The day of Saqeefa
When Abu Bakr stretched his hand to be paid homage as the caliph after the Prophet (S), some people paid him homage willingly and others - later on - paid homage unwillingly although they knew well that the Prophet (S) had entrusted his brother and cousin Ali bin Abu Talib (S) with the caliphate after him. They had seen the Prophet (S) and heard him mentioning this matter many times since the beginning of his prophethood until the end of his blessed life. The Prophet (S) had mentioned this tradition in different ways and all of them were clear in declaring that ‘Ali (as) would be the caliph after him.
Whoever wants to know more details about this subject, let him refer to our book “al-Muraja’at”, in which we have mentioned a full research on these traditions and all what have been said about them by the two sects; the Shia and the Sunni. We have exchanged deliberations with the sheikh of Islam and the teacher of the ulama Sheikh Saleem al-Bishri al-Maliki, the sheikh of al-Jami’ al-Azhar (al-Azhar University) at that time when I have been studying there.He was then the sheikh (dean) of al-Azhar University. He took much care of me as he always did to his students.
Saqeefa means a shed. They (most of the Prophet’s companions) have gathered in the shed of Bani Sa’ida on that day to determine that caliphate after the Prophet (S).) interpreting some prophetic traditions according to their own opinions without caring for anything else.
Hashem was the Prophet’s ancestor.) With reference to the clear traditions mentioned in the reliable books of traditions; those traditions that have made the Prophet’s progeny as the equal of the Qur'an to be the example that must be followed by the men of understanding. Refer to Muslim’s Sahih (book of Hadith), at-Tarmithi’s Sahih, an-Nassa’iy’s Sahih, Ahmad’s Musnad, at-Tabarani in his al-Kabeer, al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, ath-Thahabi’s Talkhees al-Mustadrak, Ibn Abu Shayba’s Sunan, Abu Ya’la’s Sunan, Ibn Sa’d’s Tabaqat and many others. For details refer to muraja’a no.8 in our book “al-Muraja’at”.) Referring to the Prophet’s saying: “My family is security for my Ummah from being separated. If a tribe of the Arabs objects to them, it will separate and then become the party of Iblis”. Refer to al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, vol.3 p.149.) Referring to the Prophet’s saying: “The example of my progeny among you is like the Ark of Prophet Noah. Whoever rides on it will be saved and whoever lags behind it, will drown”. Refer to al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, vol.3 p.151.) Referring to the Prophet saying: “The example of my progeny is like the Ark of Prophet Noah. Whoever rides on it will be saved and whoever lags behind will drown. The example of my progeny among you is like the gate of repentance of the Israelites. Whoever enters into it will be forgiven”. Mentioned by at-Tabarani in his al-Awsat.)
Ansar means helpers: the people of Medina, who had assisted (and believed in) the Prophet (S) and his companions when had emigrated from Mecca.) One of the greatest tribes in Medina.The other greatest tribe in Medina.
Muhajireen means the emigrants: the first Muslims, who had emigrated from Mecca to Medina.
This was the meaning of Imam Ali’s saying “You have argued about the tree but lost the
fruit”. Al-Fadhl bin al-Abbas said, as narrated by az-Zubayr bin Bukar in his Muwaffaqiyyat and mentioned in Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2 p.8: “O people of Quraysh and especially you Bani Taym,
you have taken the caliphate by means of the prophethood whereas we are its people rather than you but if we ask for this matter, which is our right, people will hate us more than to hate the
others because of their envy and grudge towards us. We have known well that our man (Imam Ali) has a covenant that must be carried out.”
Otba bin Abu Lahab said, as mentioned in Mukhtasar of Abul Fida’ and in the last page of vol.2, Sharh Nahjul Balagha:
I have not thought that the matter (caliphate) will be turned away
From Hashem (the Hashemites) and then from Abu Hasan (Ali)
Was he not the first who had offered prayers toward your Qibla
And the most aware of the Qur'an and the Sunna among all people,
And the closest one to the Prophet and to Gabriel
When helping him (Gabriel) in washing and preparing his coffin? He has had nothing to be doubted
And none of them has had a bit of his virtues What made them deny him? Let us know
It was injustice that no else was greater than
Az-Zubayr bin Bukar, when mentioning these verses in his al-Muwaffaqiyyat, said: “…Ali sent for him (Otba bin Abu Lahab) and ordered him not to say such a thing again and said to him: “The safety of religion is more important for us than anything else”. Az-Zubayr also mentioned in al-Muwaffaqiyyat as in Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2 p.7 that once Abu Sufyan had passed by Ali’s house. He stopped before the house and recited:
O Bani Hashem, do not let people deem you weak Especially Taym bin Murra and Adiy
For the matter is just among you and for you No one deserves it save Abu Hasan Ali
O Abu Hasan, be determined for it
For you are the only well-qualified one for the hoped matter
nor was he afraid on the day of the cave
nor hid himself on the day of al-Fareesh
nor was he deposed on the day of Bara’a
nor was he led behind in a prayer
a young man who has not got a root from Taym bin Murra nor from the evil Abdul Lat
an imam of guidance who preferred the others to have his disc of bread
and so the red disc of the sun was returned white to him
Gabriel competed with him under the garment
How many cases like this one Umar had done! One of them, for example, as mentioned by the historians, was: “Once Uyayna bin Hissn and al-Aqra’ bin Habiss came to Abu Bakr and said to him: “There is a piece of inarable land that has neither plant nor any advantage”. Abu Bakr said: “I see to grant it to you that Allah may make it useful”. Abu Bakr asked the people around him: “What do you say?” They said: “It is ok.” He wrote them a book about that. They took the book to Umar to witness on it. Umar took the book from them, spit on it and erased it. They became so angry and said to him bad words. Then they came back to Abu Bakr complaining. They said to Abu Bakr: “By Allah, we do not know who the caliph is, you or Umar!” Abu Bakr said: “It is he!” Umar came and stopped before Abu Bakr while he was angry. He said to Abu Bakr: “Tell me about this land that you have granted to these two. Is it yours or it is for the Muslims?” Abu Bakr said: “It is for the Muslims.” Umar said: “So what made you grant it to these two?” Abu Bakr said: “I consulted with the people around me.” Umar said: “Did you consult with all the Muslims and get their consent?” Abu Bakr said: “I have said to you before that you are better than me in this matter (the caliphate) but you forced me to it”. Mentioned by Ibn Abul Hadeed in Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 12 p.108, al-Asqalani in his Isaba when mentioning the biography of Uyayna and it has been mentioned by others.
“Some men said: Malik has done right today. Some men said Malik has not done
I said: Let me alone. I have not done wrong.
I said: Take back your monies.
I am not afraid nor expecting what tomorrow will bring. Here are the monies. They are yours.
I will defend you what you fear with my soul, And I will achieve the truth as I say.
If a right one will undertake the religion,
We will obey and say: the religion is that of Muhammad.”