Question: Did Imam Ali(as) mentioned the hadith of Ghadir e Khum for himself and claimed for his own Caliphate after the Holy Prophet (pbuh)?
We have given our explanation in the article “Question on Shia Point of View on Caliphate Part 1” but in this article, we would like to share the Imam’s own words regarding the claim of Caliphate and also we would like to show the proof from Sunni sources that Imam Ali claimed Ghadir e Khum for himself.
Nahjul Balagha which consists of the sermon, letters and sayings of Imam Ali(as), an authentic book in the hands of muslims.
Nahjul Balagha in PDF:
Nahjul Balagha online: http://www.nahjulbalagha.org/
Imam Ali(as) described the situation after the Holy Prophet(pbuh)
Nahjul Balagha Sermon 201
O’ Prophet of Allah, peace be upon you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you. O’ Prophet of Allah, my patience about your chosen (daughter) has been exhausted, and my power of endurance has weakened, except that I have ground for consolation in having endured the great hardship and heart-rending event of your separation. I laid you down in your grave when your last breath had passed (when your head was) between my neck and chest.
.. Verily we are Allah’s and verily unto Him shall we return. (Qur’an 2:156)
Now the trust has been returned and what had been given has been taken back. As to my grief, it knows no bounds, and as to my nights. they will remain sleepless till Allah chooses for me the house in which you are now residing.
Certainly, your daughter would apprise you of the joining together of your (1) ummah (people) for oppressing her. You ask her in detail and get all the news about the position. This has happened when a long time had not elapsed and your remembrance had not disappeared. My salam (salutation) be on you both, the salam of a grief stricken not a disgusted or hateful person; for if I go away it is not because I am weary (of you), and if I stay it is not due to lack of belief in what Allah has promised the endurers.
We can find in the above sermon that the behavior of people changed towards the ahlulbayt soon after the death of the Prophet(pbuh).
Another Sermon, Last part of Sermon 155
“O’ `Ali, people will fall into mischief through their wealth, will show obligation to Allah on account of their faith, will expect His mercy, will feel safe from His anger and regard His unlawful matters as lawful by raising false doubts and by their misguiding desires. They will then hold lawful (the use of) wine by calling it barley water, a bribe by calling it a gift, and taking of usurious interest by calling it sale.” I said, “O’ Prophet of Allah, how should I deal with them at the time, whether to hold them to have gone back in heresy or just in revolt.” He said, “in revolt.”
This sermon described the situation how (many) companions changed after the Prophet(pbuh) passed away.
Please read another sermon, First part of Sermon 216
O’ my Allah! I beseech Thee to take revenge on the Quraysh and those who are assisting them, for they have cut asunder my kinship and over-turned my cup and have joined together to contest a right to which I was entitled more than anyone else. They said to me: “If you get your right, that will be just, but if you are denied the right, that too will be just. Endure it with sadness or kill yourself in grief.”
I looked around but found no one to shield me, protect me or help me except the members of my family. I refrained from flinging them into death and therefore closed my eyes despite the dust, kept swallowing saliva despite (the suffocation of) grief and endured pangs of anger although it was more bitter than colocynth and more grievous than the bite of knives.
Imam Ali(as) condemned the Caliphs and the system of Caliphate
Last Part of Sermon 157
“…At that time there will remain no house or tent but oppressors would inflict it with grief and inject sickness in it. On that day no one in the sky will listen to their excuse and no one on the earth will come to their help. You selected for the governance (caliphate) one who is not fit for it, and you raised him to a position which was not meant for him. Shortly Allah will take revenge from everyone who has oppressed, food for food and drink for drink, namely (they will be given) colocynth for eating, myrrh and aloes for drinking, and fear for an inner and the sword for an outer covering.
They are nothing but carrier-beasts laden with sins and camels laden with evil deeds. I swear and again swear that the Umayyads will have to spit out the caliphate as phlegm is spat and thereafter they will never taste it nor relish its flavour so long as day and night rotate.”
Someone asked Imam Ali(as) how he was ignored about Caliphate Imam Ali(as) replied in this sermon
“O’ brother of Banu Asad! Your girth is loose and you have put it on the wrong way. Nevertheless you enjoy in-law kinship and also the right to ask, and since you have asked, listen. As regards the oppression against us in this matter although we were the highest as regards descent and the strongest in relationship with the Messenger of Allah. It was a selfish act over which the hearts of people became greedy, although some people did not care for it. The Arbiter is Allah and to Him is the return on the Day of Judgement.”
Imam Ali(as) strongly condemned the Caliphs, Abu Bakar, Umar and Uthman
Sermon 3 (Shiqshiqiyyah)
“Beware! By Allah the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr)(2) dressed himself with it (the caliphate) and he certainly knew that my position in relation to it was the same as the position of the axis in relation to the hand-mill. The flood water flows down from me and the bird cannot fly upto me. I put a curtain against the caliphate and kept myself detached from it.
Then I began to think whether I should assault or endure calmly the blinding darkness of tribulations wherein the grown up are made feeble and the young grow old and the true believer acts under strain till he meets Allah (on his death). I found that endurance thereon was wiser. So I adopted patience although there was pricking in the eye and suffocation (of mortification) in the throat. I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one went his way but handed over the Caliphate to Ibn al-Khattab after himself.”
This is a long sermon please read on the PDF or online link on how the Imam condemned Abu Baker, Umar, Uthman and described the situation after the Holy Prophet.
Imam Ali claimed for his own right of caliphate
Middle part of Sermon 143
“..Where are those who falsely and unjustly claimed that they are deeply versed in knowledge, as against us, although Allah raised us in position and kept them down, bestowed upon us knowledge but deprived them, and entered us (in the fortress of knowledge) but kept them out. With us guidance is to be sought and blindness (of misguidance) is to be changed into brightness. Surely Imams (divine leaders) will be from the Quraysh. They have been planted in this line through Hashim. It would not suit others nor would others be suitable as heads of affairs.”
In this sermon, Imam Ali (as) described the burial of the Holy Prophet(pbuh) and mentioned how his right was taken away.
Those companions of Muhammad – the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants – who were the custodians (of divine messages) know that I never disobeyed Allah or His Messenger (1) – the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants – at all, and by virtue of the courage (2) with which Allah honoured me I supported him with my life on occasions when even the brave turned away and feet remained behind (instead of proceeding forward).
When the Prophet – the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants – died his head was on my chest, and his (last) breath blew over my palms and I passed it over my face. I performed his (funeral) ablution, may Allah bless him and his descendants, and the angels helped me. The house and the courtyard were full of them. One party of them was descending and the other was ascending.
My ears continually caught their humming voice, as they invoked Allah’s blessing on him, till we buried him in his grave. Thus, who can have greater rights with him than I during his life or after his death? Therefore depend on your intelligence and make your intentions pure in fighting your enemy, because I swear by Him who is such that there is no god but He, that I am on the path of truth and that they (the enemy) are on the misleading path of wrong. You hear what I say; and I seek Allah’s forgiveness for myself and for you.
Another Sermon, Sermon 73
When the Consultative Committee (or Shura) decided to swear allegiance to `Uthman, Amir al-mu’minin said:
You have certainly known that I am the most rightful of all others for the Caliphate. By Allah, so long as the affairs of Muslims remain intact and there is no oppression in it save on myself I shall keep quiet seeking reward for it (from Allah) and keeping aloof from its attractions and allurements for which you aspire.
Imam Ali(as) claimed the rights of Ahlulbayt!
Last part of Sermon 189
“…Stick to the earth, keep patient in trials, do not move your hands and swords after the liking of your tongues, and do not make haste in matters in which Allah has not asked for haste because any one of you who dies in his bed while he had knowledge of the rights of Allah and the rights of His Prophet and members of the Prophet’s house, will die as martyr. His reward is incumbent on Allah. He is also eligible to the recompense of what good acts he has intended to do, since his intention takes the place of drawing his sword. Certainly, for everything there is a time and a limit.”
People need to know what is the rights of the Ahlulbayt which Imam Ali(as) is referring in the above sermon!
Ahlulbayt are the central figure of Islam in the light of the sermons of Imam Ali(as)
We, Ahlul Bayt (chosen descendants of the Holy Prophet), hold such central and balancing position in religion that those who are deficient in understanding and acting upon its principles, will have to come to us for reformation, and those who are overdoing it have got to learn moderation from us.
Last part of Sermon 108
About the Descendants of the Holy Prophet
We are the tree of prophethood, staying place of (Divine) Message, descending place of angels, mines of knowledge and the sources of wisdom. Our supporter and lover awaits mercy while our enemy and he who hates us awaits wrath.
End part of Sermon 99
Beware! The example of the descendant (Al) of Muhammad – peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his descendants – is like that of stars in the sky. When one star sets another one rises. So you are in a position that Allah’s blessings on you have been perfected and He has shown you what you used to wish for.
Another Sermon, Middle part of Sermon 153
“..The delicacies of the Qur’an are about them (Ahlu’l-bayt, the descendants of the Prophet) and they are the treasurers of Allah. When they speak they speak the truth, but when they keep quiet no one can speak unless they speak. The forerunner should report correctly to his people, should retain his wits and should be one of the children (a man) of the next world, because he has come from there and would return to it.”
They are life for knowledge and death for ignorance. Their forbearance tells you of their knowledge, and their silence of the wisdom of their speaking. They do not go against right nor do they differ (among themselves) about it. They are the pillars of Islam and the asylums of (its) protection. With them right has returned to its position and wrong has left its place and its tongue is severed from its root. They have understood the religion attentively and carefully, not by mere heresy or from relaters, because the relaters of knowledge are many but its understanders are few.
Middle part of Sermon 96
“…Look at the people of the Prophet’s family. Adhere to their direction. Follow their footsteps because they would never let you out of guidance, and never throw you into destruction. If they sit down, you sit down, and if they rise up you rise up. Do not go ahead of them, as you would thereby go astray and go not lag behind of them as you would thereby be ruined.”
Please read the proof from Nissaie that Imam Ali claimed about himself that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said ” O Ali you are my Brother, my Special one and My Deputy”
Now we want to show the proof from the Sunni book of hadith Khasais al Ali, by Imam Nissaie
We believe it is enough to understand from the own words of Imam Ali how Imam condemned those caliph before him, claimed for his own right of Caliphate and also claimed that the Ahlulbayt are the central figure of Islam after the Prophet(pbuh).
Please also read our research work about Nissaie and Trimdhi for the proofs of Caliphate of Imam Ali(as).
May Allah (swt) guide those who seek for truth and send blessings to holy Prophet Mohammad and his Ahlalbait