Rational proofs which refute the Shia myth of taking Ali(ra) as a divinely appointed Caliph.

Rational proofs which refute the Shia myth of taking Ali(ra) as a divinely appointed Caliph.

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

The Shia myth that Ali(ra) was divinely appointed Caliph or that Ali(ra) was appointed by Allah as Caliph to succeed after Prophet Muhammad(saw) is not only refuted from abundant authentic narrations of Prophet(saw), but even from  rational historical proofs. In this article we would like to present before the readers some of those rational proofs which disapproves the Shia claim that Ali(ra) was appointed as Caliph over the Muslim Ummah by Allah(swt) or Prophet Muhammad(saw).

Rational Proof #1:

The occurrence of incident of Saqifah itself is an irrefutable proof that, there wasn’t a divine Caliph after Prophet(saw) nor was there a Caliph appointed by Prophet(saw).

During the incident of Saqifah, we know that most of Ansar and Mujahireen were in strong disagreement regarding the issue that who is going to be the Caliph after Prophet(Saw). Both parties wanted that the Caliph should be from their group. Thus we read that:

The Ansar said: “In case they reject our Caliph, we shall drive them out from Al-Medinah at the point of our swords.” However, the few Muhajirs in the assembly protested against this attitude and this led to a dispute and disorder of a serious nature and a war between the Muhajirs and Ansars seemed possible. When the situation took this ugly turn, Mughirah ibn Shubah left the trouble spot and came to the Prophet’s Mosque to relate what was going on in Saqifah Banu Sa’idah. (Tareekh Al-Islam, Vol.1, p.273-274).

Saad ibn Ubaadah(ra) conveyed the following message to his fellow Ansar stating: “O Company of the Ansar! You have precedence in religion and merit in Islam that no other tribe of the Arabs can claim. Muhammad remained ten-odd years in his tribe, calling them to worship the Merciful and to cast off idols and graven images, but only a few men of his tribe believed in him, and they were able neither to protect the Apostle of Allah, nor to render his religion strong, nor to divert from themselves the oppression that befell them all. “Until, when He intended excellence for you (O Ansar); He sent nobility to you and distinguished you with grace. Thus Allah bestowed upon you faith in Him and in His Apostle, and protection for him and his companions, and strength for him and his faith, and Jihad against his enemies. You (O Ansar) were the most severe people against his enemies who were not from among you, so that the Arabs became upright in Allah’s Cause, willingly or unwillingly…through you (O Ansar) Allah made great slaughter (of the infidels) in the earth for His Apostle, and by your swords (O Ansar) the Arabs were abased for him. When Allah took (the Prophet) to Himself, he was pleased with you (O Ansar) and consoled by you.  “So keep control of this matter (i.e. the Caliphate) to yourselves, to the exclusion of others, for it is yours and yours alone.”  (The History of al-Tabari, Vol.10, p.2)

But Quraish disagreed, Then Ansar made their counter-offer, saying:“O Quraish. There should be one ruler from us and one from you.”(Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 82, Number 817)

Then the Ansars and Muhajirs fell into argumentation, and then Abu Bakr(ra) said:“O Saad (ibn Ubaadah)! You know very well that the Prophet had said in your presence that the Quraish shall be given the Caliphate because the noble among the Arab (masses) follow their (Quraish) nobles and their ignobles follow their (Quraish) ignobles.”(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, p.5)

After Abubakr(ra) reminded the Ansar of the saying of Prophet(saw), this was their reaction:

فقال له سعد : صدقت , نحن الوزراء و أنتم الأمراء

Sa’d said to him (Abubakr): “You have said the truth. We (Ansar) are the ministers while you (Quraysh) are the rulers.[Shaykh al-Albani grades the whole report as Sahih.]

So let us bring before the readers some very important points from the above short summary the historical incident of Saqifah:

1. The gathering of Ansar and Muhajireen at Saqifah itself is a proof that Prophet(saw) had not appointed any Caliph to succeed after him.

2. When we analyze the arguments between Muhajirs and Ansars at Saqifah, we will realize that none of them had any idea of Ali(ra) being divinely appointed Caliph, because even when Abubakar(ra) tries to calm down Ansar, He uses the saying of Prophet(saw) that Caliph would be from Quraysh and when they were reminded of this command of prophet they accepted it whole heartedly .

Now, if at all Ansar had any idea that Ali(ra) was already made caliph by Prophet, then nothing would have stopped them from making Ali(ra) Caliph because, as it was their city and they were strong in Medina. Also Abubakr(ra) and Umar(ra) were from weaker tribes of Quraysh, unlike Ali(ra) who came from a large and strong tribe of Babi Hashim.

The only reason Ansar stepped back from their demand of making a Caliph from them, was due to the reminder of saying of Prophet. So respected readers, just ponder that why would Ansar leave their demand because of saying of prophet and on other hand negate the other more specific saying or declaration of Prophet, if supposedly that declaration was made?

Let us put this another way, Why would Ansar drop their claim, which they decided to take by sword due to being reminded of saying of Prophet, But on the other hand reject the supposed saying of Prophet(saw), that Ali(ra) was to be the Caliph over Muslims after him?

3. Ansar didn’t get the Caliphate due to the reminder from Abubakr regarding the saying of Prophet that Caliph should be from Quraish. So why would Ansar allow Abubakr to become Caliph if at all Ali(ra) was ALREADY declared as Caliph by Prophet?

Infact they would have argued with Abubakar(ra) that , if he is showing them the mirror to follow the saying of Prophet(saw), then why isn’t Abubakr doing the same OR they would have refuted Abubakr(ra) by saying that when you are not following the command of Prophet(Saw) regarding appointing Ali(ra) as Caliph then you have no right to stop us from demanding Caliphate. But nothing as such happened. Why?

4. When Ansar wanted to take Caliphate even with the force of sword, they dropped their idea just because of the saying of Prophet(saw), then it’s irrational to believe that such people would allow anyone reject the saying of Prophet(saw) regarding the issue of Caliphate, if at all Ali(ra) was made Caliph by Prophet(saw).

Ansar would have again raised the swords to follow the saying of Prophet(saw), and would have demanded to make Ali(ra) as Caliph and nothing could have stopped them from doing so, since they were strong as it was their city and Abubakr and Umar came from the weaker tribes of Quraish not from the stronger tribes like Bani Hashim. But nothing as such occurred, which proves that Prophet(saw) never appointed a Caliph to succeed after him.


Rational Proof #2:

Allegations Against Uthman(ra) Disproves Wilayat of Ali(ra)

A Mu’tazili scholar from the fourth century argued that there was no Wassiyah for Ali(ra), and the evidence is that Uthman(ra) the third Caliph of the believers, was never accused of taking away Ali’s Caliphate, by those who accused him of many things.

The third Caliph of believers, Uthman(ra) was accused of quite a few things by those that martyred him. They condemned him for not being there in Badr or Al-Hudaibiya, fleeing from Uhud, collecting the Qur’an, and they accused him of protecting his own camels instead of the camels of everyone in general.  We also find other accusations in hadith and history books like, he was accused of lengthening the prayer in Mina and for exiling Abu Thar.

Now, regardless of whether any of those things are true or not, or whether he was a corrupt person or not, but what catches the eye is that those people never accused him of usurping the caliphate from Ali, even though those people were major supporters of Ali.


Rational Proof #3:

Letter of Ali(ra) to Mu’awiya(ra) disapproves that, Ali(ra) considered himself to be divinely appointed Caliph.

We read in one of the most sacred book of Shias, that Ali(ra) wrote in his letter to Muawiya(ra) stating:

إنه بايعني القوم الذين بايعوا أبا بكر وعمر وعثمان ، على ما بايعوهم عليه ، فلم يكن للشاهد أن يختار ولا للغائب أن يرد ، وإنما الشورى للمهاجرين والأنصار ، فإن اجتمعوا على رجل وسموه إماماً كان ذلك لله رضى فإن خرج منهم خارج بطعن أو بدعة ردوه إلى ماخرج منه فإن أبى قاتلوه على اتباعه غير سبيل المؤمنين ، وولاه الله ما تولى

Verily, the people who payed allegience to Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, have payed allegience to me based on the same principles as the allegience to them. So anyone who was present has no right to go against his pledge of allegience, and anyone who was absent has no right to oppose it. And verily shura (consultation) is only the right of the Muhajirs and the Ansar. So if they decide upon a man and declare him their Imam, then it is with the pleasure of Allah. If anyone goes against this decision, then he must be persuaded to follow the rest of the people. If he persists, then fight with him for leaving that which has been accepted by the believers. And Allah shall let him wander misguided and not guide him. (Nahjul-Balaghah, Letter #6)

1. Ali(ra) wrote this letter to Muawiya(ra) when he was having the leadership and authority over Muslim Ummah, So instead of declaring his divine Imamah and asking to believe in it, why would he affirm the supposedly wrong and evil act of Muhajireen and Ansar to be correct, inorder to establish before his opponent that his appoint is valid?

2. According to Shiism blieving in the Caliphate of first three caliphs is a major sin. So why did Ali(ra) prescribe others to continue making that sin? Is this the way of divinely appointed Imam where instead of stopping people from doing a sin and correcting them, the divinely appointed Imam asks them to continue doing that sin?  

3. Why didn’t Ali(ra) practise the concept of Nahi al Munkar(rejection of that which is wrong) but rather affirmed the supposed munkar of Muhajirs and Ansar in order to prove his leadership to be correct?

4. Interestingly, In this letter Ali(ra) threatens Muawiya(ra) that, if he doesn’t acknowledges Ali(ra) as the fourth Caliph who was appointed by People, then he would be forced to follow those people who made Ali(ra) the fourth Caliph, even if this happens by fighting. Now what needs to be pondered is that, When the things had got such worse that, Ali(ra) is threatening to fight with Muawiya(ra), then why didn’t at that crucial stage, Ali(ra) called those people to believe in his Caliphate. Because when he was prepared to fight any how, then why didn’t he invite people to the real and most crucial issue of his divine Caliphate instead of calling them for the supposed incorrect Shura Caliphate? Is it permissible in Islam to threaten or declare a fight with opponents if they reject to accept a supposedly un-islamic belief(i.e shura)?

5. Why would Ali(ra) say that , what Muhajirs and Ansar did, it was with the pleasure of Allah? If According to Ali(ra) Mujahirs and Ansar rejected the candidate who was divinely appointed as Caliph and elected someone else, then why would Ali(ra) say that it was with pleasure of Allah?  Doesn’t these words of Ali(ra) falsifies that Shia myth that Ali(ra) was divinely appointed Caliph?

6. Allah(swt) said in Quran: {And the first to lead the way, of the Muhajirin and the Ansar, and those who followed them in goodness – Allah is well pleased with them.}. al-Tawbah [9:100]

7. Infact, The statement of Ali(ra) to Muawiya(ra) that Allah is pleased with the action of Muhajir and Ansar, is a clear proof, that Muawiya(ra) was not aware of any divine appointment of Ali(ra). Had it been so, then Ali(ra) would have asked Muawiya(ra) to believe in divine Caliphate of Ali(ra), and would have said that he would force him to believe in it. But since neither Ali(ra) nor Muawiya(ra) believe in this alien belief of divinely appointed Caliph after Prophet(saw), in Islam, Ali(ra) in simple and straight forward manner demanded that Muawiya(ra) should accept Ali(ra) as the fourth Caliph, Like he accepted the first three Caliphs.


Rational Proof #4:

Ali(ra) not making takfeer of those who fought against him proves that he was wasn’t divinely appointed Caliph.

It’s known fact reported in the books of Ahlesunnah as well as Imami Shiah, that Ali(ra) didn’t declare those who fought him during his Caliphate, as Kafir(disbelievers) neither did he consider them hypocrites(munafiqs) or polytheists(mushriks).  If supposedly, Ali(ra) was a divinely appointed Caliph or Imam, then without a shadow of doubt those opponents who fought him, would be deemed disbelievers, however we find that the reality is contrary to this, as Ali(ra) considered people who fought him as Muslim brethren.

Following are the reports from Shia books proving this reality:

Shia scholars Majlisi in “Bihar” (32/324); Burjardi “Jamiu ahadeth ash-shia” (13/93) transmitted:
٢٩٧ – قرب الإسناد: ابن طريف عن ابن علوان عن جعفر عن أبيه أن عليا (عليه السلام) كان يقول لأهل حربه: إنا لم نقاتلهم على التكفير لهم ولم نقاتلهم على التكفير لنا ولكنا رأينا أنا على حق ورأوا أنهم على حق.
٢٩٨ – قرب الإسناد: بالاسناد قال: إن عليا لم يكن ينسب أحدا من أهل حربه إلى الشرك ولا إلى النفاق ولكنه كان يقول: هم إخواننا بغوا علينا.
297 – Furat by his chain: ibn Tareef – Ibn Alwan – Jafar – Father – Ali (alaihi salam) who said about those who fought against him: We don’t fight with them due to their takfir, and don’t fight with them due to their takfir of us. But we see that we are upon truth, and they see that they are upon truth.
298 – Furat by his chain: Ali didn’t attribute anyone from those who fought with him to shirk or to hypocrisy, but he use to say: Our brothers which revolt against us.

Similar report is present in another shia book, From al-Wasail al-Shia:
عبدالله بن جعفر الحميري في ( قرب الإسناد ) عن هارون بن مسلم ، عن مسعدة بن زياد ، عن جعفر ، عن أبيه ان عليا ( عليه السلام ) لم يكن ينسب أحدا من أهل حربه إلى الشرك ولا إلى النفاق ، ولكنه كان يقول : هم إخواننا بغوا علينا

Abul Abbas Abdullah ibn Jafar al-Himayri narrated in his Shia book “Qurub al-Isnad” book (p94/#318) :

جعفر ، عن أبيه  : أن علياً  لم يكن ينسب أحداً من أهل حربه إلى الشرك ولا إلى النفاق ، ولكنه كان يقول : « هم إخواننا بغوا علينا »

Jafar from his father, Ali didn’t attributed anyone from those who fought against him to shirk and neither to hypocrisy, but he said: They our brothers which revolt against us.

In the same book, at page 93, hadith 313:

جعفر ، عن أبيه : أن علياً  كان يقول لأهل حربه : « إنّا لم نقاتلهم على التكفير لهم ، ولم نقاتلهم على التكفير لنا ، ولكنّا رأينا أنّا على حق ، ورأوا أنهم على حق

Jafar from his father: Ali use to say about those who fought against him: We don’t fight them due to our takfir upon them, and don’t fight them due to their takfir upon us, just we see that we are upon truth, and they see that they are upon truth.

فلقد كنا مع رسول الله صلى
الله عليه وآله وإن القتل ليدور على الآباء والابناء والاخوان والقرابات ،
فما نزداد على كل مصيبة وشدة إلا إيمانا ، ومضيا على الحق ، وتسليما
للامر ، وصبرا على مضض الجراح . ولكنا إنما أصبحنا نقاتل إخواننا
في الاسلام على ما دخل فيه من الزيغ والاعوجاج والشبهة والتأويل

Ali(ra) addressing his companions and his opponents said: We were with prophet(saw) , that time our fathers and sons were killed , our near one and brothers were killed ,but after every problem and calamity our eman used to get increase. We used to standstill on truth, We used to obey the commands, at times of difficulties we used to do sabr(patience). But now we are fighting our own muslim brothers.(nahjul balagha tahqeeq subhi saleh, page 179).


Rational Proof #5:

Ali(ra) refutes his supposed Caliphate after Prophet, while refuting Ansar.

Ali(ra) said as is mentioned in the Nahjul balagha, while trying to negate the Imamate from the Ansar

ومن كلام له عليه السلام في معنى الانصار : قالوا : لما انتهت إلى أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام أنباء السقيفة بعد وفاة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ، قال عليه السلام : ما قالت الانصار ؟ قالوا : قالت : منا أمير ومنكم أمير ، قال عليه السلام : فهلا احتججتم عليهم بأن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وصى بأن يحسن إلى محسنهم ، ويتجاوز عن مسيئهم ؟ قالوا : وما في هذا من الحجة عليهم ؟ فقال عليه السلام : لو كانت الامامة فيهم لم تكن الوصية بهم

When after the death of the Prophet news reached Amir al-mu’minin about the happening in Saqifah of Bani Sa`idah, he enquired what the ansar said. People said that they were asking for one chief from among them and one from the others, Amir almu’minin said: Why did you not argue against them (ansar) that the Prophet had left his will that whoever is good among ansar should be treated well and whoever is bad he should be forgiven. People said: “What is there against them in it?” Amir al-mu’minin said: “If the Government was for them there should have been no will in their favour.

Esteemed Shia scholar Sayyid Muhammad Shirazi in his sharh of Nahjul balagha says while commenting upon the underlined words.

فلو کان الانصار امراء، کان اللازم ان يوصيهم الرسول صلي الله عليه و آله و سلم بان يعطفوا علي الناس لا ان يوصي الرسول صلي الله عليه و آله و سلم بان يعطف عليهم
If the Ansar were to be the rulers, it was necessary that the Prophet (peace be upon him) should have made the will that they should treat the people kindly, rather than the Prophet (peace be upon him) making the will that the people should be kind to them. (Nahjul balagha, with Taleeq of Ayatullah Shirazi, p. 103)

Now there are many narrations in which it is mentioned that the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised to treat his progeny and the ahlelbayt fairly and kindly, Here are two such versions:

وإني أوصيكم بعترتي خيرا
I ask you to treat well my progeny.

Another similar one is:

وصيكم باهلِ بيتي خيراً

I ask you to treat my Ahlebayt in good manner.
Now if we apply the same logic which Ali(ra) used to refute the claim of Ansar then it proves that the members of the progeny were also not appointed Caliph. So if the government was not going to be for the Ansar because the Prophet (peace be upon him) made the will that they be treated kindly, then similarly the government should also not be for the progeny alone because the Prophet (peace be upon him) also advised to treat them kindly.



Hence in the light of above mentioned rational proofs it is proven, that the Caliph after Prophet(saw) wasn’t going to be a divinely appointed person from progeny of Prophet(i.e Ali). These are some important facts which readers should ponder over, in order to analyze the reality regarding the false claim of Shi’ites that Ali(ra) was divinely appointed Caliph by Allah or Prophet.

Allah(swt) states in his Book: No soul can believe except by Allah’s will, and He brings disgrace on those who do not use their reason.(Quran 10:100).

2 thoughts on “Rational proofs which refute the Shia myth of taking Ali(ra) as a divinely appointed Caliph.


  2. We read in Nahjul Balagha

    Eulogising the Ansaar:
    By Allah, they nurtured Islam with their generous hands and
    eloquent tongues as a year old calf is nurtured. (Nahjul Balagha)

    Ali said : Be sure that if you incline towards anything other than Islam. the unbelievers will fight you. Then there will be neither Gabriel nor Michael, neither mohaajiroon nor Ansaar to help you, but only the clashing of swords, till Allah settles the matter for you. (Nahjul Balagha)

    This clearly proves that Muhajireen and Ansar couldn’t support a deviant

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