A list of 20 Questions
1. History testifies that when the Prophet (saaws) declared his Prophethood (saaws), the Bani Hashim were to a boycott by the Quraysh1 . Hadhrath Abu Talib (as) took the tribe to an area called Shib Abi Talib where they remained for three years, suffering from immense hardship2 . Where were Hadhrath Abu Bakr and Hadhrath Umar during that period? They were in Makkah so why did they not help the Prophet (saaws)? If they were unable to join the Prophet (saaws) at the Shib Abi Talib is there any evidence that they provided any type of support (food etc), breaching the agreement that the Quraysh boycott all food / business transactions with Bani Hashim?
Answer: According to Wikipedia, "The Maccan boycott of the Hashemites was a public boycott against the clan of Banu Hashim, declared in 617 by the leaders of Banu Makhzum and Banu Abd-Shams, two important clans of Quraysh. According to tradition, the boycott was carried out in order to put pressure on Banu Hashim to withdraw its protection from Muhammad."
As this boycott was of the tribe of Prophet Muhammad (s), hence Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar were excluded from this boycott. This boycott was mainly of tribal in nature and hence the all the non Muslims of Banu Hashim except Abu Lahab were also included in this boycott.
Regarding Abu Bakr, the Prophet (s) has said, "There is no favor due upon us from anyone, except that we have repaid him, with the exception of Abu Bakr. Verily upon us, there is a favor due to him, which Allah will repay him on the Day of Judgement. No one's wealth has benefited as Abu Bakr's wealth has benefited me. And if I were to take a Khalil, then I would have taken Abu Bakr as a Khalil, and indeed your companion is Allah's Khalil." (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
We already know that Hadhrat Abu Bakr emancipated many slaves from their cruel masters who punished them for embracing Islam. In the light of these evidences, we can understand that Hadhrat Abu Bakr would definitely have helped the Prophet (s) as much as was possible for him during that event as well.
When this event finished and the Muslims were again allowed than Abu Talib said :
هم رجعوا سهل بن بيضاء راضيا * وسر أبو بكر بها ومحمد
انہوں نے جب سہل بن بیضا کو نقض معاہدہ پر راضی کر کے بھیجا تو اس پر حضرت ابو بکر بھی خوش ہو گئے اور حضرت محمد بھی۔
This is present in shia books
Also in sunni books with the above lines of Abu Talib
As far as Umar is concerned, the reason of this whole incident was his embracing Islam
Al bidaya Vol. 3, p. 79
Also , why not the shias talk about Hazrat Abu Aas bin Rabi’ah in this case?
Abu Aas bin Rabi’ah would bring food for the Muslims , The Noble Prophet praised him as follows; “We became in-laws with him, we were happy of his gesture, he promised us and fulfilled his promise.”
Hayat ul Quloob , volume 2, Page 311
Similarly we read in Majma ul Fazail, the urdu translation of the famous Shia book Manaqib ibn shehr ashoob,translated by Allamah Zafar Hasan
Abu Aas bin Rabi’ah would bring food for the Muslims at night time and would remain with Muslims till morning , The Noble Prophet praised him for this.
It is also mentioned in Sahih Bukhari
Narrated 'Ali bin Al-Husain:
The Prophet then mentioned one of his son-in-law who was from the tribe of 'Abu Shams, and he praised him as a good son-in-law, saying, "Whatever he said was the truth, and he promised me and fulfilled his promise."
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 53, Number 342
He was the husband of Zainab, the eldest daughter of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It was the daughter of Abu Aas bin Rabi’ah , Omama bint Zainab whom later Ali married according to the will of Fatima.
2. Hadhrath Fatima Zahra died 6 months after her father (saaws), Abu Bakr died two and a half years later and Hadhrath Umar in 24 Hijri. Despite
their later deaths how is it that they attained burial sites next to the
Prophet (saaws) and not Hadhrath Fatima (as)? Did she request that she be buried away from her father? If so, why? Or did the Muslims prevent her burial? (see Sahih Bukhari Arabic – English Vol 5 hadith number 546).
Sahih Bukhari , Volume 5, Book 59, Number 546 doesn't say that Muslims prevented her burial next to the Prophet (peace be upon him), rather your own ahadith imply that Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) buried her at night time , and made many graves around her grave so no one could locate her grave [See Jilalul Ayoon , Hayatul Quloob etc]. So how do you blame Muslims?
This is because Abu Bakar and Umar especially asked from her the place while there is no record in the history that Fatima asked her to give place in her home in which the Prophet peace be upon him was buried there. If the shia can bring the proof of Fatima asking place from Aisha and Aisha thenceforth rejecting it, they should present that first.
Sahih Bukhari , Volume 5, Book 57, Number 50:
'Umar then said (to 'Abdullah), "Go to 'Aisha (the mother of the believers) and say: "Umar is paying his salutation to you. But don't say: 'The chief of the believers,' because today I am not the chief of the believers. And say: "Umar bin Al-Khattab asks the permission to be buried with his two companions (i.e. the Prophet, and Abu Bakr)." Abdullah greeted 'Aisha and asked for the permission for entering, and then entered to her and found her sitting and weeping. He said to her, "'Umar bin Al-Khattab is paying his salutations to you, and asks the permission to be buried with his two companions." She said, "I had the idea of having this place for myself, but today I prefer Umar to myself." When he returned it was said (to 'Umar), "'Abdullah bin 'Umar has come." 'Umar said, "Make me sit up." Somebody supported him against his body and 'Umar asked ('Abdullah), "What news do you have?" He said, "O chief of the believers! It is as you wish. She has given the permission." 'Umar said, "Praise be to Allah, there was nothing more important to me than this. So when I die, take me, and greet 'Aisha and say: "Umar bin Al-Khattab asks the permission (to be buried with the Prophet ), and if she gives the permission, bury me there, and if she refuses, then take me to the grave-yard of the Muslims." ... So when 'Umar expired, we carried him out and set out walking. 'Abdullah bin 'Umar greeted ('Aisha) and said, "'Umar bin Al-Khattab asks for the permission." 'Aisha said, "Bring him in." He was brought in and buried beside his two companions.
Abu Bakr was her father but he also got her permission to be buried near the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Again, the thing is the Prophet (peace be upon him) was buried in the residence of Aisha, and if anyone wanted to be buried there, he needed to get her permission. If you can tell us any narration which says Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her) had got this permission from Aisha , or Ali had asked her, than indeed your question carries value but when your own belief is that Ali buried her alone at night so no one could find her grave , how do you blame other Muslims? And if you reject such beliefs, than we can talk over it but your own beliefs???? Anyhow!
3. Amongst the companions Hadhrath Abu Bakr is viewed as the most superior.If this is indeed the case then why did the Prophet (saaws) not select himto be his brother when he (saaws) divided the companions in to pairs on theDay of Brotherhood? Rather, the Prophet (saaws) chose Hadhrath Ali (as)saying “You are my brother in this world and the next”3, so on what basisis Hadhrath Abu Bakr closer?
Answer: The Prophet (s) considered him his brother already.
Muslim :: Book 31 : Hadith 5871
'Abdullah b. Mas'ud reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: If I were to choose a bosom friend I would have definitely chosen Abu Bakr as my bosom friend, but he is my brother and my companion and Allah, the Exalted and Gliorious, has taken your brother and companion (meaning Prophet himself) as a friend.
4. The books of Ahlul Sunnah are replete with traditions narrated by Hadhrath Aysha, Abu Hurraira and Abdullah Ibne Umar. Their narrations far
exceed those relayed Hadhrath Ali (as), Hadhrath Fatima (sa), Hadhrath Hassan (as) and Hadhrath Hussain (as)? Why is this the case? When the
Prophet (saaws) declared “I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is it’s Gate”, did Ali (as) benefit less from the company of the Prophet (saaws) than
Answer: Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman and Ali (r) all passed away soon after the demise of our Holy Prophet. Where as Aisha, Abu Huraira and Ibn Umar lived a long life…they had a longer time to interact with the next generation (Tabaeen) and pass on their knowledge to them. They had the time and the opportunity to establish hadith classes and teach hadiths to others. That is why there are few traditions related from Abu Bakr, Usman and Ali (r) while Ayesha, Abu Huraira and ibn umar have more narrations from them.
If you look at Shia books, they mostly have hadiths which do not even have a chain of narrators leading up to Prophet Muhammad let alone being narrated by Ali or Fatima. They reject hadiths from Ayesha – the Umhatul Momineen as the wives are titled in the Quran .Their most authentic Hadith book called Al Kafi was written by Yaqoob al-Kulyanee around 300 years after the death of Ali (r)!! and also after the death of their 11 imams.
Where as Sunii Hadith collection started during the life time of Rasool Allah and the first manuscript of hadiths was by ibn Habban who was the student of Abu Huraira and sunni hadiths books have narrations from all the companions including Ali (r) and Fatima and others…..
5. If Hadhrath Ali (as) had no differences with the three Khalifa’s why did he not participate in any battles that took place during their reigns, particularly when Jihad against the Kaffir’s is deemed a major duty upon the Muslim? If he did not view it as necessary at that time, then why did he during his own Khilafath unsheath his sword and participate in the battles of Jamal, Sifeen and Naharwan?
Answer: Actually he did participate actively in the era of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman in various ways. He acted as a Judge, advisor and he would give fatwa in their eras. He also carried out some decisions e.g when Walid ibn Uqbah was accused of drinking in the era of Uthman and two witnesses gave testimony, it was Ali who lashed him. Similarly, we read in the famous book of Shiites, Majma ul Fazail, which is urdu translation of Manaqib ibn Shehr Ashoob, that when Umar consulted various people regarding the Islamic calendar, Ali advised him too and Umar accepted the advise of Ali. Similarly we read in the books of Sunnis and Shiites that Umar, Ali , Muadh ibn Jabal, Ubai ibn Kaab, Zaid ibn Thabit and Abdullah ibn Masud were the persons from whom fatwas would be taken in the era of Abu Bakr.
Tabaqat ibn Saad, baab ahlul ilm wal fatwa min ashab rasul (s), Vol. 2, p. 109
Tarikh Yaqubi, Vol. 2, p. 138
We read in the books of history
خرج شاهرا سيفه إلى ذي القصة ، فجاءه علي وأخذ بزمام راحلته وقال له : أين يا خليفة رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم - ! أقول لك ما قال لك رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم - يوم أحد : شم سيفك ، لا تفجعنا بنفسك ، فوالله لئن أصبنا بك لا يكون للإسلام نظام . فرجع وأمضى الجيش
He (i.e Abu Bakr) went towards Dhil Qissa with his sword than Ali came and stopped him and said "O Caliph of Prophet (s), where are you going?" I want to say the same thing to you which the Prophet (s) said to you on the day of Uhud. Put your sword in its sheath and don't put us in trouble regarding yourself. By God, if we got trouble regarding you, than the system of Islam will not stay correct, so Abu Bakr returned and sent an armed group.
Al bidaya wa al nihaya, Vol. 6, p. 315
Similarly we read in Nahjul balagha, that Ali said:
فنهضت في تلك الأحداث حتى زاح الباطل و زهق و اطمأن الدين و تنهنه
than I stood up during those difficult times till the falsehood was finished and the "deen" became safe.
Bihar al anwar
Similarly we read in Trikh Tibri and Sharah Nahjul balagha
وجعل أبو بكر بعد ما أخرج الوفد على أنقاب المدنية نفرا عليا والزبير وطلحة وعبدالله بن مسعود
Sharah nahjul balagha, ibn abil hadeed, Vol. 4, p. 228
and in Al bidaya wa al nihaya and Tarikh ibn Khaldun,
فجعل الصديق على أنقاب المدينة حراسا يبيتون بالجيوش حولها، فمن أمراء الحرس علي بن أبي طالب، والزبير بن العوام، وطلحة بن عبد الله، وسعد بن أبي وقاص، وعبد الرحمن بن عوف، وعبد الله بن مسعود
Tarikh ibn Khaldun, Vol. 2, p. 858
Hence, it is confirmed that Abu Bakr sent armed groups to guard the roads of Madinah, under the commad of Ali ibn Abi Talib , Zubair bin al awwam, Talha bin abdullah , Saad bin Abi Waqas , Abdur Rahman bin Auf and Abdullah ibn Masud.
From this we also come to know that Ali did take part in the battles.