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they spread lies against the Sahabi by saying,
"Though it was hadrat Ali's right to become the Khalifa, the three Khalifas divested him of his right by using force. Selman Farisi and five to six other Sahabis remained with hadrat Ali and would not vote for the three Khalifas. They struggled against those cruel people for twenty-five years. For this reason, the three Khalifas and the ten people [who had been given the good news that they would enter Paradise] and thousands of Sahabis who voted for them became disbelievers."
In an effort to make a show of excessive love for hadrat Ali, they mix caliphate into the matter. Thus in this matter also they go beyond the Islamic limits and sink into heretical thoughts. When due attention is paid, it will be seen that they think of caliphate, which is in fact a commandment of Islam, as a means for worldly pomp. Having read about the historical stratagems and intrigues carried on and the murders perpetrated by fathers and sons against one another in their endeavors for sovereignty and presidency, they compare Rasulullah's 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' four Khalifas to them. Histories give a detailed account of how the four Khalifas served humanity. And this is the real import of caliphate.
One day during the caliphate of our master Abu Bakr Siddiq 'radi-allahu anh', hadrat 'Umar saw him carrying a sack of flour on his back, and asked him why he was doing so. His answer was: "Ya 'Umar! Don't I have to earn for my household?" Hadrat 'Umar, admire as he did this answer of the Khalifa's, was surprised at the same time. He proposed that Rasulullah's Khalifa should be paid a salary from the Bayt-ul-mal, that is, from the State budget, so that he could carry out his duty of serving all people in due manner. This proposal was accepted by all the Ashab al-kiram, and it was decided that the Khalifa would be allotted the necessary share from the Bayt-ul-mal. Hadrat Abu Bakr would take from this share only so much as to lead a life equal to that of any average person, returning any extra amount, if there was any. So was the case with the second Khalifa, 'Umar 'radi- allahu anh'. When the Islamic armies conquered the blessed city of Jerusalem and its vicinity, the European States sent forth a very knowledgeable and experienced ambassador to Jerusalem. After an audience with the Khalifa, he went back home with the following report, though his requests had been refused: "He is such a Padishah (king) that, with all his high knowledge and awe-inspiring appearance, he does not have a palace or ornamented attirements.
I paid attention to his clothes. There were eighteen patches on them. It is impossible to stand against such an unadorned hero who is always ready for war." This fact is recorded in the unbiased ones of the records of European histories. The book Masnawi, which is composed of more than forty-seven thousand distichs, by Jalaladdin Rumi [born in Balh city in the Hijri year 604 and passed away in Konya in 672 (C.E. 1273)], has been translated into all the world's popular languages. The book gives the following information: The ambassador sent forth by the Byzantine Emperor arrives in Medina and asks where the Khalifa's palace is.
Shown a cottage, he makes for it, enters the yard, and there he sees the Khalifa, lying on dry land using a piece of stone as a cushion. Hadrat 'Umar Faruq 'radi-allahu ta'ala anh' wakes up and looks at the ambassador, who begins to shudder at the feeling of dread and the verve inspired by this first look.
Then he recovers, talks with the Khalifa, and leaves. As he leaves, the Khalifa's blessed wife gives the ambassador a present, which she has prepared by borrowing eighteen dirhams of silver coins from an acquaintance and which she asks him to take to the emperor's wife. In return, the emperor's wife sends her a very valuable gift ornamented with precious unbelieverels. The Khalifa, who has never done injustice in anything he has done, gives his wife only an eighteen dirham worth silver piece, sending the remainder to the Bayt-ul-mal.
'Umar 'radi-allahu anh' would eat all his meals from an earthenware bowl. One day the Ashab al-kiram 'alaihim-ur-ridwan' begged the Khalifa's daughter hadrat Hafsa and sent her to the Khalifa with he request, "O my father, the Amir of believers! Hadrat Abu Bakr, the first Khalifa, struggled with the munafiqs until his death, so much so that he did not even have time for relief.
Now you have conquered innumerous lands in the east and west. Ambassadors from the world's universal emperors come to you and are fed in your generous kitchen. Mightn't you as well give up those earthenware bowls and use sets of copper or other metal in the presence of these visitors?" This, of course, was the Sahaba's suggestion. Hadrat Khalifa's answer to this was, "O my daughter Hafsa 'radi- allahu anha'! I would chide anyone else for this statement. As I have heard from you, our master Rasulullah 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' had a mattress stuffed with grasses. Seeing that his blessed body was not comfortable on this bed, one night you laid out a soft bed and made Rasulullah lie and sleep on it, thus depriving him of getting up and praying that night (because the new bed was too comfortable for him to wake up for his regular midnight prayers).
He expressed his regrets to you, remonstrating, 'Do not do so again!' The second ayat of Fat-h sura purports, 'In order to cover your past and future faults... .' This being the style of life led by a Prophet who has been given the good news that he shall be pardoned and forgiven, can a poor 'Umar, who is not sure about his future, leave the way of life led by Rasulullah and lead a luxurious life by eating from copper plates?"
In daytime 'Umar Faruq 'radi-allahu anh' was busy in Medina conducting his armies in Asia and supplying and dispatching their needs, and he would spend the whole night patrolling the city for protecting the Muslims' property, lives, and chastity. As he was out on his patrol one night, he heard a voice crying. He went there and asked why. A poor woman said, "I have no one to subsist me. It has been two days since I came here. My children have been crying of hunger for two days. I made a fire, so that I have been making them sleep by putting only water in the pot and telling them that I am making them food!" The Khalifa felt so sorry that he began to weep. Saying, " 'Umar has been ruined! 'Umar has perished," he condemned himself, and left. He had some meat with him when he came back. As he was blowing the fire to make it burn faster, his blessed beard caught fire. These events are not tales. They are true events recorded in history books. Today, some people watch the fabricated films produced by film makers and call the Islamic histories mythologies, myths, and stories.
So was the case with hadrat Ali 'radi-allahu anh', the fourth Islamic Khalifa. As he was passing away, the worldly property he had was no more than the mule named Duldul, which was a keepsake from the Messenger of Allah, his sword called Zulfikar, and his blessed shirt. And these things had been pawned to a unbeliever. Likewise, Muhammad 'alaihis- salam', who was the final Prophet and the master of worlds, left behind a bedstead made of teak timber, a shirt, and a set of clothing.
He would give the milk he obtained from twenty camels, one hundred sheep and seven goats to the poor ones of the Ashab al-kiram. He did not even have a house of his own. All the four Khalifas lived like Rasulullah 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam'. They never deviated from the way led by him. All four of them accepted the caliphate as it was Islam's commandment, in a fashion like shouldering a burden, and because the Ummat (Muslims) wished them to be their Khalifa and elected them on a unanimous vote. For it was declared as follows in the hadith ash-Sharifs of our master Rasulullah's 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam': "The votes of my Umma will not come together on aberration." "Whatever believers find beautiful is beautiful to Allahu ta'ala."
To assert that the four Khalifas seized the office of caliphate by using force, when it is a fact that they were elected by the Ummat, is a very grave oddity and a detestable defamation. The following event shows plainly that hadrat Abu Bakr Siddiq was not at all eager for caliphate: Rasulullah 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' would give some disbelievers worldly goods from the Bayt-ul-mal in order to appease them and to conciliate them with Muslims.
Those disbelievers who were given such goods were called 'Muellefa-i-qulub'. When Abu Bakr Siddiq 'radi-allahu anh' became the Khalifa, he gave one of the muellefa-i-qulub a piece of land from the Bayt-ul-mal. This person, sensing the vast popularity 'Umar had been enjoying among the Ashab al-kiram and expecting him to be the next Khalifa, took the title deed he had been given to 'Umar and asked him to undersign it. Upon seeing the title deed, hadrat 'Umar took it and went with it to the Khalifa to ask him how come the person had been given land from the Bayt-ul-mal.
When the Khalifa explained that the muellefa-i-qulub had been given land from the Bayt-ul-mal in Rasulullah's time, too, hadrat 'Umar stated, "It was because Muslims were not powerful enough yet. Now we are not weak, and therefore that necessity does not exist any longer. Even if it were still necessary, the decision to execute it could be made only after communing with six or seven of the Ashab al-kiram." The Khalifa found this statement well put and said, "Ya 'Umar! When I was elected the Khalifa, I said I was not fit for the office and suggested that you would be a better choice. But the Ashab al-kiram would not listen to me. It has been seen once again on this occasion that you are superior to me. I want to resign from caliphate. And I request that you accept this service." 'Umar 'radi-allahu anh' replied in due respect that he was not superior at all, that he did not think of becoming the Khalifa, and that his purpose was to remind (the Khalifa) of what he ('Umar) thought would be right.
Thereupon hadrat Khalifa commanded that from then on nothing should be put into practice without a foregoing consultation in matters pertaining to the Bayt-ul-mal.
During the caliphate of 'Umar 'radi-allahu anh', several Sahabis came to him with the request that he make a will to advise that after him Abdullah bin 'Umar should be made the Khalifa on the grounds that he was, they thought, the second most deeply learned scholar among the Ashab al-kiram, and that "Rasulullah 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' loved him very much." 'Umar's 'radi-allahu anh' answer to them was:
"Being a Khalifa is a heavy burden. I cannot put my son under it." 'Umar 'radi-allahu anh' was martyred with a sword by a disbeliever named Abu Lu'lu, who was the slave of the Sahabi Mugira, in the twenty- third year of the Hegira.
When he received the fatal wound, he was asked to appoint a Khalifa (to take his place). He nominated six Sahabis as candidates because these six people, he said, "gained Rasulullah's love more than anyone else did."
The six Sahabis he named were 'Uthman (Osman), Ali, Talha, Zubair, Abd-ur-rahman bin Awf, and Sad ibni Abi Waqqas 'ridwan-ullahi alaihim ajmain'.
Among themselves, these people elected 'Uthman 'radi-allahu anh' the Khalifa. Thus 'Uthman bin Affan was the third Khalifa. In his time insurrections and seditions provoked by munafiqs broke out here and there. When a group of ignorant and ignoble people advanced towards the city and finally reached Medina, some Sahabis advised the Khalifa to resign. Replying that "Rasulullah 'sall-allahu alaihi wa sallam' informed me that I shall attain martyrdom while reading Qur'an al- karim," he proved to have the merits of compliance with the fate (foreordained by Allahu ta'ala) and patience in times of disasters. In the thirty-fifth year of the Hijrat, some wicked people attacked the Khalifa's house.
When Imam-i-Ali 'radi-allahu anh' heard the news of this assault, he sent his two sons, Hasan and Husain, like two lions to the Khalifa's house to help and protect the Khalifa. These two youngsters drew their swords and stood by the front door, so that not even a bird would fly in unseen. Yet five or six of the abject bandits entered the house through a back window by means of a ladder; and the Khalifa was martyred as had been divined by the Messenger of Allah. When Ali 'radi-allahu anh' heard about this deplorable news, he was so mad at his two sons for failing to protect the Khalifa that he scolded them harshly and even nearly hit them with his blessed hand. However, he forgave them afterwards when it was found out they had done their duty of protection perfectly and could not be blamed because the bandits had entered the house from the back.
Upon this tragedy, the Ashab al-kiram assembled and unanimously elected hadrat Ali 'radi- allahu anh' the Khalifa. Most of the Ashab al-kiram, including such notables as Talha and Zubair, asked the (new) Khalifa to arrest the murderers and punish them as prescribed by Islam.
Hadrat Ali answered them that the situation was so chaotic that it would be impossible to find the murderers, that another mutiny might occur in case he tried to investigate, and that he could perform this commandment of Islam after the re- establishment of public order. They protested this answer, saying that a Khalifa who would not execute Islam's commandment was not to be obeyed. Imam-i-Ali's ijtihad was correct.
On the other hand, the opposing party had to act upon their own ijtihad. And the Khalifa, in his turn, had to use force to subjugate the people disobeying him. Eventually the Jemel event, i.e. the war called 'Camel' took place, which cost a great deal of Muslim bloodshed. In the meantime, hadrat Muawiya 'radi-allahu anhum' was off in Damascus, where he had been appointed as governor. He therefore did not join the event of Jemel. Nor would he let any Damascene blood to be shed on account of this event. When hadrat Ali, the victor (of the battle of Camel), asked the Damascene people also to obey him, hadrat Muawiya followed his own ijtihad and asked him to arrest and punish the murderers; and this in its turn led to another war, i.e. the combat called Siffin.
As it is seen, none of the four Khalifas, and in fact none of the Ashab al-kiram 'radi-allahu anhum' thought of worldly advantages in the caliphate elections; they all endeavored to execute the commandment of Allahu ta'ala. The four Khalifas never thought of their own comfort, struggling day and night for serving Islam and Muslims and accepting the duty as a sine qua non which someone would have to undertake for Allah's sake.
Theycompare the caliphate institution to a kingdom, to sovereignty. And because they think so, they say that hadrat Ali was opposed to the caliphate of the other three Khalifas and therefore fought against them incessantly for twenty-five years. They presume that he vied for presidency for years and nursed a grudge and hostility against the Ashab al-kiram because they were against his caliphate. They allege that "therefore the three Khalifas and thousands of Sahabis who voted for them are to be cursed till the end of the world." In an effort to prove themselves to be right, they fabricate preternatural stories which are neither Islamic, nor logical, nor worthy of hadrat Ali's honorable renown.