Shia consider Abu Bakr and Umar as Kafirs?

Question 214: To clear misconception by way of academic proof from the School of Ahlulbayt (as): Do the Shia not respect the four Khalifah, except Imam Ali (as)?

Answer 214: First of all, although the Shia has some criticism towards the khalifahs, they don’t see them as kafirs; the same way they don’t consider any of the other Sahabah as kafirs. In dealing with the khalifahs, the Shia follow the footsteps of the imams, especially Imam Ali (as), in how they would deal with them, not anyone else, because the Shia consider themselves the followers of their infallible imams.

Secondly, what was of dire importance to Imam Ali (as) and the other imams, to the extent that they sacrificed everything, even their lives for it, was the preservation of Islam. It was for the preservation of Islam that Imam Ali (as) would cooperate with the khalifahs and give them the best consultation he could, whenever needed. In many a time, he would send off his children to wars that were at the command of the khalifahs, the reason being that the imam didn’t want anything for himself; anything he wanted was for Islam’s flourishing and since, in any case, Abu Bakr and Umar were the heads of the Islamic state then, and opposing them, in that sensitive and pivotal time in which Islam was expanding its boundaries and there were conquests, and Islam had many adversaries, and the Roman and Persian empires were great threats, Imam Ali (as), through his deep insight, took the right stances, not making Islam any more vulnerable than it already was, and in this way, putting an end to the dreams of the enemies of Islam taking advantage of the circumstances.

Third of all, it’s not correct that Imam Ali (as) accepting the caliphate of the khalifahs. Because, on top of all the objections and oppositions he had before the martyrdom of Lady Zahra (as), in the following years, especially during his own rule, he would strongly criticize their actions and would question their caliphate itself. The third sermon of the Nahjul-Balaghah, known as the sermon of Shiqshiqiyyah, is clear evidence of this claim:

In this sermon, the imam (as) says: “…Then I began to think whether I should assault or endure calmly the blinding darkness of tribulations…”. ( … وَ طَفِقْتُ أَرْتَئِي بَيْنَ أَنْ أَصُولَ بِيَدٍ جَذَّاءَ أَوْ أَصْبِرَ عَلَى طَخْيَةٍ عَمْيَاءَ… )

Therefore, neither does the Shia consider Abu Bakr and Umar as kafirs, nor did Imam Ali (as) totally accept them and their caliphate; all he did was, when it was to Islam’s benefit, to cooperate with and give help and consultation to them.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Who were behind the Martyrdom of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (sa), answer 486.

Index: Imam Ali (as) Gave Bay’ah (Allegiance) to Abu Bakr?, answer 260.


The Imams named their kids Uthman, Umar and Abu Bakr

Question 115: Ahlul bayt (pbuth) named their kids Usman, Umar, and Abubakr! why these days we (Shia) don’t give our children such names? is it part of our faith is to hate them?

Answer 115: With a quick glance at historical books we see that Abu Bakr ibn Ali, Umar bin Ali and Usman bin Ali were the children of Laila the daughter of Masoud Thaqafi, Um Habib and Ummul Banin, respectively. When reflecting on the similarity of name between these children and the Khulafa it can be said:

The public mindset at that time was in such a way that these names were not significant and subject to attention and accordingly didn’t posses approving or disapproving connotations. As a matter of fact these names would not remind anyone of the Khulafa and it was through the passing of time and history that the names of these three people were bolded, but back then these names were so common that if Ali (A.S.) or anybody else chose the name Abu Bakr for their child it wasn’t reminiscent of the first Khalifa. Moreover there were great companions of the prophet (A.S.) that had these names like Usman bin Maznun and others.

These names were in that era and, as witnessed in historical books, later on used commonly in the time of the other Imams. Besides these names weren’t hated and condemned by the Shiites as Mu’jam Al-Theqat has listed nearly 60 pages of narrators that had the name Umar or Usman bin Saied which was one of the four special representatives of Imam Zaman (A.S.) in the time of the minor occultation.

One must know that the names of the three khalifas were not confined to them, but actually frequently used before and after Islam, among Arabs. This naming could not be a reason for friendship and liking. For example, the last king of Iran, named Muhammad Reza, was the most despised person in the country, but at the same time this didn’t change the fact that this name was commonly used among people. There were others among the great Sahabah (The Companions) of the Prophet (A.S.) that had the same name as the Khulafa too such as Usman bin Maznun and others so how can someone claim that these names weren’t for the remembrance of these great companions. You can check the names of the Sahaba that were named Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman in Al-Isti’aab by Ibn Abdul Birr and Asad Al-Ghabah by Ibn Athir.

It is useful to note that nowhere in our historical books (that have been studied) has it been mentioned that Imam Ali directly chose these names, hence there is a possibility that these names were picked by his respected spouses or others which the Imam respected and wouldn’t argue with their decisions.[1]

For further information in this regards, please read the following answer:

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

[1] . Arbali, Ali, Kash al-Ghumma an Ma’rifat al-A’immah, vol. 2, pg. 66; Ibid and Al-Irshad, pg. 167; Mu’jam al-Khu’i, vol. 21, pg. 66; Ibid and Al-Irshad, pg. 167; Mu’jam al-Khu’i, vol. 13, pg. 45; Mu’jam al-Thuqat, vol. 21, pg. 66; Al-Irshad, pg. 484; Mu’jam al-Thuqat, vol. 13, pg. 45; Muntahal-Amal, vol. 1, pg. 220.


Returning Fadak to Imam Hasan and Hussain (pbuth)

Question 244: Why didn’t Imam Ali (as) give Fadak to Imam Hassan (as) and Hussain (as)?

Answer 244: “Fadak” was a thriving and flourishing village located near Khaybar, 140 kilometers from Medinah. In the seventh of hijrah, the fortresses of Khaybar were conquered one after another and the central power of the Jews was overthrown. The residents of Fadak surrendered and promised to give the prophet (pbuh) half of their lands and orchards on condition of no fighting and keep the rest for themselves. In addition, they accepted to do the farming of his lands for a wage.

Lands that fall into the hands of the Muslim army without any fighting and violence become the personal property of the prophet (pbuh), and he can make any decisions about them, that is why when the verse: “وَ آتِ ذَا الْقُرْبى حَقَّهُ وَ الْمِسْكينَ وَ ابْنَ السَّبيلِ وَ لا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذيرا”[1] was revealed unto him, he summoned his daughter and granted her Fadak.[2]

But unfortunately, after the prophet (pbuh) passed away and during the reign of Abu Bakr, Lady Fatimah (as) was deprived of the gift of Fadak.[3]

In his famous book of Sahih Muslim, Muslim ibn Hajjaj Neyshabouri narrates the story of Lady Fatimah claiming Fadak in detail and has reported Ayishah saying that after the khalifah refused to return it to her, she sulked and didn’t speak another word with him until her demise.[4]

It has also been stated in the Nahjul-Balaghah that: “Of course, all that we had in our possession under the sky was Fadak, but a group of people felt greedy for it and the other party [its rightful owners; Imam Ali (as) and Lady Fatimah (as)] withheld themselves from it. Allah is, after all, the best arbiter.”[5]

In order to get the answer to your question, one fact that should be paid attention to is that the imam’s first and foremost priority always, was to preserve Islam itself, despite all of his objections to those in power before him, and that is why he would cooperate with them and help them in internal affairs and governing the Muslim nation, as he himself beautifully put it: “We [the progeny of the prophet (pbuh)] have a right [which was to be the true successors to the prophet (pbuh)] in which if we are allowed to exercise, then all the better, and if not, we prefer to be the second person sitting in the back of the camel [behind the person guiding it, instead of completely getting off]”.[6]

Therefore, in reality, the imam considered political power a tool and means of fulfilling godly objectives, not a goal, and that is why he would prefer to keep quiet about many different issues, both during his reign and the reign of those before him, leaving judgment for future generations to come. As for why he didn’t act according to his own viewpoint during his own rule, although he had the authority to do so, a small example will clarify things. During his own rule, when he attempted to bring an end to the “tarawih” prayer [that had been innovated by one of previous khalifahs and wasn’t a tradition of the prophet (pbuh)], he was confronted with objections and forced to leave the people to themselves.[7] Also, you surely know of his discontent regarding the arbitration of Abu Musa Ash’ari and that he was forced to give in to it. Essentially, the imam’s coming to power was preceded by twenty five years of continuous justification of all the actions and things the previous khalifahs had done, making it almost impossible to oppose their methods and bring change to some of them; one of those being returning the Fadak to its rightful owners, because some would think that the imam was making use of his power for his own benefit. Add to that the fact that Fadak was important to the household of the prophet (pbuh) and Lady Fatimah (as) because it was a gift and remembrance from him and more importantly, a financial asset and backing for them, especially Ali (as), and that is why the government of the time confiscated it; because it was their financial support; doing so would ensure that Ali (as) wouldn’t be able to do anything against them. Keeping in mind all of these and other circumstances, such as the battles and sabotage the nation was experiencing, preventing the imam (as) from making even important and primary changes that the nation was in need of, how was Ali (as) to take back Fadak? It would surely harm the Muslim nation and shadow over more important national issues, and that is why he chose not to.

Hadiths from the imams somewhat point to these issues:

1- Time had passed since the incident [of Fadak’s usurpation] and there was no need for Ali (as) to speak of it after so many years:

Abu Basir says: “I asked Imam Sadiq (as) why Imam Ali (as) didn’t repossess Fadak after he came to power. The imam (as) answered: “Because both the oppressed [Lady Fatimah (as)] and oppressor [those who deprived her of Fadak] had both died and Allah (swt) had punished the oppressor and rewarded the oppressed by then, and Ali ibn Abitaleb didn’t like the idea of returning a property in which its usurper had been punished and the one usurped from had been rewarded already.”[8]

2- Sacrificing personal benefits for higher and universal goals. Ibn Ibrahim Karakhi says: “I asked Imam Sadiq (as) about why Imam Ali (as) didn’t return Fadak after becoming khalifah. He answered: “When the prophet (pbuh) conquered Mekkah, he was asked if he would return to his homeland. He said: Aqil has sold my house. The people asked: Why don’t you take it back? He answered: We belong to a household that doesn’t take back what has been wrongfully taken from them; Imam Ali (as) did the same in order to have followed the prophet (pbuh) [in not taking back what rightfully belonged to him].[9]

A person asked Imam Kadhim (as) the same question; the imam answered: “Our household [the progeny of the prophet (pbuh)] whose guardian is Allah (swt); He is the one who makes sure what belongs to us comes back to us, and we are the guardians of the people and make sure what belongs to them returns to them, but we don’t take back what belongs to us.”[10]

Having said that, it’s good to see what the fate of Fadak was and what happened to it after the martyrdom of Imam Ali (as).
What historic records says is that after Mu’awiyyah took power, he divided it amongst Marwan, Amr ibn Uthman and his son Yazid. During Marwan’s rule, he took control of all of Fadak and he granted it to his son Abdul-Aziz, who later granted it to his son, Umar. Umar ibn Abdil-Aziz gave Fadak back to the descendants of Lady Fatimah (as). After his death, it once again fell into the hands of the Umayyid dynasty and remained there.

After rule of the Muslim empire shifted to the Abbasid dynasty, it was once again given back to Abdullah ibn Hasan [from the progeny of Imam Hasan (as)]. Mansour Davaneqi took it back from them when he took over, but his son returned it to them after his death.

After Mahdi, the son of Mansour, Musa and Haroun took it back again, but after them Ma’moun officially returned it to the progeny of Fatimah (as). It continued to be returned and taken after Ma’moun.

During that era, Fadak was considered a political issue, and wasn’t looked at as a financial asset, because the khalifahs of both dynasties were in no way in any need of the profits it yielded; that is why when Umar ibn Abdil-Aziz returned it, the Umayyids scolded him, saying: “By doing so, you have rejected Abu Bakr and Umar [who had refused to return it during their time]!”[11]

Eventually, during the Abbasid ruler, Mutawakkil, it was seized, its trees cut down by the order of a person by the name of “Abdullah ibn Umar Mazyar”. This shameful act remains a sign of disgrace for the wrongdoers of that time. It must be noted that even the eleven date palms that the prophet (pbuh) had planted with his own hands were cut down. History says Bashran ibn abi Umayyah Thaqafi, the person who had cut them down, suffered from paralysis after returning to Basrah.[12]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Imam Ali (as) Gave Bay’ah (Allegiance) to Abu Bakr?, answer 260.

Index: The exact date on birth or Martyrdom of Lady Fatima and Infallibles, answer 254.

Index: Who were behind the Martyrdom of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (sa), answer 486.

[1] . Isra’:26.

[2] . See: Tabarsi, Majma’ul-Bayan, vol. 3, pg. 411.

[3] . Sharhe Nahjul-Balagheh, vol. 16, pg. 274.

[4] . Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, pg. 1380.

[5] . Nahjul-Balaghah, letter 45.

[6] . Nahjul-Balaghah, pg. 472.

[7] . Ibn Abil-Hadid, Sharhu Nahjil-Balaghah, Library of Ayatullah Mar’ashi Najafi, vol. 12, pg. 283.

[8] . “فَقَالَ لَهُ لِأَنَّ الظَّالِمَ وَ الْمَظْلُومَةَ قَدْ كَانَا قَدِمَا عَلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ وَ أَثَابَ اللَّهُ الْمَظْلُومَةَ وَ عَاقَبَ الظَّالِمَ، فَكَرِهَ أَنْ يَسْتَرْجِعَ شَيْئاً قَدْ عَاقَبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ غَاصِبَهُ وَ أَثَابَ عَلَيْهِ الْمَغْصُوبَةَ” Biharul-Anwar, vol. 29, pg. 395, hadith 1.

[9] . Ibid, hadith 2.

[10] . Ibid, hadith 3.

[11] . Jafar Sobhani, Furughe Abadiyyat, vol. 2, pg. 669.

[12] . Ahmadi Miyanji, Makatibul-Rasul.


Ashra Mubashra, the ten Sahaba Promised Paradise

Question 221: Assalamu alikum, what u think about ashabs esp Abu bakr, umer n usman? Why u call them bidati, did prophet consider them as munafiq. And also explain your views regarding ashr-e-mubashara. thank you.

Answer 221: According to Shia school of thought, such traditions are classified into da’if (weak) and are considered as fake. The following are some reasons by which these ahadith have been rejected.

There are some traditions have been narrated by Sa’id Ibn Zayd and Zubair in which both but Imam Ali (as) were mentioned among those ten sahaba’s promised paradise (Ashra Mubashra). A question is now raised that how’s it possible that Imam Ali (as) was among them, but they refused allegiance to (like Abi Waqas) and fought against him?

The following hadith was narrated by Sa’id Ibn Zayd in which the Prophet (saws) said: “10 sahaba’s are promised paradise (Ashra Mubashra) are: Abu Bakr in paradise, Omar in paradise, ‘Uthman in paradise, Ali in paradise, Talha in paradise, Al-Zubair Bin Al-‘Awwam in paradise, Abdul Rahman Bin ‘Awf in paradise, Saad Bin Abi Waqqass in paradise, Saeed Bin Zaid, and Abu ‘Ubaida Bin Al-Jarrah in paradise.”[1]

The Arabic version of this tradition is as follows:

«حَدَّثَنَا صَالِحُ بْنُ مِسْمَارٍ المَرْوَزِی قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِی فُدَیكٍ، عَنْ مُوسَى بْنِ یعْقُوبَ، عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ سَعِیدٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ حُمَیدٍ، عَنْ أَبِیهِ، أَنَّ سَعِیدَ بْنَ زَیدٍ، حَدَّثَهُ فِی نَفَرٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَیهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: عَشَرَةٌ فِی الجَنَّةِ: أَبُو بَكْرٍ فِی الجَنَّةِ، وَعُمَرُ فِی الجَنَّةِ، وَعُثْمَانُ وَعَلِی وَالزُّبَیرُ وَطَلْحَةُ وَعَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ وَأَبُو عُبَیدَةَ وَسَعْدُ بْنُ أَبِی وَقَّاصٍ

During the battle of Jamal, Imam Ali (as) called Zubair and Talha, “O Aba Abdillah and Talha come here. I administer an oath to both of you. Do you know that the companions of the battles of Jamal and Nahrawan have been cursed by the Holy Prophet (saws)?”

Zubaid said: “How is it possible that we were cursed, whereas we are among the 10 sahaba’s promised paradise?” The Imam (as) said, “If I knew you were among the dwellers of the heaven, I would never have fought against you!” Zubair said, “Didn’t you hear that the Prophet (saws) said, on the day of the Uhud battle, “Talha deserves heaven?” The Imam (as) said, “Name those who are promised paradise for me?” Zubair told him the names of nine people. The Imam (as) said, “Who is the tenth person?” Zubair replied, “You are the tenth one!” The Imam (as) said, “You confess that I am one of the dwellers of the heaven, but I deny those sahaba you named. They will be dwelled in a coffin at the lowest place of the Hell.” The Imam (as) said, “The Holy Prophet (saws) said it to me.” Zubair went back to his armies while he was crying![2]

The Holy Prophet (saws) variously promised so many believers heaven: E.g. Imam Ali (as) and His followers will be dwelled in the heaven.[3]He also said, “Heaven will eagerly anticipate four persons to come: Ali bin Abi Talib, Ammar, Salman and Miqdad, however none of these four persons except Imam Ali (as) were mentioned in that hadith![4] Those who narrated these (Ashra Mubasharah) tradition have only tried to justify the hadith as sahih by mentioning the name of Imam Ali (as). How is possible for those who have cruelly fought against Imam Ali (as) to be dowelled in the heaven, while we know that the Holy Prophet (saws) has said, “Anyone who fight against Ali, fight against me?”[5]

Conclusion: Although, this tradition has been mentioned in Sunni sources, it is classified as da’if (weak), according to the above mentioned reliable sources.

This hadith is contrary to the Holy Qur’an as Allah (swt) has never mentioned any names of the dwellers of the heaven. In the Holy Qur’an Allah (swt) always say, “And (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, these are the dwellers of the garden, in it they shall abide.”[6]

Some of the sahaba mentioned in the hadith have been considered as unbelievers by each other, such as Othman who is considered an unbeliever by Talha and Zubair. Both (Talha and Zubair) have issued a fatwa, by which Othman has deserved to be killed, as he is Kafir. That’s why Othman has been killed by such fatwas!

If this hadith is sahih, after choosing Abu Bakr as the first caliph, why did Omar order that anyone of the six persons that participated in the council, who may disagree with the decision, would be killed?[7]

If this hadith is sahih, why did Abdullah ibn Umar who has narrated this hadith deny allegiance to Imam Ali (as).[8] Thus, this hadith due to the above mentioned reasons is not considered as sahih. It is such a fake and da’if one which has no reliable sources.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Imam Ali (as) Gave Bay’ah (Allegiance) to Abu Bakr?, answer 260.

Index: Shia Believe Ahlus Sunnah are Muslim not Kafir!, answer 203.

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

Index: Ifk, the Slander / Shia Beliefs about Aisha, answer 180.

Index: The Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (s) Delivered at Ghadir Khum / after Hajjatul Wida, answer 028.

Index: The Wilayah of Imam Ali (as) / Political Authority in Ghadir Khumm, answer 470.

[1] . Al-Tirmidhi, Muhammad bin Isa, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Vol. 5, Pg. 648.

[2] . Ibn Uqdah Kufi, Ahmad bin Muhammad, the virtues of Amirul Momenin (as), researcher and editor: Hirzuddin, Abdul Razzaq Muhammad Hussain, Pgs. 166-167; Tabarsi, Ahmad bin Ali, Al-Ihtijaj ala Ahl e al-Lujaj, researcher and editor: Khorasan, Muhammad Baqir, Vol. 1, Pg. 162, Murtadha Publisher, Mashhad, first edition, 1403 A.H.

[3] . Tabari Amoli Kabir, Muhammad bin Jurair bin Rostam, al-Mostarshed fee Imamat Ali bin Abi Talib (as), researcher: Mahmoodi, Ahmad, Pg. 401, Kooshanpoor, Qom, first edition, 1415 A.H; Bahrani, Sayyid Hashim, al-Borhan fee Tafseer al-Quran, Vol. 5, Pg. 347, Bonyad Be’sat, Tehran, first edition, 1416 A.H.

[4] . Sheikh Sadouq, al-Khisal, researcher: Ghifari, Ali Akbar, Vol. 1, Pg. 303, office of Islamic publication, first edition, 1983; Ibn Kathir Basari, Esmaeel bin Omar, Jame’ al-Masanid wa al-Sonan al-Hadi, Vol. 3, Pg. 495, Dar e Khizr liltaba’at wa al-Nashr wa al-Tawzei, Beirut, second edition, 1419 A.H.

[5] . Khazaz Razi, Ali bin Muhammad, Kifaya al-Athar fee al-Nass ala al-A’imma al-Ithna Ashar, researcher: Hussaini Koohkamari, Abdul Latif, Pg. 181, Bidar, Qom, 1401 A.H; Sheikh Sadouq, etigadat al-Imamiyah, Pg. 105, Sheikh Mofid Congress, Qom, second edition, 1414 A.H.

[6] . Surah Baqarah, verses: 25- 82.

[7] . Amini, al-Ghadir, Beirut, Dar al-Kotob al-Arabi, 1397 A.H, Vol. 10, Pgs. 156-157.

[8] . Ibid, Pgs. 149- 161.


Who were behind the Martyrdom of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (sa)

Question 486: Asallamu alaikum. My questiön is: Who was behind the death of hazrat fatima zahra (sa)?

Answer 486: This historical truth (i.e. the intrusion of Lady Fatimah’s (sa) home and her martyrdom) has been preserved in historical and hadith sources. Great Sunni scholars, such as Ibn Abi Sheybah, Baladhari, Ibn Qutaybah, Ibn Abd Rabbih, Tabari, Tabarani, Nadham, Mas’udi, Ibn Abi Darem and Abdul-Fattah Abdul-Maqsud, have revealed this fact as Umar and Abu Bakr were actually behind the Martyrdom of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (sa).

There are many Sunni sources in which clearly mentioned that Abu Bakr and Umar’s threats had actually taken place and they violated the respect of Fatimah’s home which caused her to become martyred. One of the sources is as follows:

Abul-Qasem Suleyman bin Ahmad Tabarani (260-360), whom Dhahabi in Mizan al-I’tidal describes as a reliable individual[1], says in his Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir‌ (which has been printed many times) when speaking of Abu Bakr and his sermons and death: “Upon death, Abu Bakr wished several things. (He said) I wish I had not done three things (that I did) in my life, had done three things (that I never did) in my life, and had asked the prophet three things (that I never did). Regarding the three things he had done and wished he hadn’t, he said: “The three things I wish I had never done; I wish I had never violated the respect of Fatimah’s home and had left it as it was![2] This shows that Umar’s threats had actually taken place and had been carried out.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: The exact date on birth or Martyrdom of Lady Fatima and Infallibles, answer 254.

[1] Mizan al-I’tidal, vol. 2, pg. 195.

[2] Mu’jam Kabir Tabarani, vol. 1, pg. 62, hadith 34, research of Hamdi Abdul-Majid Salafi. “أمّا الثلاث اللائی وددت أنی لم أفعلهنّ، فوددت انّی لم أكن أكشف بیت فاطمة و تركته.”