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The succession to Muhammad is the central issue that split the
Muslim community Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is prono ...
into several
divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. The other operations are addition, subtraction, and multi ...
in the first century of
Islamic history The history of Islam concerns the political, social, economic and cultural developments of Muslim world, Islamic civilization. Most historians accept that Islam originated in Mecca and Medina at the start of the 7th century CE. Muslims regard Is ...
, with the most prominent among these sects being the
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
and
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
branches of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
. Shia Islam holds that
Ali ibn Abi Talib Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali ibn Abi Talib
was the appointed successor to the Islamic prophet
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
as head of the community. Sunni Islam maintains
Abu Bakr , image = Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg , title = Al-Siddiq Atiq ...
to be the legitimate successor after Muhammad on the basis of election. The contrasting opinions regarding the succession are primarily based on differing interpretations of events in early Islamic history as well as of
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
s (sayings of Muhammad). The Sunni believe that Muhammad had not appointed a successor and had instead intended for the Muslim community to choose a leader from among themselves. They accept the rule of
Abu Bakr , image = Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg , title = Al-Siddiq Atiq ...
, who was elected at
Saqifah Saqifah ( ar, سَّقِيفَة, translit=Saqīfah) of the Sa'ida clan refers to the location of an event in early Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; si ...
, and that of his successors, who are together referred to as the
Rashidun Caliphs , image = تخطيط كلمة الخلفاء الراشدون.png , caption = Islamic calligraphy, Calligraphic representation of Rashidun Caliphs , birth_place = Mecca, Hejaz, Arabia present-day Saudi Arabia , known_for ...
. On the other hand, the Shia believe that Ali had previously been nominated by Muhammad as heir, most notably during the
event of Ghadir Khumm Event may refer to: Gatherings of people * Ceremony, an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion * Convention (meeting), a gathering of individuals engaged in some common interest * Event management, the organization of even ...

event of Ghadir Khumm
. They primarily see the rulers who followed Muhammad as illegitimate. Instead, in the Shia view, the rightful successors of Muhammad are Ali and his Imams of his lineage. The last of the Twelver Imams,
Mahdi The Mahdi ( ar, ٱلْمَهْدِيّ, ISO 233: '')'', meaning "the Rightly Guided One", is an eschatological Messianic figure who, according to Islamic belief, will appear at the end of times to rid the world of evil and injustice. In M ...

Mahdi
, went into
occultation An occultation is an event that occurs when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer. The term is often used in astronomy, but can also refer to any situation in which an object in the foreground blocks fro ...
in 260 AH (874 CE), due to the hostility of the Imam's enemies and the danger to his life. His advent is awaited by the Shia and Sunni alike, although the two sects hold different views about Mahdi. In addition to these two main views, there are also other opinions regarding the succession to Muhammad.


Historiography

Most of Islamic history was transmitted orally until after the rise of the
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the tit ...

Abbasid Caliphate
. Historical works of later Muslim writers include the traditional biographies of
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
and quotations attributed to him—the '' sira'' and ''
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
'' literature—which provide further information on Muhammad's life. The earliest surviving written ''sira'' (biography of Muhammad) is ''Sirat Rasul Allah'' (''Life of God's Messenger'') by
Ibn Ishaq Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār commonly known as Ibn Ishaq (, ; 704–767) was an 8th-century Muslim historian :''This is a subarticle of Islamic scholars, List of Muslim scholars and List of historians.'' The following is a list ...

Ibn Ishaq
(d. 761 or 767 CE). Although the original work is lost, portions of it survive in the
recensionRecension is the practice of editing or revising a text based on critical analysis. When referring to manuscript A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practic ...
s of
Ibn Hisham Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Malik bin Hisham ibn Ayyub al-Himyari al-Mu'afiri al-Baṣri ( ar, أبو محمد عبدالملك بن هشام ابن أيوب الحميري المعافري البصري; died 7 May 833), or Ibn Hisham, edited the biog ...
(d. 833) and
Al-Tabari Al-Tabari (; fa, محمد بن جریر طبری, ar, أبو جعفر محمد بن جرير بن يزيد الطبري) (839–923 CE; 224–310 AH) was an influential polymath, scholar, historian and commentator on the Qur'an from Amol, ...
(d. 923). Many scholars accept these biographies although their accuracy is uncertain. Studies by J. Schacht and
Ignác Goldziher Goldziher image from a book Ignác (Yitzhaq Yehuda) Goldziher (22 June 1850 – 13 November 1921), often credited as Ignaz Goldziher, was a Hungarian scholar of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing ...

Ignác Goldziher
have led scholars to distinguish between legal and historical traditions. According to
William Montgomery Watt William Montgomery Watt (14 March 1909 – 24 October 2006) was a Scottish people, Scottish Oriental studies, Orientalist, historian, academic and Anglican ministry, Anglican priest. From 1964 to 1979, he was Professor of Arabic language, Arabic ...
, although legal traditions could have been invented, historical material may have been primarily subject to "tendential shaping" rather than being invented. Modern Western scholars approach the classic Islamic histories with circumspection and are less likely than Sunni Islamic scholars to trust the work of the Abbasid historians. ''Hadith'' compilations are records of the traditions or sayings of Muhammad. The development of ''hadith'' is a crucial element of the first three centuries of Islamic history. Early Western scholars mistrusted the later narrations and reports, regarding them as fabrications.
Leone Caetani 300px, Photo of Leone Caetani taken in Egypt in 1888 Leone Caetani (September 12, 1869 – December 25, 1935), Duke of Sermoneta (also known as Prince Caetani), was an Italian scholar, politician and historian of the Middle East. Caetani is consi ...

Leone Caetani
considered the attribution of historical reports to
`Abd Allah ibn `Abbas Abd Allah ibn Abbas ( ar, عَبْد ٱللَّٰه ٱبْن عَبَّاس; c. 619– 687), also known simply as Ibn Abbas, was one of the cousins of the Islamic prophet Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأنبياء في الإسلام, translit ...
and
Aisha ʿĀʾishah bint Abī Bakr ( ar, عائشة بنت أبي بكر , 613/614 – 678 CE), also transcribed as Aisha (, also , ) or variants, was Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger o ...

Aisha
as mostly fictitious, preferring accounts reported without ''
isnad Hadith studies ( ar, علم الحديث ''ʻilm al-ḥadīth'' "science of hadith", also science of hadith, or science of hadith criticism or hadith criticism) consists of several religious scholarly disciplines used by Muslim scholars in the ...
'' by early historians such as Ibn Ishaq.
Wilferd Madelung Wilferd Ferdinand Madelung (b. 1930) is a German-American author and scholar of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , ...
has rejected the indiscriminate dismissal of everything not included in "early sources", instead judging later narratives in the context of history and compatibility with events and figures. The only contemporaneous source is
The Book of Sulaym ibn Qays ''The Book of Sulaym ibn Qays'' ( ar, كِتَاب سُلَيْم ٱبْن قَيْس) is the oldest known Shia Hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , ...
(''Kitab al-Saqifah'') by
Sulaym ibn Qays Sulaym ibn Qays al-Hilali al-Amiri ( ar, سُلَيْم ٱبْن قَيْس ٱلْهِلَالِيّ ٱلْعَامِرِيّ ') was one of the Tabi‘un and a companion of Ali towards the end of the latter's life. Sulaym was also a loyal companio ...
(died 75-95 AH or 694-714 CE). This collection of hadith and historical reports from the first century of the
Islamic calendar The Hijri calendar ( ar, ٱلتَّقْوِيم ٱلْهِجْرِيّ '), also known as the Lunar Hijri calendar and (in English) as the Islamic, Muslim or Arabic calendar, is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 o ...
narrates in detail events relating to the succession. However, there have been doubts regarding the reliability of the collection, with some believing that it was a later creation given that the earliest mention of the text only appears in the 11th century.


Succession to Muhammad in the Quran

The
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
, as the central religious text of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
, does not explicitly identify a successor to Muhammad. The Quran, however, frequently emphasizes the importance of preserving bonds of blood relationship, which might be pertinent to the discussion of succession. One such instance is Q16:90, which reads, "Indeed, God enjoins justice and kindness and generosity towards relatives, and He forbids indecency, wrong, and aggression..." Also related to the matter of succession is the prominent position of the past prophets' families in the Quran. In particular, after the past prophets, their descendants become the spiritual and material heirs to them in the Quran. Indeed, the Quran repeatedly describes how the past prophets prayed for (and were granted) divine favors for their kin. For instance, once Abraham successfully fulfilled his divine missions, Q2:124 records the following exchange: "said o Abraham ‘I am making you the Imam of mankind.’
braham Braham may refer to: *Braham (surname)Braham is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Bob Braham (1920–1974), Royal Air Force pilot *David Braham (1834–1905), British-born American musical theater composer (uncle of John Josep ...
replied, ‘And from among my descendants?’ said n response that ‘My pledge does not extend to the unjust.’" That is, God's pledge does extend to just descendants of Abraham, including Muhammad. In fact, from
Noah In the traditions of Abrahamic religions, Noah ''Nukh''; am, ኖህ, ''Noḥ''; ar, نُوح '; grc, Νῶε ''Nôe'' () features as the tenth and last of the Antediluvian , pre-Flood Patriarchs (Bible), patriarchs. His story appears in the ...

Noah
to
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
, the prophets of the
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
were all descendants of a single family. Similar to the past prophets, the Quran repeatedly emphasizes the exalted status of Muhammad's family. For instance, the
verse of purification The Verse of Purification (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinenta ...
promises to thoroughly purify Muhammad's close relatives from sins and wrongdoing. Another example is the verse of Wilayah in which "the faithful" refers to Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law,
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
, according to
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
and a number of
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
exegeses. The
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
word ''wali'', however, has multiple meanings and, in this verse, the Shia interpret the word ''wali'' as leader or guardian, whereas Sunni scholars interpret this word to mean friend. According to the author W. Madelung, insofar as the Quran reflects the views of Muhammad, he could have not seen his succession differently from earlier prophets, who prayed for (and were granted) the divine favor to be succeeded by their close kin in kingship, in rule, in wisdom, in
imamateThe term imamate or ''imamah'' ( ar, إمامة, ''imāmah'') means "leadership" and refers to the office of an ''imam Imam (; ar, إمام '; plural: ') is an Islamic leadership position. It is most commonly used as the title of a worship ...
, etc. Madelung posits that, "It is evident that he uhammadcould not have considered
Abu Bakr , image = Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg , title = Al-Siddiq Atiq ...
his natural successor or have been pleased by his succession." This is because, in the Quran, the succession of prophets is a matter that is settled by divine selection rather than by ''shura'' (consultation). In particular, God selects their successors from their own family, whether or not those successors become prophets themselves.


Succession to Muhammad in Ahadith


Feast of Dhul Asheera

Upon receiving verse 26:214 of the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
, Muhammad was tasked with presenting
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
to his relatives some three years after his first divine revelation ( 617 CE). There are multiple accounts of how Muhammad attempted to do this, with one version stating that he invited his relatives to a meal, later named the feast of Dhul Asheera. According to
ibn Ishaq Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār commonly known as Ibn Ishaq (, ; 704–767) was an 8th-century Muslim historian :''This is a subarticle of Islamic scholars, List of Muslim scholars and List of historians.'' The following is a lis ...

ibn Ishaq
, after the meal, Muhammad presented Islam to his relatives and asked them for their support: "Who will help me in this venture, as my brother, my executor and my successor?" Muhammad's cousin,
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
, who was the youngest among them, was the only relative who offered his assistance to Muhammad. In response, Muhammad placed his hand on Ali's shoulder and declared:This announcement was met with ridicule from
Abu Lahab Abu or ABU may refer to: Places * Abu (volcano), a volcano on the island of Honshū in Japan * Abu, Yamaguchi, a town in Japan * Ahmadu Bello University, a university located in Zaria, Nigeria * Atlantic Baptist University, a Christian university l ...
, Muhammad's uncle and a staunch
polytheist Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of nature.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supernatura ...
, and the guests dispersed afterwards. Some sources, such as the
Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal ''Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal'' ( ar, مسند أحمد بن حنبل) is a collection of hadith compiled by the Islamic scholar Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241 AH/855 AD) to whom the Hanbali fiqh (legislation) is attributed. Description It is one of the la ...
, have not recorded Muhammad's response to Ali. What is notable in these accounts is the early appointment of Ali as Muhammad's heir. One of the accounts of this event is attributed to Ali, in which he describes himself as Muhammad's successor. Lastly, the association of this event with the revelation of a Quranic verse appears to offer both authenticity and divine authorization.


Al-Suyuti Al-Suyuti ( 1445–1505 CE); aka Jalaluddin; was an Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian cu ...
's account

In his Tarikh al-Khulafa'',''
al-Suyuti Al-Suyuti ( 1445–1505 CE); aka Jalaluddin; was an Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian cu ...
collected the narrations that support the view that Muhammad did not name a successor. One such example alleges that
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
gave the statement, "Oh men, verily the Apostle of God (Muhammad) hath committed nothing unto us in regard to this authority, in order that we might of our own judgment approve and appoint
Abu Bakr , image = Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg , title = Al-Siddiq Atiq ...
." According to another one, when asked if he wished to name his successor as caliph, Ali responded that, "The Apostle of God appointed none, shall I, therefore, do so?" However, these claims might contradict the body of evidence that suggests Ali was vocal about his (perceived) right to succeed Muhammad. Indeed, according to the author Jafri, Ali believed that he was unjustly deprived of his right to lead the Muslim community. For instance, in a
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
about the feast of Dhul Ashira, Ali recounted how Muhammad appointed him as his successor. As another example, many years after Muhammad's death,
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
referred to the to support his right to the
caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al-Islam Qamat'' {{small, ("My Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' ...
. Similarly, in his famous Shaqshaqiya sermon, Ali emphasized that Abu Bakr and
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
had exacted the caliphate for themselves, even though they were aware that Ali was the rightful successor of Muhammad. On another occasion, Ali suggested that he would have overturned the tables after Muhammad's death, if he was not concerned about divisiveness. Jafri also suggests that early Sunni scholars made every effort in their writings to imply as much agreement as possible between Ali, Abu Bakr, and Umar. In reality, after Muhammad's death, it is well-cited that Ali did not acknowledge Abu Bakr's authority for at least six months. In fact, compared to his active role in Muhammad's lifetime, Ali was largely marginalized after Muhammad's death by all accounts. It is also claimed that, when caliph
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
was asked about his successor, he replied that if he gave a nomination, he had precedent in Abu Bakr's actions; if he named no one, he had precedent by Muhammad's.


Hadith of position

Before leaving
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
on the long
expedition to Tabuk Image:Tabuk, Saudi Arabia locator map.png, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia The Expedition of Tabuk, also known as the Expedition of Usra, was a military expedition that was initiated by Muhammad in October 630 AD (AH 9). Muhammad led a force of as many as 30 ...
in 9 AH, Muhammad appointed Ali as his deputy in
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
. After rumors spread that the two had fallen out, Muhammad publicly endorsed Ali by saying that, "Are you not content, Ali, to stand to me as
Aaron Aaron ''′aharon'', ar, هارون, Hārūn, Ancient Greek, Greek (Septuagint): wikt:Ἀαρών, Ἀαρών; often called Aaron the priest () and once Aaron the Levite () (Exodus 4:14)., group="note" ( or ; ''’Ahărōn'', Arabic: هار ...

Aaron
stood to
Moses Moses he, מֹשֶׁה, ''Mōše''; also known as Moshe Rabbenu ( he, מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ "Moshe our Teacher"); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, ''Mūše''; ar, موسى '; el, Mωϋσῆς, ' () is considered the most important prophet in Judais ...

Moses
, except that there will be no prophet after me?" Another source has recorded that Muhammad also added, "It is not permissible for me to go without you being my caliph (successor)." According to
ibn Hisham Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Malik bin Hisham ibn Ayyub al-Himyari al-Mu'afiri al-Baṣri ( ar, أبو محمد عبدالملك بن هشام ابن أيوب الحميري المعافري البصري; died 7 May 833), or Ibn Hisham, edited the biog ...
, the rumors in
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
were spread by ''munafiqun'' (hypocrites). The
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
of position suggests that Ali enjoys the same position in
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
that Aaron has in
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
, except that Ali was not a prophet. Aside from being a prophet himself, the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
portrays Aaron as Moses' brother and his divinely-appointed minister and deputy. In particular, Aaron was left in charge of the
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
in the absence of Moses, when the latter ascended
mount Sinai Mount Sinai ( he , הר סיני ''Har Sinai''; Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its ...
. As a side note, prophets, including Aaron, are generally considered infallible in
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
, albeit different sects interpret infallibility differently. In view of the hadith of position,
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
Islam extends Aaron's privileges to Ali, except prophethood. That is, from the Shia viewpoint, the hadith of position suggests that # Muhammad considered Ali to be his divinely-appointed deputy and the second-in-command among
Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
. # Muhammad considered Ali to be his brother. Indeed, when Muslims were being paired together in sworn brotherhood after the
migration Migration, migratory, or migrate may refer to: Human migration * Human migration, physical movement by humans from one region to another ** International migration, when peoples cross state boundaries and stay in the host state for some minimum le ...
to
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
, Muhammad chose Ali as his brother and proclaimed, "You are my brother in this world and the hereafter." # Muhammad considered Ali to be infallible, thus corroborating the Shia interpretation of both the purification verse in the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
and the hadith of the Kisa. (The purification verse is about God's will to cleanse
Ahl al-Bayt In Islamic tradition, Ahl al Bayt ( ar, أَهْلُ ٱلْبَيْتِ; fa, اهلِ بیت; ; lit. People of the House, People of the Household or Family of the House) primarily refers to the family of the Islamic prophet Prophets in I ...

Ahl al-Bayt
from any wrongdoing. The well-attested hadith of the Kisa specifies Ahl al-Bayt as Muhammad,
Fatimah Fatimah bint Muhammad ( ar, فَاطِمَة ٱبْنَت مُحَمَّد, Fāṭimah bint Muḥammad, ; 605 CE/15 BH – died 28 August 632), commonly known as Fatimah al-Zahra ( ar, فَاطِمَة ٱلزَّهْرَاء, Fāṭimah al- ...

Fatimah
,
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
, and
Husayn Hussein, Hossein, Husayn, or Husain (; ar, حُسَيْن ), coming from the triconsonantal The root (linguistics), roots of verbs and most nouns in the Semitic languages are characterized as a sequence of consonants or "wikt:radical, radica ...
. However, the infallibility of Ahl al-Bayt and its makeup are both disputed by the Sunni.) Accordingly, Shia Islam considers Ali to be the divinely-appointed successor of Muhammad. Of similar importance here is the divine prerogatives bestowed upon Aaron's descendants, including God's proclamation in the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites ...

Hebrew Bible
that, "Behold, I give unto him
aron Aron may refer to: Characters * Aron (comics), from the Marvel Universe comic ''Aron! HyperSpace Boy!'' * Aron (Pokémon), in the ''Pokémon'' franchise * Aron Trask, from John Steinbeck's novel ''East of Eden'' * Áron or Aaron, the brother of M ...

aron
My covenant of peace. And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood." This privilege might be compared to Shia belief that
Imams Imam (; ar, إمام '; plural: ') is an Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "a ...
, from the lineage of Ali, inherited Ali's divine wisdom and authority. This divine elevation of prophets' descendants above the rest of the faithful is a recurring theme in the Quran. A criticism of the Shia interpretation is that Ali might not have been Muhammad's first choice for governing
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
during the Tabuk expedition. Reportedly, Muhammad had first left Jafar in charge of his family. It is not clear who this Jafar might have been, considering that
Jafar ibn Abi Talib Ja'far ibn Abi Talib ( ar, جَعْفَرُ ٱبْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ, ' c. 590–629 Common Era, CE), also known as ''Jaʿfar aṭ-Ṭayyār'' ( ar, جَعْفَرُ ٱلطَّيَّارُ, lit=Ja'far the Flyer
f Heaven F, or f, is the sixth Letter (alphabet), letter in the English alphabet, modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is English alphabet#Letter names, ''ef'' (pronounced ), and the plural is ''efs''. History ...
link=no), ...
, Muhammad's prominent relative, had been killed a year earlier. This claim also appears to contradict Muhammad's statement that, "It is not permissible for me to go without you being my caliph." Historical records indicate that Muhammad used the same analogy between Aaron and Ali on multiple other occasions, e.g., during the
battle of Khaybar The Battle of Khaybar ( ar, غَزْوَة خَيْبَر, label=Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East ...
. Another criticism of the Shia interpretation is that Aaron died before Moses, i.e., Aaron could not succeed Moses. It might, however, be futile to attempt to identify all aspects of Ali and Aaron's lives: Paraphrasing the Shia scholar al-Mufid, the hadith of position endowed Ali with every (
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
ic) position that Aaron had held except prophethood, namely, the deputy, the minister, and a brother. In particular, had he survived Moses, Aaron would have succeeded Moses. The "after me" in the hadith might also signify Ali's position after Muhammad's death, according to the Shia scholar Rezwani. A similar criticism is that Ali was Muhammad's cousin and his son-in-law, rather than his blood brother. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that Muhammad had twice sworn a pact of brotherhood with Ali.


Event of Ghadir Khumm

This event was Muhammad's last public address before his death three months later. This event was also Muhammad's most public announcement about Ali. However, no definitive (Sunni) record of Muhammad's sermon remains today, even though some parts of this sermon have been preserved in a number of sayings. On 18
Dhu al-Hijjah Dhu al-Hijjah ( ar, ذُو ٱلْحِجَّة, ', ), also spelled Zu al-Hijjah, is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar. It is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, one in which the ''Hajj, Ḥajj'' (Pilgrimage) takes place ...
10 AH (March 632 CE), after his
farewell pilgrimageThe Farewell Pilgrimage ( ar, حِجَّة ٱلْوَدَاع, Ḥijjatu Al-Wadāʿ) refers to the one Hajj The Hajj (; ar, حَجّ ' " pilgrimage"; sometimes also spelled Hadj, Hadji or Haj in English) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mec ...
to
Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly shortened to Makkah ( ),Quran 48:22 ' () is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland ...

Mecca
and on his return trip to
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
,
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
stopped at the oasis Ghadir Khumm in order to make an announcement. He ordered those who were ahead to return and waited for the remaining pilgrims to join them. After the noon prayer, to avoid the extreme heat, a dais was constructed for Muhammad in the shade. Muhammad then delivered a sermon. In this sermon or earlier in Mecca, he alerted
Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
about his imminent death. In this sermon, Muhammad also told Muslims that he would leave among them two important things: the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
and his
Ahl al-Bayt In Islamic tradition, Ahl al Bayt ( ar, أَهْلُ ٱلْبَيْتِ; fa, اهلِ بیت; ; lit. People of the House, People of the Household or Family of the House) primarily refers to the family of the Islamic prophet Prophets in I ...

Ahl al-Bayt
, meaning his close relatives. He then warned Muslims, "Be careful how you treat the two after me. These two will never separate until they are presented to me on the
day of resurrection In Islamic eschatology Islamic eschatology is the aspect of Islamic theology incorporating the afterlife#Islam, afterlife and the end of the world, with special emphasis in the Quran on the inevitability of resurrection in Islam, resurrectio ...
." Finally, calling up
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
and taking him by the hand, Muhammad asked his followers whether he was not superior in authority and in person (''awla'') to the believers themselves. The crowd shouted their agreement. Muhammad then uttered what has become known as the Ghadir Khumm
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
:
"Anyone who has me as his ''
mawla Mawlā ( ar, مَوْلَى, plural ''mawālī'' ()), is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning ...
'', has this
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
as his ''mawla''."
He repeated this sentence three more times. Some accounts add that Muhammad continued, "O God, befriend the friend of Ali and be the enemy of his enemy." After Muhammad's sermon,
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
congratulated Ali and told him, "You have now become ''mawla'' of every faithful man and woman." While the authenticity of the Ghadir Khumm event is not contested, the interpretation of ''mawla'' is a source of controversy between Sunni and Shia. ''Mawla'' has multiple meanings in
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
and the opinion about the meaning of this word in the Ghadir Khumm
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
is split along sectarian lines between
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
and
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
. Among the Sunni, the word ''mawla'' in this hadith is interpreted as "friend" or "one who is loyal/close," i.e., Muhammad was advocating that Ali was deserving of friendship and respect. Conversely, the Shia interpret the word ''mawla'' as "leader" or "ruler," i.e., the Ghadir Khumm hadith was a clear designation of Ali as Muhammad's successor. According to the author Abbas, it would have been unreasonable for Muhammad to gather thousands of pilgrims at that remote location and in the scorching heat to "show his love and appreciation for Ali." Some sources, such as al-Dur al-Manthur, have recorded that verse 5:67 of the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
was revealed to Muhammad shortly before the Ghadir Khumm event: "O Apostle! Communicate that which has been sent down to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you will not have communicated His message, and Allah shall protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah does not guide the faithless lot." Notably, the Ghadir Khumm event has been preserved in the
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
literature. The earliest and the most controversial instance is a poem attributed to Hassan bin Thabit, who accompanied Muhammad at his only pilgrimage to
Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly shortened to Makkah ( ),Quran 48:22 ' () is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland ...

Mecca
. According to the author Jafri, it is highly improbable that the Ghadir Khumm event would have passed unrecorded by Hassan, who was the "official poet-reporter of Muhammad." This poem, which has been preserved by Shia sources and some Sunni authorities, includes the verse, "Stand up, O Ali, for I find only you to be an Imam and a guide after I uhammaddepart." A criticism of the Shia interpretation of the Ghadir Khumm event, as vocalized by the author M. A. Shaban, is that the community of
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
did not react as if they had heard of Ali's appointment. On the one hand, in his book, Shaban arrives at this conclusion without citing any historical records. On the other hand, according to the author Jafri, the hundreds of recorded accounts of the Ghadir Khumm event leave little room to doubt its authenticity and perceived importance to Muhammad's companions. Indeed, the Shia scholar Amini compiled eleven volumes worth of sources in support of the Shia interpretation of this event.


Congregational prayer

The most notable incident that supports Abu Bakr's right to succession reportedly occurred towards the end of Muhammad's life. Too ill to lead
prayers Prayer is an invocation An invocation (from the Latin verb ''invocare'' "to call on, invoke, to give") may take the form of: * Supplication, prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of w ...

prayers
himself, Muhammad supposedly instructed that Abu Bakr to take his place, ignoring concerns that he was too emotionally delicate for the role. Abu Bakr subsequently took up the position and, when Muhammad entered the prayer hall one morning during
Fajr prayer The Fajr prayer ( ar, صلاة الفجر ', "dawn prayer") is one of the five mandatory salah Salah (Arabic: , pl , romanized: , ( in ) 'prayer'), also known as ''namāz'' ( fa, نماز) and also spelled ''salat'', are prayers perfor ...
, Abu Bakr attempted to step back to let Muhammad lead the prayer. Muhammad however, allowed Abu Bakr to continue. There are various versions of this report, many of which are attributed to Abu Bakr's daughter,
Aisha ʿĀʾishah bint Abī Bakr ( ar, عائشة بنت أبي بكر , 613/614 – 678 CE), also transcribed as Aisha (, also , ) or variants, was Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger o ...

Aisha
, whose enmity with Ali is well-documented. After mentioning this report, the author Madelung defers to the historian
Caetani Caetani, or Gaetani, is the name of an Italian noble family which played a great part in the history of Pisa and of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map ...

Caetani
, who considered this report to be an invention of Muslim traditionalists. The multiple versions of this report are often contradictory, according to the historian Jafri. Other incidents similarly used by the Sunni are Abu Bakr service as Muhammad's
vizier A vizier (; ar, وزير, wazīr; fa, وزیر, vazīr), or wazir, is a high-ranking political advisor or minister in the near east. The caliphs gave the title ''wazir'' to a minister formerly called ' (secretary), who was at first merely a ...
during his time in
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
, as well as him being appointed the first of his companions to lead the
Hajj The Hajj (; ar, حَجّ ' "wikt:pilgrimage, ''pilgrimage''"; sometimes also spelled Hadj, Hadji or Haj in English) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a Far ...
pilgrimage. However, several other companions had held similar positions of authority and trust, including the leading of prayers. Such honors may therefore not hold much importance in matters of succession.


Incident of the pen and paper

A day or two before his death, Muhammad asked for writing materials: "I need to write something so that you will not go astray when I am gone."
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
reportedly intervened, telling those present that Muhammad was raving, and adding that, "You have the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
, the book of God is sufficient for us." A quarrel broke out at Muhammad's bedside, with some suggesting that Muhammad's orders should be followed and some siding with Umar to disregard Muhammad's request. The noise apparently pained Muhammad, who scolded those present by his bedside: "Go away and leave me." Concerns about overstraining the ill Muhammad is often viewed by Sunni scholars as the motive in this incident. The author L. Hazleton, however, suggests that Muhammad might had wanted to dictate his will and, "If Ali turned out to be the designated heir, no body in that room wanted it put into writing." This incident has been called the great disaster of Islam, without which, the course of history might have been different. There is, in fact, no dearth of speculation among scholars about what Muhammad intended to write. Shia scholars, like al-Shaykh al-Mufid, suggest that it would have been a formal appointment of Ali as the new leader, while Sunni authorities, such as
al-Baladhuri ʾAḥmad ibn Yaḥyā ibn Jabir al-Balādhurī ( ar, أحمد بن يحيى بن جابر البلاذري) was a 9th-century Muslim historian. One of the eminent Middle Eastern historians of his age, he spent most of his life in Baghdad and enj ...
, state that it was to designate Abu Bakr. In Sunni Islam, this hadith has also been linked to the rise of the community politics which followed Muhammad's death; the argument is that Muhammad had implicitly agreed to how the Muslim ''
ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental c ...
'' would act after his death. From the Sunni viewpoint, this hadith is therefore linked to the emergence of sayings, attributed to Muhammad, such as, "My ''ummah'' will never agree on an error," an idea perpetuated by theologians like
ibn Hazm Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad ibn Saʿīd ibn Ḥazm ( ar, أبو محمد علي بن احمد بن سعيد بن حزم; also sometimes known as al-Andalusī aẓ-Ẓāhirī; 7 November 994 – 15 August 1064Ibn Hazm. ' (Preface). Tr ...
and ibn Sayyid al-Nās. It is, however, not clear whether consensus was reached in the appointment of Abu Bakr, in view of the absence of many Muslims from Saqifah, as detailed in the next section.


Historical overview


Saqifah

In the immediate aftermath of Muhammad's death in 11 AH (632 CE), a gathering of the Ansar (natives of
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
) took place at
Saqifah Saqifah ( ar, سَّقِيفَة, translit=Saqīfah) of the Sa'ida clan refers to the location of an event in early Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; si ...
in
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
. The purpose of the meeting might had been for the Ansar to regain the control over their city after Muhammad's death, with the intentional exclusion of the
Muhajirun The ''Muhajirun'' ( ar, المهاجرون, al-muhājirūn, singular , ) were the first converts to Islam and the Islamic prophet Muhammad's advisors and relatives, who emigrated with him from Mecca to Medina, the event known in Islam as the '' ...
(migrants from
Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly shortened to Makkah ( ),Quran 48:22 ' () is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland ...

Mecca
). Nevertheless,
Abu Bakr , image = Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg , title = Al-Siddiq Atiq ...
and
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
, both companions of Muhammad, upon learning about the meeting, rushed to the gathering and reportedly forced their way into
Saqifah Saqifah ( ar, سَّقِيفَة, translit=Saqīfah) of the Sa'ida clan refers to the location of an event in early Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; si ...
. Abu Bakr and Umar, accompanied by Abu Ubaidah and a few relatives, were the only members of Muhajirun who attended the Saqifah gathering. When they arrived, Abu Bakr warned the Ansar that
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technica ...

Arabs
will not recognize the rule of anyone outside of Muhammad's tribe, the
Quraysh The Quraysh ( ar, قُرَيْشٌ, ) were a grouping of Arab clans that historically inhabited and controlled the city of Mecca and its Ka'ba. The Islamic prophet Muhammad was born into the Banu Hashim, Hashim clan of the tribe. Despite this, ...
.
Muhajirun The ''Muhajirun'' ( ar, المهاجرون, al-muhājirūn, singular , ) were the first converts to Islam and the Islamic prophet Muhammad's advisors and relatives, who emigrated with him from Mecca to Medina, the event known in Islam as the '' ...
, Abu Bakr argued, had the most noble lineage, had accepted Islam earlier, and were nearer to Muhammad in relation. He then took Umar and Abu Ubaidah by the hand and offered them to the Ansar as potential choices. Abu Bakr was countered with the offer that the Quraysh and the Ansar should each choose separate rulers from among themselves. The stalemate reportedly continued through the night and into the next day. As evident from the early accounts, eloquent speeches gave way to a shouting match, with different groups competing for power. Sa'd ibn Ubadah, the chief of the
Khazraj The Banu Khazraj ( ar, بنو خزرج) is a large tribe in Medina Medina, ', "the radiant city"; or , ' (), "the city", officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah, is the second holiest city in Islam ...
tribe of the Ansar, reportedly accused the attending Muhajirin of colluding together. In a decisive move, Umar took Abu Bakr's hand and swore his allegiance to him, an example eventually followed by the Ansar after ibn Ubadah was beaten into compliance. The outburst of violence, according to Madelung, indicates that a substantial number of the Ansar must have initially refused to follow Umar's lead. Otherwise, Madelung argues, there would have been no need to beat up their chief, ibn Ubadah. Even after Umar's pledge to Abu Bakr, some of the Ansar reportedly insisted that, "We will not pay allegiance to anyone except
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
," who was not present at Saqifah. It has been suggested that two factors allowed the handful of Muhajirun at Saqifah to impose their will upon the Ansar: The first factor was that two key figures broke rank with the rest of the Ansar and backed Abu Bakr: Usaid ibn Hudair, a leader of the rival tribe of
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, and Bashir bin Sa'ad, an internal rival of Sa'd ibn Ubadah among the
Khazraj The Banu Khazraj ( ar, بنو خزرج) is a large tribe in Medina Medina, ', "the radiant city"; or , ' (), "the city", officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah, is the second holiest city in Islam ...
tribe. The second factor was the timely arrival of the Aslam tribe in great numbers, who filled the streets of Medina. The Aslam tribe, residing outside of Medina, were the enemies of the Ansar and readily supported Abu Bakr. Umar would often point out that, "It was only when I saw the Aslam that I became certain of victory." The Saqifah event has been criticized as a "backroom deal" or a "coup" which was heavily influenced by pre-Islamic tribal politics. Muhammad's family and the majority of the Muhajirun were excluded from the Saqifah gathering. In particular, Ali was holding vigil over Muhammad's body, alongside other close relatives, and likely learned about the outcome of Saqifah only after the fact. Madelung points out that Abu Bakr did everything in his speech to avoid raising the case of Ali for the caliphate. Indeed, Madelung suggests that what Umar called a hasty decision (''falta)'' at Saqifah, materialized in part out of the fear that the Ansar might put forward the case of Ali among themselves. According to Madelung, Abu Bakr was well aware that a broad ''
shura Shura ( ar, شُورَىٰ, ''shūrā'') is an Arabic word for "consultation". The Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also know ...

shura
'', in which Ali was to be on option, would have almost inevitably led to the election of Ali: The Ansar would have likely supported Ali because of his family ties with them, and the same arguments that favored Abu Bakr over the Ansar (kinship, service to Islam, etc.) would have arguably favored Ali over Abu Bakr. Madelung adds that the straightforward logic of dynastic succession would have almost certainly prevailed in a general ''shura.'' Madelung also notes that the evil of the ''falta'' which, Umar thought, had been averted by God would erupt later with a vengeance in the form of a brutal civil war after Uthman's assassination. Before the participants of the Saqifah gathering scattered, Muhammad had been buried. With the help of the Aslam and
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tribes, Umar then dominated the streets to secure pledge of allegiance of
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
ns. Several companions, most notably, Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ali and his supporters, initially refused to acknowledge Abu Bakr's authority. To cement his new authority, Abu Bakr ordered his aides, among them Umar, to confront Ali, resulting in Umar at Fatimah's house, an altercation which may have involved violence. In an act of Nonviolent resistance, passive resistance, however, Ali continued to hold out against Abu Bakr's pressure until his wife,
Fatimah Fatimah bint Muhammad ( ar, فَاطِمَة ٱبْنَت مُحَمَّد, Fāṭimah bint Muḥammad, ; 605 CE/15 BH – died 28 August 632), commonly known as Fatimah al-Zahra ( ar, فَاطِمَة ٱلزَّهْرَاء, Fāṭimah al- ...

Fatimah
, died a few months later. According to the
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
, Fatimah died from the injuries that she suffered in a raid on her house, ordered by Abu Bakr. This claim is rejected by the
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
. Fatimah's dying wish was that Abu Bakr and Umar should not attend her funeral. These initial conflicts after Muhammad's death are regarded as the first signs of the coming division among Muslims. Those who had accepted Abu Bakr's caliphate later became the
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
, while the supporters of Ali's right to caliphate eventually became the
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
.


Rashidun Caliphs

Abu Bakr adopted the title of ''khalifat rasul Allah'', commonly translated as the successor to the messenger of God. This was shortened to ''khalifa'', from which the word caliph arose. Abu Bakr's tenure as the caliph lasted just over two years. While he was appointed caliph at the gathering in Saqifah, Abu Bakr designated Umar as his successor, reportedly against the advice of the Quraysh elders and without a say from the community. Umar was instrumental in the rise of Abu Bakr to power. In 644 CE, on his deathbed, Umar tasked a small committee of six with choosing the next caliph among themselves. Notably, the committee included Ali, Uthman, Uthman ibn Affan and his brother-in-law, 'Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Awf, Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf. The tie breaker vote was given to 'Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Awf, Abd al-Rahman, Othman's brother-in-law, and it is generally believed that the makeup and configuration of this committee left a small possibility for Ali's nomination. In the final showdown, 'Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Awf, Abd al-Rahman offered the caliphate to Ali on two conditions: First, he should follow the way of the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
and the Sunnah of Muhammad, and second, he should follow the example of Abu Bakr and Umar. Ali reportedly accepted the first condition but declined the second one, adding that he would rely only on his own judgment in the absence of any precedent from the Quran or the Sunnah. Abd al-Rahman then presented the same conditions to Uthman who readily accepted them. It has been suggested that 'Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Awf, Abd al-Rahman was well aware of Ali's disagreements with the past two caliphs and that Ali, known for his sincerity, would have inevitably rejected the second condition. Uthman's reign was accused of widespread nepotism. Under Uthman's rule, his tribe, the Umayyad dynasty, Banu Umayyad, regained its pre-Islamic influence and power. Uthman installed his relatives, including his cousin, Mu'awiya I, Muawiya, to rule the vast Islamic territories. In 656 CE, Uthman was assassinated by rebels. Shortly after Uthman's assassination, the crowds turned to Ali for leadership and were turned down initially. Will Durant explains Ali's initial reluctance as, "Genial and charitable, meditative and reserved; he shrank from drama in which religion had been displaced by politics, and devotion by intrigue." In the absence of any serious opposition and urged particularly by the Ansar and the Iraqi delegations, Ali eventually took up the mantle and Muslims filled the mosque and its courtyard to pledge their allegiance to him. While there is no record of any violence, Talha ibn Ubayd Allah and Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, who both soon took up arms against Ali, and a few of Uthman's associates later alleged that they had pledged allegiance to Ali under public pressure. Other reports suggest that Tahlah and Zubayr, both companions of Muhammad, jumped ship after Ali began to redistribute the wealth among Muslims by reversing Uthman's lavish entitlements for the ruling elite, including those of Talhah and Zubayr. Some reports indicate that Ali had barred his supporters from pressing anyone to give their pledge. It has been pointed out that Ali inherited the grave internal problems of Uthman's reign. In particular, Ali immediately faced an armed insurrection from Talhah and Zubayr, and opposition from Mu'awiya I, Muyawiya. The first four caliphs are referred to by the
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
as the Rashidun (rightly-guided) Caliphs, though only Ali is recognized by the Twelver
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
.


Later Successions

Abu Bakr's view that the caliphate should remain within the
Quraysh The Quraysh ( ar, قُرَيْشٌ, ) were a grouping of Arab clans that historically inhabited and controlled the city of Mecca and its Ka'ba. The Islamic prophet Muhammad was born into the Banu Hashim, Hashim clan of the tribe. Despite this, ...
tribe persisted in later generations. However, this definition of the caliphate had its costs. First, it facilitated the rise of the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyads who, despite being of the Quraysh, were late converts to Islam and among Muhammad's most staunch enemies in early Islam. Their rise to power marginalized both the
Muhajirun The ''Muhajirun'' ( ar, المهاجرون, al-muhājirūn, singular , ) were the first converts to Islam and the Islamic prophet Muhammad's advisors and relatives, who emigrated with him from Mecca to Medina, the event known in Islam as the '' ...
and the Ansar, and reduced the caliphate, as an institution, to no more than a worldly kingship, according to Michael Cooperson, M. Cooperson. Second, Abu Bakr's argument was, in part, based on the kinship of the Quraysh with Muhammad. In this regard, Ail's claim to the caliphate, as Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, is seen as far stronger than Abu Bakr's. Indeed, the recurring pattern in the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
is that the successors to the past prophets are elected through divine intervention: God chooses the successors of the past prophets from their families, whether those successors become prophets or not. Ali eventually became caliph, but not in time to stop the rise of the Umayyads. After assuming power, Ali dismissed most of Uthman's governors whom he considered corrupt, including Mu'awiya I, Muawiya, Uthman's cousin. Under a lenient Uthman, Muawiya had built a parallel power structure in Damascus that mirrored the despotism of the Roman Byzantine empire. Muawiya defied Ali's orders and, once the negotiations failed, the two sides engaged in a bloody and lengthy civil war. After Ali's assassination in 661 CE, his son, , was elected caliph and adopted a similar approach towards Muawiya. However, as Muawiya began to buy the loyalties of military commanders and tribal chiefs, Hasan's military campaign suffered defections in large numbers. The situation was exacerbated by the spread of false reports through Muawiya's network of spies. After a failed assassination attempt on his life, a wounded Hasan ceded the caliphate to Muawiya. Notably, under their agreement, Muawiya appointed Hasan as his successor. However, Hasan died in 669 CE at the age of forty six, before Muawiya. It is believed that he was poisoned at the instigation of Muawiya. Before his death in 680 CE, Muawiya made arrangements for the succession of his son, Yazid I, Yazid, a debaucher who openly violated the Islamic norms. In particular, Muawiya used intimidation to obtain the approval of the sons of
Abu Bakr , image = Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg , title = Al-Siddiq Atiq ...
and Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, and other key figures, with the notable exception of Hasan's younger brother,
Husayn Hussein, Hossein, Husayn, or Husain (; ar, حُسَيْن ), coming from the triconsonantal The root (linguistics), roots of verbs and most nouns in the Semitic languages are characterized as a sequence of consonants or "wikt:radical, radica ...
. After Muawiya's death, Husayn publicly denounced Yazid's legitimacy. In 680 CE, after surrounding them in Karbala and imposing a crippling thirst by cutting off their access to water, Yazid's forces slaughtered Husayn, alongside his family and his small group of supporters. The women and children were taken prisoner and marched to Kufa and then Damascus, some of whom perished from mistreatment. The tragic death of Husayn and his supporters marked the Second Fitna, which finalized the Shia–Sunni relations, schism between the Sunni and the Shia. The latter consider Husayn as their third Imam. The succession subsequently transformed under the Umayyads from an elective/appointed position to being effectively hereditary within the family.


Twelver Shia view

Twelver Shi’ism, Twelver Shia is the largest branch of the Shia Islam, with about 85% of the Shia population. In the Shia Islam, Twelver Shia view, after a prophet's death, a divinely-appointed successor is necessary to guide the faithful towards the righteous path. Without a divinely-appointed successor, the prophetic mission and God's favor to the faithful would both remain incomplete. Of course, as with the faith itself, the faithful are endowed with the free will not to follow this successor, to their own disadvantage. The Twelver Shi’ism, Twelver Shia view is that, similar to the past prophets in the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
, the succession to Muhammad was settled by divine appointment, rather than by consensus. Moreover, as with the past prophets in the Quran, God chose Muhammad's successor from his family. The verses of Verse of Purification, purification, Event of Mubahala, Mubahala, and verse of Mawadda, Mawadda in the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
, and the well-attested Hadith al-Thaqalayn, hadith of the Thaqalayn and the hadith of the Ark are among the many that testify to the exalted status of Muhammad's family. In particular, the Shia view is that Muhammad announced his cousin and son-in-law,
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
, as his rightful successor shortly before his death at the
event of Ghadir Khumm Event may refer to: Gatherings of people * Ceremony, an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion * Convention (meeting), a gathering of individuals engaged in some common interest * Event management, the organization of even ...

event of Ghadir Khumm
and also early in his prophetic mission at the event of Hadith of warning, Dhul Asheera. In particular, a number of Shia and Sunni
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
s relate that it was shortly after the public announcement at Ghadir Khumm that the Verse of Ikmal al-Din, verse of Ikmal was revealed to Muhammad, declaring the completion of God's favor to the faithful. Nevertheless, for the unity of Islam, Ali remained largely silent after his right to the caliphate was usurped in his absence at
Saqifah Saqifah ( ar, سَّقِيفَة, translit=Saqīfah) of the Sa'ida clan refers to the location of an event in early Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; si ...
, in what has been criticized as a "backroom deal" and a "coup." Ali's distinctions are amply attested to in the Sunni accounts. In
Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly shortened to Makkah ( ),Quran 48:22 ' () is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland ...

Mecca
, a young Ali (or Abu Bakr) was the first male to embrace
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
and the person who offered his support when Muhammad Hadith of warning, first presented Islam to his relatives. Later, he facilitated Muhammad's safe Laylat al-Mabit, escape to
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
by risking his life as the decoy. In
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
, Ali sworn a pact a brotherhood with Muhammad and later took the hand of Muhammad's daughter,
Fatimah Fatimah bint Muhammad ( ar, فَاطِمَة ٱبْنَت مُحَمَّد, Fāṭimah bint Muḥammad, ; 605 CE/15 BH – died 28 August 632), commonly known as Fatimah al-Zahra ( ar, فَاطِمَة ٱلزَّهْرَاء, Fāṭimah al- ...

Fatimah
, in marriage. Ali commonly acted as Muhammad's Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, secretary in Medina, and served as his deputy during the expedition of Expedition of Tabuk, Tabuk. Saluted as the Asadullah, lion of God, Ali is often considered the most able warrior in Muhammad's army and the two were the only Muslim men who Event of Mubahala, represented Islam against a Christianity, Christian delegation from Najran. Ali's role in the collection of the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
, the central text of Islam, is deemed as one of his key contributions. When, following the revelation of the ''surah'' of at-Tawbah, Abu Bakr was sent to Mecca to give an ultimatum to the disbelievers, Muhammad sent out Ali to take over this responsibility, according to Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad. The author Lesley Hazleton, Hazleton suggests that when
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
, and those who sided with him, prevented Muhammad from dictating his will on his deathbed, it was likely out of the fear that, "If Ali turned out to be the designated heir, no body in that room wanted it put into writing." This opinion is echoed by Madelung. In the Shia view, while direct revelation ended with Muhammad's death, Ali remained the righteous guide towards God, similar to the successors of the past prophets in the Quran. After Muhammad's death, Ali inherited Muhammad's divine knowledge and his authority to correctly interpret the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
, especially its allegorical and metaphorical verses (Muhkam and Mutashabih, ''mutashabihat''). In Muhammad's words, reported both by Sunni and Shia sources, "I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate." God had commanded obedience to Muhammad as the righteous guide, and this grave responsibility towards Muslims necessitated Muhammad's infallibility. Likewise, as the righteous guide after Muhmmad, Ali is believed to be infallible. Indeed, Ali was one of the Ahl al-Kisa, whom Twelvers believe the Quran elevated above sins and wrongdoing in the
verse of purification The Verse of Purification (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinenta ...
.


Imamate

After Muhammad, according to the Shia, Ali was appointed as an Imamate in Shia doctrine, Imam, namely, the guide towards God and His vicar on the earth. Imamate in Shia doctrine, Imamate, as a divine authority, appears in multiple verse of the Quran, e.g., verse 21:73:In the Twelver Shia view, since the time of the first prophet, Adam, the earth has never remained without an Imam, in the form of prophets and their divinely-appointed successors. Likewise, Imamate in Shia doctrine, Imamate was passed on from Ali to the next Imam, , by divinely-inspired designation (''nass''). At any time, there is only one Imam and his successor, if alive, is called the silent Imam. After Hasan's death,
Husayn Hussein, Hossein, Husayn, or Husain (; ar, حُسَيْن ), coming from the triconsonantal The root (linguistics), roots of verbs and most nouns in the Semitic languages are characterized as a sequence of consonants or "wikt:radical, radica ...
and nine of his descendants are the Shia Imams, the last of whom,
Mahdi The Mahdi ( ar, ٱلْمَهْدِيّ, ISO 233: '')'', meaning "the Rightly Guided One", is an eschatological Messianic figure who, according to Islamic belief, will appear at the end of times to rid the world of evil and injustice. In M ...

Mahdi
, went into occultation in 260 AH (874 CE), due to the hostility of the Imam's enemies and the danger to his life. His advent is awaited by the Shia and Sunni alike, although the Sunni hold different views about Mahdi. In his absence, the vacuum in the Shia leadership is partly filled by ''Marja', marjaiyya'' and, more recently, Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, ''wilayat al-faqqih'', i.e., guardianship of the Islamic jurist.


Zaydi Shia view

According to Twelvers, before his death, the fourth Shia Imam, Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin, Zayn al-Abidin, designated his son, Muhammad al-Baqir, as the next Shia Imam. Zayd ibn Ali, Zayd, a half-brother of Muhammad al-Baqir, asserted a claim to Imamate in Shia doctrine, Imamate on the basis that it can belong to any descendant of or
Husayn Hussein, Hossein, Husayn, or Husain (; ar, حُسَيْن ), coming from the triconsonantal The root (linguistics), roots of verbs and most nouns in the Semitic languages are characterized as a sequence of consonants or "wikt:radical, radica ...
who is learned, pious and revolts against the tyrants of his time. On this basis, his followers, known as Zaydis, consider Zayd as the rightful successor of the fourth Shia Imam, even though the fourth Imam himself did not revolt against the Umayyad dynasty, Umayyads and instead adopted a policy of quiescence. Initially, Zayd's activist approach gained him a large following. However, as he increasingly compromised with the traditionalists, some of Zayd's supporters returned to Muhammad al-Baqir. A related incident is when two Kufan Shias asked Zayd if the first Shia Imam,
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
, was an Imam before he resorted to the sword. When Zayd refused to answer this question, the two broke their allegiance with Zayd and went back to Muhammad al-Baqir. Eventually, Zayd took up arms against the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyads in 122 AH and, after praising Abu Bakr and Umar, was killed in Kufa by the forces of Yusuf ibn Umar al-Thaqafi of Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, Caliph Hisham. One faction of the Zaidiyyah, the Batriyya, attempted to create a compromise between Sunni and Shia by accepting the legitimacy of the Sunni caliphs while maintaining that they were inferior to Ali. Their argument was that, while Ali was better suited to succeed Muhammad, the reigns of
Abu Bakr , image = Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg , title = Al-Siddiq Atiq ...
and
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
must be acknowledged because Ali recognized them. This belief, termed ''Imamat al-Mafdul'' (Imamate of the inferior), is one which has also been attributed to Zayd himself.


Sunni view

The general Sunni belief is that Muhammad had not chosen anyone to succeed him, instead reasoning that he had intended for the community to decide on a leader amongst themselves. However, some specific hadiths are used to justify that Muhammad intended
Abu Bakr , image = Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg , title = Al-Siddiq Atiq ...
to succeed, but that he had shown this decision through his actions rather than doing so verbally. In Sunni Islam, the election of a caliph is ideally a democratic choice made by the Muslim community. As this is difficult to enforce, Sunni Islam recognizes as caliph anyone who seizes power, as long as he is from the
Quraysh The Quraysh ( ar, قُرَيْشٌ, ) were a grouping of Arab clans that historically inhabited and controlled the city of Mecca and its Ka'ba. The Islamic prophet Muhammad was born into the Banu Hashim, Hashim clan of the tribe. Despite this, ...
, the tribe of Muhammad. However, even the latter is not a strict requirement, given that the Ottoman Caliphate, Ottoman Caliphs had no familial relation to the Quraysh tribe. In Sunni Islam, caliphs are not viewed as infallible and can be removed from the office if their actions are deemed sinful. At the same time, obedience to a caliph is a religious obligation even if the caliph is unjust. Conversely, a judge would be considered competent solely on the basis of his appointment by the government. Historically, Abu Bakr,
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
, Uthman and
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
are regarded by the Sunni as the most righteous of their generation, with their merit being reflected in their Rashidun Caliphate, caliphate. The subsequent caliphates of the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyads and the Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasids, while not ideal, are seen as legitimate because they complied with the requirements of the law, kept the borders safe and the community united. Indeed, while the Umayyads and the Abbasids were certainly kingships, the Sunni was more willing than others to accommodate these rulers, regardless of their legitimacy and mode of government, and in so doing the Sunni made most of Islamic history their own.


Ibadi view

The Ibadi, an Islamic school distinct from Sunni and Shia, believe that leadership of the Muslim community is not something which should be decided by lineage, tribal affiliations or divine selection, but rather through election by leading Muslims. They see the leaders as not being infallible and that if they fail to maintain a legitimate government in accordance to Islamic law, it is the duty of the population to remove them from power. The Rashidun Caliphs are seen as rulers who were elected in a legitimate fashion and that
Abu Bakr , image = Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg , title = Al-Siddiq Atiq ...
and
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
in particular were righteous leaders. However, Uthman is viewed as having committed grave sins during the latter half of his rule and was deserving of death. Ali is also similarly understood to have lost his mandate. Their first Imam was Abd Allah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi, who was selected after the group's alienation from Ali. Other individuals seen as Imams include Abu Ubaidah Muslim, Ibadi Revolt, Abdallah ibn Yahya al-Kindi and Umar II, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz.


See also

* Hadith of the two weighty things * Hadith of the pen and paper * Omar at Fatimah's house, Umar at Fatimah's House * Hadith of the Twelve Successors * Saqifa * Event of Ghadir Khumm


Notes


References


Further reading


Academic books

* * * * *


Shia books

* ''Shi'a Islam (book)'', by Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaei and Hossein Nasr, State University of New York Press, 1979 * ''Al-Murāja'āt: A Shī'i-Sunni Dialogue'' by Sayyid 'Abdul-Husayn Sharafud-Dīn al-Mūsawi, 2001, Ansariyan Publications: Qum, Iran. * ''Peshawar Nights'' by Sultanu'l-Wa'izin Shirazi, 2001, Ansariyan Publications: Qum, Iran. * ''Ask Those Who Know'' by Muhammad al-Tijani, 2001, Ansariyan Publications: Qum, Iran. * ''To be with the Truthful'' by Muhammad al-Tijani, 2000, Ansariyan Publications: Qum, Iran. * ''The Shi'a: The Real Followers of the Sunnah'' by Muhammad al-Tijani, 2000, Ansariyan Publications: Qum, Iran. * ''Imamate and Leadership'' by Mujtaba Musavi Lari *
the Vicegerency of the Prophet
' by Rizvi, S. Saeed Akhtar, (Tehran: WOFIS, 1985) pp. 57–60. * ''Fara'id al-Simtayn'' by the
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
scholar Ibrahim b Muhammad b Himaway al Juwayni who died in 1322 AD/ 722 AH. (''The Scale of Wisdom'' by M. Muhammadi Rayshahri)(''Al-Tawhid'' Vol 8, Sāzmān-i Tablīghāt-i Islāmī (Tehran, Iran), p170)


Sunni books

*
Sealed Nectar
' by Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, 2002, Darussalam Publications. *
Al-Bukhari
' Translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, 1997, Darussalam Publications *
Peshawar Nights the Art of Fictional-Narration
' by Abu Muhammad al-Afriqi *
Life of Muhammad
' by Muhammad Husayn Haykal * ''Prophet Muhammad and The First Muslim State'' by Mohammad Mahmoud Ghali * ''Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq'' by Muhammad Rajih Jad'an *
The Biography of Abu Bakr As Siddeeq
' by Ali al-Sallabi {{Caliphs 7th-century elections Abu Bakr Ali History of Islam Muhammad Schisms in Islam Shia–Sunni relations 632