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Tuesday 12 December 2017  
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Did the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) commission Ali as a Caliph?
Question:

What is the ruling on people who allege that the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) recommended Ali for caliphate? And they say that the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, plotted against him?
Answer:

This allegation is not known to be made by any Muslim sects other than the Shiites. It is false and baseless report. On the contrary, there are many proofs indicating that the caliph after the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) was Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allaah be pleased with him and the rest of the Prophets Companions Although the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) did not explicitly declare, or stipulate it, yet he issued orders to that effect. He ordered Abu Bakr to lead prayer during the day of sickness. And when the issue of caliphate was mentioned in his presence, he emphasised: Allaah and the believers disapprove of anyone other than Abu Bakr. [1] It was for this reason the Companions including Ali, may Allaah be pleased with them, gave Abu Bakr their pledge of loyalty after the death of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam). They all unanimously agreed that Abu Bakr was their best. It is also authentically reported that Abdullah bin Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, said that the Companions used to say during the lifetime of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam): The best of this Ummah after its Prophet, is Abu Bakr then Umar then Uthman, [2] and the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) approved of that. It is also authentically reported that Ali, may Allaah be please with him, used to say: The best of this Ummah after its Prophet is Abu Bakr, then Umar. [3] He also said: Anyone who prefers me to them I shall flog him being considered as a slanderer. Ali never claimed that he was the best of the Ummah, nor did he claim that the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) recommended him for the office of caliphate, nor did he assert that the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, plundered his right. When Fatimah, may Allaah be pleased with her, died, Ali gave his pledge to Abu Bakr for the second time to emphasise his first pledge. He also wanted to prove to people that he was with the assembly of the Muslims, and had no grudge for Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with them all. When Umar was stabbed, he left the decision of appointing his successor, to six of the ten Companions whom the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) testified that they will be admitted into Paradise, and Ali was one of them. He did not object Umars arrangement during the latters life nor after his death, nor did he claim that he was the most deserving of them all. How then could anyone dare to forge a lie against the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) alleging that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) recommended Ali for the office of Caliphate? When neither Ali claimed nor any Companion claimed it on his behalf. Rather the Companions were at unison on the validity of the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar, and Uthman. Ali recognised this and participated with them in Jihad, consultation and other duties. Then the Muslims were also in unison over which the Companions were in unison. Hence, it is not permissible after this for any person, or any sect, be it Shiites or otherwise, to claim that Ali was recommended for the office, and that caliphate of those who preceded him was false. Neither is it permissible for anyone to say that the Companions plundered Alięs right. Such a statement is most false, and constitutes evil suspicion and ill thinking of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah including Ali. May Allaah be pleased with them all. Allaah has exonerated the Ummah of Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) and guarded it against being in unison over falsehood. It is authentically reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said in numerous traditions: A group from My Ummah shall remain adhering to the truth, victorious. [4] It is impossible that the best and most honourable generations of this Ummah be at unison on falsehood, that is, the caliphate of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. No one who believes in Allaah and the Final Day, would make such an allegation, nor would make it a person who possesses minimal understanding of Islam.

[1] Al-Bukhari no. 7217 [2] Al-Bukari no. 3655 [3] Al-Bukhari no. 3671 [4] At-Tirmithi no. 2192 and Ibn Majah no. 6

Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz
Fatawa Islamiyah Vol. 1 Page 78
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