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The First Person to Swear Allegiance

19. al-Kāmil fi al-Tārikh: “When `Uthmān was killed, the companions of the Messenger of God (s.a.w.) from among the Muhājirin and Ansār ,including Talha and Zubair got together and went to Ali (a.s.) and said to him: “People must have a leader.” Ali (a.s.) said: “I have no need to rule over you, so whoever you choose I will accept.” They said: “We will not choose anybody other than you.”
They would frequently go to him and in the last of their visits they said to him: “We know nobody more deserving of it [ruling] than you; someone who is more pioneering [in Islam] and closest in kinship to the Messenger of God (s.a.w.).”
The Imām then said: “Do not ask for this! I am better to you as a counselor than as a commander.”
They said: “By God, we shall do nothing until we swear allegiance to you.”
The Imām said: “So, let it be done in the mosque, as my allegiance will not be in secret, and would not be accomplished except in the mosque.”
At this time, the Imām was at his home, and it is also said that he was in the garden of Bani `Amr ibn Mabdhul.
He then set out towards the mosque, wearing a robe over a long shirt, a fur turban on his head, holding his shoes in his hand and leaning on a bow. It was then that people swore allegiance to him.
The first person who swore allegiance was Talha ibn `Ubaydullah. Habib ibn Dhu'ayb looked at him and said: “We belong to God! The first to swear allegiance is a feeble hand. This affair will not be settled!” Then Zubair swore allegiance.
Ali (a.s.) said to the two: “If you wish you may swear allegiance to me, or if you wish, I will swear allegiance to you?”
They said: “We will swear allegiance to you.”1

20. al-Jamal –quoting from Zaid ibn Aslam: “Talha and Zubair came to Ali (a.s.) who had then retreated to the outskirts of Madina. They approached him and said: “Hold out your hand so that we
swear allegiance to you, for the people do not accept anyone other than you.” The Imām said to them: “I have no need for this. I am better to you as a counselor than as being your commander. So, whoever of you holds out his hand I will swear allegiance to him.”
The two of them replied: “People prefer nobody other than you nor will they turn away from you; hold out your hand so that we can be the first of people to pledge allegiance to you.”
The Imām said: “My allegiance would not be in secret. Give me some time to go forth to the mosque.”
They said: “Rather, we will swear allegiance to you right here and then we will swear allegiance to you again in the mosque.” They were the first of people to swear allegiance to him, and then the rest of the people swore allegiance to him on the pulpit The first of them was Talha ibn `Ubaydullah who had a feeble hand. He went up the pulpit and shook hands with Ali (a.s.).
A man from Bani Asad who used to spell bad omen was standing there watching them. When he noticed that the first person to swear allegiance to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was Talha whose hand was limping, he said: “Indeed we belong to God, and to Him do we indeed return! The first hand swearing allegiance was a limping hand. It is likely that this affair will not be fulfilled.”
Talha and Zubair then came down from the pulpit, and after them the rest of the people swore allegiance to him.2

1.. al-Kamil fi al-Tārikh, vol. ۲, p. ۳۰۲, Tārikh al-Tabari, vol. ۴, p. ۴۲۸, Nihāya al-`Arab, vol. ۲۰, p. ۱۰.

2.. al-Imāma wa al-Siyāsa, vol. ۱, p. ۶۶.


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أوّل من بایع

19. الكامل في التاريخ: لَمّا قُتِلَ عُثمانُ، اجتَمَعَ أصحابُ رَسولِ اللهِ صلی الله علیه وآله مِنَ المُهاجِرينَ وَالأَنصارِ وفيهِم طَلحَةُ وَالزُّبَيرُ، فَأَتَوا عَلِيّاً، فَقالوا لَهُ: إنَّهُ لابُدَّ لِلنّاسِ مِن إِمام! قالَ: لا حاجَةَ لي ]في[1 أمرِكُم؛ فَمَنِ اخترَتُم رَضيتُ بِهِ. فَقالوا: ما نَختارُ غَيرَكَ.
وتَرَدَّدوا إلَيهِ مِراراً، وقالوا لَهُ في آخِرِ ذلِكَ: إنّا لا نَعلَمُ أحَداً أحَقَّ بِهِ مِنكَ؛ لا أقدَمَ سابِقَةً، ولا أقرَبَ قَرابَةً مِن رَسولِ اللهِ صلی الله علیه وآله . فَقالَ: لا تَفعَلوا، فَإِنّي أكونُ وَزيراً خَيراً مِن أن أكونَ أميراً. فَقالوا: وَاللهِ ما نَحنُ بِفاعِلينَ حَتّى نُبايِعَكَ. قالَ: فَفِي المَسجِدِ؛ فَإِنَّ بَيعَتي لا تَكونُ خَفِيَّةً، ولا تَكونُ إلّا فِي المَسجِدِ ـ وكانَ في بَيتِهِ، وقيلَ: في حائِطٍ لِبَني عَمرِو بنِ مَبذولٍ ـ .
فَخَرَجَ إلَى المَسجِدِ وعَلَيه إزارٌ وطاقٌ وعِمامَةُ خَزٍّ، ونَعلاهُ في يَدِهِ، مُتَوَكِّئاً عَلى قَوسٍ، فَبَايَعَهُ النّاسُ. وكانَ أوَّلُ مَن بايَعَهُ مِنَ النّاسِ طَلحَةَ بنَ عُبَيدِ اللهِ. فَنَظَرَ إلَيهِ حَبيبُ بنُ ذُؤَيب فَقالَ: إنّا للهِ! أوَّلُ مَن بَدَأَ بِالبَيعَةِ يَدٌ شَلّاءُ، لا يَتِمُّ هذَا الأَمرُ! وبايَعَهُ الزُّبَيرُ. وقالَ لَهُما عَلِيٌّ: إن أحببَتُما أن تُبايِعاني، وإن أحبَبتُما بايَعتُكُما! فَقالا: بَل نُبايِعُكَ.2

20. الجمل عن زيد بن أسلم: جاءَ طَلحَةُ وَالزُّبَيرُ إلى عَلِيٍّ علیه السلام وهوَ مُتَعَوِّذٌ بِحيطانِ المَدينَةِ، فَدَخلا عَلَيهِ وقالا لَهُ: اُبسُط يَدَكَ نُبايِعكَ، فَإِنَّ النّاسَ لا يَرضَونَ إلّا بِكَ.
فَقالَ لَهُما: لا حاجَةَ لي في ذلِكَ، لاََن أكونَ لَكُما وَزيراً خَيرٌ مِن أن أكونَ لَكُما أميراً، فَلَيبسُط مَن شاءَ مِنكُما يَدَهُ اُبايِعهُ.
فَقالا: إنَّ النّاسَ لا يُؤثِرونَ غيَرَكَ، ولا يَعدِلونَ عَنكَ إلى سِواكَ، فَابسُط يَدَكَ نُبايِعكَ أوَّلَ النّاسِ.
فَقالَ: إنَّ بَيعَتي لا تَكونُ سِرّاً، فَأَمهِلا حَتّى أخرُجَ إلَى المَسجِدِ.
فَقالا: بَل نُبايِعُكُ هاهنا، ثُمَّ نُبايِعُكَ فِي المَسجِدِ. فَبايَعاهُ أوَّلَ النّاسِ، ثُمَّ بايَعَهُ النّاسُ عَلَى المِنبَرِ، أوَّلُهُم طَلحَةُ بنُ عُبَيدِ اللهِ، وكانَت يَدُهُ شَلّاءَ، فَصَعِدَ المِنبَرَ إلَيهِ فَصَفَقَ عَلى يَدِهِ، ورَجُلٌ مِن بَني أسَدٍ يَزجُرُ الطَّيرَ قائِمٌ يَنظُرُ إلَيهِ، فَلَمّا رَأى أوَّلَيَدٍ صَفَقَت عَلى يَدِ أميرِ المُؤمِنينَ علیه السلام يَدَ طَلحَةَ وهِيَ شَلّاءُ، قالَ: إنّا للهِِ وإنّا إلَيهِراجِعونَ؛ أوُّلُ يَدٍ صَفَقَت عَلى يَدِهِ شَلّاءُ، يُوشِكُ ألّا يَتِمَّ هذَا الأَمرُ. ثُمَّ نَزَلَ طَلحَةُ وَالزُّبَيرُ وبايَعَهُ النّاسُ بَعدَهُما.3

1.. ما بين المعقوفين إضافة يقتضيها السياق.

2.. الكامل في التاريخ: ج۲ ص۳۰۲، تاريخ الطبري: ج۴ ص۴۲۸ عن أبي المليح نحوه، نهاية الأرب: ج۲۰ ص۱۰؛ بحار الأنوار: ج۳۲ ص۷ ح۲ وراجع: البداية والنهاية: ج۷ ص۲۲۷.

3.. الجمل: ص۱۳۰.

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    Imam Ali and Political Leadership
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