Ali ibn Abi Talib’s participation in the Shura and the collapse of Shi’ism

Imagine a king, a rightful king, who got dethroned by a bunch of thugs who conspired against him and eventually usurped his rights (and killed his wife and unborn child in the process of all of that).

Now imagine that very king (who apparently was nothing but an obstacle from day one for the hypocrites who dethroned him) suddenly being literally welcomed and invited by the very same thugs and usurpers, from the first one to the last, to be a major respected member in an election process where the next…king! Yes, the next king was elected.

Would any king with an atom of self-respect join such an election consultation? Of course not. Surely, if at all, the king in our story would only join such a gathering to publically lambast his usurpers and claim his usurped rights, for a rightful king would never participate in an election farce when God Himself is on His side. If anything, him participating gives legitimacy to the election consultation (Shura) of his usurpers.

Also, why on earth would so-called evil usurpers even care about the person whom they worked hard to dethrone? Most people did not support the king anyway and gladly paid allegiance to the new king.

Sounds like a bizarre and silly story and an absolute insult to the king who is portrayed as a spineless fool? Well, guess what, the king above is the Twelver Imamite Shia narrative of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضي الله عنه).

Most Shi’ites have never pondered upon the fact that ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) willingly participated in the Shura of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman (who deemed him as a worthy candidate, of course, nobody believed that anybody is infallible and was appointed by Allah), not only that, he also did so without any criticism, let alone claiming to be appointed as the caliph and Imam at Ghadir, being infallible, that all Prophets were sent with his so-called Wilayah (divine authority) and other Rafidi nonsense.

Shias will resort to fabrications (Shaqshaqiyyah report, which is a fabrication) and ignore a plethora of narrations, including reliable ones in Nahjul-Balagha such as:

Or the following narration that has caused all Shia (Twelver and Zaydis) headache and thus they come up with footnotes longer than ‘Ali’s (رضي الله عنه) own words (in order to dilute them and distort them):

(ومن كتاب له عليه السلام إلى معاوية) إنه بايعني القوم الذين بايعوا أبا بكر وعمر وعثمان على ما بايعوهم عليه، فلم يكن للشاهد أن يختار ولا للغائب أن يرد، وإنما الشورى للمهاجرين والأنصار، فإن اجتمعوا على رجل وسموه إماما كان ذلك لله رضى، فإن خرج من أمرهم خارج بطعن أو بدعة ردوه إلى ما خرج منه، فإن أبى قاتلوه على أتباعه غير سبيل المؤمنين وولاه الله ما تولى

Verily, the people who payed allegience to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman, have payed allegience to me based on the same principles as the allegience to them. So anyone who was present has no right to go against his pledge of allegience, and anyone who was absent has no right to oppose it. And verily Shura (consultation) is only the right of the Muhajirs and the Ansar. So if they decide upon a man and declare him their imam, then it is with the pleasure of Allah. If anyone goes against this decision, then he must be persuaded to follow the rest of the people. If he persists, then fight with him for leaving that which has been accepted by the believers. And Allah shall let him wander misguided and not guide him.

[Nahjul-Balaghah, Letter #6]

Ponder over the following facts:

1. Shura belongs to the Muhajirs and Ansars, the very same Muhajir and Ansar Sahaba who elected the previous caliphs.

2. The person (elected by them) is the Imam. The absolute irony here! ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) is referring to a (by men) chosen leader as Imam!

4. The chosen Imam (if done by Shura, no word about Imamah!) is manifested the PLEASURE of Allah! ‘Ali is true with the Qur’an: Quran: {And the first to lead the way, of the Muhajirin and the Ansar, and those who followed them in goodness – Allah is well pleased with them.}. al-Tawbah [9:100]

5. The Shia argument (dilution of ‘Ali’s inequivalent beliefs) that ‘Ali was merely using principles and beliefs that Mu’awiyah claimed to be upon (Shura, respecting the Sahabah, especially Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman) is nonsensical if that would be true, ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) would not go out of his way and claim that those who were chosen by the Sahabah as caliphs are the Imams who have earned the pleasure of Allah.

6. Remember, at that time Ali wrote this letter to Muawiya when he was having the leadership and authority over Muslim Ummah, So instead of declaring his divine Imamah and asking to believe in it, why would he affirm the supposedly wrong and evil act of Muhajireen and Ansar to be correct, in order to establish before his opponent that his appoint is valid?

7. In fact, The statement of Ali to Muawiya that Allah is pleased with the action of Muhajir and Ansar, is a clear proof, that Muawiya was not aware of any divine appointment of Ali. Had it been so, then Ali would have asked Muawiya to believe in the divine Caliphate of Ali and would have said that he would force him to believe in it. But since neither Ali nor Muawiya believed in this alien belief of divinely appointed Caliph after Prophet (رضي الله عنه), in Islam, Ali in a simple and straight forward manner demanded that Muawiya should accept Ali  as the fourth Caliph, Like he accepted the first three Caliphs

At most, the Shia can cite is how ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) did not promise to rule according to the Sunnah (standard) of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar at ‘Umar’s (رضي الله عنه) Shura, he only accepted to rule according to the Qur’an and Sunnah according to the best of his abilities, simply due to the fact that he did not want to promise to rule according to the high standards of his beloved predecessors. That’s it, they can never prove that ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) exposed the Sahabah for their man-made Shura. They can never rationally explain why ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) participated in those Shura’s in the first place. You won’t hear from them anything other than Taqiyyah excuses and mental gymnastics in order to explain away ‘Ali’s (رضي الله عنه) actions.

  • Bani Sa’idah Shura:

    Major decision-making Sahaba were present, ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) wasn’t, he got upset initially, but Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) explained himself and ‘Ali never claimed to an infallible Imam and that Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) usurped his rights. This has been explained in detail here>>>.

Location of Saqeefah Bani Saa’idah where Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was elected as the caliph.
Situated 200m west of Masjid-e-Nabwi, the Saqeefah garden belonged to the Banu Sa’idah and is where the Muslims consulted regarding who should be appointed the Caliphate after the demise of the Prophet (ﷺ). It is presently a library.
Confusion reigned among the Sahabah as a result of the devastating impact of the death of the Prophet (ﷺ) and the most significant dispute that arose was choosing the Prophet’s (ﷺ) successor. None of the Sahabah claimed that the Prophet (ﷺ) had already chosen a successor. The Ansar had first gathered at Saqeefah Banu Sa’idah (and not Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, etc. who were surprised. This alone debunks the Rafidi conspiracy and coup d’état theory) people.
The Ansar (Helpers) had gathered at Saqeefah Banu Sa’idah to discuss the question of succession and felt that it should be one of them as they had protected Islam and offered a home for the Prophet (ﷺ) and his companions when they were persecuted by their own people.

Ali (رضي الله عنه) thought that he was within his rights to succeed the Prophet (ﷺ) because he had been close to him from the beginning of his mission, he never claimed infallibility nor being a divinely chosen Imam.
‘Ali did make peace with Abu Bakr by stating: “We know well thy pre-eminence and what Allah has bestowed upon thee, and we are not jealous of any benefit that He hath caused to come unto thee. But thou didst confront us with a thing accomplished, leaving us no choice, and we felt that we had some claim therein for our nearness of kinship unto the Messenger of Allah.”  Then Abu Bakr’s (رضي الله عنه) eyes filled with tears and he said: “By Him in whose hand is my soul, I had rather that all should be well between me and the kindred of Allah’s Messenger than between me and my own kindred”; and at noon that day in the masjid he publicly exonerated Ali for not yet having recognised him as Caliph, whereupon Ali (رضي الله عنه) affirmed the right of Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) and pledged his allegiance to him. (Bukhari)

Shura of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (رضي الله عنه):

Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) consulted the prominent Sahabah before finalizing his nomination and appointment of Umar (رضّى الله عنه) . Before Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) finalized his decision to appoint Umar (رضّى الله عنه), he in fact mutually consulted the prominent Muslims, including Abdur Rahman bin ‘Awf (رضّى الله عنه), ‘Uthman bin Affan (رضّى الله عنه), ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضّى الله عنه), and Talhah ibn Ubayd-Allah (رضّى الله عنه).

We read:

‘At the beginning of Jumada al-Ukhra (13 AH), Abu Bakr caught a fever and its intensity continued unabated for a fortnight. When he grew sure of his last hours drawing near, he sent for Abdur Rahman bin Awf and held consultation (Shura) with him regarding the Caliphate…following this, he called Uthman bin Affan and put the same question to him. He (Uthman) said in reply: “Umar’s internal self is better than his external one; he is superior to us all.” When Ali was consulted, he made almost the same answer. Then came Talhah…

[Tareekh al-Islam, Vol.1, pp.312-313]

In another narration, we read:

‘When ill-health overtook Abu Bakr and the time of his death approached, he summoned Abdur Rahman bin Awf and said: “Tell me about Umar ibn Khattab.” Abdur Rahman replied: “You are asking me about something of which you know better…By Allah, he is even better than the opinion you hold about him.” Then he (Abu Bakr) called Uthman bin Affan and asked him: “Tell me about Umar Ibn Khattab.” Uthman replied: “You know him better than us.” Abu Bakr said: “Still, O Abu Abdullah!” Uthman answered: “Indeed, in my opinion, his inner self is better than his outer self and no one among us can parallel him.”’

[Ibn Saad; Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Vol.3, p.199]

Ibn Saad mentions that Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) then consulted all the prominent leaders of the Ansars and Muhajirs. We read:

‘And he (Abu Bakr), besides these two, consulted Abu al-Awar (Saeed ibn Zayd) and Usayd ibn Al-Hudayr–as well as other big leaders of the Ansar and the Muhajirun–so Usayd said: “Indeed, after you O Abu Bakr, I consider him (Umar) the best. He is happy on happy occasions and sad on sad occasions. His inside is better than his outside. No one is more suited to bear the burden of this Caliphate.”’

[Ibn Saad; Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Vol.3, p.199]

During the process of Shura, it was only Abdur Rahman bin Awf (رضّى الله عنه) and Talhah (رضّى الله عنه) who raised any objections to Umar (رضّى الله عنه), but then Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) countered these points of contention, and then Abdur Rahman (رضّى الله عنه) and Talhah (رضّى الله عنه) both agreed with Abu Bakr’s rebuttal, so the matter was settled. As for Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) and Ali (رضّى الله عنه) , they both favored Umar (رضّى الله عنه).

Therefore, it is established that the principle of Shura was very much involved in the nomination of Umar (رضّى الله عنه); the prominent representatives–including all the major figures of the Ansars and Muhajirs–selected Umar (رضّى الله عنه) after mutual consultation. Furthermore, Umar (رضّى الله عنه) secured the “consent of the governed”. We read:

…[Abu Bakr] said addressing this audience:

“I have not appointed any relative of mine as Caliph, and I have not installed ‘Umar as Caliph on my own. I have rather done it only after holding consultations with men of sound judgment. Are you then agreed to his being your Caliph?”

Hearing this, they (the masses) said: “We all agree with your choice and opinion.”

Following this, he (Abu Bakr) said: “You should then carry out ‘Umar’s orders and obey him.”

[Tareekh al-Islam, Vol.1, pp.313-314]

We read:

Abu Bakr looked out over the people from his enclosure while Asba b. Umays was steadying him with tattoed hands. He said (to the people): “Will you be satisfied with him whom I have left as (my) successor over you…?” They responded: “We hear and obey.”

[The History of al-Tabari, Vol.11, pp.146-147]

Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) would even ask the people’s permission before finalizing his will. After writing in his will that ‘Umar (رضّى الله عنه) was to be the Caliph, he asked ‘Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) to read the will out loud to the people (i.e. the masses) and ask if they approved of it. We read:

(‘Uthman said): “Will you (all) pledge allegiance to the person in whose favor a will has been made in this letter?

The people said: “Yes.” …All accepted and agreed to pledge allegiance to ‘Umar. Then Abu Bakr called ‘Umar in solitude and gave him whatever advice he wanted to.

[Ibn Saad; Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Vol.3, p.200]

So we can see that the matter is not at all as the Shia claim (that Abu Bakr literally designated ‘Umar as his successor. To strengthen their point, the Shia usually cite the following narration:

“If I would appoint my successor, (I would because) one better than me did so. (He meant Abu Bakr.)”

[Sahih Muslim]

This narration doesn’t contradict all the other supportive evidence, they prove that Abu Bakr only did so (appointed) with the agreement of major Sahabah, including Ali (رضي الله عنه) himself.

  • Shura of al-Faruq ,’Umar (رضي الله عنه):

Narrated Amr bin Maymoon:

I saw ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab a few days before he was stabbed in Medinah. He was standing with Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman and ‘Uthman bin Hunaif to whom he said, “What have you done? Do you think that you have imposed more taxation on the land (of As-Swad i.e. ‘Iraq) than it can bear?” They replied, “We have imposed on it what it can bear because of its great yield.” ‘Umar again said, “Check whether you have imposed on the land what it can not bear.” They said, “No, (we haven’t).” Umar added, “If Allah should keep me alive I will let the widows of Iraq need no men to support them after me.” But only four days had elapsed before he was stabbed (to death ).

The day he was stabbed, I was standing and there was nobody between me and him (i.e. ‘Umar) except ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas. Whenever Umar passed between the two rows, he would say, “Stand in straight lines.” When he saw no defect (in the rows), he would go forward and start the prayer with Takbir.

He would recite Surat Yusuf or An-Nahl or the like in the first raka so that the people may have the time to Join the prayer. As soon as he said Takbir, I heard him saying, “The dog (i.e. Abu Lu’lu’ah al-Majoosi, the Shia saint) has killed or eaten me,” at the time he (i.e. the murderer) stabbed him. A non-Arab infidel proceeded on carrying a double-edged knife and stabbing all the persons he passed by on the right and left (till) he stabbed thirteen persons out of whom seven died. When one of the Muslims saw that, he threw a cloak on him. Realizing that he had been captured, the non-Arab infidel killed himself, Umar held the hand of #Abdur-Rahman bin #Auf and let him lead the prayer.

Those who were standing by the side of ‘Umar saw what I saw, but the people who were in the other parts of the Mosque did not see anything, but they lost the voice of Umar and they were saying, “Subhan Allah! Subhan Allah! (i.e. Glorified be Allah).” ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Auf led the people a short prayer.

When they finished the prayer,’ Umar said, “O’ Ibn Abbas! Find out who attacked me.” Ibn ‘Abbas kept on looking here and there for a short time and came to say. “The slave of Al-Mughira.” On that ‘Umar said, “The craftsman?” Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Yes.” ‘Umar said, “May Allah curse him. I did not treat him unjustly. All the Praises are for Allah Who has not caused me to die at the hand of a man who claims himself to be a Muslim. No doubt, you and your father (‘Abbas) used to love to have more non-Arab infidels in Medina.” Al-‘Abbas had the greatest number of slaves. Ibn ‘Abbas said to ‘Umar. “If you wish, we will do.” He meant, “If you wish we will kill them.”

‘Umar said, “You are mistaken (for you can’t kill them) after they have spoken your language, prayed towards your Qibla, and performed Hajj like yours.”

Then ‘Umar was carried to his house, and we went along with him, and the people were as if they had never suffered a calamity before. Some said, “Do not worry (he will be Alright soon).” Some said, “We are afraid (that he will die).”

Then an infusion of dates was brought to him and he drank it but it came out (of the wound) of his belly. Then milk was brought to him and he drank it, and it also came out of his belly. The people realized that he would die. We went to him, and the people came, praising him. A young man came saying, “O chief of the believers! Receive the glad tidings from Allah to you due to your company with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and your superiority in Islam which you know. Then you became the ruler (i.e. Caliph) and you ruled with justice and finally you have been martyred.”

‘Umar said, “I wish that all these privileges will counterbalance (my shortcomings) so that I will neither lose nor gain anything.” When the young man turned back to leave, his clothes seemed to be touching the ground. ‘Umar said, “Call the young man back to me.” (When he came back) ‘Umar said, “O son of my brother! Lift your clothes, for this will keep your clothes clean and save you from the Punishment of your Lord.” Umar further said, “O ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar! See how much I am in debt to others.” When the debt was checked, it amounted to approximately eighty-six thousand. Umar said, “If the property of ‘Umar’s family covers the debt, then pay the debt thereof; otherwise request it from Bani ‘Adi bin Ka’b, and if that too is not sufficient, ask for it from Quraish tribe, and do not ask for it from any one else, and pay this debt on my behalf.”

‘Umar then said (to ‘Abdullah), “Go to ‘Aisha (the mother of the believers) and say: “’Umar is paying his salutation to you. But don’t say: ‘The chief of the believers,’ because today I am not the chief of the believers. And say: “’Umar bin Al-Khattab asks the permission to be buried with his two companions (i.e. the Prophet رضي الله عنه, and Abu Bakr).”

‘Abdullah greeted ‘Aisha and asked for the permission for entering, and then entered to her and found her sitting and weeping. He said to her, “’Umar bin Al-Khattab is paying his salutations to you, and asks the permission to be buried with his two companions.”

She said, “I had the idea of having this place for myself, but today I prefer ‘Umar to myself.” When he returned it was said (to ‘Umar), “’Abdullah bin ‘Umar has come.” ‘Umar said, “Make me sit up.” Somebody supported him against his body and ‘Umar asked (‘Abdullah), “What news do you have?” He said, “O chief of the believers! It is as you wish. She has given the permission.” U’mar said, “Praise be to Allah, there was nothing more important to me than this. So when I die, take me, and greet ‘Aisha and say: “’Umar bin Al-Khattab asks the permission (to be buried with the Prophet (ﷺ) ), and if she gives the permission, bury me there, and if she refuses, then take me to the grave-yard of the Muslims.”

Then Hafsa (the mother of the believers) came with many other women walking with her. When we saw her, we went away. She went in (to ‘Umar) and wept there for sometime. When the men asked for permission to enter, she went into another place, and we heard her weeping inside.

The people said (to ‘Umar), “O chief of the believers! Appoint a successor.” ‘Umar said, “I do not find anyone more suitable for the job than the following persons or group whom Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) had been pleased with before he died.”

Then ‘Umar mentioned: Ali, Uthman, AzZubair, Talha, Sad and Abdur-Rahman (bin Auf)”

Then ‘Umar said, “’Abdullah bin ‘Umar will be a witness to you, but he will have no share in the rule. His being a witness will compensate him for not sharing the right of ruling. If Sad becomes the ruler, it will be alright: otherwise, whoever becomes the ruler should seek his help, as I have not dismissed him because of disability or dishonesty.”

‘Umar added: “I recommend that my successor takes care of the early emigrants; to know their rights and protect their honor and sacred things. I also recommend that he be kind to the Ansar who had lived in Madinah before the emigrants and Belief had entered their hearts before them. I recommend that the (ruler) should accept the good of the righteous among them and excuse their wrong-doers, and I recommend that he should do good to all the people of the towns (Al-Ansar), as they are the protectors of Islam and the source of wealth and the source of annoyance to the enemy. I also recommend that nothing be taken from them except from their surplus with their consent. I also recommend that he do good to the ‘Arab bedouin, as they are the origin of the ‘Arabs and the material of Islam. He should take from what is inferior, amongst their properties and distribute that to the poor amongst them. I also recommend him concerning Allah’s and His Apostle’s protectees (i.e. Dhimmis) to fulfill their contracts and to fight for them and not to overburden them with what is beyond their ability.”

So when ‘Umar expired, we carried him out and set out walking. ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar greeted (Aisha) and said, “’Umar bin Al-Khattab asks for the permission.” ‘Aisha said, “Bring him in.” He was brought in and buried beside his two companions. When he was buried, the group (recommended by Umar) held a meeting.

Then Abdur-Rahman said, ” Reduce the candidates for rulership to three of you.” Az-Zubair said, “I give up my right to Ali.” Talha said, “I give up my right to Uthman,” Sa’d, ‘I give up my right to ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Auf.” Abdur-Rahman then said (to ‘Uthman and ‘Ali), “Now which of you is willing to give up his right of candidacy to that he may choose the better of the (remaining) two, bearing in mind that Allah and Islam will be his witnesses.”

So both the sheikhs (i.e. ‘Uthman and ‘Ali) kept silent. ‘Abdur-Rahman said, “Will you both leave this matter to me, and I take Allah as my Witness that I will not choose but the better of you?” They said, “Yes.” So ‘Abdur-Rahman took the hand of one of them (i.e. Ali) and said, “You are related to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and one of the earliest Muslims as you know well. So I ask you by Allah to promise that if I select you as a ruler you will do justice, and if I select ‘Uthman as a ruler you will listen to him and obey him.” Then he took the other (i.e. ‘Uthman) aside and said the same to him. When ‘Abdur-Rahman secured (their agreement to) this covenant, he said, “O ‘Uthman! Raise your hand.”

So he (i.e. Abdur-Rahman) gave him (i.e. Uthman) the solemn pledge, and then Ali gave him the pledge of allegiance and then all the (Madinah) people gave him the pledge of allegiance.