A HISTORIC LECTURE
A Historic Lecture of Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallahu-Anhu) concerning the superiority of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu- Anhu) and Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu-Anhu)
Hadhrat Suwayd bin Ghaflah narrates that he once passed by a group of persons who were degrading the status of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiy-Allahu-anhu) and Hadhrat Umar (Radhiy-Allahu-anhu). When he reported this to Hadhrat Ali (Radhiy-Allahu-anhu), he said: “May Allah Ta’ala Curse those who harbour anything besides good towards the two illustrious men. They were the brothers and extremely close companions of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam).” Hadhrat Ali (Radiy-Allahu-anhu) then mounted the pulpit and delivered an eloquent lecture in which he said:
“What is the matter with some people who speak about the two leaders of the Quraysh and the two fathers of the Muslims in a manner that I would never. I absolve myself of what they say and shall punish for it. I swear by the Being Who splits the seed and Who creates the soul that it is only the Allah-fearing Mu’min who loves these two men and only the sinful outcast who dislikes them. They were both true and loyal companions of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam) who enjoined good, forbade evil, punished criminals and never trespassed the ways of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam) in any matter. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam) never valued any opinion as he did theirs and did not love anyone as he loved them. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam) passed through this world well pleased with them and the people were just as pleased. Abu Bakr (Radhiu-Allahu-anhu) was appointed (by Rasulullah Sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam) to lead the salaah and when Rasulullah (Sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam) passed away, the Muslims entrusted the task of leading the salaah with him and also handed over their zakaah to him because these two (salaah and zakaah) are always coupled (mentioned together in the Qur’aan Shareef). I was the first from among the progeny of Abdul Mutallib to nominate him (as Khalifah). He however did not like to assume the post and wanted one of us to rather fill the post for him. By Allaah! He was the best of those left after Rasulullah (Sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam), the most compassionate of them, the kindest, the wisest in his piety and the first to accept Islam. Rasulullah (Sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam) likened him to Mika’eel (Alaihis-salaam) in his kindness and mercy and to Ibraheem (Alaihis-salaam) in his forgiving nature and reputation. He walked the path of Rasulullah (Sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam) until he passed away. May Allaah Ta’ala shower His Mercy on him.”
Hadhrat Ali (Radhiy-Allahu-anhu) continued, “With the consultation from the people, Abu Bakr (Radhiy-Allahu-anhu) appointed Umar bin Khattaab (Radhiy-Allahu-anhu) as his successor. While some people disapproved and others approved, I was amongst those who approved. By Allaah! Before he left this world, Umar (Radhiy-Allahu-anhu) won the approval of all those who had disapproved (of his appointment). He managed affairs in the manner that Rasulullah (Sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam) and his companion (Hadhrat Abu Bakr Radhiy-Allahu-anhu) managed affairs and he followed in their footsteps just as a foal follows in the footsteps of his mother. By Allaah! He was the best of all those who remained (after Hadhrat Abu Bakr Radhiy-Allahu-anhu). He was compassionate and merciful and helped the oppressed against the oppressor. Allaah brought the truth on his tongue to the extent that we actually thought an angel spoke with his tongue. Allaah strengthened Islam by his entering its fold and his migration was a bolster for the Deen. While Allaah Ta’ala filled the hearts of the Mu’mineen with love for him, Allaah Ta’ala also filled the hearts of the Munaafiqeen with fear for him. Rasulullah (Sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam) likened him to Jibra’eel (Alaihis-salaam) in his sternness and austerity towards enemies and to Nooh (Alaihis-salaam) in his admonishment and frustration towards the Kuffaar. Which of you can compare to the two of them? Their heights cannot be reached without having love for them and following in their footsteps. Whoever loves them loves me. On the other hand, whoever dislikes them dislikes me and I am absolved of such a person. Had I warned against reviling the two of them previously, I would have certainly given the most severe punishment for it. Now after this proclamation of mine if anyone says anything like this, he will be punished as a slanderer is punished. Take note! The best person of this Ummah after its Nabi (Sall-Allahu-alaihe-wasallam) is Abu Bakr (Radhiy-Allahu-anhu) and then Umar (Radhiy-Allahu-anhu). Allaah knows best where the best person is after them. I have now made myself clear and seek Allaah’s pardon for myself and on your behalf”.