|Chapter 45: The Prophet's Death|
It was eleven years after Hijra. Allah's Messenger was about to conclude establishing the main pillars on which the Islamic law, which was ordained to be everlasting for being the final faith, was to depend.
His noble soul was compelled to return with satisfaction and comfort to the One Who Created it; after it had attained the goal of bringing about the greatest change in the history of mankind. Yes, indeed it was inevitable for the Prophet's soul to depart towards Him who it-truly knew, for so many years called mankind to worship, and courageously struggled in the path of elevating His Word. And as it is said:
"Death was written to fit man just as a necklace was made to fit a girl's neck"
The Prophet along with the rest of the Muslims, had made his final morning prayer. It was the last time they (the people) were to see the Divine light come upon them. By the time the sun had reached the middle of the sky, the Prophet's sun had made its eternal set.
By noon he was lying dead between his family; they could do nothing save shed tears of sorrow for the biggest affliction of history. What a day it was. Greatness, perfection, honor and exaltation had been lost. Muslims were so saddened that whenever they were afflicted with great sorrow thereafter they said:
"Surely this is a day like when the Messenger of Allah died."
The house was crowded with crying people; but Fatima's weeping was the greatest. She had lost her great father and with him went her happiness and joy; with his death came sadness and pain.
When the Muslims heard of the Prophet's death, they rushed towards the Mosque. The people were overwhelmed and did not realize what had actually happened... They became like scattered sheep on a rainy night without their shepherd. What were they to do? Ali was busy attending to washing the Prophet's body and could not speak to them in details.
It was undoubtedly true! He had died! Yet, Umar Ibn al-Khattab refused to allow people to believe what had happened. He began shouting in their faces and threatening them by saying:
'Allah's Messenger did not die, nor will he die until his religion reigns over all other religions. He shall return to amputate the hands and legs of the men who believed in his death. I will not hear a man say: 'The Messenger of Allah died save that I will cut off his head." Umar's call was decisive and rebellious... he, the speaker, used the most effective method of speech to persuade his listeners to believe him... Umar had sparked hope in their hearts that the Prophet was still alive...
He put fear in the hearts of the Muslims by telling them that the Prophet would come to amputate the hands and legs of those who believed in his death.
Furthermore, Umar threatened them by saying:
"I will cut off the neck of anyone who says: Allah's Messenger died." Fear and hope were the tools that Umar used to control the nerves of the Muslims. Because of the people's great love for the
Prophet the call to refuse accepting his death, easily found its way into their minds. Hence, no one objected to Umar and the belief that the Messenger had not died; this overtook all other news.
The Muslims lived several hours in total suspense and confusion. They were prevented from believing in the Prophet's death until Abu Bakr returned from a nearby village.
As soon as Abu Bakr returned, he proceeded towards the prophet's house and uncovered his face to make sure that he was actually dead. He then went to the Mosque and found Umar still stating that the Prophet had not died. Abu Bakr ordered Umar to sit down; Umar refused until he ordered him three times; yet, Umar still refused. Thus, Abu Bakr stood in another corner of the Mosque and addressed the people:
"He who worships Muhammad should be informed that Muhammad has died. He who worships Allah should know that Allah is ever-living and does not die."
Abu Bakr then recited the following verse:
"Muhammad is no more than a Prophet: many were the Apostles that passed away before him. If he died or was slain, will ye then turn back your heels?"
When the Muslims heard this, they submitted to the fact... Even Umar believed that he had actually died, and as Umar himself said: "I only believed that he died after I had made sure that the verse was from the Holy Quran." Abu Bakr and Umar's story was sad!! Right?! Yet even the simplest minds cannot be convinced that these events can be plainly interpreted...
Umar shouts, swears, threatens those who say that the
Messenger of Allah has actually died... But when Abu Bakr recites a verse from the Quran-which Umar himself did not recognize!!-the later suddenly collapses; and believes that Muhammad really died!!
How did Umar know that the Prophet will not die until his religion reigns over all other religions?!
Did he inform Umar that he will return to cut off the arms and legs of those who said he was dead?
Didn't Umar really know that the verse recited by Abu Bakr was a Quranic verse, so that he could claim to believe in the Prophet's death?!
But surely "Still waters run deep"!!
Actually, by behaving in such a way, Umar was able to suspend the Muslims and hold them back for several hours until Abu Bakr returned. It was then that they (Abu Bakr and Umar immediately started the execution of their premeditated plan to seize power.
Can't you see that Umar was over-reacting to the Prophet's death; but simultaneously with Abu Bakr's speech, he turned around forgetting all about his supposedly broken heart to announce his allegiance to Abu Bakr as the new leader of the Muslims!!
At any rate, Abu Bakr's and Umar's success in seizing power from Ali (A.S.) after the Prophet's death, can only be the first of previous planning to do so long before the death of Allah's Messenger. Thus, this show, which was put on, by Umar and Abu Bakr can only be part of this planning. The authenticity of this statement can be verified when hands are set free to search the pages of history books.
Chapter 46: After The Prophet's Death
After the Prophet's death, events continued to occur. When studying the era following the Prophet's death, history speaks of the wonders, which occurred.
Indeed, history tells us about "Apostasy" which included the majority of Muslims who objected to Abu Bakr's seize of power from its righteous candidate, Ali Ibn Abu Talib (A.S.).
It also tells us how Fatima's rights were usurped- especially in Fadak-and how Ali was dragged to the Mosque to pay allegiance to Abu Bakr!! History tells us how Fatima's house was set on fire by him who yesterday pretended not to believe in her father's death.
Yes, history tells us how the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) died and with him died his repeated warnings to those who would oppress his family members and that they will be met with the wrath of Allah. It also tells us of Lady Fatima's sadness and misery which she suffered after the death of her dear father.
Fidhdha, Fatima's helper, spoke of Fatima's sadness; she said:
"It was on the eighth day after the Prophet's death that Fatima revealed the extent of her sadness and inability to bear life without her father. She (A.S.) came to the Mosque and while crying said:
Oh! My sincere friend
Oh! Abu Al-Qasim
Oh! The helper of the widowed and the orphans Who do we have for Kaaba and the Mosque?
Who does your saddened and grieved daughter have?"
"Fatima (A.S.) then proceeded towards the tomb of the Prophet; it was difficult for her to walk because her tears covered her eyes. When she saw the Mizaneh, she passed out; so the women rushed to rescue her; after putting water of her face, she regained consciousness; Fatima then said:
'My strength has been eradicated
My endurance has betrayed me
My enemies have rejoiced at my misfortune
And my grief will kill me
Father! I remain bewildered and lonely
Confused and lonesome
My voice is subdued
My back is broken
My life is disturbed
I find no one, Father, after you to attend to my loneliness
Neither to stop my tears
Nor to support me in times of weakness
Surely precise revelations, the place of Gabriel's descendence and Michael's location have vanished after you Father,
Motives (of others) have changed
And gates have been shut in my face
Thus, I detest this world after you
And my tears shall be shed for you as long as breath continues to exist in me
My longing for you shall not cease
My sadness for (being separated from) you shall not vanish
Fatima then cried out loudly:
With you went the light of the world
Its flowers wither away after blossoming in your presence
I will forever be sorrowful for you until we are reunited
Father!! Sleeping has left me since we have been separated Father!!
Who is there for the widows and the orphans Who will we have for the Ummah until The Day of Rising?!
We became-after you-among the oppressed Father!!
People shun us after you After we were glorified by your presence among men Thus, what tear shall not spill on your departure?
What sadness (after you) shall not continue to exist?
Which eyelid shall be smeared with slumber?
You are the spring of faith and the light of Prophets So how can mountains not sway?
And seas not dry out?
How can the Earth not tremble?
I have been afflicted with the greatest sorrow, and my disaster is not minor! Father!!
I have been inflicted with the greatest misfortune and the biggest calamity
Angels cry for you, and stars cease to move because of you
Your minbar (after you) is gloomy, Your minbar is empty
Of your secret conversation (with your Lord)
Your grave is joyful for holding you
And Paradise is delighted with your presence
Supplication and prayers
How gloomy are your meeting places (without your presence)!!
How pained I am for you, until I soon join you!!
How bereaved is Abu Al-Hussan, The entrusted one!!
The Father of your two sons, Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain; your beloved one He whom you brought up as a youth, and made your brother as a man (Abu Al-Hassan) The most beloved of your companions to you Abu Al-Hassan, who was the first to immigrate and help you Sadness has overtaken us; Crying will kill us
And distress will always accompany us.'
Lady Fatima (A.S.) then returned to her house and lived in misery and sadness until she joined her beloved father not long after he passed away."
Chapter 47: Following Ali to The Mosque
After the Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr seized Caliphate. He and his followers claimed that since he was unanimously elected by the Muslims, he was the righteous leader of the Ummah.
Yet, with little reflection upon the matter of Caliphate, one realizes that it is an extension and continuation of the Prophethood without revelation. Thereupon, since Prophethood can only be assigned to someone through Divine specification, likewise Caliphate cannot be assigned to anyone by mankind; rather, it is a Divine code bestowed upon men by Divine specification.
Moreover, this consensus that Abu Bakr and his followers claim to have achieved is not valid; because the Ansar, Bani Hashim, Ammar, Salman, Miqdad, Abu Dhar and many other companions opposed the election of Abu Bakr to the Divine post, which was previously granted to Ali (A.S.). Nevertheless, Abu Bakr was able to seize power and eradicate Ali's (A.S.) and his followers attempts to regain his righteous post.
Why was Abu Bakr Elected?
Several factors can be cited to have motivated some Muslims to choose Abu Bakr as their leader:
1. Resentment to see both Prophethood and Imamate posts occupied by Bani Hashim. This factor was revealed by Umar in a long conversation with Ibn Abbas: According to Umar:
(If Prophethood and Imamate posts were both occupied by Bani Hashim) then they would constantly brag about them!!
2. Ali's young age
3. The Arabs, especially the Quraishans envy of Ali (A.S.)
4. Ali (A.S.) would lead and judge people according to righteousness and the right path, had he been chosen as the leader, as Umar stated.
It is inevitable after Abu Bakr seized power that Ali (A.S.) should pay allegiance to him, for it is the natural path of every coup to force the opposition to announce its support to the -new regime. But what can they do with Ali who refused to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr? Can they threaten him? But he is the famous hero who was able to extinguish the Arab heroes, kill their brave men, and compete with their "wolves"!!
Can they deceive him (A.S.) into doing so?! But Ali is that cautious man who is aware in such matters!!
Nevertheless, allegiance must be taken from Ali at any rate. But behold! What would Lady Fatima's stand be had Ali (A.S.) been forced to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr? In other Words, what can be done if Lady Fatima (A.S.) chooses to defend her husband?!
Should they ignore all these obstacles?! Or what should they do?! This created an unsolvable problem for the coup leaders who spent long hours reflecting on the issue. Meanwhile, Imam Ali (A.S.) confined himself to his house to collect the Holy Quran, after realizing the fruitlessness of his efforts to regain his rights. He was
virtually secluded from the outside world. This situation was disadvantageous to the coup leaders, for in Ali's refusal to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr lies a deep meaning and an excuse for others to object to Abu Bakr's seizure of power.
Yet, opinions met of the necessity to bring Ali (A.S.) by force to the Mosque, whatever the price may be. Especially in light of the fact, which they later came to realize, that he was more concerned about the Islamic interests than his own. Therefore, a commissioned force led by Umar's slave boy, Qunfud, was sent to Ali's house. When this force reached the house, Qunfud requested permission to enter so they may speak to him regarding the issue; but Ali (A.S.) refused them permission to enter; after which they returned to the Mosque and said to Abu Bakr and Umar:
"We were refused permission to enter."
Umar said: "Go back and if you are denied permission again, then enter (the house) with force."
So the group once again asked for permission, but Fatima (A.S.) said: "You are prohibited from entering my house without permission."
Upon hearing this, the members of the force went back-save Qunfud. They informed Umar that they were not allowed to enter the house. This angered Umar who said:
"What do women have in this?!"
Events continued to occur, and two pictures are drawn in front to us: First:
Umar orders his slave boy to start Fatima's house on fire! A man objects by saying: "But Fatima is in it."
Yet Umar replied: "So what!!" Second:
(According to Jahiz and the author of Abaqat Al-Anwar):
The Prophet assigned Ali (A.S.) as his successor. All the companions had full knowledge of this assignment. Yet, Umar forges the fact for the sake of Abu Bakr and strikes Fatima's womb, which caused her to miscarry Mohsin.
(Two pictures with no comments.)
At any rate, Ali (A.S.) was forced to the Mosque. When Fatima Zahra (A.S.) saw this, she followed him and addressed Abu Bakr by saying: "Do you wish to make me a widow?! By Allah if you do not let him go, I will uncover my head, rip my shirt, and go to my Father's tomb and cry to my Lord..."
So she (A.S.) took Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain's hands and proceeded towards her father's (P.B.U.H.) tomb! When Imam Ali (A.S.) saw the seriousness of the situation, he immediately interfered and said to Salman: "Prevent Muhammad's daughter (from reaching her father's grave) for surely I can see the outskirts of Medina being sunk into the earth." Salman later said:
"I was near Lady Fatima when, by Allah, I saw the foundations of the Mosque's walls being elevated up to a point that had a man wanted to go from under them, he would have been able to do so. So I said:
'My Mistress, surely Allah, the Exalted, sent your father to be mercy, thus do not become the cause of His wrath. "'
These noble stands of Fatima, forced Abu Bakr and Umar to release Ali (A.S.); Fatima (A.S.) returned home after setting the most honorable example of devotion to her husband.
Encounters in the Mosque:
As we have already mentioned, Abu Bakr sent Umar to Fatima's house with orders to compel Ali and his friends to come and pledge allegiance to him. If they could not be persuaded by fair means, Umar was going to set the house on fire. When Fatima asked him what he meant, he told her that he would certainly burn the house down unless they would be content to do as the rest of the people had done.
Knowing Umar's temper, Ali and his friends chose to come out of the house. Imam Ali, who was accompanied by Abbas and Zubair, reproached Umar's party saying:
"O you Muhajirs! You claim the succession to the Prophet of Allah preferring your priority in Islam and your kinship, to him before the Ansars. Now I put forward the same arguments in preference to you. Am I not the first who believed in the Prophet before any of you embraced his faith? Am I not the nearest in relation to the Prophet than any of you?
Fear-Allah, if you are true believers, and do not snatch away the Prophet's authority from his house to your own."
Standing behind the door, Fatima (A.S.) reproachfully addressed the raiding people thus:
"O people! You left behind the Prophet's dead body to us and proceeded to wring out the Caliphate for yourselves, extinguishing our rights." She (A.S.) then burst into tears and cried:
"O Father! O Prophet of Allah! How soon after you troubles are pouring on us at the hands of the son of Khattab (Umar) and the son of Abu Quhafa (Abu Bakr). How soon they have ignored your words at Ghadir al-Khum and your saying that Ali was to you as Haroun was to Musa. " Hearing Fatima's wailing, most of the people in Umar's party
turned back .Ali was however, taken to Abubakr and was asked to swear allegiance to him. Imam Ali (A.S.) said: "What if I do not do him homage?"
He was answered: "By Allah, we shall kill you if you do not do as others have done"
Upon hearing this Ali said: "What! Will you kill a man who is a servant of the lord and a brother of the Prophet of the Lord?"
Hearing this Umar said; "We do not acknowledge you as a brother of the prophet of the Lord" and addressed Abu Bakr who was silent, requesting him to speak out Ali's fate, but (it was claimed) Abu Bakr said that so long as Fatima was alive, he would not compel her husband to do so. So Ali (A.S.) departed and proceeded directly to the tomb of the Prophet where he cried out:
"O my brother! Your people now treat me with contempt and are bent on killing me."