A follower of the innovators made the claim that Imam Ali (a.) had granted Abu Bakr most of the right to succeed him and praised him as a companion of the cave and as the prayer leader appointed by the Prophet (s.). The 1st volume of Nahj-ul-Balaghah on page 332 was cited as the source. Is this really the statement of the Commander of the Faithful?
Such a report is not on page 332 or anywhere else in Nahj-ul-Balaghah, so this accusation is nothing but a lie! Rather, such reports are found in the works of the innovators, and thus have no weight with the lovers of the Ahl-ul-Bait (a.).
Abd-ul-Hamid Ibn Abi Al-Hadid reports from Ibn Lahi’ah that Abu Al-Aswad said: “Some men among the emigrants were angry because of the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr without consultation. Ali (a.) and Az-Zubair were angry and entered the house of Fatimah (a.) while carrying weapons. After that, Umar arrived with a group, and among them were Usaid Ibn Hudair and Salamah Ibn Salamah Ibn Waqash, who are among the sons of Abd-ul-Ashhal, and Fatimah (a.) cried out and swore to them by God. Then they took the swords away from Ali (a.) and Az-Zubair and smashed them against the wall until they broke. Then Umar brought them out and harassed them so that they took the oath of allegiance. Then Abu Bakr rose, preached a sermon to the people and warned them. He said: “The oath of allegiance to me was a turbulent matter. God averted the evil of it, and I feared the stormy affair, and by God, I had not a single day to ask for it. I imitated a mighty matter of which I am neither able nor in possession of two hands, and I wished the people would strengthen my position in it.” He made excuses to them so that the emigrants accepted his apology and Ali (a.) and Az-Zubair said: “We were angry about nothing other than the consultation and we see that Abu Bakr has the most right to it of all the people because he is the Companion of the cave and we know his Sunnah and the Prophet Muhammad (s.) commanded him to be the prayer leader of the people while he himself was still alive.” [Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah of Ibn Abi Al-Hadid, Volume 2 Page 50]
قال عبد الحميد بن أبي الحديد المعتزلي: عن ابن لهيعة عن أبي الأسود، قال: غضب رجال من المهاجرين في بيعة أبي بكر بغير مشورة، وغضب علي والزبير، فدخلا بيت فاطمة عليها السلام، معهما السلاح، فجاء عمر في عصابة، منهم أسيد بن حضير وسلمة بن سلامة بن وقش، وهما من بني عبد الأشهل، فصاحت فاطمة عليها السلام، وناشدتهم الله. فأخذوا سيفي علي والزبير، فضربوا بهما الجدار حتى كسروهما، ثم أخرجهما عمر يسوقهما حتى بايعا، ثم قام أبو بكر فخطب الناس، واعتذر إليهم، وقال: إن بيعتي كانت فلتة وقى الله شرها، وخشيت الفتنة، وأيم الله ما حرصت عليها يوما قط، ولقد قلدت أمرا عظيما ما لي به طاقة ولا يدان، ولوددت أن أقوى الناس عليه مكاني. وجعل يعتذر إليهم، فقبل المهاجرون عذره. وقال علي والزبير: ما غضبنا إلا في المشورة، وإنا لنرى أبا بكر أحق الناس بها، إنه لصاحب الغار، وإنا لنعرف له سنة، ولقد أمره رسول الله ص بالصلاة بالناس وهو حي
Abd-ul-Hamid Ibn Abi Al-Hadid writes: “Our scholars, may God have mercy on them, be they former or later, be they from Basra or Baghdad, agree in their doctrine of faith that the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq is a valid and legitimate oath of allegiance and it was not made by a text. Rather, it is an election confirmed by consensus.” [Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah of Ibn Abi Al-Hadid, Volume 1 page 7]
قال عبد الحميد بن أبي الحديد المعتزلي: اتفق شيوخنا كافه رحمهم الله، المتقدمون منهم والمتأخرون، والبصريون والبغداديون، على أن بيعه أبى بكر الصديق بيعه صحيحه شرعية، وانها لم تكن عن نص وإنما كانت بالاختيار الذي ثبت بالاجماع
Did the commander of the faithful (a.) see himself more justified than Abu Bakr?
Muhammad Ibn Al-Husain reported that Imam Ali (a.) said: “By Allah, so-and-so has clothed himself (the caliphate) with it ( the caliphate), and he surely knew that my position towards it ( the caliphate) is like the position of the axis to the millstone. The tide rises from me, and no bird can ascend to me. I covered myself with a cloth against the (caliphate) and hid myself from it. I began to consider whether I should gain access to it with my hand cut off (without helper) or whether I should stand firm against the blinding darkness in which the adult grows old and the young man grows grey hair and the believer struggles until he meets his Lord! I thought steadfastness to this was wiser (than to fight for the caliphate), so I remained patient in the face of the thorn in my eye and the anxiety in my throat, and while I watched my inheritance being plundered until the first one went his way and handed it (the caliphate) over to this one and the one after him.” Then he quoted the rhyme of Al-A’sha: “How different are my days in the saddle of a camel (i.e. days of hardship) than the days I spent (in peace) with (Jabir’s) brother Hayyan!” (He continued): “How strange! While he was alive, he wanted to be released from this (caliphate), but he confirmed it for the other after his death. As if in high spirits, the two of them divided his udders among themselves and made it become the property of the common (part of the) people, whose language is rough and whose touch is hard. Under him the missteps and (also) the excuses for them became more frequent. His (the people’s) leader was like the rider of a difficult (camel), if he took up the reins (too tight), the nostrils (of the camel) would be torn apart, and if he let them loose, he would fall. By Allah, people were thus afflicted by being pushed around (in confusion), with stubbornness and obstinacy.” [Nahj-ul-Balaghah of Ash-Sharif Ar-Radi, Sermon No. 3]
عن محمد بن الحسين بن موسى رضوان الله عليه أن أمير المؤنين عليه السلام قال: أما والله لقد تقمصها فلان، وإنه يعلم أن محلي منها محل القطب من الرحى، ينحدر عني السيل، ولا يرقى إلي الطير، فسدلت دونها ثوبا، وطويت عنها كشحا، وطفقت أرتئي بين أن أصول بيد جذاء، أو أصبر على طخية عمياء، يهرم فيها الكبير، ويشيب فيها الصغير، ويكدح فيها مؤمن حتى يلقى ربه، فرأيت أن الصبر على هاتا أحجى، فصبرت وفي العين قذى، وفي الحلق شجا، أرى تراثي نهبا، حتى مضى الأول لسبيله، فأدلى بها إلى فلان بعده – ثم تمثل عليه السلام بقول الأعشى: شتان ما يومي على كوره * ويوم حيان أخي جابر فيا عجبا!! بينا هو يستقيلها في حياته إذ عقدها لاخر بعد وفاته، لشد ما تشطرا ضرعيها، فصيرها في حوزة خشناء، يغلظ كلمها، ويخشن مسها، ويكثر العثار والاعتذار منها، فصاحبها كراكب الصعبة إن أشنق لها خرم، وأن أسلس لها تقحم، فمني الناس لعمر الله بخبط وشماس، وتلون، واعتراض