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Before the Pledge of Allegiance - Part 1

Now, we are discussing a matter. We do not know exactly to what extent the matter was affected by the previous conditions. Still it is enough for us to present some of the social conditions which the Muslims knew for the first time after the death of the Prophet. That is because the Prophet had a strong effect on the selves, a strong power in forming society, and a powerful hand in building the elements of the activity of beliefs.

We are recalling the memories to draw a transient picture here. Thus it is enough for us to take an appropriate thing from every event or to take the suitable events for our subject and leave the others. That is because we want, in the light of this method, to know whether our subject (i e. the Peace Treaty of Al-Hasan) was affected by the previous circumstances or not.

The greatest event in the history of Islam was the death of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family. Thus that heavenly radiation gave this world all good ceased. Suddenly, the world became dark and people began to prepare themselves to commit evil deeds. When the Apostle of Allah may Allah bless be on Him and his family died, the earth seperated from the sky. For the Prophet was the only means between them. Is the earth in no need of the sky? Of course, not. For the sustenance of the earth, its good, its life, its activity, its light, and its religion are all from the sky. This event (the death of the Prophet) would have caused inetnse loneliness in this world and a haevy loss for Muslims. However, the Apostle of Allah may Allah bless Him and his family. was aware that the believers would be tested after Him through facing great misfortunes. The Prophet as kind to the believers. Thus he told them that only one rope would continue the relation between them and the sky. So is there a rope worthier of clinging then the rope of the sky in the time when inspiration has ceased? For this reason, the Prophet, may Allah bless Him and his family, said: " I have left among you that which if you cling to, you shall not go astray fater me: the book of Allah, (which) is the extended rope from the sky the earth, and my family, the members of my house. They (Allah's Book and the Prophet's family) shall not abandon each other till they come to me at the Hawd (the river in Paradise). So think, how will you treat them after me?1

Accordingly, we have the right to base the research, that is between our hands, on these events to conclude the attitude of the community towards the family of the a Prophet, may Allah bless Him and his family, or the attitude of those groups who claimed that they had the right to represent the community. That is because we want to know how that community and those groups treated the family of the Prophet after Him. In the meantime we want to cnclude the appropriate events for our subject. So if the word al-'itra means 'ashira or the kin of the man, then Ali was the most prominent man of them all after Allah's Apostle. If the mentioned word means dhurriya (progeny) then Al-Hasan was the eldest one in the family of the Prophet after Him. For, in Arabic, the word al-itra is used for both ashira (kin) and dhurriya (progeny)

However, after the death of the Prophet, may Allah bless Him and his family, the Muslim community disagreed on the matter of the succession. That is because some Muslims depended on their viewpoints. Some of them cleaved to the clear traditions of their Prophet, who said many traditions conerning nominating the successor after Him. However, this is not the place to mention all these traditions. Meanwhile we do not intend to discuss with those who depended on their personal interpretations, nor do we intend to discuss with thsoe who worshipped Allah according to the clear traditions of their Prophet. For everything on which we agree and disagree with them all or with a party of them ended as it was at its time. The research which we are doing now has nothing to change the adopted ideas.

We do not look for excuses for those who depended on their viewpoint. In spite of their disagreement on the traditions of their Prophet. we say: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family. regarded on their viewpoints treated the Prophet's deputies (the Koran and the Prophet's family) according to their political ideas that meant that they accepted the traditions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family. In other words they thought that the interest should be taken into consideration. Also they thought that obeying the orders of the Prophet the orders of the Prophet was in charge of the experienced old men. If they confirmed what the Prophet wanted, then it was okay. If they did not confirm what the Prophet wanted, they put into effect whatever they wanted.

In this manner the succession was taken from the Prophet's family. In this manner, it was possible or advisable for a great number of those who believed in Mohammad, may Allah bless Him and his family, to give Mu'awiaya the right to compete with the others for the succession of Islam and to produce old- age2 as evidence for it. In the meantime the old men such 'Amru b. al-As, al-Mughira, b. Shu'ba, Abu Hurayra al-Dousi, and the like confirmed his claim. This claim of Mu'awiya, that included disdain at the sacredness of Islam, was not for the first time. Rather it had historical back grounds.3

It is obvious that these historical back grounds led to that an unexpected trend in Medina when the people held a meeting in the Shelter (saqifa) of banu (the sons of) Sa'ida, to find a new rope other than that of the Prophet, may Allah bless Him and his family, in the foregoing tradition. In this connection, Polis Salama said:

Events occured one by one under the Shelter (Saqifa)
They provoled hidden things and inclinations
Tendencies divided like the branches of
The tender boxthron.4

The owner of the right (Imam 'Ali) in the succession adopted an honourable attitude towords his brothers who depended on their viewpoints. His attitude in itself underlined that he wanted to protect Islam from collapse. Also such an attitude underlined that he was the only means or rope between the people and the sky. He (Imam Ali failed for a very short time to pledge allegiance (to Abu Bakr). That is because his Islamic mind showed Him his usurped right. Then he was forced to pledge allegiance.5 Some of his companions asked Him: "How did your people deprive you of this position (caliphate) while you are worthier of it than them?" He (Imam Ali) said: "It was a selfish act on which the hearts of people has become greedy while some people did not care for it. The Arbiter is Allah and to Him is the return on the Day of Judgment. Now leave this story of devastation about which thers is hue and cry."

These words show you that Imam Ali was internally angry but was externally submissive.6

The enemies of Imam Ali have become blind to his light (outstanding merits). In other words the covering of enmity is on their eyes. So they have ignored Him. However, they have not ignored his early Islam, his jihad (struggle), his close relation to the Prophet, his affinity with Him, his brotherhood to Him, his knowledge, and his worship. Moreover, they have not ignored the traditions of the Apostle of Allah may Allah bless Him nd his family, concerning Him. They understood these qualities of his then more than we unerstand them at the present time. However, the enemies of Imam Ali peace be on Him, showed enmity towords Him because of his man outstanding merits, his intense justice, and his sword with which he killed many of them in the fields of the holy battles.
Also Ali's enemies showed enmity towards Him becuase he was in the fourth decade of his age. No wonder, for they thought that the caliph after the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family, should be in the seventh decade of age to be fully experienced.

'Ali's enemies have forgotten that the Imamate in Islam is religion like Prophethood itself. What is permitted in Prophethood is permitted in the Imamate. Also it is not permitted in the Imamate what is not permitted in Prophethood though great. So that is the relatinship between ijtihad (the ability to conclude religious verdicts) and an age when there is a textual nomination? What is the importance of political interests towords Allah's Words and the raditions of his Apostle, may Allah bless Him and his family?. Ali's age when the Prophet died was equal to that of isa b. Maryam (Jesus, Mary's son) when Allah, the Great and Almighty, raised Him (Jesus) to the sky. It was possible for Isa to be a prophet in the earth at such an age. So why was it impossible for Ali to be a caliph at the age of thirty three? Worth mentioning Allah will choose such an age for the people of Paradise on the Day of Judgment. If this age was not the best years of the human being, Allah would not choose it for his servants in the gardens.

Ali's enemies harbored malice against Him because of his close relation to the Prophet, may Allah bless Him and his family. So they hated to see that the Imamate and Prophethood come together in one house. We do not know why the outstanding merit, according to this logic, has caused this malice. We not not know why Ali's close relatins to the Prophet made his enemies prevent Him from taking the reins of the Caliphate.

1. al-Tirmidhi, Kanz al-Umal, vol. 1, p.44, tradition no. 874. There are may tradtions similar to this tradition. For example among them is "I am leaving two caliphs among you: the Book of Allah, (which) is extended between the sky and the earth or (which) is between the sky and the earth, and my family the members of my House, and they shall not abandon each other till they come to me at al-Hawd (the river in Paradise) -(Imam Ahmad, al-Musnad, Al-Tabarani, al-Kabir)

2. Ibn Abu al-Haddid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol,4.p. 13.

3. al-Mas'udi, HasHim b. al-Athir, vol. 6. pp. 78-79. Many of our old poets based their good poems on these historical back grounds. For example, Mihyar al-Daylami referred to them when he said:As for the two evil ones: b. (the sn of ) hind had his son

Even if their affair became tyrannical after fear
They did not create ( anything) in what they had brought.
Rather they followed those ways.
Mirhyar's teacher, al-Sharif al-Radi, may Allah have mercy on, had referred to them
The deed of the latter ones, though rises over
The ugly deed of the early ones, is not more.
al-Kumaiyt had referred to the above mentioned historical back grouds before these two poets:
The bow men hit it (the target) with bow of ther then them
So the later, give Him the trousers.
There are others poetic lines similar to these in meaning.

4. Bolis Salama.

5. Mu'awiya said in what he wrote to Him (Imam Ali) with Abu Imama al-Bahili: "And you failed to pledge allegiance to Him (ie. Abu Bakr) till you were forced to (pledge allegiance ) to Him. you were dragged with the reins of force as the injured camel dragged.

6. Imam Ali, Nahj Al-Balagha, (explained by Mohammad, Abda), vol. 1,p.299

Adopted from the book: "Sulh al-Hasan (a.s.)" by: "Sheykh Radi al-Yasin"

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