Praise from Imam Ali?

1st question:
A follower of the unlawful imams made the claim that Imam Ali (a.) declared Abu Bakr and Umar to be the best after the Messenger (s.) and gave the following source Kitab Ash-Shafi of Al-Murtada, Volume 2 page 428 He also claimed that Imam Ali (a.) referred to both as his favorite brothers, rightly guided imams and role models and cited the following source: Talkhis Ash-Shafi, Volume 2 page 428: Are these really reports that reached the lovers of the Ahl-ul-Bait (a.)?
Answer:
First of all, it must be said that the source citation is wrong, because it is in the 3rd volume on pages 94 and 95. The statement itself is a fabrication of the Innovators, which Ash-Sharif Al-Murtada quoted and refuted by the reports of the Infallible (a,) about the leadership of Imam Ali (a.).
Ash-Sharif Al-Murtada writes: “The author of the book said: “They have another proof and it may be that they prove his appointment (s.) due to the absence of Medina.” Footnote: “We are talking about the book called Al-Mughni.” [Ash-Shafi Fi Al-Imamah, Volume 3 Page 71]
قال الشريف المتضى رضي الله عنه: قال صاحب الكتاب: دليل لهم آخر، وربما استدلوا باستخلافه [صلى الله عليهما إياه] بعد الغيبة على المدينة. ونقرأ في الهامش: (١) التكملة من المغني
Ash-Sharif Al-Murtada writes: “Al-Qadi Abd-ul-Jabbar Ibn Ahmad Ibn Abd Al-Jabbar Al-Hamdani was one of those who took part in this contest and went out against the temptations of the matter. So he wrote the book called Al-Mugni Fi At-Tawhid Wa Al-Adl in 20 volumes and in the 20th volume he dealt especially with the topic of leadership. Initially Al-Qadi was originally an Asharite Shafiite branch. He was then influenced by those present with them who were among the scholars of the Mu’tazilah and turned to the Mu’tazilah’s teachings.” [Ash-Shafi Fi Al-Imamah, Volume 1 Page 8]
قال الشريف المتضى رضي الله عنه: وقد كان القاضي عبد الجبار بن أحمد بن عبد الجبار الهمداني: ممن جرى في هذا المضمار، وخاض الغمرات في هذا الموضوع فأملى كتابه ” المغني في التوحيد والعدل ” في عشرين جزء، وجعل الجزء العشرين منه خاصا في الإمامة. وكان القاضي في أول أمره أشعري الأصول شافعي الفروع، ثم تأثر بمن حضر عندهم من علماء المعتزلة فتحول إلى الاعتزال
Ash-Sharif Al-Murtada writes: “He (Al-Qadi Abd-ul-Jabbar) said:And they contradict what is narrated about the appointment of Abu Bakr and it was narrated by Anas that the Messenger (s.) on the arrival of Abu Bakr ordered him to promise him paradise and the succession after him. And Ja’far Ibn Muhammad reported from his father that a man from the Quraish tribe came to Ali (a.) and said: “I heard you say: “God improves us with what he improves the rightly guided successors. Therefore, i want to know who they are.” Ali (a.) replied: “They are my favorites and uncles Abu Bakr and Umar. Two imams of the rightly guided, scholars of Islam and men of the Quraish tribe. According to the Prophet Muhammad (s.), both should be imitated, and whoever imitates them will be saved from wrongdoing, and whoever follows their footsteps will be guided to the straight path.” And Abu Juhaifah, Muhammad Ibn Ali, Abd Khair, Suwaid Ibn Ghafalah, Abu Hakimah and fourteen others reported that Ali (a.) said: “The best of this community after our Prophet are Abu Bakr and Umar.” [Ash-Shafi Fi Al-Imamah, Volume 3 Pages 92 – 94]
قال الشريف المتضى رضي الله عنه: قال وأحد ما يعارضون به ما روي عنه في استخلاف أبي بكر، فقد روي عن أنس أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله أمره عند إقبال أبي بكر أن يبشره بالجنة وبالخلافة بعده .. وروى جعفر بن محمد عن أبيه أن رجلا من قريش جاء إلى أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام فقال سمعتك تقول في الخطبة آنفا: اللهم أصلحنا بما أصلحت به الخلفاء الراشدين فمن هم، قال: حبيباي وعماي أبو بكر وعمر إماما الهدى وشيخا الاسلام ورجلا قريش، والمقتدى بهما بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله من اقتدى بهما عصم ومن اتبع آثارهما هدي إلى صراط مستقيم. وروى أبو جحيفة ومحمد بن علي وعبد خير وسويد بن غفلة وأبو حكيمة وغيرهم وقد قيل إنهم أربعة عشر رجلا إن عليا عليه السلام قال في خطبة (خير هذه الأمة بعد نبيها أبو بكر وعمر
Ash-Sharif Al-Murtada writes: “We have already explained in advance that the report, which includes the command of devotion towards Imam Ali (a.) and his authority over the believers, has been transmitted many times and without interruption among the followers of the people of the house (a.).” [Ash-Shafi Fi Al-Imamah, Volume 3 Page 96]
قال الشريف المرتضى رضي الله عنه: قد بينا فيما تقدم أن الخبر الذي يتضمن الأمر بالتسليم على أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام بإمرة المؤمنين تتواتر الشيعة بنقله
Let us now come to a report that reached the lovers of the Ahl-ul-Bait (a.) and is therefore relevant.
Sa’d Al-Khaffaf reported that Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (a.) said: “One day, while the commander of the believers (a.) was sitting in the house of prayer, surrounded by his companions, a man from his followers came to him and said: “Stretch out your hand that i may take the oath of allegiance to you!” He said: “To what will you swear allegiance with me?” The man replied: “Regarding the plots of Abu Bakr and Umar.” So he stretched out his hand and said: “Give me your hand! May God curse them.” [Bihar-ul-Anwar of Al-Majlisi, Volume 41 Page 294 – 295 Hadith 17]
عباد بن سليمان، عن محمد بن سليمان، عن أبيه، عن هارون بن الجهم، عن سعد الخفاف، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: بينا أمير المؤمنين يوما جالس في المسجد وأصحابه حوله فأتاه رجل من شيعته، فقال: ابسط يديك أبايعك، قال: على ماذا؟ قال: على ما عمل أبو بكر وعمر! قال: فمد يده وقال له: أصفق لعن الله الاثنين
2nd question:
In addition, the claim was made that Imam Ali (a.) had awarded Abu Bakr and Umar a high position in Islam and recognized them as successors of the Messenger (s.), citing the following source Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah by Ibn Maitham Al-Bahrani, Volume 31 page 486, and the statement that Imam Ali (a.) had praised Abu Bakr or Umar on page 350 in Nahj-ul-Balaghah. What is the real situation?
Answer:
As for the work of Al-Bahrani, which is called Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah, it comprises only five volumes, and therefore a 31st volume is non-existent.
It is rather a fabrication that is circulating among the people of innovation.
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 the 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 that was confirmed by consensus.” [Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah by 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
Abd-ul-Hamid Ibn Abi Al-Hadid writes that Imam Ali (a.) said: “And the best among them in Islam, according to the claims you have made and the most advisable of them were according to God and His Messenger, the successor and successor of the successor and by my life, their position in Islam is certainly tremendous and what was achieved by both, to the wound of Islam, considerable. Therefore may the mercy of God be on both of them and their reward be better than their deeds.” [Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi Al-Hadid, Volume 15 page 76].
قال عبد الحميد بن أبي الحديد المعتزلي: عن علي رضي الله عنه قال: فكان أفضلهم – زعمت – في الاسلام، وأنصحهم لله ولرسوله الخليفة وخليفة الخليفة، ولعمري إن مكانهما في الاسلام لعظيم، وإن المصاب بهما لجرح في الاسلام شديد، فرحمهما الله وجزاهما أحسن ما عملا
Let us come to the sermon of the commander of the faithful (a.), in which neither the name of Abu Bakr nor the name of Umar is mentioned.
Muhammad Ibn Al-Husain reported that Imam Ali (a.) said: “To Allah belongs this, whatever good he did, who straightened the crooked, cured the sickness, established the practice [Sunnah] and put aside the discord. He went (out of this world) with clean clothes and little of shame. He achieved their good (of this world) and escaped their evil. He obeyed Allah, and feared Him as He deserved. He went on his journey, leaving them (the people) in different paths, in which the astray is not guided, and the one who is guided on the right path cannot attain certainty.” [Nahj-ul-Balaghah of Ash-Sharif Ar-Radi, Sermon No. 228]
عن محمد بن الحسين بن موسى رضوان الله عليه أن أمير المؤنين عليه السلام قال: لله بلاء فلان فقد قوم الأود وداوى العمد. خلف الفتنة وأقام السنة. ذهب نقي الثوب قليل العيب. أصاب خيرها وسبق شرها أدى إلى الله طاعته واتقاه بحقه. رحل وتركهم في طرق متشعبة لا يهتدي فيها الضال ولا يستيقن المهتدي
Abd-ul-Hamid Ibn Abi Al-Hadid writes: “By this person is meant Umar Ibn Al-Khattab and i found an edition written by Ar-Radi Abu Al-Hasan, who is the collector of Nahj-ul-Balaghah and under this person Umar was commented. As for Ar-Rawandi, on the contrary, he says in his commentary that Imam Ali (a.) praised some of his companions for their good conduct in life and that the dissension is the one that occurred after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (s.) through the elections and propagation, but i think that is absurd.” [Sharh Nahj Al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi Al-Hadid, Volume 12 pages 2 – 3]
قال عبد الحميد بن أبي الحديد المعتزلي: وفلان المكنى عنه عمر بن الخطاب، وقد وجدت النسخة التي بخط الرضى أبى الحسن جامع (نهج البلاغة) وتحت (فلان) عمر. وقال ابن أبي الحديد: فاما الراوندي فإنه قال في الشرح انه عليه السلام مدح بعض أصحابه بحسن السيرة وأن الفتنة هي التي وقعت بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله من الاختيار والإثرة وهذا بعيد
The refutation of the innovator (Ibn Abi Al-Hadid) is found in another sermon in the same work.
Muhammad Ibn Al-Husain reported that Imam Ali (a.) said: “By Allah, the so-and-so has clothed himself (the caliphate), and he knew for sure that my position towards him (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 gray 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 camel’s saddle (i.e. days of hardship) than the days i spent (with) Jabir’s brother Hayyan (in peace)!.” (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 let it pass into the possession 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 by 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 كورها * 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
3rd question:
The innovator further claimed that Imam Ali (a.) punished with lashes those who regarded him better than Abu Bakr and Umar, and he cited the following sources: Rijal-ul-Kashi, number 257; Al-Mu’jam of Al-Khu’i, volume 8 page 153; Al-Fusul-ul-Mukhtarah, page 127. Is this really from reports of the infallible (a.)?
Answer:
The last two sources are wrong. The report itself is a fabrication of the innovators, which was rejected as a lie by the infallible (a.) and scholars.
Maimun Ibn Abdillah reported that a group came to Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (a.) and questioned him about the traditions in circulation while he was with him. So he said to him: “Do you know anyone from the group?’ Maimun replied: “No.” Imam As-Sadiq (a.) said: “Then how did they find their way to me?” He said: “These are a group who search for traditions of every direction and do not care from whom they take the traditions.” The Imam (a.) said to a man among them: “Have you heard traditions from anyone but me?” He answered: “Yes.” He said: “Then tell me some that you have heard.” The man said: “I came to hear from you and not to tell you anything.” He said to another: “Is that what is stopping him from telling me about the one he heard?” He said: “You have the privilege of telling me what you heard. Has the one who told you about it instructed you to preserve it and not to communicate it to anyone?” He replied: “No.” He said: “Then let us hear some of it, so that you may share your knowledge with us until we follow your example in narrating it, if God wills it.” The man said: “Sufyan At-Thawri narrated from Muhammad Ibn Al-Munkadir that he saw Imam Ali (a.) in Kufa on the pulpit while he said: “Any man who is brought to me and considers me better than Abu Bakr and Umar, i will punish him as a liar with scourge blows.” Thereupon, Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (a.) said to him: “If i had seen the man who narrated this to you, he would have said to you: “What you are telling about me is a lie.” The Prophet Muhammad (s.) said: “The souls were created two thousand years before the bodies. Then desire inhabited them. Those of them who have a similar nature tend to each other, and those of them who have a dissimilar nature are different from each other. Whoever reports a lie about us the people of the house, God resurrects him on the last day as a blinded follower of the Jewish faith, and when he experiences the arrival of the false Messiah, he believes in him, and when he no longer experiences his arrival, he believes in him in his tomb.” [Rijal-ul-Kashi, number 257]
عن ميمون بن عبد الله قال: أتى قوم أبا عبد الله الصادق عليه السلام يسألونه الحديث من الأمصار، وأنا عنده، فقال لي: أتعرف أحدا من القوم؟ قال: قلت: لا. قال: كيف دخلوا علي؟ قلت: هؤلاء قوم يطلبون الحديث من كل وجه، لا يبالون ممن أخذوا الحديث فقال لرجل منهم: هل سمعت من غيري من الحديث؟ قال: نعم. قال: فحدثني ببعض ما سمعت قال: إنما جئت لأسمع منك، لم أجئ أحدثك. وقال للآخر: ذلك ما يمنعه أن يحدثني بما سمع؟ قال: تتفضل أن تحدثني بما سمعت، أجعل الذي حدثك حديثه أمانة لا تحدث به أحدا؟ قال: لا. قال: فأسمعنا بعض ما اقتبست من العلم حتى نقتدي بك إن شاء الله تعالى. قال: حدثنا سفيان الثوري عن محمد بن المنكدر، أنه رأى عليا على منبر بالكوفة، وهو يقول: لئن أُتيت برجل يفضلني على أبي بكر وعمر لأجلدنَّه حد المفتري .. قال له أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: لو رأيت هذا الرجل الذي تحدث عنه فقال لك هذه التي ترويها عني كذب .. إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله قال: خلق الأرواح قبل الأجساد بألفي عام ثم أسكنها الهواء، فما تعارف منها ائتلف هاهنا وما تناكر منها ثمة اختلف هاهنا، ومن كذب علينا أهل البيت حشره الله يوم القيامة أعمى يهوديا، وإن أدرك الدجال آمن به، وإن لم يدرك آمن به في قبره
Abu Al-Qasim Al-Khu’i writes: “The enemies of the people of the house (a.) fabricated it through the commander of the believers (a.). I say that this tradition is disconnected. It is without any foundation, and how can such a thing be confirmed as correct at all?” [Mu’jam Rijal Al-Hadith, Volume 9 page 341]
قال السيد أبو القاسم الخوئي رضي الله عنه: روته الناصبة عن أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام. أقول هذه رواية مرسلة لا يعتمد عليها، وكيف يصح ذلك
Ash-Sharif Al-Murtada writes: “The honorable scholar reported in the narrations that Al-Fadl Ibn Shadhan was questioned regarding the fabrication of the enemies of the people of the house (a.), about the commander of the believers (a.), in which he said: “Any man who is brought to me and considers me better than Abu Bakr and Umar, i will punish him as a liar with scourge blows.” And he replied: “This tradition is reported by Suwaid Ibn Ghafalah, among others, and the people of the story agree that much falsehood comes from him and besides, the tradition itself is shameful, because the community agrees that Imam Ali (a.) is just in his court sentences and it has nothing to do with justice to sentence a liar to a punishment by scourge blows who has not said a lie. This is on the tongue of the entire community and Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.) has been absolved of such things.” [Al-Fusul-ul-Mukhtarah, page 176]
وقال الشريف المرتضى رضي الله عنه: ومن حكايات الشيخ أدام الله عزه قال: سئل الفضل بن شاذان رحمه الله تعالى عما روته الناصبة عن أمير المؤمنين – عليه السلام – أنه قال: ” لا أوتي برجل يفضلني على أبي بكر وعمر إلا جلدته جلدة المفتري فقال: إنما روى هذا الحديث سويد ابن غفلة، وقد أجمع أهل الآثار على أنه كان كثير الغلط، وبعد فإن نفس الحديث متناقض لأن الأمة مجمعة على أن عليا – عليه السلام – كان عدلا في قضيته وليس من العدل أن يجلد حد المفتري من لم يفتر، هذا جور على لسان الأمة كلها وعلي بن أبي طالب – عليه السلام – عندنا برئ من ذلك
Imam Ali (a.) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (s.) said: “God did not create a creature better than me and no one was given the honor that i was given.” I said: “O messenger of God, are you better or Gabriel?” He said: “O Ali, God gave this preference to His appointed prophets over His nearest angels, and He gave me this preference over all the prophets and messengers, and He gave this preference after me to you, O Ali, and the Imams after you.” [Kamal-ud-Din of As-Saduq, page 254 Hadith 4]
حدثنا الحسن بن محمد بن سعيد الهاشمي قال: حدثنا فرات بن إبراهيم ابن فرات الكوفي قال: حدثنا محمد بن علي بن أحمد بن الهمداني قال: حدثني أبو الفضل العباس بن عبد الله البخاري قال: حدثنا محمد بن القاسم بن إبراهيم بن عبد الله ابن القاسم بن محمد بن أبي بكر قال: حدثنا عبد السلام بن صالح الهروي، عن علي ابن موسى الرضا عليه السلام، عن أبيه موسى بن جعفر، عن أبيه جعفر بن محمد، عن أبيه محمد ابن علي، عن أبيه علي بن الحسين، عن أبيه الحسين بن علي، عن أبيه علي بن – أبي طالب عليهم السلام قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: ما خلق الله خلقا أفضل مني ولا أكرم عليه مني، قال: علي عليه السلام: فقلت: يا رسول الله فأنت أفضل أم جبرئيل؟ فقال عليه السلام: يا علي إن الله تبارك وتعالى فضل أنبياءه المرسلين على ملائكته المقربين، وفضلني على جميع النبيين والمرسلين، والفضل بعدي لك يا علي وللأئمة من بعدك

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