If Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ meant the guardianship of Imam Ali ᴾᴮᵁᴴ in the narrative of Ghadir, why wasn’t it reasoned to at the Saqifah?
The Saqifah was a canopy wherein some tribes gathered to make important social decisions. Three days after Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ passed away, the Helpers and the Emigrants gathered at the Saqifah of Bani Sa’idah (a tribe) to elect the Caliph. The reasoning of the followers of Abu Bakr on the gathering at the Saqifah of Bani Sa’idah, which were based on the tribal traditions of the Ignorant time, created the most important deviation in Islamic society through history, and the path of guidance and leadership of the Islamic community was deviated from its true position. Hereon, the question is why neither the Emigrants nor the Helpers have mentioned the narrative of Ghadir at the Saqifah despite its certainty?
For the following reasons:
1. The attendants at the Saqifah were those who disobeyed the command of joining Usama’s army
One of the causes for not reasoning to the narrative of Ghadir at the Saqifah is that all of those presented there disobeyed the command of joining Usama’s army:
As it has been mentioned consecutively in historical sources of Shia and Sunni, Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ at the end of his honourable life, commanded Usama ibn Zayd to prepare an army and also commanded the Muslims to join his army and be prepared to fight against the enemies of Islam under Usama’s direction. He gathered his soldiers and encamped at Jorf, six kilometres from Medina.
“On Thursday morning, Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ handed the flag to Usama and said, “With the name of God, do jihad in the path of God and fight against the infidels.” Usama went out with his flag and prepared some flags and handed them to Buraydah ibn al-Husaib Aslami and encamped at Jorf. All of the titled Emigrants and Helpers were assigned to join that army; including Abu Bakr, Umar, Abu Ubaidah, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas, Sa’id Ibn Zayd, Qatada Ibn al-Nu’man, and Samalah Ibn Aslam Ibn Harish.”
Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Muhammad bin Sa’ad bin Munai’a Abu Abdullah al-Basri al-Zuhri, (deceased 230 AH), v. 2, p. 146, Published by Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyah Sadir- Beirut.
However, some people opposed the command of prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ and disobeyed this command; Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ got angry and according to Shia scholars and a group of Sunni scholars cursed them:
Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ said: Complete the army of Usama; May God curse those who refuse to join this army; that is why some people said it is essential for us to obey the command of Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ and since Usama is out of Medina, we should join him, but some people said the illness of Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ has become serious and we cannot be away from him; we stay with him to see what will happen to him!!!
Al-Milal wa al-Nihal, Muhammad bin Abd al-Karim bin Abi Bakr Ahmed al-Shahrastani (deceased 548 AH), v. 1, p. 23, Published by Mu’asasat al-Halabi, 1984.
As a result, first of all, all the Helpers and those who had a heartfelt faith in prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ were not present at the Saqifah at all, since they were in Usama’s army; Secondly: those who had gathered at the Saqifah were those who disobeyed the command of prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ and remained in Medina; therefore, such people should never be expected to refer to the narrative of Ghadir and remember the command of prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ on the day of Ghadir. If they were obedient to the command of prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ, they should not have been present in Medina in the first place.
2. Not all the events of the Saqifah have been narrated
Of course, no one can say for sure that the narrative of Ghadir was not reasoned to at the Saqifah; because Sunni scholars have devoted all their efforts to omit any signs of the guardianship of the progeny of the Prophet ᴾᴮᵁᵀ from their books during these fourteen centuries, and it has also been proven that narrating the Companions’ disputes is an unforgivable sin in Sunni Islam; so that some of them have claimed consensus that it is necessary to omit all which have been narrated about the disputes among the Companions. We suffice with a few statements from Sunni scholars in this regard:
Ahmad ibn Hanbal believed that if someone narrates the disputes and conflicts of the Companions, he should be punished by the ruler of the time, and if he does not repent, he should remain in prison until he dies. Ibn Abi Ya’la states in Tabaqat al-Hanabilah (History of the Hanbalites):
“Narrating the goods of the Companions of the Messenger of God ᴾᴮᵁᴴ and not narrating their bads and conflicts with each other are proved by obvious reasons… It’s not okay to narrate their bads or criticize them and if one did so, the ruler has to punish him and the ruler is not allowed to forgive him, but he should be tortured till he would repent; if he repented, he should be forgiven but if did not so, he should be tortured and kept in prison till he dies or changes his mind.”
Tabaqat al-Hanabilah (History of the Hanbalites), Muḥammad Ibn Abī Yaʻlá Abū al-Ḥusayn (deceased 521 AH), v. 1, p. 30, Published by Dar al-Ma’refa, Beirut. Investigator: Muhammad Hamid al-Fiqi.
And Ibn Taymiyyah al-Harrani considers the concealment of the Companions’ disputes as the religion of Sunni Islam.
“Avoiding the narration of conflicts among the Companions had been from the religion of Sunni Muslims.”
Minhaj al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah, Ahmad ibn Abd al-Halim ibn Taymiyyah al-Harani Abu al-Abbas (deceased 728 AH), v. 4, p. 448, Published by Imam Muhammad bin Saud al-Islami University 1985, First Edition, Investigator: Dr. Muhammad Rashad Salim.
And most importantly, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab considers the silence regarding the Companions’ disputes as the consensus of the Sunni community and considers those who condemn Mu’awiyah out of this consensus and consequently not Sunni Muslim.
“It is the consensus of the Sunni community that the conflicts among the Companions should not be narrated and nothing but good things should be said about them; as a result, if one says something about Mu’awiyah or someone else, he will be out of this consensus.”
Mukhtasar Seerah al-Rasool (Abridged biography of Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ), Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab (deceased 1206 AH) v. 1, p. 317, Published by Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, First Edition, 1998.
Now, considering this severe censorship, it’s reasonable to expect the Sunni narrators not to narrate all the events of the Saqifah and not to mention facts which are against their beliefs. Therefore, it is plausible that the narrative of Ghadir was reasoned to at the Saqifah but it has been omitted from the books by the trusted Sunni scholars!
3. Expressing the narrative of Ghadir, contrary to the philosophy of the formation of the Saqifah gathering
Considering what was said about those present in Medina at the time of the Holy Prophet’s departure and the participants at the Saqifah, as well as the motivation of the Helpers for this gathering, it’s revealed that the Helpers and the Emigrants had gathered at the Saqifah so that a person from their own tribes would become the Caliph; therefore, expressing the event of Ghadir was against the philosophy of their presence at the Saqifah and would question the philosophy of their gathering. If they intended to express the event of Ghadir, they would have never gathered at the Saqifah at the first place.
4. None of Imam Ali’s ᴾᴮᵁᴴ companions were present at the Saqifah
Neither Imam Ali ᴾᴮᵁᴴ nor one of Bani Hashim and those who were considered as special companions of the Imam were present at the Saqifah; but they were either in Usama’s army or helping Imam Ali ᴾᴮᵁᴴ with burial of Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ. How could they reason to the narrative of Ghadir when none of them were present?
Reasoning to the narrative of Ghadir after the Safiqah
According to some narratives, many people who were at the Saqifah said that they would not pledge allegiance to anyone other than Imam Ali ᴾᴮᵁᴴ, but what Umar did presented them with a fait accompli.
Tabari states in his book of Al-Tarikh: “After Umar pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr and a group of people pledged allegiance to him, the Helpers and/or a group of them said: “We only pledge allegiance to Ali” !!!”
Tarikh al-Tabari, History of the Prophets and Kings, Abi Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (deceased 310 AH) v. 3, p. 202, Published by Dar al-Turath, Beirut, Second Edition, 1967.
And Ibn al-Athir states:
“When Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ passed away, the Helpers gathered at the Saqifah of Bani Sa’dah to pledge allegiance to Sa’d ibn Ibadah; Abu Bakr heard the news and went to them along with Umar and Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah and said: what is going on? They replied: one of us and one of you should become the ruler. Abu Bakr said: one of us should be the ruler (Caliph) and one of you should be the minister. And then Abu Bakr said: I accept that one of these two Trustees of this nation, Umar and Abu Ubaydah, become the Caliph. Umar said: who may not accept the one whom the Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ has given priority to over other people as the Caliph? Umar pledged allegiance to him and so did the people. After that, the Helpers or a group of them said: we only pledge allegiance to Ali; and Ali and Bani Hashim and Zubayr and Talha refused to pledge allegiance. Zubayr said: I will not put my sword back in the sheath until the allegiance will be pledged to Ali. Umar said: take his sword and hit it to stone (to break it); then Umar went to forcibly take them to pledge allegiance.”
Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh (The Complete History), Abu al-Hassan Ali ibn Abi al-Karam Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Abd al-Karim al-Shaybani (deceased 630 AH) v. 2, p. 187, Published by Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, Beirut – Lebanon, First Edition, 1417 AH / 1997 AD, Investigator: Umar Abdul Salam Tadmuri.
It is true that none of the companions of Imam Ali ᴾᴮᵁᴴ were present at the Saqifah to reason to the narrative of Ghadir and remind the people of their allegiance at Ghadir, but in many cases after the Saqifah, the companions of Imam Ali ᴾᴮᵁᴴ reasoned to it; including Lady Fatimah ᴾᴮᵁᴴ, when she realized that the rights of Imam Ali ᴾᴮᵁᴴ and herself are being usurped, she went to the Mosque of the Prophet ᴾᴮᵁᴴ and cited the narrative of Ghadir.
It’s stated in Nuzhat al-Majalis:
“… It has been narrated from Lady Fatimah ᴾᴮᵁᴴ: “Have you forgotten the words of Prophet Muhammad ᴾᴮᵁᴴ on the day of Ghadir Khumm that said: “Whomever I am the master, Ali is his master”? And also his words to Ali that said: “Your position to me is like the position of Aaron to Moses”…””
Nuzhat al-Hifaz, Muhammad ibn Umar al-Asbahani al-Madini Abu Musa (deceased 581 AH), v. 1, p. 102, Published by Mu’asasat al-Kutub al-Thaqafi– Beirut, 1985, First Edition, Investigator: Abd al-Razi Muhammad Abd al-Muhsin.