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Ali's (a.s.) Silence over the Caliphate

Ali's silence in the matter of the Caliphate was not due to the absence of friends and supporters, but, out of respect for the wishes of the Holy Prophet; he did not press further his right to the Caliphate.

On hearing the news of the Holy Prophet's death, Abu Sufian came to Medina and, accompanied by Abbas Bin Muttalib, called on Hazrat Ali. He expressed his views Abdul on the Caliphate of Hazrat Abubakr thus: "AM Banff Taira (The tribe of Hazrat Abubakr), cannot rule over US. You are the only one suited to be our Caliph. Make use of this opportunity and wage a war against Abubakr. I swear to submit my allegiance to you and to all assistance that may be required."

Being fully aware of Abu Sufian's evil intentions towards the Holy Prophet and Islam in the past, and finding him opportunist with hatred, greed and racialism in a cheap his breed, Hazrat Ali refused to accept his proposal. Moreover, he knew that to wage a war would be detrimental and not beneficial to the cause of Islam. It was to avoid endangering Islam that he refused to fight against Hazrat Abubakr. So he preferred -to observe complete silence in the matter. (Tareekh Kamil).

Even if Abu Sufian had not offered his assistance to him for over-throwing the Caliphate of Hazrat Abubakr, and had his aim had not been for the welfare and prosperity of Hazrat Ali could well have taken care of the situation, having the support of the staunch followers of the Ahl-ul-Bait, such as Abu Zar Ghifari, Ammar Yasir, Salman, Miqdad and the other prominent members of the Hashimite family

Before his death on 22nd Iamadi-ul-Akhar 13 A.H., Abubakr nominated Hazrat Omar as his suo- Hazrat cessor, contrary to the principal laws of democracy stressed by the Muslims who had assembled at Saqifa Bani Sa'da.

Thus Hazrat Ali's right was usurped for the second time in succession. In spite of this, he helped the ruling Caliph in religious as well as other matters referred to him and which could not be otherwise solved. So sound were his judgments and his advice based on the Holy Quran that Hazrat Omar ordered, the interpreters of the Verses of the Quran and the traditions of the Holy Prophet to refrain from giving their opinion while Hazrat Ali was amidst them. Hazrat Omar died on 29th Zilhajj, 23 A.H. and Hazrat Osman was elected as the third Caliph by a Council of Electors consisting of six members appointed by the dying Caliph. John Bagot Glubb says in his boo k The Great Arab Conquests, "Osman had been a failure as Caliph. He had proved too weak to control the turbulent and factious spirit of the Arabs, especially at a time when an almost unbroken succession of victories had rendered them more than usually intractable. His was a limited mental outlook, unable to grasp the big issues and dominated by his greedy relatives. He himself lived comfortably and accepted presents, though doubtless ( his primitive luxuries were negligible in comparison with) those of the former rulers of Byzantine and Madain."

Hazrat Ali continued assisting the ruling Caliph with the same perseverance as in the past, until Hazrat Osman was murdered. At this critical moment, when the angry groups of Muslims had besieged the house of Hazrat Osman, no one dared to protect the helpless Caliph.

"But" in the words of Amir Ali in The History of the Saracens, "Osman was bravely defended by Ali and his sons and dependants, and the insurgents had great difficulty in making any impression on the defenders. At last two of the besiegers scaled the wall, and there killed the aged Caliph."

Adapted from: "Ali, The Magnificent" by: "Yousuf N. Lalljee"