Chapter Two: The Reign of `Umar ibn al-Khattab

Encyclopedia of Imam Ali (AS), written by Muhammad Muhammadi Rayshahri, abridged by Mahdi Gholamali, translated by Zaid Alsalami and Safyullah Khan, edited by Hamid Reza Salarkia and published by NORPUB.

158. تاريخ الإسلام عن أبي بكر :

158. Tarikh al-Islam, narrating from Abu Bakr, who said:

وَاللّهِ ، ما عَلى ظَهرِ الأَرضِ رَجُلٌ أحَبُّ إلَيَّ مِن عُمَرَ .

 “By Allah, there is no one on earth dearer to men than `Umar.”

تاريخ الإسلام للذهبي : ج3 ص265 .

Tarikh al-Islam, by al-Dhahabi, vol. 3, p. 265.

159. الإمامة والسياسةـ

159. Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, –

في ذِكرِ كِتابَةِ استِخلافِ عُمَرَ ـ:

on reporting the writing of the appointment of `Umar as Caliph–:

خَرَجَ عُمَرُ بِالكِتابِ وأعلَمَهُم ،

“`Umar came out with the letter [Abu Bakr’s will] and informed them,

فَقالوا : سَمعا وطاعَةً ،

so they said: “We will listen and obey.”

فَقالَ لَهُ رَجُلٌ : ما فِي الكِتابِ يا أبا حَفصٍ ؟

A man said to him: “O Abu Hafs, what is in the letter?”

قالَ : لا أدري ،

He said: “I do not know,

ولكِنّي أوَّلُ مَن سَمِعَ وأطاعَ .

but I am the first one to listen and obey.”

قالَ : لكِنّي وَاللّهِ أدري ما فيهِ ؛

The man said: “By Allah, but I know what is in it.

أمَّرتَهُ عامَ أوَّلٍ ،

You invested him with authority the first time,

وأمَّرَكَ العامَ !

and he has today invested you with authority.”

الإمامة والسياسة : ج1 ص38 .

Al-Imamah wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 38.

160. الإمام عليّ عليه السلام ـ في ذِكرِ السَّقيفَةِ ومابَعدَها ـ :ـ في ذِكرِ السَّقيفَةِ ومابَعدَها ـالإمام عليّ عليه السلام :

160. Imam Ali (AS) said, –mentioning the Saqifa and its aftermath–:

فَرَأَيتُ أنَّ الصَّبرَ عَلى هاتا أحجى(أي أجدَر وأولى وأحقَّ. النهاية : ج1 ص348)،

“I realized that endurance therein was most appropriate.

فَصَبَرتُ وفِي العَينِ قَذىً ، وفِي الحَلقِ شَجا ،

So I endured although there was a mote in my eye and suffocation in my throat. [Editor’s note: “Qadha fi ‘aynih” literally means (there is) a foreign body (a mote, a speck, etc.) in the eye’ denoting ‘an odious unbearable thing’. The idiom ‘grin and bear it’ seems to be the closest equivalent to it. Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 4, p. 1549, h. 3998.]

أرى تُراثي نَهبا ،

I could see my inheritance plundered,

حَتّى مَضَى الأَوَّلُ لِسَبيلِهِ ،

till the first one went his way,

فَأَدلى بِها إلى فُلانٍ بَعدَهُ .

but handed over the Caliphate to so and so after him.

شَتّانَ ما يَومِي عَلى كورِها            

[Then he quoted a verse from al-A`sha] what a difference (is) between my days on the camel’s back (in difficulty).

ويَومُ حَيّانَ أخي جابِرِ

And my days (of ease) when I enjoyed the company of Jabir’s brother Hayyan!

فَيا عَجَبا ! ! بَينا هُوَ يَستَقيلُها في حَياتِهِ

It is strange that during his lifetime he wished to give it go [the Caliphate],

إذ عَقَدَها لِاخَرَ بَعدَ وَفاتِهِ ـ لَشَدَّ ما تَشَطَّرا ضَرعَيها ! ـ

yet he handed it to another after his death. No doubt these two shared its udders strictly among themselves.

فَصَيَّرَها في حَوزَةٍ خَشناءَ يَغلُظُ كَلمُها  ،

Then he directed the Caliphate towards a tough enclosure

ويَخشُنُ مَسُّها ،

whose touch was harsh.

ويَكثُرُ العِثارُ فيها ، وَالاِعتِذارُ مِنها ، فَصاحِبُها كَراكِبِ الصَّعبَةِ

The man in control of it was like the rider of an unruly camel.

إن أشنَقَ لَها خَرَمَ ،

If he pulled up its rein, the very nostril would be slit;

وَإن أسلَسَ لَها تَقَحَّم فَمُنِيَ النّاسُ ـ

but if he let it loose, he would be thrown.

لَعَمرُ اللّهِ ـ بِخَبطٍ وشِماسٍ ، وتَلَوُّنٍ وَاعتِراضٍ .

Consequently, by Allah people got involved in recklessness, wickedness, unsteadiness and deviation.”

نهج البلاغة : الخطبة 3 .

Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon 3.

161. فضائل الصحابة لابن حنبل عن سعيد بن المُسَيّب :

161. Faza’il al-Sahabah, by Ibn Hanbal, narrating from Sa`id ibn al-Musayyib, who said:

كانَ عُمَرُ يَتَعَوَّذُ بِاللّهِ مِن مُعضِلَةٍ لَيسَ لَها أبو حَسَنٍ .

 “`Umar used to take refuge in Allah from a problem for which Abu al-Hasan [Ali] was not there [to solve].”

فضائل الصحابة لابن حنبل : ج2 ص647 ح1100 .

Faza’il al-Sahabah, by Ibn Hanbal, vol. 2, p. 647, h. 1100.

162. الاستيعاب :


وقالَ [عُمَرُ] فِي المَجنونَةِ الَّتي أمَرَ بِرَجمِها ، وفِي الَّتي وَضَعَت لِسِتَّةِ أشهُرٍ ، فَأَرادَ عُمَرُ رَجمَها ،


فَقالَ لَهُ عَلِيٌّ عليه السلام : إنَّ اللّهَ تَعالى يَقولُ :  «وَ حَمْلُهُ وَ فِصَالُهُ ثَلَـثُونَ شَهْرًا» الأحقاف : 15 .


الحَديثَ ، وقالَ عليه السلام لَهُ : إنَّ اللّهَ رَفَعَ القَلَمَ عَنِ المَجنونِ ، الحَديثَ ، فَكانَ عُمَرُ يَقولُ : لَولا عَلِيٌّ لَهَلَكَ عُمَرُ .

162. Al-Kafi, narrating from `Umar, who said: “If it was not for Ali, `Umar would have perished!”

الاستيعاب : ج 3 ص 206 الرقم 1875 .

571. Al-Istiab, vol. 3, p. 206, h. 1875.

163. تاريخ اليعقوبي:

163. Tarikh al-Ya`qubi:

 أَرَّخَ عُمَرُ الكُتُبَ ، وأرادَ أن يَكتُبَ التَّأريخَ مُنذُ مَولِدِ رَسولِ اللّهِ ،

“`Umar started to date the letters. He wanted to date the calendar from the birthday of the Messenger of Allah.

ثُمَّ قالَ : مِنَ المَبعَثِ .

He said: “From the day of the beginning of prophethood (mab`ath).”

فَأَشارَ عَلَيهِ عَلِيُّ بنُ أبي طالِبٍ أن يَكتُبَهُ مِنَ الهِجرَةِ ، فَكَتَبَهُ مِنَ الهِجرَةِ .

Imam Ali advised him to write it from the day of migration (hijrah), and so he wrote it from the day of migration.”

تاريخ اليعقوبي : ج2 ص145 .

Tarikh al-Ya`qubi, vol. 2, p. 145.

164. الإمام عليّ عليه السلامـ

164. Imam Ali (AS) said,

لِعُمَرَ لَمَّا استَشارَ النّاسَ في أن يَسيرَ فيمَن مَعَهُ لِقِتالَ الفُرسِ ـ:

to `Umar who sought consultation from people as to his participation in fighting the Persians:

إنَّ هذَا الأَمرَ لَم يَكُن نَصرُهُ ولا خِذلانُهُ لِكَثَرةٍ ولا قِلَّةٍ ؛

“The triumph of this religion or its defeat was not attributable to the multiplicity or paucity of numbers.

هُوَ دينُهُ الَّذي أظهَرَ ، وجُندُهُ الَّذي أعَزَّ وأيّدَهُ بِالمَلائِكَةِ ، حتّى بَلَغَ ما بَلَغَ ،

It is the religion of Allah, which He made prevail over all, and His army that He provided and supplied by means of the angels.

فَنَحنُ عَلى مَوعودٍ مِنَ اللّهِ ، وَاللّهُ مُنجِزٌ وَعدَهُ ، وناصِرٌ جُندَهُ .

We are at what Allah has promised us. He fulfils His promises and supports His soldiers.

 ومَكانُكَ مِنهُم مَكانُ النِّظامِ مِنَ الخَرَزِ ؛ يَجمَعُهُ ويُمسِكُهُ ،

Your position among them (as a leader) is like the position of a string that binds the beads together.

فإِنِ انحَلَّ تَفَرَّقَ ما فيهِ وذَهَبَ ،

If the string snaps, the beads will scatter around and disperse,

ثُمَّ لَم يَجتَمِع بِحَذافيرِهِ أبَدا .

and nothing can join them all together again.

وَالعَرَبُ اليَومَ وإن كانوا قَليلاً فَهِيَ كَثيرٌ عَزيزٌ بِالإِسلامِ ؛

Although the Arabs are few today, they are many through Islam and are invincible through solidarity.

فَأَقِم ،

Therefore, stay in your place

وَاكتُب إلى أهلِ الكوفَةِ ـ

and write to the people of kufah

فَهُم أعلامُ العَرَبِ ورُؤَساؤُهُم ـ ومَن لَم يَحفِل بِمَن هوَ أجمَعُ وأحَدُّ وأجَدُّ مِن هؤُلاءِ : فَليَأتِهِمُ الثُّلُثانِ وَليُقِمِ الثُّلُثُ ،

that two thirds of them should set forth (to fight the Persians) and one third should remain, for they are the eminent figures among the Arabs and the chiefs of them, and that there are no groups (of people) more unanimous, more efficient and more diligent than them.

وَاكتُب إلى أهلِ البَصرَةِ أن يُمِدُّوهُم بِبَعضِ مَن عِندَهُم .

Also write to the people of Basrah that they should support them with part of what they possess.”

تاريخ الطبري : ج4 ص123 .

Tarikh al-Tabari, vol. 4, p. 123.

165. تاريخ اليعقوبي:

165. Tarikh al-Ya`qubi:

شاوَرَ عُمَرُ أصحابَ رَسولِ اللّهِ في سَوادِ الكوفَةِ ،

“`Umar consulted the companions of the Messenger of Allah (SA) about the rural provinces of Kufah.

فَقالَ لَهُ بَعضُهُم : تُقَسِّمُها بَينَنا ،

Some of them said: “You may distribute them amongst us.”

فَشاوَرَ عَلِيّا ، فَقالَ :

He then consulted Ali, who said:

إن قَسَّمتَهَا اليَومَ لَم يَكُن لِمَن يَجيءُ بَعدَنا شَيءٌ ،

“If you distribute them today, there will be nothing left for those who will come after us.

ولكِن تُقِرُّها في أيديهِم يَعمَلونَها ،

However, if you entrust the estates to their hands to cultivate them,

فَتَكونُ لَنا ولِمَن بَعدَنا .

they will be for us and for those after us.”

فَقالَ : وَفَّقَكَ اللّهُ ، هذَا الرَّأيُ !

`Umar said: “May Allah grant you success. This is the [right] opinion!”

تاريخ اليعقوبي : ج2 ص151 .

Tarikh al-Ya`qubi, vol. 2, p. 151.