بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
Saqīfa incident actually disproves Shia concept of Imamate/Wilayah of Ali
Shias believe the Prophet (S) declared Caliph Ali as the first Imam in Ghadeer. Shias say Abu Bakr and Umar plotted in Saqifa against Ali, and hence snatched the Caliphate from him. This is how they think about this incident, but an unbiased look at this incident shows that it was impossible. First of all, the people of Madinah, whom Allah called ‘Ansar’ which means ‘the Helpers’ had gathered at Saqifah. Their gathering in Saqifah was for the purpose of selecting a Caliph from amongst themselves. Hence, if anyone plotted against Ali, it was actually by these people whom Allah declared ‘Ansar’. Abu Bakr and Umar only came to Saqifah to stop them. If they had any intention to select a Caliph at Saqifah, which would have been the last thing in their mind when they heard the gathering of Ansar at Saqifah, they would have gone to Saqifah with a large number of Muhajireen i.e ‘The Immigrants’. They only intended to stop the Ansar from selecting a Caliph, because they didn’t have the right since the Prophet (S) had clearly declared that the Caliph would be from the ‘Quraish’. But aside from that, the gathering of Ansar at Saqifah shows that those people didn’t consider the event of Ghadeer to be the appointment of Ali as the first Caliph. And if Ghadeer event was the evidence of the appointment of Ali as the first Caliph, than the Ansar were the first people to go against Ali.
When Abu Bakr and Umar reached Saqifah with Abu Ubaidah, and when they looked at the situation, they tried to stop Ansar from selecting a Caliph from amongst them. They talked to them, and persuaded many people from Ansar. How would anyone from Ansar agree with them, if they didn’t think Abu Bakr and Umar were telling the truth? How can Abu Bakr, Umar and Abu Ubaidah force anyone from Ansar to accept their stance when they were only three people in a large gathering of Ansar? And as the Shias preach day and night, Abu Bakr and Umar didn’t even have the superficial powers which would have forced the Ansar to agree with them! The only thing with which they convinced the Ansar was Quran and Sunnah. But still, there were few Ansari who wanted to choose a Caliph from amongst them. If they had succeeded, and if Abu Bakr and Umar hadn’t stopped them, it would have been Ansar who would have made the first error of choosing a wrong person as Caliph as both Sunnis and Shias agree that the Caliph is from the Quraish. But Abu Bakr and Umar stopped them from committing this error, and not by force, but with discussion and wisdom.
When some of the Ansari still wanted to choose a person from amongst them as Caliph, Umar knew that they can only be stopped from selecting a man from their own as Caliph, by selecting an eligible person from Quraish as the Caliph. And he was Abu Bakr, so Umar told him to move his hand forth, and he rendered allegiance to Abu Bakr. The Ansar who were convinced as a result of the discussion that the Caliph has to be from the Quraish started rendering allegiance to him, so much so that all of them rendered allegiance to him. And Umar saved the Muslims from the division on that day with his wisdom.
Hence this event is not actually a crime of Abu Bakr and Umar, but it is the event which shows how they protected the Muslims from division on the very first day after the death of the Prophet (S). If Ansar had succeeded in choosing a caliph from amongst them, the unity of Muslims would have been at stake. Because the Muhajireen wouldn’t render allegiance to an Ansari Caliph, since neither the Ansar could force the Muhajireen nor they could convince the Muhajireen to accept an Ansari as a Caliph in the light of Quran and Sunnah. The Muslims would have been fighting with one another, rather than against the rebels and the kuffar. And Ali would still not have got the position of the Caliph, because just like Ansar didn’t think the event of Ghadeer as the appointment of Ali as Caliph, so was the case with the Muhajireen, because the Muhajireen considered Abu Bakr to be the eligible person for Caliphate.
Ali wasn’t considered as ‘the divinely appointed first Caliph’ by Ansar as well as Muhajireen. And he wouldn’t have become even the fourth caliph of the Muslims if Abu Bakr and Umar hadn’t intervened at Saqifah, because that would have lead to the division of Muslims and it would have been the biggest catastrophe, since the centre of Islam would have become the battleground between the two factions of Muslims, and before they could have settled their dispute, the rebels and the Kuffar would have overpowered them. We need to be thankful for the role of Abu Bakr and Umar in Saqifah, rather than condemning them.
Wa lillahil hamd !
By Kalaam (Islamic-Forum.net) Posted by 13S2010