Ali was not a Shi’a nor was Umar a Sunni Part-VI

Islam versus Sunni and Shi’a

“Give the good tidings to the patient ones” Quran

Ali was not a Shi’a nor was Umar a Sunni


Sermon#5 “..Prosperous is one who rises with wings or else he remains peaceful and others enjoy ease.

This statement is extremely important and would shed light on the wisdom behind Imam Ali’s peaceful approach toward the nomination of Abu Bakr. Here, he is referring to two possible options which were available to him or to any one in a similar situation. The first one is conditional to the support of people and he called such support as, “wings” He meant that such support was not there for him at the time of Abu Bakr’s nomination. Hence he could not oppose this nomination because he lacked the support of people. This means that if people had paid their allegiance to him and Abu Bakr rebels against him then he will be obliged to rise with the support of people (wings) to subdue such rebellious movement, which he did take such action, when he was elected and he had such “wings” by Muslims after Utman’s death, against Mu’awyia.
Hence Imam Ali believes that the popular support of people is the crucial principle for legitimizing leadership and no one has the right to oppose it and it becomes an obligatory, on the elected leader, to protect the will of the people. This notion was reiterated by Imam Ali in other sermon; #173:

Sermon #173: “By my life, if the question of Imamah was not to be decided unless all the people were present, then there would be no such case. But those who agreed about it imposed the decision on those who were absent, so much so that he who was present could not dissent and the one who was absent could not choose (any one else). “

In this sermon #173 Imam Ali clearly sets the guideline for legitimizing any nomination of leadership. He emphasized on the main principle of nomination that is support of the majority, when he said:

Sermon#173: “By my life, if the question of Imamah was not to be decided unless all the people were present, then there would be no such case.”

He also adds that the majority’s choice has its own power to enforce their popular decision upon all people who were not present when he said:

Sermon#173 “But those who agreed about it imposed the decision on those who were absent”
This is truly remarkable that Imam Ali has defined for all Muslims the importance of the majority’s will in choosing their leader and destiny.
It is worth mentioning here that these words of Imam Ali (sermon#173) truly represent the true governmental system of the “consultative Assembly committee” which is similar to the modern democratic system today. But Islam has its own political system and need not to incorporate “Democracy” to become competent in administrating people’s affairs.
Imam Ali considers allegiance in the political race to be an obligatory principle of legitimizing leadership. This raises an important question regarding the legitimacy of the first three Caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman, leadership.
Shi’as hold the view that leadership of those three leaders is not legitimate for it is stripped away from Imam Ali and it was not in accordance to the will of the prophet of Islam. Frankly speaking the answer to this question is very sensitive and requires an open mind and impartiality, and only then the answer becomes clear. Shi’as has become very emotional about this issue which made them lose focus on the main objectives of Islam and they have galvanized themselves around the issue of leadership only. Consequently, they have forgot the ultimate goals of Islam, which can not be achieved unless through unity of Muslim’s objectives.
On the other hand, we find the Sunnis have completely abandoned the teaching of Ahlul-Bait whom are a true guide for all Muslims. Although they deny such accusations and they maintain that they love Ahlul-Bait and they never disrespect them. It is true that they may not disrespect them but I am not sure what do they mean by loving them. It seem that their love to Ahlul-Bait is very silent one and it is similar to loving nice scenery or beautiful painting hanged on the wall.

If Sunnis could only follow Ahlul-Bait’s teachings, which represent the Prophet Mohammad teachings, in the same enthusiasm and reverence, they hold toward the teachings of the companions of the Prophet, they will certainly gain a lot of knowledge and a lot more enhanced vision towards Islam and the world.

Sunnis do not have to abandon the teachings of the Companions rather they must open up intellectually to include the true manifestations of our beloved Prophet of Islam through his Ahlul-Bait.
One of the reasons for such approach, of Sunnis towards Ahlul-Bait, in my opinion, that they are intimidated by some of the strange religious practices of the Shi’as. In addition, of course, the political and religious factors which steered Sunnis away from Ahlul-Bait’s teachings, by corrupted Muslim leaders throughout history. And the first of such leaders certainly would be Mu’awyia bin abi Sufian. Unfortunately, Sunnis today are very much influenced by Mu’awya’s philosophy even though they are unaware of it. Many Sunnis are under the false presumptions that they are following the philosophy of the great Muslim leaders Abu Bakr, Umar, and etc…

In the next posting I will discuss the question of “Were all three Caliphate, Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman legitimate?
To be continued

Until next time


6 thoughts on “Ali was not a Shi’a nor was Umar a Sunni Part-VI”

  1. Salaams Katib,

    Just passing through and wanted to say that this is a nice blog. Ma sha Allah. I look forward to some interesting discussions/posts.

    Ma’as salama,

    Abdur Rahman


  2. To Abdur Rahman
    Thank you for passing through. I am also looking forward for the same anticipations.

    Wa ‘alaikum Assalam



  3. As salamu alaikum,

    You say that the Shi’a hold that the position was stripped from Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) yet you don’t include the various quotes from Imam ‘Ali himself where those words come from his mouth. In other words, the Shi’a hold that belief because it came from Imam ‘Ali himself.

    You will need to do much more research in the subject if you hope to prove wrong the Shi’ite arguments. Have you checked That is your competition. I mean no offense to you, but it is just disappointing to only find weaker arguments against Shi’ite beliefs everywhere I turn.

    Ma’a salama


  4. Wa’alaikumassalm, Ian

    “you don’t include the various quotes from Imam ‘Ali himself where those words come from his mouth.”

    I am aware of such statements. There is no need to do more research on such issue because research is already made and alluded to very briefly in my post titled “Ali was not a Shi’a nor was Umar a Sunni. Part-I” dated March 25th, 2007. Here is a a small quote for your convenience:

    “It is clear from many statements made by Imam Ali in Nahjulbalagha that he was indeed the rightful successor of the Prophet Muhammad, but he made great efforts to make this matter belong to him alone and he handled it at the time according to his role as a maintainer of Islam. Shi’as seems to have taken the responsibility of restoring Ali’s rights for the leadership without his permission.”

    Having said this, I thank you for your comment and May God bless you.




  5. It is actually Sermon 172, and have you read the tafsir of that sermon and that part:

    “When the people collected in the Saqifah of Banu Sa`idah in connection with the election, even those who were not present there were made to follow the decision taken there, and the principle was adopted that those present at the election had no right to reconsider the matter or to break the allegiance and those not present could do nothing but acquiesce in the agreed decision. But when the people of Medina swore allegiance at the hands of Amir al-mu’minin, the Governor of Syria (Mu`awiyah) refused to follow suit on the ground that since he was not present on the occasion he was not bound to abide by it, whereupon Amir al-mu’minin gave a reply in this sermon on the basis of these accepted and agreed principles and conditions which had been established among these people and had become incontrovertible namely that: “When the people of Medina and the ansar and the muhajirun have sworn allegiance on my hand, Mu`awiyah had no right to keep aloof from it on the ground that he was not present on the occasions nor were Talhah and az-Zubayr entitled to break the pledge after swearing allegiance.”

    On this occasion, Amir al-mu’minin did not argue on the strength of any saying of the Prophet which would serve as his final say about the caliphate, because the grounds for refusal in his case was in respect of the modus operandi of the principle of election. Therefore, in keeping with the requirements of the situation a reply based on the agreed principles of the adversary could alone quieten him. Even if he had argued on the strength of the Prophet’s command it would have been subjected to various interpretations and the matter would have been prolonged instead of being settled. Again Amir al-mu’minin had seen that soon after the death of the Prophet all his sayings and commands had been set aside. Therefore, how after the lapse of a long time, could one be expected to accept it when habit had been established to follow one’s free will against the Prophet’s sayings. “


  6. Assalamualaikum Mr. Someone

    1- As for your first concern, the number of Sermon which you stated as # 172. Actually we are both right in this reference. My reference, #173, was based on the Arabic version which was available on line some time ago. Where as yours is based on the English version on line. However as you know Nahgul balagha does not have the same status of the Quran and hence we find many versions of compilation of its contents such as sermons, sayings and others. Even among the various Arabic editions we find a slight difference in such references; for example if we take the Arabic version of nahjul balagha along with its commentary by “ibn abi alhadid” which consist of 20 volumes, you find this particular sermon #172 or #173 is given # 174, volume 9 page 328, printed in Qum Iran. So the numbers of Imam Ali’s sermons are irrelevant so long as the content of the particular sermon, under discussion, is quoted accurately, which I did quote this sermon in my post. Having said this I thank you for raising this issue.

    2- As for your second concern; “and have you read the tafsir of that sermon..”; Yes I have read the commentary of this sermon#172 or 173 or 174. I have already read it, several times in both languages, in its original text “Arabic” and the English text which you have kindly quoted in your comment. This commentary of this sermon further substantiate the points raised in my post and other various posts regarding this issue. However in the near future I intend to continue my series of posts titled “Ali was not a Shi’a ….” which would further elaborate on your concerns.

    In any case thank you for your visit and input.




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