The commentary of the word of Allah, the High:

وَأَذَانٌ مِّنَ اللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى النَّاسِ يَوْمَ الْحَجِّ الأَكْبَرِ أَنَّ اللهَ بَرِيءٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَرَسُولُهُ

And an announcement from Allah and His Apostle to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Apostle are free from liability to the idolaters;…[1]

In Ghaayah al-Maraam: Ibn Shahr Aashob has narrated from a group of Sunni scholars. He said: Chapter of Turning and Mastership. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) deputed him (a.s.) in conveying the Chapter of Bara’ah and stripped Abu Bakr of this responsibility – as per the consensus of the commentators and the narration of the traditions.  It has been recorded by Tabari, al-Balaadhari, al-Tirmidhi, al-Waaqedi, al-Sha’bi, al-Sudi, al-Tha’labi, al-Waahedi, al-Qurtubbi, al-Qushairi, al-Sam’aani, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Battah, Muhammad Ibn Is’haaq, Abu Ya’laa al-Mosuli, al-A’mash, Sammaak Ibn Harb – in their books – from Urwah Ibn Zubair, Abu Hurairah, Anas, Abu Raafe’, Zaid Ibn Naqee’, Ibn Umar and Ibn Abbas. The wording of the narration goes as follows:

“When the Chapter of Bara’ah (disavowal) was revealed till nine verses, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) deputed Abu Bakr to convey the same. Jibraeel (a.s.) descended and said, ‘None shall convey these verses except you or a person from you.’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said to Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), ‘Mount my she-camel al-Ghadhbaa, reach unto Abu Bakr and take the Disavowal from his hand.’ When Abu Bakr returned to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), he was anguished and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! You considered me eligible for an affair desired by the people. But when I went to perform that task, you made me return from it.’ The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘Verily, the Trustworthy (Jibraeel) descended to me from Allah – the High – that this message should not be delivered by anyone except you or a person from you. And Ali is from me and none shall deliver on my behalf except Ali.[2]

I say: Traditions in this regard are consecutive from both the sects. In Ghaayah al-Maraam, he (r.a.) has mentioned twenty-three traditions from Sunni sources and sixteen from Shia sources.[3]

From what he has narrated from Sunni sources is vide the book “al-Jam’ Bain al-Sehaah al-Sittah” of Rezzeen al-Abdari in Part II, in the exegesis of the Chapter of Bara’ah from Sunan Abi Dawood and Saheeh al-Tirmidhi narrating from Ibn Abbas (r.a.), “The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) sent Abu Bakr and ordered him to announce during the Hajj about the avowal. Then, he (s.a.w.a.) sent Ali (a.s.) behind him riding while Abu Bakr had covered some distance. When he heard the braying of the she-camel of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), al-Ghazbaa, Abu Bakr stood in anxiety, fearing some mishap had occurred. Ali (a.s.) handed over the message of Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) to him that Ali (a.s.) should announce these words because ‘it is not appropriate except that I convey it or a person from my Ahle Bait (a.s.).’ So, he returned while Ali (a.s.) was announcing during the days of Tashreeq (ايام التشريق)[4], ‘Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) have disavowed themselves from every polytheist. Then travel in the earth four months. After this year, no polytheist will be allowed to perform the Hajj nor circumambulate around the Ka’bah naked and none shall enter Paradise except a Muslim.’ While Ali (a.s.) was making this proclamation, had he heard a command other than this, he would have announced it.”[5]

He (r.a.) has also mentioned under his (s.a.w.a.) saying, “Ali is from me and I am from Ali” thirty-five traditions from Sunni sources. In most of these narrations, after the above words, the sentence “None shall repay on my behalf except me or Ali.”[6]

When you have become aware of this, then know that the removal of Abu Bakr by the Chief of the Prophets (s.a.w.a.) and replacing him by our master Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) for the conveyance of the Chapter of Bara’ah citing the reason that ‘none shall convey on my behalf except me or one who is from me’ clearly establishes the ineligibility of Abu Bakr and whoever follows in his footsteps for the position of Caliphate and Imamate. None is eligible and worthy of this elevated position except his (s.a.w.a.) Ahle Bait (a.s.), those who were from him (s.a.w.a.) and he (s.a.w.a.) was from them. For, his (s.a.w.a.) successorship is an appointment to convey from what is his (s.a.w.a.) duty and position. His (s.a.w.a.) saying, “The trustworthy angel Jibraeel (a.s.) descended upon me and said, ‘None shall convey it on your behalf except you or a person from you.’ And Ali is from me and I am from him. So, none shall convey on my behalf except Ali.’ Thus, he (s.a.w.a.) sidelined Abu Bakr because he was not from him (s.a.w.a.) which explains that conveyance on his (s.a.w.a.) behalf is from either his (s.a.w.a.) noble obligations or that of somebody from him (s.a.w.a.). None else has the authority to perform this task. Then, how is it permissible for Abu Bakr and his followers to embrace Caliphate and convey on his (s.a.w.a.) behalf the duties of Prophethood and Messengership?

Objection: If this is the case, then it was not permissible for anyone from the companions to convey what they had heard from him (s.a.w.a.) of the Divine Laws, while he (s.a.w.a.) had ordered that those present from amongst them should inform those who are absent. He (s.a.w.a.) declared, ‘May Allah have mercy on a person who hears my saying and retains it as he has heard it. So often, the bearer of knowledge is not knowledgeable and so often the bearer of knowledge carries the knowledge to the one who is more knowledgeable than him. Know that the one who is present should convey to the one who is absent and a father should convey to his son.’[7]

Answer: Conveying the Divine Laws as a narration is the duty of every companion who has heard from him (s.a.w.a.) while what was his (s.a.w.a.) duty and the duty of his Ahle Bait (a.s.) was the conveyance on his (s.a.w.a..) behalf in the meaning of appointment for conveying what was from his obligation and its implementation. Moreover, his Caliphate is not merely narrating from him (s.a.w.a.), otherwise all the companions would be equal partners in this task. Thus, it is nothing but the appointment for the affair of religion and implementation of what was his (s.a.w.a.) responsibility and is distinct and exclusive only for the Ahle Bait (a.s.).

[1] Surah Bara’ah (9): Verse 3

[2] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 463 narrating from Manaaqeb of Ibn Shahr Aashob, vol. 2, p. 126 (Qom edition).

[3] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 461-465

[4]The old name of the three days following the 10th of Zilhajj during the Hajj – Translator.

[5] Ghaayah al-Maraam, p. 462.

[6] Ghaayah al-Maraam, pp. 456-459.

[7] Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 403.