Ka'b Interfered In The Caliphate
Ka'b took advantage of 'Umar's good heartedness and used all of his shrewdness to make 'Umar keep Imam Ali away from the caliphate. Ka'b was motivated by his resentment towards Islam and his hatred of Imam Ali. After all, it was Imam Ali who brought the Jewish influence in Hijaz to an end at the battle of Khaybar.
It is amazing that the Caliph had so much confidence in Ka'b. He even sought his advice about the future of the caliphate. Ibn Abbas reported that 'Umar said to Ka'b Al-Ahbar, in the presence of Ibn Abbas, the following:
"I would like to name my successor because my death is near. What do you say about Ali? Give me your opinion and inform me of what you find in your books, because you allege that we are mentioned in them."
"As to the wisdom of your opinion, it would be unwise to appoint Ali as a successor because he is very religious. He notices every deviation and does not tolerate crookedness. He follows only his own opinion in Islamic rules and this is not a good policy.
"As far as our scriptures, we find that neither he nor his children will come to power. And if he does, there will be confusion."
'Umar: Why will he not come to power?
Ka'b: Because he has shed blood and Allah has deprived him of authority. When David wanted to erect the walls of the temple in Jerusalem, Allah said to him: 'You shall not build the Temple because you have shed blood. Only Solomon shall erect it.'
'Umar: Did Ali not shed blood rightly and for the truth?
Ka'b: Amir Al-Mu'minin, David also shed blood for the truth.
'Umar: Who will come to power according to your scripture?
Ka'b: We find that after the Prophet and his two companions (Abu Bakr and 'Umar), power will be transferred to his enemies (the Umayyads) whom he fought for religion.
When 'Umar heard this, he sadly said: "We belong to God and to Him we shall return." Then he said to Ibn Abbas: "Ibn Abbas, did you hear what Ka'b said? By God, I heard the Messenger of God say something very similar. I heard him say:
'The children of Umayyad shall ascend to my pulpit. I have seen them in a dream jumping on my pulpit like monkeys.'
Then the Prophet said that the following verse was revealed about the Umayyads:
"And We made that dream, which We have shown you, only as a test to the people and the cursed tree in the Qur'an . . ." (Ibn Abi Al-Hadid, in his Commentary on Nahj al-Balaghah, conveying from the dictations of Abu Ja'far Muhammad Ibn Habib, part 12, page 81)
This dialogue should alert us to the deceptive and successful attempt on the part of Ka'b to influence future events by satanic suggestions. It contains a great deal of deception which produced many harmful results to Islam and the Muslims. It is very easy to read the following into this dialogue:
(1). Ka'b was very vindictive towards the Imam because he is the one who smashed the Jewish stronghold in the Arabic Peninsula. Ka'b thought, and rightly so, that if Ali was given the leadership, he would remove all Jewish influence from Arab Society. Therefore, Ka'b was very anxious to have the leadership in the hands of the Umayyads who were unconcerned with the future of Islam. They only concerned themselves with the materialistic aspect of this world. In addition, they were as hostile to Imam Ali as Ka'b. The Umayyads and Ka'b considered Ali their common enemy. He had destroyed their leaders in the defense of Islam.
(2). Ka'b said: "Ali is highly religious and he does not close his eyes on any crookedness; nor does he tolerate any deviation from the Islamic path, and this is not a good policy."
Ka'b either forgot or he deliberately deleted from his story the fact that the Messenger was the most religious and most successful head of state in the history of the world.
(3). Ka'b also said that he found in the scripture that neither Ali nor his children would come to power because he has shed blood. In addition, Ka'b said that it is written in the scripture that David did not build the Temple of Jerusalem because he shed blood and that his son Solomon was destined to build the Temple. Ka'b did not mention and he made the Caliph forget that David, in spite of his shedding blood and being prevented from constructing the Temple, came to power and became a ruling king.
The Holy Qur'an declares that Allah said to David:
"Oh David, We certainly have made you a Caliph on earth. You should judge between people rightfully ..." (ch. 28, v.26)
Ka'b also forgot that the great Prophet shed the blood of enemies for the truth. In fact, he led several battles and this did not prevent him from ruling and administering the affairs of the Muslims, nor did it prevent him from building an Islamic state.
(4). Furthermore, Ka'b, by saying that shedding blood prevents coming to power, makes those who endeavor in the name of God less valuable than those who do not endeavor. This contradicts the Holy Qur'an which declares:
"Those believers who sit still, other than those who have a disabling hurt, are not equal to those who endeavor in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives. Allah has conferred upon those who endeavor for religion with their lives and wealth a rank above those who sit (at home). And to each, Allah has promised good, but He has bestowed on those who strive a great reward above the sedentary: degrees of rank from Him, and forgiveness and mercy. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Merciful." (ch. 4, v.95)
It would be illogical to think that Allah commands people to endeavor in His way, then punishes the endeavorers by preventing them from coming to power.
(5). It is curious that Ka'b claimed that the Jewish scriptures mention that Islamic leadership would pass from the Prophet and his two companions to his enemies. There is no mention of anything pertaining to this in the Old Testament, in spite of the fact that Ka'b had said to Qays Ibn Kharshah: "There is no place on earth that is not mentioned in the Old Testament, along with the events which will happen at that place until the Day of Judgement."
Ka'b actually did not find in his Jewish scriptures any of the events he fabricated. He only stole what he overheard from the companions of the Prophet. Companions, including 'Umar, reported that the Messenger said:
"Banu Umayyah shall climb on my pulpit, and I have seen them in a dream jumping on the pulpit like monkeys."
It is amazing that the Caliph heard these words from the Messenger of God and still did not suspect that Ka'b had stolen them and ascribed them to Jewish scripture. Furthermore, Ka'b said that he found in Jewish books that power will be transferred, after the Prophet and his two companions, to the Prophet's enemies. This did not occur. The caliphate passed to 'Uthman after 'Umar, and 'Uthman was not an enemy of the Prophet. He was an outstanding companion. Furthermore, after 'Uthman, contrary to what Ka'b had predicted, the caliphate passed to Imam Ali.
It is more amazing that the Caliph heard all the false statements which Ka'b attributed to the Old Testament and did not even command Ka'b to show him the Jewish Book from which he received his information.
The Second Caliph, with all his prominence, righteousness, and intelligence, took the word of Ka'b as if it came from Heaven and was inevitable. He forgot that the matter of his successor was in his hands. It was entirely up to him to choose Imam Ali or any other person. It was expected that the Second Caliph would please the Prophet by preventing the Umayyads from coming to power after seeing the Prophet deeply disturbed over his dream in which the Umayyads were jumping on his pulpit like monkeys. One word from 'Umar could have changed the course of history.
The Second Caliph could have appointed Ali as a successor and prevented the Umayyads from coming to power. Unfortunately, he kept the Imam away from the caliphate by forming a committee of six members, most of whom were unfriendly to Ali and friendly to 'Uthman, the righteous Umayyad, who was extremely attached to his clan. Contrary to what was expected, however, the Second Caliph did that which Ka'b liked and the Prophet disliked.
Thus, a Jew, newly converted to Islam, claiming that he had knowledge of what was in the past and what will be in the future, was able to change the course of Islamic history through his influence on a prominent caliph, 'Umar. What a historic catastrophe!
Adapted from the book: "The Shi'ites Under Attack" by: "Imam Muhammad Jawad Chirri"
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