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Ali (a.s.) During the 3 Previous Khalifas. A.S. Hashim, MD From Sources of Reference. ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Ibn Qutaybah, Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. "Ali". Madelung, Encyclopaedia of the Holy Prophet and Companions Tabatabaei, Lapidus,

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ali a s during the 3 previous khalifas

Ali (a.s.)During the 3 Previous Khalifas

A.S. Hashim, MD


sources of reference
Sources of Reference
  • ibn Jarir al-Tabari,
  • Ibn Qutaybah,
  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. "Ali".
  • Madelung,
  • Encyclopaedia of the Holy Prophet and Companions
  • Tabatabaei,
  • Lapidus,
  • The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
  • Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid
  • Dakake
  • Nahj Al-Balagha, Sermon 3
  • Holt, P.M.; Lambton, Ann K.S.; Lewis, Bernard. Cambridge History of Islam.
  • Watt, William Montgomery. Muhammad at Mecca. Oxford University Press.
in this slide show
In this Slide Show
  • Ali during Abu Bakr’s Reign
  • The Allegiance
  • Claims and Counterclaims
  • Ali’s Conviction
  • Fadak: Inheritance
  • Wells of Ali آبار علي
  • Ali during Omar’s Reign
  • Ali during Uthman’s Reign
  • Ali and Uthman
  • Uthman’s Dilemma
  • Ali: Election as Khalifa
  • The Pledge to Ali
after muhammad at saqifa
After Muhammad: at Saqifa
  • Having unified Arabia into a single polity, Muhammad's death in 632
    • signaled disagreement over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community.
  • While Ali and the rest of Muhammad's close family were washing his body for burial,
    • at a gathering attended by a small group of Muslims at Saqifa,
    • Abu Bakr was nominated by Omar for the leadership of the community.
    • Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first Khalifa.
    • The choice of Abu Bakr was hotly disputed by some of the Muhammad's companions,
    • who held that Ali had been designated his successor by Muhammad himself.
ali during abu bakr s reign
Ali during Abu Bakr’s Reign
  • The Allegiance
  • Claims and Counterclaims
  • Ali’s Conviction
  • Fadak: Inheritance
  • Wells of Ali آبار علي
  • The Quran in Chronological Orderحسب ترتيب النزول
the allegiance
The Allegiance
  • Following Abu Bakr’s election to the Khilaafah,
    • Abu Bakr and Omar with a few other companions headed to Fatima's house
    • to obtain homage from Ali and his supporters who had gathered there.
    • Later on, it is alleged that Omar threatened to set the house on fire unless they swore allegiance to Abu Bakr.
    • Then Omar pushed the door on Fatima, who was behind it.
    • Fatima was pregnant at the time.
    • It is said this led to her miscarriage of a baby boy (Muhsin).
the allegiance1
The Allegiance
  • When Abu Bakr's selection to the Khilaafah was presented as a fait accompli,
    • Ali withheld his oaths of allegiance until after the death of Fatima.
    • Ali did not actively pursue his own right
    • because he did not want to throw the nascent Muslim community into strife.
    • As he mentioned that in his Khutba about the Khilaafah

أَمَا وَالله لَقَدْ تَقَمَّصَها فُلانٌ، وَإِنَّهُ لَيَعْلَمُ أَنَّ مَحَلِّيَ مِنهَا مَحَلُّ القُطْبِ مِنَ الرَّحَا، يَنْحَدِرُ عَنِّي السَّيْلُ، وَلا يَرْقَى إِلَيَّ الطَّيْرُ،

By Allah he had dressed himself with it (the Khilaafah) and he certainly knows that to it my station is as central as the axis to the hand-mill. My rank is such that it is too high for a bird to reach or water to drown.

this contentious issue
This Contentious Issue
  • This contentious issue led Muslims to later split into two groups,
    • Sunni and Shi'a.
  • Sunnis assert that even though Muhammad never appointed a successor,
    • Abu Bakr was elected first Khalifa by the Muslim community.
    • The Sunnis recognize the first four Khalifas as Muhammad's rightful successors.
  • Shi'as believe that Muhammad explicitly named Ali as his successor at Ghadeer Khum
    • and Muslim leadership belonged to him
    • which had been determined by Divine order.
claims and counterclaims
Claims and Counterclaims
  • The two groups (Sunni and Shi'a) also disagree on:
    • Ali's attitude towards Abu Bakr, and the
    • two Khalifas who succeeded him: Omar and Uthman.
  • Sunnis tend to stress:
    • Ali's acceptance and support of their rule,
  • While the Shi'a claim that:
    • Ali distanced himself from them, more or less,
    • and that he was kept from fulfilling the religious duty
    • Which Muhammad had assigned to him.
claims and counterclaims1
Claims and Counterclaims
  • Sunnis maintain that if Ali was the rightful successor as ordained by God Himself,
    • then it would have been his duty as leader of the Muslim nation
    • to make war with these people (Abu Bakr, Omar and Uthman) until Ali established the decree.
  • Shi'a retort that Ali did not fight Abu Bakr, Omar or Uthman,
    • because firstly he did not have the military strength
    • and if he decided to fight, it would have caused a civil war amongst the Muslims.
    • Ali also believed that he could fulfill his role of Imamah without this fighting .
ali s conviction for khilaafah
Ali’s Conviction for Khilaafah
  • Ali himself was firmly convinced of his legitimacy for Khilaafah
    • based on his close kinship and his intimate association with Muhammad,
    • and his knowledge of Islam,
    • and his merits in serving Islam’s cause.
  • Ali told Abu Bakr that his delay in pledging allegiance (bay'ah) as Khalifa:
    • was based on his belief of his own prior title, that Khilaafah belonged to him.
    • Ali did not change his mind when he finally pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr and then to Omar and to Uthman
    • but Ali had done so for the sake of the unity of Islam,
    • at a time when it was clear that the Muslims had turned away from him.
ali s conviction for khilaafah1
Ali’s Conviction for Khilaafah
  • According to historical reports, Ali maintained his right to the Khilaafah and said:
    • By Allah the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr) dressed himself with it (the Khilaafah)
    • and he certainly knew that my position in relation to it was the same as the position of the axis in relation to the hand-mill...
    • I put a curtain against the Khilaafah and kept myself detached from it...
    • I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one went his way but handed the Khilaafah over to the second one…
    • See Slide #8 above (Ali: Sermon of Shiqshiqiyah).
after the prophet the aftermath
After the Prophet: The aftermath
  • Ali Under pressure to give allegiance to Abu Bakr
  • Fatima campaigns for Ali
  • Fatima gives a stirring speech at the Masjid of the Prophet
  • Fatima’s health deteriorates fast
  • Tough times:
    • Financially
    • Politically
    • At home
fadak inheritance
Fadak: Inheritance
  • After Muhammad died his daughter, Fatima, asked Abu Bakr to turn over their property, which was the means of their livelihood. It was:
    • the lands of Fadak and Khaybar but Abu Bakr refused.
    • Abu Bakr told her that prophets leave no legacy, and Fadak belonged to the Muslim community.
    • Abu Bakr said to her, "Allah's Apostle said, we do not have heirs, whatever we leave is Sadaqah."
    • When Abu Bakr requested Fatima to summon witnesses for her claim.
    • Ali together with Umm Ayman testified to the fact that Muhammad granted it to Fatima, yet Abu Bakr insisted not to return Fadak.
    • Fatima became angry and stopped speaking to Abu Bakr, and continued with that attitude until she died.
life after muhammad
Life after Muhammad
  • Another part of Ali's life started in 632 after death of Muhammad and:
    • It lasted until the assassination of Uthman Ibn Affan, the third Khalifa in 656.
  • During these years, Ali:
    • neither took part in any battle or conquest,
    • nor did he assume any executive position.
    • He withdrew from political affairs, especially after the death of his wife, Fatima.
    • He used his time to serve his family and worked as a farmer.
    • Ali dug a lot of wells and gardens near Medina and endowed them for public use.
    • These wells are known today as Abaar Ali آبار علي ("Ali's wells").
ali tutoring and freeing slaves
Ali: Tutoring and Freeing Slaves
  • At night Ali was initially busy in tutoring Ibn Abbas, Al-Hasan, and Al-Husain.
  • During daytime Ali worked to earn his livelihood.
    • Ali spent his money as needed
    • What is left, was used to buy a slave.
    • Ali bought one slave per one week
    • Then Ali set the slave free.
    • Throughout his life Ali bought then freed 1,000 slaves.
  • At the same time Ali started compiling the Holy Quran.
the quran
The Quran
  • Ali compiled a complete version of the Quran, Mus'haf.
    • During the six months after the death of the Prophet.
    • The volume was completed and carried by camel to show to other people of Medina.
    • It was at the time of Ridda wars and the mobilization for it.
    • So people were not interested at the time.
      • It would have been extremely important in understanding the Quran’s incredible effect on the psychology of society
      • Since it shows step by step the order of the revelations, that can be correlated with the events
    • This Quran was entrusted with the Imams that followed Ali.
    • It is not available today, neither his other books.
ali and the rashidoon khalifas
Ali and the Rashidoon Khalifas
  • Ali did not give his oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr
    • until some time after the death of his wife, Fatima.
    • Ali participated in the funeral of Abu Bakr
    • Ali did not participate in the Ridda Wars, was not asked to participate
    • Nor was Ali involved in any administrative job.
  • Ali pledged allegiance to the second Khalifa Omar
    • He helped Omar as a trusted advisor.
    • Khalifa Omar particularly relied upon Ali as the Chief Jurisprudent and Judge of Medina.
    • Ali also advised Omar to set Hijrah as the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
    • Omar used Ali's suggestions in political issues as well as religious ones.
ali during omar s reign
Ali during Omar’s Reign
  • Ali’s writings during Abu Bakr and Omar’s Khilaafah
  • The electoral council
  • Ali and the Rashidoon Khalifas
  • Ali: Sermon of Shiqshiqiyah
  • When Shura was intended for Uthman
ali during omar s reign1
Ali during Omar’s Reign
  • Ali finishes off writing Tafseer of the Quran
    • It is called Mus’haf Fatima, in honor of his wife
    • This Tafseer is in 3 Volumes.
    • It was left with the Imams, and is not available nowadays.
  • Ali writes the wealth of Hadith:
    • Called Saheefa of Ali: Consists of 570 Hadith.
  • Ali starts writing the Ah'kaam
  • Al-Hasan, preteen, helps his father in the writing
  • Omar marries Ali’s daughter: Umm Kulthoom
  • Ali continues to buy then free one slave per week (about 520 during Omar's Reign).
ali s writings during abu bakr and omar s khilaafah
Ali’s writings during Abu Bakr and Omar’s Khilaafah:

Corpus of Knowledge at the time consists of the following:

Quran in chorological order حسب ترتيب النزول

Tafseer (Mus’haf Fatima)

Hadith (Saheefa of Ali)


Ali’s Writings during Abu Bakr and Omar’s Khilaafah:
ali and the rashidoon khalifas1
Ali and the Rashidoon Khalifas
  • Ali was one of the electoral council to choose the third Khalifa which was appointed by Omar.
    • Although Ali was one of the two major candidates,
    • but the council's arrangement was against him.
      • Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas and Abdul Rahman bin Awf (who were cousins),
      • and were naturally inclined to support Uthman,
      • Besides, Uthman was Abdul Rahman's brother-in-law.
    • Omar gave the casting vote to Abdul Rahman.
ali and the rashidoon khalifas2
Ali and the Rashidoon Khalifas
  • Abdul Rahman offered the Khilaafah to Ali on the condition that
    • he should rule in accordance with
      • the Quran,
      • the example set by Muhammad,
      • and the Sunnah Established by the First two Khalifas.
    • Ali rejected the third condition while Uthman accepted it.
    • According to Ibn Abi al-Hadid's Comments on the Peak of Eloquence Ali insisted on his prominence there, but most of the electors supported Uthman
    • and Ali was reluctantly urged to accept him.
in sermon 74 when shura was intended for uthman
In Sermon 74,When Shura was intended for Uthmanلمّا عزموا على بيعة عثمان:
ali during uthman s reign
Ali during Uthman’s Reign
  • Ali and Uthman
  • Wilferd Madelung
  • Ali’s writings during the 3 Khalifas
  • Uthman’s Dilemma
  • Ali versus Uthman
ali during uthman s reign1
Ali during Uthman’s Reign
  • Ali advises Uthman at first
    • Uthman was attentive to Ali’s advice during the first few years
    • Uthman appoints Marwan as Secretary General
    • Then Uthman listen less attentively to the advice of many Sahaaba, including Ali.
  • Ali detects a mellow ruler in Uthman
  • Al-Hasan and Al-Husain are married
  • Al-Hasan and Al-Husain in North Africa's campaign against the Byzantine. They reach Carthage in Libya to-day.
  • Carthage battle decisive, Muslims victorious
ali and uthman
Ali and Uthman
  • There is controversy among historians about the relationship between Ali and Uthman.
  • Although pledging allegiance to Uthman,
    • Ali disagreed with some of Uthman’s policies.
    • In particular, he clashed with Uthman on the question of religious law.
    • He insisted that religious punishment had to be done in several cases such as Ubaid-ul-Allah ibn Omar and Walid ibn Uqba.
    • In 650 during pilgrimage, Ali confronted Uthman with reproaches for his change of the prayer ritual.
ali and uthman1
Ali and Uthman
  • When Uthman declared that he would take whatever he needed from the income to the Public Treasury (fey‘),
    • Ali exclaimed that in that case the Khalifa would be prevented by force.
  • Ali endeavored to protect some Companions from the:
    • Arrogant mistreatment by Uthman toward several of the earliest companions such as:
    • Abu Dhar al-Ghafari,
    • Abd-Allah ibn Mas'ood, and
    • Ammar ibn Yasir.
  • This mistreatment provoked outrage among some people.
wilferd madelung
Wilferd Madelung
  • But Wilferd Madelung rejects the judgment of some that Ali encouraged the revolt against Uthman
    • due to the fact that Ali did not have the Quraish's support to be elected as a Khalifa.
  • According to him, there is even no evidence
    • that Ali had close relations with rebels who supported his Khilaafah,
    • nor directed their actions.
  • Other sources say Ali had acted as a restraining influence on Uthman without directly opposing him.
  • However Madelung narrates Marwan told Zainul Abideen, the grandson of Ali, that:
    • No one [among the Islamic nobility] was more temperate toward our master (Uthman) than your master (Ali).
ali during uthman s reign2
Ali during Uthman’s Reign
  • Ali finishes writing Al-Ah'kaam
  • Ali writes the Jafr:
    • White Jafr (About life of the Prophets)
    • Red Jafr (About rules and etiquette of war)
  • It is said that Ali also wrote the Quran text as we read it nowadays:
    • Ali compares the Quranic text he wrote with the one written during Khilaafah of Uthman. Surahs were the exact replica.
ali s writings during the 3 khalifas
Ali’s writings during:

Abu Bakr,

Omar, and

Uthman’s Khilaafah:

Corpus of Knowledge consists of the following:

Quran in chorological order حسب ترتيب النزول

Tafseer (Mus’haf Fatima)

Hadith (Saheefa of Ali)



White Jafr: Prophets and early times

Red Jafr: Rules of war in Islam

Ali’s writings during the 3 Khalifas
uthman s dilemma
Uthman’s Dilemma
  • Uthman Ibn Affan, expressed generosity toward his kin, Benu Umayya,
  • who seemed to dominate him:
    • They also supported his arrogant mistreatment toward several of the earliest Companions such as
      • Abu Dhar al-Ghafari,
      • Abdullah ibn Mas'ood and
      • Ammar ibn Yasir
    • This provoked outrage among some groups of people.
  • Dissatisfaction and resistance against Uthman openly arose since 650-651 throughout most of the empire.
uthman s dilemma1
Uthman’s Dilemma
  • The dissatisfaction with Uthman’s rule and the governments appointed by him
    • was not restricted to the provinces outside Arabia.
  • When Uthman's kin, especially Marwan, gained control over him,
    • the noble companions including most of the members of elector council,
      • turned against him or
      • at least withdrew their support
    • putting pressure on the Khalifa to mend his ways and reduce the influence of his assertive kin.
ali versus uthman
Ali versus Uthman
  • At this time, Ali had acted as a restraining influence on Uthman without directly opposing him.
  • On several occasions Ali disagreed with Uthman in the application of the Hudud (Religious boundaries);
    • he had publicly shown sympathy for Abu Dhar al-Ghafari
    • and had spoken strongly in the defense of Ammar ibn Yasir.
    • He conveyed to Uthman the criticisms of other Companions
    • and acted on Uthman's behalf as negotiator with the provincial opposition who had come to Medina;
  • because of this some mistrust between Ali and Uthman's family seems to have arisen.
  • Finally Ali tried to mitigate the severity of the siege by his insistence that Uthman should be allowed water.
ali election as khalifa
Ali: Election as Khalifa
  • Circumstances of Ali’s Election
  • Ali: Election as Khalifa
  • Ali: Sermon of Shiqshiqiyah about his election
  • The Pledge to Ali
  • Ali’s Works: During the 3 Pervious Khalifas
circumstances of ali s election
Circumstances of Ali’s Election
  • Ali was Khalifa between 656 and 661,
    • during one of the more turbulent periods in Muslim history,
    • which also coincided with the First Fitna (Sedition).
  • Uthman's assassination meant that rebels had to select a new Khalifa.
    • This met with difficulties since the rebels were divided into several groups comprising the Muhajiroon, Ansaar, Egyptians, people from Kufa and Basrah.
    • There were three candidates: Ali, Talha and al-Zubair.
    • First the rebels approached Ali, requesting him to accept being the Khalifa.
    • Some Companions tried to persuade Ali in accepting the office,
    • but he turned down the offer, suggesting to be a counselor instead of a chief.
ali election as khalifa1
Ali: Election as Khalifa
  • Talha, Zubair and other Companions also refused the rebels' offer of the Khilaafah .
  • Therefore, the rebels warned the inhabitants of Medina to select a Khalifa within one day,
    • or they would apply drastic action.
    • In order to resolve the deadlock, the Muslims gathered in the Mosque of the Prophet on June 18, 656 to appoint the Khalifa.
    • Initially Ali again refused to accept; simply because his most vigorous supporters seem to be the rebels.
    • However, when some notable Companions of Muhammad, in addition to the residents of Medina, urged him to accept the offer, he finally agreed.
the pledge to ali
The Pledge to Ali
  • According to Abu Mekhnaf's narration, Talha was the first prominent companion who gave his pledge to Ali,
  • Talha and Zubair later claimed they supported Ali reluctantly.
  • Regardless, Ali refuted their claims:
    • insisting they recognized him as Khalifa voluntarily.
  • Wilferd Madelung believes that:
    • force did not urge people to give their pledge
    • and they pledged publicly in the mosque.
the pledge to ali1
The Pledge to Ali
  • While the overwhelming majority of Medina's population as well as many of the rebels gave their pledge,
    • some important figures or tribes did not do so.
    • Benu Umayya, (kinsmen of Uthman),
      • fled to the Iraq and Syria (Levant) or
      • remained in their houses, later refusing Ali's legitimacy.
    • Sa‘ad ibn Abi Waqqas was absent
    • and Abdullah ibn Omar abstained from offering his allegiance,
    • but both of them assured Ali that they would not act against him.
in conclusion
In Conclusion
  • Ali during the 3 previous Khalifas
    • Ali during Abu Bakr’s Reign
    • The Allegiance
    • Fadak: Inheritance
    • Ali during Omar’s Reign
    • Ali during Uthman’s Reign
    • Uthman’s Dilemma
    • Ali: Election as Khalifa
    • The Pledge to Ali
thank you

Be in God’s Care

Dr. A.S. Hashim