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The Saqifa of Bani Sa'idah

The Prophet (a.s.) always supported me during his lifetime. He used to introduce me as his successor. In the last time when he appeared to the public, before a massive number of Muslims he introduced me as "Amirul Mo'minin: the commander of the believers", and he asked them to swear me their allegiance and to obey me thenceforth. He asked them to convey that important news to those who were absent on that fateful day.

People knew this fact well and knew that it was I, who had to explain the directions of the Messenger of Allah (a.s.) to the others. I was the commander of his army in all the wars and journeys that we had accomplished together. Therefore, it was a faraway, ridiculous idea that some people wanted to start a fight against me concerning this matter. When the Prophet (a.s.) was ill sometime before his departure to the better world, he directed me to prepare an army and join all the companions to this army under the leadership of Usama ibn Zeyd to fight the Romans.

The Prophet (a.s.) did not want to see any disagreement between the two great tribes of al-Aus and al-Khazraj. He ordered that everybody should go to that war. However, everyone looked at me with anger and grudge, for in the past, I had killed their fathers, brothers, or other relatives in different wars.

Thus, the Prophet had dispatched some people from the Muhajireen, the Ansars, and those whose hearts were made to incline to Islam, but those who had remained near the couch of the Prophet (a.s.) did not say anything, so as not to disturb the Prophet (a.s.) and to prevent any disagreement and rebellion against the command of the Prophet (a.s.).

In fact, the Prophet (a.s.) was very serious about his directions concerning the Muslims to join Usama's army and obey him loyally, so that nobody might stand against his will openly.

When the Prophet (a.s.) passed away, some of the commanders in Usama's army gave up their important positions and clearly disregarded the Prophet's orders. Usama remained lonely and helpless among his soldiers.

All these disobediences and revolts were just for one reason; to return to Medina and break the allegiance that the Prophet (a.s.) had. took from them as to my position as the Commander of the Believers.

They gathered in the Saqifaof bani Sa'idah 1, but did not consult with any of the children of Abdul Muttalib, mor asked me the permission to take off their allegiance paid to me. On that day, I was preparing the Prophet's holy body to be buried, because this thing was much more important than their plots to me.

Oh, my Jewish brother! After the death of the Prophet (a.s.) - and no one, ever since, had filled his empty place in my heart- there came a great suffering for me ... Their conspiracy against me was a very painful betrayal! However, I was patient and did not lose my endurance. Is it not true?"

Everyone said, "Yes, it is true, and you are truly the Commander of the Believers!"

The .Jewish man felt a pain in his heart, when once again, he heard about the sufferings of Ameerol Mo'minin.

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1 Saqifa means "shade". The Saqifa of Bani Sa'idah was a very famous place where people used to meet and to discuss their important affairs and matters of the time.

Adapted from: "The Sufferings of Amirol Mo'minin Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.); Life and Martyrdom" by: "Majid Massoudi"