Maula Ali (as) considered Abu Bakr and Umar to be the accursed ones

When it comes to the issue of the relationship between Maula Ali (as) and the Sheikhain those that try their utmost to convince their followers that the three had warm cordial relations with one another, experience a major difficulty they come across this narration from Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4349 wherein Caliph Umar acknowledged the following to Imam ‘Ali (as):

“When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) passed away, Abu Bakr said:” I am the successor of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him).” Both of you came to demand your shares from the property (left behind by the Messenger of Allah). (Referring to Hadhrat ‘Abbas), he said: You demanded your share from the property of your nephew, and he (referring to ‘Ali) demanded a share on behalf of his wife from the property of her father. Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had said:” We do not have any heirs; what we leave behind is (to be given in) charity.” So both of you thought him to be a liar, sinful, treacherous and dishonest.  And Allah knows that he was true, virtuous, well-guided and a follower of truth. When Abu Bakr passed away and (I have become) the successor of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him), you thought me to be a liar, sinful, treacherous and dishonest”.

So serious were these words that Bukhari chose to delete reference to it in his Sahih, using his legendary censorship substituting the words liar, sinful, treacherous and dishonest with “such and such”.  Whilst such an approach was influenced by a desire to hide these words from his readership, if ponder over the words themselves, namely the terms “liar, sinful, treacherous and dishonest” we will see that Imam Ali (as), the fourth caliph of Ahle Sunnah, consciously used terms that bear significance in terms of how such characteristics are viewed by Allah (swt).  The term sinful is self-explanatory, whilst all manner of transgression falls into the category of sinful behavior, Imam Ali (as) deemed them sinful on account of their decision in the matter of Fadak, that in itself negates those that insist that Abu Bakr’s decision was pursuant to the Qur’an and Sunnah, if that was the case then why did Imam Ali (as) regard Abu Bakr for his ruling and Umar for upholding it as sinful?  Now turning to the other terms let us see how Rasulullah (s) viewed those that exhibited each of these traits.

(1) a liar

Sunni hadith literature inform us that the trait lying is the sign of a hypocrite. We read in Sahih Bukhari Volume 001, Book 002, Hadith Number 032:
 “Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three:
1. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.
2. Whenever he promises, he always breaks it (his promise).
3. If you trust him, he proves to be dishonest. (If you keep something as a trust with him, he will not return it.)”

We read in Sahih Bukhari Volume 001, Book 002, Hadith Number 033:

“The Prophet (s) said, “Whoever has the following four (characteristics) will be a pure hypocrite and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy unless and until he gives it up.

1. Whenever he is entrusted, he betrays.
2. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.
3. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous.
4. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil and insulting manner”

Indeed, no one knew how serious Allah (swt) deems a liar from amongst the Sahaba than Imam Ali (as), since as the man blessed with the honour of accompanying the Prophet (s) at Mubahila, he witnessed how Allah (swt) sent a curse on liars in Surah Aal-e-Imran: 

If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge Hath come to thee, say: “Come! let us gather together,- our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: Then let us earnestly pray, and invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie!”


 (2) treacherous

We read in Majma al-Zawaid, Volume 5 page 330 Hadith 9691:

Ayesha reported that Allah’s Apostle (s) said: ‘A flag shall be raised against each treacherous person in the Hereafter, the Muslims are equal in their immunity and everyone must preserve it, whoever violates the Muslim person’s immunity, then Allah’s, angels and mankind’s curse is upon him, Allah will not even accept a single deed from him’.

Al-Haythami commented on the tradition and said the narrators are reliable.


 (3) dishonest

If being a liar isn’t bad enough, one that also exhibits dishonesty alongside it is worse. We read in Majma al-Zawaid by Haythami, volume 1 page 92:

Saad bin Abi Waqas reported that the Prophet (s) said that the believer can possess quality save dishonesty and lying.

Haythami commented on the said tradition and said the narrators are the narrators of the Sahih.

Similarly we read  another Hadith that has been declared as ‘Sahih’ by Albani in Sahih al-Jame Hadith,  No. 5705 and has been termed as ’Hasan’ by Suyuti in Al-Jame al-Saghir, volume 2 page 512 Hadith 8029: 

ما من ذنب أجدر أن يعجل الله تعالى لصاحبه العقوبة في الدنيا مع ما يدخره له في الآخرة من قطيعة الرحم والخيانة والكذب

Allah’s Apostle said: ‘There is no sin more worthy that Allah (swt) punishes for in advance in this World as well as in the Hereafter more than disconnecting oneself from one’s blood relatives, dishonesty and lying’.

We read in Al-Jame al-Saghir wa Zyadateh by Albani, Volume 1 Hadith 11672

 المَكْرُ وَالخَدِيَعةُ وَالخِيَانَةُ فِي النَّارِ

Allah’s Apostle (swt) said: ‘Deception, cheating and dishonesty drive to hell fire’


Imam Ali (as), the fourth caliph of Ahle Sunnah deemed Abu Bakr and Umar to be liars, deceitful, treacherous and dishonest.  As per the aforementioned hadith that we quoted persons with these qualities are: 

  • hypocrites
  • devoid of belief
  • punished in this world and the next
  • cursed in this and the next world
  • destined for Hell

Such a damning assessment of the characters of the two Shaikhs is sufficient to discredit those that are insistent that all was bright and rosy between Imam Ali (as) and the Sheikhs.  Are men with such traits worthy of being referred to as (ra)?  If the Shia are critical of the Sheikhain what is the issue, after all it mirrors what Imam Ali (as) held about them? 

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