abu Bakr made a speech, in which he mentioned the close relation between the Muhajireen and the Prophet and that they were his tribe and assistants. Then he said: “We are the emirs and you are the viziers. We will not opinionate without your counsel or decide any matter without you.” Al-Hubab bin al-Munthir bin al-Jamooh stood up and said: “O people of Ansar, keep to your opinion. The people are with you. No one will dare to object to you or to oppose your opinion. You are the people of power and glory. You are the majority with courage and valor. People look forward to what you do. Do not be in disagreement lest you spoil decision. If these people (Muhajireen) refuse but their opinion, so it will be one emir from us and one emir from them”.

Omar said: “How Far! Two swords never meet in one sheath. By Allah, the Arabs do not accept to give you the caliphate whereas the Prophet was from others than you and they do not object to giving it to those, whom the Prophet was from. Who dare to dispute us for the authority of Muhammad while we are his tribe and guardians?” Al-Hubab bin al-Munthir said: “O people of Ansar, keep to your agreement and do not listen to the speech of this or his companions lest they seize your right. If they deny, you are to expel them from this country because you are worthier of this matter than them. By your swords people submitted to this religion. It is our thought that we defend and we suffice to. I swear by Allah that we, if you want,

will fight for it”. Then Omar said: “Allah may kill you”. He said: “It is you, whom Allah may kill”. Abu Obayda said: “O people of Ansar, you were the first, who supported the Prophet, so do not be the first, who change the Sunna”.

Basheer bin Sa’d, the father of an-Nu’man bin Basheer, stood up and said: “O people of Ansar, Muhammad was from Quraysh and his people are worthier of him. I swear by Allah that I never dispute with them in this matter”. Abu Bakr said: “These are Omar and Abu Obayda. You may pay homage to any of them”. They both said: “By Allah, we will not do that when you are the best of the Muhajireen and the successor of the Prophet in prayer, which is the best pillar of religion. Extend your hand!” When he extended his hand so that Omar and Abu Obayda would pay homage to him, Basheer bin Sa’d preceded and paid homage before them. Al-Hubab bin al-Munthir said to him: “Misfortunes may hit you! Do you begrudge your cousin the emirate?” Ossayd bin Khudhayr, the chief of the tribe of al-Ouss[1] said to his fellows: “By Allah, if you do not pay homage, the tribe of al-Khazraj will gain the virtue for ever”. They paid homage to Abu Bakr. People, from every side, began to pay homage.[2]

We notice in this tradition that it was Omar, who heard about the meeting of the Ansar at the Saqeefa and told Abu Bakr of it. As long as we know that Omar was not inspired with this news by the Heaven, so he must have left the Prophet’s house after Abu Bakr had convinced him of the Prophet’s death. Why did he leave the prophet’s house? And  

[1] The other great tribe of Medina.
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha vol.1 p.127-128 and at-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.243.

why did he tell Abu Bakr alone about the event of the Saqeefa? And many other questions like that, which we do not find reasonable answers for. It leads us to think that there was a previous agreement between Abu Bakr, Omar and Abu Obayda on a certain plan concerning the caliphate. We can find many evidences for this concept that may permit us to suppose so.

First: Omar told Abu Bakr alone about the news of the Saqeefa and he insisted on calling him even after his excusing himself as being busy until he hinted at the purpose. He went out and they both hurried to the Saqeefa.[1] It was possible for Omar to call for any other one of the great companions of the Muhajireen after Abu Bakr apologized that he could not come out. This insistence of Omar could not be interpreted as the friendship that was between them because the matter was not a matter of friendship and the dispute of the Ansar did not depend on that Omar was to find a friend but to be assisted by anyone, who was to agree with him on the precedence of the Muhajireen.

Let us notice too that Omar sent a messenger to Abu Bakr telling him of that and he himself did not go fearing that the news might spread in the Prophet’s house and that the Hashimites and the others might hear of it. The second time he asked the messenger to tell Abu Bakr that something had happened, which required his attendance. We do not think that the attendance of Abu Bakr was so important unless the matter was so private and the purpose was to carry out a plan that was agreed on previously.[2]  

[1] At-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.242.
[2] Refer to at-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.234. He mentioned that al-Himyari ….said: “Some of the Prophet’s companions, whom we 

Second: Omar’s situation about the Prophet’s death when he claimed he did not die. We cannot interpret it as that Omar was confused because of the disaster of the Prophet’s death and lost his reason to claim what he claimed because the conduct of Omar along his life did not show that he was from this kind, especially his situation in the Saqeefa after this matter immediately.

He, who was affected by the disaster to a degree that he lost his reason, would not do what he did after one hour of that. He argued, resisted and struggled.[1]

We know too that Omar had not that opinion, which he declared in that critical moment some days or some hours before, when the Prophet became seriously ill. The Prophet (s) wanted to write a will to safeguard people from deviation but Omar opposed him and said: “The Book of Allah (the Quran) is enough for us. The Prophet is raving.[2]Or (he is overcome by pain)” as it was mentioned in the Sunni books (Sihah). He believed that the Prophet would die (like the others) and that his illness might make him die, otherwise he would not oppose him.

It was mentioned in Ibn Katheer’s Tareekh (history) that Omar bin Za’ida had recited the  

reached, swore: we did not know that these two verses had been revealed until Abu Bakr recited them that day, when someone came saying: the Ansar have gathered in the shed (saqeefa) of Beni Sa’ida to pay homage to one of them (to be the caliph). He said: one emir from us and one emir from Quraysh. Abu Bakr and Omar hurried to the saqeefa one leading the other. Omar wanted to talk but Abu Bakr prevented him. Omar said: I do not disobey the caliph two times a day…”. He meant that in the first time when he declared that the Prophet died and this was the second time. Notice his word (the caliph) and yet the homage (slip) as he described later on, did not occur. Refer to p.235.**
[1]** At-Tabari’s Tareekh vol.2 p.235.
[2] Refer to al-Bukhari’s Sahih vol.1 p.37 and vol.8 p.161.

verse, which Abu Bakr recited to Omar, before Abu Bakr recited it to Omar, but Omar was not satisfied with it yet he accepted Abu Bakr’s speech and was satisfied with it.[1]

So can we interpret that but to say that Omar wanted to make disturbance among people by his word (that the Prophet did not die) and to make people busy confirming or refuting it as long as Abu Bakr was absent lest something would happen concerning the caliphate and something that Abu Bakr must attend-according to Omar’s saying? Thus when Abu Bakr appeared, Omar became tranquil and felt safe that the caliphate had turned away from the Hashimites as long as the oppositionists had a voice in the field. He went to pick up the news expecting what would happen until he got the news that he did not expect.

Third: the form of the government that was produced in the Saqeefa; Abu Bakr became the caliph, Abu Obayda became in charge of the treasury and Omar became in charge of judgment.[2] In modern terms that the first was in charge of the high political authority, the second was in charge of the economic authority and the third was in charge of the judicial authority, which were the main authorities in the system of the Islamic government. The division of the vital positions of the Islamic government on that day among these three men, who played the prominent role at the Saqeefa, did not happen by chance or that it was improvised.

Fourth: the saying of Omar when he was about  

[1] Al-Bidayeh wen-Nihayeh by ibn Katheer, vol.5 p.213.
[2] Al-Kamil fit-Tareekh by ibnul Atheer, vol.2p.176. When Abu Bakr became the caliph, Abu Obayda said to him: I will suffice for the treasury and Omar said: I will suffice for the judgement….the wali of Mecca was Etab bin Osayd.

to die: “If Abu Obayda was alive, I would appoint him as the caliph”.[1]

It was not the sufficiency of Abu Obayda that led Omar to wish so, because he thought that Ali was the most sufficient one for the caliphate; nevertheless he did not want to undertake the responsibility of the umma alive or dead.[2]

It was not the fidelity of Abu Obayda, of which the Prophet (s) had witnessed-as Omar claimed-that was the reason of that because the Prophet (s) did not distinguish Abu Obayda with praise whereas many of the great Muslims at that time were honored by the prophetic praise much more than that of Abu Obayda[3] as it was mentioned in the Sunni and Shia books.

Fifth: Fatima (s) accused the rulers of political partisanship as you will see in the next chapter.

Sixth: the saying of Imam Ali to Omar: “O Omar, milk a milking that you will have a half of it. Support him (Abu Bakr) today so he may recompense you tomorrow”.[4]

It was clear that Imam Ali hinted at a mutual understanding between the two persons and at an agreement on a certain plan between them, otherwise the day of the Saqeefa itself would not hold all those political accounts that made Omar

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.1 p.64 and at-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.580. It was mentioned that al-Awdi had said: “When Omar was stabbed, he was asked: If you had appointed the caliph! He said: Whom would I appoint? If Abu Obayda was alive, I would appoint him…”.
[2] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2p.580 and al-Ansab by al-Balathiri, vol.5p.16.
[3] Refer-for example-to Mukhtasar Tareekh of ibn Assakir, vol.17p.356 to see the virtues of Imam Ali, an-Nassa’iy’s Khassa’iss p.72 and Murooj ath-Thahab by al-Mas’oudi, vol.2p.437.
[4] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.6p.11.

have a half of the milk!

Seventh: what was mentioned in the letter of Mu’awiya bin Abu Sufyan to Muhammad bin Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) about accusing his father (Abu Bakr) and Omar of having agreement together to spoil Imam Ali’s right (the caliphate) and of their secret planning for the attack against Imam Ali. He said in his letter:

“We and your father knew the virtue of ibn Abu Talib and his right that we had to regard and accept. When Allah chose for His Prophet what He had, carried out His promise, spread His mission and cleared His evidence then He raised his (the Prophet’s) soul to the better world, your father and Omar were the first, who extorted his (Ali’s) right and opposed his claim. On that they agreed and became consistent. Then they asked him to pay homage to them but he did not respond to them so they intended to force him to by any means even the worst of it”.[1]

We notice that Mu’awiya added after Abu Bakr and Omar’s asking Imam Ali to pay homage “then they agreed… and became consistent” to show that their movement was planned previously and the agreement on the caliphate preceded their political actions on that day.

I do not want to go far in studying this historical side but I may think in the light of that historical account that the caliph was not indifferent to the rule as many researchers described him. In fact we can find in the very argument, done by the caliph in the Saqeefa on that day, evidence showing that he looked forward to the rule. He, after declaring the main conditions of the caliph, wanted  

[1] Murooj ath-Thahab by al-Mas’oudi, vol.3p.199.

to limit the matter to himself so he suggested one of his two companions (Omar and Abu Obayda),[1] who would not precede him. So the natural result of that was that he himself got it.

The haste of Abu Bakr to apply that form, which he presented, as the form of the legal caliph and that he suggested one of his two friends specially that would not lead except to him, did mean that he wanted to extort the caliphate from the Ansar and to fix it for himself at the same time. For that reason he did not hesitate when his two friends offered him to be the caliph. Omar himself witnessed to Abu Bakr that he was a skilled evasive politician on the day of the Saqeefa in one of his long traditions, in which he described Abu Bakr as the most envious of Quraysh.[2]

We find in what was mentioned about the two caliphs (Abu Bakr and Omar) during the time of the Prophet (s) that they had a political fancy in their minds and that they thought of something at least. It was mentioned in the Sunni books that the Prophet (s) had said: “Some of you will fight for the sake of the interpretation of the Quran as I fought for the sake of its revelation.” Abu Bakr said: “Is it me, O messenger of Allah.” He said: “No.” Omar said: “Is it me, O messenger of Allah.” He said: “No, but he is the one mending the shoes-he meant Ali.”[3]

Fighting for the interpretation would be after the death of the Prophet and the fighter must be the emir of people, so each of Abu Bakr and Omar  

[1] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2p.233.
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.1 p.125.
[3] As-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa by ibn Hajar p.123, Imam Ahmad’s Musnad, vol.3p.33, Kanzul Ommal, vol.15p.94, Khassa’iss Amirul Mu’mineen by an-Nassa’ei, p.131, at-Taj aj-Jami’ lil-Usool, vol.3p.336.

looked forward to be the fighter for the interpretation although the fighting for the revelation was available to them in the time of the Prophet but they did not have a share in it that might show the side, which we try to uncover in their psychologies.

In fact I want to go further to clarify that there were many persons working in the interest of Abu Bakr and Omar.[1]First of them were Aa’isha and Hafsa,[2] who hurried to call their fathers when the Prophet (s) sent for his beloved (Ali) in his last moments[3] that the evidences showed it was the natural circumstance for making the will. They both (Aa’isha and Hafsa) must be meant by the tradition saying that some of the Prophet’s wives sent a messenger to Ossama[4]telling him to delay the travel. If we know this and we know it was not done by the Prophet’s permission, otherwise he (the Prophet) would not order Ossama to hurry in his travel when he came to him after that[5] and if we know that the travel of Ossama with those, who  

[1] Imam as-Sadr commented: The Prophet was asked when he threatened a group of Quraysh to be fought by a man from Quraysh, whose heart Allah had tested with faith. He would kill them for the sake of the religion. Was that man Abu Bakr? He said: No. was that man Omar? He said: No….Refer to Ahmad’s Musnad, vol.3 p.33. The tradition ignored the name of the asker, who thought that the man, whom the Prophet described, was either Abu Bakr or Omar. If Abu Bakr and Omar were known neither for courage nor bravery in the wars at the time of the Prophet, so there must be another reason led the asker to ask those two questions. I let you think of the rest!
[2] Aa’isha was the daughter of Abu Bakr and Hafsa was the daughter of Omar. Both were the Prophet’s wives.
[3] Refer to as-Sunan al-Kubra by an-Nassa’ei vol.5 p.145 and Mukhtassar Tareekh ibn Assakir, vol.18 p.21.
[4] Ossama was the leader of the army that the Prophet-some days before his death- ordered to set out for Sham.
[5] Al-Kamil fit-Tareekh, vol.2 p.218 and at-Tabaqat al-Kubra by ibn Sa’d, vol.2 p.248-250.

were with him, would prevent the results of the day of the saqeefa from being achieved, we will find a case with a premeditated plot confirming what we thought.

The opinion of the Shia about why the Prophet sent Ossama with that army was clear. It was because the Prophet felt that there was an agreement between some of his companions on a certain thing, which would make them a front of opposition to Ali.

Even if we doubt this, we never doubt that the Prophet put Abu Bakr and Ali in the scales many times in front of the Muslims to see with their eyes that they (Abu Bakr and Ali) would never even in the fair scales. Would you think that exempting Abu Bakr[1] from informing the unbelievers of the sura of Bara’a, after he was charged with it, was a natural thing? Why did the Archangel Gabriel wait until Abu Bakr reached the halfway and then he descended to the Prophet ordering him to send after Abu Bakr ordering him to come back and then to send Ali to carry out the task? Was it in vain or inadvertence or something else? Yes, it was something else. The Prophet (s) felt that the stand-by competitor against his cousin and guardian (Ali) was Abu Bakr. So Allah wished him to send Abu Bakr and then to return him after the people knew that Abu Bakr was sent then to send Ali, whom the Prophet considered as himself,[2] to show the Muslims the difference between the two and the insignificance of this competitor, whom Allah did not entrust with a sura to be informed to a group of  

[1] Ahmad’s Musnad, vol.1 p.3, al-Kashshaf by az-Zamakhshari, vol.2 p.243 and as-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa by ibn Hajar p.32.
[2] Refer to al-Kashshaf by az-Zamakhshari, vol.1 p.368 and as-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa by ibn Hajar p.156.

people, so how about the caliphate and the absolute authority?

We get out of this analysis with two conclusions;

The first: Abu Bakr was keen for the caliphate and dreamt of it and that he came to it eagerly and longingly.

The second: Abu Bakr, Omar and Abu Obayda formed an important political party. We cannot put a clear image for it but we can confirm its existence by many evidences. I do not think that it disparaged them and it was not bad for them to think about the affairs of the caliphate and to agree on a same policy if the Prophet had not a verdict concerning the matter but if there was a certain verdict, their being far away from the political fancy and their improvising the concept of the caliphate at the moment of the saqeefa[1] would not acquit them from the responsibility before Allah and the remorse of conscience.

Analysis of the situation in the case of saqeefa

I am not about to analyze the situation, in which the Ansar disputed with Abu Bakr, Omar and Abu Obayda or to express the psychology of the Islamic society or its political temperament and to apply the case of the saqeefa to the deep-rooted principles of the Arabic nature because all of that is away from the essence of the subject. I want to clarify that the triple party, which held the reins of government at that time, faced opposition of three kinds;

The first: the Ansar, who disputed with Abu Bakr and his two friends in the saqeefa, among  

[1] With reference to the saying of Omar: “The homage of Abu Bakr was a slip that Allah kept away its evil…”. At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.235.

whom the argument occurred that came to an end for the benefit of Quraysh because of the concept of the religious inheritance settled in the Arab mentality and the secession among the Ansar themselves because of the tribal tendency.

The second: the Umayyads, who wanted to get a share of the government and to recover something of their political glory[1] of the pre-Islamic age. At the helm was Abu Sufyan.

The third: the Hashimites and their close companions like Ammar, Salman, Abu Tharr, al-Miqdad and groups of people,[2] who thought that the Hashimites were the real heirs of the Prophet (s) according to the nature and the methods of politics they were familiar with.

Abu Bakr and his two friends struggled with the first kind in the saqeefa. They concentrated their defense on what they claimed as a notable point for the most of people. It was that as long as Quraysh was the tribe of the Prophet and his close assistants, so they (Quraysh) would be worthier among all the Muslims of his rule and authority.

Abu Bakr and his party profited from the meeting of the Ansar in the saqeefa in two ways;

First: the Ansar put themselves in a situation that would not permit them to stand with Ali after that and to serve his aim in the correct way as we will explain later on.

Second: Abu Bakr, who was served by the circumstances, which made him the only defender of the rights of the Muhajireen in the society of the Ansar, would not gain a situation realizing his interests better than that of the saqeefa where it  

[1] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.243.
[2] ibid.vol.2 p.233.

was free from the notables of the Muhajireen, whose attendance would never lead to the same results that was recorded on that day.

And so Abu Bakr got out from the saqeefa as the caliph, to whom homage was paid by groups of Muslims, who believed in Abu Bakr’s point of view relating to the caliphate or to whom it was unacceptable that Sa’d bin Obada would be the caliph.

The rulers were indifferent to the opposition of the Umayyads and to the threat of Abu Sufyan and his words of revolt after he came back from his travel, to which the Prophet had sent him to collect the taxes, because they (the rulers) knew well about the nature of the Umayyads’ psychology and their tendency to authority and wealth. It was easy for the rulers to get the Umayyads to their side as Abu Bakr did. He permitted himself or-most correctly-Omar permitted him, as it was mentioned,[1] to grant Abu Sufyan all that was there in his hands of the Muslims’ wealth and zakat.[2] He gave the Umayyads[3] a share of the government when he gave them some positions in the public utilities.

Hence the ruling party succeeded in two ways, but this success led to a clear political contradiction because the circumstances of the saqeefa invited the rulers to make an account for the Prophet’s relatives in the matter of the caliphate and to confess the concept of hereditary in the religious leadership. But the case changed after the situation  

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.1 p.130.
[2] In the light of this story we can answer the question we put at the beginning of this chapter about the situation of the two caliphs if they were in Ali’s situation, which would force him to incite many like Abu Sufyan with money and ranks!
[3] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.237.

of the saqeefa and the opposition took a new and clear method that if Quraysh was worthier of the Prophet than the rest of the Arabs because he (the Prophet) was from Quraysh, therefore the Hashimites were worthier than the rest of Quraysh.

This was what Ali declared when he said: “If the Muhajireen pleaded that they were closer to the Prophet, so it would be our plea against them (that we were closer to the Prophet). If their plea would be accepted, it would be our right rather than them otherwise the Ansar would have the right with their protest”.[1] Al-Abbas[2] showed that clearly to Abu Bakr when he said to him: “As for your saying: “We are the tree of the Prophet”, indeed, you are (only) its neighbors and we (in fact) are its branches”.[3]

Ali, who led the opposition of the Hashimites, was a source of great insecurity for the rulers because his special environments supplied him with strength in two ways of positive action against the government;

One of them joined the material parties to him like the Umayyads, al-Mugheera bin Shu’ba and the likes, who began to sell their votes and to negotiate the different sides for high prices as it was clear from Abu Sufyan’s words about the caliphate come out from the saqeefa when he arrived at Medina, his talk with Ali and his urging him to revolt, his inclination to the caliph’s side, his giving up the opposition when the caliph granted him the wealth of the Muslims, which he had collected in his travel, and Etab bin Ossayd’s situation, whose secret we will uncover in this chapter.

So the material fancy had overcome some of the  

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.6 p.5.
[2] The Prophet’s uncle.
[3] Ibid. vol.6 p.5.

people at that time.

It was clear that Ali was able to satiate their tendency with what the Prophet had left of khums[1] and yields of his lands in Medina and Fadak, which were of great production as we saw in the previous chapter.

The other way of the resistance that Ali was supplied with its abilities was as he meant by his saying: “They pleaded with the tree and lost the fruit”. I mean that general concept, which agreed unanimously on sanctifying the Prophet’s family and acknowledged their great honor of their relation to the Prophet (s), was a strong support for the opposition.

The ruling party found that its material situation was very critical because the sides of the state, from which taxes were collected, were not under the authority of the new government unless the rule became strong and stable in the capital, whereas Medina had not yet submitted unanimously.

It would be easy for Abu Sufyan, and others who had sold their votes, to revoke the bargain when there was someone offering a better price. Ali was able to do this at any time; therefore they had to extort from Ali, who was not ready for confronting at those moments, all the moneys that became as source of danger against the interests of the ruling party. They had to do that to retain their assistants and to prevent the oppositionists from forming a party looking forward to achieve their hopes.

It was not possible for us to set this account aside as long as it was applied to the nature of the policy that must be followed. We knew that Abu Bakr had bought the vote of the Umayyad party with  

[1] One fifth; Islamic levy imposed on certain things.

money when he gave up all the moneys of the Muslims that were with Abu Sufyan and appointed Abu Sufyan’s son as wali. It was mentioned that when Abu Bakr became the caliph, Abu Sufyan said: “We have nothing to do with “the father of a young weaned camel (Abu Faseel).[1]The matter concerns Abd Manaf’s family”. It was said to him: “But he appointed your son as wali”. He said: “Allah may have mercy on him”.[2] So it was no wonder of him to extort from the Hashimites their important wealth to support his government or he feared that Ali might spend the yields of Fadak or other than Fadak to recover his extorted rights.

How do we find it odd of a man like Abu Bakr, who depended on money as means of incitement and buying the votes until he was accused by a believer woman during his reign? It was mentioned that when people gathered against Abu Bakr, he divided gifts among the women of the Muhajireen and the Ansar. He sent a share with Zayd bin Thabit to a woman of Adiy bin an-Najjar. She said: “What is this?” They said: “It is a share that Abu Bakr has distributed to the women”. She said: “Do you bribe me to change my faith? I swear by Allah that I will not accept a bit of it.” Then she sent it back to him.[3]

I do not know where from that money came to the caliph since the zakat collected by the messenger went to his stomach[4] alone, if it was not from the moneys that the Prophet (s) had left and that the Prophet’s family asked for.  

[1] He referred to Abu Bakr ridiculously. In Arabic bakr, which has the same meaning of faseel, means a young camel.
[2] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.237.
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.1p.133 and at-Tabaqatul Kubra by ibn Sa’d, vol.3p.182.
[4] He meant Abu Sufyan as it was mentioned by ibn Abul Hadeed in Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.1p.130.

Whether this account was true or not, the meaning that we tried to get from this tradition was that some of the coevals of Abu Bakr felt the same as we felt according to the historical facts of those days.

Let us not forget to note that the general economic state in those days urged on improving the financial status of the government to be ready for the expected events. Perhaps this prompted the rulers to extort Fadak as it was clear from Omar’s talk with Abu Bakr preventing him[1] from giving Fadak back to Fatima (s) justifying that the state was in need of money in order to establish the rule, to discipline the rebels and to do away with the secessional movements led by the apostates.

This showed the opinion of the two caliphs about the individual ownership that the caliph had the right to confiscate people’s properties to spend them on the affairs of the government and the state without recompense or permission. So the individual had no stable ownership with his moneys and properties if the authorities needed something of them. Many of the caliphs, who ruled after Abu Bakr and Omar, adopted this policy so their history was full of confiscations they did.[2] But Abu Bakr did  

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha , vol.16 p.274. It was mentioned that when Ali witnessed that Fadak (was for Fatima), Abu Bakr wrote a decree to give Fadak to Fatima but Omar objected and tore what Abu Bakr had written…. Refer to as-Seera al-Halabiya, vol.3 p.391.
[2] Most of the caliphs, especially the Umayyads and the Abbasids, used (the law of) confiscation (or as it is known nowadays as nationalization) or seizing the movable and immovable properties by a decree from the ruler, some for economic purpose and some because their possessors had opposed the government. Refer to the detailed research on the confiscations in history by Dr. Muhammad Sa’eed Reza, the College of Arts magazine, University of Basra, vol.15 in the year 1978.

not apply this opinion except to the properties of the daughter of the Prophet (s) exclusively.

The ruling party (represented by Abu Bakr) hesitated in dealing with the second way of opposition between two things;

One of them was to acknowledge that the relation to the Prophet had nothing to do with the caliphate and this did mean to put the legal dress off the caliphate of Abu Bakr, which he had put on according to that.

The other was to contradict himself and remain with the principles he announced on the day of the saqeefa and not to think that the Hashimites had a right or a privilege or to think that they had the right but in a circumstance other than that, in which the opposition would mean standing against an established rule and a state that people had agreed on.

The dominant party chose to maintain their principles, which they announced in the congress of the Ansar in the saqeefa and to protest against the oppositionists that their opposition after the homage paid by people would not be but making sedition,[1] which was prohibited according to the Islamic laws!

This was the temporary method the rulers used to do away with this side of the Hashimite opposition. Certain circumstances at that time helped the rulers to carry out their plan successfully as we will later explain.

But we feel when we study the policy of the rulers that they followed, since the first moment, a certain policy towards the Prophet’s family in order to crush the concept that supplied the Hashimites  

[1] Refer to at-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.234-235, the events of the saqeefa, and refer to them in al-Kamil by ibnul Atheer.

with power for the opposition as they crushed the opposition itself. We can describe this policy as that it aimed at abolishing the honor of the Hashimite house and removing its sincere assistants from the public utilities of the Islamic government system at that time and divesting it of its respect and high position in the Islamic mentality.

Many historical conducts confirmed this concept;

The first: the caliph and his companions’ behavior towards Ali, which reached an extent of severity that Omar threatened to burn his house although Fatima was inside it.[1] It meant that Fatima and other than Fatima of her family had no any sanctity preventing them from the same way, which he used with Sa’d bin Obada, when he ordered the people to kill him.[2] One of the forms of violence towards Ali that Abu Bakr described him by saying that he lived with every sedition and that he was like (Umm Tihal),[3] whose family was delighted with her prostitution.[4] Once Omar said to Ali: “The Prophet is from us and from you”.

The second: the first caliph did not share any of the Hashimites with any important affair of the government and did not make any one of them as wali over even a span of the wide Islamic state whereas the share of the Umayyads in that was very  

[1] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.233, al-Iqd al-Fareed by ibn Abd Rabbih, vol.4 p.242 and Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.16 p.47-48.
[2] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.244. It was mentioned through the event of the saqeefa that: ( …some of Sa’d’s companions said: Avoid Sa’d! Do not tread on him! Omar said: Kill him! May Allah kill him! Then he stood up near Sa’d’s head and said: I was about to tread on you until your arm would crumble!... ).
[3] She was a famous prostitute in the pre-Islamic age.
[4] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.16 p.215.


One can perceive clearly that this was a product of an intended policy from a dialogue occurred between Omar and ibn Abbas. Omar showed his fear from appointing ibn Abbas as wali of Hams because he feared that if the Hashimites became walis of the Islamic countries that something might happen to the caliphate, when he would die, which he did not want.[2]

If we knew according to Omar’s opinion that if one of the ambitious families gained a position of wali in one of the Islamic countries, would led them to gain the caliphate and the highest ranks, and we noticed that among the Umayyads, with their political greed, there were some walis, who occupied the front of the administrative positions during the reigns of Abu Bakr and Omar and if we added to that the fact that he knew at least that the Shura, which Omar had invented, would make the chief of the Umayyads Othman the caliph, we would get out with an important result and a historical account, which would be confirmed by many evidences that the two caliphs were preparing the causes and the tools for the Umayyad rule. They knew very well that establishing a political entity for the Umayyads-the old enemies of the Hashemites-anew, would present an opponent for the Hashimites and so the individual opposition against the Hashimites would advance into opposition of a family completely ready to dispute and compete.

This opposition would last and widen because it was not of an individual person but of a big family.  

[1] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.337.
[2] Refer to Murooj ath-Thahab printed on the margins of ibnul Atheer’s Tareekh, vol.5 p.135. At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.578.

We can understand from this that it was the policy of Abu Bakr and Omar, which had put the cornerstone of the Umayyad state in order to insure the opposition for Ali and the family of Ali along the way.[1]

The third: Abu Bakr deposed Khalid bin Sa’eed bin al-Aass from the leadership of the army, which he had sent to conquer Sham[2] for nothing but because Omar had warned him that Khalid had a Hashimite tendency and he inclined to the Prophet’s family and he reminded him of Khalid’s situation towards the Prophet’s family after the Prophet’s death.[3]

If we wanted to go further in studying this side, we would add to these evidences the story of Omar’s Shura, by which Omar lowered Ali to the level of the other five men, who did never match Ali with anything of his Muhammadan aspects. Az-Zubayr, who was one of the five, thought, when the Prophet died, that the caliphate was Ali’s legal right. You can notice how Omar extorted this thought from az-Zubayr’s mind and made him after a short time an opponent of Ali when he put him among the six, whom Ali was one of.

Hence the ruling party tried to match between the Hashimites and the rest of people and tried to detach the Prophet from concerning the Hashimites to extort the concept that supplied them with the  

[1] This was the political secret of the Shura that the researchers ignored. It was mentioned that Omar threatened the six men, whom he chose for the Shura, by Mu’awiya. He predicted that Mu’awiya would gain the rule…Refer to Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.1 p.62. If this would show his physiognomy, so it had showed his policy more clearly.
[2] Nowadays Damascus. But then Sham encompassed Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.1 p.135.

power of the opposition. If the rulers were safe from Ali to revolt in that critical hour, they would not feel safe from a revolt after that in any time. So it was natural of them that they hurried to finish off his both powers; the material and the moral as long as the truce was on before he would surprise them with a fierce war.

It was no wonder after that for the caliph to declare his historical situation against Fatima (s) related to the case of Fadak. It was the situation, in which the two purposes met and concentrated on the two main directions of his policy because the incentives that led him to extort Fadak from Fatima prompted him to keep on his plan to extort from his opponent the wealth that was the great weapon according to the rulers’ terminology at that time in order to consolidate his authority, otherwise what prevented him from giving Fadak to Fatima after she had promised him definitely to spend its yields on the ways of charity and commonweal?[1] It was nothing but that he feared she would interpret her promise according to her spending the yields of Fadak on the political sides. And what prevented him from giving up his share and the shares of the companions if it was true that Fadak was the Muslims’ ownership save that he wanted to strengthen his authority?

Also, if we knew that Fatima was a strong support for her husband in his claim and she was an evidence that Ali’s companions used as plea on his right concerning the caliphate, we would find that Abu Bakr was successful in his situation against Fatima’s claim that Fadak was her donation and that he acted according to the political method imposed  

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.4 p.80.

on him by that critical circumstances. He seized the opportunity to make people understand indirectly and in a tactful way that Fatima was a woman just like the other women and her thoughts and claims would not be considered as evidence in a simple case like Fadak rather than an important subject like the caliphate and that if she asked for a piece of land, which was not hers, it would be possible for her to ask for[1] the Islamic state for her husband, who had no right to ask for it.

We can conclude, out of this research, that the nationalization of Fadak by Abu Bakr can be interpreted as follows:

First: the economic circumstances led to that.

Second: Abu Bakr feared that Ali might spend his wife’s wealth in his attempt to get the rule.

The situation of Abu Bakr towards the claim of Fatima after that and his insistence on refusing it was because of these two reasons:

The first: sentimental feelings, which we referred to some of their causes, provoked the caliph.

The second: a general political strategy, on which the caliph based his conduct towards the Hashimites that we noticed according to the aspects of the rule at that time.

Imam Ali; his aspects and situation towards the rule

Perhaps the most typical sacrifice for the sake of Islam Imam Ali exemplified and the high sincerity for the ideology that freed him from all the personal accounts and made him a fact as high as the ideology and as long as the ideology would be alive was his situation[2] towards the caliphate of Shura, by which  

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.16 p.284.
[2] Notice his situation with Abu Sufyan when he prompted Imam 

he presented himself as the highest example of devotion to the belief, which became a part of his nature.

Just as the Prophet (s) could remove the deviation of the idolatry, he could make Ali, by educating him with his own high standards, to be the wakeful eye guarding the divine mission. The human life, with its desires and feelings, slept in him and he began to live with faith and belief.[1]

If the virtuous human sacrifices had a book, the deeds of Ali would be the title of that book shining with lights of immortality.[2]

If the principles of the Heaven that Muhammad spread had a practical expression on the face of the earth, Ali would be their live expression along the

Ali to start a bloody fight against the caliphate come out of the Shura. At-Tabari mentioned in his Tareekh, vol.2 p.237 that (Hisham said that Ouana had said: “When people gathered to pay homage to Abu Bakr, Abu Sufyan came saying: “By Allah, I see a tumult that will not be put out except by blood. O family of Abd Manaf (the great grandfather of the Prophet), what does Abu Bakr have to do with your affairs?...O Abu Hassan (Ali), give your hand that I pay homage to you”. Imam Ali refused. He began to recite some poetry…Imam Ali scolded him and said: “I swear by Allah that you did not intend by this but making sedition. How long you did seek evil for Islam!”**
[1]** The Prophet (s) said: “Ali is with the truth and the truth is with Ali. They never separate until they come to me (at the pond of Paradise) on the Day of Resurrection”. Refer to History of Baghdad by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi, vol.14 p.321, Tafseer of al-Fakhr ar-Razi, vol.1 p.111, al-Khawarizmi’s Manaqib p.77 and al-Mu’jam as-Sagheer by at-Tabarani, vol.1p.255. In another tradition the Prophet said: “Allah may have mercy on Ali. O Allah, turn truth with Ali wherever he turns”. Refer to at-Taj aj-Jami’ lil-Ussool by sheikh Mansoor Ali Nasif, vol.3p.337, al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, vol.3 p.125, Kanzul Ommal, vol.6p.175 and at-Tarmithi’s Jami’, vol.2p.213.
[2] The Prophet (s) said: “The strike of Ali’s sword on the day of Khandaq was better than the worship done by the human beings and the angels, or he said: The fighting of Ali with Amr was better than the deeds of my umma until the Day of Resurrection”. Refer to al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, vol.3p.32.

times and generations.

Since the Prophet (s) had left to his umma Ali and the Quran[1] and he joined them together, he wanted to show that the Quran was to interpret the great meanings of Ali and that the meanings of Ali were to be the typical example for the examples of the holy Quran.

And since Allah, the Almighty had made Ali equal to the Prophet in the verse of Mubahala,[2] so that He would make people understand that Ali was the natural extent of the Prophet and a shining light from his great soul.

And since the Prophet (s) went out of Mecca emigrating, fearing about himself and leaving Ali in his bed[3] to die instead of him, it would mean that the holy belief did draw for these two great men the lines of their lives. And if the divine mission, in order to spread, had to have a man to do that and another to die for the sake of it, so its first man must remain for the mission to live by him and the second must sacrifice himself for the mission to live by him too.

And if it was Ali the only one, whom the Heaven allowed to sleep in the mosque and to pass through it when he was impure,[4] so this  

[1] The Prophet (s) said: “I have left to you two weighty things, if to which you keep, you will never go astray after me; the Book of Allah and my family. They will never separate until they come to me at the pond (of Paradise)”. Refer to Muslim’s Sahih, vol.4p.1874, at-Tarmithi’s Sahih, vol.1 p.130, ad-Darmi’s Sunan, vol.2 p.432, Imam Ahmad’s Musnad, vol.4 p.217 and al-Mustadrak, vol.3 p.119.
[2] Quran 3:61. For the interpretation of this verse refer to Tafseer of al-Fakhr ar-Razi sura of Aal Imran: 61, as-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa, p.143 and Asbabun Nuzool by al-Wahidi p.67.
[3] Tafseer of ar-Razi, vol.5 p.204, ibn Hisham’s Seera, vol.2 p.95, Tathkira by Sibt ibn aj-Jawzi, p.34.
[4] Ahmad’s Musnad, vol.4 p.369, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.2 p.451,

exclusiveness would mean that Ali had the meaning of the mosque because the mosque was the silent divine symbol in the material life and Ali was the live divine symbol in the spiritual life.

If the Heaven praised the magnanimity of Ali and announced its contentment with him when the caller said: “There is no sword but Thulfaqar and no youth but Ali”,[1] it would mean that Ali’s magnanimity only was the complete valor that no man could reach and no heroism of any hero or any sincerity of any devotee could imitate.

It was the irony of the fate that this magnanimity, which the divine caller had sanctified, was considered as shame and defect in Ali according to the opinion[2] of the sheikhs of saqeefa that he was to be blamed for and to be lowered before Abu Bakr, who was preferred to Ali just for some years he had spent in unbelief and polytheism! I do not know how the dualism between the pre-Islamic rites and the Islamic rites in one person’s life became as glory preferring him to that, whose entire life was in the way of Allah![3]

If it appeared to people according to the new  

Tathkiratul Khawass by Sibt bin aj-Jawzi, p.41, as-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa by ibn Hajar p.133 and Tareekhul Khulafa’ by as-Sayooti, 172. **
[1]** Thulfaqar was the name of Imam Ali’s famous sword. Refer to at-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.65, ibn Hisham’s Seera and Sharh Nahjul Balagha.
[2] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.6 p.45. There was a dialogue between Omar and ibn Abbas. The caliph Omar said: “O ibn Abbas, I think they (!) prevented your friend (Ali) from his right (of the caliphate) for nothing but because they found him too young…”. Ibn Abbas said: “I swear by Allah, that Allah did not find him too young when He ordered him to take the sura of Bara’a from your friend (Abu Bakr)…”. In page 12 there was the saying of Abu Obayda: “O Abul Hassan (Ali), you are too young and these are the chiefs of Quraysh”.
[3] As-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa p.120.

researches that the natural power, which make the objects, rotating around the axis, move in a certain line, it had appeared in Ali hundreds of years ago a power like that but it was not a fact of physics, but of the powers of Heaven that made Ali as the natural immunity for Islam, which kept his high position as long as he was alive and made him the axis, around which the Islamic life rotated and took its spirituality, culture and essence from him whether he was in the government or not.

This power put its magical effect on Omar himself and attracted him to its straight lines many times until he said: “If Ali was not there, Omar would perish”.[1] Its great effect appeared by the gathering of the Muslims around him on the day when the caliphate came to the publics to decide. It was a nonesuch gathering[2] that seldom happened in the history of peoples.

We know by this that Ali, with what he was supplied of that power by the Heaven, was a necessity among the other necessities of Islam[3] and a sun, around which the Islamic orbit rotated after the Prophet (s) according to his nature that could not be resisted until even Omar resorted to him.

It becomes clear to us that the sudden reversal in the ruling policy was not possible at that time-although it was as slip-because it contradicted that natural power concentrated in the personality of  

[1] At-Tabaqatul Kubra by ibn Sa’d, vol.2 p.339 and as-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa by ibn Hajar, p.127.
[2] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.696.
[3] In the light of what we cleared, we understand the saying of the Prophet (s) to Ali: “I was not to go unless you would be my successor” and his saying to him when he was ready to go to the battle of Tabook: “Either I stay or you stay”. Refer to Ahmad’s Musnad, vol.1 p.331, Thakha’irul Oqba p.87, al-Khassa’iss by an-Nassa’ei p.80-81 and Sahih of at-Tarmithi, vol.5 p.596.

Imam Ali. So it was normal for the ruling policy to move in a crooked way until it reached the point that the Umayyad rule reached avoiding the effect of that wakeful power watching the regularity and straightness like a driver when bending with his car to an opposite point avoiding the natural power that imposed on him the straightness in movement. This wonderful chapter of the greatness of Imam Ali deserves to be studied thoroughly, which we will do in one of the opportunities to uncover the personality of Imam Ali, the oppositionist of the rule, the wakeful guard of Islam and the adapter between guarding the ruling authority not to deviate and opposing it at the same time.

Although all Imam Ali’s situations were wonderful, his situation towards the caliphate after the Prophet (s) was the most wonderful.[1]

If the divine belief at every time needed a hero to sacrifice himself for its sake, it also would need a hero to accept this sacrifice and to consolidate the belief with it. It was this that sent Ali to the bed of death[2] and sent the Prophet to the city of safeness on the honorable day of hijra. It was not possible for Imam Ali in his distress after the death of his brother (the Prophet) to offer both of the heroes, because if he sacrificed himself in order to direct the caliphate to its legal way, according to his thought, no one would remain to catch the thread from its both ends whereas his two sons, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussayn were yet children.  

[1] We will explain this point in the last chapter.
[2] Refer to at-Tafseer al-Kabeer by ar-Razi, vol.5 p.205. Imam Ali sacrificed himself for the Prophet (s) to rescue him from death on the day of hijra therefore Allah revealed to the Prophet this verse: (And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah) 2:207.

Imam Ali stopped at a crossroad, each was critical and each was difficult for him;

One of them was to declare the armed revolt against the caliphate of Abu Bakr.

The other was to remain silent unwillingly with pain and suffering. But what results would he expect from the revolt? This is what we want to clarify in the light of the historical circumstances of that critical hour.

The rulers would never give up their positions by any kind of opposition since they, enthusiastically and strongly, held the caliphate. It meant that they would fight and defend their new rule and so it was possible that Sa’d bin Obada would seize the opportunity to declare another war for his political fancy because we knew that he had threatened the victorious party (Abu Bakr, Omar and Abu Obayda) by revolt when he was asked to pay homage. He said: “No, I swear by Allah, until I throw you with what I have in my quiver, dye my spear (with your blood), strike with my sword and fight with my family and whoever obeys me. If all human beings and jinn join you, I will never pay homage to you”.[1] Perhaps he feared to venture on revolting or he did not dare to be the first fighter against the caliphate but satisfied himself with the severe threatening, which was like declaring the war. He began to wait for the decline to draw his sword with the other swords. So he was ready to recover his enthusiasm and to give up his fear and to consider the ruling party as weak when he heard a strong voice declaring the revolt trying to bring it back as it was before (sedition and commotion) and  

[1] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.244.

to expel the Muhajireen from Medina by sword.[1] It was al-Hubab bin al-Munthir, who declared that in the saqeefa for the interest of Sa’d bin Obada.

Let us not forget the Umayyads and their political bloc for ranks and authority, which they already had in the pre-Islamic years. Abu Sufyan was the leader of Mecca in standing against Islam and the Prophet’s government. Etab bin Ossayd bin Abul Aass bin Omayya was its (Mecca) obeyed emir at that time.

If we pondered on the history of those days[2] that when the Prophet (s) died and the news reached Mecca, whose emir was Etab bin Ossayd bin Abul Aass bin Omayya, Etab disappeared, the city shook and its people were about to apostatize, we might not be satisfied with what justification they gave about people’s giving up apostasy. I do not believe that their giving up apostasy was because they found that the victory of Abu Bakr was as their own victory against the people of Medina as some researchers concluded, for the caliphate of Abu Bakr was on the same day, in which the Prophet died and the news of the caliphate and the death of the Prophet reached Mecca at the same time. I think that the Umayyad emir, Etab bin Ossayd knew the policy that his family adopted at that moment, so he disappeared and caused the disturbance until he knew that Abu Sufyan became contented after his discontent and that he agreed with the rulers on results serving the Umayyads’ interests,[3] he (Etab) appeared again and restored the situation as it was. Hence it was clear that the political connections  

[1] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.243
[2] Al-Kamil fit-Tareekh by ibnul Atheer, vol.3 p.123.
[3] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.237. Abu Sufyan became calm when the first caliph appointed his son Mu’awiya as wali.

between the Umayyads were present at that time. This account explains for us the power behind Abu Sufyan’s sayings when he was discontented with Abu Bakr and his companions that he said: “I see a disturbance that would not be put out except by blood” and his saying about Ali and al-Abbas: “I swear by Him, in whose hand my soul is, that I will assist them”.[1] The Umayyads were ready for the revolt. Ali knew that clearly when they asked him to lead the opposition but he knew too that they were not of those people, whom he could depend on. In fact they wanted to reach their aims by the means of Ali so he refused their offer. It was expected then that the Umayyads would declare their rebellion if they saw the armed parties fighting each other or they found that the rulers were not able to insure their (the Umayyads’) interests. Their rebellion would mean their apostasy and the separation of Mecca from Medina.

So an Alawite[2] revolt in those circumstances was as declaration for a bloody opposition that would be followed by other bloody oppositions with different tendencies, which might pave the way for the rioters and the hypocrites to seize the opportunity.

The distress would not permit Ali to raise his voice alone against the rule at that time. In fact if he did, many different revolts would arise and many groups of different aims and tendencies would fight each other and hence the Islamic state would be lost in the critical moment that required people to gather around a united leadership and to concentrate their powers to repel what was expected in that difficult circumstances of riots and  

[1] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.237.
[2] Related to Ali.


Ali, who was so ready to sacrifice himself for the faith along his life[1] since he was born in the divine house (the Kaaba) until he was killed in it (the divine house-the mosque of Kufa), sacrificed his natural position and divine rank for the sake of the high interests of the umma, for which the Prophet (s) had made him the guardian and the guard.

If Ali revolted, the mission of Muhammad (s) would lose some of its meaning. When the Prophet (s) was ordered by his God to declare the mission, he gathered his family and announced his prophethood by saying: “By Allah, I do not know a youth among the Arabs that have brought his people something better than what I have brought you” and announced the imamate of his brother (Ali) by saying: “This is my brother, guardian and successor. Therefore listen to him and obey him”.[2] It meant that the imamate of Ali was a natural complement of the prophethood of Muhammad (s) and that the Heaven had declared the prophethood of greater Muhammad and the imamate of lesser Muhammad at the same time.

Ali, whom the Prophet had brought up and had brought up Islam with him like his two dear sons, felt this brotherhood between himself and Islam. This feeling prompted him to sacrifice himself for his brother. He took part in the wars against the apostates[3] and the leadership of the others did not  

[1] Mukhtasar Tareekh ibn Assakir by ibn Mandhoor, vol.17 p.356, al-Khassa’iss by an-Nassa’ei, Tathkiratul Khawass by Sibt ibnuj Jawzi and others. They mentioned Ali’s situations since the first moments of the mission until he was martyred in the mihrab.
[2] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.3 p.218-219, Tafseerul Khazin, vol.3 p.371, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, the old edition.
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.4 p.165.

prevent him from doing his sacred duty. If Abu Bakr extorted his right and seized his inheritance, Islam had raised him to the top and appreciated that true brotherhood and recorded it with letters of light on the pages of the Holy Book.

Imam Ali withstood not to think of revolting against the rule but what would he do? Which way would he adopt for his situation? Would he protest against the ruling party using the Prophet’s traditions and words, which announced that Ali was the axis prepared for the Islamic orbit to turn around and that he was the leader, whom the Heaven had presented for the people of the earth?[1]

This question hesitated in his mind too much then he put the answer, which the circumstances of his distress specified and the nature of the state at that time imposed on him. The answer was to put the Prophet’s traditions aside for a while.

Why did he not protest with the Prophet’s traditions?

The confused image of the conditions would make the protest using the Prophet’s holy traditions at that time, in which the frantic thoughts and the fiery fancies had controlled the ruling party to the furthest point, face bad results, because no one had heard the Prophet’s sayings about the caliphate except his fellow citizens of Medina; the Muhajireen and the Ansar. Those sayings were the expensive deposit near that group, who had to spread them to all the people of the Islamic world and to the successive generations and the following ages. If Imam Ali protested against the people of Medina by  

[1] As it was declared in the tradition of al-Ghadeer. Refer to at-Taj aj-Jami’ lil-Ussool, vol.3 p.335, Sunan of ibn Maja, vol.1 p.11,Imam Ahmad’s Musnad, vol.4 p.281 and as-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa p.122.

the words, which they had heard from the Prophet, concerning him (Ali) and he presented them as evidences proving his right of the imamate and the caliphate, it would be natural for the ruling party to consider the veracious of the umma,[1] Imam Ali, as liar and to deny those prophetic traditions, which would remove from the caliphate of Shura its legal aspect and its religious dress.

And the truth would not find a strong voice defending it in front of that denial because many of Quraysh, at the head were the Umayyads, who were ambitious to gain the glory of the authority and the ease of the rule whereas they thought that presenting the caliph according to the Prophet’s saying would confirm the belief of the divine imamate. If this theory was applied to the Islamic law, it would mean limiting the caliphate to the Hashimites, the honored family of Muhammad (s), whereas the others would lose the battle. We could find this kind of thinking in Omar’s saying to ibn Abbas when justifying excluding Ali from the caliphate: “The people hated to see both of prophethood and the caliphate in your family”.[2] This showed that giving the caliphate to Ali from the beginning would mean, according to the public thinking, limiting the caliphate to the Hashimites. It could not be said that the opinion of people at that time towards the Alawite caliphate as it was the application of the orders of the Heaven and not according to the votes of the electors. If Ali found a supporter from the upper class of Quraysh encouraging him to stand against the rulers, he  

[1] Refer to as-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa. Imam Ali said: “I am the great veracious. No one other than me will say it unless he is a liar”.
[2] Ibnul Atheer’s Tareekh, vol.3 p.24, at-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.577.

would never find any one assisting him if he said that the Prophet had recorded the caliphate for his family when he said: “I have left for you two weighty things; the Book of Allah and my family…”[1]

As for the Ansar, they preceded all the Muslims in slighting these Prophetic traditions. The greed to the rule led them to hold a conference in the shed (saqeefa) of Beni[2] Sa’ida to pay homage to one of them.[3] So if Ali depended on the prophetic traditions, he would not find the Ansar as soldiers and witnesses for his case because if they witnessed of that, they would record a shameful contradiction against themselves on the same day and they, definitely, would not do that.

Paying homage by the tribe of Ouss to Abu Bakr and the saying of some, who said: “We will not pay homage except to Ali”[4] had no contradiction like that of the Ansar because the meaning of holding the conference in the saqeefa was to imply that the matter of the caliphate was a matter of election and not according to the Prophet’s traditions. Hence they had no way to retract on the same day.

As for the confession of the Muhajireen, it had no embarrassment because the Ansar did not agree on an opinion in the saqeefa but they were conferring and deliberating, therefore we found al-Hubab bin al-Munthir[5] trying to stir them to adopt his opinion. It showed that they gathered to support a certain thought that only some of them believed in.

Imam Ali thought that the ruling party would  

[1] Muslim’s Sahih, vol.4 p.1874, Ahmad’s Musnad, vol.4 p.281.
[2] It means tribe or family of.
[3] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.242.
[4] ibid.vol.2 p.233.
[5] At-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.243.

deny and strive to deny the traditions if he declared them and would not find any one supporting him with his claim, because the people were between those, whose political fancy led them to deny the traditions in order to close the way of retracting after hours of their conference, and those, who thought that the traditions would limit the caliphate to the Hashimites with no litigant. If the ruling party and its assistants denied the traditions and the rest were satisfied with silence at least, it would mean that the traditions would lose their real value and all the evidences of the Alawite caliphate would be lost and the Islamic world, which was far from the Prophet’s city (Medina), would accept the denial because it was the utterance of the dominant power at that time.

Let us notice another side; if Ali got some people agreeing with him on his claim, witnessing to the holy traditions and opposing the denying of the ruling party, it would mean that they denied the caliphate of Abu Bakr and this would make them liable to a cruel attack by the rulers that would lead them to a war against the ruling party, which was so enthusiastic about the political entity and would never be silent. So the declaration of the traditions by Ali would lead him to a real encounter and we have seen previously that he was not ready to declare the revolt against the actual rule and to face the dominant authority in fighting.

Protesting by using the prophetic traditions would have no clear effect against the ruling policy. In fact it would make the rulers be cautious and try their strict means to remove those prophetic traditions from the Islamic mentality because they knew that it would be too dangerous for them and that it would give a great incentive to the

oppositionists to revolt at any time.

I think if Omar had noticed the dangers of the traditions, after Imam Ali pleaded with them in the time of his own reign[1] and they spread among his Shia, as the Umayyads noticed, he would have done away with them and he could have done what the Umayyads could not do to put out their light. Imam Ali perceived that if he used the traditions as his plea at that time, he would subject them to many dangers from the ruling party, so he pitied those holy traditions in order not to be crushed under the feet of the dominant policy. He kept to silence unwillingly but he took advantage of their inadvertence. Omar himself declared that Ali was the guardian of every believer man and every believer woman according to the Prophet’s saying.[2]

Then was not it reasonable that Imam Ali feared for the honor of his beloved brother, the Prophet, to be disparaged where it was more precious for Ali than everything at all if he declared the prophetic traditions and he did not yet forget Omar’s situation when the Prophet (s) asked for an inkpot to write a decree for people, with which they would never deviate at all, then Omar said: “The Prophet is raving…or he is overcome by pain”?[3] Later on Omar confessed to ibn Abbas that the Prophet  

[1] Imam Ali asked some of the companions to witness if they had heard the Prophet’s tradition of al-Ghadeer. Refer to al-Bidayeh wen-Nihayeh by ibn Katheer, vol.7 p.360. Ali asked some people about the tradition of al-Ghadeer, in which the Prophet declared that Ali would be the caliph after the Prophet’s death, and thirty of them witnessed that they had heard it from the prophet (s). Refer to as-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa, p.122.
[2] Thakha’irul Oqba p.67. The tradition showed that Omar intended sometimes to change the way that the party followed in the beginning towards the Hashimites but he was overcome by the political nature of the first reign at last.
[3] Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol.1 p.37.

wanted to appoint Ali for the caliphate and he (Omar) prevented him from that for fear of sedition to occur.[1]

Whether the Prophet (s) wanted to write down Ali’s right of the caliphate or not, it is important for us to ponder on Omar’s situation against the Prophet’s order. Since Omar was ready to accuse the Prophet face to face of what the holy Quran had purified him from,[2]then what would prevent him from accusing another one after the Prophet’s death? However we softened Omar’s situation it would not refer but to claiming that the Prophet’s decree about the caliphate was not from Allah but he wanted to appoint Ali just for sympathy. In fact his opposition to the traditions confirming Ali’s right of the caliphate would be worse than his opposition to the Prophet claiming that it would cause disturbance if the Prophet (s) had left a written text confirming the imamate of Ali.

If the Prophet (s) had given up declaring the caliphate of Ali at the last hours of his life because of a saying said by Omar, it was also possible that Imam Ali would give up using the traditions in his protest for fear of a saying that might be said by Omar.

The result of this research was that the silence of Imam Ali in not declaring the traditions as evidence of his right was imposed on him because:

He did not find among the men of that time any, in whose witnessing he could trust.

Using the prophetic traditions as evidence would draw the rulers’ attention to their effect and they would use any means to do away with  

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.3 p.97.
[2] The holy Quran says: (Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed). 53:3-4.


Protesting by means of the traditions would mean the full readiness for the revolt, which Imam Ali did not want. When Omar accused the Prophet (s) at his last hours, it became clear for Imam Ali to what extent the rulers strove to keep their positions and their readiness to support and defend them. So Imam Ali feared that something might happen if he declared the traditions of his imamate.

Peaceful confrontation

Imam Ali decided to give up the revolt and not to be armed with the traditions openly to confront the rulers until he became confident of his ability to persuade the public opinion against Abu Bakr and his two friends. This was what Ali tried to do in his distress then. He began, secretly, to meet the chiefs of the Muslims and some of the important persons of Medina[1] preaching them and reminding them of the divine evidences that confirmed his right. Beside him was his wife Fatima consolidating his situation and assisting him in his secret jihad. Ali did not intend to form a party fighting for him for we know that he did have a party of assistants, who gathered around him and announced his name to be the caliph, but he intended by those meetings to make people agree on him unanimously.

Here the case of Fadak came to occupy the front of the new Alawite policy. The Fatimite role, which Imam Ali drew its lines accurately, was in agreement with the night meetings of the important persons. It was worthy of changing the situation  

[1] Sharh Najul Balagha, vol.6 p.13. It was mentioned that Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Ali (s) had said: “Ali put Fatima on a donkey and went together in the night to the houses of the Ansar. Imam Ali asked them to support him and Fatima asked them to support Imam Ali’.

against the caliph and to end the caliphate of Abu Bakr as the end of a drama and not as the demolition of a powerful rule.

The Fatimite role was that Fatima was to ask Abu Bakr for her extorted rights and to make this claim as the means of the argument about the main case that was the case of the caliphate, and to make people understand that the moment, in which they left Ali and went towards Abu Bakr, was a moment of infatuation and irregularity[1] and that they committed a great mistake and opposed the Book Of Allah and turned to other than their drinking (other than their natural source)![2]

When the thought ripened in Fatima’s mind, she rushed to correct the situations and to wipe out the mud that stained the Islamic government, whose first base was made in the saqeefa. Her first step was to accuse the caliph (Abu Bakr) of barefaced treason, playing with the law and to accuse the results of the electoral battle, out of which Abu Bakr had come victoriously, of being contradictory to the Quran and reason.[3]

Two sides were available for Fatima in her confrontation that were not options for Imam Ali  

[1] Refer to Balaghat an-Nissa’, p.25. Fatima said referring to this meaning: “The Satan put his head out of its socket crying out to you. He found you responders to his cry and noticers of his inadvertence. He awakened you and found you nimble… you branded other than your camels…”.
[2]Shrah Nahjul Balagha, vol.6 p.12. Imam Ali said in one of his arguments with the people: “O people of Muhajireen, keep to Allah. Do not take the authority of Muhammad out of his house and family to your houses and families. Do not keep his family away from his position and right among people. I swear by Allah, that we, the Prophet’s family, are worthier of this matter (the rule) than you…”
[3] As-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa, p.36. Omar said: “The homage of Abu Bakr was a slip that Allah saved us from its evil. If any one does it again, you have to kill him…”.

had he been in her situation.

The first was that Fatima was more able, according to the circumstances of her private distress and her position to her father, to move the sentiments and to connect the Muslims to a wire of spiritual electricity with her great father and his glorious days and to attract their feelings towards the cases of the Prophet’s family.

The second was that whatever kind of dispute she adopted it would not take a shape of the armed war, which needed a leader to control, because she was a woman and her husband was in his house keeping to the truce that he adopted until the people would gather around him. He was watching the situation to intervene whenever he wished as a leader for the revolt if it reached the top or to calm the sedition if the circumstances would not help him with what he wanted. So Fatima in her confrontation either she would cause a public opposition to the caliph or she would not go further than the circle of the argument and the dispute and she would not cause sedition or separation between the Muslims.

Imam Ali wanted to make people hear his voice via the mouth of Fatima and to be away from the field of the struggle waiting for the suitable moment to make use of it and for the opportunity that would make him the man of the situation. Also he wanted to present to all of the umma via the Fatimite confrontation an evidence showing the nullity of the present caliphate. And it was as Imam Ali wanted when Fatima expressed the Alawite right clearly in a way of fairness.

The Fatimite opposition could be summarized in some facts:

First: her sending a messenger[1] to Abu Bakr asking for her rights. This was the first step she did in order to undertake the task by herself.

Second: she faced Abu Bakr in a special meeting[2] and she wanted by that to insist on her rights of the khums, Fadak and other things to know the extent of the caliph’s readiness for resistance.

It was not necessary to arrange the steps of her asking for her rights in a way that the claim of donation was to precede the case of inheritance as some people thought. In fact I think that asking for the inheritance preceded because the tradition showed that the messenger of Fatima asked for the inheritance and it was more possible to be the first step as required by the natural progress of the dispute. The claim of inheritance was more likely to regain the right because of the certainty of succession[3] in the Islamic Sharia; therefore Fatima would not be blamed if she first asked for her inheritance that included Fadak according to the Caliph’s thought, who had not known about the donation.[4] This asking for the inheritance did not contradict that Fadak was a donation from the Prophet (s) for his daughter because asking for the inheritance did not refer to Fadak specially but it concerned the Prophet’s inheritance in general.

Third: her speech in the mosque after ten days  

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.16 p.218-219.
[2] Ibid. vol.16 p.230.
[3] The succession is one of the necessities of Islam according to the Holy Quran: (Men shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave, and women shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave) 4:7 (Allah enjoins you concerning your children: The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females) 4:11.
[4] Abu Bakr claimed that he had not known about the donation (of Fadak).Refer to Sharh Nuhjul Balagha, vol.16 p.225.

of her father’s death.[1]

Fourth: her talk with Abu Bakr and Omar when they visited her to apologize and her declaring her discontent with them and that they had displeased Allah and His messenger (s) by displeasing her.[2]

Fifth: her speech to the women of the Muhajireen and the Ansar when they visited her.[3]

Sixth: her will that no one of her opponents was to attend her funeral and burial procession.[4] This will was the final declaration of Fatima showing her indignation against the present caliphate.

The Fatimite movement failed on one side but succeeded on the other. It failed because the government of the caliph was not overthrown when Fatima did her last important march in the tenth day of her father’s death.

We cannot ascertain the reasons that made Fatima lose the battle, but, undoubtedly, the most important reason was the personality of the caliph himself because he was of political talents. He dealt with the situation with a noticeable tact. We find that in his answer to Fatima when he directed his speech to the Ansar after Fatima had finished her speech in the mosque. He was so tender-hearted in  

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.16 p.211. It was mentioned that: “when Fatima knew that Abu Bakr decided to prevent her from getting Fadak, she put on her veil and came surrounded by a group of her maids and fellow-women…until she came in to Abu Bakr, who was among a big crowd of the Muhajireen and the Ansar…”.
[2] Al-Imama wes-Siyassa by ibn Qutaba p.14, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.16 p.281 and 264, al-Bukhari’s Sahih, vol.5 p.83 and A’lamun Nissa’, vol.4 p.123. The Prophet (s) said: “Fatima is a part of me. Whoever discontents her, will discontent me”.
[3] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.16 p.233.
[4] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.6 p.281, Hilyatul Awliya’ vol.2 p.42, al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, vol.3 p.178.

his answer to Fatima and suddenly he ejected his burning fire after Fatima left the mosque. He said: “What is this attention to every saying! He is but a fox. His witness is his tail”.[1] We have mentioned all of this speech in a previous chapter. This reversal from leniency and calmness to fury anger showed us what ability of controlling his feelings he had and what ability to humor the circumstance and to play the suitable role at any time.

On the other side, the Fatimite opposition succeeded because it supplied the truth with a mighty power and added to its eternality in the field of the ideological struggle a further power. She recorded this success throughout her movement and in her argument with Abu Bakr and Omar especially when they visited her. She said to them: “If I narrate to you a tradition from the Prophet, will you acknowledge it and act on it?” They said: “Yes”. She said: “I adjure you by Allah. Did not you hear the Prophet saying: “Fatima’s contentment is my contentment and her discontentment is my discontentment. Whoever loved Fatima, loved me, whoever pleased her, pleased me and whoever displeased her, displeased me?”[2] They said: “Yes we did”. She said: “I call Allah and His angels to witness that you have displeased me and have never pleased me. If I meet the Prophet, I will complain  

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.16 p.214-215.
[2] Many statements having this meaning were said by the Prophet. He said to Fatima: “Allah becomes angry if you become angry and He becomes delighted if you become delighted…”. And he said: “Fatima is a part of me. Whatever displeases her displeases me and whatever hurts her, hurts me”. Refer to al-Bukhari’s Sahih, vol.5 p.83, Muslim’s Sahih, vol.4 p.1902, al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, vol.3 p.167, Thakha’irul Oqba, p.39, Ahmad’s Musnad, vol.4 p.328, at-Tarmithi’s Jami’, vol.5 p.699, as-Sawa’iqul Muhriqa by ibn Hajar p.190 and kifayat at-Talib p.365.

of both of you to him”.[1]

This tradition showed how much she concerned about concentrating her opposition against the two opponents and declaring her anger and rage at them in order to derive from the dispute a certain result that we do not want to study in depth and to draw conclusions because that will take us away from the subject of this research and because we respect the caliph and do not want to come with him in such arguments but we just want to record it in order to clarify Fatima’s opinion and point of view. She believed that the result she got was the certain victory in the account of faith and religion. I mean by this, that Abu Bakr had deserved wrath from Allah and the Prophet by displeasing Fatima and he hurt Them by hurting her because They became angry if she became angry and They became displeased if she became displeased according to the prophetic tradition. Then he would not deserve to be the caliph of Allah and His messenger. Allah said: (…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; surely this is grievous in the sight of Allah) 33:53.

(Surely (as for) those who speak evil things of Allah and His Apostle, Allah has cursed them in this world and the here after, and He has prepared for them a chastisement bringing disgrace) 33:57.

(And (as for) those who molest the Apostle of Allah, they shall have a painful punishment) 9:61.

(O you who believe! do not make friends with a people with whom Allah is wroth) 60:13.

(And to whomsoever My wrath is due be shall perish indeed) 20:81.  

[1] Al-Bukari’s Sahih,vol.5 p.5, Muslim’s Sahih, vol.2 p.72, Ahmad’s Musnad, vol.1 p.6, at-Tabari’s Tareekh, vol.2 p.236, Kifayatat-Talib p.266 and al-Bayhaqi’s Sunan, vol.6 p.300.