Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) was NOT PLEASED with the previous rulers

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Muslims like to claim that there was perfect harmony between Ameerul Momineen – Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and the usurpers of caliphate and Fadak. They maintain that the ‘caliphs’ at least the Shaikhain were on good terms with Ali (a.s.) and Ali (a.s.) was also pleased with them. If there was any friction it was only at the beginning but after the martyrdom of Fatima Zahra (s.a.), they reconciled their relations.


Like the other myths propagated by the Muslims, this one too does not stand to scrutiny. There are many reports to show that both parties – the rulers and Ali (a.s.) never reconciled with each other and the friction between them is evident from various reports. This friction was apparent in the lifetime of Fatima Zahra (a.s.) as also afterwards.

  1. Ali (a.s.) thought the rulers to be liars and usurpers

Umar Ibn Khattab addresses Ali (a.s.) and Abbas:
When Abu Bakr reported from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.): We do not leave behind inheritance, whatever we leave behind is charity (for Muslims).

You both (Ali (a.s.) and Abbas) took (Abu Bakr) for a liar, traitor and usurper!

Then Abu Bakr died and I (Umar) said – I am the successor of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the successor of Abu Bakr and you both saw me as a liar, traitor and usurper!

  • Sahih Muslim v 5 p 152 under Chapter of Fa’y in the Book of Jihad
  • Al-Taraif v 1 p 271
  • Ithbat al-Hodat v 3 p 360
  • Behar al-Anwar v 28 p 376

Here we see rulers themselves admitting that Ali (a.s.) was never pleased with them and considered them to be liars and traitors and usurpers.

  1. Sermon of Shiqshiqiyah clearly highlights Ali’s (a.s.) displeasure and grief

The famous Sermon of Shiqshiqiyah (Sermon No. 3 of Nahj al-Balagha) is another irrefutable evidence of Ali’s (a.s.) displeasure at the oppressors who he terms as usurpers of caliphate:
Beware! By Allah, the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr) dressed himself with it (the caliphate) and he certainly knew that my position in relation to it was the same as the position of the axis in relation to the hand-mill…  I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one went his way but handed over the caliphate to Ibn al-Khattab after himself.

This famous sermon leaves no doubt about Ali (a.s.) view on the oppressors and usurpers of caliphate.

  1. Ali (a.s.) did not participate in any battle during the reigns of the usurpers

Although there were many battles fought during the tenure of the rulers and Muslims conquered much territory, Ali (a.s.) avoided participating in any of the battles, underscoring that these battles could not be considered as jihad in the way of Allah.

Even in the Battle of Yamama against Musailamah al-Kazzab who posed a major threat to Islam, Ali (a.s.) refrained from participating in the battle. This is because although Musailamah was on falsehood / batil, the Muslim ruler of the time was not on haqq / truth. In fact, it was a battle between two imposters – one an imposter of Prophet and another an imposter of Imam.

  1. Muawiya provokes Ali (a.s.) on being dragged by the first ruler for allegiance

Muslims are in denial on the attack on house of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) which saw Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) being dragged to the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) mosque.

Even though this was common among the Muslims and Muawiya is seen gloating over this incident to incite Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) into saying something inappropriate out of anger.

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) responds to Muawiya in his letter:
You have said that I was dragged like a camel with a nose string to swear allegiance (to Abu Bakr at Saqifah). By the Allah, you had intended to revile me, but you have praised me, and to humiliate me but have yourself been humiliated. What humiliation does it mean for a Muslim to be the victim of oppression so long as he does not entertain any doubt in his religion, nor any misgiving in his firm belief! This argument of mine is intended for others (Shaikhain), but I have stated it to you only in so far as it was appropriate.

  • Letter 28 of Nahj al-Balagha: In reply to Muawiya, and it is one of his most elegant writings

This letter clearly indicates that both Muawiya and Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) were unanimous that relations between the rulers and Ali (a.s.) were bitter and how can being dragged out of the house like a camel be sign of a harmonious relationship. How can Ali (a.s.) who calls himself a ‘victim of oppression’ in the letter be pleased with the oppressors?

The letter has more on Ali’s (a.s.) bitter relationship with the rulers when he says regarding Usman:
I am not going to offer an excuse for criticizing him (Usman) for his innovations…

  • Letter 28 of Nahj al-Balagha: In reply to Muawiya, and it is one of his most elegant writings

A complete reading of Letter 28 gives a crystal-clear picture on Ali’s (a.s.) acrimonious relationship with the rulers a fact that was of interest even to Muawiya and there are also other points of note in the letter for the Muslim majority.

  1. Rulers opposed the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and altered his Sunnah

Ali (a.s.) holds the rulers responsible for breaking their covenant and opposing the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as evident in this widely documented sermon:
The rulers before me acted in opposition to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), deliberately breaching the covenant with him and altering his Sunnah.

And if I had burdened the people on avoiding it and reversing everything to what it used to be in the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) era, my army would disperse from me to the extent that there would remain only myself or only a few from my Shias who recognise my virtues.

  • Al-Kafi v 8 p 58-63 under Sermon of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)
  • Al-Tarf p 27
  • Wasail al-Shia v 1 p 458, v 8 p 46
  • Behar al-Anwar v 34 p 173
  • Tafseer Noor al-Saqalain v 2 p 156 under Surah Anfal (8): 41

This widely documented sermon leaves no doubt of Ali’s (a.s.) opinion of the rulers.

  1. Ali (a.s.) would have reversed the judgements of the incompetent rulers

The rulers were incompetent and did not have the requisite knowledge to rule the Muslims. If Ali (a.s) had it his way, he would have reversed many of their judgements as he declares in the same sermon, recorded in the previous point:
Most certainly, if I order:

  • the Maqam-e-Ibrahim to be restored to the very place in which the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) had put
  • and give Fadak back to the inheritors of Fatima (s.a.)
  • and restore the Sa` (measure) as it had been decided by the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.)
  • and execute the donations that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) had gifted to some people, but his decision was not executed or carried out
  • and give back the house of Jafar to his heirs and take out its share from the Masjid
  • and decide once again issues that were unjustly decided
  • and restore women who were unjustly divorced from their husbands and married to others, to their actual husbands
  • and judge among them according to the very laws of Almighty Allah as regards matrimony
  • and take the descendants of the tribe of (Banu) Taghlib as captives
  • and restore all that which was distributed from the lands of Khaibar
  • and erase all the records of governmental gifts
  • and give equally in the same way as the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to do in order that it may not merely make a circuit between the wealthy among you only
  • and cancel the land surveying tax
  • and regulate equally the rules of marriage
  • and execute the Khums tax according to the very law that Almighty Allah has revealed and imposed
  • and restore the building of the Prophet’s Mosque to its actual place
  • and close the doors that were opened on it
  • and open the doors that were closed; and ban the rubbing on the sandals (in the ritual ablution)
  • and execute the doctrinal provision on those who drink wines
  • and decide the two kinds of temporary marriages (mutah) as lawful
  • and order to repeated reciting the Takbir (the statement of Allahu Akbar) five times in the deceased prayers
  • and oblige people to recite the Basmalah (bismillah) audibly during the obligatory prayers
  • and take out of the Holy Prophet’s Mosque those who were entered there after the Holy Prophet himself had ordered to dismiss them
  • and admit therein those who were taken out of the Holy Prophet’s Mosque although he himself had permitted them to enter there
  • and lead people to submit to the actual laws of the Quran and to carry out the divorce as was decided by the Sunnah
  • and decide the very classes and provisions of the Zakat
  • and restore the (ritual) ablution, bathings
  • and prayers to their actual times, ceremonies, and places
  • and treat the captives of Persia and the other nations according to the instructions of the Book of Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) traditions

If I do all these things, the people will abandon me.

By Allah I swear, I have ordered people not to gather during the month of Ramazan except for the performance of the obligatory prayers and I have informed that to offer a recommended (Sunnah) prayer collectively is a heretical matter…

I have really encountered burdensome things due to separation (from truth) and obedience (of Muslims) to the leaders of falsehood and the inviters to Hellfire (previous rulers)!

However, I have been granted the share of The Near Relatives about which Almighty Allah has added:
And know that out of all the booty that you may acquire, a fifth share is assigned to Allah,- and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer – if you do believe in Allah and in the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Testing,- the Day of the Meeting. (Surah Anfal (8): 41)…

The sermon continues with Ali (a.s.) extolling the virtues of Ahle Bait (a.s.) and we have extracted the relevant portion.

  • Al-Kafi v 8 p 58-63 under Sermon of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)
  • Mirah al-Uqool v 25 p 131 onwards

In this person, we see Ali (a.s.) being burdened by the blunders of the leaders of falsehood and the inviters to Hellfire. Imam (a.s.) would have reversed their decisions had he not feared a revolt from his army.

After all these reports of Ali (a.s.) branding the rulers as corrupt, liars, usurpers, leaders of falsehood and inviters to Hellfire, wanting to reverse their judgments, avoiding fighting in their battles, how is it possible for anyone to conclude that Ali (a.s.) and the rulers enjoyed a close and harmonious relationship?

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