The Great Disaster in Islam

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

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

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

Sign of Passing away

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

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

  2. Secondly the following verse that was revealed:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell Hajj

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes,” they replied.

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

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

“Yes,” they replied.

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

“Yes,” they replied.

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

“Yes”, they replied.

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

 “Yes”, they replied.

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

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

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

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

“Yes”, they replied.

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

“Yes”, they replied.

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

“Yes”, they replied.

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

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

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

“Yes”, they replied.

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

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

Gathering of Ghadeer Khumm

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

[1] Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/90-92

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hate Ali.”[1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes, by Allah!” they replied.[3]  

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

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

The Prophet’s Illness

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

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

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

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

Seeking Forgiveness of those Buried in Baqi Cemetery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Usamah’s Expedition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Send the forces of Usamah.”

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

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

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

The Prophet Allows Retaliation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I needed them,” he replied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Prophet gave his Personal wealth in Charity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday Tragedy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the Almighty Allah says:

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

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

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

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

The Great Grief of Her Eminence, Zahra (‘a)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] Ibid
[2] Hayatul Imam Hasan (a.s.) 1/134
[3] Ansab al-Ashraaf 1/552

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Prophet’s Heritage for his two grandsons

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

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

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

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

The Prophet’s Bequest regarding his Grandsons

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

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

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

The Prophet’s Sorrow for Husain (‘a)

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

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

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

Towards Paradise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funeral Ceremony of the Holy Prophet (s)

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

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

Funeral Prayer of the Holy Prophet (s)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Prophet’s Burial

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

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

Difficulties of the Purified Progeny

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rule of the Two Shaykhs (Abu Bakr and Umar)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] Surah Zumar 39:9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] Ruhul Islam, Pg. 292

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

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

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

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

Saqifa gathering

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

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

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

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

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

Imam Kashiful Ghita says,

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

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

Motives of Saqifah Meet

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] Sharh Nahjul Balagha 9/22-23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Political statement of Saad

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

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

Saad’s speech contained the following significant points:

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

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

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

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

Criticism against Saad

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

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

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

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

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

Weakness of Ansar

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

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

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

Jealousy and Enmity

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

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

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

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

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

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

Umar’s Planning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Important Points

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Allah says:

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

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

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

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

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

Ansar Surprised

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

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

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

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

[1] Tabari, Tarikh 3/62