Ziyarat photographs

Ziyarat photographs
Click to See Ziyarat photographs

First Imam Hazrat Ali a.s. (Hz. Ali ibn. Abi Talib a.s.) ---his life During first three caliphs

On the death of the Prophet, the people of Madinah were concerned that if they remained passive, the goveniment of their city would pass over to the Muhajirs.  Likewise, the Muhajirs had no intention of relinquishing the government over to the Ansar of Madinah.  The most prominent companions of the Prophet hurried to join a heated conference on the matter.  For Ali, the primary obligation was to bury the Prophet after his death, and there was nothing in the world that would have distracted him from carrying out his mission.  He was confident that the public declaration made by the Prophet about him was sufficient reassurance for his rights of succession.

       At the meeting, Abu Bakr was elected the first Caliph and Umar led the congregation 'in Madinah the next day to obtain fealty for the new Caliph.  All felt betrayed and refused to give his endorsement to the process of election by which Abu Bakr became the first successor to the Prophet of Islam.  As a result of this incidence, bitterness and unpleasantness ensued.  However, All did not raise arms to obtain his rights by force.  In fact, there were many in Madinah at that time who wanted him to do so.  He only wished for Islam to remain a unified force, and showed no wish to divide the young nation by a civil war of succession.  Within six months of the death of the Prophet, his beloved daughter Fatitna also passed away leaving her husband and her family in deep grief.

       Just before his death, Abu Bakr named Umar as his successor.  Thus Ali was deprived of his rights to become the caliph a second time.  He protested against the method but again refrained from using force to assert his right to the caliphate.  Despite his bitterness on the issue of Caliphate, Ali did not refrain from providing advice to the caliphs whenefer he was consulted in the matters of the State or ofj'urisprudence.  When Umar was fatally wounded by Abu Lulu the dis-satisfied Persian slave, he set up an elaborate electoral council of six most eligible candidates for succession which also included Ali.  However, the mechanism effectively eliminated Ali, and Uthman became the third caliph.

       By this time, the boundaries of the Muslim' rule had extended to far off lands.  It had been many years that Ali was not seen participating actively in matters of the State, and had retreated into a quiet life in the coastal town of Yanbu, located in the north west of Madinah.  By now, the numbers of new Muslims from far off lands had exceeded those in the Arab lands.  However, the reign of Uthman quickly became controversial because of his policy of promoting Umayyads to key positions throughout the empire.  Many of the previous governors, who were among the respected companions of the Prophet, were replaced by the new Umayyad nominees.  Most of these new officials of Uthman were neither pious nor knowledgeable in matters of religion.  They were arrogant and their behavior was brutal to many companions of the Prophet who had settled in the new provinces.  Complaints sent to the Caliph produced no response, as they were filtered by his personal secretary (and son-in-law) Marwan bin Hakam.  This aroused wide spread dissention among the Madinan Muslims as well as the new Muslims in the peripheral provinces.  Many deputations sent to meet with the Caliph returned without any change of personnel or policies.

       Ultimately an angry mob of Muslims marched onto the Caliph's palace and assassinated him.  The mob had consisted of a huge representation from the provinces as well as many prominent companions of the Prophet from Madinah who had opposed the policies of Uthman.  For several days there was chaos in Madinah.  At this point people came to Ali and unanimously elected him their Caliph.  All had to accept the trust, knowing full well that the task of governing the nation at that time was a formidable one.  He told the people that he would strictly follow the Quran and the Prophet in his government, and there would be some who would not like it.  However, many companions who were aware of the impeccable character of Ali, were confident that he would bring justice to the people.

       No sooner did the new Caliph take office, the Umayyad camp in the north under Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan began a systematic revolt against him and demanded revenge for the blood of Uthtnan (who was also from the Umayyad clan).  His excuse for the rebellion was that the new Caliph did nothing to punish the killers of Utlunan.

       In Madinah, several sympathizers of the slain Caliph also echoed the Umayyad uproar.  Ironically, the Prophet's wife Ayesha binte Abu Bakr, who was among the foremost to protest against Uthman's policies, now wanted to avenge his murder.  Whereas it is true that Ali was not pleased with the policies of Uthman, he did not form public demonstrations and never took part in any agitation or mob protest that ultimately led to Uthman's assassination.

       Two of the candidates for caliphate in the electoral council designed by Umar before his death, Talha and al-Zubayr (the former a cousin and the other a brother-in-law of Ayesha), still considered themselves to be active candidates for the high position.  The appointment of Ali to the Caliphate by popular vote was not acceptable to them.  They also instigated the rising against the new Caliph for their own motives.