I would like to ask you some questions related to the period of the Caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Umar(ra). I have written the questions in points to make it explicit for you.
The questions are as follows:
What was the position of Sayyida Imam Ali during the Caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Umar (ra)?
Was he in Medinah or Mecca during their Caliphate?
Why didnt he take part in the battles fought during the period of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Umars(ra) Khilafat?
Along with your answers, please provide evidences from Islamic History and hadiths.
Status of Hazrat Ali (ra) during the caliphate of Abu Bakr (ra) and Umar (ra) is differed upon matter. I am sorry we cannot provide the detail account of his business during the period from the books of history and their analysis. You could access some of the well-known works of early Islamic history for example Tareekh-I-Tabri, Tabaqaat of Ibn-Sa`ad, and Al-Sirah Annabawiyyah by Ibn-I-Kathir. The most recent work that concentrates on the matter is Maulana Muhammad Nafay’s “Ruhamaa-u-Banahum”1. In the second and third chapter of his book the Maulana has refuted the commonly held view regarding the aloofness of Hazrat Ali from the affairs of the state during the caliphate of both Hazrat Abu Bakr and Umar (ra).
However, it is a well-known historical fact that Hazrat Ali remained in Madina until the time that he decided to shift his office to Kufa during his own rule.
As regards the question why did he not participate in the battles fought during the period, history tells us that he engaged himself in combats against the rebellions just after the death of the Prophet (pbuh). The book referred to above refers to such incidents. However, none of the wars fought during these times was an open call by the state rendering it necessary for every one to participate. Ali (ra) is not reported to have refused to participate in any expedition where he was asked to go. Nevertheless, there could be numerous reasons for not assigning him such a task. After all, many others were also not obligated to participate in many of the wars during the period.
Tariq Mahmood Hashmi
September 20, 2003
- Ruhamaa-u-Bainahum, vol.1, Takhleeqat, Akram Arcade, 29 Temple Road Lahore, Pakistan. [↩]