: Dr. Hassan Najafi
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category: Imam Ali
ISBN: 978-964-438-976-8


Author: Ali Labbaf
: Dr. Hassan Najafi
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum

ISBN: 978-964-438-976-8
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Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
ISBN: 978-964-438-976-8

Analysis of Ali’s participation in Caliphs’ Government

“A scrutiny into Imam’s dealings with Caliphs shows that when Imam saw his cooperation would reflect his personal support to Caliphs he withheld his cooperation. But when occasions called his attention towards greater interests of Muslims or Islam itself he extended his cooperation without hesitation. Such as we see in the events in early period of Abu Bakr’s Caliphate, which was the start of things going astray from leadership. Perversion and deviation from the right path had already commenced. So the Imam is less seen among the cooperators.”[187]

In those days also Ali did not accept any office, which could have reflected his support and he did not desire to be any token or sign of his support to a deviated Caliphate and a perverted power.

Ali was aware of the fact that a peaceful life and security of that society depended on his co-operation with the junta. So he extended his co-operation.”[188] “He had an understanding of the conditions prevalent at that time. So he cooperated when necessary although it was very bitter and much painful to him. He was readily available when existence of Islam was in question. But it cannot be said that he supported the system. Or whatever they did was agreeable to him. He also could not forget their incompetence to the post of Caliphate.

They also were aware of this attitude of Ali.”[189]

“The point worth nothing is that it was very hard for Ali to accept assignments or an office from those very persons who had occupied the seat, which should have belonged to him. They were usurpers of his right. They were sitting where Prophet in Ghadeer had already made him sit. How could he come to terms with his own oppressors or accept from them what they give while everything was his. He was expected to forego the whole and accept a part.”[190]

“However the isolation of Ali indicates that both sides knew each other and also that he cannot behave towards them that could be an indicator of his approval of their Caliphate. It was a divine post. God should choose. And God had chosen him and the Prophet had conveyed God’s choice. Ghadeer Khumm was a matter of yesterday. Still nobody had forgotten the ceremony.”[191]

“During the periods of three Caliphs Ali did not take any active part in government - politically or running its affairs. What he gave was advice by way of consultation, that’s all. He had no membership in their governments. It can be said that he was rather an opposition leader from a distance.”[192]

What was Caliphs’ Aim in Giving Government Responsibilities to Ali?

On the basis of what is said so far it is possible to sketch the policy of Caliphs in giving these responsibilities to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) as follows:

“For them it would have been far better had Ali taken the command of army under their order. A strong and powerful rival would have been in their row - one well-versed to reason and narrate Prophet’s words.”[193]

“Can it be accepted that the Caliph dismissed Khalid bin Saeed bin Aas from post of commander due to his inclination or leniency towards Ali? Their design was to give the post to Ali that could bring credibility and validity to their government. Then to dismiss him declaring among people that he was incompetent for the job. Anyway, in both cases they would have gained.”[194]

In the same way the regime by so doing would have satisfied the block of Ali and voices that clamored that Caliphate was right of Ali would have been muted by Ali himself.

“The Kinda tribes including Hadhramaut were pro-Ali. Because Caliphate was drawn away from Prophet’s house, they raised their voice of protest and opposition, which ended in a revolt.

So the regime and especially Abu Bakr tried to delegate Ali to quell the rebellion. They wanted to take advantage of Ali’s name. If he were seen in government, their opposition would have subsided.”[195]

In conclusion it can be said:

“The Caliph was trying to bring Ali into this matter and he consulted Umar in this regard…Umar was apprehensive about the excellences of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.). He said that Ali is very careful in this matter (he is not inclined in encounter with the apostates) and if he did not attach any formal feature to apostates’ uprising nobody would go to war against them…

In addition to describing the fear of Umar this statement also shows Ali’s moral status in Muslim society. That is such was his influence in the society that if he did not show any inclination in that war no one among the Muslims would go. Therefore because of this fear Abu Bakr was too prudent in his behavior with Ali.”[196]

“Indeed Umar had another fear and he did not want Hadhramaut to be an additional front for the new Caliphate.

Though Ali (a.s.) did not go to fight them, the regime of Caliphate even before seeking opinion of Ali (a.s.) was afraid of this matter and they sent Akrama.”[197]

From this aspect it can be said:

Caliphs also in every condition were not prone to give any government office to Ali and this was complimentary to ‘absence of inclination to always co-operate’.

In other words, Caliphs wanted an opportunity to strengthen pillars of their Caliphate and gain Ali’s indulgence into affairs, which to them was tantamount to legitimacy of their Caliphate. On the other hand whenever Ali co-operated he did so in a way, which could not be interpreted as his approval to their Caliphate.

These and such efforts continued even after extending the borders of the country.

“The Caliph and his friends could not ignore the useful force such as him. They knew the courage and bravery of Ali. In lifetime of Prophet, they had witnessed from close Ali’s battles and fighting. So Ali with regard to battles was a very important element.

The Caliph and his associates also were not unaware of this or were opposed to it.

On the other hand his absence from the wars and his isolation could be a matter of question in the society.

Therefore the Caliph and his associates tried to involve Ali in government responsibilities. They wanted him to take part in military victories. This could have given credibility to their government. Besides, his supporters and Bani Hashim would be pleased and satisfied.”[198]

“Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) during these battles kept the same attitude, which he had in the time of Abu Bakr… The Caliph could not remain ignorant about Imam’s cooperation and guidance…He knew very well that Ali was not willing to participate in battles. Therefore he decided to get benefit of his advice. Ali was sensitive about Muslims and Islam. Therefore in the shape of consultations he rendered services to them…

Ali did not like to accept any responsibility, which directly or indirectly could be a helping element to the usurped Caliphate.”[199]

As it is seen, the regime was trying its best to establish contacts with Imam which could provide them validity.

When this could not be achieved, Caliphate tried to established indirect relations through consultations.

Abu Bakr wanted to assign Ali the command of army to fight against Ashath bin Qays. He took the advice of Umar, Umar was anxious and anticipated Ali’s refusal, which would lay harmful impact on their Caliphate. Therefore Umar proposed:

“My view is that you must keep Ali in Medina under your care as you are not needless of him and it is necessary for you to consult Ali in country’s affairs.”[200]

Indeed, what need the Caliph had of Imam’s advice and support?

Why Umar reminded the Caliph to observe that?

The reply to these questions can be found in the carefulness of Umar in rejecting the proposal of making Amirul Momineen (a.s.) the commander of forces. When he said:

“I fear that Ali will refuse to fight these people and he will no do Jihad with these people. And if he does so no one from his side will move except under force and compulsion.”[201]

Now it must be asked:

How is it possible to attribute good relations between Imam (a.s.) and the Caliphs and also proving that he took an active part of Wilayat during their regimes. And it is claimed that:

“The First Caliph was very much in need of his courage and valor in the fields of battle just as he always benefited from the knowledge, wisdom and advice of His Eminence in various matters in Medina Munawwara, the capital of the nascent regime.”![202]

Was Ali given a Governmental responsibility during the tenure of the Caliphs?

After this investigation the only thing that is in need of analysis and interpretation is the claim that:

“During the period of Umar’s Caliphate whenever he left Medina, Ali was his deputy. He took the charge of affairs until his return.”[203]

Reply to this conjecture can be divided into two parts:

Part A: Analysis of Acceptance of Responsibility for Some Particular Instances

“According to Sunni sources there are only three occasions when Ali was appointed in place of Umar in Medina. He took the office and ran the affairs as he administered the country. Indeed, it does not seem probable that Ali should have accepted. How can he accept from one who had usurped Caliphate from him and he (Ali) had repeatedly stressed upon his superiority and competency to the job?

Such claims need to be investigated first. Why such a case is not referred to by any Shia historian?

It could be possible that Ali could have taken charge of judicial affairs not political or administrative ones…”[204]

“Shia books do not stress upon Ali’s deputation by Umar.

It appears that Ali, during the office of Umar, could have attended affairs of people and handled matters of justice.”[205]

“However the fundamental question is: Why at all Ali should accept to be deputy of Umar or his substitute? On the other hand Ali never agreed or saw any legality in Umar’s Caliphate. It was a thing that never belonged to him (Umar). Then he undergoes to be his deputy, to be his substitute. Why?

The answer lies in Tabari’s and Ibne Athir’s comments, which are congruous with Shia beliefs. As the very Caliphate of Umar from the viewpoint of Ali was short of legitimacy and lacked legal status the posts (if) given to others would also be illegal.

Thus on the basis of this acceptance of these responsibilities in fact would be hindering the qualified ones to get them. Because if in case posts are given to non-qualified persons it would be against divine will and Islamic values and Ali knew better than to have the power to oppose these illegalities to do thus; thus His Eminence (a.s.) is not someone who sees illegal matters and does nothing about it.”[206]

Part B: Surrendering Responsibility to Ali in Some Particular Items

“During this period Ali was isolated from political arena. He did not occupy any post in Abu Bakr’s Caliphate. In Umar’s Caliphate, also he did the same. He did not even accept the post of commander for invading Iran.

The only exceptional case was when Umar had to leave for Palestine and he took with him senior companions of Prophet to help him in requirements of victory and success, while Ali’s had the responsibility of administration of Medina.

Although it is worth mention that Umar was strongly against Bani Hashim leaving Medina. He feared they would form groups in other areas and stage an uprising against his Caliphate.”[207]

The output of the policy of Second Caliph is surprising. He appointed Ali on three occasions in his place as his successor and does not appoint him in the six-person committee?!!

What was his aim in surrendering this responsibility to Amirul Momineen?

To comprehend the nature of relations of Caliphs’ government with Ali we refer to one more case:

“When Muhammad son of Abu Bakr wrote to Muawiyah censuring him for his disobedience to Imam Ali (a.s.). Muawiyah in reply wrote to him that he had only followed the first two rulers.

Muawiyah added that those two persons did not intimate him in their confidential matters nor did they open way to him to share with them in affairs…”[208]

This shows that Caliphs did not want Ali to take any part in their affairs. Likewise they were not desirous of his advice. Whenever they sought his advice there was some other motive in it. Their motive in anyway was not in the interest of Islam or Islamic unity.

While they claim:

“Mutual relations between Ali and three Caliphs were towards preserving Islamic unity and the very seed of Islam itself.”[209]

Our endeavors in analysis of the relations are with the motive to understand the aim of Ali and the aim of Caliphs. Especially with regard to co-operation of His Eminence (a.s.) in administrative and governmental affairs, which shall be explained and interpreted, so that the respected readers will see the difference between the aims of two sides. The outlook of Imam Ali (a.s.) leads the reader to the root of the policy Caliphs held according to the demand of the occasion. But they overlook it and say:

“Until Muawiyah came to power, the successor of Prophet of God, Ali, adopted a policy of patience, tolerance, vigilance. His attitude with three Caliphs was friendly and co-operative. This resulted in good manners, good behavior and good conduct among Muslims. Inspite of criticism and censure expressed by Imam Ali (a.s.) which were due to honesty, good manners and Islamic promise.”![210]

Yes! Good demeanor and decorum, Islamic commitments and good manners formed the ground of cooperation of Imam Ali (a.s.) with the three Caliphs. Whether the requests of Caliphs and their proposals too were based on same ground?

Let History answer:

“Caliphs’ government was very much in anticipation from Imam Ali (a.s.). For instance, as he finally paid allegiance[211] to Abu Bakr he was expected to give up or forego the demand for his right to Caliphate. Moreover, he was expected to be seen with sword in his hand to fight whoever opposed the Caliphs.

But the Imam rejected this request. Such an attitude and position of Imam was natural to impel the government to make him more humiliated in the view of people. This policy was able to isolate the Imam more and more.”[212]

In the same way:

“Among the complaints of Imam about the Caliphs was that they led a campaign to belittle the personality of Imam, which was highest and most respected one in the view of people during the days of Prophet.”[213]

Now when such is the case how can it be claimed that:

“That which this writer has claimed and proved is that there existed friendly relations between Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and the Caliphs.”![214]

Some examples of politics of belittling Amirul Momineen (a.s.) are as follows:

“Umar in order to belittle Ali accorded more respect to Ibne Abbas. It was a policy so that Ibne Abbas may narrate traditions and give Tafseer of Quran.”[215]

“When Umar appointed the six-person committee he blamed each of them with a defect. He blamed Ali that he was a man having excess humor.”[216]

In short:

“The two Caliphs had assassinated the character of Ali among people and assassinated his personality.”[217]

“Jundab bin Abdullah says: After swearing allegiance to Uthman I went to Iraq. There I used to narrate the attributes of Ali to people. The best reply that I got from the people was this: Leave these words. Think of something that may benefit you.

I answered them: These things are beneficial to both you and me. But the people on hearing this got up and dispersed.”[218]

“In a society of Muslims, Imam was forgotten. Therefore it was for this reason that Imam during his Caliphate reminded people of his station, services and the battles he fought and won for the sake of Islam, his nearness and relationship with Prophet.”[219]

Did Amirul Momineen (a.s.) have Positive Outlook to Battles of Caliph’s Period?

As you know battles in the period of Caliphs particularly the Second Caliph are viewed from different angles, especially by the unity-mongers.

Thus they say:

“Regrettably of our doubts is that Ali (a.s.) did not find any worth of Islamic battles…we see how much he supported these battles?”![220]

For the scrutiny of this claim, we invite you to read the translation of Political Analysis of the life of Imam Hasan Mujtaba by Allamah Ja’far Murtuza Amili. (2nd edition) pages 170-200. Which in fact is to refute the conjecture propagated that Imams Hasan and Husain participated in battles during the rule of Caliphs.[221]

That which we wish to remind in this section is their claim that participation of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and his associates in the victories proves their support and co-operation to the Caliphs’ regime. This is same as claim of participation in other matters. Thus they claim:

“If this unity was not preserved by Ali and if there was no co-operation, understanding and tolerance among Caliphs all these battles would have not been attained by the Muslims within such a short span of time.”[222]

While it should not be overlooked that in all these types of matters there had always been in existence a wide gulf and crevice between Imam’s motives and those of Caliphs. To consider them to be on friendly terms is a basic and fundamental mistake. We quote here another mistaken claim:

“Our belief is that leaders of truth do not approve participation in these battles. They do not think these battles to be useful to Muslims and Islam.

Imams desired extension of influence of Islam and its expansion as far as the length of globe. But they want it in congruity with divine laws and the way Caliphs undertook was wrong and detrimental.”[223]

“Accordingly if we accept and surrender to principle of battles and military action of Caliphs, we cannot deny the fact that most methods of persons in charge of actions from Caliphs’ side were not coherent with decorum of Prophet or warriors of Prophet’s days. But in some cases, they differed greatly so the stance of Ali and Hasan and Husain is different. So it is obvious when Ali and Hasan and Husain did not accept Caliphate and they disputed its legitimacy they of course cannot accept their battles, the motive of battles and consequent battles therefrom.”[224]

Even then it is said:

“They wanted Imam’s co-operation; His Eminence refrained from giving it.”[225]

On the basis of this Imam did not take any initial step with regard to battles. He did not participate in any of them.

“In Shia historical sources we do not find any evidence that could prove Imam’s personal presence in any battles; likewise, presence of Hasan and Husain also. Beyond this, we do not have any Sunni source that could prove for us direct presence of Imam Ali (a.s.) in Caliph’s battles.”[226]

“So history denies their presence. The least we can agree is their presence as consultants and advisors. This they did because they wanted to address their mistakes. We believe that they (the Imams) having had said not a word that could reflect their approval of Caliphs’ government or policies.”[227]

Although in this regard, they have claimed:

“It is evident that if Imam Ali (a.s.) had ill will to Umar or he were displeased with him, and regarded him usurper of his rights, he would always have been awaiting every opportunity to get back his right and for getting rid of the usurper of his rights…advised him to go personally to the battlefield and get killed there.”![228]

“One of the clearest proofs of Ali’s sincerity and friendship to Abu Bakr…and support to Caliphate!...was his attitude when Abu Bakr departed…he took charge of the army...God forbid, if Ali had any rancor and malice at heart against Abu Bakr, or had paid allegiance to him by force under dissimulation, this was an excellent opportunity for him. But on the contrary he advised Abu Bakr against going to the battlefield.”![229]

Therefore it can be said:

The only period when Caliphs took to expand borders of country that entailed military actions did Amirul Momineen (a.s.) interfere at the level and to the extent of advice and consultation. He did this to minimize pillage and plunder. This resulted in safety of Islam and Muslims. Although there was a wide difference between the motive of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in dispensing advice and the motive of the Caliphs in seeking the counsel of the Imam (a.s.). They were exactly opposite.

Here we point to one of the political aims:

“To wage wars in name of Jihad in the way of God is the best way to hold differences at home. In those circumstances if one wanted to knock the door of Justice to regain his usurped right and the applicant, however noblest among the people, was easily blamed as a world loving man or one who is after power.

On the basis of this, it was an excellent opportunity for men of government to achieve their cherished political aims and consolidate their position.”[230]

Did associates of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) have Active Presence in Caliphs’ government?

Another conjecture repeated in wrong analyses of participation of and support of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) with the Caliphs in administrative affairs is that the special and selected associates and companions of the Imam (a.s.) with concurrence of Imam himself, were in contact with the Caliphs.

In such a way that ultimately these respected persons were put under the command of the Caliph. Thus it is said:

“Companions and friends of Imam followed their leader (Ali) in their conduct and behavior. And they behaved with the Caliphs like Ali did, during the tenure of the Caliphs as well as after that. The Second Caliph appointed Salman Farsi as governor of Madayn. Ammar Yasir was appointed as governor of Kufa. Others by order of Caliph were sent to battlefield...”[231]

We recommend the translation of Salman Farsi by Sayyid Ja’far Murtuza Amili, New Edition,[232] page 67-76 to our readers to acquaint themselves with facts. Here we just quote a few points:

Firstly, in all analyses especially regarding motive of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in his acceptance of participation is proved. This applies to his friends also. The informal presence in the scene for protection of religion but with this difference:

“Ali has the same attitude in practice also. He personally did not accept any official post from any Caliph. He did not accept command of army or governorship of a district. He also did not accept administration of Hajj or anything else.

If he had accepted any one of so many proposed offers, it was tantamount to withdrawal of demand of his right and in other words co-operation, while safeguarding unity of Islam was important to him.

Although he himself did not accept any office he did not restrain his friends or family members from accepting posts or offices whatever their desire was or whatever the offer was. He never viewed this as co-operation. In his view, it was never an approval to their Caliphate or his sanction for their occupying his seat.”[233]

“Another important point here is that government of the Caliph was not inclined to utilize services of friends of Ali except in few instances.

In this period, even companions of Prophet were ignored in political and government affairs.

The First Caliph has pointed out that the reason was their own unwillingness. The Second Caliph indicates the reason as restriction he had imposed on them from leaving Medina, i.e. their compulsory stay in Medina.

Perhaps the Caliph feared that if they left Medina since they could not be put under a check or control they might become a pivot of people’s attention and this might lead to problems for the regime.”[234]

In the same way: “During the reign of all three rulers, not one Hashemite was given any post.”[235]

On the basis of this such instances of co-operation can only be called such when there is willingness on both sides.

Otherwise reason must be searched behind policies of Caliphs.

“Ibne Shahar Aashob says about this: Umar appointed Salman as governor of Madayn. Umar’s motive by this act was to spoil Salman’s reputation and destroy his credibility if he happened to make a mistake. But Salman did not accept it before taking permission from Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.).

He went to Madayn and as long as he lived he remained there. He used to gather fuel wood in his outer gown. Half of which was his floor covering while the other half was his outer covering.”[236]

Before deceptive and political attitudes of the regime we cannot but say:

“In the instance some senior and sincere Companions took part in these battles it should be remembered that apparently they were unaware of the reality of the matter and their aim was only service to God by rendering service to Imam and Muslims. They were not knowing the view of the Infallible leaders regarding these battles. Because as we have seen it was openly endeavored that people do not come to know the opinion of Ali (a.s.) and most probably the government institutions exercised force to send them to battlefronts.”[337]

In the same way:

“It is necessary to mention that the presence of Ali’s friends and followers in battles was not to support the regime and Caliphate. But it was to expand borders of Islam. They were absolutely sincere about it and their aim was not to gain spoils of war, such as fertile lands and rich cultivation,[238] but it was only to gain God’s pleasure and spread Islam did they participate in these battles.”[239]

“There is no doubt that Ali and his sons had no share in any of these battles. People know the brilliant record of Ali and his bravery in battles. So it was not fear of death or his isolation.

The only reason was he did not like to be in service of one who was usurper of his Caliphate. His co-operation would have provided credibility to Governments of those who had occupied his place.

In addition to this his awareness about their motive in these territorial expansion was an impediment to his easy participation in those wars.

What could be said about Imam Ali (a.s.) was that he did not refrain his associates and followers to participate in the campaigns...so that they may stop them from committing tyrannies and inhuman acts in contravention of teachings of Islam.”[240]


In a bird’s eye view, it can be said about the presence of some prominent associates of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in the battles that:

1 - Some of these gentlemen were such that their presence minimized atrocities. Secondly, they could achieve the aims that their Imam had designed and sketched for them.

2 - Some other of these respectable gentlemen were present there because they were forced by the Caliphs due to hidden aims of the Caliphs in sending them to the battlefronts. They were actually exiled by the establishment on this pretext.

It was such an exile that it was hoped that they would not return alive from there.

3 - Dishonest hands of interpolators and falsifiers of historical realities have added the names of these persons in the list of fighters of the Caliphs in order to show that the regime of Caliphs was not usurped one and to grant it legitimacy.

The best of these lists are taken from Sunni sources. So perhaps this analysis may be the nearest to reality.

Conjecture mentioned in Haft Aasmaan Magazine[241] - A Reply to it


Based on the premise that the Caliphs held consultations with Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and also that His Eminence Ali (a.s.) and his associates participated in the battles of this period the conjecture says:

“We start this short investigation of ours about the battles during the period of the Caliphs with three questions in this regard:

First question: What do you conclude by Ali’s help to Caliphs in many events and fate-making guidance at critical moments, besides, participation of Imam Hasan and Husain in battles and Ali’s participation in some battles of Caliphs; and also his bearing of responsibilities in the government of the Caliphs? How do you justify them?”[242]

In continuation of these questions, the writer coins three examples. One of them relates to Abu Bakr’s seeking advice of Ali in the first year of his Caliphate about waging war against people of Kinda.

Ali advised him to stay in Medina and send others to combat. Similarly Ali advised Umar to not go himself in war against Romans and Iranians.[243] From these cases the writer derives the following conclusion:

“For the sake of Allah! If Ali had your outlook about Caliphs’ wars he could not have given such useful advice to Umar.”[244]

The article writer in continuation of the first question as another example regarding consultation of the Caliphs with Amirul Momineen (a.s.) further adds:

“Many a times Amirul Momineen (a.s.) accepted to substitute for Umar during his absence. Like when Umar had left to supervise the fronts, or he went to Jerusalem, Ali accepted to depute for Umar in Medina.”[245]

In continuation of these three instances, which he terms to be ‘many’ he mentions the instance of participation of his associates in the battles and concludes thus:

“These examples truly disprove the idea that Caliphs’ battles were a good pastime for people and a setback for progress of Islam.”

Can this be accepted that men of knowledge and experience and staunch belief like Salman, Ammar, Hujr bin Adi and Adi Hatim were not aware of facts and ignorant of Imam’s opinion?”[246]

In continuation of his writing and from that which he is influenced, he concludes:

“Imams of Ahle Bayt (a.s.) had a positive outlook to foreign wars. Some proofs of this are as follows:

A) Anxieties of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) regarding Muslim battles during the period of the Caliphs and his concern for their victory in those battles and also his solving of problems for the Caliphs who were also leaders in those battles.

B) Participation of Hasan and Husain in some wars

C) Participation of some first grade companions of Prophet like Salman, Ammar, Hujr bin Adi in the wars and their administration of the conquered districts. As these could not have been without permission of the Infallible Imam (a.s.)...[247] ”![248]

They mostly quote these narrations in order to defend the battles of the period of Caliphs and the claim that the Imams (a.s.) were having a positive outlook to foreign wars of Muslims. They are as follows:

Point 1 - Ali’s helps to Caliph in solving problems etc. while they were in fact also leaders of those wars!

Point 2 - Ali’s counsel and guidance to Caliphs in their most stringent circumstances. Also the fact that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) never refused to heed their request for advice!

Point 3 - Anxieties of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) regarding Muslim battles during the period of the Caliphs and his concern for their victory in those battles. Ali’s occupation of Umar’s seat in Medina in the days of battles!

Point 4 - Numerous instances of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) substituting for Umar in Medina, and that also during the period of the battles!

Point 5 - Participation of Hasan and Husain (a.s.) in some battles of the Caliphs!

Point 6 - Participation of Hazrat Ali’s associates in some battles of the Caliphs supposing their being aware of the view of the Infallible Imam (a.s.)!

Point 7 - Acceptance of responsibilities by Hazrat Ali’s associates in Caliphs’ government and their participation in administration of conquered regions by approval of Infallible Imam (a.s.)!

Criticism and Scrutiny of Ali’s Positive Outlook to Battles


A brief review of discussions that we have mentioned so far will prove the weakness and irrelevance of their arguments and that too with the claim:

“The positive outlook of Imams towards the battles”!

Because such types of conclusions depend on the introduction that we have criticized and scrutinized in the preceding chapters.

If our readers ponder on the results obtained by consultations of Caliphs with Ali and look back to its statistics the number of items or occasions will indicate that there is no such a thing except few occasions mentioned. Else, it is not a historical reality. Similarly, such guidance and connecting it to battles is a thing lacking sense as it is short of reason. It is only a product of their imagination and has no historical reality.

In the same way to say that since the Caliphs consulted Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and he gave his advice and support it shows that he had a positive outlook for battles is wrong. Because to connect the instances of consultation with the battles is not proof enough that Ali (a.s.) also was happy with their battles. Both the things are not having any connection at all.

Because even if it is proved that giving consultation to the Caliphs is proof of positive outlook of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) to the battles as at that time they were rulers, before everything else it also included their usurpation of Caliphate of His Eminence (a.s.) because at the time of seeking consultation also the Caliphs were rulers!

Similarly the same scrutinies show that there were only three instances of consultation in military matters and if we pay close attention it will clearly show the motives behind them that none of them had any connection with person of the Caliph or the actual battle.

The important thing to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) was his anxiety that mistake must not be committed in those battles that could lead to total annihilation of Islam and complete domination of infidelity over Muslims.

Therefore from this aspect consultations had no connection with the person of the Caliph of the philosophy of wars in the view of His Eminence (a.s.) that we should conclude from it that it shows positive outlook of Imams (a.s.) to the battles.

When conditions demand vigilance because of war in which Islam has indulged itself the dire necessity becomes protection and safety of Islam. In such a case Imam would have an immediate and direct contact with the Caliph besides his advice for saving Muslims. But conditions differ. In reality, Umar had started war all by himself without consulting the Imam or taking his advice. The Caliph had done it by his own stubbornness.

In such conditions wherein there is no alternative but to send troops necessity dictates some provisionary measures to minimize danger which is certain or to avert uprooting blow from hitting Muslims and Islam. Therefore we see the Imam anxious and worried. Else he has no other reason. It was not and cannot be his approval of battles.

In other words, the wrong, rather insane decisions in military issues cause the Caliph’s life to be in the mortgage of Islam, i.e. protection of Islam. In such an event, there is no way out but to dispense the best advice for the sake of avoiding reversion to infidelity and saving religion from being wiped out completely. Imam Ali (a.s.) did not pay any importance to Caliph’s life if that life was to bring back past ignorant days of idol worship. Ali had warned Umar: If the Caliph does not repent and does not give up the design to revert masses to the old days of infidelity and idol worship I will cut off his head.[250]

There is a great difference between the two attitudes of Imam Ali (a.s.). According to his behavior we come to know that the life of Caliph in ordinary circumstances is not of any extra value or worth. Its value comes to worth only in case of its having an immediate link to Islam’s safety or that its end spells Islam’s end too. The dread of returning to infidelity of Muslim society or a likelihood of grip of idol worship upon the society makes a Caliph’s life worthy or attaches a corresponding worth to it.

Therefore consultation of Ali (a.s.) in military affairs is not a sign of good relations. It does not establish any good terms on either side. So how can it be drawn in the sense of his approval of their Caliphate, or his acknowledgement of their government?

Thus it is said:

“A correct peep into events and a correct circumspection of Ali’s stand during 25 years of three Caliphs’ period and about 5 years of his own Caliphate leads us to conclude that Ali tried towards strengthening power of Muslims and pillars of Islam. And he did not fall short of efforts in this ground...”![251]

However the battles - if Ali had a positive outlook towards them and had considered them holy, why he did not take part therein and beyond this why he rejected the office of commander that was proposed to him?

As for public deceiving claims that Ali was Umar’s deputy in Medina in itself is enough evidence to show their design to give a legal weight to their unlawful gain achieved at Saqifah. If we revise again what we analyzed earlier it would show clearly the motive of the writer of this article.

Participation of Hasan and Husain (a.s.) in battles of Caliphs


In this respect Allamah Ja’far Murtuza has given a detailed sketch of events in his book Analysis of political life of Imam Hasan Mujtaba, New Edition, that is translated (into Persian). While we recommend this book and stress on the necessity of its perusal we draw your attention to some points:


“Before entering into the theme, we point to the matters in relation to the outlook of Imam Hasan and Husain to government and battles of Caliphs.

1 - No researcher has a right to deny or accept before and after applying historical sources and divine texts. The reason is some books are written with bigotry, which results in deviation, perversion and allegations. This is not our word. Shaykh Shaltut, the last Mufti (jurisprudent) of Egypt and chancellor of Al-Azhar University, who himself by faith, was like author of Al-Milal wan-Nihal, says:

Most of those who have written books on Islamic sects and faiths were influenced by a profane spirit of bigotry. Therefore their writing have always added fuel to existing fire among sons of Ummah. These writers have only one point of view as though other angles are closed to them. They see their adversaries from one point. Opinion of a religion, which they oppose and belief of opposite side, which they do not concur with, is belittled and vilified by them. They attribute blames, which could result in mischief and enhance animosity. Neither any good nor any advantage has ever been in contents of their pages. A man of moderation or little justice should not form an opinion about faith on ground of their books. For every sect it is better that he obtains relative literature to be acquainted with the truth concerned.[253] How deplorable it is that in our colleges etc. such books are standard sources. By this they teach the youth students of various lands, who are supposed to learn about true Shiaism without studying their books that are criticisms of such books like the third volume of Al-Ghadeer.

2 - As a matter of principle, attention must be paid that historical words are like a raw material in our hand. Historian here has nothing other than to cater or feed information. Now the thing that matters is reason. When performing scrutiny we should place the bits side by side to complete a form picture. So the consistency, coherence, and concordance should constitute a sense not a sense distorted. Its ugliness could incite disdain while its comeliness would encourage love. If not so how right could be distinguished from wrong?[254][255]

Criticism and Analysis

Similarly as we know, in no Shia or Sunni source there exists a single case to show the presence of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in Caliphs’ battles. In the same way no Shia source mentions that Imams Hasan and Husain (a.s.) participated in territorial expansion of period of Caliphs, which itself is a matter worth contemplation.

But some Sunni historians have mentioned the presence of Imams Hasan and Husain (a.s.) in these battles. This has gradually resulted in renown of this matter and historians and even some contemporary Shia scholars[256] and jurisprudents[257] have put it in their writings.

Most Sunni writers, like Ibne Athir and Ibne Katheer have quoted Tabari (d. 310) and made him basis of their writing and used the material in their work - Similar to words of Tabari. We dwell here on a few of them:

Tabari in his Tarikh-e-Umam wal Mulook (History of Nations and Kings) writes:

“In the year 30, Saeed bin Aas along with few companions like Hasan and Husain and some soldiers left Kufa for Khorasan.”[258]

The above quote is the first thing that Tabari has written. In addition to the lack of narrators’ credibility[259] it is also fraught with more significant aspect which makes it difficult to accept the presence of Hasan and Husain in the battles.

Tabari continues the narration about the victory of a town of Tabristan named Tamisa:

“Saeed bin Aas[260] assured the inhabitants of town that not one of them would be killed but when the gates of the town opened, except for one he killed all the people.”[261]

In addition to this the second narration of also Tabari is also related from the same narrators with the difference that in repeating the names of those who took part in the victory of Tabristan the names of Hasan and Husain are missing.

Another point worth nothing is the year. Sunni sources mention it 30 Hijra. This year coincides with Uthman’s Caliphate. So the presence is during Uthman’s Caliphate while the event has taken place in Umar’s Caliphate.

In other words, it is a period when Ali refused to even give any consultation for the battles. It is impossible that Ali should have agreed to send his sons in a bloody campaign of Bani Umayyah in Tabristan.

More interesting is that Ali restricted the presence of Hasan and Husain in battle of Siffeen because he was much anxious about their safety.[262]

So how could he send the two reminders of Fatima (s.a.) to fight in Tabristan under the command of Bani Umayyah?!

On the basis of this and the analysis of Allamah Ja’far Murtuza it is not possible to accept the presence of Hasan and Husain (a.s.) in the battles of Caliphs.