Abu Bakr’s Discourse
After the Muhajireen arrived in the meeting of Ansar, Umar wanted to begin the discourse but Abu Bakr restrained him because he was aware of his acerbic tongue and this would not have in any way solved the impasse in such a delicate situation. It was necessary to observe diplomacy and soft words in order to benefit from the situation. Thus Abu Bakr with a smiling face and sweet words began to address the gathering in a kind way:
“We Muhajireen are the first people to become Muslims and with regard to our origin and lineage we are the most respected of them, from the viewpoint of houses we are in the limits of moderation and from the aspect of faces more beautiful than them and with regard to the Messenger of Allah (s) we are most proximate of them and you are our brothers in Islam and our partners in religion. You have helped and supported. May Allah give you a good reward. Thus we are the rulers and you are ministers. Arab people shall not follow anyone except this branch of Quraish. Thus do not be disheartened by what the Almighty has given superiority of your Muhajireen brothers over you. I have selected one of these two (that is Umar bin Khattab and Abu Ubaidah Jarrah) for you…”
Research and Investigation
It is necessary to stop here for a few moments and ponder upon the above statements.
1 - Abu Bakr has not accorded any significance to the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (s). And this was a great tragedy for the Muslims and the most terrible incident, which had aggrieved the hearts of all Muslims. Therefore to suit the situation he should have first paid condolence at the passing away of the one who had brought salvation for them and he should have remembered his favors upon them. He should have reminded them of the good works he had done in their
 Tabari, Tarikh 3/62
religious and secular spheres. After that he should have invited them to participate in the final rites of the Holy Prophet (s) so that he may be consigned to his eternal abode. After that he should have organized a general meeting in which all classes of Muslims could have attended and invited them to select a caliph according to their choice and that too with the condition that the Holy Prophet (s) had not appointed any successor after him.
2 – The logic of this discourse is pursuit of power and seeking a political post. Apart from this he did not give any importance to anything. He tried to convince and advise the Ansar that for the benefit of the Muhajireen brothers they must let go of the claim for rulership and may not share the seat of power with them. And he gave them the good news that they would be their ministers. However as soon as the caliphate was established for them and they formed their government, they denied the Ansar their rights and did not entrust any official post to them and they were rather deprived of all government posts they formerly held.
3 – This speech did not once mention the Purified Progeny who were equal to the Holy Quran, who were like the Ark of Nuh, that whosoever boarded it was saved and whosoever avoided it was destroyed and drowned as the Holy Prophet (s) had informed.
For this, the most preferable thing would have been to wait for sometime so that the funeral of the Holy Prophet (s) was over and the opinion of Ahle Bayt (‘a) of His Eminence had also been sought so that the caliphate could have obtained legality and it would not have been considered a mistake as Umar has described it saying:
“Indeed the allegiance of Abu Bakr was a mistake but Almighty Allah saved the Muslims from its mischief.”
Imam Sharafuddin says, “Even if it is assumed that there did not exist specific nomination for caliphate in favor of anyone from the family of the Prophet and even if it is assumed that they were not having any precedence over the other companions with regard to their origin and lineage, or morals and valor, or knowledge and good deeds, or faith and sincerity, was there any legal or rational hindrance that the allegiance should have been postponed till after the Prophet had been buried? Or that in order to maintain peace till the matter of caliphate was it not possible to appoint an administrator to keep the situation under control? Would such patience and restraint not been suitable for the household, which was in mourning? While they were the trust of the Prophet and they were the survivors of His Eminence among them and the Almighty Allah has said:
“Certainly an Apostle has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate, merciful.”****
** Surah Taubah 9:128
Was it not the right of the Prophet on his followers, the Prophet who had borne severe hardships for his people and who always caring for their well-being that his Progeny should not have been caused grief and that they should not have been deserted in the way they were deserted, while their wound was yet fresh and the Prophet had yet not been buried…?”
4 – The argument that Abu Bakr offered to advocate the superiority of the Muhajireen against the Ansar was that they were much nearer to the Prophet in relationship and he was most close in relation to them. And this standard was more applicable to Ahle Bayt (‘a) because they were closest in relation to the Prophet than any other people. How perfectly the statement of His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) describes the situation: “They argued by the tree but destroyed its fruit.”
And His Eminence addressed Abu Bakr in the following words: “If you have argued on the basis of relationship, there are others who are closer in relationship to the Prophet than you.
And if you have obtained dominance on them by consensus, some people were absent at the time of consultation.”
And Kumayt says,
“The truth is with you as the Quraish have become our leaders and each word from them is having two meanings.
And they said that we have inherited it from our parents while they have not inherited anything from their parents.”
They think that they have an unjustified right on the people while the right of the Hashemites is more incumbent.
In a tradition the Holy Imam (‘a) has described his proximity to the Messenger of Allah (s): “By Allah, I am the brother (of the Prophet), I am his cousin and inheritor of his knowledge. Then who could be more superior to me with regard to him?”
Those people fell into desires and selfish desires and in pursuit of political power they killed each other while the Prophet had obliged them to remain attached to his Progeny and not to precede them and to observe their rights in everything. But they completely disregarded all these things.
Allegiance of Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr succeeded in his above discourse and through it he was able to get the control of the situation in his hands because in that speech he praised the Ansar and extolled their struggle in the path of Islam and by this he cooled the flames of uprising that raged in their hearts. In the same way he made them hopeful of some
** An-Nass wal Ijtihad, Pg. 79-80
** Al-Hashimiyaat, Pg. 31-33
share in government by saying that they shall be ministers. As a result he was able to remove their animosity towards the Muhajireen in the matter of caliphate and also their personal ambitions to obtain political power. And he explained to them that he has preferred the Muhajireen because the Arabs would not accept anyone as their rulers except the Quraish. It seemed that this important Islamic matter solely belonged to the Arabs and the other people had no right in it.
This was the most important point to which Abu Bakr called the attention of Ansar and in this way presented himself as the most suitable candidate for rulership while at the same time be pretended to be uninterested in political greed. By this tactic he was able to gain power over the Ansar and also earn their regard…
After that Umar stood up to speak. He confirmed what his friend had said and he added: “It can never be that two persons could occupy one position. By Allah, Arabs would never agree to give you rulership while their Prophet was from a people other than you. However they shall not object if rulership is given to someone who is from the group from which the Prophet was, and that their ruler should also be from them. And for anyone who refrains from this we have a clear argument and a clear power. Who is it that can oppose us in obtaining the kingdom of Muhammad while we are his friends and partners? Except the one who prefers falsehood or is led to sinfulness and throws himself into destruction…!”
There is nothing new in this discourse except that it emphasizes what Abu Bakr had said before; that the Muhajireen were more deserving of the successorship of the Prophet and that they were his friends and partners.
Ustad Muhammad Gilani says, “He argued by the proximity of the Muhajireen to the Prophet in spite of the fact that Ali Ibn Abi Talib (‘a) was more deserving of caliphate because this argument had already been used in case of the Prophet’s inheritance because Abbas was the closest in relation to the Prophet and most deserving among the people for caliphate, but he gave this right of his to Ali and from this it became established that the post of caliphate should be solely the right of Ali.”
Habab stood up to speak and he refuted the statement of Umar saying, “O gathering of Ansar! Get hold of your right and do not listen to this man or his companion because they would deprive you of your share in this matter. Thus if they do not accept what you want, chase them out of this land and gain dominance over them as by Allah, you are more deserving than them in this matter, because it was through your sword that people entered the fold Islam of while previously they had no faith. I am the best refuge and more far-sighted than them, I am a lion among he cubs. By Allah, if you like I can strip them off like a barren tree. By Allah, if anyone refutes my statement I shall cut off his nose with the sword…”
This monologue, which was full of anger and warnings, was a challenge to the Muhajireen to an assured conflict from the people of Medina. At the same time it was a self-praise in their valor.
** Athar Tashayyo Dar Adabiyaat-e-Arab, Pg. 5
Umar replied to him and screamed, “In that case, Allah shall kill you.”
Habab said, “Rather, He shall kill you.”
Abu Bakr was terrified at the changing situation, so he turned towards the Ansar and nominated his two companions, Umar and Abu Ubaidah to caliphate. But Umar rushed towards him and said in a flattering manner, “Is it possible while you are alive? No one can push you behind from the position that the Messenger of Allah (s) had accorded to you.”
Some research scholars say: “We don’t know when the Messenger of Allah (s) gave him the position or indicated it in any way. Rather, like his other Muhajireen brothers he was also ordered to join the army of Usamah. If the Prophet had nominated him to the post of caliphate or made him a point of reference for the community and center of knowledge, he (the Prophet) would have kept him in Yathrib with himself and he would not have ordered him to the battlefield; and that too when he was in his final moments.”
Anyway, the members of his group, fearing that the situation may go out of control, acted swiftly as lightning and gave him the oath of allegiance. Then Umar, Bashir, Usaid bin Hazeer, Aweem bin Sa’ada, Maan bin Adi, Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah, Salim, the slave of Abu Huzaifah and Khalid bin Walid gave him the oath of allegiance. And this group made great efforts in order to force the people to pay allegiance, and in this matter, Umar Ibn Khattab was most active and he shouted and threatened the people to secure their allegiance and the stick that the wielded was most effective in this. He heard the Ansar say, “You have beaten Saad.”
Umar replied with fury and anger, “Hit him, Allah shall kill him because he is a mischief-maker.
They almost killed Saad while he was ailing and was in great pain. They took him to his house while he was empty handed and all his hopes were destroyed and his dreams were over.
When the allegiance of Abu Bakr took place, supporters took him to the Prophet’s mosque as a bride is carried to the bridal chamber while the Prophet lay on his death-bed and he was yet to be buried and out of their sight and His Eminence Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) was busy in the funeral arrangements of His Eminence.
When Ali (‘a) learnt about the allegiance of Abu Bakr he recited the following couplet:
“The people became involved in what they preferred and stood up in rebellion while Zaid was surrounded by a great calamity.”
The lightning speed with which the allegiance of Abu Bakr took place, it
** Al Iqdul Farid 5/12
** Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/8
** Ibid, Pg. 8
completely disregarded the Purified Progeny and did not pay any attention towards them and from that day all types of calamities and taunts confronted them and the Ahle Bayt (‘a) were subjected to various tortures and calamites, including the carnage of Kerbala and all these events were rooted in that meeting of Saqifah and nothing else.
Celebration of Quraish
When the seat of power came into the hands of Abu Bakr, the Quraish were overjoyed and they considered it a great victory for themselves because their hopes and aspirations had been fulfilled. Abu Abra Qarashi has described the happiness of the Quraish in his following couplets:
“Thanks be to the One deserving of Praise. The trouble was gone and allegiance given to the Siddiq. (Abu Bakr).
Then the legs of Saad wavered and he was hoping that the Capella star was within his reach.
Caliphate is in the Quraish and by the Lord of Muhammad you have no share in it.”
These couplets speak ill of the Ansar and their deprivation from caliphate is celebrated in them…
Among those who expressed joy at the allegiance of Abu Bakr was Amr Aas who at that time was not present in Medina as he was on a journey. When he returned and was informed that allegiance had been given to Abu Bakr he remarked:
“When you go to Aws, tell them and when you meet the Khazraj, say to them:
You hoped to rule in Medina? But before it was cooked, the pot was taken off the fire.”
Happiness and joy had engulfed all the tribes of Quraish and they began to support the rulership of Abu Bakr. When the news of the Prophet’s demise reached Mecca, they decided to announce their apostasy from the Islam but when they were further informed that Abu Bakr has become the caliph, they decided to remain in his obedience and expressed their happiness and pleasure at the turn of the events.
Role of Abu Sufyan
Abu Sufyan rose up against the rulership of Abu Bakr and he came to His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (‘a) and encouraged him to rise up against Abu Bakr and assured him of his support in this regard saying, “I see dust in the atmosphere and nothing except bloodshed would settle the dust. O clan of Abde Manaf! What Abu Bakr has to do with you? Where are those two oppressed ones? I mean Ali and Abbas. Why should this caliphate be in the lowliest family of Quraish?”
Then he told to Ali (‘a), “Stretch your hand so that I may pay allegiance to you. By
** Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/8.
Al-Mawafiqaat, Pg. 579-580
Allah, if you wish I can fill the land with cavalry and infantry.” And after that he recited the following couplets of Multamis:
“None could remain established against whom destruction is intended. Except those two oppressed ones, the ass of the locality and the nail.
One of them shall be buried totally in the grave and the other one shall be injured and none shall weep on him.”
Abu Sufyan motivated a tribe to oppose the rulership of Abu Bakr; however the Imam was aware of his real intention and knew his original nature. Thus he did not give a positive reply and he refused the offer and told him in an angry tone, “By Allah, you and this statement? Except for mischief, you do not intend anything else. By Allah, for ages you wished bad for Islam and we are not in need of your advice…”
Abu Sufyan continued to create mischief and instigated the Imam to rise up against Abu Bakr and he sang as follows:
“O Bani Hashim! Do not let them vie you, especially the family of Teem, bin Marrah or the clan of Adi.
The affair (caliphate) is for none except you and no one is superior to Abul Hasan Ali.
O Abul Hasan! Have courage as you are most deserving of the work that is awaited.”
What is established is that the opposition of Abu Sufyan was not on the basis of faith in favor of the Imam. It was obvious that it was only a trick against Islam and he was waiting for an opportunity to harm the faith. The Holy Imam declined his offer and gave no importance to his false show of kindness, because Abu Sufyan had a very good connection with Abu Bakr. And Bukhari has narrated that Abu Sufyan passed by some people, among whom were Abu Bakr, Salman, Suhaib and Bilal. One of them said, “Did the swords of Allah not smite the neck of this enemy of God?”
Abu Bakr chastised them in harsh words, “Are you saying this about the Shaykh of Quraish and their Chief?”
Then Abu Bakr hastened to the Prophet and told him what the people had said: The Prophet replied to him, “O Abu Bakr, may be you have displeased them. If you displease them, you have displeased Allah.”
This matter clearly shows their mutual relationship. While Abu Bakr, during his caliphate tried to win over the sympathy and friendship of Abu Sufyan. He appointed Abu Sufyan as the governor of an area between Hijaz and Najran. In the
** Ibne Athir, Kamil 2/326
** Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/7
** Bukhari, Sahih 2/362. Muslim, Sahih 4/1947. Ahmad, Musnad 5/64
** Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/10-11
same way he appointed his son, Yazid as the governor of Syria. From that moment the fortunes of the Umayyads began to rise and they finally they gained power.
Defeat of Ansar
The star of the Ansar fell down on the earth, their aspirations were destroyed and humiliation came into their share. Hissan bin Thabit has described their despair in the following words:
“We helped and supported the Prophet and we did not fear accidents nor were we afraid of mishaps.
For his sake we gave away half of our wealth, in such a way as the extra meat of the camel is given.
Thus their recompense for our goodness was that in ignorance, they did not take us into consideration and this was not justice on us.”
The Ansar, in most of the reign of the caliphs had to face many humiliations and it became clear that their greatest mistake was their failure to observe the rights of Amirul Momineen (‘a) and it was that they had on their own thrown themselves to terrible deviations from this life.
Reaction of Ahle Bayt (‘a)
Historians are unanimous that the reaction of Ahle Bayt (‘a) towards the caliphate of Abu Bakr has been that of displeasure, because they did not have any doubt that they were more superior to all others for the caliphate and that they were the most suitable for the caliphate. This was so because they were closest in relation the Messenger of Allah (s). In addition this, they possessed incomparable qualifications, capabilities and ability to bear the responsibility of the leadership of the community. However, those people did not take them into consideration and they intentionally ignored their status with regard to the Holy Prophet (s). They behaved with them in an absolutely cruel manner. This matter became a cause for disunity among the community and it had to undergo all sorts of calamities throughout the stages of history.
The Imam’s Refusal to Pay Allegiance
Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) severely opposed paying allegiance to Abu Bakr and considered it a clear act of trespass against himself because His Eminence knew that his position with regard to the caliphate was like the pivot of the mill. Such a lofty position that flood is unable to reach it and the birds also cannot scale those heights, as he himself has described.
His Eminence did not expect that this community would dare to promote this and distance themselves from Ahle Bayt (‘a). It was that occasion when his uncle, Abbas hastened towards him and said, “O nephew, give me your hand, so that I may pay allegiance to you so that people may say that the uncle of the Messenger
** Ibid 2/10
of Allah (s) has given allegiance to the cousin of the Messenger of Allah (s). In that case no two persons would differ regarding you.”
Imam told him, “Who, other than us would lay claim to his matter (caliphate)?”
Dr. Taha Husayn has expressed the same view in this matter and he says, “Abbas pondered upon this matter and concluded that his nephew more eligible than himself for inheriting the Prophet, he had precedence in Islam and possessed excellent virtues in all events as the Prophet had designated him as his brother. So much so that Umme Aiman remarked in a humorous manner, “You call him your brother and marry your daughter to him?” It was from this aspect that the Prophet told him, “You are in relation to me like Harun (‘a) to Musa except that there is no Prophet after me.”
And one day he told the Muslims, “Of whosoever I am the Master this Ali is also his Master.”
From this aspect it was that after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (s), Abbas came to his nephew and said, “Stretch your hand, that I may give oath of allegiance to you.”
Imam (‘a) in an angry way refused to give allegiance to Abu Bakr and he openly announced his displeasure and shock at the trespassing of his rights and the injustices of those people in the matter of caliphate. While those people did not pay any heed. The Imam’s utterances that are recorded in Nahjul Balagha, that is the best of the Imam’s eloquence, contains indications towards this matter.
Forcing Imam Ali (‘a) for allegiance
The people decided that the Imam should be forced to pay allegiance to Abu Bakr. Thus a group was appointed for this. They went to Ali’s house, surrounded it and took out Ali (‘a) forcibly in a disrespectful manner and dragged him to Abu Bakr. Those people screamed that Ali (‘a) pay allegiance to Abu Bakr. The Imam replied to them in a very rational manner without at all being fearful of their might and force, “I am more qualified for this than you that I take allegiance from you, and not that you are more deserving to get my allegiance. You have taken this affair (caliphate) from the Ansar and argued with them on the basis of your proximity to the Prophet while you have usurped it from us, Ahle Bayt (‘a). Did you not claim to the Ansar that you are more eligible than them in this matter?
Because Muhammad was from among you, and they surrendered the leadership to you and entrusted the command to you? Now I present the same argument that you had presented to the Ansar. We are the most superior whether in the lifetime of the Prophet or after his passing away. So deal justly with us if you have faith and if not then continue in oppression while you know that it is wrong…”
The Holy Imam (‘a) by presenting these brilliant argument showed the matter in
** Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/12
** Ali wa Farzandaanash, Pg. 19
clear light that His Eminence was more qualified than them in the matter of caliphate. He argued that he was the closest in relation to the Prophet than all others and it was the same point those people had used to gain victory over the Ansar while the fact was that the Imam was more deserving of it than others because he was the cousin of the Prophet and also his son-in-law.
Ibn Khattab, though had no reply to the statement of the Imam, stood up from his place and spoke up angrily, “You shall not be released till you pay the allegiance.”
Imam (‘a) gave him a firm reply, “Milk the udders as you would receive its gains, and make his position strong and tomorrow it shall be returned to you.”
The Imam exposed the motive of Ibn Khattab because he had not expected such a harsh response from the Imam except for the fact that caliphate and rulership should reach him after Abu Bakr. At that time the Imam (‘a) became furious and he screamed, “By Allah, O Umar, I shall not listen to you and I shall not give allegiance.”
Abu Bakr was frightened that the situation may worsen and he was horrified of the Imam’s anger. So he glanced at the Imam and said in the kindest manner, “If you do not pay allegiance, I would not force you.”
Abu Ubaidah also looked at the Holy Imam and tried to cool the flames of revolt and make peace with him and he said, “O cousin! You are young while they are elders of the community. You do not posses the same experience and understanding and I do not see Abu Bakr but that in this matter he is stronger than you and more than you he is having patience and ability to perform the duty of caliphate. So leave this matter for Abu Bakr, because if you remain alive, you shall one day be most qualified for this post from the aspects of superiority, faith, knowledge, understanding, precedence and your sonship-in-law…”
This deceptive and fraudulent manner further aggrieved the Holy Imam and he faced the Muhajireen and reminded them about the sacrifices and virtues of Ahle Bayt (‘a) and he said, “For the sake of Allah! O Muhajireen! Let the power of Muhammad among the Arabs not be taken away from its abode and center and do not distance the Ahle Bayt (‘a) from their rights among the people and their actual position…By Allah! O Muhajireen, we are the most deserving among the people because we are the Ahle Bayt (‘a) and in this matter we are more qualified than you. Was the reciter of the Book of Allah, jurisprudent of the religion of God, scholar of the divine practice, caretakers of people’s affairs, remover of harms from them and equitable distributor among them was he not among us? By Allah he had been from us. Therefore do not follow the selfish desires as you would stray from the path of God and you shall become very distant from truth…”
If they had replied positively to the call of the Holy Imam it would have been a guarantee for the well-being of the community and its protection from deviation
** Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/18-19
and going stray in the spheres of faith and other fields. He would also have saved the nation from many evil consequences. But alas! Since a long time people went towards greed and fulfillment of selfish desires and sacrificed everything on this.
Anyway, the people did not pay any heed to the Imam’s logic and considered their material gains over everything else.
The government of Abu Bakr decided that dreadful steps be taken against the Imam and all efforts must be concentrated to weaken and suppress him in every way. Because His Eminence was the symbol of opposition to the government and the absolute majority were inclined towards that the Imam may take the reins of government in his hands. Here we shall discuss some steps that the government of Abu Bakr initiated.
Economic embargo is the most effective and the most certain way to render ineffective the movement of opposition and to destroy it. Because wealth and riches, in all stages of history were active agents employed by those in power to suppress their opponents who intended to topple the government. This method is followed by all the ruling powers that they confiscate the wealth of their opponents or that they prohibited their rivals from spending anything from their wealth so that they may not employ these funds to topple the government or cause harm to it.
Abu Bakr also took steps in this regard and initiated economic restrictions against the Holy Imam (‘a) so that he may not have any power to rise up against the government. Therefore he initiated the following steps:
A – Abrogation of Khums
Khums is the legal share of the family of the Messenger of Allah (s) and the Holy Quran has specifically stated it to be in their favor:
“And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Apostle and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if you believe in Allah and in that which We revealed to Our servant, on the day of distinction, the day on which the two parties met; and Allah has power over all things.”
Muslims are unanimous that the Prophet has specified a share of Khums for himself and his relatives and this practice continued till the Almighty Allah raised His Eminence to Himself. When Abu Bakr received power he abrogated the share of the Prophet as well as that of his relatives and he deprived the Bani Hashim from this making them equal to ordinary populace.
The beloved daughter of the Prophet, that is Lady Fatima, sent a message to him to
** Surah Anfal 8:41
** Al-Kashaf, under the exegesis of the verse of Khums
deliver the remaining Khums of Khaiber to her but he refused to send her anything. And the ghost of poverty hovered over the family of the Prophet (s) and they were deprived of the most important source of funds that the Almighty had specified for them.
B – Confiscation of the Prophet’s Inheritance
Abu Bakr took over the control of all the property left by the Prophet, which could have become a source of income for Ahle Bayt (‘a). He did not leave anything but that he included it all in the pubic treasury and in this way every day he imposed a new restriction for Ahle Bayt (‘a) and established an economic embargo against them so that they may remain incapable of taking any action against him.
Abu Bakr’s Argument and Justification
In order to justify his confiscation of the Prophet’s inheritance and deprivation of Lady Fatima from it, he presented as proof and support a saying of the Messenger of Allah (s): “We do not leave any inheritance and whatever we leave is charity.” On the basis of this ‘tradition’ Abu Bakr deprived Lady Fatima from her inheritance. The tradition presented by Abu Bakr is fraught with numerous defects and weakness:
1 – If this tradition had been correct and authentic, the chief of the ladies, Her Eminence, Fatima (‘a) would not have come out to anyone against them. Because how is it possible that being a part of Prophethood, Her Eminence should demand something in which she had no lawful share?
2 – How is it possible that the Prophet could deny his beloved daughter something that is from her lawful share? Because this matter would lead the community into destruction and subject them to mutual conflict.
3 – It is not possible that the Prophet had concealed this tradition from Imam Ali (‘a) while the Imam was a trustee of all his secrets, the door to the city of his knowledge, the gate of the abode of wisdom, the most equitable of the people and the father of his two grandsons. And if at all this saying had been correct, the Imam would have been cognizant of it and the Prophet (s) would not have concealed it from him.
4 – If this saying had been correct, the Bani Hashim who were the trustees of his secrets and the family of the Messenger, why did the Prophet did not convey this tradition to them?
5 – If this tradition had any authenticity it would not have remained concealed from the ‘mothers of the believers’ (Prophet’s wives) when they sent a message to Uthman bin Affan that he may requisition their share of the Prophet’s inheritance…”
** Bukhari, Sahih 5/177. Muslim, Sahih 3/1380
** Al-Balaghatun Nisa, Pg. 19. A’laamun Nisa 4/116. Ibne Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/46
The above are the objections that apply to this tradition and the conclusion derived from this exposes this saying to be the weakest and most inauthentic.
Lady Zahra’s Discourse to Abu Bakr
The world became straitened for the beloved of the Prophet and the steps that Abu Bakr had initiated to impose economic restrictions had made them terribly week economically. Narrators say that Her Eminence with a head covering and a sheet wrapped around her and with some of her female relatives and neighbors walked majestically like the stride of the Prophet till she arrived in the presence of Abu Bakr at a time when a lot of people from the Muhajireen, Ansar, and other people were also present there.
A curtain was put for her and Her Eminence sighed in grief and the people began to weep due to her sad wail and turmoil began among the gathering. She allowed the people respite that their wails may calm and their tears may stop flowing. At that time she commenced her address with praise and glorification of the Almighty and she continued her sermon like flowing water in such a way that no one had heard a more eloquent and meaningful discourse.
In her incomparable discourse, Her Eminence, Zahra (‘a) spoke on the philosophy of Islam and discussed the causes of the laws and the wisdom of Islamic rules and regulations. She described the condition of the people before the dawn of Islam that to what extent they were mired in oppressing each other, how backward they were in knowledge and how ignorance dominated their minds. Especially in the Arabian Peninsula, where they were targets of humiliation and were on the verge of the pit of fire, that every drinker used to derive enjoyment from them and every greedy one was eyeing and everyone who moved used to take advantage from them and they were trampled under the feet of all those who walked. So much so that they were in such terrible poverty that sometimes they had to satiate their hunger with carrion and quench their thirst with waste water. They were getting more and more arrested in those terrible circumstances when through the medium of the Holy Prophet (s), the Almighty Allah bestowed them salvation and freedom and led them on the path of progress and development and made him the leader of their community. How great was the superiority of His Eminence on the Arabs and all the people…
The Chief of the Ladies then alluded to the merits of her cousin, His Eminence, Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) and his manifest Jihad in defense of Islam against the enemies at a time when the Muhajireen of Quraish were spending a life of comfort and security and had no role in the propagation of Islam. Rather, as the Prophet has described that at the time of confrontation they used to run away from the battlefield and they used to flee in horror. While regarding the Ahle Bayt (‘a) they used to wait for an opportunity or used to wish that some tragedy may befall them.
In her sermon, Her Eminence expressed intense regret and remorse at the changed circumstances and the deviation of Muslims and their falling into the lure of selfish
desires and pride and she prophesied how they would be the victims of terrible events and calamities due to their sins and deviations from that which the Almighty had prescribed for them, that they should remain attached to Ahle Bayt (‘a). And after she had spoken on these matters she indicated towards her inheritance towards her inheritance that she was supposed to have received from her father but she had been deprived from it. She said, “And the claim that you make that inheritance of my father is not for me; are you trying to impose the law of the period of Ignorance? While, which law is better than divine law for a people who believe?”
Don’t you know? Yes, indeed it is obvious to you that I am his daughter.
O Muslims! Will my inheritance be usurped? O son of Abu Quhafa! Where is it in the Book of Allah that you inherit your father and I do not inherit mine? Surely you have come up with an unprecedented thing. Do you intentionally abandon the Book of Allah and cast it behind your back? Do you not read where it says: And Sulaiman inherited Dawood’?
And when it narrates the story of Yahya bin Zakaria and says:
“And surely I fear my cousins after me, and my wife is barren, therefore grant me from Thyself an heir. Who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Yaqoob, and make him, my Lord, one in whom Thou art well pleased.”
And: “But kindred by blood have prior rights against each other in the Book of Allah.”
And: Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children’s (inheritance) to the male, a portion equal to that of two females. And, if he leaves any goods, that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage; this is due from the pious ones.’ You claim that I have no share! And that I do not inherit my father! What! Did Allah reveal a (Quranic) verse regarding you, from which He excluded my father? Or do you say: “These (Fatima and her father) are the people of two faiths, they do not inherit each other?!’ Are we not, me and my father, a people adhering to one faith? Or is it that you have more knowledge about the specifications and generalizations of the Quran than my father and my cousin (Imam Ali)? So, here you are! Take it! (Ready with) its nose rope and saddled! But if shall encounter you on the Day of Gathering; (thus) what a wonderful judge is Allah, a claimant is Muhammad, and a day is the Day of Rising. At the time of the Hour shall the wrongdoers lose; and it shall not benefit you to regret (your actions) then! For every Message, there is a time limit; and soon shall ye know who will be inflicted with torture that will humiliate him, and who will be confronted by an everlasting punishment. (Fatima then turned towards the Ansars and said:) O you people of intellect! The strong supporters of the nation! And those who embraced Islam; what is this short-coming in defending my right? And what is this slumber (while you see) injustice (being done toward me)? Did not the Messenger of Allah, my father, used to say: A man is upheld (remembered) by his children’? O how
soon have you violated (his orders)?! How soon have you plotted against us? But you still are capable (of helping me in) my attempt, and powerful (to help me) in that which I request and (in) my pursuit (of it). Or do you say: “Muhammad has perished;”
Surely this is a great calamity; its damage is excessive its injury is great, its wound (is much too deep) to heal.
The earth became darkened with his departure; the stars eclipsed for his calamity; hopes were seized; mountains submitted; sanctity was violated, and holiness was encroached upon after his death. Therefore, this, by Allah, is the great affliction, and the grand calamity; there is not an affliction - which is the like of it; nor will there be a sudden misfortune (as surprising as this).
The Book of Allah – excellent in praising him – announced in the courtyards (of your houses) in the place where you spend your evenings and mornings; a call, a cry, a recitation, and (verses) in order. It had previously come upon His (Allah’s) Prophets and Messengers; (for it is) a decree final, and predestination fulfilled: “Muhammad is not but an Apostle: Many were the apostles that passed away before him. If he died or was slain, will ye then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.” O you people of reflection; will I be usurped the inheritance of my father while you hear and see me? (And while) You are sitting and gathered around me? You hear my call, and are included in the (news of the) affair? (But) You are numerous and well equipped! (You have) the means and the power, and the weapons and the shields. Yet, the call reaches you but you do not answer; the cry comes to you but you do not come to help? (This) While you are characterized by struggle, known for goodness and welfare, the selected group (which was chosen), and the best ones chosen by the Messenger for us, Ahle Bayt. You fought the Arabs, bore with pain and exhaustion, struggled against the nations, and resisted their heroes. We were still, so were you in ordering you, and you in obeying us. So that Islam became triumphant, the accomplishment of the days came near, the fort of polytheism was subjected, the outburst of infidelity calmed down, and the system of religion was well-ordered. Thus, (why have you) become confused after clearness? Conceal matters after announcing them? Turned on your heels after daring? Associated (others with Allah) after believing? Will you not fight people who violated their oaths? Plotted to expel the Apostle and became aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if you believe!
Nevertheless, I see that you are inclined to easy living; dismissed he who is more worthy of guardianship (Ali); You secluded yourselves with meekness and dismissed that which you accepted. Yet, if you show ingratitude, ye and all on earth together, yet, Allah free of all wants, worthy of all praise. Surely I have said all that with full knowledge that you intend to forsake me, and knowing the
betrayal that your hearts sensed. But it is the state of soul, the effusion of fury, the dissemination of (what is) the chest and the presentation of the proof. Hence, here it is! Bag it (leadership and) put it on the back of an ill she-camel, which has a thin hump with everlasting grace, marked with the wrath of Allah, and the blame of ever (which leads to) the Fire of (the wrath of Allah kindled (to a blaze), that which doth mount (right) to the hearts; for, Allah witnesses what you do, and soon will the unjust assailants know what vicissitudes their affairs will take!
And I am the daughter of a warner (the Prophet) to you against a severe punishment. So, act and so will we, and wait, and we shall wait.’
The hearts began to burn and the eyes opened wide and the people began to feel suffocated, life went away then came back so that the air which had gone should come back and truth was about to be re-established. However, Abu Bakr was well-known for his quick tongue and with the power of diplomacy he was able to regain the control of the situation and he saved his government from a revolution. Because he expressed utmost honor and respect for the beloved daughter of the prophet as if he had more regard for her than his own daughter, Ayesha. And from the depths of his being he seemed to hold her in reverence. He also expressed a deep grief for the passing away of her dear father, the Prophet of God, while he had actually wished the Prophet had died before his death. He said that he had not initiated these steps on his own and neither had he obtained the seat of rulership of his own. It was actually the choice of the majority and consensus the people!!!
In this way he won over the hearts that had began to dislike him and he cooled the fine of revolution and he destroyed all the signs.
Arguments of Her Eminence, Zahra (s.a)
The arguments of Her Eminence, Zahra (s.a) regarding the inheritance of her father, were absolutely solid. Because the proofs she had put forth were in the form of unambiguous verses of the Holy Quran that none could refute. Her Eminence, firstly mentioned the instances of Prophets leaving inheritance to their heirs, in which her father was also included. In this regard she presented two verses about Prophet Dawood and Prophet Zakaria and proved clearly their leaving of inheritance.
Secondly: She mentioned the general verses related to inheritance and also the general verses about the making of wills and she emphasized that it was necessary to act on their generality and her father was also naturally included in them and exceptions to these is only applicable for those who are mentioned in a specific way. Then she explained to them the factors that lead to such exception. She said it was only applicable in case where the one who leaves the legacy and the inheritor belong to different faiths and said to them: Have you deprived me from the inheritance of my father because he and I belong to different faiths? But we belong to one and the same religious order.
** A’laamun Nisa 4/116. Al-Balaghatun Nisa, Pg. 12-19
Through this logic and clear-cut arguments, Her Eminence reached the highest stage in defending her rights.
Confiscation of Fadak
Here an important matter remains in the sphere of economics and that is the income of Fadak that used to take care of the expenses of the purified progeny and accorded them economic independence. However this was confiscated and its income was added to the Public Treasury so that it may not enable Ali (a.s) to rise up against the government.
There are many important arguments on this subject and we have spent much time in their investigation but we shall not further go deeper into the matter as it is beyond the scope of this book exclusively about the biography of Imam Husain (a.s). However since the foregone events had direct impact on the life of Imam Husain (a.s) we have describe them to some extent so that the readers may gain insight into the political situation of that period and the role he played in the Islamic Polity. Also that all those events belonged to a single chain due to which the Holy Imam (a.s) had to undergo severe difficulties and calamities.
Calamities of Her Eminence, Zahra (a.s)
The passing away of the Messenger of Allah (s) was a terrible tragedy for Lady Fatima and she was so much devastated by the death of her father that dark clouds of grief surrounded her due to the absence of her father, who was more precious to her than her own life.
Her Eminence used to visit the Holy grave of her father and circumambulate it in an extremely shocked condition. She used to throw herself on the grave and take a handful of dust from it and rub it over her eyes and face and smell it and kiss it and derive some comfort from it. At that time she used to weep in excess and in a mournful recite the following lines of poetry:
“What surprise if one who smell the dust of Ahmad had refrained from smelling any fragrance all the life.
Such calamities have befallen me that if they had fallen on days they would have turned into nights.
Say to the one who is concealed beneath layer of dust if you can hear my plea and entreaty.
I was in the refuge of Muhammad in such a way that I never saw hardship or problems as he was my embellishment.
And today in front of the debased ones I am being oppressed and I cannot say anything due to the grief and to remove our oppressors.
Thus just as the pigeon weeps in grief at night on the branches, I weep during the day.
After I have made grief my companion and made it my habit to weep in your separation.”****
** Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 1/242
These couplets accurately describe the true picture of grief and sorrow of Lady Zahra (s.a) because they speak of the emotions that beset her on the passing away of her father. A father who had so much love and regard for her and she also loved him more than anything else. And if her killing pains had fallen on days they would have removed their embellishments from them...
These sorrowful lines describe her status and position during the lifetime of her father. Her Eminence was the most loved and respected lady among the Muslims. However after the passing away of her father the people did not take into consideration her position and they united in disregarding her status. So much so that Her Eminence had to face injustice from those debased persons and taking care to protect her veiling (purdah) she announced the oppressions to which she was subjected and she defended herself because there was no one who could defend effectively or speak on her behalf.
Her Eminence took refuge in weeping and grief till she became one of the ‘Five most weeping ones’ as they were the ones who expressed their grief in this life. And the pain and sorrow of Her Eminence at the death of her father was so severe that when Anas bin Malik sought permission to give condolence to her on the great tragedy and he was of those who had participated in the Prophet’s burial. Her Eminence asked him, “Are you Anas bin Malik?” “Yes, O, daughter of the Messenger of Allah (s),” replied Anas. Her Eminence spoke with a heavy heart and asked him, “O Anas, how did you yield yourselves to strew dust on Allah’s Messenger (s)?”
Anas left his statement incomplete and he came out weeping and devastated in grief.
The Prophet’s beloved daughter insisted to her cousin, His Eminence Amirul Momineen (‘a) to show her the dress of her father, the Messenger of Allah (s) in which he was given the funeral bath.
His Eminence brought the dress to Fatima. She took the dress in her hands, smelt it and then kissed it because she found in it the fragrance of her father that she had been taken away from her and lay in the everlasting place of rest she put the garment on her eyes and her heart was splitting up in grief and it was as if she has lost consciousness...
The Prophet’s daughter continued to weep and lament in the light of the day and the darkness of the night and the remembrance of her farther remained fresh with her all her brief life after the Prophet’s passing away. Such was the intensity of her lamentation that many people were disturbed by it so much that they petitioned Amirul Momineen (‘a) to ask Her Eminence, Zahra to (‘a) limit her lamentations to a particular time.
** “The five who wept too much” Implying Adam, Yaqoob, Yusuf,
Ali bin al-Husain and Fatima (s.a.). This meaning is given in Bihar:
12/164. 12/311. 82/86
** Ibne Majah, Sunan, 1/522, Asqalani, Al-Mawahibut Daniyah 4/563
Amirul Momineen Ali (‘a) spoke to Her Eminence and she accepted it. During the day she used to go to the outskirts of Medina with her two sons. She sat under the shade of a tree and lamented on her father day and night. When the sun was about to set, Hasan and Husain (‘a) used go with their father and bring her home while she used to be in agony. Those people went out and cut off that tree and Her Eminence had to sit under the sun to lament for her father. Therefore Amirul Momineen (‘a) constructed a dwelling for her and named it “Baitul Ahzan” (the house of sorrows) so that the memory of her grief may endure for a long time. It is related from His Eminence, the Qaim of Aale Muhammad that he said regarding that house:
“Have you seen me? No, by His greatness that after the Baitul Ahzan was happiness ever seen in our house?”
The beloved daughter of the Messenger of Allah (s) spent her days in that house of sorrows and lamented on her father addressing him in isolation and wept bitterly in her grief. When night fell, Ali (‘a) used to go and along with her two sons brought her home.
The grief affected the dear daughter of the Messenger of Allah (s) so deeply that she was afflicted with such a terrible illness that she became confined to her bed and did not have any strength to stand up on her feet. Thus some Muslim ladies went to visit her and said to Her Eminence, “O daughter of the Messenger of Allah (s), how do you feel today?”
Her Eminence looked at them in a forlorn manner and spoke in a soft voice full of sorrow, “I am sick of your world and pleased at your separation with sadness, I go for the meeting with the Lord and His Messenger. Neither was our right protected nor our position respected nor the will in our favor was accepted and neither our sanctity observed…”
A fearful silence fell upon those women and a severe grief beset their features. Their eyes filled with tears and they went to their homes in a slow gait. They told their husbands what the Prophet’s daughter had mentioned. The effect of her words was more severe than the strokes of a sword because they realized their shortcomings regarding the memory of their Prophet (His daughter).
Some wives of the Messenger of Allah (s) went to visit her and said, “O daughter of the Messenger of Allah (s)! Let us help you take a bath.”
Her Eminence did not accept their offer, “Do you want to say the same thing that you say about my mother? I do not need anything from you.”
The remembrance of the Prophet brought such severe illness that the weak physique of Lady Fatima completely weakened in such a way that she did not have strength remaining in her to even get up from her bed. She was slowly withering
** Yaqubi, Tarikh 2/95
away like a flower deprived of moisture because death was approaching her fast while she was yet in her early youth. The time of her meeting with her father was near. The father who had separated from her and along with him were gone the affection and kindness he had showered her with.
It became obvious that she was soon to say farewell to the world. She summoned her cousin, Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) and stated her bequest to His Eminence which among other points had express instructions that her holy mortal remains should be consigned to the dust in the darkness of the night and that none of those who had oppressed her be allowed to attend the funeral because they were her enemies and enemies of her father as Her Eminence has stated. She also told His Eminence that after she had passed away he must marry Amamah because she would be able to take care of Hasan and Husain the most beloved ones to Lady Fatima. She told His Eminence to keep the place of her burial secret so that the symbol of her anger which was unexplainable may remain for all days for the future generations.
The Holy Imam assured that all her instructions shall be carried out and the grief and sorrow of Her Eminence was dispelled.
The Prophet’s beloved daughter told Asma binte Umais, “I do not like the way the funeral of ladies is carried out.” Because they used to cover the mortal remains of a female with only a cloth. Thus anyone who glanced at her could easily make out the shape of her body. Her Eminence did not like this and she said that an enclosed bier be constructed for her so that when she is being taken to her grave no one shall be able to discern the shape of her body. Hence Asma made a bier as per her instructions because she had seen a similar device in Abyssinia when she resided there.
When Her Eminence saw it she was pleased and she smiled. This was the first time she had smiled after the passing away of her father.
On the last day of her life, Her Eminence was seen to be slightly comfortable and she expressed her happiness because she knew that it was the day she would be joined with her father.
Hence she gave bath to her two sons and prepared a meal for them that would suffice them that day and then she told them to go and visit the tomb of their grandfather. She glanced at them for the last time and her heart was filled with pain of grief and sorrow.
Hasan and Husain departed with a sort of uneasiness in their hearts. They had a terrible premonition which caused them sadness and grief. The beloved daughter of the Prophet then glanced at Asma binte Umais who was appointed to nurse her, and said, “O mother!”
“Yes, O beloved of the Messenger of Allah (s)?” replied Asma.
** Hakim, Mustadrak 3/162
Fatima said, “Prepare bathing water for me.”
She arose and brought the water for Her Eminence and she took a bath. Again she told Asma to bring her new dress to her.
Asma brought her dress and again Lady Fatima told her, “Arrange my bed in the middle of the house.”
Asma became greatly worried and she began to tremble because she knew that the time of death of the Prophet’s daughter was near.
Asma provided her with whatever she had desired. Her Eminence rested on her bed and turning towards the Qiblah (Prayer direction) she softly called out to Asma, “O mother, when I am gone away, no one should remove my clothes as I have purified myself.”
Then she began to recite the verses of the Holy Quran till her soul departed to unite with her Maker and the lofty soul ascended to her Lord so that she may meet her father. Such a father that after whom she did not like to live.
That soul hastened towards Paradise and pleasure of the Almighty. Such a soul that none had seen anyone like her in the whole universe. Who had no equal in loftiness, purity, merit and greatness. By her death, the surviving child of the Holy Prophet (s) departed from the world of existence.
Hasan and Husain returned but did not find their mother. They rushed to Asma and asked her about their mother but she was weeping. She told them, “O my masters, your mother has passed away, go and inform your father.”
This news fell upon them like a bolt of lightning. They rushed to their departed mother and Hasan threw himself upon her saying, “O my mother, speak to me before my soul leaves my body.”
And Husain (‘a) threw himself on her while he was weeping and saying, “O my mother, I am your son, Husain. Speak to me before my heart bursts.”
Asma kissed them and comforted them and told them to immediately go their father and convey the news to him.
The two boys went out to the mosque of their grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (s) and when they came near the mosque their wails raised up.
Muslims came forward to welcome them as they thought that the children were weeping in the memory of their grandfather. So they told them, “O sons of the Messenger of Allah (s), what has made you weep? May be seeing the tomb of your grandfather you have become eager for him.”
They replied, “No, it isn’t so. But our mother, Fatima, has passed away.”
Imam Amirul Momineen (‘a) was devastated by the news and it shook his whole being. He said, “daughter of Muhammad, from whom shall we seek comfort? I used to derive comfort from your presence. Now after you who can comfort me?”
Immediately be hastened to his house while tears flowed from his eyes. When he
saw the mortal remains of the Prophet’s beloved daughter, the following couplets came on his lips,
“For every friendship there is separation. And what is other than that is less.
And it is that I have lost Fatima after the Prophet, it proves that no companionship is everlasting.”
People rushed towards the Imam’s house to pay condolence for the Prophet’s daughter because by the passing away of Her Eminence the last of the pillars of prophethood had gone. The demise of Lady Zahra reminded them of the love and kindness of the Prophet for them. Wails and lamentations rocked the town of Medina.
Imam told Salman Farsi to inform the people that the burial of the Prophet’s daughter has been postponed to that night. The people dispersed from there.
Ayesha came forward and entered the Imam’s house to see for the last time the Prophet’s daughter. But Asma stopped her saying, “She had told us not to allow anyone to her…”
When a part of the night had passed Imam (‘a) arose and gave the funeral bath to the purified body. Asma, Hasan and Husain were with him and his heart was drowned in a deep sorrow. And after he shrouded Her Eminence, he called his children who were not yet satiated by the love of their mother so that they may see her for the last time while earth was shaking with their lamentations…
After the farewell, the Imam knotted the shroud and when the last part of the night arrived he arose and performed the funeral prayer for Her Eminence. Then he told the persons of Bani Hashim and his close friends to carry the blessed body to the eternal placed of repose and except for his trusted confidants and family members, he did not inform anyone else. Then he placed Her Eminence in the grave and strew dust on her. Then he stood besides the grave and tears flowed from his eyes with such propensity that the earth was becoming wet with them. He uttered the following words describing his shock and grief:
“O Messenger of Allah (s), peace be upon you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you. O Messenger of Allah, my patience about your chosen daughter has been exhausted and my power of endurance has weakened, except that I have ground for consolation in having endured the great hardship and heart-rending event of your separation. I laid you down in your grave while your last breath had passed (when your head) was between my neck and chest. Verily we are Allah’s and verily unto Him shall we return. Now the trust has been returned and what had been given has been taken back. My grief knows no bounds, and my nights will remain sleepless till Allah chooses for me the house in which you are now residing. Certainly your daughter would apprise you of the joining together of your people for oppressing her. You ask her in detail and get all the news about the position. This happened when a
** Ibne Shahr Aashob, Manaqib 3/365
long time had not elapsed and your remembrance had not disappeared. My salutation be on you both, the salutation of a grief stricken not of a disgusted or a hateful person; for if I go away it is not because I am weary (of you) and if I stay it is not due to lack of belief in what Allah has promised the endurers.”
These statements were filled with mortal grief and deep sorrow and they complained to the Prophet about the pains and afflictions that befell his beloved daughter. Imam (‘a) requested the Messenger of Allah (s) to inquire from his daughter directly about the tortures she had to bear in the short period she lived after his passing away.
In the same way His Eminence announced his personal grief at the passing away of the Prophet’s beloved daughter. Because it was such a terrible tragedy for him that the flames of grief were never to cool for him, till he meets the Lord.
The Holy Imam (‘a) came away from the grave of Lady Fatima not due to his desire or something detestable. He did so in order to promote the Islamic teachings that emphasized patience on every tragedy.
The Imam returned home in remorse to find his children weeping severely in the sorrow of their mother and this scene renewed his own grief. His Eminence preferred to keep away from the people and not to participate in any of their activities because they had turned away from him. Hence he also decided to leave them on their own and they did not involve him in any of their affairs but when they used to become helpless in some matter and had no solution for their problem they were compelled to rush to His Eminence that they may gain something from his knowledge.
It is natural that for children the most terrible tragedy is the passing away of their mother because by this they see all the aspirations of their life destroyed.
Imam Husain (‘a) witnessed great tragedies during his early childhood that had befell his mother. These afflictions had a deep impact on his psyche. These events made it clear to him what the people intended and what their aims were and that they were not inclined towards truth, rather they were in pursuit of greed and selfish desires.
Officials and Governors of Abu Bakr
The official machinery of Abu Bakr worked according to the advice of Umar Ibn Khattab because he had the trust of Abu Bakr in matters of external and internal programs of the regime. No decision was ever taken and no official was ever appointed without the consent of Umar.
He used to appoint only those at the position of governorship of various areas and provinces whom he considered loyal to the regime. And if he even slightly doubted the loyalty of any person he did not entrust him with even the most minor government post.
** Muhammad Abduh, Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/182
Historian says, “Abu Bakr deposed Khalid bin Saeed bin Aas from the commandership of the army that had been dispatched for the conquest of Syria only because Umar had advised thus. Though Khalid otherwise had all the necessary qualification, his only drawback was his sympathies for Ali (‘a) and his opposition to the selection of Abu Bakr at Saqifah.”
Abu Bakr did not consider any person from the Bani Hashim for any sort of post and appointment and Umar in his conversation with Abbas has revealed the real cause of this deprivation. It was that he feared that in case he died and someone from the Hashemites became a ruler in part of the Islamic lands, an absolutely undesirable condition will develop in the matter of caliphate.
In the same way he deprived the Ansar from government posts and it was due to their excessive leanings towards Ali (‘a). However, the majority of officials and governors of the regime belonged to the Bani Umayyah clan. Some of them were as follows:
1 – Abu Sufyan: He was appointed as the governor of the area consisting of the farthest limits of Hijaz up to the last limits of Najran.
2 – Yazid bin Abi Sufyan: He was appointed as the governor of Syria. Historians say: He escorted him till the outskirts of Medina.
3 – Itab bin Usaid: Abu Bakr appointed him as the governor of Mecca.
4 – Uthman bin Abil Aas: He was designated as the governor of Taif and from that day the star of the Umayyads began to ascend. And they regained their existence that they lost – when Islam was at its zenith.
Observers have expressed amazement at the policy of Abu Bakr to sideline the Hashemites from every sort of official position and instead to shower every kind of favor on members of the Umayyad clan who had opposed the Prophet and confronted His Eminence in every situation.
Alaili says: The Teem clan did not gain anything by the success of Abu Bakr. Only the Umayyad clan derived all the benefits and they shaped the government according to their ways and their politics they considered favoritism and partiality as a norm while they were distant from rulership, as Maqrizi has stated in his book, An-Niza Wat-Takhasum.****
Diplomatic capability and skills in the fields of administration and government was present in numerous people from the Muhajireen and Ansar among the companions
** Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/58-59
** Muruj az-Zahab (Printed on the margins of Ibne Athir) 5/135
** Balazari, Futuh al-Buldan, Pg. 103
** Ibne Athir, Kamil 2/403
** Al-Isabah 2/444
** Ibne Athir, Kamil 2/421
** Al-Imam al-Husain, Pg. 191
of the Prophet and it would have been best if they had been entrusted the government posts and the Umayyad clan had been kept away from official posts so that the Islamic society had remained safe their intrigues and mischiefs.
Economic Policies of Abu Bakr
Before we speak about the economic policies of Abu Bakr we would like to discuss in brief about the economic system devised by Islam which was aimed at the eradication of poverty, fighting deprivation and initiation of economic progress so that all the people are able to live a life of economic prosperity in such a way that they do not have to face any sort of economic hardship
The most important principal advocated by Islam was that the ruler must observe absolute precaution with regard to public funds. They were under no circumstance allowed to take anything from public property. And they were also not permitted to spend any of the public funds for strengthening their rule and their personal power.
The general aim of this principle was to establish equality among the Muslims and the ruler had no right to prefer some over others because such a thing would have given rise to class difference and it would have created divisions in the general economy and the society would have become fraught with numerous ills and calamities.
Historians say, “Abu Bakr in distribution of public funds among the Muslims, observed equity and in this field he did not deviate from the Prophet’s practice. However there are some instances that are opposed to this. Because first of all from the charity funds he controlled, he spent a considerable amount to purchase the loyalty of Abu Sufyan. And he also distributed a part of public funds among the Muhajireen and Ansar and sent an amount through Zaid bin Thabit to a lady from Bani Adi. The lady was amazed at this and she asked, “What is this?”
They replied, “It is a share that Abu Bakr has distributed to women.”
She said, “Are you bribing me for religion? By Allah, I shall not accept anything from it. Return it to him.”
These were some of the objections that the critics of the economic policies of Abu Bakr have stated.
Entrusting the Caliphate to Umar
Abu Bakr’s rule did not continue for a long time. Hardly two years had passed when illness beset him and he decided to transfer the caliphate to his confidant and supporter, Umar Ibn Khattab. However, this was severely opposed by many companions. Among them all, Talha addressed him saying, “What would you say to your Lord? When you are making a hard-hearted and ill-tempered man as a ruler over us? As everyone hates him and are fed up with him.”
** Tabari, Tarikh 3/318
** Sharh Nahjul Balagha 2/53
** Sharh Nahjul Balagha 1/164
Abu Bakr became silent and Talha proceeded with his objection and said, “O Caliph of the Messenger of Allah (s), we did not bear that ill-tempered man in your life, while you used to restrain him. Then what shall be our condition when you die and he becomes the caliph?” **
Numerous Muhajireen and Ansar rushed to Abu Bakr and announced, “We see that you have appointed Umar a caliph upon us while you know about him and are aware of his ill deeds among us and that also in a period when you were among us. Then what would happen when you are no more among us? You are proceeding to meet Allah, the Blessed and the Sublime. What would you say in reply?”
Abu Bakr replied, “If the Almighty asks me, I would say that I have appointed as caliph over them one who was the best of them in my view…”
According to some research scholars it would have been better if Abu Bakr had taken into consideration the feelings of the absolute majority of Muslims and he should only have followed the opinion of the majority. Or after consulting the experienced persons he should have formed a consultative committee so that it may select anyone as a caliph. But he surrendered to his personal feelings that were imbued with an unprecedented regard for Umar. And in order to gauge the view of the people he asked Mauqib Doosi, “What do the people say regarding the appointment of Umar as Caliph?”
He replied, “Some oppose it and some support it.”
Abu Bakr further inquired, “Those who oppose are more or those who support it?”
He replied, “Those who oppose it are in majority.”
Thus Abu Bakr ignored the opposition of the majority to his appointment of Umar and he imposed him upon them against their wishes. He did not leave them free to choose a candidate for caliphate.
Anyway Umar always remained with Abu Bakr during the latter’s illness lest that someone may try to influence his decision.
Umar further strengthened the statement and view of Abu Bakr with regard to his appointing him as caliph, “O people, listen and obey the commands of the caliph of the Messenger of Allah (s).”
Abu Bakr commanded Uthman bin Affan to draw up a document appointing Umar as caliph. Uthman wrote as he dictated. It was as follows:
“This is the will of Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Qahafa. It is his last will of his life when he is about to leave the world and it is his first will of the Hereafter when he is about to enter it. Know that! I have appointed Umar Ibn Khattab as the caliph upon you.
** Sharh Nahjul Balagha 6/343 (Published by Daar Ahya
** Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/25. Tabari 3/433
** Al-Aadaab ash-Shariyah wal Minhal Mariyah 1/42
** Tabari, Tarikh 3/429
Thus if you find him equitable it is what I expect and hope from him. If he does otherwise and changes it, I have only intended good and I am not aware of the unseen:
“…and they who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back.”
Abu Bakr signed the document and gave it to Umar. Umar took it and rushed to the mosque in order to read it to the public. A person, who was amazed at his condition, asked, “O Abu Hafs! What is written in this document?”
Umar expressed ignorance about its content but he emphasize that it was for his personal benefit. He said, “I don’t know, however I am the first one who listened and obeyed…”
The man glanced at him while he was aware of the reality of the matter and said, “But by Allah, I know what it contains. In the beginning you made him the chief and he is giving you the rulership this year.”
Umar rushed to the mosque and read the commandment to the people and in this way; the caliphate became established for him without any problem or opposition. Except that it greatly aggrieved Amirul Momineen (‘a) and His Eminence, years after that, described his distress in the following words in the sermon of Shiqshiqya:
“So I adopted patience although there was pricking in the eye and suffocation (of mortification) in the throat. I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one went his way but handed over the Caliphate to Ibn al-Khattab after himself.”
(Then he quoted al-A’sha’s verse):
“My days are now passed on the camel’s back (in difficulty) while there were days (of ease) when I enjoyed the company of Jabir’s brother Ayyan.
It is strange that during his lifetime he wished to be released from the caliphate but he confirmed it for the other one after his death. No doubt these two shared its udders strictly among themselves…”
The above words describe the level of the sorrow and pain of His Eminence regarding the trespassing of his rights and how they had destroyed it and once it was usurped by the Bani Teem and then by Bani Adi and they completely disregarded the struggle of His Eminence in support of Islam and they ignored his status with the Messenger of Allah (s).
Once, the illness of Abu Bakr took a serious turn and it herded him towards his imminent end where every man has to ultimately go. He confessed about his regret
** Surah Shoara 26:227
** Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/24. Ibne Saad, Tabaqat 3/429. Tabari, Tarikh 3/429
** Al-Imamah was Siyasah 1/25
** Nahjul Balagha 1/26-27
and pain regarding his injustice towards the beloved daughter of the Prophet in the following words, “I wish I had not opened the house of Fatima even though it had been closed against us.”
He similarly wished that he had asked the Messenger of Allah (s) regarding the inheritance of paternal aunt and niece…
When he became serious and his daughter, Ayesha came to him and found him in the throes of death she recited the following couplets:
“By your life, the wealth of man does not benefit one who is involved in the throes of death.”
Abu Bakr became angry and said to her. “Say: ‘And the stupor of death will come in truth; that is what you were trying to escape.’”()()
Not much time passed but that he reached his imminent end. His friend, Umar performed his last rites and gave him the funeral bath and recited the funeral prayer on him. Then he buried him in the quarters of the Prophet next to the Prophet’s grave.
The critics among the Shias say: If this house was from the heritage of the Prophet, because there is no tradition that states that the Prophet had bequeathed it to Ayesha the same rule should have been followed like they did in the case of the inheritance of the Purified Progeny in the matter of Prophet’s inheritance. On the basis of this Abu Bakr’s burial in that house was not lawful except with the permission of the Prophet’s Progeny. And the permission of Ayesha is of no avail because she does not have a share in the inheritance of land, she is only entitled to a share in the constructed house. [That is she can reside in it as long as she lives or she may take an equivalent amount and go away]. This is in accordance to what the jurists have stated about the inheritance of the wife. And when the Prophet’s house had been added to Public Property on the basis of what Abu Bakr had narrated from the Prophet that: We Prophets do not leave any inheritance. Rather they leave the Book and wisdom as inheritance. And whatever they leave is charity for the common Muslims. In such a case it was necessary to take the permission of common Muslims for burying Abu Bakr in that house. While it is obvious that nothing of this sort was done.
In any case, the brief caliphate of Abu Bakr became the cause of numerous shocking trends and the most terrible of these was the sidelining of the Purified Progeny and considering them as ordinary people. They were removed from the sphere of respect and reverence that the Prophet had designated for them and they were subjected to all sorts of atrocities and hardships while the ruling caliphs considered themselves as representatives of the Prophet and thought that they were more qualified for this position than others. And that controversy of Abu Bakr with
** Surah Qaf 50:19
** Ibne Athir, Tarikh 2/422
the Ahle Bayt (‘a) which created differences and spread mischief and disunity among the Muslims became the cause of regimes that followed the reigns of the caliphs. They oppressed the Ahle Bayt (‘a) and dealt with them with utmost mercilessness and cruelty. And perhaps the worst calamity that they had to bear was the tragedy of Kerbala in which no right of the Messenger of Allah (s) was taken into consideration with regard to his Progeny and his sons.