A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH Volume 2

A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH0%

A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH Author:
: Dr. Hassan Najafi
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category: Imam Ali
ISBN: 978-964-438-976-8

A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH

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

ISBN: 978-964-438-976-8
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A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH

A VICTIM LOST IN SAQIFAH Volume 2

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

Did the Second Caliph desire Ali to be Caliph after him?

Here is one more conjecture that propagates good ties between Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and the Second Caliph:

“Umar in his last speech commits his tongue to a language that he never uttered throughout his life in any of his speeches. In this speech, he opens the window of his heart. In fact, it is his will: “O believers! Faithful ones! I recommend you to select Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) for Caliphate after me.”![378]

Before we scrutinize this conjecture, one thing seems necessary to be pointed out here. Efforts are rife to establish a conjecture alongside this by claiming that:

“Another fact which must not be ignored is that Ali after passing away of Prophet did not succeed to Caliphate. Similarly, after the martyrdom of Umar too did not succeed to Caliphate.”![379]

The mind of the reader is from the usurpation of the Caliphate of Amirul Momineen (a.s.).

While the behavior of the Second Caliph whether in the lifetime of the Prophet in the event of the pen and ink or whether in instituting a six-member committee of Shura is openly opposed to this claim:

“Umar by vesting special powers to Abul Rahman bin Auf weakened Ali’s position and strengthened Uthman’s hand; and indirectly ensured Uthman’s appointment to the office. He was already aware of qualities in Ali besides his knowledge that it was Ali’s right. He neglected all this. In short, he closed the way for Ali. He, in fact, formed that committee with the intention that Ali could be sidelined. The committee itself was an obstacle in the way of Ali to Caliphate.”[380]

“Umar made the committee to appease the rancor of Quraish against Bani Hashim progeny. Whether Bani Teem have cooperated with Ali if Ali were opponent of their Shaykh (i.e. chief)?

The rancor of Umayyad dynasty was never to be mitigated which had taken root since years long. Their fathers had fed their children with this rancor. Therefore one generation carried it to the next. Umar was in his deathbed. However he designed a plot so shrewdly that he brought forward all the motives of national prejudices against Ali. It was clear that the victim was Ali. Abdul Fattah Abdul Maqsood writes: For the Quraish the principle of age of ignorance was a fixed policy. Further, a staunch attachment to tribal bigotry to limits of worship was their characteristic. Members of the committee were from such a tribe with such an outlook. To break down family unity of Bani Hashim was an ambition and aspiration of Quraish. Umar performed his duty, which was to isolate Caliphate from Bani Hashim. This was already in efforts since passing away of Prophet.

There was no possibility left for Ali to win the contest. Whoever heard the names of the members of this committee became sure of the choice of Uthman.”[381]

“How Umar introduced each member of Shura, highlighting their defects and kept them in line with Ali? His motive is clear. He wanted that the man most deserving to this office and most competent to this job should not come to power.”[382]

In the same way Umar told Ibne Abbas while speaking to him about Ali refusing him to accompany to Syria unveiling the matter of the pen and paper by confessing that:

“The Prophet during his sickness wanted to introduce Ali as his successor but I prevented him.”[383]

On another occasion the Second Caliph says:

“His Eminence, during his illness decided to clarify this matter but I prevented him.”[384]

These confessions nicely disclose the plots he had designed one after another to hinder the way for Ali to attain the Caliphate.

In conclusion, it can be said:

“Not only the behavior of Caliphs was not good with Ali (a.s.) and Ali did not cooperate with him whole-heartedly, the behavior of Abu Bakr towards him was very cold and Umar did not give any office to Bani Hashim.

On the contrary, he used to give key positions to Bani Umayyah and by reviving practices and malice of the days of ignorance he compelled Ali (a.s.) to isolation.

In a gathering Umar told Saeed bin Aas, an Umayyad, in the presence of Ali: You are looking at me as if I have killed your father, while it was Ali who killed your father.”[385]

Allamah Askari has narrated the aforesaid conversation in his book Saqifah. His source is Tabaqaat of Ibne Saad (Vol. 5, Pg. 20-22). His analysis is this:

“It shows his provoking and inciting the people against Ali. Do such words of Umar not excite and provoke to revenge the blood of their nearest ones shed by Ali? Does it not encourage Saeed to take revenge of his father’s death by assassinating Ali?”[386]

Scrutiny of the legend of Second Caliph’s Marriage with Umme Kulthum

This is an issue of dispute in Islamic societies. It has indulged many into doubt and several others into confusion while to some it is setting out in search of an answer in a barren desert of uncertainty hit time to time by confounding sands of surmise. It is the marriage of Umme Kulthum, daughter of Amirul Momineen (a.s.), with Umar.

It is obvious that the aim by this claim is to obtain specific results. For instance, such as:

A) The prosperity in the next world for Umar by means of this marriage

Thus it is alleged:

“It is a well-known fact that devotion to Ahle Bayt exercises a positive influence on the fate of man - in this world and the next. Overall, love for the progeny of Prophet ensures mercies from heaven and Divine pardon besides the favorable attention of the Prophet himself. In the year 17 A.H. Umar decided to strengthen his ties with Ali. So with this motive he sought the hand of Umme Kulthum from her father, Ali, in marriage.”![387]

B) Immunity of Second Caliph about crimes committed against Ahle Bayt (a.s.)

“Hazrat Ali (a.s.) has given his daughter, Umme Kulthum in marriage to Umar. So Ali was the father-in-law and Hazrat Fatima, mother-in-law of Umar. According to this things told about Hazrat Umar have no foundation according to the belief of Sunni Muslims. They are only to create disunity and nothing else.”![388]

“His Eminence, Ali (a.s.) gave his daughter in marriage to Umar and Hazrat Umar was Ali’s son-in-law…therefore all the supposed enmities are also invalidated.”![389]

“But Hazrat Ali (a.s.) had family ties with them. Ali was Umar’s father-in-law. Umar was Ali’s son-in-law. How can such close ties be established between enemies?”![390]

C) Suggestion of Umar having gained the satisfaction of Ahle Bayt particularly that of Hazrat Zahra (s.a.)

Thus it is alleged:

“Umme Kulthum daughter of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) and Fatima Zahra was married to Umar. This could not have been possible without consent of Imam Hasan and Husain and her sister Zainab and especially her mother, Fatima.”![391]

D) Baraat, a principle of Shia belief now is put under question

Thus it is alleged:

“If Ali had approved abuse and insult of the Caliphs how he could have given his daughter in marriage to Umar?”![392]

E) Enmity and rancor of Umar towards Ali is covered

Thus it is alleged:

“Hazrat Umar loved Hazrat Ali and wanted to express it. So by his marriage to Umme Kulthum he perfected his attachment with Ali.”![393]

F) To show relations between Ali and Umar to be friendly

Thus it is alleged:

“Hazrat Ali gave his daughter, Umme Kulthum in marriage to Umar. This is the greatest proof of intimacy and sincerity among them. Ali had a great regard for Umar.”![394]

“The friendship between the two was so strong that Ali gave his daughter, Umme Kulthum in marriage to Farooq-e-Aazam.”![395]

G) Giving legitimacy to Umar’s Caliphate and distancing it from the term of usurpation

Hence it is said:

“If Umar had not been the rightful Caliph and had usurped Caliphate from Ali and had opposed the words of Prophet, it would not have been right for Ali to give Umme Kulthum, his daughter from Fatima, in marriage to him.”![396]

“Even if we suppose that Ali inspite of his unwillingness acknowledged Umar’s Caliphate, how did he give his daughter from Hazrat Zahra in marriage to Umar?”![397]

Therefore this matter is of much importance to be checked for authenticity, because it is being used for their undue benefit and made a pretext under which every stain is washed to the extent that Umar too was infallible like them. So it must be made clarified.

Before the scrutiny we would like to clarify a point.

Can only marriage with bin Hashim be a proof of friendship?

A marriage can take place with several and different motives and it can be for convenience also.

“Such marriages are many in history.

For instance, marriage by force took place between Hajjaj bin Yusuf the Thaqafi[398] and the daughter of Abdullah bin Ja’far bin Abi Talib. Later it resulted in insult to the family of Bani Hashim. The great jurisprudent of Sunni sect, Ibne Jauzi, writes in his book Akhbaar Al-Nisa:

“Hajjaj married the daughter of Abdullah bin Ja’far. When she entered, he saw her crying - tears flowing down her cheeks. He asked what made her to cry. She said, “The honor getting low and the low getting to honor.”[399]

Can marriage wipe out all those crimes and atrocities he (Hajjaj) committed against Ahle Bayt because of this marriage? The crimes of Hajjaj that are so plenty in history can they be forgotten and forgiven?”[400]

Criticism and Investigation

Outlook of Shia scholars with regard to the marriage of Umme Kulthum with Umar can be classified into two categories:

View of the first category of Shia scholars

This category of scholars in which there is Shaykh Mufeed also, totally denies occurrence of such a marriage. They consider it a lie and a thing fabricated by enemies of Ahle Bayt.

We quote here the reasoning of the great scholar and authority Shaykh Mufeed, while answering the issue in his book Masail Sirwiya:

“First: It is not creditable that Ali gave his daughter to Umar because such a thing is not proved. Its narrator is Zubair bin Bakr. This narrator does not enjoy a good reputation in the circle of researchers. They do not give any credit to his words.

He is known of being inimical to Ali. For this reason, he is not trustworthy. In his narrations, he is always against Bani Hashim.

Second: The tradition he has narrated contradicts itself in its wordings as there is no uniformity in it.[401] For example, in one place he says Ali gave his daughter in marriage to Umar. In another place, he says that Abbas (Ali’s uncle) took this job upon his own responsibility. Somewhere he says that no marriage codes took place that his marriage did not happen. Somewhere he says that there was coercion and threats from the side of Umar. Somewhere else he says that the marriage was the result of sacrifice. Some narrators say that the fruit of this marriage was a son named Zaid. But some narrators claim that Umar was assassinated before he could go into a nuptial bed with her. Some claim that Zaid had sons while some say that he was killed and he had no son.

There is another group that says that Zaid was killed with his mother while some say that the mother outlived her son.

So such narrations by such a narrator with so many contrasts and contradictions within itself are far from any credibility. It cannot be authentic to believe or to accept. The very creation of such a tradition, which is from its very start is rife with differences, cannot be taken into account.”[402]

“There is difference in this marriage. Shaykh Mufeed has opened an independent chapter for this subject.[403]

Shaykh Mufeed, Abu Sahl Naubakhti and Ibne Shahar Aashob - all these scholars have denied this marriage. Muhammad Ali Dokhaiyyal in his article: ‘Life of Umme Kulthum’ has discussed the subject and rejected its authority as well as its authenticity. Shaykh Muhammad Jawad Balaghi (d. 1325 Hijra) has denied this marriage in his lengthy article. Besides these, scholars like Abdul Razzaq Mukarram and Sayyid Nasir Husain of India (Lucknow) died in 1361 Hijra have flatly repudiated this marriage from its base.[404][405]

The confusion that surrounds this subject had impelled Ali Muhammad Dokhaiyyal to dwell on the matter in his book Elaam al-Nisa. He writes:

“Among the imaginary marriages which are not few, there is this marriage too - daughter of Ali, Umme Kulthum, with Umar.

Ibne Abdul Barr and Ibne Hajar and others mention that Umar asked Ali to give her to him.

Ali told Umar that she was still a girl.

Umar said that he would keep her better than others.

Ali told him that he would send her to him. If he is pleased he (Ali) would tie her in marriage to him. Ali gave a cloth to Umme Kulthum and sent her to Umar. Ali told her to tell Umar that the cloth was the same he had told about. She did the same.

Umar said her to tell her father that he was satisfied. Then Umar touched her leg, uncovering it.

She was shocked and asked him why he was doing that. She also told him if he were not Lord of Believers, she would have knocked down his nose. She came out of the house, went to her house and asked her father why he sent her to a bad old man.

Ali told her: Daughter, he is your husband.” (Ref: Al-Isaabah Vol. 4, Pg. 492; Al Istiab Pg. 490)”[406]

He has similarly said:

“All who have mentioned this marriage have said: Her marriage took place after assassination of Umar with Aun. Aun was killed in the battle of Tustar[407] in the year seventeen Hijra during Umar’s Caliphate. So it cannot be accepted that he[408] married her[409] after Aun was killed?...

The most surprising thing, which has incited a group to believe this story, is the statement of Ibne Abdul Barr. He says Muhammad bin Ja’far bin Abi Talib is the same who married Umme Kulthum after the death of Umar.

While in the same book he says:

Aun bin Ja’far and his brother Muhammad bin Ja’far were martyred in Tustar district (of Iran). He knows that the battle of Tustar happened during Umar’s Caliphate seven years before his death. Considering the date how can we give credit to this story?”[410]

Therefore it can be said:

A group of Sunni sect denies the narrations of marriage because they consider it an insult to Umar as the narrations mention his behavior with Umme Kulthum. Therefore to safeguard Umar’s honor they have no way but to deny it.

Why this rumor gained currency?

Possibly a question may arise, why the rumor has gained such currency among the people if this marriage had not taken place?

“This tradition became famous as Abu Muhammad Hasan bin Yahya has quoted it in his in his book, Al-Nasab. So many people think that since he is a Shia, the report must be correct even though he has taken it from Zubair bin Bukkar.”[411]

Similarly it can be said in reply to this question that:

“Perhaps this misunderstanding arose because one of the wives of Umar was named Umme Kulthum. She was the mother of Ubaidullah bin Umar and daughter of Jurul Khizayia. Since her name was the same as that Ali’s daughter they took for granted that she was Ali’s daughter. When the name Umme Kulthum is mentioned, the minds naturally go to Ali’s daughter. For this reason many have believed that Ali’s daughter was Umar’s wife.

On the other hand there was another Umme Kulthum also, who was Abu Bakr’s daughter and Ayesha’s sister. Umar had approached Abu Bakr to marry his daughter - Umme Kulthum. This story is like this:

Abul Faraj Isfahani (a Sunni scholar) writes in his book, Aghani[412] (songs): A man from Quraish asked Umar bin Khattab why he should not marry Umme Kulthum, daughter of Abu Bakr to preserve his position after Abu Bakr’s death and creep into his family through this link.

Umar appreciated the proposal and asked him to go to Ayesha and inform her and bring back the answer.

So he did. Ayesha pretended as if she received the news with happiness and got pleased by it. The man left her. Immediately after his exit Mughaira bin Shoba came to Ayesha and found her out of sorts. He inquired for the reason and she told him the whole story and added that her sister was still too young for him and that she wanted her to live in ease, calm, peace and a mild life better than Umar. What she meant was that Umar could not provide her such a life when he himself was a harsh and rough man.

Mughaira told her to leave the matter to him and that he would resolve the difficulty. Then Mughaira went to Umar and told him: Be happy and be father of many sons. I have heard you want to enter into Abu Bakr’s family through marriage with his daughter Umme Kulthum? Umar answered: Yes, so it is.

Mughaira said that it was good but in one way it was not because she was just a girl, too young and he was too rough and harsh. Occasions would rise when he would treat her roughly and beat her and she would cry calling her father, so all would remember Abu Bakr. Your harsh behavior would remind all of them to remember Abu Bakr afresh. This will increase agony for them. As such the marriage, because of you, would turn into a daily calamity.

Umar asked: Where have you been that you are speaking in such a tone? Mughaira answered: I am coming from Ayesha just now. Umar said: I swear by God and I witness that they (the House of Abu Bakr) do not like me. So you assured them that you will make me forgo the matter and ignore it. Well, it does not matter. I too desire her no more.

Mughaira again rushed to Ayesha and informed her of the fresh development, which he had promised her to do. Umar too did not contact them in this respect.

So dear readers! You might have grasped that there were two women by the name of Umme Kulthum (mother of Ubaidullah bin Umar and daughter of Abu Bakr). So people mistake her to be Ali’s daughter.”[413]

Outlook of second category of Shia scholars

Many Shia scholars believe that the marriage took place because of force and coercion. Umar used to threaten Ali, time and again. Ali had no way but to agree to this marriage.

The second category of scholars fall back upon proofs to establish what they have concluded. We refer to few of them here:

“The late Kulaini, the great traditionist, has written in his book Kafi: Hisham bin Salim narrates on the authority of Imam Ja’far (the sixth Imam). The story is such:

When Umar went to Ali to seek Umme Kulthum’s hand in marriage, Ali told him that she was still a young girl. Then Umar went to the uncle of Ali - Abbas who asked him what was wrong with him (Umar)?

Abbas asked: What is the matter?

Umar replied: I had been to your nephew, Ali, to seek his daughter’s hand. He refused me. But you know I will pour out the well of Zam-Zam until it goes dry.[414] I shall destroy all of you. I shall keep no honor, no distinction for any of you. I shall produce two witnesses that Ali has committed theft. Then I’ll cut off his hand.

Abbas went to Ali and informed him about the whole matter and asked Ali to leave the matter to him. Ali did so.[415]

There is another narration in this text:

Umar sent Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib to Ali with an errand to get Umme Kulthum in marriage for Umar. Abbas went and conveyed to him the message. Ali refused.

Abbas hurried back to Umar and informed him of Ali’s refusal.

Umar said to Abbas: By God! If he (Ali) does not accept and persists in his refusal I would kill him.[416]

Abbas again went back to Ali and reported Umar’s words.

But Ali repeated his negative answer.

Abbas informed Umar accordingly. Umar asked Abbas to come to mosque on Friday and hear directly what he says there and see for himself that he (Umar) could kill Ali if he wished.

Abbas went to the mosque on Friday. Umar after finishing prayers and the lectures told the audience that in the town, there exists a companion of Prophet who has committed fornication inspite of his married status. Of course no one knew it except himself. So what do you say?

All from various directions cried: If the Caliph knows, it suffices. No need for others to know it.[417] The judgment of God must be carried out against that fornicator.

After this Umar told Abbas to go and tell Ali what he heard and saw. He further added that if Ali still persists tomorrow he would announce among the people that the person he meant yesterday was Ali.[418]

Abbas went to Ali and narrated the details.

Ali said: Yes, these things are easy to him. He can do that without any hesitation and fear of God.

But Abbas told him if he could not agree, to leave the matter to him and he told Ali not to interfere. Then he (Abbas) went to Umar and told him that he would do what he wanted.

Umar called for a public meeting and announced: This is Abbas - uncle of Ali Ibne Abi Talib. Ali has given the responsibility of his daughter (Umme Kulthum) to his uncle, Abbas to perform her marriage with me. Thus he informed the people about the marriage that was to take place in the near future. He wanted to make the event familiar to them. He was circumspect to avoid the thing from being a surprise. After a period of time Abbas performed the marriage.[419][420]

This story is also narrated in a different version, which runs thus:

“Umar at the close of his Friday’s last sermon said: O, people! If the Caliph knows that one of you has committed fornication, but he has no witness at all; what would you do?

They said: The word of Caliph is an authority to us. If he commands, we shall stone the fornicator.

So Umar fell silent and came down from the pulpit and taking Abbas to a corner whispered into his ear: Did you see?

Abbas said: Yes.

Umar: By God! If Ali persists on his refusal I would tell the people tomorrow that the man I spoke about was Ali. Execute him![421][422]

On the basis of this it should be said:

On the strength of evidences and proofs it is an established fact that the marriage took place by force - neither Ali nor Umme Kulthum herself was in agreement with this marriage.

Umar had always fulfilled his desire by every means possible ignoring whether it was prohibited or the means adopted were good and reasonable. Whether God would be pleased or it would incur His displeasure, it least mattered to him. What mattered was to satisfy himself. Therefore he took advantage of his position as Caliph and the power, which was at his disposal, so he always swore because he was sure of his act and therefore nothing stood to hold him to see whether his desire would incur God’s wrath or please Him.

For the house where descended angels with God’s Messages such tyranny was rather too much. To see these things against the sacred house of prophethood saddens one and foments such feelings that one does not know what to call such a tyranny.

So we can guess how lonely Ali was! And how alone he was among all those cruelties and tyrannies! Not a friend to him to hear his heart and be consolation for him. Not one there that he could trust him in his agony. Not an intimate one to wipe away his tears. As such he was the first victim of Islam. So it is not odd that he used to lean into the well and complain of his pain to draw comfort and ease. How the agonies crushed his breast; and how bitter was the aggression upon him. Imam Sadiq (the sixth Imam) says:

“This was a sanctity taken from us by force.”[423]

The point worth noting here is what when late Shaykh Hurr Amili wanted to write about this marriage in his book Wasaelush Shia, he first put it under the title: ‘Permission for marriage with enemy under need and dissimulation’.

Regarding the threats of Caliph it can be said:

“Shia and Sunni are unanimous that Umar threatened Ali when he persisted on his refusal to demand of Umar to marry Umme Kulthum. Sunni scholars have mentioned it in Tabaqaat Ibne Saad, Zurriat al-Tahera of Dolabi and Majma az-Zawaid.[424] In these two books the cane of Umar[425] is referred to.”[426]

Therefore if there be truth in this marriage and there be a reality in the whole incident then it is self-evident and self-explanatory about Ali’s victimization. Further, it explains the political conditions ruling over Muslims at that time. It shows a plot designed by Ayesha, Umar and Amr Aas for this marriage to take place.

“Many Sunni sources, including Tabari, have written: Umar bin Khattab first went to Abu Bakr to ask his daughter, Umme Kulthum, in marriage. Ayesha conveyed this errand to her sister (Umme Kulthum). Umme Kulthum in reply said that she has no business with him.

Ayesha asked her whether she (Umme Kulthum) did not like the Lord of the believers.

In reply, Umme Kulthum said: Yes, I don’t like him. He is harsh and hard to live with. Beside he has a negative behavior and a very rough conduct with women.

Ayesha sent a message to Amr Aas to inform him about the development.

Amr Aas assured her that he would adjust the things. Then he went to Umar bin Khattab and told him that he had heard news, which he wished from God to be not true.

Umar asked what it was.

Then he replied that he had heard that he (Umar) had asked for Abu Bakr’s daughter in marriage.

Umar said: Yes. Do you think me not fit to her or she to me?

Amr Aas told Umar (bin Khattab): No, nothing of these two. Umme Kulthum is too young. She is treated by her sister (Ayesha) too mildly and affectionately. On the other hand you are extremely hard and harsh. We are afraid of you because we cannot change any of your habits…I will direct you to one better than her. Another Umme Kulthum - daughter of Ali bin Abi Talib.[427][428]

Opinion of Ustad Sayyid Ali Husaini Milani

[429]

“As of scrutiny and research on the second matter, that is marriage of Umme Kulthum, daughter of His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) with Umar bin Khattab, it must be said:

This case must be seen from two angles:

1 - Through Shia narrations.

2 - Through Sunni narrations.

Through Shia narrations, this story rests within three narrations.[430] Let us see one by one:

Umar bin Khattab asked Ali bin Abi Talib to give his last daughter, Umme Kulthum, to him in marriage. Because she was young and not ready for marriage he rejected the request. After some days, Umar met Abbas - uncle of the Prophet. He asked Abbas if there was any stain on his morals or conduct to be cause for disgrace? Abbas was amazed and asked what the matter was. Umar told him the story then threatened Abbas and all bin Hashim in these words: I swear by God that I will destroy the greatness and glory of Bani Hashim in Mecca and Medina from its root. Further, I will provide two witnesses to the effect that Ali has committed theft and carry on him the punishment prescribed in Quran.

Abbas came to Ali and told him what he was told by Umar and requested Ali to leave the task of Umme Kulthum’s marriage to him. Ali finally accepted his uncle’s proposal. Then Abbas performed the marriage of Umme Kulthum with Umar bin Khattab. When Umar was assassinated, Ali brought his daughter home.

When Imam Sadiq was asked about this marriage he answered: That honorable lady was usurped from us.[431]

That which comes to hand from Shia sources is nothing other than what is narrated.

Prior to entering into the scrutiny of Sunni narrations, there is a point to consider:

The marriage in question is not mentioned in any of the six books, called Sihah which are of much credit among Sunni sect; besides this marriage is not found in any other book of repute also.

It is questionable as to why this marriage which is important to them because it goes a great deal to provide a confirmation to Caliphate of their Caliphs must be ignored or overlooked, what must be the reason for it?

But it appears that this marriage is bereft of a base. Else, a marriage of so much importance is not possible to be missed by the pen of historians. In our belief (as Shia), the issue of Imamate and Caliphate cannot be established by an event such as this if at all this could be true, though the case is doubtful.

After this reminder it can be said that:

This incident by adversaries is narrated in their books in two ways:

(1) Way of Ahle Bayt of Prophet.[432]

(2) Way other than of Ahle Bayt.[433]

Within these two ways, scholars and researchers have treated this incident too lightly. They have not given any creditability to it.

The conclusion is that: firstly there appears confusion and disturbance in its text, which goes to make it discreditable and shaky. Furthermore there appears no proof of Ali’s willingness to this marriage. Those who have narrated this marriage have not mentioned any source relative to it, or a tradition to support its occurrence!!

Secondly: In all their other books which have mentioned this event through both channels there is no tradition on which they have unanimity on its authenticity.

Thirdly: There is a strange anxiety in the text of this story. Researchers have rejected many incidents if they find anxiety far less than which exists in this event in question.[434]

On the basis of that which is mentioned above it will be said:

So nothing comes to hand from these narrations. According to its phase from Shia narrations if we accept its having taken place, still it is liable to a deeper search. What is possible to lay hand upon is:

Umar might have contacted Ali with the request of marriage. It could be possible that he might have insisted upon his request besides having had repeated his contacts either by visits or approaches. Such persistence on his part could be the reason for change in answer of Ali from negative to positive. In addition to this, there is another element very much efficacious in this matter. Umar had sought the good offices of Aqeel (Ali’s brother) and Abbas (Ali’s uncle). So their recommendation in between seems to have played an effective role in making Ali change his stand. By the way, Sunni sources attest that Aqeel was in between. In a long run, Umar succeeded in creating compelling conditions for Ali. Finally, there remained no option for Ali but to accept. His acceptance was not on his will or inclination. Finally, he personally does not undertake the responsibility. This is further proof of his unwillingness. He leaves the whole matter to his uncle (Abbas). What could be a better sign of his unwillingness? Abbas performed the marriage and took the girl, Umme Kulthum, to Umar’s house. After this marriage, a short span of time passed and Umar was killed. Then Ali brought back his daughter home.

However this is the reality of the case and the background of the story. Now in view of this background and conditions that prevailed and the circumstances created for Ali, how could it be said that close, friendly and brotherly relations existed between Ali and Umar? A dim ray of reason will suffice to see the facts, a little wisdom is enough to judge the things and a least justice is sufficient to speak the truth far from selfish aims or motives. Shias have repeatedly stated with proof, logic and reason that Caliphate is a divine office as Prophethood. As we cannot appoint or choose a Prophet we cannot choose or appoint a successor to him. It is entirely and absolutely God’s choice and His responsibility. The office of Imamate is sacred and too holy and too high. To occupy this office, everyone, no matter whatever his qualifications, is impaired unless he is chosen by God and is infallible.

Regarding this marriage, the narrations have several stories within a story to weave such as the children born of this marriage and the material used to enhance the beauty of the bride. All these things are false and without a ground.

If at all, anything could be proved it could be this:

The insistence of Umar bin Khattab and nothing else. There is a tradition of the Prophet that: on the Day of Judgment there will not remain any family link or relation except that of mine.[435] To explain, the ties or links with the Prophet, that is the birth ties or links by birth that originate from the Prophet are not breakable. So Umar wanted to attain a family link with Fatima (daughter of the Prophet) and through her enter into family ties with the person of the Prophet to get that distinction.

But the real motive of Umar by this marriage is something else.

This motive can be found in the narration of Muhammad bin Idrees Shafei: When Hajjaj bin Yusuf Thaqafi married the daughter of Abdullah bin Ja’far. Khalid bin Yazid bin Muawiyah told Abdul Malik Marwan: Have you left Hajjaj on his own on this matter of marriage. Abdul Malik replied: Yes, is there any problem in it? Khalid said: By God, this creates great many problems. Abdul Malik asked how and why. Khalid in answer said: By God! O Caliph! From the time I married the widow (daughter of Zubair) all the hatred and rancor that was rankling in my breast towards Zubair has now gone. By these words of Khalid, Abdul Malik woke up as if he was in sleep. He immediately wrote to Hajjaj to divorce the daughter of Abdullah. Hajjaj did the same. In other words, he obeyed the orders of Caliph.[436]

Of course there is no doubt that through marriage one enters into other’s families and new links come into being. Also the inimical relation changes into friendly by a marriage. But the ill-will that Bani Umayyah had towards Bani Hashim always instigated them towards revenge instead of friendship. Bani Umayyah clan was always waiting for any opportunity to cool the fire of hatred burning in their hearts generation after generation.

But the case differed with Umar bin Khattab. By entering into the clan of Bani Hashim and particularly the House of Ali through this newly created link he wanted to change public opinion. He thought that the painful occurrence of Saqifah and his atrocious conduct along with his colleagues that entailed against Zahra could be redressed in the public view.”[437]

How many daughters did Ali have named Umme Kulthum?

Allamah Muhammad Taqi Shushtari writes in Qamoos ar-Rijaal:[438]

“Umme Kulthum - Daughter of Ali:

It is said about her that her title was Zainab al-Sughra. This is drawn from the book Irshad.[439] About the number of children of Ali, the book mentions:

Zainab al-Sughra known as Umme Kulthum was the daughter of Ali and Zahra.

However Shaykh Mufeed writes that she was daughter of Ali. Her mother was not Zahra but a slave girl.

Supposing, if Zahra’s second daughter’s name was Zainab then in such a case the lady in question would have been called Zainab al-Osta not al-Sughra.

In fact, from other’s narrations we can conclude that Umme Kulthum had no other name.

About the daughters of Zahra, it is mentioned they were Zainab al-Kubra and Umme Kulthum al-Kubra.

The other two girls, Zainab al-Sughra and Umme Kulthum al Sughra, were from a slave lady. Refer to the book Nasab Quraish by Musayyab al-Zubairi and also Tarikh Tabari.

In brief, Ali had two daughters by name Umme Kulthum. Umme Kulthum Kubra from Hazrat Zahra (s.a.) and Umme Kulthum Sughra from slave wife and for none of the two are there distinctive names.[440][441]

Probably due to the mistakes of historians the biography and marriage of these two Umme Kulthums are mixed and it led to the false conclusion that Umar bin Khattab married Umme Kulthum the elder, daughter of Hazrat Fatima. (s.a.).

Outlook of Ayatullah Marashi Najafi

“Another research is that Umme Kulthum, wife of Umar bin Khattab, was the daughter of Abu Bakr and Asma Binte Umais. Asma was wife of Ja’far bin Abi Talib. When Ja’far was martyred, Abu Bakr married her. When Abu Bakr died, she became wife of Ali bin Abi Talib. Umme Kulthum was an infant. When Asma came to Ali’s house this infant baby too came along with her mother.

This girl too like her brother, Muhammad bin Abu Bakr, was brought up by Ali. Ali treated her as his own daughter like Muhammad bin Abu Bakr. Later this girl, Umme Kulthum, was married to Umar bin Khattab.

In reply to the inquiry, the great Ayatullah Marashi Najafi answered and the reply of the great Ayatullah Marashi Najafi bears date Rabi al-Awwal 1407 and signed by him under his stamp. The text is as follows:

Umme Kulthum was a stepdaughter of Ali. She was married to Umar bin Khattab. She was daughter of Asma Binte Umais and Abu Bakr. When Abu Bakr died she, (Umme Kulthum) was just an infant. She came to Ali’s house when her mother (Asma) married Ali. She was brought up by Ali as his own daughter. Later she was married to Umar. Mostly she was known as Ali’s daughter…”[442]

Another Analysis about the Marriage of Umme Kulthum with Umar

Historical documents point to the meeting of two shrewd and astute personalities of Arab with Umar bin Khattab.[443] They were Amr bin Aas and Mughaira bin Shoba. In this meeting, two points are detected:

A) Those two exerted their efforts to prevail Umar bin Khattab to forego his lust for Umme Kulthum to marry her; because she was yet too young and besides she was under immediate guardianship of her sister, Ayesha.[444] There are signs one could predict thereon the social, political and periodical conditions that prevailed which necessitated relations with the house of Abu Bakr.

B) Ayesha after the death of her father (Abu Bakr) took the responsibility (the leadership) of her father’s party and its supporters. She was strongly against this marriage.

Her opposition was to the extent that necessitated her to ask help from Mughaira and Amr Aas:

We refer to the outlook of the Great Ayatullah Sayyid Shahabbuddin Marashi Najafi[445] with regard to important points here: Asma Binte Umais (wife of Abu Bakr) had a daughter by Abu Bakr by name Umme Kulthum. This much is enough to guess that Umar wanted to marry any daughter of Abu Bakr. Amr Aas detected the intention of Umar bin Khattab. He (Amr Aas) wanted to foil the hidden desire of Umar bin Khattab. So he tried in this regard.[446] Amr Aas persuaded Umar bin Khattab to ignore her and to go after her sister, Umme Kulthum, brought up by Ali and known among people as his (Ali’s) own daughter. Besides, he incited him that he would not cross Ayesha because she had no truck or any business with her.[447] This appeased and assuaged Umar to a great extent. So he immediately shifted from this girl to that. The attraction to Umar was the possibility of establishing a family link with Bani Hashim. Again, in this marriage he foresaw a possibility of deviating public opinion as they would see him in a different pose in a family tie with Ali and Zahra. This new relation would make them forget his harsh behavior towards Ali and Zahra and his attack on Zahra’s house. So this marriage was a source of moral advantage to him. And also by forcing Amirul Momineen (a.s.) to this marriage he would be able to insult and weaken him.[448]

Part C) Relations of the Third Caliph with the House of Divine Revelation

The claim of friendly relations between Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and the Third Caliph is related to the historical event connected with public attack on Uthman.

So they say:

“People used to come to Ali and complain to him about Uthman. And Ali conveyed people’s complaints to Uthman as he maintained a respectful position among the Caliphs.”[449]

A glance at historical documents

History indicates that relations between Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and Uthman were not friendly as claimed, because we see that:

“Saeed bin Musayyab says: I have seen a very harsh exchange of words between Ali and Uthman. It went to the extent that Uthman lifted the whip on Ali. I came in between and pacified them.”[450]

In the case of Abu Zar’s exile by Uthman, Ali went to see him and bid him goodbye inspite of the fact that Uthman had prohibited it.

“People came to Ali and reported that Uthman was angry by his send off to Abu Zar. Ali did not care and said: His anger is like the anger of a horse from its reins.

At night when Uthman censured Ali for his farewell to Abu Zar inspite of his orders to the contrary.

Ali answered him absolutely emphatically: We shall not follow you in that which is against truth and pleasure of God.[451]

Similarly in the same matter Uthman said to Amirul Momineen (a.s.):

“By God, to me you are not above Marwan!”[452]

Again in the case of Ali’s support to Ammar Yasir:

“A harsh exchange of words took place between the two, which turned into a fracas. Little by little, Uthman could not tolerate the brawl. He said to Ali: You too deserve to be expelled.[453]

The reason for such rows was that:

“Uthman considered Imam’s support to victims and oppressed as a direct war and an insult to him. Imam knew this but he did not forgo helping the victims.”[454]

So the difference went along between the two and became too serious that Uthman told him:

“I don’t know whether I like to see you dead or alive.”[455]

Then during the general riots:

“Marwan and Bani Umayyah used to whisper into the ears of Uthman that Ali was instigating the people against the Caliph to riot. The Egyptians were under Ali’s directions. Therefore Uthman expelled Ali to Yanbuh.”[456]

While this expulsion, in spite of historical evidences in support of it, has been distorted as follows:

“As Ali was more sympathetic to Uthman because of the riots against him, Uthman sent message to Ali to go out of Medina. Ali did so and this happened several times.”[457]

There is another example of such conduct towards Ali:

“Uthman too followed his predecessor Umar and prohibited the Hajj. Ali objected because openly it was wrong. He stood against Caliph in word and deed. He took such a strong stand that his assassination seemed too likely to occur at the hands of Caliph’s men.

Abdullah bin Zubair says: A man from Damascus said, which I will never forget: See the man how he argues with the lord of believers (Uthman). By God, I will kill him if the Caliph orders me.”[458]

There is another incident. Ali objected to the Caliph when Uthman wanted to buy endowed land.

“The argument became a dispute the dispute became a noisy quarrel and the quarrel enraged Caliph so much that he lifted the whip upon Ali and Ali raised the cane which was in his hand. Prophet’s uncle, Abbas came in between and calmed the two.”[459]