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Imam Ali (as) stays at home

It was said beforehand that many great men of Mecca, especially those who had grudge against Muhammad (s) obstinately, were killed in the battle of Badr by the sword of Imam Ali and that there were a few houses that did not lose a relative by Ali’s sword; therefore they were not so pleased with him.

On the other hand, many notable companions of the Prophet (s) were jealous of him because of his great valor for Islam, especially because that he was highly esteemed by the Prophet. Therefore these reasons made him stay at home.

Abu-Sufyan was the leader of the commercial caravans of Koreish before the advent of Islam. He carried on trade between Mecca and Syria. After the battle of Badr he was the commander of all the expeditions that moved towards Medina fighting against Islam. Finally, in order to save his life, he became a Muslim before the Prophet when Mecca was going to be conquered by the Muslims. He was too much proud and obstinate and he would look down on everybody. He was out of Medina when the Prophet died and as soon as he knew that the Muslims paid homage to Abu-Bakr, he became furious and went, having a proposal, to meet Abbas, the Prophet an Ali’s uncle. He said to him: “The people have entrusted the caliphate to Taym (Abu-Bakr's family) neglectfully and they have deprived the Hashemites (the Prophet's family) of their right and then Umar, this hot-tempered of Adiy (Umar’s family) will rule over us. Let us go to Ali and ask him to come out and get his legal right.”

They came to Imam Ali (s). Abu-Sufyan said to him: “Give me your hand to pay homage to you and if anyone disagrees, I will fill all the streets of Medina with cavalrymen.”

This was the best opportunity for Imam Ali (s) if he was greedy for the authority (on the contrary to Umar's saying that Ali was greedy for the caliphate) or if he would have liked to submit to his own whim, when Abu-Sufyan, a man of power with the support of his crowding tribe, he would have agreed with him. But Imam Ali (s) did not accede to Abu-Sufyan's request because:

1. His proposal was not based on religious feelings and what had made him to offer this proposition was only partisanship for his family and tribe. He was, by nature, a wicked man and Imam Ali (s) knew him well.

2. In this present situation if Medina became the center of a civil war and the place of a dispute for the caliphate, then most people, very likely, would apostatize and consequently the name of Islam would be forgotten for ever.

3. The dissent which arose between the Ansar and the Muhajirun concerning the caliphate was an occasion for the hypocrites to abolish Islam by mischief and talebearing.

Therefore Imam Ali (s) preferred to wait for a good opportunity when the circumstances would become suitable. For this reason he did not give his hand to receive homage and Abu-Sufyan was reasoned into compliance.

The silence and renouncement of Imam Ali indicated his wise policy to prevent dissent and apostasy among the Muslims. Recently some of Egyptian writers 24 have stated an opinion that, undoubtedly, Imam Ali had preference over all of the other companions from all points of view and they have added that: “If Imam Ali (s) had assumed the rein of government immediately after the Prophet (s), the fate of the Muslims would have been much better than what it is today.”

Mahmood Al-Aqqad wrote in his book Abqariyyatul Imam: “Although the virtuousness, purity, science and merits of Imam Ali (s) was superior to all other companions, the Prophet (s) did not present him clearly as his successor and he granted the authority to the Muslims to choose the caliph.” But al-Aqqad ignored that Umar received the caliphate by the will of Abu-Bakr and Umar himself vested this authority with a committee of six persons.

The Islamic scholar, Dr. Kiali Halabi, in his letter to al-Ameeni, the author of al-Ghadir, said: “The history of Arabia is nothing except the history of Islam. The Arabs have neglected their duty to compose and teach their history (Islamic history) because what is taught under the name of Islamic history is neither scientific nor free from partiality and it is full of private motives.

That, which had been written by the historians at the time of the Umayyads and the Abbasids, was not free from showing partial views and most of it had deviated from the truth, because of material interests or for fear of being suppressed by the authority. Moreover, the modern critics are not able to unveil the facts and the real causes of the events and to discover the historical connections among them, whereas the aim and the required result of history is to discover such causes and connections.

The world of Islam is always in need of the scientific study of history in order that the Muslims may know what events were behind the great victories achieved at the first part of the Islamic history and what motives moved them.

The Muslims have to know what services the Muslim walis had rendered to the Islamic civilization or what blows they had inflicted upon it. Before all we should know what happenings made the Muslims dissent after the Prophet's death and which party was right in this discord.

What happened to make the Hashemites be deprived of their right? What was the effect of Imam Ali’s seclusion and satisfaction of educating the Muslims only?

When these questions are clarified then what is to be done to achieve the union of the Muslims and to achieve the scientific and politico-economic improvement in the Islamic countries and to make use of this improvement?

Consequently the new generation can clear up what is dark and vague on the pages of the books history and then to follow the example of the policy and behavior of Imam Ali (s), the prime example of humanity, and of his dear sons and followers.

I think that it is necessary for the Islamic scholars to fulfill this duty. The book al-Ghadir is one of those books that have cleared up the dark corners and the ambiguous sentences of the previous careless writers. It is too regretful that many of the previous historians have turned the historical facts upside down and that they have led the contemporary youths astray in connection with the truths. The new generation should know that the honorable Apostle of Islam had definitely presented Imam Ali (s) as his successor and executor of his will, but his companions forgot it and disregarded the Prophet's orders. If they had submitted to his command, the fate of the Islamic world would have been more ordered than what it is now and that the Muslims would have never been involved in dissent and that their unity and consensus would protect them against calamities. Mohammad, the great educator of mankind, wanted successors having efficiency and power of understanding and having courage and prudence. He wanted such men, who were able to be moderate between worldliness and religiousness with the same spirit as the Prophet had. They should direct the people to the right path of the Qur’an and their conduct must be as that of peacemakers. The guardian of the Prophet must be a man, who would never forget rightfulness and the way of God when judging; a man, who would never be feeble when walking in the right way and in achieving justice whether towards his relatives or the others, a man, who-at the time of failure or prevalence-would be masterful against the oppressors and very kind to the helpless, a man, who would be able to decide upon any subject according to wisdom and rightfulness and to be far away from his own desires.

But regretfully, it must be said that the Arabs missed the only historical opportunity they had and they did opposite to the Prophet's will; therefore Islam's losses were great and beyond description.

Islam, at the beginning of its growth, missed all creative power because of disputes and fights, whereas the Muslims could conquer the entire world during a half of the first century of Islam’s inception if they had not struggled against each other.

Now it is necessary for the Islamic scholars to unveil the historical facts and to define the causes of the events and after coming to a reasonable conclusion, they must show the unaware Muslims the deeds, the conduct and the speeches of Imam Ali(s), the best example of humanity. They have to state properly the life and guardianship of the Prophet’s successor and cousin.

Which story is more pleasant than the biography of a man, who lived for the divinity and for spreading the religion of God and who did his best to direct his fellow men to the right path and in the meantime he did not refuse to guide the men of authority (the caliphs Abu-Bakr and Umar) sincerely.

His manly qualities and morals should be emphasized because he was the prime example of Mohammedanism. God had granted him science, ability of interpreting the divine laws and eloquence. He was really the sword of the Prophet against the enemies. He was a man of iron, whose stability and firmness would not become shaky by greed or threat.

He is the Imam, whom we are bound to love and follow. The Holy Qur’an says: (Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives) 42:23. God had purified Imam Ali and his dear sons of every sin.

Nowadays, the world of Islam is seriously in need of knowing the characteristics of this great personage to be taken as a guide and an example. The Muslims have to know that the peerless qualities and spiritual particulars of Imam Ali (s) are the best stimulus for the youths allover the Islamic countries to solve their problems and corruptions.

It is the duty of the Islamic scholars to imitate the writer of al-Ghadir to purify history of the blemishes those previous historians stained it with and to show the glorious life of the Prophet’s successor.”


24. Abdul Fattah Maqsood and Ala'uddeen Karaka, the professors of al-Azhar University, as it was published in Sa'd Magazine and al-Ahram Newspaper.

Adopted from the book : "Imam Ali (a.s.); Sunshine of Civilized Islam" by : "Muhammad Huseyn Tahmasebi"

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